Nicole

About Nicole

Faith + Art + Hope. Make me laugh. Notice beauty. Teach me truth. Choose grace. Pour me out for those I love & those I don't. Share Jesus. Laugh with me. I make connections and then I share them. I peel back layers so we can see the treasures buried underneath.

Wild and Precious Life

sometimes, I wake up already feeling behind.
when this happens, I let the wisdom in my pen speak truth.
What will you do with your one wild and precious life?
You woke up this morning already listing the ways you will fail – the tasks that will meet resistance and never reach the finish line. You lay, covered in clean sheets and painless skin, and yet you felt strangling discomfort in your soul.
Why, Darling?
Why have you forgotten your place? You are a child – a wild, lovely, free child – living in the world run by the most loving and responsible Parent in the world.
So, what will you do with your one wild and precious life?
or rather
What ARE YOU DOING with it? You can only live right now.
Landsliding to-do lists and performance reviews care for the future, but what are you doing to care for right now? Set time aside to tend the future – a set time to let your mind wander into next month and next year and even this afternoon. Carve out time-travel appointments, but do not forget to come back to this time and this place…this is where you actually live, My Love.
You are a flower, growing for such a short time. Be here. Growth and beauty and achievement will come as you soak up sun, water, and nutrients. Feel the strain and sensation of now – know that it is leading somewhere but that “somewhere” is none of your concern. Take each next step.
The act of attention is a form of prayer.
You’ll be surprised to find that as you witness the universe, the universe notices you right back. This is the glory of a loving Creator.
*****

The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
[…]

Help Your Spouse Want More

Hey Guys,
Want more great sex with your spouse? Want them to want sex more? I’m not one to be bullet-point about things, but since this is for you Guys I’m gonna try. Let’s start with the delicate subject of arousal and wanting sex …
*****
Imagine that every couple days your female best friend drives to your house to see you. You open the door and run out. Grabbing her in a fierce hug, you smile and stand together for a moment. You’ve missed her. While still hugging, you pat her down and take any money, jewelry, or Starbucks cards she has on her.  You stick your hands in her pockets and pull. You slide your hands up and down her sides, noticing a phone in her jacket and a wallet as well. You slide your fingers in and take those too. Then, you hold your friend by the shoulders, say “THANKS, SEE YOU TOMORROW!” with a big ol’ grin, and go back into the house, locking the door behind you.
How many times do you think that friend would come back to see you, if all they get is their body patted for loot?
Our spouse is the person with whom we have agreed to be BEST Friends.
And frankly, sometimes, sex can feel like a fairly pleasant mugging instead of best friends playing.
*****
(I want to clarify that the typical man/woman roles in sexual interactions can easily be switched. About 1 in 8 of the people I talk to about their relationships have the roles reversed – where the woman wants sex more often than the man.  Just read this from the role you know you fill.)
*****
Here’s the hard part: Some of you, men, you are using women’s bodies to get what you want… but most of you […]

By |February 27th, 2015|Love and Making It|0 Comments|

Passionals

What is a Passional?
It is a letter from me to you combining PASSION + SPIRIT.
Part devotional. Part sex-therapist session. Part drinks with a best friend.
*****
In a world full of demands and expectations around beauty and sexuality, a Passional is freedom and exploration.
When you receive your weekly Passional, you will know I have been thinking about how to bring more Bravery + Beauty + Freedom to your life in bed and out.
*****

It’s all about you and your marriage and the meaning behind all of our actions.
It’s also about creating hot make-out-sessions.
It’s also about starting glorious flames of passion in your heart.
It’s also about noticing the glory in every moment – and the glory in YOU.
*****

You are glorious. You are good. You are a miracle. Your skin. Your smile. The way your lungs fill with air to spread life throughout your body. The freckle you think is weird, that’s beautiful too.**
Your spouse is also a miracle. Can you see it?

 
Your Passional will remind you to notice the miracles and help you find ways around & through the obstacles in your love life.
Passionals are for anyone wanting a safe, respectful, loving, but still instructive, funny and passionate take on sex.
Here are the first 3 FREE Passional Newsletters. Read them and subscribe for more.
Keeping the Spark Alive – Passional Newsletter #1
Let Your Body Speak – Passional Newsletter #2
Swimming in Mood – Passional Newsletter #3

You can subscribe through any of the newsletters or you can subscribe:
RIGHT HERE. TOUCH THIS, RIGHT HERE.

