Spring is officially here now that the sun has transitioned into Aries, heralding the astrological new year. If the first few months of 2021 didn't feel like the reset you needed, the shift has finally arrived. A beautiful exchange between Saturn and the North Node invites us to set some new career goals for ourselves that are in alignment with our deepest wishes of fulfillment. Towards the middle of the month, the energy pivots into Taurus, encouraging us to reclaim our need for pleasure, comfort, and security. Check out the horoscopes to see what magic is in store for you in April!
AriesLaci Jordan for xoNecole
All eyes are on you this month with all of the action taking place in your sign. April kicks off with Mercury teaming up with the Sun revitalizing your spirit for some birthday fun. On the 9th, an harmonious interaction between Saturn and the North Node supports your efforts in fulfilling your dreams and your community--whether online or offline--plays a huge role in your success. The New Moon on the 11th invites you to make a wish for what you'd like to accomplish in the year ahead.
Around the middle of the month, your attention shifts gears from being the life of the party to getting serious about your money. With Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in this part of your sky, the floodgates are opening. New opportunities, financial increase, and promotions are likely during this time. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer, motivating you to make some adjustments to your home. A relocation or property investment is supported during this transit. This busy month comes to a close with a full moon on the 26th, encouraging you to resolve any outstanding debts that are hindering your financial freedom.
TaurusLaci Jordan for xoNecole
April begins with Mercury transitioning into Aries on the 3rd encouraging you to confront the bully within. Be mindful of the disempowering narratives you've got stuck on loop. An important conversation taking place around the 9th assures that your hard work and commitment to your goals is paving a path towards greater abundance. On the 11th, the New Moon encourages you to connect with healthy outlets for expressing your anger which is just as valid as any other emotion.
Towards the middle of the month, the energy shifts from Aries into your sign. On the 19th, your birthday season officially begins with the Sun joined by Venus and Mercury bringing you all of the blessings for your Solar Return. Your desire to learn something new or deepen the knowledge of your craft is heightened when Mars enters Cancer on the 23rd. Sign up for a course, attend a workshop, or read some new books to brush up on your expertise. The full moon on the 26th reveals any hidden agendas so you're clear about who is really #TeamTaurus.
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Your friends and social network have you busier than usual when Mercury enters Aries on the 3rd. This is a persuasive time in which you can rally up the troops in support of your vision. Use your influence wisely. On the 9th, Saturn and the North Node aim to align you with your destiny but trust that it will require some sacrifice. The New Moon on the 11th encourages you to dream bigger! Set a lofty goal for yourself that you want to accomplish within the next year. You'd be surprised by how the Universe orchestrates things in your favor once you truly commit to your heart's desires.
On the 14th, Venus transitions into Taurus with the Sun and Mercury joining the party a few days later. As the planet of vitality dips into your 12th house, you're invited to rest and reflect on the past year in preparation for your birthday season. When Mars enters Cancer on the 23rd, your need for financial security and physical comfort is all the more obvious, which has the potential to inspire you to take action towards creating a more luxurious life for yourself. The Full Moon on the 26th could reveal a hidden enemy amongst your circle. Take note and move (away) accordingly.
CancerLaci Jordan for xoNecole
April is a busy month for you particularly when it comes to your career. With the Sun, Mercury, and Venus transiting this part of your chart early on in the month, you'll be busy with meetings, interviews, and the likes. You've got a little more pep in your step than usual, so make these first couple of weeks count. On the 9th, an uncanny spiritual experience gives you a glimpse into a past life pattern that you need to resolve in this lifetime. It's time to embrace the freedom that comes with living life by your own rules (as long as it doesn't harm anyone else, of course). The New Moon on the 11th presents a new career path that will help you cultivate more leadership skills.
On the 14th, Venus shifts into Taurus and is shortly followed behind by Mercury and the Sun. If you've got a big dream in mind and feel like it's impossible to do on your own, you're right! You weren't meant to go at it alone. Enlist the forces of your friends so you can all get to the bag together. Towards the end of the month, Mars enters your sign which could be a mixed bag of energy. One day you feel like the Energizer bunny and the next day you need at least 16 hours of sleep. Give yourself grace as you navigate the next month and a half. The month winds down with a romantic full moon encouraging you to indulge in some sensual seduction.
