Beauty SOS47

Love and Making It in Spring

Love and Making It in Spring session is over… but we have something hot coming this summer.
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Love and Making It – All Women – July 1st {single, married, don’t matter}

Love and Making It – For Couples – June 21st {for both partners to do together}

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Listen. We are bombarded with sights and sounds that tell us we are just not good enough and neither is our spouse. Let’s rebel against all of those messages together.
Let Love and Making It give you hope and show you the beauty you already have inside AND out – whether you are single or married.
If you are married, let Love and Making It help you and your spouse find the fun and desire and communication skills to really take your sex life to the next level.

Interested? Let us know. We are want to start a revolution… a rebellion… where all the people who thought they were disqualified from the “good” or “sexy” or “beautiful” life ALL get together and say, “Starting TODAY we are making new rules.”
We can show you how. This is about us choosing ourselves because it’s just a total waste to let one more day go by feeling bad about any of it.
Sign up to be the first to hear more info on classes and for a few inspirational words to make tomorrow even better than today. 
(your time is precious. I have over 50,000 unread emails in my personal email from unnecessary things I signed up for.  The emails you get from 1,000 Strands will be infrequent and useful and your information will be private)

YES! Beauty and Good Sex are important to me
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Never Been More Satisfied

Love and Making It – the eCourse currently at full speed – is changing my life more than I thought possible because it is changing the lives of the women who took a giant step of bravery and signed up.  We are asking hard questions and connecting with our spouses. We are cheering for each other, praying for each other, and laughing HARD with each other. Most of all, though, people are finding hope.

“My husband has never felt so loved and frankly I have never been more satisfied.”
“The very thing that has caused so much pain and fear could be the method by which those wounds are healed. whoa.”
(And that is just a couple comments. I am floored by the amazing things happening in this course.)

Thank you to everyone who has expressed interest in taking the next course AND to the single women who have told me I MUST include them next time… AS YOU WISH.
LOVE AND MAKING IT – a course on feeling brave and beautiful {in bed} will start another round in the spring. (Read about it here and here)
BABES IN GODLAND – a course on feeling brave and beautiful {in your body}.  We will focus on feeling alive, well-made, beautiful, and sensual regardless of relationship status.
There are so many messages we have learned about what “sexy” is and how we are supposed to act as women and as people pursuing the mysteries of God.  These classes are a call to freedom and healing for our WHOLE selves.
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“I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.” – Pablo Neruda
I slept but my heart was awake. Listen! My beloved is knocking: “Open to me, my sister, my darling, my […]

Are you a Red Panda or a Firefox?

 
Do you know what this animal is called?
The scientific name: Ailurus fulgens
 

In most zoos these animals are labelled as “Red Panda” or “Cat-Bear”.
Red Panda… this name conjures up certain images in our heads.  Images of cuddles and fur, cuteness and sweetness, like the best pet you will never have.  You’d definitely offer to hug a Red Panda.  I’d build a tree in my bedroom just to have Red Pandas sleep on it all day.
 

 

 
Red Panda
Cute, Cuddly, Sweet, Safe
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Names matter.  What we label something gives it meaning and subtext.  It changes how we treat it.  Language is subconsciously very powerful.
 
This animal has another name: Firefox
 

Now that’s an animal worth closer attention.  A Firefox is handsome, beautiful, mysterious. You respect a Firefox.  You do not own a firefox; she allows you into her presence.

Firefox
Brave, Mysterious, Beautiful, Wild
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Are you a Red Panda or a Firefox?
You get to choose. The world does not get to decide for you who you are.  This crazy zoo may call you a Red Panda, but you know in your soul you are a Firefox – and a Firefox does not give a damn what anyone else thinks.  
Note: Jeff Corwin taught me that scientists have tried to categorize these animals into a larger group, but they defy categorization. They are not raccoons, cats, or bears. They are their own category.  You can be your own category. You do not have to fit into the box others have assigned to you.  People will try to fit you into something they know how to handle. Don’t worry about them. Just keep being your own foxy self.
 
Be the kind of parent you want to be.
Be the kind of spouse you want to be. […]

Please Forgive Me

I need to ask my body for forgiveness.
 
