Mindfulness is a buzzword and a word that I hear a lot. But what exactly does it mean? And what does it have to do with sexual intimacy? Today’s episode is one I’ve wanted to bring to you for a while, Diamonds, and I am so excited to introduce you to this week’s guest.
Dr. Jessie Mahoney is a board-certified pediatrician and mindful life coach. She is the founder of Pause and Presence, host of The Mindful Healers Podcast, and is a certified yoga teacher who teaches mindful yoga for healers. She joins me this week to share what mindfulness is and how to approach sexual intimacy from a place of mindfulness.
Join us this week for a discussion about how to bring mindfulness into sex, sexuality, self-pleasure, and intimacy. Discover the importance of staying non-judgmental in your life, and how to stop moving through the world on autopilot and start responding intentionally to your life.
You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, episode 55.
Welcome to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women™ Podcast, the only show that combines a fun personality, medical knowledge, sexual counseling, and life coaching together. To create unique sex coaching that helps busy women awaken their libidos, address intimacy issues, and learn how to express their sexuality for the rest of their days. Here is your host, certified life coach and sexual counselor, Dr. Sonia Wright.
Hello Diamonds. It’s Dr. Sonia. It’s so good to have you all here. I hope your week has been great. I just want to be saying that I am celebrating my birthday month. And I’m celebrating the fact that the podcast has been on for more than a year now. And I’m just enjoying life in general. And I had the opportunity to have my guest speaker on this week. And I’m just so excited to introduce her to you. She’s just fabulous. Her name is Dr. Jessie Mahoney. And she is a coach. She’s a mindfulness coach. She’s a yoga instructor. She’s just amazing.
And at the beginning of this conversation, she introduces herself. And I’ll have all of her contact information in the show notes. But I was just so excited for this conversation that we had about sex, sexuality, intimacy and mindfulness. It’s been something that I’ve been wanting to bring to you for a while. And I just love Jessie and her approach to things. And so, I’m just excited that she is able to come on the podcast and talk to us all about mindfulness, what that is, how we can approach sexual intimacy from a place of mindfulness.
I’m just excited to have this episode and to have you all be able to listen and learn as much as I listened and learned while I was talking to her. So, she is so fabulous. And we’re going to get started. Alright, Diamonds I hope you enjoy this episode.
Sonia: Hello, hello, hello everybody. I’m so excited to have this next speaker here today. I just can’t tell you how amazing she is and how lucky I am to have her agree to come and talk to us about mindfulness and sex. So, this is Dr. Jessie Mahoney and I’m going to have her introduce herself and tell us all about herself. And then we’re just going to start talking about mindfulness because this is some important work that she does, especially just in life in general. But also, when we’re talking about sex, and sexuality, and intimacy.
And I just love her and I love her message and I just wanted to share her with you. So here you go, Dr. Mahoney, take it away.
Jessie: Thank you so much for having me, super fun. So, to introduce myself. I am a board certified pediatrician, also a certified life coach. And I call what I do mindful coaching. I am the founder of something called Pause and Presence. And I imagine we’ll talk a little bit more about that and what I do there. And I teach something called mindful yoga for healers. I’m a certified yoga teacher and for me yoga isn’t just about yoga, it’s about living life from a yoga perspective. And a lot of that is, I think that we’re going to talk about in terms of bringing mindfulness to sex.
I have a podcast called The Mindful Healers Podcast. And I do a lot of work in something called The Mindful Healthcare Collective. And in all of those the idea is bringing mindfulness into your life. And so, I’m not so much of a strict mindfulness person where it’s mindfulness sitting on a mat meditating. But bringing mindfulness to everything that you do. So, I often talk a lot about mindfulness in nature. And as I was thinking about your course and how bringing mindfulness to sex just changes that. I do a lot of work on challenging relationships.
And so, bringing mindfulness there is very similar actually to bringing mindfulness to sex. So, we’ll talk a little bit about that. And a little about me because I always think it’s relevant in these conversations. I have three boys who are 25, 21 and 16 now. And I have also been married for over 28 years. So, I bring that perspective to the conversations on relationships.
Sonia: Fabulous. So, I want to start at the very beginning if I can. And mindfulness, that’s a word I hear a lot. And it’s kind of like a buzz phrase or a buzzword. But what exactly is mindfulness? I just would love to start with just the basics here.
