Episode 3: Five Principles for Becoming a Radiant Woman with Alexis Sheppard and Shana Weinstein

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Alissa Kriteman interviews Alexis Sheppard and Shana Weinstein co-creators and leaders of The Authentic Woman Experience, a 3-day workshop offered in San Francisco. In this episode, Alexis and Shana give us an in-depth overview of their Five Principles for Becoming a Radiant Woman. They take us through these stages of development as women, noting along the way the places where we may get stuck and how to free ourselves. They discuss the many traps we as women and society on the whole, set for us to thwart versus support each other. In this conversation they help us understand how we can have much stronger connections with women and why that is so important. As experts in the field, they share with us the importance of trust and surrender, setting boundaries in our lives and the gift in trusting our deep inner wisdom. They also give us practical tools for restoring passion to our relationships, whatever the form. Check out what these dedicated women have to share about how we can live more juicy, full, authentic lives!

Transcript

Five Principles for Becoming a Radiant Woman: Alissa Interviews Alexis Sheppard and Shana Weinstein

[music begins]

Alissa Kriteman:  Welcome to "Just for Women: Dating, Relationships and Sex."  I'm your host, Alissa Kriteman.  My show is committed to bringing you fresh perspectives, new information, and useful tools that will allow you to create more love, intimacy, and fun in all your relationships.

[music ends]

Alissa Kriteman:  Have you ever seen a woman glowing with radiance and confidence, and wondered, “How did she do that?”  Have you found yourself waiting for the right man to come along so your fabulous life could begin?  Have you ever held yourself back in order to be liked, loved, or make your relationship work?  We're going to address these questions and more with two relationship experts: Shana Weinstein and Alexis Sheppard of “Authentic Woman Experience.”

Welcome, ladies.  Welcome to the show!

Alexis Shepperd:  Thank you, Alissa.

Shana Weinstein:  Thank you.  It's great to be here.

Alissa Kriteman:  Alexis has her Ph.D. in clinical and transpersonal psychology, and Shana has a master's degree in integral psychology.  I have trouble with that word.  It's the “r...”

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  And both are founding members of AuthenticSF, which is an organization of coaches committed to authentic, flourishing relationships.  And they are both co-creators and co-leaders of “The Authentic Woman Experience.”

So I'm so glad to have you guys here today.  We're going to talk about some very juicy topics.

Shana Weinstein:  [agreeing]

Alissa Kriteman:  You know, I kind of want to set the stage here: Our listeners are really interested in learning how to be more authentic, more joyfully expressive in their lives, and how to love ourselves more deeply.  So, I'm very excited to talk to you about how we can do that, and really create the lives that we love that are full of love and intimacy and power that we all seek.

Shana Weinstein:  Wonderful.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.  Sounds good, eh?

Shana Weinstein:  Sounds great.

Alissa Kriteman:  You guys are perfect for that.  So, a couple of things we're going to focus on today are choices, from your perspective, that we can take as women, to have more of this love and connection in our lives, your five principles of living as a whole and radiant woman--love that...

Shana Weinstein:  [laughs]

Alissa Kriteman:  And how to attract the kind of guy we actually want to attract to us.

Shana Weinstein:  Hallelujah!

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah!

Shana Weinstein:  [laughs]

Alissa Kriteman:  So, why don't we start with a little bit of background on the “Authentic Woman Experience,” and how it came about?  What is it about?

Shana Weinstein:  Well, it's interesting.  When I think about how the “Authentic Woman Experience” came about, I think back to being in school for psychology, and really recognizing that I didn't necessarily want to work with people or with women with serious mental disorders or conditions; that I really wanted to focus on women specifically, and women creating lives that are passionate and inspiring, having what we want, and knowing that we can have what we want.  Just really finding that everywhere I look, there are women wanting to grow: women wanting more.  Whether we are already living the lives that we want, and still just wanting to have more joy and more passion and more fulfillment and deeper connections, more truth and intimacy.  Or whether we're a woman who--we're not quite exactly where we want to be in our lives, and there's just more to go, and there's also really getting clear about what it is that we want.

Alissa Kriteman:  Exactly.

Shana Weinstein:  What would help us create that life that we really want to live?

Alissa Kriteman:  Great.  So, your life's pretty much been dedicated to helping women be more empowered, turned on, and having the life that they want.

Shana Weinstein:  [agrees]

Alissa Kriteman:  Thank you, Shana.  Alexis?

Alexis Shepperd:  Well, AuthenticSF, like you mentioned, is an organization of coaches.  And the unique thing about this organization is that each one of us has a distinct background, either in psychology or trainings of different kinds, and that there's a real depth to the work that we offer.  One unique thing is that we all practice what we preach.  So, one of our fundamental principles is the way that relationships themselves--relationships of all kinds: friendships, family, coworkers, and especially romantic relationships--can be the very place, the very vehicles, not only of joy in our lives, but of personal transformation and growth.

