Differing Brains For Introverts and Extroverts

Differing Brains For Introverts and Extroverts

New articles on introversion and extroversion range from glorified personality quizzes (31 Unmistakable Signs That You’re An Introvert”) to history lessons (16 Outrageously Successful Introverts). Most are packaged with the assumption the reader understands the basic concept of introversion, and already has a pretty clear idea of whether he or she is an introvert or an extrovert.

Scroll through the comments sections and you will find quite a few readers—even introverted ones—don’t appreciate being put in a labeled box. For every grateful response from a self-professed introvert, you’ll find several responses along the lines of, “No one is always extroverted and no one is always introverted,” and, “I consider myself an extrovert but a lot of these introvert traits apply to me.”

What does neuroscience have to say about all this? Do the brains of introverted people really look and behave differently from those of extroverts? And if so, what might those differences mean? Thanks to brain imaging techniques, we are able to prove there actually IS a difference.

Introvert v. Extrovert

When Carl Jung coined the terms “extrovert” and “introvert” in the early twentieth century, he emphasized that introverts aren’t necessarily shy or insecure—nor are extroverts necessarily empathic or loving. The distinction between the two, Jung wrote, “lies mainly in the fact that introverts get exhausted by social interaction, while extroverts get anxious when left alone. Introverts need solitude in order to recharge, while extroverts draw energy from socializing.” This to me explains why many couples get into trouble! How much do you know about the way you and your friends, partners (or potentials) gain energy? Find out more  in Exploring Intimacy: Cultivating Healthy Relationships through Insight and Intuition.

Public vs Private

healthy-relationship-hearts-11Public vs Private

The launch of Sheri Winston’s book was successful. My visit with the father of my grown children also went well at beautiful Pipe Lake near Seattle. A weekend like this pushes my public vs private conflict big time. I have always been open with my kids, there is very little they do not know about me and my life including my sexuality. It is one of the reasons my marriage ended.

I believe”sex” and intimacy issues are a normal part of life. Honesty and openness are my highest values in every relationship.

Because of this I am honest about my attraction to women as well as men. In many circles this is a no-no. You are supposed to choose. Make one commitment to last the rest of your life. It used to be like that for heterosexuals, however today they have more freedom than when I was growing up.  Homosexuality is also more acceptable. But the stigma around loving more than one remains, although this too is changing.

Polyamory is becoming a choice for many. What is your honest choice?

 

 

Every Day Tantra

denae photoEvery Day Tantra

The first association with Tantra is often an experience or practice of sacred sexuality between two people. That is an understanding that brings an air of delight to some, fear to others, and curiosity to the rest.

Tantra is also a way of life. Those who live in a tantric inspired way dance with what life brings energetically. Cycles of energy provide a give and take, a dance, a rest, a fire, a creation, a recharging. Within these cycles are more immediate cycles of presence, unconsciousness, numbing out, tuning in, running from and embracing all. These represent intimate, self-knowledge relationships with a tantric expression focused within oneself.

How vulnerable we are with ourselves, how intimate and interested we are in our own nature makes a difference. We will sculpt more of a conscious relationship with our self or create more distance from ourselves. It is interesting to note that our relationship with ourself is always mirrored in partnerships. Always; the more mirrored, the deeper we go. Can we dance tantrically with this?

Indeed, the sacred sexual practice of Tantra generates the energetic Temple where the God and Goddess come home to Love’s greatest fire and purest ocean. A lot of energy is processed in this kind of love making, and therefore less mental processing is needed between partners.

The Holy connection has been made and feeling safe is in the air. When partners feel safe, the Presence of Love breathes more deeply through the body. That deeper breath literally and metaphorically is exactly what we need to replenish our health, brighten our minds and raise the roof with our extraordinary, primal, cosmic and sacred sexual energy. Who said a Holy Connection couldn’t be an outrageously hot, steamy encounter?

The Tantric way of life teaches us to relax and ride more smoothly. We learn to co-create. We learn our rhythms and this benefits us. We are greatly blessed when we live with-in our own skin, turn toward our self first and then practice this internal relationship with Life itself. All of life becomes a deepening and a nourishment when we practice being in conscious relationship with it.

This includes relationships with others like lovers, partners, children and families. This ultimately includes the world because where we come from, where we generate our creations from, is what we’ll encounter in the dance of life.

All Blessings~ Danae Shanti


Guest post by Scot Hannon

Masterful, highly competent, loving coaches understand how precious relationships are  to people and that interpersonal issues can be socially or emotionally difficult, often painful. These coaches help their clients understand that interpersonal issues, *just like career and job issues*, can be made into *concrete goals*.A masterful and loving coach could ask the following self-reflective questions: How are you with the people in your life? How can you improve your relationships? Is there a particular relationship about which you feel anxious or sad? How can you improve your relationship with that person? Is there a particular behavior you could change to help improve that relationship? How might you go about initiating a dialogue with them about improving your relationship with them and eliciting more love?
The coach would hold the space for the coachee to contemplate.

