Adornment and Pleasure

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Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, Breast Cancer, cancer and pleasure, cancer and sensuality, cancer and sexual health, loving yourself with cancer

How do you feel when you wear something that feels soft and sensual against your skin? Do certain colors evoke different moods and feelings in you? Do you dress for comfort, to impress someone, to please yourself or to hide your body?

Clothing and adornment can bring great pleasure if the purpose is to please yourself and love yourself. Most of us don’t think this way when we dress for the day or evening. We may take a quick look in the mirror and check to see if there are wrinkles or if we look fat ~ usually with a critical eye.

What if you dress to please yourself, knowing that different textures, colors and styles can create pleasure? If you did, how would you dress? Would you wear make-up and jewelry?

For today, choose to adorn you for you, as if you knew that you were all that matters. The truth is that you are all that matters. How you feel about you is what creates how you experience life. Try on the belief that you are beautiful and deserve to experience pleasure in all forms, including what you put on your body.

From this perspective, look in your closet and see what draws your attention. Put it on and see notice how you feel… does your skin like what you’ve chosen? How do you look to the loving you? What emotions are you feeling? Are you having fun?

Do you want to further adorn your body with accessories, jewelry or make-up? If so, do what pleases you. How do you want to style your hair? What shoes?

Once you’re pleased with how you feel and look, take yourself out for tea. Go on a date with you. Go to a place that brings you pleasure. Maybe there’s a local tearoom that you like. Go there. Or wherever strikes your fancy.

Wherever you choose to go, go with pleasure in mind. Choose a drink that brings you pleasure as you look at it, taste it and consume it.

Something as simple as pleasing yourself ~ who knew? As you sip your drink, let your mind wander to what else will bring you pleasure. You may be surprised as what comes to mind. Pay attention, because the whole idea is pleasure, my dear!

I’d love to hear what brings you pleasure. Please share with us so that we can all celebrate your pleasure and get more ideas for our own pleasure!

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

You are Your Lifetime Lover

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cancer and love, sexy after cancer, barbara musser, love after breast cancer

It’s February and the subject is love.  We’re awash in Hallmark moments about romance, hearts and flowers and little candy kisses with sweet messages.  Let’s take a deeper look at love, at self-love.

The truth is that love begins and ends with you and your relationship with yourself. You are your primary partner. How you feel about you shapes how you receive and give love. Sometimes we think that we’ll love ourselves when we know others love us. If we don’t feel loved, it’s easy to think that we’re unlovable and that only love from others can fill that emptiness. This is backwards. How we feel about ourselves is what we transmit to the world. When you are in love with you and loving you, you radiate love and it’s irresistible. You are irresistible.

For the month of February, my invitation and challenge is to love yourself fully, to believe that you are adorable, lovable and irresistible. Imagine what your life would be like if you felt totally loved all the time? This is the gift I’m inviting you to give to you.

Each day this month, explore a way to love yourself. Open your heart to you the way you open to the one/s you love most. Be generous with your love because you deserve to be adored. At first this may feel silly or awkward. Stick with it and be creative. Here are a few ideas to get you started ~

  • Write yourself a love letter. Tell yourself all the things you appreciate and love about yourself. Write it on beautiful stationery or a card and mail it. Hint: you can do this more than once and perhaps you’ll send you a Valentine!
  • Take yourself out on a date. Dress up for you so that you feel beautiful and go out for coffee, a movie, dinner or for a walk in a beautiful place.
  • Meditate on love. What does love mean to you? How do you know when you are loved? How can you be more loving with you? Open to receive what comes to you as you sit and contemplate these questions and any others than inspire you.
  • Buy yourself some gorgeous flowers, or send them to yourself. Include a love note with the flowers and when you look at them, remember how much you love you.
  • Each time you see your face in a mirror say “I love you” out loud.

Keep a love journal and each day write about your love practice and exploration for that day ~ what you did, how it felt and what you’re learning about loving you. Keep the journal in a special place and read it often to remind you of your love for you.

Please share some of the ways you are loving you so that we can be inspired by each other!

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

Pleasure Possibilities Part 3

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Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, cancer and romance, breast cancer and love, sexuality and intimacy after breast cancer

Continuing with pearls of pleasure, today’s pearl for opening to more pleasure and love involves a late night love adventure. It’s worth missing a few of those 40 winks for this special surprise…

Wake him up. Nudge her from the shelter of sleep. Pull them gently from bed, outside, to where the moon hangs low to the ground. Take them out where the air is cold and crisp, bundled in warm clothing. “Why?” he says, tugging on a sweater and shoes. “What are we doing?” she asks as you pull the door shut behind her.

“To see the sky,” is the answer. Walk to the backyard or get in the car and drive for as long as it takes. Go where there’s not much artificial light. In the night, when it is quiet and so dark, and the stars fill the sky with their endless abundance. And the moonlight casts shadows beneath its light.

This. This is the present moment. To be here, to see this, to share these moments. Look at the stars, too many to count. Warp your arms around your sweetheart and let the enormity of the universe fill you with love, pleasure and possibility. Give the enormity of your love. Abandon sleep and know that the night sky is given as gift and grace to you both.

