Episode 14 - 5 New Thoughts That Helped Me In My Marriage
In this podcast I share with you 5 new thoughts that I’ve personally been working on with my life coach and in my own self-coaching that have really helped me in my marriage. I think they could help you to, or at least get your wheels turning about what new thoughts would help you! Show Summary So today I wanted to talk to you about 5 new thoughts that helped me in my marriage. I’ve mentioned this before on this podcast, but my husband Kevin and I have been married for just over 6 years. This is a second marriage for both of us. And while marriage is never EASY, some marriages are definitely easier than others, and that is how I feel about my marriage to Kevin. We of course have our struggles, but I absolutely adore him. I am so in love with that man. But even with how absolutely amazing he is and how I feel about him, sometimes I struggle with my own thoughts about myself and our marriage. So when I began getting coached by my own Life Coach, Jody Moore, that is one of the first things I wanted to work on. I wanted to show up as my best self in my marriage because I love him and I want this marriage not just be a good marriage, but to be exceptional. So I wanted to share with you today 5 new thoughts that I’ve worked on with my life coach and in my own self-coaching that have really changed me and helped me be even happier in my marriage. He can be grumpy and I don’t have to be Now this one may sound funny, but its something I’ve really struggled with . We all have days when we are grumpy, irritated, stressed or don’t feel well. But when Kevin would have those days, instead of me continuing to have a good day I would mirror his emotions and become grumpy too. I don’t like being grumpy. I have enough grumpy days on my own, I didn’t like that when he was grumpy it was making me grumpy. And then when we were both grumpy, it would kind of spiral. So this is one of the first things I wanted to work on. So I decided that if he was grumpy, I didn’t need to be. And I often have to repeat that thought in my head…a lot. So here is an example…. On my birthday a few months ago Kevin came home from work really not feeling well, which made him pretty grumpy. But it was my birthday and so I did NOT want to be grumpy too. So i just decided that I wasn’t going to be. We took all the kids out to dinner and Kevin continued not feeling well and being kind of grumpy but I was totally happy and fine and had a great night out with the kids. In the past, I probably would have gotten upset that he was grumpy on my birthday and then I would have gotten grumpy and dinner with the kids would NOT have gone well, but I just decided I wasn’t going to be and I was going to be happy because it was my birthday and I totally was and it was great. My only expectation of him is for him to be there for me to love I know..I know… whenever I talk to my clients or other people about this, they are like….yeah right! You don’t have any other expectations of him? You don’t expect him to go to work or take out the trash or help out around the kids or anything? And I’m like “NOPE” My ONLY expectation of him is that he is there for me to love. That’s it. And the reason I decided to think that is because in the past I did have expectations of him. I did expect him to do certain things for me, for the kids, around the house, etc. But if he didn’t meet those expectations, I was MISERABLE. I tied my feelings to HIM meeting my expectations. And when he didn’t, I made it mean all sorts of crazy things about ME! But I decided to take responsibility for my own thoughts and feelings and the only thing I wanted to feel for him was LOVE. Now…that’ doesn’t mean that I don’t sometimes make requests of him. I totally do. But if he doesn’t do them, I don’t make it mean anything about me. I also think as equal partners in marriage we can sit down and talk about what we want for our life together and for our family and kind of divide up responsibilities. But even then, if he doesn’t do it, its not about ME! It’s really about him. So I just love him. I love him with no expectations except that he will be there. That’s it! Now the next one kind of ties in to that It is not his job to make me feel validated, worthy, or loved, that’s my job Now we’ve talked a little bit in previous podcasts about how our feelings come from our thoughts. So if I want to feel validated, worthy, or loved, that comes from my OWN thoughts about myself. He can’t MAKE me feel loved… that can only come from me. For example… Say your husband brings you home a bouquet of flowers. Your THOUGHT could be “wow… he is so sweet, I love that he is trying to show me he cares” and if you think that thought then you feel love. But your husband could also bring home that same bouquet of flowers and your THOUGHT could be “why would he waste his money on stupid flowers. I wonder what he did wrong….” and that thought wouldn’t produce feelings of love. It would produce feels of confusion, irritation, and suspicion. Do you see what I’m saying. How you feel is totally up to you… Now sometimes our spouses make it EASIER for us to think good thoughts about feeling loved, or validated, or worthy by their actions, but whether we do or not is completely up to us and our thoughts around it. Kevin usually doesn’t a pretty good job of helping make those thoughts easy for me. But I still have times when I struggle, but realizing those thoughts are my own and not from him is really empowering. He is doing the best he can, even if that isn’t very good sometimes Listen, we are all human. Sometimes I don’t show up as my best self. I really am doing the best I can in that moment, but sometimes my best isn’t great. And its the same with Kevin. Sometimes his best isn’t great. But choosing to think the thought that he is doing the best he can in that moment, really helps me feel better about things sometimes. I hear so many times from my clients and friends things like “My husband comes home late from work and then he just sits and plays video games and does nothing to help me. If he LOVED me, he would come home on time and help me with the kids. I’m tired too!” Now do you realistically think that their husband said to himself “I’m going to come home late from work and I’m not going to help her and I’m just going to play video games because I don’t love her.” Absolutely NOT! But he’s human and sometimes he needs some downtime too. So just realizing that he is doing his best, even if that isn’t what you want or its not very good makes a big difference. I know it has with me. He is exactly who he is supposed to be This thought has really helped me because sometimes I wish Kevin was a little bit different with some things. Not much, he’s pretty darn great, but there are a few things I wish he were better at. But then I remind myself that he is exactly who he is supposed to be. And that is pretty darn great. I’m sure there are things about me he wishes were a little bit different too. But that’s ok too. Ok, so lets go over those 5 thoughts again. He can be grumpy and I don’t have to be My only expectation of him is for him to be there for me to love It is not his job to make me feel validated, worthy, or loved, that’s my job He is doing the best he can, even if that isn’t very good sometimes He is exactly who he is supposed to be I hope you find those thoughts helpful in your marriage too. But if you want some help applying these to your marriage or finding other thoughts that would be helpful, make sure you go to my website amandalouder.com and sign up for a free mini-session and I’d love to help you. See ya next time!
