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Mar 032017
 

It’s beautiful to be connected.  To have honest, real human contact, to appreciate the joys of life.  And these days, it’s easier to be connected than ever, with social media and email accessible right from our phones.  We can be reached anytime, anywhere.  But how connected are we, really?

These days, one of the biggest issues we face is work-life balance.  It’s become the norm to answer work emails, take care of invoices, and communicate with employers or clients during our personal time.  And it’s all too easy to feel pressured to do this, to feel that we won’t keep our jobs unless we “live” them.  How much room is there for the “life” part of the equation?

Once upon a time, there was a clearer delineation between work and life.  We went to work and made money so that we could go home and live.  So that we could enjoy life, interact with family and friends, experience things and cultivate rich and meaningful connections.  In order to do that, we have to disconnect from work when the work day is over.  Put the email on hold, maybe even hide the phone altogether.  Set aside a time to be human and take pleasure in our lives.

Take some time to consider it.  Are you working to live or living to work? It’s an important question.  Are you enjoying this precious gift of life, or just waiting for retirement?  The choice is always ours.  We can give ourselves permission to put the job down and enjoy the time we have.

Our world is framed by narrative, by stories that we have absorbed along the way, often without ever realising it.  One of these narratives is security.  It’s that feeling that we have to push, struggle, exhaust ourselves, and do things that we don’t really want to do.  Just so that we have enough money to pay the bills and come back for the next week of struggle.  The funny thing is that security is an illusion; a carrot on a stick if you will, that can keep us running for decades, if we don’t stop to consider the alternatives.  And it’s a bottomless pit, a need that can’t be filled by any amount of money, power, or possessions.

All that we have, when it comes right down to it, is our experience.  Our present moment.  But we can’t enjoy the present moment if we’re living with an “until then” mindset.  I’ll be happy when I get that next promotion.  When I can finally take that vacation.  When I pay off the mortgage.  When the kids grow up.  But life is happening right here, right now.  And it can slip right through our fingers if we don’t stop to smell the roses.  Life is for living, loving, laughing, for being present to the juicy, delicious moments, feelings, experiences, and connections that surround us and knock on the door, just waiting to be let in.

Are you enjoying yourself?  Really soaking in the beauty around you?  Feeling your body?  Having amazing and meaningful connections with the people in your life?  That’s what it’s all about, really.  And it’s a gift that each of us can give ourselves, whenever and wherever we are.

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Feb 012017
 

What’s the sexiest thing you can imagine?

Let me give you a hint.  Being sexy has nothing to do with your body.  Sure, it’s nice to see, or to have, flawless skin, perfect teeth, chiselled abs, or wonderful breasts.  But none of these things really make a person sexy.  You can have these attributes, or see them in another, and something can still be missing.

Real sexiness comes from another place.  Any guesses?

Here it is: listening is sexy.  Really seeing someone, really being seen.  Putting all those little thoughts or insecurities we have on the back burner and tuning in to the person in front of us.  Giving your whole and complete attention to your partner makes you attractive.

We all crave it.  We want to connect, honestly and completely, with another human being.  Without all the games, without the worries, just sharing a moment together.  We want to be seen and appreciated for who we are.  This is one of the most basic and fundamental qualities of human nature.  And it’s the one that most often goes overlooked.

It’s hard to really listen.  We wonder if we should say this or that, if the other person sees us the way we want to be seen.  We wonder if we’re good enough, if our little imperfections – or big ones – will turn the other person off.  But all of these things get in the way.  No one’s perfect, and we’re all perfect exactly as we are.

It takes work, too, because we’re so used to wanting things to work out a certain way.  We’re used to wanting things from people, for them to see us this way, or have this sort of connection with us.  The most beautiful thing about this is that once you let go, the connections that enter your life become more right, more fulfilling in a subtle and indescribable way.

Try it out.  Next time you’re with your sweetheart, let go of all the things you worry about, and just listen to what they have to say.  Don’t just listen to their words.  Breathe, be in your body, and listen with every part of your being.  Open up your heart as well as your ears. Listen to the feelings that arise as they speak.  Listen to your body’s responses.  Open up to the person you’re sharing the moment with, and see where it goes.

If you can really do this, dating becomes much easier and a lot more fun.  And long-term relationships can be completely transformed.  No more waiting for the kiss, or wondering what you should say.  No more arguments about silly inconsequential things to cover your real feelings.  Just being there in the moment, listening, and allowing yourself to respond naturally.  No need to hold on to anything you might hope for, or hold off for anything you might be afraid of.  Just letting the moment unfold as it wants to, and following the energy.

