I am going to start this by reminding you of a great truth…
You… the real YOU is wild.
You were born wild.
Your body born to shake, wiggle, and move freely.
Your mouth to tell your truths and yell in delight.
Your skin to help you feel you in this world and sense the world in you.
You were meant to feel it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly.
And, you were meant to use it for your growth and well-being.
Your soul chose this life to be wild and free.
But in your innocence, you forgot. You began to believe the lies you were told. Be this… don’t do that… good girls do… good girls don’t…be a man…man up… on and on and on. You believed it because when we are young we need to belong, we need to feel safe, and so we give up our wild, untamed self in order to survive.
Consistently I hear from men and women talk about their desire to be happy, comfortable in their own skin, and vulnerable in their relationships. Yet over and over what keeps them feeling sad, angry, shutdown, turned-off, and distanced is their adherence to old hurts, should, and regrets.
What I keep learning from these courageous souls is that talking about it, becoming aware about it is a great first step, but it is simply not enough. One has to feel – feel the contours of the energy rising inside. Allowing the body to express it through its natural wisdom.
Wildness resides in the body where the greatest of wisdoms also lives.
This is hard to do in a world where the mental is given more power. So rather than feel our way through an emotion, we begin to think about the emotion. We try to find a “cure” for it by assigning blame (spouses, partners, parents, and siblings are popular targets), remembering bad stories (reminding yourself how many times he/she/it made you feel this way before), or using a coping skills that get us further away from healing (drinking, eating, screaming, or giving the cold shoulder).
Thus we blame, shut down, and try all other coping skills in hopes one will help us feel better. It does not work. It has never worked. It will never work. Even talk therapy is not enough. So what can help?
Feeling the contours of the emotion and allowing the body’s natural, wild intelligence to express it and moving it out.
Nature is a wonderful teacher for us. When something bad happens, you see animal do exactly what their body intelligence knows to do: A possum freezes, a gazelle runs, and a lion fights. When the event it is over and it has survived, they reset their body by shaking. No blaming, no second-guessing, no wondering what it could have done something different.
Therefore, the next time you feel an upset of any kind, try this….
- Notice where you feel the energy (energy in motion = emotion) in your body. It may be helpful to place a hand over the spot and breathe in to it.
- Resist giving it a name. Yes, this is counterintuitive, but the minute you assign it a name – sad, mad, glad, anger – you stop feeling and you begin thinking.
- Move your body. You can stand up, sit down, lie down, or even get on all fours. This is not dancing. Shake, twirl, hop, karate chop… whatever your body wants to do.
- No matter what you do, keep on moving until the “energy” subsides.
- Breathe until your body settles. Not any kind of specific breathing, just breath.
So what does all of this have to do with liberating your wild soul? EVERYTHING!
Because to heal using your body’s intelligence is exactly what we were meant to do – to liberate ourselves from the heaviness, the tension, the unforgiveable, and the upsets and find the part of ourselves that lives life freely, enthusiastically, uncontrolled by the should’s or blaming.
No longer surviving the tension and the negative beliefs. Instead, living and loving your wild and delicious life feeling everything in the present.
If you are interested in diving deeper on how to let yourself feel everything, join us for FEMME – Workshops for Women. Theme for June is “Feminine Emotionality: The Art of Emptying & Feeling it All.” To register or for more information, click here .
Loving you and your wild soul,
It’s that time of the year when we get flooded by images and messages of how to create more romance, how to be a better lover, or how to find your perfect partner NOW. Admonitions that the status of our relationship or the togetherness of our coupling is lacking something.
Let me remind you that you lack nothing. Sure there are things that are in process of being fulfilled or transformed. BUT you my darling lack nothing.
So this year, I propose that Valentine’s Day be a day of romancing yourself – A practice of embodying every inch of you.
Because our relationship with ourselves is a direct reflection of our relationship with others, when we can connect with ourselves more intimately, more genuinely, more authentically, we create greater doorways and paths to be able to do the same with someone else.
Romance is defined as a love affair, an attachment between people, a mysterious appeal, or a mysterious quality of something beautiful.
To romance yourself is a powerful way to embody you.
To romance yourself is a powerful way to embody yourself. It is an invitation to feel more alive and relish being in your own skin.
Because when we do this, we deepen our intimacy, aliveness, and erotic connection without the push to make it about what we may or not be getting from someone or being alone or in coupledom this time of year.
Therefore, to romance yourself is at the very heart of Valentine’s Day.
Here are some ideas on how to romance YOU.
#1. S-L-O-W Down
Valentine’s Day is an invitation to live from the romantic, sexy and sensual parts of ourselves. One way we can experience more sensuality is to slow down. Many of us run around all day, mindlessly getting things done. How many of us have driven somewhere not recalling how we got there?
Slowing down is about being aware of what we are doing right now. One of my favorite way to slow down is to move as if I were moving through thick caramel (YUMM). How I move my body becomes more deliberate and more mindful.
