body

Good night’s sleep

Body full of Soul is a series about life. Let your body and soul flourish.

 
Let’s get a good night’s sleep, shall we? There are endless tips about how to do this, but here are two things you can do anytime to help relax.
Our minds are so much more capable of self-care than we realize. Relaxing and focusing in on certain parts of your body will tell other systems to let down their own guard and rest. We all need rest.
There are small things you can do even at work… even while taking care of wild children… even at the grocery store or in a stressful meeting that will relax you. These same things can help you enter sleep more quickly and with more intentional beauty.

First Try This:
Relax your tongue and jaw.
Let your tongue lay low in your mouth and let your lips part slightly.
(^^That part you can do anywhere. No one will know you are practicing relaxing in their presence^^)
You can take it further and…
Rub your fingers firmly from the inner edges of your eyebrows, along your brow line, gently through your temples to your hairline, and then firmly trace along your hairline, past your ears and against your jaw.
Relax. Breathe. Focus on long exhales.
“Relaxing your tongue and jaw sends a message to your brain stem and limbic system to turn off the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol,” says neuropsychologist Marsha Lucas, PhD (from Prevention.com)
Do this to remind your body that you are safe and can relax.
*****
Second Try This:
If you are looking for a more complete connection between body and spirit before you enter sleep, try a Body Scan Meditation with a Prayer twist.
A great example of a recorded Body Scan Meditation is here at NPR.com.
The purpose Body Scan […]

Touch me

I’m here. In here. 
not body or soul
but both – Both
skin and nerves
sewn to love and fears
touch me, please
so you can touch me

We are neither angel nor animal.
We can live for days as if our minds are the endless, beautiful, infinite space of creativity and spirituality. We can live for days as if our bodies are the magnetic, focused, sensory playgrounds of indulgence and physical exertion. We can choose to live on either side of the divide, but only so long as we can keep up the illusion that there IS a divide.
We cannot live long or well without realizing the mental effect of our physical actions.
We cannot live long or well without realizing the physical needs and effects of our mental obsessions.
You are imagination and skin.
The goal of this series is to remind you and me, everyday, that every part of us is made well … and not just made well, but somehow precious and important.
Skin is holy. Spirit is holy.
If we are living for the day that we are finally done with this body and can be the spirit we were always meant to be, we are missing the goodness and holiness in Life. It is in and through our bodies that we love and are loved.
 
*****
Last night, my littlest daughter asked me to cuddle with her. She loves when I gently run my hands up and down her legs as she lays in bed. Her soft body glides under my warm hands and I pray for her as I slowly make contact with each inch of her tired skin. Being alive is exhausting, especially when you are doing it well. So, I pray for her health and for her legs – that they would be strong and sure. I […]

Write 31 Days 2015

 
Hi Friends! Welcome.
Take a slow, deep breath.
Count to 4 as you inhale.
Hold all that breath in your lungs as you count to 4 again.
Then, when you are ready, breathe out slowly and fully.
*****
Welcome to this space. It is as much yours as it is mine. May it be a rest when you need it + a kick in the butt when you need that too. All these tiny pixels, created by fingers on keys, mean something to me + I hope they mean something in your life too.

We will talk about bodies + souls here. We will talk about love + making it. I am a pastor, speaker, writer, and a sex educator.
So, now that I’ve made every possible person slightly uncomfortable, let’s see what good we can do in this uncharted territory. Please proceed wisely and know your own boundaries. love, Nicole
*****
Body full of Soul is a series inspired by the annual Write 31 Days venture.
Everything is Connected. We are whole beings and it matters what you do with your body and how you think about your body.
Let’s set aside a little time each day in October to give attention to the miracle of being human.  We are made of stardust and the breath of God, after all.
 

All of the essays + pictures + sensual delights
will line up here for your attention.
 
ESSAYS + GOODNESS

C.S. Lewis Said Something – on having and being

Touch Me, Please, So You Can Touch Me – on angels and animals

Imagination and Kissing – Anais Nin and me

Good Night’s Sleep – relaxing

Pique Your Curiosity – on Parker Palmer and the wildness of your soul

Prayer for Love – seeing with new eyes and closeness of heart

Life is a Freakin Miracle – presence and a Bible reading just for you

Get […]

Quickie 1

quickie thoughts…talking to myself again….

oh, hello, Body.
Tell me what you want. All of it.
I will listen and not laugh or judge.
I can’t promise to give you everything you want, but I will sit and wish with you.
 
Just because you want it doesn’t mean you’ll get it, but I sure do love to hear what you like and dream with you.
I’m sorry about the times in the past that I left this important middle part out – this part where I just wish and listen. I thought if I knew what you wanted I would have to give it to you. I didn’t realize the glory in just knowing and listening and waiting.
So, tell me, what do you want. All of it.

Love and Making It in Spring

Love and Making It in Spring session is over… but we have something hot coming this summer.
*****
 
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}

*****
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)

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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.
 
*****
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 […]

Making Love

“You sure do write about sex a lot.”
Yes. That’s true, but I didn’t expect this. I’ve never cared much either way about sex, honestly. It’s not on my mind that often… not that you’d believe me with all this Love and Making It talk. 
But something happened to me after my second baby was born and sex has become my yoga, my running, my self-care, my way back to loving my body and learning that my “self” is more than what is just in my head. I am not just a soul or an intellect. I am a body too.  And this body is good – as good and perfectly created as my soul. Sex has become a the way I grow as a human, a Christian, a woman. My body and soul are reuniting and getting to know each other.  This is why I keep talking about sex. I believe our bodies are good for way more than short bursts of pleasure from food or quick orgasm.  Our bodies are much wiser and complicated than we give them credit for on a normal day. 
Ask anyone who has a workout they absolutely love (a runner, a yogi…) and they will tell you how that exercise brings them joy and endorphins and knowledge and self confidence and health.
Movement. Courage. Vulnerability. Fun. Play. Appreciation.
This is sex. It’s not just mechanics.  We are making love. It’s not easy, but it should be fun. And it can grow us as humans, if we let it.  Growing in the areas that make sex great, also make life great. 
The keys to great sex are trust, bravery and love. 
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Sex is complicated, for sure.  No one has been handed a clear and […]

By |November 27th, 2013|Love and Making It|6 Comments|