Words and stories on what it feels like to be human.
Join your host, Anastasia Holland, as she has conversations with colleagues, friends, family, and strangers that explore How To Feel...abortion, chronic illness, ancestral trauma, fear, miscarriage, creativity, heartbreak, and so much more.
006. How To Feel Pleasure | Ann Nguyen
I try my best not to scroll Instagram, but when I do I find myself absorbed by one woman's posts: Ann Nguyen. She's a sexual empowerment coach for women and her posts say things like, What Would Your Pussy Choose To Wear Today?... How I Orgasamed My Way To Promotion In The Corporate World. Her content always leaves me feeling excited and inspired. When I think of pleasure, I think of Ann, so I knew that I wanted to have her on the podcast to share her journey of becoming an advocate for women to reclaim their sexuality and lives. From previously reading her story, I knew that pleasure didn't always come easy and that this path has entailed many years of healing trauma and conditioning. We discuss it all in this episode.
As Ann states, "Pleasure is one of the most delicious forms of resistance," and we get into why women feeling pleasure will not only transform their personal lives, but also the world. I can't wait for you to listen.
What we cover in this episode:
+ Ann's personal journey of feeling safe to feel pleasure and becoming an advocate and coach for others to feel the same
+ How women and femmes can reclaim pleasure as something for themselves, versus their pleasure and their existence being something that is here to serve others
+ Redefining pleasure and all of the multiple flavors of pleasure
+ How making things just 5% more pleasurable can be revolutionary and transformative
+ Pleasure and capitalism
+ The power of Pussy and practices to connect to the Pussy archetype
+ Body love and taking our power back to create a new narrative about our bodies
+ Pleasure as resistance in the revolution
+ Pleasure showing up as pain
And so much more!
Born and raised in California as a first-generation Vietnamese American woman, Ann has lived her whole life following two main things: her curiosity and her urge to question everything with “but why?”. These curiosities and questions have led her down a dynamic path from graduating with a B.S. in Neuroscience at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to working in various jobs in the tech industry at Google, Facebook & YouTube.
Most recently, she’s trained at the Tantric Institute of Integrated Sexuality to embark on her latest endeavor – being a Women's Sexual Empowerment Coach. Her work is in service to changing the way that women relate to their pleasure and rewriting the narrative of sexuality in our modern times, and creating safer spaces for women of color to pursue their healing and thriving. Through her coaching and online programs, she reconnects women to the power of their sexuality and facilitates deep transformation for sexual reclamation.
You can find her work at www.theannnguyen.com.
Find more about the How To Feel podcast here: www.anastasiaholland.com
005. How To Feel Your Ancestors | Lisa Nagel
In the beginning of the pandemic I was hit with some serious anxiety. There was so much uncertainty. Would we survive? Is this the end of the world? As I sat with my fear, one thought kept me grounded and anchored: my ancestors have survived pandemics and I will too. This is the not the first time humans have gone through something like this.
I knew I wanted to have my friend Lisa Nagel on the podcast to talk all about connecting with our ancestors, especially in uncertain times.
Lisa is an inherited trauma resolution coach and ancestral healing guide who works with highly sensitive womxn who want to be free. Who want to feel vibrantly alive in their self-expression, their relationships, and careers.
She believes in gentle bravery, radical love, in transformation that lasts and that our stories aren't over yet. That everything is still possible. www.wildsensitivesouls.com.
Lisa has such a calming and reassuring perspective on the current world events and connecting with our ancestors. I think you’re really going to enjoy this episode.
004. How To Feel Abortion | Denell Nawrocki
Women's wellness educator, Denell Nawrocki, and I discuss our various journeys with abortion as an attempt to normalize the range of experiences women have when it comes to terminating a pregnancy.
In this episode we cover...
Denell's personal experience with abortion
Ritual as a way to grieve and process
Why there is no one set way to feel an abortion
The difference between medical, surgical, and herbal abortions
The initiation of choosing to end a pregnancy
The body's emotional, physical, and spiritual recovery after a abortion
Society's skewed relationship with abortion
A ton more!
