6 Annoying Cliches of “Conscious Sexuality” and How to Move Past Them

Here is my second in a series of audio interviews with Michaela Boehm, one of the most subtle, advanced and wise teachers about sexuality, spirituality, and the intersection of the two, currently teaching.

Today’s interview gets controversial- it is entitled “6 Annoying Cliches About ‘Conscious Sexuality,’ and How to Move Past Them”

In this interview, we analyze several ideas about “masculine” and “feminine” that have become dogma within teaching about conscious sexuality.

Specifically, we examine the cliches that men are supposed to be “present, deep, and on purpose” in order to be masculine, whereas women are supposed to be a “wild storm of emotions, radiant, and surrendered” in order to be feminine.

These concepts have become so ingrained in the west coast workshop and personal development culture that we rarely step back to examine where the concepts might be leading us astray.

We discuss where these ideas came from, how they are misunderstood and misapplied, and ways to think about these concepts that don’t lock people into rigid pre-defined gender roles.

In this interview (linked from the comments section), Michaela teaches us about: Continue Reading

My Toast at My Ex-Wife Jena’s Wedding

Last week, I had the pleasure of giving a toast at the beautiful wedding of my ex-wife (and current soul-sister) Jena la Flamme and her new beloved Sacha Nielsen (officiated by my mother, and Jena’s “mother-in-love,” Patricia Ellsberg!)

Here’s what I said:

Jena, your happiness was, and still is, one of the most important things in my life.

And so, Sacha, I’m grateful to you for bringing so much happiness into Jena’s life. She’s happier than I’ve ever seen her, and that means the world to me.

Jena, our deepest vow was always to support each other in joy and flourishing. And we have remained true to that vow, even as our relationship has changed. Our journey together–both the joyful parts and the difficult parts–forged me into the man I am today. I will always be grateful to you for that. And I’m proud to have supported you in flourishing into the woman ready to dive into the love of your life, with Sacha.

I know that you want to have children together–and as the soul-brother to *both* of you now, I can’t wait to be the *soul-uncle* to your future children.

Long live Jena and Sacha!

Interview with Peter Thiel on Self-Investment

In 2013, in the process of writing The Last Safe Investment, I interviewed Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal and first outside investor in Facebook, on the topic of investing in yourself.

This audio, now posted on my Soundcloud, has never been available before.

The text is available exclusively on SteemIt.

Here are some topics we covered:

–> The value of investing in relationships for the long-haul
–> Investing in your health and longevity as a way to increase your lifetime earnings
–> Why longer life expectancies should change the way you think about investing
–> The shockingly low rate of personal savings and investment in the US
–> My favorite part of the interview: whether we can reasonably expect the US markets to keep going up at their long-term average 7% per year after inflation, or whether that was a unique period of US expansion which won’t be repeated again.
–> The over-financialization of personal investing
–> How subjective types of value that are hard to measure, like relationships, health, and well-being, are priced inefficiently because they’re hard to value, and therefore may be an area for exceptional investments.

(Cover photo by Dan Taylor – www.heisenbergmedia.com – CC BY 2.0 – tinyurl.com/z2zjfla)

Here’s Why a Judge Thinks Prop 60 Would Be a Horrifying Legal Precedent – Vote NO

no-on-prop-60At an event I attended last weekend, I happened to meet an actual, currently-working judge (the first judge I’ve ever met in person.) I asked her for her opinion on Prop 60, and she’d never heard of it, and she had no opinion on condoms in porn. But the more I started telling her the legal details, the more she literally started to both laugh and gasp at the outrageousness and legal absurdity of what she was hearing.

She said laws that encourage so-called “taxpayer lawsuits” initiated by citizens to sue alleged violators of regulations were common. But she had never heard of a law or proposed law that offers large financial bounties to citizens to initiate these lawsuits. She said this was an incredibly dangerous and ominous prospect, because once it passes it becomes standing legal precedent. Continue Reading

Don’t Give This Man Vast Censorship Power – Vote NO on Prop 60 in CA

No Prop 60

Imagine if one single man had the power to censor all Hollywood films showing car chases, in order to promote the message that viewers should always drive 55 MPH. Imagine if this man could censor all films showing drug use, to send a message to viewers to lead clean and sober lives. And he could censor all films showing murders or thefts, to send a message to live on the right side of the law.

