The Mindfulness Movie in San Diego! Fundraiser for Jeans 4 Justice

Purchase Mindfulness Movie tickets as San Diego fundraiser.

There is something we can do for as little as 8 minutes a day that will change our lives. That something is called MINDFULNESS, and I am hosting a movie fundraiser about this powerful practice. Mindfulness is simple in its concept, but difficult in its practice. Yet we can all learn to do it, and 35 of the leading experts in the field will help us out.

As a member of the Board of Directors for Jeans 4 Justice, I am hosting a showing of The Mindfuness Movie and a post-movie panel discussion. All ticket sales benefit Jeans 4 Justice, a San Diego-based nonprofit dedicated to preventing sexual and relationship violence before it happens. Their programs help youth and young adults create compassionate relationships and skills to handle negative emotions in a healthy manner. 

Here is a synopsis of The Mindfulness Movie. Full Life. Less Strife:

Experts agree. We don’t experience reality as it really is. We perceive it through a filter that allows us to see only what we’ve been conditioned to see. That’s because we’ve become trapped in the neurobiology of our own brains. As we grow older our actions and reactions become conditioned by our hopes, intentions, anxieties, motivations, loves, hates, desires, fears or frustrations. Eventually we become stuck in these patterns and live our lives on autopilot.

Join us on a journey with a group of 35 world-renowned authors and experts in neuroscience, psychiatry, relationships, sports psychology and quantum physics. Learn an ancient technique that is rapidly becoming embraced by modern science called Mindfulness.


EVENT DETAILS

Date: Friday, December 6, 2013 

Time: 8pm - 10pm, doors open at 7:30pm 

Price: $15

Place: AMN Healthcare, 12400 High Bluff Drive, San Diego, CA 92130 (Free parking in parking garage next to building – park in visitor or unmarked spots.)

Purchase tickets online ahead of time HERE.

Post-film Panel Discussion with local mindfulness professionals:
Steven Alper, LCSW – METTA Training and Consulting
Craig Lambert, LCSW – Craig Lambert Couples Therapy
Sara Schairer - Compassion It
Jennifer Gunsaullus, PhD – Dr. Jenn’s Den

We appreciate our generous venue sponsor AMN Healthcare!

 


Why it Takes More Than Viagra

Last week I attended the annual AASECT conference (sexuality conference) in Miami, FL, and sat in on a two-hour workshop about sexual pharmacology. Did you know that the majority of viagra prescriptions are not refilled? I knew viagra-type medications did not work well for addressing women's desire and arousal, but didn't realize that perhaps many men were not satisfied as well.

It seems that some men pop a viagra and think that the added blood flow to their genitals will immediately take care of all their desire and arousal concerns. But without an emotional connection with their partner, or mental arousal, or some physical touching, it might not help. Sexuality is a full body experience.

The speakers shared an example of a man taking a viagra and then sitting down to play cards with his wife. He and his wife would occasionally peak under the table to see if something was happening. Unless they were playing strip poker, I don't think this qualifies as foreplay for most folks. And, as a side note, apparently viagra shouldn't be taken after a heavy meal, because its effectiveness is reduced. But think about that - who feels sexy after a heavy meal anyway?

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sociologist, Sexologist, Sexuality Speaker

Singles Awareness Day - February 15

Is Singles Awareness Day just a silly day, to make fun of Valentine's Day and its emphasis on coupledom? Or is it a legitimate reason to celebrate being single and help folks feel better the day after Valentine's Day? I'm guessing that it started as a joke (this day's acronym is S.A.D., afterall), but I think there's actually a lot of value in recognizing this topic.

We learn to put great emphasis on being in a relationship, and that this form of expression completes us. While relationships can be amazing, the good ones take a lot of work and perseverence, and sometimes bring out the worst in us. If you notice that you're feeling down because you wish you had a significant other, take a bit of time to feel that sadness, but don't get stuck in the wallowing. Don't overlook the benefits of being single. Make sure you are prioritizing taking care of yourself, something that is often easier to do when single. Being single is a great opportunity to focus on your purpose and mission in life, your personal growth, and what personally lights you up.

For example, on a day like Singles Awareness Day, or ANY day that you want to take care of yourself, create opportunities to learn new things, challenge yourself, surround yourself with friends, and just have fun. For example, take an art class that has always interested you, join an adult sports league, take a language class, or invite a few friends over for a wine or beer tasting. These are ways to feel like you're in control of your life, while doing something you enjoy and sharing time with others. Also, write a love letter to yourself, describing all your strengths and what you appreciate about you. Treat yourself in a romantic way, just like you would someone else. I have no doubt you deserve it.

