Living { } the turned. women s manifesto. nicole daedone

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1 Living the turned on { } women s manifesto a Workbook to Ignite Your Life nicole daedone

2 Living the Turned-On Woman s Manifesto A Workbook to Ignite Your Life Nicole Daedone s 44 WOMEN MEDIA

3 2010 by Nicole Daedone and OneTaste 44 WOMEN MEDIA

4 Introduction Epitaph How to Use This Book contents The Turned-on Woman s Manifesto 25 Ways to Turn On 1. Don t believe what society says about women. 2. Don t buy off the rack. Customize. 3. Live inside out. 4. You do know. Claim it. 5. Make friends with your fear. 6. Desire is your compass. Follow it. 7. Write a desire contract. 8. Watch Dangerous Beauty. 9. Get behind another woman s turn-on. 10. Start a circle. 11. Don t wait for men. 12. Fuck don t fight. 13. Love your man. (Or woman.) Handle him well. 14. Get comfortable with the word pussy. 15. Orgasm lights up the power grid. 16. Post meaningfully. 17. Stay connected no matter what. 18. Replace your but with a yes, and 19. Touch often. 20. Sensation, not story. 21. Be your own energy accountant. 22. Talk about taboo. 23. Be the sex you want to see in the world. 24. Push out. 25. D.I.N. The Vision of the Turned-on Woman s Movement Who We Are Book Group Guide i

5 introduction How the Manifesto came to be The Turned-on Woman s Manifesto was born out of desire. It was a two-day summit to discuss my book, Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm. A book about orgasm how women orgasm differently than men, how the male model is the only model most of us know, and how in order to have our desires met we must change course. We must know our own orgasm and we must start having the kind of sex that gets us there. A charged message, yes. But one, I have discovered, that many women are hungry for. Women everywhere, who know there has to be more, but don t know how or even what. So we start with sex and build from there. Because if you can craft your orgasm, you can craft your life. The question on the table: who is our audience? Would we tailor our marketing for everywoman, to reach the widest possible group of women? Or would we instead focus on a core demographic of early adopters, women like those of us sitting in that very marketing summit? Women for whom the call of desire is already too loud to ignore? Women to whom we could speak our own language, and be heard without translation? We decided, at the end of the day, to go wide. To adjust the message so it would not be too confronting to more traditional women. We would make it more appropriate, more digestible. And yet I went to bed with an uneasy feeling. This wasn t just a book, after all. It was the message at the core of my life. It was my purpose. It was about the way I actually live. For me, desire is the wave that cannot be outrun. I have been owned by it, possessed. Surrendering to the freedom it offers is the only thing that matters. I knew from previous experience that not every woman feels this way about her desire. The woman who is honest about what she wants is not the average woman. ii

6 She is rare; she is exceptional. Opting for truth over stability, internal wealth over external validation these are choices few women make, and for good reason. We are taught to be good girls. To keep our voices low and our legs crossed. To settle for the sex we re getting, the life we re getting, rather than to ask for what we really want. The woman willing to stand apart the woman willing to own her desire, her sexual power, and her purpose, the woman willing to customize her own life she is the Turned-on Woman. She is extraordinary. And yet, she exists. I know, because she is me. I stayed awake. I thought about sitting across from the woman we were about to market the book toward, a more buttoned-up, middle-of-the-road kind of woman. I realized I would have very little in common with her. As women we would find something to talk about, of course, but it would be a conversation born of politeness rather than passion. I could not truly be myself around her. I had tried before, many times, and always left feeling parched, dry. Lonely. I got up before dawn. I meditated. And then I started writing. What came out was a call to the women I wanted to gather around me. Women like those I was already surrounded by. Women whose desire is already ignited, who have already tried the status quo and succeeded at it and dare to want more. The woman who hears the call, who knows that until cracks start forming in the sidewalk no flowers can bloom between. The thirsty women, the hungry women, the ones who are seeking, who are vibrating with desire, who are electrified by it. Women who enjoy the richness of this world and also know the alive emptiness of the world beyond. Who have done time exploring their own landscapes and are ready to turn their attention toward others. Turned-on women. Women like you. Later that day I sat in front of two friends, my hands shaking. I apologized first. I had gone too far, I warned them, said too much. But I needed this manifesto to be heard, if just this one time. And so I began to read. What I read was the Manifesto that starts this very book. This, I told my friends, is the woman I want to reach. She is where I wanted our compass pointed. She thinks she is alone, the only one. If we ignite the masses along the way, so much the better. But our first step on this brilliant journey? I wanted it to be her. I wanted it to be you. The turned-on woman. I am so happy you decided to be found. Nicole Daedone San Francisco, 2010 iii

7 epitaph Would it be okay if your gravestone read: She was an exceptionally mediocre woman? If your eulogy went something like: She followed every rule with precision. She rarely made a mistake and was a great champion of the status quo. She never any ruffled feathers, took any great risks, suffered any great loss. She always operated within the bounds of appropriateness. She had the love and acceptance of her community, family, and friends, though no one knew her. Her life was smooth sailing because she never rocked the boat. She contained her passion, her dreams, and her danger enough that they could call her a good woman. For some, that would be enough. But not for you. No, your epitaph will begin: She redefined what it meant to be a good woman. It will say: She scaled mountains, in hiking boots and in heels. She started in her own backyard and then went all the way around the world. She accepted challenges with curiosity and determination. She emerged victorious regardless of outcome, knowing both the pleasure of success and the grace of failure. She tasted long hot days and cool still nights, at home wherever she found herself. She wasn t always popular, but she was always true. She wasn t always comfortable, but no one can say she didn t enjoy her life. She explored her edges, increased her capacity, and lived as big as she could dream. Moved by bliss and pain, she played her heart out one moment at a time. Dialed in. Courageous. Turned on. If this sounds more like you, what are you waiting for? 1

8 how to use this book Living the Turned-on Woman s Manifesto is a workbook with a purpose. There is a lot to be said for reading and absorbing, but as women we crave active connection. We learn, grow, and transform most deeply when we engage. We open to a new idea, invite it inside, and work it out in our hearts and bodies. In exchange, we ourselves get worked. Taken, remade. It s alchemy. We leave the experience changed and expanded, like straw into gold. Powered by the connection we have made with our deeper self. The exercises and practices offered here will help you ignite your most turnedon life. Start by reading the Manifesto. Sign the Declaration of Turn-On at the end. Then dive into the 25 Ways. Do one a week. (Or if you re ambitious, one a day.) Each of the Ways includes exercises you can do by yourself. Better yet, with a group of women friends. Start a Turned-on Women s Circle (see page XX) and follow the Book Group Guide at the back of the workbook. And visit Interact with other turned-on women from around the world. Tell us your story. Comment, critique, and speak what s on your mind. You are not alone in your choice to ignite your life from the inside out. Come find us. We are here. 2

9 the turned-on woman s manifesto Turn-on lives at the edge of what you think is possible. It is ignited when you dare to dream, act, create, and operate outside the bounds of the status quo. The status quo is there to douse potential fiires. You are here to start them. A turned-on woman is an awakening woman, a woman who is coming alive. She is ignited in purpose, relationship, and sexuality; body, mind, and heart. A turned-on woman does not fear danger, risk, or being different. She knows that life happens out of bounds. What she fears are the true killers: mediocrity, fitting in, and being average. A turned-on woman burns big. She will not be contained by size zero pants, quiet whispers, or the role of follower. A turned-on woman redefines what it means to be a good woman. She takes the existing images, consumes them, and resets the bar. She is undaunted in the face of others expectations of her. Not because she discounts them. Because she knows she will exceed them. A turned-on woman isn t defined by her circumstances. She defines her circumstances by who she chooses to be within them. Urban career woman, suburban secret agent it is the substance, not the packaging, that determines her destiny. 3

10 Living the Turned-On Manifesto On Engagement A turned-on woman plays for the freedom of those around her. She recognizes that people bang the snooze button over and over, no matter how much they want to wake up. She is willing to absorb the gripes and grumbles of those who are awakening out of dreamy sleep into their greatest potential. She has the truth as her ballast. She knows that truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Finally, it is accepted as self-evident. She waits patiently for the third stage. A turned-on woman resets the definition of what it means to be generous and compassionate. She will not call out sugary platitudes to soothe and comfort people in hell. She will, with ferocity and gentleness, go into the fire and get them out. Her compassion is the outgrowth of the most relentless parental instinct, love of the superhuman, car-lifting variety. She can she will she must lift the weight of imagined fear from herself and others. She will not stand by, hoping and praying that everything will be okay. She will hold herself responsible for ensuring that it is. On Fear A turned-on woman sees just one enemy: fear. She is constantly unbending herself from its contorted grip. She thanks it for the protection it has afforded, the way it has kept her small and safe. Then she gently retires it so she can truly live. She recognizes fear in a hundred different disguises. She knows its subtle minions us versus them, tit for tat, selling out. She knows that sustainable change comes not from responding to its effects or symptoms, but from eradicating the fear at its source. She will not allow herself to be a carrier of the fear disease in either action or reaction. She knows to reject the fear in others not the ones held hostage by it, not the actions they take under its influence but the fear itself. On Purpose A turned-on woman gives permission rather than waiting for it. She reigns rather than submits. She has cultivated her power to such a magnitude that those around her aim to please her and the way to please her is by being wholly, fully, unquestionably oneself. She will not settle for the best of the options set before her. Instead she will create new and better ones. She sees opportunity all around her, bounty even in scarcity. She will reject mere excellence from anyone who is capable of more. She is willing to push another to greatness even when what is offered fulfills an immediate 3

