211: Sex, Shame, and Vulnerability (with Isiah McKimmie)
What’s the one thing we all think about, but rarely discuss? You guessed it- sex! You may want to plug in the headphones or make sure small ears are out of range for this one.
In today’s episode, we’re (tastefully) discussing sex, intimacy, vulnerability, and love with sexologist, sex therapist, and couple’s therapist, Isiah McKimmie. Isiah loves helping women and couples break through their walls of shame and guilt to discover and share their vulnerable sides. Because without vulnerability, there is no intimacy.
Unfortunately, it's normal for women to feel ashamed or uncomfortable talking about sex. For many of us, we've grown up thinking it was culturally wrong or sinful. The truth is that sex is a beautiful, natural gift that we can give and receive. For many women, learning to put others' needs on the back burner so we can receive pleasure is a challenge.
We discuss sex and intimacy from all different angles in this episode. From the root of shame to the minimum amount of time needed for foreplay, we talk about it all. This discussion will leave you feeling empowered to talk more openly about intimacy with your partner and more confident in your own skin. Buckle up and crack a window- you don’t want to miss this one.
Show yourself some extra love – sign up for the Vibrant Happy Women Retreat! Spend 5 days with amazing women like you, letting go of stress and finding greater energy, clarity, and vision for your life. Join us!
What You’ll Learn:
- How normal it is to feel shame around sex (and how to change that).
- Why sex is a tool to feel more connected in relationships.
- How to stop taking care of everyone else and learn to receive pleasure.
- The minimum amount of time required for effective foreplay.
- The best all-natural lubricant (you can find it at the grocery store!).
- Why good sex starts with learning how to de-stress and ground your body.
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Join us in the Vibrant Happy Women Club!
- Isiah McKimmie | Instagram | Facebook
- 210: Conscious, Connected, Respectful Parenting (with Laura Froyen)
- Brené Brown
- Wabi Sabi: The Art of Japanese Impermanence by Andrew Juniper
- Reserve your spot in the 2021 Vibrant Happy Women Retreat – we would love to have you there!
- Follow Jen on Instagram
- Follow Jen on Facebook
Full Episode Transcript:
Jen Riday: You’re listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode #211. We’re talking all about sex today. Stay tuned.
Hi, I’m Jen Riday, and this podcast is for women who want to feel more vibrant, happy, aligned, and alive. You’ll gain the emotional, physical, and spiritual tools you need to get your sparkle back and ensure that depression, anxiety, and struggle don’t rule your life. Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast.
Hey, my friends. Welcome back to Vibrant Happy Women. I'm so glad you're here. If there are small ears around, you might want to listen with your earbuds to this episode. That's what I would want to do. I do want to let you know we're going to be talking tastefully and freely about sex and intimacy, and this is always so important.
I was surprised long ago to realize that a good number of my female friends said they had never experienced an orgasm. I was very, very surprised. Well, we're going to be talking about how to increase your level of trust in a sexual relationship. We'll be talking about vulnerability.
It takes a lot of vulnerability to be nude and to have sex. It's a very vulnerable act, but that act of vulnerability is what leads us to the level of intimacy. We'll be talking about oxytocin, foreplay, all kinds of beautiful things, and I hope you're going to learn a lot because I sure did. So, let's go ahead and dive in.
My guest today is Isiah McKimmie, and she's one of Australia's most qualified relationship and intimacy experts. She's passionate about educating women to feel confident and empowered in life and in the bedroom, and deeply pleasured around sex. She also works with couples to help them build a deeper connection, ignite intimacy, and have loving, wholehearted sex. I'm so excited to talk to you today, Isiah. Thank you for being here.
Isiah McKimmie: Thank you so much for having me, Jen. It’s so great to be here.
Jen Riday: Well, this is such an important topic, and I love the way you approach it, but before we go there, let's hear your favorite quote today.
Isiah McKimmie: It's actually a couple of lines from a Rumi poem, which I love, and it says, “Let the beauty you love be what you do. There are thousands of ways to nail and kiss the ground.”
Jen Riday: How do you apply that for yourself?
Isiah McKimmie: For me, what this really is saying to me is that there are so many ways that we can be devotion, and in love, and in gratitude, and for me, they're all such important qualities of how we live really full, and loving, and wholehearted lives.
Jen Riday: I love it. It's so beautiful. Do you read a lot of Rumi?
