Wake Up with Me

I recently committed to 3 hours of movement per week.

My body has been asking for it, and I’ve been much too sedentary since I’ve been working so much with my computer.

I fell into a rut of feeling too tired to exercise, which was enabling a downward spiral of staying put >> low energy >> staying put.

I did pretty goody the first week, but it felt constraining after, and I’ve been moving around so much that making it to the gym has been a bit of a challenge.

I thought my commitment to movement had to be something like working out at the gym or some formal class.

Instead of giving up, I decided to include movement in all forms, and counting dance breaks and walks and stretching into the 3-hours per week commitment.

The last few days I started adding back a practice of stretching and dancing in the morning, to warm up my muscles, wake up my body and ground into it to start the day deliciously.

This is the result:

 

I’ve found, or rather ‘re-membered,’ that this morning ritual shifts completely whatever I was feeling, that I can tap into the wisdom in my body, and it wakes up my appetite for something healthy and nourishing, as opposed to some sweet treat in the morning.

It frees up my back, I feel lighter and more nimble, and it sets me up to make decisions based on what is good for me instead of what feels good in the moment.

I find myself fighting less with myself and having to use my will power a lot less. Instead, I just feel like doing what I need to be doing for myself.

It’s fantastic, and I’m so happy I’m remembering this practice and feel so committed to continuing it.

And it occurred to me, that perhaps you’d like to come along for the ride.

Soooo…. I’ve been toying with the idea of a series called Wake Up With Melody, where I post a video of my morning routine, share about the music, and thoughts on current events and something to inspire you.

What do you think? What kinds of things would you like to see in this series?

Don’t be shy! Let me know in the comments!

And if you’d like to receive these, please sign up for the mailing list here.

This is your formal invitation into a more intimate slice of my life, where you get to wake up with me and maybe dance along.

Big love and gratitude always,

 

Melody

Yummy in My Body

Today, I look at my body’s softness.

The way it rounds and curves and folds and bounces, sometimes ripples…

And I love it!

The protruding roundness rising out of my womb, which is my lower belly… leading up to the lump above my belly button, then separating up to my breasts.

The curve of my shoulders and fleshiness of my arms.

I feel my butt’s heaviness and jiggle as I walk, and instead of judging it, I take pleasure in it.

In how bountiful and juicy it makes me feel (on this particular day at least).

And as I notice these things in myself, I see them in the women around me.

Appreciating their softness and dangliness, and jiggliness… So yummy!

I don’t judge them. I see what men see, in the precious and delectable female form.

And it’s formidable.

Photo credit: Orin Hahn

I love my body [Photo credit: Orin Hahn]

Adore Your Body in the Morning

Waking up this morning, as every morning, I lounged in my bed and let my senses wake up to be graced by the day.

My attention went to the feeling of my bedsheets caressing my skin, how my muscles felt as a stretched, and air flowed slowly into my body as I breathed.

And then, the question about breakfast came up.

Most of the time it’s

What do I feel like having for breakfast?

But today, it came up in a new and exhilarating way that I’m excited to share with you. I’m liking it very much, and framing things in this way seems a lot more exciting, playful and insightful because it sparks a curiosity and adventureness that tickles me.

Sensual Question

The question was

What breakfast will I adore my body with today?

Isn’t that a completely different way of framing things?

I love it!

It places me in a position of reverence to my body, of loving it so deeply and completely with the food that I will savor and nourish it with.

Of course, it sets the tone for all other sorts of activities with which I can adore this beautiful and amazing vessel.

What activities will I adore my body with today?

What kinds of exercise will I adore my body with today?

What clothing will I adore my body with today?

These are all questions worth asking, for they place the emphasis on reconnecting with our body’s needs and desires, creating a stronger bond that is not only more pleasurable but has repercussions on our health, body image, self-esteem and general well-being.

What are some other ways in which you can show your devotion to your body?

A Return to Sensuality + Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes!

Dear readers,

As those of you who’ve been following me for a while know, I used to teach about pleasure, femininity, and sensuality.

But this year, I’ve been feeling so disconnected from all that.

I’ve felt so disconnected in fact, that I started feeling like it was all fake and forced and inauthentic. Whenever I tried to bring myself to that place of being absorbed in my senses, my mind would start telling me how it would solve nothing and I was doomed.

Despite all this, or maybe because of me not having access to my tools of the past for a while, a lot of blind spots have been uncovered.

Things have been transforming and moving forward in ways that wouldn’t have happened had I not ‘fallen’ from my pleasure stand.

