rituals with Zahava
An open letter to sex educators and the sex positive community who are white like me
Sheri Winston is an amazing sex educator. She demystified the g-spot for me. She made my partner feel safe and even laugh when he showed up for his first sexuality class. She sat with me as I iced my pussy, patient as ever while we talked about contraception and the three different kinds of sperm!
I love her classes. They played a pivotal role for me in transitioning from educating myself to educating others. I still remember years ago how she lit up when she shared the analogy of playing the piano like having sex. It goes something like this… It would be absurd to expect yourself to just be able to play the piano with no lessons or experience right? Imagine if we never took piano lessons because we thought there was something wrong with us for not already knowing how to play. That’s how most of us approach sex. What if we took the time to learn together with no shame and compassionate curiosity?
That’s also how most of us approach race. Anyone else out there think we are already supposed to know how to not be racist? Does anyone think white people should know how to suddenly see privileges that society has been training us not to see? Think we should know how to handle when people call us out? What if we took the time to learn together with no shame and compassionate curiosity?
Sheri Winston is also one of the contributors to Secrets of the Sex Masters, co-written & edited by her partner Carl Frankel.
Let’s put it this way, we (as white sex educators) just got the opportunity to play a more beautiful song on the piano when the Women of Color Sexual Health Network (WOCSHN) reached out. And we may not instantly know how to play it yet. In fact it has a time signature we haven’t seen and there’s no written music, this one we are learning by ear.
Maybe you heard about this new opportunity. All sixteen contributors to the book, “Secrets of Sex Masters” are white. To which the WOCSHN responded with this brilliant statement packed with resources worth reading: You Didn’t Send For Us So We Came For You: The Infestation of White Supremacy In The U.S. Sexuality Field. This situation raises questions, hopefully not just questions like “how do we fix this one mistake?” but questions like “why are our closest friends and colleagues not racially diverse?” “What makes us position ourselves as authorities?”
I’ve been watching a lot of people that I love navigate this. (I waited a few days to post this because I was having conversations with them and I don’t want us to just post AT each other and not have real relationships.)
When Sheri taught me how to use a cervical cap I felt so empowered I wanted everyone to know how to do this. When I learned about how whiteness was impacting my emotions and beliefs I wanted to share this with everyone. I want us all to have the tools and loving people around us to hold us accountable when we make mistakes, just like they hold our hand when a condom breaks, or when our relationships fall apart.
In my experience sex positive communitites love transformational big energy (aka mind-blowing-identity-expanding orgasms). We know about grounding, setting intention, breathing, building energy, connecting even when things feel uncomfortable, not getting attached to an end goal, being curious about sensations, and accepting our emotions so we can be more present with each other. These are the same skills that we can use to transform emotions that come up around race.
Here’s an emotional “climax” cycle. It’s not a cycle for orgasm, but it’s a cycle for transformation and similar to orgasm it has the capacity to generate more trust, love, and passion in ourselves and in our relationships. It’s the emotional cycle of detoxing our internalized superiority.
Pause… Anyone thinking, I don’t have time to deal with this? When do we ever have time to recreate our identity? Yes, ok so that’s a sign that we are at the beginning of the cycle.
In 1969, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross wrote a book called “On Death and Dying.” It outlined the emotional stages of grief a person moves thru when someone dies. So let’s imagine that the identity that “whiteness” gave us is dying. Which means there’s something better coming, trust me on this one for a minute. Here’s the anatomy of the cycle. (I’ve created examples for each stage. I cannot say this is how Carl or Sheri are thinking but it gives an example of what the stage might look like.)
1. Shock & denial (i.e. What do you mean we published this amazing book and all you can focus on is the fact that we forgot to include contributors of color?)
2. Guilt (i.e. I can’t believe we reached out to so many sex educators and we totally didn’t see that we were only choosing white contributors! I feel bad, what if I am blind in other areas of my life too?)
3. Anger (i.e. I already apologized and proposed a way to remedy the problem, I’m so furious they are still angry. Now what?)
4. Bargaining (i.e. Well maybe we weren’t diverse racially but at least we were diverse with men and women, kink and vanilla, able bodied and disabled…)
5. Depression (i.e. It breaks my heart that race is still dividing us, I wanted this to be an empowering resource for everyone. How do I hold this sadness?)
6. Acceptance & hope (i.e. Ok, I moved thru my emotions and I take full responsibility for my oversight. I forgive myself for not having this awareness earlier and I’m ready to listen to others. I realize this book did not cause a division but revealed one that was already present and I’m grateful for the opportunity to address and heal it.)