Isiah McKimmie: I love the truth, and the beauty, and really, the love that just drips through his words. It always takes me to that still place inside of myself where I really feel like I drop down and connect with something every time I read something from him, and I didn't never gets old for me. I feel like I can read his words over and over, and there's something new to discover. It has the same effect on me every time.
Jen Riday: I love how you use the phrase drop down. It goes with the quote you chose, which is kneel and kiss the ground, this groundedness, this coming back to what's important. I love that. Well, let's hear your low point, and your story, and how you got involved, and interested, and passionate about educating women around sex.
Isiah McKimmie: This such a good question. In a way, it's not like a low point, but it was such an interesting place for me to be out that even so many years later, it always really stands out to me. I remember being at a garden party with some friends of mine, and I think I was 19. I had been traveling, and I was out for like an afternoon drink session with some girlfriends.
What happens when a whole bunch of women get together, the conversation turned to men, and it turned to sex. I remember sitting there so embarrassed. I was in such shock. I was so embarrassed because they were having a conversation that I had never had really so openly before. I'd never had this conversation before.
I grew up in the country in Australia in such a normal family environment. Sex was really never spoken about in my household. and I had felt really shy and uncomfortable with my body growing up. I have a skin disease that’s left big, white patches on my skin all over my body. So, I never really felt attractive. I didn't think any man would ever really be attracted to me, that I'd ever have that kind of relationship that I really wanted.
Eventually, I did. I had boyfriends. I'd been intimate with people, so to speak, but I still felt really shy about it. I felt uncomfortable being naked. I had liked sex, but I always felt like I was holding myself back. I felt guilty about it and ashamed. I think that's probably something that a lot of women can relate to, also not knowing what to do, not knowing how to ask for what I wanted.
Then I’m at a party where there are these women who were my age talking about what they enjoy and what they like. I just remember feeling like, “I have nothing to add to this conversation.” It was like equal parts wanting to melt into the earth and being really fascinated at the same time.
The possibility that women could actually be open about sex, that they could actually talk about what they enjoyed, that they might actually ask for that from a partner, was all so new to me. So, it was holding, again, this kind of shame and fascination at the same time, but it really sparked something in me being part of that conversation, or at least getting to witness it.
Jen Riday: Where do you think that shame comes from? I know it's very pervasive in pretty much every country in the world.
Isiah McKimmie: Yes.
Jen Riday: Where does it come from?
Isiah McKimmie: I think, for me, I think it comes from religion from one perspective, but it's also cultural. When something is unspeakable, it then carries shame with it, and we don't talk about sex. We don't speak about sex. So, it becomes something that we inherently learn is shameful. I think particularly as women, we then have a whole lot of fear that gets added to that fear of judgment of liking sex or having sex too much. Fear of the consequences of having sex.
We, I think, live in a culture that is very confused, very ashamed, and very afraid of sex, which seems probably a strange thing to say given how much we often see sex in the media, but I think that's a very sexualized culture that we're seeing. To just have really open, honest conversations and experiences with sex isn't something that we all get to have, and so I think that really contributes to our own fear and shame around it.
There's also an incredible lack of education, at least particularly in Australia, and I can only imagine it's the same way in the U.S. where you are because, again, I think this is very much worldwide, which is not taught how we really function sexually. We're not taught the skills to make it enjoyable, and so then we can feel like there's something wrong with us around it, or just not really understand it, not really enjoy it, and that really fades back into us feeling uncomfortable with it.
Jen Riday: Yes, and shame thrives in secrecy, as Brené Brown says. So, just talking, and learning, and growing, it doesn't mean that we have to cast off any belief systems we may have grown up with, but just talking can help so much. That's why I love what you're doing.
Isiah McKimmie: It's so true. I think one of the things that the couples that I work with as a couples therapist and sexologist always say to me, and it's often the thing that they're most surprised about, about our work together, is that learning to talk about sex, learning to just have a conversation about it together, is the thing that makes the biggest difference to their enjoyment around it, but also just has them feel more intimate and more connected to each other. So, actually being able to talk about it is so incredibly powerful.
Jen Riday: I agree, and it's a funny thing, but I was teaching a relationship course, and on the first week, this idea popped into my mind. I had not planned it in advance, but I challenged everyone, and it was a women's group, to initiate sex with their partners, and some of them almost wanted to die.
