Create a Positive Intention

One of the first things that I notice when I talk to people about their relationship status- be they single or couples is that they spend a lot of time talking about the problem. I hear things like:

“If my partner would just take me out more, things would be better.” or “It is all my fault. If I could just stop…. things would be better.”

or with single people I hear:

“I want someone who is the opposite of my ex.” “There are no men who are available when I am.” “All men cheat. I just want a faithful guy”

What helps is when you create a positive intention for your relationship. This might sound new age but is has real value. Taking time to sit down and reflect on what we want to be helps us to have it. Think about it like making a list of things you want for your birthday. If all you add to the list are a few things that you don’t want, you friends and family will have no idea what to buy for you. You will receive random gifts that you may or may not want.

When you sit down and make a clear list of what you want to have, feel, be it makes a space for it to actually happen. If you and your partner can sit down and do this together, its is even more powerful.

Start creating your positive intention now by completing the following:

But You’re a Marriage Counselor

But You’re a Marriage Counselor

Releasing the perfect relationship expectation

 

The phrases “but you’re a marriage counselor” and “your relationships should be perfect” echo in my mind. I hear them a lot. It is an odd thing being a marriage counselor. I feel both an internal and external expectation that I need to be “perfect” at love. Some days I do better than others.

Recently, on a bad day, a friend gave me the infamous “but you’re a marriage counselor” line and the words “doctors have health problems too!!!” came flying out of my mouth. It felt like the best thing I had said in a long time. It was the truth. It was authentic.

We are all imperfect– imperfect in every aspect of life. We are especially imperfect when it comes to love. We are designed that way. Relationships exist challenge us to grow and develop as humans. They bring out the best in us. Think about how good it felt when you first fell in love and every cell in your body was glowing. Even better, think about the day you held your baby in your arms for the first time and your heart swelled to explosion with a love stronger than you every imagined.

They bring out the uncomfortable in us too. Think about your first heartbreak, or the unending anxiety you felt when your partner cheated on you. Remember all the words you said or didn’t say? I am sure you can think of many examples of this imperfection.

They way we love and our ability to share, express and receive love changes with time and experiences. What matters is that we keep GROWING. That we keep growing individually and in our intimate relationships. We are here to help each other develop beyond out instincts and our history.

Growth requires that we momentarily suspend our shame about being imperfect in relationships and accept ourselves as we are in this moment. When we accept our current situation and ourselves we become more authentic. Authenticity is the opposite of perfection. Authenticity is being with our inner truth. Authenticity invites intimacy. Think about how easy it is to connect with someone when you know they are being real with you.

So yes, I am a marriage counselor, and I am imperfectly growing in my relationships. I invite you to ask yourself… Am I growing? How can I let go of being perfect and be more authentic in this moment?

Kirsten May, MA LMFT

 

Why I Started Evolve Self-Care

Evolve Self-Care Serie

Tuesdays from 7:30-8:30pm Jan 16th- Feb 27th.

I started this group because as a therapist I know what burnout is like. It is a terrible place to be. I’ve lived it. I’ve watched my friends live it. Exhaustion, fatigue, hopelessness, irritability, poor immunity, feeling consumed by work are just are just a few of the symptoms.

Most of us get into healing/helping professions (therapist, teachers, doctors, nurses etc.) because we want to help others thrive. You would think that we would be the healthiest people because we have a lot of information about healthy living. However, that is not always the case. Often times the demands of the systems we work within in and the needs of students/clients/patients make this really difficult. Even the best of us need more skills and support to keep ourselves happy and healthy.

I am here to offer you tools and support that can help you thrive.

I know personally when I am experiencing burn-out doing the things I know will help myself is often difficult and/or I am too fatigued to do them. That is where the group comes into play. It is a place where you can come and refill yourself and be supported. This group is unique and we are going to focus on 4 critical aspects of self-care:

  1. Body Connection
  2. Energetic Awareness
  3. Rebuilding Vitality
  4. Maintaining Healthy Boundaries

And no, I am not going to tell you to eat healthy and exercise. I am going to teach you self-care from a new, holistic perspective. We will learn practices that come from energy psychology, shamanism and yoga. We will also build a community of support- and give you a space to be exactly where you are.