One of the first things that you’ll notice is that people will be drawn to you.  As you become better at listening, people will want to share with you.  This is huge in intimate connections, but it doesn’t stop there.  When people feel that you see them, that they really hear what you have to say, they want to spend time with you.  They want to share all of those things they’ve kept inside.  Because you’re creating a space that they can just be themselves, that they will be seen and accepted for whoever they are.

This is a bit of magic, one of the easiest things we can do, and one of the hardest.  The single biggest key to being sexy.  Try it out, and let me know what you think.

In love and light,

Taranga

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Dec 042016
 

merry-christmas-from-blissrisingMerry Christmas season, everyone!  Once more, it’s time for blessings and cheer and to reflect upon the year.  And it’s been a whirlwind.

I love the holiday season, but I have to remember to pull back and pamper myself a little bit along the way.  For all the cheer and joy that comes around, we have the stress of family dynamics, the rush for Xmas presents, and the inevitable chaos that pops up on cue each holiday season.  I invite you all to take the time you need to reboot and recover some of the energy spent throughout the last twelve months.

This year has been epic, both for Blissrising and on a personal level.  It’s flown by, a journey from one obstacle to the next.  For those that resonate with this, take heart.  There’s always a storm before the calm.  Crisis and opportunity, challenge and growth.  The energy is high, the pace is fast, and we’re gathering more momentum as we move along.  The best thing to do is take one step at a time and remember to breathe, to let the flow of life carry us along as it unfolds.

One of the beautiful new developments for Blissrising is the Hen’s Night.  These nights have been juicy and exciting, perfect gifts for the bride-to-be.  I host a Lingam Massage Hen’s Night where the lucky bride to be and her friends get to experience and learn the techniques needed to give a sensual and erotic experience that your men will never forget.  I teach an authentic tantric skill that will keep your man in the palm of your hand from day one, and once they go tantric, they don’t go back.

Despite the challenges along the way, this year has been exciting, expansive, and downright amazing.  I have received a host of wonderful clients, and have had the privilege to brighten their lives, deepen their connection to sensuality, and give the gift of touch, sensuality and tantra to men, women, and couples from all walks of life.  This is my passion and my joy, my way of bringing more life, light, joy, and pleasure into the world.

I normally don’t get into this, but I even have a few resolutions for the New Year.  My goals – to begin sharing with a broader audience through a YouTube channel and to take a few more mini-vacations and spend more time with loved ones.  I want to open up a bit more to the flow of life and to do one thing each day to brighten the lives of those around me.

So, with the end of one year and the dawn of the new on the horizon, what are your reflections?  What challenges have you met, and what gifts have these challenges offered?  What is there to be grateful for in your world, and what would you like to do to give back to yourself.  And finally, what experiences would you like to invite into your world during the year ahead?

In love and light, and with holiday blessings for all.

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Nov 012016
 

edging-and-the-tantric-orgasmI’m not a big fan of studies and statistics, but here’s one that caught my attention: it takes, on average and under most circumstances, 5.4 minutes for a man to reach orgasm once he has entered a woman.

Maybe that’s extended by a bit of foreplay and maybe you or your lover have the capacity to stretch things out a bit longer than that, but let’s be real.  That’s a bit anticlimactic.  (If you’ll pardon the pun.)

The good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case.  There’s a simple tip that, with a bit of practice, can allow the lovemaking experience to last hours.  By learning a bit about our bodies and the art of lovemaking, sex can become more fulfilling, more pleasurable, and infinitely more satisfying.  It’s all about edging.

All too often, our intimate play becomes a headlong rush to orgasm.  The excitement hits, the clothes come off, and you’re into it, hot and heavy.  And then—bam.  It’s done.  In many cases leaving one or both of you unsatisfied.

But what would happen if you slowed down?  If you let the orgasmic energy build up, bringing it almost to the point where release becomes inevitable… and then stop, hanging in the moment and feeling the energy flow between you?  Or allow the sexual energy to build, letting it get really intense, and then slowing down to languor in a soft and sensual rhythm?

Edging is the practice of orgasm control, of building up the orgasm, raising the sensations almost to the peak, and then relaxing away from it.  The energy builds up, and then ebbs off—a little bit.  Slowly, the sexual energy builds to levels you can’t even imagine if you haven’t tried it.  When the orgasm arrives, it’s explosive.  I’m talking body-shaking, toe-curling, forget where you are in the massive rush of pleasure explosive.