I am grateful for re-discovering the artist in me. The little girl who has always wanted to be a performer and sing on stage in front of people who want to hear me and see me express myself (and them) through my voice.

I am grateful to once again feel the creative impulse to make stuff, like jewelry and clothing and art.

I am grateful to know without a shadow of a doubt that I can pursue these things seriously, and not just as a hobby. Because I say so.

Still, the truth is that 2012 has been very painful for me.

I’ve been pretending that everything was ok when really I wasn’t allowing myself to just be and feel whatever I feel… The way I used to.

I’ve been making myself wrong for not doing enough, and thinking that I have to make a difference in a bigger way than just the medicine for the world that I carry which is myself. I had been disconnected from Tantra and Shamanism, two paths that are very dear to me and that have held so much healing.

The past 10 days have brought me back to mama Earth and to the Tantric practices of allowing my emotions to be there and feeling them fully and ecstatically, no matter what they are (‘positive’ or ‘negative’).

(Remember when I used to talk about that non-stop?)

Last night I went to a women’s circle (Thank you Isis and Cindy, and all the beautiful goddesses who joined me there!), and it brought me the last piece. I now remember why I loved those practices so much and how full they made me feel.

How complete and whole and perfect.

A lot of them center around being in my body, allowing myself to feel my emotions and tuning into my senses. It’s the complete opposite of what I have been practicing lately, which has been so masculine in it’s purpose, focus and goal-orientation.

So now I am excited to live myself into the juicy spot where making a difference the masculine way and allowing myself to be the difference dance a beautiful dance together. I don’t know this dance, but I cannot wait to learn and practice it.

So… My affirmation for the day is:

I am SENSUAL and FOCUSED.

So exciting!

As part of my commitment to my pleasure, today I decided to indulge in some delicious homemade gluten-free buckwheat pancakes. The recipe is below.

Thanks for reading, loves, and I hope you try the recipe out.

With gratitude and love always,

Melody

Fluffy Gluten-Free Buckwheat Pancakes (And I mean FLUFFY!)

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
This recipe made 8 medium pancakes. Adjust your ingredients according to the quantity you desire.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
  • 1/3 c. gluten-free flour mix (I used Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour)
  • 2 tsp. agave syrup
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 c. almond milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 c. coconut oil

Preparation

  1. In a medium bowl whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
  2. In a separate bowl or glass measuring cup, combine the milk, egg, agave syrup and oil, beating slightly with a whisk (a fork will also do).
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and whisk together well.
  4. Let the batter sit and thicken for a few minutes while you heat a skillet or pan very hot.
  5. Spoon the batter onto the skillet. These brown quickly so turn them as soon as you see bubbles start to pop on top.
  6. Serve on plate with spatula and slather in your favorite syrup. I chose raw honey.

Enjoy!

 

If you liked or identified with what you just read, please ‘Like’ or share this post. And please let me know what moved, touched, and/or inspired you in the comments!

(Remember: at Naked Wellness we have a policy of no unsolicited advice, so please keep your comments to acknowledgement of each other or personal experiences. Thanks!).

Haircuts, Sexiness and Letting Go

This might be one of those that are easier for women to relate to.

5 years ago, I committed myself to growing my hair all the way down to my waist. I wanted long, wavy, hippie hair.

The first 3 years, I got impatient and cut it again so, after that, I committed myself to it more fully. I was not going to cut my hair (for more than a trim/shape) until my goal was reached.

Until today.

Between all the traveling and not trusting random people with my hair, I hadn’t had a haircut in over a year.

This was especially bad because my ends were getting all split up, and it was not conducive to my hippie hair dream.

I had to get it trimmed, and also give it some shape.

That’s how I ended up at ION, a very chic hair salon in Soho, on a quarter waxing moon day (they’re supposed to be the time to cut your hair if you want it to grow).

I was very clear with my stylist, Mariano, and he understood exactly what I wanted.

While getting my hair washed (seriously, I would go to the salon just for that!), I got the feeling like I might want something different to reflect all the changes in my life.

As part of a recent serious commitment to finding a partner, I recently started really taking a look at all the ways in which I block myself from exactly that. I’m also taking a more grounded and clear direction around strategic business-building, and feeling more like a woman in that sense and less like a girl.

My hair was always long (as a true Latina), and it was a symbol of my roots, my femininity, my sexiness and a source of power for me.

Like a female Samson.

And one of the things that I realized recently is how much I incorporated my ‘Goddessness’ and my approval of my own sexuality as a way to be in control of my interactions with men.

