Archive | sensuality

Existential kink.

People, I wish I had invented that term. Truly, I do. But I did not. The lovely Carolyn Elliott did.

I’m taking her course on magic right now and she’s been teaching about Existential Kink. Now, I’m not gonna say much about what it is, cuz that’s Carolyn’s bread-and-buttah, but I will talk about what it’s showing me in my own life. Cuz it’s cool as fuck. 

 

Yesterday’s post was probably one of the most weird posts I have written. It came from a place of truly feeling totally lead to post it and also the most flighty, air-headed place inside me. So air-headed, in fact, that I went and edited it at 10 o’clock last night so it felt more me.

But!

This is the thing I’m learning from Existential Kink: to accept all the different parts of me. Even the ones I don’t like. Like the air-head part.

I wrote, over on my hormones website, about accepting all of ourselves. At the time, I was thinking about all the different selves we grow over a life time. (Surely, you are not who you were ten years ago, right? That’s what I’m talking about- those past selves.) But then I got into Existential Kink. And that kind of blew my world open.

I’ve been working on self acceptance for, like, eons now. Especially the dark stuff, because -for me, a long time ago, sex+desire was dark stuff. This blog is the map of my sexual and sensual self-acceptance. And while I feel like I’ve accepted a lot of my sexual self (not all, but a lot), I’ve not accepted other dark parts of me.

Like:

  • the inner air-head who does stuff without thinking
  • the self- judgment that I can do excellent hip swirls in belly dancing, but I suck at full body circles
  • the part of me that is actually…greedy
  • the fact that sometimes, I totally feel like this song (just a bit, just a teaspoon)
  • the part of me that actually likes rejection and frustration and fear (yeah, that’s some dark stuff)
  • the part of me that, after all the work, is still filled with longing sometimes
  • the inner piece of me that enjoys the fuck out of hating and judging
  • the fact that I sometimes don’t want to be any of the roles that I am or have chosen (mom, wife, lover, healer, spiritual traveler, writer, etc.- fuck them all)

Accepting that stuff is hard work. It feels gross to start with. The fact that I have a part of me that says, “If I was you, I’d want to be me, too”? UGH! I feel so gross even admitting that. It’s so far from the picture I have of myself as a loving, kind, healer-person.

But if I don’t accept it, I’m resisting it.
And resisting it is fighting myself.
And fighting myself is a useless endeavor.

Fighting all the things that live inside me is hard work and it just keeps me spinning in circles.

Accepting these things, even when they are frightening or painful or gross, means I am accepting all of myself. No more resistance to the totality of who I am. And when I don’t resist, I heal towards greater wholeness.

Existential Kink- the practice, the living of it- is exactly what Jung meant when he talked about ‘making the unconscious conscious.’ When I know these dark, hidden parts of myself, and especially when I accept them, I become more conscious. And that is what I am here for.  

Also, it feels really good to admit to all of who I am and accept it.
It feels really, really good.

And in a weird way, it leads to me being a better person. I’m not bullshitting myself about who I am anymore. And when I don’t resist or BS myself, I have a lot more energy to do really good, loving stuff.

We all have pieces that we don’t love. It’s part of the human experience. But if we can uncover them, open the door and shine some light in there- and then spend even a few minutes accepting what’s there in the dark- we become whole, piece by piece.

It’s hard work, but it’s really good stuff.

Me and my whole self are going to dance class tonight to see what else I can accept of my brokenness. I will love my crappy whole body circles and hold the longing in my hips and grin my wide grin at the sometimes bitch in the mirror. And it will be lovely.

Love to you, fellow travelers,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

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I figured it out, dudes.

I’m supposed to be paying the bills and making lunch, but I figured it out and I can’t keep it to myself.

I got it.
The pieces fitting together.
The download.

I’m sure some of you already know this, but I finally do now, too.
And I got it deep.
(Sometimes we have to learn a thing, at deeper and deeper levels, until we get it.)

This is what I got: it never stops, the growing and the learning.
And sensuality is the way we make life worth living as we grow.

Maybe this is super ‘duh!’ to some of you, but this is big to me.

I have been living, I now see, with the sense that, at some point, I would figure out enough stuff, heal enough stuff, to have life work. Not necessarily to get what I want- every dream fulfilled, just so– but to just travel more easily through life.

But that’s not how it works.
At least not for people who are growth oriented.

[Growth orientation: a way of seeing life, and its problems, as opportunities for growth and change so the issue or problem can be healed and removed from life. See also: growth mindset.]

If we are growth oriented, we will always be challenged. Challenge is when we keep facing the same situation or outcome over and over again and we don’t like it. This is Life calling us to heal our heart, soul, psyche (Psyche is soul, but that’s another post). Life hands us situations and people to show us, over and over again, what needs to be healed within us.

