Women Branching Out: Michele Lisenbury Christensen
So excited to have Michele Lisenbury Christensen of The Hot Love Revolution on the blog today.
Michele is a coach, love doctor, mama, entrepreneur, author, and more, and she’s on a mission to help happy, well-loved women save the world.
Michele serves up steamy advice to help couples communicate better, make more love, and discover and explore monogamy as the hottest place on earth.
Here’s Michele …
Tell us about you and your business. Where are you located in the world? What do you do and who do you love to serve?
I’m Michele Lisenbury Christensen, and I love love. My Hot Love Revolution is a community where I offer provocation – starting with the name itself – for women and their partners to create the aliveness they really want, in the relationship they’ve already got.
The people I coach and teach in my classes are more likely to wear funky boots or clogs than stilettos, but they don’t want to go through life without feeling turned-on and deeply connected. I really love working with sassy women and the nice guys who adore them… because we (Kurt and I are like that!) have some unique challenges and opportunities that are a lot of fun to unpack.
Oh… and I live in Seattle in the 1942 cottage my husband and I renovated into a Craftsman with the covered front porch and meditation room that I’d seen in my dreams.
Why do you think it’s so important for women (and men) to be turned on in their relationships?
Happy women are the heart of the positive changes our world needs. When a woman is depleted – when her heart isn’t overflowing – she doesn’t have the oomph to make the difference she otherwise could. Women’s pleasure pleases everyone. I want to do something about climate change, about human trafficking, about the quality of our schools, about food security… and helping women be nourished is my answer to all of those.
The same goes for men, too… but I speak more about the women for two reasons: 1) a man being happy doesn’t automatically make his wife happy in quite the same way. A happy woman makes a happy home. End of story. 2) because women are so oriented toward taking care of other people and looking after themselves LAST, if we don’t focus on women learning to be nourished, turned-on, and juicy, it won’t happen.
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What is one myth about monogamy that you’re helping bust?
The myth of either-or: either you can have security or you can have sensuality. This myth tells us that the hottest sex is with a “bad boy” or a stranger or some unnamed partner in your future… Not with the husband you have.
This myth says familiarity removes the mystery, and the turn-on along with it. And it says that when you turn up the turn-on, the security goes out the window, because libido is a wild and dangerous thing, like a fire hydrant that just sprays all over the place.
All of that is untrue. Our libidos thrive when we focus them at home and bring back to our partners the desires and curiosity the rest of the world might pique in us. Security can be verrrry sexy. And you can ENTIRELY rewrite the sensual, romantic, emotional, and communication scripts you’ve been reading from with your partner, and create a very dynamic NEW relationship with the same ol’ partner.
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How has your own experience with marriage changed your perception of monogamy?
There was a time between our 5th and 10th anniversary when we were practically celibate and I thought to myself, “I CANNOT go the rest of my life without turn-on, without feeling that aliveness and excitement of anticipation and energy and feeling so intensely desired and desirous.”
At that time, I thought time together and the build-up of resentments and differences and shared drudgery that are naturally a part of just about every marriage were the culprits, and that this process was natural. I was afraid I’d have to divorce Kurt to get what I wanted. I contemplated “opening” our marriage so I could be with other people, but he was not (as so many people – especially men – are not) open to that at all. Understandably. I’m all for customizing our relationships, but playing with multiple partners requires a ton of skill and is a meaningful risk, not to be undertaken lightly, especially when children are involved.
My perception today – having buckled down and said, “No, I will NOT go the rest of my life without that excitement… NOR will I give up on this marriage” is that marriage is a very powerful crucible for personal growth if you make those two commitments. I’ve walked through that fire, and continue to do so.
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What’s one we can all do today to strengthen our connections with those who are most important to us?
Behold them. We can get sidetracked by our to-do list, by comparing our partners and other loved ones to other people, by our own agenda of what we want them to do or become. But when we really stop and just SEE the magnificence of who they are (even though there are many magnificent things they are NOT), we’re awed, and we are also more available to whatever goodness and intimacy are there in the moment.
You’ll see your partner’s humor. Or kindness. Or methodical brilliance. You’ll see your daughter’s originality. Or independence. Or vulnerability. Or joy. Each of those things is a gift and begin with them – especially if you can then articulate what you see – deepens connection immediately.
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How has running your own business empowered you?
2013 is my 17th year in business. Business itself is an art form, and I am an artist of business. That knowledge is empowering. I have recreated my business many times over the past 17 years and I may recreate it again in the future.
I feel so empowered to have a career track that doesn’t require someone else’s permission or hire or promotion to go do what I want to do next. I’ve also geared up and back down again, taking my income to 6-figures plus and down to $50,000 last year when I had a baby. It’s totally mine to do with as I please and THAT is real freedom.
