Whether you do a side-hug as you take a picture, a full-on hug with those you love, or a high-five to those who are in a hug-free mood, consider how you can reach out and connect with someone today who wants and/or needs healthy physical contact today.
Maybe you need it, and don’t know how to begin asking! Perhaps you don’t even know what your needs and wants are.
Enjoy, and let me know how I can help.
New Massage Location!
It’s final! As of January 30, 2023, I will be renting from Innovative Chiropractic, located at 201 D East Ave in Red Wing. This is the same building as the Chamber of Commerce, but in the lower level. You can enter the back of the building through the upper or lower level of the public parking lot located between East Avenue and Highway 61. There is an elevator for those who need it.
I’m so grateful for the time and support of Kiki and Steve at 316 Bush Street in the last 22 years. They have been amazing and supportive people and landlords, and I will miss being in that space. I will miss Anna and Leah & the staff at Simple Abundance dearly as well (and I am going to have to plan my chocolate purchases more carefully. LOL)
Hypnosis + Upcoming Classes
Ready for better sleep? A better health routine? How about self-discipline and motivation? Maybe you want more hugs. Perhaps you are drained by politics, the news, or people around you. All of this can be shifted and you can manifest the life you want with this effective tool.
In these selfhypnosis classes, you will learn how to safely and effectively hypnotize yourself and speak to your unconscious mind to reach your goals, and so much more! Hypnosis is 10,000x more powerful than repeating affirmations or using all your effort and focus to force yourself to change habits. Hypnosis is quick, easy, and effective.
Dawn Bennett earned a series of designations in 2022 including as a Board Certified Hypnosis Trainer. She is excited to offer these class to everyone to help them have the best 2023 possible! Click Here to see upcoming trainings.
Everything we do is to try to feel loved, accepted, or as if we are part of something; That we matter and belong. Our brain takes information from the outside world and creates stories to protect us from hurt and harm; to keep us safe from emotional and physical turmoil. Our brain puts things in boxes and creates filters through which we view our whole world.
Amanda, my editor and writing support (because there was NO way I was going to write a book then have some editor tear it apart and tell me I have to fully redo it) uses this term.
I think it’s because so much emotional sh*t has to be released and processed when we share our story; Telling about life experience includes revealing struggles, heartbreak, vulnerable moments, shame and other emotions, and secrets to friends, family, and colleagues. Knowing strangers are going to read it is the easy part!
With Divine Assistance
Situations that were synergistic and stories that needed to be shared started to appear. People told me more and more about how touch or lack thereof was impacting their lives. During the pandemic I still spoke about how to navigate touch boundaries. How to connect even if handshakes and hugs were not an option.
It’s All In the Timing
The Touch Crisis is still getting great feedback and reviews. As I travel around the country, individuals are reading it and telling me how important this message is for them.
You Can’t Make this St*ry Up
Is a book about stories. 19 brave people sharing their experience as they wrote their secrets onto paper for everyone to see. Stories of abuse and fear; of romance, heartbreak, and triumphs; of race cars and veterans; of religious conflicts; of loss. Then, Amanda, our writing coach, shares how we came into her life at the perfect time to teach her something important or shift her life. (See below for the YouTube links of interviews I did + Amanda’s podcast with me.)
It’s All About YOU
The people you meet on the street, your coworkers, those who have different opinions and viewpoints- they are all here to teach you something. Are you listening? Are you open to learning about yourself through your projection onto others?
When ‘others’ create fear, anger, and frustration in you… do you know that is something that is calling for healing within yourself? It’s not about them.
I’ve traveled across the US and Europe and see this phenomenon. Individuals do their best to feel love and connection– even as they push others away and judge them for being different.
We create identity and connection to our own groups by categorizing others- sometimes as inferior or opposites.
Can’t we all just take a moment to see that everyone is doing the best for themselves and their families with the information they have, their personal and medical and social history, and a desire to live a happy and healthy life? They have their own st*ry, just as you have yours. Difference is- you don’t know what theirs entails.
