Move Your Molecules
Why F.E.A.R. is a Four Letter Word
Better health, less stress and more sexual initiative – that’s exactly what men and women requested in a recent national study conducted by the Association of Reproductive Health Professionals. Less than half of those surveyed were satisfied with their sex lives. Stress. Sexuality. Health. What’s the connection?
Sex is hardly ever just about sex.
We want to know how to feel good. According to the current National Health and Social Life Survey designed to represent adult sexual behavior in the United States, 43% of women experience sexual dysfunction by midlife. Women are confused about sexual issues and particularly concerned about whether our own bodies, sexual feelings, and sexual activities are ‘normal.’
“I can’t climax. Why?”
“I feel uncomfortable with masturbation. Why bother?”
“When I fantasize I feel ashamed and I shut down.
“I’m having sex regularly but I don’t ‘feel sexy’ or fulfilled.
“I can’t sleep, I feel scattered and my body aches. Am I depressed?”
“If I talk about my needs and desires I feel selfish and misunderstood.”
“I don’t feel desirable and I’m not interested in sex. I feel lousy. Is this all there is?”
“Our various fears about sex -- fears of sexual rejection, making a fool of oneself, disclosing politically or socially “inappropriate” sexual desires -- present significant obstacles to good sexual communication,” says Cory Silverberg, writer for About.com’s Guide to Sexuality and an AASECT certified sexuality educator. He says, “These fears are often justified…we also live in a culture of fast and harsh judgment of those who don’t maintain the status quo, and they make it very difficult for us to talk about sex honestly with the people around us.”
A lot. Avoidance of sexual and emotional issues only increases anger and anxiety and fuels our stress engine. “Stress and emotions continually lodged at the level of the receptor of our body-wide system block nerve pathways (think gridlock) and interrupt the smooth flow of information chemicals, a physiological condition - of being stuck - in sadness, fear, frustration, anger,” says Candice Pert, Ph.D., author of Molecules of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine.
Remember The Munsters and that nasty fire-breathing dragon in the basement? We never really saw that dragon, but we felt its heat and chaos raging when that door was flung open. President and Director of Centerpointe Research Institute, Bill Harris, remembers, and says, “What we repress or push into the basement of our awareness is eventually expressed anyway. Even worse, what we repress or disown is expressed in covert and dysfunctional ways, creating serious problems.”
What you’re really doing is choosing to harm yourself. Choosing to create pain and symptoms of stress. “Our subconscious mind has this childlike honesty to it, a playful dog bringing the bone back to you again, again, and again. You keep burying it, your mind keeps digging it up and bringing it back, whether it uses your body, your emotions, your words,” says Stephanie Moses, author of upcoming book Getting to Neutral.
Your voice needs and deserves your attention. That voice is the truth of you. John Updike, in his story Personal Archeology, writes of those 'forgotten' thoughts and the natural cycles of life. “Ceramic, unlike metal or wood, is impervious to time and moisture. But the earth, freezing and thawing in its annual cycle, can at last push up to the surface what the culprit thought had been safely buried or forever hidden."
Stephanie Moses has a clue. She says “Start with being honest with yourself about how you feel – about what you want. Begin with what’s inside, and stay on your side." By combining hypnotherapy with EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) and Bio-Emotional Release Techniques she leads her clients to feel better, asserting that the second that you do feel better is the moment you’re ready to take the next step. “Find out what feels good by learning what your own bio emotional response is to it. This allows you to open your own doors. If something doesn’t feel right, you’re the one who has to care enough to act."
But all too often, fear numbs and dumbs you up – a conditioned response that seems to stop you from revealing your truth and speaking out. When you experience fear surrounding your needs and desires, then what?
Fear is a Four Letter Word. Literally.
My close friend, Kathy, an amazing single mother of three kids called it out when she told me what fear meant to her. She leaned towards me, spelling it out in the air between us – F.E.A.R. = Feeling Excited And Ready. The hair on my arms stood up.
We think of fear as something outside of us; it’s not. It’s inside. It’s based on protecting yourself – in this case, on protecting you from feeling your heart - from desire, loving, being loved, loneliness, pleasure, pain, rejection, joy. That supposed fear we feel usually gets reduced down to core emotions, like “I’ll be embarrassed if...” or ‘I’ll feel guilty if…” and ‘I’ll feel ashamed if…”
Fearful emotions stimulate a contracting in the body. A holding pattern. Think of communicating like riding a wave. Say you’re in the ocean and a wave comes speeding towards you. You have two choices, you can A) respond by surrendering to it and riding the wave, feeling the exhilaration and excitement and releasing a stream of endorphins or B) react and brace against it, get pummeled by it, triggering a fight or flight reaction by shooting stress hormones, including adrenaline, into the bloodstream. Habitually choosing Plan B results in burnout as it depletes our reserve tank; while the merit of Plan A triggers a release of endorphins - an expansive, open energy of feeling excited and ready. We become ready to step forward and clear the air, excited to feel everything this brings and to live on the edge of your potential.
Every choice to feel good is worth your while. Value what you’re made of and grab F.E.A.R. by its horns and ride it! It’s in you. Joy, that is.