Mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. As we start this new year, I want to introduce the thought of mindfulness and non-judgment as it relates to sexual intimacy and discuss the importance of being kind to ourselves and not judging our thoughts.
Join me this week as I talk about the concept of mindfulness and the importance of being in the present moment. I’m sharing the importance of mindfulness in everyday life and showing you how to use it on your journey to achieving your sexual intimacy goals this year.
You are listening to The Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast, episode 19.
Female Announcer: 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. Once again welcome to 2021. I think the majority of us are pretty happy to say hello to 2021 and the promise of a new year. For those of you that don’t know, I actually lead a monthly book club in my Own Your Sexuality Now program. And right now we’re reading Better Sex Through Mindfulness. It’s a book by Dr. Lori Brotto.
I’m thoroughly enjoying this book and I wanted to talk more about it with my Diamonds today. The main reason that I wanted to talk about it is because I’m really enjoying this concept of mindfulness, specifically as mindfulness relates to slowing down, being aware of our thoughts and practicing non-judgment.
Right now we’re at the beginning of a new year and during this time many of us are making our annual New Year’s resolutions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m one of those people who loves making and executing on my New Year’s resolution.
In fact my word for 2021 also reflects my love for goals; the word is ‘manifest’. Okay, I tend to take this resolution thing a little bit to the extreme; I usually have between 15 to 20 different resolutions. For me they’re a lot of fun and I love the challenge but I also admit that 15 to 20 is probably far too many resolutions. But I like to see what’s possible. Some of these resolutions are straightforward but at least one or two of them are usually my stretch goals that really cause me to up-level in the pursuit of these goals.
I usually accomplish the majority of my New Year’s resolution in that year, but if not it does go into the next year and then I’ll usually accomplish it by the second year in. I find that accomplishing my goals it’s very motivating, it’s fun, it’s enjoyable. And I really get excited to see what is possible, what I can accomplish within a 12 month period of time. But, there’s always a but, but I also found I tend to beat myself up emotionally if I don’t accomplish my goals in this perceived timely manner, or with the exact result that I think it should be.
Yeah, I do have that emotional bully of perfectionism that comes to visit me periodically. I have all these thoughts and ideas about how things should be and how things should happen, how it should go, how I should perform and execute. Some of you might be having these same thoughts and ideas when it comes to your sexual intimacy goals for the year. Now, don’t worry, we are going to be talking about sexual intimacy goals this month.
But first – first I want to introduce this concept of mindfulness so that we can use it as a tool when we’re dealing with our sexual intimacy issues in 2021. First, let’s go back to 2020, I know, I know, that’s not where most people want to go. But let’s just go back to 2020 for a minute. 2020 taught me one thing and that was to slow down and appreciate what I have. It taught me to be mindful.
But what exactly is mindfulness? The Google say mindfulness is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. I love that, kindly and calmly acknowledging and accepting. I love that. It can also involve breathing techniques, guided imagery, meditation but what I really like about mindfulness is the focus on non-judgment and being in the present moment.
Mindfulness teachings they suggest that we don’t have to give power to every thought that comes to our mind. And we have at least 6,000 thoughts, individual thoughts that are in our mind each day, that’s a lot of thoughts to keep track of. Or we can decide not to keep track of them. We can simply acknowledge the thought and choose not to act on that thought. We could actually think of our thoughts as byproducts of our mind. Just like carbon dioxide is a byproduct of the lungs, thoughts could be considered a byproduct of your mind.
We could just acknowledge the thought and then put it to the side with a simple comment like, “That’s a thought”, or, “That’s kind of interesting.” And put it to the side from a place of non-judgment, not rejecting and pushing it away, but just kind of observing and then putting it to the side, just moving it to the side. I like to think of this thought bin where I can just kind of pick up a thought and kind of just let it go into the thought bin. We don’t have to react to this thought. We don’t have to judge the thought. And we don’t have to try to fix the thought, definitely not right away.
