Let me tell you a secret. I am a mess. I am not ‘together’ at all. I look together on the outside. My life is looking pretty good at the moment. But I am not together. I am falling apart, one piece at a time, or sometimes a whole load of them just start to cleave off in one go. That’s when it gets crunchy. The other day I sort of found myself deciding whether to have a breakdown or not. It could have gone either way. But just like the other times I’ve been in that position, there was too much of me conscious to really go there wholeheartedly. And it's a bit too much drama for my taste. Better to just voluntarily give up and let go. That feels better. Crisis over. I’m a mess, I’m a failure. Generous, loving, but still an asshole at times.
I heal people as I go around without having much control over it anymore and sometimes, as an empath, it makes me trigger and I am still learning how to manage the level of perception I feel. I feel awful for no apparent reason other than that I’m letting go, rather than holding it in. I’m not trying to be cool, but from the outside I’m 'performing' better than ever before without even thinking about it. I feel anxious because when I look around there’s very little else holding me back any more. I read somewhere recently that if the path in front of you is trodden, it’s probably not yours. SO TRUE. I do and experience things ever day that make me weep, make me sublime, make me dissolve, and none of it makes sense. I keep getting married. It doesn’t make any sense. But it’s too compelling to give up now.
I have recently joined a rock choir. For those of you not in the UK, this is a bit like a Glee. It is satisfying and soothing in so many ways, not only for the singing of Footloose and Can't Stop the Feeling in four-part harmony with choreography, but also for the fact it meets in the local church, and we’re all standing there singing to the crucifix at the end. I'm not Catholic, but but y'know, crucifixes have been growing on me lately... Anyhow, I was there last week, just enjoying the experience, and I looked up and thought - He doesn’t look as if he has it all together.... But appearances can be deceptive. The key theme I have running through me at the moment is power, influence and authority. Do you need to look cool, together and badass to have this, or do you allow yourself to come undone? I found myself coming a little undone in the choir rehearsal. And then that night it continued. I read some post on Facebook that made me feel off-centre so instead of trying to resist and figure it out, I just opted back out into that gnosis state. I spent the night going deeper. My guides took me back to the church where I became one with the church itself, the walls, the chairs, the crucifix on the wall. Just feeling into the waves and ripples that made all these solid items. The bliss of dissolving into nothing. The point they made was, who has more power and influence? The one who is together, who looks in control, or the one who knows they can penetrate all things with their influence? The authority comes with letting go.
I’m like the person on the assault course who’s crawling through the mud, and then there’s a big wall ahead, and I just stop. Why is it better at the top of the wall, on the other side of the wall? What is wrong with just lying here quietly in the mud? Feeling into the mud, my body in it, looking up and seeing the sky, becoming one with even the wall. There is no need to go anywhere as I can feel it all in this state of compassion. And what happens to the wall? It just disappears, and it’s like, you can go through now. And I’m like, actually I’m ok here, I’m not sure why I thought I needed to go through but if you say so...
This is a bit like my life now.
My mind is checking out. So ciao, see ya! I hope you weren’t attached to me with my mind.
I go into my mind and I can’t string a sentence together. To be honest I never could. I switch off my mind and just turn up and open my mouth and something coherent comes out. I know where I’ve been going wrong all this time....
Luckily, losing your mind is a good thing in spiritual terms.
I go into my mind with an issue and it shouts random words at me like a perverse word association game. They say when you are drowning your life flashes before your eyes - this has been going on for a while... I look at someone and my mind delivers a name that is not theirs - Jessica becomes Sarah, Emily becomes Jenny, Nicki becomes Natasha, I become Wendy, and so on.
But, there’s nothing wrong with me. I don’t want a diagnosis because in your diagnosis is always an implied judgement. I don’t want to be fixed. I want to be loved the way you love a rose. I want to be held and told it will all be ok. There’s nothing wrong with me. Finito.
Go deeper, I tell myself.
More and more, the message I am getting is to FAIL. Allow it. When I fail, give up, everything shifts. Sometimes from minute to minute, sometimes overnight. How else are you going to dissolve your ego? Too many people are holding on to a half life instead of living. How can you define a successful life? I am hot out of seeing Bohemian Rhapsody at the cinema - Freddie Mercury died at the age of 45. Successful life or unsuccessful? To me, successful is surrendering to your poem, your part in the tapestry of humanity that you came here to weave. If you try to be together, chances are you will probably hover on the edges of success but never actually benefit from that full swell of feeling the wind behind you when you seize your moment.