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Alexis Shepperd:  So, within the organization, we're really committed to living that ourselves, and looking at what comes up in the face of our relationship with one another, and particularly in our romantic relationships.  And so, in the “Authentic Woman Experience,” which is a particular course--a weekend workshop--that we offer for women, we create an opportunity for women to look at what happens for them in relationship with the other.  Because it always points back to ourselves.
Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Shana Weinstein:  Yeah.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.  Well, what are some ways in which that happens?  I mean, it's exciting: Of course, we're always interested in men.  How can we have the juicy guy be interested in us?

Alexis Shepperd:  [laughs]

Alissa Kriteman:  How do we have our relationship really work?  What are those barriers?  It's interesting--and I can cover that till the cows come home--but your weekend really focuses on women, too.  What do you do with women?  How can our relationships with women--understanding what blocks us there--give us access to better lives, in general?

Shana Weinstein:  It's really amazing.  When we've looked at, as we were creating the course and then all this work that we've been doing with AuthenticSF, all the patterns that you can see in relationships with men then show up, actually, when you look at your relationships with women, and then also show up when you look at your relationship with yourself.

Alissa Kriteman:  Hmm.

Shana Weinstein:  So, we really do.  We bring all the women together first, before we even start talking about relationships with men, because sisterhood is such a source of our power.  And for me, I can speak specifically to my life: without my women around, I can tend to go into a spin, or think something's wrong, and think that I don't have what I want and nothing's possible, right?  For me, being around other women, it's like we're beacons for one another; we remind one another that we can have what we want.  Which is a great part of our course, as well: getting in touch with our desires.  What it is that we want.  Allowing for what we want.

Alissa Kriteman and Alexis Shepperd:  [agreeing]

Shana Weinstein:  I see women, all of us, as reminders for one another.  We can see the dynamics coming into play, and it's also such a support system, and a way that we don't have to then turn to the men in our lives for everything that happens.  Because that can really kill intimacy, and kill the passion in a relationship.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah, I've definitely heard that.  I'm learning so much about men.  And it's really important to have our sisters in our lives, because men aren't women...

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  ...and they don't know how to process like we do.  It's very humbling to realize the man has his role, and our female friends have their role.  So, what are some ways that we--I just had this idea--what are some ways we can support each other, versus thwart each other, as women?

Shana Weinstein:  That's a great question.

Alexis Shepperd:  And I think one of the things we focus on, in the course also, is looking at all those ways in which we as women do thwart each other, and the perspectives that we bring that get in the way: competition, jealousy, comparison--that's a huge one, the way we compare ourselves to other women--and just feeling basically, where it is that, either another woman is in the way of you having what you want, or also in the ways that we think that other women are different than we are.  “They don't have the same problems.  They don't have the same struggles.”

Breaking down some of those barriers.  And this relates back to old ideas about women, and how it is that women were in your family, and what it is that you've learned about women as you were growing up and how you know how to relate with women.  So it's just a big focus we have, is changing all those barriers that get in the way of actually being close, and having friendships with other women, and transforming that into an opportunity, where we can relate and empower each other, and draw upon our innate feminine power--and call it out on each other when we get lost.

Shana Weinstein:  Yeah.  I think, specifically, when I think about jealousy or envy, there's a tendency to look at another woman and think, “She is gorgeous.  She dresses so beautifully.  She holds herself in a way that is just so powerful, and I don't do that.  I don't have that.”  Like Alexis was saying, the comparison.  And if we actually used that kind of information we're taking in about another woman--that sense that we have--to then inquire, “How do you do that?  How do you dress like that?  How do you look like that?”  Right?

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Shana Weinstein:  It's turning around this view that, “This woman has something I can't have and I don't have,” to, “Oh, I actually want that,” recognizing that there is a desire underneath that jealousy.  There is a desire for something.  And that we can, as sisters, really support each other and share everything that we're learning.

Alissa Kriteman:  I really like that--that whole inquiry--instead of getting stopped by that intense, probably conditioned, reaction or emotion: “Oh, she has that.  I don't have that.”  And feeling really small.  But opening up and saying, “How can I have that?”

Shana Weinstein:  Yeah.

Alexis Shepperd:  And that's actually the foundation of our course.

Alissa Kriteman:  Nice.

Alexis Shepperd:  So, whether we're working with our friendships with other women or our relationships with men...  And Alissa, on Sunday, we bring in a whole group of men who are trained in this work...

Alissa Kriteman:  [makes panting sound]

Shana Weinstein:  Woohoo!