It really brought me to see the difference between sensuality as manipulation and sensuality as self-expression, something that is not often addressed in Goddess workshops or the movement in general. (I’m offering a talk on this on Friday, by the way)

I decided this needed to change, because this inability to be soft (really soft, not just pretend soft) and step out of my comfort zone by giving up my control during interactions with potential partners was really getting in the way of me getting what I want.

And so it seemed to make sense to me to want to get out of my comfort zone with my hair, and let it represent my leaving behind these blocks along with my locks.

So as Mariano started to dry my hair, I told him I would like a more drastic change. Something feminine, but a bit edgier while still being low-maintenance.

The result is a shoulder-length layered cut that works straightened, or air-dried taking advantage of my natural curls.

When he was done, I was really happy to have taken the risk. My getting out of my comfort zone paid off.

And then…

I saw myself in the mirror a few moments later, and started freaking out.

Who is this???

The uncertainty that overcame me, just from a haircut, was unbelievable.

I couldn’t find myself in my reflection. I looked more mature, and less sexy than I’m used to.

And that was the point, right? To try on a different way of being.

But when my image reflected it, it was like there was no going back (though, yes, hair does grow back).

And what dawned on me is the extent to which I used my sensuality and sexiness as protection; my seductiveness was a weapon/defense-mechanism designed to keep myself unapproachable and separate, so that men could not hurt me.

Oh my god!

I felt so vulnerable. Still do! I feel cracked open, unsure of myself, wondering if men will notice me and afraid that they will at the same time.

It’s quite silly; I realize that ‘sexy’ is not my haircut, it’s me. And even looking at myself objectively in the mirror, that’s still there… it’s just a different way of sexy.

One that I’m not used to, and that’s a bit scary.

I don’t know this new me yet.

As uncomfortable as this is, I’m grateful. This is a much needed step, and I’m happy to let go of ways in which I got in my way.

Did I have to cut my hair for this? No.

But creating an outward change that I will see in the mirror every morning is a way of reminding myself to stay open and soft, no matter how uncomfortable the uncertainty is. It’s who I have to be to get what I want.

Tantra

I’ve decided I’m going to stop skirting around it and say it.

 

Tantra.

 

Yes, that’s a big part of what I teach.

 

I didn’t want to say the word because a lot of people have misconceptions about what Tantra actually is, but I’m tired of talking around the word.

 

All this talk about turning you on, making you horny…. Well, it comes from an understanding that we can harness our sexual energy, the energy that drives life, and utilize it for a purpose other than just stress relief (i.e. orgasmus vulgaricus…. Just made that one up).

 

Isn’t Tantra about just having really great, “spiritual” sex?

 

No. Yes. Sort of, but not exactly.

 

Tantra is about acceptance of the whole.

 

There’s not one iota of you that isn’t perfect in its imperfection, and Tantra aims at having a continuous experience of the knowledge of this.

 

Of full self-acceptance. Self-love that allows us to love others more fully as well.

 

It also aims at our two most important drives, namely, the drive towards life (sex) and the drive away from death.

 

We want to transcend both, in order to not feel like we’re either running towards or running away from something all the time.

 

This way, we can live in our center. We can be steadier in any situation.

 

So, on that side of the equation, Tantra isn’t so much concerned with sex itself as it is about sexual energy, how to increase it and what to do with it. How we can use it to improve our lives,…

 

And feel more whole.

 

Oof…. That was liberating!

Do I make you horny, baby? Do I???

Ok, so… you don’t have to use Austin Powers’ famous line (or his atrocious accent) as I do when you ask yourself this question, but the question begs asking nonetheless.

Namely, the question in question is,

Are you horny for life?

Do you feel like pouncing on life, sinking your teeth into it?

Or does thinking about your life leave you feeling kind of…. bleh?

Lists of responsibilities, lists of shoulds, do’s and don’t’s…

Really, there’s no reason to beat yourself up over your lack of enthusiasm. Honestly, that kind of life is restrictive.

Devoid of imagination.

Devoid of possibilities.

Devoid of…. life.

Am I talking about shirking your responsibilities? Maybe…

Not exactly.

What I’m saying is that it’s possible to throw the idea of responsibilities away and replace it with living for stuff that increases your drive for life.

Stuff that needs to get done will still get done. But the motivation is different.

There’s no more lists of should’s, but instead a long list of stuff you’d like to offer. A long list of stuff that you’re excited to offer.

See the difference?

So… Does your life make you horny?

Does it make your mouth water like a delicious piece of chocolate cake?

Does it make you wet… or hard, full of longing, like your favorite sexual fantasy?