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
The month ahead is a busy one for you kicking off with Mercury entering Aries on the 3rd, inspiring you to venture into uncharted territory. Opportunities to share your expertise--potentially on a global scale--are made available to you during this transit. On the 9th, Saturn and the North Node team up to accelerate your growth through your social network. The New Moon on the 11th marks the reemergence of your spirit and its thirst for more wisdom.
On the 14th, Venus transitions into Taurus which could result in some pressure from an authority figure. All eyes are on you and the people are watching it. Remember that these are the moments that separate those that are really "bout it bout it" and those that are just fakin the funk. When Mercury and the Sun join this part of your chart, your every move is under a microscope. Put your best foot forward to secure your success and reputation. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer which will require you to prioritize more rest and reflection. April wraps up with a Full Moon, encouraging you to find the balance between nurturing your family and pursuing your goals.
VirgoLaci Jordan for xoNecole
Mercury is kicking up the dust in the shadows when it begins its transit through Aries on the 3rd. It's time to face your deepest fears with a bold and empowering perspective. Instead of harping on being the underdog, it's time to share the tale of how you slayed your metaphorical dragons. A much-needed adjustment in your lifestyle becomes all the more obvious around the 9th. Does your work truly support the life you want to live or someone else's idea of success? On the 11th, the New Moon is a supportive time for gaining financial support from others.
Towards the middle of the month, the energy shifts from vivacious Aries to down-to-Earth Taurus. With Venus, Mercury, and the Sun in your sister sign, your wanderlust is calling. Planning an international vacation may be top priority for you. While some of you may consider going back to school, others of you may have opportunities extended for you to teach others. When Mars shifts into Cancer on the 23rd, your friends are backing up your goals which gives you the wind beneath your wings to continue soaring to new heights. The month wraps up with a full moon revealing some hidden information. Can you keep a secret?
LibraLaci Jordan for xoNecole
The beginning of the month invites you to reassess your alliances and partnerships. Remember that asserting your wants and needs isn't synonymous with being controlling. On the 9th, your desire for freedom, creativity, and self-expression is heightened, helping you make your mark while inspiring others in the process. The New Moon on the 11th could have you signing your name on a contract for a new job. If you're in a serious commitment, things may suddenly be going to the next level.
On the 14th, Venus shifts into Taurus which is shortly followed behind by the sun and Mercury. You're feeling a little more private for the next month as you work on healing and deepening a connection behind the scenes. When Mars shifts into Cancer on the 23rd, you're feeling the pressure when it comes to making some career moves but trust that you'll rise to the occasion which will ultimately grant you favor in the eyes of an authoritative figure. April comes to a close with a full moon helping you resolve some unprocessed emotions that affected your self-esteem. You have the right to take up more space in the world and shine your light as the brilliant soul that you are. Now go be great!
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
The first part of the month has your schedule picking up the pace when Mercury shifts into Aries on the 3rd. This is a good time to take care of those outstanding tasks on your to-do list, schedule your annual health screenings, and get your ass back in the gym. On the 9th, Saturn trines the North Node, inspiring you to dream beyond the limitations of the generational traumas affecting your lineage. How are you preparing yourself to be a good ancestor for those to come? The New Moon on the 11th invites you to embrace some different habits to improve your lifestyle.
Towards the middle of the month, the energy shifts from high-spirited Aries to lowkey Taurus which has you prioritizing your relationships a little more than usual. With Venus in this part of your chart, you're being challenged to embrace a new way of relating to others. When Mercury and the Sun join this part of your chart on the 19th, the triggers are real but your awareness is realer. Stay present in the moment instead of getting drawn into an old story. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer which has you ready for another stamp in your passport. The month wraps up with a full moon in your sign reminding you of just how powerful you truly are.
