When Was The Last Time You REALLY Smiled At Someone?

DEBORAHS PICS OF GINA 117“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.”

― Mother Teresa

Today I want to share an experience I had while shopping yesterday in the market.  I’m often still amazed at where my inspiration comes from for my blog posts.  More often that not, it’s in the simplicity of a moment, and in simplicity is such profound truth.  I’m someone who moves through my life from the inside out, so what I experience and observe in my day to-day existence is ALWAYS colored by deeper meanings.  So as I was in the produce section perusing my ingredients for my next pot of soup, I looked up and saw this tall, Black man.  Being a passionate lover of other cultures, I’ve been blessed to travel to 15 countries (and counting) and I literally am a magnet for foreigners. Looking at him, from my years of African dance and exposure to people from various parts of the continent, I just knew he was African.  Our eyes met as total strangers and he smiled at me so bright, so brilliant that he took my breath away and touched my heart.  It was a smile from his soul, saturated in his being which he offered to me completely, without hesitation, and it produced without any effort on my part, one exactly like it from me to him.  I told him he had a beautiful smile and as he said, “thank you very much,” I heard that distinctly African accent.  It was a smile between two genderless beings, as it was soul to soul.  It took us both to our essence and opened that portal to grace and gratitude, love and  joy: the heart.

I was SO TOUCHED ALL DAY by his smile, by his offering of his heart to me through this simple gesture.  I kept seeing it and experienced my eyes well up from the FEELING that was conveyed from his glorious smile.   It became my inspiration to write and share with you about the deeper meaning of this experience and to invite you to explore what smiling means to you.

One of the reasons it struck me so was because it’s RARE to have someone smile at me like that.  People do the fake smile thing all the time, especially here in L.A.  But you can’t fake THAT.  There’s a frequency, an energy that’s emitted when someone offers you themselves without an agenda, just “here I am,” fully  and freely.  It takes nothing really from us to offer this to everyone we meet.  But we live so closed in our hearts, and afraid to be vulnerable to each other.  And clearly for some reason, so many perceive smiling as an act of vulnerability.  I suppose it is in the sense that you are revealing your heart for that moment in time.  We are willing to have sex with strangers yet we are afraid to smile at each other.  I don’t know about you, but I think that’s a stunner to ponder.

So let’s talk about you.  When was the last time you gave someone a big, bright blast of a smile from your heart?  How much do you actually smile? And I’m not talking about the nervous smile or the fakes.  Only the ones that light you up from the inside.  Stop and think about it.  If you’re one of those bad asses that think smiling makes you seem weak or vulnerable, or that it messes up your poker face and isn’t cool,  it’s probably been a while for you.  Does smiling make you feel vulnerable? Exposed?  Or does it make you feel SEEN?  My sense is that this is the big culprit in why so many don’t smile.  When you do, from the heart and soul, you are saying “This is me and I’m sharing me with you.”  It’s the Big Reveal.  That’s what that beautiful man’s smile said to me.  The vulnerability comes from revealing yourself to another.  Again, I will say, why is it that we can have sex with total strangers but we won’t smile at each other fully clothed…

Diving a bit deeper, ask yourself why you’re afraid to be seen, why you’re afraid to reveal your heart through such a simple vehicle, and why you’re unwilling to share yourself with another, soul to soul, as you pass through the moments of your life, interacting with other human beings.  There’s no real risk in a smile — except that you might just be seen as the gorgeous soul that you are.

I’m one of those people who does smile a lot, genuinely.  I have observed in myself that when I am withholding my smiles that I’m usually hiding, withholding, afraid on some level and closed in my heart.  It’s also been a test of my self-acceptance and self-worth.  When I am loving myself, I am willing to share my big, bright smile everywhere I go, and after experiencing that man’s smile, I’m grateful to know that I, too, can do that for others with my own.  He showed me the power of this seemingly simple gesture.  As I said at the beginning of this post, there is profound truth in simplicity.

There’s lots of research on the neuroendocrine effects of smiling, and you can Google that if you want to know why it’s just plain good for your body to smile.  But I’m concerned with the spirit of the smile and it’s connection to how we feel about ourselves and our capacity to generate love from within us to share that love around us.  Imagine a world where we all smiled genuinely at each other.  Imagine the amount of love and joy we would be experiencing.  Imagine being willing to REVEAL your breathtakingly blinding beauty to each person you meet, to be SEEN and acknowledged by that total stranger or those in your inner sanctum in your life. That’s what happens when you smile from your heart.

I wish I had known that that young man’s smile was going to be the inspiration for this post.  I would have asked to take a picture of his smile, to share it with all of you.  But that smile of his will be with me for a long time to come.  It’s burned in my heart, and was a gift to me. And in the most beautiful way of the ripple effect, it’s a gift to you as well, in that his smile inspired this post, and I’m hoping this post inspires and opens you.  That’s the beauty in knowing that just one person can affect so many.

Know that you are a gift to every soul on this planet.  Share that gift of you through your smile, each and every day.  Don’t hold back.  What are you saving you for?  The world needs you, and we need each other, and if a simple thing like a smile can unite us and make us feel acknowledged, then what are you waiting for?  I’ve shared one of my smiles with you today via my photo.  Share yours with someONES today and every day.  And reread that quote by Mother Theresa at the top of this post, carry it in your heart…and just radiate you!!  :)

Much love and big, bright smiles,


Why Women’s Sexual Dissatisfaction is An Important Awakening

yoni as portalWhenever I sit down to write these posts, I truly never have any idea how long they will be.  A title comes to me and, like a midwife, I sit down and allow myself to be used as a channel.  So before you read this, scroll down and see how long it is and if you have the 5-10 minutes to read it.  This one feels important, even before I begin to write the meat of it.