I hope this is just the beginning of our friendship! Thanks for reading and subscribing.  
**Note: If you have a weird freckle that is more than just “weird” or getting weirder, have a doctor check that out.
 
LOVE AND MAKING IT: REAL SEX. […]

By |February 20th, 2015|Love and Making It|0 Comments|

Start coloring with 50 Shades of Grey

I write and speak on the topic of sex.  I want to be careful with the trust you have given me on this subject. I will not tell you whether you should see 50 Shades of Grey since I haven’t seen the movie yet. Only you know what is beneficial for YOU … but hopefully this will help you cultivate freedom and beauty in your own life either way. 
Here’s what I learned from reading the Fifty Shades of Grey books:
I had limited my own creativity. Most of the actual activities within the book were not appealing to me BUT a few were, and more importantly it got me thinking about how artistic and creative someone can be within their make-out sessions. 
Texture.
Music. 
Surprise. 
Sensation. 
Voicing what you want. 
Clear boundaries and room to play within those rules. 
Rather than giving thought to whether the movie should exist or if it will literally destroy a generation, give thought to your own story. You do not need to save the world. How about we first save ourselves?
Does your body need your attention? Does your spouse’s body need your attention?
Fifty Shades of Grey gives a lot of attention to bodies.  This is another thing I learned: It is especially important for those of us who’ve struggled with bodies being GOOD and BEAUTIFUL and perfectly made by a GOD YOU LOVES YOUR BODY — to intentionally focus your own loving attention on your body.
Where have you been limited in your thinking about your body?
Where have you settled for “mediocre” in making love? 
Is sex an obligation? Is it something you do to make babies? Is it something you do for attention? 
How do you move? Could you move differently?
What is your sensory experience? Could you add […]

By |February 13th, 2015|Love and Making It|0 Comments|

How to have a soulmate

Lately, it has been very cool to say that your husband is not your soulmate.
My Husband is not my soulmate – like here
My Husband is not my soulmate – or here
And I get it. It feels good to be strong and independent and logical.
“I buy my own diamonds and I buy my own rings.”
These women are breaking through the myth that there is one, magical person who is your other half and who will make your life complete. This is a lie. No human is going to make your life complete. Any human you know deeply and intimately will make your life crazy, confusing, tiring, hilarious, and worthwhile… but not perfect or even complete. Life is not complete for more than fleeting moments, unless you are dead. If you feel complete for more than about 60 minutes at a time, you are probably dead and should ask someone if they can see you.
But, soulmates are real and not believing in them will rob you of the best a marriage can be. You can have a soulmate.  You can marry your soulmate. It is possible.

Do you want to know how to marry your soulmate?
Mate your soul to the person you marry.
 
Mate your soul to the person you marry and they will be your soulmate.

MATE: Join together; connect mechanically.
Join your soul together with your spouse and your souls become “soulmates.”
The miracle of real soulmates is not that they found each other and complete each other.  The miracle is not the fairytale of twinkly eyes gazing across a crowded room and falling in love.  That’s the easy part. The miracle is two people with initial chemistry and attraction, each deciding to choose […]

Passionals Newsletter Sign Up Now

Love and Making It
is about to start a new season
Hey, my friend! It’s time for us to start something new together. 
At one point or another you’ve read the blog, seen me speak live, or taken an ecourse and I want to THANK YOU for that. Thank you for joining me here. Thank you for being brave enough to even start reading and thinking about how to make your life better, braver, and more beautiful … even IN bed.  This is my passion = helping you find your passion.  
*****
I am floored by the good work I’ve been lucky enough to see some of you do. You’ve been brave. You’ve literally changed your marriages and lives by engaging with the heart and soul of LOVE AND MAKING IT. Thank you for letting me share in a little of your awesomeness!
*****
I am reminded that we all need this place… even when we are busy, actually, because we are busy. We need reminders everyday to take good care of our love-lives, because it’s a strong current pulling us back to confusion, ambivalence, fear, dislike, and exhaustion.
There are so many forces pushing us away from healthy sex lives.  Health is a constant practice, we can’t work out one day and expect to be fit forever. We can’t read one good article about sex and expect our sex lives to be healthy. This is a practice. 
And so here we are, about to start a new season.  This year I have more content and more bravery of my own and I am excited to share it all with you, but you know it’s more than just the content here – it’s about action and new ways of training our thinking about our bodies. 
My goal this […]