11 Living the Turned-On Manifesto need. She recognizes that her purpose in this world is not to get things done, not to meet deadlines or achieve worldly success, but to draw from people what they did not know they were capable of. If her standards are being met but the people around her are not alive, turned on, and engaged, then she rethinks her strategy. She recognizes that no one goes unless we all go. A turned-on woman will not sacrifice truth in order to be appropriate. She may present with all the markings of the status quo, but only because she knows that change happens from within. She is always reshaping the mold to her own design. The laws of linear, familiar, predictable, tried-and-true are there to be broken in favor of her real truth: the kind that is dangerous, exponential, unique, creative, and now. On Relationships A turned-on woman does not hide. She does not shy away from awakening by shielding herself behind her partner, her children, her reputation. She recognizes that aiming for goodness just being a good mother, a good partner, a good citizen can divert her attention away from the greatness she truly desires. Great includes good, but not always vice versa. She sees how easy it would be to use the roles she has chosen to maintain her own comfort. Instead she uses them to set herself free. She believes that her responsibility as a mother is to create a better world for her children not to show them how to fit into the existing one. She recognizes that the greatest gift she can give those around her is an example of a woman who is waking up in the middle of her own life. On Freedom A turned-on woman chooses for herself. She looks inside, locates her desire, and acts out of the natural freedom she knows to be her own. She does not make decisions based on the will of others; her internal compass is too strong. Her only agenda is for all to be free. On Power A turned-on woman eschews force in favor of real power. She educates rather than emasculates. Rather than withdraw, avoid, judge, and bludgeon, she enters and transforms. She knows that she is responsible for preparing the world to receive her. Rather than taking the easy way out and demanding her freedom, she shows others how they will benefit from it. 4

12 Living the Turned-On Manifesto On Energy A turned-on woman manages her own internal climate before helping others. She handles her own basic needs sexual, spiritual, emotional, and physical. She cultivates her energy and spends it wisely. She puts on her own oxygen mask first, establishing boundaries to ensure that she has something real and nourishing to offer. She is willing to relinquish the temporary power that comes with martyrdom, victimhood, and selflessness in exchange for the enduring power that comes from internal wealth. She recognizes that giving to others from a place of scarcity only spreads the contagion of scarcity. She commits to living full. The turned-on woman knows there is wisdom in darkness. She knows that she will have bad days, bad weeks, bad months. She does not apologize or fall prey to guilt and shame. She can hold difficult emotions, transmuting sadness, disappointment, and exhaustion into fuel for her journey. She enters the deep, feels it fully, gets what she needs, and moves on. She goes down but she doesn t go out. On Women A turned-on woman ignites other women s turn-on. She refuses to deal in the accepted inter-female commerce of one-downmanship, publicly cataloging all the ways her life isn t going well to make other women feel safe. She understands that while she may find comfort in processing and commiserating with her sisters, soothing and colluding with them, such comfort is not her aim. A world of turned-on women is her aim. The generous step is to point other women evermore in the direction of wakefulness, using her own turn-on to foster genius in those around her. She is not afraid to stand alone if necessary. She knows the value of solitude and is not afraid of loneliness when the turn-on of other women is at stake. On Sex A turned-on woman rewrites the playbook when it comes to sex. She knows that sex is not an indulgence; it is literally her source of power. She would never use it to barter for something else she wants, for a turned-on woman knows that sex is the gateway to the only thing she truly wants. She knows that if she doesn t want sex, it s because she s not having the right kind of sex. The turned-on woman wants sex that creates energy rather than depletes it. She seeks the slow burn, the kind of sex that heats her up from the inside out, stoking her fire and powering her journey. 5

13 Living the Turned-On Manifesto A turned-on woman does not feel the need to dress sex up so it looks one way or another. She does not perform, embellish, or supplement. Instead she stays present, opens herself to the experience, and feels her way. She experiences what is there and asks for what she desires. A turned-on woman wants a partner who is willing and able to have this kind of sex with her. More than that, she wants a partner who desires this same kind of sex for themselves. Generative sex; sex that begets more turn-on, more awakening, and more sex. Sex that ignites; that lights up the power grid. The turned-on woman knows that she is the live wire. On Courage A turned-on woman does not trade in measured steps and replicable outcomes. She is not in the market for stability, a how-to guide to life. She is interested only in excavating the truth and sharing it with others. She wants to create, generate, raise the game, and play again. She operates at the edges of her own capacity at all times. She knows that stormy nights break into the most beautiful sunrises. She believes, she gives, she tries again, and she never checks out. Courage is her middle name. * * * Turned-on women are changing the world. Your participation is requested. Declaration of Turn-On I declare I am a turned-on woman. From this day forward, I claim my place in the world. I vow to show other women how to do the same. X 6

14 25 ways to turn on 7

15 Living the Turned-On Manifesto 1. Don t believe what society says about women. Society tells us women are disloyal. Untrustworthy. Catty. Difficult. Bitchy. Backstabbing. You know better. You are here to change expectations. To set the record straight. Model what a real woman can be. Refuse to play the game as it has been written. Get behind other women. Support them. Hold them accountable to the deeper truths of who they are. Listen to the subtext and then speak it. Do not be afraid of your friend s power and do not collude with her to keep her smaller than she is. Do not take shelter in her failures, reinforcing your own sense of security. If we do not awaken together, we do not awaken at all. The situation is crucial. It is dire. We must wake up. Together. Now. Exercise #1: Cleaning the Slate When we believe the cultural myth that women aren t built to support one another, the myth becomes reality. We start to see it around us and perpetuate it ourselves, both subtly and overtly. Change your perspective. Let go of old hurt. We cannot do this alone. What are you waiting for? Set a timer for 10 minutes, and find a piece of paper and a pen. Write down any memories you have of women hurting you in the past. Include any incidents where you felt a woman was mean, unsupportive, manipulative, or otherwise unfriendly. Keep writing until the timer goes off. Even if you have to write the same things over and over, keep going. You may be surprised by what comes up. After you have finished writing, find a safe and fun way of destroying that piece of paper. Tear it up, cut it up, even burn it (carefully!). As you do, let go of any of the memories you wrote down. You are cleaning the slate, so that a new story can be written. Then, take a few moments to write about what it feels like to let go of any old hurt and resentment here. 8

16 Living the Turned-On Manifesto Exercise #2: Clearing Out Our Judgments We all have judgments, good and bad, about ourselves and other women. We meet someone and immediately begin to take inventory of what we like and dislike about them. We take the same inventory of ourselves. It may seem perfectly natural, but in practice it interrupts the natural connection we are meant to have with others. This exercise is intended to help focus attention on the ways you have judged women both positively and negatively. Below, take an inventory of any blanket judgments you have about women. Begin with the sentence starter, Women are and finish the thought with the first thing that comes to mind. Try to put your pen down on paper without stopping to think too much. It s okay if what you write down are generalizations or if you aren t sure you even believe them. Simply write the first judgments that come to mind. Examples: pretty diffiicult and disloyal stressed out Women are Women are Women are 9

17 Living the Turned-On Manifesto Your turn: Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Women are Exercise #3: Expressing Gratitude Think of a woman friend of yours who makes you feel alive, accepted, and turned on. Call her and express your gratitude for the way she supports you and helps fuel your journey. Be sure she has read the Manifesto! After your conversation, journal here about what it felt like to connect with you friend. Did it go the way you expected? How did it feel to offer gratitude for another woman s support? What changes might you make so that another woman might one day call to thank you? 10

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19 2. Don t buy off the rack. Customize. We re talking about your life. Tailor it precisely to your own desires. To your longings and your yearnings. It may not look the way you thought it would. It may not look like the life your parents wanted for you, or the life you saw glorified on TV, or the life that seems to be working pretty well for everyone else. But it is yours. A customized life is a life of purpose. Our gifts are found in close proximity to our delights. The sensations of turn-on are like a breadcrumb trail toward the person you are meant to become. As surely as fish feel like swimming and tigers feel like pouncing, what you were created to do is something you feel like doing. Have faith in your desires; they are the most trustworthy map you have. Get to know what turns you on, what binds and represses you. What you covet and crave, and what you re just settling for. Then fill up on the former and let go of the latter. This is your one and precious life! How long are you going to wait? Exercise #1: Buyer Beware! Think about three times in your life when you opted to buy off the rack, rather than making the effort to tailor circumstances to your desire. How might things have been different if you d opted to customize instead? I bought off the rack when: If I had customized instead, then: I bought off the rack when: If I had customized instead, then: I bought off the rack when: If I had customized instead, then: 12

20 Exercise #2: Working with Discomfort Discomfort is sometimes the turned-on woman s best friend. When our reality bumps up against a bigger desire, there is friction. That friction tells us exactly where to look to find the adjustments we most need to make as we customize our lives. So get comfortable with your disappointments. Write down ten places in your life where you are currently experiencing some degree of pain, irritability, or confusion. Include resentments you hold toward people, places, or things. Do not judge your responses; you are the only one who will look at this list. Get specific. You don t like your new boss. You re resentful of your husband because he gets toothpaste all over the sink. No discomfort is too big or too small Go back to the list you made in Exercise #2. Circle the three discomforts that have the most charge for you the ones that are causing you the most pain right now. For each of them, write down three choices you could make right now that would result in a better fit in this area. Discomfort #1:

21 Discomfort #2: Discomfort #3: Live inside out. Trust yourself. Don t wait for external validation of your internal experience; know what you are feeling when you are feeling it. It doesn t matter if you should be having that feeling or if it looks right to others. Go in the direction your internal compass is pointing you. You become the woman you are supposed to be when you own who you are. You are sometimes arrogant and sometimes amazing. You re sometimes together but more often coming apart at the seams. All you have to do is approve. You might be loving and tender; you might be a raging bitch. Don t hold back either way. You are your gift to the world. Speak your mind. Ask for what you want. Be real. It will feel like opening the windows in a stuffy room. Stop pretending to be nice, balanced, gentle, kind, good, sweet or loving. (Nobody believes you anyway.) Be who you are, just who you are, right now. 14