[laughter]

Alexis Shepperd:  Hot, amazing, passionate, aware men, who are committed to supporting women in being fully expressed, and in having what they want.

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  You know, I'm trusting that the process of the weekend is such that women get to a place where they would actually feel comfortable with that.  Because I know, for myself, just hearing it and not having experienced it, it's a little scary.  It's a little scary to think that there would be a man coming into the sacred space of a course, and then maybe sharing something with me that would be very vulnerable.  So how do you handle that?  What's that like?  How do you create that safe space for women so they don't feel threatened?  Because, there are a lot of women, myself included, who've had to deal with a bit of anger and confusion and what you were saying about unconscious beliefs.

Yeah, we definitely have unconscious beliefs about how we relate with women, depending on how we grew up: same thing with men.  A little bit more intense with men, because we don't have that connection, we don't have that sisterhood with them.  So, how does that work?

Alexis Shepperd:  There's a two-fold answer to this: One of them is that we think it's great when this stuff comes up in the face of these men...

Alissa Kriteman:  [laughs]

Alexis Shepperd:  That's partly why we bring the men in there.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.

Alexis Shepperd:  So it's, exactly where it is that you're challenged in your life, in relating with men, this is an opportunity to move through some of that stuff.

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Alexis Shepperd:  The other answer is how it is that we create an environment where that's even possible.  That's the foundation that we set when we're just together with the women.  So this has to do with how it is that women could get in touch with their own feminine expression of empowerment.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.

Alexis Shepperd:  Very briefly--and there is so much we could say about this--but, very briefly, the way that we work with this in the course is that we have a five phase model that we work with the women on.  What that is, in brief: The first phase is embodiment and expression.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.

Alexis Shepperd:  This is: feeling what you're feeling, whether you like it or not--whether you want to be feeling something else or not--feeling what you're feeling and expressing it.

The second phase is trust and surrender.

Alissa Kriteman:  Trust and surrender...

Alexis Shepperd:  So these are all really juicy topics...

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  That get covered early on.

Alexis Shepperd:  The third phase is desire and pleasure: what you desire and what makes you happy.

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Alexis Shepperd:  The fourth stage is fulfillment: the art of actually being fulfilled in the way your life is, and loving yourself the way that you are now, regardless of your circumstances.

Alissa Kriteman:  Got you.

Shana Weinstein:  That's a great one.

Alexis Shepperd:  And the final phase that we work with women on is radiance, which really has to do with a deeper, more authentic understanding of the beauty and the power that we all have right now.

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees] Awesome.  We are going to take a break.  I'm talking with Shana and Alexis of the “Authentic Woman Experience,” talking about the five principles to increase radiance and empowering ourselves in our lives.  We'll be right back.

[music plays]

[radio break]

[music stops]

Alissa Kriteman:  We're back.  I'm your host Alissa Kriteman.  We're talking with Alexis Shepperd and Shana Weinstein about the “Authentic Woman Experience,” and how the principles of “Authentic Woman Experience” can help us tap into greater and greater sources of empowerment in our lives, how we can be more radiant, fully-expressed, and having the love that we want to have in our lives.

So ladies, let's go a little deeper in these principles.  How can these principles actually help us be more radiant?  What's the core of that--accessing that radiance for ourselves?

Alexis Shepperd:  Well Alissa, one thing that I want to stress is that, in the course itself--these are guiding principles, and there's a lot I want to share about them--and it all comes in the practice, it all comes in the experience.  This is not an idea; this is actually the activity of living this.

Shana Weinstein:  Yeah.  That's actually one of the main points of the course.  That's why it is such an experience, because there's a way that, as human beings, we can tend to go up in our heads and live from our heads.  The course is really, and it starts with, embodiment and expression.  So it really is about getting into the moment, into our bodies, into our emotions...

Alexis Shepperd:  Yeah.  This is really about getting right with what you're feeling right now--exactly as it is.

Alissa Kriteman:  Perfect.  OK, so you're saying access to that radiant, beautiful woman who walks in and captivates a room, she's someone who is all right with how she's feeling right now?

Shana Weinstein:  Yeah.  Really, if you think about it: Think about a woman who walks in the room and she's feeling sad or she's feeling angry, and yet there's no necessarily holding back of what she's feeling--she's not beating herself up, and she's not fighting with herself about it.

Alissa Kriteman:  I like that.

Shana Weinstein:  And then, when a woman walks in who is actually in that fight with herself, you can feel the tightness around it.  You can feel the struggle, as opposed to the freedom and the life force freely flowing.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.

Alexis Shepperd:  One thing that we really want women to get is: It's really easy, when we're feeling good...

[laughter]

Alexis Shepperd:  ...to be radiant.  When we're feeling joyful or feeling hot, to glow, basically.  But that it takes all of it; it takes the full spectrum.  It takes our fear.  It takes our anger.  It takes our shame.  Because, we all come with all of that.

