So, here it is: The story of how I came to develop the Arousal Plan! It’s the story of my discovering the incredible Power of Arousal by helping my therapy clients turn their lives around by getting in touch with their Arousal. I tell it to you in the hopes of inspiring you to do the same.
In the summer of 2010, working as a waitress and sometime model in NYC, and having a college background in biology and psychology, I came up with the idea of becoming a Naked Therapist and offering my services via webcam. Yes, it was a wild and crazy notion, but that was exactly what I needed in my life at the time – something to arouse me.
When I opened my practice that October, I admittedly didn’t fully know what I was doing. As word spread in the press, I was booking clients steadily, and more importantly, they were incredibly positive about the experience. And as my practice grew, I came to realize I was actually onto something. I was seeing the same clients regularly, they were reporting great improvements, and I was starting to see that there was an actual need in the world for men to be engage their arousal in a therapeutic context. In short, the Arousal men experienced in Naked Therapy served as a kind of “truth serum” – it brought them unique insights and increased motivation.
From working with all these men I came to learn a great deal about men AND women. Primarily, I realized that far too many of us live our lives utterly detached from our Arousal. We go through the motions – we even go through some very intense motions, like having sex, succeeding at our jobs, pursuing major goals – yet when we take a step back and think about it, so little of what we’re doing actually AROUSES us or makes us truly happy. Our lives are not governed by it as much as they should be, there are blockages inside and outside us to increasing our Arousal, and most of what we do falls flat because we never take the time to attach it to the one thing that actually matters to us – being TURNED ON!!!
Yet, while I had come to sense that Arousal was the key to my clients discovering truths about themselves and living more fulfilling lives, I lacked a real scientific basis for what I was finding in my sessions. I’d done some writing about what I called “The Arousal Brain,” and I’d even compared it to the unconscious of Freud, but my hypotheses were only based on what I was seeing in my practice, not on broader empirical evidence. Then, on the recommendation of a colleague, I read Brain and Arousal Information by Dr. Donald W. Pfaff. And there it was: my EUREKA! moment. Everything I’d been sensing and speculating about and even practicing with my clients was laid out in rigorous detail by a major neurologist at Rockefeller University.
In that book, Dr. Pfaff presents his theory of The Arousal System, “a primitive neuronal system [that] throbs in our brainstem, activating our brains and behaviors.” This system, which lies beneath our mental functions and emotional dispositions, “governs arousal.” How important is arousal to what we do, are, and hope to become? As Dr. Pfaff says, Arousal is “fundamental to all cognition and temperament;” it is “at the base of all emotional life…an energy source for all behavior;” it explains “the initiation and persistence of motivated behaviors” and it “provides the fundamental force that makes animals and humans active and responsive so they will perform instinctive behaviors or learned behaviors directed toward goal objects.”
Okay, so Arousal is extremely important, but what is it exactly? Dr. Pfaff does an excellent job of defining it when he says: Arousal is “higher in an animal or human being who is: more alert to sensory stimuli of all sorts, and more motorically active, and more reactive emotionally.”
This means that an increase in Arousal is positively correlated to an increase in being more alert, more physically active, and more emotionally available. In other words, you’re more alive! These three aspects – Alert, Active, and Available – make up the Triple A Objectives of the Arousal Plan. Alert means you’re super aware of your surroundings, eager to take in more information, conscious and full of choice. Active means you’re moving your body, you’re getting up and going, you’re engaged with the world in a willful way. And Available means you’re open to feeling and experience things – lots of things – in relation to the world. Arousal gets you more alert, more active, and more emotionally available so you can live more richly and purposefully.
In short, Dr. Pfaff’s findings provided me with the Arousal I needed to begin formulating and inevitably launch my Arousal Plan – a daily arousing system that excites, inspires, and motivates by getting you in touch with your Arousal System so you can achieve your goals. I want Arousal to do for you what it has done for my clients. I want you to find your Arousal and live your life in sync with it because I KNOW it is the key to getting what you want, succeeding at your ambitions, and achieving true happiness.
That’s the story of the Arousal Plan. Now let’s get AROUSED!