Edging can help a man to last much longer in the bedroom, help him to slow down and tune in to the subtle signals of his body, to enjoy a succulent lovemaking experience instead of turning the intimate play into a (brief) athletic performance.  Men that practice edging find that they can last much longer, have a stronger sex drive, have more control over when they choose to orgasm, and even experience multiple orgasms.

But this isn’t just for men.  Women can experience the same deepening of sensual experience and unbelievable heightening of pleasure in exactly the same way.  It can deepen the state of arousal, bring in a sense of euphoria, and put you in a state of altered consciousness.  Edging is a key element in the practice of tantra, in exploring the orgasmic potential of the entire body and deepening our awareness of sensual pleasure in all aspects of life.

Tantra is an exploration of the sexual energy, learning how to build it, feel it, and channel it through the body.  The beautiful thing about the practice of edging is that it leads you straight into this deeper connection with the sexual energies.  In building the orgasmic energy, you allow it to spread throughout the body rather than just being confined to the sexual organs.  The practice of tantra deepens this experience by connecting with the breath, slowing the breathing down and matching it with your partner.  Breathing as one, moving as one, and feeling as one.  Allowing the energy to rise and fall together, rather than pushing the experience to orgasm.  This takes a bit of practice, but it’s not about mastery.  It’s about making every single sensual experience you share with your lover exquisite and unforgettable.

Whether you’re stuck in a sexual rut or having the most unbelievable sex of your life, edging can help to take your lovemaking to new levels.  But don’t take my word for it.  Try it out yourself.   Next time you’re in that intimate space with your lover, tune in.  Slow down and let the feeling fill your awareness.  Try breathing together, and taking the time to really feel the connection.  Bring it up to the edge, and then back down.  Breathe the energy up through the body and through the heart.  And then allow it to build again, letting the sharing deepen and become more exquisite with each moment.

Blessings and beautiful sexplorations!

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Oct 012016
 

the-importance-of-personal-timeWe’ve all been there.  In the early stages of relationship, we just can’t get enough of one another.  Long conversations late into the night, early mornings together.  It’s a beautiful, magical time.  And then, somewhere along the way, a bit of tension starts to enter the picture.  We might start to get a bit snappy, a bit irritable at things that never even caught our attention before.  Little disputes can pop up, things that, if we had enough space and clarity, would never be enough to cause conflict.  Little by little, it becomes harder to stay in that space of euphoric connection that seemed inexhaustible in the beginning.

What happened?  Has the magic slipped away?  Limited shelf life for the golden moments?

Not really.  The bare truth is that we all need personal time to get centered and clear.  To rest the mind, come back to balance, and be in the space where we can bring the best of ourselves into any interaction.  It’s easy to forget this when we’re in that space of excitement about a new connection, but it’s a basic human need.  And knowing that can make the difference between a lasting, fulfilling relationship and one that becomes stale and confining despite our best efforts and sincerest desires to the contrary.

When we spend time with others, we tune in to them energetically.  Our fields become linked and we synch our vibrations.  We create a space between us that is different from the one we create for ourselves.  And this is a beautiful thing.  It’s connection, pure and simple.  This connection is what makes life exciting, juicy, delicious, and really worth living.  But the fact remains that it’s a different space than we have learned to navigate on our own.

By making it a point, even in those really beautiful and exciting early moments of a new connection, to take a bit of time for ourselves, we give ourselves a chance to occupy our own energy field.  Even a walk alone or a ten-minute space of personal time can let us tune in to the subtleties of our field.  Our focus comes back to center and we start to feel all those little things that might need attention in the moment.  Demands of the body, little emotional wobbles or thoughts that have come up, but haven’t had the chance to fully surface.  This time lets us take stock and listen to where we are and what’s happening for us in the moment.  To de-stress and sort out any of the loose ends that have accumulated along the way.

Personal time is essential for a healthy and lasting relationship, but it doesn’t end there.  The demands of life often keep us running.  From work to home, to the things that we have to sort out in order to keep things running, to the evenings out for fun.  One thing can lead to another, and over time, we get exhausted without even realising why.  With so many things claiming our urgent attention, a little time alone can seem unimportant.  But that lets all sort of things get lost in the mix.

Truth be told, having a bit of peaceful time alone each day is as important as exercising.  As having a healthy diet or good sleeping habits.  We can survive without it.  And even do really well—for a little while.  But before too long, the lack starts to catch up with us and we get a bit off.  We start to let things slip, or become distracted, irritable, stressed, or just generally less able to bring the best part of ourselves forward.  In any aspect of life.

