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Aug 312012
 

I saw the most hysterical movie at the cinema the other day, appropriately entitled ‘Hysteria’. I heartily recommend you go and see it. Set in Victorian England, it charts the invention of the first vibrator by a physician treating women diagnosed with ‘hysteria’. The doctor, played by the rather handsome Hugh Dancy, becomes an expert in the clinical treatment of women through masturbation, helping them to relive the boredom, frustration and repression they feel, trapped in their lives in a man’s world.

Played as a comedy of errors, this is a time when the telephone has just been invented, the suffragette movement is building steam and ‘hysteria’ is the female plague of the moment. The term covered symptoms as diverse as nymphomania, melancholia and all kinds of erratic behaviour, and while it’s a serious subject, it’s handled with much humour.

This is a fascinating look at the birth of the world’d most popular sex toy, adapted, as it was from a motor powered feather duster (really!). There are some hilarious scenes, such as when the prototype is first trialled on Molly the Lolly, the household’s ex-hooker turned maid. And as for the opera singer who’s ‘too sad to sing’, well you can just imagine the results when the earth finally moves for her in the doctor’s treatment room!

Its charm lies in the way it gently ridicules the repression and double standards of the Victorian era, and the prudishness and small-mindedness of the judicial and medical systems around at the time. It’s also a great lesson in showing how far women have come (no pun intended!) since the days of gender inequality, when so little was understood about female sexuality.

I was also reminded of the healing power of the work I do, being involved this very area myself. It’s never been more clear to me how touch, pleasure and bliss can allow us to transcend the everyday, release pain and frustration and heal ourselves on every level. Go and see this fabulous romp and enjoy an eye-opening exploration of our most powerful means of transformation!

Aug 262012
 

Walking home the other night, wafts of warm air suddenly caressed my skin. After months of cold weather, I wasn’t sure what they were at first. But as I moved through these little bliss pockets of warmth, I suddenly smelled the faint perfume of jasmine in the air, a sure sign that spring is on the way. And it got me thinking about how aromas can conjure up powerful emotions, awakening lost memories and transporting you to beautiful moments and places. 

Smell is probably one of our most underrated senses. We tend to rely more on sight, touch, taste and hearing, our most dominant ways of interacting with the world. Smell is slightly more subtle, especially in the city, where we’re forced to shut down our senses to some degree, as we’re faced with the onslaught of noise, chaos and sensory overload of the concrete jungle. Yet smell can be highly effective in arousing our spirit, helping us create a sacred space and giving us a deep sense of calm and stillness.

I often use aromas in my work – and when a client walks in and smells the rich, earthy, musty scent of vetiver, or the intoxicating heady fragrance of neroli, they know instantly that they’re somewhere they can connect with their senses, their spirit and their humanity.

Nature offers some amazing sacred spaces, whether they’re mountains, rainforests, gardens, waterfalls or beaches – and our sense of smell, when triggered, can take us back to the natural world, and back to our origins. Smells help us create a place of refuge and sanctuary, somewhere we can escape the pressures of the day and feel safe and comfortable. 

Where is your most sacred space? It could be a temple, a monument, a garden, or a cave. It could even be somewhere inside you, the quiet part of you that just ‘is’. How do you create sacred space in your own life? Think about using essential oils as a way of heightening your awareness and anchoring yourself in the present. Stimulate your senses and cultivate a sense of harmony and balance. Breathe deeply and feel your connection to your surroundings and your higher self.

Aug 192012
 

‘Energy’. It’s a word that’s often thrown around… but how much do most of us really understand about the concept? Well, in Tantra, energy is more than just an idea – it’s actually a physical force that can be harnessed, played with, moved around the body.

If you think about it, everything is energy. Each living thing in the universe is made up of atoms and molecules, those tiny particles that are the building blocks of life. This vibrating ‘sea’ of energy is all around us and within us, connecting us to each other and to everything. But we’re not just helplessly entangled in it – we can actually influence and change the energy field around us.

Here’s a quick exercise to help illustrate. Rub your hands together as hard and quickly as you can for 10 to 20 seconds, then hold them together so your palms are almost, but not quite touching. You should feel some heat and tingling, and you may even feel a kind of force field between your hands, like they’re magnetised. What’s happened is you’ve created a small electrical charge of energy in your hands using friction.