27 Jul 2018
Episode 3 - Forgiveness
We all know that we SHOULD forgive, but sometimes we don't know how. When it's something big and the pain is too great, how do we move past it and forgive? Show Summary Today I would like to talk to you about forgiveness. And not just that you SHOULD forgive, but how you actually do that. Forgiveness is key to having a happy marriage. Our spouses are far from perfect, and as their spouse we get a front row seat too all of their bad habits and behaviors. Things that we may once have found endearing can grate on our nerves if we let it. But lets remember…we LOVE them. We do. So we can forgive them of those little annoying daily things that happen over and over and over and over…. But what about when its a big thing? How do we forgive when trust has been broken. When promises are made and broken time and time again. When we have been betrayed. This is what is hard. Right? When someone does something that you're feeling hurt by, it can be painful, but it is nothing more than a thought or belief and a feeling that you carry around. You may feel anger, frustration, resentment, fear, and maybe even hatred because of this belief that they’ve done something wrong and to hurt you. So, rather than blaming your spouse for how you are feeling, take responsibility for your feelings. And its ok to feel hurt… but realize that it is choice based on your beliefs about their actions. And rather than hold on to that pain and hurt, you can choose to think better thoughts about yourself and them about the situation. and THAT is the key to forgive them. When we forgive others, its not for their benefit, its for ours. We lift a burden off ourselves we forgive. When we change our beliefs about what their behavior means for us, then we can forgive them and let that burden go. Now it may make them feel better when we forgive them. But we can forgive someone without them ever knowing that they’ve wronged us or ever asking to forgive them. But them feeling better is about their thoughts about the situation, not us actually forgiving them. Forgiveness can take work. But if we desire to forgive and work for it, it is possible. So let’s bring up a scenario - So what if your spouse is unfaithful to you. The pain comes from beliefs such as: He shouldn’t have done that He doesn’t love me He wouldn’t have done this if I were a better wife What if he leaves me and starts a new better life with her? We BELIEVE those thoughts... And with those beliefs you have feelings such as pain anger resentment frustration fear When you have those feelings, how are you showing up in your marriage? Your probably showing up in one of two ways You are pulling away Or you are attacking Neither is great. And when you do this, your relationship will probably deteriorate further which reinforces your beliefs…. When we act out of anger, fear, and resentment we are never acting as our best self. Our best self comes when we act from love. But if you can work to slowly change those beliefs to I’m not ok with what he did, but I still love him and we will get through this OR I’m not ok with what he did, I still love him, but I’m not going to choose to stay OR What he did was choices he made because of something inside of him, it has nothing to with me. I am enough. Doesn’t that feel better. With thoughts like that it will be much easier to forgive him, because you are coming from a place of love. Forgiveness brings strength and peace. It softens our heart and opens a pathway to healing and to rebuilding trust. Just because you forgive someone doesn’t mean you condone the behavior. It also doesn’t mean there aren’t consequences for that behavior. And, it doesn’t mean you have to stay with them. But it feels much better to make those decisions in peace and love (love for your spouse and love for yourself) than out of anger and resentment? I was married to my first husband for more than 13 years. We had three children together. And before I divorced him, I went through the 5 steps I discussed in Episode 1. That is how I got a place of peace before I decided to end the marriage. But after we were divorced I really felt like I needed to forgive him if we were going to move on to a place of peace and be able to co-parent our children together. And, with the Lord’s help, I do feel like I have completely forgiven him. I was able to look at the things that were hurting him that made him act the way he did and have compassion for that. And while I am sad that our marriage had to end, I feel really good about where we are now. We have a pretty good relationship. We co-parent really well. Our children are happy and well-adjusted. And I look at where I am now in my life - I have a wonderful marriage with my now husband, Kevin, and I know that I wouldn’t be near as happy if I hadn’t been able to forgive and move through the hurt. Larry J. Echo Hawk, who is a General Authority in our church said “As we forgive, the Savior will strengthen us and His power and joy will flow into our lives.” I truly believe that we get an added measure of the spirit when we choose to be obedient and forgive. When we use the atonement to help us forgive, it invites the Savior to be with us on the journey and we are able to give Him the hurt. And give Him the parts we can’t handle. He is able to help us forgive, to move on, to be happy, to be at peace. Now… just as it is important to forgive others, it is just as important to forgive ourselves. We need to have compassion on ourselves. Be kind. Realize that we are human. We make mistakes. That is the nature of our experience here on this earth. So when you make mistakes…think compassionate thoughts and forgive yourself. You deserve it too! When I was going through the process of forgiving my ex-husband, I also had to take a look at the things I had done that had contributed to the demise of our marriage and forgive myself for those. I love the quote “God sees our imperfection and shortcomings, but He also sees beyond them.” See beyond them in yourself. See beyond the shortcomings in your spouse. Live from love. If you are having a hard time, forgiving someone in your life, sign up for my free mini-coaching session and I’d love to help you work through it. Have a fabulous week my friends, we will see you next time….
11 May 2018
Episode 47 - The Higher Desire Partner
Are you the higher desire partner in your relationship? In this episode, we discuss strategies to help you build the intimate relationship with your spouse that you’ve always wanted. Play in a new window Download Show Summary: Today we are going to talk about being the higher-desire partner in your marriage. In Episode 34 we discussed sex and intimacy coming more from the lower-desire partner perspective. I believe that it is so important for each one of us to cultivate that connection and desire for ourselves within our marriage and I go a lot more in depth on that in Episode 34. Higher Desire Partners So today I wanted to address the opposite - what if you are the higher desire partner in your marriage? Today we are going be focusing again on the higher desire partner for sex and intimacy, but there is usually a higher desire partner in a lot of aspects of marriage, not just sex. If a partner desires something more than another partner then they are the higher desire partner. Right now my husband and I are in discussions about moving. He wants to move more than I do. So in this case he is the higher-desire partner. Another area you see this a lot is deciding to have more children. There is usually one spouse who wants to have a child more than the other. But just because one partner wants something more than the other one, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are polar opposites, although that too can be the case. But there is always one partner that wants something MORE than the other. So, for the sake of consistency, and considering my audience is primarily women, I am going to be addressing this from the perspective that the woman is the higher desire partner. I know a lot of you would balk at that. I think culturally it is assumed that the husband is usually the higher desire partner, but that is not always the case. I know many women, including myself, who are the higher desire partner. Again, that doesn’t make your spouse “low desire” just “lower” than you. But, even if you aren’t the higher desire partner in your marriage, I think this can be a really good way for you to understand what things might be like for your spouse and how they may be feeling as the higher desire partner. I also think if you are NOT the higher desire partner, you shouldn’t just sit back and expect your spouse to change. You are equally responsible for how you are showing up in this aspect of your marriage. Thoughts and Feelings of the Higher Desire Partner Being the higher desire partner is a powerless position. You can’t make your spouse WANT to be with you. You can’t make them have more desire. You can’t make them deal with their own sexuality, so it really is a hard position to be in. But hopefully you’ll have a better idea of what you can do to create a better dynamic in your marriage after this podcast. Ok - so what happens in your brain when you have the desire for sex or connection and intimacy and your spouse doesn’t? Maybe you’ve tried to initiate things and they shut you down. You might have thoughts like: “This isn’t fair” “Why can’t he just do it because I want to” “If he was a good husband, he would try to meet my needs” “This isn’t like what I see in movies” So we know that all of our feelings are created by our thoughts. So when you have thoughts like that, what kind of feelings does that create in you? Probably something like: Frustration Anger Resentment Helplessness Hopeless Or maybe you make it mean something about you when he doesn’t want sex? “If I were more attractive he’d want to have sex with me more” “He doesn’t love me” “He doesn’t desire me” “I’m too fat” “Maybe if my boobs were bigger he would find me more attractive and want to have sex more.” And those kinds of thoughts create feelings of Inadequacy Rejection Jealousy Neediness Now think about when you are feeling these emotions? Frustration, anger, resentment, jealousy, rejection, inadequacy, neediness. How do you