Jessie: So, in my mind, mindfulness is a way of showing up in the world. And I actually like to think of it as pausing and being present. And so, we often move through the world on autopilot and we react to things as opposed to responding intentionally. And so, mindfulness is when you pause and you are there in the moment to experience it all. There are a lot of different ways of thinking about mindfulness and different approaches and philosophies on mindfulness. But to me it’s really being present in the moment for whatever is.
And there are a couple of things about it that I think are really critical which is mindfulness includes non-judgment. And so, we often say in mindfulness, the only thing you can do wrong is judge how you’re doing it. And so that’s a really critical piece aside from noticing, and being aware, and being present. The other piece in mindfulness is compassion and kindness, however you want to call it. And that’s actually an integral component of it. So, if we aren’t nice to ourselves then we’re not really being mindful.
And so, noticing how you’re showing up for yourself and showing up with compassion. The other key piece I think that ties into a lot of what we’re talking about is acceptance. And so, mindfulness is accepting what is. And so, you’re accepting things exactly as they are, whether it may be your body and what it looks like, or your relationship and what it is like, or your partner and what they are like, or your kids or what they are like. And so, relationships are a really long journey.
And so just sort of accepting – I often talk about the season that you’re in and whether I’m in the menopausal season because I’m in my 50s. So that’s the season I’m in. And it’s very different than the season I was in, in my 20s. And same thing, I’m in the parenting part of the journey where there are teens and young adults and I have to respond that way. And I’m in the relationship journey where we’re 28 years in, there’s a lot, well, actually more than that because we were together before we got married. But there’s a lot that’s happened.
And so, it’s sort of what you decide to do with that. So, mindfulness is just being present with what is exactly as it is, nonjudgmentally, compassionately.
Another piece of it that I really like to bring in is non-striving. So, you’re not searching for a goal, you’re just there, non-striving. So that’s why you can bring mindfulness to meditation, which would be strict or formal mindfulness. But you can also bring it to walking on the beach or in this case, sex. It’s just being present with some of those sort of caveats and parameters that help you get back to the moment. It’s being in the moment without judgment.
Sonia: Okay. So, what I’m hearing from mindfulness is being present, being in the moment, and not specifically in a particular order but non-judgment, having self-compassion or kindness for yourself, and acceptance. Acceptance of what is.
Sonia: So, it kind of feels like just being in the moment and breathing and existing.
Jessie: Yeah. Well, I think many of us make it hard, I need to get trained in mindfulness, there’s some fancy way to do it. I like to say it is hard in that most of us haven’t lived life that way. So, we have just been reacting like a ping pong ball. And mindfulness is showing up in that moment intentionally, just in the moment. And it’s uncomfortable because you’re not looking back at how you got here, or where you’re supposed to be. It’s literally being in the moment. So, it takes practice.
There’s a phrase that I really like which is what you practice grows. And mindfulness is a practice. And so, when you first start doing it you honestly won’t be good at it. Although we’re not supposed to be judgmental about it. But it’s going to feel uncomfortable because it’s just something different and something new. We’re just used to operating on autopilot and also having tons of stories about things. And so, the idea is you can let go of all those stories because mindfulness doesn’t have all those stories. It’s literally just in the moment for what is.
Sonia: In the moment for what is, okay. So, let’s talk a little bit about mindfulness and sex. Because there’s so many layers here. And we are so much in our mind when it comes to sex and sexuality. And so how do we start just begin to apply mindfulness to sex and sexuality? Or is mindfulness kind of like a container that surrounds sex and sexuality? How do you begin to – I don’t know if you merge the two but how do you begin to mindfully think about sex and sexuality or bring those together?
Jessie: I think it’s an approach. So, it’s an approach. It’s how you show up for it. And so, if you show up with these ideas of I’m just going to be present in the moment, nonjudgmentally, accept what is then all of a sudden all the other stuff falls away. That’s this idea of sort of pausing and being present. All the other, I’m going to call it garbage, and noise, and cobwebs, and frustrations, they can all sort of fall away. And so, it allows you to just have that sort of moment in time and enjoy it for what is.
We often struggle, and I think with even the idea of is it okay to be enjoying, or can I enjoy this while there’s all this other stuff to do and all this other bad things happening in the world? And so, it’s really, I guess, you could say it’s a framework but I like to think of it as an approach because it’s an approach to life. So, you just sort of approach everything with this, a bit more spacious and receptive approach and you see what happens.