So as we start this new year I’m actually wanting to introduce the idea of mindfulness and non-judgment as it relates to our New Year’s resolution and also as it relates to sexual intimacy. What do you think? Do you think we can address our New Year’s resolutions from a place of mindfulness? Can we look at our sexual intimacy goals in 2021 from a place of non-judgment?
As I said before, I really love the New Year’s resolutions. But I want to figure out a way to approach the resolution a different way. I definitely want to figure out a new way to approach it for myself and also for my Diamonds, says that we’re not judging ourselves as we work towards achieving these goals.
I previously talked about emotional bullies and the Diamond community being a bully free zone. And so I hope that my Diamonds do not choose blame, and shame, and guilt, judgment or perfection, but that we find a new way. Is there a way for us to have New Year’s resolutions and goals without having those emotional bullies on our back? This, this is my work for 2021, this is my goal, to figure it out, to find a way to accomplish my goals and to recognize that there’s going to be failure along the way. And you know what? That is okay.
All success is built on a pile of failures and this is no different. As we work for our sexual intimacy goals, and to improve things, we just need to recognize that there will be failure. And what if we allowed this failure? What if we were willing to fail at our goals and to get up and to try again?
Let’s say that the goal was to improve the sexual intimacy in our relationships, what if we were willing to initially fail at improving the sexual intimacy in our relationship but continue to try and try again? What if we acted from a place of mindfulness and non-judgment? What if we didn’t interpret our goal failure as a personal failure? What if we didn’t blame ourself or beat ourselves up?
What if we did not make our goal failures mean anything except the fact that we had not accomplished our goal yet? That’s all we have to think, I have not accomplished the goal yet. Maybe if we approach it from a place of non-judgment we could actually stay in the present moment. Usually when we start judging our failures we’re not longer staying in the present moment. Either we have gone to the past to find proof that we are in fact a failure or we’ve gone to the future and we are envisioning all the catastrophes that are going to happen because of this failure.
But you know what? With the mindfulness we also get to choose to stay right here in the present. We get to just observe our thoughts without concluding that something has gone wrong. So as we go throughout the year we get to remind ourselves that there is a way for us to be observant and non-judgmental, and we can move towards our goals. We don’t have to beat ourselves up.
Surprisingly, criticism and judging ourselves does not cause us to get to our goals faster or to prevent these catastrophes. Isn’t that amazing? You know what? It’s just the opposite in fact; any amount of energy that we need to utilize to recover from the self-judgment and the emotion, the emotional injuries is emotional and physical energy that is not being channeled towards accomplishing our goals.
Here’s one for you Diamonds, the secret is to allow failure, to be willing, to be willing to fail and to be even more willing to go through the failure to gain the success. Be willing to fail, and fail, and fail again on our way to the success. All you have to do is be willing. And the best way to get to the willingness is through non-judgment and remaining present.
So, Diamonds as we begin 2021 and we continue to work on our sexual intimacy, hopefully we can proceed from a place of non-judgment, with a focus on the present moment and a willingness, hopefully we can use the tool of mindfulness to help us on our journey this year.
Okay Diamonds, that’s all I have for you this week. Let’s continue to discuss our 2021 sexual intimacy goals and we will talk soon. Dr. Sonia out.
To celebrate the launch of the Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast I’m going to be giving away a $50 Amazon gift card to five lucky listeners who subscribe, rate and review the show on Apple Podcast. It doesn’t have to be a five star review, although I would really love it if it were a five star review. But more importantly, I want your honest feedback so I can create an amazing show that provides tons of value.
Visit www.soniawrightmd.com/podcastlaunch to learn more about the contest and how you can enter. I’ll be announcing the winners on the show in an upcoming episode.
Okay, that’s all for now, see you next time Diamonds.
Female Announcer: Thanks for listening to this week’s episode of the Midlife Sex Coach for Women Podcast. If you enjoy Dr. Sonia’s fun and caring approach to sexual intimacy, head to soniawrightmd.com to learn more.