Strong, Healthy Women Interview Series: Annette Baulch
- Created: 08 March 2019 08 March 2019
International tantric facilitator and author, Annette Baulch, supports women from all backgrounds to find their voices, their power and their self-love. She does this by supporting their exploration of their relationship and sexual selves and all this means – whether it is loving, expansive, wild, wanton or sacred!
She is passionate in supporting women and men to find self-acceptance and to maintain their individuality whilst discovering the joys of togetherness in relationship.
A lifetime of exploration in this area has recently culminated in the launch of her flagship book ‘Coming Together’.
Find inspiration as we talk to Annette Baulch in our #StrongHealthyWomen interview.
Hi Annette! Thank you for being part of the Health and Fitness Travel, Strong, Healthy Women Interview Series, where we are shining a light on the importance of self-care, not as an indulgence but a necessity to reduce stress and general health issues.
Is there such a thing as a typical day for you and what does that look like?
Like most entrepreneurs my day varies greatly but the way I most like to start my day is with a loving, intimate connection with my partner Graeme. Even if it’s just for a few minutes in something we call Daily Devotion it makes a difference in setting my day up right. My heart opens and my body is left relaxed yet juiced and energised.
This is unless it’s a bootcamp day, which means I’m up at 5.30am on a local beach doing all manner of challenging physical activities including tyre drags and sandbag carries!
For breakfast I have a smoothie with lots of greens, blueberries for flavour and avocado for smoothness before heading into our lovely session space here at home where we work with our clients. Our clients love meeting us in our home as it allows them to readily relax with us at a personal level. Our sessions go for 3 hours each as we find this allows couples time to get over their nerves, get real with each other and come out the other end with a positive strategy for moving forward so starting with relaxation is vital.
If we don’t have sessions I will be in the office to update our website, put out a newsletter or work on some kind of promotion for our book called Coming Together: Solving the Mystery of Intimate Sex and Relationship.
Of course, when we’re at one of our delicious couples retreats at a great location- Bali, North QLD or the Gold Coast it’s a whole other world again. Here we start the day with meditation, some stretches to wake up the physical body, then there’s breakfast and a morning spent looking at the ups and downs of relationship. After a leisurely lunch the afternoon is spent exploring the principles of sacred lovemaking. Each couple finishes their day with an evening of ‘homeplay’ practice in the privacy of their rooms after dinner. For Graeme and myself it is a time of facilitating magic!
Can you share a time when you felt your well-being was challenged in the past and what did you overcome it?
I have to say entering into menopause was a very challenging time for me. Not having had children this was the first time my body forced me to listen to its rhythms rather than me going my own merry way. I had hot flushes of course, didn’t sleep well, became emotionally volatile, sexually flat and mentally vague- a very challenging combination! On top of this my thyroid became over active, leaving me easily agitated and over energised. It has taken some time but I have slowly addressed each of these areas by changing my diet, getting regular exercise, meditating (even if my meditation is making love) and becoming more self aware. I have learned to speak up for myself and my needs, as well as learning how to really listen to my partner Graeme, which helped a lot in dealing with my emotional intensity. Psychologically and emotionally menopause is about a woman stepping into her true power and it doesn’t let her get away with anything that’s inauthentic. Chinese herbs, acupuncture, my jade egg and tantric healing practices have helped renew my sexual vitality, which is very important to me. Though I have to say the thing that helped the most in the bedroom was exploring vulnerability and more fully opening my heart to both myself, and to my partner.
What does being healthy mean to you and how do you keep this at the forefront when life gets unavoidably busy?
Being healthy to me means being open hearted, available to myself first, then to my partner and then to life. I take the time to breathe and be aware of my body, of what I am feeling and how connected I am to who I am being. The more I do this the more I live from my authentic essence and the less stressful life is, the more inner resources I have to deal with it and the more beauty I find. My greatest tool is to accept what I find inside me even if my mind wants to make it wrong and say I shouldn’t be feeling or thinking this. Acceptance removes any inner fight and allows me to get on with what comes next with a minimum of resistance. Of course, sometimes I dig my heels in for a good wallow in self pity but as well as finding this happens less and less as I practice when it does I usually find the gift of clearing unconscious pattern that lay underneath it. I just cleared a big one this week about needing to create unnecessary suffering.
Have you ever taken a holiday specifically for your well-being? Can you share what the experience was like?
Yes, I have taken many personal development and tantra workshops, usually at beautiful locations over the years but recently did something totally different. I treated myself to a couple of days completely on my own in Mt Gibraltar national park to celebrate finishing our book. It was totally rejuvenating to set up my camp, sit in nature, go for a swim in a nearby creek, bushwalk and reflect by my very own campfire. I found it wonderful to do something so practical after many months at my laptop, reminding myself of how capable a person I am in the real world.
Every woman's idea of self-care is different, tell us about yours?
Moving from being a shy little country nurse to a relationship and sexuality facilitator, from being a government employee to an entrepreneur in probably the most challenging area possible as well as moving interstate has brought me challenges galore so I have need to develop a strong set self-care practices.
My self-care involves maintaining connection with my inner self as well as my outer one as I said by regularly connecting mind and body with breath and attention. Once I do this the desire to take good care of myself becomes a no brainer and not something I have to force myself to do.
I take the time to reflect on my thoughts, choices and behaviours I am making. There is a part of me that first sees the negative before the positive so I challenge myself to look for places to say ‘yes’ instead of ‘no’ in life. I’ve found that the times I’ve said yes to life and love and trusted in its magic rather than held back in fear is when my life has really worked. I also choose to be gentle with myself rather than beat myself up when I can.
Nurturing my body with lots of good food and trusting myself to respond to any intuitive cues for particular foods, even if they might not seem the healthiest choice I can make really works for me. I now know that if I’ve eaten ‘off the track’ I will always come back to my vegetables, quality protein and fruits. After living for many years with an eating disorder being able to do this is such a blessing.
I exercise with bootcamp x3hrs per week, yoga when I can manage it, free dancing in my living room to my favourite music and an occasional kayak, bushwalk, stroll on the beach or just lying on the grass in nature. I love feeling fit, strong and (mostly) flexible at 59 years of age.
Another thing I choose is to nurture my sensuality and sexuality. I do this during the day by breathing into my body, feeling my life force (sexual) energy light it up, sensually stroking my skin and doing pelvic floor exercises with my jade egg. I might wear a sensual outfit that makes me feel good, walk with a slightly accentuated roll of my hips or give a man a radiant smile to make his day (yes, it even happens at my age). I practice self-pleasuring as a form of meditation. This is not about ‘scratching my itch’ but is loving myself and my body temple, literally filling myself full of love, nurturing energy and self-awareness. I even tune in and ask my ‘Yoni’ (my genitals) what it needs. Believe it or not this part of the body has its own innate intelligence (just like the gut and the heart) and its answer is always very relevant to the whole of my being.
A quick nurture technique is to make a habit of doing is doing something good for myself when I most believe I shouldn’t. Even if it is just treating myself to a coffee or spending a few minutes doing absolutely nothing. As this is usually when I need it the most it brings me back to my life with super renewed energy and enthusiasm.