22 Exercise #1: Hiding Places Before we can open ourselves to the world, we have to take stock of all the ways we hide. Everyone has a special bag of tricks we use to keep others from catching a glimpse of who we really are. You may shut down in groups to avoid being the center of attention. Or you may draw attention to certain positive qualities in yourself, hoping people won t see the so-called negative ones. Whatever your chosen method, you likely have your preferred hiding places. Think of at least two methods you use to protect your internal truth from the outside world and write about them in the space below. When do you first remember using this method? What fears come up when you consider leaving these tricks behind and living inside out? What is one one actionable step you might take to begin to wean yourself off of each of the above hiding places? Can you commit to taking these steps in the next week? YES NO 14

23 Exercise #2: In and Out Look around your house. Notice which items you have collected that are there because they truly express who you are, and which ones you may have chosen because you thought you should have them. List three things that you can truly say are outward representations of a deeper internal truth. What do they express outwardly that you feel inwardly? Item: Truth: Item: Truth: Item: Truth: Exercise #3: Obligation versus Desire There is no word in the English language that kills turn-on as quickly or completely as should. Obligation is the enemy of desire. Unfortunately, most of us do not even notice how often we use the word should, not to mention how often we are doing things out of subtle or subconscious obligation. When we do something because we think we should do it, we are living from the outside-in rather than the other way around. This exercise is intended to turn up the volume on the shoulds in your life. Think back through your day and write down ten different things you did. Things like went to work or walked the dog or ate breakfast. Then next to each one, write down whether you did it out of obligation or desire. There is no need to judge yourself, whether positively or negatively. Just notice how should works in your life. 15

24 Activity Obligation or Desire? 4. You do know. Claim it. You know when you know. Linear thinking, direct verbal communication, and replicable outcomes are only half the story. You know that more information is available. You know it because you can feel it in the pit of your stomach. You know if he s saying one thing and really means another. He probably doesn t even know it. So you re the one who s going to have to say something. Don t hesitate. Walk straight into it. If you believe in your own powers of perception, he will not question you. (If you don t, he will shred you. The difference between the two is a hair s breadth.) Be willing to say what you know even when you wonder how the hell you could possibly know it. He will never mention it because he never thought of it. You didn t have to think of it: you felt it. Feeling is where the truth resides. Exercise #1: Mind Over Body Intuition comes through the body. Learn how to listen to your body, and its wisdom will guide you to your truth. Think about a time in your life where you did something your mind was telling you to do, even though your body said differently. It might have to do with food, sex, exercise, or even a gut feeling you had at work. Take a few minutes to write about the incident. Why did you let your mind overrule your body? What were the benefits of making that choice? What did you miss out on? 15

25 Exercise #2: No Evidence Required There are things you know you know, even if you don t have hard evidence. Maybe you know on a deep level that your partner loves you, even if he s not saying it. Or that your boss isn t happy with your performance. Or that a friend is keeping something from you. You may think you know the whole story, or you might just have a whisper of a feeling. Think of one thing you know but don t have evidence for. How do you know it? Pay special attention to sensations you can feel in your body. Then, write down why you haven t named what you know. What barriers would you have to overcome in order to talk about it? Something I know without evidence: What it feels like in my body: 16

26 Why I haven t named it: What I would have to overcome to talk about it: Exercise #3: Saying What You Know The best way to develop your intuition is to practice speaking it out loud. Today, claim one intuition you have by naming it in the moment then write about your experience below. Don t worry about how your intuition is received; it may not be validated by the person you re speaking to. (Remember, there s a reason they weren t saying it already!) The goal is simply to get comfortable speaking your truth, regardless of outcome. Be sure to pay special attention to the way your body feels during this exercise, and write about any sensations you feel. 17

27 5. Make friends with your fear. You know the fear I m talking about. The one that lurks in the darkest corner of your heart. The one you ve convinced yourself isn t there because you ve become so good at pushing it away. As a turned-on woman, you want to know everything there is to know about yourself. Get curious. Let fear be a source of fascination, not fright. Turn the lights on. Raise your white hankie. Leave out a plate of cookies whatever it takes to get that fear to take its first tentative step in your direction. You may be surprised. It s probably a little girl with scraped knees who has been hanging on to a painful story written long, long ago. Invite her onto your lap. Tell her a new story. The story of your own bravery, your own courage, your willingness to do whatever it takes and to climb whatever mountains rise up in front of you on the journey toward truth. Then ask her to lead you to her friends there will be more. Take an inventory of your fears every day. Watch as, over time, your resistance to life converts to turn-on. Exercise #1: Finding Your Fears Fear lurks behind corners, in every area of our lives. It disguises itself as entitlement, blame, and the need to control. The first step to working with fear is to notice where it s hiding. Take a few minutes to consider where fear may have taken up residence in your life when you were looking the other way. Some will be easy to pinpoint fears you ve known about and can identify quickly. Others will be more subtle; you may not realize you have them at all. So this exercise will ask you to catalog three different fears you might have for each of the categories below. If you can t think of three fears for each category, make some up. What are possible fears you could imagine having in each of these areas? Write them down, even if they seem far-fetched or imaginary. For example, in the relationship category perhaps you have fear that you are not attracted to your partner anymore, but you can t think of any other fears. That s okay write down the one you know about, and then write down two other fears you could imagine having in a relationship. Don t get too caught up in the details; just keep writing. 18

28 Life Area Fear#1 Fear#2 Fear#3 Relationships Career Health Sexuality Finances Exercise #2: Fear As Protector Fear isn t all bad. No, really: it s a natural human characteristic that evolved as a way to protect us from true dangers think wild animals and poisonous berries. The problems arise when we keep fear on the shelf well past its expiration date. In the chart below, write down at least five fears you have, and how they might have protected you in the past. What benefit did you get from each one? Then, ask yourself if you are ready to make peace with the fear and retire it. You might be ready you might not. Either way, honesty is the key. Fear How it has helped me Am I ready to make peace with this fear and retire it? Example: Fear of getting in trouble. It kept me from repeating reckless behaviors as a kid that might have gotten me hurt. Yes. I know that the fear of getting into trouble is keeping me from taking risks I really want to take and I am ready to let it go. 19

29 Fear How it has helped me? Am I ready to make peace with this fear and retire it? 20

30 Exercise #3: Fear Inventory This exercise can be done whenever you feel anxious about something. It is also quite powerful when used as a daily practice to keep your system light and open. Acknowledging your everyday resentments and the fears that drive them means they can pass through your system. The same way brushing your teeth keeps plaque from building up on your teeth, inventory keeps fear from building up in your system. Step 1. Choose someone to address the inventory to. It can be a higher power, the universe, nature, your higher self anyone you choose who you feel has wisdom that is greater than your own. Step 2. Choose a resentment some thought or idea or person who you can t get out of your head. You ll know you ve found an appropriate resentment because it will make you feel angry, upset, victimized, anxious, or otherwise unhappy when you think about it. Step 3. Write down the fears that are behind this resentment. What are you afraid of in this situation, with this person? For example: I am resentful at my co-worker. I have fear I look bad to our boss when we coauthor reports and she finishes her work at the last minute. Then list the fears that are be hidden behind that fear. I have fear I will get fired. Under that fear you might find another one, like I have fear I choose to stay in jobs I don t love because I have fear of financial difficulties. Then, I have fear I have chosen to believe that money buys happiness even though I know that s not true. Step 4. Once you have worked through all of your resentments, you ask for your fears to be lifted simply by writing down: Higher power, I ask to be free of these fears and any others I cannot see, for me and for [Insert any names that came up during the inventory your co-worker, for example]. Step 5 (Optional). Read your list to a neutral third party. Ask them in advance to keep everything you say confidential, and not to comment on the content of your inventory. Their only job is to listen. Step 6. Let your fears go! Rip up the piece of paper you wrote on, delete the fears if you wrote them on your computer, or draw a large X across each page. This last step is an outward symbol of your willingness to really let the fears go. 20

31 Dear, I am resentful at because: I have fear that. I have fear that. I have fear that. I have fear that. I have fear that. I have fear that. Dear, I am resentful at because: I have fear that. I have fear that. I have fear that. I have fear that. I have fear that. I have fear that. Repeat the above steps as many times as you need to. Dear, I ask to be free of these fears and any others I cannot see, for me and for: 21

32 6. Desire is your compass. Follow it. Desire gets a bad rap. It makes us do things our parents told us were wrong. It doesn t like rules and it doesn t abide by the laws of appropriateness. It eats more than a lady should, in more ways than one. It uses the good china when there s not even company coming over. And there is nothing else that is so real, so true, and so yours. Desire is your own personal treasure map. It is your guide to becoming the person you were meant to be. Desire is not an indulgence, an enemy, an obstacle. It is the only thing that can quench the deepest thirst within you. Get back in touch with your desire. Start with your body. It knows what you want. Listen to the hungers that whisper, and the ones that roar. Pay attention to the magnetic fields that draw you toward one person and away from another. Give your thinking mind a mini retirement and let your sex make your decisions for a day. (Or a month.) Say yes when you want to say yes. Say no when you want to say no. If you don t know, say maybe. But follow your desires without dumbing them down. They may not lead where you wanted to go, but they will never lead you astray. Exercise #1: Who s a Good Girl? Growing up, we get tons of messages about what good girls do and don t do. Most of us internalize the do s and don ts so completely we end up having a hard time discerning between our own desires and what we ve been told we should want. In this exercise you ll excavate your inner good girl. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Writing as swiftly as possible, compile a list of everything you can think of that good girls do. Don t judge or criticize yourself, just write. Then, when the timer goes off, set it for another five minutes and create a list of what good girls don t do. Example: Good girls wait for the guy to call. Good girls leave a few bites of food on the plate. Good girls don t ask for too much. Good girls don t talk loudly in class. 22

33 Do s Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Good girls Don ts Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t Good girls don t 23

34 Now put a star next to the 3 do s and the 3 don ts that you believe might be stifling your desire most. Choose one and take a few minutes to write about how things would be different if you let your desire run free in this area: Exercise 2: Desire and Shame Shame is what keeps good girls good. In this exercise, you ll begin the process of freeing your desire by releasing a memory of shame from the past. Think back to a time when you got into trouble as a kid, preferably one that resulted in a notable feeling of shame. Perhaps you broke something, got caught playing doctor with the neighbor, or tracked mud through the house. Whatever you were doing, you were probably doing it because it felt good. Somehow, you desired it. Circle any words below that describe how you felt just before you got into trouble. Feel free to add words of your own. Happy Need Quiet Food Exuberant Sensation Bad Fun Creative Sex Relaxation Delicious Free Desire Mischevious Expansion Heat Hunger Curious Trouble Naughty 24

