Blustery Morning

The wind is making quite a fuss outside although it’s still too early and too dark to see anything.  The household sleeps and I have woken early, again. My brain wants to spin and I fight to stay in the moments of calm in between the surges.  Overwhelmed and unsure of what the light will bring, I focus on the here and now.  Inhale for a count of four, exhale for a count of four, plus two more beats after the exhale.  The pause, the quiet, the peaceful nothing.

Each day, I feel myself changing, moving towards the chewy center beyond the hard candy shell.  Vulnerability is, at times, terrifying.  Openness leaves room for hurt.  And yet, I feel more alive with the hard-won removal of each layer.  Lighter and free to be all I am.

New questions arise.  What do I want now? What do I need in my life in this moment? What serves me well and what can be jettisoned? How do I want to spend my precious years in this brief and intense lifetime?

We have one life, one body.  It’s the only body we get for this wild and beautiful ride.  My desire to taste life is amplified by this mantra “One body, one lifetime”. I continue to snip away the ropes – and threads – that bind me and hold me back.

Today, I want to feel the wind sweep through my soul, dislodging and removing decaying hurt.  I want to know the power of the wind, creating electricity in my body.  I will feel all I am stirring in the wind’s rough caress.  Alive, charged, changing, and free.

Random Thoughts Post-SWLC

Having recently attended Southwest Leather Conference in Phoenix, my mind is awhirl with thoughts and ideas for blog posts.  A truth about myself is that I process through writing.  The weekend has left me exhausted and energized and I’m living in the dichotomy.  To help me capture a few moments for later contemplation and writing, here is a bit of a brain-share, mostly for me to return to.

  • Going label-less is incredibly uncomfortable.  Being a tabula rasa creates a certain fear and.. resistance in the self.  And, there are many who are eager to offer support, love and space.
  • Resistance within myself is draining versus surrendering to the experience.  Allowing flow through me requires courage.
  • My spiritual journey is enmeshed within my physical one.  I can no longer separate these and … it means finding vibrancy and health within this physical vessel is necessary for the progression of my spirituality.
  • The Goddess loves me as I love her.  She yearns to say yes, yes and yes again.
  • My feminine sexual energy seeks integration with the physical sexual energy.  The separation, or distinction between the physical and energetic energies must end in order to move forward.  The power of this integration is a multiplier, not merely additive.
  • The universe offers me healing whenever I choose to accept it.  It waits for me to reach out and be bathed in it.
  • There is a fox in my group of totem animals.  And a herd of hedgehogs.  I have not yet understood what these mean.
  • Being in nature is necessary for my well being.  Birds are givers of joy.
  • Conferences and hotels in general are a difficult format for me.  I can speak my truth in large groups, despite the fear.  I prefer smaller groups and one on one connections.
  • Drums invoke power and the path of rhythm calls to me. I hereby create an intent to incorporate drums in my spiritual practices.
  • I need strong teachers and am drawn to those in positions of leadership.  It requires a deeper humility and acceptance of what they have to teach me.  I bring my own strength and knowledge and have much to offer.
  • We are unrepeatable miracles.  The mavericks and rebels in a community are the ones finding their own path, outside of group think.  My sense of being not fully enmeshed in this community is telling me that really, I am blazing a new trail of my own creation.  It may be lonely at times, but it is honoring my own truth.  Following my own kink compass. Embracing change.
  • Each connection is an unrepeatable miracle.
  • Never miss an opportunity for a hug.. or kiss.

ETA:  MORE

  • Learning to protect myself energetically is going to become more and more important.  I am a highly sensitive person, with an ability to be incredibly open.

Happy Nude Year!

My resolution is to spend more time naked.  Yes, there may be sex involved.  However, that’s not the primary purpose.   As part of my journey towards radical self-acceptance, giving myself opportunities to turn off that critical voice and embrace my body as it is today is key.  So I am actively seeking out activities where I can be nude minus the sexual titillation aspect.  (That said, there is a strong surge of powerful kundalini energy that comes to me when I fully present in my nakedness.)