Scouting Your Inner Terrain with Touch The Touch Crisis Cover Strategizing Intention and Safety with Touch Tackling the Mountain of Wants, Needs, and Consent in Touch Scaling Touch Challenges with the 4 C’s Comparing Landscapes & Sharing the Adventure of…
Sex. The word alone brings up different images, ideas, and belief systems for everyone. Perhaps you are singing a George Michael song in your head now.
Or maybe you are thinking about playfulness, connection, and love. Others are thinking of embarrassment, shame, religion, trauma, or manipulation. Sex can be equated with power or equality, connection or separation.
Perhaps you have images of lengthy, slow, explorative, sensual, erotic tantric sessions or lively, exciting, powerful, sweaty, screaming, vigorous experiences. Awkward first explorations or easy synergistic rhythms born from familiarity.
Lust or love. Any combination of any of the above. The list goes on and on.
I have EFT clients who WANT to want sex with their partner. Yet something stands in the way. The lack of sex is blamed on stress. Schedules. Kids. Lack of desire/ hormones. Body image challenges. (Am I really desirable? I have x, y, or z wrong with my body. If my partner desires me… they must be crazy!) Feelings of duty, anger, frustration, disconnection, shame, or memories of trauma haunt the bedroom.
Emotional Freedom Techniques (a.k.a. EFT or Tapping) Can Help You Desire AND Enjoy Sex!
Most sexual dysfunction has an emotional root. Even when lack of desire, lack of orgasm, premature ejaculation, or body response challenges seem hormonal or physically related, clearing emotions, trauma, shame, guilt, fear, and/or belief systems can restore optimal sexual drive, and performance. EFT can restore your enjoyment–or allow you to find it if you haven’t before!
Your Bedroom is Your Business
It doesn’t matter what you want your sex life to look like. Heck, maybe all you want is healthy touch and an opportunity to cuddle. Perhaps a connection needs to be built or rebuilt before sex is even on the table. Maybe you are trying to learn your own body through masturbation and are still having challenges. Healing so you can find satisfaction, whether with self or other, is all possible with EFT.
Let’s Have an Honest Chat
Some people are still trying to figure out their own body and what they want (and don’t) in the bedroom. Maybe what you want is the courage to talk to your partner about curiosities, explorations, deeper desires or fantasies. Perhaps you just want the courage and words to gently educate another on what you like.
I explored Death Valley National Park Thursday. I was high-energy, motivated, and feeling playful. After a longer hike in the morning I had plenty of energy left, so kept exploring. With the sun high in the sky, rock music playing on the radio, and coffee in hand–because those little things added to the amazing energy–I decided to knock out a couple of scenic drives that had some small walks and overlooks. When I got back to my campsite, I was a bit tired, and climbed into my tent to do some stretching before starting the bonfire. I woke at 1 am, wondering what had happened, and why I was so exhausted.
Little Things Add Up
Looking back, I had knocked out almost 15 miles of hiking, mostly in mountainous and hilly terrain. No wonder! This happens in all areas of our lives, especially in personal and professional relationships. Those little things we say to others; the small ways in which we are critical, or in which we don’t ask for our own needs to be met; those unspoken expectations that create a feeling of being unloved, unwanted, or unappreciated. Little things can become really big things–the same the way water can carve through rock little by little over time.
It’s Different For Everyone
Some people love getting praise and appreciation for their efforts and it spurs them to do more and be better; others do not-and it can even make them feel embarrassed and unmotivated to do it again. I am not one to be motivated by praise. I had a partner that was, so I had to make a conscious choice to think about giving him what he needed.
Are You Being Polite?
Some of us, especially in midwestern culture, were taught (via example and words) to be nice, polite, or stoic. We were subtly taught to not ask for what we want; in fact, we often were shown by example to politely turn down offers a couple times before accepting something we did. Or that it’s polite to offer over and over again if another turns us down, just in case. How odd is that?
It Is Not Rude to Say Yes to What You Want
I don’t believe we have to give up our own needs to be kind to others. It’s also not rude to accept another person’s offer if we really want to. I’m also not saying you should never compromise, or that consciously choosing to do for another is bad.