Fail better, Fail harder. Fail nobler. And let the universe fill in the gaps. It's MUCH bigger than you are.
You’re Welcome 😎
In case you haven’t yet had the pleasure, that’s a song from the Disney movie, Moana.
The Demi-god, Maui, has a tattoo telling the story of every feat he’s achieved for mankind. It’s a kind of a send-up, he’s a bit ‘entitled’, but I picked this up, because I wanted to go deeply into this question: how do we really get stuff done around here?
About three years ago when my beloved friends upstairs started working with me, I was discussing a book I’d read with them, and they started laughing. I asked, what is so funny, let me in on the joke, and they said, it’s funny because you wrote it. And no, I didn’t actually put pen to paper and write it, but, you know, you’re welcome. It had my vibe in it. So after momentary puzzlement I caught on, and said, ok, if I wrote that, this other series is definitely me. Bingo! I thought of another, they said ‘no’, but again laughing - it’s someone you know... I looked at the tone, it was a little bleaker, darker. After a few days of going through every person I’d ever met, I had it. You’re welcome on her behalf.
What I’m trying to say is, there are soul families, and higher selves, and when you start to identify with that higher self, become that, just as you become that ‘I AM’, you start to see your influence, feel influence passing through your consciousness.
Sometimes I hear the line of a poem, or a piece of wisdom in my head, and I think - wow, that sounds good. Is it mine? And I have to google it, to check whether it’s someone else’s quote or not before I use it.
The question is, how much does it matter? The ego wants to claim credit, to be recognised, and it is right in my opinion to give credit to the instrument, the channel, as long as the source is also recognised. But it is getting busy down here. I can’t speak for you, but there is a lot of ‘me’ around. And if you don’t see yourself as me (yet), then who? There is a quote I like from A Course in Miracles:
"If you want to be like me, I will help you, knowing we are alike. If you want to be different, I will wait until you change your mind.’’
At what point do we stop thinking of ourselves as individuals, and start really understanding what it means to be a collective? One ME, many faces.
So, another example. As you know if you follow football, or perhaps even if you don’t, this year was the World Cup. Just before it started, I was musing telepathically to a guy over there in a different part of the world, that England can never seem to win a penalty shoot out. He’s interested in sport, unlike me, and also in clearing karma. And I just wondered at him, what it would take to clear that kind of karma - not just that of the team itself, but the expectations and attachment of the whole nation watching, and the history of failure, and were we ready to clear it? And I didn't really think any more of it. And then, of course, England did win against Colombia, the first penalty shootout win at a World Cup, ever.
(Just kidding - it was probably the other guy).
But it shows, we are only just beginning to learn about the real possibilities of conscious co-creation.
Did I just pick up on the healing passing through, or did I become part of that instrument? I don’t even expect the person I was talking to to be conscious of our little ‘chat’, but if I flagged it to him he might, just as I was when my guides mentioned the book. I’m not dismissing the team, the coach, the training of course, but who else had a hand in it that neither of us is aware of?
I speak to a lot of teachers and gurus on the airwaves. I thank them for their wisdoms. I make observations, suggestions. They make them back. Healings have come spontaneously through me and vice versa. I see some of my suggestions being put into action by them, even though we’ve never spoken in person. Sometimes I need to pinch myself, it’s so startling and quick.
And you’re welcome.
So we come back to our question again, how do we really get stuff done around here?
I guess it’s all about who you know....
I mean, we have a sky-full of ascended masters up there, each with their own specialisms, spiritual offices and areas of authority. Each of those has probably got a whole family of themselves down here right now, with varying degrees of actualisation. The more they actualise, the more in line with the higher self you’d expect them to be. Channeling books, therapies, healing, grid work....is there any essential difference between me ‘up there’, and me down here? Sooner or later, the channel becomes one with the master, and the master merges into the ONE.
It’s always a co-creation. Some people will accuse you of ego if you start to say things like this, but actually, ask yourself the question - is it more damaging to your little self, your identity, to say ‘thank you’, or ‘you’re welcome’? Play with it. Both are necessary, and both are fun, and both are essentially the same.
On the flip side, the human psyche often resists acknowledging where an idea has come from.
Steve Jobs was apparently notorious for this - resisting other people’s ideas, then claiming them as his own.
