How I transformed over the summer (or, why there is nothing more important to me right now than speaking about love, sexuality and spirituality).
It’s crazy, isn’t it…?
Me, Lyvia, the nice girl with a degree from a good school, and a pretty damn good job… decided to throw everything away.
At first, I wanted to help others ditch their lousy, unfulfilling jobs, because quite frankly — no one should ever have to put up with that kind of non-life.
Next, I wanted to coach men and women, inspiring and motivating them to create their own business on their own terms, showing them how to maintain a steady income and make money easily, and helping them to break free from the shackles of society once and for all.
I touched upon various subjects, such as freedom (I’ll do whatever the hell I want, thank you very much!!) and authenticity (to be your own person).
And then, this past summer of 2017, boom! My world turned upside down.
It all started when, on April 6th 2017 (I know that date by heart), my four-and-a-half year long relationship came to an end.
The next day, on April 7th, I felt like a zombie. Empty. I went over to my friend Celine’s house, where she fed and comforted me. I remember telling her: I don’t know who I am anymore.
My relationship with “him” (We’ll call him L. from now on) had defined a significant part of my life. A lot of what I did over the years, I did in hopes of getting us on the right track towards a joint life project, you know, a house/marriage/baby, things I’d fantasised about for a long time.
And then… Poof. Nothing.
When you go through a break-up, you also lose sight of the projects and objectives that tagged along with that relationship.
So on April 7th, I wrote: “I’m not sure how to be a woman”. It was one of my first articles on femininity.
I wasn’t really writing about the break-up itself, or how miserable I felt. I was writing about how… tough it is to be a woman, and how there’s no handbook available.
NEW YORK, PART 1
Late April, after having spent countless nights crying my heart out and tossing and turning sleeplessly in bed, thinking “I’m all alone, oh my god!“, I flew to NYC for the first time. It was a lifelong dream, and it was, in fact, L. who suggested I should go.
It was during that trip that my tears finally dried completely. I understood what I’d been missing all this time. The compliments I received from New Yorkers about my clothes and my hair made me realise that what I was really lacking was self-love, and self-appreciation for the simple things that made me who I was.
In New York, I read my heart out. One of my picks was Love Warrior, by Glennon Doyle Melton — now affectionately nicknamed my Break-Up Book. I also delved deep into my past relationship with L., seeking to unpack what it was that didn’t work, all things said and done… And what it was that I wanted from a relationship, instead.
It was all still a little raw, but by the time I went back to Paris, mid-may, I was feeling much, much better.
MAY = THE BIG 3-0!
On May 21st, I celebrated my 30th birthday. My god, the excitement! My best friends, my brother, my sister and my team all threw me a surprise party. (I had never had one of those.) To this day, I still get emotional thinking about it. The fact that everyone had cleared their schedules to come and see me, and spend time with me on that very special day, meant the world to me.
My friends gifted me the Phoenix tattoo on my arm — at tattoo that symbolised my rebirth, a process which every one of them had been a part of.
In May, I was featured in the Huffington Post, with an article on turning 30 and how my life hadn’t turned out as planned, at all. It went viral. I realised how stressful it is for us to be women, and how much pressure we face to meet society’s expectations. At first, I was blown away by the comments because I didn’t think I’d written something all that innovative or original but then, more and more women came forward and said they could relate to my story. And that is when it hit me: I am a feminist.
So, on May 10th I became a vegetarian, and on May 12th, I became a feminist, de facto. (Is it possible to really be one if one isn’t truly aware that one is…?)
Towards the end of May, I was doing much, much better. But June… June was the best of months, but also the worst.
I launched my Mastermind, ‘Amazones’, in June. I’d wanted to gather all of my ‘revolutionary badasses’ together for a long time, and this was the perfect opportunity.
It was also during this month I got a call from my friend Morgane Sifantus (hi sweetie!!!). I was searching for a tagline for my website. She asked me what it was that I was holding back. I replied straight away: My erotic fiction.
It came out of nowhere. Only a handful of people knew about it. My childhood friends certainly didn’t. My ex wasn’t in on it, and neither was my mum (and believe me, I tell my mother everything!). It was my secret, and a very well kept one, at that — a secret that had been haunting me ever since my mornings in London where I struggled to get out of bed and go to work, years ago.
I knew, the second I said it, that it was the truth. That the REAL me would be able to get it all out in the open and say: ’I write erotic fiction’ — and that until that moment came, I’d be lying to myself, and to others. It got me thinking about how long I’d been hiding behind a mask…
May and June were also the months where I strengthened my intuition. I started listening much more carefully and figuring out what I was feeling and being told.
