Dr Judith Orloff's Blog

Awaken Your Sexual Power

Judith Orloff - Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing: Five Steps to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Wellness

As an intuitive psychiatrist I help my patients and workshop participants learn how to develop their intuition to deepen their sexual lives. In my book, Guide to Intuitive Healing I devote a whole section to exploring sexual wellness. Sexual awakening means coming into your own erotic power. How each of us does this may differ. Conventional wisdom teaches you to clarify your sexual needs, then learn to communicate physically and emotionally with a partner. Of course both are essential. Sexuality is neither a marathon nor a sprint. Nor is it competitive! You must find your own sexual rhythm and style. The kind of awakening I’m describing includes the psychological and physical, but intuition offers other erotic options.

Sexuality radiates from many places: your physical body, your body’s subtle energy, inner guidance, dreams. Honestly ask yourself, Am I happy with my sexual life? What works? What doesn’t? No judgments. Only truth. Then you’ll know what you’re dealing with. You don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself. You may want to explore a complete process of rebuilding. Or perhaps you’ll embrace the good, discard the rest. Remember though with intuition, nothing is ever static.

Teaching workshops throughout the country, I see a radical shift in what many of us want for ourselves sexually. Tolerating months or years slipping by without sharing a real connection in a relationship no longer seems feasible. Couples long to relate more closely, even if they don’t know how. Awakening sexuality requires intimate expressions. Partners must talk, explore, dream, intuit, make mistakes, make amends, overcome strife by returning to the heart again and again. We’re all learning together. Your triumphs are my triumphs; they have a collective ripple effect on everyone wanting intimacy. Conscious sexuality, founded on spirituality and intuition, requires the following four building blocks.

Four Building Blocks for Conscious Sexuality from Guide to Intuitive Healing

1. The Erotic Power of Common Values

Sexual relationships become more erotic when people share basic values. It’s a balancing of forces. Resonances harmonizing. For instance, imagine you and your partner making love. If you both believe this act is sacred, your bond will strengthen, your ecstasy increase. Two people don’t have to agree on everything. Harmony is the melding of simultaneous notes in a chord. But when it comes to what counts – the merits of the heart, spirituality, a desire for passion – be on the same page with your partner, or at least striving toward it.

2. Passionate Communication

Being intuitive with a partner doesn’t mean you can always read each other’s mind. Express your preferences as positively as possible. For instance, telling your partner, “I really like it when you touch me softer here, harder there,” “Going slower feels great,” or “Please do that again.” If this is the tone between two people, tougher subjects can also be breached. A sense of appreciation of your partner and a sense of humor keep passion going. In relationships communication must stay open in all areas.

Beyond emotional communication, as you and your partner become intuitively attuned all kinds of wild subjects may come up. When making love you could see colors, feel energy shoot through your spine, experience intuitive flashes about how to bring your partner closer. This can all be very erotic. Don’t hold your experiences in or think they’re weird.

3. Making Love with Spirit

The writer Alan Watts said, “When you’re in love with someone, you see them as a divine being.” The divine is ecstatic, at times erotically so. Many spiritual belief systems fail to make this association. Typically God is portrayed as love unrelated to sexuality. I’d like to amend this; I believe we must include God in our sexual lives too. Take a simple approach. If you’ve never experienced spirit as sexy before, while making love ask, “May the divine flow through me” (a sacred, not sacrilegious request). Then stay aware of what happens physically, focusing on your erotic response. Slowly let it spread from your toes through your genitals to your head. Spirit gravitates to where love flourishes. Your body is the instrument it sensually plays.

4. Letting Go of Shame

Let’s aspire to viewing our entire bodies as luminous. For the purpose of society, we wear clothes. But underneath layers of pants, sweaters, skirts, mufflers, coats, slips, hosiery, and underwear, we are all naked. This is our natural state, though it’s not mentioned much. The words vagina and penis embarrass people. Except between lovers they’re rarely used in our vocabulary. We are a culture of shame. But sex is nothing to be ashamed of.

Seeing the beauty of the body with intuition lifts shame. Respect your particular aesthetic sensibilities, but also be ready to examine which ones are based in shame. Touch. Scents. Sounds. Positions. Techniques. No shame – instead of being so quick to erase the primal traces of sexuality, move intuitively with them. There’s no need to inhibit yourself.

