On Sunday I spoke at the local Welcome Wagon Baby Fair. I was asked by the new organizer to talk about keeping sensuality alive after baby. The staff member at the event was a little concerned about my topic. I told her not to worry, it wasn’t going to be a raunchy talk and gave her a quick rundown. ”Oh, things every woman needs to remember. I love it!”
Whether you’re a mom, wife, single, business owner, employee or retired, the following 5 keys of sensuality are for you!
1. Be present to your senses. We have 5 senses – see, hear, smell, taste, feel – and yet sometimes we can go through a full day, or several days, without even registering anything with our senses. Women have what is called “diffuse attention”. That means we are aware of what’s around us. We notice things like piles of dishes when others – especially the men in the household – don’t seem to notice them at all. There is a lot of stimuli in our world. There’s a lot for us to keep track of and take care of. For that reason we often skate over top of our lives so we don’t get overloaded. My suggestion for you is to be present. Rather than adding to your overload, it will lessen it. It’s like feeling an emotion, when you push it away it grows and eventually overwhelms you. If you feel it and release it, you can move on. Being present to your senses allows you to really feel, to really be aware and to know what is really important. Notice the sights, sounds and smells around you. Take the time to taste your food. Notice how things feel on your skin. Oh, and this goes for inside the bedroom as well as out!
2. Take care of yourself. It’s so easy to put our own needs on the back burner when there are so many demands on your time. I have some bad news for you – you can’t really help anyone else if you don’t take care of yourself. If you’re constantly trying to drive on an empty tank, you will eventually come to a complete stop emotionally and/or physically. If you really want to be there for your family, friends and/or career, you MUST take time for YOU! Write down a list of “selfish goals”, take classes that nourish your interests, have some quiet time daily, read, write, walk – whatever feeds you, DO IT!
3. Accept compliments graciously. I’ve talked about the importance of this many times and it bears saying again. Until every woman can honestly say “thank you” when given a compliment, I’ll keep bringing it up. It’s good for your confidence and esteem and it honors the giver. JUST DO IT!
4. Be your own best cheerleader. It’s part of human nature to look for outside approval. Unfortunately we can’t rely on it. Others have their own worries and concerns. Even if they appreciate you, they may not say it at all or as often as you want. You need to practice being your own cheerleader. Get in the habit of celebrating your success. You did well, you have a right to say it, to know it, to celebrate it. Pat yourself on the back, give yourself a gift, smile in the mirror and remind yourself how amazing you are. Ra Ra Sis Boom Ba!!!
5. Ask for what you want. This can be hard to do, especially if you don’t know what you want. Refer to your selfish goals list, that will help. Being present will also be a big help. When you are clear, then start asking. It will be difficult at first. I promise, like anything, the more you do it the easier it will be. Make your requests in a way that you know you will be heard. This isn’t volume and intensity, it’s doing it at a time when you have the other person’s attention and using clear, specific language. You can’t get what you want/need if the other person/people don’t know what it is. The only person you have to blame if you’re not getting results is yourself. If you think you are already asking for what you want, evaluate how you are asking, what you are saying, when you are approaching people. Modify until you see results. This applies inside the bedroom as well. *wink*
Be your sensual self. Use these 5 keys of sensuality daily. Remember, you are a Bad Kitty; Beautiful, Authentic, Divine, Kompletely, Individual, Totally, True, YOU!
Hugs, Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty
How have you been doing with accepting compliments graciously? If you’ve been making an effort for the past two weeks, I’m sure you are seeing results in the ease of saying “Thank you” and nothing else and a difference in how you see yourself when you look in the mirror.
Now, let’s take a look at expectations. Sometimes we get confused and feel compliments and expectations, if not the same, are at least close cousins. They are actually not even in the same family.
A compliment is “an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration” whereas an expectation is “the act or state of looking forward or anticipating.” (dictionary.com)
Based on these definitions, let’s take a look at how expectations and compliments differ:
1. A compliment is based in the now. An expectation is based in the future.
2. A compliment is based in reality. An expectation is a hope for something that doesn’t yet, and may never, exist.
3. A compliment is meant to make you feel good. An expectation can make you feel inadequate.
4. A compliment is what another person sees in you. An expectation is what they would like to see.
5. A compliment is truth. An expectation is projection.
Take a moment and think about the compliments you have received. Compare them to expectations that have come your way.
