Intimacy and Passion are cousins. We find our life and our presence by letting go, freeing ourselves from our stories and games.
The Costa Rica Update
Week 2 has dawned and moved right along, We took a long hike to San Luis, about 5 miles in total, up a hill and down a hill. On the way back we met a mujer (woman) who walked with us and told us walking kept her in shape, thin, etc. We actually understood most of it.
Below is a video, which is the lead-in to the article.
The story of the fence-post
What does it mean to be alive, wherever we are, no matter what the circumstances? How do we find intimacy and passion in our lives? For some, the search for either is fraught with peril — for others, it is a seemingly unattainable goal.
We begin this week’s explorations with the following e. e. cummings quote, (found in the book, After the Ecstasy, the Laundry ) -
“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best to make you everybody else, means to fight the hardest human battle ever and to never stop fighting.”
After the Ecstasy, the Laundry Jack Kornfield, p. 213
I suspect that most people go through life singing a variation on, “One Day my Prince(ss) shall come.”
Rather than self-knowing, they seek the approval or the admiration of others. They can’t seem to help it… “Is it my imagination, or does everyone find me sexy, attractive (or whatever?)” On the flip side, it’s, “Why can’t I live a fulfilled life? When are things going to get better?”
I casually mention that the only way out of this mess is to bring one’s nose and one’s focus, NOT to one’s self, but to this present moment. To let go of the judgements, the games, the “endless rating” of experience. To fall in love with the moment, the experience… and then to let it go.
External rescue (or approval) is for saps named Peter Pan and Wendy
I recently worked with a client whose husband had been married three times. She mentioned that he had met another woman and was heading off to spend a month with her. His mission was to see if the “princess” was, finally, the “right” woman for him. My client was trying to figure out what her husband wanted.
Actually, what he wasted was crystal clear. He’d told her what he wanted.
He told her that, for all his life, he had been looking for the one woman (his princess — his “Wendy”) who would both “turn him on” forever, and with whom building a relationship would be “easy.” His marker that he was with the wrong woman? Any hint of disagreement, any reluctance on her part to meet his needs.
Now, we can shake our heads here, but I don’t think this guy is all that much different from most people I know. He’s simply more honest about what’s going on in his head. He’s “Peter Pan,” flitting about in Neverland, looking for unconditional happiness and unconditional sex.
He’s confusing happiness with relationship, and sex with living life passionately.
It’s clear that this guy is thinking, “If only my partner were more (intelligent, caring, sexy, demonstrative, etc.) and less (angry, weepy, sarcastic, etc.) then I would be happy.“He endlessly looks outside of himself for what’s wrong—and then spends the entire relationship judging, labelling, and finger-pointing..
We think that being in relationship is about providing witnessing and mirroring for self-exploration. Darbella and I provide each other with honest feedback as we learn more about living in our bodies while staying in the present moment.
That’s e. e. cummings’s point.
My advice, as you would suspect, is for this guy to go inside of himself and examine his own belief system, in order to figure himself out. Something’s out of whack for him, and it ain’t his wife.
So, what are the practicalities here?
Each and every one of us needs one or a few intimate friends, with whom we can “play” the mirroring game. For us, one avenue for this is Bodywork. Another is through dialogue. Anything that peels away the layers we hide behind—that helps us to get to the rawness of “me, uncovered and alive in the moment.”
The contract Dar and I have is to stay present with each other, to listen without attempting to change the other, and to be honest. That’s it. This approach to life means that both of us have chosen to explore the depths of who we are, and to share that exploration with each other, and also, obviously, here, and with those who choose to be in full dialogue with us.
The “who we are,” btw, is a fiction, conveniently designed by our egos. Like the fence post stuck in the ground, our sense of self is part of the stuckness of living in bodies.
We understand that we are not a fixed entity, nor something to be labelled and improved upon, but are actually the moment-by-moment experiencing of being alive—again, just like the living fence post in the video.
It finds itself where it finds itself, and chooses to experience that, fully. In nature, there is simply life, not stories, not divisions, not judgements.
As Jack Kornfield, in After the Ecstasy, the Laundry writes, wisdom is being able to be at one with ourselves.
“Like Ram Dass, who became a connoisseur of his own neuroses, we come to know ourselves as we truly are, but without indulgence or self pity. When we are truly aware of our feelings while not being bound by their energies, we can choose: no matter what the circumstances, we are free to follow our wisdom.” (pg.213)
And then there is passion.
From a Bodywork (see Bodywork section of our web site for more) perspective, there is a direct parallel between passion for life (located in the lower back) and erotic and sexual and sensual energy (located in the front pelvic/genital region).
The depth of our loving is directly proportional to our ability to express our fear, which is love’s opposite. (Both are located at the heart Chakra.) If our expression of passion is limited to a few minutes of sex, the depth of our passion for life is also going to be paper thin.
Not so long ago, I finished a Bodywork session, as I often do, by working on the recipient’s Root Chakra. She moved right into it, and had a strong bodily experience of the free movement of her passion. We’d been talking about how she’d blocked her passion for writing by… you guessed it… not writing.
She lifted her head, smiled, and said,
“I just remembered that I used to get aroused when I wrote.”
I replied,“Well, now I understand why you stopped! Who’d want that?”
We both laughed and she started writing again.
Opening to ecstasy, to passion, to the utter bliss of life is a discipline involving every cell of our bodies. In our rush to accumulate toys, bigger bank balances, or more notches on the bed post, we miss the one thing we crave — depth. Indeed, most people who “count notches” of whatever they measure their “worth” with are lost in a shallowness that only partially disappears with the next conquest.
Instead, there is the depth of passion that comes from taking the time to go deeply into ourselves, feel our feelings and stay there, in a decidedly goal-less way. I find that Bodywork, as it allows us to release more and more of the tightness that comes from suppressing the things we hurt ourselves with, often opens into feelings that are both mind and body altering.
It’s amazing what actually swimming in the present moment leads to. Not seeking after “better,” but simply living and experiencing.