Sexual awakening necessitates balancing masculine and feminine aspects. If a man feels, I must be macho, or vulnerability makes me weak, that balance teeters. Similarly, if a woman feels, I have to squash my intuition so I don’t threaten men, a kind of death is under way. Awakening is about seeing how multidimensional we are rather than sexually polarizing. It’s not that men are more powerful than women or women more powerful than men. True power comes from internalizing both qualities.

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Four Strategies to Remember & Interpret Dreams

Judith Orloff - Thursday, August 01, 2013


This article was adapted from “Guide to Intuitive Healing” by Judith Orloff MD

At different times in my life, I am a physician, a teacher, a friend and an author, but being a dreamer is what I value the most.

Whatever I am doing, I always hear my dreams echoing in a distant underground chamber beneath my thoughts and feelings, attuned to the rhythms of my body and the very substance of the earth. They are my compass and my truth; they guide me and link me to the Divine. They call out to me in an intimate whisper, always knowing how to find me. They speak my real name.

For me, dreaming is a direct line to a place where magic abounds and nothing is without meaning. It is a pristine state of awareness, unpolluted and clear. Direct guidance for healing lies in our dreams, the natural territory of intuition. Here, time and space are non-existent and anything is possible. Like a blank, white canvas, our dream world is a spacious medium where intuition can freely express itself. We have only to listen.

You are in partnership with your dreams. Initiate an ongoing dialogue with them. It's like consulting the wisest doctor you can imagine who knows you inside out. You can ask your dreams anything. No question is trivial if it is meaningful to you. Expect answers. Some will be direct. Others may require interpretation.

Your dreams can reveal many truths about your life. They can provide extraordinary intuitive insights, and give you information that can help your health, love life and career. You'd be surprised at the straightforward advice that your dreams give, either spontaneously or on request.

Dreams can keep you well. Dreams provide answers. But first you must retrieve them. Here are my four strategies to help you remember your dreams:

  • Keep a journal and pen by your bed.
  • Write a question on a piece of paper before you go to sleep. Formalize your request. Place it on a table beside your bed or under your pillow.
  • In the morning do not wake up too fast. Stay under the covers for at least a few minutes remembering your dream. Luxuriate in a peaceful feeling between sleep and waking, what scientists call the hypnagogic state. Those initial moments provide a doorway.
  • Open your eyes. Write down your dream immediately; otherwise it will evaporate. You may recall a face, object, color, or scenario, feel an emotion. It doesn't matter if it makes perfect sense-or if you retrieve a single image or many. Record everything you remember.
  • When you're finished, refocus on the question you asked the previous night. See how your dream applies. One, two, or more impressions about the who/what/where of your solution may have surfaced. Get in the habit of recording your dreams regularly. Be assured I've never met anyone who can't be taught how to remember. Keep at it. Remember to practice. Soon it will become second nature to you!

    In addition to the practical aspects of remembering dreams, there's an intuitive level to understanding dreams. Reliable intuitive information stands out in very specific ways. Watch for these clues:

  • Statements that simply convey information
  • Neutral segments that evoke or convey no emotion
  • A detached feeling, like you're a witness watching a scene
  • A voice or person counseling you, as if you're taking dictation from an outside source
  • Conversations with people you never met before who give instructions.
  • I've found that my most dead-on intuitions either come across as compassionate or have no emotion at all. Develop a careful eye as you practice separating the content of your dreams from your reactions to it. Soon you'll be able to tell the difference between unreliable guidance and truly reliable guidance.

    Be aware that your dreams go by different rules than your waking life. Get ready for a mind shift. Physical laws no longer apply. Gravity changes. In dreams you can fly!

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    5 Tips to Intuitive Healing

    Judith Orloff - Tuesday, March 05, 2013


    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing: Five Steps to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Wellness

    I am a psychiatrist and intuitive. My passion is combining spirituality and intuition with mainstream medicine. When patients come to see me, I listen to them with my intellect as well my intuition, a potent form of inner wisdom not mediated by the rational mind. Accessible to all, it's a still, small voice inside-an unflinching truth-teller committed to our well-being. Sometimes I experience it as a snap-shot-like flash, a gut feeling, a hunch, a physical sensation, a dream. Whatever the form, it is always a friend, keeping a steady eye on our bodies and spirits, letting us know if something is out of sync.