A masterful and loving coach hears that a particular relationship is difficult and gently probes to make sure that the interpersonal frustrations and emotions get articulated as *specific issues* that can be converted into goals, not left as amorphous complaints. These goals, when acted upon, can then transform the relationship, which brings more relatedness, love and happiness, not only to both people in that relationship, but indirectly to their wider community of friends and family.

WELL SAID!

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5 tips for parents to help their teens overcome learning difficulties

healthy-relationship-hearts-11Teenagers who experience serious and ongoing difficulties with the different areas of learning are said to be suffering from a learning disability. In addition to struggling in school, they may also be undergoing social and emotional pressure. Most adolescents who have this problem are often unwilling or hesitant to approach their parents as dealing with this difficulty can be frustrating to both of them. But avoiding it does NOT solve the problem.

Parents who see signs of learning disabilities in their kids should not panic. They should understand that this is not uncommon and there are ways to overcome these difficulties. When teenagers start to show signs of learning difficulties, parents should keep the lines of communication open. Talking about the problem can be challenging, but it is the first and most effective way of arriving at a solution. It is up to the parent to address the problem.

Understanding the Cause

The first step in helping your child is to accept that s/he may be suffering from a learning disability. Denying the possibility that they may be going through a tough time will not help ease the burden. Ask questions about what is going on, in what ways are they struggling? Once you have acknowledged the problem, explore resources to find out how you can help.

Talk to Your Teen about the Disability

Talking to your child during this time may be both tricky and taxing. However, it is the only way you can both agree on how to come up with a solution to the problem. Keep the communication lines between you and your child open at all times. Make your child feel that you can be a confidant willing to listen and understand, and to find solutions.

Identify Your Teen’s Strengths and Weaknesses

As a parent, you should be aware of what your teen is good at and what areas they need to work on. This way, you can come up with activities to highlight strengths and improve  weaknesses. A great website to discover Multiple Intelligences is www.literacyworks.org. Do not forget to make your child feel accepted and not to focus what s/he can and cannot do.

 Seek Help from Experts

It is perfectly acceptable when parents do not immediately know what they can do to assist their child. Extra help is offered by health professionals and experts who understand the problem better than anyone. These people are trained to identify learning disabilities, and they studied ways to treat them. Consult with your child’s teacher or a psychologist. They can recommend professional assessment tests for your child.

 Choose the Right School for Your Teen

Addressing a learning disability is not limited to the home. Parents should choose a school that has an effective program for teens having difficult time learning. These children should be kept in an environment where they can work on their weaknesses while developing their strengths. Find more information at www.helpyourteennow.com.

Help your teens remember they are loved for who they are, not for their accomplishments or failures. We are all different in how we learn and process information. Keep looking for the best fit in a school setting.

Desire is Natural

Sexual Desire is Natural and Beautiful

Guest Post by Fred Burks

The drive towards sexual connection between two people who are strongly attracted to each other is a natural and beautiful part of our biology and of being human. The urge to merge is what keeps the human race going, as that is where we all came from when our parents surrendered to it. Sexual desire is a divine gift which inspires us to seek out deep connection.

Yet the carnal power behind this intense drive all too often causes some to go unconscious and to do things they later regret. Particularly for some men, once sexual desire kicks in fully, trying to stop or control it can feel like not scratching an intense itch or trying to stop a sneeze about to happen. They feel powerless to control it.

For both sexes, this powerful drive can shut down the conscious, thinking mind and the sensitive, loving heart. It can and sadly has led to acts as intense as sexual abuse and rape around the world. Herein lies the root of much psychological and emotional wounding on both individual and collective levels. Yet it doesn’t have to be this way.

As I’m fortunate to have learned to keep my heart open and stay conscious and considerate even when these powerful sexual urges arise, I’m thrilled to have found ways to dance with and channel this powerful energy that are honoring and supportive not just to me and the person with whom I’m feeling attraction, but to all in my life. Primarily by holding a strong intention to be ever more conscious and by studying practices like tantra and sacred sexuality, which give ideas on this, my life and relationships have changed in awesome ways.

The ability to stay conscious even in the midst of intense sexual connection has left me feeling more free and alive than ever. I trust myself now that I won’t do something I will later regret. Yet I also know I can still experience the full richness of the powerful sexual connection. This has brought a deep peace, joy, and excitement about life that I doubt I could have experienced otherwise without spending years in an ashram or meditating in a cave.

