So many times, a simple question or a simple answer is powerful. And the tendency is to make it difficult. One of the first and most powerful tenants of my orgasmic meditation practice is the answer is quite simply “yes” or “no.” It is the place where even seasoned practitioners fall prey to giving explanations, justifications and excuses. There are so many places in my life where I can practice this idea of choosing simplicity! Such a great concept, yet, not always easy to embrace. The way we do one thing is how we do everything. I notice this in my closet, my relationships, my sexuality.
I remember standing in my closet and trying to choose something to wear to an event. “It finally occurred to me that I said no to more than I said yes!” Do you have this same experience of thinking “oh, yeah, that one needs to be hemmed, and that one doesn’t have pants to match, and that one is a bit snug in the hips, and etc….?
I enlisted the help of a friend to stand in my closet with me for an afternoon. While we went through each individual piece of clothing, she helped me identify my own new style.
I began to drop the filters of being a daughter, a mom, a teacher, a wife. Not that those roles were not important or even continuing in some fashion, but that i was defining myself, embracing who I am. If the first thought when she held up a hanger was not me, but any role I played, the answer was no. The item went to charity.
It was a sobering and exciting place when we finished and I realized that I now had only about 25% of my clothing left. And….all the pieces left were items that I would have gladly put on standing there in that moment! Through the simple act of cleaning out a closet, I practiced my no and what remained was a wardrobe of yes! Simple procedure, not necessarily easy to let go of conditioned patterns and false beliefs.
I remember the time when my daughters urged me to drop the camera and to come and live in the moment with them. I had spent hours and hours, collecting pictures, printing them, cataloguing them, placing them into albums, which stayed, for the most part, at the top of my closet. Simply saying yes to connected quality time with my girls, and a no for the structure I had designed for maintaining a facade of control over memories. Again, a strange sense of relief washed over me when I realized that I could choose to not spend so much time and energy worrying and tending to this task that I had created!
One of my favorite tools, discovered through a book club reading a book by Mama Gena, is Favorite Frames. This is a practice of digesting an experience with someone by sharing a particularly big accomplishment, a strong emotional bond, or a magical moment. Favorite Frames is a way to share a snapshot of a a moment with another person! So a “picture” of sorts, shared in a personal, meaningful way. Simple request to live more in the moment rather than behind a lense. Not necessarily easy transition to trust experiences more than capturing the perfect picture.
“What?! You mean that I can actually say that outloud and someone can answer??” This is a familiar response and look when clients want to explore why their sex life is not working. First we explore desire and begin to dismantle the shame, guilt and conditioned rhetoric around the topic of s-e-x. Then we get to the stage of asking for something in this part of our lives. Sounds so simply: What do you want? Ask for it. The answer can be yes or no. Simple, yet not easy.
I have asked for simplicity of touch from my lover and it sounds like this: “Would you like to take 15 minutes, seated on the couch, to give foot massages?” And the answer can be yes. And the answer can be no. Interestingly, when the answer is no, how quickly a person assumes it is all about themselves. I must not be enough of something, he/she doesn’t like me, what did I do wrong? When the simple truth is that the answer was a no to the offer. In keeping true to my desire, I begin to build trust in the intimacy in my relationship. Asking for a desire without shame or ridicule can build trust in a relationship. With trust, the partner can begin to do the same.
Think of all the times your yes answer was to please, to do “the right thing” or to perform as expected. Each time we deny our no, it adds a layer of trauma to our bodies. It may be physical, and is most certainly energetic, emotional and spiritual. After years of saying yes when our bodies and minds were a no, we create numbness and even pain. Over time, the sexual connection wanes and stops, because there is no longer any pleasure, intimacy or connection.
Or what about all the times during a sexual encounter when you think, “oh, I wish he would stop doing this” or “I wish he could read my mind and change this” or “wow, this is uncomfortable” and yet say nothing?! By saying nothing, not using our voice, not speaking and making the request, we are constantly imprinting hurt and trauma. A simple no to this and a yes to that. Even as I write these words, I feel the gravity of how difficult this shift can be. Movies, shows, novels – all tend to depict sex as perfect and feeling amazing. Real life with real bodies is so different!
How many couples experience this loss of interest in sex, and assume it is just what happens? It is because over time, over layers of trauma, our minds and bodies will say no for us. If we don’t use our voice to ask and answer truthfully. This is intimacy work! Speaking desires and holding boundaries is how we can create more ways to be honored and loved in relationships. This is a strong component in my intimacy and relationship coaching with clients.
Simple Powerful Steps
There is so much power in choosing to live simply, authentic and real. With the honesty of using my voice to ask and answer, I can honor my full desire and approval of a yes. And I can hold boundaries, honor my body, my life, my being, with a full no. When this can happen with no darkness hiding, like resentment, then trust that a “no” is simply a no to the offer. I can choose to be a “yes” to the choices that I truly want to do, to have, to be. And others around me will begin to trust my answers as clear and honest.
This concept is deceivingly simple…not easy.