Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

Awaken Your Sensual Self

Judith Orloff - Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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(Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff's national bestseller The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life)

To fully step into your personal power it is important to awaken your sensual self. Doing this can offer you a primal connection, a satisfaction you can never get from your intellect alone. As you open to both sex and spirit, whether you’re single or part of a couple, you’ll be a vessel for an erotic flow, enjoying pleasure without insecurities or inhibitions.

True sexual power is claiming your erotic self and mindfully channeling sexual energy. You never use it to hurt, manipulate, make conquests or get addicted to the ego-trip of sensual pleasure at the expense of others. Instead sexuality compliments spirituality by linking us with a greater force of love.

To ignite your senses, try these techniques from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender either by yourself or with a partner to arouse your sexuality and let go to pleasure.

7 Ways to Surrender to Your Sensual Self

Set aside uninterrupted time to playfully experiment. Begin to relax by breathing deep and slow. We habitually breathe shallowly to temper sexual and other feelings. I want you to sense, not think, to be fully in your body.

Awaken Touch
Take a fresh flower or a feather and gently stroke each other’s bodies. (For me, it’s a rose in full bloom with petals about to fall.) Start with the face, neck, chest, breasts, your heart area, gradually making your way down to the genitals. Repeat delicate, circular motions over these areas. They respond to a light touch. It’ll feel lovely and exciting. Let go. Revel in the sensations.

Awaken Taste
Select a few foods, herbs, or spices that have zing. Arrange them on a plate. My favorites are papaya, peppermint, and honey. I have an accountant-patient with a non-stop mind who perks up her sensuality by savoring a succulent piece of watermelon. To heighten your sense of taste, I suggest wearing an eye mask or a loose blindfold perhaps made from a silk scarf. Then, with eyes covered, have your partner offer you each selection one by one. The tongue is a sensual miracle of sensations. Let the pleasure of taste spread throughout your body. Allow it to arouse every pore.

Awaken Smell
Now, explore smell. It is an intimate and important part of sexuality which can turn you off or on. Let a blindfold accentuate your exploration of this sense. One patient, a full time mom, gets a sensual lift from a few whiffs of lavender or gardenia oil during the day. She keeps them in her desk and car. Test our various scents. See how your body responds to different aromas of herbs, oils, or perfumes.. Use them as a sensual refresher.

Play With Movement and Rocking
Experiment with moving your bodies together to build sensuality. Rocking your bodies while holding one another can be extremely sensual. Also, when you first see each other after being apart, a long, silent embrace or hug, combined with rocking is arousing. Dancing or spontaneous free form movements are beautiful too.

Explore Sacred Slapping
Sometimes slapping each other on say, the buttocks, awakens you erotically. Get feedback from your partner about the intensity of the slap that feels right. Do this in the spirit of love, play, never anger. Though this technique doesn’t appeal to everyone, it can jolt some people into a new level of openness and sensual participation.

Tune Into Nature
Draw on nature’s passion to heighten your sensuality. Storms, lightning bolts, mist, rainbows, wind in the woods--enjoy whatever manifestations of nature excite you. Let them arouse your body. Be aware of colors, textures, sounds. Absorb them all. For instance, I’ll twirl on my balcony to the sensual tone of distant fog horn, becoming one with it and the ocean nearby. Sensuality can be transmitted from nature to you, a spontaneous osmosis if you allow it to happen.

These techniques will intensify your own sensuality and the erotic relationship between you and your partner. Exploring each other is never just a one-time event. Keep discovering the nuances of each other’s sensitivity and aesthetics. Experiment with what gives you both Goosebumps, tingles, or surges of warmth. Notice how your body feels, all of it, especially belly, genitals, breasts. Share what arouses you. This lets you both experience more pleasure and intimacy.



Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

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Surrender to Miracles and Abundance

Judith Orloff - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

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(Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff's national bestseller The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life)

Ecstasy and bliss are your birthright. The only thing that keeps you from these is fear. There comes a time when you can set aside this fear and simply rejoice is everything. Love is all there is, truly.

Wonder and gratitude will tune you into the secrets of abundance that comes from love and the heart. When you know this, really know this, bliss will permeate your moments here.

This is an affirmation / prayer based up The Ecstasy of Surrender to awaken the wonder in your heart and keep it alive. In hard times and good times, repeat it to keep you aligned with abundance, success, and miracles.

I surrender to the miracle of all things.

I surrender to abundance in every form.

I surrender my fear and surrender to love every moment, every breath.

I look up at the sky and see the wonder of the universe, so much larger than myself, my loved ones, the human species or even this lush, gorgeous Earth.

I surrender to the wonder of children, and the sun, and the flowers and all the large and tiny blessings that happen each day.

I surrender to the miracle of my life.

I will not believe anyone who tells me miracles are not possible.

Miracles are as much a part of our lives as our breath or our heartbeat.

I surrender to the miracle of my spiritual path and trust my journey more deeply every day.