35 Write a short letter to your younger self, releasing her from any shame that got tied, subtly or overtly, to the feelings above. Let her know how well things have turned out for you now. Dear, Love, Exercise 3: Replacing Shame with Desire Now that you re ready to to turn your attention toward your desire rather than away from it, where should you be turning your attention? The answer is to your body. Desire lives in your body, not your head. The mind, on the other hand has its own ideas. It has this way of locking down and repressing desires that don t fit into its master plan. Which is useful when you re trying to protect yourself from hurt, disappointment, shame, and guilt. Less useful when you re trying to live a turned-on life. So let s take stock of some of your desires and see if we can broker a deal with your mind. Fill in the blanks below: name five different places where your desire is saying yes but your mind is saying not so fast. Be as specific as possible. Then negotiate a compromise, where both parties can walk away feeling good. 25

36 Example: Learn to speak Spanish. I don t have time to take a class, I need to be focused on work right now. I can download a learn to speak spanish program and listen to it on my commute. Desire says yes: Mind says no because: Compromise: Desire says yes: Mind says no because: Compromise: Desire says yes: Mind says no because: Compromise: Desire says yes: Mind says no because: Compromise: Desire says yes: Mind says no because: Compromise: Desire says yes: Mind says no because: Compromise: 26

37 7. Write a desire contract. Start with a blank piece of paper, a pen, and the sensations in your body. Put your fear brain, your resistance mind, down for a nap. Then start writing. One hundred desires, no stopping. You will not have to show this to anyone. Write down the things you know you want, even if you wish you didn t want them. Big desires, little desires, everything in between. You are the only one who can choose to let yourself have. Even if just for these ten minutes, give yourself everything the little girl inside has always wanted. Censor nothing except logic. No, your desires do not have to be feasible. No, you do not have to know how to get from here to there. All you need to do is dream. Now sort them by size. Abiding peace at the top. Peace between your children in the middle. A piece of cake down below. All are true. Valid. Important. Each desire is like a map to a different landscape within you. Hone them, sharpen their impact, cut anything you put on the list so you would look good, so you weren t asking for too much. Make space for the desires you didn t include because they would rock the boat too much, wouldn t be dignified, or wouldn t go over well with your boyfriend. Then choose the ones that you really want. I mean the ones that you really want. Ask yourself not, Can I live the rest of my life without this? but instead, Why would I want to? Then write a desire contract, and sign it. Make a commitment to live the life you were intended for. Desires point you in the right direction. The only question: will you follow? Exercise #1: Start with a Want List Go ahead: get cracking on that list! Find a comfy place to sit and get ready to let the desire flow. Large or small, feasible or outlandish, good or bad. Do not censor yourself. Be inappropriate. Don t worry about whether you actually want that thing or you just maybe want it if it pops into your head, it goes on the list. Ready, set, WANT! 27

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41 Exercise #2: Claim Your Big D and Little d Desires Review the list you made in Exercise #1. Look for the big ones, the guiding principles, the desires behind which all the other desires fall in line. (Feel free to add desires as they arise we don t always nail the big ones the first time through.) You may have only one; you probably have no more than three. Write those big D desires here. Big D Desires Little d Desires Now sort through the rest, and find the ones that most closely support the big D s. The ones that act as fuel toward the big D destinations. Write these little d desires below. (Feel free to use additional paper if you have more than ten little d s. )

42 Exercise #3: Making Admissions Now that you ve begun to shine light on your true desires, all of the stories your mind has been weaving to keep you safely separated from your desire will start to become clear. As such, there are some admissions you will have to make. Now is the time to own up to the old ideas the good-girl givens you have been operating by that you can no longer pretend are true. I am not as sorry as I said I was. I am not in love with my boyfriend anymore. I want a different job. Money is important to me. I am not having the kind of sex I want to have. The key to making admissions is a willingness to be honest. To recognize what is true for you. Only then can desire become your true North. So let s get started. What do you need to admit? Remember, nobody else will read this it s just for you. Admissions Optional: Create a single-page document including your big D desires, little d desires, and admissions. Sign it. This is your contract with yourself. For a more detailed exploration of this process, visit onetaste.us and download the ebook The Desire Contract by Nicole Daedone. 32

43 8. Watch Dangerous Beauty. You are the modern courtesan. Educated. Self-aware. Free. You know that as a woman you hold power over men. You use it wisely, and with compassion, and always with their best interest in mind. You are generous with them and whole unto yourself, so men are drawn to you like bees to ripe fruit. Through you, they have access to the nectar of life. You are not appropriate. Like the heroine of Dangerous Beauty, you make your own rules. You know that appropriateness kills joy; that a life motivated by security and social approval is no life at all. Instead, you live a life of choice. You use your womanliness, your sexuality, and your sharp mind to turn everything you touch into gold. Whether mother, CEO, artist or all three, you know that sexuality is your power, and you own it completely. You are so full of life you can t help but offer yourself to the world around you and receive the riches of the world in return. Exercise #1: Courtesan Movie Night Have a movie night to watch Dangerous Beauty. Invite only turned-on women. Wear something that expresses your desire. Be sexy, decadent. And don t forget the spread. Serve foods that light up the senses and turn up the volume. Before you watch the movie, go around the room and ask each of your guests to complete the sentence, A courtesan is Begin by doing it yourself, right here: A courtesan is 33

44 After watching the movie, go around the room again and have your friends complete the sentence again. A courtesan is A courtesan is Exercise #2: The Power of a Woman s Sexuality Dangerous Beauty is a movie about a woman who unabashedly uses sex as her power source. It fuels her education, her career, her purpose, and her life. She uses it to magnetize the best out of the men around her. Her primary driving force is desire. This is in stark contrast to the wives, who are depicted throughout the movie as unfailingly appropriate, socially conscious, and sexually repressed. Their primary driving force is fear fear of someone as openly sexual as Veronica, fear their husbands are cheating on them, religious fears essentially, fear of anything that upsets the status quo. In this exercise you will make two lists of women you are familiar with (celebrities and women of bygone eras count, too). First, those who you believe are fueled primarily by desire. Second, those who you suspect are fueled primarily by fear. Don t worry about hurting anyone s feelings here; it s your perception that counts. (And as discussed earlier, you can trust your intuition. In other words, you do know. Claim it.) Fueled by Desire Fueled by Fear 34

45 Which kind of woman do you admire most, and why? Exercise #3: Be Inappropriate (On Paper, Anyway) Take a peek underneath all of those appropriate behaviors and feel the rush of the inappropriate. Dig deep and unbury the wrong desires you left for another lifetime or a different set of circumstances. Maybe you ve been trying to be the perfect housewife but have a secret desire to be a stripper. (If only for a night.) Perhaps you ve been the rebel all your life but deep down you want the white-picket-fence dream house. Find the thing that feels the most inappropriate and most delicious. Bring that desire out of the dark and breathe life into it now. Write the fantasy down below. If you re not feeling turned on as you write, start over with a new, even more taboo desire. You will know you have landed on the right one when your body starts to vibrate with excitement. 35

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47 9. Get behind another woman s turn-on. Envy is to be greeted as very good news. Envy means you have entered the gravitational field of another powerful woman. It is up to you to engage her, to turn her into a colleague, to make her your friend. Friendship is the highest game we play. Friendship among women, true friendship, is like pouring gasoline on the fire of our own turn-on. Like a constellation, we shine brighter when we are in relationship with other turned-on women. Start scouting potential. You will begin to see women all around you who are smoldering, dying for someone to believe in them and to show them how to get their fire roaring. Be that woman. Get into the firewood business. Do it for her and do it for yourself. She may be skeptical of you at first. She may think you are trying to kill her. Be patient; draw her out. Model sisterhood rather than competition. (Throw a little healthy competition back in the game when the time is right.) Let her see, over the long term, that you have both of your best interests at heart. Be a mirror for her. Be firm but kind. Hold her to the standard you know she can reach and ask her to do the same for you. Women who light fires under other women are never alone, never lonely, and never bored. Soon you won t want to do anything else with your time. Exercise #1: Clearing Out the Old Stories Old stories we have about women keep us caught in the conspiracy of fear and envy. As a turned-on woman, you don t have time for that. This exercise is meant to clear out any old stories you have that keep you from getting behind another woman s turn-on. Name three reasons you don t get behind other turned-on women. Perhaps you have a deep belief that women are disloyal, or that you get along better with men, or that turned-on women are dangerous. What memories or previous experiences support that story? Are you ready to let these stories go? Story: Memory: I am ready to let this go. (Circle one) YES NO Story: Memory: I am ready to let this go. (Circle one) YES NO 37

48 Story: Memory: I am ready to let this go. (Circle one) YES NO Name three stories you have that make it so you don t ask for help from other turned-on women. What memories or old experiences support these stories? Are you ready to let these stories go? Story: Memory: I am ready to let this go. (Circle one) YES NO Story: Memory: I am ready to let this go. (Circle one) YES NO Story: Memory: I am ready to let this go. (Circle one) YES NO Exercise #2: Building Alliances with Turned-on Women Think of three women you know who are thriving. Following their passions. They may be workers, friends, neighbors, or women in your book club. Women whose aliveness you can feel. Who seem to magnetize what they desire in life with ease. Who are these women? What is it about them? Three Turned-on Women I Know: 1. is turned on. What s turned on about her is. 2. is turned on. What s turned on about her is. 38