Sonia: Yeah. So, so many women come to me and they have an agenda. And it’s interesting how they have an agenda but they may not even be in their own agenda. Their agenda is to have more sex because their partner wants more sex or to get an orgasm because that’s what society says that they should be having. And I try to slow them down and say, “Well, what exactly would you like in this situation, what about you?” And it’s blank stares, “What do you mean what about me?” There is an agenda that must be adhered to and there is a goal. But you’re saying, it doesn’t necessarily have to be like that?
Jessie: Well, and mindfulness doesn’t have an agenda. Mindfulness just shows up. And I would say we often don’t know what we want. But what if you just kind of show up? Now, I’ve taken your course so I can – maybe you don’t even know. You have this idea of the things that are broken, or problematic, or not working and what you’re supposed to be doing. And a lot of that is external. And so, mindfulness just allows you to just sort of fall back into your relationship and notice.
And this would be a little bit more directed mindfulness but notice what’s working. And notice what is actually functioning and what feels good. And sort of just tap into that. We spend all our time, especially high achieving women, identifying all the things that are broken and need to be fixed. And mindfulness doesn’t do that. It’s just in the moment. You can fix things later. But often you discover you don’t need to fix them.
Sonia: Wow. So, it’s just kind of what exactly is happening right now and then just being here with that, not necessarily having an agenda, not needing to fix things. And it is so true that so often, especially with high achieving women, we come with this agenda that must be adhered to. And then you come along and say, “Yeah. No, it doesn’t have to be that way.” And it throws off everything. It’s like, what do you mean? It gets you to that place where you may be questioning your whole life and your whole existence, right?
Jessie: Well, and mindfulness does that. But what I have found and this just doesn’t even tie into sex. But we have this idea of how it’s supposed to be. And then you get there and you’re like, “Well, this isn’t what I thought and this isn’t actually making me happy.” And so, the mindfulness is really just allowing yourself to be you and sort of just experiencing life as it is. And all of a sudden it’s much better and that ties into the sex part too. Things just start to pop up in technicolor.
And I often notice that when I’ve been particularly mindful, if you’re in nature all of a sudden the flowers are like crazy different, crazy beautiful, and the trees look more beautiful and your relationships look more beautiful. And it’s really because you’ve let go of that struggle of some idea of how it’s supposed to be. So, it’s partly the acceptance but it’s also the non-striving. It’s just experiencing life as it is. And for high achieving women and I’m one of those, we spend our whole lives striving.
So, when you stop striving it’s like who am I if I don’t strive? But what can happen is you just have this much more beautiful experience of everything.
Sonia: And there has to be a level of trust because you have this much more beautiful experience but you have to trust yourself enough to let go and to allow, and to get to that experience. Because when you’re in the process of the letting go and the allowing it feels like the wheels have gone off the car. It could feel like that. And you’re like, “Why am I even doing this?” And you’re at that point where you have a decision to make. You can decide to go back to the way you’ve done things or you can decide to trust and go forward and allow.
So, can you talk a little bit about what would be something to think or how to proceed when things feel really unknown and unfamiliar as you’re getting to that place where you’re starting to see the beauty of it all?
Jessie: Well, I think the key thing is trust, honestly, trusting yourself. And so, you may, if you have done no mindfulness I would recommend just sort of practicing easy mindfulness. And I am sort of one who says, easy activation energy. So do an app for five minutes, or do a mindful walk, or get into it slowly because you don’t go from being not mindful to being mindful, that would be terrifying. But you can also relax, we talk about this in yoga. You relax into the hard.
And so, when it feels uncomfortable and you’re trying something new you just realize what feels uncomfortable because it’s new, it’s not that it’s wrong. But you do have to tap into trusting yourself and that’s really the key. We always want the other person to do something to help us feel trusting and to tell us the situation is okay. Mindfulness actually, when you’re able to be present and it’s actually present with yourself, then you can trust yourself, that you will have your own back.
And that for me is the key thing is that you can always be unmindful. You can always go back to the way you were if you want. But we have to change for things to change. And so just this is an opportunity to try something, do a small test of change. My vision would be to – if someone had never sort of been really present for sex, they’re always thinking about lists, or to do lists, and I know that everyone has done that at some point. Try just being present for a minute and see what happens. How does it feel? What do you want to do? Is that too much?