Having these emotions is a normal response when our whiteness gets pointed out AND we have to move thru them to our humanity on the other side. So if you’re wondering if there’s a way to just jump to step 6, I haven’t found it yet. But I can say that with practice we can move thru these stages with more awareness and in a shorter period of time. When we know we are still in the first 5 stages it’s usually not the best time to respond, it tends to come across as internalized superiority. They are not always in this order and sometimes we visit them a few times, like 1, 2, 3, 2, 4, 2, 5… let’s get really good at loving each other while we practice. By 2040 (when my children will be in their 20s) there will be no racial majority in America. We as white people will need to become more and more accountable as the new minority. Side effects include: deeper heartgasms, sexier communication, and perhaps playing a new instrument that isn’t western like the piano.
See additional posts from Zahava addressing race including: Michael Brown Meditation, White Folks Soul by Any Dance Necessary, Togethering from the Heart of our Roots, How Sexual Empowerment Intersects with Healing Racism, My Story, Getting Your SEXXY ON While White. Join the Love Making Dances Newsletter for upcoming events and articles to heal racism.
White Folks Soul by Any Dance Necessary is an experimental dance company founded in 2008 exploring the incompatibility of wholeness and the race construct for white people. The co-founders are Zahava Griss, Alexis Halkovic, Alyssa Lynes, and Jesse Phillips-Fein, who share the following intentions:
* To cultivate trust in ourselves and in others, independent of the ways white culture teaches us self definition and self worth.
* To re-explore our personal and ancestral histories acknowledging the impact of white privilege.
* To develop and evolve an intimate improvisational creative process as a group that can be used to address the construct of race and that engages us as whole people: communal, sensual, emotional, powerful, loving, expressive, visionary, spiritual beings.
* To bring our process into relationships we already value including our families, friendships, workplaces, classrooms, anti-racist & activist communities, spiritual communities, and dance communities.
* To use creative process and performance to remind ourselves and our communities of how institutional racism has but no longer will constrict our wholeness.
* To confidently articulate our process with transparency for self reflection as well as a way to network with similar consciousness.
* To receive funding and appreciation for our work.
Learn more about us here.
The first retreat in my Sacred Woman Alchemy 6 Month Program was dedicated to a full day of Grounding. I am inspired to share some of it with you here as I witness the impact it has made in our group. Look out NYC, we are about to engage with the Earth on a whole new level!
I am noticing that many of the clients coming to me right now are deeply passionate, high energy, highly intuitive, and that Grounding is important for them to have ease in their physcial, sexual, and financial life. Grounding supports a consistency in their priorities that brings ideas into real actions. Faith is inspiring, but grounded faith is inspiring and accountable.
I remember that several years into my “shamanic” and energy trainings I started studying bioenergetics with Teeni Dakini. She pointed out how many trainings explore the advanced energy skills without first mastering basic grounding. My life has not been the same since. Thank you, Teeni!
Grounding is a state that becomes easier to access the more we practice. In fact, it’s worth noting that some things like drugs, alcohol, compulsive sex can feel enjoyable and the more we engage them, the more we want more of them. Now with Grounding, it may take a while to really drop in when we start. But once we learn this new state, it takes less and less to access this rejuvenating state. You know the feeling when you are running around the city in rush hour and you feel hungry, you have to pee, and then you finally get to your doorstep, and you are HOME. Imagine if we could feel at home in our body at any time. This is Grounding.
Nobody can tell you what it feels like to be Grounded. Each of us has a unique felt sense of Grounding, and it can change from time to time. Often when my clients experience Grounding for the first time they have a lot of uncomfortable sensations that their body has been waiting to communicate with them. I consider Grounding energetic hygiene. Think what you might discover if you clean your room for the first time in a few years.
While it can seem safer to tune out and disassociate, especially in response to trauma, we are actually the most safe when we are present in the sensations of our body here now.
Grounding is the foundation for cultivating attention and intention. In this information age, especially for those of us living in an urban setting, it is revolutionary. The things we can collectively envision and transform will be completely different in a Grounded society. The trauma’s we can release from our bodies, and the pleasure we can be present for in our lives will be on a whole new level. I have been hearing that we collectively are becoming more intuitive. If this is true, we need the skills to integrate in our physical being, relationships, and actions this new “download” of energy and information.
