Bonus Episode: Suzanne Rapley
“Pay attention of the story you are telling yourself, because you have the power to change that story”
In this episode we speak with Suzanne Rapley, PhD, Psychologist and Sex Therapist about how being aware of ourselves - our thoughts, our bodies, our language and how we communicate our emotions and experiences - makes us better able to reshape our reality and connect more intimately.
As human beings we are wired to experience feelings, but culturally we might have different parameters on how we can express those feelings. We may experience the same emotion, but express it differently based on which part of the world we come from, and that trickles down to our sexual behaviors.
Suzanne describes the process of root digging: some opinions or emotions are learned throughout our life, and as we begin to discover our roots we can better understand where these ideas come from.
Watch Without Judgement
Collect data about other languages, lives, and experiences while withholding judgment. Be curious about yourself and others but hold your judgement and your criticism. This will allow you to see if you can tolerate your own anxiety and sit with the unfamiliar. In opening your heart to yourself and the world, you can begin to see the world in shades of grey, rather than black and white.
We’ve run out of “shits to give”
One of the best parts about aging is that you care less about what people think about you. You are only as old and sexy as you feel and as you think. We can continually work on ourselves to understand our own ideas of what is sexy and a turn on for ourselves. Western culture has brainwashed us to think that sexy is something we can only be in our 20’s or 30’s, however, we now have amazing examples of older women owning their sexuality – think of Christie Brinkley at 60!
Undressing our Vulnerability
There is a fear of not being accepted, or being criticized, and so we stifle our desires. But when this happens, we are hiding part of ourselves and in doing so – how can we be truly happy? Suzanne suggests that we jump into the fear so that we can open our heart to ourselves and our partner(s) so that we can further develop our intimacy and vulnerability.
“Being in an intimate relationship is the biggest assault to our narcissism because your partner will show you how you look to them, and that can be humbling and jarring. It takes internal strength and willingness to commit to being fully present.”
How to be More Self-Aware:
1. Be curious about how you think about things
2. Notice what you start to feel
3. Pay attention to your feelings, and if you have any particular that surfaces and appears over and over, that is because something is going on.
4. What is the story behind the recurrent feeling - what is the story you are telling yourself?
5. Our feelings do not happen in a vacuum.
“We are creating our reality, and we need to pay attention to the reality we create and own it”