    As a psychiatrist I see many people with everything material they can ever want, and still they feel lost. What's missing is a palpable connection with their intuitive voice, one that will always guide them in a heartfelt direction. I believe that without this connection, it's impossible to lead a truly passionate life, based on instinct and authentic inner knowledge. I've written my book, Dr. Judith Orloff's Guide to Intuitive Healing: Five Steps to Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Wellness as a primer on how everyone can develop intuition and utilize it as a powerful tool for living. Intuition is not something I simply teach my patients. It has become a way of life for me. The magic of intuition is that it insists you live in the moment with no expectations, a continuing freshness. Intuition is our birthright, available to everyone. To access it, I've developed five steps that can be applied to any issue you'll ever confront from healing your body, to riding a roller-coaster of emotions to sexual awakening. I live by these five steps; they continue to sustain me. I suggest you give them a try. My hope is that they will bring you the joy and clarity you've been searching for.

    Step 1: Notice Your Beliefs (more)
    Your beliefs set the stage for healing. Positive attitudes stimulate growth. Negative attitudes impede it. It's important to rid yourself of counterproductive attitudes that you may not even realize you have. If you examine your beliefs, choose life-enhancing ones, you'll create optimal wellness. No organ system stands apart from your thoughts. Your beliefs program your neurochemicals. I'm not suggesting that you be Pollyannish, but that you be completely true to yourself. This will free you from unconscious negative beliefs that can sabotage your healing.

    Step 2: Be In Your Body (more)
    Your body is a complex and sensitive intuitive receptor. You must make a commitment to be in it completely to heal. Most people in Western society are conditioned to live from the neck up, ignoring the rest of their body. This stance is counter-intuitive. I'd like you to shift that perspective-to enjoy your intellect but revel in your physicality as well. Being aware of the sensuousness of your body opens intuition. Then you'll become more cognizant of early warning signs your body sends. This gives you a head-start on preventing illness, choosing healthy relationships, and avoiding detrimental situations.

    Step 3: Sense Your Body's Subtle Energy
    We are composed of flesh and blood, but also of subtle energy. Chinese Medical Practitioners call it "chi," a vital substance which penetrates the body and extends many feet beyond it. From an intuitive point of view, these vibrantly colored energy fields, whose centers are called chakras have a significant effect on our health. For that reason, it is important that we learn to sense this energy within us, recognize when it is off, and learn to correct the imbalance. Feeling energy can be very sensual, an extension of love. Learning to tap into your body's energy is healing.

    Step 4: Ask for Inner Guidance
    We each possess an intuitive voice that contains answers about our healing. Because our intellect is often so loud, this voice often gets drowned out. It's essential that we learn to access the stillness within--though meditation, quite contemplation, connecting with nature, prayer-in order to gain answers about our health. Spend a few minutes each day devoted to listening to this voice. It may appear as a gut feeling, a hunch, an image, a sound, a memory, an instant knowing-as if a light bulb suddenly switched on. Learn to trust the signals your inner wisdom sends.

    Step 5: Listen To Your Dreams (more)
    Intuition is the language of dreams. Every ninety minutes each night during the REM stage of sleep, we dream. Dreams provide answers about health, relationships, career choices, any new direction. The secret is to remember them. I suggest keeping a dream journal by your bed. Before you go to sleep, ask a dream a question. For instance, "Is this relationship healthy for me or should I move on?" The next morning, write down any dreams immediately before getting out of bed. Try repeating the question, every night for the next week until your answer comes. As you develop the habit of remembering dreams, you'll be able to benefit from this form of healing. As a physician, I have a continual sense of awe for the relationship between body and spirit. As your heart opens, so does your intuition. Your intuition will teach you how to see and how to love. It will instill in you a renewed faith to face anything.

    Listen To Your Dreams

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    How to Intuitively Make Smart Decisions

    Judith Orloff - Wednesday, February 06, 2013


    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff's "Positive Energy: 10 Extraordinary Prescriptions for Transforming Fatigue, Stress, and Fear into Vibrance, Strength, and Love ”

    As an intuitive psychiatrist I worship my high octane intuitions. I owe the blessing of becoming a physician to one. However, at twenty, when an unwavering inner voice told me I was going to medical school, it was the last thing I thought I wanted. This gut centered voice committed to your happiness, health, and survival, is, with practice, accessible to everyone. But when you deviate even a nano-fraction from your inner voice, energy wanes, whether a subtle seepage or radical bottoming out. The more ferociously faithful you are to this truth the more energized you’ll be.