Lately I’ve had quite a few women come to me and express dissatisfaction with their sexuality/sex life.  When they come to me, often they feel there is something wrong WITH THEM because they aren’t feeling sexual, and as I begin to work with them to help them unfurl the petals of this vital part of their feminine nature, what I am seeing over and over is fear and disconnection, brought about by a woman’s own body wisdom.

Throughout my life I have always said that the most important things I’ve ever learned I have learned through my body.  Living in a world that from a very early age teaches women and girls NOT to listen to their innate body wisdom has caused a massive shut down in our ability to discern what is healthy from what may be dysfunction. We trust more what we hear outside of us, instead of what we hear from within.  So many women who feel disconnected sexually are actually in a place of awakening, as their body wisdom has taken over where the mind has failed them.  In their deepest heart, they KNOW that this version of sex they are being sold is all wrong for them, but because there is no body trust for most women, it becomes depression and a subscription to the mainstream mindset that there must be something wrong with you.

Sexuality in our culture has become a lot like fast food, and just as devoid of nutrition and satisfaction.  We are hungry for something that we know we are supposed to get via sex, both women and men, yet after living on junk food, we are physically sick and more in need of nutrition than ever.  That nutrition is the energetic component of sex that is all but lost in the way we do sex now, and yet women’s bodies are rebelling against this, even as women’s minds subscribe to the BS that there’s something wrong with you if you don’t want sex or aren’t having it.

You see the words “women’s sexual dysfunction” all over the place these days.  Women are being led to believe we are broken in our sexuality as we have been led to believe we are broken in our bodies because we get periods, have babies and go through menopause.  The more we are bombarded with these negative concepts via media messages, personal exchanges, and personal beliefs, the more “depressed” we become.  But that depression is your soul calling you to awaken and take ownership of your powerful sexuality as you reject the mainstream models.  We are in a hook up/porn culture, where sex is just something you do, for stress relief, recreation, or procreation, but there’s a whole other universe, literally, when two people who are REALLY connected merge their flesh.  Like all of what I share/teach/speak and write about, I live these truths, and my sexuality has been a FORCE in my life that has taught me so much, and I know that if I had been listening to the mainstream spewing of crap, I wouldn’t have had the powerful experiences I’ve always had.

Think about what sex is and why we are so compelled to think about it constantly (and yes, men, we do think about it that much!)  And think about the part of sex that everyone is obsessed with: orgasm.  An orgasm is like the transporter in Star Trek.  It’s a “beam me up Scotty” experience when the energies between two people are in sync.  That in sync quality has to do with the energy systems in our bodies and how they come together when our genitals come together.  Sexuality is meant to be a bridge to higher levels of consciousness.  Yes, I do believe and have experienced this.  It is a way to know whatever God you believe in.  I personally believe that the lack of this experience is why we have the obsession  with “lots of sex.”  It’s quality, not quantity.  The difference between junk food and the kind that nourishes your body.  The junk food tastes good but doesn’t really nourish, and yet it becomes addictive so you keep going for it, but it will never supply what you long for and need.    And women are feeling this in their souls now, as their bodies say no to what’s on the menu now.

Ladies, TRUST YOUR BODIES.  They are portals for a kind of wisdom that is all but lost in this modern world.  If your sexuality is turned down or turned off, spend time within your psyche and your emotional life to find out what is scaring you.  My experience in working with women has taught me that fear is the largest factor; fear of opening into an intimate place (or one that is supposed to be) and feeling used, not seen, not felt by your partner, and fear of not wanting to engage in the sexual violence that has become part of mainstream consensual sex.  The bottom line is that many women do not feel safe with their current or potential sexual partners.  They do not feel these men are trustable, and that is an important feeling for you to respect.  Don’t talk yourself out of not having sex by telling yourself (or listening to someone else tell you) that you’re sexually dysfunctional.   TRUST WHAT YOU FEEL.

Your sexuality is a frequency and it is powerful.  A woman who is aligned with the depth and breadth of what she carries between her legs and the energy inside her is aligned with her TRUE sexuality.  A woman aligned with her true sexuality will be able to say no from a healthy place, and yes from a knowing that when she chooses a man, he will be capable of riding that frequency with her.  I know personally that there are not a lot of men who can actually handle that kind of connection.  There’s a lot of fear for men as well around true intimacy.  Fucking isn’t intimacy.  But f.u.c.k.ing is.  For those of you unfamiliar with my redefinition of that word, it stands for f.ree u.nrestrained c.onnection to k.undalini.  Kundalini is  the spiritual energy that lies coiled at the base of the spine like a snake and can be awakened through yoga and meditation, but also through sexual energy.

There are energy channels all throughout our bodies.  There are meridians and chakras which are wheels of energy found in different places in our physiology.  The chakras have actually been scientifically measured as energy centers, for those of you who think this is new age  BS.  Ladies, remember this as well, we take a man into our physical bodies.  Literally.  There is a deep vulnerability in that.  Shouldn’t you think carefully about the quality of the man you say yes to, and who you allow to pass through this very sacred portal?  Life moves in and out of us vaginally, whether we are giving birth, menstruating or having sex.  I wonder how many of you have stopped to consider this idea, and in considering it now, does it hit you viscerally?  I hope so. And  men, please ponder that for a long moment.

