Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What does "Love" mean to you?!

Recently, I wrote a bit about love:

"So what does "love" mean to you? Does it evoke an expansive, bright feeling of aliveness? A state of being and awareness that is transcendental? Or do you feel fleeting happiness, or even anger, guilt, or shame? I invite you to explore "love" as a state of being, as the Oneness that we all share, Universal Love. This is different than human, romantic love. While romantic love can also be wonderful, it lies in a transitory place, a moment love, the next hate. What's it like to transmute, transform and purge our old ideas of love into the infinite energy space? One that empowers us to be our fully authentic selves! Love as a state of being!"

...and then invited a deeper exploration at the Temple Community Gathering.  An inspiring man, a client of mine I will refer to as PS, reached out, unable to attend the Gathering in person, and shared a bit of his story.  I shared his story at the Gathering, and the response was overwhelmingly resonant!

It has been such an honor to work with PS over the past few years, I am impressed by his body awareness and willingness to slow down and notice it's messages.  His personal growth and brightness has bloomed over this time as he's embodied the very concepts we work with and integrated them into his life's path!

Many people at the Gathering that day asked to see the email he shared.  I am grateful to have his permission, and am happy to share his words here (the color emphasis I've added)!
Sure Leslie,

Thank you for the opportunity. My personal discovery has been that as I started connecting more and more with my body on my journey over the last few years and listening to my body's signals to me I realized that love was not what I was taught my upbringing it was. Through my surroundings and popular culture I was taught that signs of love are 'being struck' by somebody, butterflies in the stomach, anticipation of how the date will turn out, will the person like me as much as I do them etc, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, even difficulty sleeping etc... Well, it turned out, at least for my body, that those are symptoms of fear.  So I realized that what I was always told was love was actually fear - exact opposite of love. I also realized that the language we use to describe this is more fear-like than love-like. We say 'fall in love' - I would now much rather like 'ascend into love'. I have had women tell me in the past that I am so handsome that 'they get weak when they see me' or that their 'knees get weak' thinking they give me a complement - I would have preferred that they had told me that they get strong when they see me. That would be more like love.

It has been the truth in my life that the origin of the fear is the energetic resemblance between the person and those that, although they loved us, actually hurt us most - our parents. The spirit in me recognizes the energies of those that attempted to disconnect us from the source and the body reacts with fear. As I have not been raised to understand what love is and what joy is so as to get my life energy from them, I learned to get energy and the feeling of being alive from cheap thrills and fears - one of them being the fear of those that look like those that hurt me. So I used to go for it - I would get the buzz of feeling alive - like I always do from any fear inducing event. Naturally those relationships had to 'go bad' at some point. Actually they were 'bad' from beginning - they started with fear!

Love is entirely different and is a state of being and it can be heightened by the presence of another person and I try now to seek those types of relationships - that will help me ascend to love, not fall into fear. I am also trying to understand what the role of 'exclusivity' is in relationships which to me feels more like ownership or tax-beneficial societal arrangements rather than love enhancing arrangement.  I don't have answers yet that would give me certainty with which I can organize my life but am continuing my journey.

This is an important topic for my growth and thank you for the opportunity to write a bit about it. I wish I could be there at the gathering - hope to do it next time.

With love,

Explore how love feels in your body, and please share your comments!


Monday, June 18, 2012

What is your "Sex Elevator Speech"?!

A couple of months ago at a Temple Community Gathering here at Mystery School of the Temple Arts in Dearborn, MI, we explored sharing our "Sex Elevator Speeches", and at the most recent Gathering yesterday, the topic came up again with wild interest!  So I decided to share more about it!

Gratitude to one of my amazing teachers and fellow colleague, Reid Mihalko, for sharing this!  His wild, open and safe approach to love and sexuality is inspiring and fun!   He suggests sharing 5 key points about your Sexuality with anyone you meet!  Try offering your answers to the following 5 questions with a friend, a lover or a new connection...and then ask them to share theirs with you!:

  1. What is your Relationship Status, and what are your Relationship Rules/Boundaries?  Are you not in a relationship at all?  Do you have one partner?  More than one partner?  Which gender(s)?  Are you married?  Do you follow traditional rules in your marriage or have you agreed to alternative ones?  What are your unique rules? Etc.
  2. When were you last tested for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI's)?, which ones?, what were the results?  Release fear and shame about these infections, open honest communication can shift a ton of anxiety.  Learn more about the infections and notice they aren't as scary as you may think.  Learn safe ways to connect deeply, regardless of your status. 
  3. What are your Safer Sex Protocols? For example condom you use one for penetrative sex only?  Oral sex?  Do you use a dental dam?  Do you have a fluid bonded partner (meaning no barrier usage at all)? Etc.
  4. What do you really Like to explore sexually? Note, this does not have to be just a list of "sex acts"...your answer might include something like one of mine that I will share here! "I really like to explore deep, conscious, connections with people, both men and women, and let our bodies decide how that energy sharing unfolds!"
  5. What do you Not Like?  Again, in addition to a list of actions, explore what other facets don't work for you.  One of mine is: "I don't like disrespect or boundary pushing.  I love to explore a range of energies from soft and expansive to intense and raw, perhaps even shocking to some...however it must be with full awareness and respect of all parties involved!"
And don't assume you know the answers for yourself until you speak them!   If you are in a partnership, explore saying them out loud, in your own words, with each other.  You might be surprised what you learn together!

For example, my Love and I, after having been in a deeply connected, highly communicative, polyamorous relationship for over a year, were still surprised to hear how each of us shared our answers when we first learned this!  It was a beautiful way to expand our sexual path together!

In love and light!  Leslie