First he would hate it, say it’s the worst idea he’d ever heard, then the next week he would back in the office saying, ‘I’ve got this great idea’... and it was someone else's and he had no remembrance at all that it came from them.
I’ve had conversations (out loud), where I’ve said something to someone, and they’ve pushed back against what I’ve said. And then a few weeks later they’ve come back and told me what’s shifted for them, and it’s exactly what I was telling them, and they have no apparent memory of that conversation.
But hey, you’re welcome.
We all learn from each other, but half the time it’s so unconscious, that it doesn’t even register except on a pure energetic level. This is how evolution gets around the ego. Personally I try to be conscious of the deliverer of an idea, even if it’s several with similar themes. Often it’s only as they integrate that I find myself thinking - hmm, I felt resistant to that person’s perspective when I first heard it.
I started this post worrying about claiming too much credit, but now I think it’s definitely time to start claiming some of that back.
Whatever it was, you’re welcome.
I hope you see where I’m coming from.
This is one for the ladies. Gentlemen, you may use it to connect with your feminine energy or understand your woman better.
Girl, you are doing great.
It is not easy being female with no rule book, no guidebook. There is no template for an enlightened female except the mother figure who sits calmly and blesses those around her. How will you integrate your shadow, and become a whole being instead of the half you have been for millennia?
How will you know which bits to choose, and which to let go?
It’s all been repressed, and now it comes out.
Don’t be hard on yourself.
What does it look like when the woman who has come by the path of Wicca reaches divinity? What when the temple priestess dissolves identity and becomes oneness? The dakini? The warrior woman?
Who is going to tell us what it looks like?
We think we have achieved some freedom as women but look how few these years are in human history. Our karma is still screaming at us telling us that we won’t live to tell the tale. Think of it all - the stoning, the ducking, the burning, the consignment to mental asylums. Joan of Arc was condemned for the crime of cross-dressing in the end. She was just wearing trousers....
It’s all still there just lurking under the surface as soon as you begin to deviate from the narrow norm.
Just a generation ago you were meant to suck it up and take Prozac. Sometimes Prozac still seems like the best option for the pain you’re not even supposed to feel, but you do. Because you are not recognised or valued for your feminine brilliance, you are dissuaded from exploring your essence.
There is no template, no precedent, or very few. This is why we are all in love with Frieda Kahlo, why we are creating a scrapbook of others like her, to learn from.
You are a pioneer. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes you will get labelled. You have to deal with the dual ‘blame’ of not being ok all the time AND breaking the mould. Why do you think you can go your own way when your mental or emotional state is not always well?
Come back into the rigid constraints we have created for you.
We care about you.
We know what is best for you.
What you feel is nonsense.
And you silently scream...
Girl, you are doing brilliantly.
You are still alive. You are still breathing. Are you going to beat yourself up for your self management - your coffee, your wine, your other helpers? You know you’ll let them go when you get a better option. You know the yoga class is good for you, walking barefoot on the grass, the dancing, the talking with a soul healing friend. Open yourself more. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, an open wound.
This is your work.
Feeling something is wrong is important work.
Think of yourself as a barometer of how well humanity is doing. Feel into what feels light. Be the change.
No prophet is accepted in his own village, is what they say. Maybe ‘prophet’ feels a little heavy for you, but if you are guiding from your space of feminine wisdom - your feeling, give me a better word.
We need to forgive ourselves for not being ok, for hurting, for being sick. Just because we feel it, and the other half denies it, suppresses feelings, does not mean we, they, are well.
How do we make this less of a burden? If you had a broken leg, how would you treat yourself? If you had the flu? If we are happy to admit on a personal level that we are sick, and that this is not failure, we will open the way to allowing the masculine energy to let go.
It’s not weak.
It’s not failure.
Take his hand. He can let go of some of that control. We can show him how to trust. We can show him the magic with confidence.
Forgive, forgive, forgive.
Angry people need forgiveness. For the limitations of form, of time, of ability, for being in dis-ease, for feeling cut off from what is sacred, for not being in love.
Girl, you are doing great. It’s ok to have a bad day. We have to allow ourselves to flow with our emotions - around people, around family, around workmates. Find a way to express them, not pretend that we are not really happening. This is the role of the healer, the shakti. We have to be at peace with the feelings of pain and unease, and also find ways of not being overwhelmed by them. We don’t need to identify.