However, for healthy relationships to exist, you MUST be comfortable communicating what you want and need. Period. To do that, you must also be AWARE of what you want and need and overcome any emotional hesitation to speaking that truth.
Start With the Little Things
EFT Tapping can help you speak your truth. I can help you clear those hesitations and brain patterns that have you automatically saying no when you mean yes. You can have everything you want if you can clearly ask for it. That means you also have to believe you deserve it. That you are worth it. That in a healthy relationship of any kind, others want to give back to you—even if their way looks different.
Don’t Exhaust Yourself
When you find yourself feeling disconnected or unappreciated in any kind of relationship (personal, professional, or intimate) give me a call. More often than not EFT tapping can clear the little things that are adding up to those big emotions.
Little things matter. You matter. Let me help. Call me or join my upcoming EFT Tapping class now! It’s only $17 + 48 hours before class starts–you will receive a link to get a second person in FOR FREE. I’m here for you.
“Are you accepting hugs?” I asked my friend, Jason, at the ski hill just before he opened his arms to welcome me into his space. I had been running into people I hadn’t seen in over nine months my first day back at the slopes, and had enjoyed the variety of connection opportunities.
After sharing a lovely hug, I turned to a nearby acquaintance of ours. He was sitting distant to everyone, drinking a beer, and before I could even open my mouth to say hello, he looked at me sternly, held up his hands, and crossed his fingers towards my face.
What the hell? I thought, immediately offended. I’m sure he heard and saw me ask for permission before entering Jason’s space. I wasn’t going to bombard him with a hug.
“Hey there,” I said to him. He’s frightened I’m sure, and probably didn’t mean ill wishes towards me. He just stared at me, nodded his head, and turned back to his beer.
The fact he wants space doesn’t bother me, I thought. It was the look combined with the gesture, as if he was warding off evil. I know in Japan it is the gesture to ask for a check, but here I take it as a rude “get away from me.”
Saying ‘Yes’ While Asking For Space
There have been various versions of this scenario throughout the pandemic; although this was the most off-putting and rude way someone has asked for space, I can’t help but remember that many of us have not learned how to say ‘yes’ to a person while maintaining distance. In other words, how to acknowledge another person’s presence while simply and honestly stating one’s boundaries.
I have seen people place hands together in a gentle ‘namaste’ as a greeting. Others simply state they are maintaining physical distance. I have seen people wave or step back with a gentle verbal reminder that they would like some space. To me, these seem like gentle ways to address the desire for connection (a yes to the person) while asking for distance.
It’s Different with Strangers–Or Can Be
With strangers I have had the experience of people shrinking away in fear if I walk too close on a hiking trail; others just step off the trail and wait for me to pass-or vice versa. I have seen people get out of line at the grocery store if someone is too close, while others wait (patiently) for an isle to be vacant before entering themselves. There is not necessarily a need to say ‘yes’ to a stranger, but one can choose the level of grace and fear that accompanies non-verbal communication.
Saying ‘Yes’ as A Skill
Saying ‘yes’ to a person and ‘no’ to touch is a communication skill that was important way before this pandemic. Have you ever had to redirect a child who wants to be held while you are occupied? Perhaps you have said something like, “Not now, honey, can you wait until after dinner?” Or, “I know you want to be on my lap right now, but I have to finish folding this laundry.”
Redirecting and saying ‘yes’ to a person goes beyond physical contact as well. Has your partner been focused on a project while you are trying to ask a question and said, “Can you wait a minute to talk about this until I’m done so I can give you my full attention?” Or, “I’ll help you as soon as I’m finished with this?”
I’m sure you’ve acknowledged someone’s presence or need for attention or an answer while also asking for a pause, for a moment or two until the timing is better.
This is saying ‘yes’ to a person and ‘no’ to the interruption. It is saying in a subtle way, “Hey, I hear you and I want to respond, but if you can wait a bit, I can engage in a manner that is more authentic, more thoughtful, more connected.”