Shana Weinstein:  Right.

Alissa Kriteman:  Right.

Shana Weinstein:  You know, we really say in the course, it's not about being happy: it's the fullness.  It's not just happiness.  Happiness is, you could say, one aspect.  But, for any woman out there who's just trying to get happier and happier, it's really denying a huge part of who we are.

Alissa Kriteman:  It's really built into your name.  It's really about being authentic, because every moment is going to change.  Instead of resisting sadness or anger, or whatever, you're saying, “Embrace it in the moment.”  And that will help you stay in that radiant place.  And we're really conditioned to not do that, especially as women; we're supposed to nurture and love and make everything OK.  It's almost as though we're exempt from having any kind of feelings that would work in the way of that.

Alexis Shepperd:  So we create a lot of opportunities in the course, and in our individual coaching that we do with women, to look at the specific ways that women maybe don't let themselves feel or express fully.  And this is endless, Alissa.

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah, I can imagine.

Alexis Shepperd:  And this is something that we practice constantly in our lives.  It's just feeling what we're feeling and expressing it in a natural kind of way.

Alissa Kriteman:  And it doesn't mean blaming...

Shana Weinstein:  No...

[laughter]

Alexis Shepperd:  Very good point.

Shana Weinstein:  Very great point.

Alissa Kriteman:  Did I say that?

[laughter]

Shana Weinstein:  I mean, there's an incredible difference between--say, if you're with a person and you're feeling angry--there's an incredible difference between just feeling and expressing the anger, and lashing out and blaming the other person.

Alissa Kriteman:  I've never done that.

Alexis Shepperd:  None of us ever have.  Right, women?

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  That's the other thing, too.  There's a lot of camaraderie here.  We've all been angry.  We've all lashed out.  It's OK.  But now we have new choices.

Shana Weinstein:  Yes.  I think that there's such power in strength and vulnerability.  And often, power is seen as having to be strong in this way--I can even feel it in my voice right now, it's just hard and tough--and there is such power in being vulnerable.

Alissa Kriteman:  Versus saying, “You did this to me.”

Shana Weinstein:  Yeah, and just owning it.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.  Can we talk about trust and surrender?

Alexis Shepperd:  Absolutely.

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  I want to talk about that one, because, just the word “surrender,” too--I know it's so difficult for me sometimes to just let go and be that vulnerable woman.  So, talk to me a little bit about how trust and surrender really help us have the kind of lives that we want to live.  And what does it take?  What gets in the way?

Alexis Shepperd:  Well, there's a reason that we paired those two together: If we look at surrender, not as submission, but actually as letting go...

Shana Weinstein:  From a place of choice...

Alexis Shepperd:  ...from a place of choice.  What does it take to do that?  And one of the things that we have found is that, as we look at how it is that women relate to their experience--whether it's with themselves, with the world and their environment, whether it's with a man--one of the fundamental questions that's always there is: “Can I trust this?  Is this safe?”

Alissa Kriteman:  Sure.

Alexis Shepperd:  And safe in a variety of ways.  This is the unspoken question that gets answered in a unique way for every woman, and when you find reasons not to trust, how it is that women either: become small and meek; develop a hard wall around themselves to try and protect themselves; they may lash out; they may become completely frozen; they may doubt themselves; they may blame others.  So it's looking at it like, “What is it to create trust?”

Alissa Kriteman:  Right.

Alexis Shepperd:  And so, if we just take that question, one of the most fundamental places that we start with this with women is looking at boundaries.  Looking at that we actually have a right to set our own boundaries, even in the most mundane ways, and teaching women how to say no with an open heart.

Alissa Kriteman:  Hmm.  Interesting.

Shana Weinstein:  That's a really big one.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK, how do you do that?

[laughter]

Alexis Shepperd:  Some of it--this is what happens when we work together--is to see, actually, what specifically gets in the way of that for each woman.  For every woman, it's different.  But, for your listeners, just to know that you actually have permission to say no.  And you don't have to be an angry bitch to say no, either.  You can say no whenever you want.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.  Right.

Shana Weinstein:  I think that is the first piece: just giving ourselves that permission.  And you can hear all the stories about what that might mean about me: that I am a bitch, that I am cold, that I'm not a loving person.  And actually, none of that is true.

Alexis Shepperd:  [agrees]

Alissa Kriteman:  You're really dispelling the myths about what it is to say no.

Alexis Shepperd:  Right.

Shana Weinstein:  The word “prude” just popped up...

Alissa Kriteman:  Right.

Shana Weinstein:  “If I say no, then I'm a prude.”  Or in whatever different situations or different things that we've been called in our lives, as women, as a result of saying no...