003. How To Feel Heartbreak | Michelle D'Avella
Author and Breathwork Facilitator, Michelle D'Avella, shares what led her to write her book The Bright Side of a Broken Heart and her journey with feeling (and healing) heartbreak.
In 2017 I experienced a seriously real heartbreak after ending a five year on and off again relationship. It was the kind that swallowed me whole and left me in a pit of my own grief. It can be confusing grieving someone who is still alive, missing someone who is still out there. It can be so painful when heartbreak leads us to feeling unlovable and unwanted. But it was that exact heartbreak that launched me straight toward my soul. My self. My trauma. My desires. My truth. Eventually landing me more in love than I've ever been.
In the thick of it all I found a book that I read in one sitting. The Brightside of A Broken Heart by Michelle D’Avella. Her words normalized everything I was going through. She captured my broken heart in her pages. She never let go or gave up. On herself or me. I knew that when I created How To Feel I had to have a heartbreak episode. My friends often joke that I've been heartbroken since I was 14. Heartbreak and I know each other well and I knew that I had to have Michelle on to talk all about it. Out of all the heartbreak things I’ve read, listened to and watched, Michelle’s book is my favorite. She’s also such an awesome person.
My intention with this episode of How To Feel Heartbreak is to normalize the range of emotions and experiences that come with heartbreak and to maybe, if you’re heartbroken right now, give you some hope for your journey. Michelle certainly did that for me and I think her story and words will do the same for you.
In this episode we talk about...
Michelle's journey with heartbreak and how a blindsiding break up led her to write her book
The emotional range of heartbreak and how heartbreak isn't just one type of feeling
Closure and how writing a letter to our ex is sometimes what we need to do, even if we never hear anything back
Why a heartbreak can be so hard and how it's ok and normal to grieve when we are heartbroken
Why we often want to rush our healing, especially when it comes to moving on from a relationship, but how it's the slowing down where we find transformation
How Michelle's painful heartbreak led her to reclaim lost parts of herself
Michelle's explanation of her quote, "Now I know I had to lose him to find myself”
A ton more!
More about Michelle:
Michelle D’Avella is an author, certified Breathwork facilitator, and mentor. She helps her clients transform painful experiences into valuable life lessons and create sustainable change through inner exploration, processing repressed emotions, and somatic release. Michelle is an advocate for reclaiming your power, showing up for yourself, and honoring the healing process. She has been featured in Forbes, W Magazine, MyDomaine, and more. Learn more about Michelle and her work at pushingbeauty.com.
002. How To Feel Sexy When You're Exhausted | Solo Episode
In this solo episode I explore a more personal topic: how to feel sexy when you're exhausted.
I've dealt with chronic illness and fatigue since 2015, which has made sex a bit more complicated. This episode is for the ones who are tired and want tools to find their sexy when they can barely get out of bed. This episode is an exploration of what feeling sexy even is and a reclamation of your own desires, needs, wants, and sexual expression even when you're sick or tired. This episode is is a big no to a culture that says sexy looks and feels one certain way. A way that, I’ve found, is nearly impossible for most of us to look and feel. What does sexy feel like when you’re exhausted, sick, sad, anxious, depressed, when you’re recovering from something huge? I cover it all. There's even a special interview at the end with my partner, Isaac. You won't want to miss this one.
001. How To Feel Creative During Difficult Times | Devon Walz
Artist, Devon Walz, talks about the ups and downs of living during a pandemic and how to feel creative amongst it all. Devon shares how she first found art during one of the most difficult chapters of her life and how painting completely transformed her mental, emotional, and physical health.
Devon shares tips and insights on what it's like to be a full-time artist during a near economic collapse and why it's so important for all of us to be creating and sharing our work during a time like this.
What's covered in this episode...
How we met (we've been best friends since sixth grade)
Why Devon decided to start making art
Why desire is so valuable when you're experiencing depression and chronic fatigue
Devon's thoughts on selling and promoting her work during this time
Insight for artists wondering if now is the time to release new pieces and series
How to start a creative practice when you have little to no energy
Why making art is so helpful with resolving trauma
Devon's personal emotional experience and creative practice during the pandemic
A ton more!