As many of you know, I have spent the last couple years going deep into the Taoist Tantric Arts and have been weaving the sacred practices into my life and my work.
We were deep into the training and we were exploring PLEASURE by doing an exercise where we had to express our pleasure through rocking, sounding, moving our hips while being witnessed by a sister. – Clothes are on or off, you can choose, and you begin to sigh and sound, touching yourself in a pleasureful way.
Yes, uncomfortable for me!
First, she just holds space and witnesses you in your experience…
How do you move in your pleasure with neutral feedback?
THEN she begins to tell you – no, don’t do that, stop it… all the while you have to keep moving in your pleasure…
How do you move in your pleasure with negative feedback?
LASTLY, your witness/space holder witnesses you and begins to make pleasurable sounds with you… in the end, you do a transfiguration of eye gazing …
So why am I talking about this practice?
Because so many of us have had shame around being in pleasure. Even the word somehow seems like a dirty word… there can be an immediate shameful sensation inside your being even when being asked – what is pleasure to you? or How do you experience pleasure?
Many of us when we were young, were told not to touch ourself. Which then begins to build caves of shame within… This was the second time I have done this exercise and to be honest the first time it was super hard for me to allow myself to be in pleasure and be witnessed – I felt totally stupid! I couldn't find my pleasure at all, and all that was going through my mind what, self judgement, self critical thinking, you're too fat, not sexy, you look dumb, this is stupid, you're note sensual enough, what is the witness thinking of you and how you look, I felt so disconnected from myself … Adding to the pain, my partner was this amazingly "perfect bodied" woman who totally owned her sexuality, so I was deep in comparison.
What I really took from this practice was - FUCK! I don’t know pleasure. How did that sneak by me? How could I have missed that one? I guess I thought sex was an act, a performance. I didn't know it was about me and my pleasure and experience too. I thought I would have known pleasure… But – NOPE, I didn’t know it at all. It was so foreign to me. I began to see how love starved and pleasure deficient my life was and because I didn’t know any better, I didn’t realize it and the lovers and people I had in my life didn't know any better either.
So the second time I did this practice, I entered the exercise with the willingness to explore loving myself and my body, to allow myself to be witnessed in all of my experience as it was… and while the witness was saying stop, don’t do that, you’re disgusting – I continued to fully allow myself to continue in my pleasure… My tendency in the past was to disassociate during these sorts of things, so in the end when we gazed into each others eyes, I kept saying to myself…
I am seen, I am witnessed…
The beautiful thing about doing these practices again and again is to see the evolutionary process my soul has moved through even within the last years, to see these changes, to know that now I am creating a life with pleasure, love and support. I chose a life that was love starved and deficient of pleasure, and I don't have to.
I am still exploring what pleasure is, what the difference is between allowing and surrendering.. Speaking my needs and wants, honoring myself and my beautiful body AND each day I am falling deeper into love….
So with all that, I encourage you to find what pleasure is to you. Not what it should look like, but rather, what you truly love.
With Love, Naomi