Alexis Shepperd:  Exactly.

Shana Weinstein:  And, in order to actually fully say yes to something, we have to be able to say no.  Otherwise, you can't really fully give your heart if you're in this dynamic of, “Ugh.  It's not OK to say no, so I'm just going to say yes.”  So then, when you actually really want to say yes...

Alexis Shepperd:  There's resentment...

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah...

Alexis Shepperd:  So this is actually wanting women to get that this a place where women often end up taking the position of a victim in one way or another.  But this is actually a source of feminine power, how it is that we appropriately set our boundaries, and then our trust, which is just the most exquisite thing when we can give it authentically, when we feel it.

Alissa Kriteman:  I love that: sources of feminine power.  And really, you guys are just bringing to light all of the ways in which we can do that, and how to surrender, how to set boundaries, how to say no...

Shana Weinstein:  Well, I was just thinking of the great piece around surrender: There is the learning how to create our boundaries and saying no, and there are all these reasons that we could choose not to trust.  And the piece about surrender also brings: in choosing to trust anyway.

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Shana Weinstein:  And it also goes back, then, to embodiment and expression, because you don't want to choose to trust anyway, in a situation that isn't safe.  How do you know if a situation is safe or not?  You use the signals that your body is giving you--the signals that you're picking up from the environment or from the people around you.  That's why these phases really do build on each other.

Alissa Kriteman:  Well, what is that?  What is a signal?  I mean, we're very intuitive beings--I think women more so than men--we have to be: we're the nurturers, we have the babies, we have to sense when things are off.  So, are you saying to be aware of our bodily experiences, what we're noticing around us, and to be really honest with ourselves when something feels creepy or a little off?

Shana Weinstein:  Definitely.  Definitely.  I would say all of those.  Have you ever been walking out at night, and all of the sudden, something feels off and you get chills; or you have a feeling in the pit of your stomach, and all of the sudden, you turn around and there's someone lurking in the shadows?  That's a pretty extreme example, but when you start to tune into your body, that's definitely one of the ways that you can start to discern the signals that we're given.

Alexis Shepperd:  And one thing that we have found, almost consistently across women, is that there has been a time in every woman's life where she has ignored those signals for the purposes of: being liked, being loved, getting approval, thinking that she should go along with what was happening--whether it's saying yes to sex when she really wanted to say no...

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Shana Weinstein:  Yeah.

Alexis Shepperd:  In some way, compromising herself.  And so, there are a lot of ways that women don't fully listen to the signals, like, “Oh, I should be OK with this situation.  I don't see any reason why I'm not.”  And they go along with it, but it's really not what their body and their heart is telling them.

Shana Weinstein:  No, and it kills us inside.  It kills us inside, in those moments, and then later, that resentment is still there: I'm dating a man now, and I didn't say no to a man 10 years ago, and I still have that feeling inside of me.  I don't want to say yes, because I didn't say no for myself then.

Alissa Kriteman:  Exactly.

Shana Weinstein:  And we work with some of that in the course, as well, to clear out some of those past beliefs and patterns that are still getting in the way, that we're still feeling now, even though they completed themselves--in physical time--10 or 20 years ago.

Alexis Shepperd:  And they're still with us.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.  I can see a whole line of t-shirts coming up...

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  “Set boundaries.”  “No compromises.”

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  Really, we laugh, but it's true.  I don't think we're aware of it in the moment when we want that radiance and that vibrance, and we sit and think, “That's for someone else.”  But, really, it's not.  We're really just unearthing, inside of ourselves, that same access.  Every radiant woman who's really expressing that radiance in the world, she's probably someone who's done her work.  Someone who chooses to say no and doesn't compromise herself...

Shana Weinstein:  Who loves herself...

Alissa Kriteman:  So, what's a way that we can love ourselves more?  Do you have any tips for that?  Besides the boundary-setting and...

Shana Weinstein:  I think we covered this a little bit, too, but I would say to start really saying yes to ourselves; to let go of that fight.  I think that's a huge way that we stop loving ourselves is that we fight with ourselves, and we fight with what we want to happen or what we want to be feeling, versus what we are feeling--and to even start saying yes to that.  Even, “Argh!  I hate that I'm angry right now.  I feel so angry with myself.”  “OK.  Great.  I'm feeling angry with myself.”  Just to start saying yes to all the layers and all the pieces.

Alissa Kriteman:  Saying yes, and then saying no.

[laughter]

Alexis Shepperd:  Exactly.  They always go hand in hand.

Alissa Kriteman:  It's not easy being a woman...

[laughter]

Alexis Shepperd:  Another thing--and this relates with what Shana's saying--that I really want all women to know, is that, I think most people in the world end up feeling really isolated, and wherever it is that they're hurting in their lives or having challenges, that there's something wrong with them.

