Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Old Flames

Now that's an interesting phrase, "old flames." I didn't think of it until I just now entered the title of this post. What I WAS thinking about was... someone I had been in relationship with many years ago... and then another someone... and as I thought of these past loves, it made a change in my day. Here I was, kind of spent from being on the computer all day, seeking ways to contribute to the global conversation about love and intimacy (and, yes, seeking publicity for my book, that too).

I noticed an email announcing that my Focusing mentor, Ann Weiser Cornell, will lead a workshop at Esalen Insitute in Big Sur, California. Which led me online to the Esalen site, reminiscing about how I had taught massage there many years ago, reminiscing about living in Big Sur, which led to googling friends from those days... which led to musing about past loves. Which brought a smile to my face! I'm even sitting here, still at my computer, missing sunset on the beach, because thinking about these past loves is bringing back memories and feelings that are quite delicious.

So "flames" is maybe a good word - in the sense that they still have the ability to warm my heart and maybe even tickle my fancy, so to speak. One I haven't seen since 1985. The other, I unexpectedly ran into on an isolated beach in Yelapa, Mexico, in 1997. Perhaps they are thinking of me (after all, my birthday's coming up next month, surely they remember? ;-)

How lucky I am that thinking about past relationships brings joy and happiness to my heart. Since they're "past" relationships, there were obviously times of great stress but my body seems to remember the good times, the connection that I had with each of them. (On the periphery of my consciousness are others, too, but they're not clamoring for attention, so I need not remember them right now!)

I'm not wanting to end the post. I sit here basking in my own smile, even laughing aloud with delight. But now I'll go give Richard a big hug - and let him know that HE's the flame of my life!

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Beat Goes On

What a great drum circle on our fabulous Siesta Beach last night. Not only did I play sticks again, I also drummed, and even played flute - actually a small clay ocharina in the shape of an owl that I found during one of our Mexico workshops.

In a previous post, I explained playing sticks at the drum circle, but this time was even more intense - a three-some took place. A young boy joined in, and the three of us were dancing and weaving to the wonderful drum beat, while passing the twirling stick from one to the other. An intimate but non-sexual ménage à trois!

Richard showed up and we danced in each other's loving energy.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Sweat Lodge Ceremony

Was it ever hot! Yesterday Richard and I participated in a powerful sweat lodge ceremony. What's that, you may ask. Physically, it's kind of a cross between a sauna and a steam bath. However it's a very spiritual ceremony, held in nature. We humbly entered into a low, dome-shaped structure, representative of returning to the womb, and sat in darkness while steam and heat rose from hot rocks placed in the middle of the space. There were 11 of us, and for those of you into numbers and/or metaphsyics, it was held on an 11:11 day, said to be a time of connection with unseen spirits. (April 25, 2009 - 4+2+5=11 and 2+0+0+9=11.)

The sweat lodge is a purification, a prayer, an intense experience of opening up in an ancient way to Great Spirit. There are four rounds of rocks brought in, one for each of the directions, East, South, West and North. In each of the rounds, our attention was directed to specific qualities and metaphors associated with that direction.

The East represents "new beginnings," while the South is filled the passionate ripeness and sounds of life in all of its fullness. West is the more quiet "looks-within time," where we bravely embrace our fears and the North represents a time and place before birth.

Both North and South American Indian tribes held sweat lodges. In Mexico, at our winter Intimacy Retreats, our groups participate in a similar Mayan experience, called Temascal.

Although we may know nothing of each other's personal lives, those of us who sit together in a sweat lodge share an intimate time of honoring ancient ways.

When I emerged, I felt completely at peace. Sometimes I have had great insights during a sweat lodge. This time, it was enough to simply be there, to have made connection with the stones, the earth, the ancestors, and All That Is.

Thanks to Zan of http://www.woman-spirit.com/, for her focused and inspired leading of this sweat lodge.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Yoga on the Beach

Once again I got myself out to the beach for a wonderful morning hatha yoga class with Avananda from Hawaii. Not being a morning person, this is a stretch in more ways than one! But it's totally worth it. Ava is extraordinary and I get to enjoy a connection with the sand, air, sea and sun, as well as with a huge group of locals and tourists who show up to take advantage of the class.

Yoga is so healthy, for body, mind and soul.

Haven't had my "ten minute" daily Peaceful Passion with Richard yet today, though. Oh well, we'll catch up I'm sure!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Beach Ceremony

Earth Day yesterday, and I joined with others at sunset on our beautiful Siesta Key Beach, in the ancient way of honoring our connection with All That Is.

Organized by visionary artist and writer, Jo Mooy and spiritual guide Zan Butterfly Deerwoman, and graced by the magical voice of Faerie Elaine Silver, the ceremony brought us all together into sacred presence.