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What excites you most about the woman you’ve grown up to be and the life you live?
This sounds wacky to me, but the answer that comes up is the way that I’m softer and messier, in this grown-up, almost-40 version of me, than I ever was in my fantasies. I thought I’d be on this direct upward trajectory (a perfect 45′ angle!): more money, more fitness, more great boots (well, I do have more great boots!), the house, the kids… And it didn’t work that way.
My marriage was awful and I was miserable for a few years. We healed that and had a baby and were so happy. Then I lost a baby at 13 weeks gestation. Both my parents almost died in the same year. My business partnership fell apart. We’ve had money worries in a way we’d never had.
Life has put me through the wringer. And the result? I’m more tender, more compassionate, more vulnerable, more wide-open to the pain and the pleasure of life than I could’ve imagined 10 years ago. My ego’s aspirations were grand, but the reality of my life is even better.
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Michele Lisenbury Christensen instigates everyday sensuality using yoga, brain science, and candid tales of personal trials and triumphs. In the past 15 years, she’s co-crafted a playful smokin’ 12+ year marriage, had two happy kids, and been a trusted advisor to more than 2000 couples, business owners, and high-level corporate leaders around the world. Toe-curling pleasure on a daily basis gives Michele the rocket-fuel to serve and scintillate her clients and her readers at The Hot Love Revolution. She delivers daily instigations to more aliveness via Twitter and Facebook. She posts her favorite latest beauty on Pinterest, too.
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What a rewarding job you must have! I am going to express my gratitude to my husband and remind my granddaughter how much she lights up my life. Congratulations for your new baby! ~Cathy
I LOVE the line ‘woman’s pleasure pleases everyone’ SO true. Thank you so much for sharing your tips. I know I’m going to take these to heart! Thanks to Christie for sharing Michelle!
My favorite line was “Women’s pleasure pleases everyone.” I have teacher who taught me how tapping into woman’s pleasure can help make things more easy, create less resistance, and allow the things into your life that you desire. Allowing myself to experience pleasure has opened the door to many opportunities. – I enjoyed the interview. Thank you.
I love this: “My ego’s aspirations were grand, but the reality of my life is even better.” We can never plan the magnificence of ourselves and our lives, we have to let it unfurl into its fullness.
What a beautiful service Michele is doing! Thank you for introducing us to her, Christie!
Hugs and butterflies,
I’m going to take your suggestion and “stop and just SEE the magnificence of who they are”. I’m going to look for what is there in my partner today and compliment him on that instead of focusing on what isn’t there. I know it feels great when he does the same for me. Thanks for this great tip today!
Love this and your work so much. So many people just give up on their marriages, and it’s sad. I’ve been married 15 1/2 yrs, and there have been times when it wasn’t easy. Sometimes it was on my end, sometimes on his – but we’ve always managed to work through them.
Knowing there is someone out there whose mission it is to save marriages is lovely.
It’s so true that it’s all too easy to lose the magnificence of who our loved ones truly are, amongst the fretting about who they are not and our daily to-do list. I think we should all put our partners on our to-do list. 🙂
What a wonderful interview,and kick-ass lady!!! Thank you so much for sharing the lovely Michele with us, Christie! 🙂 I agree it’s easy to get caught up with our agendas, the mundane, and daydreaming about “what if”…but when we stop to “behold” the person we’re with, we see their amazingness! So inspirational!! YAY! This has totally motivated me!!!
Women’s pleasure pleases everyone. YES! I love this article so much. I work as a nutrition and lifestyle coach and if there’s one thing I see in every burnt out woman it is this! The solution to bringing mojo, spark and excitement to your life is by fuelling yourself with bucketloads of pleasure (not food) first and then allowing that inner radiance to shine and be your gift to the world.
Such a wonderful interview between two women of heart and influence.. The first time I read some of Michele’s words I almost cried.. her vision moves me so deeply and the honesty around what all of our marriages move through provides so many openings for conversations, for new perspectives, for small tweaks that have big outcomes.
Big love to both of you…
Another great interview and introduction to someone I’d never have known without you, Christie!
I love what Michelle said about helping women be nourished as a way to cure all kinds of big problems in the world. I related to that because I have so many ideas and ways that I want to help in the world — and only recently, I’ve learned that focusing my work on helping moms find more fun and fitness fast is a way to address ALL my other concerns.
Loved it — keep ’em coming, Christie!
Michele, Rocks!! Love what she is doing. Of course I love- “Women’s pleasure pleases everyone”.
You are doing much needed work.
AND I think you’d love the Luscious Ladies Lounge!
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