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Alexis Shepperd:  And one of the most important things that I find when women come to do our course--or really any of the work that we do--and they start seeing what's happening with other women, is that they're not alone in this.

Alissa Kriteman:  Nice.

Alexis Shepperd:  What I really want women to know is that, no matter what they look like right now, no matter what's happening in their lives, that there is beauty in them.  They don't have to do anything.  They don't have to change themselves in an outer way to tap that.  And that they are lovable, and there are people out there, and that there is a man out there who is going to want exactly what they have to bring--not some molded version of it, not some watered-down version of it--but exactly the fullness of the woman that they are.  There are men out there who are hungry for that.

Alissa Kriteman:  [emphatically] Well said.

Shana Weinstein:  Well said.

Alissa Kriteman:  And with that, we're going to go for another break.  Thank you so much.  That was beautiful, Alexis.  We'll be right back.

[music plays]

[radio break]

[music stops]

Alissa Kriteman:  We're back.  I'm your host, Alissa Kriteman.  And we're talking with Alexis Shepperd and Shana Weinstein about how we can expand our sources of empowerment as women, and how to love ourselves more.

Listeners, please feel free to write in any questions you may have about today's topic, or any other topics you would like me to cover on the show.  You can do that by sending an email to [email protected] And that's PersonalLifeMedia--all one word--dot com.

OK, so before the break, we were talking about these principles, and how we can access our own radiance inside of ourselves and have that be an authentic expression in the world.  Now, I want to talk about [speaks with silly voice] men.

Alexis Shepperd and Shana Weinstein:  [agreeing]

Alissa Kriteman:  [speaking jovially] Men, men, men, men...

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  OK, so what do you ladies have to share about how we can attract men?  But not just any man: the type of man we're truly, truly interested in.  Something that's going to flourish into a relationship we're proud to have and inspired to have.

Shana Weinstein:  I would say, first, it's really important to get clear on what we want.  What do we want in a man?  How do we want him to treat us?  What do we want it to feel like?  Really getting visioning, and allowing ourselves--again, it's coming back to that--allowing ourselves to want.  And then, I think an amazing way to go about this, also, is to then be the woman who would attract that man into your life.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.

Shana Weinstein:  Right?  In some ways, we can say, “I want this and this and this,” and then we put it somewhere outside of ourselves...

Alissa Kriteman:  Right.

Shana Weinstein:  But to actually bring that back to ourselves and say, “Oh, who is the woman that would attract that man that I'm wanting into my life?”

Alissa Kriteman:  Perfect.  Ask that question: “Who is the woman?”  So, who is she?

Alexis Shepperd:  And this is, I think, where women sometimes get a little confused; where they look outside, at the media sources of what an attractive looks like and how an attractive woman behaves.  And we get these porn star models...

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Shana Weinstein:  [subtly laughs]

Alexis Shepperd:  And it's just kind of ridiculous.  And so, you see women trying to emulate what radiance looks like on the outside, without actually having it be an authentic expression of who they are.  So, in the radiance phase of our model, when we get to that in the course, some of it is dispelling these ideas about what beauty is and who an attractive woman is, and actually getting that...  For a woman--for you to be with the type of man who is actually going to light up your life--you've got to bring who you are forward.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.

Alexis Shepperd:  And so, when Shana says, “Be the kind of woman that would attract that man,” it's actually, “Don't go out there and be the idea that you think of as an attractive woman.”  It's: “Go out there and be the best person that you are.”

Shana Weinstein:  Right.  Be who you really are: Allow yourself to feel, to express, to have desires, to give yourself pleasure, to take pleasure in living, to take pleasure in the days and the moments--to really not wait for a man to have that in your life and give that to you, or to fill that somehow.

Alissa Kriteman:  So: have that now.  And by having that now, he will come.

Alexis Shepperd:  That's the other thing that I want women to know: There are a lot of duds out there.  Not all guys are going to be attracted to this.  That's just the truth, and you didn't want to be with those guys anyway.  However, a real man...

Alissa Kriteman:  [laughingly agrees]

Alexis Shepperd:  A real man is called out by the feminine expression.

Alissa Kriteman:  Got you.

Alexis Shepperd:  Again, this doesn't mean blaming and lashing out.  There are all kinds of ways that we as women can collapse, so this is really an area rich in distinctions, where it's great to have, say, a training coach or even your girlfriend, to reflect back to you when you're off-base.

Shana Weinstein:  Right.

Alexis Shepperd:  However, the thing that I want women to know about how it is that we work and understand experience is that: OK, there is this thing over here called “loving yourself.”  And then there's this way of being over here that's going to attract a man.  And then there's this way of being over here that's going to have you have friendships or be successful in business.  It's actually all one thing.  And the kind of man that your listeners want to have in their lives are--we use the expression “called out.”  They are called out by a woman who is willing to feel and be the whole range of the feminine expression...