Let the endlessness of the sky, moon and stars remind you of mystery and miracles. Love is a miracle and it can come at any moment. All we need to do is open to it because it’s all around us and in us all the time. Let the sky help you to remember. Let it help you remember to be in your body and to delight in the experiences of all your senses as you take it all in ~

  • Feel the cold air on your cheeks and eyelids
  • Hear the night sounds ~ the birds, the breeze, perhaps some animals
  • Open your mouth and taste the air and notice how it feels on your lips and tongue
  • See how the world looks in the dark of the night as you stand with your beloved
  • Notice any scents ~ are there pine trees nearby, or a hint of salt in the air by the ocean?
  • If you’re out in the snow, make a snow angel, or a sand angel if you’re at the beach!

What does the love and pleasure feel like on this night? What memories will you keep to remind you of this adventure? How will you keep your heart and spirit open to love and pleasure?

Think of more ways that you can surprise your sweetheart with love adventures, and take the adventures!

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.

For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

Pleasure Possibilities Part 2

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love letters and cancer, pleasure after cancer, Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer, love notes and cancer

Continuing with pearls of pleasure, today’s pearl for opening to more pleasure and love is about writing love notes and letters ~ to yourself or to your beloved. The intention is to use written words to express your love and pleasure in ways that are surprising and that bring delight.

Here are some ideas to inspire you~

  • Using a pad of blank post-it notes, write a message on each that gives a love or pleasure message. You might write, “When I open my eyes and see you in the morning, my heart overflows with love,” “Feeling the touch of your skin on mine makes me purr,” “You are an angel, a messenger of love.” Let the love and pleasure pour out into the words as you write them. Then put the notes on the car windshield, the bathroom mirror, on the computer monitor, places where they will be seen and will bring the experience of love and pleasure as they are read. You can do this for yourself as well as for your partner. Leave them up so that you or they will see them often.
  • Get a large poster board and write a love note on it with colored markers in large letters. Then tape it to the wall outside the coffee shop where your sweetheart goes on their way to work.
  • Make a lunch for yourself or your sweetheart and put a note in it that describes how much you love them.
  • Write on the mirror with lipstick, “I love you!”
  • If you live in snow or sand country, write a love message in the snow or sand and walk by with your honey. If they don’t see the words, point them out so that they know the message is for them.
  • Send a love or pleasure text to tell them that you can’t wait to see them after work or school.
  • Plan a special meal and put a love note on their plate so that they will see it when they sit at the table.
  • Make a card and put it on their pillow with a piece of chocolate ~ this is finer turn-down service than any hotel!
  • For their birthday, make a card and write the number of ways they bring you pleasure, one for each year of their age. Fifty years old means 50 ways they bring you pleasure. Or turn it the other way and write 50 ways you want to bring them pleasure or love. Or do both.
  • Write a love letter where you let the depth of your love flow freely. Be generous and let them know how precious and special they are to you. If it helps, remember what it was like when you were newly in love. Taking yourself back to that time and place helps to re-create it in the present moment.

Let your heart and imagination soar as you tap into the love and pleasure vibrations. Choose to love, and to love freely and generously. It feels wonderful!

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisers or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

Courtship part 3…

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For the bud of romance to open into a blossom, you first decide if the person you are with or an interested in, is a good or a bad choice for you. Making a good choice may mean saying goodbye at this junction because you know the person isn’t right for you. If it’s worth doing the repair work for a challenging relationship, that’s the good choice.

image.axdTo help the bud open, take some risks through deeper conversations and share your vulnerability. We all want to be seen, accepted and loved for who we are and as we are. It takes courage to be open and vulnerable, especially if you’ve experienced hurt with your partner. As you risk and share your vulnerability and tenderness, that open the door for your partner to do the same. You probably have a lot that’s vulnerable as a result of your cancer experiences. Holding this inside encourages it to fester and become more painful, so do what’s counter-intuitive and share it. Sometimes it takes opening the door so that each of you can share these tender feelings. When you do this it creates intimacy. Just go slow and be gentle with yourself and each other.

As your courtship progresses you’ll begin to feel more connected or attached, and may want to move towards non-genital touch. Our culture teaches us that touch is a prelude to intercourse. I suggest that you uncouple these thoughts and slow down and learn the language of touch and the pleasure it brings. There are studies that show that babies that aren’t touched don’t thrive. It’s the same with us as adults, but many of us have forgotten this. This may be part of a faulty love map.

Make some time when you can touch with tenderness and with no erotic agenda. Try this ~ light a candle and put on some soft background music. Sit facing each other; close enough so that you can easily touch each other’s face without straining or stretching your arms uncomfortably. One of you begins by asking if you can stroke your partner’s face. Once you have permission, reach out both hands and gently caress their face. Let your fingers gently explore the contours and textures of their skin, noticing the fragility of their eyelids, the firmness and softness of their lips, the soft down on her cheek. For a few minutes, love them with your touch, telegraphing that love and kindness from your heart through your hands and fingers. After a few minutes, switch so that the other partner can stroke the other’s face.