act? Frustration, anger and resentment isn’t going to create a relationship where he wants to build a connection and intimacy with you. Moping around from rejection or being needy isn’t sexy either… So what do you do? Two meaning frames According to Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife, who is an LDS Sex Therapist there are usually two things that happen and neither option is very good. Pressure The first way is that you trying to pressure your husband into sex. You pressure, you cajole, maybe you even punish him or try to guilt him into it. When you do this, he may continue to shut you down or he may finally give in and give you “mercy sex.” But, I would guess receiving “mercy sex” doesn’t really bring thoughts that create love and connection between the two of you. If you think about it, it can actually bring a lot of thoughts that can make you feel even worse about yourself. “He’s not really doing it because he wants to” “He doesn’t actually love me, he’s just tired of me nagging and gives in.” Not great. The other direction is if you feel entitled to sex, just because you are married. “He SHOULD have sex with me. He SHOULD want it more.” Do you hear those “shoulds” in there? That’s not going to create love and connection either. Avoidance The second way that Dr. Finlayson-Fife says that we often deal with our partner not wanting sex as much as we do is to avoid sex altogether. We don’t want to bring it up, we don’t want to confront it because it makes us uncomfortable or it makes our spouse uncomfortable and we can’t deal with the discomfort from either person. So we just try to avoid it all together. Discomfort is a feeling, which comes from our thoughts. So what thought is that feeling of discomfort coming from? Think on that? Why does it make you feel uncomfortable to bring it up? Or why does it make you uncomfortable if your spouse feels uncomfortable? Solution In our marriages and in our sex life we want to feel desired, wanted, loved and chosen. So often it’s not actually about sex, but about the intimacy. We want to be known. We want to be seen. But that can feel scary because it means that we have to be vulnerable. We have to open up ourselves to the possibility of being rejected and being hurt. But since you are probably already feeling that anyway… maybe opening up is the key! So how do we create that intimacy? How do we create feelings of love, and connection EVEN when our spouse doesn’t seem to want sex? The answer is, of course, is it comes from our thoughts. We create feelings of love, connection, desire, and intimacy with our thoughts about our spouse. It doesn’t even matter if our spouse reciprocates. We are still capable of feeling those feelings, even if nothing changes on their end. But, there are things we can do to hopefully help build that connection between the two of you. 1. Don’t take it personally Differences in sexual desire within couples is very common. It really may not be about you at all. It may be a matter of hormone deficiency or other physiological problems, and it could be totally about them. Your partner may have thoughts and feelings about themselves that create a lack of desire in them. Don’t underestimate how hard this is for your spouse. Try to be understanding. 2. Pay attention to what helps your partner feel more desire. If your husband is constantly rejecting your advances, the last thing you might feel like doing is being kind and thoughtful. But, if you want to improve things, doing things that help him feel more desire is a great way to go about it. 3. Do something different Obviously what you are doing right now isn’t working. So try something different. You may need to back off for a while and give them space. Don’t try to initiate anything. Sometimes the lower-desire partner simply needs more time for their batteries to recharge. If the constant tug-of-war is gone, they might feel more amorous. This is also a great time to do some self-confrontation. Instead of asking the question “What’s my spouse’s problem?” it becomes ”What can I do to be more desirable to my spouse.” We need to take a hard look at who WE are and how we are showing up in our marriage. Are we showing up in love and goodness? Are we being kind? Are we being generous? Are we confident in ourselves and not constantly seeking validation? Take a good look and see what areas you need to improve. What is your desirability? How are you coming off to your spouse? And, when it comes to sex, what kind of lover are you? And I don’t mean you have to know lots of positions and moves. But are you wanting to be pleasured but don’t reciprocate? Are you selfish? Are you doing things to help your spouse feel desired inside and outside the bedroom? Are you showing up as your best self to your spouse? Or are you needy? Do you have anxiety around sex? These are all good questions that you can ask yourself. Be honest. Self-confrontation isn’t easy. You may even want to ask your spouse about some of these things to see how they see you and how they feel. While you can’t control how they feel about it, it may give you some insight on areas where you can improve. But you need to create that safe space for them to feel comfortable opening up and sharing. You can’t get defensive or mean. You need to ask with the intent to not just listen, but truly hear what they are saying without judgement. Give them the space to be honest and to be themselves so that you can create the connection between two people who are being their true selves and living from their own integrity. It might be hard to hear some of the things they have to say. But understanding where they are coming from and where they see things need to improve will go a long way to creating that connection you want. 4. Focus on what works Have there been time in your relationship where the sex was better? (Besides the honeymoon period?) See if you can pin point what was different during those times and try to recreate it. If they are reproducible, then do it! 5. Accept what is offered Sometimes we are so focused on the sex that we miss what is actually being offered. In good relationships, people do things all the time for their partners that may not be exactly what they feel like doing in the moment. But seeing what your partner IS doing and accepting those offers as act of love, can go a long way to building intimacy and connection. 6. Communication Communication is so important with our spouse. But we need to understand who we are, and what we truly want in our marriage first. Once we understand what we truly want, we need to communicate our wants from a place of integrity. If we are saying to our spouse that we “NEED” sex like it’s a biological need that they are supposed to satisfy, that is not going to help build the intimacy in your marriage. But if you communicate with your spouse from a place of honesty and integrity, then that creates a place where you can both come together to communicate your needs and desires and negotiate how it is going to work best for the two of you. Maybe that means negotiating frequency or a schedule, something where you know as the higher desire partner you will be fulfilling that need without the lower desire partner feeling pressure all the time. Maybe that means the lower-desire partner needs certain conditions to be met to engage in or enjoy sex (like morning vs night, kids not home, shower first, etc.) You may see these as excuses, but it’s what your partner needs to feel relaxed and comfortable so getting in the mood is easier. But this is only done through communication and understanding yourself first! If you’ve gotten to the point where you are starting to look outside of the marriage to meet your needs, you need to be brutally honest with you spouse. You need to communicate how important this topic is to you and what you are willing to do to work on it. Make certain that your spouse understands what will happen in your marriage if nothing changes. I wouldn’t threaten, especially in the heat of an argument, but just calmly communicate how important this issue to you and how much you want to work on it together. Michele Weiner-Davis, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker said “Each partner in a relationship needs to take personal responsibility for making things better. When both of you make more of an effort to understand each other's needs and feelings, you will undoubtedly feel closer and more connected emotionally and physically. And at the end of the day, isn't that what healthy relationships are all about?” (https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/divorce-busting/201001/9-vital-tips-the-partner-higher-sex-drive) So, I have a list of new thoughts you can try to help create better feelings for you until you can work things out. Remember - these thoughts are like clothes, try them on and see if they work for you. And if they don’t, you can try on different ones. “Even though he doesn’t want sex, doesn’t mean he doesn’t want ME” “What a bummer for him, because sex with me is great” “We can work this out so that we are both happy and satisfied” “I want to create an better sexual relationship with my husband and I can figure out how” “I love my husband now and I will continue to make our relationship even better”
15 Mar 2019
Episode 34 - Cultivating Connection & Desire