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
April kicks off with Mercury shifting into hot-headed Aries reminding you to think before you speak particularly in matters of love. On the 9th, you're committed to your vision of success and more discerning about the alliances you need to build to support your efforts. The New Moon on the 11th encourages you to take a bold risk when it comes to your creative expression, making this a great time to start a new hobby or project.
When Venus enters Taurus on the 14th, you're getting serious about a romantic prospect (or, at the least, attracting someone who's interested in something long-term). When Mercury and the Sun join the party, it's a good time to establish a better routine for yourself. You have the ability to accomplish quite a bit over the next few weeks if you stay disciplined. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer which could trigger some insecurities and fears of abandonment. Working with a therapist could be beneficial during this transit. The month winds down with a full moon in Scorpio revealing someone's true intentions which ultimately helps you get clear on where the relationship is headed.
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
Home and family matters have your attention in the first part of April when Mercury enters Aries. Some challenges may require some extra patience on your behalf as you aim to establish a greater sense of security. On the 9th, you're ready to commit to a shift in your career, whether you're moving on to a new job or expanding your business into uncharted territory. The New Moon on the 11th invites you to plant your roots somewhere new, making this a supportive time for relocating or renovating your current abode.
On the 14th, Venus shifts into Taurus inviting you to indulge in some play and romance. When Mercury and the Sun joins this part of your chart on the 19th, you've got some big plans when it comes to a creative project. Don't be afraid to invest in talents. You never know how far they can take you. Towards the end of the month, Mars enters Cancer which could result in some frustrating relationship dynamics or some steamy sexual tension. Make love or make war--it's your choice. April wraps up with a full moon on the 26th revealing who is truly #TeamCappie and who ain't. As they say, "The truth shall set you free."
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
The month kicks off with Mercury shifting into Aries lighting up your house of communications. You're feeling passionate, enthusiastic, and maybe a little bossy so just keep that in mind in your interactions with others. On the 9th, Saturn trines the North Node of destiny, encouraging you to take your creative pursuits more seriously. This is a particularly fated time for you in which you may even meet a significant romantic interest. The New Moon on the 11th is the perfect time to start that blog, write that book, or host a live session on Instagram. Your influence is powerful at this time so use it wisely.
Toward the middle of the month, Venus enters Taurus which has you wanting to cozy up at home with your significant other or your fur baby. When Mercury and the sun join this part of your chart be mindful of family drama. People are a little more stubborn than usual so you may have a hard time convincing others. On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer which has you busy with daily activities, appointments, and errands. April wraps up with a full moon revealing someone's misuse of power serving as an example of how not to move. Remember--what's done in the dark always comes to the light.
Laci Jordan for xoNecole
Your money and values are the top priority when Mercury enters Aries on the 3rd. Your negotiation skills are next-level during this transit, making this a good time to suggest a raise or promotion. When Saturn and the North Node meet up on the 9th, you're serious about moving past self-imposed limitations to create a more solid sense of security within yourself. The New Moon on the 11th invites you to strike for gold with a new stream of income. As one of the most multi-faceted zodiac signs, you've got plenty of hidden gifts and talents up your sleeve.
On the 14th, Venus shifts into Taurus, making this a good time to try a dating app if you're open for love. The energy is supportive for nurturing long-lasting commitments, making this the ideal time to shoot your shot. When Mercury and the sun join Venus, people are hanging on to your every word. Use your voice to inspire others to believe in their abilities (and their earning potential). On the 23rd, Mars enters Cancer, encouraging you to indulge in some romance. Flirt with that cutie at the coffee shop. Say "yes" to that date offer. And show yourself some love with some self-pleasure. April wraps up with a mysterious full moon inviting you to expand beyond your comfort zone in pursuit of your soul's ultimate fulfillment.
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Featured image by Laci Jordan for xoNecole
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In xoNecole's series Dope Abodes, we tour the living spaces of millennial women, where they dwell, how they live, and the things they choose to adorn and share their spaces with.
Annisa LiMara has called this space her home for two years. Her Atlanta sanctuary, which she aimed to give the look and feel of something you'd see in the glossy pages of Architectural Digest, embodies her vision of "stunning, yet functional and cozy."
