Alright, so check it:
I’ve been doing a lot of reading, thinking, and feeling into two main life topics lately — Shadow work, and conscious sexuality. Even though they became thought obsessions independently of one another, the deeper I get into my inquiry, the more I discover that their parallel occupation of my mind and heart are by no means coincidental.
The deal with the shadow is that it’s made up of our unconsciousness, until of course, it becomes illuminated. Our shadow’s show up as our emotional triggers, judgments of others and ourselves, deeply entrenched belief systems that hold us back from our thriving. The shadow shows up as our idol worship (our glory can also be in our shadow, and manifests in what we admire and adore in others), our addictions, our self-sabotage and our self-abandonment. The purpose of our shadow is to wake our asses up. Any areas of unconsciousness will have control over us. And so by learning how to interpret the signs and signals of our shadows, we become more conscious, and thus, we become more free.
There are a lot of tips and tools for working with the shadow. In fact, I just developed a whole workshop on it that you can schedule, in the comfort of your own home with your favorite people, if you’re interested in delving deeper. But for the purpose of this post, I want to talk about the shadow and sexuality and how this overlap is becoming a profound gateway into my own healing and evolution, and can be into yours too.
I’ve been interested in the topic of sacred sexuality for several years now. I’ve lightly dabbled in it, read some articles, practiced ritualistic intimacy a couple of times, though I hadn’t gone too deep into it for a couple of reasons. For starters, I was afraid I would never find anyone who wanted to really actually go there with me. And not having a willing partner who shares the desire to spiritually ascend through the act of lovemaking, can only take a girl so far. But, as the shadow teaches us, we attract people who mirror that which we are able and willing to hold within and for ourselves -- and so the more correct truth is that I’ve been afraid of experiencing that depth of intimacy and connection with a partner. Hence, the low-key dabbling.
I’ve been doing a lot of deep work on my intimacy aversions, because, well, love is the thing that matters most in this life, and I want to do my best at it, and experience it to the fullest while I have the chance. And so this week, I decided to hit up the used book store and pick up a book on Modern-day Tantra (inspired by really old Hindu texts), and soak up some consecrated wisdom. As I’m reading, it’s all feeling so, “duh.” And not “duh” like, “I know this stuff already” but “duh” like, “why wouldn’t we honor our sexuality and our mate with the highest of sacred intentions?” Which then brought me right into all of my sexual shadows, which includes no shortage of shame, insecurity, fear, guilt, despair, etc.
The more I read about sex as a holy offering, as an opportunity to merge from the sweetest and highest place within the self and to therefore become more enlightened as a result, the more I have to face how much I haven’t done that. And not that the sex I’ve had in my life hasn’t been wonderful and inspiring and pleasurable in many ways, but it definitely hasn’t been an intentional pursuit to spiritually evolve and awaken. And now that I know that it can be, and have practices and techniques at my fingertips, I just don’t know how I can go back to being unconscious in my deepest intimacies.
Money and sex are probably the two biggest collective shadows we grapple with as a people. And so I know that my sexual shadows are no different from most. They are also a lot less severe than many, and my heart truly aches for those who have experienced violent trauma and abuse in this realm. A lot of the pain and trauma we carry in regards to our sexuality is inherited from our parents and ancestors, and then perpetuated by all the systems in place that brainwash us with the most toxic messages and images about sex. Basically, for the most part, our sexual shadows aren't our fault, but they are our responsibility to heal.
We have a lot of work to do as a collective to purify and make sacred again what is one of the most loving acts between people. And it all starts with confronting the shadow aspects within oneself. When the shadow is identified, owned, softened to, accepted, shared, and forgiven, we become free of the pain it once caused.
And so now I’m studying this stuff, tending to my sexual shadows, and choosing to hold sacred intention for my sexual acts and relationships moving forward. By bringing the sacred in, the shadow matter can alchemize into profound power and energy. It may take some time and practice, but love always wins, ya know?
I want to leave you with an offering of a little something special I read about in my new book, Tantra: The Art of Conscious Loving, by Charles and Caroline Muir (highly recommended, easy reading) — as a way to bring some divinity into your intimacy with your sexy person/people.
It’s called The Nurturing Meditation, and practiced by devoted Tantricas twice a day, morning and night.
Starting from a spooning position (whomever is more stressed, or tired, or in need of more nourishment assumes the little spoon spot).
Next, begin to sync your breathing -- slow, deep breathing. Inhaling, pausing for a couple seconds at the top, exhaling, and pausing again at the bottom. Take the time needed to get into the same breath pattern with your beloved.
Next, you’re going to focus on each of your chakras, one by one, and take three deep, synchronized breathes into each one, together, in unison. You’ll start down at your root chakra (at the base of your spine) and work your way all the way up to the crown. You don’t need to be a chakra expert for this exercise to heal and invigorate you and your sweetheart. You just need to know where each of them are, so if you don’t know, look up a diagram, and memorize the 7 locations.
Once you’ve made it all the way to your crown chakra, you can turn over and face one another, look into each other’s eyes and see the person with whom you’re offering yourself so tenderly. Soak in the beauty of the person you’ve chosen as your intimate lover. Know that they are reflecting your own beauty right back to you.
This mediation is also recommended as a way to purify energy after a fight and get back into harmony with one another.
Alright y’all, Ima leave it at that.
May your sex be sacred and your shadow embraced into the fullness of your whole, beautiful self.