We All Make Mistakes in Communication
Do we make mistakes consciously and subconsciously with communication verbally and non-verbally? Of course. Can each of us take offense to something that is not meant to be offensive? Absolutely. I did.
My Question For You
How can you choose to state your boundaries more clearly with those you interact with? When I teach classes about healthy touch and communication, we often discuss offering a series of options to another that suit your own boundaries. “Would you like…a high-five? Fist-bump? Handshake? Hug?”
Giving a few options within your own comfort level can be a helpful guide to the other whilst showing respect for their own boundaries. Or, clearly stating before any error is made, “I would love to give you a hug/ handshake, but I am choosing to maintain distancing at the moment. But it is lovely to see you.” Clear communication not only takes the awkwardness out of a situation, but shows a level of caring and respect.
Comfort Levels Change Around Touch
Permissions can also change day-by-day. A person who wants a hug on Monday may feel a bit sensitive on Friday, or may be starting to distance before they visit an elderly relative. It doesn’t hurt to ask. You can even make it playful! Find a few phrases that fit your boundaries and personality for the next time you run into someone you know. And remember, if someone says ‘no,’ don’t take it personally. Even if they come across rude or angry. After all, we are all doing the best we can at the moment; that too, needs to be respected.
I am having WAY too much fun connecting and collaborating these days–even without touch.
When the first round of stay-at-home orders hit, I was thrilled to use my “free time” to be on zoom about twelve hours a day. I was co-writing another book, networking with my two favorite networking groups, as well as having online connects personally with those I kept intending to build relationships with.
Computers drain my energy. They make me irritable and restless if I’m not also doing regular exercise. At the time, I was busy pouting over a sprained ankle and a shoulder injury, so wasn’t working out. The only things that kept me sane were hugs from my roommate + a newfound coffee and chocolate compulsion. It was not the best choice for my physical health. Emotionally they helped, as coffee reminded me of friends in Europe.
Can you ask for what you need in this time? Can you let go of any fear and understand that healthy touch actually boosts the immune system? Seriously-they did a study exposing people to the flu and found the more hugs and better social support, the less likely people were to get sick.
When you see friends ask, “Would you like a handshake? Hug? Or for me to say six feet away?” It shows respect + you get to only throw in the options that suit you. You can also make it playful, “Are you receiving hugs today?” Instead of having an awkward moment, take charge and choose to connect.
If you need a hug or some healthy human contact, you know where to find me.
I am finally writing my book about “Touch!” The word “touch” suddenly seems to have negative connotations, so I am using the phrase “Physical Connection.”
This book has been in process for a few years. When I was giving presentations around Minnesota and California to women’s groups on how ‘Healthy Touch Connects Communities,’ women became inspired to connect more strongly with others around them, and communicate more around touch-with people they wanted connect with as well as those they observed were not connected.
They also thought about different ways to speak to their children about touch. Many people told me I should write a book, and I thought about it…for over two years.
The Time is Now For Connecting
The time is here. But as I talk to people about how they connect, the common theme is always around communication. That’s a big subject! I remember hiking in Sweden, and I got lost in a small town while I was trying to take a back way to the grocery store from an art park.
I walked for about 30 minutes before seeing ANYONE, so when I saw a woman walking towards me on the street, I was extremely excited. I asked her if she could point me to the store (in my really poor Swedish) and she indicated that she was deaf and couldn’t hear me.
Who Isn’t Hearing?
What happened next still bothers me. Instead of pausing for a minute, and trying to communicate using the few signs I do know and spelling the rest, I shrugged my shoulders, made a gesture as if I was SO disappointed she didn’t understand me, and went on my way.
SERIOUSLY? I just ran into a beautiful person who cannot hear, and instead of taking the time to try to communicate and say hello and step into her world, I shrugged her off because it was such an inconvenience for me to not be able to talk to her while lost in a foreign land? I can make all the excuses in the world about why I didn’t try to sign (first being that I was thinking so hard about how to talk in Swedish, I forgot that I knew some basic sign language), but the reality is I didn’t stop and pause and think about the best way to connect and communicate.