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Alexis Shepperd:  ...and really be herself.  And this is the kind of woman who might yell when she's angry, or who's going to laugh out loud, and who's just going to bring what's really important to her.

Shana Weinstein:  She will sing and cry and dance and play.  All of it.

Alissa Kriteman:  This is really great.  I'm thinking of this phrase, “the move on factor.”  If you really bring your authentic expression to a man, and he runs away, or he shrinks back, or he can't handle you and makes you wrong--just move on.

Shana Weinstein:  It's great information.  It's great to know.  In some ways, he might come back at some point and say, “Oh, I actually want to try to step into that.”  But I think the tendency for women, when a man goes away, is to make ourselves wrong.

Alissa Kriteman:  Right.

Shana Weinstein:  Or to think something's wrong with ourselves.  When, really, if a man goes away, and we're fully being ourselves: perfect.  Then we're making room for the man who wants to be with us to come into our lives.

Alissa Kriteman:  Why do you think we do that?  I know so many women who are in relationships that are a complete struggle...  Is it safety?  What are we doing?  Fear?

Alexis Shepperd:  I think that a woman thinks that there's something wrong with us, and this is the only way we can get love, so we settle.

Shana Weinstein:  That we don't deserve anything better than what's happening right now...

Alexis Shepperd:  And the other thing that I want to say is just that this is a dance.  And the opposite thing that we can do is make men wrong.  If they don't get us, and if they're not opening to how we're being, then there's something wrong with them.  And there really is a place here for us to understand that men are different than we are, and that each individual human being is different than we are.

This is where it's really an art: that we completely encourage women to express themselves and explore that.  And there are ways, too, in which each one of us goes into blaming, goes into collapsing, goes into all kinds of ways in which our expression actually isn't an opportunity for connection--that it actually can create more chaos.

And the one thing that I want to say about this is just to encourage women to take some chances.

Shana Weinstein and Alissa Kriteman:  [agreeing]

Shana Weinstein:  Yes, definitely.  Take some chances.  And we were talking before, if you invite a man into your expression--if you create a context or create a container, or if you say, “God, I'm feeling really angry right now.  Will you just be here with me while I feel this anger and express this anger?”  Rather than catching him totally off-guard as he walks in the door, and just going, [yelling] “Arrrhhh.”  There's really a way that we can invite the men in our lives, and then they'll actually want to be there with us and for us.  And it'll be much--I don't know if “safer” is the right word, but it'll be an experience that we can then share together.

Alexis Shepperd:  Really, it's about asking for permission.  This is key, whether it's with a man, a lover, a friend, or even somebody in our family.  Anybody with whom we want to express something vulnerable, or we want to share something that didn't work for us, or we want to, in any way, deepen things or create an opportunity that might be kind of risky for the other person, is: to ask permission.  “Can I share this with you right now?”  “Hey, I have something that I want to share.”  “I'm feeling upset right now.  Can we talk about it?”  And actually let the answer be yes or no.

Shana Weinstein:  Right.  Because this may not be the right time.  It may not be a time that this person actually wants to hear that, or actually wants to be in the face of your anger.  And then, how do we take care of ourselves and feel and express anyway, or do whatever we need to do?  Do we call a girlfriend?  Do we go in our rooms and pound some pillows?

[laughter]

Shana Weinstein:  Do we meditate?  Do we dance?

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.

Alexis Shepperd:  This point right here, about us being responsible for our own well-being, beyond however it is that a man, or anyone in our lives, is responding to us: But us being responsible for creating space, by ourselves or with friends, in which we can fully have what we're experience.  In which we can express, emote, dance, sing, cry.

[laughter]

Alexis Shepperd:  I really can't say enough about that, for women making space in their lives to feel.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.  And again, it's a part of being tapped-in to what is going on, so much so that you know what to do with it.  I have so much compassion for all of us, because: first, there's understanding ourselves.  Then, there's how we're going to relate with our families and the men in our lives, and then the sisters in our lives.  And it really is an ongoing cycle: this dance, this ever-flowing experiment...

[laughter]

Shana Weinstein:  Yeah.  I can say, personally, I use the model in my life all the time.  If I'm stuck, if something just feels off--I feel stressed, I feel angry, and I don't really know what's going on--OK, I go back to, “What am I feeling in my body?”

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Shana Weinstein:  “What's going on?  How can I say yes to what's actually happening in this moment?”

Alissa Kriteman:  Perfect.  Wow, you guys are just full of ton, ton, ton, ton of information.  Thank you so much for being here today.  Are there any last things you want to leave our listeners with?  One little nugget... If there's anything you want women to know about how to be more expressed, more radiant, more attractive and authentic, what would it be--just sort of off the top of your head?

