"...the book was most helpful in approaching death because it describes in detail the deepening mental states through which the dying person passes and how to prepare for them... we pass through these states each and every day when we go to sleep or end a dream, as well as fainting, sneezing or orgasm." ~ Forward in 'Advice on Dying' by the Dalai Lama
I have spent the last few months making time to masterdate. You read that right. Earlier this month I took a weekend off of work to take myself on the perfect dates in honor of my favorite holiday, Dia de los Muertos. I grew up without holidays so I have no sentimental affinity for any holiday except this one because when I was experiencing the death and grieving process of the end of my marriage a beautiful Mexican friend introduced me to The Day of the Dead as it was her favorite holiday. Simply recalling the introduction to something I never knew before gives me chills. This resonated so deeply and I had yet to understand why. I didn't want to disrespect a tradition native to someone else's culture and not my own so I took my time getting to know it and understand it. There is a deep reverence and sacredness to this time period and I wanted to honor it with the respect it deserved. For now, I will explain what it has come to mean for me and my views of sex.
In years past, when experiencing heavy grief or numbing from trauma I would turn to sex in order to feel something again. Desire came from a space of lack. In grieving sex offered not only an escape but also a palpability to the pain of my experience. When numb it was the only thing that felt safe to feel. These experiences offered a sanctuary from my own emotions, my heart, my mind and my spirit. I couldn't process life when I felt as though all I knew was death, death of my self, my ideas, my dreams, even my realities. I remained in the darkness but the darkness wasn't scary when I had sex. I will expand on this more in the future...
Now here I am, years later, giggling with myself for calling my self care escapades "masterdating" (a Facebook friend deserves credit for that word) and feeling comfortable with feelings of discomfort. I have known various forms of death and as I rebuild my life on my own I find contentment in aloneness. There is a surrender required to truly heal and grow beyond your stories. So now I can be fascinated with the state of dying because I am not currently in that state (any more than any living creature anyway) but having known the closeness of it, having become intimate with it the fascination returns when I awake from a dream, when I catch myself falling into meditation or experiencing Yoga Nidra while riding the bus to work, but most of all I still experience that state in sex but much more so. When you release fear of death it becomes easier to drop into these states.
When you are not a victim to your own drama anymore your choices become much more conscious as do the people you choose to surround yourself with; the more intimate the relationship the more particular you become. This is because you are acutely aware of your own sacredness. You don't forget your humanness and you are by no means close to perfect but life is manageable. When a majority of people you see struggle to manage their life and their own feelings as they are easily swayed by anything that triggers them (other people, social media, politics, etc.) you must fall in love with aloneness for your own sanity.
This brings me back to sex. Now I can see so clearly when desire comes from a space of lack and not just sexual desire but any desire; decisions and choices are made from fear because the focus is on what one does not want and when I look into someone's eyes I can see it, it looks almost crazed to me and it's familiar because I know that space all too well. You see more of what you fear, more of what's "wrong" and less of what is a blessing, what has deeper purpose. When I am familiar with that empty feeling and can compare it to the feeling I have now after working so hard on myself so that I can be of service to others, those feelings I have of fulfillment and of gratitude, then how could I possibly invite that old fear into my space on any level, especially a sexual one?
It's easier to have a stronger internal boundary when you have been blessed to know men on an intimate level that set the standard, they are the standard as opposed to men you find yourself assessing to see if they meet "a" standard. If you have to think about it then they don't measure up; either they are the standard or they aren't and I for one, deserve no less. This is the man that joins with you from a space of equality eager to share a spiritual awakening through orgasm with you. He doesn't come to take from you something he is lacking within himself, instead he knows that the experience will challenge you both to go deeper within yourselves as well as one another and he has the courage to allow the experience to unfold as it's meant to. Fear is overcome with courage as you explore the states of consciousness that join death and orgasm. Old patterns of needing to attach meaning to this shared experience can be tempting but then you remind yourself that you are both safe and allowed to explore different realms of consciousness together because that shared moment is why you are together. It teaches you to remain more present and to give up the need to control anything by defining it because you know that will limit this one thing that is meant to help you both transcend those old limiting beliefs; those old unhealthy patterns.