3 Ways to Celebrate Your Birthday

Did I mention it is almost my birthday and I also have issues?
This year, I am facing it head on. My Birthday monsters will not chase me into a dark corner to hide until this sucker is over. I will stay out in the open; sword-of-generosity in my hand and shield-of-oversharing around me.
Birthdays are hard but I sure love them. For our kids, we decorate the entire house the night before their birthday with some of their favorite toys and printed pictures of their favorite things. The year they loved Minions, there was a handmade Twinkies-in-the-shape-of-Minions cake.  In order to get their presents, our kids solve puzzles and clues to complete an epic scavenger hunt that often takes them underwater and to the houses of their best friends. This year we incubated duck eggs and fostered ducklings for a month because my daughter loves ducks. All of this, to show them how loved they are and how seen and how known – that they are WORTH IT… basically to communicate all the things we hope for our children … the rich soil I deep-down believe they need in order to grow up big and strong, so they can go out as courageous adults and save the world while still feeling totally rested and loved because their childhood birthdays were so so so good.
And now it’s my birthday. And I am about to become a moving target for anyone trying to really love, know, or see me.  On other days, it’s so simple.  On my birthday, it’s so complicated. My expectations are erratic because I either change my mind about the actual thing or (really) change my mind about whether it’s ok to want the actual […]

How to Make Your Own Birthday Better

There’s one surefire, tested and proven way to make your own birthday better.
Is your birthday ever hard for you? Do you find yourself moody, disappointed, excited, happy, tired, sad, or a nap magnet as your birthday gets closer?
Doesn’t it feel like birthdays not only make you brutally aware of your actual age, but ALSO bring up issues from previous ages? Did you feel lonely on your 8th birthday? Surprise! The 8-year-old-you is coming to visit on your 28th Birthday as you sit on the bathroom floor quietly singing, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to.”
You know how in sci-fi movies about time-travel, one character will take a piece of paper and carefully fold it in pleats in order to explain to the newbie character, “See? THAT’S how it works. This point touches this point and you can just directly GO TO THERE.”  Well, birthdays are like that: the point in those pleats that lets you travel back in emotional time.
*****
It is almost my birthday.
Every birthday I find my blood pumping and giving me energy as I simultaneously long to climb in bed and hide til it’s over… I want to work like crazy to accomplish #allthethings and I also want to climb under my cozy nap blanket and wake up in a month… NOT just because I am getting older. No. No good comes from regretting my years. I have lived all of them to the best of my ability and I cannot deny living any of them. Each year adds to the patina of Me.  I am the age that I am.
No, I find my birthday difficult because my childhood ME comes to visit.
*****
I struggle with the level of influence and worth […]

Feel alive

Great sex – great physical love – makes us feel alive. It is our soul’s current dwelling in a body that, in fact, makes us ALIVE.  Really see your Beloved tonight. See them and remember how precious these days are together. Breathing. Touching. Moving.
Don’t waste it. See your Beloved with fresh eyes of hungry, vibrant gratitude.
-N

 

 

 

By |October 13th, 2014|Love and Making It|1 Comment|

Open to me

I was asleep but my heart was awake.
A voice! My beloved was knocking:
‘Open to me, my love, my darling,
My dove, my perfect one!
For my head is drenched with dew,
My locks with the damp of the night.’
“I have taken off my dress,
How can I put it on again?
I have washed my feet,
How can I dirty them again?
“My beloved extended his hand through the opening,
And my feelings were aroused for him.
“I arose to open to my beloved;
And my hands dripped with myrrh,
And my fingers with liquid myrrh,
On the handles of the bolt.
“I opened to my beloved,
But my beloved had turned away and had gone!
-Song of Songs, Chapter 5 verses 2-6
*****
I was sleepwalking through my days and nights, but somewhere buried inside … my heart was awake. I wanted to feel alive, but mostly I just felt tired.  My heart was beating inside my chest, but my limbs and eyes could barely feel it. Life is just draining, isn’t it?
I got all ready for bed. The kids’ teeth were brushed, pajamas on, homework checked, clothes set out for tomorrow, lunches planned, and after 3 trips back into their room with forgotten stuffed animals, glasses of water, and extra hugs, I finally started winding my own self down for the night. I took a quick shower and put on my toner, serum, eye-cream and nighttime moisturizer.  I plucked a few stray hairs from some, places…There’s coconut oil on my feet inside cotton socks. My hair is braided in the hopes that the Pin I saw about beachy waves is true. Finally, I lay down with a book to relax – just for a few minutes before my eyes cross and I do that […]