You can play with it. It’s like we get to experiment. And I know you espouse that a lot. And so, you don’t have to go in full force and change everything all at once. But I think it’s an opportunity or an offering to see what else is possible. And when you approach things differently in your whole life, whether it’s sex, or relationships, or parenting. So much else becomes more possible when you open up to it. It’s a learned process. You don’t learn it overnight all of a sudden. I go from not trusting myself to trusting myself today.
Sonia: Yeah. I love that, especially for all of you women that are listening that have this performance anxiety, you’re up in your mind as to how things should be and how you should be looking, and how you should be acting during sex and things like that. Jessie is saying that you don’t have to throw all that out all at once. You could just spend a minute in your body and maybe it feels good, maybe it feels a little uncomfortable or different. And that’s okay. And then you can go back up to your mind if you need to.
And maybe the next time you spend two minutes in your body, is that what I’m hearing, and kind of do it over a slower process?
Jessie: Yeah. And then the other thing would be doing it in other parts of your life that are a little bit less edgy. Because I think for many women that sex is a little edgy, it’s a little vulnerable. There’s another person there or maybe there isn’t. But you’re still getting to some point where you’re really letting go. And so, yoga’s my thing. If you practice yoga, you’re practicing mindfulness. You’re practicing being in your body and feeling it in much more likely a safer space. And so, you get used to noticing things in a space that feels more comfortable. You get used to grounding.
And one of the things I’ve learned through yoga is my sit bones are my grounding thing. And so, whenever I sit, if I just focus on them, I all of a sudden land from all those spinning thoughts. And so, you can begin to learn about your own body and what works for you. And for everybody it’s different. For some people it’s their feet that are grounding. For some people it’s hand to heart is another one that I do a lot of. And for me that immediately taps me right back in.
And so, practicing different things that allow you to ground into your body and feel safe and comfortable with yourself. And then when you show up for sex it’s a totally different experience.
Sonia: That is really great. It actually makes me think about something and I don’t know, I’m just throwing this out at you, so, sorry. But I’m wondering, when you’re in your body with yoga and the mindfulness, a lot of women have not been taught to be aware of their vulva region. It’s almost like okay, if you’re doing a body scan, we look at the toes. We feel the ankles. We feel halfway to the thighs. And then suddenly we jump to our bellybutton. And it’s like hello, did I miss something? I think that there is a big section that’s missed.
And that happens so often that women don’t even know what they’re feeling. If you’re in the middle of pleasure or if you’re in the middle of sexual intimacy. And some of them, they don’t know what it feels like in their vulva region because they have actively spent much of their young adulthood avoiding even acknowledging that they have a vulva region. So, if I have one of my Diamonds that’s like this, she can get into her body, she feels her fingers and her arms can move. But how does she tap into sensations in her vulva?
Jessie: So, I have two thoughts which is that you experiment and try it and you just go there. And again, you can go there for a minute and come back out. I mean I think the reason that in traditional body scans, much of that stuff was even done in person. And so, it would bring an edge to say a group class, no one would want to do that. So that would be something that you would probably do more on your own and that that’s probably why we skip that part. And culturally we skip that part. So just acknowledging that that’s not something we try.
So, you could go there in your mind and just try it yourself. And again, the offering would be 30 seconds, because it might be uncomfortable. You’ve never tried it before. The other thought I have is if you think about, we talk in yoga about chakras and centers. And so, you have your solar plexus which is your bellybutton and your sacral plexus and then your root chakra. And they are actually aligned with the spine and much of our sexuality comes from the sacral plexus.
And so first of all, I would offer to people who are interested, read about that. Because there is a lot of really interesting, really sort of history, and wisdom, and medicine, old, old medicine, with that area, and sort of connecting with that. And that would be a way to tap in closer to sort of your fertility and your sexual being, and then you could move. Because when I hear you say that, I’m just going to be like, “That would be pretty edgy to just start doing that.” For most of the world.
And so, this would be sort of you don’t have to jump from A to Z. And to move more slowly. And that if you went from sort of the chakras, you can go from your solar plexus down to your sacral plexus, down to your root chakra. And really that will get you more in touch with that whole part of your body.