This ‘charge’ can be redirected to another part of the body. Rub your hands together again, but this time place them on your heart, breathe deeply and feel that energy enter your chest. Does your heart feel warmer or more open? Maybe you feel a little more connected to your emotions. You’ve just created and moved energy around the body, and Tantra teaches many methods like this to create, build and transfer energy from one place to another.

When energy circulates freely through the body, we’re at our happiest and healthiest. We also feel most connected – to ourselves, the people in our lives and the world around us. But when energy’s blocked, we feel lifeless and exhausted. Of course, these feelings can be caused by other things – but there’s also often a blockage in the flow of life force energy.

Try this body scan to find where energy might be stuck. Close your eyes and focus on your body. Which parts can you feel most clearly? Your arms and legs? Belly? Toes? Genitals? Shoulders? Jaw? Now tune in to which parts feel a bit more vague and hard to read. Perhaps these are areas where energy is trapped or sluggish and in need of work. And that’s where a session with me can be really helpful.

Aug 112012
 

Asking permission to RECREATE INTENSE ROMANCE… and have it, just like it was at the start of your relationship.

Are you experiencing ‘flat-lining’ in your intimate relationship? Do you feel that there is no ‘new-ness’… that is, the ‘new’ sense of adventure that comes from being in the courtship phase of a relationship? That’s the time when you experienced a very strong sense of romance, when you (and your beloved) were VERY excited to be with each another?

If you’re avoiding intimacy because you’re experiencing boredom from monotonous intimate experiences… then here’s a simple way of recreating ‘newness’ and heightening your sense of romance — and have it, just like it was at the start of your relationship!

It’s very simple. Here’s how — ask permission.
 

Create a practice in your intimate time, where you ask permission for e-v-e-r-y thing and e-v-e-r-y step you take… and then listen for, and honor the answer that comes back to you.See how this changes your experience from the ‘usual’ menu.

Make sure you set the intention first with your beloved. Ask them “my darling, I yearn for us to melt together. Tonight (or this Saturday etc) can we take time out from the world and reconnect?”

Creating an atmosphere of sacredness works. This means turning off all phones, the TV and making sure the children are out of the house so that you have privacy.

Ask yourself: how can I nurture my beloved?
Ask yourself: what can I do so that my beloved feels supported?
And add these into your love making.

Great and obvious choices are…
…. running a bath for your beloved and then sitting beside the tub and slowly washing them.
… no bath? Then shampoo and condition your beloved’s hair in the shower.
… ask them to relax while you towel dry them. You get the idea!

During your time together, instead of touching them as you normally would, S-L-O-W down and ask permission. Ask permission for e-v-e-r-y thing and e-v-e-r-y step you take during your time together.

Ask “may I…?”

Notice the amazing differences this same and simple process makes! It’s like pressing the reset button on a monotonous relationship.

I invite you to try it out.

 

 

 

 

Aug 052012
 

I was watching Ghost the other day, and during a particularly passionate kissing scene, I noticed that both actors had their eyes shut. It started me thinking about how most people close their eyes when kissing. And as for sex, well, how often can you recall having your eyes open at the moment of orgasm? Yep, and you’re not alone – for most of us, our eyes are more likely to be rolling back in our heads than focused outward.

‘So what’, you might ask. Well, this notion of closing your eyes during key intimate moments actually disconnects you from your partner. We often (but not always) close our eyes to give free reign to those sexual fantasies in our minds, helping us to build momentum towards climax. But in doing so, we’re subconsciously choosing a ‘solo’ experience over a shared one, and denying ourselves the opportunity to strengthen our connection and truly be ‘in the moment’.

So, here’s a suggestion. Next time you kiss, or make love with a partner, try keeping your eyes open, and see what happens. You can even experiment with focusing your attention more often and more intently on their left eye, as this is the eye that is thought to be more receptive to emotions. There’s no need to go overboard though – remember, you’re gazing with love and adoration, rather than with the unblinking stare of a serial killer! Make it feel natural and warm and notice the difference in the quality of your experience together.

Hopefully you’ll find that holding eye contact like this creates greater intimacy and intensity, enabling you to share your experience, rather than disappearing off into fantasy-land. You can even try it outside the bedroom, with friends, family and even the people you meet during your day, to help you connect on a deeper level and live more consciously and in the moment – which is, after all, what we’re here to practice.