Sensuality Archive

Making sense of it all…The high cost of workaholism

Posted August 1, 2014 By Cherryll Sevy

Single_RoseI am a recovering workaholic and busy-ness addict, which in Silicon Valley valley is not only encouraged, but lauded. To actually slow down, relax and receive the world in all its wonder at this time of my life (recent retirement from a long successful career) has been challenging to say the least. The seduction of this “disease” is powerful. But I’m learning and enjoying the process along the way.

I came across this quote from Virginia Wolff which says it all….

“If people are highly successful in their professions, they lose their senses. Sight goes. They have no time to look at pictures. Hearing goes. They have no time to listen to music. Speech goes. They have no time for conversation. They lose their sense of proportion and the relation between one thing and another. Humanity goes.”

One of the reasons I joined Nancy in our Hourglass Workshops adventure several years ago is because I wanted to regain full use of my senses—all 5 of them (plus better use of my women’s intuition). I want to share such experiences with a community of like-minded women, as well as learn to more fully appreciate and attend to the world around me. More importantly, I wanted to regain my sense of proportion, a stronger connectedness with life, family and friends, and the bigger community around me. I’m doing all those things and savoring the process.This blog and our Hourglass events reflect part of this journey, and I’m very interested in the experiences of other women during such transition points and what they’ve discovered for a book I’m writing.

Back when I was growing up, this was known as the Valley of the Heart’s Delight and I’d like to know it again as that. There is no better time than right now, today, this Summer and this lifetime to turn up your tunes and dance, try a new recipe, smell a beautiful summer rose, and really listen to the voices of those you love.

A Frog or a Prince? Timing can be Everything

Posted July 17, 2014 By Cherryll Sevy

I dated for many years, both before I was married and then for 15 years between marriages. So with over 25 years experience, I feel I’m somewhat an expert. I’ve also talked with women and men over the years about their dating experiences and have heard so many dating stories. So much of dating success is about timing. I’ve always felt there is more than one Mr. Right, but “Mr. Right” might not arrive at the “right time”.

Right after a divorce, most men (and to be fair, many women) are like frog princes (or princesses), emotionally wounded, unavailable, financially unsettled, and challenging. You can recognize them fairly quickly….the complain bitterly about their spouse (or last relationship), go on and on about the cost of the divorce, and in so many words let you know they are not ready for a relationship. Over time, most heal, often with therapy, and they may become the prince we initially hope for. However, it is important to recognize some of the signals I’ve seen about poor timing.

1. If they tell you straight away they aren’t ready for a relationship, believe them! This goes for behaviors that would indicate they aren’t ready, like wanting to date several women (and you’re ready for an exclusive relationship), heavy drinking or partying, or other distancing actions. Essential to a good relationship is both individuals being emotionally available.

2. They disappear for days or weeks and then tell you they are really, really busy, perhaps work is all-consuming, etc., yet they say they want to see you again. Their actions tell far more than their words. Believe what you see.

3. Their children are having serious behavioral/emotional issues and require an extraordinary amount of their time and focus. You are not their therapist, their care-giver, or their safe harbor. You may care, but being a care-giver while dating spells disaster. They need to be a parent first and foremost during the growing years.

4. You are the “transition relationship”. That is, you’re the first one they’re dating after the demise of their marriage. In this case, the messages are often very mixed. You look like an angel (and who doesn’t want to be adored?) compared to the horrible person they left. However, they haven’t yet become a whole person to themselves and are still incomplete and damaged, need to tell their sad story and look to you for comfort.

So, while you may have found Mr. Right, unless the timing is right for you both, proceed with caution. You want a relationship that is mutually rewarding and wonderfully fun!

By the way, I did find Mr. Right finally…at the right time for us both!

Won’t you join us in our upcoming relationships workshop—Tame the Tiger–Put the Passion back in your Relationships

Please share any comments below.

Travel—the Elixer of Life!