How to Enroll

  1. Email Kirstenmkeach@gmail.com for an application
  2. Choose a Payment Option
  3. Join the evolution
  4. Click here for more information

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Why Teach Tantra?

Why do I teach Tantra?

I teach Tantra because it transformed my life. It changed my life in ways that I didn’t even know were possible and it did so in a very short period of time. I believe all people deserve to experience bliss. 

I teach Tantra because so many women (and men) are misinformed about their own bodies and the real power of their sexuality/creativity/femininity. I think this is a disservice to everyone. Even, well-educated women like myself (yes, I have a degree in women’s studies) don’t have access to the information that they need to be fulfilled.

I teach Tantra because it is fun. I love teaching it and talking about it. Who doesn’t want a better sex life? It serves as a reminder that growth and healing doesn’t always have to be hard and painful. Healing can come through positive experiences, bliss and pleasure.

I teach Tantra because harmonious relationships make a more peaceful world. This is one way I can contribute to creating happy and balanced relationships. 

Join the next Unleash Your Feminine Mojo Workshop.

Your Pleasure is a Gift

Your Femininity is a Gift

Your Femininity is a gift- your pleasure is a gift that you give to the planet. I know that when I say this it may cause a reaction because so often in our culture femininity is viewed as dirty or bad. Sexuality, especially female sexuality is viewed the same way. So when I talk about femininity being a gift, it brings-up  internal voices that say otherwise. Femininity is… dirty, shameful, week, scary. It can bring to mind different archetypes that are often related to women. Women are often labeled as being a  virgin or whore and neither has a positive connotation. I want to challenge this binary view point. In fact, I am here to throw it out all together. Something else is possible. 

As women we have been culturally programed not to trust our feelings, our bodies, needs, our desires and ourselves. We have been programmed to put ourselves aside in order to take care of husbands, children, parents, families, and communities. In this, we loose touch with the critical importance of our pleasure, freedom, and our happiness. We base our worth on cultural expectations of success instead of what we know on the inside brings happiness, fulfillment, and spiritual growth.

When we are happy, fulfilled, content women the world around us gets better- substantially better. We have a huge influence in the world based in our own power, and in all of the relationships we interact with- be it family, work or otherwise. Really stop and think about how many people, places, and things you interact within a day. Now think about how different things would be if you walked around and interacted will of those same things from a state of joy or peace. How much would things change?

I would like to invite you to give yourself permission to find happiness based on the inside, your feeling center, your intuition and your connection to your body. To learn more check out the Unleash Your Feminine Mojo Workshop.

4 Ways to Stay Calm During the Hurricane

4 Ways to Stay Calm During the Hurricane

If you are anything like me you are  somewhere in Florida anxiously waiting for news on the hurricane and its path. I got up this morning and tried to go about life as usual, but it just didn’t happen. I walked in to teach my yoga class this morning and the students were all a buzz talking about Irma. Its just not a normal day.

Fear is in the air. The stores are selling out of water and emergency supplies. The sky is dark with clouds and I can’t shake this uneasy feeling.

When we are confronted with a crisis situation, like a natural disaster, our body reacts by going into fight, flight or freeze mode. This causes our body to flood with adrenaline and stress hormones. These hormones are in place so that we have the ability to evade a life threatening situation. If you are in a life-threatening situation, you should act immediately. But if we are not, these hormones leave us feeling on edge. We become hyper aware. So,  If you are feeling stressed, anxious, worried, and uneasy about the storm (or other disaster), here are a few techniques you can use to help your self-calm down

 1. Breathe

  • Close your eyes and notice how your body feels for a moment.
  • Take a big breath in through your nose.
  • Hold your breath in for about 2 seconds.
  • Make a slow controlled exhalation through your nose.
  • Allow your exhalation to be longer than your inhalation.
  • Continue this process for several breaths.
  • Notice how your body feel
  • Slow controlled exhalations can help to calm the body down- Try it for yourself and see how it works

2. Become present with your environment

  • Identify 5 things you see right now
  • Identify 4 things that you feel right now
  • Identify 3 things that you hear right now
  • Identify 2 things that you smell right now
  • Identify 1 thing that you taste right now

3. Review your safety plan

When you are starting to feel stressed or worried, going over your safety plan (or evacuation plan) can help calm the mind.

