As a coach, I use the tool of journaling with my clients all of the time. It can help build confidence as we build a history of things we have faced and triumphed over. It can reveal patterns of how we self-sabotage and limit ourselves. But, on a personal level, it can help us get to know who we are on a deeper more intimate level. As I continue to help clients transform their lives and feel empowered in all areas of their lives, there was one element I wasn’t touching on because it was taboo. I was afraid of offending them by delving too deep into their personal lives. Yes, you guessed it, our sexuality. If we are going to live a wholehearted life and live our best lives, we can’t leave that aspect of our life out. What I have discovered is that we all have conditioning and filters that we look at our sexuality through. As we try to build deep and intimate relationships we get stuck. We don’t feel confident or secure to ask for what we want or don’t want in that area of our lives, we leave that to the partner we are with to determine how that will go. Many women I work with don’t know how to initiate those conversations.
There are many factors that hold us back, embarrassment, awkwardness, fear of rejection, or simply not knowing ourselves on a deep enough level to articulate those wants and needs. Women often take a backseat in the bedroom. It’s time we start a dialog with our partners to create the type of intimacy that gives and receives for the betterment of the couple.
So you might be wondering, what does intimacy, sex and pleasure have to do with journaling? Let me share how it is all tied together. While growing up we were conditioned with certain ideas of what “good girls” do or don’t do. Most of the time, those statements weren’t accompanied by any explanation. So, when we started having desires of our own, if they fell in that “good girls don’t” category, we began to feel shame or guilt. We started to attach a negative label to ourselves. Those darn self-sabotaging gremlins are always hard at work in our subconscious mind! As we examine our ability to build lasting intimate relationships, we have to look at our conditioning and ask ourselves where those thoughts and feelings originate from. Were the things we observed in our parents' interactions? Were the ideas we picked up from friends at school? All of our beliefs have an origin and if we want to transform our lives, we have to get to the root of the thought so we can start reprogramming our self-talk.
TV and the media have a lot to say about sex but not so much about intimacy. Young girls get the idea that sex and intimacy are one and the same. An act that lasts 10 minutes and then you get back to what you were doing. When we are feeling lonely in a relationship we can’t figure out why because we are emulating what we see in the media. No one is talking about what it takes to build intimacy. No one is saying that sex is just one component of intimacy. We are confusing terms and settling for less in this part of our lives because we don’t know what questions to ask. It starts by discovering our wants, needs, and desires through journaling. Our journals are a place for us to safely share our thoughts and feelings and discover who we are deep in our heart of hearts. In the beginning, journaling can feel awkward. The thoughts and feelings we uncover might not feel comfortable, but that’s ok, don’t give up. Start to look for patterns in your thoughts, examine where those thoughts are coming from and how you feel about them. Ask yourself curious questions. - Are you ok with how you feel? - Do you want to change how you feel about that specific thing? - If you make a change, how would your situation be different? - What would the outcome be if you didn’t make a change? - Is there a fear of talking about this with your partner? - What if your partner isn’t ok with your new discovery? - What if your partner isn’t supportive of your self-discovery journey? - How can you invite your partner to join you in this season of exploration? The list of questions could go on and on. There are no right or wrong questions to ask, the purpose of this exercise is to dig deep and discover more of who you are. Until you know who you are at your deepest level, you can’t teach your partner how to love you or share satisfying pleasure with you. Until you know yourself in your most intimate ways, you can’t possibly set expectations for your desires and growth in this area of your life.
There is nothing shameful about wanting to know more about your physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual self. In a holistic setting, our sexuality encompasses all of those areas of our lives. Each area deserves special attention to cultivate and blossom. Once we can accept that part of our lives we are empowered to set expections for what we want and need in our relationships in and out of the bedroom. So, what are you waiting for for...grab your journal and start writing!