Shana Weinstein:  Off the top of my head, I'm just thinking about those things that get in the way in a relationship, because we're afraid to say them.  And so, just take that risk and speak what's there, because it can transform everything.

Alissa Kriteman:  Nice.

Alexis Shepperd:  So this is one thing that I found for myself in romantic relationships is that, whenever the passion is dying down with me and my lover, whenever we notice, “Hey, things don't feel so hot anymore,” we've just taken on the practice of assuming that there is something that we haven't shared with each other that's actually getting in the way.

Alissa Kriteman and Shana Weinstein:  [agreeing]

Alexis Shepperd:  Even if I think, “God, there's nothing that I'm not sharing,” or, “There's no big communication that I'm withholding,” if we just sit down and actually practice saying what's there, invariably, something will come up.  That I felt like, “Oh, I can't say that.  That's the one thing I can't say.”

Alissa Kriteman:  [surprised voice] Wow.

Alexis Shepperd:  And actually--us creating a safe environment to share it--when we share it, the passion comes back.

Shana Weinstein:  Yeah.  And being willing to be in that place of questioning and truth, when actually, I think the worst fear is that, “If I say that, he'll go away,” or, “If I say that, I'll destroy the relationship,” or, “If I say that, everything's going to fall apart.”

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.

Shana Weinstein:  And what tends to happen, when those worst fears are shared or those things that we haven't said, is that the intimacy actually deepens.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.  And I'm just thinking, for our listeners, if you are with a man who's not doing that--dating, per se--there are a million other guys out there.

[laughter]

Alissa Kriteman:  But now I'm wondering, how do you create that in a marriage or a committed partnership?  What do you do if--Alexis, say, that's a brilliant example--but what if you're in a relationship where the man isn't quite open?  How would I create that in my marriage?

Alexis Shepperd:  Well, that's a longer conversation, because it also really depends on what's happening from person to person.

Alissa Kriteman:  OK.

Alexis Shepperd:  But, given that you are in a commitment with someone, I would say: What does it look like to love from that person's perspective?

Alissa Kriteman:  Hmm.

Alexis Shepperd:  And so, this is a place where we can actually bring compassion.  That it's all about what we want and need, but it's also really about being a lover.  What does it look like?  So, you're in a committed relationship with this man who wants to relate in a different way: What does it look like for this man to feel loved by you?

Alissa Kriteman:  [agrees]

Alexis Shepperd:  And is that something that you're willing to do and willing to grow into, to love this man in a way that he will feel loved?  Because, I guarantee that he's going to soften and open to you, and there's going to be more space for him to be receptive to what it is that you want and need in a relationship.

Alissa Kriteman:  So it's almost like us opening the door first, to his perspective, and really inquiring and letting go of that we even know--that we even have any idea...  That's brilliant.

Shana Weinstein:  Often, what I find in my relationship is that, the thing that I'm most wanting, if I can let go of all of my pride and all of my negativity around it, that I'm not getting it--if I actually start to bring it, then I actually get to have it.

Alissa Kriteman:  Bring it first.  Ladies, thank you so much.  This has been truly eye-opening, and so exciting.

Shana Weinstein:  Thank you, Alissa.

Alexis Shepperd:  Thank you, Alissa.  It's been a pleasure.

Shana Weinstein:  Thanks for bringing this out into the world.

Alissa Kriteman:  Yeah.  My pleasure.  I know that that's why our listeners are here and listening: They want to hear women who are experts in the area, and what you have to say of other research that you've done and other people that you work with, because we all want to have more radiant, juicy, fulfilling relationships and lives.  So, thank you for the work that you're doing, and thank you for sharing your time with me here today.

Alexis Shepperd:  Thank you.

Shana Weinstein:  You're welcome.  Thank you.

[audio break]

Alissa Kriteman:  Thank you, Alexis and Shana, from “Authentic Woman Experience,” for being with us today.  Fantastic information...

Alexis Shepperd:  Thank you.

Alissa Kriteman:  I very much look forward to speaking with you again soon, about some other juicy topics.

Shana Weinstein:  Yes.

Alissa Kriteman:  And so, if our listeners want to get in touch with you, they can find you at AuthenticSF.com.  And your email is there, your course information is there, your biographies are there.  Again, that's AuthenticSF--all one word--dot com, to find Shana Weinstein and Alexis Shepperd.

And that brings us to the end of the show.  Thank you all so much for listening.  For text and transcripts of this show and other shows on Personal Life Media Network, please visit our website at PersonalLifeMedia.com.  I'm your host, Alissa Kriteman, always expanding your choices.  Have a nice day.

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