So many women think they don’t want to have sex because they are tired or “touched out” at the end of the day. What was once a vital and important part of the marriage has taken a back seat to life and child rearing. In this episode, we examine how the thoughts you are telling yourself are killing your sex drive…and how you can get it back! Play In A New Window Download Show Notes: 3in30 Podcast with Dr. Finlayson-Fife Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife Instagram: @3in30podcast @finlaysonfife Show Summary This episode I am piggybacking off of a post I did last week in my Instastories. Last week, my friend Rachel at the 3in30podcast did a great interview with Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife who is an LDS sex therapist. It was titled “What happened to my sex drive and how can I get it back” I highly recommend you go listen to it. In preparation to the interview, Rachel asked a question on her Insta-stories about why women didn’t have a sex drive and she posted a lot of the answers and it seriously made me so sad. Pages and pages and pages of women with no sex drive. Responses varied, but the most common ones were being tired, being touched out, and body image. Almost every single one of the responses is a mindset issue. Rachel was kind enough to point her followers my way, because coaching can be so powerful is this area. I’ve received an overwhelming amount of DM’s and also people requesting a free min-session to discuss this issue. So I decided I wanted to address it specifically on a podcast. I hear a lot from clients that they want to feel more connected to their spouse. They want to feel desire for them and feel like they are desired by them. So connection and desire are both feelings. And feelings are just a vibration created by a chemical or hormone in the body. So I want you to identify for yourself what connection and desire feel like to you. What do those feelings feel like in your body. Where is it located? Does it stay still or does it move? Fast or slow? What is the texture? What is the color? Really get familiar with what those feelings feel like to you. When I am feeling that connection and desire for my husband, there is a quickening in my gut…butterflies. And then it’s like this ray of yellow sunshine that pulses out and fills my whole body. So figure out what that feels like to you. I think many times as women we think that in order to feel connected or desire we need something FROM our spouse. We are expecting them to create that feeling for us. But this, my friends, is the source of the problem. Expecting those feelings to come from outside of us instead of creating them within us. We’ve talked about in many previous episodes that all of our feelings are created by thoughts. All of them. Whether they are conscious or unconscious thoughts. And if that’s the case, it is our OWN thoughts that make us feel connected to our spouse and feel desire for them (or feel like we are desired by them.) It has nothing to do with the situation or the person. It’s all about our own brain. Connection What does feeling connected to another person mean to you? You feel love and desire for them and from them? You want to be around them? You want to feel like you matter to them? You relate to them and have things in common? Maybe you like to do things together or you like having conversations with them. So if these are the things that make you feel connected to them, and you aren’t feeling it, what is getting in the way? Your thoughts! All of these things make you THINK thoughts that create the feeling of connection. Your brain is giving meaning to what your spouse does or does not do that create those feelings in you. For example - Let’s say your husband comes home from work, kisses you on the cheek, asks about your day, and asks what for dinner. Now depending on YOUR thoughts, you can take what he is saying and doing a variety of ways. You could think, oh how cute, he loves me, and you feel love for him and connected to him OR you could think Seriously…he’s trying to butter me up for later and all he wants is a maid who cooks for him. Ugh! It all depends on YOUR thoughts if you feel connected to him or not. It really has NOTHING to do with him. Feeling connected to someone is all about our thoughts about them. And you don’t even have to be WITH them to feel connected to them. Think about a loved one who has passed on or maybe when you’ve connected with someone by email or letters or texts. This year as I was getting out my Nativity set for Christmas, I felt very connected to my Grandma who passed away earlier this year. She had given me my Nativity piece by piece every year for Christmas. And as I got it out this year, it made me think about her and my relationship with her and I felt very connected to her. Because of my thoughts. Desire Now desire is also created by our thoughts. Especially for women, so much of our desire and arousal for intimacy and sex with our spouses comes from our minds. And we are often times putting on the brakes for that desire without even realizing it. In my coaching practice I often hear women who just don’t find their husbands attractive anymore or they get on their nerves or irritated by something they do. Some women could care less if they ever sex with their spouse again and others realize that there is a vital piece missing and they just don’t know where to look for answers. And the answer to ALL OF THESE is in your mindset….the way you think. Often times when we’ve been married for a while and especially after having children, we think that something must be wrong with our accelerator. That something has changed physically within us so that we are no longer able to be aroused like we used to. And sometimes, that may be the case. I do recommend that you check with your doctor to make sure that nothing is physically going on with you. But, most likely what is happening instead is that we are actually putting on the brakes by the thoughts we are having (either consciously or unconsciously). I want you to consider what it felt like when you were dating. How did you feel about your spouse? Did you find them attractive? Did things that they did and said drive that desire in you? You were CREATING thoughts in your brain that made you feel those things. Those same thoughts (or different thoughts) are available to you now too…you just have to choose to think them. What thoughts are you currently thinking that are putting on the brakes for you? So I want you to think about what thoughts you are currently thinking that are putting on the brakes for you. Maybe it’s “I’m just so tired” or “Sex just isn’t a priority” or “I find that annoying” or “I’m just so touched out after kids hanging on me all day.” or Thoughts about your husband “He’s annoying” “I’m not attracted to him” etc. Thoughts like those are KILLING your desire. Another issue I hear a lot from my clients is that they don’t want sex or don’t like sex because they can’t orgasm. Just a little side note: Only 30% of women orgasm with intercourse…. so chances are, that is you and you just need to try something different. And you need to get your mind in clear space thinking thoughts that BRING arousal and not slow it down. That’s the bring worry, stress, “I don’t think it’s going to happen” or “this is taking too long” totally KILL your arousal which almost always stop you from having an orgasm. So, thoughts about not being able to orgasm or not being interested in sex or not being interested in your husband definitely don’t help your sex drive. If we put this in a model C = Sex with my husband T = I’m just not interested F = uninterested, disengaged A = Disinterested, Tell him I’m not in the mood R = no sex life, and continue to be uninterested in sex Do you see how that thought creates more distance in your marriage? It’s not creating that connection and desire you want. What if you changed your mindset…what if you changed your thoughts to something like “I’m a wife who likes sex” or “I want to create that connection with my husband” or a thought I heard from Dr. Jennifer Finlayson-Fife was “I’ve taken care of everyone else all day, now it’s time for me to be taken care of.” Especially in the LDS culture, so much of our framework around sex is that it is a woman’s job to meet the man’s needs. And that is just wrong. Sex and intimacy has more to do about your about yourself, rather than giving someone else pleasure. It’s about coming together each as a whole person and sharing your whole self with another person. It shouldn’t be about taking…it should be about both giving and receiving. If you are having trouble with this, we can definitely talk more about it in coaching with what is specifically going on with you, but I would also highly recommend Dr. Finlayson-Fife’s online classes. They are on sale for Christmas right now and what a great Christmas gift you could give yourself and your spouse. I will link to them in the show notes. Body Image Another topic that seems to kill women’s sex drive, is our own body image. Those subtle messages that we give ourselves about our bodies KILLS that desire within us. If we have those thoughts running around our head of course we aren’t going to feel desired. We need to send ourselves body-positive messages. Of course we all have things that may be sag or droop more than they used, or aren’t as tight as they used to be. THIS IS NORMAL! But dwelling on those things does nothing to help you create a desire and connection with yourself that you can share with your spouse. Managing Your Own Needs I talk a lot about meeting your own needs within your relationship. That your spouse is NOT there to meet your needs, they are just there for you to love. I do believe that Sex and Intimacy are an area where you also need to meet your own needs in whatever way that feels appropriate to you. Maybe that is speaking up for what you want. Maybe that means you need to initiate more. Or maybe that just means managing your own urges and desires. But meet your own needs in a way that you feel is appropriate. Conclusion So my friends, to summarize, I want you to really think about those thoughts that are going on in your head. Thoughts that you didn’t even realize were putting on your brakes. I want you to just gain an awareness around them. Really look at them and realize that they are OPTIONAL. And while your brain may continue to offer them to you, you can engage your higher brain, your pre-frontal cortex and CHOOSE different thoughts that are going to serve you and serve your marriage better. And as always, if you want some help, I am here. Just sign up for a free mini-session. No strings attached. And let’s get your sex drive back! Now…I want to give you a bit of homework. Homework Write down how it feels to you to feel connected and feel desire. Where is it in your body? Describe it in depth. And what does feeling that create? How are you showing up in your marriage when you cultivate the connectedness and desire within yourself? What thoughts do you need to think to create that for you? And then try it! And see what changes. See how you show up different to your spouse. What results are you getting? And, I want to hear all about it!
