December 15, 2017

Cancer, Your Body, Trust and Love

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays blog, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

So many of us disconnect from ourselves at different times when we are coping with cancer, treatments, side effects, side effects of side effects, trauma and grief. It’s the experience of losing our essence or forgetting our essence and then forgetting that we’ve forgotten. I believe that it’s crucial to reconnect with our essential self and to discover what our essence has to reveal to us. The dimming of our essence is like the dimming of the sun, we can become brittle and angry or very sad. There’s so much grief with this and it’s healing to welcome it and experience it.

Many women tell me that they’ve lost their libido, feeling beautiful or sexy or any interest in intimacy and sex. Our sexual energy is our life force energy. This can affect our moods, energy levels, happiness and brain. What to do about this? There’s lots of ways to help you get aligned and integrated and it all begins with you trusting you ~ your body, your heart, your spirit and your mind. Until we begin to trust ourselves again, nothing can shift.

I invite you to experiment with the practice described in this video. We have great wisdom in our pelvic bowl, our womb, which is the source of life. And our hearts are radiant with love. When the womb and heart are in communication and communion trust emerges. Tenderness for yourself can arise, tears may flow, anger may erupt. Whatever your experience, welcome it and trust it, let it lead you to where you need to go.

 

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Dreaming Up a Sexy and Hot 2016!

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

As 2015 comes to an end and the moon is full, it’s the perfect time to create your dreams for the new  year. You do that by consciously choosing thoughts that create the experiences you want to have. This is the secret to a great life ~ knowing that your thoughts are the foundation of your experiences.

Watch this video to give you some inspiration and ideas for what you want to create, and then let us know by sharing your visions and dreams below.

 

© 2016 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Astrologically we are in a period of lots of action ~ eclipses, full moon, the equinox and Mercury retrograde, to name a few. During the season of eclipses, things can change in big ways, rapidly. If you knew you could wave a magic wand and change something big about your heart and your capacity to love, what would you change? How can you love you more? How can  you bring more love to the world?

Our experience of love blossoms from our love relationship with ourselves. How do you love you? Are you madly in love with you? Do you have a crush on you? Do you know how gorgeous and lovable you are? If  you aren’t having these experiences, what would it take for you to have them? Maybe, just maybe, it starts with deciding that you do. And then acting as if it’s true. Don’t believe me? I invite you to try it on and see what happens. Let your heart shift completely in the eclipse! And here’s a poem to inspire you.
“And You Shall Love”

do you love yourself?

yes, but
do you love yourself?
not like a poor relation, with an
effort to be kind.  being good about it.

do you love yourself
like the most hopeless crush you ever had?
the day you wrote his initials
all over your notebook:
mr. and mrs.  glowingly divine?

do you love yourself like
Rumi loved his God?
do you love yourself stumbling
and giddy, burbling visions of wine-drunk
spiritual ecstasies?

do you love yourself
so hard it hurts to breathe,
so true the very thought of losing you
makes you ache and cry?

do you love yourself
with dirty fingernails
and all you’ve got,
hanging on, for dear life?

do you love yourself as you rise up,
as you lie down, and as you go about your way?

would you die,
if you didn’t have you?

have you woken, yet,
from that awful dream,
the recursive bargain of self-hate
you made to stay alive?
is this the deal-breaker?

the angel abides
until one day
your will abides no more:
from out of nowhere you could name
the unleashed heart of fire ascends
and you are joined.

as full of scars
as grace.

“beloved”
a voice is heard;
the voice is yours.

(this time it is the angel’s turn
to laugh; even God’s hidden name
prances and smiles)

Dvorah Simon

 

© 2015 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Love, Grief, Loss and Intimacy

Barbara Musser, Sexy Saturdays, breast cancer, intimacy after breast cancer, breast cancer and sensuality, cancer and sex

Loss and grief are inevitable in life. Stephen Jenkinson says that we human beings are maintained by the death of other living things. I’m in the midst of this experience following the death of my beloved Daddy-O 5 weeks ago. I think it’s also true of the deaths and losses we experience on the cancer journey ~ the death of the myth of our immortality, loss of our bodies as they were previously, and the loss of innocence.

As I contemplate my grief being composted into something more life-loving, and letting grief have its way with me, I’m opening more and more into other aspects of love. A broken heart is an open heart. My heart is opening to me in new ways, tenderly and fiercely. I realize that all that really matters is love and opening to love again and again.

This video shares a practice I’m doing and I offer it as inspiration to you on your journey of love and intimacy, which begins with loving you…

As always, I welcome your thoughts and feedback. Until next time, I wish you more love, more wonder and more gratitude for this wild and precious life.

© 2015 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.
For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog reflects my personal opinions. It is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

I Love Rumi Poetry

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Here’s a poem from Rumi that I just love ~

“Close your eyes

Fall in love

Stay there.”

This reminds me that I always have the choice to choose my experience and what I want to feel and create. Knowing that I can do this gives me a sense of empowerment and happiness. I know that the quality of my thoughts determines the quality of my experience. In this sense, I create my experience of reality by how I think about what happens. Or by thinking what I want to believe and feel, that creates my experience.