These connections are what I wait for now. This has been a new layer of learning for my body who is used to getting what it wants when it wants. Now my mind, heart, spirit and body are beginning to have a mutual understanding and appreciation for what the sacredness of sex has the potential of being. Once you have this kind of shared experience with someone, just the presence of the other person has a profound effect on you, it can be unsettling but infinitely worth it. This is how a sexual experience can trigger the death of something you no longer need to hold on to in the healthiest of ways. Some deaths are welcomed.
Close your eyes and think about the last time warm caramel gently glided along your
Get lost for a moment in the smooth, silky texture as the delicate granules blend with the
rich cream gently dissolving in your mouth.
That's what it's like to be touched by him, to be kissed by him.
Every movement is sensual and smooth; filled with firm intent to please ever so sweetly.
Pressed up against a wall, his lips will meet yours and you will melt into him.
His kiss will make you high, as if you are floating with the moon and stars.
His body will bring you deeper into your self, connected to the earth and most primal part
of who you are.
You will glide together as if tangled in silk, but he will hold on tight, his grip still strong yet
Every memory of him will leave you feeling almost as deliciously satisfied as when you're
with him, warm and full but always craving more.
Life can be hard and confusing and when you're trying to get this life thing down people come along that you want to get to know which can make things even trickier. I found this article today, The Confusing and Horrible Rise of the Several-Night Stand and part of me felt defensive and part of me felt a little depressed. My biggest frustration though is that the internet seems to have forced us into labeling things to the point of picking them apart so much we forget how to be present, how to enjoy the moment and how to build unrealistic or unfair expectations because we're on the defense all the time. I mean, is any of this even new? Or are people just coming up with new terms or buzz words to get more clicks? Read the article and let me know what stands out to you most if you wish. Read on if you want a summary based on my experience and opinion.
Let's begin by saying the word "horrible" is used to shock you into reading the article (it worked for me) but the point of it all is communication. I can only truly speak for women since I have the most experience as a woman but if a woman can communicate well these arrangements don't have to be horrible. Sometimes two people are not in the position to commit to a full-blown relationship, or to be even more frank, they are interested in someone but don't quite feel they are ready to commit to that person yet (or maybe ever). If the conversation is being had and both people know where they stand and if they agree to discuss any feelings as they change (because odds are they will) then this doesn't have to be horrible or confusing.
If one of the parties does not feel comfortable with the potential of changing feelings or future conversations about the relationship (good or bad) then it's best to back away slowly and disengage to avoid future frustration. If you continue you are already basing your decisions on a fantasy, often the hope that the other person will become so enamored with you they will all of a sudden decide to communicate with you or always feel the way you want them to - a recipe for disaster.
The question you can ask before starting a "several-night stand" relationship needs to be:
Do you and the other person consider this as dating with the potential of growing into something more? Or not? If so, discuss what forms of intimacy are most important to you as you get to know one another so one person doesn't over-think not getting a 'goodnight' or 'good morning' text or any other possible faux-pas. Also, agree that if one of you begins to feel their feelings deepen they will bring it up and discuss any natural changes to the relationship at that time. Or, if one person begins to lose interest and doesn't want to hurt the other person then there will be no "ghosting" but they will be clear that they don't want any deeper attachment to grow. If feelings begin to deepen for either of you and you want to progress the relationship then it's time to have the "exclusivity" talk. This is not a topic that should be assumed by either party.
If you both agree that your time together is a mutual "use-use" situation, you don't consider it dating, you don't have ideas of a long-term future and neither of you have expectations of how often you communicate, or see each other then that's great but just like the previous scenario, you need to both agree to be open if and when anyone's feelings start to change. The good news is, in these situations, if the communication is up front and frequent enough no one will ever feel "ghosted" if things change because there was never an expectation to begin with. This is how lovers can remain friends and genuinely happy for someone when they move on with their life (or love life).
Or, you could keep trying to hook-up with people and be at their beck and call with the hopes that they may one day realize how amazing you are and want to commit and live with the constant state of internal drama that creates. The choice is always yours.
Also, stop reading things that make you feel bad about yourself or your decisions. Be honest with yourself first and read things that are helpful, close the tab on the depressing stuff that makes you question yourself. Most of all, remember that everything in life is temporary and there is great strength and courage in living the law of detachment.