The cool thing about that part of your body is that’s also the grounding, rooting part of your body. And so that is where the true trust comes. So, if you get to know it you can move forward a little bit more intentionally and from a sense of safety. Because if you’re not familiar with mindfulness I think jumping to doing that in the genital region might be too much for many people. But with practice it would be a very powerful exercise.
Sonia: And so, I have a lot of Diamonds that are also saying they don’t know how to masturbate. They don’t know how to do self-pleasure. And so, I would imagine that mindfulness can also be used as a key way to tap into the allowing and to be mindful about the sensations that you’re feeling as well. So, what do you think in terms of mindfulness and self-pleasure? Do you have any thoughts around that?
Jessie: Well, it’s really staying in the moment and being nonjudgmental. Because if people are new at it or haven’t been doing it, or are uncomfortable with it, the mind’s going to go to the judgment, and potentially the striving also. And so just once again, being present in the moment and noticing and being aware of what’s happening without judgment and with the kindness, compassion so that whatever is happening is fine.
Having been a part of your group I think so many people come into it, we have all these judgments, that’s how it’s supposed to be. And so, can you let go of those judgments of how it’s supposed to be, whether it’s a manual of how it’s supposed to be or societal expectations and just see what happens?
Sonia: Yeah. I love how you talk about the striving because so much of society says that sex or sexual intimacy isn’t actually good sex unless there’s an orgasm. So, so many people come to me and they’re striving for the orgasm part of it as opposed to if you’re going to at least strive, strive for the pleasure side of it. But is there another way to even come at all this where it’s not about the orgasm? Because I try to focus on the connection, the satisfaction, the pleasure and kind of get people’s focus off this orgasm thing.
And so, what if you didn’t even have a goal at all, just to enjoy sex? So also, of course my mind is skipping around. So, you’re talking about seasons. And I love how you’re talking about seasons in a person’s life. So how do we use mindfulness for the season that we’re in? You’re in your 50s, I’m in my 50s, hot flushing like a beast. The spark, the initial libido spark that was there in my 20s where I’m like how you do it. Now in my 50s I’ve got to work at it sometimes. And I tell my Diamonds that nothing has gone wrong. How do you bring mindfulness to this season of life?
Jessie: I’m going to answer your first question first and then I’ll get to the second. I just wrote it down because I didn’t want to forget it. So, I think, I like to think of it as intentions rather than goals. And that’s a mindful word. We choose an intention in yoga class and in my coaching I think it’s this idea of how you want to experience life, and/or how you want to experience sex. And so, and intention is like an aspiration or a wish but it’s not a goal. And to me it’s a feeling.
And so, if you for example think about sex. And I’ll just have it be partner sex because it’s a little bit easier to talk about in that way. But if you have an intention for how you want to show up for the experience. That can sort of be your light post. And it’s not about the end product, it’s about – so say your intention is to feel connected, for example. You just focus on in the whole experience, am I feeling connected?
What would – so I always ask the question, what would connection do? And so, connection would get out of your head and come back into the moment with your partner. Or connection the other way to think about it is connection would actually connect. Because we often wait for the other person to do the connecting and that they should do this, or they should do that. And so, if you’re looking for connection, then you want to show up connecting for example.
Or say you want to approach it with love, and that’s another word that I think, just sometimes the bigger more expansive words can be helpful. Or peace, if you have a lot of drama or a lot of stress around it. Maybe you just want to approach the whole experience feeling peaceful. Then you can guide yourself along the way, well what would peace do in this moment? And it seems like a silly question but it can guide you to well, would peace hug your partner? Or would peace go in this direction, or peace stop?
Or would peace go on a trip somewhere that where you really have more connection? I think we have so much drama about who needs to connect first and how this all happens. And so, I find that intention of how you want to feel, I can’t think of another good feeling word. But to me it’s really if you tap into that it can be super helpful.
And one other thought popped up around connection which is that in my experience many male partners in particular see the sex as the connection and they’re connected by having sex. And the women want to feel connected before they have sex. And so, the idea is to notice that you both want connection, it just looks different. And so how can you show up, each of you show up connecting in different ways? And that tends to get you to a place where everyone feels better.
Sonia: Yeah, I love that. It just shows up differently. And if we can have an understanding of what my connection is and what their connection may be, then that’s helpful to know that, okay the goal or the intention is the connection. It just it’s showing up a little differently, and that’s okay.
