2020 was a solid year of me recording weekly episodes for Life Coaching for Modern Renegades podcast and an even more solid year of you listening. I found myself wondering, what were the episodes that y’all were tuning in and turning on for? And Why? What episodes were begging to be heard more than others? It didn’t take long to figure out the most common themes and trends revolved around your relationship with yourself and others. Sure, I could have assumed or predicted this seeing as how my podcast focuses on your brain on dating, but the specific episodes were not what I would have chosen given the challenge.
It turns out Renegades, you aren’t just tuning in to hear how to make your relationship better, how to date, if you are capable of commitment, why you go back for more when it hurts or how you can’t seem to let go of the past.
Even if you were, who would blame you? It’s the juice we find ourselves doing the most crazy for. The experience that I think most of us can and do relate on.
However, the results show that each week you’re tuning in to find out how to rewire your thinking. You’re tuning in to learn how to develop awareness around YOUR feelings and patterns. You really want to understand how you’re showing up.
You want to see YOUR brain on dating.
Whether I was sharing my own experience or that of friends or clients, didn’t seem to matter.
You. Were. Listening.
(Your Brain On Dating was oh so close!)
You wanted to hear about why you go back for more love even after your hearts been broken. Why you can’t seem to stop dragging your past relationship into the current one. Why affairs are textbook, in my opinion.
Another trend I noticed is that any content I had that talked about how to feel your feelings, making decisions from the present moment you listened. I believe we as a whole have begun to logically grasp that nothing in life is certain, but you Renegade, you want to believe it and not take anything for granted. You saw how slowing down made a noticeable difference in your moods and habits. There was discomfort- and you wanted to learn how to process it and discover how to practice feeling good now. You wanted to work on your relationship with yourself and evolve from there. Not wait for life to improve, but start improving your way through it. You wanted to Manifest Good Feelings. Learn how to enjoy life regardless of its circumstances – to find the pleasure in all of it and Live an Erotic Life.
Spoiler Alert: One of those was #1.
Renegades, looking at this Top 5 list lights me up. You light me up. You are eager to learn about and understand your brains on dating. You crave the knowledge and skills that will better guide and move you through your relationships. You are mastering and overcoming your greatest obstacles and it’s nothing short of inspiring.
I’ll admit. I re-listened to a number of the episodes and have to say… this shit is good!
I’m looking forward to recording 52 more episodes for you this year and developing this relationship we already have going. Getting to write and tell stories about dating, relationships, love and sex combined with mindfulness tips to assist #yourbrainondating is like a wet dream for me.
Let me know if one of these 5 was one of your favorites. If not, tell me which one was and why in the comments!
Here are the most listened to episodes counted down to most listened.
2020 you sly thing you.
You humbled me beyond measure and ignited lots of self-reflection. The day after my 40th birthday I woke with the worse hangover and this sinking, gut wrenching feeling that I’d made the biggest mistake.
I thought the feeling would evaporate with my hangover. How wrong I was.
You started dishing out circumstances to the world as a whole, left and right, that had me contemplating my existence.
The fragility of our lives.
The preciousness of time and its limited capacity.
You had me questioning what it means to live.
The answer you gave me is this:
To Live An Erotic Life.
To live life to its fullest by finding the eroticism in all of it.
From here on out I am dedicated to living an erotic life.
One that I know will challenge me to continue to love hard.
One that turns me on.
I want to feel turned on by and alive with the most simplest things I do.
I want to feel consumed with inspiration when I write about the musings of our minds and creating the life we want.
I want to feel the stimulation of our city lit up at night while walking around surrounded by strangers and passers-by.
I want to feel the warmth of my coffee in my hand as I inhale its scent close to my face.
I want to notice the light on my lover’s face in the early morning and feel my body crave his touch.
I want to feel the cold air contrast with the sweat breaking on my neck when I run.
I want to feel and embrace the looks on my children faces when we sit at our table talking about our lives yesterday, today and tomorrow.
I want to feel the intimacy of a friend telling me what’s going on as if no one else exists.
I want to love those close to me so hard that I think I will break if I lose them.
I don’t want to miss feeling these moments in time. I want to embody it all.
This is an erotic life to me.
This is my anecdote to death waiting for me, be it patiently or otherwise.
I invite you all to join me in feeling turned on by the simplest things in life and writing your own guidebooks.
Let’s learn from 2020 and continue living our best Renegade lives.
I was talking to a friend recently who was telling me about a lunch he had just left with a group of friends; they had been discussing their extramarital lovers and how, by having one, they felt like they were better partners in their relationships. That this added relationship fulfills them and their needs making room for them to show up at home and be the partner their spouse needs. They feel more present. Less likely to care if and when the nagging starts.
Not my words.
My friend, who doesn’t have affairs, said that he could see himself not passing up 24 hours of passion with someone if the option revealed itself, because he didn’t want a life of regret.