14 Dec 2018
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Episode 20 - Quit Blaming Others For How You Feel
Part of being an emotional adult is taking responsibility for our own emotions. Even in our marriage. It is not our partners responsibility for making us feel loved, secure, and happy. We have to do that for ourselves. Listen in to find out how… Play In A New Window Download Show Notes So today we are going to talk about how to quit blaming others for how you feel. So in the world of life coaching we call this emotional childhood vs. emotional adulthood. As children, most of us were taught that we can make others feel a certain way. We’ve probably inadvertently taught that to our children as well “Don’t do that or Mommy will be sad” “We need to share so that Sally’s feelings won’t be hurt” “You need to invite Johnny to your party so that he doesn’t feel left out” So all of these little things taught us (and we in turn teach our children) that we have control over how someone else feels by what we say or how we act. So if we have power over someone else’s emotions, people can have power over ours as well, right? We believed that whatever is happening in our lives in the cause of our pain rather than being aware of the thoughts that we are thinking that are creating these emotions in us. But if you remember in our model (which I teach in Episode 17) our thoughts come from our circumstances, and that is what gives us our emotions. But, as children we were not taught this or taught how to understand our own emotions or how to deal with them. So even as adults we react to our emotions, act out, or avoid emotions, rather that taking full responsibility for them and choosing thoughts that will create the emotions we want to experience. Essentially as adults we are still functioning as emotional children. This is what we call Emotional Childhood. So much of what we have learned in this life is how to avoid pain. We use things to “buffer” away our feelings - food, shopping, pornography, sex, netflix, social media, exercise, work, etc. The only way to achieve emotional maturity or Emotional Adulthood is through self-responsibility. So what does that mean? What does Emotional Adulthood entail? We take control of our own thoughts and don’t blame other people for our emotions or the results we are getting in our life. Take responsibility for our own pain and also for our own joy Not expect others to make us happy Not expecting others to make us feel secure. Appreciating that we are the only ones who can hurt our feelings, and that we can do that with our own thoughts. And we need to do this at all times! No wonder it feels like such hard work to begin thinking about our own thinking and realize that we can actually choose how went to feel, no matter what other people do or say. This is awesome news, because this means we have power over our own lives. When we blame someone else for how we are feeling, we are handing our power over to another person. Handing over that power makes us dependent on that person for how we feel…a dependent is otherwise known as a child. But when we understand that we are in charge of how we feel because of our thoughts, we get to take all that power back. So let me give you an example - I have a client who has quite a temper. When he gets stressed out at work, he likes to blame everyone else for his frustration and anger. He does NOT like to take responsibility for it. It’s always someone else’s fault that he is angry. This is so disempowering! He’s handing over control of his emotions to someone else. But really, his emotions are coming from his thoughts about what is happening at work. And if he would take responsibility for those thoughts, realize that he gets to control his thoughts and therefore how he feels about what is happening, then he gets all of his power back. Now, he may still choose to be angry about the situation, but understanding that the anger is coming from his thoughts and not blaming the other person, he is still acting like an Emotional Adult. So when applying this to marriage - we are often looking to our spouse to make us feel loved, secure, sexy, and happy. But as we know, how we feel comes from our thoughts. And no one can make us THINK certain things, all of our thoughts are a choice. So if we want to think thoughts about being loved, secure, sexy, and happy, then we have to choose to purposely think those thoughts and that is what will make us feel that way. But because we tend to think that our partner can make us feel these things, this is why traditional therapy often doesn’t work. You sit down in a room with your spouse and the therapist says “ok tell your spouse your needs in this marriage and vice versa, and then the spouse is supposed to do what they can to meet your needs to make you happy. But it never does, because they never can. You are the only one who can meet your needs. You are the only one who can choose your thoughts to make you feel how you want to feel. Your spouse, even if they are trying, will never be able to meet your needs. They may make it EASIER for you to think thoughts that make you feel loved, and secure, and happy. But you are the ONLY one that can think the thoughts to make you feel that way. A couple sits down in marriage counseling and the the therapist says “Ok - wife, I want you to list all the things that make you feel loved and secure in this marriage” I need you to tell me you love me every day I need you to bring me flowers I need you to tell my I am beautiful I need you to come home from work and help me with the kids etc. If you do all that you will make me feel loved and secure. And the husband says…”ok..I can do that” - And he tells hers “I love you” every day Now she can choose to think “Oh, he does love me” and she feels loved or she could think “well he’s only telling me he loves me because I told him to” and then she doesn’t feel love - she feels resentment and anger See how her choice of what she thinks impact how she feels even if he does the exact same things??? So if everyone is responsible for how they feel, does that mean we can say or do whatever we want? Are we responsible for how we treat our spouse and others? Ultimately how they feel is on them, right? Even though you aren’t responsible for someone else’s feelings, you are still responsible for how you behave. It’s up to you to decide how you want to show up in the world. Being an emotional adult is hard. It definitely takes more work and more effort. But it really is worth it. Taking the step to manage ourselves and our minds so we aren’t dependent on other people for how we feel is awesome! Because that is how we can truly be happy.
7 Sep 2018
Episode 33 - Why Happiness is NOT the Goal
Most people think that happiness is the goal. It’s what they want for themselves. It’s what they want for the children. It’s what they want for relationships. In this episode, you’ll learn why that goal is actually not making you happy at all.
7 Dec 2018
Episode 4 - Identifying and Processing Emotion
Have you spent your whole life avoiding negative emotions? Do you stuff them down or resist them at all costs? Chances are you were never taught how to identify and process emotions. On today’s podcast I will teach you in 5 steps how to identify and process your emotions so that you can live the life you were meant to! Show Summary So today we are talking about identifying and processing emotions. What is an emotion? When we think thoughts, our brains send a chemical reaction to our body which is what we know as emotions. Sometimes our emotions can seem overwhelming and we can’t handle them. We are actually conditioned from very early on in our life to resist emotions that are painful. As mother’s we teach our children not be angry, or sad. We do everything in our power to help our children not experience anything painful. But what we should be teaching them (and what I wish someone had taught me) was HOW to deal with them. Not resist them. Not push them deep down and pretend they are not there. Not do something to avoid them. We need to learn how to identify our emotions, how to feel them, and how to process them. Because, they are just chemicals in our body. They can’t actually hurt us. And resisting them actually makes them worse. In the LDS church, we are taught that when Adam & Eve partook of the fruit from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil - it brought an awareness to them so that they could experience opposition in all things. This was a crucial part of the Plan of Happiness. We are supposed to experience hurt, and and frustration, and sadness. This is NOT weakness. This is being HUMAN. This life is not meant to be happy 100% of the time. I think for people who would say they are truly happy, they still experience negative emotion 50% of the time. That’s normal. Do you remember that movie Inside Out that came out about 3 years ago? I absolutely LOVED that movie because I think it brought the topic of emotions to the forefront. So if you have NOT seen that move, it’s a movie about a girl whose family moves across the country and she has to deal with a lot of new challenges. But the movie is mostly from the perspective of these characters that live in her head that represent her emotions - Joy, Anger, Sadness, Fear, and Disgust. And what I loved about this movie is that it showed how the emotions controlled this girl by putting thoughts into her head about her situation or about memories she had. It also showed us that these are our 5 main emotions and other emotions that we have are kind of “sub-emotions” of those main 5. Have you guys ever seen that poster with all the different cartoon faces that represent all different emotions? There is a HUGE range of emotions and sometimes it can take a while to figure out WHAT we are actually feeling. And because I don’t think most of us were ever TAUGHT to identify and deal with our emotions properly, We often mis-identify what we are actually feeling. For example - I hear all the time from people how ANGRY they are about this and that. And what they are probably feeling is more fear, frustration, disgust, or disappointment. So today, I want to give you 5 steps to identifying and processing your emotions. This is especially helpful if you are dealing with an emotion