A few years ago, I went swimming nude for the first time and it was transformative.  I felt good in my skin, in my being.  I will seek opportunities to do more of that (as well as spend time as spas that allow nudity).

Last week, I also started sleeping in the nude and swear that I am sleeping better as a result.  It feels much more natural to me and  I eagerly look forward to that moment where I remove my robe and slip under the covers feeling every inch of my skin.

Finally, I explored a DVD I had purchased a while ago:  Yoga Undressed. (NSFW trailer is here.)  This is nude yoga, with a goddess-centric approach.  And a new experience for me.  So far I can only do a little bit, but I am seeing progress and, feeling the joy of the moment.

Here’s to our beautiful, amazing, miraculous bodies.  We have one life, one body.  Make it a good one.

To be filled and enflamed

“I confess I find more ecstasy in passion than in prayer. Such passion is prayer. I confess I pray still to feel the touch of my lover’s lips. His hands upon me, his arms enfolding me… Such surrender has been mine. I confess I pray still to be filled and enflamed. To melt into the dream of us, beyond this troubled place, to where we are not even ourselves. To know that always, this is mine.” – Veronica Franco, Dangerous Beauty

Craving my lover’s touch, his taking, my receiving.  Longing to once again be a vessel, to be “filled and flamed”.  To welcome the god in him and resurrect my goddess.

Soon.

Intimacy, Tantra, Surrender

A lover once told me years ago that I had difficulties with sexual intimacy.  Since that time, I’ve spent a lot of time contemplating what she meant and now, on the cusp of a step towards major healing, believe I understand more clearly what she saw at the time.

I am a survivor of sexual abuse which has created difficulties in my ability to stay fully present in the moment, a necessary ingredient for deep and soulful connection.  A secondary effect of that abuse was turning towards self-harm behaviors in a way that negatively impacted my body itself, creating another layer of difficulty in presence.

Now, as an adult who has reclaimed her safety and her body, thanks to some very difficult work and the amazing support of loving partners, I understand that I no longer want to feel any shame or disconnection during sex.  In fact, I want something more than sex.  I want, and deserve ECSTASY.  Not the faux ecstasy created by the fantasy world of porn or our minds, nor the adrenaline rush of intense busy-ness, but the the ecstasy of mindful, focused presence with giving and receiving.

Recently, I’ve resumed reading “Urban Tantra” by Barbara Carrellas and the concepts align beautifully to the work I’m doing in my healing therapy: mindfulness as a core practice for life, non-judgmental stance and letting go of expectations.  The author writes about surrender as a conscious choice, and I understand this now in new light.  Radical acceptance – accepting what is – means that I can now accept what happened to me.  It doesn’t mean I approve of it or am glad.  It just means that I understand and accept it happened.

And now, these battle wounds can heal.  And once again, I can walk.

Surrender

My weapons rest scattered on the shore
As I cross the swift river
Into the realm of gods
Where the unknown awaits.
Where release is my birthright.

The brightness of this place
Bathes me in brilliance,
Showering me with ecstatic light,
Warming my trembling body.
Welcoming me to a new land.

This is my choice.
This is the awakening.
This is surrender.

The Big D: Disclosure in Poly Relationships

My Knight recently wrote an articulate and astute post on the complexities around disclosure.  It’s a topic that has frequently been on my mind, too, along with sharing and integration.  The “monogamous norm” seems to be “don’t-ask-don’t-tell”, causing me to battle a sense of shame I feel when I enjoy sharing.  Furthermore, I do find it difficult to feel safe without understanding key information about my partners and their partners.

What I’ve come to realize about myself is that not only do I need a healthy dose of baseline information disclosed, I enjoy both receiving and sharing out information as it brings me joy to do so.  I relish relaying stories of flirting. I love hearing tales of connectedness and closeness.  I bask in the other loves of my partners.  I really like knowing the details of my partner’s life and what is going on for them.  For me, sharing is not just requirement – but a source of happiness and compersion.