While each participant dipped hands into a bowl of sea water, offering a blessing to the earth, I played flute, accompanied by aromatherapist Patti Star on crystal bowl and massage therapist and DJ Normen Schindowski on didgeridoo.

After this wonderful event, I stayed on the beach playing flute with Freedom - from our Siesta Key drum circle - and a visitor - both of whom are fabulous musicians, what an honor and connection it was to play with them.

Playing music with others is like making love. A blessed path of into-me-see and sharing the moment.

Thanks for stopping by.
~ Diana

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

To Do List

This morning began, as most mornings do, with ten minutes of Peaceful Passion with my husband Richard, what a great way to start the day. Absolute intimacy.

Then, back to work. My t0-do list keeps growing. You might think that getting a book published is a destination, but really, it's just the beginning of the book-publishing journey! And in today's e-world, the journey spawned by becoming an author is ongoing, 24/7, with a zillion possible paths to follow. It's exciting, exhausting and exhiliarting and I have no idea where it will take me.

One path has already led to my being asked to give the Sunday Talk at a "New Thought" church in St. Louis where we'll be in May. The title of my talk will be Connecting in Love. Which is why I created this blog, to write about all the ways that connection can take place, and does take place, in my life. I have always believed that our human purpose is to "experience connection while in a state of separation."

I'd love to write and write and write in this blog, I have so many thoughts to share... such as, how to balance my Tantric love of connection with my Zen understanding of not being attached, but that will have to wait for another day! The rest of my to-do list is staring me in the face. Still, I'm grateful that I took this moment to drop in and post.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Smiles 2

A previous post talked about how marriage success can be predicted by whether or not the individual was smiling in past photos. Just now, I heard TV pastor Joel Osteen speak about the importance and value of smiling - whether you want to or not!

It reminded me of how, when I feel myself annoyed with Richard (oops - did I just shatter your view of our fabulous marriage?!), when he has said or done something that my knee-jerk reaction is to judge or complain about, I quickly settle into my own being and consciously shift to a state in which I know he is perfect - the most perfect Richard there is. Then, I say - out loud - to him, "You're perfect!" Sounds corny, but honestly, it is transformational. Read more here.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I experienced a moment of familiar intimacy (into-me-see) when I happened to connect today with someone I hadn’t seen in ages. It happened at Barnes & Noble. Since I have my first book signings coming up soon (see my book signing schedule), I thought it would be good to go to someone else's! Today at B&N, Corey Perlman was speaking about his book, eBootCamp. Not only did he provide useful information but turns out his dad is someone I knew ages ago - Mark Perlman, of Nurturing Fathers fame. In reconnecting, there was a delightful sense of knowing each other, having been known, however briefly, at some time in the past.

Reminds me of the time I ran into an old high school acquaintance. There was such a strong sense of reconnecting that we embraced with a big hug. Only after I walked away did I remember that in high school, I couldn't stand the guy! The memory of connection was much more positive than the original relationship had been. Feeling a strong connection with someone doesn't necessarily mean you're meant for each other. However, if you ARE meant for each other, and have chosen each other, then experiencing a strong and intimate connection - over and over again - is what keeps the magic alive in your relationship.

By the way, at the book signing today, one really cool thing that Corey had us do was to chat briefly with other attendees, tell them what we do and ask them how they might search for us on Google. In e-marketing, these searching terms are called "key phrases" and we’re supposed to use them in the content on our websites and blogs so that people can find us. So, if you’re looking to “repair your marriage” or “intimacy help” for your relationship, hopefully this blog or my website will show up!

Thanks for visiting.
~ Diana

Friday, April 17, 2009

Into-ME-see: Intimacy with Myself

No matter how busy our lives are, it's so important to create time for intimate connection, with those we love and most especially with ourselves.

One way I create self-intimacy is through Focusing, a listening process that uses body-awareness to sense into one's inner truth. Originally developed by Eugene Gendlin, Focusing is a gentle yet powerful method of embracing all the parts of ourselves and finding our way forward with clarity and wholeness.

In my book, there is a focusing-related practice called "All of Me" which I sometimes use when I want to be present with Richard for our loving time together, but part of me is reluctant, or causing a distraction and could even create distance. The All of Me practice allows me to safely bring awareness of that part into the present moment, while allowing us to go forward with our loving.

Although Focusing can be done alone, having another person listening is the really magical component. Richard has never studied the process (he’s not the studying-type), but the All of Me practice gives him a few easy words to say that actually help me regain my ability to be present with him. It's amazing!

Focusing with a partner is truly intimate. Two of my focusing partners are Katya in New York and Katarina in Vancouver. Thank you, Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the telephone! (oops, a more accurate study of history reveals that Elisha Gray was the true inventor.)

If you’re interested in knowing more...
I studied Focusing with Ann Weiser Cornell.