    Intuition offers a direct line to your life force, and also, as I experience it, to a divine intelligence. We can’t afford to remain deaf to intuition’s messages. Its expertise is energy; its job is to know every nuance of what makes you tick. A master at reading vibes, intuition is constantly tallying: what gives positive energy, what dissipates it. Who you meet, where you go, your job, your family, current events, are all evaluated--crucial data that you can learn to interpret and apply.

    Here’s a formula from my book, Positive Energy to help you get started. First, listen to your body: there are positive and negative intuitions about relationships which highlight compatible matches. Second, act on this information, which is often the hardest part. Let me walk you through the process.

    Recognize Your Body’s Intuitions About Vibes

    A people-skill most of our parents didn’t know or teach us is intuitively reading vibes. We’ve learned to draw conclusions from surface data: how nice someone seems, looks, education, or if a situation adds up on paper. But intuition goes deeper; to make it work for you other ingredients must be considered such as what positive vibes feel like, for instance a sense of heart, compassion, and nurturance. In contrast, negative people project prickly, draining vibes that put you on guard.

    Here is a general guideline of body-based intuitions. Use this checklist at a first meeting, to troubleshoot problems if you're already involved, or to weigh “opportunities.” Also, feel free to add to it. Being an intuitive, I know that a signature energy always accompanies situations or people. Remember the Lil’ Abner jinxed cartoon character who always had a black cloud hanging over his head? Not a vibe that bodes well for auspicious outcomes. Instead, learn to gravitate towards brightness, a positive intuition your body’s responses will affirm. When tuning into vibes take a few quiet moments to go into sensing mode, not intellectual analysis. Look for these signs to determine attraction.

    Positive Intuitions About Relationships or Situations

  • a feeling of comforting familiarity or brightness; you may sense you've known the person before, as with the experience of deja-vu
  • you breathe easier, chest and shoulders are relaxed, gut is calm
  • you find yourself leaning forward, not defensively crossing your arms or edging away to keep a distance
  • your heart opens; you feel safe, peaceful, energized, expansive, or alive
  • you’re at ease with a person’s touch whether a hand shake, hug, or during intimacy.
  • Negative Intuitions About Relationships or Situations

  • a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach or increased stomach acid which may prompt an unpalatable deja-vu
  • your skin starts crawling, you're jumpy, instinctively withdraw if touched
  • shoulder muscles are in knots, chest area or throat constricts; you notice aggravated aches or pains
  • the hair on the back of your neck creepily stands on end
  • a sense of malaise, darkness, pressure, agitation, or being drained
  • Intuition helps you act from instinct, not impulse--a look before you leap wisdom that points you to positive energy. When it comes to who you love, where your work, or any important decision, the last thing you want to be is vague. Tuning in keeps you specific. Practice the next exercise to get this down.

    With Intuition Learn How to Pin Down and Act on Your Vibes

    Now you’re going to tune in, trust your body, and make choices based on the vibes you sense.

    Tune In: Choose a relationship or situation that needs clarification about whether or not to go forward. Perhaps a friendship, vacation or move. Begin with an easier target before you take on higher stakes. Run it by this section’s criteria for positive and negative intuitions--or others you find reliable. It’s helpful to make a top five list of the most killer indicators of positive attraction. For one of my patients it includes feeling energized and safe. Another must register an increased aliveness and peaceful sense. Write your top five in a journal so they don’t get hazy. See how they add up here.

    Act On Vibes: This is where we must be warriors. I know personally and from patients how much easier it is to tune into than to act on vibes. Insecurity, ego, lust, stubbornness can obscure better judgment. Sometimes it takes succumbing to them all to realize you won’t tolerate such battering again. But if you don’t have to take such a bumpy route, try these options. If the vibes feel overall positive, go for it; explore possibilities. If the vibes are mixed or you’re unsure, take a pass or at least wait. If there’s just negative, have the courage to walk away, no matter how tempting the option seems. Then observe how listening to energy in this way leads you to the juiciest opportunities.

    Now I want you to start listening. Really listening. I guarantee you’ll start making smarter choices. Why? You’ll be operating from a spot inside that’s juicy, core-felt, authentic--not from an impulse to conform or disown your strength. You won’t be seduced by what may look good, but betrays your gut. Intuition is a truth detector.