Our relationship to the Earth will become an embodied experience, rather than a strategy we sometimes think about when a “natural disaster” hits.
This is the subtle revolution.
As the founder of Love Making Dances, I am interested in how we need to stand on the Earth together to evolve the legacy of love and sexuality. I am struck by the recent statistics demonstrating a rise in c-sections and breech babies resulting from the computer posture our mama’s have today. This trend in major surgery upon the birthing of the next generation has stemmed from the narrowing of our pelvic cavity as a culture, tucking our tales under in seats at a desk. Fetuses are actually flipping so they have room higher in the torso which leads to a more challenging birthing process. Imagine that when we ground, when we broaden the basin of our pelvis and allow our energy to descend all the way down our legs… not only can babies have space inside us, WE can have space inside us.
Now that was the big picture. I’m going to drop down into a very concrete voice as we venture deep into the soles of our feet.
How can we tell when we are not grounded?
Often we will feel headaches, spacy, tranced out, disoriented in our life. This can feel enjoyable temporarily but then it’s difficult to transition to the next activity after a peak experience. We can also feel a sense of energetic collapse after ungrounded ecstasy. I’ve noticed that without Grounding we can lose a sense of a container and this feeds consumerism and materialism because we lose the felt sense of having and being full.
In the Grounding Training
In the Grounding training we work with the 26 bones of each foot. We venture deep into the architecture of our bones, our breath, and our dynamic relating with gravity. We release tension in the physical body, unclumping and refining our experience of each muscle. We feel and surrender the muscles so they can be supported by the bones. We learn the muscles that habitually come to the rescue to hold us up and redirect that extra energy as they learn to release and trust. Grounding changes the neuromuscular system and the energetic body to be more efficient and supported. It taught me that I had been confusing adrenaline for life force energy.
I feel inspired to share this quote from Anodea Judith whom I have had the pleasure of studying with:
“Many people who cannot find their true path in life have simply not yet found their ground. Sometimes they are busy looking up instead of down, where the feet meet the path…”
To learn about upcoming trainings, online courses, and teleconferences on Grounding and Energy Skills visit www.LoveMakingDances.com. A powerful way to Ground is Esalen Massage, to learn more about this art or schedule a session click here.
Last night we had our first Love Making Dances Class at Solstice Studio.
There is warmth in my body. My muscles feel supple. My feet are relaxed and held by the tremendous Earth. I feel a profound innocence in our circle as we stand here with closed eyes. We’ve been dancing the past 50 minutes and here in the silence between songs we are seemingly still. Our breath is deep and in harmony with the rhythms we have just been hearing. The taste in my mouth has become sweet. My mind is clear and gentle with me. My intuition is tuned to high and the things in my life that I desire to serve are present and simple… touch and move people to experience love and awe.
The music starts, Miriam Makeba sings with us through the speakers. We sway our hips side to side and drop our heels down into the Earth. We are harvesting from the land. We could be transported from the inncense and latern lights in this manhattan Solstice Studio to the sunny artichoke fields of California, or the sandy gardens in Dakar, Senegal where I danced years ago. This is the universal body bowing to the Earth and harvesting that which nourishes us. I am not really “teaching” these steps. I am remembering from one culture to the next, and pointing out the instincts we embody. We know ourselves more deeply when we dance our dances. Planting, harvesting, coming of age, courting, mating, birting, healing, dying… Love, makes all these dances for us.
I open the circle to ask the dancers why they have come. A man speaks about watching the children dance at a party. As he speaks he starts dancing, his excitement cannot be hidden. “I want to be free like the child,” he says.
I look around the circle. We are big kids here tonight with such laughter in our eyes.
Everything seems possible in this vibrant space. The fatigue has dissolved. It feels like a first date with God/Goddess. I am giddy. I can’t wait to be touched and yet I am, every part of my body is touched by Life.
If you would like to join us Mondays in March at Solstice Studio, 8:30 – 9:45 pm, you can sign up here! Drop ins are welcome.
- movement that helps feeling safe and happy in the body
- movement that leads to openess, agility, mobility and fluidity
- movement that energizes, uplifts
- movement that makes me feel alive vibrant and ecstatic
- movement that is s delicious that i can’t help doing it every day !
- movement that gets me in touch with my beauty and power and radiance
- movement that makes me take the full space that is mine
- movement that makes me express all that i am without fear or passive range !
- movement that makes me naturally align with the innate wisdom and intelligence of my own body !
- movement that doesn’t feel like exercise but instead organic language of my being!