Does it make your heart beat faster? Your breath come fuller and quicker, filling your body up with that exquisite feeling that you cannot get enough of?

That feeling of horniness…

Let’s be honest, who doesn’t like to be horny? It feels good, doesn’t it?

Sexual energy is life energy. It’s what drives creation, and all of life.

Unfortunately, in our world we’ve been taught that it’s something to control. To keep hidden. Under wraps.

No wonder we lead passionless lives, yet have an obsession with sex.

There is something inside us that knows we have a deep need for sexual healing.

The kind of healing that leaves us open, vulnerable and willing to take risks. The kind that belies an understanding that this softness is what makes us strong. The kind that shows us that there’s power in being naked.

To make things perfectly clear, I won’t sleep with you. But I will disarm you, strip you and show you a world of possibilities is at your fingertips.

So, get up, get up, get up get up, let’s make love tonight….

I invite you to take on this journey.

I’d love to make you horny, baby.

Horny for life.

Naked Wellness is Going International!

Ok. So this isn’t so much a blog post as it is an announcement.

And I’m so very excited to share it with you!

I kind of ruined the surprise with the title but, in my defense, I couldn’t help it. It’s just that I’m that excited about it!

Are you ready?

Here goes…

On February 27th, I will be leading the Come Back Into Your Senses workshop in the sweet paradise island of Koh Phangan, Thailand.

!!!

Yes, it’s so very hard working from paradise…

……

Oh. Where was I?

Right! This is the part where I explain what exactly this workshop is about. Which is…

We’re not just minds, and we’re not just souls.

Our bodies serve a purpose, are incredibly wise, and they deserve to be honored.

So, if by any chance you happen to be around (or decide to stop by), please do yourself a favor and stop by the Life Spiral Center at The Sanctuary, Koh Phangan, to remind yourself of why you should stop fighting with your body to behave the way you believe it should, and reconnect with the many pleasures of having an embodied existence.

We will experiment with breathwork, meditation, sensual movement and mhhhhmmmmoaning!

By bypassing the thinking brain, we will open up the communication lines with our body, gain clarity around its needs, boost our confidence, creativity and sensuality and have a magnificiently fun time getting out of our minds.

As a result, we will be able to tap into our body’s wisdom as another tool to go after our dreams and find more joy and pleasure in life.

Ahhh… the joy!

Ahhhhh… the pleasure!

And it’s all happening in beautiful southern Thailand, where we can run into the sea and have delicious fresh young coconuts after we’re done with the workshop.

Mhhhhmmmmm….. I can’t wait!

Getting Back Into Your Sexy – Mmm mmm GOOD! Edition

There’s a chance you might not even remember what I’m talking about here.

It’s been sooooo loooooong!

It’s ok.

You can head back to the beginning of this series for a refresher in what I mean by getting back into your sexy.

The short version?

These are techniques designed to get you out of your mind and into your body, with the purpose of stopping the overanalysis of our crazy monkey mind.

Side note: if you think I’m exaggerating about the monkey-mind, spend a day watching how your thoughts bounce around without any consistency or making any actual sense in how contradictory they are. This is not to say the mind isn’t useful. But ideally, we would be the ones running it, as opposed to it running us.

Where was I?

Oh.. yes!

In my last post, I was talking about how winter sometimes makes it hard to connect with our body.

It’s all those layers of clothing, getting out of wack with all the holiday food, maybe even that little extra weight…

It kind of makes us feel all sucky about ourselves.  Pretty soon we start being judgmental and beating ourselves with a stick.

Like monkeys!

So what are we doing then? Fighting with our body, instead of remembering all the ways in which it takes care of us.

And all the ways in which being in our body feels delicious.

One very effective way to reconnect with this deliciousness is simply… moaning.

Whaaa?

Yes. Mmmmmmooooannniiinng!

Mmmhhhmmm!

Trust me and try this out.

You can bash me in the comments afterwards if you don’t like it or it doesn’t work for you.

To begin, find a space in which you feel comfortable making these noises and abandoning yourself to your senses.

Once you’re comfortably settled, close your eyes.

Pay attention to what your body feels like. You don’t have to stay entirely still.

If there’s a window and you feel the suns rays on you, or you’re near a heater. How does that feel?

Wiggle your toes, your fingers. How do they feel?

Focus on how your clothing feels against your skin.

Stretch out like you do in the morning.

Always paying attention to how this feels in the body, without thinking about it.

Just focus on the sensations.

And as they build, perhaps you’ll feel like moaning. Maybe it’s not an intense moan, but it’s there.

Let yourself go.