For you guys reading this, a few words for you.  Based on the coaching work I’ve done with men, which has all been around sexuality, I’ve learned that you, too, long for intimacy, even when you can’t and won’t say it.  I’ve often said that when you look at a woman and feel like you want her sexually, that’s just conditioning.  Societally and biologically in part, you’re pushed in the direction of that singular sexual drive, as you’re taught that is one way you prove you’re a man, but when you REALLY feel satisfied with a woman, it’s not from the actual sex or the orgasm, it’s from her WANTING YOU AND OPENING TO YOU.  When that happens, you are fed in places beyond your biology.  I know this from these men and from the men in my own life that I’ve had intimate relationships with.  But men and women are afraid of this deeper energy, of these polarities and frequencies that open you up.  When men and women have orgasms from this kind of connection, it brings about healing and realignment in your physical body.  Sex heals.  Marvin Gaye had it right…

So ladies, that feeling of dissatisfaction that so many of you are experiencing around your sexuality is a messenger.  It’s an awakening for you to trust that and to allow your true, deep, intense sexual energy to surface so that you can find men who are seeking to be blessed by this energy with you.  And in the meantime, as you cultivate a relationship with your own sexuality from this authentic place, you gift yourself with this powerful energy which can be used in your daily life, especially as a force for creating that which you desire.  Know that you are not damaged or broken or dysfunctional.  It’s time to trust your inner guidance to lead you to that awakening and the sexual healing inherent in embracing your own powerful sexual energy.


With love and gratitude,



Is The Lack of Platonic Affection Among Men Contributing To Our Violent Culture?

Click to see a photographic history of male affection

Click to see a photographic history of male affection

I was recently asked by to comment on the popularity of the Bromance movies that dominate the comedy genre in our American films, and as usual, my mind kept on unwinding why it was so popular until I landed on a feeling I often get when I hit a genuine nerve, one we need to take a look at.  What dawned on me is that part of what is common in Bromances is male affection.  Guys hug each other (not the pat on the back sports kind), kiss each other, sleep in the same bed, openly discuss vulnerabilities.  Now, as a woman, this is all just normal, natural and non sexual behavior in this context.  I couldn’t imagine a life where I didn’t regularly experience these kinds of affection with other women, and with men who are my friends.  For purposes of this post, my use of the word “affection” here will be referring to the non sexual kind.

So as my mind is wont to do, it ran down that road paved by lack of affection among straight men in our culture.  Gay men have no problem with non sexual male-to-male affection, so for purposes of this post, I am also referring only to heterosexual men.

Touch is vital to human life.  Care and nurturing are not exclusively the domain of women.  Babies who are touched regularly in the neonatal units in hospitals thrive, grow and gain weight more quickly than those that aren’t.  Affection, primarily touch, is as essential to our lives as human beings as the air we breathe, yet men in our culture are almost entirely deprived of experiencing it with each other, for fear of being labeled gay.

Little boys naturally express affection towards everyone, just as little girls do.  They hug, they kiss, they cuddle.  It’s not a gender thing.  It’s a human being thing. It’s natural, normal and not judged.   At a certain age, usually around the time boys go to school, so as early as kindergarten or sooner, the social programming begins that tells boys to suck it up when they cry instead of being comforted by the same hug offered to little girls when they cry.  “Be a man,”  they’re often told, or “be tough,” teaches boys quickly that in order to be loved and accepted, and to be separated from the girls and considered a boy, that they should not express their feelings or desire to be comforted.  Anger of course is the only socially accepted emotion given to males.  All the rest belong to us.  I often say that women get all the emotions, except anger, and men get none but anger.  All of this containment of natural desires for affection is happening gradually over the development of a boy’s life into manhood.  There’s little conscious awareness for most, if any, that they are being forced to abandon a basic human need and desire, until one day that boy wakes up in what I call the Man Box.  I’ve often said that we women know we live in society’s box, but we are aware that we are in one.  Men, I feel live in one, and it’s invisible to most.

That box forces men to conform to false notions of what it means to be a man, as our society defines it, and forces men to exhibit behaviors, and not exhibit others, that also define what a man is.  It also determines whether other men in the box will respect you.   This box in my view deeply affects the emotional interiors of men.   So much of these societal dictates are borne of homophobia.  I’m sure most guys reading this can think of a time in their childhood, and all throughout, where if they cried, or sought comfort in affection, they were called any of the many homophobic names that little boys who are sensitive (or simply normal, in my view) often are.

Boys grow up, as do girls, as do all human beings, learning from what they see and hear.  I often speak to mothers about this in modeling the kind of woman they’d like to see their girls become, as what they see you do and how they hear you speak, ultimately informs who they become.  This is true for boys whose ideas around masculinity and how being a man is defined.  These modeling behaviors will ultimately determine this Man Box for him.  It will determine how he feels he needs to behave in order to be accepted by all the other men in the box.

So I followed the trail of my mind to the next thought, which was that women are far less violent than men as a generally accepted belief, and much is attributed of course to the prevalence of testosterone in men as the ultimate agitator of undesirable behavior, but I had another interesting thought.  What if the fact that men are deprived of normal affection causes a backlash inside them?  After all, it’s the repression of expression.  A withhold of care and nurturing that we all need. What if it’s a kind of male PMS?  I often describe mainstream PMS (I have my own definition) as the repression of expression, and right before our periods, before the actual bleeding, that repression backs up into rage if a woman hasn’t been allowing a natural expression of ALL her emotions throughout the month.  For most women, it’s anger.  Remember, that’s the one we don’t get.

