Desire Seated in the Lap of the Deep-Knowing of Self as Holy

 
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Because of our wisdom, we will travel
Far for love.
All movement is a sign of
Thirst.
Most speaking really says
“I am hungry to know you.”
Every desire of your body is holy;
Every desire of your body is
Holy.
Dear one,
Why wait until you are dying
To discover that divine
Truth?”
― Hafiz

 

 

Last week, I spent two days away with a dear friend.  We had hours to talk while sitting on her porch, eating our meals, and walking at the beach that is just down the road from where we were staying. We talked about many things, yet everything circled back to one topic: pleasure and desire.

If you've been reading me for a while, you know I write often about the erotic and Eros. I've been exploring this capacity we have as human beings to feel deeply, and especially how the erotic is experienced by women. The deeper I go into my body, the deeper I go into this work because the erotic is about feeling and we can only feel if we are present in our bodies.

As we become more and more embodied, becoming conscious in these places that have been numb for so long, we must feel the old feelings that have been held hostage there. The journey into my body, consciousness awakening in the cells, has brought me deeper down into the root and into the place where our sexuality and creativity rise up out of. I discovered a great amount of grief was stored in my body, most recently in this sacred place where our sexuality stirs. This isn't surprising considering the world we must inhabit as women, this world where women are denigrated and shamed for being sexual creatures, while at the same time being objectified in a way that tells us our sexuality (and the erotic) is for men yet not for ourselves.

Bridging this gap between our sexuality and our sacredness, this place where we know our desire and our journey toward love is holy, can feel like such hard work. There are many feelings that caused this gap in the first place, feelings we often name shame, guilt, and fear. To bridge the gap, we must feel these feelings. I've spent the past five years as a single woman doing this work. And now, I am beginning to date again, beginning to enter back into this world. There is great joy in being in my body and feeling Eros stirring. And, I am watching and listening for those old stories of shame and fear about what and who I am.

For the past sixteen years, I've been clearing away and liberating all of the old, stuck stuff that I took on when I was young - old feelings, beliefs, and tyrannical inner messages that caused me to really hide my sensual and sexual nature. I am sure you can relate. I feel it is the journey so many of us are taking as women alive on the planet today.

Now I'm getting down to the real essence of what my soul has been guiding me toward, and I sense I am getting there because I'm finally much more alive and conscious in the cells whose job it is to offer me the amazing experience of being a sexual, sensual, and yes, erotic woman. There is something about finally bridging this gap between the sacredness of life in a woman's body and the inherent dignity of our sexuality - bringing the awareness of love into down into the realm of the deeply-layered flesh of my female body.

Even though we've been taught differently, the erotic is so much more than sex and sexuality. Audre Lorde wrote:

"The erotic is a resource within each of us that lies in a deeply female and spiritual plane, firmly rooted in the power of our unexpressed or unrecognized feelings. In order to perpetuate itself, every oppression in our history must corrupt or distort those various sources of power within the culture of the oppressed (for instance within our culutre as women) that can provide energy for change. For women, this has meant a suppression of the erotic as a considered soure of power and information within our lives."

This is my real desire - to be so keenly awake to this erotic energy within that it blossoms and grows organically, and that it guides me to know and live the power that is inherent within me as a woman. The erotic is our lifeforce. It is the source of great wisdom and power. And, it is the source of great joy.

Pleasure and desire are, and feel, good. This is something to celebrate. And when desire is seated in the lap of the deep knowing of self as holy, it is a gorgeous force for healing, a powerful force for awakened creativity, and a source of knowing.

In touch with our erotic nature, a kind of self-confidence is born out of one's core. It's a confidence that knows that this force that blossoms out of you is rooted in love. This confidence can flourish knowing that this power has no desire to be used over others but rather in service to life itself.

THIS is the shift in awareness, expression, and choice that we must make as women right now in our world.

(Originally posted at UnabashedlyFemale.com)

 

Unveiling & Embodying the Soul thru Deep Listening to Self

 
 Close-up of the Suma the Titan after full bloom at San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers — Julie Daley

Close-up of the Suma the Titan after full bloom at San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers — Julie Daley

“Soul to me means ‘embodied essence’, when we experience ourselves and others in our full humanity — part animal, part-divine. Healing comes through embodiment of the soul.” 
— Marion Woodman

Self-expression. What is it, really?

To me, it is the fundamental reason we are here. To express the Self — the essential Self, Essence; to express this formless expression into the world of form. There are many ways to speak of this Self. To embody the Self in this world of form is soul.

What gets in the way of this for much of our life, though, is that at a young age we are taught to, instead, express what others want us to. We are taught to no longer listen to our own hearts and the intelligence of our own inner system, and to instead express what pleases others. In order to do this, we must put away what then seems ‘wrong’ to us. We put that away into the shadow. It is good to note that what we put away isn’t always things that might seem wrong; often we put away our most brilliant, tender, loving, creative, instinctive capabilities for it can be those that most challenge the adults around us.

But as we grow older, something within us begins to gnaw away at us, tries to get our attention, continually trying to get us to begin the journey to reclaim what we’ve put away. We do the work to go deeper inside to bring more of the Self out into the light of consciousness. When we are aware and free and integrated, our creativity and resiliency become rich and strong.

We are living in a time when it is crucial for us to come to a more clear, true, and creative Self-expression. It is a time for us to give voice to Essence, for Soul to be known, for the voice of Love to be spread across the world. In order to do this, we must come to reveal ourselves to ourselves.