How can I serve you?
We are approaching Samhain, more commonly known as Halloween, when the veil between the living and the dead is the thinest. The wisdom that evolves us across generations is more readily available to us during this season and so is our resistance to this wisdom.
The costumes, the glucose spikes, the masks, the characters we let ourselves become at Halloween may deepen our journey or they may become an entertaining distraction from it. Perhaps we’ll have the best of both worlds, we’ll entertain ourselves with the truth while looking out from the costumes of the familiar! That’s exactly the intention behind the ritual I am offering tomorrow on the New Moon,Celebrating the Artistry of the Dark Goddess, Wednesday, 6:30 to 8 pm, at Red Bean Studios. Register here! (please note this is from 2011)
I am often asked to lead Kali inspired rituals during this season. This year I’m recognizing that the ritual of the Dark Goddess is intimately connected to my studies of healing trauma with Peter Levine, author of “Waking the Tiger.” The tiger in the nervous system is the one who pounces when someone attacks me. She is the one who pumps my heart fast and steady when I speak loudly. She is the one looking through my eyes when I trust that who I am is valuable. When she sleeps, people can smell it on me. The boundaries get fuzzy and protection feels like a draining task that fear has asked me to perform.
I recently joined a room of mental health professionals and therapists for a training with internationally recognized trauma expert, Peter Levine. He works with the children in Japan who survived the tsunami. He works with veterans returning from war and adults who grew up in concentration camps. I dare say he works courageously close to the Dark Goddess. Kali Ma, the hindu form of the Dark Goddess, destroys that which is untrue. For thousands of years people have invoked Her energy to destroy the energetic imprints of the events which did not honor our true value.
I’ll be integrating the somatic technology that Levine uses to Wake the Tiger. He defines trauma, not as a result of a situation, but it is the result of the tiger sleeping during the situation. Kali, like rage, is often misunderstood and feared. Her limitless unapologetic freedom can be presented out of context, falsely legitimizing our unconscious lust and unexamined envy. We invoke her in this ritual with great respect and purpose. She is the Mother Nature energy at its most powerful-civilization-rumblin-core, she is the Goddess of death. She kills illusion. She expects us to be courageous and we have the opportunity to make her right.
Dark and Shadow are Not the Same
There is no Shadow inside a Mother’s womb or in the Earth, there is only fertile Darkness, possibility, and transformation. The Shadow exists where light is actively obstructed. The energy we expend to prevent this area from seeing the light of day is energy that is no longer available for trust, love, and passion. Dark Goddess, we ask you to awaken the tiger inside us, to unfreeze the memories our body has accumlated as we grow our emotional and spiritual resources. We ask for psychological rejuventation that allows us to break cycles that have replaced trust, love, and passion.
Come adorned in black, ready to dance, come ready to release a part of you that is no longer you!
Chocolate and fruit will be served.
On Wednesday, Nov 16, we gathered for a beautiful ritual Sister’s Honoring the Sexual Priestess. The conversations in preparation, post class and the mornings after have been tremendous. I was excited to hear men wanting to create a men’s circle to honor the Sexual Priestess and inquiring of the template of our ritual as a point of reference. A dear psychic friend has been downloading intuitive information very similar to myself and what I keep learning through this process is the communal nature of how the Sexual Priestess is sharing her love and wisdom through so many of us today. When we gather the clarity of this healing amplifies!
Many of you have asked for details and recordings. While I did not choose to film our ritual I’d love to share some pieces of it here and look forward to sharing the next one with you.
We entered a saged and cedared room to cast a circle with our intentions. I lead a womb and breast centered dance meditation drawing us deep into our physical bodies and the Earth body. This allows us to connect with the spirit realm and intuitive downloads heightened by the group matrix in a way that grounds our wisdom and integrates it into the physical plane. Together we created a beautiful altar over a plush velvet shall. Each woman made a creative offering to the Sexual Priestess through songs, sacred plants, drawings, texts from contemporary Priestesses and a gorgeous painting.
One of my favorite parts of the night was a beauty adorning ritual. Each woman became encircled, honored, caressed with our hands and devotion through our gaze as we expressed the love and reverence we feel for the Sexual Priestess through the woman’s body. I experienced it as a decorating of her body, through energy and intention, just as intricate as laying rose petals and jewels.
From this fully present and love filled space we entered an inquiry, sharing a question we are living in right now as we connect to this archetype.