In June, I met with Marjorie Llombart, a good friend of mine. We had a great time together discussing my intuition as well as my gifts. I learned many things about myself that day that helped me grow.
So, you see, all these new different ideas were slowly and very smoothly finding their way into my life.
But, June 2017 was also one of the worst months ever. It was the month I moved out of my apartment in Paris — I couldn’t stand the city anymore, so sold all my furniture piece by piece, ending up feeling completely lost, empty, and lonely. I also kept going over my failed relationship and ultimately came to the heartbreaking conclusion that it was in fact, going nowhere.
At that point, I knew there was only one certainty in my life: I was homeless.
And on June 15th, after getting rid of all my stuff, I packed my life into two suitcases and left for New York… again.
I needed a break from everything, I needed to go away for some time, and be alone, very much alone. I spent 3 months over there.
NEW YORK CITY, PART 2
Everything is a little blurry in a way, but there are definitely some defining moments.
By late June (around the 24th), emboldened and inspired by my team, I FINALLY decided to publish the first volume of my erotic novel, Party Girl. In a single weekend, I sold 50 copies, FIFTY! It was the first time I’d ever sold my fiction, and the first time a bunch of strangers would read it. Most importantly, it was the first time someone put their trust in my abilities as a fiction author. I panicked, I jumped up and down like a crazy person and yes — I definitely cried a little, too.
It’d been a while since I’d written any fiction, and I felt it was about time I get to back it. I wanted to slowly dive into it and see where it would take me.
And right then and there, I discovered just how fascinated I was by sexuality, and how my stories were, in a way, helping me revisit certain topics I found to be uncomfortable, and even painful at times. Ella, the heroine of my novel, she too suffered — and she would eventually find the answers I lacked.
I began discussing the subject more openly with my friends, clients and even my coach, Kat Loterzo.
Kat had a great impact on me because at the time, she was also talking about her sexuality openly. I remember reading an article of hers where she goes into detail about her sex-related wounds, and just bursting into tears, because… I’d been there too. I felt very grateful to her for having publicly come out and having spoken those words. I realised how important it was to speak up and share our stories with the world. Of course, ego and fear will try to get in the way, but I assure you — it’s definitely worth it.
I know I’ll forever be grateful to everyone who has had the courage to share her/his truth.
In July, I launched a program called 360 Degrees and it became clear to me that everything is in fact connected. I had neglected my body for many years, too preoccupied with strengthening and training my mind. The time had come to bring them back together. This program was the perfect excuse for me to do something about it and so in it, I found myself talking more and more about the body, the mind and sexuality.
One of the participants in the program, Lola, asked me what my personal take on sexuality was. I explained to her I’d have a hard time sharing my experience with everyone, but I’d give it a shot anyway. I wasn’t planning on doing that just yet. I figured it would be painful.
I then turned towards my computer and thought, ‘If I were to be completely honest and open about my sexuality, what would I say?’, and I simply started typing whatever came to mind. I went on to talk about how my libido wasn’t always quite at the level I hoped, and that it made me feel useless… I also mentioned the time in my life where I tried having as many sexual encounters as I possibly could, just to prove myself there was nothing wrong with me. I typed, and typed, and typed, and as I did, I started crying too.
I had NEVER, EVER said this to anyone. Nobody knew this. The article was originally published in the group ‘360′ (#video10) and I’m building up the courage as we speak to post it publicly here as well.
And that’s when things really turned upside down.
While I was reading the comments,
It hit me…
Sexuality was the reason so many of us had kept quiet and suffered in silence.
It remained a taboo topic and, instead of making something beautiful and sacred out of it, we’d swept it under the rug.
That is why it was important for me to speak up, not only for me but for all those women who had suffered and who would now be able to tell their stories through me.
I was meant do this.
Of course, there was a lot of inner work to be done — a great deal of healing to undergo, a lot of sexual blocks to clear — but I was ready and I knew what had to be said. I realised that all this time, while I was writing, I was only trying to heal my deepest wounds.
And that’s when I really dove into Love, relationships and sexuality, analysing and questioning every bit of information I could get my hands.
MASTERMIND IN LA
On July 24th, I attended Kat Loterzo’s mastermind in LA.
The first day, right off the bat, the first question was: What is that one thing you want to do more than anything in the world, but have failed to do because of how busy you keep youself with your business? Bam!