And what I’ve found is that some of my relationships (romantic and otherwise) don’t want to know all the details I’m willing to share.  And they don’t necessarily want to share the level of detail with me that I would be comfortable hearing (and indeed, welcome hearing.)

Areas & Types of Disclosure
At a high level, there are three scenarios of disclosure to my partner.  (Sharing information outside the partnership, i.e. to friends, is more in the area of “confidentiality agreements” versus disclosure.)  Each of these has it’s own approach and in my experience, needs careful discussion.
  • Disclosing information about myself.  This may include information about the way I’m interacting with non-partners, casual dates, and friends.  More frequently, it’s around my plans, schedules and the state of my health.  These are areas that possibly impact my partners, so I have negotiated with them what/when they want to know this.  And again, sharing stories of my flirting escapades brings me joy, provided my partner wants to hear that. (I have one partner who does and another who does not.)
  • Disclosing information about myself + another partner.  This information could be something that will affect my partner – such as the emotional progression of the other relationship, a change in relationship status (more or less commitment) or even issues and relationship problems that could affect me broadly enough to impact the connection.
  • Disclosing information about another partner.  If a partner is having personal difficulties outside the relationship with me (for example with a lover), an increased level of need from that partner could impact my availability or my emotional needs.  Or perhaps there are work/health/life changes.  This scenario can be challenging given varying needs for confidentiality.  For me, this is where integration – or open channels of communication with partner’s partners – can amplify understanding.  Otherwise, I tend to tread very lightly here.
To add further complexity, all the above can be flipped to be scenarios of disclosure from my partner.  There are things I need to know about my partner, about his relationships with other partners and about his other partners.

Finally, I also see areas of disclosure that may need to be separated out and negotiated individually.  For example:
  • Safer Sex Status & Agreements
  • Activities
  • Emotional progression of relationship
  • Changes in relationship status / Commitments
Ultimately, I choose to negotiate (and renegotiate) all these points of disclosure with each partner individually.  Difficulties can certainly arise particularly where needs among partners conflict, such as one partner needing to know a level of detail that the other partner does not want shared about them. A challenge not fully resolved although here is where understanding disclosure versus sharing might be useful.

Disclosure versus Sharing
The word disclosure has a slightly negative connotation or even legal definition:  “making of secret information public” or “process of sharing information between sides in a lawsuit”.  I see disclosure as the ‘knowing requirements’ side (as my Knight talks about) – what I need to know from my partner and provide to my partner – in order to be in a healthy, functional and safe relationship.

Sharing can be viewed as a separate component where there is a joyful exchange of information among the sharer who provides information, sharee who receives the information, and if applicable, a “disclosee” who has information disclosed about them or their interaction with the sharer.  This is where it’s important to understand 1) what level of information the sharee wants to know and 2) what level of information the disclosee is ok having shared.

For me, my base level of agreement with my husband is that no one can ask us to keep anything from each other.  (This is articulated in our written agreements and interactions with others.) That said, with my husband as sharee, he does not want certain levels of detail.  I typically start small and if he asks for more detail, provide it.  He also has complete license to stop me at any time with a gentle, “That’s enough, thank you.”

Approaching Disclosure and Sharing Conversations
So how do you create a framework for disclosure that works?  For me, it’s important to know that it’s always a work in progress where I  - nor my partners – will be perfect.  This is where the idea of having a “recovery mechanism” (as my Knight so eloquently puts it) will provide a good safety net.