Forgive yourself for being sick. You are carrying the burden of many.
Know when to feel, and when to dive into no-mind and non-judgement.
And allow yourself to heal.
I wrote this letter to myself the other day. It was a challenging day - travelling, a 2.30 am start, many hours more than usual in an airport, many miles covered. This is difficult for a sensitive empath.
I am experimenting with more raw posting. If it doesn't feel right, I may not keep it, so if you find this personally useful or encouraging, please leave a comment :)
and some of the best advice I ever had....
I'll admit it. I'm finding it difficult to be 'out there' balancing my inner authenticity with awareness of others' perspectives. I'm one of those perfectionists who hates criticism, but you know, this is exactly why I'm here doing this. It's something I need to get over.
How much of this is gendered? As a woman, speaking with authority is something that must be learned. Do so many women ‘channel’ because it’s easier than owning it as coming from them? A man is more likely to claim it: I AM.
I am getting tired of being too careful. Afraid of getting things wrong. I have absorbed a lot of trauma over the years from spiritual paranoia and fear of getting things wrong. How dasterdly is the punishment or consequence (same difference) for getting stuff wrong in this or that belief system? How do they conflict with each other, agreeing only in how much fear they engender? How about I trust my journey and my impulses and trust the ONE who carries me through it all?
I am sometimes impetuous, trying to unstifle, break down barriers, I try things, I test things over and over from all different angles. I am trying to find the highest version of me. I don’t want to be too cautious. Some of the greatest blessings and truths I stumbled upon by letting my guard down, by breaking rules, by being ‘spiritually incorrect’ but embodying extreme compassion.
To me this is the essence of tantra - taking the profane, the everyday and making it sacred. Using what you need to get yourself to the next stage. To keep the story moving. To own your journey, your process and weave all the threads into a beautiful pattern. If you have not woven these threads, you will simply not have much capacity for ecstasy. You won’t have developed those energy pathways. You will have one or two threads to play with, a couple of notes instead of a symphony. The key is to remain conscious and compassionate throughout everything you do. To shine the light rather than try to wrestle with demons.
We need to own our shadow bodies. Integrate them fully. Without this, we are only half alive no matter how peaceful we are and how well we have suppressed them. Our shadow bodies contain the key to our greatest potential, our divine selves. We need to allow ourselves to be angry, to break down barriers, to try things out without fear of getting it wrong. We need to look our more primal traits in the eye and accept them as part of ourselves while opening to the highest manifestation of these. We need to accept and honour our desires as things which do not originate from us, but as winds passing through. Take the role of the observer of these and choose whether to act on them without identifying. Do they originate from our most conscious place? Can we invite in a more conscious desire?
My shadow body is a genius at trying to keep me ‘in my place’. But I am getting smarter. Any time I do anything to push my boundaries to invite more unity, wonder and higher understanding it will scream as I integrate more of myself into operation. I am in a permanent place of discomfort as I open to more of myself.
Tantra Mataji is helping me find my truest alignment. I write some posts and then am led further on, to a higher understanding. I ask myself if I should edit/delete those posts or let them stand as a testament to the journey. So far, I have been doing a bit of both. When I start to feel uneasy about particular pieces of content, I have to ask - am I really testing my ‘now’, the new perspective I have, or am I falling back into self-doubt? How does it look in the perspective that allows all with compassionate understanding, that absolves all?
This is the question that I asked a couple of years ago when I first caught sight of the inner me that was trying to get out.
Am I going to keep punishing myself
for being my true self
even if it's not perfect
it sometimes can't resist a prod
It's passionate or it's not there at all
It feels spitting fury
that blows over to calm
Do I constantly need to worry
what others will think of me
that their reactions will come back at me
that I shouldn't provoke
shouldn't pick a fight
I might be thought cocky
observed too closely
I can't stand up to that much scrutiny
What's the answer?
It's still a work in progress, although plenty has been made....
But look at the beautiful advice I got straight back afterwards:
Make yourself beautiful
God loves you
is in all
snaking between you
Babaji admires you
What is wrong with cocky or flirtatious?