49 3.. is turned on. What s turned on about her is. Now, call each of these turned-on women and invite her to tea. When you see her, ask these questions: What are you passionate about right now? What are you doing that seems to be working? What lessons did you have to learn to get where you are today? Then make her an offer. You will get behind her turn-on, if she gets behind yours. Build an alliance. Make at least one offer a concrete way you will help her and commit to an actionable first step. Then make a request that she does the same for you. Exercise #3: When You Get Triggered, Be Transparent Feelings are feelings, and we all have them. The journey of the turned-on woman is no exception. From time to time you will feel jealous, angry, frustrated, or just plain irritated with other women. The key is to let these feelings flow the minute you have them, so they don t turn to resentment. Resentment shuts down your turnon, while transparency ignites it. Moreover, behind every trigger is a desire. When feelings flare up around other women, you can welcome them as a love letter from your desire. Try this. Think of a woman in your life who you feel jealous of. Maybe she has the job you want, the body you want, the man you want. Maybe she s just funnier than you are, and everyone seems to like her. Don t judge yourself be honest. Who is this woman? I am jealous of because. 39

50 Things that trigger me about her include: What might these triggers say about what you want? What desires might these feelings be pointing toward? 40

51 10. Start a circle. Women do not awaken alone. We awaken in connection with others. In families. In communities. In friendships. Create a foundation for turning on and waking up: start a women s circle. Be exclusive. Curate well. Do not invite 14 of your closest friends. Invite the two or three women who inspire and enliven you, and grow carefully from there. Include only the women who leave you feeling energized, alive, and motivated. Do not feel guilty for not inviting the women who leave you feeling depleted, disillusioned, and ready for a glass of wine. This is not about them. This is about waking up. There is no margin for error. Once you have found your circle, make some commitments. Commit to showing up, literally and figuratively. Be on time. Pay quality attention. Be true and vulnerable. Be a mirror. Reflect without judgment. Offer support always and advice only if it is requested. Set individual goals and commit to helping one another achieve them. And don t forget the humor. Laughter sustains us on the road to awakening. Exercise #1: Setting Intentions for Your Turned-on Women s Circle Take some time and think about your intentions for this circle. Why do you want to start it? To connect with other women? To build community? To show women what is possible? To heal your relationship with women? To serve? To enjoy the turn-on of creation? What do you hope to accomplish? 41

52 Using the intentions above, craft a mission statement for your Turned-on Women s Circle. Today, I pledge to begin preparations to start a Turned-on Women s Circle. The purpose of this circle This circle will be successful if Exercise #2: Design Your Circle Now that you know why you re starting a Circle, what do you want the meetings to be like? Take this opportunity to consider different possibilities for your Circle. What would be the benefits of choosing a theme each month? What would be the benefits of letting the topic be more free-form? What could be great about having a large Circle (8+)? What could be nice about a smaller Circle? 42

53 Why might you choose to meet in someone s private home? What might be the benefit to meeting in a public place, like a coffee shop or restaurant? Would you meet at the same place each month or move around? Why might you want to have food and drink available? What might be some drawbacks of having food and drink? How long would the ideal Circle meeting last? How frequently would you get together? Might you choose an opening ritual, like a moment of silence or lighting of candles? A closing ritual? What would be the benefits and drawbacks of including ritual in your circle? 1. Might we suggest choosing one of the 25 Ways to Turn On as your topic each month! See the Book Group Guide at the end of this workbook. Now, plan your ideal Circle: 43

54 Monthly Theme? Size of group? Location? Meeting Length? Frequency? Rituals? Other? 44

55 11. Don t wait for men. You don t need a man or a woman, for that matter to turn on. The switch lies not outside of you, but deep within. Turn-on is a choice. It is not dependent on external circumstances, encouragement from others, past history, the right credentials, or even chemistry. As much of a paradox as it may seem, there is no man in the world who can turn you on until you let him. Stop blaming your man for your own lack of turn-on. A man can wire the room. He can create the right circumstances for the lights to go on. You are the only one who can flip the switch. Stop looking up and down the street for someone else to turn the electricity on. The source of power is right here, in your very own body. Turn on, and the men will come. (Be ready to enjoy the hell out of them once they do.) Exercise #1: Looking at Resistance The idea that turn-on lies within can be confronting. If turn-on doesn t depend on external source, we might draw the conclusion that we could be turned on by just about anybody. Don t be alarmed if you re feeling resistant to this concept. What cultural norms would have to fall if it were true? Are you comfortable with the concept that turn-on lies within? Why or why not? I like the idea that turn-on comes from within because I am resistant to the idea that turn-on comes from within because 45

56 Exercise #2: Noticing Your Turn-on If you have a partner, initiate sex with them today. (If you don t have a partner, initiate a flirtation with someone you have your eye on even if it s just the barista at your local coffee shop.) Notice the turn-on in your body, then take a few moments to answer these questions. What does turn-on feel like, in terms of temperature, motion, and location? Where does it begin, and where does it end? At what point does turn-on begin for you? What increases sexual energy and what decreases it? In what ways do you turn yourself on? In what ways do you expect your partner to turn you on? 46

57 Exercise #3: Reinforcing Your Own Turn-on Recall a time when you felt turned-on, alive, happy, free, and in your purpose. A time when your turn-on came unquestionably from within. What did that feel like in your body? How might you access those sensations again? 47

58 12. Fuck, don t fiight. Sex drive and the urge to fight are the same thing in different clothing. Even when I don t think I have the energy to have sex, look at me crossways and I ll find the energy to pick a fight. Same energy, different story. Frozen sexual energy makes us crazy. It locks us down, explodes at inappropriate times, or settles around us like a fog. It irritates us from the inside out. Next thing we know we re in it with our husband or our kid or our best friend. The only way to use your sexual energy to generate more energy is by unfreezing it. Owning it. Liberating it for good. We do that through sex. Sex heats you up, like an ice cube on a hot stove. Soon you melt into liquid, and your molecules become so volatile they rise in steam. Steam that can power anything you desire. Next time you feel the urge to fight, have some good, clean sex instead. Sex is the cure. It is medicine in its most potent form. Don t withhold it from your partner because you re angry with him. Fuck your partner because you don t want to be angry with him anymore. Exercise #1: The Sensations of Sex and Fighting All feelings and emotions express themselves through the body as sensations. This includes sexual turn-on and the urge to fight. In the chart below, write down any words or phrases that describe the feelings you get in your body during sex and fighting. Use the categories in the left-hand column to help you When I have sex, it feels When I m fighting, it feels Temperature (warm, hot, cool, cold, tepid) Motion (churning, still, rushing, up and down, fast or slow) Location (arms, legs, chest, genitals, head, back) Color (red, white hot, deep blue, black, bright white) 48

59 In what ways did the descriptions match? In what ways were they different? Next time you have the urge to fight, might you consider having sex instead? Exercise #2: How You Use Your Sex As women, we receive a lot of social cues and subtle messages about how we should and should not use our sexuality. The concept of using it to liberate frozen sexual energy in the body is rarely part of our education. In this exercise, consider how you have related to your sexual energy in the past. Think back over your sexual history. Start from your first sexual experiences through the present day. See if you can remember a time when you related to your sex in each of the following ways, and write a description of the incident as you remember it. 1. One time I felt I had to repress my sexuality: 2. One fight I had with a partner that I now see might have been avoided if we d had sex: 3. One recent fight that might have been the result of frozen sexual energy: 49

60 Exercise #3: Withholding One of the major obstacles we women must overcome in order to use our sexual energy for the purpose of freeing ourselves is the idea that I should only have sex with him if he deserves it. Have you ever withheld sex because you were angry with your man? Name one recent example. Place a checkmark next to any of the following ideas that sound familiar. Then, take a moment to consider them. How would things change if you changed your perspective about this? I cannot enjoy sex with my partner when I am mad at him. If I changed my perspective about this, then I: If I have sex with my partner when he has done something wrong, I will be reinforcing negative behaviors. If I changed my perspective about this, then I: Sex doesn t liberate energy, it just makes me tired. If I changed my perspective about this, then I: 50

61 These days, I enjoy fighting more than I enjoy having sex. If I changed my perspective about this, then I: 13. Love your man. (Or woman.) Handle him well. Power originates with women. Our service is creation. A man s service is service. He was born to bushwhack the path so you can focus on the business of creating. Call him into service. Be calm and assertive. Ask for precisely what you need. Give him point-by-point instruction so he will be successful. Get clean with your ability to receive. There is no time to lose. Get rid of your old stories about not deserving this is not about you! This is about righting the way men and women relate. Everything is at stake. Give him concrete tasks he knows how to accomplish and then show appreciation for a job well done. Do not trick him or play games. Do not set him up to fail. Do not punish him or point out his faults. Treat him like the precious resource he is. Show him how he can please you and then allow him to do it. Too many women treat their men like a bully picking on the tiniest kid on the playground. Stop being cruel. Allow him to carry the load he is meant to carry, while you guide him with compassion and love. Drop the old story that you are broken and he is here to save you. You are a turned-on woman: you can stand on your own two feet. Exercise #1: Tell Him What You Desire Women do not recognize just how much our partners desire to please us. The first way to handle him is to tell him what you want. Give him specific instructions, delivered in a loving and appreciative way, and watch him step up to the plate. Pretend you are talking to your partner. Tell him five desires you have. Think foot rubs, dinners out, and sexual activities. For the purpose of this exercise do not ask him to do chores. Ask for things that would make you feel alive and well taken care of. Make sure to phrase them with kindness. 51

62 Honey, I would like for you to Honey, I would like for you to Honey, I would like for you to Honey, I would like for you to Honey, I would like for you to Exercise #2: Handle Your Own Feelings First One roadblock to handling our partners is that we haven t learned to handle our own feelings. As a result, our own fear, resentment, and hurt lie in wait, ready to trap him at the slightest infraction. Take responsibility for handling your own feelings first. Only then will you be clean enough to handle his. Make a list of the last 3 times your partner irritated you. What behavior was he displaying? What did this behavior say to you? Was there an unmet desire beneath your hurt? What action could you have taken to turn the situation around? Example: His behavior: He was late. What this said to me: He didn t care about our time together. My deeper desire: My desire was that he prioritize our date so I feel cared for. His behavior: What this said to me: My deeper desire: 52