Some helpful examples: the mentor I am learning about this from had seven failed relationships before he realized he needed to learn about how to ‘do relationship.’  He was always going to repeat the same pain in relationships until he learned how to do them. This was his challenge.

I guess my own example is the same. I tried to leave a friendship for 5 years, but could never quite get it done. I always hoped it would bloom into something deep and amazing, but it never did. I was being challenged to learn boundaries and self-respect so I could let go of a connection where I gave far too much for not much in return (one-sided).

I had to prefer the pain of growth rather the than the pain of repeating the mistake. I was going to be in pain, either way. Only one of those painful paths was going to get me out of the mud, though.

 

surf-life-mystic

 

Now, we can always say ‘no’ to growth. This is the beauty of free will. But, I believe, our life will be the worse for it. We will be hit upside the head with the problems for the rest of our life and hate our life. Or we’ll medicate the pain the problem produces with alcohol, sex, drugs, shopping, or whatever keeps us high and away from the pain.

And if we decide to grow, it will be different for each of us. Some of us will be challenged by relationships. Some will be challenged by family issues. Some of us will be challenged with work or parenting or health issues. But we can overcome these challenges if we are growth oriented and committed to it.

This makes life sound like walking through heavy mud from problem to problem.
But, no!

This is where sensuality can make life beautiful, even in the mud.

As we go through challenges, being aware of what is good in our life gives us the juice to keep going. The more we interact with and cultivate our sensuality, the more we enjoy life and feel grateful for what we have.

When I’m in the dire straights of grief, I can hear my children laughing and find joy.
When I’m frustrated with not getting it yet, I can sit quietly and enjoy the view.
When I’m crying, I can feel the full sadness and the cool pillow beneath my head.

And when things are good- when I’ve mastered the lesson or when there’s just space in life- I can enjoy the fuck out of it.

Sensuality isn’t just the juice that helps us persevere through our challenges and growth, it can also fill our internal well in the ‘in between’ space.

The path is the combo of these two things: we accept the pain of our challenges and commit to growth and we use sensuality as the soft center of support to help us get there (and celebrate when we do!).

That’s what I got today.
And that’s why I had to share.
Because this is the path, fellow travelers.

In the next week, I am sharing a 3-part series on spiritual tools we can use for guidance on this path. We’ll look at internal guidance and divination (intuition and ‘psychic’ work), external guidance from the stuff around us, and external guidance from a ‘higher perspective.’ I hope you’ll join me.

Big love fellow travelers,
Joanna :: xoxo

 

 

 

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A Few Good Men.

| Yikes! Two weeks, my friends. That’s definitely the longest I’ve gone without posting. I have missed you! I have been prepping to move (read: painting like a motherfucker), took a teeny tiny vacation (friend’s birthday), and managing clients and other work in between…painting.

Oh! Also living out a dream: got to sit in a Tesla. They’re so pretty. They are just sex on wheels. Someday I want to drive one. Fuck that- someday I want to own one. Anyhoo…it was fantastic. A desire fulfilled…that just made me hungrier for more.  Onwards! |

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

 

“Having a lover/friend who regards you as a living growing criatura, being, just as much as the tree from the ground, or a ficus in the house, or a rose garden out in the side yard… having a lover and friends who look at you as a true living breathing entity, one that is human but made of very fine and moist and magical things as well… a lover and friends who support the ciatura in you… these are the people you are looking for. They will be the friends of your soul for life. Mindful choosing of friends and lovers, not to mention teachers, is critical to remaining conscious, remaining intuitive, remaining in charge of the fiery light that sees and knows.”

| Clarissa Pinkola Estés |

 

I was tempted to start this post by titling it ‘Three Guys at Once’ – but that would just have been a tease. Fun, but not fair. Instead I shall tell you something far sexier: the truth.

Life has been so kind as to give me some wonderful dudes in my life lately. Men who see me as the goddess I am. Men who are not afraid to talk to me, ask questions, listen to the answers. Men who share their views and listen intently as I share mine. Men who love my company and gladly trade their time and attention for it (which is such a gift!).

Some of these men are new friends, locally or online. Some are friends from another life, just letting me know they love my work and ideas and that I’m an amazing creature in their eyes. They all have let me know they are drawn to me and appreciate all that I have to offer as a friend and guide.

My Goddess, it feels good.

It’s the old cliche come true: (best phrased by Alanis Morrissette)
“The moment I let go of it/
was the moment I got more than I could handle…”

Yes! More than I could handle.
And it’s great! 

 

better-tgoether

 

It is also a validation of the work I have done to become more myself, more aware of my dark side, more sensual, even. These men share their stories of changing sexuality as they age. They want help telling their story and finding the wisdom in it. They want a place to figure out how to balance their wildness with their responsibilities. And sometimes, just the feeling of resting in a safe space. I feel so honored to hear these things and encourage them in their growth.

