Realistic Romance

It’s been a very full week of talking with people about my recent engagement. Initially, there was a wave of support (my dad could not have been more excited, he said in an email “Lindsay, I have not been this excited since you were born). Then I started getting phone calls expressing concerns, questions, and downright judgements. At first, I was irritated. I thought, either deal with your judgements and projections and get over it and be happy for me or bugger off. But then I thought, no, rapid change is challenging to understand and can feel unsafe. People need information and in all my busyness and traveling lately, I have left out information that makes the story more complete. I’ve talked about the sudden move to New York, the romantic proposal in Italy, the story of the serendipitous ring. I haven’t shared much about how challenging this relationship has been and while everyone adores a good love story, they can be skeptical when it happens fast and when it seems too good to be true.

One fear beneath the concerns and judgements is that my marriage will not work out. I’m generalizing but I think that’s the gist. Even deeper than that, there is a fear that if they take a leap in their own life, they will not see one of the potential rocks below and they will hurt themselves, make a mistake, have regrets. They’re not ready. They will not be following the rules and they will be punished. All very valid fears which I totally understand.

Here’s my take. Life is about figuring out who you are as you go and doing your best to be the best person you can be. It’s about loving with all of your heart and learning from your mistakes. It’s about learning to befriend your intuition, that deep wise calm voice that each of us has inside and taking a leap when it asks you to.

For me, that day when he proposed was like any other day. The universe handed me an opportunity and I took a moment to feel if it was what I wanted. It was so I said yes. Now, I’m engaged and there are more opportunities. That’s the thing about saying yes to your intuition and deeper desires, you start to become friends and the universe sends you more people, more experiences, more love and you get more and more confident following your yeses. But how did I know to say yes? Well, like many have said to me, when you know, you know. But how do I know know? Well, because there is a real man behind the adventure and romance who I trust completely – a feeling that is rare.

I am a sucker for every romantic comedy and lovesong created but I didn’t say yes to him because I was in the Italian countryside, or because he’s going to be a big deal one day, or because we are just so in love it makes us crazy. Don’t get me wrong, I love the romantic parts of our story but I said yes to a commitment for life because …

a. I like him. I enjoy spending time with him even when we’re having an uncomfortable conversation about money or stuck in a muggy Subway station talking about the Helvetica font that is everywhere. I like who he is and how he shows up in the world.

b. He is a good man. He provides stability for me, he grounds me, he will protect me and the future babies, and he is not afraid to take the reigns and do what men do best, lead with clarity and confidence.

c. He shares my values, especially my highest value: growth. We can help each other grow into better versions of us. He supports and compliments my spiritual path, which is more important to me than anything. We’ve not only made a commitment to loving each other but to helping each other along our paths individually, and as a couple.

d. He asked.

I know who he is because we have been through quite an intense 3 months. When you move in with someone, there’s nowhere to hide and when you date Daniel Packard or Lindsay Chrisler, relationship analysis junkies and eternal students of the human process, there is really nowhere to hide. So, we were making discoveries about each other right and left and some moments were not so pretty. After a few weeks of being in New York, I told a girlfriend that this was the hardest f***ing relationship I’ve ever been in AND it has been the most rewarding. He doesn’t mess around when it comes to being a romantic gentleman and he also doesn’t mess around when it comes to holding me to a higher standard than most. Daniel’s favorite scene from Friday Night Lights is where Coach Taylor says to the quarterback, “I’m not expecting you to be the best. I’m expecting you to want to be the best.” That’s how we relate to each other. We don’t want perfection, we just want to try our best.

My best is when I’m being myself: loving, responsible, feeling healthy and alive from being of service to the world. He inspires the best in me and when I’m not being my best, he lovingly challenges me.

He doesn’t like any kind of princessy entitlement, blame, being mean, complaining or settling for less. This means there have been several uncomfortable conversations where he has asked me to step up and let go of some of this princess behavior that doesn’t serve me anymore. My ego has thrashed. My princess has resisted. My pride has been bruised. It has not been all rainbows and sunsets with gelato and I’m glad because I don’t want to be a princess who expects the world and especially men to take care of me. I don’t want to be mean just because I think I can get away with it. I don’t want to use the comfort of being in a relationship to mean I can get fat and lazy. Although these parts are uncomfortable to admit and to let go of, I don’t want them. I want to be the queen who leads, knows herself, and is helping the people around her. And then, when I’m being a queen, I want the view and gelato or whatever magical detail comes my way for me to enjoy for pleasure’s sake.