63 His behavior: What this said to me: My deeper desire: His behavior: What this said to me: My deeper desire: Now, choose one of the above behaviors. With appreciation and kindness rather than blame, tell your partner what you desire and ask him if he would be willing to give it to you next time. Exercise #3: Make the First Move Sometimes handling your man means modeling the behavior you want him to display. Think of one thing you know your partner (or a friend, if you don t have a partner at the moment) would appreciate you doing for him. What would it take for you to enjoy doing this thing? For you to do it out of desire? Not desire for him to reciprocate, but pure pleasure in the moment of the activity? 53

64 14. Get comfortable with the word pussy. You know that words carry power. Choose them wisely. We suggest choosing the word pussy. Not because it is appropriate. (It isn t.) Not because it is politically correct. (It isn t.) Not because it s your only option. You could use yoni or genitals or vagina or even cunt. You could use a euphemism like box. But make sure the word you choose is the most powerful, sexy, best option you have. While every turned-on woman must choose for herself, we think pussy is the word that best captures the sexiness, the aliveness, the electricity of a woman s most sensitive and precious spot. It is the only one that feels sensational in the very part it describes when spoken. It is warm, inviting, sexy, juicy, and sensual. Vagina is too dry. Cunt is too harsh. Pussy is juuuust right. Exercise #1: Taking Stock What is your current relationship to the word pussy? Do you love it or hate it? Use it or ignore it completely? Write a short paragraph to describe it. Do not censor or judge; just write. 54

65 Exercise #2: Consider the Alternatives Write down every word you have ever heard used to refer to a woman s genitals. Do not be ashamed. Do not edit. Write down every single word that comes to mind, positive or negative. We ve gotten you started: Pussy Exercise #3: Choosing the Right Word for YOU We often use the sexual vocabulary that we heard when we were young. The words our mother used, or would have approved of. Now is your chance to choose for yourself. 1. Look at the list you made in Exercise #2 and place a star next to the three terms you use most often to describe your own genitals. Write them down here: 2. Then, read the whole list you made in Exercise #2 out loud. Feel your body as you read it. Which terms feel most alive, vibrant, sexy, and decadent in your body? Circle the top three and write them here: 55

66 3. Where did your stars and circles overlap? Or did they? Why do you think you use the terms you use? 4. Now that you ve taken the time to consider it, will you adopt the word pussy? Why or why not? 55

67 15. Orgasm lights up the power grid. Pay attention to every sensation in your body; it s through feeling sensations that you understand your world. This goes for orgasm as much as or more than anything else. As soon as you start paying attention to your orgasm, you discover that you have been short-changing yourself for years equating orgasm with climax. Orgasm is the experience of pleasure in the body. Pleasure is accessible in so many more ways than just through stimulation of the genitals. The lips receive and respond to pleasure during a kiss. The tongue receives and responds to pleasure when eating a flavorful meal. The skin receives and responds to pleasure when a feather is run lightly up and down your inner arm. All of these experiences create the energy of turn-on. All of these experiences are orgasmic. Learn how to feel orgasm in every cell of your body. Every moment you are here. Your life can be one extended experience of orgasm. Remember to be here for it. Exercise #1: Cutting Off Our Power Source If orgasm is our power source, what happens when we keep our sex hidden away? How might things change in your life if you treated sex as your power source? 56

68 What obstacles might you have to overcome? Exercise #2: Start an Orgasmic Journal A turned-on woman knows that orgasm is the rise and fall of sensation in her body how her body receives and responds to pleasure. Climax may be part of orgasm, but orgasm can be felt throughout the day in many different ways. Any time the body fills with pleasurable sensation, that s orgasm. Taking the time to notice when orgasm rises in our body keeps us alive, vibrant, and turned-on. A great way to start paying attention is by keeping an Orgasmic Journal. Choose a journal. Start with the notebook itself. Choose a journal that feels good to you one that generates energy when you look at it, touch it, even smell it. What about this journal says orgasm to you? Choose a pen. Then find a pen that feels good in your hand. You might want something lightweight or heavy; ink that is thick and viscous or ink that flows freely. Whichever you choose, make sure it s a pen you desire to have in your hand. Start paying attention. Now, start noticing how orgasm rises and falls in your body throughout the day. Throughout the day, pay attention to any moments where your body feels alive, sensual, hot, and buoyant. Write it down. Each time orgasm catches your attention, pull out your journal and jot down a brief snapshot of what it feels like. Capture the circumstances and the sensations alike. Think temperature, location, motion, and color. Did you feel a tingling? A buzzing? Where was it located in your body? What was happening around you at the time? Keep the descriptions succinct; hopefully you will be experiencing many of them. Review your orgasm. At the end of each day review your journal. What surprised you? What stood out? Which experiences would you like to repeat? 57

69 Exercise #3: Letter from Your Orgasm Write a letter to yourself from the point of view of orgasm. Let your orgasm speak to you. Is orgasm a long-lost friend? A constant companion? Where does it feel listened to? Ignored? In what ways does it feel judged or repressed? Celebrated and appreciated? What are some recent desires it s asked for that have yet to be fulfilled? What is it upset about and what it is grateful for? Dear, I feel like you really listen to me when I wish you would listen to me more when I feel celebrated when I feel repressed when I have a desire to I love it when you Love, Your Orgasm 58

70 16. Stay connected no matter what. When you disconnect from anything from your partner, your senses, your world you are unplugging from your power source. You cannot afford to squander even one spark of connection. Everything is fuel for your journey. And it s a big journey. As a turned-on woman you will be asked to climb mountains and swim across seas. You will be asked to use all of your reserves without holding anything back. You will need power to do such remarkable things. Make promises of connection that you intend to keep. Make a vow that the door will always be open. No one will be turned away, regardless of previous experience. This does not mean the price of admission will be free, of course. Know the difference between acquiescence and surrender. The former is a lack of will. The latter is an act of power. Laziness and hiding are choices you can t afford to make. Be awake, alive, and engaged regardless of external circumstances. Stay connected. Feel the wind against your cheek even if your husband tells you he is in love with another woman. Notice the feeling of your left foot hitting the pavement as you pass mile 22 of your first marathon. Do not check out. Do not pretend to be bored. Attend to your life, every moment, right now, whatever is happening. Exercise #1: Cataloging Disconnection Think back throughout your life and make a list of people who were once important to you friends, lovers, co-workers who you have not seen or heard from in a while. Now, go through the list you ve made and take a moment to really feel each person on the list. Notice any names that make you feel good in your body. Chances are, you have stayed connected to these people if only in your heart. If they walked through the door today, how would you feel? 59

71 Now, circle any names on the list where the primary or overriding sensation you feel is negative. (Include anyone who doesn t bring up any sensation in your body it s possible a part of you is choosing not to feel that person for a reason.) Chances are these people are associated with feelings of pain, sadness, or disappointment. That doesn t mean you have to disconnect, however. What would it take to feel connected to these people, even without necessarily inviting them back into your life? Exercise #2: Difficult Connections Staying connected does not mean giving in or renouncing your desires. It simply means staying in relationship with all aspects of your world: the good ones, as well as the bad or uncomfortable ones. Let s start by looking at the places you might be disconnecting right now. What is one food you would never eat? Name three reasons you choose not to stay connected to this food: What kind of music would you choose not to listen to? 60

72 Name three reasons you choose not to stay connected to this music: Name three reasons you choose not to stay connected to this part of town: Who is one person in your life who you avoid? Name three reasons you choose not to stay connected to this person: What s one chore that you abhor doing? Name three reasons you choose not to stay connected to this chore: What is one thing a friend or loved one does that drives you crazy? Name three reasons you choose not to stay connected to this behavior: What is one sex act that scares you? Name three reasons you choose not to stay connected to this act: 61

73 Exercise #3: Staying Connected Even Just a Little It is always possible to stay connected even when you are feeling resistant. Reread your responses to Exercise #2 and choose the three places you choose not to connect that bring up the most charge for you the ones you truly cannot see yourself overcoming. Maybe it s a food you despise, a sex act you would never do, a person who you never want to see again, or music that gives you a headache just thinking about it. Write down one way you disconnect from each of these experiences. For example, I avoid eating fish by not going to seafood restaurants Now think of a small, nonconfrontational way you could connect to each of these experiences. For example: Smell the food you avoid, rather than tasting it Read a how-to guide for the sex act that scares you Write in your journal about how that despised person has helped shape you positively into the person you are today Go on itunes and listen to 30-second samples of the genre of music you dislike What would it be like to reconnect in such a small way with each of these experiences? What might you come to appreciate about them? About yourself? Will you try reconnecting with at least one of them? 62

74 17. Post meaningfully. You have the power to change the world. Start today, from the comfort of your own home. The internet is where life is happening now. It is the nervous system of our planet. It is the easiest way to reach other turned-on women. It s how men who love turned-on women will find and support you. If you are not posting meaningful content on your blog or Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn every day, you are missing an opportunity to expand your positive influence in the world. I cannot say this enough: the world needs to hear from turned-on women. It needs you to grow your light brighter and shine it out. It needs to hear from you. Post meaningfully. Reach outward and express what matters to you. Share articles, post quotations, ask thoughtful questions, and start meaningful conversations with others. The internet has been born into the world for a reason, and so have you. Make the connection. Exercise #1: Looking at Your Ideas about Technology Many women believe technology is dangerous, too complicated, invasive, that it s a guy thing, or it s only appropriate for a younger generation. Which ignores one important thing: technology makes it easy to spread turn-on. It allows us to connect quickly and meaningfully in real time to a whole lot of people. Do you have a Facebook account? Twitter feed? Blog? If so, do you post meaningfully on a regular basis? If not, why not? What does it mean to you to post meaningfully? What kinds of posts, s, blogs and tweets do you enjoy reading from other people? Which ones do you dislike? _ 63