I do not question my intuition.

I do not question my heart.

I am devoted to the wonder of the moment and the integrity of my path.

Praise our world of miracles and wonder.

Praise our world of darkness and light.

I surrender my judgments and fear and small minded thinking.

I embrace radical kindness towards myself and every being.

I surrender to the miracle of the moment.

I do not rush through my life, but bow to the sacred with every step and every breath.

My life is a prayer to abundance.

I do not believe in scarcity.

I believe there is enough for all in every situation.

I surrender to my success and to your success and the success of all my brothers and sisters.

I surrender to goodness.

I surrender to all the goddesses and the gods.

I am humble and happy and grateful for my life.

I vow not to miss the miracles in small things.

I vow to touch the earth each day.

I vow to honor my body.

I vow to care for this planet as if it was my precious mother or precious child.

There is no miracle too small to praise.

I will not forget to praise myself and others.

I will not forget to honor my journey.

I know life is short.

I know that love is the answer.

I will keep these priorities in place

As I travel through my days

My path is one of joy.

My path is not the path of fear.

I let go to my heart.

I let go to my soul.

I raise my arms to the sky and say “thank-you”

Accept me.

Love me.

Care for me.

I am in love with myself, with you, and the world.

I surrender to the wonder of all things.

Click on the Link to download a PDF version of the Surrender to Miracles & Abundance Affirmations / Prayer



Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

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Ingrid Ruhrmann commented on 29-Jan-2015 06:59 PM
Judith Orloff ... I am ever so grateful to have found you and your work ... you have helped me through some very difficult times and I thank you

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6 Survival Tips for Empaths

Judith Orloff - Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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(Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff's national bestseller The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life)

We all know the holiday season can be stressful but for empaths it can be even more challenging, almost overwhelming. This time of the year their ability to be emotional sponges heightens, which overrides their sublime capacity to absorb positive emotions and all that is beautiful. If empaths are around peace and love, their bodies assimilate these and flourish. Crowds or negativity, though, often feel assaultive, exhausting.

For empaths to fully enjoy gatherings with family and friends, they must learn to protect their sensitivity and find balance. Since I’m an empath, I want to help them cultivate this capacity and be comfortable with it.

I’ve always been hyper-attuned to other people’s moods, good and bad. Before I learned to protect my energy, I felt them lodge in my body. After being in crowds I would leave feeling anxious, depressed, or tired. When I got home, I’d just crawl into bed, yearning for peace and quiet.

Here are six strategies from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender to help you manage empathy more effectively and stay centered without absorbing negative energies.

  • Move away. When possible, distance yourself by at least twenty feet from the suspected source. See if you feel relief. Don't err on the side of not wanting to offend anyone. At the gathering try not to sit next to the identified energy vampire. Physical closeness increases empathy.

  • Surrender to your breath. If you suspect you are picking up someone else’s energies, concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This is centering and connects you to your power. In contrast, holding your breath keeps negativity lodged in your body. To purify fear and pain, exhale stress and inhale calm. Picture unwholesome emotions as a gray fog lifting from your body, and wellness as a clear light entering it. This can produce quick results.

  • Practice Guerilla Meditation. Be sure to meditate before the gathering, centering yourself, connecting to spirit, feeling your heart. Get strong. If you counter emotional or physical distress while at an event, act fast and meditate for a few minutes. You can do this by taking refuge in the bathroom or an empty room. If it’s public, close the stall. Meditate there. Calm yourself. Focus on positivity and love. This has saved me many times at social functions where I feel depleted by others.

  • Set healthy limits and boundaries. Control how much time you spend listening to stressful people, and learn to say “no.” Set clear limits and boundaries with people, nicely cutting them off at the pass if they get critical or mean. Remember, “no” is a complete sentence.

  • Visualize protection around you. Research has shown that visualization is a healing mind/body technique. A practical form of protection many people use, including health care practitioners with difficult patients, involves visualizing an envelope of white light around your entire body. Or with extremely toxic people, visualize a fierce black jaguar patrolling and protecting your energy field to keep out intruders.

  • Define and honor your empathic needs. Safeguard your sensitivities. In a calm, collected moment, make a list of your top five most emotionally rattling situations. Then formulate a plan for handling them so you don’t fumble in the moment. Here are some practical examples of what to do in situations that predictably stymie empaths.
  • If someone asks too much of you, politely tell them “no.” It’s not necessary to explain why. As the saying goes, “No is a complete sentence.”
  • If your comfort level is three hours max for socializing--even if you adore the people -- take your own car or have an alternate transportation plan so you’re not stranded.
  • If crowds are overwhelming, eat a high-protein meal beforehand (this grounds you) and sit in the far corner of, say, a theatre or party, not dead center.
  • Some empaths are highly sensitive to scents, if you are overwhelmed, for instance by perfume, nicely request that your friends refrain from wearing it around you. If you can’t avoid it, stand near a window or take frequent breaks to catch a breath of fresh air outdoors.
  • If all else fails and you absorb stressful or negative energy while at a gathering when you get home take a bath or shower. My bath is my sanctuary after a busy day. It washes away everything from bus exhaust to long hours of air travel to pesky symptoms I have taken on from others. Soaking in natural mineral springs divinely purifies all that ails.