I’m learning how good romantic love feels when you earn it and when there is real love to back it up. I think that’s what women want. We want a man who will challenge us to be bigger and brighter and then when we show how big and bright we are, and then yeah, we would love some flowers or a beautiful proposal in the Italian countryside.

I’ve had my heart in an open relationship blender, put my emotions and patterns under a microscope for years, put myself through classes and uncomfortable but beautiful learning opportunities. I focused on my relationship life and I practiced saying yes to what the Universe sent me, even when I was totally scared. So, after this work, the Universe sent me an opportunity to be with a man who I adore for a lifetime commitment of growing up and realistic romance. I said yes and with that yes, I feel the calmest and happiest yet. I’m not only committing to working through the hard spots that every relationship faces, but I am committing to myself and seeing myself through the process of becoming the woman that I want to be and that this world needs me to be. (I was sitting in meditation the other day and I realized that part of my and Daniel’s life purpose is to make marriage sexy again – why all this talk about settling and letting yourself go? This is one piece I think the world wants from me.) I don’t know what’s next, I don’t know what I’m getting myself into completely, but I’ll never know. I just have to keep going and not give up on what I want and see what happens.

This next phase will be more work and more magic and I am excited to see what vast things lie ahead. Like Rilke said, “For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation…Love is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself, to become world for himself for another’s sake, it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things.”

EVENT: Turn On Talk

Imagine walking up to the cute guy across the room and asking for his phone number. Imagine going on a date with him and spending the date laughing, divulging secrets, having fun. Now, imagine dating him and building a friendship, a way of relating focused on loving each other and growing alongside each other. Imagine a deeply satisfying and fulfilling sex life with this person. A sex life that has you feel, spark, attraction, and space to let your wilder side out.

A space to play.

This could be you. I call it being a turned on woman. She knows what she wants and goes after it. She’s brave, she’s sexy, and she’s responsible about creating her own happiness – she doesn’t wait for someone else to do it for her or for it to magically appear.

This could be you.

Do you want to be in an amazing relationship?
Do you think about getting back together with the last guy? Even if he wasn’t so great?
Are you bored with online dating or found it to be unfulfilling?
Are you bored with the idea of meeting people at bars?
Do you often fantasize about meeting the one but then think you’re asking for too much?
Do you want to feel sexier and more confident in and out of the bedroom?
Are you ready to be in a loving relationship that lasts?

Being turned on is a state that is available to every woman. Don’t waste another minute wondering how to get it or thinking you can’t have it. Turn on will not only make you feel good and sexy, it will also get you that relationship you’ve been wanting, the job you were meant to do, the sex life you’ve been craving.

Through personal stories, new perspectives on the classic single woman questions, fun and light exercises (everything is PG rated and voluntary), and time to socialize of course – learn how to live a turned on life starting now.

Begin by taking the first step: join Lindsay Chrisler, for a free evening talk on the one thing that makes every woman feel fully alive: turn on.

NEW DATE!! Tuesday, October 4th  7-8:15pm.

Click the following link to register for the call. You will then receive the phone number and pin to call in with.
http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/ZLK4LEMEU54RDZ93

For more information on Lindsay:
http://www.lindsaychrisler.com/bio/

Contact Lindsay:
http://www.lindsaychrisler.com/contact/

Keeping It Hot

If you’re like me, your biggest fear in committing to one person is that your sex life will die and you’ll get bored. I see loving couples everywhere who are best friends but have lost their sexual spark. I think as a culture we accept that sex dies over time. Sex goes from something we want to something we should do, and with that shift comes the rationalization that we don’t really need sex; it’s good enough that we love our partner.

What if we didn’t have to settle for good enough?

I agree with author Esther Perel that in order to keep relationships hot and fresh, we need distance and obstacles. For some, that might mean simply not sharing an e-mail account; for others, it may take sharing their wildest fantasies about others or spending a month apart to reignite a stagnant sex life. The possibilities are endless.

