Allana Pratt: “What if we simply didn’t judge ourselves? Yes we can still grow, evolve and expand… yet through kindness, humor and inspiration.”

What if we simply didn’t judge ourselves? Yes we can still grow, evolve and expand… yet through kindness, humor and inspiration. What if we looked at ourselves in the mirror each day and focused on our strength, beauty and uniqueness rather than flaws? What if we didn’t wait to fall madly in love with ourselves exactly […]

What if we simply didn’t judge ourselves? Yes we can still grow, evolve and expand… yet through kindness, humor and inspiration.

What if we looked at ourselves in the mirror each day and focused on our strength, beauty and uniqueness rather than flaws?

What if we didn’t wait to fall madly in love with ourselves exactly as we are? What if you saw yourself through the eyes of the Divine?

Those of my credos to live by 😉

As a part of my series about “Connecting With Yourself To Live With Better Relationships” I had the pleasure to interview Intimacy Expert, Allana Pratt. Allana inspires open-hearted, unapologetic living with delicious sass. Her inspiring vulnerability and courage has landed her a weekly column on the GoodMenProject, featured as an Icon of Influence, and as a guest expert on CBS, TLC, FOX, Forbes, People Magazine and Huffington Post. This cum laude graduate of Columbia University is the author of 4 books and Hosts the empowering Podcast “Intimate Conversations” to guests like Grammy Award winning Alanis Morissette. A certified coach, Allana was asked by Leeza Gibbons to coach her during Dancing with the Stars. With 4 million viewers on YouTube, Allana is the go-to authority when struggling to trust again after a harsh breakup so followers can create healthy, thriving intimate relationships with their beloved… and themselves.

Thank you so much for joining us! Let’s Get Intimate! I’d love to begin by asking you to give us the backstory as to what brought you to this specific career path.

Do we have an hour and a bottle of wine? Kidding, sort of 😉 Bottom line was I didn’t feel safe, seen or understood growing up. Dad was stoned or drunk, mom was codependent, checked out, doing her best. I became an overachieving people pleaser to get love and security. Yet given we create our worse case scenario, marriage #1 to tall dark and handsome multimillionaire was fraught with judgment… that’s not how you cut a vegetable. Are you going to wear THAT?

So from damsel in distress I left that marriage and became a warrior. My masculine energy of self responsibility attracted a charismatic man who wanted a free ride. He quit his job the day our son was born to live off my mom’s inheritance, who had just died of cancer. After a year of non stop fighting, frustration and therapy, I said it was over. He cried and pleaded. When that didn’t work, he threatened with terrifying rage. I still filed for divorce, yet 12 yrs later I was still in a horrific custody battle fighting to keep my share of custody. I lost my house and savings and was in 250k legal debt. Humiliated, beaten down, continually tormented and emotionally exhausted, I gave up. I retained 35% custody and grasped to the only sense of worth I had left, that my son still loved me.

That was until the day he arrived, his Dad waiting in the drive way, and said, “Dad showed me all your emails. You’re crazy like he says. I’m living with him.” Using his size to intimidate me, he took his things and left. I hit rock bottom. I moved to a cabin in the middle of nowhere and cried. And yet it was the biggest gift I could ever receive. My son showed me how I was still seeking his approval for love, trying to look good, trying to prove my worth. When I totally let go, I found my Soul & the Divine.

I can honestly report that while I prefer people like me, I don’t give a shit anymore. I am free to be me. I know I can move forward with my heart open in the face of anything. I have forgiven myself and now see my ex and my son as my biggest spiritual teachers. I love who I am and who I’ve become. And my son and I are closer than ever emotionally yet he still lives with his father.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you hope that they might help people along their path to self-understanding or a better sense of wellbeing in their relationships?

Absolutely! Many 😉 I have a lovely robust youtube following where I answer people’s questions in a short 3–5 minute format. Yet what’s always been missing between my youtube/ instagram/ newsletters/ articles/ telesummits/ podcasts… has been a way to take people through powerful healing processes when my one-on-one personal coaching isn’t a fit for their budget. So I kept asking the question, How can I be financially valued and give my gifts to humanity outside of the typical coaching model so as to serve even more people?

Two things are happening! First I will be launching my second Podcast on the app Brew, “Intimate Revelations, Where Nothing is Taboo.” I will take people from their biggest challenge to a solution, from their biggest shame to healing and I will be financially compensated for my show. Second, I am up for a TV Relationship Talk Show scheduled to begin filming this summer where I’ll provide healing guidance and inspiration to show guests and viewers along side my colleagues. How does it get even better than that?

Do you have a personal story that you can share with our readers about your struggles or successes along your journey of self-understanding and self-love? Was there ever a tipping point that triggered a change regarding your feelings of self acceptance?

Back to the bottle of wine… I have SO many stories which is why people love reading my newsletter and listening to me share on summits and podcasts! When it comes to my intimate self loving relationship with myself, a huge moment in releasing shame and turning it into my powerhouse of empowerment… was when I interviewed Sheila Kelly of SFactor on my iTunes Podcast “Intimate Conversations.” At this point I had NOT told my following that I used to be a show girl in Japan. At the time in Tokyo, I loved being empowered with women from Europe and Australia to see our bodies as divine temples. Yet once I returned to Columbia University in NYC with my first husband, everyone asked,What KIND of dancer were you? I drowned in shame and it took beautiful Shiela to set me free.