There’s an adage that “seeing is believing.” That’s for people who need to see something first before they will believe it. Actually this is backwards. It’s really that believing is seeing. What do I mean by that? What you believe literally impacts what you see and hear, what you experience.

Try this experiment to check this out ~

  • Remember the day you received your breast cancer diagnosis and remember how you felt ~ the shock, disbelief, and knowing that your life would never be the same. See yourself as you were at that time and what you looked like when you got the news about  your health.
  • Remember one of the happiest moments in your life. In your mind’s eye, see that situation. See every detail, including the location, time of day, who else was there, and see yourself happy.

Two different scenes with different thoughts and emotions. And you literally looked very different in each situation. Try an experiment and change your thoughts about those 2 events ~

  • Remember the day you received your diagnosis and change your feelings to curiosity and to knowing that a doorway opened to crack your heart open to more love. Literally feel the love and curiosity and notice what happens to your experience.
  • Remember one of the happiest moments in your life and feel a sense of neutral acceptance of the event. Notice how that changes your experience.

The point of this is for you to literally experience how your thoughts and feelings change how you see and experience events in life.  My suggestion is that you continue to experiment with this until you feel that you are getting some skill in doing this. Then you will know that you have the choice about how you will respond to what happens in your life, and that you can be more of the source of creation for your experiences. You can create more experiences of love by choosing thoughts that support love. Let us know how this goes!

Adornment and Pleasure

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Erotic Movement and Flow

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Do you feel self-conscious about your body and how it moves? Are you awkward in your own skin? Would you like to feel more freedom in your body? More pleasure?

Sometimes movement brings great pleasure. For example, I love taking a brisk walk in a beautiful place, breathing deeply and feeling the motion of my body as I feel the earth under my feet, the sun on my skin and the kiss of the breeze on my cheek. I feel in flow with the earth at such times. That flow brings me great pleasure and freedom.

Here’s another movement practice for an experiment ~

Find some music that has a beat that appeals to your body, music that has you want to get up and move. It might be slow and sensual, have a dance beat, or a primal beat. Play the music loud and stand in the middle of the room. Close your eyes and give yourself to the music. As you stand and breathe, begin to feel the music in your cells and bones. Bring your awareness into your body and let it begin to move to the music. See if you can become one with the music, merging into the sounds and flow and rhythms. Let your physical rhythm be that of the music.

If you think you can’t dance, don’t think of this as dance. It’s a flow, a movement meditation to the sounds and energy of the music. Let yourself go, breathe, move and have fun.

You may find that you want to keep going after the song ends. If so, great, keep going. If you’ve had enough, sit and relax. Either way, when you stop moving, sit with your eyes closed and scan your body. Notice your breathing. Is it rapid, deep and full or shallow? How does your body feel? Tingly? Loose? Tight? Relaxed? Excited? Vibrating? Pay attention to what’s happening and how it feels.

Our bodies want to move. Belly dancing was created as a way to ease the pain of childbirth and to bring women pleasure. There are forms of dance called ecstatic dance that are designed as meditations and move through different beats and rhythms. For some, being in the body in this way is a great pleasure and release. Try it and see what it is for you.

Please share your experiences with us so that we can all learn together.

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

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

The Body Electric and Erotic

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Did you have fun with a flower or chocolate or something else last week? I hope so and I hope that you’re beginning to experience little flickers (or big waves) of erotic energy. It’s so fascinating when we slow down and open up, to see what pleasures await us.

Do you know that your skin is your largest organ? It is, and it’s filled with countless nerve endings, which provide so much input. You probably already know some ways that this has changed in your body as a result of cancer treatments. Now you may have new or no sensation around scars or surgical sites, neuropathy, different sensations around hair loss and regrowth, to mention a few.

Are you dissociated from your body? It can happen easily as a coping strategy while going through treatment. Added to the dissociation that many women experience sexually, it can feel like there’s nobody home inside your body!

Going through life physically absent is one way, and I don’t recommend it. There’s much sensation and pleasure for us in our bodies and many ways to access these.

This week the invitation is to focus on the sensations in your skin. Take some time to stroke your skin with various types of touch ~ using only the pads on your fingertips very lightly, gently raking your skin with your fingernails, little taps on your skin to wake it up, deeper circular motions like massage, and any others that occur to you to try. Experiment with parts of your body that aren’t often touched including the backs of your knees, your elbows, your calves, and so on.

As you explore your skin, focus your awareness and attention on where the touch is happening and pay attention to the sensations. How does it feel? Do you feel pleasure both with your fingers or hands as well as the places being touched? Do you like touching or being touched better or are they the same? What helps you feel more present inside yourself? What do you love?

Getting to know your skin through touch and pleasure can be surprising. Notice what, if anything, surprises you and what you are learning about you. Please share it with us so that we can learn from you.