I thought my business was to be my priority. I was wrong.
My true calling is what should always come first. My art.
And for me, that was: writing erotic fiction, and also, understanding everything there is to know about love and sex.
To heal, and to help others in their healing process, as well as to build healthy and fulfilling relationships, free of taboos.
The second day, mid-day: Think of a subject that always finds its way into your every move and thought.
For Kat, it’s alignment itself. For others, it’s the words. For this one particular girl, it’s money and energy.
For me, it’s Love.
It’s always been Love.
I’m obsessed with romantic novels, romantic comedies and stories of couples altogether.
I spent so many years disregarding love for my own self until I finally realised it’s really all about that.
“To be yourself is enough” was a message I’d been carrying all along.
It was the basis of my speech: speaking your truth, making money on your own terms, building up the courage to quit your dead-end job.
That’s love right here, self-love.
And it turns out, I was the expert on sex and relationships among the girls, and so they came looking for my opinion, and asked me questions.
I still remember those long conversations. And I also remember feeling quite comfortable. Because of course, ultimately, everything is connected — it’s all a matter of energy and love.
I remember pointing out just how important it was to express our sexuality openly. It was amazing.
And then after those two days…
I had recently come out in front of a dozen women to say that’s actually my thing now, and that’s what I’d be discussing from now on.
I also knew I’d do well to listen to my own advice, because only by answering my true calling would I be able to attract joy and abundance into my life. This was it, and it couldn’t be anything else.
Not money, nor alignment, nor business: LOVE.
I had no idea how to make my business grow at this stage. I didn’t have the slightest idea what erotic fiction writers do in order to make money.
On top of that, I’d been fed my whole life the idea that authors can’t make a decent living.
And finally, I stopped giving it much thought and instead focused on how, thanks to the excellent results in June, my team and I would have nothing to worry about until April.
Plus, we had some extra cash coming in in the next couple of months.
I was scared, but I was also grateful that I’d been able to create this.
Next, following a very effective meditation session, an idea for a new course, Re(naissance), was born. The plan was to use fiction as a means to develop our spiritual awareness.
And… WOW. It was the single most amazing and most powerful thing I’d ever created.
At this point, I was starting to feel that my work was not only crucial, but transcendent as well.
I mean, not that I wasn’t doing anything important before, but this was so much bigger, this was a turning point for me. The walls were finally coming down, and I was able to be my very own person now, and talk about sexuality, and love… I finally got to experience the real me.
In late August, I had a wonderful session with a psychic, who, to my surprise confirmed my suspicions. Not only was I right about the gifts I’d developed, but also about the work I was meant to be doing. I was meant to lead women towards understanding and appreciating love and sexuality, with Aphrodite as my companion.
If I’d ever doubted myself, this helped me see things in a completely different light. I felt confident now.
I wasn’t ready, though. She explained to me that the upcoming months would involve a lot of hard work, and so I wrapped my head around it and got down to business: I bought a bunch of books on femininity, subscribed to an online program to communicate with angels and read a whole lot of articles too. I was rolling, baby!
Which brings us to…
Ok, let me stop right there for a second. I’m going to go and get myself a cup of tea. I don’t usually take a break when writing an article, but this one is pretty long.
(It turned out to be a Decaf Latte after all, with soy milk. And I managed to write a whole article in the meantime. I know, I do some weird things.)
By September, I wasn’t in top shape anymore. I’d had several migraine attacks and felt drained.
I organised an event in Paris, just like I had been meaning to do for a while, only I wasn’t really feeling the theme. So I changed it to LOVE, and instead of embarking on yet another project, I decided to stop right here.
I felt something was bubbling up inside of me, and I just had to let it come out.
I lacked alignment, and enthusiasm. There was definitely something missing, but I was getting closer to finding out what it was, I felt it.
Saturday, September 2nd –
I dropped my iPhone and the screen smashed. Shit. I went over to the Apple Store, they said they’d have it ready for me in the next 24 hours. I’d be fine.
Sunday, September 3rd –
None of my credit cards seemed to be working and they weren’t even from the same bank. Which meant, I couldn’t pay for the laundry (I have a photoshoot on Tuesday) and I couldn’t pay for the iPhone either. I couldn’t even take out any cash! So, after running up and down the street trying to figure something out, I finally decide to go home. I was trying my best not to panic, but everyone I knew (I’m still in NY at this point) wss out for the weekend, at least the ones I’d consider asking for that kind of money. And… I was supposed to get my arm tattooed the next day, I’d been waiting for weeks.
