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One thing I know from doing this work for a long time now is that artists can seem opaque to nonartists--flaky or weird might be a more direct way to put it. Changing them at times can be challenging, and other times it will be simple. It will take time to create these new mental models that will serve your life. So, don't give up if you don't see results with some of them right away. Meditation will seem hard for some because we are not always able to sit quietly and to listen to our inner guide. The world around us is always busy. Lots of noise and going places are happening. Sitting still is uncomfortable and hard for some of us. The more we do it and do it daily, the easier it will get. It may take months to feel the benefits, but they will come just keep working at it. Other changes will come easily, like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. It was okay, I guess, she said. Nothing special. And when I asked her if she and her partner had ever talked about their sex life, either before her perimenopause or now, she shook her head emphatically. One of the saddest casualties of hormonal imbalance is sex. Women just don't feel sexy, sensual, or able to communicate with their partners when they're overwhelmed with cramping, depression, and out-of-control anger. The good news is that you can restore your sexual feelings and your sensuality. My 28-day plan can help you make a good start, and if that's not enough, bioidentical hormones can also help a lot. There are plenty of resources to help you reconnect to your sexual and your sensual self. Communication with your partner can also make a huge difference.

Men and women tend to communicate very differently, and what may be crucial is to understand the difference so you can communicate on his terms and help him understand yours. Inviting people too quickly into an exercise that would be normal in a rehearsal room might alienate the more left-brained, nonartist people in the room. Or was I projecting my own apprehensions? After breathing in silence, Iega guided us a little deeper. We'll do the same thing, only this time, just imagine your body is starting to lift up, he said. We would all stay seated, but just imagine the very first feelings of weight shifting from heaviness to lightness. Iega slowly added music to these brief imaginings, and gradually guided us through actual flight. Let your body lead you where it wants to go, let your arms lift, or come to a stand, whatever it wants, whatever is possible. Slowly, he was linking our thoughts, our feelings, and our movement. I stopped worrying about what the nonartists were thinking and fell into the exercise. I found myself in a pool as a kid, kicking off from the side wall and gliding into the middle of the water. Sounds silly but, it makes your brain think differently. Creating new mental models, maybe this will give you an idea you haven't considered before by brushing your teeth with the dominant hand. A new perspective on how to see the world and how you function in the world. How a Positive Outlook Can Change Your Situation Think of all the positive people in your life. No matter if the situation is good or bad, they always have a positive attitude even on horrible days. The mind is a powerful tool. Mental models can make life harder or easier. The choice is yours.

Taking responsibility for your actions and your choices in your life and admitting when you are wrong are huge steps to a more fulfilling life. Alison Armstrong makes the excellent point that we can't expect our men to be like male girlfriends; that's simply not how most men relate. It may take some work on your part to learn how to communicate with that understanding in mind. Finding a way to help your guy understand your hormonal challenges, showing him what works for you sexually, and finding out more about what he likes can be challenging. But doing so can all go a long way toward renewing your sex life and helping you reclaim your sensuality. I was concerned about the situations of Jennifer, Camille, and Isabella because I wanted them--and all my patients--to be able to enjoy sex. Yet so many women don't enjoy it. So many of my patients assume that when they don't feel interested in sex, their hormones are to blame--and often hormones are a big part of the story. Sometimes, though, hormones are only part of the story, and sometimes they're not even part of the story at all. With or without hormonal imbalance, so many other factors are involved, including your brain, your life story, your family background, your culture, your self-image, and your self-esteem. I stood up slowly, imagining the gliding sensation and the peacefulness of feeling weightless. Iega had led us through such a gradual and subtle evolution of complexity that I was breathless when I cheated and opened my eyes, looked around the room, which was silent save for Iega's music. Some people stood, their arms high above them. Others had their arms gently swaying to the side. Some remained seated, their chins lifting subtly upward. Some of the elders that Signature staff brought to the workshop were in their wheelchairs, hands and fingers pointed skyward, clearly soaring. It was a room of flight. Iega asked us to reflect. I was still cautious about asking so much of the group--to feel these enormous feelings and translate them into words.

Performers are used to this. Changing mental models and consistency can help you create a habit that will be rewarding throughout your life. Start to understand yourself. You recognize negative mental models and start to look at where they started and why they started. Ask yourself if that mental model is serving you now. If not, change that mental model. It will take time, but, the next time this issue comes up, you will know what to do. The beautiful thing is you can change them. You can make new connections and love yourself more. When friends argue, you always step in and try to help calm everyone down. You have always done it as long as you can remember but, doing this always brings you in the middle of the drama when the drama really isn't yours. In many cases, your life circumstances can contribute to your feeling more or less sexy. Think of the young mother who has been taking care of kids all day long. She's got vomit all over her blouse, she's been changing poopy diapers all afternoon, and she's just prepared her third meal of the day. Dinner ends, and she does the dishes while her husband, who has been working overtime, goes out and mows the lawn. By the time they get to bed, her husband doesn't have the energy to romance his wife, but he's still interested in sex. And she feels like he's just one more person wanting one more thing and she just doesn't have anything left to give. A lot of things could change that picture. Giving the woman additional testosterone might make a difference. But remember, adding one hormone at a time is often not the answer;

it's the symphony that counts. But quality of life directors? Nursing assistants? Family caregivers? I remember feeling my breath grow more shallow. Where did you go? What did you see? It was quiet for a moment. Then, slowly, people began to respond. They flew over family farms, describing the curve of the landscape and the joy of seeing it again as they remembered it. They flew to see grandchildren. You feel stressed, anxious, and sad long after it is over. You start to look at this more closely and realize you did this when your parents fought when you were a child. A mental model you formed to calm everyone down at the expense of yourself. It wasn't your place to calm everyone down, and it still isn't. Letting people figure out their own arguments is what you need to let happen. You don't have to keep peace with everyone anymore. This mental model does not serve you anymore. Being overweight is hard but, so is getting healthy. What hard do you want to deal with more overweight hard or getting healthy hard?