that is overwhelming or painful. So the first thing is to identify the emotion that you are actually feeling. Sit with it. Call it by name. This is FEAR. I am DISAPPOINTED. I am FRUSTRATED. The second thing is to ALLOW the emotion. Let it move through you. Now, remember what I said earlier that EVERY emotion you feel is caused by a thought or belief in your brain. When you believe something, then your brain sends a chemical reaction to your body and that is what your emotion is. So as strong and powerful as that emotion is - it can’t hurt you! So don’t resist it. The more you resist it, the more it will stick with you and intensify - which is the anxiety and panic you start to feel. But if you identify it and just sit with it, allow it, and let it move through you it will come and go a lot quicker. Now sometimes it will go away and then come back, but each time it does if you just allow it, it will move through quicker. Is to identify where it is in your body? Is it in your gut? In your chest? In your shoulders or neck? What does it feel like? Is it hollow? Is it thick? Does it move? Is it slimy? Is it sticky? What color is it? Once you have sat with the emotion for a while and you aren’t experiencing it constantly then I want you to identify the thought of where that emotion is coming from. If you are having a hard time identifying the thought, ask your brain. It’s really good at problem solving. Ask it - What thought is bringing the emotion of ___ and then don’t answer it. If you answer, I don’t know, this gives your brain permission to shut down. You are essentially turning off your brains wisdom. But if you ask it and put it to work, it will eventually solve the problem for you. Once you have identified the thought, then you can work to change that thought if needed. And sometimes you don’t want to and sometimes you don’t need. Its ok to experience any emotion that YOU want. The good news is, is that if you don’t want to, you CAN change it. YOU have that power! I think it’s important to understand that as humans we are supposed to experience the entire range of emotions. But, if you can learn to manage your thoughts, then those painful ones don’t have to stay as long and you can learn to think about things differently. But, just as we should only expect to be happy about 50% of the time, the same goes with the people around us. It’s OK for our husbands and children to only be happy 50% of the time too. But their emotions are based on their own thoughts about what is going on in the world. It is NOT your job to manage their emotions. With our kids, we want them to be happy all the time. But they have the right to a full range of emotions. So wouldn’t it be better to teach them where those emotions come from? And how they have the power to choose their thoughts to help manage those emotions. And with our husbands…it’s not OUR job to make them happy. Just as its not their job to make us happy. We make ourselves happy with our own thoughts. So if HE is unhappy, that’s on him! It’s not on you. Now that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be kind and considerate of him and his feelings. But you just need to realize that HE gets to manage his own thoughts and emotions. Which is AWESOME news! And it’s important to understand that just because he is unhappy or stressed or frustrated, that doesn’t mean we have to be. That is called MIRRORING emotions. But you get to choose your own thoughts. When you find yourself trying to manage His emotions or mirroring his emotions try on the thought “He can be unhappy, but that doesn’t mean I have to be” instead. Now I want to talk a little bit about buffering - Buffering is what we do when we are trying to avoid feeling certain emotions. We watch TV, or scroll through facebook or Instagram. Maybe you shop and spend money. Maybe you turn to food to give you that temporary feeling of happiness. There are TONS of things people do, some more destructive that others. Drinking, Sex, Gambling, or doing anything maybe not as harmful but to excess. Sometimes things can actually be considered good and productive, but done to excess and to avoid other things, its still a buffer…working, crafting, cleaning, etc. What do you do to buffer? When I was really struggling in my first marriage, I drank Diet Coke. That was one of my buffers. I always say that Diet Coke was how I survived my first marriage. But I was also overweight, because I was eating to fill a void. I was constantly trying to find things that would make me happy because I was so unhappy in my situation. I even tried buying a new house and putting in a pool because if I was going to be miserable in my marriage, at least I’d have a nice house and pool. That’s how I buffered during a challenging time in my life. It wasn’t until I confronted my thoughts about myself and about my situation and dealt with the pain and other emotions that I was experiencing was able to walk away. I had to quit the buffering and deal with my life, as hard it was. Henry Cloud says “Nothing good is going to happen if you can’t deal with the bad things that are going to happen.” And he’s right. Until you can learn to deal with the bad things. Learn to deal with the negative emotions, you aren’t going to be able to experience the life in the way that you were meant to. If I hadn’t dealt with what was going on in my life and in my first marriage, I’d never be where I am today. And where I am today is in a happy, healthy, successful marriage. And I am happier than I have ever been in my life. And that’s what I want for you too. Ok my friends! That’s all I have for you today! I hope you have a fabulous weekend. We are headed to the lake with our boat and trailer to go fishing for the weekend and I am so excited to spend some time with husband and my son. Take care!
18 May 2018
Episode 64 - When Your Sex Life Isn’t What You Expected
Chances are, your sex life isn’t what you thought it would be. Whether it’s not as pleasurable, you just can’t seem to find the desire, or you and your spouse just don’t see eye to eye, it’s time to start figuring it out. Find out how you can make sex better for you on this week’s episode.
12 Jul 2019
Episode 89 - 10 Mistakes We Make With Sex
All of us make mistakes when it comes to sex. In this episode, we discuss 10 common mistakes almost every couple makes with sex and how to overcome them.
3 Jan 2020
Episode 93 - Husbands, What Your Wives Wish You Knew
I asked wives what they wish their husbands knew about them and sex. So this episode is for all the husbands. You'll learn what your wife has had a hard time telling you and what you need to do to get more sex and better sex in your relationship.
31 Jan 2020
Episode 35 - Overcoming Resentment
Resentment is defined as bitter indication after THINKING you’ve been treated unfairly. This is a huge issue I see in many of my clients. In today’s episode we discuss 4 ways you can deal with resentment in your marriage and how changing your thinking is the key! Play In A New Window Download Show Summary: This podcast was actually at the request of one of my listeners. Resentment is a huge issue I see in my clients, so I thought I would do a whole episode on it. Definition of resentment: Bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly I would add to that definition that its bitter indication after THINKING you’ve been treated unfairly. So today I want to talk about 4 ways you can deal with resentment in your marriage. I believe these solutions can also be applied to other relationships as well. 1. Addressing Your Feelings Sometimes people think they are falling out of love with their spouse when they are actually feeling resentment. The resentment can make you angry, withdraw, and think there are no feelings of love anymore. To determine if you are truly feeling resentment, really take a look at your thoughts. Are your thoughts causing you to feel unappreciated, disappointed, angry, or hurt? Are there problems in the relationship that you haven’t discussed? If the answer to these questions is yes, you are probably feeling resentment. Often resentment forms when a couple doesn’t discuss small problems. This leads to the problem festering until one or both partners are angry and full of toxic thoughts. So, to resolve this, you need to discuss the problems when they form so you can get them out in the open and work through them. If you have a hard time discussing issues, try discussing small things first, like scheduling and meals, before tackling some of your bigger issues. Some people don’t bring up their feelings because they don’t trust that their feelings are valid. They may think they are overreacting or being too sensitive. Or they may be afraid that they will be perceived that way by their spouse. But feelings are ALWAYS valid, even negative ones like hurt, disappointment, and anger. Allow yourself to feel your feelings so that you can voice them to your partner. Your feelings are important. But also remember that your feelings come from your own thoughts. Take ownership of them and do not blame them on the situation or your partner. Many times we avoid bringing up problems in our marriage because we don’t like conflict. We want to do anything to avoid fighting and instead we remain quiet to keep the peace. I like to call this “peacefully resentful.” Resentment doesn’t lead to a good marriage, so a bit of uncomfortable conflict or even some angry feelings is worth getting through so that you don’t have bigger problems later on. 2. Talk about the Resentment Part of dealing with resentment is listening to your partner’s problems and feelings. Though it may be hard to hear, take a step back and listen objectively to what they have to say. You may want to employ the empathetic listening skills we talked about in episode 27. But listening to your partner, even if you feel resentment also, helps you work through the problems and reach a solution. Refusing to listen leads to more resentment and can eventually lead to the end of the relationship. If you feel like you can’t talk to your partner or your partner won’t listen to you, you may want to seek a professional to help mediate. Even if your spouse won’t see someone, you can go by yourself to help you figure out how to deal with the issues in your marriage and how to better communicate. Coaching is a great option. When communicating with your spouse, be careful to not place blame on your partner. Remember, that your feelings are coming from your thoughts and take responsibility for that. Blaming them generally leads to more problems, anger and resentment. Remember to use “I” statements when communicating. 