As you receive the touch, drink it in with the knowledge that this is a gift of kindness and love. Let yourself feel loved and accepted just as you are.

Take a few minutes to talk about how this felt to you. Was it easier to give or receive the touch? Did you like it? Did it help the bud to open a bit more into the blossom? Pay attention to the cues you gave and received and know that you are learning a new way to court and be courted as you create your personal maps for attraction and love. Trust yourself to choose well, which comes from taking each stage or courtship slowly and deliberately.

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisors or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advise of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

Courtship part 2

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What is a faulty Love Map? It means that your natural attraction to someone who’s right for you was distorted due to childhood shame or wounding, which causes you to make inappropriate choices and actions in love. We need to heal the past to make wise choices and mend our current relationships, including our relationship with ourselves.

How to heal this? Begin by writing about the patterns you have repeated in your relationship/s that have caused you pain or been dysfunctional. As you write, call on your compassion for yourself and remember that you were doing the best you could. Then call on your wise inner adult and write about what needs to be healed, and some possible ways to heal. You can literally rewrite your “script” for a healthy love map. If you need help with this, find resources through a counselor or books about relationship. Gay and Kathlyn Hendricks and Harville Hendricks have some wonderful books about healthy relationships.

courtship-800x800Another powerful action to take is to make a vision board for your love map. Find images and words that represent your healthy love map and put them together into a collage on some poster board.  What are the elements for you that make your heart sing and have you feel loving, lovable and loved? Using images is a powerful way to engage all of your brain, not just the linear thinking brain. Your love map lives in your reptilian brain, and the visual love map will activate and help heal this.

Next, practice flirting. Flirting can be a look at your partner across a crowded room that says, “You’re mine…” It can be planning a romantic dinner and cooking with love. As you sit at the candle-lit table, lay “footsie” with your partner’s feet under the table. Be playful and have fun. It doesn’t need to go any farther than this. Check in with yourself to see what feels good ~ don’t go too fast. This is a time to slow things down and revel in the pleasure of simple acts. Many of us feel that things went too fast when we were younger, and we didn’t know what to do, so we went along. Now know that you are in the driver’s seat. Think of it as a do-over for those times when simply holding hands was a very big thing.

Try this ~ for the rest of the month, flirt with your partner several times a week. The agenda is to have fun, let them know you’re attracted to them, and to show them with your words and actions. This is not about sex; rather, it’s about the dance of courtship. Go slow and just flirt for now. See how that feels as you learn some new choreography.

Join me Feb. 22-24 in Seattle for the C4YW conference. I’m offering 2 workshops on cancer, intimacy and sexuality. Molly MacDonald and The Pink Fund will also be there. Financial help is available. Check it out:  www.C4YW.org

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisors or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advise of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

Courtship

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The-Courtship-Of-WashingtonRemember when you were a teenager and your hormones began to rage? Like nature’s clockwork,  adolescence is the prime time for courtship and for learning the “rules of engagement” where love is concerned. Unfortunately, many of us weren’t taught how to appropriately win someone’s favor through flirting, or how to read sexual cues like knowing when it’s time to hold hands, touch or kiss.  Who taught you how to send and receive signals with someone you had a crush on that you wanted to get to know them, how to do that or what to do? Mostly it’s the blind leading the blind as we stumble along, being led by our hormonal tides. Many of us get somehow frozen in time from those days and still don’t know the choreography for this dance. It can feel confusing and we can feel embarrassed, guilty or ashamed about our very natural sexuality. So we end up repeating the same patterns over and over, unable to truly be intimate or connect deeply in a love relationship. We get stuck in immature patterns, unable to discriminate what’s appropriate. We may have a faulty love map and not realize it. How could we, after all?

Then when breast cancer enters the picture, things get really confusing. Already not knowing how to navigate, now we add feeling like damaged goods to the mix. In our culture that places so much value on having perfect breasts, it can feel devastating.

In my opinion, this is one of the opportunities that comes with breast cancer. It’s the opportunity to go beneath the surface to discover who we really are and to uncover the true nature of beauty. It’s also a time when we can learn some powerful and effective communication skills, so that we can create intimacy with our partners.

The rules of engagement change with cancer. Our bodies don’t work in the same ways as before, especially if we’ve had chemo or hormonal therapies. This is a time to learn not only who we really are ~ in my opinion we are all beautiful manifestations of the divine. No matter what your spiritual beliefs are, it’s time to make peace with and accept yourself, and know that you are beautiful inside and out. This can take some deep inner work, which is so worth it!

Then you can learn to flirt, how to send and receive intimate and sexual cues, and reach inside for what you want and need, how to court and be courted. More on this in future blogs, so come back!

Join me Feb. 22-24 in Seattle for the C4YW conference. I’m offering 2 workshops on cancer, intimacy and sexuality. Molly MacDonald and The Pink Fund will also be there. Financial help is available. Check it out:  www.C4YW.org.

© 2012 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog does not reflect the opinions of The Pink Fund, its Founder, Board of Directors, Advisors or Volunteers. It is not meant to serve as medical advise of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer who voluntarily blogs for The Pink Fund without compensation.

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