So take a chance to stop and smell the roses.  Take a walk, have a few minutes of quiet contemplation, or just lay down in your own space for a moment.  See what happens when you make it a point to have a daily check in time.  How does your quality of connection improve?  What points of gratitude or clarity drop in when you create space for them?  It’s amazing how much a few moments alone can improve every connection in our lives.

Blessings and Light.

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Sep 022016
 

showing-up-spiritual-growth-through-relationshipWe’ve all been there. When a relationship is fresh and new, we’re on top of the world. Life just opens up and anything is possible. And then, somewhere along the way, stuff comes up. Things aren’t so rosy anymore and we just want to run. Or fix it. Or withdraw. Or whatever we think will get us past the difficulty and into a space that feels better.

Relationships are one of the greatest joys in life—and one of its greatest challenges. The deeper and more meaningful the relationship is, the greater the challenge. They trigger our deepest wounds, open our hearts so that we are raw and vulnerable and force us to really look at ourselves. And none of that is easy. These are the spaces where all of our old patterns still run the show. All the unresolved emotions and childish tendencies, subconscious habits and limiting beliefs.

We all have stuff to heal. And we are masters at fooling ourselves and looking around what we don’t really want to see. We often do it without even being aware of it. When something in life goes awry, when something feels a bit off, our intimate relationships are the first thing we question. Is this right for me? Is there another, better relationship out there? When things come up, dropping the whole thing and going elsewhere can seem like a pretty tempting idea. But most of the time, we find ourselves in the same situation with the next relationship and the one after that. Because, most of the time, the relationship isn’t the problem.

We draw in experiences, people and situations that resonate with us. Invisibly and unconsciously, we seek out familiar situations and people, those that give us a chance to become aware of our shortcomings and become empowered. To learn a bit more about ourselves, we need to become conscious of those unconscious bits that have such a powerful influence on our experience. We open into a space where we can be hurt, rejected and abandoned because this is exactly the space we need to be in to heal. And to feel the joy of life.

Connecting authentically with others means showing up, owning our crap and being present. It means listening to the emotions when they come up and learning to express them in a healthy way. Seeing where our boundaries are fuzzy and where we lose sight of our needs. Relating from a conscious space is challenging because it brings all those little misalignments and leaky bits into our awareness. When those really sensitive spaces come to light, it’s easy to step into a place of blame, or shut down, or run away. The hardest thing to do is sit with the feelings that come up. Express those little fears or insecurities as they are, rather than becoming defensive. We’re almost hardwired to do anything but look at the painful bits, and we’ve all learned some pretty sneaky ways of avoiding them.

Yeah, sometimes it’s easier to shut down. But it’s a delay tactic. The pain and fear and insecurity that come up, all of those less delightful parts of the human experience, they’re in us to begin with. And we carry them into every connection we make until we learn to see them. Like a thorn that we avoid touching. Any time something rubs against it, it hurts like hell. But it won’t stop hurting until we pull it out. Until we let the feelings come up, look them square in the face and talk about them.

This is why relationships are such a perfect vehicle for spiritual growth. To relate from a conscious space, we have to show up. And we have to be honest about all of those things that get in the way of showing up. Keeping our relationships healthy means knowing our needs and making sure they’re met. Learning how to be accountable for our actions and how to open up when it’s hardest. This is the essence of spirituality. It’s all about stepping out of the head and into the heart. Authenticity, being real even when it hurts, is one of the deepest and most elemental paths to healing and waking up.

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Aug 012016
 

what-is-this-love-thing-anyway-blissrising

There are only four questions of value in life… What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for, and what is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same: only love. – Don Juan Demarco 1994

Love is one of the most sought-after, healing and transformative experiences we can have in our time on this little blue ball. Sadly, it’s also one of the least understood parts of human life.

In fact, it might be the stories that have been built up around it that have made it so hard to attain love in our personal experience of life. We’ve all been raised on stories of bitter-sweet passions and unrequited love, Disneyesque models of “true love,” and other such romantic illusions. Each has painted a picture of love as something so unrealistic and so outside of the realm of human experience, that it’s no surprise we have a hard time getting our lives to match the pictures they’ve presented.

In reality, our love relationships are both the greatest gifts and the greatest challenges we encounter in our lives. Here are a few tips to blow away the fog and bring in a bit of clarity around this mysterious force called love:

1. Love is not exclusive

How about that one true love? The one that saves you and makes everything better? That makes a boring, unsatisfying life somehow magical and perfect? It sounds a bit suspicious when I lay it out like that, doesn’t it?