I told her (and the world) that I used to dance topless in Japan and she LOVED IT! She declared it was time to turn my shame into my naughty provocateur and to get my ass into class! During class, we kept our tops on yet wore short shorts and heels. Sheila’s curriculum embraced every aspect of our feminine erotic creature and saw each part of our expression as sacred. The women I danced with for 6 years during the worst of my custody battle became my angels. Dancing became my church. I wasn’t judged if I wanted to curl up in a ball and sob… or stomp around in my thigh high patent black 8” boots slapping my ass!

Swinging around the pole showed me that if I used a death grip, I would hurt myself… as with life when we need to let go of the outcome to receive. I discovered that when I would swing around the pole there was this orgasmic sweet spot where LIFE/the Pole would just lift me, hold me, support me, flow with me, have my back, savor the journey with me. This too is a metaphor for life… choose what delights you, show up and take action, then let go and watch as Source supports you with miracles. It was a completely healing spiritual experience for me. I experienced true non judgmental sisterhood and a really nice toned bum 😉

According to a recent study cited in Cosmopolitan, in the US, only about 28 percent of men and 26 percent of women are “very satisfied with their appearance.” Could you talk about what some of the causes might be, as well as the consequences?

Back to the prior conversation with pole dancing, it was ALSO the first time I touched my body while stretching and toning in a kind pleasing way without any agenda to be sexy, without trying to get a man’s attention, without trying to be sexier than another woman… or without poking, prodding or judging a part of my body for being too big, dimpled, wrinkly or saggy.

I just touched my body to say hi. To connect. To just be together. I think I cried for 6 months straight as I came HOME to my sweet body. How on earth can you be satisfied with your appearance when every time you look at yourself you compare yourself with others from lack, fear and judgment?

As cheesy as it might sound to truly understand and “love yourself,” can you share with our readers a few reasons why it’s so important?

It’s not cheesy at all 😉 Loving yourself first imperative if you’re every going to experience love from the outside. We know we are energy. We are a vibration putting out into the world the frequency at which we resonate… and LIKE frequencies come back in the form of a date/ relationship/ client/ situation.

If you judge yourself, in time… so will they. If you are ashamed, feel guilty or regretful, in time… they will blame you for that. If you are not living your most authentic life, they will make you wrong when you start to shine. So within, as without, EVERY time.

So it’s not the airy fairy woo woo thing to love yourself. Self love is quiet and calm self respect that’s soft, allowing, flexible, humorous and joyful for no reason. And it’s permanent… no one can tell you you’re not good enough because you’re already HOME with your whole self, wobbly parts and all. Thus you’re unstoppable.

Why do you think people stay in mediocre relationships? What advice would you give to our readers regarding this?

If you haven’t found peace in your alone time… if you don’t experience the difference between being alone and lonely… if you can’t sit in the fire and love the shit out of your messy parts… if you constantly judge yourself as not perfect… you will avoid being single like the plague and stay in unhealthy relationships or mediocre situations because they are a direct reflection of the unhealthy mediocre relationship you have with yourself.

When I talk about self-love and understanding I don’t necessarily mean blindly loving and accepting ourselves the way we are. Many times self-understanding requires us to reflect and ask ourselves the tough questions, to realize perhaps where we need to make changes in ourselves to be better not only for ourselves but our relationships. What are some of those tough questions that will cut through the safe space of comfort we like to maintain, that our readers might want to ask themselves? Can you share an example of a time that you had to reflect and realize how you needed to make changes?

Yes, many people spiritually bypass their wounds and say “It’s All Good” They never do the inner work. Yet others take the opposite approach and judge, reject, punish and sabotage their happiness to pay for past mistakes. We’re looking for middle ground here: Presence. Compassion. Fierce love to grow, learn and evolve to become our best selves… yet not in resistance to the past, instead as a pure choice from nothing, to create what’s best and true for your soul.

I sit in partnership with my heart, soul for wounded self and begin a dialogue. “Tell me something you want me to understand.” Most people don’t know how to feel. What you can feel you can heal. Yet they just cognitively analyze a situation and from judgmental, fix it mentality. They change behaviors yet that’s just sprinkles on top of the ice cream cone of shame. Questions alone are not enough. We must heal all the images, thoughts, feelings and body sensations locked inside our brain connecting to the Field, if we are to truly be free and create our best lives. This is the profound processing that I’ve been trained in with quantum psychology and spiritual technologies.

So many don’t really know how to be alone, or are afraid of it. How important is it for us to have, and practice, that capacity to truly be with ourselves and be alone (literally or metaphorically)?

Yes, I spoke of this before as one of the biggest gifts my son gave me when he chose to live with his Dad. Additionally, when I met Florence Henderson I asked her what was her most important advice she could give my community. She said, “Fall In Love With Being Alone.”