"My home is a reflection of my brand, The Creative Peach Studios, and I am the 'Creative Peach,'" Annisa explains. "It was so easy to reflect who I am and my personal story in my space. When you walk into my home, you know that it is Annisa’s home. I’m so proud of that. So grateful."
On the journey to becoming a homeowner, Annisa looks back on her experience as a "rough one," detailing that she officially started house hunting in March 2020. It had become so expensive to rent, and the 30-something lifestyle influencer decided she would rather invest the money she spent renting into owning a home. However, nine days into house hunting, her search was put on hold for a year. The following year, in 2021, the process of finding the right home and going under contract took a total of four months.
"The resell route didn’t work out, so my realtor suggested a new construction home, which turned out to be the better option," she tells xoNecole of her experience. "Although it requires more patience, it turned out to be a much easier process and a lot easier to maintain since it’s brand new."
As it turns out, the open floor plan three-bedroom two-and-half-bath would prove to be a blank canvas for Annisa to flex her creativity and design skills.
As a new construction, she watched the townhome get built from the ground up, and due to the "cookie-cutter" nature of new builds, Annisa knew immediately that she would change everything about it. The best part about it? All of her updates were cosmetic, so transformation could occur without having to do major renovations to achieve the look and feel she desired.
"The first things I updated were all the lighting, adding built-ins around my fireplace, and installing wallpaper in my bedroom, office, and dining room! I also had board and batten installed in the upstairs loft to make a statement and the kitchen island," Annisa details.
"Lastly, we painted the loft a soft blush pink, the kitchen island is a gorgeous terracotta, and added contrast with black on the doors, fireplace, and stairwell banisters."
In total, she spent $15K in renovations (plus the cost of furniture and decor). And although she says the second level of her home is a "work-in-progress," two years in, she considers the transformation nearly done.
Annisa defines her decor style as "organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho," and with thoughtfully placed touches like plants, warm tones, and organic textures, her perspective can be felt throughout. "I found my point of view as a designer in my work and as I worked on my home, so it all came together organically based on what I was naturally drawn to."
"The organic modern meets midcentury modern with a touch of boho' is definitely my signature style. You’ll always see greenery, warm tones, brass, and rattan or wicker in just about every room. My color story is based on my brand [The Creative Peach Studios] colors: blush pink, ivory, olive and sage green, terracotta, and nudes," she adds.
It was her brand colors that would be the jumping-off point for her approach to decorating and styling her space. That, and a picture she had of what would become her sofa from Albany Park. She recalled her decor decisions, "It was their olive Park Sectional Sofa, and I knew instantly I wanted it, and it aligned with my brand colors naturally, so it was a no-brainer."
By drawing inspiration from Pinterest, favorite design brands like CB2, Arhaus, and Souk Bohemian, and through her work, Annisa allowed herself to be guided by her signature style as well as her instincts when making decor and color choices for her own home. "Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason; it just feels right."
Some of the aspects of her home that she regards as her favorites include her bedroom and its little nook where her bed is positioned, the open upstairs loft, and the open concept because "it really allows you to see all of the details I put into the design all at once." Another of her favorite finds is a purchase she copped from the thrift store years ago.
"I have this little brown and gold chair that I picked up for $6 at a thrift store in Jersey six years ago. I couldn’t afford much in my little studio, but the chair was beautiful and unlike anything I had ever seen."
In addition to accent walls featuring blush pink and terracotta tones throughout the space, her gallery wall is another element that immediately draws the eye of any guest who enters. Annisa recalled a fond memory of a fine art piece she purchased from a Black woman artist when she first moved to Atlanta that she now prominently features in her living room. "It was a Black villager from her travels in Africa, and I fell in love with it because it felt like an ancestor I never met. I later found out that she was the sister of one of my very first design clients two years later," she shares. "Talk about a full-circle moment!"
Cultivating a space takes time and patience, and that is a sentiment Annisa echoes when advising people who are looking to infuse more of themselves into their own dope abodes through design. "It is not a race, and you’ll spend more money if you rush into designing without really being intentional about the vision for your space," Annisa concludes. "You just need creativity and patience to do it! And most of all, make sure you feel like it’s an oasis for you!"