It was so funny, but the fascinating thing was that everyone came back and said, “Wow, wow, that totally changed the entire game.” Across the board, everyone reported feeling more positive toward their spouse, feeling more positive about their relationships, and I thought, “Gosh, one little thing.” I think we forget how powerful it really is.
Isiah McKimmie: It’s so true, and it can make a difference to so many areas of our lives. I can only imagine that for those women too, the confidence that they feel in themselves for being able to do that, and the flow on effects. Again, my clients often talk about this, that the flow on effects to our entire families, when we're feeling more loving and connected to our partner, just make a huge difference to our households and to our lives.
Jen Riday: Tell us more about what causes those feelings of connection, why sex is so connective, because I think in the media, sex is presented as this thing that men want and women hate, and it's so destructive that we believe that pattern. So, tell us more about why sex is so connective.
Isiah McKimmie: Oh, yes, and it's really not necessarily true either. I think that's a big myth that we get taught in our culture. In almost every relationship, there’s going to be different desire levels for different forms of intimacy. In some relationships, women will want less sex than their male partner. In some relationships, women will actually want more sex than their male partner.
So, this belief, I think, really disempowers women. It can leave us feeling like there's something wrong with us if we want sex too much, or if we initiate too much. We feel like we have to take the place of pleasing our partner and sex being an obligation, something we do for them, and something that is about them rather than it being something that we do for us, and something that happens in the relationship as well.
Sex can be so connecting because we are so vulnerable with another person. Again, as Brené Brown says, that vulnerability and intimacy really go together. We can't have intimacy without vulnerability. Sex is an incredible way to be vulnerable and to be intimate with someone on a physiological level.
Also, when we're engaging in loving, physical touch, particularly sexual touch with someone, our bodies are actually releasing a hormone called oxytocin, which helps us feel bonded and connected to someone. It's also a mild sedative, so it helps us feel more relaxed as well. When we're in a more relaxed state, we're going to be able to connect with someone more deeply than when we're in a stressed state. So, sex has really all of those physiological benefits as well as the emotional benefits.
Jen Riday: I find that fascinating to think that just a chemical change in our bodies can alter our entire perception of our partner because I've experienced it so many times. I can feel so stressed at the world, and think that my life is hard, and my spouse is lame, and then after a nice orgasm, I think, “Oh, I love him so much,” and it was just one little thing, but that oxytocin is so powerful. I'm glad you brought that up.
Isiah McKimmie: It's so true. Then you can let go of the little things as well, the things that you might've felt like you had to say something about or pull them up on. It's like, “No, I can just let that go.”
Jen Riday: I find that to be true as well. Hormones are tricky. When my friend was pregnant, she said every time she was pregnant with a boy, for some reason, she hated her husband. She didn't know if there was like an increase of testosterone, but when she would give birth, she would love him again.
So, I don't think we can emphasize enough how important these hormones can be to help us really love our partners. I love that. Tell us more about, let's say some of us are shy, some of us listening are shy, about discussing what we like and don't like. What advice do you have for gaining some courage there to explore and to speak about what we like?
Isiah McKimmie: Good question. One of the places that I suggest, and it may sound a bit cliché, but really getting to know yourself. So, getting to know through just touching your own body. Not necessarily sexually, but the way you like to be touched. Do you like light touch? Do you like firmer touch? Where do you enjoy being touched on your body? Or to think back to some of your previous encounters with partners, even the partner you’re with now or a previous partner, to really remember what is it about that that I enjoyed, so that you come from a place of knowing what it is you want to begin with.
Jen Riday: I like that.
Isiah McKimmie: If we're not sure about asking for what we want or we feel nervous about it because maybe we're afraid of hurting our partner’s feelings, we can actually just start with sharing the things that we enjoy. If they do something, and we like it, we can say, “I really like that,” or we can just make a sound like, “Mm,” that conveys that we really like it.
I think we're often very quiet during sex a lot of the time. I know it's completely the opposite to what we see in the media, but we are often very quiet sharing sex. So, starting with just even small sounds of pleasure or saying, “I really like that. That feels great,” can be a way of starting to build your confidence and also your partner’s.
Jen Riday: I like that. Then partner is willing to try things if they know it's pleasing you, but if you're a silent bump on a log, they're going to be like, “Why bother? Why should I try?” Right?