    FOR HELP TO DEAL WITH ENERGY DRAINERS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON CLICK ON THE LINK TO GET THE SPECIAL ENERGY VAMPIRE SURVIVAL GUIDE.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

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    Angie commented on 30-Dec-2014 10:20 AM
    Great info!!!!! At 50 years of age I finally understand why I get so exhausted being around groups of people!!!! Not to mention the borderline, narcissist that I am married to. It is truely a fight for survival at this point... I pray for love and light to fill every cell of our bodies!!!

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    Do You Have a Guilt Tripper in Your Life?

    Judith Orloff - Thursday, November 06, 2014

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    (Excerpt from Dr. Judith Orloff's "Energy Vampire Survival Guide PDF" and her national bestseller The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life)

    Guilt Trippers are world class blamers, martyrs, and drama queens. They know how to make you feel badly about something by pressing your insecurity buttons. They use guilt to manipulate so you do what they desire. They like to see you squirm and throw you off your game. This gives them a sense of power and control.

    Guilt can be conveyed with words, tone, or even a glance. Guilt trippers like to play dirty. To get their way, they exploit your desire to please them or be a good person. They often start sentences with, “If it wasn’t for you…” or “Why don’t you ever..?” They’ll talk about life being unfair and compare your efforts with others who’re doing it better. “Why can’t you be more like Buster--he’s so good to his wife and is such a hard worker.” They also remind you of how much they always do for you. After you’ve been guilt tripped, you may feel two inches tall if you believe these people’s crafty ploys.

    Are You in a Relationship With a Guilt Tripper? Take This Quiz

    To determine if you have a guilt tripper in your life answer Yes or No to the following questions. Then you can use the strategy in this section to protect yourself from being energetically drained by them.

  • Do you know someone who tries to get their way or control you by making you feel guilty? Yes/No
  • Do you know someone who makes you feel “less than” by constantly comparing you to others? Yes/No
  • Do you know someone who acts like an angry victim? Yes/No
  • Do you feel emotionally and/or physically drained after being with someone who is complaining or berating you? Yes/No
  • Do you know someone who you are always trying to please but never seem to do things correctly? Yes/No
  • Results of the Quiz:
    Give each Yes response one point and count up your score.

    Your Score: 0
    Good news! If you answered “no” to every question then it is unlikely that you are in relationship with a guilt tripper.

    Your Score: 1
    If you answered “yes” to one question then there is the possibility that you know a guilt tripper. Be watchful with this person(s) for any other indications and ensure that you address them early in the relationship.

    Your Score: 2
    There is an indication here that you know someone who is a guilt tripper. Make sure you understand all the ramifications and look for any vampire tendencies.

    Your Score: 3
    You are in a relationship with someone who has moderate guilt tripping tendencies. Be very careful of your interactions with them and ensure that you have established good boundaries.

    Your Score: 4
    This person(s) definitely has guilt tripping traits. Be very conscious of their manipulations and their ability to drain your energy. Keep your protection up.

    Your Score: 5
    You have a guilt tripper in your life and chances are this person(s) is also verbally abusive. Can you opt out of the relationship? If not, again set good boundaries and learn the action plan below to protect your energetic well being.

    Action Steps to Deal with Guilt Trippers from “The Ecstasy of Surrender”

    1. Surrender the notion that you have to be perfect
    The guilt tripper tends to lose interest if you don’t go for their misguided manipulations. Everyone makes mistakes. It’s human. You don’t have to be perfect or squeaky clean. If you hurt someone or made a mistake, accept that you can’t change the past. But you can make amends when appropriate. Apologize for offending a relative, pay back money owed, or simply convey, “I wish I had been there for you more.” Focusing on solutions instead of wallowing in guilt is a way to surrender to positive forces, rather than succumbing to the pull of negativity.

    2. Surrender guilt with tears
    One physical way to release guilt if you’re fixated on a mistake you made or not meeting someone’s expectations is to cry. Do this when you’re alone or with a supportive person. Tears release stress hormones and help you heal. As you cry, your body expels guilt and tension. This helps you let it all go. Don’t fight the surrender of crying. Let tears cleanse stress from your body.

    3. Know your guilt buttons
    No one can make you feel guilty if don’t believe you’ve done something wrong. However, if you doubt yourself, guilt can creep in. Believing you are doing the best you can in a situation can quell any guilt and bring comfort no matter what anyone says.

    4. Set limits
    Start a conversation positively. In a matter-of-fact tone say, “I can see your point of view. But when you say (fill in the blank) my feelings are hurt. I’d be grateful if you didn’t keep repeating it.” You might make some topics taboo such as money, sex, or personal appearance. Keep the conversation light, don’t go for their bait, and try to gradually heal your insecurities so you don’t buy into their guilt trips.