The question present for me, “How do I connect people to the consciousness of the Sexual Priestess and not just my embodiment of her, not just my body?”
Thank you for being in this inquiry with me and for all your loving support and curiosity. I am creating a performance piece to communicate how much the Sexual Priestess archetype enhances the spiritual pleasure we can give and receive with each other. I look forward to sharing more rituals with you as I develop this artistic offering.
The past four days I have been nourished by the rituals and compassionate conversations of those occupying the new paradigm. Many of the Occupy Wall Street folks have joined Starhawk in trainings for co-empowerment and leaderless groups this past weekend. What is becoming clear to me is that the culture of the new paradigm is liberating us. It’s different than the old paradigm of activism where we have a lot of work that may or may not be effective and if the revolution happens then we will be liberated post revolution. No, it’s the relationships and CONNECTIONS that are forming in this soil of Occupy that are liberating us. It’s who we are being, who we are occupying that is liberating us… occupy to me is an invocation to be here now in our Earth bodies fully present and connected. In light of that I have retitled my blog, Occupy Passion.Our relationships and connections are the ecosystem of our Love and Life Force Energy. When we nourish them with the rich soil of boundaries and accountability, water them with our sacred love fluids, and heat them with the fire of our passion, we have the energy to contribute to the world we envision. This is the tantra of politics my loves.Grace Lee Boggs, a legendary activist for the past 60 years, has just published her new book The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty First Century. She calls our attention to the paradigm shift happening now, it is as transformative as our paradigm shift from hunter/gatherer to agriculture. She reminds us that as this new MOVEMENT is beginning to emerge it is less about critical mass than it is about critical CONNECTIONS.MOVEMENT and CONNECTIONS is exactly what we’ll be exploring tonight at the Tantra of Contact Improv. Connections includes the oneness between people and it also includes connecting the parts of us that have learned not to know each other, like sex and spirit.
And where does the revolution occur? It’s right here baby, in our bodies and our relationships. When I pay attention to where a MOVEMENT initiates from in my body, I feel that deep life impulse that comes from the channel of energy running Earth to Sky through each of our bodies. To align with it does not always bring peace, to be in nature is not always comfortable, but it is pure.
In the new paradigm security is rooted in our nervous system and our reverence for our bodies, including our Earth body. In the new paradigm our resources are:
- social responsibility
- conscious communication
“Hello. Just say hello to the new being,” Roy Capellaro reminds us of the the simplicity of greeting a new soul in his workshop on Neonatal Craniosacral Intervention for Midwives.
|Artwork from the NYSLAM Conference|
- Sexual energy is a creative energy. Yoga for the Sexual Priestess engages the following of our body’s instincts as a Creator. This deepens our awareness of how we are feeling.
- Cultivating life energy is an erotic and spiritual experience, the full expression of the sacred body and sensual spirit is welcomed through breath and sound as One with the Great Everything.
- The language guiding this practice spans systems in our body including the skeletal, soul, organ, sexual, chakra, muscular, collective and ancestral anatomies expanding our personal practice into a whole context. We enter different states of mind by focusing on specific systems, the language of Yoga for the Sexual Priestess intentionally weaves sex and spirit in the ancestral web for the evolution of trust, love, and passion.
- Anchoring awareness in the Love and Sex centers, the two hearts that heal, create & nourish life, creates awe & ecstasy.
- Rocking, undulating, and vibration are qualities of movement not usually found in a yoga class. They deeply access our life force energy and naturally occur during embodied transformations including orgasm, deep grieving, and soul shaking laughter. We use them to invoke transformation.
- We visit the animal spirit of the poses to remember our resilient and sensual animal instincts.
Orgasm. Deep grieving. Belly laughter. Muscle spasm.
The moment after each of these, we often feel a deep release and peace. They are all forms of vibration…holding on, letting go, holding on, letting go until we really let go. They are all bridges into the involuntary nervous system.
In Orgasm the physical body literally has a spasm through the musculature of the pelvic floor and the womb flutters. In deep grieving and belly laughter the diaphragm contracts and releases with rapid energy and breath. In muscle spasm the muscle contracts and releases and contracts until it surrenders and lengthens. We surrender to the trembling and our voluntary nervous system stops controling the process.
We can have a consciousnessgasm too! Just before our awareness expands we can feel disorientation. My whole life I thought it was hard to make money, wait I can make money? no it’s hard, no wait there are lots of successful passionate people….and then our reality surrenders and the beliefs expand.