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

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Pleasure in Your Body

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Today is about connecting with your body in new ways.  Are you up for discovering some new sensual and erotic sensations? I hope you say yes!

Begin by opening to the possibility of experiencing pleasure through all of your physical senses ~ touch, sight, sound, taste and smell. I suggest that you literally use your entire body and all your senses to experience pleasure.

Let’s do a sensing experiment. For the experiment we’ll explore a flower. Go to a florist and drink in all the sensory input ~ what do you see? How does it smell? How does your skin feel? What do you hear? Any taste sensations? Walk around the shop and let your senses guide you.

Choose a flower or two to take home for the remainder of the experiment. Ask the florist to wrap it in some beautiful paper and ribbon, as if you were buying a gift for your beloved ~ you are!

When you get home and unwrap the flower, spend some time with it. Begin by looking at the flower ~ what color is it? What type of flower did you choose? Is it beautiful? Take in as many visual aspects of the flower as you can and notice your experience.

Next, smell the flower. Wave it gently under your nose and inhale the perfume. Is it sweet? Clean? Pungent? Earthy?

Gently stroke your cheek with the flower ~ how does it feel? Velvety? Soft? Fuzzy? Smooth? Rough? Do the petals feel different than a leaf or the stem? Explore the feel of the flower in as many ways as occur to you.

Taste the flower! Is it sweet? Spicy? Bitter? Moist? Dry? Take a petal in your mouth and chew it gently. What happens when you do that? Do you salivate? Does the scent affect the taste?

Wave the flower near your ears. Is there a sound as it moves through the air?

Take a petal and crush it between your fingers. What does that feel like? Is a scent released that is different from before? What does it sound like?

What is your experience when you involve all your senses? Does your body feel more alive? Are you in your body or have you checked out? Does this seem silly or pointless? Is it sensual? Erotic? Flowers are the reproductive part of plants. Does knowing this affect your experience in any way?

Can you imagine involving all your senses as you explore your own body? What if you explored your hand in this way, using sight, smell, touch, taste and sound? Try it and see what happens, what you experience.

One aspect of eroticism is slowing things down. This allows you to be fully present with whatever you are experiencing. Sometimes we go so quickly that a day can pass by in a blur. What if you spent 5 minutes a day on being present, fully present?

Imagine doing this same experiment with chocolate, or a bubble bath? Please share your experiences with us!

© 2014 by Barbara Musser, Sexy After Cancer.

For more resources, go to SexyAfterCancer.com

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.

Focusing on Pleasure and Your Relationship with You

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During the month of February I invited you into a daily practice of loving you ~ discovering ways to love you and treat you well. This month we’ll focus on your erotic relationship with you. So many women tell me that their sexual life wasn’t all that great before cancer came into the picture, and that now it hardly seems worth the effort.

Eroticism is much more than sex, at least sex that’s defined as penetrative genital sex, or intercourse. Eroticism encompasses more than libido, desire and intercourse. It involves the mind, the physical senses and being tuned in to the energy that’s all around us

The wiring can get crossed with cancer in the mix. As our bodies change during and after treatment, self esteem and acceptance can plummet. When we feel unattractive, we feel neither sexy nor desirable. We can pressure ourselves to get back into the swing of things sexually and ignore what our body is telling us in an attempt to feel like we did before. It’s complicated!

Dr. Meredith Chivers, a noted psychology professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario who specializes in female sexuality, indicates just how complex desire can be. In her own words, Dr. Chivers found that, “Women are apparently disassociated from their bodies and have greater difficulty than men in connecting their own erotic responses to what they are actually feeling or desiring.” In other words, women’s genitals and brains operate on different tracks when it comes to sexuality.

Let’s look through the lens of eroticism and see what it takes to come back to association with our bodies and brains and to experience erotic pleasure. Sound good? This may feel like risky territory ~ I hope this is new ground and that it inspires you even if it’s a bit uncomfortable. Here we go!

The root of the word “erotic” is Eros, which is Greek for desire, specifically that which can inspire sexual desire. It also has to do with the contemplation of the aesthetics of sexual desire, sensuality and romantic love.  This quality can be found in any art form including painting, sculpture, photography, drama, dance, music, literature or film.

Stop and think about erotic art, and what is sensual to you? Do Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings evoke erotic thoughts or feelings in you? Her bold images of flowers, which are the genitals of a plant, are filled with lush colors and shapes, curves and sensual flows. Or do other artists evoke erotic thoughts or feelings in you?

This week, spend some time with various art forms ~ go to a museum or a film, listen to music, read some literature, whatever appeals to you. Make it a point to experiment with different forms of art to notice, which appeal to you the most.  Let yourself be moved, or not, by these experiences and what begins to move inside you.

Pleasure involves all of our senses and it may not come directly from what we typically think of as sexual. Let your senses open and experience in new ways this week. And please share your experiences with us so that we can all be erotically inspired.

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

This blog is not meant to serve as medical advice of any kind. Any questions about your health and sexuality should be directed to a licensed physician or therapist. Any opinions expressed are solely those of the writer.