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    Telling the Difference Between Intuition and Fear

    Dr. Orloff - Monday, October 17, 2011


    Adapted from Dr. Judith Orloff’s NY Times bestseller “Emotional Freedom: Liberate Yourself From Negative Emotions and Transform Your Life” (Three Rivers Press, 2011)

    In "Emotional Freedom" my approach to transforming fear has two stages. First, take stock of what makes you afraid and distinguish irrational fears from legitimate intuitions. Second, take appropriate steps to heed protective fears and transform the others with courage. At times you may foresee real danger, but more frequently unproductive fears clobber you. Therefore as a general rule, train yourself to question fears tied to low self-esteem; we’re all worthy of what’s extraordinary. For example, it’s right to question the fear that you’re too emotionally damaged to love; even the severely wounded can have their hearts opened again. True intuitions will never put you down or support destructive attitudes or behavior. Here are some guidelines for distinguishing legitimate fears from irrational ones:

    How To Tell Fear From Intuition

    Signs of a Reliable Intuition

  • Conveys information neutrally, unemotionally  
  • Feels right in your gut
  • Has a compassionate, affirming tone
  • Gives crisp, clear impressions that are “seen” first, then felt
  • Conveys a detached sensation, like you’re in a theater watching a movie
  • Signs of an Irrational Fear

  • Is highly emotionally charged
  • Has cruel, demeaning, or delusional content
  • Conveys no gut-centered confirmation or on-target feeling
  • Reflects past psychological wounds
  • Diminishes centeredness and perspective
  • For comparison’s sake, I’ll share radically different examples of how I use the above criteria. One morning I got two calls from frightened patients who both claimed to be hearing voices. Truly a typical day in my office! The first came from Bill, a schizophrenic who’d been skimping on his meds. Bill’s inner “voice” kept haranguing him, insisting he was a bad person, that his food was poisoned, that his son was being raped again by the grandmotherly babysitter. Believing these “delusions” (false beliefs unsubstantiated by fact), he was absolutely unhinged. So Bill kept calling the cops, who sent a squad car out twice, but found no threat. Tolerant but tiring of this, the officers warned that if he contacted them again, they’d haul him off to a psychiatric hospital. My other patient, Jean, had been coping with despair about her brother suffering from end-stage AIDS. Jean’s inner “voice” said to immediately fly to New York to join him, though he’d recently been stable. True of authentic intuitions, it came through clear-as-a-bell, oddly matter-of-fact and followed the typical progression of being “seen first,” then felt.

    Both patients asked me, “What should I do?’ I urged Bill to take his meds and offered reassurance about his safety, a tack that had lessened his fear many times in our decade of working together. Jean, however, I supported in buying a plane ticket because her intuition felt so imminent, so right. Fortunately, she did, despite the expense and inconvenience to her job. That week her brother took a sudden turn for the worse, slipped into a coma and died within hours. Heart-breaking as witnessing his death was for Jean, she was able to be at her brother’s side in those precious last moments.  

    Try to separate unhealthy fears from intuition. Though Bill’s case was extreme, you may also have some fears that belittle you or cause you to misinterpret danger. Perhaps in a fit of anger your ex-wife called you “useless” and you believed it. This is not intuition. Nor is being frightened of having cancer whenever a brown spot appears on your skin. Also, be skeptical of long-standing fears, say of heights; these are typically not premonitions.

    If you’re en emotional empath, it can be especially tricky to ascertain which fears are authentic, helpful intuitions. Because you tend to absorb other people’s emotions, you may pick up their fear and think it’s your own. To avoid this, always ask yourself, “Is the fear mine or someone else’s?” One dependable way to find out is to distance yourself from the source. Move at least twenty feet away. If you experience relief, it’s likely you’re perceiving another’s fear. Although it’s fine to absorb courage and all positive emotions from others because they’ll strengthen you, you don’t want to absorb negativity. Move away, and keep releasing extraneous fear by exhaling it until the feeling passes.

    While some apprehensions may be empathically linked to another’s feelings or, like Jean’s, are distinct intuitive warnings, the more garden variety ones reflect ingrained negative psychological patterns. To resolve these, you must know where they come from and do what’s necessary to loosen their hold.

    Watch Dr. Orloff's Video on How to Transform Fear

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