As I finalize the plan for our “Love and Making It” course, I’ve been more aware of my body. I’ve noticed that I tend to see my body as separate from “me”. There’s ME and then there’s this body I am inside that has been connected to ME by nerves and ligaments, like I am in a sci-fi movie and have been assigned this body. Do you think of yourself in pieces like that ever? Is your body YOU or a separated part that you observe from outside sometimes?
I think it’s normal to acknowledge our different elements: body, emotions, ego, mind, spirit, soul – whatever you name them.
The problem comes when we start hating one of our own pieces.
I need to ask my body for forgiveness. I’ve been divided and cruel to that piece of me.  (You can read some of my story here.) Sometimes it is our own divided selves that need forgiveness and reconciliation.  We cannot go on living with hate inside us and expect the rest of our lives to be full of love and passion.

Being kissed is way better when you are fully connected to your body,
like it is yours and it is good and it should be kissed.

 
I cannot receive love through a body that I hate.
And I have hated in the past. So, here goes. I am asking for forgiveness.
 
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Dearest,
Will you please forgive me for not loving you? I have not loved you.
I have used you. I have hurt you.
I am sorry.
I was so disappointed in you that I could not love you. And that was weak of me. And so selfish.
My brain, my ego, wanted you as a trophy […]

Own Something Beautiful

Beautiful.
I fought that word. Beautiful. We wrestled and she broke open. Her guts spilling everywhere. I never meant to break her, I just wanted to own her. Own something beautiful.

Breaking Beautiful turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me. God is like that. He takes the broken things and says, “Now that’s better.” At the age of 30, I finally broke open my idea of how Beautiful was allowed to look and be.  And now Beautiful is everywhere, spilling all over, even in me.  When I stopped trying to own her, Beautiful was mine.
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A woman of strength and tenacity, Bethany Paget, offered me a place to share my story – A place to show my work on how I finally reached the answer that I am ALL GOOD.
Come, read the rest of it here. 
 

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Our bodies are sacred. God uses them AS THEY ARE to make the world more beautiful. If you are married or in a committed relationship and want a different way to approach sex and your body, check out my ecourse starting February 1st.

Birthday Suit

You are a masterpiece, my friend.
Body and Soul. Even in your birthday suit.
It’s my birthday so I get to say whatever I want. You are a masterpiece.

“Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
    you formed me in my mother’s womb.
I thank you, High God—you’re breathtaking!
    Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
    I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
    you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
    how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
    all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
    before I’d even lived one day.”
-Psalm 139
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Now, if you haven’t already, sign up to to spend February with me in my
Love and Making It course.

New eCourse for Valentine’s Day

Love and Making It: Valentine’s Day Edition
An online course in feeling more beautiful and brave {in bed}
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CLASS IS NOW CLOSED. A NEW CLASS WILL START IN THE SPRING. EMAIL 1000STRANDS@GMAIL.COM FOR MORE INFORMATION.

Love and Making It – Valentine’s Day Edition
28 Days to more Beauty and Freedom {in bed}

Then, don’t forget to email 1000strands@gmail.com
to let me know you are in!
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We think we have to love our bodies in order to really enjoy sex. But…

What if we had sex in order to enjoy our bodies?

What if our marriage {bed} could be the place where we bring our whole selves, without fear or pretense, to experience freedom, fun, excitement, healing, passion, and beauty… LIFE to the Fullest?
What if you were allowed to feel beautiful in bed?
 
After talking with hundreds of women about this topic (online, in small groups, around dinner tables, in secret FB groups, and even on stage) I can tell you without a doubt that women, especially Christian women, are not at home in their bodies and not enjoying sex the way we could. I bet that doesn’t surprise you. We know we are not happy in our bodies. We know we drag ourselves to “business time” kinds of love making. We adore our husbands, but sex is just… complicated.
We go into the nights of our marriages with a familiar conversation between ourselves and our spouses… sometimes these happen out loud with the actual husband… sometimes they are all in our minds.