What if all this repression of the need and desire for non sexual touch, affection, hugs, intimacy ultimately backs up and contributes to the kind of rage that we are seeing so prevalent in our men these days; played out in gun violence and sexual violence against women and children?  What if men were not chastised, criticized, belittled, judged for wanting and needing and expressing affection?  What if a simple thing like natural affection between men, and non sexual affection between men and women were a key to tempering the violence in our current culture?

Here’s another thought that occurred to me as I kept meandering down this road, could lack of platonic affection also cause men to sexualize what is in reality not sexual?  When the need for affection is unconsciously  mixed with the need for sex,  can we distinguish which we are actually craving?  It’s not necessarily always both simultaneously.   Women can easily do this, because we express and receive platonic affection constantly in our lives.  We know what it is to just need a hug, or to cuddle for comfort.  We can separate affection from sex.  But for men in this culture, there is a Pavlovian response that has forced them to live with the equation that touch/affection = sex.  And it deprives men of this nurturing that is so essential to us all, a nurturing that began to decline from the first time a crying boy is told to be a man.  This tendency to equate touch with sex is also a concept that women have come to believe.  The idea that “if he’s touching me, he must want sex,” because we aren’t taught that men can JUST want the affection.  And the notion that men can only want sex from touching is one of the biggest societal mindfucks perpetrated on them.  Men in relationships understand this well.  They do know that there are times they want affection, to cuddle, and don’t want to have sex.  Sometimes they’re tired and don’t feel like “performing.”  And men who have children understand this as well.  The desire to love, touch, nurture your children is innate.  And that’s my point.  Men need and want affection, and not just from women.  Men need to feel comfortable wanting, giving and receiving platonic affection.

I haven’t done this research, and if anyone has and would like to share it with me, I would be grateful, but I wonder in cultures where men are “allowed” their affection with other men, if there is a lower rate of violence.  I have traveled the world and everywhere I have been, I see hugging, kissing, hand holding, and walking arm and arm between men.  But almost not at all here in America.  Doesn’t it make sense that this could be part of why men are imploding and exploding all around us?

As I often like to do, I will leave you with these questions to ponder.  I have discovered in my own life that the questions are often more important than the answers, as they lead us to take action, to understand, to learn, to grow and to share.  To all you men reading this, please let yourself out of the Man Box if you are in it.  Let yourself reclaim a powerful, beautiful part of your masculinity and your humanity.  Don’t let other men’s or society’s or women’s opinions of you dictate how you live your life, how you express yourself, how you love and share your heart.  And ladies, stop participating in shoving them into the Man Box.  When we endorse society’s beliefs about platonic affection from men to men or to us, we place a lock on that box and invite more violence into our own lives as a result of participating in their repression.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially from you men.

With love and Blessings,

Gina Cloud



The Next Time Pain Knocks On Your Door, Invite Him or Her in For Tea

Originally posted on GinaCology Blog:

I found myself recently reflecting on the idea that most of us tend to avoid emotional pain when it shows up in our lives, and as human beings, that’s quite often in the course of our lives.  Avoidance is generally not a good idea when it comes to our inner world.  These reflections came through me while I was interviewing the last guest on my show, Judith Barr, a therapist, about the roots and origins of violence, and as we unwound things over the hour, I had the realization that almost, if not all, of what we suffer in our lives long-term is due to our desire NOT to feel pain.  As I write this, know that I’m speaking only of emotional pain, not physical.  That’s a whole other post.

So I got to thinking about emotional pain in my life and realized that at some point along the way…

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Originally posted on GinaCology Blog:

Ok, so this is a LONG one.  You may want to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe a glass of wine or, my favorite, a shot of top-shelf tequila.  Ready?

How often, ladies,  do you end up looking at the man that you are in a relationship with or married to and thinking that you wish he could be a certain way, or that he would do something that you’ve always longed for him to do or the big one,  things he used to do?   I was reflecting on something in a conversation I was having with a friend of mine about the reality that as women, in our current modern world, we have a tendency at the beginning of our relationship to try to lead the man that we are getting involved with and who we are attracted to in the direction that we…

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How Much Self-Sabotaging Do You Do Through People Pleasing?

Originally posted on GinaCology Blog:


People pleasing, we all do it. Mostly women in my experience, but men do as well, mostly in the area of their relationships.  The “yes dear” syndrome Every time you are dishonest in order to appease someone else or avoid dealing with an issue, what is the real cost to your soul?

What price do you pay to take the road well-paved and most traveled, instead of the one with very few footprints or maybe a few breadcrumbs, or better still, the one that you must forge completely on your own?

In this video I share my thoughts on this subject.


With Love & Blessings,

Gina Cloud

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Game of Thrones and Those Masculine Men

the-kingsroad-1024I’m not a big TV watcher, but my daughter has gotten me hooked on Game of Thrones. Until three weeks ago, I had never seen an episode, and now I’m all caught up and eagerly awaiting the Sunday night return for season 4.  So I had to ask myself what in the world is it about this show that’s just got a hold of me and won’t let go.  I mean, it’s brutally violent.  Back in those days, you literally lived and died by the sword and heads are graphically chopped off and severed and people, including women and children, are run through and beheaded as well.  It’s REALLY gory.   But it dawned on me just today what it is about the show that has captured me and IT’S THOSE MEN!