Isiah McKimmie: Oh, 100%. I consistently hear from women's partners in therapy that they want more direction, not less. We can get really afraid of hurting their feelings or insulting them, but our partners are actually wanting to know what pleases us. They want to be able to please us. They're just not sure how.
Jen Riday: So, you mentioned your clients. I don't know if you feel open to this. Of course, we're being confidential, but share a couple of stories of people who have come in and how their relationship, their sexual relationship and their intimacy, shifted through working with you.
Isiah McKimmie: Let me speak a little bit generally first because there is a particular group of clients that really lights up my life, if you like. The clients who come in, they come in as couples, and they don't know whether they want to stay in their relationship or not.
They might’ve felt like they've been growing apart for a really long time. They might've experienced betrayal in their relationship, or they might just have really got to the point where they’re constantly arguing, and they don't remember what they loved about each other anymore. I often have couples even who bought another house because one of them is about to move out, or they've arranged a rental property for one of them when they show up to therapy.
So, to get to work with people who are in that place, couples who are in that place of saying, “We don't know if we want to stay together, or we actually want to separate,” and then to see usually in quite a short space of time when I'm working with them, their relationship turn around, and to see them make the decision to stay with each other, to work on their relationship, and then to watch their connection coming back, is such a profound, just incredibly humbling thing to see. It's such an honor for me to work with those couples, to essentially, watch them save their relationship.
That's one example. There's actually a couple, and they always make me smile. They were in their early 60’s when they first came to see me, and they had been together for quite a long time. They clearly loved each other, but their sex life had really been a source of tension and frustration to each of them for a long time.
We're talking two decades. They had not been able to talk about it, or when they did talk about it, it often turned into an argument. So, then they wouldn't talk about it for sometimes a year at a time.
Jen Riday: Oh, boy.
Isiah McKimmie: Yeah, until one of them would raise it again, and we're at the point where they thought this might just be it. The husband, it was a husband and wife couple, and he had accepted maybe he was just going to have to go without this for the rest of his life, or having intimacy very infrequently.
Jen Riday: Oh, wow.
Isiah McKimmie: He didn't want to do that. He thought that 60’s, and I totally agree with him, is still really young, and he wants to be able to enjoy his wife, and feel connected and intimate with her in that way for another 20 years. So, I worked with them as a couple, and I worked with her individually for a few sessions as well to firstly, really help them reconnect, to spend a little bit more time together because they are like many other couples I've worked with.
When there's a challenge around sex, it actually starts to become a bit of a wedge between you. Perhaps you notice other tensions sneaking in. We spoke before about how connecting sex can be. Often, when we don't have that connection and that glue, we can start to drift apart a little bit. That had happened for them.
So, we started reconnecting them. We started getting them having conversations that they hadn't had before about a whole lot of things, really dropping into a deeper level of emotional intimacy. Then we started to really gently have them look at their sex life, and what they both wanted from it, and help them be able to have conversations around it, and share what they liked, and discovered new things that they liked. I got the most beautiful email from them one day really saying how, and I love that they used this term, that she had become like a sexual goddess.
Jen Riday: That’s great.
Isiah McKimmie: This woman in his 60’s, which isn't it beautiful?
Jen Riday: Oh, that's wonderful. What does sexual goddess mean? How did it change her?
Isiah McKimmie: You mentioned the term earlier, dropping down. We worked on her connecting with her body in a new and different ways. So, she was able to get in touch with what she enjoyed. She was able to ask for it. She had grown up in a very religious household, and she often felt really guilty for having sex, and particularly for enjoying it.
We worked on her mindset around that. So, she didn't feel that same guilt and shame, and it really was permission to feel pleasure. Just to let go a little bit and really enjoy herself. Not just to have sex for her partner, but to really enjoy sex for her sake. Wow.
Jen Riday: This triggers a question that I know a lot of women have, and I would love to hear your thoughts. According to the sex books I've read and my experience as well as the experiences I've heard from almost every other woman, it is that women take longer to orgasm than a man, significantly longer, and therefore, need to be in a receptive position to allow their partners to please them.
In fact, one book was suggesting this is one of the times when a woman isn't the one that's taking care of everyone else, but when she needs to allow herself to be taken care of, and to be a recipient of pleasure, and that's hard for women. So, speak to that.
