Archive | July, 2015

Love outlives us all.

If you love something, love it completely, cherish it, say it, but most importantly, show it. Life is finite and fragile, and just because something is there for one day, it might not be the next. Never take that for granted.

Say what you need to say, then say a little more.
Say too much. Show too much. Love too much.

Everything is temporary but love. 
Love outlives us all.

-R. Queen

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She is :: I want to be :: I am

A few months ago I wrote about how I felt healed enough to move into more positive changes in my life. Rather than looking into old wounds and helping them heal, I was now ready to grow something positive.

After that I still had a few difficult moments (and, surely, there will be more). I have been in a transitional time- moving away from the hunting for brokenness and moving towards what is next. A little bit of this, a little bit of that.

What is next has been partly about cultivating my own happiness. As much healing as I’ve done, as much as I’ve opened myself to sensuality and adventure…I’m still not as happy as I’d like to be. I discovered, during my latest retreat, that I’ve ignored some of my own happiness, been unnecessarily critical, and gotten in my own way of feeling happy.

This is part of what is growing in my life, and what I am actively reaching towards.

But there is also something growing in me, from the inside out.

And what is growing is a feeling. I cannot really tell you what it is, with a perfect label. I can only describe it. (I started a Pinterest board for it, here.)

It is another facet of my sensuality.

The original facet of my sensuality -the one that comes easily to mind and spirit and feels like walking an old path- is vibrant, intense, colorful, curious, adventuresome, and heavy like velvet curtains.

The new facet is very different. It is light and soft and quiet and supportive. It is the wind through the window, blowing the gauzy curtains. It is the rumpled bed, the glass vase, the wild trees, and the rainy window.

There is a new woman growing inside of me. And her softness is her strength.

This is how I pray to her. Believing that, if I listen, if I feel, if I make space for her- she will grow.

::: ::: ::: :::

She is dried flowers in a blue vase.
She is soft t-shirts and bare feet.
She is no words, just breath.
She is a safe place for him to land.
She is cinnamon tea and cream.
She is a safe circle for his mind to rest.
She is laying on the unmade bed and listening to their downstairs noise.
She is rubbing the white shell between her fingers.
She is chunky wool socks on winter days.
She is the smell of campfire in her hair.
She is shoulders smooth and strong.
She is knowing about his entire day by breathing at his neck.
She is listening to you with all her soul.
She is touching the book to feel its words on her fingertips.
She is laughter and bright eyes, vibrating on your chest.
She is holding your hips.
She is making small prayers every moment.
She is simple magic.
She is making a quilt-tent for everyone to laugh in.
She is sandy feet.
She is milkshakes and soup and almonds and coffee cake.
She is holding space for you to lay the weariness down and find solace in her softness.

::: ::: ::: :::

I want to be dried flowers in a blue vase.
I want to be soft t-shirts and bare feet.
I want to be no words, just breath.
I want to be a safe place for him to land.
I want to be cinnamon tea and cream.
I want to be a safe circle for his mind to rest.
I want to be laying on the unmade bed and listening to their downstairs noise.
I want to be rubbing the white shell between my fingers.
I want to be chunky wool socks on winter days.
I want to be the smell of campfire in my hair.
I want to be shoulders smooth and strong.
I want to be knowing about his entire day by breathing at his neck.
I want to be listening to you with all my soul.
I want to be touching the book to feel its words on my fingertips.
I want to be laughter and bright eyes, vibrating on your chest.
I want to be holding your hips.
I want to be making small prayers every moment.
I want to be simple magic.
I want to be making a quilt-tent for everyone to laugh in.
I want to be sandy feet.
I want to be milkshakes and soup and almonds and coffee cake.
I want to be holding space for you to lay the weariness down and find solace in my softness.

 

strong-shoulders-woman

 

I am dried flowers in a blue vase.
I am soft t-shirts and bare feet.
I am no words, just breath.
I am a safe place for him to land.
I am cinnamon tea and cream.
I am a safe circle for his mind to rest.
I am laying on the unmade bed and listening to their downstairs noise.
I am rubbing the white shell between my fingers.
I am chunky wool socks on winter days.
I am the smell of campfire in my hair.
I am shoulders smooth and strong.
I know about his entire day by breathing at his neck.
I am listening to you with all my soul.
I am touching the book to feel its words on my fingertips.
I am laughter and bright eyes, vibrating on your chest.
I am holding your hips.
I am making small prayers every moment.
I am simple magic.
I am making a quilt-tent for everyone to laugh in.
I am sandy feet.
I am milkshakes and soup and almonds and coffee cake.
I am holding space for you to lay the weariness down and find solace in my softness.