The men are so damned masculine.  That word gets thrown about a lot and it’s very of the moment for both men and women to describe and define it, and I suppose like beauty, masculinity is in the eye of the beholder.  Yet I do find a VERY consistent agreement among us women about this and any woman I’ve talked to who watches Game of Thrones agrees these men are an all-but-dead breed in terms of their character. If you are one of those men who is reading this, please invite other men to join you.

Now let me say first, there are many, many layers to this show and these men, and there are elements that are very disturbing, particularly the “right to rape” by the more brutal and savage men on the show, but for the purposes of this post, I’m only focusing on the masculine element of the men who are of an honorable ilk.

These men are strong, literally physically.  Wielding a sword and riding on horseback and walking everywhere makes the body strong and so muscular.  oooh-la-la.  A man’s musculature is just a sexy thing.  Period.  I know men have equivalent analogies about women’s bodies, but ladies, you KNOW what I’m saying!  They have to effort, and strive, and they bond with each other.  Their HONOR and their WORD, and KEEPING it, literally define them as men.  And that piece for me, is so seductive.

Often over the years in my coaching work with men and in their emails to me, the dominant question to me is: “How do I connect with women?”  And my answer to all of them, regardless of their situation is distilled into one basic concept:  Be who you are, true to yourself first.  Don’t change to accommodate her if it causes you to go against who you are, have something you stand for and never give that up.  Have integrity and honor.  Have a community of men that you never abandon, and live by your word.  A man like that will have women all around him. But more importantly, he will have men all around him.

The characters on the show have all of those qualities I realized.  And not all of them are good-looking (for those of you saying, “but those guys are hot, because they’re actors”.)  There’s a dwarf, who is sexy as hell because he’s powerful in his presence.  There’s a fat boy who calls himself a coward but when the opportunity to defend a woman and her child arose, he found it within him.  In fact, there’s as large a band of uglies on the show as there are hotties

So as I pondered why I’d fallen into Thrones and can’t get out, I realized that those kind of men are very rare these days.  Speaking not only for myself, as I know other women feel the same, I long to see the return of that kind of man.  When I watch the show, it’s a turn on to watch them, even if it’s on a screen.  And the turn on is from the inside out; mental, physical, spiritual.  It’s DEEP.  These men are willing to fight for their causes and their beliefs and their loves and their families and their kingdoms.  We may not have kingdoms anymore, but we do have all the rest.

Many men would argue that they’re not appreciated when they try to lead or take charge, that many women find that to be controlling.  And there are men that are controlling and women who are equally as controlling.  I wrote a blog about the masculine and feminine energies of leading and following in Tango, and it is that type of energy I’m speaking of here. (read it HERE) 

For men though I think it’s much deeper than just an ability to take control or lead in a way that makes women swoon.  And trust me ALL women  swoon in the presence of a certain kind of man.(and there are MANY variations of this man, not one model).   I think that men, from boyhood, no longer have male models that teach them honor, integrity and the value of their word.  It’s a lost way of life for the most part and I for one would love to see it revived.  I believe the loss of connection to men’s traditions (whatever they may be for where you are in the world) and that missing brotherhood is a part of it.  I also believe that when men make so much of their lives about chasing and finding and capturing women, they innately lose themselves, and a man who has no connection to himself is unattractive to a woman of worth.  When you are self-centered you are magnetic, male or female.  Note that self-centered here means centered in yourself and not selfish, as it’s commonly used.  To be centered in who you are as a man, is THE MOST ATTRACTIVE quality you can possess.  It has nothing to do with your looks, your money, your breeding, the stuff you own.

Our culture is truly and outside-in one.  We think if we decorate the outside we can attract that man or woman.  But it’s just subterfuge which falls away quickly when there is no substance within to sustain it.  Men, you’ve been in the presence of men who you admire and wish to emulate.  You’ve been in the presence of men who are magnetic to women.  Think about the qualities those men had.  And please note I’m not talking about those men who have learned to manipulate women via psychology or “techniques” learned by gurus on how to get laid.  Those men are not worth a woman of worth’s time.

Another beautiful quality these men of honor have is the ability to bring forth the feminine in a woman. There’s a lot of sexuality on the show which is very different from what I’ve seen on other shows.  There’s a simplicity and rawness to desire that feels so natural.  The women are sexually comfortable and very feminine yet strong, too.  The time of the show was an era of great hardship and the women were VERY hardy and independent.  But the men are so potent and self-centered that the women, despite their own fierceness, surrender with pleasure. Literally!

There’s one character that was on the show that was an incredible embodiment of the wilder, fierce element of honorable men and he was my favorite.  There’s a wildness in my own soul that loves that kind of man,  But I also love the more refined version, too.  We have many shades as women.  More than 50 shades of grey.  :)  I realized as I felt stirred by his presence on screen that the stronger the wild force in a man, the deeper the heart has been in my own personal experience. And a man’s heart is the really juicy part.   I believe this is true of women, too.  That shade isn’t for the faint of heart and it’s not everyone’s flavor.  But it’s my favorite.

So ponder, men, what masculine is to you.   And ladies, if you love this kind of man, you can inspire him to bring these qualities forth.  It’s in all men, closer to the surface in some than others.  And while a woman can evoke some of this from a man, it has to live within him for himself first.    Some of us are waiting, watching and hoping…and in the meantime, I’ll get my fix from Game of Thrones.