What I’ve noticed in the last decade of supporting people through physical and spiritual transformation is that before the transformation there is a vibration. It may not feel good, transformation as much as we seek it does not always “feel” good while it’s happening. But then afterwards there is an expansion!
In the last six months I went to study with Peter Levine, international trauma healing expert and creator of “somatic experiencing.” I also trained with a group of dance therapists on healthy embodiment for trauma survivors. In both of these professional development settings the theme of vibration, trembling, shaking emerged.
Animals do not retain trauma in their systems. Ok, imagine we’re field mice and we gather for dinner. I’m not going to be sitting there petrified telling you, “wow, I almost died 3 times today there was a huge hawk overhead and he came swooping down and I think I’m never going out to the field again!” No, animals tremble and shake until the fear moves through their nervous system and they continue living. Somewhere in our great human evolution we interrupted this process.
So while I was at these trainings with trauma specialists I kept asking why don’t we shake each day and rinse out our nervous system?! Do we have to wait for a trauma? And they were intrigued. Now, this is not new in other cultures where drumming and shaking is a daily practice.
As a yoga teacher and dancer I’ve noticed that a lot of folks try stretching but they are still tight. Sometimes deep stretches actually make them more tight. Recently I saw a rolfer and she was surprised to hear that I’ve been dancing intensely for 30 years and have no injuries. I mean dancing 2-8, sometimes 12 hours a day, and no injuries. She let me know that most dancers and yogis she works on have a lot of chronic injuries and I started to wonder what my body learned and how I can share it with others.
Shaking! Every day I put on music and I shake and let it rattle my breath and recreate my body on a cellular level. Really deep shaking so that sounds come from my throat, the world around me becomes blurry, every part of my body is in motion. Then I localize the vibration and literally shimmey down my legs inside of the hamstring stretchs, IT stretches, inner thigh stretches…I tremble. I remember when I worked with Anodea Judith, a pioneer in chakra health, that energy can move more deeply through a vibrating leg than one with contracted muscles. Later when dancing with Egyptian Priestess, Leslie Zehr, the same theme came up.
So I have started to teach vibration inside of yoga poses. I’m reframing the goal, it’s not so focused on physical flexibility as much as charging the energy through a muscle and oxygenating the tissue. The muscle contracts, releases, contracts….and then transforms. In fact sometimes a really limber body has the hardest time finding this shaking. But the shaking actually repairs, heals, and strengthens our embodiment. It prepares us for what Peter Levine describes as trauma proofing. I would say it integrates the soul body into the physical body so we can live at ease and playfully in a present body.
I’m thrilled to be sharing this approach in my classes and private sessions. I’d love to hear about your experiences with this process too! What are you noticing in your bodies, with your clients, and students?
For years I have been offering Sacred and Naked Yoga. And yes, many of you have noticed that my performances often share the same transparency, honoring of my parents’ sacred costuming if you will. My mom recently asked me on my way to the Clear Creek Festival if I would be performing with clothes on this time. She said to be honest she’d be more inclined to invite our relatives if I had clothes on. “Mom, I’ll be more naked than I’ve ever been but with clothes on!” We laughed. She knew I was speaking of the vulnerability, the rawness of the content of my one woman show, Trust, Earth, Ancestors…
|Photo by Monique Torok
Last week I taught at a conference for socially conscious entrepreneurs. We were focusing on the third chakra and I invited folks if they felt comfortable to lift their shirt and work directly with their bellies. I heard a sound next to me. “Ok, ok, we’re courageous enough to change the world, but lifting our shirts might be too much. Well we’re taking baby steps, let’s start with where we are.”
Naked. So for some folks this seems like a big ordeal, noted. I want to share something. I know that I’m petite. I know that my body is proportionate and that society endorses a beauty that I am lucky enough to fit into. I am not oblivious to this privilege. And I’d like to share this…
Being naked sensitizes the body and makes it easier for us to really feel. It creates a dynamic of trust in the room. It is only because most of our daily social interactions create a norm of clothing the body that coming together in the nude becomes an opportunity to live beyond social norms. This is particularly true when we honor our body and our sexuality as sacred. The context for how we come together to celebrate our wholeness is what gives our nakedness power. Deep breathing, remembering how similar we are. These are the smells of our human forms. These are the scars, this is how our inhales move our ribs. This is how tension has sculped our necks and feet. This is the exquisite living design. For these 90 minutes we join the baby animals and freshly born humans in comfort inside our bodies. There’s an innocence under all those layers.