“Healing happens through embodiment of the soul.”

Revealing yourself to yourself

One of the most beautiful ways you can come to respect yourself and dignify who you are is to listen to yourself — deeply listen — in order to begin to restore your own wholeness back to consciousness. You are whole, yet so much of what and who you are gets relegated to the shadow, to the unconscious. Deep listening to self begins the process of bringing what is in the shadow back into the light of awareness.

Deep listening to self is a practice. It’s not something you are taught. In fact, most of us aren’t really even taught that there is a self to listen to in this way.

Deep listening to self is developing a loving, clear, inquisitive relationship with your inner world, with your feelings and sensations, and with the ways your unconscious speaks directly to you.

There is no static, separate self, but there are many aspects that make up your consciousness. The key in this work is to realize that everything works through relationship. I only know myself through a relationship with you that takes place in the outer world. But this is also true within each of us. I know myself by relating to myself in my inner world. And you know yourself more deeply by relating to yourself in your inner world.

In the practice of deep listening to self, you enter into a dynamic, conscious relationship with places inside of you that are trying to get your attention through persistent feelings, sensations, images, symbols, etc.

I might call myself a coach, but what I really am is a facilitator of this inner dialogue within you. I guide you to trust yourself enough to enter into this dialogue with these persistent feelings, sensations, images, symbols, etc. Sometimes this takes months to get to this point of trust with yourself and with me, but all along the way, we are developing this capacity to come to trust what is within you so that you can learn to facilitate deep listening within yourself. You develop a deeper trust with your inner world so the depth and intelligence of who and what you truly are can be revealed expressed into the outer world, the world of form.

To be fully expressed, this is key. Otherwise, we are expressing what we see in the outer world rather than the new freshness of soul in its own vibrant intelligence. As creativity becomes more important in our outer world, this capacity to hear and liberate what is within becomes more vital. When you liberate yourself from within, you add to the liberation of all of life and you enhance your capacity to do the deeper work in the world that requires your inner strength, resiliency, compassion, power, intuition, and joy. These are all within you waiting to be set free.

The opportunity to live the essence of you is now available. Many are here to do this work. Many are offering this work.

To do the work of deep listening to yourself in order to bring Soul into the light of day is a joyous exploration. It is not always easy. It is never all light. But, it is a joyous liberation of that which has come to live in a human body for the length of a human life.

The Practice:

Bring your attention inward. Pay attention to what is present. Is it a feeling? Is it a sensation? Where in the body do you sense, feel this? Bring your awareness to it. Enter into a relationship with it just as you would if a person you care about was sitting across from you. Assume you do not know anything about what is being presented to you — you most likely don’t. Throughout the practice, keep asking and listening, stepping over and assuming nothing as you do. Get curious. Get playful. Ask questions. Look for shifting energy, feeling, sensation. Interact with pure intention. Trust that your system is a system of wholeness. What is present is ready to be seen, known, and set free. You will not be the liberator. Whatever is presenting itself will liberate itself — the system knows. You are relating and holding space with pure intention and love. Be prepared to be surprised and awed by what you encounter. Your awareness is powerful and it is enough. You will feel things, perhaps things you haven’t wanted to feel from your past. Enter in with reverence. Go slow. Trust. You are learning to dance with yourself. And if you’d like a guide to begin with, reach out.

 

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Will we act upon our caring when we don’t know how to but know we must?

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No longer can we afford to see freedom and creativity as such. Freedom and creativity have never been about the personal. Even when one is creating in solitude as an artist or a writer, what comes through that creative act is always something for the whole never just for the creator.

The idea that we are individuals first and foremost is and has always been wrong. Our individuality is born out of the wholeness of life. 

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We can come to remember our wholeness.

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Something greater than any one of us connects us through the deep place of love within each of us. It is this that drives creative expression. It is this that we honor when we write what we hear. And our writing becomes so much easier through this honoring.

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It is by facing the obstacles we meet, as well as being able to ask for and receive help along the way, that we become more aware of our essential capacities within that have been there, silently waiting for us to call upon them, all along.

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I learned to reject the dark, to reject the inner, to reject feelings and sensations, to reject intuition and instinct. I learned to reject an entire realm of my true existence.

I learned, as so many of us did when we were young and growing into young people, women and men, that darkness is associated with things we should avoid. Darkness was lumped together with what we believe to be bad. Yet the dark is rich soil where seeds sprout then steadily and sturdily push through to the light. Darkness brings life and light. Darkness nourishes. Darkness is where ancient things have been hidden until it is safe to return again to the world of light. Darkness is incredibly rich and beautiful.

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This feels real to me as it bridges our nature as consciousness, itself, alive in the cells of a human body. Awake and alive, close to the bone, is close to home.

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Yet, to stand strong in these times, courageous in love, we must know three things:

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Moving forward, as leaders we must ensure inclusion and diversity, as well as provide the opportunity for everyone to rediscover what they truly are and that what they truly are matters to the whole of life. As leaders, our job is to midwife this essential creative nature and create a culture in which people are free to express it. We need everyone’s creative genius in order to move forward. We need everyone’s happiness from being connected to the whole. We need connection, period.

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I listened to what this dream was telling me, and over time it continues to tell me more and more. Just lately, I’ve been able to tie it to a calling I’ve felt for my own life and the work I do — that of awakening Eros in myself and in the women I work with.

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