What I’ve noticed through exploring the field of conscious sexuality over the last few years and moving more into my own personal power and inner wisdom, is the importance, in fact I’d go so far to say, how vital it is to really be authentic with your yes’s and no’s.
As tribal beings and in our relationships we will often agree to do things in order to be liked, loved even, and to fulfill expectations from others. Many people go to a job each day that they are a ‘no’ to. In my early years and up-bringing in the UK that was a totally acceptable and even expected part of my community, family, society- you simply did things in life you didn’t want to do in order to ‘get by’ I often heard it justified as “that’s life Ellie!”
There was something in me that didn’t want to accept that reality, it was this drive that took me from my homeland, steady job, family friends etc. and embark on a trip across the world in search of a different way of living. This was 16years ago and I have managed to keep my commitment to living in a way that feels true to me ever since: Forming my own life, and moving towards having a full ‘yes’ to what it is I choose to do in life. It’s a trip but I’m so grateful for the journey the learning, the growth and this deepening trust that’s developing.
Anyway back to the YES and NO.
Working with people in the arena of Conscious Sexuality and Tantra and seeing people go through workshops, as well as working one on one with many people, I am discovering we all have different ways of finding a yes or a no to requests and situations. We also all have a different skills and different levels of ability at being able to feel our own personal boundaries. For many of us, if we are so used to overriding our boundaries out of fear, or confrontation, or a desire to be liked, feeling into what we really want, and whether we are a YES or a NO to things can feel unfamiliar and difficult.
This is the result of years of conditioning yourself out of your authentic response.
Sometimes the mind too can say one thing, and then when you pause and take the time to feel a response there is another answer. The head can logically be saying one thing but the felt sense is communicating something else. Quite often we do not slow down enough to listen and allow this information from the felt sense. This feeling sense and how to access it more deeply in life is what I have become really interested in exploring.
We are made to feel. We feel hope. We feel honour. We feel when the car is going too fast around the curve. We feel shame. We feel our sit bones on the chair and our stomach rising and falling from each breath. Feeling is a deep biological inheritance that tells us what we care about and how to generate care. Feeling informs us what we are willing to fight for, whom we can trust, and when we must protect ourselves. Feeling manifests love into a felt, lived experience.
To help people to move from a thinking based reality, to a full body feeling based reality is a fundamental part of the work I am doing.
When I say feeling I don’t mean having a feeling or emotion, although that may happen. I don’t mean feeling as in a warm fuzzy way of living that makes you abandon logic or the thinking part of yourself, I don’t mean becoming too sentimental and being associated only with the movements within the heart, although that is a beautiful part.
I simply mean turning the attention inwards to the life of the body, to the source of your vitality and aliveness. As you begin to utilize feeling and sensation as feedback, as information about your environment your choices and your interactions, you become an open, learning-oriented being. You become more self-sensing and self-organizing, transforming your usual patterns of behavior and functioning in a way that eases the pressure and allows the organism of who you are to follow its own natural course toward healing and self-renewal, so there is no problem to fix.
When we turn our attention towards feeling life, we are transported into a more amplified level of aliveness.
So coming back to the yes’s and no’s in life. Coming back to understanding that we are much more than a mind with a logical based reality. We contain a vast array of information giving systems informing us of what is life affirming, life giving. What ignites our vital life force energy and what depletes it? We could also go so far as saying -What elongates our life and what shortens it and causes degeneration? Listening to a gut response, waiting for a moment as to whether something is feeling good in your system or not, rather than just going with what your mind is telling you is the first step and slowing everything down, so that you actually have the time to feel your response to things.
For me personally my journey with boundaries has been a struggle. The people pleasing part of me would often have me saying yes when I meant no, because I didn’t want to offend, appear selfish etc. What I have also noticed through taking people through exercises that encourage authenticity is that for some of us, the programming is so hard wired into us, because of our culture, personality etc., even in a workshop where you are given permission to say your authentic truth, people time and time again will still fall into overriding their boundaries and do something they weren’t a full yes to. We have become so compliant, so trained to ignore our feeling responses.
The other thing that I am curious about is how does a yes feel? How do you know from your feeling response if you are a yes? Or a no? What does a yes physically feel like? What do you notice happening in your body when you are a yes to something? What do you feel like when you are a no? And a common issue when you are neither a yes nor a no? When you are confused, blank or simply a “maybe” what then? How does that feel in your body? And what do you do to take care of yourself in this instance? My answer would be to buy yourself a little more time “ Can I get back to you on that? “ or “I’d like to sleep on it” and only say yes when you’re sure. A maybe is a no.
If you are wanting to live a more embodied reality, if you are wanting to hear what the deeper intelligence within your being is communicating to you simply get used to feeling into your body. Notice yourself on the level of sensation, notice any swirling currents that you can feel, notice temperature, what feeling state are you in? What’s your emotional inner landscape? Practice getting an internal weather report.
Making this practice more and more part of your daily life will help you to check into your feeling response rather than coming from the mind only.
There are also some great meditational practices out there that enhance your ability to feel into the body, developing a relationship to your own body wisdom.
Some teachers and practices that I can recommend are:
Leslie Temple Thurston- Gateway to Samadhi
Judith Blackstone- The Realization Process
Also the Human Design System is a great way of understanding yourself and your relationship with your body wisdom.