She’s right. When you do, you realize you are never alone. We are always with ourselves and always held by the Divine. We never left in reality… just our fear based point of view clouded the sunshine.

How does achieving a certain level of self-understanding and self-love then affect your ability to connect with and deepen your relationships with others?

Very simple, you can only connect with another to the degree you can connect with yourself. If you ache for connection outside of you, it’s time to make it your priority to come home to yourself. This is the profound work I do with clients, it’s the biggest honor.

In your experience, what should a) individuals and b) society, do to help people better understand themselves and accept themselves?

Society in general and well meaning parents who want us to succeed, lead us to believe that we have to be good, do it right, win at everything, succeed with money, marriage etc or we’re wrong, bad, a failure and will be alone, forgotten or abused. This is great for marketing, politics, religion etc. to control us.

Yet in truth, the purpose of life is to experience, not get it right or even be overly excited happy all the time. I believe our purpose is to experience it all and love ourselves, accept ourselves, grow and evolve, learn and expand, have peace, presence and grace… not keep avoiding pain and being addicted to pleasure.

What are 5 strategies that you implement to maintain your connection with and love for yourself, that our readers might learn from? Could you please give a story or example for each?

Whew!That’s a lot! In all honesty for years I used to live from that part of us that may think no pain no gain, or that life is hard, or that we need to prove we’ve worked hard enough to finally deserve a breadcrumb of love… yet when you live in that reality, you never get around to letting yourself relax and come home to you.

So instead of overwhelming readers with too much to do when they’re busy enough already and want freedom from suffering quickly, let me provide a simple process that anyone can do.

1. Every day begin with some sort of lovely practice where you connect with Little You inside your heart.

2. Listen, allow, be curious, never judge, just hug them from the inside. Perhaps keep a journal of what’s revealed.

3. A sort of ‘spinning’ inside will calm down and you’ll begin to experience presence, oneness, home because you’ve stopped resisting what is and listened without fixing. This will feel nourishing.

4. Then while keeping your mind quiet, ask, What would delight you, Soul? This answer is like a goal/ experience that is your heart’s truth, not your mind’s projections to be safe or enough.

5. Create a harmonious Team with your Soul first and your Mind second, to reverse engineer that goal backwards to actions each month, each week, each day.

6. Exhale and slap your cute ass, knowing it’s done! Ask and it’s given! You and the Divine are co-creating!

7. Put one foot in front of the other with certainty your goal is done. Allow things to go left, up, down or sideways… release your death grip and let things turn out even better than you imagine.

8. Savor the journey and be grateful for who you are and who you’re becoming, valuing the caterpillar as much as the butterfly.

9. Rinse and repeat. xoxo

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources for self-psychology, intimacy, or relationships? What do you love about each one and how does it resonate with you?

I love my Podcast Intimate Conversations. Guests tell me things they sometimes haven’t even told themselves.. it’s my biggest privilege to be that non judgmental unconditionally loving delicious space to make them feel safe, seen and heard.

I love my 4th book called 7 Steps to Manifest Your Beloved While Staying True To Yourself. I take people through my proven 7 step process to heal their heart, let go of anger and regret, come home to Little You inside, embrace their sexuality as sacred, co-create with the Universe and shine unapologetically as who they are… which of course attracts their ideal partner!

One of my coaches is Satyen Raja of Warrior Sage. I love reading David Deida. I still refer to Louise Hay with my client’s bodies.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? Maybe we’ll inspire our readers to start it…

What if we simply didn’t judge ourselves? Yes we can still grow, evolve and expand… yet through kindness, humor and inspiration.

What if we looked at ourselves in the mirror each day and focused on our strength, beauty and uniqueness rather than flaws?

What if we didn’t wait to fall madly in love with ourselves exactly as we are? What if you saw yourself through the eyes of the Divine?

Those of my credos to live by 😉

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote” that you use to guide yourself by? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life and how our readers might learn to live by it in theirs?

“The most important relationship of your life, is your intimate relationship with Self… wobbly parts and all.”

I am certain my influence has grown because I reveal where I’m a hot mess and I own where I’m magnificent. I don’t apologize or justify either way.

To me this is the strength of vulnerability, the softness of transparency, the magic of fierce love.

Thank you so much for your time and for your inspiring insights!

My total pleasure! Delicious love to you and all! oxox Allana

About the Author:

Sasza Lohrey is the Founder & CEO of BBXX, a digital platform for intimacy and wellbeing. She is also the host of the BBXX podcast, “Let’s Get Intimate!” which hosts provocative and entertaining conversations with experts in order to challenge the way our culture conditions us to talk about sex, intimacy, and healthy relationships. BBXX was created in order to help people better understand themselves, so that they then can form deeper and more fulfilling relationships with others. Sasza is a former D1 athlete with a background in psychology and digital media. She is a member of the Women of Sex Tech collective, the co-mentorship community Dreamers and Doers, and a regular columnist for several online publications. Originally from the Bay Area, Sasza founded BBXX during a Stanford entrepreneurship program in Santiago, Chile. Learn more on our website and listen to more interviews with experts on our top-rated podcast!

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