For more of Annisa, follow her on Instagram @annisalimara.
Tour Interior Designer Annisa LiMara's Modern Meets Midcentury ATL Home | Dope Abodes
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Embarking on a celibacy journey was a plot twist in my life that I never saw coming.
Sex was my comfort zone and that fact was something I didn’t come to terms with until my late twenties when I met a man who in a lot of ways allowed me to embody the fullness of myself fearlessly in ways I might have not realized at the time. I spent many years before that over-identifying with my sexual side because it was the part of me that I met with the least resistance and the part of me the people outside of me welcomed with open arms so I leaned into it. That coupled with my emotional unavailability at the time, made for an ease and a lack of emotional risk that allowed me to connect with others without getting in too deep.
I know now that it was why I felt comfortable talking openly about sex, be it to strangers, be it in situationships and no-strings-attached flings, be it on this very platform. While that’s not to say that my sexuality isn’t mine, it is to say there was an unhealthy element attached to it because of the way I didn’t realize I was using it at the time. In a strange way, I was using it as a shield.
I was masquerading as this evolved, fully healed version of myself with a healthy relationship with sex and my sexuality but in reality, I was lost and scared of being hurt so badly sometimes that I led with sex as a way to avoid true intimacy and being vulnerable. These are all things that I unpacked and discovered about myself last year during my shadow work sessions with my shadow work guide, Jordan Jeppe.
In her course offerings, Jeppe guides you through celibacy as a tool for deeper self-love. With reports of millennials and Gen-Zers engaging in less sex than previous generations, and even articles from our platform like, "More Women Are Taking The 'Girlfriend' Title & Exclusivity Off The Table In Dating — Here's Why," it's clear we are experiencing shifts in the romantic landscape for one reason or another where more focus is being placed on self.
Although my own celibacy journey is more seasonal and sporadic than year-round, I fell in love with unlocking a deeper understanding of myself and being able to start the work of confronting parts of myself that I otherwise may have not been honest about. I was met with the pain of my patterns but also the freedom that comes with allowing myself to be really seen. Celibacy for me was a vessel for healing, for self-love, but also for self-development.
Viewing celibacy as a tool to deepen that journey into self doesn't just point to society's increasing desire to opt out of hookup culture, but the collective desire to opt into choices that reflect wholeness versus lack. For more insight on how to use your season of sexlessness for better self-love, creating rules on your celibacy journey, and tips on how to discuss being celibate, Jordan Jeppe acts as our guide.
Elevating Self-Love on Your Celibacy Journey
The intentional reframing of self-love as a throughline in her celibacy course was a component Jeppe felt was necessary because of her own experiences of attracting partners who ultimately acted as a mirror of her lack of self-love at the time.
She explained, "When you love yourself, you don't settle in relationships that are half-assed, or just meet the bare minimum." Adding that when "You know you are worthy of more, you don't put yourself in situations to be treated poorly, over and over and over again, because you have the confidence and the self-worth to know that you don't deserve that."
A lot of us are led to forget ourselves because we are taught at a young age to believe our worthiness can be found in others. Our tendency to self-sacrifice leads us to prioritize others before ourselves and struggle to feel worthy outside of our doing for others. Jeppe assures that this conditioning takes away our power. "What we start doing is we start looking for people to complete us and we don’t think that we are worthy of being whole on our own."
For her, self-love and celibacy going hand in hand is necessary in order "to step into what we feel worthy of, and what we know that we want and where what we need to feel seen and heard and supported by another person."
Setting Boundaries on Your Celibacy Journey
Jeppe encourages those embarking on a celibacy journey to implement a set of rules to help them stay on track and act in alignment with their goals and intentions for being celibate. Needless to say, the earliest stages of the journey are a person's most vulnerable so cutting communication with temptation is essential. "No communication with exes, flings, or situationships" is the baseline. She adds, "No communication is important because that's a practice of setting a boundary, the practice of showing yourself that you are worthy. And it also cuts out temptation."