Love isn’t just something that happens when you’re finally face to face with that one destined person. And it won’t save you. We each have to save ourselves. Once we do, we’re ready to take our relationships deeper, to see others more clearly for who they are and open the door to a real sense of connection. Love is this connection, a sense of warmth and mutual care that can happen between any two or more and at any time. When we’re waiting in an unsatisfying life for that one magical connection, we’re allowing all the beautiful interactions and moments of love just pass us by. All because they didn’t look the way we expected them to.

2.

Ok… Wham! There it is! Your eyes meet and suddenly you know. All the stresses and problems in life melt away, replaced by a golden fog of happily-ever-after. Forever.

Forever has a bit of a ring to it, doesn’t it? Sounds like an awful long time. Plus, how about that beginning? That dramatic first moment. Can’t beat that, can you? Stuff of legends. And maybe only of legends.

The reality of it is that we do have those moments of connection, those undeniable instances of chemistry. Times when we simply know that we have to say hello and find out who this person in front of us is. But once that happens, then it’s time to share moments. To build love and trust, cultivate real connection through instances of thoughtfulness, consideration and acceptance. Our loving bonds—and our lives—are the product of tiny little moments, all strung together. If we want to keep love alive, keep it growing, we need to keep cultivating it one little moment at a time.

3. Love has four key ingredients

Kindness, gentleness, care and contentment. No matter how self-contained or grown-up we are, we all need kindness, gentleness and care in our lives. These qualities are essential for a real bond with real people. And, if we want to have meaningful connections with others, then we need to hold these qualities for them as well. Love is a verb, an act of mutual sharing. When this sharing comes from a place of mutual care and respect, it is a blessing in our lives. Contentment is a bit of a crowning jewel in this list. Without contentment from within, we try to find things that make us happy, that “fix” it, or that make life work, from the situations and people around us in life. But if we don’t know how to be happy in our own lives, no one and nothing outside of us is going to make that “fix.” Contentment allows us to relax into the bond, to let go of seeking and appreciate others for who they really are.

4. Love has presence

In order to connect with others, we have to really be there. Have you ever been at the table with a friend or partner, just watching them stare at the phone? When our attention is elsewhere, real connection isn’t possible. And phones aren’t the only thing that can keep us from being present. Any time our thoughts are elsewhere, any time our minds are full of what we want to say, what happened before, what we’re expecting or hoping will happen later, there isn’t enough space within us to see the person in front of us. Being present, being here clears the mind, relaxes the body and opens the heart, creating space for love to grow.

5. Expectations can kill love

This is one of the most practical things we can ever learn, something that can help relationships to survive and grow in the real world. We all have needs and often we expect others to meet these needs for us. Sometimes, we don’t speak these needs, expecting a partner or friend to play a role when they’ve never even been handed the script. Part of cultivating a real connection, means being responsible for our own needs. And another big part means being able to express the needs that we would like others to fill for us. Dropping the expectation that another will behave a certain way or fulfil some unexpressed desire. Accepting them as they are, for who they are and knowing our needs well enough to communicate them, if they’re part of the equation.

7. Love isn’t just about a lover

Love is a state of being. It isn’t something that enters our lives when we have finally found that special someone. In fact, if that’s what we’re waiting for, then we’re bound to be waiting a long time. Love enters our life when we hold that feeling, when we place ourselves in a place of love for every aspect of our experience. For the sunset we take in, the food we eat, the sensations running across our skin in each moment. Love is an attitude, a feeling that we can allow in. By opening up to this, and by sharing it with those we interact with, we open the door to beautiful, bright, meaningful connections everywhere and in every way.

The real key here is that being “in love” means being open to the beauty and joy life has to offer in every moment. This is where we start and where we come back to. If this is the foundation of your relationships, then they can return to good even after the challenging points. This is a gift that we can give ourselves. In fact, we have to give it to ourselves before we can share it with anyone else.

With hope this has opened the door for more understanding of love and connection, and that it leads to more depth and fulfilment in every aspect of your life.

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Jul 012016
 

the-tail-that-wags-the-dogWe can all tell when a dog is happy. Just watch the tail. If the tail is wagging, then you know it’s happy. But why is that?

Seems a silly question, right? When a dog is happy, it wags its tail. Simple as that. But there might be a little bit more to it. Maybe the dog is happy just because the tail is wagging.