Isiah McKimmie: Absolutely. Okay. Can I just clarify, when you say she needs to be in a receptive position, you're not necessarily…
Jen Riday: Oh, no, not position.
Isiah McKimmie: Okay.
Jen Riday: Receptive state of mind to allow herself to be pleased instead of taking care of everyone else. Yes.
Isiah McKimmie: Absolutely. Yes. We are often so busy doing things for everyone else, that we forget to go in the pleasure for ourselves. So, us actually giving ourselves permission to have pleasure becomes a really important first step in this. We have to know that we deserve pleasure, that sex can be for our pleasure as well.
I often hear women say, “Oh, I give so much during the day. I don't have anything left to give in the evening.” My response to that is sex should not be something that we give to please someone else. We need to change our mindset around that. It's a place that we go that nourishes us as well as our relationship, a place that we go that also gives back to us.
Another thing that happens for women, because we often have so much to do during our day, is that we are constantly in a mild stress state. When we're in an anxiety or stress state, even a mild one, our body just can't switch into pleasure, reproductive mode, where our body is not designed for it. So, we actually need to allow us to relax to a point that we open to more pleasure as a starting point. We need to destress as a starting point.
Men and women both reach orgasm faster when they're by themselves, and as you said, what we do know is that often during heterosexual encounters, women take longer to warm up than men. That's partly because our body goes through really complex changes in order to essentially accommodate a penetrating object like a penis.
So, we need to be fully prepared to reduce our chance of feeling pain, and also to increase our pleasure, but I like to think of this foreplay, or this warming up, as actually pleasure play. It's not necessarily a prelude to the main event. It's all part of the main event. It's all as important as any other part.
Jen Riday: Tell us some ways you recommend a couple that's experimenting with longer and enjoyable foreplay. What would you encourage them to try?
Isiah McKimmie: Some of my favorite ways to start by having a shower together.
Jen Riday: Oh, nice.
Isiah McKimmie: Yeah, or a bath, if your tub is big enough because that's often going to help you feel even more comfortable and confident. You're clean, but it can be a really fun way to both relax and start warming things up. I also love to exchange massage, or sometimes even just to receive a massage. Let's be honest, I would rather just receive than give one.
Jen Riday: Yes, for sure. I love it.
Isiah McKimmie: Sometimes there's a bit of give and take there. So, if I have to exchange, I'm willing to do that.
Jen Riday: Yes, for sure. Who wouldn't want a massage?
Isiah McKimmie: That loving touch within itself already starts to get that oxytocin flowing. So, it's going to relax you. It's going to help you feel more connected. It's going to start the process of lubrication for women as well. Kissing is a really beautiful and important part of foreplay, and I think sometimes when we're in long term relationships, we can skip over foreplay altogether, but we can also skip over those beautiful, long, deep passionate kisses that we often have at the start of a relationship.
So, just touching each other's bodies or using your hands to explore each other's genitals is another really great way. I'm kind of building up here, but oral sex is another way to enjoy foreplay. It's also been shown to increase a woman's chance of reaching orgasm, and genital touch and oral sex they’re the golden share actually, so they increase a woman's chance of reaching orgasm, particularly when they're all there.
Jen Riday: That's excellent. I didn't know that. That's nice. Around midlife, a lot of women will say, “Oh, it's harder to orgasm. I seem to not have as much lubrication.” What's your advice there?
Isiah McKimmie: I often explain sexual desire and arousal is kind of part of this as having brakes and accelerators. So, in order to get it moving, we need to take our foot off the brakes and put our foot on the accelerators, and sometimes when life is busy and we have a whole lot of things going on, we have brakes on that we're forgetting to take off, and we're not necessarily adding in the accelerators at all.
Jen Riday: Yes. Both of them, foot off the brake and on the accelerator.
Isiah McKimmie: Exactly. We have to be a little bit active in cultivating this desire and arousal, otherwise, it doesn't happen. But as we go through really real changes in our bodies, sometimes we also need to add in lubricant, and that's really okay as well. That can often help us feel a little bit sexier. It can help make the touch feel a little bit more pleasurable. So, make sure you're spending kind of 15 to 20 minutes in foreplay. I should have mentioned that number earlier when I was talking about foreplay, but that’s the minimum recommended time that women have in foreplay that's going to increase that pleasure.