  • Write your safety plan on a piece of paper. This can help you to see that you have steps in place for how to handle a real emergency.
  • Talk it through with a friend or loved one. This can help with any areas that may need to be strengthened. 

4. Take things one-step at a time

You have to take the first step first. Breaking things down into small steps can help you respond effectively during high stress periods. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What has to happen next?
  • What small step can I take in this moment?

Sometimes taking a very small step forward can help break through the overwhelm.

STAY SAFE AND TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!

Tree Pose

Instructions

Begin Standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Find a still point in front of you & focus your gaze

Shift your weight onto your right foot

Lift your left foot place the left heel on the ankle or thigh

Place your palms together at heart center or extend arms overhead

Engage your root lock & pull your belly in towards your spine

Benefits

Improves balance, focus and memory.

Strengthens ankles and knees

Contraindications

Recent or chronic knee or hip injury

7 Ways Yoga Can Improve Intimacy in Your Relationship

7 Ways Yoga Can Improve Intimacy in Your Relationship

By: Kirsten Keach MA, LMFT

Do you ever get home at the end of a long day and finally have a few minutes to spend with your significant other but find that all you want to do is use your computer, watch TV, or sleep? Do you find it happening more frequently? We live in a fast paced often over stressed world. It is hard to connect with our significant others when we are experiencing chronic stress as it leads to anxiety, worry, fatigue, physical discomfort and a general state of preoccupation. Our most intimate relationships are the first to suffer. Luckily, practicing yoga offers you a way to decrease the impacts of stress while simultaneously building positive emotional and physical states. This leaves us with more to give to ourselves and our signifiant others.

Regular Yoga Practice Can have the Following Benefits:

  1. Increases Positive Emotions 
  2. Decreases Anxiety and Depression
  3. Decreases Emotional Reactivity
  4. Builds Energy and Vitality
  5. Builds Flexibility 
  6. Increases Body Connection
  7. Increases Present Moment Awareness

American Psychological Association: Yoga as a Practice ToolHarvard Medical School: Yoga for Anxiety and DepressionPsychology Today: Take a Stand for Yoga Today

Beginning a yoga practice can be simple. The positive benefits of yoga can be experienced even with a short practice.

A Simple Yoga Series to Begin Practicing:

I’ve chosen these poses for their simplicity as well as physical and emotional benefits. Click on the links below for step-by-step instructions. Namaste, Kirsten

Mountain Pose

Tree Pose

Wide Legged Forward Fold

Cow Face Pose

Interested in trying a yoga inspired therapy session Click Here, Interested in attending a workshop Click Here.

Simple Mindfulness Activity for Kids (and grown-ups)


Simple Mindfulness Activity for Kids (and grown-ups)

One Spring day I was on the verge of having an unexplained panic attack. Intuitively and for no real reason, I grabbed the half gallon jar of change I’d been collecting. I poured the jar out on to my bed and began counting. First, I separated out the change by type of coin. Then I began counting the money as I returned it to the jarChange for Mindfulness. By the end of the activity I found that I had completely forgotten about my panic and was in a calm regulated state of mind. Now, I repeat this activity when I am in a heightened state of anxiety.

This fun activity functions as a type of meditation and can be used in times of heightened emotion, or as a practice for increasing focus and concentration.

Step One: Find a large jar and begin filling it with coins. Colorful rocks or large marbles are a great substitute especially for younger children.

Step Two: Find a nice flat surface and pour out the contents of the jar. Sort the contents of jar in some sort of pattern. This could include sorting by type of coin, or by color or shape if you are using stones or marbles.  

Step Three: Place the contents back into the jar on piece at a time.

Elements that Enhance this Activity: One of the best parts of this activity is that it is tactile and engages senses in the hands. For some children this is especially helpful in helping them focus and calm down. I also love that you can do this activity with things you likely have in your home right now.

Additionally there are many metaphors and connections that can drawn from this activity. For example, it amazes me that the jar in the picture contains $37. It reminds me that all of the small moments in life add up to something larger.

There are many ways to utilize this activity. I hope you enjoy it.