Great book review with interesting twist

 

BOOKCultivating Healthy Relationships offers an interesting series of meanderings and explorations through diverse wholistic healing discussions. Many interesting ideas are proposed for understanding and appreciating the body (physical and energetic)-emotions-mind-relationships-spirit connections.

In reading this book, I am reminded of when I first struggled to learn the game of bridge. It was difficult to understand bidding when I had not yet understood the values of suits and the hints that are implied in responses of partners to previous bids.

Suzann Panek Robins has much of value to share, and brings to the table a wide variety of sources to explain aspects of the holistic spectrum. Her basic focus is Freudian and Jungian, but her wide-ranging explorations cover numerous other psychological systems of psychology – both from conventional and complementary/alternative sources.

This rich feast will be best appreciated by those who have a fairly good basic understanding of what I call the wholistic spectrum of healing.

Review by Daniel J. Benor, MD, ABIHM
Internatiional Journal of Healing andCaring, Editor-in-Chief

 

6 Ways to Get in the Mood

How to break the no-sex rut and why it matters.

By
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

You’re both tired. The kids are light sleepers. You’re not happy with your weight. You’re stressed out over deadline pressures at work. There’s no time.

There are many reasons why people in long-term relationships find themselves reaching for the pillow or the remote control instead of their partner’s body after the sun goes down. But a healthy sex life is a key part of an intimate relationship, experts say, and neglecting it can push the two of you further apart.

Problem No. 1: Same Old, Same Old

The Solution: Spice It Up

“When you’re in a long-term relationship, you get into a routine,” says Renee Horowitz, MD, an obstetrician-gynecologist and founder of the Center for Sexual Wellness in Farmington Hills, Mich. “There’s biological evidence that novel experiences cause the release of dopamine in the brain.” (Dopamine is a chemical messenger that’s connected to the pleasure center in your brain.) “That’s why it’s so much easier to get excited in a new relationship — everything is novel and your brain responds accordingly.”

Obviously, you can’t switch partners every time the excitement wanes. Instead, change up some of the other factors. “Try a different place, a different time, a different position,” Horowitz suggests. Have a morning quickie. Try sex in the shower, or on the kitchen island. (Clean up afterward.)

Problem No. 2: Too Much to Do, Too Tired

The Solution: Take a Romantic Break

All couples are tired at the end of a long day with many demands. By the time you get everyone to bed and deal with unavoidable chores, you just don’t have the energy for a romantic evening.

It’s time to change that.

“You have to prioritize what’s important,” says sex educator Sadie Allison, a member of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Her best-selling books include Ride ‘Em Cowgirl! and Tickle Your Fancy. “Tired as you might be, it’s OK to just make it a quickie sometimes. Sex is so important to the overall health of your relationship.”

Instead of waiting until just before you put out the lights, take a break for a romantic encounter beforethe evening’s chores. “Make space and time where you can escape and get creative,” Allison says. Even if that time is in your house (or car, or backyard). “Look, it isn’t going to happen spontaneously,” Allison says. “You have to find the time and make a date.”

Problem No. 3: ‘Who Are You?’

The Solution: Rediscover Each Other — Without Pressure

If you haven’t had sex for some time, a come-on from your partner can feel very artificial and forced. To sustain a healthy sexual relationship, it helps to reconnect in a non-sexual way, says Christina Steinorth, MFT, a psychotherapist in Santa Barbara, Calif.

“If you haven’t had any kind of quality time together, you’re not going to feel sexual,” Steinorth says. “Schedule in time each week for date night. Not the old dinner and a movie thing, which seems like it’s supposed to be a lead-in to sex, but a shared experience: biking, bowling, something silly. Plan a trip to the farmer’s market and a stop for a cup of coffee every Sunday morning. Whatever it is, stick to it like you stick to the other obligations on your schedule. Let it become a habit, and you’ll feel reconnected, and the desire will just grow from there.”

Once you’re reconnected in this way, a quick sexual encounter may regain its excitement. “When the relationship’s alive like that, the 10-minute ‘let’s sneak off and do it’ quickie works great,” Steinorth says. “It’s like your little secret and helps further build the bond between you. But that bond has to be there in the first place.”

Problem No. 4: You Don’t Like Your Body

The Solution: Focus on What You Do Like

Let’s face it: Many of us have things we’d like to change about our bodies. Maybe you never lost the baby weight, or you’re not happy with how you’ve stopped going to the gym.

“Ultimately, low self-image comes down to not being in love with yourself, and if you don’t love yourself, you’re not going to share yourself with someone else,” Allison says. “Short of therapy for poor self-esteem, you can try finding things about yourself that you do like, and focus on those sexually.”