Love & Blessings,



Why It Takes Two To Tango…

tango embrace beautiful   WHY IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO

We all know the expression, “It takes two to tango,” and we have probably all used it at some time.  I didn’t realize the profound meaning of this statement until I started to study tango in October 2013.  So in this post, I’d like to share the teachings I have been receiving about relationships through this art form.    Many of you know that I’m a dancer and believe that dance is an integral part of how we should live our lives as women.  It’s a sacred place for expression from our souls.  I’ve studied and danced many styles: ballet, jazz, tap, African, Brazilian, belly dancing, salsa.  But in tango, I was not prepared for the hold it would have on me and why.    All of us strive to understand and often struggle with relationships and the maddening and wonderful dynamics between men and women. Little did I know that tango would hit me between the eyes with some MAJOR relationship aha’s!!!  I’d like to share some with you here…

There are so many elements to tango, most of which I can’t cover in this post due to sheer volume, so I want to share what I’ve been learning from the two most fundamental aspects of tango:  the embrace and the connection.   The embrace is the way men and women hold each other in the dance.  It’s fraught with intensity, passion, promise, heartache, intimacy, sensuality.  Ahhhhhhhh, it’s just so good.   It’s the container for the connection.   And the connection is about FEELING your partner.  In fact when I dance tango, I cannot dance it with my eyes open.  They are always closed so that it becomes a moving meditation with the man guiding me, leading me and my trusting him.   Are you catching the relationships metaphors already?!

Additionally, the connection is through the heart, literally.  In the tango embrace, the man and the woman are connected at the chest, and the lower body actually does not touch in most aspects of the dance. The man leads the woman with his chest, right through the heart. Unlike salsa where you are literally sometimes being man handled as the salsa lead is through the hands.  As I am still in the early stages, so much is learned as you dance with your partner.   I have had a couple of breathtakingly beautiful male leads demonstrate to me with only one hand and just chest to chest what that feels like. And let me say that to be led by the male heart, as a woman, well need I say more? But what I am learning as a woman dancing tango is which man can you trust? I close my eyes and feel his heart, his arms around me, and the connection with the music.  It’s like the music and the man are my lover.  You can feel so much in the embrace, in the connection or lack thereof.   And the same is true of course for the man; they are looking for a woman that can surrender to their lead.  A woman who respects their power and who can feel him.

An interesting and unique aspect of the tango is that the woman is almost always moving backwards. She cannot see where she is going. It’s why tango clothes always have such sexy open backs.   Since we are walking backwards, trusting that man to lead is crucial. Especially because tango has a very unique set of protocols around how the couples move around the room. There is a pattern and a shape to it, and the men have to navigate that while deciding which improvisational moves to use in leading you.  I find it mesmerizing to close my eyes and to feel this man’s chest next to mine and to feel whether we are connected or not; to the music and to each other.  When we are, it is a spectacular and very present moment experience.  When we are not, you just can’t wait for it to be over, which is probably a lot like some of the relationships we’ve all experienced; we don’t feel connected so we just go through the motions, waiting for it to end.

I recently read an article on tango that was really fascinating. It spoke about the idea that when we hug anyone for 20 seconds or longer, this causes a release of oxytocin, the love chemical the feel-good chemical that our brains release. It’s also the post orgasm chemical as well. When you dance tango, it is done in what is called a tanda, a series of four songs hooked together, and the etiquette is that you dance with that person for the entire duration of the tanda. It is bad manners to step away in the middle of one.  Each song is approximately three minutes, so if you dance a tanda with someone, that is 12 minutes of a hug! That’s a lot of oxytocin and a lot of good energy. I recently went to a Milonga, which are the social gatherings where people go to dance tango, and danced about 14 tandas in one night. I was literally hungover the next day, in a good way.  Kind of the way you feel when you’ve been making love with someone that you are really into. It completely blew my mind!

There are also some other powerful relationship metaphors like interdependence. The woman has to lean pretty far forward into the man and at the same time, she has to keep her balance, not lean on him.  So tango teaches you not to be codependent!  If the balance is off and the woman is leaning ON the man instead of INTO him, she can lose her center (or herself in relationship speak)

Tango is 100% improvisational, and it’s not Dancing With the Stars ballroom dancing. This tango is social dancing, the way it was created and still done in the streets of Argentina.    So it’s real and gritty and raw and takes you so deep.  Just like  a real relationship.

Don’t get me wrong,  It is clearly not true intimacy, but it gives you an amazing platform to learn the tools because they are built so nicely into this amazing dance.   As one guy explained tango to me, he said, “This song is three minutes and in this song, for those three minutes, we are in love.”  He said, “you have to trust me to lead you.”

Ladies, I know how that makes your toes curl and your heart beat faster. But guys reading this, I’m sure that you would love the idea, the chance to feel that way in your own masculine energy, for a woman to submit to you and allow you to lead her wherever you choose.   You can see all the control freak women in the room, which is rampant in our society of course, with their eyes open and leading the guys. This is a powerful place to learn to surrender as a woman. I’m not saying you have to surrender to every guy you dance with, because trust me, some of them are not worth your trust, just as many men you encounter in your life are not deserving or trustable.  And guys, you can change pronouns here because certainly these things apply to you as well. But speaking as a woman, we must learn discernment about who we give our surrender to, under what circumstances and how far.  In the tango, when that man shows you that you can trust him to lead, it’s like you fall in love!