Creative Edge Focusing Blog by Dr. Kathy McGuire (lots of free and valuable info, beyond just Focusing)

Katarina Halm is a teacher of Focusing, Feldenkrais , the Sounder Sleep System, and other related body-oriented healings.

Katya Salkinder is a tantric psychotherapist.

About Elisha Gray (if you're REALLY interested! I knew a man who invented the television only to discover that someone else had patented it just days before. Great minds really do think alike.)

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Today's news is a-buzz about a study that shows how photos can determine whether a person will be good at marriage. Seems that if we smiled widely in our college yearbook photo, we're more likely to have a happy disposition that bodes well for marriage. Hmm.. earth-shattering news? Happy people make good spouses.

At our Intimacy Retreats, when people share things they love about their partner, we often hear: "He makes me laugh." (Sometimes, it's she makes me laugh, but more often the reverse.) Not only when being photographed, a big smile FEELS GOOD!

And when two people look at each other and smile, a moment of intimacy - into-me-see - arises. The Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hahn says “Because of your smile, you make life more beautiful." Mother Theresa: "Peace begins with a smile."

Try this - next time you look in a mirror, smile at yourself. Make sure it's a smile that includes your eyes. Guess what? You'll see yourself smiling back! That's a moment of intimacy/into-me-see that you can create all on your own. Then go out and share it with others.

Keep Love Alive!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Odd word, written down: gabbing. Webster defines it as talking in a "rapid or thoughtless" manner. So I guess I wasn't gabbing this morning with Yolande, Sarasota's premiere clothing designer, because our conversation was rich with serious thoughts. Seriously positive thoughts, and even some pauses between them. That's what made it such a great conversation! We really felt connected. (And since it was a follow up to our chance meeting on Siesta Beach, we had the recent memory of a physical hug still hanging around in our DNA.)

Why is it that verbal communication without specific information or instructions to impart is often put down as "just gabbing." (What is it called when the political pundits talk endlessly on TV?)

Are casual conversations about meaningful topics just "gabbing?" Well, yes, but we can reclaim the word as a GOOD thing, a good way to feel connected with the person we're chatting with. Like sex, some conversations create intimacy (into-me-see) and others are a waste of time. And, like sex, talking is important in a relationship. I once wrote about this in an article called We Have to Talk.

I could go on and on, since writing is a bit like gabbing. Blogging is gabbing. Oops, that's a sentence that's hard to say aloud. What makes a blog into a conversation is that readers can leave comments and reply. And a connected feeling can get transmitted across cyberspace.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Great Connections!

Becoming a new author (my book was just published) means jumping feet first into the world of book publicity. It means sending out press releases and emails and making phone calls and sometimes there's the delightful click of a connection.

For example, I just had a rather long phone conversation with Anita Finley who publishes a seniors magazine and has a talk radio show and wanted to know all about me. I learned about her, we shared back and forth, each of us finding new synergies to explore as our stories unfolded.

We met due to our mutual acquaintance with the fascinating Naomi Wilzig of the World Erotic Art Museum on Miami Beach.

And both of these connections came about only because I'm scheduled to speak at Books & Books, 927 Lincoln Ave., Miami Beach, on May 13 @ 7 pm.

Isn't it wonderful how one thing leads to another? Due to scheduling this one book signing, I have encountered and connected with two fabulous women whose lives now matter to me. And the event itself is a month away!

It looks like my work (in addition to marital coaching and leading Intimacy Retreats) is about publicity, but it's really about getting out there and engaging with others who are doing work that matters.

Playing with Sticks

At the drum circle on Siesta Key this past Sunday, I experienced an intimate connection with Buck Levine, a psychotherapist, while we played Crystal Stix on the beach. Each of held one stick in each hand while we tossed another stick back and forth between us. Twirling the stick and twirling our bodies, we stayed in synch with each other and the drum beat vibrating around the circle.

Without words, without even touch, we had to keep our energies aligned in order to keep the stick in motion. It was great exercise, and a great way to connect with another person.

As you'll discover, dear reader, this blog is about the many ways we can enjoy the experience of intimate and personal contact - whether sexual or not!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Starting a Blog!

Years ago, I wrote an essay about "intimacy" which has been my passion, my delight, my salvation, and in recent years, my work as a facilitator of Intimacy Retreats for couples.

Connecting with others, really connecting, through eye contact and/or touch, through emotional and/or spiritual sharing, through writing and speaking and drumming and laughing.. has always been what drives and excites me.

The recent publication of my book, Tantric Sex for Busy Couples: How to Deepen Your Passion in Just Ten Minutes a Day, has provided me with motivation to take my love of intimacy to a wider audience. This blog is one of the ways I am doing that. Regardless of how or why you land here, I hope that you are inspired to create intimacy in your own life.