Mhhhmmmm……

Once you start, it’ll be easier to keep going.

And going.

And going.

The moaning itself will intensify the sensations.

You might feel like shouting a resounding…

YES!

Try not to censor yourself, even if you start feeling aroused or the noises you make resemble those that come out of your mouth during sex.

This is about exploring our body, what feels good, letting ourselves be curious and letting go.

What’s your reaction?

Getting Back Into Your Sexy – Very, Very, Extremely Hot Edition

It’s been almost two weeks since I wrote the first ever edition of the Getting Back Into Your Sexy series.

My apologies.

I was all caught up in setting up huge amounts of goodness, such as the new copy on my brand *spanking* new Sweet Action and Happy Endings pages.

If you haven’t done so already, go check them out. I’ll wait right here.

Other goodness that has been keeping me from writing, this time of the upcoming kind:

– Community!

Yay for gatherings of supportive people!

I’ve been researching how to set up some kind of forum so that people can get in touch and support each other as they go through the naked-ing process, as well as figuring out the details of an upcoming online healing and empowerment circle (which I announced here).

– Retreats!

What is not to like about going away to an idyllic, peaceful place to work on some unblocking with a supportive and fun group of people who get you?

I’m putting together the details for a Naked-ing retreat with my friend Shahara and me, some time between January and May 2011.

I can’t wait to be able to tell you all about it!

Workshops!

Yippeee!

There’s the one on uncovering the Goddess within you, which is ridiculously fun and so liberating. I will be holding a couple of these in September and October in New York  City.

Then the other one designed for bringing clarity and release around stuckneses. Such a relief!

Then a couple other ones that I haven’t even posted on the site yet.

The first one is about nutrition regarding cravings, sweet toothiness, and how to get off the sugar rollercoaster.

I’m ironing out the details with the Brooklyn Skillshare project, but it looks like I’ll be holding this workshop in Brooklyn on October  9th. If you’re around, don’t miss out.

And the other is about the subject at hand, which is getting back into your sexy.

Yes. Shameless (shameless!) self-promotion. But at least I’m honest about it, right?

Ok, so now that’s we’ve established why I haven’t updated you on the getting back into your sexy front, we can get down to business.

 

Shall I refresh your memory?

These techniques are for when you’re all stuck in over-analyzing mode and cannot even begin to think about making a decision or taking some action.

For those moments of “well, I could do this… or that. No. This. Wait… that won’t work. People don’t like that. But I like it. But they don’t. So what does it matter? Well.. I should do what matters to me. But then no one else will care about it! Stop being a sissy! Well.. then stop having conversations with yourself! Ok.. Where were we? Oh yes… So what if I do it this way? No.. That won’t work either. Aghhhh! Maybe if I just let it sit there it will come to me. Yes… Let’s do that.”

Don’t you just love these never-ending conversations with yourself? They’re very entertaining.

Too bad they keep you from ever doing anything that you care about. (Kind of like television!)

The techniques in the Getting Back Into Your Sexy series are all about getting our of your mind and into your body, so that you can allow things to come to you from an organic place of intuition and knowing.

No more second-guessing.

Just sweet action.

Without further ado, here is technique #2 in your sexy repertoire (and remember I told you it would be very, very hot!):

Sauna it

Ahh…. The sauna!!!

I could sing its praises forever.

In fact, I know that no matter what home I end up buying, a sauna will have to be in it.

Asides from the fact that it’s great for detoxification, it’s also a spectacular meditation tool.

And what’s great about it is that you don’t even have to try, because all that heat forces you to focus on your breath and how your body feels.

Anyone who has ever been to a sauna will know that all you can think about is how freaking hot it is inside.

And once you get past the resistance to the heat and the sweat, you are left with a focus on your body.

Every slow breath of super hot air seeping into your lungs.

Every slow languid movement.

Every bead of sweat making its way down your skin.

The heat forces your senses awake and they are all you can pay attention to.

A very sensual experience, the sauna will quite literally get you into your sexy.

And your sexy is where all your creativity resides.

You’ll burst with ideas out of nowhere, wishing you had a notepad to take it all down before you start overthinking it and it all disappears into thin air.

Believe me, I know.

After all, the sauna is where I have come up with most of the stuff on this website, as well as where I’ve had all sorts of epiphanies about where I want this nakedness business to go.

Many gyms, yoga studios or spas have a sauna. A steam room works as well.

And if you don’t have access to either, take advantage of the remainder of the summer and find a spot in a park or beach. Stay in the heat for a while, just focusing on your body.

And then come back and leave your feedback in the comments section.