Jessie: You might also have different intentions and that’s okay too. Their intention might be pleasure and your intention might be connection. And that’s okay. I would just tap into what’s in your control as how you want to show up for it. And we might – as you said that, I was like, “Yeah, what if they’re different?” But that’s okay.
Sonia: But that’s completely okay, because we have no control over the other person. And it’s okay if they want something different. But how can we come together and have a beautiful experience, whatever?
Jessie: And then the seasons. So, I think the season is again, taps into intention because it’s sort of how you want to show up for this season of your sexuality, or your relationship, or your body. And I think we let the world dictate our intentions, or what they should be, or what it should look like. And I would even say, in the menopause season we think we’re not supposed to be interested, or we’re supposed to have problems, or we’re supposed to have this, or supposed to have that.
And yet I think for many it’s a great season in a long term relationship, or maybe there’s a bumpy year or two where you don’t feel right, or a month or two where you don’t feel right. And it’s just relaxing into that. And realizing that it’s a long game and it isn’t going to – it’s not just because it’s not working right now for you, or for them, or for whatever. As you know I have had a long term injury. And that’s caused more problems and less problems in different seasons, and that’s fine.
It is, it’s like you don’t want to fight the reality of the situation and we don’t all have to meet society’s expectations. You do want to obviously, it’s usually a team sport, you usually have a partner, it’s not always, but that then of course there’s some – you want, both people are involved. And so, you don’t want to just say, “This is my season where we don’t have any sex.” Because that might not go over too well. But how can you accommodate everyone’s seasons and just relaxing into the fact that this could be a slow season, or a busy season.
And I think taking the drama and the stories out of it and just tapping into – have a talk about what you want as opposed to what you should want. And so, we have so many things about what we should want. But what is it you really want out of it? And I would go bigger and say, well, how do you want to feel about sex and about your relationship? And that, then you just get out of all the weeds of it.
Sonia: Yeah, definitely. And then in terms of the intention and the sex and sexual intimacy, and you know I love to work with thoughts around you get to have a different definition of sex and sexual intimacy. So, if you’re in the season it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the end to everything, and maybe just the beginning of a new way. And if you’re allowing the season then you actually could open something really beautiful. But you just have to be in that place where you’re allowing things. So yeah, definitely.
Jessie: I’m thinking, it’s fall, and we don’t resist the fact that the trees are changing on the leaves, we don’t think – or the leaves are changing on the trees. We don’t think that’s bad, we’re like, “It’s fall, it’s crisp, it’s this.” And yet in our lives, and as we age, and in our relationships also, even if say a spouse were in residency, that would be a season. Or you’ve had a baby, that’s a different season. And you’re just going to get to another season, that’s sort of the nature.
Sonia: Yeah. And I think in terms of seasons, if our partner has a penis and the penis is going into a different season, and it’s not necessarily doing what it was doing possibly before. Society says it’s time to shut it all down. But no, it’s just another season and that’s okay. As you say, we don’t resist fall, we don’t resist winter, we don’t resist. We’re just like, “Okay, well it’s summer time, I’m going to be swimming. In the winter I’m going to be skiing.”
So, this is a different season of your life. So how do you have a different way of approaching it and still having fun and still enjoying yourself? So, so often I have partners that are like, “Yeah, we really started having some beautiful sexual intimacy when my partner’s penis was not as erect as often.” Because things slowed down and had to have a new idea and a concept of what intimacy and connection was. So, it doesn’t necessarily mean you close up shop. But you allow what is and you kind of go with it and you create something that’s really beautiful from the situation.
Jessie: I think we often catastrophize too, or we think it’s a loss. But it actually could be better. And it also doesn’t necessarily mean it’s final, it will never come back. Our brain just tells all these stories about it. But mindfulness would just say you just accept and allow whatever is. And when you’re open to it, as you mentioned, things can be much better. Different isn’t worse, it’s just different, and it could be a lot better.
Sonia: Yeah. And I love what you say about the stories. You’re right, our minds go to the worst case scenario that it’s all an end. It’s always the same story that we have, it’s kind of a little different. But it’s always something about it’s the worst case scenarios, all at an end, it will never be the same again, it’s over and done. And instead of being like, okay, that is a story that our mind is coming up with. We get to choose if we want that story or not. Or we can just allow what’s happening at this point in time.