    Be aware that there’s a difference between healthy remorse and guilt. Remorse is regretting how a situation turned out or how you behaved. Then you can acknowledge the mistake and make amends. You’ll feel genuinely sorry, but you don’t stay stuck there. Guilt, however, is when you become attached to remorse and self-blame, a reverse form of ego where you keep focusing on a “lacking” or a mistake.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

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    4 Surrender Strategies to Communicate with Difficult People

    Judith Orloff - Thursday, October 09, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    Many of us spend an inordinate amount of time and energy contending with difficult people or “emotional vampires” at work and at home. It’s a reflex to emotionally contract around them feeling powerless, irritated, hurt, or miserable, reactions that just wear you out. But, they can’t steal your happiness unless you let them.

    Surrender can improve your communication skills in many kinds of challenging interactions. For instance, do you know when to surrender your need to be right in order to restore love at home, or when to surrender resentments so that you can forgive? How to avoid taking things personally? Or deal with a friend or spouse who’s doing something you disagree with?

    Be aware that your ego could resist the concept of surrender as its aim is to create open channels of communication between people rather than stonewalling or defending, responses the ego is more accustomed to. Instead if you value “we” as well as “me,” you become a master at diffusing negativity, not a pushover. Let’s say you’re deadlocked in an argument; nobody’s giving in. Then what? Don’t turn it into a battle for supremacy. Instead, give the first inch, an act of true strength. Apologizing for your part in the conflict shows that you value the relationship more than your ego. This opens the door for others to admit their part too. It’s people with real power who step up first to surrender their ego, promoting impeccable communication.

    Here are four strategies from The Ecstasy of Surrender to help you deal with the difficult people in your life.

    Strategy #1: Follow the Laws of Impeccable Communications

    Follow these general laws of communication so you’re able to flow with difficult people and prevent blocks. In your daily life, these will ensure that you’re leading from a position of strength not anger or desperation. You’ll be flexible instead of just meeting conflict with an oppositional force.

    The Laws of Impeccable Communication

    Do

  • Be calm, not emotionally reactive
  • Avoid defensiveness--it makes you look weak
  • Patiently hear someone out without interrupting or needing to have the last word
  • Empathize with where people are coming from, even if you disagree with them
  • Pick your battles, apologize when necessary
  • Don’t

  • Be drawn into drama
  • React impulsively out of anxiety or anger so you say something you’ll regret
  • Hold onto resentments or stay attached to being right
  • Attempt to manage other people’s lives or become their therapist
  • Shame people, especially in front of others
  • Get in the habit of applying these laws to both friends and foes. The “dos” involve surrender and discernment. They will move you closer to resolving conflict by first harmonizing with another’s position, even if you disagree. This sets a tone to resolve conflicts or set boundaries whereas antagonism just alienates.

    Strategy #2: Be Mindful of Your Attitude

    Your attitude is important. Difficult people can be like spiritual teachers who are meant to awaken us, though they aren’t conscious of their role. Nobody said awakening is always pleasant or easy. But they can teach you about surrender: the attitudes you must release to triumph over them or set boundaries and which of their behaviors you must not surrender too. Most difficult people aren’t trying to harm you: they are just unconscious or self-absorbed. Very few are truly dark and have evil motives.

    Strategy #3: Watch the Tone of Your Voice

    Your tone of voice is important too. A critical tone only inflames people. Set limits with them and firmly say “no” with love, instead of sounding snippy or blaming when someone “steps over the red line.” To get the attention of chronic talkers or those on a rant, it helps to open your remark by lovingly saying their name. Hearing one’s name aloud instinctively makes us pause. Remember, we all can be difficult at times. Let this sobering fact curb your enthusiasm for chastising the shortcomings of others in word or tone.

    Strategy #4: Be Compassionate

    Do your best not to vilify people, even when they’re obnoxious or unkind. Realize that anger addicts, guilt trippers, or the other types of difficult people are insecure, wounded, and disconnected from their hearts. The challenge around bad behavior is to maintain your power and priorities while setting clear boundaries, no matter how annoying, negative, or full of themselves others can be.