“Hello, I am me. The me that you married.  Still me. I didn’t magically grow breasts or lose weight since last time we met here.”
“Hello, I know. I like you.”
“I’m all you’ve got, I suppose. Wanna have sex? I hear you […]

God is here

God, when I sit in this room, I can feel both alone and the opposite of alone.
I can be aware of the table and my coffee. I can feel the air moving in and out to my nose. There is a chair beneath me and a black cat walking back and forth around it all.
I can choose to be aware of You, too: The I Am, The Presence. The One who is always here. I can choose to feel you in that air and in my bones.
God, when I sit in this room, I can feel both alone and the opposite of alone.
I can choose to see you as separate from me. In this way, you are here and yet different from the Me I consciously know. You are a loving relationship that requires space between us. I pray and you come. I request and you give.
I can also choose to see you as essentially in me. In this way, you are here as surely as I am here. You are a loving Presence in my cells that requires a connection with my own mind and body. Here, to love myself is to be loved by you. Here, to accept the body I am in, is to accept that this body is Us. Here, to pray for peace is to know that the peace is here waiting to be accepted already in my guts. To ask you to be with me would be like asking myself to go hang out sometime.
You are here. You are more here in and with me and available to me than my own thoughts and emotions and needs. You are the beautiful, quiet option that I don’t always know […]

You are Brainwashed

“What you call ‘love’ was invented by guys like me.
To sell Nylons.”
– Don Draper

I’ve been thinking about brainwashing and beauty.
I’ve realized two major things:
1. I am brainwashed in regards to how I actually look.

2. I can be free if I am willing to follow 3 simple steps and give up one major safety net.

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What is Brainwashing?
In the late 1950s, psychologist Robert Jay Lifton studied former prisoners of Korean War and Chinese War camps. He determined that they’d undergone a multistep process that began with attacks on the prisoner’s sense of self and ended with what appeared to be a change in beliefs. Lifton ultimately defined a set of steps involved in the brainwashing cases he studied.
We can divide this process of brainwashing into three main stages:
1. breaking down the self
2. introducing the possibility of salvation
3. rebuilding the self

Brainwashing takes place in isolation – meaning all “normal” social reference points are unavailable. Mind-clouding techniques like sleep deprivation and malnutrition were typically part of the process as well. <<<<<<< THIS is the part that blew my mind. Stay with me.

In regards to our own beauty and worth – From before we knew what was happening:
1. Our sense of self was broken down. You were told you were too skinny, too fat, too short, too tall, too dark, too pale, too ________ (fill in the blank).
Then, over time:
2. You discovered someone or something with the promise to help save you from your ugly.  (Magazine articles, Pinterest boards, a manipulative friend, Marketing for skincare, etc.)
Finally:
3. You acknowledged your ugliness/faults as the bad parts of you and purchased/chased the ongoing help you need so you could be good enough and pretty enough and have people […]

By |January 6th, 2014|Beauty SOS47|5 Comments|

Naked Truth

Love and Making It is a series about wholeness and love, even more than it is about sex. Since sex is really about wholeness and love, anyway.
This post contains pictures of partial nudity.  This is a simple warning. Now you may proceed as long as you are over 18-years-old.

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After adultery.
After years of secrets.
After hard choices.
There is still hope and healing.
When you need a reminder that miracles are possible through love and perseverance, return here and see.
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The Story:
After ten years of marriage, a husband and wife each committed adultery.  It took them six more years to tell each other everything and come clean.  Instead of running… instead of fighting each other to the death… they decided to fight FOR each other.  Now, they are still married and choosing every day to focus on how to heal rather than the wounds of the past. This is not everyone’s story, but this is theirs. 
 
In this guest post conceived by my dear friend, Jennifer Upton (in partnership with her husband, Tony, and a talented photographer named Kathryn Nee), we see another side of intimacy. We see what it looks like to let yourself be loved despite history, despite failures, despite self-doubt.
This is what it looks like to fight FOR your covenant love. This is what it looks like to allow words of affirmation and adoration to seep into your skin… the skin you didn’t think could be forgiven or beautiful or chosen ever again.
 
Words, truths, finally becoming part of YOU – seeping down deep into your heart.  Forgiveness. Beauty. Love.
 
Below are pictures of Jennifer as her husband writes words on her skin.  This entire process was not easy for Jennifer, but it has been holy and sacred and used […]