Not clear on what an expectation might be? Here are some examples from my life:
- you’re so patient, you should work with the developmentally disabled (I’m not really all that patient)
- you shouldn’t have sex until you’re married (well, that didn’t happen!)
- you’re so good with kids, you’ll make an excellent mother (yes, I’m good with kids, but I decided not to be a mother)
- you’re a good little church girl, maybe you could do missionary work (now I hear “what happened to my good little church girl”)
- you’re tall, you should be good at sports (nope, definitely not!!!)
Now, think about the expectations you’ve heard throughout your life. How do they make you feel? Especially the ones you didn’t live up to? Not nearly as good as the compliments you’ve been accepting, that’s for sure.
Let’s look at how to release expectations in 5 steps:
1. Recognize that they are based on someone else’s filters of the world. Usually an expectation expressed by someone else has to do with how they see the world more than who you are and what you want or what talents/strengths you have.
2. Accept the good intentions of the other person. Expectations aren’t meant to hurt. They are often meant to be helpful or even to inspire. Even if that fails, the good intention was still there.
3. Release any hurts you may have felt from the good, even if misguided, intentions of others. There are many exercises to help with releasing hurts including but not limited to energy work, writing a letter, visualization and more. Here are a couple of resources for you: The Forgiveness Project blog, 5 forgiveness exercises and an article on the power of forgiveness.
4. Create your own expectations – called goals. Look at what is important to you and set goals/intentions for yourself weekly, monthly, yearly. Make them realistic while also pushing your comfort zone. Remember, we often overestimate what we can do in a week and underestimate what we can do in a year. Keep revisiting your goals and modify them on a regular basis.
5. Celebrate your journey. For every step you take, be sure to acknowledge your progress. No step is too small!
Enjoy your journey!
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty
Accepting compliments. It seems like a simple thing. Someone says something nice to you, you thank them and enjoy the fact that you’ve been seen and acknowledged. Yet, in our society, we’re taught that we must be “humble” so we have forgotten how to accept compliments just in case we get a big head and become proud.
Hogwash! One of my purposes in life is to get people to accept compliments graciously. Pretending that you aren’t worthy of a compliment doesn’t serve anyone.
Here are the top 3 reasons to accept compliments:
1. It is a gift. When someone takes the time to notice you, it is a little out of the ordinary. Most of us spend a good portion of our waking hours wrapped up in our own thoughts, issues, concerns. A compliment shows that for that moment, the complimentor stepped out of their own hamster wheel in their brains and noticed you. Consider every compliment as a big box wrapped in shiny paper with a big bow. Would you throw that in the garbage? NO! So don’t throw a compliment away by not acknowledging it with a sincere thank you.
2. It allows you to see outside yourself. You, like everyone else, are on a hamster wheel in your head. We spend so much time worrying about how we look, how we will be perceived, whether or not we will be accepted. A compliment shows you that you are beautiful, you are seen in a positive light, you are accepted. Why would you not appreciate that confirmation? Get out of your own stories and criticisms for at least that moment and say thank you!
3. It builds confidence. Allowing yourself to see that what others see may actually be correct builds your sense of self. If you think you are unattractive and someone keeps telling you you’re gorgeous, why argue? If someone tells you you’re talented when you think you don’t measure up, why not accept it? If someone tells you they think you’re amazing, who are you to say that you aren’t?
My challenge to you is:
- Accept compliments graciously. Get in the habit of smiling and saying thank you. Before you know it, you won’t even need to think about it anymore.
- Keep track of the compliments you receive. Get some stickers and keep a notebook. For every compliment you receive – and accept graciously – record it with a sticker. Or get a noise on your phone that you press to reinforce the compliments you’ve received. Be creative! A client of mine used stickers and put them around her mirror. She used to look in the mirror and tear herself down. Now, she says, all she sees is how beautiful she is and how much she is loved.
- Look for patterns. As you start to listen to compliments rather than deflecting them, you’ll start to see patterns. Maybe a certain color or outfit gets more compliments than others. Maybe one thing you do at work is acknowledged more than others. A certain body part might get more notice. Play up these parts of you, be your best, put your best self forward and see how that changes your life and your perception of self.
Have fun accepting compliments! You deserve every single one of them.
Next time we will discuss the difference between compliments and expectations.