    People can be annoying and disappointing, as we all sometimes are. None of us is perfect; most of us are doing the best we can. So keep searching for a part of someone that you can empathize with, even when it’s a stretch. You may not always succeed, but keep trying. This doesn’t make you a doormat or a victim. Rather, such compassion allows you to become the finest version of yourself, even as you set limits with bad behavior.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Anonymous commented on 15-Oct-2014 01:23 PM
    Thank you so much for the much needed advice - couldn't have come at a better time!
    Elan commented on 15-Oct-2014 04:06 PM
    Your insights have been treasures for me. You've help me embrace the strength, understanding and joy of my blessed life. Thank you with all my heart!!!
    Colleen commented on 16-Oct-2014 01:48 AM
    Thank you for this advice. I run a support group for depression and anxiety sufferers and related problems, where it could be very useful.
    Debra richardson commented on 16-Oct-2014 06:13 AM
    yes i haveenergies vampires but why when i tell people good things in my life that positive they dont respond or say any thing
    Kate commented on 16-Oct-2014 09:15 AM
    The book rocks! I refer to it often. Highly recommend it to everyone!
    lucy commented on 16-Oct-2014 11:05 AM
    I bought my carless, jobless, abused neighbor a van. Helped her out financially. When she refused to help me with a little housework, actually she would agree and then never show up. I decided to end this one sided friendship. I never have known such a vindictive, hostile person. She sent me the most awful emails, called me names out her window, called me out in the street to fight. I'm 56 and have never fought a soul in my life, Her husband started stalking me and giving me death threats. I have called the police 3 times, after their children threw rotten tomatoes at me and my house and for the stalking and death threats. She finally stopped the emails and now they release their Pit Bull on me and I did warn them to stop and I finally after about 6 times called the animal control. It has been the worst summer of my life. I actually thought her husband was going to kill me. I have lost 40 lbs and now suffer from insomnia. They are neighbors from hell, that I just tried to help and as they say, "no good deed goes unpunished. I own my house 36 yrs, and they are renters, who I pray to God will move!, so I can get my life back. Sincerely, terrified in ,mo
    sue commented on 23-Oct-2014 10:33 PM
    LUCY!!! you need to get the law involved, that is terrible! Do you know the landlord? get them evicted, but in the process, get an order of protection, and maybe a HUGE male cousin that has a giant doberman to move in for a while! I'm not a counselor, but land sakes, thats more than an energy vampire/thats real earth demons!! Stand up for yourself! Get this done,top notch-without their knowledge. You are probably not the first human target, ya know? YIKERS
    JPJ commented on 23-Jan-2015 11:50 AM
    Lucy!! Stop being the victim and take control of your life!!
    You have the law on your side so use it and stop just complaining.
    The are intimidating you. Take charge here.

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    Are You Attracted to Unavailable People?

    Judith Orloff - Wednesday, July 30, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    In my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender I discuss how a soul mate must be willing and available to have a relationship with you. If he or she is unavailable this is not your soul mate at the present time. A confusing part of being attracted to unavailable, commitment-phobic people is that the emotional or sexual chemistry can feel so strong. You accept behavior that you’d never tolerate in friends. Why? The electricity can feel so incredible and rare, you mistake intensity for intimacy. You make compromises you wouldn’t typically consider in order to give the relationship a chance. Still, connection or not, you must take a sober look to determine if someone is truly available for intimacy. Hear this: Not everyone you feel a connection with, no matter how mind-blowing, is your soul mate. You can fall for someone who is totally wrong for you, as unfair and confounding as that reality can be.

    For a relationship to work, a soul connection must go both ways. Even if the intuitive bond you feel is authentic, it can remain unrealized. Just because someone might’ve been your soul mate in previous eras, it doesn’t mean he or she is right for you today. Perhaps the person can’t or won’t reciprocate or is simply oblivious, a frustrating irony you must accept. Don’t put your life on hold for unrequited longing. Love that is destined can never be stopped. Meanwhile, keep your options open. How do you avoid getting entangled in dead-end or delusional relationships where you see someone in terms of how you wish them to be, not who they are? To start, here are some red flags to watch for. Even one sign warns you to be careful. The more that are present, the more danger exists.

    12 Signs You're Involved with Emotionally Unavailable People (EUP)

  • They are married or in a relationship with someone else
  • They can’t commit to you or have feared commitment in past relationships
  • They have one foot on the gas pedal, one foot on the break
  • They are emotionally distant, shut down, or can’t deal with conflict
  • They’re mainly interested in sex, not relating emotionally or spiritually
  • They are practicing alcoholics, sex addicts, or substance abusers
  • They prefer long distance relationships, emails, texting, or don’t introduce you to their friends and family
  • They are elusive, sneaky, frequently working or tired, and may disappear for periods
  • They are seductive with you but make empty promises--their behavior and words don’t match
  • They send mixed messages, flirt with others, or don’t give a straight answer--you’re always trying to “de-code” what they really mean
  • They’re narcissistic, only consider themselves, not your needs
  • They throw you emotional crumbs or enticing hints of their potential to be loving, then withdraw
  • At first, some of these signs may be more obvious than others. It’s tricky: we tend to show our best selves in the honeymoon stage of a romance. It can take time for a person’s unavailability to emerge. One patient lamented, “I need a crystal ball. The first few months of a courtship, a man is so attentive, caring, passionate.” Partially, she’s right, but it’s also true that we tend to see what we want to see. That’s why it’s eye-opening to look at a partner’s relationship history. Who he or she was previously with reveals volumes about their capacity for intimacy now. Beware of rationalizing, “I’m different. This person would never be that way with me.”

