I recently learned that the transformation of the caterpillar to a butterfly isn’t just about the effort of spinning their cocoon. Once inside, the caterpillar literally liquefies in its metamorphosis to its adult form as a butterfly, which, while short lived, optimizes the astonishing feat of beauty and freedom that most all living creatures aspire towards. In humans, I would argue based on recent life events, the transformation to our fully free and beautiful selves is no less epic. Yet, instead of spinning a cocoon of silk, we transform through forgiveness, through our courage to feel and dismantle the stories that have defined us and remarkably re-make our cellular memory.
Archive for the 'Sustainable Love' Category
The deep abiding mistrust of female sexuality makes the world go round. For us in the West, we know this space as an inability to orgasm, the loss of desire and the fear of getting too close. But in the cultures that make up Africa and the Middle East this mistrust holds a razors edge over the genitalia of millions of young girls. In these cultures, just retaining the physiological capacity for pleasure makes one unclean, unmarriageable, and unable to take their place in their community. This required and brutal rite of passage, sometimes referred to as female circumcision, or more simply “cutting”, has been performed on more than 140 million women living on the planet.
Most people would probably agree that if all they needed to remember about giving and receiving love, they learned in kindergarten, they might also add the caveat that most of what they need to forget is what they learned in high school. I have noticed in my dealings with the many teenagers that I find myself around lately, through the Positivity Club I helped launch in our local high school, as well as the strained relating with my own teens, that there are a few consistent behaviors that disrupt relationships and impede emotional development that are worth forgetting. In the Valentine’s Day spirit of opening up to all the love that surrounds us, here is a short list of useless habits of the heart that will only enhance your feelings of being loveable by letting them go.
It is an odd and painful irony that often just as things are really coming together successfully in life, we often lose touch with the love that had inspired us to get there. We expect just the opposite. In our longings for whatever we aspire to, we believe wholeheartedly that achieving our dreams and succeeding in our plans will bring us only happiness. The reality is just the opposite. More often than not, great success and windfall opportunity doesn’t connect us more deeply to what we love doing or the people we love. Rather, it increases our stress levels and turns our heartfelt work into a need to prove something or, worse still, a fear of failure.
We are a wounded bunch, we humans, and yet we are entering a new possibility of healing on this planet that is calling all of us to open up our wounds to the light. I know that transformation of our pain is possible, that forgiveness is a real thing and that a single positive resolution is enough to shift the trajectory of your life. The key to allowing the light into our wounds begins with a simple commitment to have the courage to listen to our deepest longing. Real change is not driven by anything or anyone outside of us. Rather it is a call from your soul to remember who you really are. Three years ago when I began my positivity quest challenge, I knew in my heart of hearts that all that I had tried to accomplish would be meaningless if I couldn’t find and sustain a positive relationship to my life. Now I challenge you to choose from one of these five powerful starting points, each one with the power to transform life, as you know it. Choose the one that resonates most deeply and make your promise to it public. The more people who know about the shift you are intending to make, the more power it has.
Not long ago at a conference, a woman I was sitting with was saying how happy she is to have no contact with her children. The next day, another woman was describing what a relief it was to no longer communicate with her mother. These comments are not unusual. In fact, according to Dr. Josh Coleman, author of When Parents Hurt, the phenomenon of complete dissolution of relating is increasingly common. As a psychotherapist he has counseled people on both sides, but acknowledges that regardless of what side you are on, the termination of the parent-child bond is a seminal one and more difficult than many anticipate.
This holiday season re-think your gift giving rituals by focusing on how you spend your time and attention in your most meaningful relationships. There is no gift you could purchase that will more profoundly enhance the emotional connections in your life than the gift of your focused attention, which explains why most people cannot distinguish between the experience of being deeply loved with being deeply heard. What we remember and what makes up the stories we share years later is rarely found in a box, but rather comes through the moments when we share our full presence with the people we love.
It was a curious time a few weeks ago as I moved between the Good Vibrations Sex Summit in the heart of downtown San Francisco to the Science and Non-Duality conference in Marin County. Crossing back and forth over the Golden Gate Bridge, and many moments since, has helped me to reconcile the sexual state of the physical world with the new scientific ground being broken by quantum physicists. Good Vibrations is a beacon of light in the world of human sexuality, standing up for the rights of sexual education and encouraging the exploration of sexual pleasure as a human right. It was more colorful than you could probably imagine. It was Friday night at the Castro theater, where they hosted the International Erotic Short film festival. Many of their guests, as well as the film’s narrators (San Francisco drag queens and Carol Queen), were in sexy Halloween costumes along.
“Tantra loves, and loves unconditionally. It never says no to anything whatsoever, because everything is part of the whole, and everything has its own place in the whole, and the whole cannot exist with anything missing from it.” ~Osho
“Faith is where you hold your heart.” This is what one of the master teachers shared when he was translating the ancient practices of Tantra yoga into a modern life. Tantra means to stretch beyond your limits. The multiple layers of practice that Tantra embodies have a singular goal of preparing you as a vessel that can contain the divine. One of the ancient texts says that our birth, our very life, is a gift so that the divine can know itself through you. And according to the texts there are many powers bestowed on those that actively pursue this faith, which as heady as all this sounds, translates seamlessly into the stuff of making love work on a daily basis. The beauty of focusing on these capacities is that they are at once prescriptive and rewarding, which is to say that they offer a clear measure of how you are holding your heart and whether there is any room for the magic of the divine to settle within you. The following elements of Tantra can be used and defined in the contexts below.
“And in the end, the love we take is equal to the love we make…” -The Beatles
I have come to say good bye to my friend as she enters the hospice phase of her cancer journey. During the long 6 hour drive to get her, my memory of our meeting came back to me as though it was 20 days ago and not 20 years. She is an artist and most of my memories over the years with her are punctuated with her work- drawings for our almost card company landed on t-shirts and long narrow canvases with the moon rising, illustrated children’s books and homemade games when our kids were smaller. In the midst of these memories, I welled up in tears, wishing I had been a better friend. I wished that I had looked for another way to reach her when our lives pulled us in different directions. Of all the friends I have known in my life, she is one of the very few who always had nothing but love for me.