Start by asking yourself what turns your partner on. Take the time to learn all of the little things that put a little pep in their step. Does he go wild when you wear a certain perfume? Does she get revved up when you wear a jacket and tie? Then focus on what turns you on. Share. The conversation alone will create heat, whether you’re just out of the honeymoon phase or have been married for decades.

Step two is to create a little distance. It’s a game in which you both get to make the rules. Be creative. Spend time separately with friends, get ready for a date at separate times so you’re not sharing a bathroom, spend a night at home in your sexiest outfit without touching your partner. Feel the sexual tension rise.

Keeping a relationship hot takes communication and practice, just like keeping the finances clear or dividing chores. Do the work. Even still, my boyfriend has to remind me to not make sex a lower and lower priority. Ladies, you might not need sex, but having it will make you nicer, happier, and feel more alive in your body. A different kind of alive than eating right and going to the gym alone can provide. You get to feel like a woman. A desired, sensational, turned-on woman. This will make the man in your life happy and excited to do all the things you look for: pay attention to you, want you, and provide for you.

Keep your friendship and cuddling and the occasional cozy night on the couch in pajamas. But don’t settle for a stagnant sex life. Build the spark and keep stoking the fire. Desiring each other will feel good from head to toe. It’s worth the effort.

 

The Princess Detox

Last night, I went to Daniel Packard’s interactive, one-man Live Group Sex Therapy Show. Based in part on Daniel’s personal story, the show is a social commentary on love, sex, and how men and women relate. It’s irreverent, insightful (and don’t worry, Mom, there is no actual group sex; that’s just the spicy title), and the audience’s participation ensures that every show is unpredictable and wildly entertaining. Last night’s show ended with a standing ovation, which surprised me if only because the truth bombs Daniel drops, especially those aimed at the ladies, aren’t necessarily the easiest to hear. Even though I’m plenty self-aware and work with men and women on relationship issues, I still squirm in my seat when Daniel fires away at women playing out the princess role. From the back of the house, I watch light bulbs go off all over the room and feel the discomfort in the room rise. Partly because he offers his vulnerability and partly because he’s funny as hell, Daniel seamlessly jumps from calling women out on their bullshit (not an easy task) to lovingly inspiring them to be the queens that men need them to be.

We went out afterward to celebrate and I sat across from a beautiful 20- year old Norwegian woman who promptly asked me whether I was a princess. A few weeks ago I may have defended myself, but after seeing the show many times since then I’ve come to terms with the answer, and last night I simply responded, “Yes, yes I am.” When I asked her the same question, she smiled and nodded and said, “I think we all are a little bit.” That is true. Hell, even Daniel admits to the audience his own princess tendencies. But the more important question—the one I didn’t ask last night but pose to you now—is whether being a princess is getting you what you want or is just an example of getting in your own way. Is being a princess stopping you from having the relationship and the life you want, from being the woman you are meant to be? If so, it’s time you joined me on a princess detox.

First, let’s look at what makes a princess and what makes a queen. A princess has the attitude that she deserves it—a perfect first date, a sugar daddy, a boyfriend who can read her mind, perfect weather for that perfect spring wedding, a hot sex life, a sexy body, a raise, a baby, new shoes that she wants but can’t afford. That the world somehow owes it to her. On the other hand, a queen doesn’t just think that she deserves it; she knows it. And not because the world owes it to her, but because she’s put in the work and earned what she wants.

Princesses wait, queens lead.

Princesses expect everything to work out; queens make sure that they do.

Princesses avoid, queens confront.

Princesses complain, queens give feedback.

Princesses demand what they want, queens magnetize what they want.

Princesses look good, queens feel good.

Which do you want to be?

 

My guess is that deep down we would all rather be queens. So why are there not more queens walking around? Why all the princesses? Because becoming a queen requires work—the kind that’s uncomfortable and easy to avoid. And to boot, being a princess often works in the short run and  gets a woman far enough to convince herself that she’s getting what she wants. Princesses are liked, charming, and revered in popular culture (“Bridezillas,” anyone? “My Super Sweet 16”?). On the other hand, growing into a queen requires looking at yourself and your behavior, especially the not-so-attractive parts, the parts behind the mask that you don’t want everyone else to see. The princess detox, then, is like any other detox: you feel awful before you feel better because you have to find and stare at all the toxic sludge in your personality before you can let it go.