    I don’t care how mightily someone blames the blood curdling horrors of an ex for a relationship’s demise, this person played a role too. Being able to admit that or trying to understand the reasons for making such a terrible choice is a positive sign. Playing the victim is not.

    Over the years, I’ve worked with many perplexed, lonely patients to uncover why they keep holding a torch for unavailable, commitment-phobic partners and how to surrender this sabotaging pattern. Most of us aren’t purposely drawn to these kinds of people--their mixed messages combined with our particular susceptibilities, conscious or unconscious, can lure us in. Also, it helps to understand that unavailable people rarely choose to be this way. It’s an unconscious defense against trauma or some emotional wounding of the past. Research has shown that many are afraid of being clung to or smothered which stems from having had a controlling, engulfing, or abusive parent. Commitment-phobic men, in particular, may just prefer sex without love. They are afraid of being controlled by feminine energy, though they don’t know it or couldn’t admit it. Rather, they see themselves as macho dudes who think women always need more than they can give. Thus, they prefer to play in shallow water, not go deep. If being in a relationship with an unavailable person feels like love to you, I urge you to look closer. Commitment phobic women also fear intimacy and want to keep a distance.

    To find true love, ideally you want to avoid getting involved with anyone who can’t reciprocate your affections. If you are in a toxic, abusive, or non-reciprocal relationship, withdraw even when your passion is strong and says “stay.” It may feel excruciating to let go when you don’t want to or if you’re still hoping against hope that the person will change, but, as my Daoist teacher once told me, “The heart knows when it’s enough.”


    WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE HOW TO LET GO OF THE TORCH FOR UNAVAILABLE PEOPLE.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Lynn Fisken commented on 19-Aug-2014 03:47 PM
    Thank you Judith I love your work & this arrived in perfect timing for me today. Much Arohanui to you xxx
    Bren commented on 19-Aug-2014 05:31 PM
    Brilliant...discovered I am an intuitive empath.. Now I understand why about things about myself. I want to ask..in desiring a partner, I find few people who are on the same wavelength. I just can't spend unnecessary time on men who just don't get it, so don't date...help where do I stumble on them? Love your work. Thanks B
    Lisa commented on 29-Dec-2014 04:46 AM
    I had a very disfunctional childhood, alcoholic father who would go into blackouts and do terrible things he wouldn't remember doing and of course the enabling mother. I have come to realize that I am attracted to unavailable men, and have come to the conclusion that I am attracted to men like these because as a child I always wanted my mother to choose
    What is best for her children , choose me over my dad! I am also an empath and have the want to heal people emotionally as well as physically. Not a good combination. I am working on it , but it has taken its tole on me I have been diagnosed with lupus and fatigue is a constant battle. I know I need to take care of myself and stay away from unavailable men! How do I help those I know need help without depleting my own energy?

    N





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    Are You In an Obsessive Relationship? Take this Quiz

    Judith Orloff - Wednesday, July 16, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    As a physician, I've seen many patients who felt trapped in obsessive relationships. They can't stop thinking of someone. They can't stop checking their phones to see if he/she texted. A great part of their consciousness is devoted to ruminating about what this person is doing or not doing and they are afraid of losing the person. These obsessive/possessive relationships can be very painful.

    I discuss this topic at length in my new book The Ecstasy of Surrender. In the book I emphasize that bonding with a partner is a natural part of getting to know someone and of falling in love. But getting overly attached goes beyond healthy bonding and is disempowering. When you truly love someone you’re not interested in possessing the person or keeping him or her in your clutches because you’re afraid of losing the relationship. Instead, you respect your partner’s autonomy and spirit. You’re not too entangled, by standing together side by side. True intimacy is always a balance between bonding and letting go so the relationship can breathe.

    Take the following quiz to determine your obsessive patterns.

    Quiz: Are You Overly Attached to a Partner?

  • Do you cling to your partner?
  • Do you want to possess him or her?
  • Are you often afraid of being abandoned or betrayed?
  • Do you get anxious when you don’t hear from him or her every day?
  • Do you constantly think about the person?
  • Do you start obsessing about a partner after you have sex?
  • Does your partner feel you are trying to control or suffocate him or her?
  • Do you feel you can’t live without the person?
  • How to interpret this quiz: 6-8 yeses indicate that you are extremely overly attached. 3-5 yeses indicate that you are moderately overly attached. 1-3 yeses indicate that you have a tendency to overly attach. A score of zero indicates that you have healthy bonding with your partner.

    First to deal with an obsession you have to seize control of your thoughts and mind. Then consciously change your thinking from unwholesome thoughts to constructive positive ones. It is very important to consciously shift out of the obsession using your will to do this.

    An aspect of myself that I’ve made progress in healing is my tendency to get overly attached to men. During sex I bond quickly and fuse with a man but I can’t un-fuse with him later. I start yearning for him and thinking about him constantly. Some of this is organic and beautiful, but becoming overly attached crosses a line. I can become obsessed and intensely hungry for contact particularly if I’ve been single for a while.

