Here are some tools and toys that have been especially inspiring to me in the past week :)
The Enneagram: I just love this thing. J took the quiz in college and had to write a paper on his personality type and also had the opportunity to discuss my type in relation to his. It was enlightening then, and even more enlightening for me now. For example, my type (Type 2) goes toward Type 4 during integration and growth, becoming more independent and creative. That process typifies my whole past year since being out of school, being back in counseling, stripping, figuring more out about myself, and engaging in things that I want to do. Cool! I have loved having other friends and family take the test so we can talk about our similarities and differences, too, and how our types work with and (sometimes) against one another.
Feel the Fear... and Then Do It Anyway: I recently started this book. I can't remember who recommended it to me, and when, but it has been on my "to read" list for a long time. I absolutely love it so far!! Her basic premise is that all fears, whether they are about finding a job or making new friends or intimacy or death, is about the idea that "I can't (or won't be able) to handle it." So, her suggestions and techniques are about boosting your positive self talk, confidence, self esteem, thoughts, and behaviors so you know you can handle whatever it is. I have found it pretty helpful as a framework for applying to open relationship challenges. What might I be afraid of? That J will leave me? That he will love someone else? That he will enjoy amazing, mind-blowing sex with someone else? Using Jeffers' framework, I would say that my basic fear with all of these things is that I don't think I can handle any of these things if they were to happen. Thinking about fears this way allows me to say to myself- No, I most certainly can handle that! I'm not going to die, I will keep on living, I'll keep on loving. I'm not done with the book yet, but so far, it's been eye-opening and an easy read.
Continued chakra meditation and practice: I allow these meditations to enter my consciousness several times throughout the day. I breathe in calm and universal energy, and allow my out-breaths to take away any gross, murky, yucky energy that has accumulated in my body. I concentrate on embodying the characteristics of each chakra. I always feel at least a little more relaxed and peaceful afterwards.
Ben-wa balls (I have the Lelo Luna beads): I have been wanting some ben-wa balls for a long, long time. Finally spent the money on them! They have been super fun to play with and leave in during exercise and housework. While I mistakenly bought the classic size (Lelo makes the mini size for women under 30 or for those who have never gone through childbirth), but they seem to fit fine and are not noticeable to me at all once they are in. Yay for working out my pelvic floor! :)
Really utilizing the depth and breadth of my social support network: I am so grateful for my amazing partners, my close-knit group of open friends (and especially for my open women friends), the responsive and insightful open community on the interwebs (poly forum, reddit, etc), my super supportive vanilla friends, and my super supportive family members. I have to publicly thank all of these awesome people from time to time for how much love, openness, and support you bring to my life. Thank you :)