"Our consciousness is limited by what we are willing to feel" ~Shakti Malan
Many of us, ok probably most of us, have some difficult areas in the realm of sexuality that come from our upbringing, societal taboos, Religion, relationship, life experiences and traumas. All of the stuff. It resides in our subconscious and in our tissues. Many of us hold sexual issues in deep, hidden, secrecy. Ashamed of it. Feeling there is nowhere to speak into the vulnerable issues we face. And then the feelings get buried into the deep recesses of our subconscious.
I am no exception to these difficulties. As Shatki Malan, sexuality teacher and coach, asked "where are you not willing to feel?' Well, that is a deep question! It isn't just a matter of technique. What was I unwilling to feel?
With regards to sexuality, I've been in a hidden place most of my life. I wanted to be a Buddhist nun rather than deal with the sexual advances of the boys. That is not a usual trajectory. Everyone has their own. It doesn't matter whatever it is, how do we awaken through it? Are we even willing to awaken through it?
Age 62 may be towards the other end of the life spectrum and seem a late time to embark on awakening. You might ask, "why bother? The only reason I originally bothered is because I have full-on osteoporosis and I didn't want to take medication. Western research suggested that sexual stimulation created a cascade of amazing hormones beneficial for bone growth. So even though I have always felt that "sex and orgasm" was some crass requirement of nature to get animals to reproduce, I was on board for a non-pharmaceutical way to improve my bone health (and I can report that I still haven't taken pharmaceuticals and my bone density has been improving). But this was a pretty perfunctory and dry relationship to sexuality. I still had shame. I still didn't feel subtle, sensual energy. And there was absolutely no sense that this energy could in any way be related to something that could be defined as an experience of the Divine. There was no bliss.
The universe handed me many openings on my journey. I've had sacroiliac pain since age 15. That is a long time. Even just vacuuming the house was debilitating. Acupuncture was the 1st thing to give me relief from this pain. I had been taking 1800mg of ibuprofen a day. That's a lot.
I ended up going to acupuncture school so I could help others with pain. But somewhere toward the end of school, I came to understand this pain my low back as some kind of weird sexual energetic block. I couldn't explain it but what was stuck there? It felt as though so much energy was bound here that all of pain would go and all of life would gush forth if released.
It turns out, that this area in the low back happens to be the origin of of our bodies vital energy in both Chinese medicine and many other traditions. And so, sexual energy is really just the foundational energy that powers life. One thing led to another, including a divorce from a long marriage during which time I became aware of a Sexual Shadow online course out of South Africa. This course was the true beginning of releasing shame and starting to see my various subconscious shadows at play. I've continued with this same group with other sexual awakening work. And through that work I've come to feel fully alive in every aspect of my being. I've come to honor this as the creative vibrancy of the energy of life itself. That is a huge shift in my perspective. The journey continues because it isn't just about sexual awakening, it is about awakening to all of life and sense of connection to the universe itself.
The good news is that my heart is fin, my low back is feeling better than it has most of my life and my bones feel supple. My spirit is more spry.
I share my journey with you hoping that you, or anyone you may know, understands there is a way to move forward. There are many resources available now. There are pelvic floor physical therapists for both men and women; there are sexuality therapists and coaches; there are women's and men's groups; there are many online resources for information and techniques now (Layla Martin, Jaiya and the sexual blueprint, OMGYes for techniques). For inner transformation facilitated with caring integrity, there is also Shakti Shiva Academy where I have been doing my own work. They currently have a 7 week Sexual Shadow Workshop starting May 14 if you are interested (click here BSSW Affiliate Link)
Two fantastic book resources include: Passion Play, Felice Dunas. This is the Chinese Medicine perspective on sexuality with so much information to help that man and the woman understand the Yin and the Yang of it with many exercises.
The other book is Sexual Awakening for Women by Shakti Malan. This resource has many amazing exercises and meditations.
Wishing you health and vibrancy
Jan Bull, L.Ac
Acupuncturist, Mend Acupuncture, Baltimore, MD
Where Have I not been willing to feel? Jan Bull
Where have I been unwilling to feel?
Where can I just NOT go?
This is the place.
Here is where lies the rich manure of growth.
The dark and hard place.
No vibrancy of life within.
My heart was giving out.
My bones crumbling.
My sacrum locked in pain.
Something needed to give.
What would it be?
Or the unconscious, black, murky places I didn't want to see?
Peering into the Shadows requires shining a light into those corners.
Taking a breath of courage and looking them square in the eye.
Breathing in the pain of seeing them.
And then breathing out the bliss of the release from having held so tight.
Vibrantly pulsing with the energy of life.
That is all it is,
Energy of life ignited.