None of these will stick on you
Humble is your true flavour
Allow flickers of pride
They will subside
Actions done in love
even if mistaken
will awaken what needs to be awakened
People make fun
it is only ego that is untamed
You should not be ashamed
of taunting it
You are not careful
It is not your way
honesty in all
This is beautiful
Anger suits you
Don't repress it
You are not even tempered
You are free
This is the way it should be
Anger will fade
love will overcome
pain will cease
I love you
I find myself wanting to be more playful, less serious, less careful, more flowing and expressive, and more than anything, more compassionate to myself and others.
Don't sweat it.
Hold on to love and let the rest fall away.
Let's be like children, and let's PLAY.
It's not me, it's you.
Let's call this delegation.
This is counter to most streams of thought which tell you that anything you perceive in anyone else is a reflection of something in yourself. So you do your own work and see what shifts. But then you get to a point where this is your own work. Because if you can feel it, you need to call it. Maybe not out loud, but firmly and silently. Because the bigger you become, the more you can feel other people and their stuff. Or they'll unconsciously try to project it onto you. And if you feel bad about seeing negativity in others you'll end up sucking it up. You need to call it. You need to give it a name. Pretending it's not there is not loving. And when you do, don't allow yourself to feel bad or guilty. Demons go for the jugular every time so you need to be tough. They will say: 'you don't understand me or what I've been through', 'I'm being nice', 'I'm just worried about you', 'you are not so perfect yourself' etc. etc. All these things sound reasonable, play to your compassion, and are designed to get you to back off so that you'll leave them alone to be small. It takes practice, but if you do this your relationship with the real person you care about will improve and more love will flow between you. It's actually an act of trust in the other person - you don't need to rescue them from seeing what needs to be seen and correcting it.
It's not me, it's you. Because it puts you back in touch with who you are, standing firm in your inner light.
This is work in progress. I'm an empathic healer which makes this really tricky so I have been finding rage useful. Allowing rage helps to integrate the shadow body and it's not the same as anger at all. Anger is more superficial, reactive and based in the ego and its attendant emotions. Rage is a much purer cleansing power which bubbles up from your belly in the same way laughter does. Rage is loving, and should leave you feeling light and joyful. It can even be funny.
Here is a selection of four poems around this theme. Rage-y, muscle-the-demon-to-the-ground-y alchemy: this is me, and it's not ok to be aggressive, passive aggressive, cynical, victimised, reductionist, self-righteous, pious, complacent, patronising or accusatory around me. We are all heart-broken, maimed, limbless athletes in the Paralympics. But we can still GO.
I am not here to make friends
to seek reassurances
I am not here to blend in
I am here
Suddenly it’s not ok
for you to deny me
to pretend that I’m not real
to make me doubt my soul
and what I feel
It’s not ok
for you to humour me
to redefine this cynically
I hear your demons
they are carping at me
They want to make me small
so that you don’t have to let go
But it’s not ok anymore
when I look at the work
that I’ve done
the passion that I’ve shown
the truth that I’ve grown
to feel your indifference
If you try to give me bullshit
if you are nice
if you try to be understanding
show me sympathy
but we are feeding your pretense
I will grab you by the throat and shake you
If you take the moral high ground
I will slap you
and pull it out from under you
It is kinder than the violence
this does to my soul
If you play the victim I will keep away from you
lest you make me your next aggressor
I am on my knees
at the beauty of this
but you are unmoved
Where is your fire?
You are busy, you are tired...
Let me tell you how God is busy
Did you not see
what happened there in that
how the universe realigned itself
to my pretty?
Can you do that?
Who will give you permission
to call the clouds to attention
the moon and stars to heel?
I want to see the rage in you
that burns your self to ashes
I am not gossiping
with other inmates
I am standing at the door
and turning the key
Will you be free?
How much love
do you allow yourself to give?
the only question
If you think it is other
your arguments are
But our soul
is a simple
On International Women's Day I have a question...
So tell me:
How many times better
Than you must I be
To be accepted as your equal?
An A-lister, to your B
The only thing you understand
Is my tough love
And you wonder why
We are struggling to be free
If I love you
If I admire you
I can't be serious
If I'm nice
You underestimate me
(Consider it a friendly warning
But don't do that...)
I make it look easy
And instead of virtuosity
You see nothing
I can keep pulling it
Out of the bag
But this is getting boring
And it would be more fun
To ride with you
So I'll ask again
As if to a friend
How many times better
Than you must I be
With my bountiful skills
In my feminine guise
To be considered your equal?
I have some more questions....
When female leaders are strong, they attract a lot of criticism.
Or when they are perceived as weak, or just because they're there.
