I just found this note in my phone from 2 weeks ago, which would’ve been right after publishing my last blog post.
I am feeling more and more empowered every day to speak my truth, communicate my desires, assert my boundaries, and project my love.
I am Empowerment.
I am Beauty.
I am Creativity.
I am Uniqueness.
I am Sexuality.
I am Strength.
I am Perspective.
I am Adventure.
I am Freedom.
I am LOVE.
I have really begun to notice how much I value my alone time and that I want to be free to do what I want, when I want, and not be restricted by anyone or anything.
I have been neglecting this aspect of myself out of insecurity, fear of hurting others, and fear of being alone.
As I am writing this I am realizing that I have been living with a lot of fear, which is not what I want.
I am a FEARLESS warrior!
Fuck that feels good.
Freedom to be my authentic self and not look to others for acceptance, but to accept myself, all parts of me, and not give a fuck what anyone else thinks.
There is no point in being fearful. Everything is up to divine destiny.
I wrote that note during the week I spent sleeping in a friend’s car. It was an experience that helped me practice expressing my desires and boundaries. The last night I spent with him I was having trouble sleeping and I decided that I was going to challenge myself to say no to everything the next day without any explanation. “No.” is a complete sentence. The “Why?” doesn’t matter. Needless to say, I was successful, and it was a good warm up for the week ahead, which I spent at Lupin Lodge assisting in ISTA’s Spiritual Sexual Shamanic Experience (SSSEx).
I got to Lupin Lodge a day before everyone because I really wanted to spend some time alone before everyone got there. I decided to tent for the night and I ended up meeting some residents and hanging out with them for a bit. The residents were a couple, and their daughter and her friend were there visiting. I told them about the course and after talking with the father about consent and boundaries (some things that are taught in the course), he gave me some insight in relating it to the martial arts that he does. One of the things he showed me, which could be applied verbally or energetically as well as physically, is that if someone is trying to push you, the only way they can be successful is if you resist. However, if you just relax and make a slight adjustment to the side, not only will they not be able to push you, they might fall and possibly hurt themselves as well. I found this comparison very interesting and reiterated it to a few people in the course during the week.
The next day everyone arrived and we were all assigned yurts. The organizer for the week asked if I would prefer to be with the assistants or the participants. Since I had no preference, I asked the pendulum, a practice I had just gotten into the day before. The result was to share a yurt with the assistants so I was assigned to bunk with the organizer, which proved to be just what I needed to put my new skills to action in using “no” as a complete sentence.
Day one and I was feeling great! I slipped into the role of assistant with ease. We separated into 3 groups of 4 participants plus one assistant as the pod leader. These would be our daily family check-in groups for the week. It’s funny how everything seems to work out the way it’s supposed to ’cause I couldn’t have put together a more fitting pod.
That night my yurt mate asked me if I wanted to cuddle. I checked in with myself and respectfully declined. However we had a great connection over the first of a few in depth conversations throughout the week.
The next day we did an exercise using non-verbal communication of boundaries through hand signals. The one thing I noticed in this one was, with the partner that was playing with allowing me to come in and out of her boundary, I could feel her slight uneasiness when I got close to her so I started energetically sending her love. Then, when the exercise was over and they were sending us out of their boundary, I felt a bit of attachment to her because I had given her so much love. So I related that to other relationships in my life in which I have been somewhat of a caregiver and the attachment I might feel as a result of the investment I put into them. Which ends up being a bit of a manipulating behaviour in that it’s giving with the expectation to get something in return, regardless of whether or not they asked for it. It used to drive me crazy when my mom would offer me a ride or give me money and then later guilt trip me by saying, “I’m always giving you rides and money and you can’t even do this one thing for me!” To which I would respond, “I never asked you to do that for me, you offered!” Until I realized that in order to avoid that scenario I would have to start declining her generous offers.
In relation to the first SSSEx I did in Montreal, May 2016, Crystal Dawn said something that stuck with me; Real Love is giving without the expectation to receive – anything else is a form of manipulation.
The next exercise was doing emotional release using breath, sound, and movement. I had been wearing a dress and no underwear so I went to my yurt with the idea of changing so that I wouldn’t expose myself during this very active process (which seems ridiculous considering I was at a nudist resort assisting in a sex positive course). However, when I got there, I expressed this to my yurt mate and he offered the reflection of it having to do with something triggering from my past. I checked in with myself and realized that it might be from being objectified in the past.