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty
As someone who spent a good portion of my life analyzing what I would change about myself if I had the opportunity, I am very sensitive to anything that shows people loving themselves as they are. I used to look in the mirror and try to decide what ONE thing about me I would change but I could never narrow it down that far. I wanted a smaller chin, bigger lips, bigger eyes, a shorter neck, perkier breasts (this was as a teen!), flatter stomach, no cellulite (again, as a teen) and so on. I’m thankful for the doctor’s appointment when I was told that I get keloid scars – “so don’t ever get plastic surgery” – because that saved me from this crazy making activity.
That didn’t stop me feeling inferior, unwanted and ugly; that took more work. I’ve talked about a lot of ways that this slowly melted away in the past so feel free to go through the blog for inspiration.
Due to my struggles, I admire anyone who is confident in themselves and anything that gives the message of self acceptance.
I just finished watching an old episode of GLEE on Netflix. Called “Born This Way” the message was acceptance. When all the kids danced in their shirts listing what they hated about themselves, of course I got teary, even though I’ve seen it before.
Recently, I saw a post about a project called FOURTH TRIMESTER. It is a photography project taking pics of new moms. Mostly nude. If there’s any time in a woman’s life where she feels self conscious, it’s after having a child. The body has been stretched and changed in often unexpected ways, and here are these amazing women sharing these changes with others.
And of course they’re BEAUTIFUL!!
Please take a look at these inspiring women and their body love.
I’d like to take this opportunity to give you ONE tip on how to get closer to body love yourself:
LOVE WHAT WORKS! Your body works hard for you. When looking in the mirror, instead of looking for what you don’t like, look for how your body serves you.
- It digests your food and gives you nutrition.
- It helps you get from point a to point b.
- It communicates verbally and non-verbally.
- It inhales life giving oxygen.
- It helps you express your emotions – and release them.
- It helps you think and reason.
- It is capable of giving and receiving love.
And so much more!
Your body works hard for you. It’s an incredible piece of engineering. Love it! Take care of it! Give yourself a break.
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty
What could I possibly add to this amazing post – and great title: HOW TO GET FLAT ABS, HAVE AMAZING SEX AND RULE THE WORLD IN 8 EASY STEPS
Simply brilliant. Here’s a recap – a Huffington Repost, if you will.
1. Stop believing your own bullshit.
2. Be happy now.
3. Look at the stars.
4. Let people in.
5. Stop the crazy making.
6. Learn to apologize.
7. Practice gratitude.
8. Be kind.
Have a read of the full post and enjoy!
Have a PURRfect day!
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty
This is no secret, our body reflects our emotional state. Body language has been studied for a long time. We can tell if someone is happy or sad, under stress or relaxed, feeling assertive or fearful, powerful or weak simply by observing their body language.
This is not a new expression: Fake it till you make it. It’s likely you’ve heard this in a variety of situations such as feeling confident in a strange situation or changing your emotion from depressed to happy. Have you ever felt like you’re being dishonest or inauthentic when even considering faking it?
Part of “faking it” is how you hold your body. Standing up straight, smiling, open postures and so on help you feel good and confident. Crossing your arms, slouching, scowling all make you feel small and less confident. It’s a well documented fact that how you hold your body affects how you feel.
I notice this all the time. When I’m feeling uncomfortable in a situation, I make myself small. I’ve said many times that at six feet tall, I could easily walk into a room and be completely invisible. All it takes is small, closed body language. I can then turn around and walk into the same room with confident, powerful body language and turn every head. You can too!
When I’m feeling down or lazy, all I need to do is force myself to stand or sit straight and suddenly my whole feeling about what I’m doing (or procrastinating) changes.
It is possible. Change your mind with your body. It can really be that easy.
There is a Ted Talks by Amy Cuddy that covers this in excellent detail. Take 20 minutes to learn more about faking it till you make it and be inspired by how making a few small changes in the way you hold your body can change everything! Fake it until you become it.
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty
Cameron Russell is a model. She says she “won the looks lottery”. Few of us can say that. We all have something beautiful about us, but not everyone has the looks that are idealized by society. And we end up beating ourselves up about it for our whole lives.
Cameron did a Ted Talks about being a model and what it really means to her and to others. I don’t have much to add to it. She says it very well.