Do you really think that that is something that would cross your mind during your last and final breaths? (Because he just isn’t that person.)
I said your friends, their affairs, listen I get it and they can wax justification all day, but it’s so unoriginal and textbook. They aren’t actually doing anything that isn’t evolutionary pre-disposed. Meaning, we are animals. We are wired to mate. To desire. To want. To act on impulse.
To not have an affair is actually overriding your baseline programming.
It’s easier to have affairs than not have affairs. Just like it’s easier to eat the food, binge watch the show, stream the porn, and spend the money, then it is not to. The brain doesn’t want to do the hard thing; it wants to avoid discomfort. That’s just how the brain is wired.
Renegades, I’m not judging having affairs as a good or bad thing. Some of you will say having an affair makes you a better spouse. Others will strongly disagree with that notion. What I wonder is whether having an affair or not having an affair makes you evolve more.
In today’s show, I’m sharing some of the arguments for having an affair, and some of the reasons to consider wanting and not having. When you indulge in horizontal renewal, your vertical renewal and path to your essential self suffers. We all love a quick hit of dopamine, but sometimes doing the harder thing is what leads to more growth.
When I was 18, a boy I had known for years asked me to come visit him in Seattle before I headed off to college. I’d known him since I was 14- even now as I write this I can’t help but shake my head.
This love story was fueled with emotional drama.
This relationship was the catalyst for my move to Hawaii.
This relationship was with me for years and years after.
I’d think about this person and wonder if we’d ever end up back together… after all, he did promise me one drunken night while hiding in his house with several roommates- hiding because we had broken up and he had a new girlfriend.
“We are too young to figure one another out, but when we are 40 he said, after we live out our lives, have kids with other people, we will be together. I will come for you” he said.
I held on to this, especially when I felt trapped in a loveless marriage – that one day we would be together and I would know true love.
That I would have a relationship that I’d never want to leave.
The longing was real and intense.
I kept tiny reminders of our time together & hid them in secrecy with guilt afraid that someone would find them the same way I kept my thoughts about us to myself hidden in the dark corners of my mind.
It wasn’t until I was in my late 20s that I began to let go of this fantasy the we would be together one day. I had met someone & started experiencing a relationship like the one I had longed for and suddenly I didn’t think about him the same way.
But what I did do, for 15 years was talk about this relationship. The way we have woven in and out of one another’s lives.
How I bought him his first guitar and how now he’s a semi famous musician. What struck me this week was that I never failed to leave out stories of emotional chaos. Verbal arguments like the one where I jumped out of a slow moving cab in front of the Showbox theatre in Seattle. I started running down the street. I could hear him screaming my name so I turned around. People streamed out of the venue into the streets & he yelled, “Ashley Kelsch. I love you!”
Then dropped his pants. I stood there w/ my eyes wide.
Horrified & slightly more in love than I had been. There was nothing healthy about our relationship and yet it preoccupied my mind for years.
I was recently walking with a friend of mine catching up on all the things when dating came up. She had met someone on a dating app and they had been texting back and forth for a few weeks. She was thinking maybe it was time to take the next step- a socially distanced face to face meet up.
As she shared with me her thoughts about him I noticed that she had a tendency to refer to the last person she dated and what had happened to her with him to define what she didn’t want in this relationship. It was as if this bar of what would not, could not happen had been set and the ex was there with us holding it up. It was the ghost of a past lover. The, I remember the painful story of when I did this with the last lover, how that didn’t work out -so never again.
Her ex was just as present in her dating life as he had been when it was just the two of them.
I couldn’t help but think this might be the most non-consensual threesome I’ve heard about in a long time.
Consequently, I also couldn’t help but think that we are all subconsciously doing this; Involuntarily bringing our past relationships into the current ones to inform us of who and what we want while simultaneously projecting our ghosts of past lovers on to the present person.
It begs the question; Is anyone really dating from a clean and clear space?
Is it possible to date purely from the present moment?
If you’re like me, you can get a little too comfortable in your down feelings. I’ve been practicing holding space for myself lately and working on allowing the low vibes instead of trying to resist them. But, I’ve noticed that there’s a difference between processing and allowing those feelings and swimming in them.
Thought work is so important for manifesting the way you want to feel. As hot and heavy as I can get with low feelings, I know it feels so much better to experience higher vibrations. Through a blend of future focus and manifestation, I’ve found that I can create the experience of the emotions I want to have. If you’re unfamiliar with these concepts, this episode will guide you through both.
I’m sharing how I manifest good feelings and create the results I want in my life. It’s not about resisting down feelings, but about focusing on how you want to feel in the future like it’s happening right now. Both manifestation and meditation can bring something that doesn’t yet exist into existence, and thought work keeps you aware and in the present. I share the exact ways I use manifestation, meditation, and thought work to create a better future for myself so you can too.
If you’ve been feeling all the delicious low feelings like I have lately, what are you waiting for?
Let’s manifest some good vibes.