Being honest with yourself about your relationship with self-pleasure is also a must. "I think it's important to understand your relationship to self-pleasure, and what you get from it, whether it's serving you as a distraction, or to not feel things on a deeper level," she says. "If your program of pleasing yourself is to escape an uncomfortable emotion or to not think about what’s coming up, because as you know, a lot comes up in your celibacy journey, it’s understanding there might need to be a rule set there."
A rule like this could look like removing self-pleasure from your celibacy journey for at least eight weeks so you're not avoiding the work of addressing shadows or using it as an escape. Self-pleasure can be a very empowering tool on your journey. Ensure you use it wisely.
In line with that is Jeppe's hard no to dating at the beginning stages of being celibate, for at least five weeks. Her course is structured that way, where you spend the first few weeks getting clear on your shadows, honing in on your tendency to people please, be emotionally unavailable, or be codependent. Whether you are enrolled in her course or not, saying no to dating in the early stages of your sexless season allows for intentional time and focus spent on self.
After those suggested five weeks or whatever timeline you feel works best for you, you can open yourself up to what dating while celibate can look like. Jeppe supports dating during celibacy "because that’s how you take what you are learning and you practice it and that is necessary because you cannot have change without having awareness and action."
The beautiful thing about creating rules for your celibacy journey is that it's your journey, so your rules can be molded to adhere to your values, your relationships, or any number of things that factor into your guideline needs. There are different strokes for different folks and her baseline for effective celibacy guidelines might look different from yours. To start your own set of celibacy rules, Jeppe advises looking at past relationships not necessarily at your failures, but the things about the relationship(s) that didn't work well for you.
"If you are someone that really resisted saying no to a past partner, had murky boundaries, or just didn’t feel comfortable communicating what was going on for you, that’s going to be a red flag of your own boundary-setting," she explains.
"Before you begin celibacy, you have to be brutally honest with yourself. What wasn’t working in your past that almost hindered you, from your growth into your success? And looking at those things and making those things your rules. It could also be, you know, poor sexual boundaries. Again, that self-pleasure aspect, the no dating [rule]. [If you] catch yourself on dating apps all the time, swiping to swipe, getting hits of validation, [tell yourself] no dating apps."
Dating with Purpose: When and How to Tell Someone You're Dating You're Celibate
When to tell someone you're dating that you're celibate is a common question for people who choose to date while they're celibate. "I usually recommend doing it [on the] first or second date because you don't want to lead anyone on. You also don't want to lead yourself on. And, if you are committed through the timeline of celibacy, then this is just how you set yourself up for success," Jeppe explains. "Remember those guidelines. That looks like being honest."
Jeppe adds that you should try telling the person you're dating that you're celibate in person. An example of what that looks like can be as simple as:
“Hey, I like where this is going. I am enjoying how I am feeling with you. I want to let you know before things progress that I am celibate and that I am committed to my journey. If this is something that you would like to know more about, I am willing to share that with you. If this is not aligned with you, then that’s okay. I wish you well and it was lovely getting to know you.”
With the script above, Jeppe notes that by approaching the admittance this way, your self-worth is saying, "'I love myself enough to say and express understanding my values of what I want and what I am experiencing and how the other person reacts has nothing to do with me."
You can also opt to explicitly say, "I am celibate." In either instance, Jeppe says to "pay attention to how the other person responds. Do they support you or do they try to gaslight you? Or say, 'Oh, why would you do that?' Or, 'What are you actually getting from that?' Or try to talk you out of it? Red flags."
But, What if You ‘Break’ Your Celibacy and Regret It?
Adene Sanchez/Getty Images
As with anything, you might make an attempt to try something new, make a misstep, and fall. But falling doesn't mean failure. Breaking your celibacy is no different, and having feelings of regret or shame often come with it. "I broke my celibacy for a one-night stand five months in [my journey]," Jeppe recalls. "I am someone that has been there and I have also [gone] through the shame and the guilt that you put on yourself after doing it, and I have felt those feelings." She adds, "Now how I see breaking your celibacy is an opportunity."