The bottom line? Don't wait for things to happen - make something happen! And appreciate every stage and step in life.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sexologist, Sex Therapist, Sociologist, Sexuality Speaker

4 Ways Improv Comedy is like Sex Therapy

“The first rule of improv: Don’t deny.”

On June 23, this year, I walked into my first improv class at the National Comedy Theater in San Diego. This Wednesday, November 28, I will perform a live improv show with my fellow classmates, in completion of my improv training. I signed up for these classes for skill building as a public speaker, but was surprised to also find a number of life lessons relevant to my work as a sex therapist and relationship counselor.

1. Yes, and…  The first rule we learned was not to deny anything another player says, but to build on whatever they’ve added to the scene, through a “yes, and…” mentality. This means that I could have an idea and vision of where to take a scene and it will never work out that way. This is a nice reminder in relationships: if you find yourself arguing to be right, want things your way, or are just generally disagreeable, perhaps a shift to a “yes mentality” could breathe some new life into your partnership. What would happen if you spent a day saying, “yes, and…” to all your partner’s ideas and suggestions? I guarantee it would be a unique experience.

2. Spontaneity and mindfulness. Improv is different than stand-up comedy because the humor is based on spontaneous interactions between the players, not pre-determined stories and jokes. Improv is a prime example of being in the moment with another person, and building a scene, from moment to moment. Mindfulness is awareness in the moment, without judgment. Being mindful allows the improv players to be flexible and go with the flow.

I am always teaching about mindfulness with my clients for personal growth, improved communication, and enjoying pleasure in the bedroom. If we are distracted or caught up in our mind chatter, we can’t be present in the moment or truly enjoy our partner. If we aren’t aware of our thoughts, emotions, and sensations, we can’t know our triggers or patterns and how to alter them. When we practice mindfulness in our relationships, we stop dragging the past into the present and are able to respond to what’s happening in that moment.

3. Fresh Choice. One of the games we play in improv is called Fresh Choice. We ask for a random suggestion from the audience for something like a sport, occupation, or relationship between two people. With only that information, we start creating a scene together. There is a referee, however, who has ultimate control over the scene by calling out “fresh choice!” after any spoken line. If the referee doesn’t like the new line, they can keep calling “fresh choice” until they do.

A few weeks ago I was working with a couple around how to handle anger and frustration in healthier ways. We had already talked about considering a new perspective on the situations that were triggering them. It occurred to me that if they could only be reminded to make a “fresh choice,” they could break their habits and try something new. I mentioned this improv game and suggested they gently suggest “fresh choice” to assist in each other’s creativity. They were thrilled to have a game to use to work on their tough personal growth topics, with humor and creativity instead of self-doubt and frustration.

4. Fear and confusion are OK.  Just keep going. Fear and confusion were common experiences for me in class. What am I doing? I don’t get it? What should I do now? But it didn’t matter. My fear was there, but I had to keep going to interact with my classmates and keep trying. This advice is imperative to any counseling situation, let alone counseling for intimacy topics related to our deepest insecurities and needs. Being afraid is natural around the vulnerable topics of intimacy. The presence of fear doesn’t indicate a wrong path, it just means what you’re working on is hard. Acknowledging your fears and choosing to move forward is a key to personal growth. Sometimes we make asses of ourselves. But if we keep a good sense of humor, don’t take ourselves too seriously, and keep trying, everyone benefits.

If you’d like to watch an improv comedy show or take improv classes for yourself, I highly recommend the National Comedy Theater!

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Sexuality Speaker, Sexologist, Sociologist

TEDxWomen in San Diego!

I am thrilled and honored to be attending my first TEDx function, as well as speaking at the event! I love the TED mission of "ideas worth spreading," and I take that seriously as I'm preparing my presentation about Sex: Mind Full or Mindful? 

TEDxWomen is a TEDx event organized by the Paley Center for Media that focuses on women and women’s issues. TEDxWomen events are TEDx events hosted around the live webcast of TEDxWomen and feature local speakers, while being part of a global community of women. The theme for this event is "The Space Between."

To read about the speakers or purchase your tickets, vist TEDxWomen America's Finest City. As a friend of mine, you can receive a "friends & family" 10% discount by using "tedfriends" as your promo code.

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Sexuality Speaker, Sociologist, Sexologist

Women Choose Not to Have Orgasms Sometimes

Sometimes women choose not to have an orgasm. Why? I share my thoughts with orgasm.org. Click on the photo to go to gasm.org and watch this short video!

~Dr. Jenn Gunsaullus, San Diego, CA -- Sex Therapist, Sexuality Speaker, Sexologist