Some people may think that the way tango is set up is sexist.  As a woman who knows my own power and strength and is an advocate for equality, I find it so liberating to acknowledge that I want to be lead.  How many ladies reading this are embarrassed to admit this to themselves, let alone to allow it expresssion?  Surrender is a beautiful gift when done in the safety of trust.

As in life,  you also encounter in the tango room the guy who blames you when you can’t follow his lead. There is a major rule of thumb in tango, that if the woman doesn’t get it, it’s not her fault, it’s yours, the man. It’s your job. One of the most amazing guys I danced with yet said to me so beautifully, as I apologized for having missed something he was doing in his lead,  and he said “never apologize, if you don’t get it, it’s my fault and then it’s my job to meet you where you are!”  Wow! That just blew me away, because it all was relationship metaphor.

Ladies can you trust a man to lead you? Are you too busy trying to control and dominate everything around you, including the man in your life?. If you do that, he will never be able to be a real man in your life and he will seek that in a woman who is willing to provide that. Men, are you strong enough, clear enough and trustable enough for a woman to be willing to surrender in your embrace? Can you and do you lead with your heart instead of pushing her around, metaphorically or physically?

In tango also exists the expression “the two become one.”  When we embrace our partner, united at our hearts, feeling connected, interdependent, the surrender of the woman, the lead of the man is all there, and we merge with the music, we truly move as one. That is what we are all seeking in relationship. Yet we cannot receive what we are not willing to offer.  In this dance you can experience the microcosm of that perfect union we yearn for.

Tango is a fantastic place to learn about yourself in relationship to the opposite sex and in relationship to the energies of the masculine and feminine.   I find it to be an extraordinary place for me to fully unleash my feminine energy and to have it so well received by the men in the room that I perceive it to be food that nourishes them.  I have heard many of them express how masculine they feel in tango, where they are given permission to lead.

If you’re in a relationship, this is a great thing to do together.  It will deepen your trust in each other and reveal where you are lacking connection.   If you’re single, it is a great way to hone your feminine or masculine energy, to become  more self-aware and to learn to give and receive.  Ladies, learn to surrender to that trustable man, and men, become that trustable man so that she will melt in your embrace and let you lead her anywhere…

Now I KNOW that turns us all on, inside and out…

tango pic 3Love & blessings,


For The New Year…Let’s All Put Our Bleeping Devices Down and Connect With Each Other!

Dining in Tuscany with FriendsI’ve been MIA for a bit, as many of you know.  I try to “play the game” and use the social media to “grow my business,” or to “help people find me,” but truth be told, I despise our methods of “connecting” as they exist in our modern world.  I hit these walls and just unplug, frustrated at what I perceive as a lack of integrity in how we are living our lives.  And yes, that’s my perception and may not be yours, but this is my blog, so I’m sharing mine. :)  I see the beauty in what all this technology has to offer, but I also see the devastation it wields and that bothers my soul and my spirit.

I’m old enough to remember land lines, where we had to sit by the phone and just focus on the conversation.  Or answering machines that we checked once or twice a day and returned calls then. I remember making plans to see my friends and dedicating time to real time together, instead of the constant texting that replaces so much of that.   I can remember going to my computer and only accessing e-mails once a day as there weren’t portable devices like our iPhones and iPads and all the variations on that theme that turn us into Pavlovian dogs salivating as the various ring tones and alerts hit our ears,summoning us to look, touch, read, reply, surf, watch….all for what really?  We are missing our own lives spending so much time paying attention to others,or so busy preparing to share our personal moments with so many “friends” that the quality of those life moments is so diluted and one-dimensional that we are robbing ourselves of truly living our lives and having an organic experience of not only others, but of OURSELVES.  And isn’t it narcissistic to run around preparing to share our lives for others to view?   Doesn’t  that take away from our actual experience in the moment if we had it purely, with no one there watching? Wouldn’t it be based in a deeper, more personal experiential quality than the peeping Tom quality I find so prevalent in social sharing?

I was having a conversation with a good girlfriend of mine recently and expressing how differently I experience men these days with all our ADD, obsessive/compulsive technology seducing us constantly to look, touch, feel, peek.  It’s like a seductress, really.  I haven’t seen HER yet, but I have a feeling it may be a testament to what I’m experiencing in the world.  Men (and women, too, I bet men would agree) are preoccupied with their devices.  Hmmmmm.. dare I touch that?  Maybe later. LOL.  Men used to roam the world, the streets, buildings, restaurants, garages, parking lots, you name it, anywhere in our normal travels, looking at and for women.  There would be eye contact, a smile, flirting, and maybe a conversation and a phone number.  Organic.  We would know instantly if there’s chemistry or not.  Unlike these dating sites where everyone is tethered to the screen and their inbox, seeing who winked, tickled, poked, WHATEVER them.  Then you write back, have a phone chat, meet eventually and maybe there’s a connection.  How much time, by the time that moment arrives, have you already spent trying to figure out if there’s a good old-fashioned connection?  How many days, hours, weeks?  When we have an organic interaction as I just described, we know in a few minutes and it’s a lot more interesting and far less wasteful of our time!!

What is this obsession we have with CONSTANTLY needing to know what’s happening with our “friends,” most of whom we’ve never met, and having to check e-mails as soon as they ding your inbox?  And texting, this is perhaps the most out of control obsessive thing we do.  Am I saying I’m a paragon of virtue and NEVER do any of this?  Hell no!  In fact, I’m writing this because I realize that even with my constant awareness of and disdain for this way of life, it still sucks me in, too!  I work hard at keeping it at bay, which just goes to show what an addiction it can become.  I’ve turned off my alert tones for e-mails and have text tone alerts for important people like my daughter.  I stay off FaceBook, except when these blog posts happen, and if I feel I have something really meaningful to say.  I only reply to e-mails once a day.  The level of stress reduction that act alone has produced is mind-blowing and revelatory.