Posted July 15, 2014 By Cherryll Sevy

Cafe in FranceFrom the age of 16, I’ve always loved to travel after a life-changing experience as an AFS exchange student to Brazil. With my newly issued passport, I clearly remember sitting in SFO waiting for a flight to New York City and then on to Rio De Janeiro. Looking back at my parents as they waved good-bye at the gate (obviously back in the pre-TSA days), I still remember the excitement, fear, and heightened sense of anticipation as I boarded on my very first flight. Since then, I seem to always be planning the “next trip”. I thrive on travel. Not only the trip itself, but the planning, anticipation and the pre-trip excitement. I just don’t understand people when they say they rarely ever go on vacation!

With all its frustration, too small seats in crowded planes, extra fees, and petty inconveniences, travel continues to fully engage me and during trips I really stay in present. Studies show that travel improves our physical and mental well-being. I’m sure its partly due to the heightened awareness we have when we are out of our routines. Also, I always walk more when I’m on a trip than I ever seem to at home and it feels so effortless. (A real bonus is regardless of what I eat, I never gain weight while traveling.) I remember a recent trip to Paris and all the walking we did. Who hasn’t walked from dawn to dusk all over a new city, exploring streets, aware of architecture, people watching, and the variety of sights, smells and sounds? I have been keenly aware of the sensory feast in a Greek spice market, the sounds of waves crashing as we walked along on a Hawaiian beach, and the stunning vibrant autumn leaves along the Blue Ridge Highway in Virginia— all remain vivid reminders of travel. I was fully engaged in those experiences, my level of everyday stress was reduced, and I felt much more in the flow of life.

In an excellent article published by the Global Coalition on Aging , the authors discuss the physical, mental and emotional benefits of travel. Perhaps it’s not that healthy people travel, rather people who travel and remain active are healthier! In one study, women who travel twice a year are statistically less likely to have a heart attack than those who travel once every 4 years! So, for your heart’s sake, plan a trip!

There are many, many wonderful travel blogs and one I suggest is The World According to Barbara, a delightful travel log by a woman in mid-life…well written and inspiring.

More later as I share some of my travels and insights, and of course the health benefits! And if you have a favorite blog or a comment about how travel has made you healthier, let us know in the comments below.

Ciao!

Flirting at any age

Posted June 18, 2014 By Cherryll Sevy

mickey and minnie flirtingWhile on vacation recently, one afternoon my husband and I were in a brewery-restaurant. We sat at the bar enjoying a local craft beer and chatting with the bartender. He was a friendly young man about 27, recently had moved to the town, longish hair, tattoos on both arms, and very knowledgeable about beers. I was very friendly and we chatted and laughed about a variety of things, finding several topics of mutual interest. I was genuinely interested in him and his life and he knew it. After about an hour, a couple of beers and appetizers, we were ready to leave and pay our bill. Before he handed it to us, he said he’d comp’ed the beers for us both. Wow! Made my day! Of course, he got a very nice tip. What a wonderful gesture which I really appreciated. I haven’t had a drink paid by a stranger in a bar for years, and my inner 25 year old just giggled.

Awhile ago, Nancy loaned me a wonderful book I highly recommend, Ronda Rich’s What Southern Women Know About Flirting (favorite books) She does a great job of de-mystifying flirting, how it spices up our life and describes the effect it can have in our work lives, relationships, socially and enjoying a richer life. (Isn’t that what we all want?)

I’ve heard women of all ages tell me they either don’t flirt, don’t know how, think they are just too old to flirt or that it’s being dishonest. I take issue with each of these and here’s why. We are never too old to share a smile or laugh, small talk, or a compliment. It is not dishonest, it is kind, fun and a very human interaction. And no one is too old to flirt! (In Barbara Walters’ retirement tribute, there is a great clip watching her flirt with Clint Eastwood, and she still blushes when she sees it.)

What is flirting? It is a personal interaction that is fun, playful, lighthearted and helps to create or enhance relationships–all relationships. It simply makes others feel good about themselves and then about you. Flirting adds sparkle to a conversation, a party and one’s life. If you can play and smile, you can flirt.

I think people these days have become way too serious-minded about life, and forget to have fun and just enjoy one another. It’s not difficult and you don’t have to be young, beautiful or sexy. Just be yourself and connect with another person in a fun, kind, perhaps slightly sassy way if that feels right to you. I’ve known people in their 90’s who still flirt and have a sparkle in their eye.