And go into maybe an observation mode. Instead of the – if you’re not taking the story, what do you suggest? If your brain wants to grab onto that story, what would you suggest instead?
Jessie: I often think about being neutral. And that seems maybe negative. But what would neutral do? If you didn’t tell a bad story, you can either choose a different story or you can choose no story. I had someone come up with this concept once for me personally, which is, can you put the heavy backpack down? And it’s like you can just put the heavy backpack of the story down and just show up in the moment and see what else is there.
And I think relationships have seasons too. So, we often come into the sex conversation with, “Well, the relationship isn’t good enough.” Or “My partner has this problem.” Or, “My partner’s struggling with this.” Or, “They don’t show up this way.” And then that impacts the whole sex thing. And it’s like, but what if it’s all just seasons and it’s not necessarily one dependent on the other? It’s being in the moment and maybe the sex can help to heal the relationship. Or you can heal the relationship to heal. It’s not one or the other.
And so, it’s really just – I think what I would offer is softening in or relaxing in to the complexity of it. We want to often understand it. But sometimes we don’t have to understand it. You could just show up and just see what the experience is about.
Sonia: Relaxing into the complexity of it all, just softening in. I love that. Okay, well, we’re coming to the conclusion. Is there any last thing that you’d like our listeners to hear from you? Is there anything that you really want to make sure that they hear and see about you?
Jessie: Well, so one thought is just this idea of bringing mindfulness to everything that you do. And it doesn’t have to be hard. And so, this idea which I talked about in your course about mindful sex, which is being present for it versus mind full sex, which is bringing all the stories, and all the frustrations, and all of the past and future into the situation. And so, you can choose that in your relationships, and your life, and your approach to your work, and your approach to yourself.
And so that it’s really just a different lens with which you look at the world, and approach the world, and show up with intention. And then as far as my own work, I do what I call mindful coaching where I bring mindfulness and coaching together. And even just like the sex conversation, mindfulness is sort of synergistic to all the other things you want to accomplish in the world. And so, mindfulness creates this space, and this openness, and this receptivity. And that’s in that space, you’re much more able to change your thoughts about things and the way you experience the world.
And so, whether you’re wanting coaching literally on sex, or your parenting, or your relationships, or your job. When you bring the mindfulness to it, it’s synergistic to however you want to change. And it helps you make those adaptations and shift your thought patterns, and expectations, and frustrations in a much more easeful way. So, you don’t have to bash your head against the wall about, I need to change this, and I need to fix this. It actually just sort of opens up these doors like the softness and relaxing in.
Sonia: Wonderful. And so how can people find you? Or who do you work with? And how can they connect with you?
Jessie: So, I work with people who are successful on the surface but struggle underneath. And I sort of consider it a family practice kind of coaching because I am a pediatrician by training. So, relationships and parenting are in my wheelhouse. But I also came to coaching through some challenges in my own relationship. And so, I love doing relationship coaching. And then I have this quite long background in physician wellness. So, I love do career coaching. And what I’ve discovered is that almost all my clients come with actually all of these things.
And so, because they bring their brain wherever they go. And so that’s where I went back to the more global, successful on the surface but struggling underneath with whatever you happen to be struggling. And usually, they come with one intense struggle, but it turns out that it’s influencing all the other things in their life.
And so, I do both one-on-one coaching and then I have some groups that are focused on very specific topics. So, challenging relationships and transforming them into, I call amazing ones, with mindfulness and intention. Parenting with presence, same idea, essentially using mindfulness and intention. And coaching I see as is the intention. That’s the shifting your mindset with purpose, tapping into what you really want and being intentional about how you show up in the world. And that’s the work that we do in the pause to change our experience of life.
And so, people can find me, my business is called Pause and Presence Coaching. So, you can search Pause and Presence. My website is actually my name, jessiemahoneymd.com. And it’s Jessie with an I-E.
Sonia: Okay, fabulous. So, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. Thank you, this has just been fantastic. And I will mindfully be doing more actually of this. I’m focusing a lot on mindfulness because it’s really at the center when we’re talking about sex and intimacy. So, I’m just so excited to have you. And thank you so much for coming and talking to us. And thank you for all that you do.
Jessie: My pleasure, thanks for having me.
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