Imagine if we all had focus, on one thing at a time?  Imagine if you could walk down the street and not feel compelled to have your device in your hand, typing on it, talking on it, even listening to music on it.  Every time you get an alert, it distracts you from real life and pulls you into a virtual reality, which may be part of your real life on some level; an important e-mail or reply to someone important, but we don’t distinguish for the most part.  We just keep looking at it, touching it, playing with it, keeping it close to us.  Sounds like a romance doesn’t it?  The scary thing is there are a lot of people out there who consider themselves in relationships with people they virtually never see and only connect with via these gadgets.  Skypeing isn’t being with your friend or lover.  It’s a cheap imitation, and I for one love the real thing.  I like to look into the people in my life’s eyes (they are windows to the soul!), to hear them laugh and to see the expressions on their faces.  To kiss hello and goodbye, and to HUG!  There’s no replacing real life hugs!  I like to share a meal, to eat off their plate or have them eat off mine, to share a dish or tapas, and a bottle of wine or whatever we are drinking and to toast to something we care about.  I like going to movies together, traveling together, cooking together, and if it’s a romantic relationship, well, clearly, there’s nothing like the real thing!  We have access to anything and everything in this virtual world we’ve created –except each other in the flesh and blood and bone.

Back to the concept of focus.  Before all this instant gratification and obsession with everyone else’s lives, there was more personal success I believe, due to our ability to concentrate, commit and focus.  Being more than a bit of a conspiracy theorist, I believe that the “powers that be” that want to make sure that your power doesn’t become, lest you change the world, they love the idea of all this ADD and addiction to technology.  As long as we are distracted by all the vastness of what’s on the internet, we will never be able to concentrate and do something really meaningful with our lives.  Or, if we do, it will take so much longer to get around to it because the video of some girl or some guy or some animal doing something really stupid was so compelling that we had to watch it and also the next one that popped up on the page, until hours have gone by and what have you done to move your life in a direction that is meaningful TO YOU?  As long as you keep on choosing virtual “entertainment” over commitment to your dreams, your gifts, your vision, you will continue to have an undercurrent of dissatisfaction about your life, a sense of depression or lethargy and confusion about where you’re headed.  Entertainment and fun is CRUCIAL in life.  It’s just better had in the real world rather than the virtual one, in my humble opinion.

There is no escaping technology and I’m not saying we have to be all or nothing.  I am realizing that balance, as in all things, is the key.   In trying to live more balanced with the gifts of technology, can you choose to be more present in your real life, to notice the people you interact with, even in an elevator, or standing in line?  Can you choose to sit still and not pull your device out to check for anything new in the last 5 minutes since you last checked it?  Can you sit outside and listen to life going by and not have your headphones on constantly?  Can you take an honest inventory of how much time, hours wise, you spend daily on your devices doing utterly meaningless things?  And I would include in utterly meaningless checking your “friends” status updates and cruising their pictures. By “friends” I mean people you don’t know personally.  How is that moving your life forward?  That’s the one that will rock your world when you find that number.

Another not often spoken about aspect of all this technology overload is the burden it puts on our health.  I read a study more than two years ago that spoke about adrenal fatigue being rampant among young people especially, but most Americans in general.  Why?  because the actual process, neurologically of using your eyes on a screen constantly causes all kinds of biological processes, and one of them is being in a constant state of alertness on these devices causes our bodies to make more adrenaline, and because it’s constant, this causes a form of adrenal fatigue.  There’s the literature also about the electromagnetic frequencies (EMF’s) and what they are doing to our bodies as well, just having these devices close to our bodies.  Our nervous systems and brains are on overload via overstimulation through the eyes as never before in our history as human beings.    All of this, because we are technology addicts.

Ask yourself as we go into a new year, not to make any resolutions, as most people, myself included, don’t find them truly useful or effectual, but ask yourself what you’re going to commit to this next year.  Can you commit to putting down your device and visiting it occasionally throughout your day instead of constantly?  Can you examine how your life may have moved forward more if you’d had focus and commitment and attention and intention this past year?  And don’t beat yourself up.  It serves nothing.  Just choose something different as we enter a new year.  Choose real life.  Choose to pay attention to and be present for your dreams and visions, and allow technology to serve you in that, but don’t be a slave to it.  Don’t let it take your soul, your life, the hours in your day, and don’t let it keep you from knowing the joy of experiencing the real world and all the people in it.  Even the assholes.  :)

Happy New Year to each and every one of you and thank you for your support of me and my work.  If you feel moved to share my words, please do.  I hope they have inspired you in some way, big or small…

Much love and blessings in 2014,


A Reminder That Pain is Your Friend…


It seems like everywhere I turn of late, I notice that we are all suffering and being challenged on many deep levels.  I wrote a blog post a year ago that felt so relevant, that I’m sharing it again with you.    http://ginacology.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/the-next-time-pain-knocks-on-your-door-invite-him-in-for-tea/

Trust your life, even when you feel you can’t.  I live my life as expressed in this post and I know from deeply personal experience that the only way out is through, and the way through will lead to you…It’s a doorway.  Don’t be afraid to walk through.

Love & blessings,


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