The way we look affects how people see us – as she illustrates in her first seconds on stage. It is important to project the image you want people to see of you through your appearance (professional, fun, quirky, approachable, etc). How you feel about yourself is up to you. YOU decide whether to love the way you look or not. No one else can make that decision for you.
For more, watch Cameron Russell on modelling at Ted Talks.
Hugs, Christie Mawer (The Bad Kitty)
My favorite time of year is almost here – FRINGE! I have been an avid Fringer for many years now. This year will be something special as there will be a kitty in a kayak.
Every Fringe I see anywhere from 15-40 shows depending on what my schedule allows. I love seeing the old standbys that you know will put on a good show (like Stewart Lemoine, David Belke, Darrin Hagen, etc) and finding an unexpected gem (like Jake’s Gift, which is back again this year) among the 250 shows available over 10 days.
Once upon a time, I used to participate in Fringe shows. For a good 10+ years I did a show every year. I even branched out into doing my own shows. I produced and acted in “Dance With Me”, I co-wrote, produced and acted in “We’re All Naked Under Our Clothes” and wrote, produced and starred in a one woman musical review “A Closet Diva’s Diary”. It’s been about 10 years since I’ve done a show. As much as I love it, it wasn’t as big a draw now that I get to teach and share with people on a regular basis which fulfills my desire to be on stage.
This year, there will be a Bad Kitty on stage once again. I was asked to participate in a show called “Kayak” (by award winning Canadian playwright Jordan Hall) – so there will
be a kitty in a kayak. I play the lead character Annie who spends the entire show in a kayak. Annie is a mom of Peter who’s girlfriend Julie is a “post third wave eco-feminist” whom she can’t stand. The play is Annie’s memories and hallucinations as she is adrift in a kayak after an environmental collapse.
Kayak is a love “quadrangle” between a mother, her son, his girlfriend and the environment. When mom tries to interfere she ends up adrift in a kayak.
Doing the show has been a wonderful journey. I have done some drama over the years but generally prefer comedy or musicals. This has been a real stretch for me in many ways.
- Since I’m stuck in a kayak for the entire show, I can’t rely on my body to portray my emotions.
- I’m not a mom so I had to draw on emotions from other sources
- I had to draw on a lot of difficult emotions
- Getting back into the groove so many years later has been a challenge and a joy
- Memorizing a huge amount of lines (including several monologues) when my brain doesn’t seem to be as sharp as it once was
The journey has been a wonderful one. I got to work with my director Kim Lang from “Dance with Me” who is so enthusiastic and has keen insights into human interaction. Plus she has two boys so was full of wisdom on the matter for this non-mother. My young co-actors Justin Kautz and Emily McCourt have been so lovely. They are both extremely talented and so easy to work with and bounce off of. They are also a reminder of the joy and love and possibility of life as they are starting on their performing careers. Spending several hours with these wonderful people every week over the last several months has been a tremendous gift.
I’m so looking forward to doing this show. I think it’s a damn good one (and so do the people who came to our invited dress rehearsal). It’s certainly one of the most challenging ones I’ve ever done – internally challenging. I think we’ve all risen to our best during the process.
For you, dear kitties, I hope two things:
- That you find your Kayak. Whatever it is you love, I hope you pursue it. When you are feeling lost or adrift, I hope you have someone or something that holds you up and that you cultivate those things and people so they are always in your life, not just during the tough times.
- That you join us at Fringe and come see Kayak. It will make you think. It will (likely) make you cry. It will inspire you. And it’s in an air conditioned venue, so it will refresh you! Get you tickets online or at the site.
See you at Fringe. This kitty in a kayak is waving at you on the shore.
Christie Mawer (The Bad Kitty)
It’s been awhile since we’ve talked about Sensuality. Being Sensual – owning your sensuality – is my core message and the key to accepting that you are amazing and beautiful just as you are; no changes required. In order to understand Sensuality better, let’s look at 3 myths about sensuality.
1. Sensuality and Sexuality are interchangeable. Despite the fact that we sometimes use them in place of each other, sensuality and sexuality are NOT the same thing.
“Sensuality is giving pleasure to the body or mind through the senses. The key word here is pleasure. Senusuality includes all five of our senses: hearing, seeing, smelling, tasting and touching. It also includes the 6th sense which is any use of conceptual thought to enhance pleasure.