Some operating methods that have worked for me:
  • Identify the areas for disclosure and sharing.  Look across scenarios and areas while recognizing that you won’t be able to pre-identify every possible situation.  Adaptability and frequent re-negotiation are bound to happen.
  • Be clear about your disclosure and sharing agreements ahead of time.  Respect those agreements.
  • Understand your partners’ disclosure and sharing agreements with their other partners.
  • When sharing with someone who does not want extensive detail, start small, allowing them to indicate when the boundary of what they want to know is reached.
  • When disclosing, provide adequate detail as agreed upon with the partner so they are fully informed.
  • Talk about what you will do when you need more or less disclosure.
  • Build recovery mechanisms for when things go wrong.
  • Recognize the closeness that sharing can bring and relish it when possible.
Like so much of successful poly, disclosure and sharing is really about good communication. I find it important to keep in mind that the ultimate goal is to create emotional intimacy with a partner so my relationship can flourish.

Who Am I?

Life is movement. The more life there is, the more flexibility there is. The more fluid you are, the more you are alive. – Arnaud Desjardins

Old definitions of the self are falling away.  I am undergoing a significant reset in my perception of myself – one that requires radical acceptance of the way things are.  The shift also requires a non-judgmental stance towards the self, which is extremely difficult.

We live in a society that clings to labels, wanting a baseline for connection, a shorthand of understanding.  The sex-positive community is particularly prone to this approach, in my experience. Are you a switch/top/bottom?  Are you bisexual? Polyamorous?  Masochist? Submissive?  Do you fit my needs?

The labels that mostly fit over a decade ago have now become sadly misshapen.  Trying to keep them snugly attached has become impossible and so, I am letting them go.  Because the answer to “who am I?” is not one that can be answered neatly.

The truth of my present state is that I don’t know.  I have uncovered old wounds that I see now have influenced my path.  I have begun a journey of growth and healing, with the practice of mindfulness as my companion.

In the moment, I can tell you that I feel hopeful and a little afraid. I can tell you that I crave connection – with myself, with my loves, with others, and with the universe. I believe that at my core, I continue to be someone who strives for compassion and explores creativity.

I don’t know where this path will wander, nor where I will end up.  Everything is up for reconsideration.  Unencumbered by a need to map myself to old definitions, I have freedom to ask myself in each moment what I feel, want and need now, how I will choose to be, and how I will choose to love. Right now.

Exploring Desire…

Lest you believe my blog has become too esoteric, let me assure you that my body and mind and soul continue to have cravings and appetites for the erotic, sensual, sexual and ecstatic.  Some days, I fantasize about wearing sheer clothing and being shown off to an appreciative audience.  Other days, I recall the luxurious swell of full breasts in my hands, and pink nipples standing erect under my tongue.

Still other times, I yearn to be thrown on a bed and taken roughly, used for pleasure, with no holds barred.  And then, held tightly and adored. 

There are appetites for lusty, groping makeouts and cravings to be served with grace and humility.  Desires for soft kisses, salty kisses, needy tongues, exploring hands.

Hunger for romance.  Ravenous for whispers at the back of the neck.

I am a very lucky girl in that I have opportunity to explore, taste and love.  As I take this time to focus on my core desires, I watch at what unfolds before me.

Soul and Body

“I’m not a body with a soul, I’m a soul that has a visible part called the body” – Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

Something in me has changed.  There is a resurgence, a rising of my soul that seeks profound integration with my body.  We are one, and the truth of life and death feels right there, as if it were a word on the tip of my tongue that I can’t quite remember.

I am going to die.  I don’t know when.  But I will.  As I am reminded each time I watch Aronofsky’s The Fountain, the undeniable truth of inevitable death contains the seed of freedom, for there is nothing I can do to change this.

I can, though, change how I live.

I can choose to celebrate and experience pleasure.  I can seek meaning, intimacy, joy, understanding, and beauty.  I can embrace pain as a part of the experience of being alive and choose to let go of judgment (which only creates suffering).  I can choose to forgive myself when I struggle to find that place of self-acceptance and connection.

The fact is, I am already living and changing, each moment.  This practice of coming back to the self, this reminder of my self-intimacy, is a part of my imperfectly perfect journey.  Over and over, I choose to live.  Because I will die.