Little did I know, that would be the basis for my emotional release session (along with the chat my pod had that morning about the difference between conscious and unconscious sex), and did I ever go for it! I began thinking about my own experience with being objectified, which got the emotions flowing, and then it quickly switched to feeling the collective pain of all women everywhere who had ever been objectified, abused, or mistreated. Through this exercise of using the 7 tools provided, I became clear on my life’s purpose and soul mission; to help women heal and empower themselves through establishing and expressing their healthy boundaries.
Day two of emotional release incorporated the use of shamanic breathwork and aspecting. Aspecting is when you speak to an emotion, a person, or an aspect of yourself, and then you take the place of them or it and speak back to yourself from their perspective.
The first time I tried to do this in Montreal I got really excited. I was like, “Yes! I’m gonna aspect my dad! This is gonna be awesome!” and instead I just curled up in a ball and cried. So, although I wanted the experience of holding space for this exercise, I was also happy to be a participant and have the opportunity to give it another shot.
This time, keeping with the theme of being objectified and mistreated, I ended up starting out aspecting the first long term boyfriend I had. We were together for almost 4 years (for me it was age 16-almost 20) and neither of us had any solid examples of healthy relationships in our lives.
Since I had already done a lot of work on understanding and seeing things from other’s perspectives who I had felt resentment towards, I moved through each person quite quickly. However I am still going to summarize a bit because the whole process was over an hour long. So first it was my ex boyfriend, asking him why he treated me that way and he responded that he didn’t know any better and if he had the awareness to treat me better he would have. Then it transitioned into me aspecting my younger self asking why I allowed someone to treat me that way (for the record, I didn’t treat him very well either) and I responded with the fact that I was young and didn’t know any better. Then it moved into me aspecting my mom asking her why she didn’t teach me what a healthy relationship looked like and she came back with her lack of good examples growing up as well.
Now, here’s where things got interesting. I then became my mother aspecting my grandmother asking why she didn’t teach me (as in my mother) the skills needed to establish a healthy relationship. This one went a bit more in depth as I suspect there is still a lot of unresolved issues there. And lastly, I became my grandmother aspecting my great grandmother (who I never got the chance to meet), asking why she didn’t model healthy relationships for me (being my grandmother) and feeling resentment for having to take care of her (she had MS) instead of her taking care of me.
All of this led me back to reinforcement of my life’s purpose and soul mission. When I told my mom about my experience during this exercise, she apologized. I told her this:
Do not apologize
Do not feel guilty
It is not your fault
You did the best you could with what you knew and what you had
I don’t even want to talk about it
I’ve dealt with it and I didn’t even need you there for it haha
Isn’t that great?!
The freedom and clarity I get from it is incredible
Once I let the past go, it no longer exists
Then I can create my own reality
Rewrite my story
Mom is just a label
What you are is the depth beneath all labels
We are all divine
We are all One
During one of the free evenings, some of the ladies were doing oracle card readings so I opted to pull some cards. The cards I pulled had nothing to do with my question and actually offered me a reflection on why I draw certain kinds of people into my life. The cards I got were “Let Go of Fear,” “Heal Your Addictions,” and how I am going to fix it is by balancing the “Crown Chakra”, which is the connection to the divine. I realized that I have been drawing in fearful people with addiction issues because it is a reflection of where I abandon and neglect myself. Neglecting myself has been one of those lessons that’s just been thrown in my face lately. The first step is awareness.
It was around day 3 and 4 when I started getting triggered by some men in the course who were maybe mistaking my friendly, playful, openness as a sign of interest in them. This is where I started to retract into myself and put my walls up a bit. Do I do this to myself? I must. If I had expressed a firm no from the beginning then I wouldn’t have run into this issue. Instead, I try to let people down softly and maybe do something I don’t really want to do just to make them happy.
Got it. Lesson learned. Moving on.
On one of the last days, I had the opportunity to connect with someone in who I saw a reflection of myself, that I often feel like I am alone and that I need to go through everything on my own. In reality, I am not alone. I have the support of my tribe. However, what I really need more of is the support of my sisters. Which, once again, comes back to my life’s purpose and soul mission. Enough separation and competition between sisters. And this is not limited to just the sisters in female bodies, the feminine that we all embody, regardless of the gender of your physical body. We need real, authentic, open, honest, supportive, and loving connections. This is what will bring the world into balance.
When the course ended, about half of us went to one of the participant’s house in San Francisco and slowly, each day, more and more people left. It was a nice way to ease into integrating back into OR (Ordinary Reality).
Now, after waiting for a 4 hour delay at the Amtrak station for an overnight train up to Portland, I am making my way back up the West Coast back to Vancouver. I think this is my first time travelling by train and I must say, I do enjoy it much more than a bus!
Onwards and upwards…