::: ::: ::: :::

This is the feeling that is growing within me. Everyday, every hour, I feel this new sense of myself in my chest. I hold myself there, opening and opening, receiving this piece of myself. Uncovering this facet of myself, ready to let my light shine through it.

 

 

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Using Sexual Energy to Heal

One of my favorite Tantra teachers, Barbara Carellas, talks about using sexual energy to heal. But, how exactly does that happen? And does it work?

There’s definitely the ‘Marvin Gaye’ style of sexual healing – actually having sex with someone and offering healing during the encounter. Which means you go into the sex knowing that you’re doing this for their healing. This includes ‘make-up sex’ for sure, but does not include ‘pity sex’ – because pity is not healing, got it?

Under the ‘Marvin Gaye’ style of sexual healing, I would also include sex that heals something inside us personally. This healing may result in tears, screams, or laughter as the wound is healed and emotion is released. Most people feel different, somehow, in the moments or days after this kind of healing.

Many Tantric teachers talk about the ability of sexual energy to heal our own bodies, as well. They talk about letting the energy of orgasm flow through our entire body, washing through through our organs, bones, muscles, skin, hair, and mind. If you’ve ever felt the energy of your climax move outwards from your body, this is what I’m referring to- letting that feeling ripple through your entire body.

We know that energy can move through our bodies.  If you’ve ever had a tough phone call at a bad time, you know how the energy of the emotion (fear, sadness, frustration) can ripple through your body. Same thing with orgasmic energy.

Robyn Vogel was one of the first people to introduce me to this concept in action. For a week, I practiced ‘cultivating my sexual energy’ (which is to say: engaged in self-pleasuring) and then sent the energy to something I cared about or wanted. I didn’t always climax as part of the practice (it was only 2 minutes long!), but I definitely felt the energy inside me grow and paid attention to the fact that I could send it somewhere.

 

black and white photo of a heterosexual couple, partially dressed, holding and caressing one another

 

In the last couple of weeks I have sent Tantric energy to someone and something I wanted to heal from a long, long time ago. And I have also sent this kind of energy to my office (which needs some serious healing- that space is spiritually sour).

Whether these healings have occurred remains to be seen. But my office feels better to hang out in. And I woke up on the edge of climax the other night- which has only happened a handful of times before, but it was fine by me.  (Does the energy we put out come back to us? Maybe it does!)

Other Tantric teachers also swear by Tantric energy for just keeping you looking and feeling young. Which makes sense- the more sex and climax you’re having, the more healthy, calming, and restorative hormones you’re sending through your body. Which, even without the spiritual and intention piece, is healing.

So, does sex heal? Yes. Under the right conditions, with the right intentions, it certainly can. And there are many ways that sex and sexual energy can heal. I think many of us have experienced sexual healing at some point, but we can also create it on purpose – offering healing to ourselves, our lovers, and others we care about.

 

 

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On Forgetting Anticipation: U2 and Cereal Night

Bono-Boston-2015

 

A few posts ago, I was pining about not being able to go to a proper rock concert this summer. I love rock music concerts and attending one is a very sacred act to me.

Well (!) I ended up going to see U2 a couple of days ago in Boston.
And it was so fucking gorgeous.

The set was creative, the playlist was a story of growth and hope, and it was so blessedly loud I could feel the vibration of the music strumming through my entire body and shaking loose a lot of gunk (which I left behind in section 308, thankyouverymuch).

Plus, the singing and sweating and yelling together is pretty much a group orgasm.
Which I dig.

(And the guy two rows up really did take off his shirt.)

 

Two days before the concert I started to realize that I wasn’t thinking much about the concert. I was waiting for it, but putting it at the back of my mind. I had decided (not consciously) that it wasn’t worth thinking about or getting into until I was there.

I was just ticking off the To Do list in the days leading up to a huge sacred event. There wasn’t anything going on, really, until the point where I walk through the doors and find my seat. Right?

I was only going to be satisfied once I was in the main event itself.

I had no sense of anticipation.

 

Now, I happened to notice this lack of anticipation on my part because I was trying to teach my kids about that very thing. (It always works like that.)

As a way to avoid cooking on the hottest of the hot nights we have around here, I have invented ‘Cereal Night’ at our house. We don’t cook; we eat cereal.