Ok, that’s a bit abstract. It might have landed for all the dogs in the audience, but here’s one for us humans: the smile. People smile when they’re happy. But can it work both ways? Try it out. Put on a smile for a minute or so, and see how you feel. Strange as it might sound, it actually works. Just by smiling, we start to feel happier. Different parts of the brain activate and different neurotransmitters are released into the bloodstream, right along with the change in consciousness. The tail is wagging the dog.

Our bodies are amazing marvels beyond our understanding. The emotions and thoughts that we experience from moment to moment are linked to the body, to the physical anchor of our existence. Every action we take leaves its mark upon the vehicle of our consciousness. Each step we take forms our feet in a certain way. Every way we work with our hands shapes them and strengthens them in distinct ways. Even the emotions we feel work their way into our postures and body language.

We’re all different, beautifully unique and distinct. And for each of us, our bodies are a deeply personal reflection of both our inner beings and the experiences we’ve had along the way. Every body is perfect in this reflection, great or small, muscular and slight, curvaceous or twiggy. And each of our bodies tells its own unique story, revealing glimpses of our inner world with every physical detail.

There are whole branches of human knowledge that explore the relationship between body and soul. Over the centuries, people have mapped out connections between personal character and the lines on our palm or bumps on our skull, the shape of our feet or the characteristics of our face. Each tiny detail of the body sheds light on our inner world. The belly button, for example, is thought to reflect our approach to life. Those with a large and pronounced navel have an outgoing personality. Really big “outies” reflect a personality that’s larger than life, and a flair for the dramatic.

Palmists see long fingers and know that the person they’re looking at has a strong emotional or intellectual nature, a tendency to reflect upon our experiences. When they see short fingers, they know their owners have an earthy, practical approach to life. Physiognomy, the study of the face, has a goldmine of interesting theories about how the facial features give silent tells about our emotional and physical nature. The philtrum, the groove that connects nose to mouth, is seen as an indicator of fertility. The longer, broader, and deeper the philtrum, the more fertile the person that possesses it. A large nose is connected with a powerful personality, while deeply set eyes suggest an introverted personality. A deeply furrowed brow implies that the person harbors a secret store of pent-up anger.

Now, while the lines on the palm, facial features, and bumps on the head might be open to interpretation, there are other aspects of our bodies that are even more revealing. Facial expressions like the smile are pretty obvious, but our posture can reveal even more about how we feel. When we feel powerful and confident, we open up. We sit up straight, open the shoulders, and take up a bit of space. And when we are feeling less powerful, when we are afraid, guilty, or insecure, we tend to close up. We cross our limbs, hunch in, cave at the chest and become smaller. The way we feel is broadcast to others through the features of our face and the posture and subtle language of our body. We send these cues to others around us, and they respond to them without even being aware of it.

The really remarkable thing, though, is that just like the smile, our posture and body language actually changes the way we feel. When we open our shoulders and straighten up, not only do we feel more confident, but the hormone levels change to reflect this feeling. Our cortisol levels drop, showing a drop in stress. At the same time, testosterone rises, bringing in a feeling of strength and will. We can literally change our body chemistry, just by changing our body language.

Give it a try.

Here’s a little exercise that shows you how closely connected our bodies and emotions really are:

  • Put on a slouch. Let your shoulders round in and bend the body forward a bit. Why not take it all the way? Take a few steps, dragging the feet a bit and walking slowly. Take your eyes to the ground, and make sure not to engage with anyone. Let the breathing become shallow and weak. Now, keeping the body as it is, try and feel happy.

How’s that working out?

You’ll probably notice that it’s a bit difficult to connect with a feeling of happiness like this. You might feel tired, unmotivated, and even a bit sad.

Ok, next bit.

  • Raise the head and lift the chin a bit. Straighten your back and open your shoulders. Breathe deeply and smoothly. Bring a firmness into your walk, planting your feel with purpose. If you happen to be doing this exercise around others, bring in some eye contact. And try to feel depressed. Keeping the strength and openness of the body, try to connect with that low feeling you had just a few moments back.

Once again, it’s hard to feel depressed and unmotivated when your posture is strong and open. This is the mind-body connection in action. Having felt what just a few moments of a conscious posture can do for your emotions, imagine how you can bring positive change into your moods and outlook. All by making a few tweaks to how you carry yourself. On top of that, over time, you’ll actually be able to see the physical effect on your body. Your physique will take on this new pattern as it moves to reflect your habitual thoughts and feelings.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We store all manner of issues and unresolved feelings in our body in the form of “emotional armour.” This is the real gem of bodywork. By working with the body more directly, we can release trauma and pent-up emotions, dramatically improving mind and body at the same time. So, start with the posture and remember your power poses. See how these simple shifts can change your confidence, mood, and even the way others respond to you. When you’re ready to take it to the next level, consider regular sessions with a bodyworker. These sessions can work wonders in helping you to step into your most powerful, confident, and sensual self.