75 Exercise #2: Curating Your Message If you had a platform where you could speak to the world, what would you say? What if you only had to curate a message rather than writing it yourself? You can do just that. Write down your top five favorite writers and thinkers here: Now, go online and run a search for Quotations by [insert name of thinker or writer you love here]. Choose a quote that means something to you from each of these great minds and copy them here: Now, post one of these quotes to Facebook every day for the next ten days. While you re online, be sure to write meaningful comments on your friends posts as well. The more you join the conversation, the more people will see your posts in their news feeds and the more you will be able to ignite others turn-on! Exercise #3: Start a Movement As Margaret Mead said, Never underestimate the ability of a small group of individuals to change the world. Indeed, they are the only ones who ever have. This is especially true now that the internet has made it possible for more people to join together, share ideas, and create change together quickly and easily. Posting meaningfully means doing your part to transform the world around you. What are the people in your life craving to hear? What are they yearning for? If you could offer a message of advice or inspiration, what would you want to convey? 64

76 List five websites or organizations that inspire you, and how you will use technology to spread the turn-on. (Note: We ve gotten you started!) 1.Turnedonwoman.com. I will post the link to my Facebook page and I will sign my posts, tweets, and s with the symbol {on} Would you want your friends and loved ones to have access to these resources? If so, why haven t you posted about them on your blog or Facebook account? Do it now! 65

77 18. Replace your but with a yes, and Women have been taught to be very protective of our time, our energy, and our space. We have grown up learning to play the devil s advocate, and to play it well. The #1 tool of the devil s advocate is yes, but We are adept at looking at a situation from all sides and pointing out the weaknesses. The problem is, pointing them out gives them power and strength. Swap your but for a yes, and. The former excludes. The latter includes. Power comes when we learn how to include everything, to convert even the weaknesses into fuel for the journey. Yes, that sounds good, and I spy a bump in the road. How can I put that bump to good use? It may not seem like much, but this one little change can have a big impact. When your first impulse is resistance, you kill turn-on in those around you. When you shift to yes, and, you create space for everyone s genius to arise. Everyone gets smarter and more motivated. Doors open, no turns to yes, and suddenly there is turn-on everywhere you look. The only question becomes how best to make use of all that power? Exercise #1: Swap It Out But is a way we try to maintain control. It is a toxic mimic of true power, which expands and includes making room for all possibilities. Are you someone who frequently uses but? What resistance might you have to overcome in order to expand your but into a yes, and? Would you feel more or less powerful? 66

78 Take a moment to remember a time when you had an idea you wanted to get across, but someone was unwilling to hear you out. What sensations come up from that memory? Do you communicate most clearly when you have to fight to be heard? What does it feel like in your body to be shut down by someone else s but? Exercise #2: Out of the Comfort Zone Moving from but to yes, and is moving out of your comfort zone into a place of infinite possibility. If things can be both yes and something else, then nothing is impossible. What else might become possible if you were to move outside of your comfort zone? List five small ways you could step outside your comfort zone today. Include foods you might eat, people you might talk to, or risks you might take Will you commit to taking one of these uncomfortable actions today? YES NO 67

79 Exercise #3: Think Differently Think back to a time when someone seemed to form an opinion about you without knowing you. How did it feel to be the subject of someone s cosmic but? How might things have been different if they had taken a yes, and approach with you? The Yes, but leaves no room for curiosity. Open-mindedness. Spaciousness. It judges what it sees now based on past history. It interprets without exploring other options. Think about a time in your life when you did not stay open to possibility. What were the circumstances? Would you have felt more or less powerful if you d said yes, and? 68

80 19. Touch often. Skin on skin contact nourishes us. Without it, babies do not thrive. Without it, we feel depleted of energy and life. Touching others feeds your system, flooding you with sensations of richness, connection, hydration, and joy the sensations of turnon. And yet we have become afraid of touch, especially as women. We have learned that touch can be dangerous, elicit, abusive. So we feed our desire for deep physical connection with other high sensations: eating, shopping, alcohol, television. These are toxic mimics of genuine connection; empty calories that never satisfy. Instead choose the nourishment that simple, gentle, meaningful touch can bring. Touch someone today. Put your hand on his forearm and feel the warmth radiating up through his skin. Pay attention to the sensations that touch unlocks in your body maybe jittery, maybe buttery. Ask permission to touch a friend s face, her shoulder. Take five minutes in the morning to be in physical contact with your partner, without a goal. Touch: there is no greater priority. Exercise #1: Roadblocks to Touch Many of us have a complicated relationship with touch. Take a moment to think about different messages you ve received over the course of your life, both spoken and unspoken, about what kinds of touch are and are not appropriate. Then, fill in the blanks below based on the messages you can remember hearing: Appropriate touch is Inappropriate touch is Have you ever felt violated by touch? If so, when? If not, do you know anyone who has? 69

81 Is touch important to you? What does touch mean to you? Do you ask for the kind of touch you most desire? Exercise #2: Asking for Touch Write down five of the most important people in your life. Include lovers, friends, and family members. For each person, write down a specific description of what kind of touch would feel the best with them, whether it would be feeling their hand on your arm, getting a hug, or something more. Person Touch that would feel good Now, assign yourself the task of asking for the touch you desire from as many of these people as possible today! 70

82 Exercise #3: Sexual Touch Visualization In this exercise, all you have to do is to let your imagination run wild! You will be taking a few moments to imagine the sexual touch you desire right now. Start by choosing your perfect lover perhaps it is your current partner, a former fling, a celebrity, or someone you don t know yet. Describe this person briefly: If he or she were here with you right now, how would you want to be touched first? Would you want a massage? A caress of your hair? Would you want him to wash your feet? Now transition into mutual sexual touch. Be as specific as you can. Do not be embarrassed or critical; let your body feel what it wants. What would you like to do first? Where would you want him or her to stroke you? Would you like to feel the weight of his body on top of you? What is it that you desire? 71

83 20. Sensation, not story. Sensation is far more interesting and true than the stories you tell yourself in your head. Get familiar with your inner landscape. Learn how to describe the sensations you feel. Speak them out loud to pinpoint them in your memory. When you drink, pay attention to the feeling of swallowing. The path the liquid takes down your throat and into your belly. When you breathe, notice the fresh cool sensations just inside your nose. The expansion and then contraction of your diaphragm and ribcage. When you have sex, pay attention to your pussy. Feel it for temperature, texture, and turn-on. Your body is as valuable as your brain. It s your home territory. Before you go exploring elsewhere, learn what things feel like right here. Sensation, not story: the mantra of the turned-on woman. Exercise #1: Remembering How to Feel Sensation is the language of the body. It engages all five of our senses touch, sight, smell, taste, and sound. When we talk about feeling sensations in the body, the primary sense we re talking about is the sense of touch. We describe these body sensations in terms of temperature, motion, vibration, and texture. We can feel them more easily during intense periods of high sensation such as during sex, or if we are in pain. They tend to be less noticeable at other times, but if you pay attention you can still feel them. Can you remember a time when you were very aware of the sensation in your body? Describe the circumstances and what you remember feeling. 72

84 Now, we will purposefully create a moment of relatively high sensation. You will need an ice cube for this exercise. Place the ice cube in the hand you don t write with. Close your eyes and focus on the sensation of the ice on your skin. Obviously it s cold, but what else can you describe? Does your hand feel soft or stiff? Does your skin feel tingly or numb? Do you feel an ache? Notice the urge to drop the ice cube to reduce sensation. Keep holding it instead. Open your body to feeling the sensation. Now, keeping the ice cube in your hand, pick up your pen and begin writing about what you are feeling. Use words that describe temperature, texture, motion, and vibration. For example, you might write: Tingling. Heat around ice. Coldness in the center of palm. Skin feels tight, can t stretch out palm. Ice melting with heat from hand. Center of palm feels numb. Frozen. Whatever you re feeling, just keep writing. When you are ready to put down the ice cube do so, but continue writing until you have recorded all of the sensations you are feeling. Exercise #2: Adding Story Sensation is clean. It does not come with interpretation attached; it simply is. The human mind, on the other hand, is fantastic at interpretation. It receives a signal from the body, and the next thing you know it s got a label attached: good, bad, or neutral. Read back over the writing you just did, and answer these questions: Which sensations did your mind interpret as good? 73

85 Which sensations did your mind interpret as bad? What signals did your body send to say the sensation good? What signals did your body send to say the sensation was bad? What did you want to do when a sensation became good? What did you want to do when a sensation became bad? What emotions came along with the story that a sensation was bad? What emotions came along with the story that a sensation was good? Exercise #3: Decoupling Sensation and Story It s not that story is a bad thing it helps us understand our world. The problems arise when the stories begin to take over, steering our attention away from sensation. Think of a high-intensity emotional experience in your past. Perhaps you got your heart broken, lost your job, your best friend cut off ties with you, or a loved one died. Imagine a neutral third party was recording what happened from the outside. She knows nothing about you or the situation. What pure facts would she see? Do not include any interpretation, emotion, or background story just the facts. For example, if your partner moved out, she might say, Two people were living together and then they weren t anymore. 74

86 Now, as if that neutral third party could enter your body, write down the sensations she would feel. We are not talking about emotions (sadness, fear, anger) but pure sensations. What temperature would she feel? What motion? What textures? For example, she might say, A woman felt a deep rich ache behind her sternum that spread out from the top of her head and the bottom of her feet. Her eyes burned and soon she could feel hot tears running down her cheeks. Now, tell the neutral third party the story you laid on top of the sensation. Report any emotions, judgments, and interpretations that were layered onto the experience she was watching. For example, He said he loved me but he lied. He left me for someone skinnier and younger, and now I m going to be alone for the rest of my life. Looking back, how might things have been different if you had stuck with sensation, without the story? Which feels more true to you? 75