Another time I froze in communication where it could have made an impact was when I arrived in the Lake District in England. I was walking to my hostel with my laptop and my rucksack after an exhausting day of travel, and saw four teenagers ahead on the sidewalk throwing around drink bottles and chasing each other. Not wanting to get caught up in the splatter, I moved toward the road and tried to sneak past them. One of the girls stopped me and asked for help. She said the two boys were bullying her, and wouldn’t give her and her female friend their drinks back. I gave the boys A LOOK and they returned the bottles.
She then shared with me that her friend was ignoring her so she could chat with the boys, and allowed the bullying to happen. In retrospect, perhaps I should have given them all a bit of a lecture about treating each other with respect, especially the girl who was ignoring her friend. But I didn’t know what to say at the moment, as I was caught up in the tragedy of the teen years and how people treat each other. I wonder to this day why I didn’t, in that moment, tell her she deserved to be treated like that, tell her friend not to treat her that way either if she was a true friend, and to tell the boys to treat the girls with respect, especially when they say “STOP.”
Both are lessons, and remind me that no matter how well we think we communicate, there is always room to grow. I would love to hear your stories about communication and physical connection, and how you use these to strengthen your connection within your own communities-both large and small. If you are open to being interviewed for the book, please contact me HERE.
Moms of Pre-Teen or Teen Girls- Join me and my friend Alissa for a fun, powerful, interactive, experiential workshop. Explore how to:
Create a stronger bond and connection through a deep respect of one another.
Clearly communicate while focusing on what’s great already.
Learn how to set boundaries that feel good and give voice to both of you.
Learn tools that empower your relationship and keep you connected now and for years to come.
Our event partner, Athleta, will be giving away a raffle prize package
an hour in the Athleta store with their stylist
a $50 ShopCard!
a Starbucks beverage of your choice while you are with the stylist!
Follow THIS LINK for more information and tickets.
I woke up one morning in Kilkenny, Ireland to find ice on my tent.
Some of you want to see more pictures of my journeys and hiking, so here they are!
This great fjord swim started around 8 am. It was 42 degrees F air temp. Connemara, Ireland. I did not participate. Instead, I went hiking up three mountains (see pictures below.)
Walking down the last mountain after “a difficult seven hour mountain climb of three peaks in the wild 12 Bens; Benbaun (Mweelin), Benbrack and Knockbrack. Distance is about 8.5km. Terrain includes rocky mountain tops, steep open hillside, wet bog, sheep track and road.” Connemara, Ireland
Looking at the 2nd and 3rd mountains to climb.
I loved the color and texture of these plants on top of Knockbrack mountain, Connemara, Ireland.
I’ve been doing a lot of research about my upcoming year to Sweden. There is so much to research, including licensing, visas, and travel restrictions. There are many options-do I get a job, work for room & board and explore, or go to school? How can I learn what it is I want to learn in life, have fun and explore, stay within my budget, and still support myself all at the same time?
Some days Sweden + travel seems exciting and new and full of potential. Other days it feels scary, impossible, and as if I should just forget about it and stay here in the United States, where I can still travel and learn, although with a culture I am mostly familiar with. Yet I’ve realized that the feelings that I’m feeling are not exclusive to my travel plans. We all have moments of questioning our lives. Are we on the right track? Have we done what we want in life, or are we regretting choices? What would have happened if….? Sometimes we feel stuck, hopeless, frustrated, angry, and a myriad of other things often all at the same time.
I’m a bit adverse to blogging, but it feels like this is something that’s going to be important to not only keep track of my own experience of life for my own learning process, but to share with others and to remind people that it is possible to heal. I feel like it will be a great platform to share how other cultures interact with each other through touch, emotion, and healing. I also hope everyone that reads these will either gain insight on themselves, learn something fun to try, or explore a concept from another area of the world. So here we go. I have given my notice for my apartment, I have given a minor notice to both my Workspaces, and most of my clients know I will be leaving town for a year. I only hope my experiences encourage others to be present with themselves and to grow in their own way as well.