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Jun 012016
 

learning-your-lovers-languageWe all speak different languages. Even when we speak the same language.

“I’m good,” might, for one person, mean that they really are good right now. Happy, satisfied, enjoying life. For another person, it might mean that they really aren’t good. We’ve all had moments where we’ve taken things the wrong way, or just didn’t hear what the other person was saying. We all see things in our own unique way, and unless we take the other person’s language into account, misunderstanding and confusion drift in.

One of the most helpful things we can do in any relationship is learn the language of the person we’re communicating with. This is even more important in intimate relationships. Even in love, we all speak a different language. This might seem a bit bewildering at first, but the good news is that there are five basic love languages. Just by knowing how your lover shows their love (and how they receive it) can bring a new level of depth to the relationship. Here they are:

1. Words of Affirmation

It’s always nice to receive a sincere compliment. But for some of us, it’s essential to know that we’re loved. Words of affirmation are verbal compliments or spoken appreciation. Direct acknowledgement. Letting your sweetheart know they look good, that they’ve done well, or that you really value them. The most important thing is that the words are real. They have to be felt and meant. Your lover might know you love and appreciate them, but sometimes saying it out loud can make all the difference.

2. Acts of Service

“You say you love me, but you never take out the trash or do the dishes.” I’m betting that there are a few of you out there that have heard or said something like this before. Even in less domestic situations, we sometimes need to be shown love in more tangible ways than words. An act of service is personal; it means doing something you know your lover needs or appreciates. It can be something as simple as cooking a meal or doing something that needs to be done around the house. Doing something meaningful for your lover shows depth of care and a willingness to act upon it.

3. Gifts

Some gifts are almost iconic as gestures of love. Just think of flowers, chocolates, and jewellery. But the gift doesn’t have to be expensive or take any particular form. Just like acts of service, gifts are best when they are personal, showing that you have taken the time to find out what your lover likes. And even when the gift is just a token, it’s still a little something that says, “I was thinking about you.” It extends beyond the physical gift into the time it takes to pick it up, and the opportunity to present it to your loved one. Not everyone is a gift-giver or a gift receiver, but for those who are, it speaks louder than words.

4. Quality Time

This is a big one in our hectic modern world. We all have more than a few demands on our time, and it fast becomes a precious commodity. But for some of us, nothing else means as much as being able to spend some time with our lover. And this means being present, mentally as well as physically. Giving the gift of attention and sharing the moment. A shared activity, a walk together, even a quiet meal without interruption can be enough to show your love. The key is to really be there, taking time aside from all the distractions of life to send time together.

5. Physical Touch

Touch is powerful. Healing. It communicates on a level that’s deeper than any other. This is one of the first ways that we learn to receive love, and it remains a strong symbol for our whole lives. For some of us, it’s the pinnacle of real expression. Intimacy, holding hands, kissing, the reassuring touch, or the gentle massage after a hard day. Touch comes in a thousand forms, and each has its own unique message. Sexual connection is part of this, but even a small touch can show tenderness and care. A light touch as you pass one another, or a brief kiss before parting can speak volumes. Touch doesn’t require much time or effort, but it does take a bit of thought, especially if it’s not your primary language of love. The key is that your feeling is passed along with the contact. Even brushing your fingertips lightly over your lover can have a world of meaning.

You’re probably already noticing that a few languages that speak louder for you than others. And, if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll be seeing some that speak louder to your lover as well. It’s beautiful to know how to speak your lover’s language, and give your love in the way they know how to receive it. And we sometimes have different languages for the giving and receiving. Keep this in mind, and it will help you to hear your love when they’re speaking a different language as well. Sharing on this level is deep, powerful, and one of the most fulfilling things we can do. It deepens our connection and gives new opportunities to express ourselves, to hear our lover and really be heard in return.

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May 022016
 

exploring-desire-the-inner-compass-to-fulfilmentWhat do you want? Not just the desire of the moment. I mean deep, underneath it all, what do you truly desire? What things turn you on, make your knees weak, and fill you up with life?

For many of us, these can be really challenging questions. Desire is an inescapable aspect of life, but we are not encouraged to explore this part of our nature. Through the medium of our wants and desires, we get clear messages about our needs. Our deepest selves communicate values, unfulfilled wishes and areas where our lives are lacking. But the very power of desire can make it dangerous. It carries energy, urges us to take action to fulfill those wants. When we are unconscious of our own desires, when we refuse to face them, then we are at the mercy of forces that are truly beyond our control.