Sometimes a safe, supportive space is all a person needs.

In return, I have felt so seen. Goodness, how I wished for that all these years. These men are not frightened by my intellect, power, or spiritual perceptions. They welcome all of me. [Just so we’re clear: so does my husband. These men are helping me expand my capacity to be seen and loved outside of romantic relationships.]

I guess what I am learning is that this is how you get the best out of a woman. You see her for who she fully is. You give attention. You get curious. You laugh and share from the heart. You get vulnerable and honest (even of your fears and darkness). You go deep. And you let her be all of herself.

And when you do that, she will give you everything she has.
Love.
Support.
Encouragement.
Laughter.
Patience.
She will believe in you.

A well-loved and well-seen woman is a force to be reckoned with. And she will bring her all to friends and family and lovers.

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

When they tell you
That you’re woven from too much magic
That you’re impossible
To understand and untangle
And you burn too bright to comprehend, 
Smile and thank them for seeing your complex being
Even if they don’t take the time
To peer beyond the knots and riddles.
You’re not meant for everyone, you know.
You don’t need to water yourself down
And make yourself small enough
For them to understand.
There are ones on this planet
Who long for the taste of your soul just as it is
In all of its brilliant tangle of shadow and light;
In a place where you have no need to be anything
But your wild and wonderful truth. 

| Ara, Sacred Dreams |

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

With gratitude to my men friends who let me be my wild and wonderful self, especially to Neil, who always writes honestly.  I love you all.

 

 

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the soft, steeled heart of vulnerability

Vulnerability. Honesty. Being naked.

Each time I post something personal here, I walk a careful line. I try to make sure I am not being gratuitously vulnerable. (Although, I am quite sure some people think I go way over that line every time I write.)

What is gratuitous vulnerability? The kind of openness that goes beyond what is helpful. I sort of think of it as the difference between talking about orgasms and describing how to give me one. (Although plenty of women have done that. And it doesn’t seem gratuitous at all.)

I don’t want to be gratuitously vulnerable. But I do want to be vulnerable. Because vulnerability is sexy, ya’ll. It turns me on just to think about it.

Vulnerability is different than honesty.
Honesty is telling the truth (whatever it may be).
Vulnerability is telling the truth when you know there is a possibility of rejection. 

For me, vulnerability has helped me develop both the strength and the softness of my heart.

I have developed strength from steeling myself for the possible rejection that vulnerability may bring. By ‘steeling’ I mean the traditional definition- to mentally prepare for something difficulty. But I also feel that ‘steel’ in my heart. My heart feels open and also strengthened by some kind of structure. As if there was a steel girder inside my heart, holding it wide open as I tell my truth and let my love out into the world.

My heart’s strength has also developed from continuing to love despite rejection or pain. This is not to say that rejection doesn’t hurt; it really fucking does hurt. And I don’t always react with equanimity when I am rejected; often I run away and hide for a while to feel the anger and sadness and heal my wounds. But, in the end, I refuse to close my heart down, to let less love flow from it, because of rejection. (Repeated vulnerability with no returned love is a game I’ve played and there comes a time to stop. Building boundaries is a valuable tool in vulnerability.)

The softness of my heart is another consequence of vulnerability, a wonderful one. My heart remains soft when I thoughtfully and intentionally remain open to my truth. I get to be with my heart and its wisdom when I listen to what it has to say. That listening helps strengthen my heart.

And there is the reward of softness that comes from remaining open to another’s truth (even if that truth is rejection). The heart must be soft and strong in order to truly hear someone else’s deepest story. This softness between hearts as we tell our truths may actually be the currency of vulnerability. A soft, open heart contains the energy necessary for vulnerability.

And then, when vulnerability is returned to us- what a gift that is. What an honor it is to hear your story and hold it within my heart. That is why vulnerability is such a turn on- I get to hold your nakedness, your unvarnished truth, in the hands of my heart. This is the closeness we dream of with our lovers. I drown in the beauty of it.

Vulnerability is important in life. Without it, where are we? Alone. Vulnerability is the opening in our hearts, and in our life, that makes life meaningful.

 

Rose-Vulnerability-Mystic

| Show me your petals. Your dirt. Your rain. Your thorns.
None of it scares me.
Be vulnerable. |

 

 

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a force for the transfiguration of the world

“From a Sufi perspective, the whole universe is a phenomenon of desire. The Divine desire pervades all things and beings, empowering each according to its capacity. For the mystic, the truest education is the education of desire. By means of this education, the indwelling Divine desire is liberated from the constraints of the ego and becomes a force for the transfiguration of the world.”

| Pir Zia Inayat-Khan |

 

red-flower-desire

 

“The most powerful starting point for any endeavor is not the question, ‘What do I want?’ but ‘What does Life (God, consciousness) want from me?’ How do I serve the whole?”

| Eckhart Tolle |

 

 

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