Add in lubricant if you need to, but also feel free to just take your time without a goal of sex ending in orgasm or even penetration. That this pleasure play, what I like to call foreplay, I think pleasure play is a better term for it, can be so beautiful, and connecting, and enjoyable in itself, that if that's all you feel like doing for that particular evening, just let yourself do that. Don't put pressure on yourself to go further.
Jen Riday: I like that. Remove the pressure. That's great. As far as lubricants, sometimes I have discovered that the ingredients list for some lubricant brands is eww. So, what are easy, natural lubricant options that you would recommend?
Isiah McKimmie: Do you know what my favorite is? I actually haven't bought a store-bought lubricant in a really long time. I'm a huge fan of using coconut oil.
Jen Riday; Me too, actually.
Isiah McKimmie: So organic.
Jen Riday: I didn't know if you'd say it, and I didn't know if I wanted to recommend it because I just came up with it myself. So, you validated me. That's great. Go ahead.
Isiah McKimmie: Yeah, it's great. I usually keep a separate jar for the bedroom and a separate job for the kitchen.
Jen Riday: Yes.
Isiah McKimmie: It's so great. What I love about it is you can use it as a massage oil over the whole body. It has a really nice scent to it. It's not overpowering. It doesn't increase our risk of infections like some of the lubricants, particularly those with glycerin in them do. There are no added nasty chemicals in there which our body is absorbing.
The only thing is if you are using latex condoms, be careful using oil because the oil can weaken the latex. So, that's the only thing to be aware of. I think coconut oil is great. It's really great to see that there are a lot of more natural lubricants coming out. There's a lot more organic lubricants now. I just tend to default to coconut oil.
Jen Riday: Awesome. Such great advice. One final question. Is there a mindset we, as women, or men and women both, can have to just be more grounded in dropping down into our bodies, like you mentioned, be more desirable and easy to have a nice, intimate sexual interaction?
Isiah McKimmie: Such a good question. I speak a lot to my clients about coming back to their bodies, and I can even feel myself doing that even as I say that. I take a deep breath. My body stops to move a little bit. When we start to pay attention to our bodies, we just have less energy to give to our mind and to give to thinking.
We're immediately going to start to unwind and relax by paying attention to our bodies. We can support that even further by taking deep breaths and just bringing movement to our bodies, whether it's a little bit of shaking out what might be bothering us, or even just small, central movement. So, we're starting to feel our bodies a bit more can help us make that switch off, and we're going to be in that more receptive, present pleasure state.
Jen Riday: I love that, and it's funny. I can feel a change in my body as well. Just hearing you say that, it cued me to breathe, and I noticed it was an interesting shift. So, I think we can practice that and see good results. Isiah, at the time we're recording this, you're in India. Tell us more about what you're doing there. It sounds like a fun adventure.
Isiah McKimmie: In some ways, it's actually really unexpected that I'm still here. I work fully online. So, I've been so blessed to be in a state where I've been able to travel quite frequently over the last couple of years, which allows me to be in a state where I can then really support the people that I'm working with because I have more energy. I came to India, actually, would you believe, for a two-week retreat in April?
Jen Riday: That's amazing.
Isiah McKimmie: I know. I left for a couple of weeks, but it's quite profound. It's a very interesting life. In one sense, I see my clients during the day, and then I finish, and I step outside my room and my office here, and it comes with everything that India comes with. It is an ashram, but it's also a very busy temple that has up to 20,000 visitors per day coming through. It's a fully functioning Indian temple with lots of ceremonies going on.
So, there is always something happening here, but I think one of the things about India is it's amazing that absolute peace and absolute chaos seem to be able to exist at the same time. So, in one sense, I feel very peaceful here, but there's also this incredible chaos, and all these paradoxes and juxtapositions of my life at the moment.
Jen Riday: So, you just feel good about staying. You're following your heart.
Isiah McKimmie: Exactly. I'm a very big believer in being guided by the universe, and following our intuition, and I honestly don't know how long it will feel right for me to stay here, but for right now, it does. So, I'm really just making the most of that.
Jen Riday. Wow, I love it. Any chance you can share the ashram you’re at in case anyone else is interested in something like that?
Isiah McKimmie: No, absolutely. It's actually a goddess temple, so it's a lot of devotion to the goddess here, or to the feminine forms of God, which is incredibly beautiful and very much aligned with my beliefs and spiritual practices.
Jen Riday: Oh, beautiful. Well, tell us what is your morning routine like there in the ashram right now?