Slowing down turns on our proprioceptive sense which many consider our sixth sense. The proprioceptive sense is vital to our daily experiences and something that contributes to our overall body ownership. Experts in this area share that without this sense our brains our lost.
When we slow down, our body feels more grounded and allows our mind and body to connect. Connection being the one quality that allows us to create deeper intimacy with ourselves (and with others of course).
Most who have been in a romantic relationship say that they felt the most connected to their partners at the beginning of their relationship. The reason for this is because at the beginning of the relationship each person was completely present to the other. Everyone attentively paid attention to every nuance of the other and most importantly the attention was based on curiosity.
You can practice presence by noticing the nuances of you and being curious about how you experience being in your own body. Noticing the movement of your feet as you walk – is it heal-toe, or toe-heal? Do your hips sway or shuffle side to side? What about your shoulders? For women – the bounce of our feminine curves!
The biggest invitation to practice presence with yourself is through the breath. Paying attention to the feeling of your belly and chest rising and falling with every breath. Is there pause at the top or the bottom? Is your inhale or exhale longer?
#3. Mirror Mirror
In Tantra, Soul Gazing is one of the primary exercises taught – two partner’s looking into each other’s eyes with hand over heart.
The invitation here is to practice Soul Gazing with yourself.
Gaze into your own eyes and share words of love and gratitude with yourself. Perhaps a little tough the first time, but I promise it gets easier. Besides, if we cannot admire ourselves, how can we ask that from someone else?
Forget about your hair, makeup, or any perceived imperfections. Look into your eyes and get lost in the wondrous and brilliant creature you are. Look into your eyes, place hands over heart and say…
I love you
…. a beautiful soul
… keep going.. What else can you whisper to yourself?
#4. Mindful Pleasure
One of the greatest things about Valentine’s is that it is all about stirring up and stoking the embers of pleasure. Pleasure is everything and anything that feels good to the body. Our sensual bodies innately know pleasure. It is often our brains that get in the way with the should’s and should not’s.
Pleasure answers the question what feels, tastes, looks, sounds, and smells good to me?
For example, start your day by feeling your body by stretching it in bed, noticing what areas feel relaxed, and how the skin feels when being touched by clothing or bed sheets. How about using a yummy lotion and taking the time to massage it into the skin? Choose clothes that feel good on your skin or at least take your time putting each article of clothing on you. Drink your coffee by smelling it, taking a slow sip, and feeling the warmth of it in your mouth.
When we pay attention to what our body enjoys and how it derives pleasure, we feel better because we are feeding our sensual selves. Let go of any misunderstanding that we can only do this with a partner. We open ourselves to pleasure and we give permission to receive pleasure. Having a partner has nothing to do with this.
#5. Shake Baby Shake
The demands of daily life often result in habitual tension patterns in the body and an overactive mind. Many of us adopt a freeze state of the body which many times is perceived as calm.
The problem is that this “freeze” state keeps up from experiencing ease and pleasure in our physical bodies because the body experiences “freeze” as tension. Consequently, the mind perceives tension as the body signaling something is wrong and we don’t seek pleasure when something is wrong.
Allowing our bodies to continually move without imposing any specific movement or pattern, the body begins to experience itself differently and pathways to pleasurable embodiment are reinforced.
Put a song on and begin to move. It is not about looking good or following a specific kind of dance. It’s about letting your body move you. Best way to do this… shake. Literally shake. Remember the “Hokey Pokey?” Shake one body part at a time or shake the whole body at once.
So how can you further romance yourself as a powerful way to feel more alive and embodied, or share more of your embodied self with another?
For the women… Come join me at our next FEMME.
For the men… stay tuned… something just for you is on its way.
Picture by Clay Banks
This is my favorite time of the year. The stillness of Winter giving way to the allure and grace of Spring making this season the perfect invitation to one of my favorite morning rituals — walking barefoot in my garden breathing in the blossoming roses, narcissus, and gardenias. These blooms have also become my teachers schooling me in trusting that everything is taken care of, that there is a divine flow in life. Nature does not worry or become preoccupied with stories after all. It simply is.
Being in my garden helped me feel more connected to my body as my senses relish the fragrant blooms, enjoy the mosaic of colors, hear the birds chirp, and feel the dampness of the ground under my feet (yes, I often walk barefoot). My mind empties for a moment and becomes still long enough to be reminded that life can be beautiful no matter what is happening. It is in these moments that I feel the most connected to myself and to the Universe. It is also in these moments that I experience myself most embodied and most alive.
My invitation to you is to slow down and welcome more stillness even if for a moment. Pick an activity you are already doing. Allow yourself to enjoy your sensuous body by opening yourself to tune in — see, feel, smell, hear, and even taste what surrounds you. Notice any shifts that occur in the body and let yourself follow your own inner compass to aliveness.
Originally posted on 5/24/2016