It's International Woman's Day and, like most days that are celebrated, I am filled with mixed feelings about it all. I just can't help but see first the things that make us most alike and can connect us; then I see the differences. Maybe it's the naive child that lives on in me. But to appease the woman I have become and the trials I have gone through, largely because of my gender, I thought it would be a sort of purification ritual as well as a celebration of my womanhood as I feel myself transition into the archetypal crone.
For me being a woman started out as a dream of being a wife that would stay home all day and cook and maintain the household of my husband. Life decided I needed to start working at a young age and I fell in love more with working than I ever imagined I could a man. My dreams grew bigger, my heart exploded every day as I fell in love with my work, learning how to be better everyday and becoming hopelessly devoted to caring for patients. The fun I had was confusing to some, even me but I was in love. My career was my first love when I got married and my womanhood was challenged as I let my younger self down as a wife and mother.
Being a woman began to mean that I could have it all but only at the fears, insecurities and disappointment of those I loved the most and eventually me as well. Being a woman meant being incredibly creative with learning how to navigate my sanity in the vast sea of disappointment. As my heart grew more and more broken being a woman began to mean that I had to learn how to put myself back together again and love with all of the broken pieces of my heart at the same time.
For years, being a woman meant being punished for being sure of who I was and wanting nothing but to love people and how confusing that was to others. Being a woman, I later realized, meant that when you step in to your true power it can make the insecure forcefully pleasant or violent and the self-assured simply proud for you. Being a woman who wants secular success as well as success in love is selfish. Being a woman means you will be challenged to compromise your integrity, values, morals and even health almost daily for the sake of the male ego.
Then one day, being a woman meant having a choice. Being a woman meant having a choice in how much I allowed pain and suffering into my life. Being a woman meant I was sensual and in love with every savory aspect of living and I could be a sexual being without needing to have sex. Being a woman meant that I didn't need to experience the act of sex to feel empowered, valued and loved. Being a woman means that you can easily confuse a man with this ability and how they respond to their confusion tells you everything you need to know about them.
Being a woman has given me the opportunity to explore my creativity from writing to photography and countless things in between as I learn to appreciate the wisdom my choices (and lack thereof) had brought me. Being a woman means that I may have to work harder to prove myself and to be taken seriously but once I do it gives me a greater sense of pride than any appreciation, commendation or opportunity that is casually handed to me would.
Being a woman has taught me that with age you can grow in deeper love or deeper bitterness and that we can choose love. Being a woman means I have a greater responsibility to use my feminine energy to nurture and compassionately care for those who are in pain because it's part of who I am.
Being a woman showed me the honor and privilege of falling in love with a little human before anyone else could. Being a woman means I knew motherhood and a bond that lasts forever. Being a woman has filled me with pride whenever I feel my nurturing side co-existing with my creative and productive side.
On the topic of letting go a male friend once told me that he believes women have to experience this lesson more often and on a deeper level than men ever could. What an insightful and beautiful truth! Something about the way he expressed it made me feel connected in a deeper and more meaningful way to all the other women that have ever existed. Being a woman teaches us the literal and figurative way to cut cords and the pain we go through each time.
The biggest lesson I have learned as a woman is that if it wasn't such a profound and insurmountable gift then womanhood wouldn't even be a topic of conversation. It would just 'be'. We would embrace womanhood in all it's differences from manhood. Being a woman means we get to define beauty from the inside out... in all its forms.
Womanhood is a delicate gift but society has a way of telling us that manhood and all of its ways are all that can be heard, respected and appreciated so women try to learn the language of men. Women become louder, more creative, more clever, more successful only so that we can feel more comfortable being ourselves. Being a woman means making a conscious choice to be uncomfortable almost every single day in order to hopefully feel comfortable in our workplace, home, on the street, or anywhere in public. Being a woman means being as uncomfortable as possible for our daughters, our nieces, and all the little girls that don't quite know the battle they were born into. Being a woman means that we are meant to bring the world together, not tear it further apart.
When women step into their true feminine power they become a powerful and compassionate force that will help us learn to work together, cooperatively.
What does being a woman mean to the other women reading? Message me or comment!
Nothing like a professional photoshoot to help you embrace who you are and who you are becoming in all of our sensual elegance. Visit my friend Kim's site if you're in the Phoenix area! Good Vibes Photography
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.