Sexuality meanwhile is the physicological function that pertains to reproduction brought about by insemination of the female by the male through penile penetration of the vagina.” (from Extended Massive Orgasm – how you can give and receive intense sexual pleasure - Steve Bodansky, PhD and Very Bodansky PhD).
Although they are often intertwined, they are not the same. It certainly doesn’t help that everything we see about sensuality screams sex – Google sensual images or sensuality and you’ll see what I mean! The truth is, you can be sensual with no sex involved and you can have sex without being sensual (but why would you want to.)
2. Sensuality is something outside me. Sensuality is PART of you. What you experience is outside you – you smell a lilac across the street, touch someone’s skin, taste food that you are putting in your mouth, see a sunset miles away, hear music on the radio. How your respond to the various stimuli is part of who you are. If you don’t like lilacs you’ll hold your breath, if you like them you’ll breath deeply. If you are touching a loved one you will savor that touch, if you are brushing against a stranger you may recoil. If you are taking time with a gourmet meal you will enjoy every bite, if it’s a Big Mac in the car, you likely won’t enjoy much of anything that crosses your tongue. You may stop and have a zen moment with the sunset or feel dread that the day is coming to a close and there’s still so much to do. You might change the station because you hate a song or start to dance. How you express yourself in response to your senses is your sensuality. It is part of your self expression, it reflects who you are at your very deepest core. Suppressing your sensuality is repressing your truth, your beauty, your self. Which leads us to #3.
3. Sensuality is bad. Since sensuality is part of who you are, how can it be bad? This links with the confusion between sensuality and sexuality. Many feel that if we are sensual we are also slutty or inviting unwanted sexual attention. If you want to invite sexual attention, your sensuality will do that. If you don’t, it won’t. It’s also seen as confidence, self expression and joie de vivre! How can that be wrong? Sensuality is goddess energy. Sensuality is flow, female energy is flow. If you are cutting off your flow, you are cutting off your feminine. It’s no wonder so many women are rigid, sexually repressed, domineering and, let’s face it, bitchy. If we’re cutting off our natural energy it’s impossible to be truly happy. Since Sensuality is your expression it looks different on each individual. Sensuality is part of you and ignoring it is looking for trouble.
I hope this clears up some misconceptions about sensuality. Let’s spread the word together so every woman can feel comfortable with her own sensuality, with the word sensuality and with the knowledge that she is beautiful in the expression of her sensuality so the next generation can feel free to Be Beautiful, Be YOU along with us!
To get a more in depth look at sensuality, what it is, why we hide it and how to express it, pick up my book The Bad Kitty Handbook, A Journey Toward Authentic Female Sensuality.
Remember to honor your beauty and your sensuality – you’ll thank me for it.
Christie Mawer – The Bad Kitty
What is beauty?
To start, let’s take a look at this horoscope I read this week:
“There’s only one correct way to spell the English word “beauty.” But that wasn’t true centuries ago. Before the advent of the printing press, orthographic anarchy prevailed for many words. Some of beauty’s variations included: bewte, beaute, beaultye, beuaute, bealte, buute, bewtee, and beaultye. I bring this up, Aquarius, because I think it would be fun and healthy for you to take a respite from having to slavishly obey standardized rules. I’m talking about not just those that apply to spelling, but others, too. See what you can get away with.” (Freewill Astrology from Vue Magazine #920)
Kitties, my challenge to you is to apply this to YOUR personal life and your version of what is beautiful.
- Just because the world tells us there is one “standard” for beauty, doesn’t mean you’re not beautiful. ”Spell” beauty your own way. No matter what anyone else says, know that you ARE beautiful in the way that you love yourself for who you are, for what your body is and for what you want.
- Are there rules or “standards” that you feel are holding you back, making you play small? It’s time to make your own standards and leave the others behind. Are you ready to step out? Whether it is how you dress, what you do for a living or how you express yourself – or all of them – find your own truth, be true to YOU.
- Is there something you really want? A dream that keeps cropping up that you keep putting aside because of fear or the negative feedback of others? Our heroes have gone against the “standard” of what is possible and made new things possible. Are you willing to be a trailblazer?
I challenge you, kitty, whether it’s how you look at yourself in the mirror or how you choose to live you life, get past the standards and get to what you want!
You are gorgeous inside and out and your dreams are magnificent. Refuse to let anyone tell you otherwise!
Be Beautiful. Be YOU!
Hugs, Christie Mawer