They can be described as being 'masculine', 'ruthless', 'even worse than men' etc etc.
I think we are still finding out what true female leadership looks like. How a woman would lead if truly allowed to follow her own inclinations...
Is it possible to lead from a place of raw, unpolished vulnerability?
Is it possible to guide from a place of feeling and pain?
To what extent can a woman be sensual?
Which qualities might you 'borrow' from each of these female leaders (below)? Which would you decline on? Are you judging them or loving them? Which other powerful women do you admire?
(Top left clockwise: Baroness Thatcher, Catherine the Great, Queen Elizabeth I, Inanna)
You can learn a lot from children. You’ve heard it said no doubt, that to enter the kingdom of heaven you must become like a little child...
Well, you know, it’s actually true.
Thing is, this is rather difficult when you’ve gone through all the bother of growing up in the first place. You’ve bought into all the ideas about what life should be like, what success is.
Education, job, family, lots of likes on Facebook. Being #soblessed.
It’s hard work. You’ve put your back into it. You’ve got stuff to show for it.
Children are like little animals. Forces of nature.
It is not a positive thing though to say an adult is like an animal. So we try to civilise children, divorce them from their primal energy, and work on getting them to perform to external standards.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but kids don’t actually like ‘performing’. Like when Grandma or auntie comes round and you say: ‘Put on your nice dress’, ‘Why not play us that little tune you learned on the recorder?’, or you say ‘Come on, let’s hear a bit of the Spanish you’ve been learning’.
Ha, ha, ha....
That’s right, they tell you, usually by the look in their eyes, to get lost.
On the other hand, a child is very spontaneous, and will do any of those things they can do as and when it pleases them, when the mood takes them.
But if we want to become like children, we need to start doing more of what children do.
Start saying get lost when someone asks you to perform, and then use your energy to excel at something they never even dreamed of.
A child will say what they think because they haven’t yet learned that it’s not done to be truthful.
A child is innocent and trusting because they haven’t yet learned that the world is cynical of this.
A child is hopeful because they haven’t yet learned to manage their expectations.
A child is quick to point out an injustice and expects something to be done about it because they haven't learned that's not how the world works.
What would a child say about living the life you live right now?
If you actually try to ‘become like a little child’, you’ll come up very quickly against your own cynicism. What does that voice in your head say? Where did that feeling originate? Where did you learn that? Do you need to keep believing it?
If you stick with it for a bit, you’ll actually realise that innocence can be its own protection. Watch the people around you do a double take. Giggle. Try it some more.
Treat yourself with the same compassion as you would a little child and you’ll find yourself opening to life in a much richer way.
You might think these two videos don't belong in the same playlist, but I like to mix things up when I'm playing on YouTube.
The first video is pretty mix-y already, but I've thrown in some Diana Ross for good measure.
I discovered this version of the Naat Sharif for the first time today, and it's rather beautiful and haunting.
You find out a lot about yourself when you do this. How does it make you feel to listen to each of these? What about in quick succession? Do they belong together or not?
Is your mind trying to come to an opinion or judgement so that you can neatly file your reaction? Can you let your mind relax and absorb the totality of both? Which of the videos makes you feel more?
Is either of them ringing your bell today?
You might be wondering why my writing is on the provocative side. Well the thing is, if you don't poke something, you don't see what it's made of. You won't find what unconscious beliefs are lurking unchallenged. You won't see what words and definitions spring to mind when someone's taken aback. If you cause a reaction, at least you have a starting point - you've seen where you stand. If not, a lot of lip service gets paid and no one makes any progress.
How many faces of the divine feminine are there? We are beginning to rediscover these widely now through timeless archetypes of the 'goddess'. But how many faces of the feminine are actually allowed to be without attracting censure? You will find that when a woman puts her head above the parapet, she will immediately attract one or more 'definitions'. She may initially even like some of these definitions as they sound quite 'cool', but over time she'll find that they are essentially reductive. They are used to categorise and say, 'I don't have to engage with you fully as a serious being'. 'I know what you are - see I've got a name for it'. This occurs everywhere in our culture, you only need to look at the media to see. It's particularly prevalent in spirituality, where there is an unconscious culture of either the path of an 'aesthetic' or 'respectability'. It's very dualistic, which is what enlightenment purports to take you beyond, yet you see beings who really ought to know better still using stereotypes which are of no help to real women.