If you have broken your celibacy streak recently and are experiencing those inevitable feelings of guilt, Jeppe wants you to remember how you choose to see breaking your celibacy is up to you. Jeppe believes it is an opportunity to understand what you were attracted to in that person and what that says about you. There was a reason you put yourself in that situation and Jeppe says it is a brave act of courage to take accountability in that way. Ask yourself, "What was I attracted to in that person? How did that person make me feel? When have I been allowing myself to feel that with myself?"
"Oftentimes, the reason why we break our celibacy is because the ego will come up. If you don't do the ego work, the ego's like, 'I deserve it, I was just feeling it, it felt really good.' And you are not paying attention to all that other red flags going on, right? Your ego is saying, 'I deserve it, I just spent 10 weeks celibate.' If you can’t recognize that the ego is showing up in those scenarios, then there’s an opportunity for you to understand, 'Oh, what was my ego actually wanting?' Because it’s usually rooted in some source of validation."
Jeppe says that if you break your celibacy, that’s okay. Allow yourself to release the shame and look for growth. In removing the shame you are owning your decisions even if it's a choice you wish you didn't make. How can you give yourself permission to grow beyond and choose differently in the future versus allowing the moment to define you?
"We are so rooted in shame. Everything we do is the part of shame," Jeppe shares. "Women being in pleasure have already [been] shamed enough. We don’t need to shame ourselves. We just need to understand what it was that we were attracted to, and why we did it." And then, let it go and begin again.
Beware of the Celibacy Crutch
Similar to the way sexual liberation acted as a shield for me to avoid vulnerability, for some, vulnerability can also be avoided underneath the veil of celibacy. "There's a flip side of celibacy, that it's almost as a crutch, that it's like, 'Oh, I am so good in my own energy and my own power that I don't even want to bring anyone in,'" Jeppe starts. While she applauds people standing in their power, she questions whether being so "good" alone is a defense that manifests out of fear.
To truly heal, you must also be able to allow others into the journey and experience of you. Dating can be a self-development tool. In fact, Jeppe often encourages the women she works with to start dating as a form of that practice. "How else are you going to practice your boundary setting? How else are you going to be triggered? Because I am sorry, that’s what’s going to happen," she says. "So, how can you see dating as a continuation of your self-development? And when you see it that way, you are also allowing yourself to go deeper in your own journey."
When to Stop Being Celibate
Your celibacy journey is created by your timeline. It could be years, or it could be six months or less. The ending point is specific to the person and is contingent upon how the person on the journey is feeling with their goals and intentions. When it comes to knowing when to stop being celibate, Jeppe describes it as an innate inner knowing of, "'I have done a lot of work on myself. I am feeling confident. And I am ready to put what I have learned up to the test.'" She also notes signs like no longer having bitterness towards the ex and "receiving and practicing your own form of validation" are how you know that you are ready to end celibacy towards the end.
The way you navigate your world looks like really allowing yourself to be seen "and allowing this new version of you to be appreciated," whether that be in the forms of your relationships, friendships, or your career. In that way, you are no longer seeking outside of yourself to validate yourself, you have already established that for yourself.
In a sense, your celibacy journey might not "stop" as it is intentional time that you spend with self and it occurs that way until it doesn't anymore, to resume when you need to begin again. Dating might indicate you're nearing the end of it, yes, but in another sense, the journey is always evolving. "The work that you are doing on yourself, you will continue evolving and growing when you meet other people, and they are going to reflect back aspects of yourself and you are gonna be like, 'Holy shit, I thought I worked on that through celibacy.' And it’s gonna show up and if it shows up, it’s okay, because now you have the tools compared to when you didn’t."
"I think it’s a lot of perception shifting, not seeing the end of celibacy having to be like the manifestation of your partner, while it can be, that’s also what has happened for me, but I would never sell it like that because I don’t want to give this false hope. What it is, is you continuing that journey of understanding what you need and what you want," Jeppe concludes.
"And so it’s like, 'Wow, what a beautiful next chapter to begin exploring yourself again.'"
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