And (!), rad mom that I am, we get to eat the junkiest cereals on Cereal Night (because 3x a year of Lucky Charms is not going to hurt anyone).

 

I asked the kids what kind of cereal they wanted. And when I told them they could have the junk cereal as an option, their eyes lit up. Desire burst into flame in their little tummies.

I brought the blessed cereals home and proceeded to watch them go mad with frustration when I said it was for ‘Cereal Night.’ (Which I had already explained.)

So we had a chat about anticipation. 

About how fun it can be to imagine what we know is coming soon.

About what anticipation feels like in our bodies (sometimes it feels like anger, we found out!).

About how anticipation can remind us of what we really want and how much we want it.

We noticed that anticipation could give us energy and excitement. 

We noticed that anticipation was hard to hold, sometimes, because we really wanted to race over and rip the box open and eat the cereal!

Yes.

 

When I was going through the Sex Surge I did not give a hoot about anticipation. I wanted the main event (the sex, the touching, the orgasm) right-fucking-now, in the way I wanted it, no questions asked.

Anticipation wasn’t really part of the process and I lost touch with it. In so doing, I also lost touch with the benefits of anticipation.

The gorgeous feeling of heightened awareness in my skin- prickling with excitement.
The focus of my eyes as I took in all the sights that would lead me to the treasure.
The way my heart would skip a beat just imagining what might happen.
The energy I felt- warm inside my chest- bursting open each time I got a little closer.

The night of the concert, as we met and drove to the city, had dinner, found the venue, walked through the doorways, bought a t-shirt, found our seats, and heard the opening chord my anticipation grew. And grew. And grew.

It was such a gorgeous feeling.
Living the anticipation made the experience so much more vibrant.

 

It was a helpful lesson for other parts of my life. Most days are an anticipation of something. Or they could be.

I often don’t hold much anticipatory energy in the day. It holds the magic of enjoying the longing, enjoying the build-up, enjoying the path as I walk towards the fulfillment. I want to cultivate a little more positive anticipation in my life.

Because anticipation is sweet.

Anticipation is one of the best parts of sexual expression and connection. Waiting for someone who might catch your eye. The excitement of getting closer to them. Imagining what it will feel like to touch them, to just be physically near them. Not to mention the first look, the first touch, the first kiss (or the 80,00th for that matter).

Enjoying anticipation is one of the ways to use sexual energy for joy and goodness (and fun!) in our lives.

And it can be as simple as this: What will I look forward to today?

 

 

1

Being real.

I am reading Finding Meaning In The Second Half of Life by James Hollis (fantastic, btw). And as I see myself and my fellow Gen-X-ers in the book, I see what work we may have ahead of us, if we wish to really grow up.

If Alanis Morrisette re-wrote “Ironic” for 40 year-olds, she would talk about how the job we trained for in college has become a set of golden handcuffs. Or how the pregnancies we prevented are now haunting us at the fertility clinic appointments. Or how we made ourselves ‘small’ for him- and now he expects nothing more. Or how we used to go to bed at 3:18 am, but now we awaken at that time with strange and fearful thoughts about those asleep near us.

We have come to this place in our lives – with more understanding of who we are and who we aren’t, with more resources (hopefully) than we had 20 years ago, with more skills, as well – where it is time to become real.

Real in the sense of The Velveteen Rabbit:

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

 

 

Be.Real

 

I have never felt more real in my life.
I know some of who I am, and a lot of who I am not. I have skills and resources developed over the last 20 years.
I know a lot about compassion and pain and healing. My joints are loose and I’m kind of shabby, but I am not ugly to those who love me. Including myself.

But I know there is more ‘real’ for me yet.
Things I want to learn and things my life will hold me accountable for (whether I wish to or not).

Forty is a time of reflection and reckoning for many. It is a point where you can decide to become real. To take the resources, skills, support, and self-knowledge and do what must be done to make your life your own.

To leave the husband who turned out to be a spectacular jackass (put down the wine glass and call a therapist or pack some boxes).

To switch jobs so your days feel worthwhile and don’t exhaust you into an early grave.

To put old dreams in a drawer so new ones can come in through the window (I, myself, have given up on the possibility that I will apply for med school. Yes, seriously.).

To have your hair rubbed off in the hopes that you are becoming real.
Doing the hard work to keep your soul alive.
Listening to what is said, so quietly within you, at 3:18 in the morning.
This is being real.

Because once the kids leave, or the job falls apart, or she leaves, you’ll only have your soul for company. And becoming real is the only thing that diminishes that time of reckoning.

 

 

 

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