Cheers Sexy People!
Happy Friday to you all! I hope this blog post finds you well, happy, and thriving – despite this week’s sad news of celebrity suicides. More on that later. Let’s focus on the positive first, shall we? I am back in the saddle after returning from my first ever Atlanta Poly Weekend (APW) last weekend. I can now say that this polyamorous, family-friendly conference rocks! I was delighted to be part of the team of presenters as an REF (Relationship Equality Foundation) Outreach Representative. I was also delighted to be there at all (and with my picc / catheter line removed adding to a sense of gleeful FREEDOM) after my recent medical scare. Thank you to all who reached out to me to express healthy loving vibes during my recovery. It meant the world to me, and I super appreciate it. I did my level best to use that new sense of freedom to thoroughly enjoy myself, alongside my beloved who accompanied me at APW. The conference was well-organized, well-attended, and well-liked by all including all of the youngsters. This was my first family-friendly polycon that I have been to, and I thought the kiddos were a welcome addition. The kids may have enjoyed the karaoke as much as I did – though I did get a special thrill out of sharing the mic singing Love Shack with new friend and colleague Alex Bove, fellow presenter and Philadelphia native (my hometown). What a blast!
One of the highlights of my weekend was having the time to attend a few other workshops. It was an absolute honor to have the opportunity to attend Alexandra Tyler’s two workshops: “How to be a Communication Rock Star” based on the Imago Dialogue, and “Interdependence vs. Codependence”. Wow these workshops were POWERHOUSES chockfull of amazing, incredibly valuable, and for this gal (points thumbs at self) very timely information. I studied the Imago Dialogue last fall and found it to be highly relatable as well as a critical tool to have to help solve conflicts in not only my personal life but in my professional coaching life as well. The Codependent workshop frankly just blew me away! I had no idea how relevant this workshop would be for me as I have been struggling with a few strained relationships for some time, and the information shared here really shined a much needed light directly on the trouble spots. This helped give me permission to let go of dysfunctional relationships that no longer serve me and my life. Alexandra brought home the idea of healing from trauma as a full-time job as she shouted “This is YOUR LIFE!” at the end of her workshop. I could not agree more as we all deal with the news of two more celebrity suicides this week. Relationship, life, and trauma stressors can literally be killers!
“JEALOUSY SURVIVAL GUIDE” BOOK SIGNING & WORKSHOP
Another one of the highlights of the weekend for me was sharing the book signing table alongside famed authors, colleagues, and friends Tikva Wolf and Kevin Patterson. Speaking to attendees in person about jealousy issues that they struggle with gave me additional insights into a normal and natural feeling that almost all of us struggle with from time to time. I am thrilled to say that my workshop based on my book was well-received. I loved every minute of not only creating that workshop as a companion or stand-alone to my book, but also presenting it live getting feedback and sharing excitement together at new discoveries along the way. I’ll share a testimonial that came in from one of our attendees:
“Kitty’s Jealousy Workshop was a unique and empowering way to turn any challenge into an advantage. Kitty keeps this Workshop engaging, interactive and personal. It’s a simple choice; you can either continue to struggle or you can take Kitty’s Jealousy Workshop and stop struggling.” — Matt C.
A huge thank you to all of the attendees of BOTH of my workshops – you all inspire me, bring me joy, and I am thrilled to have met you all! I hope to see many of you at future conferences and events.
JOY & ADDITIONAL COMMITMENT ON THE POLY HOMEFRONT
My time at Atlanta Poly Weekend came at a special moment in my life. My beloved / beau / non-legal-spouse or whatever you want to call him is making a deeper commitment to me and our relationship. He is currently having his section of our house completely renovated to his tastes, complete with sound-proofing the ceiling. This will help the three of us (my husband, my beloved, and I) all live here even more harmoniously than we already do. Our modest sized 1955 home does not have the best soundproofing. Between our collective sex lives, our love of excellent surround sound systems, and how much we value quality sleep – sound proofing can prove to be a great investment. With each hammer, drill, and “shoo”-ing of the cats from the construction zone, my heart is full of love, gratitude, and glee that my beloved feels ready to put firm roots down in our home. A happy poly moment indeed! And just in time for his wife and son to come visit next week. At a time when I do not feel full acceptance of our unusual family in the wider world, it is such a blessing to know that we accept, support, and love each other so deeply. (and I’ll just keep telling myself that as the drilling sounds rattle my teeth as I write this. Haha!)