The advertisement industry is aware of this. We are surrounded every day by an average of 250 messages that play on our desires, urging us to take action, sending unconscious messages that our needs will be fulfilled with this car, that shampoo, or the next brand of make-up. Religions are aware of the power of desire as well. They take the opposite approach to that of advertising, attempting to suppress this powerful force of nature, condemning desire as evil or immoral. Both forces recognise that desire makes the world go round, providing the energy that drives us, forming the foundation of our motivations.

Desire is the energy that shapes and forms our lives, and new desires are constantly being born within us. Some few of us step in to embrace our desires, while most try to suppress, ignore, or redirect them. This is no surprise, with our society teaching us that many of our desires are selfish or even immoral. Religion thwarts our nature, condemning desire in all forms. But this is an unhealthy denial of our impulses. It creates a disconnect from our inner compass, the aspect of ourselves that is tuned in to our real needs and values. Of course, desires are powerful. They carry within them an “urge,” a drive to take action. Without moderation and from an unconscious place, our desires can lead us into obsession, or even into unhealthy behaviour patterns, places of greed, laziness, envy, and even violence.

That’s only half of the picture, though. We are hard-wired to want, and to take action towards the things we want. Suppressing our desires only causes them to surface in ways that run counter to our healthy needs. But facing our desires consciously and acting upon them with awareness helps us to understand and fulfill our needs. What’s more, it helps us to tap into our passion, our individuality, creativity, our own unique approach to life and connection. Desire motivates us to action; without it, we aren’t fully alive.

We can run from our desires and needs, but we cannot escape them. And they can be elusive, too. They may hide from our conscious awareness, but they’ll still show up in dreams or thoughts that pass unbidden through our minds. The consequence of leaving our desires in the dark is a feeling of powerlessness, a sense that life is just “happening to us.” Asking ourselves what we truly want is the first step to moving forward to collaboration with the world, co-creation with the universe rather than a simple acceptance of external forces.

So, it’s time to ask yourself, “What do you really want?” If the question gives you a bit of trouble, here’s an exercise to clarify your desires and bring them into the light:

Just take a few minutes with a pen and piece of paper, and pose yourself the question. Ask yourself what you want, and write down anything that comes to mind. There’s nothing too big or too small. You can make the exercise broad, covering the whole scope of what you want out of life, or focus it in on a particular area, your sex life, work, potential partner, any area you can think of. Try not to over think it, just let it come and write it down. You may come up with things as simple as engaging in a hobby, spending time in nature, or getting your hands dirty in the garden. It might be a bit less tangible, like time spent travelling or meaningful communication with a partner.

Write whatever comes without censoring it. Whatever fills you up, warms your heart, makes your mouth water, or gets your knees trembling. Whatever you really love to do. Wait a week or two, and then do it again. You might find that the answers aren’t quite the same. New desires may arise in that time, and old ones may fade. You may wish to do this a few times, then compare your answers. Look for the patterns, the things that come up each time, or the general trends. This will give you some clues to the types of desires you experience over time.

Another thing: watch how you feel as you write your desires, as you read them afterwards. Which of them feel light and empowering? Which ones feel heavy, unhealthy, or obsessional? Which ones do you embrace, and which do you run from? Which ones do you allow yourself to act upon, and which do you ignore? Try not to judge yourself. Every desire you have is there for a reason. This exercise helps to create awareness, to bring your desire nature into the light so that it can be addressed consciously. It’s about seeing, feeling, and accepting all parts of yourself. This doesn’t mean that you have to act on everything that comes up. Actually, showing yourself those parts that you judge or keep hidden, bringing them into the light of your awareness, actually helps the unhealthy patterns to dissolve or to be addressed in healthy ways.

By becoming aware of our desires, we move past a life governed by unconscious urges and impulses. A greater understanding of self helps to release us from the enslavement of our shadow side. And since each impulse we have is a part of our framework of needs, bringing these parts of ourselves into our awareness is a key to deep healing and transformation. This awareness helps us to express and act upon our needs in ways that are healthy and supportive of our journey through life. When our needs, wants, and desires are revealed to us, we can finally begin to shape our lives in alignment with them.

Put simply, getting to know ourselves on this level, tuning it to our needs and desires, creates a powerful shift in our attitudes and behaviour. This one simple step can pave the way to reach new levels of success, joy, and fulfillment in all aspects of our life.

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