    I am a sexual being so, after I haven’t had sex for a while, I can become needy compared to when I have an ongoing connection with a loving partner. Being in this position makes me (and many women) vulnerable to getting overly attached. For instance, if I don’t hear from this man for a few days--I can get anxious and afraid of losing him or of being abandoned. It’s not good for me, and moreover, most men don’t appreciate this kind of response. So in my tantric sexuality sessions and in therapy, I discovered how to enjoy passion from a more grounded place. Here’s how:

  • I learned that over-merging with a romantic partner without a pause can decrease the erotic charge. It actually can be more erotic and intimate to go in and out of intense connection with a partner, rather than sustaining it. This gives both lovers their space and more breathing room.

  • I don’t “root” in a man, but root primarily in myself and the earth. One way I do this before and after lovemaking is to visualize my body developing roots into the soil like a tree. I’m still surrendered to and immersed in pleasure, but I also keep a fuller sense of myself intact later. I’m able to separate from him and more comfortably see us as separate beings.

  • After lovemaking or to deal with possessiveness in intimacy, I also find it useful to meditate with my partner and then say to each another, “I adore you. I honor you. I release you.” This is a healthy way to bond while not excessively attaching or fixating. It produces a beautiful equilibrium of loving.
  • The solution to not becoming overly attached or possessive is to focus on strengthening your self-esteem while addressing and releasing fears, including the fear of abandonment, which can cause the need to cling. Working with a skilled relationship therapist or coach can be productive. Also you can practice the three tantric techniques that I described above. These will help you develop autonomy and grounding. Being willing to surrender the tendency to overly attach in favor of healthily bonding will allow you to have more joyous and pleasurable relationships without the pain of obsession.


    WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN MORE ABOUT HEALTHY BONDING



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

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    What's Your Money Type? Take This Quiz

    Judith Orloff - Monday, June 16, 2014

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    (Adapted from The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your Life Harmony Books, 2014 by Judith Orloff MD)

    Money can bring out your most fearful self or your largest heart. Which one you surrender to changes everything. How do you do this? By finding effective ways to surrender fear, stinginess, and other resistances to abundance so that money can flow more freely into your life.

    To identify your style of relating to money, below are five money types, including quizzes from my book, The Ecstasy of Surrender. Though you may contain aspects of more than one type, pick the one you most resonate with. Evaluate your financial habits with kindness. The goal is to develop a successful approach to money and get pleasure from what you spend on.

    Type 1. The Worrier

    Worriers can be thrifty, astute problem solvers, and will avoid errors because of their diligence with finances. The downside is that worry increases stress hormones, decreases immunity, and impairs health and sleep. It’s important for them to focus on surrendering worry so they don’t sabotage abundance with their panicked relationship to finances.

    Quiz: Am I A Worrier?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I worry about money every day?
  • Do I make financial problems larger, not smaller?
  • Do I have difficulty falling asleep because I’m worried about money?
  • Do I worry about money even during comfortable times?
  • Do I find I can’t stop worrying, even though I try?
  • When one financial worry is solved do I immediately go onto another?
  • If you answered yes to all 6 questions then worry plays a very large role in your financial life. Four or five yeses indicate a large role. Two or three yeses a moderate role. One yes indicates a low level. Zero indicates that this is not your primary money type. Use this format to calculate your score in the other four money types in this blog.

    The art of surrendering worry is to stay focused in the present moment, rather than making up worst case scenarios to freak yourself out, and take action where you can, such as slowly paying off a debt. What’s hard for worriers to accept is that despite their valiant efforts to be financially secure, they can’t control everything.

    Type 2. The Procrastinator

    This money type notoriously avoids dealing with finances with denial. They live from paycheck to paycheck. For the short term, the feel-good benefit of denial is that stress is reduced as thoughts of financial pressure disappear. But reality will catch up with them when bills mount and creditors start calling. Then panic and guilt about not fulfilling responsibilities set in.

    Quiz: Am I A Procrastinator?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I put off financial decisions?
  • Are my bills piling up?
  • Do I have difficulty making decisions about money?
  • Do I keep ignoring my credit card debt?
  • Do I glaze over when paying bills?
  • Are my taxes or other bills always past due so I accrue penalty charges?
  • As a psychiatrist, I know how much diligence it takes to surrender denial. This is something procrastinators have to want to do. Then, gradually, they can train themselves to address money at a comfortable pace. The secret to letting go of procrastination is finding the sweet spot between accepting financial responsibility and taking time out from stress to unwind.

    Type 3. The Addictive Spender

    Addictive spenders prefer the thrill of spending to the security of saving money. They spend on impulse whether they can afford it or not. Spending becomes a drug, a way to self-medicate low self-esteem, hurt, and disappointments by futilely trying to fill an emotional hole with material things--a temporary fix at best.