I put on NETFLIX, prayed for help and tried to chill. I didn’t even want to think about spending a week in New York, cashless.
A few minutes later, I got a call from my best friend. She’ll send me the money, she said. That way, I’ll be able to pay for the laundry, the iPhone, and even the tattoo. I headed over to Western Union in Brooklyn and picked up the cash.
I’d gone from anxious helplessness to immense gratitude, all in one day, thank you, thank you, thank you.
Monday, September 4th –
My best friend’s birthday (Hi, you ^^ )
In the morning, I was supposed to do a “womb healing”, as recommended by my psychic. A womb healing is a process through which we engage and awaken our womb’s energy in order to connect with the power of our femininity and deal with trauma associated with that specific region of our body.
What the woman told me in the session was quite definitive: There was something holding me back, and it was anxiety. I had the feeling I was constantly running on a treadmill I couldn’t get off of. It’s something I’ve worked on. Just the night before, I was thinking of how to get rid of it.
(I’m wondering whether this article is too long. Anyway, thanks for reading, we’re almost done, I promise!)
I went to pick up my phone at noon.
And in the afternoon I went to get my left arm tattooed. It’s Aphrodite. She represents the commitment to my work with women and the different aspects of their femininity. This way I won’t forget. She’s carved on my skin.
Four hours and a half later, I felt the power of Aphrodite within me. There is no way back anymore.
Tuesday, September 5 –
Photoshoot. I told the photographer about my work and not only did she take gorgeous pictures, but she also managed to capture the true essence of my femininity, power, sexiness and beauty.
When I look at the photos, I see me: I see the real me, finally!
Tuesday, September 6 –
The photoshoot was yet another step taken in the right direction, there’s definitely no going back. Still, I’m afraid of putting my heart and soul into this project about love and sexuality.
Nonetheless, I’m fully committed. It doesn’t even feel like work anymore, it feels like I get to have fun while also being part of something crucial, something bigger than myself, much greater.
But I’m scared. What if people judge me? What if they miss the point? What if they laugh in my face, thinking, who does she think she is?
At the same time, I know this is going to be the most important work I’ve ever done.
Because for me, love is the foundation of everything. Self-love and love for others.
And sexuality is still such a taboo that I feel obligated to speak in behalf of other women, to share their stories, as well as mine, and to keep us from suffering in silence any longer.
By the end of the day, and after a few conversations with my friends, the fear was gone, I feel strong now.
That night, I made a public announcement, I told my ‘Revolutionary Badasses’ I’m getting down to work.
I couldn’t do it any other way.
SO WHAT NOW
Today, September 7th, I let my team in on it.
I told them I have to make some changes, people need to know who the new ME is.
They told me to just go ahead and do it: Lyvia, they won’t mind!
They told me I’ve always made clear I’m all about my intuition, my readers know that. And it’s still me, speaking my truth, nothing has changed, really.
It’s true, nothing had changed in a way.
When they asked me why I felt it was important to touch upon those subjects and prioritise them over all other things, I simply replied:
Right now, at this point in my life, this is the most important topic of all. There is so much suffering and so many taboos surrounding us, and at the same time, we have the possibility to free.
And, I mean, it’s fun!! It’s a very insightful process. I’m learning just as much as I’m experimenting. I’m having great deep conversations, it’s wonderful!
Conclusion: let’s get to it!
And so I did!
I had a very uplifting conversation over the phone with my clients from (Re)naissance, after which I grabbed my coat and went for a bite. I wrote about all the possibilities now that I’d decided to be my very own true self, no filters on.
It was simple: I’d speak the truth, MY truth. Even when feeling scared, because the truth is the most important thing of all.
I went on FB Live later on that day, and off the top of my head, I started writing this article. (I didn’t know it would take me three hours)
I’m not trying to justify myself, nor explain myself.
I’m just saying it for the sake of documenting things.
I’ll be documenting here what is probably the most profound and crucial evolution within my personal journey, in hopes of encouraging you, to follow your own path and answer your calling as well.
I have a whole bunch of other ideas, but we’ll save those for some other time.
Thanks for reading all the way through.
Photo: A glimpse from the photoshoot
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Je suis Lyvia Cairo
Écrivain, coach en relations et en sexualité, spécialisée en soin des traumas.
Et je suis là pour t'aider à te sentir beaucoup mieux dans ta vie.