3. Finding a Solution Resentment happens when you don’t forgive what someone has done to do you. To help you move past the resentment, you must forgive your spouse for what they have done. This helps you both move forward and repair the damage caused by the resentment. Forgiveness means that you acknowledge that a wrong was done, but you don’t let it control your emotions and your relationship. Sometimes we are unable to forgive because we want to feel right and be validated. But this need to be right impedes, our ability to heal and move on. Resentment often comes when we hold on to the wrongs and keep replaying it over and over in our minds. This lets it fester and become toxic. In order to move forward, you have to let go of the destructive thoughts. To let go, understand that it happened in the past and that the only reason it is hurting now is because of how your are choosing to think about it that way in the present. You can choose to think differently. Also understand that people make mistakes. We are all human and we all deserve compassion for being human. You can’t control what others do, but you can control how you choose to think and feel about what they have done. Letting go of the resentment allow you to heal, which is the healthiest thing for YOU and your marriage. You can do this by changing your thoughts about what has happened. When you sit down and discuss your resentment with your spouse, you should come up with ways to solve the problem, or change the behavior. Or better yet, change the way you are choosing to think about it. Resentment is one thing that I have personally really struggled with. Not necessarily in my marriage, but in my family. I am the oldest child and I tend to be a people pleaser in that role. I’m not really like that in other areas of my life, but I am in my family. In the past I have kept my mouth shut in order to keep the peace and then I’m resentful later on. Let me give you an example - So when Kevin and I were getting sealed in the temple, I really wanted to get sealed on our 1-year anniversary. My sister lives in another state and she basically said, that date didn’t work for her and if I wanted her there then it needed to be on such and such date. Well for years I resented her that she wouldn’t change her plans and be her on the date that I wanted for my special day. I held onto that resentment for so long. But, as I’ve worked through a lot of my resentment issues in coaching, I’ve changed the way I think about it. Yes, she did say that, and I wish that she would have realized how important it was to me, but ultimately I made the decision to change the date because I wanted her there. I took responsibility for my thoughts and feelings instead of blaming it on her. Now the resentment is gone and I no longer have bad feelings towards her because of it. Now getting back to discussing resentment in marriage, it’s important that while you are dealing with the resentment, don’t shut each other out. You may still be hurt, but if you don’t connect in other ways (emotionally and physically) the resentment will continue to build. But being purposeful in connecting with each other, even if you are still working through issues, really helps you build a better connection and rebuild the relationship. 4.Moving Forward Things that lead to resentment are usually small things that can be dealt with easily. Once you have dealt with past resentment, don’t let it happen again. Share your problems, hurts, concerns with each other. This allows you to deal with it while it is small and before it grows and festers. Make sure that your marriage is a priority. Spend time together, even when life gets hectic with kids and careers. Take a few minutes each day talking to one another and connecting. And moving forward, figure out the things that cause you to start feeling resentment. Once identified, you can acknowledge your thoughts and feelings more easily and let them go. There are three issues I hear the most from my clients that cause resentment in their marriages Not getting enough help from their spouse. They feel overwhelmed with everything they have on their plate and need more help. To resolve this, ASK FOR HELP! Do not expect that your spouse knows exactly what you need and can read your mind. Be specific. Talk about it. Communicate your wants and needs. Remember that marriage is often a negotiation, so you need to make sure you are voicing your wants and needs and taking into consideration your spouses wants and needs and finding a balance and a compromise that works for both of you. Feeling that their spouse spends time doing things for themself instead of being with the family. I hear this a lot with husbands playing video games or watching sports. You need to voice your concerns but also understand that sometimes your spouse needs their “me” time just like you do, but it may look different than yours. So again, communicate and negotiate. Sex. They resent that their husbands want sex all the time when they don’t feel like it. I hear them saying that they interpret everything through this lens of their spouse wanting sex all the time. And they just aren’t in the mood or they are tired and touched out. So if this is you, I would recommend you listen to last week’s episode of how thoughts like that are killing your sex drive. And I would really encourage you to reframe how you are looking at sex. You are looking at it as a way to satisfy your husband and constantly meet their needs. What if it was a way of meeting your needs? What if it was about you and not him? If it’s about you then you won’t resent him for wanting to be with you. Just another way of looking at it. Again, communicate and negotiate. If you are struggling with resentment and want more help, sign up for a mini-session and let’s work through it together!
21 Dec 2018
Episode 92 - Discovering What Turns You On
Do you know what turns you on? Most of us learn to tolerate or suppress our sexuality as youth, so we never developed an erotic mind. A mind that knows where to go to get aroused. So how do we figure that out now? How do develop an erotic mind?
24 Jan 2020
Episode 57 - Believing New Thoughts
A belief is just a thought you’ve practiced a lot. It’s one you accept as truth. But you can choose to believe whatever you want about yourself, your life, and our marriage. Find out how to believe a new thought, even if it seems impossible! Play in a new window Download
24 May 2019
Episode 60 - The Law of Chastity in Marriage
We most often associate the Law of Chastity with the youth or young single adults. But, as married couples, the Law of Chastity still very much applies to us. How? Find out in this week’s podcast!
14 Jun 2019
Episode 85 - Stages of Sex
Sex follows a specific pattern each time from initiation to resolution. Each stage has different physical and emotional changes. Understanding the stages and knowing how your body responds helps you to see where you are and in what areas you might need a little help or to improve to create a fuller, richer experience and sex life. Show Notes: Follow Amanda on Facebook and Instagram. Join Amanda's Private Facebook Group. References for this episode: Sexual response cycles: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-power-pleasure/201211/what-we-can-learn-sexual-response-cycles Connection & Intimacy: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/articles/201701/the-radical-thrill-intimacy Basson’s Model Drawing: https://sexologyinternational.com/taking-a-closer-look-at-bassons-model-of-the-sexual-response-cycle/ Foreplay Radio: https://www.foreplayrst.com/2017/01/14/episode-52-stages-of-sex/ Come As You Are by Emily Nagoski Ph.D Watchful Unto Prayer Continually by Elder David A Bednar: https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/general-conference/2019/10/22bednar?lang=eng
6 Dec 2019
Episode 5 - Fear
Are you living your life out of fear? Fear of the unknown? Fear of being hurt? Fear of failure? Fear of judgement? Fear of your emotions? Fear keeps us stuck and from living our best life. In this podcast we will examine all the ways emotional fear changes how we show up in the world, how it keeps us trapped, and how we can face our fears and live our best life! Show Summary Thoughts are like clothes, you have to try them on and see if they resonate with you. You don’t have to agree with everything I say. You can take what you want and leave the rest and that is totally fine. I know that a lot of my view come from an LDS perspective and if that isn’t ok, with that is totally fine. I think MOST things can be translated to any religion or spirituality, but if they don’t for you, that is totally fine! I get that I’m not for everyone, and I’m ok with that! Now, if there is something I talk about that you have questions about or want to know how you can apply it to your own life, please sign up for a mini session or make a comment on the episode’s page on my blog and I promise I will do my best to answer it. So today I want to talk about FEAR! I think a lot of us live our lives in fear. And I’m not necessarily talking physical danger here (although that sometimes can be part of it) but I’m talking more EMOTIONAL danger. Fear of the unknown Fear of being hurt Fear of our spouse or our children being hurt Fear of failure Fear of judgement Fear of our emotions Fear of being in any sort of discomfort We’ve come to a place in this world where everything is SO EASY and so CONVENIENT that our brain is literally trying to invent things to be fearful of! Let’s talk about our brains for a minute. So our brains are super complicated and I am not going to go into much. I’m going to keep it pretty simple We have our lower brain and our higher brain. Our lower brain - it is our primitive brain. It was designed to keep us safe and to protect us. It doesn’t want to seek change, to thrive, to grow, or evolve. It just wants to stay the same and be safe. It is constantly on the lookout for things that might hurt