Unfortunately, the growth from princess to queen often stems from the fallout of a major wake-up call: you get fired or dumped, your parents or man cut you off financially, you have a falling out with a friend, you get sick. Even then, it’s easier to get defensive and blame someone else than to take responsibility for inviting the wake-up call and using it for your own growth.

For me it took moving to New York and being in a new relationship to truly wake me up to my final princess traits that need to go. I’m now taking responsibility for every part of my life – my finances, my body, my friendships, my clients, the quality of my relationship and sex life, my avoidance tactics, my cuteness deflection moves, and mostly my belief that I am special and therefore life will just kind of like you know, work out. Responsibility is action, looking at my reality and not just my vision, showing up where and when I say I’m going to. And it means if I miss the mark, I apologize and make changes instead of avoiding or getting defensive. I am speaking my desires and letting them unfold instead of expecting instant gratification. And as a result, slowly but surely I am starting to feel more grounded, clearer, and more deserving of a crown instead of a tiara.

A queen knows who she is and leads by example to make the necessary change in the world. That is what I’ve set out to be and what my work with women will focus on from here on out. Yes, if you work with me you will learn how to love yourself, how to have romance and a long-lasting relationship, and how to have the best sex of your life – to love your body, yourself, and your life from the inside out. But before you can have all that, you have to let go of the traits, the beliefs, and the princess who is not serving you any longer.

Don’t wait for a major life event to jolt you into action. Start your detox right away. Get a pen and some paper and sit your butt down. Don’t get up until you’ve finished.

  1. When it comes to men and your relationships, what do you complain about? What are you irritated by, resentful about, and/or mad about?
  2. How are you responsible for those things? How do you contribute to the problem?
  3. What are you going to do to change these things?

Welcome to your court.

The Art of Ain’t Trippin

This is my first go at VIDEO blogging and I wanted to give it a try to push myself to do something new and also because my experience yesterday in Sunday church was alive and vibrant and I thought talking about it might be a fun new way to get the message across.

Today’s post fresh from this morning in Central Park: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-c1Kr3G9pI

This week it’s all about appreciating how far you’ve come and who you are before moving forward. Stop trippin and start appreciating. No one owes you anything. You don’t have a right to anything going the way you think it should go. This goes for the dating and relationship world especially – you have to earn a good date, a good partner, good sex. Do you know what makes you amazing? Do you appreciate how much you already have? Start doing that and then see how much your dating, relationship, and sex life improves.

There will be more videos and articles to come so email me what you’d like help with, your saucy questions about your love life, anything you’re curious about! email me

Getting Out Of Dating Limbo Land

I adore Anne Lamott. In Bird by Bird, her guidebook to writing that also applies to everything else in life, she writes: “When I was 38, my best friend Pammy died, and we went shopping about two weeks before she died, and she was in a wig and a wheelchair. I was buying a dress for this boyfriend I was trying to impress, and I bought a tighter, shorter dress than I was used to. And I said to her, ‘do you think this makes my hips look big?’ and she said to me, so calmly, ‘Anne, you don’t have that kind of time.’”

It may be painful to hear, but hands down the biggest waste of time when flirting, dating, or having sex is trying to figure out what the other person is thinking and then acting accordingly.

The cure: Stop freaking out about figuring it out.

This amazing woman I know has a good job, a great apartment, friends, and a solid match.com profile. She’s gorgeous, fit, and smart. She’s totally content…except she wants a boyfriend and it’s not happening. Recently she asked me for advice on her current love interest. She described their interactions (from initial spark to a couple of up and down dates and a few ambiguous texts sprinkled here and there) and all of the ways she’s interpreted every little thing that’s happened so far. When I asked her what she wanted, she thought for a minute and said, “Well, it depends on what he wants.”

This mentality is what leads to dating and relationship limbo. If you’re not paying attention, you can spend years here, wasting your energy worrying about what someone else wants instead of exploring what you want because it’s safe, comfortable, and relatively responsibility and risk-free. But if you want a relationship based on authenticity and intimacy, the only way to get there is to leave the cozy nest of limbo land.