Ladies, you are allowed to be female in all its guises, but you are also allowed to be not simply female: a whole being. You are allowed to play with many archetypes, and you're allowed to put them down. You are allowed to draw upon your positive male energy as and when required. You're allowed to be a mother, and you're also allowed to be something other.
This is a long-y, but it's not boring.....
This is not my name
And this is not me either
Neither one nor the other
Nor anything in between
You can't catch me like that
With a label, with a small love...
I dared to love and be dauntless
And you called me a goddess
You fell for me also
So you feared I'm a witch
I'm adept in a temple
So perhaps it's a priestess
I have children at home
Now relax - I'm a mother
But here comes the clincher:
I embrace you as lover...
I think you'll find
All sorts of names for me now?
You moved me
You touched me
You fired my divinity
You wanted me
Felt the flame
Of innocent purity
And as it turns out
I'm not brahmacharyi
Are impossibly low
Is your maya so great
That you can't let go?
If I quote a few scriptures
You can call me a scholar
Then I'll write a few lines
And a mystic will be
You give the lines to me?
I have some words
You can use:
Gun-toting, sharp shooting
Lover of wine
From time to time
Naked and soft
Susceptible to loving
Mover of energy
I am Shiva and Shakti
Left handed and right
Scales in balance
But by you undefined
As hero and maiden
I'll slay you a dragon
Then chain myself up
And wait while you find me
Don't try to contain me
To own me with words
To you I will not be bound
This is my name
The nameless ONE
So take your angel and your Devi
And your devotee and your nun
And your good wife and your harlot
And unite them into none
Let me be empty
Let me be loving
Let me be free
To respond to the truth
To the love in you
To the joy of infinity
This is ME
(Funny thing is, I don't think I read Shivoham by Adi Shankaracharya until after I'd written this. If you don't know it, here's a link with translation). You know what they say:
(Knowledge breaks the chains of slavery)
I have been been getting increasingly aggravated by adverts for workshops teaching the physical aspect of tantra. There has been a whole lot of not signing up on my part. They leave me uneasy. Recently, the penny dropped - its all about the integrity of approach... Perhaps if I knew nothing, it would be different, but there is an inherent tension between my inner knowing and experience, and what I see in these adverts. Nothing has spoken to my soul.
If I see a stock photo of a glamorous-looking couple, or a sultry female model used to promote what they are teaching, before I've even read anything I am in a state of tension. Tantra is about relaxing and accepting who you are, going within, and here someone is getting me to look at someone else (looking outside myself) in order to sign up to their stuff. We already know what 'selling sex' looks like - it's all around us all the time teaching us to be consumers. And then, here it is again somewhere it shouldn't be.
Tantra with a partner is about relaxation, allowance, not having to 'perform' or achieve anything, total compassion for self and ones partner, acceptance, a state of childlike innocence, playfulness, devotion.
Being naked? Yes, but in the metaphorical sense, of removing your masks, going back to that Garden of Eden state of innocence, of feeling it's the first time every time.
So, if someone tries to sell me tantra by listing the number of different types of orgasm that are possible, they are already trying to sell by pushing subtly into the realms of 'performance'. Comparing my 'performance' to something else and creating a perceived lack. Guess what? My molecules simply aren't responding. Part of me is thinking: 'You were itemising? You must have been really carried away with that experience'.
It's often about the tone: compassion v. aggression. This can be very subtle, but if there is a testimonial saying someone achieved the 'best sex ever', we are uncomfortably in the latter, and to me it's not tantra.
Visually, the tone often looks rather 'adult'. Ranging from burlesque to private sex shop to Moroccan harem. You can do what you like in your own time, but this speaks to me of imposing your own vision, which is the opposite of putting me in touch with my own inner self and allowing something to evolve.
I have one book which includes friendly, innocent, line drawings of a range of different types of couples. The tone throughout is warm and compassionate, take it or leave it, try this or don't, do all of these techniques or just one. It stands out from the crowd, and so far alone, in terms of integrity and the amount of love which oozes out from its pages (message me if you want to have the recommendation).
Why is no one talking about joy? lightness? absolution? Where is the humour? Are you breaking into song, writing poems, spontaneously dancing, creating works of art? Are you allowed to feel a bit daft?
If you can do all of those things, you might convince me that you have something to offer.
If not, I think I can probably manage.
confidence - freedom - passion