In the book, the author describes three types of flirting—social, courtship and seductive. Her tips and descriptions are all very interesting if you need some guidelines. So, no excuses. It will definitely add some pizzazz to your life.

I encourage you to start by smiling more—at everyone all day. Put down your phone and actually make eye contact with anyone you see, confidently say hi and smile. Compliment the person, ask an intriguing question, smile and engage the person. I do this all the time. It makes for a more interesting day, and I’m encouraged by the response I get. So will you.

Midlife-Is 60 the New 40? (video)

Posted May 27, 2014 By Nancy Burns

I’ve noticed the late afternoon/evening when I return home after a day “out in the world” to be difficult to shift my focus. I feel tired and edgy. Don’t you? The energy required of us at work is very different than the energy when we’re in our home. My home feels restful, pretty, and warm. It’s a place I can relax and enjoy my life, my family and my friends. Hopefully you feel the same about your home. I’ve come to realize it’s essential for me to “consciously” transition from my active, intense, decision-making masculine energy to my more creative, receptive feminine energy. For women, this is an important life energy balance–and one I’ve struggled with for years.

Typically, I try to come in and put my work and purse in my home office; put away my electronic devices; pour myself a glass of cold water, sometimes sparkling with lemon, and change into something comfortable and pretty. I may also walk out into my garden and simply enjoy nature for a few minutes. In just a short time, I have shifted my energy into a more relaxed, calmer version of myself, ready for the evening’s activities. For most of us, the energy we need “out in the world” is masculine: driven, focused, strong, active, and task-oriented. That is not the energy we generally want in our homes, especially in the evenings. As women, we want and need to relax into ourselves, to fully enjoy our softer, receptive, and creative energies. It is from this energy, we can now create a delicious meal, enjoy a glass of wine and share a conversation with those we love. This re-balancing of your energies will revitalize you. Others will also notice the difference as well.

I recommend you create a transition period for yourself when you enter your home. You’ll find you are more present with yourself, your family or friends, ready to enjoy your evening, which can be the best part of the day!

We’d love to hear what works for you.

Really….It’s so “not” me!

Posted May 14, 2014 By Cherryll Sevy

Nails PhotoI’ve never been one to get my nails done on a regular basis, however lately I’ve found myself enjoying this  semi-monthly mani-pedi pampering.  So, last week I was at my favorite nail salon. When asked what color I wanted, I let my manicurist select something she thought I would like.  Well….this is the result….bubble-gum pink sparkly nails!  I kept looking at them on the way home giggling and saying to myself…..”this is sooooo NOT me!”

Raising the question….what is or is not me?  I’ve never been a girlie-girl or thought of myself in that way. Rather more an outdoorsy, athletic, gardening and camping kinda woman. Interestingly, I found that I really enjoy this new finger art…..makes me happy!

In this time in mid-life, I’m exploring a variety of aspects of myself beyond pink sparkly nails. A few weeks ago, a girl friend and I recently went on an overnight backpacking adventure with treks and tracks to Point Reyes. Great time, in spite of the rain, carrying all our gear for a 5-1/2 mile hike in, and sleeping on the cold ground! We hiked a gorgeous shoreline trail overlooking the Pacific Coast, spent time with fascinating people, and slept to the sound of crashing waves. (by the way, friends who are willing to go with you on crazy ideas are worth their weight in gold!)

I urge you to step out of who you think you are and just try something a little different or alot different.  You’ll be surprised what just might be the “new you”.

Comments and suggestions are always welcome.

Midlife-Sex Lost the Sizzle? (Video)

Posted April 26, 2014 By Nancy Burns

Midlife-Why the Hourglass

Posted April 26, 2014 By Nancy Burns

How does your home smell? (Video)

Posted March 27, 2014 By Cherryll Sevy

When you or your guests enter your home, what fragrance stands out? Is it an inviting, warm scent or a strange, unpleasant odor? Does it scream “locker room or Friday night fish fry?” Or a den of animals? Hmmm…food for thought, Nancy Burns L.Ac and Cherryll Sevy explore this very subject in their usual humorous light, as well as share some simple ideas to make your home more “scentuous”. Share your stories or suggestions below.