us, physically and emotionally. Personally, my lower brain is constantly on the lookout for snakes and mean girls. I am TERRIFIED of snakes. Always have been. I have an automatic gag reflex when I see them. I can’t go to the reptile house at the zoo. I can’t go into the room where they have them at an aquarium. I can’t even look at them in a picture or on TV. And you can FORGET IT when I see them in the wild. My husband and son are constantly telling me about killing snakes in our backyard and I tell them I don’t even want to hear it, because I don’t want to know that there are snakes in my backyard. Well now, I can’t even go out into my backyard without being constantly on high alert for a possible snake encounter. This is my LOWER brain going CRAZY! It’s trying to protect me from the snakes. Now - it can do the same thing with emotional dangers if I let it. When I let my lower brain go unsupervised it is like putting a toddler behind the wheel of car. It’s crazy in there! So I am constantly having to engage my higher brain to keep that craziness under control. Now your higher brain is there, but it’s not very functional on its own. You really have to learn to use it. It’s the part of the brain that produces purpose in our life and allows us to create transformative change. This is where the magic happens. When we engage that higher brain. But the problem is, most of the time we don’t. We let that toddler in our lower brain run wild! And when that lower brain is running wild that fear of all the things that might possibly hurt us goes crazy. And that fear narrows our vision and makes us less able to think creatively or flexibly. We get narrowed hyper focused on all things that can hurt us and let our fear go wild. And when we are letting our fears go wild and we are living our lives from a place of fear (fear of all the things that can physically or emotionally hurt us our loved ones) we are not living our best life. We are living the complete opposite. When we are living from fear, we can NOT live from LOVE. And we know that we are our BEST self when we live from LOVE. Fear keeps us from doing things we want to do. It keeps us from reaching our potential. So my son Taylor is a senior in high school. In fact, he graduates in a week! Anyway, he is taking this communications class and there have been some assignments that have been really hard for him. So there was one assignment where they were supposed to go up in front of the class as act like the opposite sex. The toddler in Taylor’s brain went CRAZY. He was calling and texting me completely freaking out. There was no way he was going to do it. His heart was racing, he was sweating. He was so afraid. And I kept trying to talk to him about it and what it came down to was that he was afraid. Afraid of failing. Afraid of looking silly and being humiliated. His body was creating a physical reaction to a completely irrational emotional fear. So I was able to help him calm down by helping him identify and process his emotions. Helped him recognize he was actually feeling fear and it actually wouldn’t kill him! And guess what, he did it and he didn’t die! “The only failure is quitting. Everything else is just gathering information.” Jen Sincero Now speaking of Taylor…since he is getting older and about ready to graduate I have had my own fears about what he is facing over the next couple of years. For a long time I thought the worst thing in the world would be if he didn’t go on a mission or our church. What would he do with his life? What would people think of him? What would people think of me? I had failed as a mother if he didn’t go. And then I took a step back and realized that I was actually trying to manipulate him and the situation to make myself feel better. So I had to do some serious thought work on the possibility that he may not go on a mission. I had to shift my thinking to thoughts like “If he doesn’t go on a mission he will find the path that he is supposed to go” “if he doesn’t go it doesn’t mean anything about me as a mother, I know I’m a good mom and I’ve done the best I can to teach him.” I also made sure to tell him that I would love him and things would work out the way they were supposed to whether he went or not. And guess what? He’s decided to go! Whew! But man, wow, those fears all came up pretty strong. And when they did, I really wasn’t showing up for him in the best way I could. Instead of showing up in love, I was showing up in fear and being manipulative. So not good! But once I shifted my thinking and showed up in LOVE, things were so much better and he was free to make his decision on what was best for him. And I honestly feel like things would be great no matter what, because I had decided they would be. I have a friend who suffers from terrible anxiety. It keeps her from doing many things that she wants to do in her life and I truly believe it is because she lets her fear take over. What if I say the wrong thing, what if people don’t like me, what if, what if, what if? And how is she showing up in her life? Really she’s not! She’s letting fear take over. Friend who was afraid in his marriage and tried to control his wife and then lost her because he tried to control her. We know that fear won’t kill us. Many times people LIKE that feeling of fear. When it’s controlled. When they know it’s not real. Like when they go to scary movies or haunted houses. They like that feeling of fear. The rush of adrenaline. But because they know its controlled, they can take action. So what if we take control of our fears? What if we ACT even if we are afraid? What if we stop letting the fear we create in our minds stop us from doing things? Then how will we show up in our life? So how do we do this? First we need to identify what we are actually feeling (fear of being humiliated? fear of the unknown? fear of not being enough?) Feel the increased heart rate, the tense muscles, maybe the tingling. Let it move through you. Don’t run away from it. Don’t buffer. Find the thought pattern that is creating that fear. Think through what is the WORST thing that can happen. And then say “so what?” Realize that it actually has nothing to do with life or death, its being afraid to feel the feeling. And realize that you WILL NOT DIE from a feeling! Take action amidst fear. You can try changing your thought patterns as well, but take action will prove to yourself that you CAN do it, despite being afraid. By doing the very thing we are afraid of and exposing ourself to it. Overcome those fears and you get your dreams. Have you ever noticed that sometimes the FEAR about feeling the FEAR is worse than it actually happening? Thing about when you or your child is going to get a shot. They are freaking out because the needle is coming towards them. But when it actually goes in, its this little poke for just a minute and then its totally fine. The freak out about the FEAR was actually way worse than the actual FEAR! We hold ourselves back from so many things because we are afraid of how it might feel. And what most of the emotional fear all boils down to is the fear of not being enough. But you ARE! You absolutely are enough, just as you are right now! A lot of us have this fear of the unknown. We always want to have a clear path layer out in front of us the whole way. But I firmly believe if we take that first step, get over the fear and take action, another step in the path will be shown to us as we go. I think one of the things I was most of afraid of was failing in my marriage and how I would I handle being single. What would people think of me? What would my children think? What would my Heavenly Father think? How would I support myself? How would I support my kids? Where would we go? What would we do? That fear kept me paralyzed for a really long time. I spent many years buffering and ignoring what was happening because I didn’t want to face the fear. I didn’t want to be a failure and I didn’t know the path path that played out in front of me. But when I faced up to things and moved through the fear, what has come out on the other side is so much better! I am strong, I am confident, and now I have an amazing marriage. Fear is part of life. We all have it. We were programmed for it. It’s not going anywhere. It’s pretending to be necessary. Embrace it. Expose yourself to it over and over again. Learning how to overcome those fears and face the challenges and get that crazy toddler inside our head under control….now that’s when magic happens. If you can learn to deal with fear your life will be LIMITLESS! So I want you to do an exercise. I want you to take out a sheet of paper and just write. Write all your fears. Don’t edit. Just write them all down. Then take a look at what you fear What you actually have is thoughts that cause you fear Question those thoughts. Is it logical? Which ones are holding you back? (a fear of sky diving may not be holding you back, but a fear of what to say when you meet new people? probably!) Now I want you to deliberately oppose those thoughts And now that you are aware of them you can change them. Need more help changing those thoughts? Let me know! I’d love to work with you!
25 May 2018
Episode 103 - A Marriage Made Whole
No matter where life finds you, no matter the status of your relationships, podcast #103 , “A Marriage Made Whole” is not to be missed. My podcast is an interview with past clients that will inspire you. You may not have the same circumstances, but it is a sweet story of forgiveness, brain work and overcoming. You will see first hand what coaching can do and how it can help anyone, any situation. Thank you Jeff and Joy for being vulnerable and sharing your story.
10 Apr 2020
Episode 78 - Guilt, Shame, and Eroticism
In a recent survey I conducted, 40% of married women said they feel guilt and shame about sex. In this episode, we are addressing where this guilt and shame are coming from and why it is isn’t necessary. Are you taking the 30-Day Say Yes To The Sex Challenge? Flex Discs: http://rwrd.io/tddnzbx Sexual Satisfaction Survey: https://amandalouder.typeform.com/to/HYppWQ
18 Oct 2019
Episode 80 - How To Be Sexy
Do you know how to be sexy? Is it ok as a woman of God to try and be sexy? What do men think makes a woman sexy? What do women think they need to do to be or feel sexy?
1 Nov 2019