Or focus on your partner’s body instead of your own. “What do you love about the person you’re with? What about his or her body arouses you?” Allison asks. “Take the focus off your own insecurities about yourself.”

Problem No. 5: Sex Hurts

The Solution: Don’t Suffer in Silence

Sometimes it’s not that you’re not feeling in the mood, it’s that your body isn’t cooperating because sex is actually painful. This can be a big issue for women approaching menopause, and you might be too embarrassed to tell your partner.

“As we age, estrogen levels decrease and this affects a lot of organs, including the vagina,” Horowitz says. “When tissues atrophy and thin out, losing some of their blood supply, intercourse becomes more painful. Some patients describe it as like sandpaper. But there are things you can do about that!”

For many patients, Horowitz prescribes a vaginal estrogen. Vaginal lubricants are also available. There’s also the possibility that you may have a condition of the vagina or vulva that’s causing a problem, which is a key reason to check with your doctor should intercourse become painful. (That’s good advice for guys, too.)

Consult your doctor if sex is painful.

Problem No. 6: You’re Still Not in the Mood

The Solution: Find the Trigger

A dwindling libido may not just be a sign of aging. It may be the sign of another health problem or behavioral issue. For example:

  • Depression, anxiety, and hormonal imbalances can all contribute to sexual dysfunction.
  • In men, the inability to get an erection can be an early warning sign of diabetes or heart disease.
  • Some medications, including antidepressants and blood pressure drugs, can lower your sex drive.
  • Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can put a damper on sexual response.
  • Too much time on the bike can lead to problems in bed. “Both men and women who are always on their spin bike can have problems with orgasm and arousal, because of the pressure put on the pudendal nerve and artery, decreasing the blood supply to that region,” Horowitz says.

Also, make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Feeling well-rested can help.

No matter what the reason for your diminished desire, getting back on track with your partner sexually is going to take some effort. “Sex takes work and you have to focus on it just like everything in your relationship,” Horowitz says. “There isn’t a magic pill.”

If you try everything and your sexual problems persist, check with a doctor and/or a therapist. Contact Suzann Robins for a FREE consultation to discuss your issues by phone or SKYPE @ 303-428-0968.

 

Intimacy in Marriage – 5 Tips for Spicing Things Up In Your Bedroom

One way to strengthen a marriage relationship is to build or rebuild intimacy. There are several forms of intimacy – sexual, emotional, intellectual, and the spiritual. This article is going to deal with sexual intimacy and how healthy activity in the bedroom can help safeguard your marriage.

The most exciting place, perhaps, in nurturing marital intimacy is the bedroom. The bedroom can be a place of solitude and comfort as a couple experiences intimacy together. It helps strengthen the bond between a couple and can be a good gauge for how solid a marriage is.

Here are 5 tips for spicing up the bedroom and enhancing sexual intimacy:

    1. 1. Introduce creative changes to your sexual routines. You may want to try a new position or a surprise that will take out the monotony, prevent dullness and ignite the flames of romance. You may also want to create a stimulating environment in the bedroom that will help create a desire to engage in passionate lovemaking.
    1. 2. Recognize and appreciate the value of foreplay. Many couples go straight for intercourse which contributes to a sense of routine. Exploring how foreplay can build intimacy and lead to a more passionate lovemaking will do wonders for your time together in the bedroom. Kissing, hugging, touching each other can lead to a better orgasmic pleasure.
3. Climax together. This is a bit tricky, but with practice it can be done. When done properly it can enhance your sense of intimacy a thousand fold. As you experience climax at the same time, you develop a sense of closeness that is extremely unique. You must learn how to accept the difference between the male and female when it comes to orgasm and make them work to your advantage.
4. Use some tools to heighten sexual intimacy. In Christian circles sex is taboo and we often get the idea that sex shouldn’t involve things like vibrators or creams. But these tools aren’t sinful and they can help enhance pleasure and closeness as you learn to become more vulnerable with each other. Exploring what feels good and being able to communicate that, does wonders for healthy intimacy in the bedroom.
5.Take advantage of the power of touch to build physical intimacy. Taking extra time for good personal hygiene, for setting the mood and for playful exploration by way of touch will create a powerful connection that leads to more pleasure and a more gratifying sexual experience. There are many ways to use touch to build physical intimacy.

These five tips for spicing up things in your bedroom will help build and nurture intimacy in your marriage and enhance a sense of affection and familiarity. Remember that healthy intimacy takes hard work, but if you break down that work into small achievable goals it will be easier to accomplish. These tips will help you grow together as a couple which is super important for healthy intimacy in marriages. Growing together keeps you focused on your relationship and on the marriage rather than your selfish desires.

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