Myesha M. Clayton, founder of Creative Visions Coaching, on how to make love, not war
This week, Siren's Question of the Day host is writer, life coach, and certified non-conformist Myesha M. Clayton. When we met Myesha, we were immediately stricken by what a well-grounded, insightful, and happy person she is, and it makes perfect sense that she has made a career out of helping other people get what they want out of life.
We asked Myesha a few questions about the advice she offers in the realm of dating and relationships and her responses are every bit as brilliant as we expected them to be. Enjoy!
So what exactly does a life coach do? Is it like being a therapist? A healer? An existential personal trainer? A cult leader?
Whereas therapists often help people unlock the "whys" of their life, which can maybe explain how they've gotten to where they are, a life coach specifically helps a person get to where they want to be. If we're working together, I'm not much interested in why someone is where they are in their life. I'll take that place as their foundation and help them uncover their goals and the best ways to get there.
I do consider it a sort of healing. Usually, I find myself working with people who are unhappy with where they are but ready to do something about it and work on following their heart's desires. They "find themselves" and I think that's pretty damn healing.
The tagline of Creative Visions Coaching is "Do the f*cking work." That's funny, and so candid. What kind of work do you think people can be hesitant to do? How do you help with motivation?
People are afraid of digging deep, of shedding the layers of bullshit they've been carrying around their whole lives in order to get to their authentic selves. If we think about it, from the moment a person is born, society thrusts so many labels on us—gender, race, religion, etc.—and all the expectations, rules, and limits these entail. To truly follow your dreams requires getting rid of everything you've been told is the "right" thing and doing what feels good to you. This isn't easy when your entire self-identity is tied to these things. People are reluctant to let go of the belief systems their entire world is built around. Digging deep is an act of revolution.
Unfortunately there is no way I can motivate people to do this work. They have to be ready and willing to let go of who they THOUGHT they were in exchange for who they ACTUALLY are. When they're ready to invest in themselves, that's when they come to a life coach.
What advice do you have to offer people who are single / currently in the dating game?
One of the things I hear the most is, "I want someone who will love me for who I am!" Which, of course, leads me to ask, "Who are you?" Most people don't know the answer to that. First dates become games of impression instead of expression. Instead of expressing yourself and finding someone that connects with that, we try to impress people by being what we think we should be. As time wears on, it becomes harder and harder to maintain these false pretenses.
So I say be yourself! Do what you love doing, go where you love going, experience what you want to experience and most of all, express yourself as authentically as possible. You will attract someone that you resonate with and who resonates with you, in the process of just enjoying your life.
YES! We say, "be yourself," too. It sounds so simple, and yet figuring out what that means can be one of the biggest tasks of adulthood. What's one of the most common relationship issues your clients seem to experience? What course of action do you recommend to overcome this issue?
People approach love like it's war. Women have to "wear 'em down" and men have to "get their game face on." We have to "protect our hearts" and force people to "prove their worth." If we think of the terminology we use and the attitudes we take when it comes to romance, it's treated more like a competition than a collaboration. Ultimately, we have to be prepared to be vulnerable and to give the love we want to receive. This allows us to be open. Certainly heartbreak is never easy, but for most of us who have been through one, we're still here, living and breathing and doing just fine. So people have to be open to receiving the love they insist they want instead of guarding themselves against it with an expectation that it will be willing to do battle to the death to prove itself worthy.
Be a lover, not a fighter! OK, last question: So, tell me more about this mind-altering sex your website mentions. What do you think is the secret to a fulfilling sex life?
HA! Great question!
When I do Sexual Awakening work, what we spend the most time doing is breaking down the belief systems that hold us in a Puritanical mind-state when it comes to sex. Despite how pervasive it seems to be in our society, what we're seeing is a bastardization of what we THINK sex is supposed to be, an act of hedonistic confusing. What sex is meant to be is a sacred experience of indescribable artistic pleasure, a sharing between two (or more, whatever your consenting fantasy desires!) souls who are connecting in the most intimate of ways. And the only way to achieve that is to come to a place where you no longer see sex as something perverse, as we've been conditioned to believe it is. The moment you enter into a sexual experience from a place of whole ownership of your own sexuality is the moment you learn what mind-altering sex really is. I'm a firm believer that this elusive world peace everyone hopes for is achievable once people are whole in their sexuality and sexual expression. We'd truly be "making love and not war."