First, ask yourself what you want with your current love interest (or, if you don’t have one, with the next guy you’re going to go out with). Listen for a simple and direct answer from within. Pay attention to the first thing that hits you. For now, don’t make a laundry list of characteristics or fantasies. (Trust me, the guy who you will fall in love with is going to be better than any box you construct for him anyway.) Once you’re clear on what you want, express your desire to him and see what happens. When I first started coaching, my trainer told me the key is to “Ask for 100% of what you want 100% of the time and be willing to stick around to negotiate the rest.” If he’s receptive, you’re on your way. If he’s not comfortable with your desires, it’s better to know that now too. This is going to be awkward, scary, and uncomfortable at first, but only after you’re willing to put your desire out on the table can you have it.

I got a late night text from California recently asking for some dating triage. Should she make out with him tonight or wait a night? Tease him or attack him? What would be the best play? My washing machine brain can spot another in a second. When she finally stopped spinning and told me what she wanted, I reminded her that she had the choice to either go for it or to spend the time doing something nice for herself. But whatever you do, I advised her, stop worrying about going for it and stop predicting how he will respond. She texted me a few days later telling me that she had gone to sleep that night, waited a few days, and had the hottest make-out ever.

Spend your energy wisely.

When you catch yourself spinning, take a deep breath, and refocus on what you want and who you are. Cheesy, but true.

What do you want with the guy who hasn’t texted you back in a week?

How do you want to spice it up with your boyfriend?

Where do you want him to touch you more when you’re making out?

Then, because you are a bold and responsible woman, ask for what you want. Do not wait for him to figure it out first (or to kill him for not being able to read your mind). Do not wait for permission. And most importantly, do not wait until you’ve calculated every possible reaction and response. You don’t have that kind of time.

Landing in New York

What’s the worst that can happen when you take a risk? You make a horrible mistake and are granted the opportunity to learn and grow from it. Not too bad if you make the most of it. What’s the best that can happen? You find what you want and the inspiration to dream even bigger grows. Pretty darn good.

At every crossroads, at every point where you must make a choice, you can follow the path of what you want. Or…you can amble down the road of what you should want, or worse yet, what you don’t want.

In the abstract, it’s a no-brainer; in practice, it’s not so easy. I’ve been building the muscle of feeling and following my deeper desires for the past three years. I’ve taken courses, been coached, became a coach, worked for a desire-based business, and built a 2-year plus relationship based on researching friendship and following desire. Along the way, I’ve made some messes by following shortsighted and shallow desires, hurting feelings and connections. But I’ve also learned from every one of those uncomfortable situations, trying to love myself in spite of my failings, apologizing and cleaning up damage needlessly caused, and moving forward.

I know that other people must be considered even when following deep desire, and of course, I would never recommend intentionally hurting someone or breaking commitments in the name of following desire. Yet, I also believe that in the end you will answer only to yourself, and it’s necessary to take some risks, learn from your successes and failures, and always keep moving forward.

It’s a thin line, to be sure. If you’d asked me a month ago what I’d be doing today, and where, I never would have pictured myself writing in Central Park, away from my comfort zone and most of the people I love. But by taking a step back and realizing that it is my life, I realize that it’s got everything I asked for: adventure, depth, love, laughter, purpose, and success on the horizon.

I wish I could say that this is exactly how I planned it, but it’s not. I took a leap, and the muscle I’ve been building these last few years has gotten strong enough to help me nail the landing. And even still, I’m human and fear and wanting control over everything still creeps in, slyly trying to dissipate my desire and vitality.

Take Saturday. Two days into my life in New York, I nearly passed on an invitation to meet his dear friend. “I really need to get my life organized right now. Plus, I just repainted my nails and they need to dry,” I said. He made it clear he wasn’t buying it but wasn’t going to push. And then I realized that I was holding on to the comfort of some old habits; that “getting my life organized” really meant slogging through my inbox, diddling around on Facebook, and tossing in a little calendar management so I could say I was productive with a straight face. And just before he left, my desire won and I decided to join him.

And I am thankful I did. The afternoon was magical. I experienced the sounds of beautiful teenage voices wafting through the sticky midday air amid the Harlem traffic. I melted into the stately trees giving us shade, the old brownstones, and the cute old couple swaying to the music on the sidewalk. One boy started to rap about following your dreams no matter what. You know those moments when you feel like God planned everything just for you? This was one of those. I thought to myself if this 13 year old is going to follow his calling, I’m going to as well.