87 21. Be your own energy accountant. As a turned-on woman, there is no need to complain that you don t have enough energy for your day, for your work, or for sex. You have all the energy you need. You don t have to excavate your own landscape in search of fuel. Your power is solar. You know the secret. Energy is infinite. Time, on the other hand, is finite. Apply skillful attention to where you are spending your energy, making the best possible use of every moment. Shore up any waste as soon as you notice it. Do not use your precious resources for any activity that does not have true desire behind it. Guilt and shoulds and negative self-talk are energy vampires. Enemies of turn-on. Keep yourself very clean. Take responsibility for your own system there is too much at stake. Nobody else is going to do it for you. Your energy reserves are not the responsibility of your boss, your husband, your children. Attune yourself carefully through meditation, reflection, and self-discovery, so you know which activities fill you up and which deplete you. Be vigilant about making time for the former and not the latter. Use your energy well and for its right purpose and you will never run empty again. Exercise #1: Noticing Energy Paying attention to how you are generating and spending your energy is called Energy Accounting. Energy Accounting is simply noticing where you are investing energy and where you are consuming or dissipating it. Just like financial accounting, it breaks open your habits and allows you to see what s been going on behind closed doors yours. How do you know if an activity is generating energy or depleting it? What do you feel in your body? What are other indicators? 76

88 How do you plug in and get energy? Do you make those activities a priority? Energy-Generating Activities Priority? YES YES YES YES YES YES NO NO NO NO NO NO Exercise #2: Daily Energy Log Studies prove that people who write down everything they eat actually lose weight, whether or not they consciously change their eating habits. This exercise operates on the same principle. Use the chart below to help you discern which of your daily activities cultivate energy and which deplete it. Don t worry if you re not sure which box to check; go with your intuition. Over time you will become more familiar with the sensations of generating and spending. Soon you may discover yourself gravitating automatically toward the activities that generate rather than diminish your energetic currency. Log the activities you take part in over the course of the day. Try to be specific; rather than saying work, note the actual tasks and duties you are working on and how they make you feel. Do you feel more energized or less energized when you are finished? Place an x in the Generating box if you sense that the activity cultivated energy. Place an x in the Spending box if you believe it depleted your reserves. Then note why you marked the box you did. Repeat this exercise daily for one week, or longer if you find it helpful. 77

89 Generating Spending Time Activity (mark x here) (mark x here) Notes 78

90 Exercise #3: Sex and Energy Contrary to many of the messages we ve received that say we should save sex for special occasions, the turned-on woman knows that sex is her number one energy resource. There is no other energy-generating activity that is as accessible, as powerful, or as pleasurable. She uses it often and well. Do you see sex as an energy resource? If not, why not? What would it take for you to see it this way? Do you see any practical obstacles that you would have to overcome in order to make sex a source of energy in your life? If so, what would they be? Do you see any emotional obstacles that you would have to overcome? What kinds? Do you commit to starting to look at sex this way? YES NO 79

91 22. Talk about taboo. The more turned-on you become, the more you will crave intimacy with the world. Another word for intimacy is honesty. True, deep honesty means revealing yourself so that others can see exactly who you are. All of you even your taboos. The fewer taboos you have, the freer you will be. Freedom is the goal. So get comfortable with revealing yourself. Set your compass toward complete honesty. Apply it with skill and attention. Open a conversation with your partner that feels frightening. Perhaps you are attracted to someone else. Perhaps there is something about the sex you ve been having for the past ten years that has never satisfied you. Do not be afraid of his reaction; be afraid of lying to him for the rest of your life. Lies, even lies by omission, serve only to separate. They kill intimacy and union and everything you want in a relationship. Truth is the ultimate turn-on. Show your man that honesty can be safe. Then use the energy that rises up to continue your journey ever deeper. Exercise #1: Bringing Your Taboos into the Light A taboo is an inhibition, a boundary, a line you dare not to cross in the realm of sexuality or anything else. Perhaps it s a curiosity you have never explored; maybe it s an old memory you have tried to forget. It might be a particular sexual act a part of you wants to try. Whatever it is, while it s been sitting over there in the corner gathering dust, it s been stealing your turn-on. That s right: take a peek and you ll discover that it takes a whole lot of energy to keep your taboos under wraps. Being your own energy accountant means cleaning out energy leaks wherever they arise. Taboos are no exception. The time has come to put some attention on the places where light has never shined before and to liberate your turn-on in the process. Take a minute to uncover five different non-sexual taboos you have. Things you could never do, or would never say. List them here:

92 Now, out of that list choose the boundary that has the most heat for you. The one that glows with desire. Consider it more carefully. What about it is taboo? Would it hurt someone? You? What sensations do you feel in your body when you think about acting on it? Exercise #2: Sexual Taboos Because it s so closely associated with shame, sex is a breeding ground for taboos. Most of us have been conditioned to push our sexual taboos so far away that many of us don t even know where our lines are drawn. So take a moment and feel your body. What sex acts might your body want, that you would ordinarily be unwilling to admit even to yourself? List five personal taboos in the realm of sexuality: Pick the taboo that evokes the most charge or sensation. Why do you think this one has so much energy around it? Who taught you that this particular act was taboo? Why do you think you believed them? 81

93 Exercise #3: Talking about Taboo One thing is for sure: you are not the only one who has taboos. We all do. That said, not everyone knows it is safe to think about them, much less talk about them. That s where turned-on women can make a big difference. If we become comfortable enough with our taboos to discuss them openly, others will feel safer doing the same. Consider building an alliance with a friend, partner, or family member where you both admit your taboos. Note the alliance part: talking about taboos works best when you can acquire consent in advance. Start here. Who in your life would be the easiest to talk to about taboo? Who would be the most difficult? Why? Easy to talk to Reason Difficult to talk to Reason Now, choose someone from the first list who you will likely see very soon. Can you commit to building an alliance and talking about taboo? YES NO 82

94 23. Be the sex you want to see in the world. Sex is your power source. Don t hide it in the basement. Make sex a public conversation. Model for those around you that it can be safe to talk about sex in a new way. Leave behind the complaints and the I can top that mentality. Go deeper. Open up a conversation around how sex affects your life. How it generates energy, feeds the desire for connection, nourishes and hydrates you. Remember: your sex life is your life. Whatever state it is in I ll do it tomorrow, I m too tired, he doesn t turn me on anymore, it s just good enough that is the state you are living in. Ask your friends about their sex lives. Open a conversation with your mom. Talk about sex at a coffee shop, loud enough that the next table can hear. Write about it in your blog. Find articles about it on the web and leave thoughtful, intelligent, turned-on comments. There is no time to lose. The world is relying on you to drive us toward the next level of consciousness. The first step? Bring sex the source of our power out of the darkness and into the light. Live it openly, share it with others, and be the version of it you want to see all around you. Exercise #1: Let Your Curiosity Drive You Don t you wish you could have truly open conversations with other women about sex? About the ways it is wonderful and the ways it is painful? All of its ups and its downs? We are interconnected beings, after all. Sex is our power source. How can we not be talking about it? Craft five questions you would like to ask your friends about their sex lives. Do not be shy; ask the questions you re most curious about

95 How might you initiate a conversation where you could get one of these questions answered? How would you feel if you were asked these same questions, and how might you respond? Exercise #2: Let s Talk about Sex Sex is the most natural thing in the world. It s how we got here, after all. And as women, it s our power source. So why are we so embarrassed to talk about it? For many of us it has to do with messages we received when we were very young messages we ve never taken the time to re-examine. Let s see if that s the case. List five reasons why you don t make sex a public conversation: Now, consider each of the reasons you ve listed. Ask yourself whose voice you hear within the words. Does that sound like your mother? Your father? A religious leader? A teacher? Next to each reason, write down whose voice it most closely resembles. Make a new list of reasons why you don t make sex a public conversation. This time, carefully review each reason to make sure it s your voice that is reflected

96 Which of these reasons do you want to hold onto for a while longer? Which are you ready to let go of today? Exercise #3: Desire versus Appropriateness Appropriateness is the reason most of us aren t having a more open conversation about sex. Which works fine, except that as a turned-on woman your desire is not to be proper and appropriate. Your desire is to be free. Think about a friend who always seems to follow the rules of propriety. Now think about one who is far less proper than you are. Which of these friends would you rather spend time with? If you had to trade lives with one or the other, who would you rather be? What are some rules of propriety that keep you from having the kind of sex you want, as often as you want to have it? 85

97 If you were to be the sex you want to see in the world, what changes would you have to make? What obstacles might you have to overcome along the way? 24. Push out. Don t contract against life. Push out into it. The whole world conspires in favor of keeping us comfortably contained. We are encouraged to construct a life of stability, a bunker where we can hide out from the rising storm. But you cannot be both comfortable and happy. Happiness comes from engagement with the world. From walking onto the playing field with a brave and willing heart. Engagement is the opposite of stability. It is throwing all in, every part of yourself, and being willing to get messy. Turn off the television and write a blog or a book or a poem. Have sex with someone your body desires, even if he doesn t fit your criteria. Walk, don t drive. Make eye contact with a homeless person and let her know you see her. Sing, dance, move your body not so you can squeeze into size 4 jeans, not because your doctor tells you to, but for the sheer joy of motion. Push yourself, transform from the inside out, grow. Do not tell yourself you don t have the energy or you will do it tomorrow. You do have the energy. (If you are feeling a little low, have sex. If you re not having the kind of sex that builds energy, start having a different kind of sex.) Enjoyment is available in every moment. You won t be around forever. Don t waste an instant. Go deeper. Pay attention. Push out into your world. 86

98 Exercise #1: Scare Yourself Out into the World Fear is a great yardstick. The closer you get to what you most desire, the louder its alarm bells will sound. Desire takes us; it possesses us. We can no longer remain in control. The first response that comes up is fear. In other words, if you re not doing something that scares you every day, you re not really living. Make a list of ten things you re truly scared to do. Skydive. Break up with your boyfriend. Have a kid. The more charge you feel in your body when you think about that fear, the better. Then, imagine a desire that might be waiting just on the other side of that fear. For example, if the fear is going skydiving, the desire might be to feel the freedom of falling without a net. Fear Desire Are you willing to commit to doing one of the above in the next week? YES NO 87

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