• Slowing Your Mind is Great Foreplay

    December 5, 2018

    If you want to have sex more often, meditate. Say what?! The image of a stoic, cross-legged person suddenly leaping up, tearing off their comfy clothes and tackling their stunned (yet probably delighted) partner isn’t exactly commonly associated with mindfulness. Well, perhaps it’s time to change that. The proposed effects of meditation on the body and the mind have implications for both your interest in making love and your sexual pleasure itself. So that weekend silent retreat or weekly MBSR class can improve your sex life, if you want it to.

  • Touch More, Touch Often – The Science of Mindful Loving

    June 21, 2018

    I love to watch people touch the ones they love. When I witnessed the birth of my beloved friends’ daughter, the most poignant moment was watching the first-time father tear his shirt off and hold the minutes-old infant to his bare, receptive chest. Skin on skin, heart to heart. At our best, we intuitively use touch to span the distance between us. Two separate bodies and minds, me and you, become an “us” when we embrace. That which is broken—a promise, a skinned knee, even a heart—is coaxed toward fullness again in the incubator of a loved one’s arms.

    Since touching each other brings a multitude of emotional, physical, and social health benefits you’d think we’d be cuddling all the time. Yet our culture is touch-deprived.

  • When the Gloves Come Off – Can Meditation help you Fight Fair?

    May 3, 2018

    This morning I awoke feeling peaceful and happy. I smiled as I listened to the singing birds. Then I heard the revving of a garbage truck. Leaving. I turned toward the man I love and snapped, “Arg! You forgot to take the garbage out AGAIN didn’t you? You’re so lazy!” I jumped out of bed, grabbed the mutts and headed for the beach. I glowered at the overflowing trash cans, blaming them for not strolling to the curb. Then my angelic tufted-toed orange dog saw another canine. Instead of a wiggly hello, she barked and lunged. Like mother, like daughter.

    Let’s face it. Sometimes, despite the hours logged on the cushion, despite the meditation retreats, and certainly despite our best intentions, we don’t handle relationship conflict well. I’ve written a lot about how mindfulness makes us better lovers. But can it make us better “fighters”?

  • Rewire your Brain for Love – Don’t let old fears hijack your relationship

    May 2, 2018

    George was missing. The Disneyland hotel bed was crisply made but my sister’s security bear, loved and nuzzled into a sheepskin sphere with one weird glass eye, had vanished. A frantic call later, the smiling concierge appeared and placed a freshly laundered koala blob back into the waiting arms, and heart, of a tiny blonde girl. She slept, content, wrapped around her fuzzy friend.

    It’s endearing, isn’t it, when a child needs a stuffed toy to feel safe. Until the tantrums start and the kid can’t calm themselves without it. We adults are no different. Hey, we all want to feel safe and secure. That’s why we fall in love. Except sometimes falling in love makes us feel scared, not safe, and we act like a nutcase—wracked with insecurity and fears. Why?

  • Rituals that Connect can keep Love Vibrant and Alive

    May 1, 2018

    Three days a week, I trot up the cement stairs that separate my home from my office. I switch on the kettle and check that the Kleenex box is full. Next, with the ocean reflecting blues and grays on the window, I sit with my palm on my heart and reflect on love and happiness. And then I welcome the first couple of the day.

    “He never opens the car door for me anymore,” Desiree gripes. “Yah?” Scott huffs. “Well she says I can’t get a motorbike, and then yells because I don’t feel like some big anniversary party.” She shoots back, “I don’t even know who you are anymore.” And so it begins.

  • He Isn’t My Type. Can Love Work Without Chemistry?

    August 29, 2017

    Q – I’ve been dating a guy for a few weeks who is great on paper. We both love to travel and our kids are similar ages. but I am a little ashamed to say that he is not my physical type. Can love work without chemistry?

    A – It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul. Unfortunately, when it comes to dating, many potentially epic love affairs end before they start simply because we don’t like how he looks. Let me ask you this – if you were blind, would you find him attractive? Many people confuse good looks with attraction, and they are not the same. Sure, we turn our heads when a hunky man swaggers by, but if we talk to him he can quickly plummet from prince to toad -hot outside and empty inside. Alternatively, a guy with crooked teeth and a bit of a paunch can reveal confidence and playfulness that slide him into our heart, and into our bed.

  • Don’t Squabble Over Small Stuff – Make Love, Not War

    February 27, 2017

    What’s the dumbest argument you’ve ever had with a partner? Mine happened in a little blue convertible, driving to my former boyfriend’s cabin. We were in love, but we clashed often. We stopped for ice cream, and he brought me the wrong flavor. I complained loudly, he fired back. Then he reached over, took the sundae, and threw it out of the moving car. I stared at him in open-mouthed shock. Then I clearly saw how our discontented minds caused the harsh words and deeds. In that moment I had a choice. I could keep criticizing, or I could contact my heart. So I laughed, he relaxed, and I pledged to learn to fight fair.

    Sure, I am a love expert now, but the truth is, I used to have tumultuous relationships. I mistook tantrums for passion. As for make up sex? Overrated.

  • This Valentine’s, Choose to Love, Mindfully

    February 3, 2017

    Valentine’s Day—a sweet sexy reminder to wow your mate with passion and appreciation, or a Hallmark holiday that pressures you to cough up romance on demand? Your response to this single-item test is telling. Sure, it’s easy to be cynical on February 14 and ignore the whole thing, or grab a random card because if you don’t your partner pouts until spring. But if you see only the superficialities, you are missing the possibilities. For love itself is…well, great, and celebrating is not cliché. So this year, instead of refusing to participate, use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to love mindfully.

    My granddad Norman was great at mindful loving. He first laid his sparkling blue eyes on my petite blonde grandmother Evelyn at a Valentine’s dance.

  • Kill the Soulmate and Save your Relationship

    October 4, 2016

    Shaun Cassidy, teen singing idol and one of TV’s sexy Hardy Boys, was my soulmate. There I was clad in the kilt and knee socks of a private school girl, lusting over this blue-eyed heartthrob and completely convinced we would fall in love. He would meet my deepest desires (and based on the surprisingly explicit fantasies I penned starring him and me, those desires needed meeting). When he whisked me away to his Beverly Hills mansion I would know and be known. Mated at the soul level, I would never feel alone again.

    Turns out Shaun was not my soulmate.

  • Fight or Flight – Why do we argue before we say goodbye?

    September 25, 2016

    It’s a funny thing about couples and travel. Currently, I’m on a smooth flight to New Orleans, but last night my beloved man and I narrowly escaped an emotional plane crash. Mindful Loving averted an argument that could have left both of us hurt, stewing, and disconnected for our whole week apart. What happened? Unexpected work issues made him 2 hours late for our last night together. I’d been looking forward to our romantic romp all day, and when I got his text 20 minutes after I’d expected him to walk through the door saying he still an hour away I flooded with negative emotion. And then I called him (which was a very bad idea). I let him know I was angry and hurt, and I didn’t use my nice psychologist voice. But then a miracle occurred. Instead of escalating the turbulence, I suddenly paused and said “I don’t want to fight. I’m going to hang up now and see you in a bit”. Why? Because I’ve seen this pre-flight movie way too many times before. And it doesn’t have a happy ending.