    Quiz. Am I An Addictive Spender?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I have difficulty controlling my spending?
  • Do I get a thrill from spending money or gambling?
  • Do I over-spend to escape worry, anger, or loneliness?
  • Am I a compulsive shopper, unable to pass up “bargains” I can’t afford?
  • Are my debts affecting my serenity and reputation?
  • Do I have a bad credit record?
  • Addictive spending is primarily an emotional and spiritual issue, not a financial one. Treatments include counseling, twelve step programs such as Gamblers or Debtors Anonymous, along with being taught money management skills. Healing comes from learning to address and let go of painful emotions without trying to numb them with spending.

    Type 4. The Saver/Miser/Hoarder

    These types are practical, good at planning for the future and saving for a rainy day. Nevertheless, there’s a difference between being financially responsible and obsessive. Savers who go overboard can become penny pinchers and greedy misers. It’s hard for them to enjoy their money, take vacations, or spend on themselves and others.

    Quiz. Am I A Saver?
    Ask yourself:

  • Am I diligent at saving money but don’t hoard?
  • Do I prefer conservative investments to risk taking?
  • Can I enjoy spending money on things I can afford?
  • Do I try not to spend more than I make?
  • Am I against greed?
  • Do I give to charitable causes?
  • When savers turn into misers or hoarders, it may suggest obsessive compulsive disorder which makes them clutch onto money and things to ward off anxiety, the opposite of surrender. They can’t surrender control and be generous because they fear scarcity. To avoid becoming a mean, miserly Scrooge spread abundance by anonymously leaving small amounts of money for people to find. Experience the happiness of this as you let stinginess go. Be a self-appointed money gnome who spreads abundance in the world.

    Type 5. The Intuitive Spender

    At their best, intuitive spenders are finely tuned instruments, balancing logic with gut instincts in money management, hiring, and investments. However, intuitive spenders get into trouble when they simply go on impulse and disregard logic. Also they can misread a financial situation if they can’t distinguish intuition from wishful thinking or fear.

    Quiz: Am I An Intuitive Spender?
    Ask yourself:

  • Do I check in with my gut about finances?
  • Do I look beyond logic for answers?
  • If a decision feels right do I act on it or if it doesn’t can I let it go?
  • Do I trust my gut when it says “beware” of an investment?
  • Will I take a reasonable financial risk based on intuition?
  • Do I consult my intuition about how to creatively make money and where to invest or donate?
  • Smart intuitive spenders also have good common sense. Intuitive spenders can be brilliant money managers if they’re clear about what messages they’re surrendering to. The key is to let go of overthinking or fear, and trust authentic intuitions.



    Judith Orloff MD is a psychiatrist, intuitive healer, and NY Times bestselling author. Her latest national bestseller is The Ecstasy of Surrender: 12 Surprising Ways Letting Go Can Empower Your life. Dr. Orloff's other bestsellers are Emotional FreedomSecond SightPositive Energy, and Intuitive Healing. Dr. Orloff synthesizes the pearls of traditional medicine with cutting edge knowledge of intuition, energy, and spirituality. She passionately believes that the future of medicine involves integrating all this wisdom to achieve emotional freedom and total wellness. To learn more about the power of surrender visit www.drjudithorloff.com

    Comments
    Compulsive Worrier commented on 19-Jun-2014 03:35 PM
    Thank you for this information Dr. Orloff. I admire you and your work. I am a compulsive worrier. I feel there's never "enough". No matter how much money is in the account, I can always see financial responsibilities down the road...short term like next season's soccer fees and long term like college and retirement. The bottom line is that it feels like we're never enough "ahead" to be able to "afford" that family vacation we so badly want to take. Even if the energy bill isn't due for another two weeks, I'll wake up in the morning worrying if there'll be enough to pay it when it's time. Suzy Ormond freaks me out. She would definitely say we can't take a vacation since we don't currently have retirement paid for plus a six month emergency fund, but this makes me so sad because my children will all be grown and it will be too late to make those memories with them by the time we can "responsibly and comfortably" afford a vacation. Please help. I read your advice is to stay present to relieve money anxiety, but I've tried meditation and everything but the facts are the still the facts and the numbers are still the numbers and it seems like there's never enough. I consider myself "evolved and conscious" but when it comes to money worry, I just can't seem to get a handle on it.
    Harry commented on 19-Jun-2014 03:58 PM
    All five types are negative. I love eBay and Amazon and buy too much, but can afford it. I am a saver and investor and take above average risk. I am very good at paying bills and keeping track of everything with Quicken and spreadsheets. I am great at accounting, investing and shopping.
    Elan commented on 19-Jun-2014 08:09 PM
    Thank you HUGE for all your expert care! I admire your genuine insights and I learn, learn, learn. Thank you for enhancing my precious life!!!
    Linda Adler commented on 19-Jun-2014 09:52 PM
    So----I took the test. Now, how do I score myself?

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