Isiah McKimmie: It's so interesting because when I think of going to stay in an ashram, if you would’ve asked me before I actually got here, I would have imagined something very regimented, but every day is so different here, that my morning routine changes as well. I've had to learn to be very flexible and accommodating being here in India.
So today, for example, we were up really late last night because we had a ceremony that ran late, and I got up, and I had clients early this morning. I literally only had five minutes to do my practice this morning. So, I did mantra chanting for five minutes. I have a mantra that when I chant mantra, there's something that really slows me down and connects me with the divine. So, I did that just for five minutes this morning, but often, I will get up much earlier.
I'll shower, and make my bed, and arrange everything, and then I will actually do a ceremony that we have here in my room called Pooja, which is a devotional ceremony that involves chanting, involves offering incense and lighting candles to the divine. That would be my more normal, regular routine, but as I said, I've had to learn to be very flexible. So, this morning, I just did five minutes, but you know what? It still made an incredible difference to my day to just give myself those five minutes.
Jen Riday: I've talked to a lot of women who have a long routine and a quick routine, and sometimes they need one, and sometimes they need the other. Just to have the five minutes does make a huge difference. Yes. Well, what is your current favorite book?
Isiah McKimmie: This book, actually, my dad gave me a book years ago when I broke up with a boyfriend, and I think it's called Wabi Sabi, or perhaps The Way of Wabi Sabi, and that book, I remember at the time, particularly was just such a beautiful message. It was exactly what I needed. My copy, of course, has this little note from my dad saying just how much he loves me, and he's there for me. So, that book really like a treasure to me.
Jen Riday: That's beautiful. Most dads, at least around where I grew up, don’t give their kids books. So, that's beautiful. I love that. Well, what does it mean for you to be a vibrant and happy woman, if you had to create a formula?
Isiah McKimmie: I think there’s really something about accepting what is. We don't always get to change what is happening to us, but we can change the way we feel about it. We can change our reaction to it. For me, that's what that means. That I am really constantly changing my mindset, changing the way that I interact with things. So, I am choosing happiness for myself.
Jen Riday: The challenge to our listeners before we say goodbye?
Isiah McKimmie: To do one thing every day this week just for your pleasure.
Jen Riday: That's an assignment. They have to.
Isiah McKimmie: Exactly, exactly. I'm not just giving you permission. It's an instruction. It's an order.
Jen Riday: I agree. I love that. Well, thank you so much. Where can people find out more about you if they want to learn more?
Isiah McKimmie: Absolutely. So, I am on Instagram as @isiahmcimmie.sexologist. You can also find me on the web at Isiah-McKimmie.com, and at the top of my website, you'll also see a free tools tab, which has some really great resources on actually a whole lot of the topics that we have talked about tonight. Connecting to your partner, reigniting desire, having epic orgasms, and learning to love yourself and your body.
Jen Riday: Those sound great. This has been amazing. I love your energy. I love what you're doing for the world. Thank you for sharing it with us today.
Isiah McKimmie: My absolute pleasure, Jen. Thanks for having me.
Jen Riday: So, some good nuggets in there, right? I loved talking about oxytocin and thinking about the act of being really vulnerable with a person you choose to trust and love, or at least that's the ideal. That's how it is for me, and I love that emotional and physical intimacy that results when you engage in that vulnerability and that act of trust.
Well, we're going to be talking more about this topic and talking about masculine and feminine energy, hunter-gatherer energy, if you want to use different terms, in the Vibrant Happy Women Club. Watch for that class if you are a member.
I have prepared some great nuggets of wisdom that tie masculine and feminine energy together with physical intimacy. So, I'm super excited for that. Those of you not in the club, you’re welcome at any time, Jenriday.com/join. My friends, thank you so much for listening. I wish you a vibrant and happy day and week. Until next time. Take care.
If you enjoy this podcast, you have to check out the Vibrant Happy Women Club. It’s my monthly group coaching program where we take all this material to the next level and to get you the results that will blow your mind. Join me in the Vibrant Happy Women Club at Jenriday.com/join.
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Jen Riday is a mom of 6 and life coach who loves to help women experience massive happiness as they let go of stress, sadness or other chronic emotions of negativity.
Lost track of what makes you happy? This free video training will teach you how to implement the boundaries you need so you can feel happier.
Lost track of what makes you happy?
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