In less than a week, Californians will vote whether to give one single private citizen, Michael Weinstein, head of the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, such censorship powers, not in Hollywood, but in the adult film industry.

Michael Weinstein has gone on-record numerous times arguing that porn should be required to show condoms, in order to promote safer sex among viewers. In one Huffington Post article, he wrote, “The fact that most straight porn is made without condoms sends a horrible message that the only kind of sex that is hot is unsafe.”

It’s a great message. But his solution to get this message out might as well be a plot-twist in 1984, with Weinstein playing the role of Big Brother. Via absurdly disproportionate and rabidly aggressive legal manuevirng in Prop 60, is he is trying to bully an entire segment of the entertainment industry into becoming one giant PSA for his preferred message that you should always use condoms. Continue Reading

Seven Months Depression-Free. And… Reintroducing Weed Into My Life…

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Seven months depression-free now. I’ve brought you all along for the “behind the scenes” of mental health journey so far, so I might as well continue.

I’ve been on Lamictal (an antidepressant for bipolar depression) for almost a year now, and it is going well for me. When I first realized I had a serious recurrence of the bipolar, about a year ago when the most recent depression first hit (after the mania of last spring/summer), I got on both Lamictal and lithium. My psychiatrist said the Lamictal was primarily the “floor,” to prevent from going too low, and the lithium was the “ceiling,” to prevent the mania.

I simply could not stand the lithium–I felt lobotomized and castrated in one fell swoop. Everything I liked about myself drained out of me. So, under the guidance of my psychiatrist, I got off the lithium. He now has me on Seroquel, a fast-acting anti-manic agent, on an as-needed basis if/when hints of mania reoccur.

And after the last round of mania, last summer, I take the manias very seriously. I had to do a lot of cleanup from my behavior last June and early July, and fortunately that cleanup is mostly complete. And the mania leads inevitably to the crash into depression, so my psych has convinced me of the importance of nipping the manias in the bud.

As you know if you followed it, I also did a period of Sobriety for Mental Clarity as I was getting out of the depression. I did six months of that, from August through February, and it was very very good for me. Got my head totally clear, as it was supposed to.  Continue Reading

The Dark Side of “Conscious Sexuality” – Interview with Michaela Boehm

I’ve interviewed famous billionaires. I’ve interviewed rock stars. I’ve interviewed NYT-bestselling authors. And yet, of all the interviews I’ve done, the one I’m most excited about is the one I’m sharing with you now.

Michaela Boehm is in my opinion the most advanced, master teacher on sacred sexuality currently teaching. For 13 years, she traveled and co-taught with David Deida, author of The Way of the Superior Man. She has now branched out to share her own unique blend of wisdom, synthesized from her 22 years of counseling practice, along with her training and experience as a lineage holder in a tantric tradition of Kashmiri Shivaism. Her private clients include Oscar-winning actors, producers, writers, and multiple Grammy-winning musicians–and now she’s sharing her wisdom with us.

As I love to do, in this interview we dove right in to the nitty-gritty – “The Dark Side of ‘Conscious Sexuality.'” I’m a student of conscious sexuality—but every scene and every philosophy has its own shadow side. What is the shadow side of the “sacred sexuality” scene? In this wide-ranging, no-holds-barred interview, we dive into the conversations no one else is having, and the things no one else is saying, around this controversial topic. Some of the topics we cover include:
2:30 – The true meaning of the “shadow side”- as opposed to how it is usually used in personal development circles

6:55 – Why “sacred sexuality” should not be used as a tool for healing

12:46 – The most important factor for healing old sexual wounding

23:00 – How so much spiritual practice ends up being a futile quest to gain love or approval from “daddy” or “mommy” in our minds- and what to focus on instead

26:11 – How so many teachers or “gurus” of spirituality and sexuality use scarcity and subtle shaming to keep students hooked on constant up-sells.

29:40 – Why the focus on “commitments” and “accountability” in Men’s Groups is misguided and ineffective, and what Men’s Groups should be focusing on instead

37:25 – How Women’s Groups often end up perpetuating the same shaming of women that the women are going into the groups to avoid, and what Women’s Groups should be focusing on instead

40:08 – The rise of the “Stepford Dakinis”

42:33 – Many women ask “Where are all the good men?” – and why asking this question is barking up the wrong tree .(The discussion we get into for the next 15 minutes is hands-down the most controversial segment of any interview I’ve ever done, watch out!)

57:36 – How can independent, strong-minded women (who are into men) find the man they want?