RELATIONSHIP & LIFE STRESSORS ARE LIFE THREATENING
It is with a heavy heart that I learned this morning about the second celebrity suicide this week. I was also deeply troubled when I first learned of one of my heroes, Robin Williams, loss with the battle of depression. As a depression survivor myself, this subject is near and dear to my heart. The effects of depression and trauma are real, and they are life threatening, just like any serious physical illness is. A friend of mine said she believes we are in a cultural depression that is worsening given the current political climate – more disconnection, lack of care, lack of empathy, emphasis on dominance, and perpetuation of trauma. But you can do something. Please seek the help of a therapist, self-help books, a life or relationship coach, or a hotline if you or someone you love needs help. Here is an except from an excellent article on this recent tragedy:
Substance abuse, financial stress, and relationship problems or loss are all factors that contribute to suicide risk, data shows… Other risk factors for suicide include chronic physical illnesses, family history of suicide, history of exposure to trauma or abuse, recent losses or life stressors, military service, hopelessness and impulsivity, misuse of alcohol and drugs and access to lethal means such as firearms, experts say. Suicide risk also increases with age.
[HOW YOU CAN HELP:] “Reassure them that they are important to you, you want them to be around and want them to be well,” he said. “The reassurance that people care by statements and words mean a lot to someone who emotionally is drained from the depression.” Lastly be willing to move past the stigma of speaking about depression and ask the person direct questions.
“Depression has been called the ‘invisible disease’ because there’s not an X-ray we can do,” said Dr. Gail Saltz, a psychiatrist. “There’s not a blood test we can do, and so it is so prevalent and yet so under recognized.”
Questioning suicide? Call someone, anyone: A friend, neighbor, family member, religious figure, hospital, doctor, mental health specialist, the police department or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, a 24/7, free and confidential resource, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
1) Coup/3 Goals (Chicago, Illinois), June 14th, 2018 – This workshop series is focused on the various ideals of navigating one’s personal journey in relationships, and the freedom of love and happiness created in non-traditional dynamics. Click the link above to learn more, register, and see more about other events in the series! Here is the Facebook page about the events. Stay tuned for recordings of my panel with Ruby Johnson at the first workshop!
2) World Domination Summit (WDS) Meetup: Sex Positivity and Alternative Relationships as a Path to Living a Passionate Life (Portland, Oregon), Saturday, June 30th, 1:30–3pm – Ever wonder how to be comfortable with deepening intimacy while enjoying more mindful sex, or how to build trust and acceptance in relationships? This presentation is for those seeking more understanding and practical guidelines around sex positivity, living an authentic life, and will discuss definitions and types of alternative relationship structures (such as consensual non-monogamy (CNM)/polyamory). NOTE: You do NOT need to be a WDS attendee to come to this meetup that is being held at the locally famous McMenamins Ringlers Pub. Come join the fun, the adventure, and the celebration of uniqueness!
3) Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit (SFS) (Alexandria, Virginia), August 2–5, 2018 – The Sexual Freedom Summit features human rights activists, sexuality educators and researchers, professionals from the legal and medical fields, authors, sexual freedom movement leaders and organizational partners all working toward the time when sexual freedom is fully recognized as a fundamental human right. This Summit is for EVERYONE interested in learning about the issues in the realm of sexual freedom, advancing their current knowledge and in gaining the tools to actually create the change we need to accomplish. I already have my ticket! I hope to see you there!
4) HGTV Calling Any Polyamorous House Hunters – HGTV’s popular show “House Hunters” wants to feature polyamorous groups in upcoming shows. The producer’s thoughts are to highlight polyamorous groups that might all be buying a house together for two reasons: It’s about time to feature less traditional families doing everyday things (like buying a house!) and also because instead of 2 different points of view, there might be 3 or 4 or more. Their intent is not to exploit, but to show that polyamory is one more option for families in the 21st century.
The ideal groups would be “out” because House Hunters would never want someone’s appearance on the show to jeopardize anyone’s livelihood etc. They also do not mention last names or addresses when they shoot the show, as a precaution. If you or someone you know is in the market to buy a new home, please get in touch with Laura Chambers via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone (818-205-0642).
See you on the flip side, lovely community! Keep being brave, compassionately vulnerable, and uniquely and authentically you!
Wishing you peace, love and happiness,
(and thrilling, fun sex too!)