And how to apply them daily…
Life is a magical, beautiful journey of soul and spirit. Sometimes gnarly and tricky, sometimes easeful and gracious, but always full of contrast, and it is these contrasts which allow us to grow.
What can we learn in the avoidance of pain or suffering? We may learn how to protect our vulnerable hearts but we certainly won’t learn how to expand into them. We may become adept at the avoidance of confronting our fears and escaping our triggers, but in doing so we will never learn mastery over them, so what do we do? We embrace being human and we embrace imperfection. We recognise this dance between light and dark, summer and winter, ease and struggle, effort and grace. We honour our lessons and how they present themselves to us, and we bow down to our teachers in all of their forms. In this way of truth, and only in this way, can we begin to discover true intimacy.
True intimacy is not the avoidance of pain or the rejection of imperfection, but the allowing of it all; the entire palette of life – gloriously imperfect life! We allow the cracks which are here to teach us how to let in the light, and we bow to life’s technicolor imaginings.
I’m currently reading the Radiance Sutras by Lorin Roche, inspired by Shakti Sundari’s daily readings of them in my Facebook newsfeed. These sutras are the foundations of the sanskrit tantric teachings in their most ancient forms. How beautiful they are; exquisitely poignant with a bittersweet beauty transmitted in their mystery, and I am hooked. I am in the falling in love phase of my relationship with them and it’s exciting!
Words are to me like good pornography may be to others…they are erotic and exciting, tantalising and enticing, and the Sutras remind me of the full potency of life.
My mother taught me the pleasures of language and words. Every day from the age of one, she read aloud a new word from the Thesaurus, and at bedtime would choose to read us the dark and wonderful tales of classic Greek mythology instead of modern children’s books. As a result of her love of language and her natural desire to share that, by the time I entered pre-school, my literacy levels were strong and the seeds of my passion were sown, and it’s a love affair that has lasted – I love words, they turn me on!
So, here with this theme of unbridled, unrestrained erotic joy for life are some of my basic tips for increasing intimacy in yours…
- Slow down! Really slow down. Do you know what that feels like or even means? It means to relish the myriad of delights presenting to you in any moment, to be present to them and to be able to sit with them without thought of the next moment or thing interrupting and cauterising the experience you are having right here, right now.
- Learn to live well in that moment by truly understanding that it’s all we ever have. It becomes easier to do that as you get older; something about the closer proximity of death I think, the increased awareness of the value of a mortal life. When pulled out of the moment, use the breath to come back to it – over and over and over.
- Become a great listener, and I mean really listen. Don’t listen with a response brewing even as you listen. Don’t listen with your defences at the ready. Just listen and learn to receive another human being’s experience into your own, asking only “how can I meet you in this place in which you are?”
- Know sex is not the same as intimacy but that it can be! Value tenderness, communication and connection as much as a ‘sexy’ body or the goal of an earth shattering climax. Be willing to learn how to make love by simply putting love into the space between you, and once it’s there, sex and intimacy can have any face you like.
- Detox from technology as a regular devotional practice and instead pick up a book, go for a walk, meet a friend, have a difficult conversation or a joyful one, but just switch off from comparison and not-enoughness. Regularly switching off from EMFs also helps the body to come back into balance which will massively help grow intimacy – win-win!
- Breathe more deeply and consciously because the breath truly is “the greatest medicine and the greatest nutrient” available to us and it’s free!