1:01:47 – How can a woman who wants the experience of surrender with a man, decide which man she can trust?

1:09:55 – How polyamory often bogs down and leads to “a lot more discussing than fucking”

1:16:03 – Why the tantra worlds and BDSM/kink worlds often judge each other, and how they can be integrated

1:22:15 – The single best first step for opening to the divine in sexuality Get ready to get riled up.

Join us for the discussion!

The interview is available on Soundcloud here.

Find out more about Michaela Boehm here.

How to Spend a Mind: Collected Short Writing by Michael Ellsberg

After three books published by major publishers, I’m ready for a new model. Even though I’ve received six-figure advances for both of my last two books, and I’m grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me, the old publishing model just isn’t working for me anymore.

I’ve become tired of holing myself up for 2-3 years working on long books, without interaction with my you, my readers, and then appearing out of a cave when the book comes out, trying to hawk that book to the same people I’d just been ignoring for years!

I want to write my books in dialogue with you. I want you to help shape what I write, in real-time. I want you to know what I’m working on, as I work on it, not years later when it comes out in a hardcover book. I want you invested in the project as it develops and unfolds. I want your input.

And so, I’m experimenting with this new model: writing and publishing shorter books, with greater frequency, directly to my readers via Kindle, and funding my work through “pre-sales” of the Kindle books through the crowdfunding site Patreon, which I love.

For my first Kindle book via this model, I will be publishing an anthology called “How to Spend a Mind: Collected Short Writing.” This will gather all my best articles, posts and interviews from the past six years, which have appeared on my blog, my Facebook, on other people’s blogs, and on Forbes, the New York Times, and other mainstream outlets.

If you love my writing, this is going to be a strong dose of it, all in one place for your reading enjoyment.

But don’t get me wrong. I’m not just putting out old material via this new Patreon/Kindle model. Stay tuned for announcements about several new, edgy books I have in the works, which will contain all the saucy, steamy, controversial, hard-hitting writing you’ve come to expect from me. But with 10x the intensity, now that I’ve decided to free myself from any corporate intermediation in my art, and to write directly for you, my audience, the people who matter most in my career.

I’ll be funding this work not by seeking out publishing contracts or advances any longer, but through support directly from you, my readers, via my Patreon profile.

By “pre-ordering” my Kindle books here, and otherwise becoming my patron of the arts via this platform, you become an important part of my writing and creative process. You will get let in to the “back stage” of my work, and you allow me to focus on writing more content, that educates, entertains, and inspires you.

Check out all the rewards available to you for supporting me. You can get:

  • access to private patron-only writings
  • a secret FB group to interact with me and other patrons about the topics I write on
  • private Google+ Hangouts with me
  • access to fresh unpublished chapters of new books as I write them
  • access to otherwise-unavailable recordings of private classes and courses I’ve taught
  • 1-on-1 time with me, on the phone, or in person, to get personalized consulting on any topic I write about, tailored just to your needs and circumstances.

Thank you so much for supporting my writing via this new model. I am so excited to go on this journey of co-creation TOGETHER.

Love,
Michael

Happy 85th Birthday Daniel!

Dear Dad,

Here are some messages from people around the world expressing their appreciation for the impact you’ve had in the world, and on their lives. We are wishing you a very HAPPY 85th BIRTHDAY today! *Love, Michael

[Note to everyone: Please share here your appreciation for the impact Daniel has had on on you, and the world. Please write more than just “Happy Birthday!” Think about what his life and work have meant to you over the years, and let him know. This is a surprise, and will be unveiled to him tonight. Thank you! *Michael Ellsberg]

Back in Action…

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[This is a follow-up to my post a month ago, which itself was a 4-year follow-up to my article “How I Overcame Bipolar II (and Saved My Own Life)”]

Looking back over the last year, both the wild ups and the recent incapacitating lows, I cannot help but conclude that, given how many writers have gone mad (or perhaps, more accurately, how many of us mad people are drawn to writing!) …. part of the writer in me was subconsciously curious about the outer limits of my own sanity. To finally find my breaking point. Not intentionally. But that’s where I went.

And now that I’ve been there, I do not wish to go back.

I’m happy to report–from this side of it (that is, the alive side)–that I finally found my own psychological and emotional limits. (And boy were they out there!) I finally got the daylights scared out of me. Which I think, on balance, is a good thing. Continue Reading