On our way back to his apartment, his friend gave me a glance in the rear-view mirror and said, “Lindsay, you moved here! You’re crazy! You’re part of the family, girl! This means there truly is hope for the world. There are so many opportunities for all of us. Life is this open. You just have to step into it.” So much sass and love much like the rest of this city.

Later, I gave him permission to remind me of that day if I ever said I needed to get my life organized instead of heading off on an adventure. I give you the same license and hope that you offer it to those close to you.

Take baby steps toward your desire. Do the work to discover what makes you feel alive and what desire never actually belonged to you, but rather the idea of who you thought you were supposed to be. Develop a deep friendship with your intuition to get you through the weirdest, darkest, and most exciting opportunities of your life. Take a risk, big or small. And as always, let me know how it goes.

Go For It

There are a thousand subjects I could post on today. I have all sorts of thoughts on relationships, breakups, “The One.” My mentor, Nicole Daedone, always says, “In relationships, you find out who the other person is when you break up, not when you’re together.” In the past few weeks, I have found this out first hand.  A week ago, my partner and I broke up. When you go through a breakup, you experience epiphanies and discover things about yourself every day. It’s a roller coaster. The relationship still feels raw so I won’t write much else about him or our thing today.  However, I do want to write about who I am discovering myself to be.

I have made two discoveries thus far: 1. I’m completely and perfectly crazy, and 2. I love myself, even the messy cuckoo parts.

Let’s start with the first discovery. Here are the past three weeks in a nutshell: I went out for a drink with a guy and felt instant chemistry, he went back to New York, I tried to ignore the connection because on paper it was all wrong, I waited until I couldn’t ignore it any longer, he bought me a ticket to LaGuardia to visit him for a week, my partner broke up with me because I didn’t want to keep the agreements of our relationship any longer, I quit my job, I decided I wanted to write a book, I decided to move to New York indefinitely,  and I let myself fall in love despite a host of fears and judgment from people I care about.

I have never seen so many eyebrows raised as there have been in response to my current story and decisions. This could feed my own fears. This could stop me.  But no.

Instead, I’ve said, “Yes, I know, I’m nuts. This move is sudden. But I’ve gotten myself this far and I know that at the end of the day, if I don’t follow my intuition, my heart, my body – I won’t like myself.” So, yes I’m completely crazy and it’s also perfect. I feel thrilled but not out of control, I feel alive but not manic, I feel like I’m challenging myself but not about to collapse and die. I’m not saying I’m not nervous or scared. I am. But I’m not letting those voices decide my life for me. I’m letting my desire guide. I have a vision for my life, a natural state of turn-on that I feel at home in, and it is time for me to stand in it’s fire, even when it gets uncomfortably hot.

I’ve been on the brink of making the second discovery for years, but only in the last few weeks has a new level of self-love emerged and integrated itself into my body. A knowing. A feeling that by listening to and following my desire, I am being my own best friend. There’s self-love that you can try on with a daily affirmation and then there’s deep self-love that comes from making decisions that increase your self-esteem. My coach, Jason McClain, always reminds me that each decision you make either raises or lowers your self-esteem. Despite all the, “Wait?! You’re doing what?!?” reactions, I’m on the up and up with the only person I ultimately answer to: myself.

My question for you today is, “What do you want that you are afraid to have or do?”

Extra points for anything that makes your heart race, that would turn heads, or that doesn’t make sense in your brain but makes a lot of sense in your heart. You don’t have to do anything today or this month for that matter, but start to look at what you want to do that scares you. Consider the question for 2 minutes and see what you come up with.

If you do feel ready to make a change in your life but you’re scared, consider this: What’s the worst that could happen? You make a mistake and you learn from it. What if you looked at life as a chance to explore your heart’s desires while giving yourself permission to make and learn from mistakes, rather than taking a fine-toothed comb full of fear and doubt  over them?

It sounds cliché but I get to say it: LIFE IS TOO F***ING SHORT! I’ve given myself full permission to go for it, and I give you my full blessing to do the same. Go for it, mistakes and messiness and all.