In Tune With The Whole Of Life

by Julie on December 6, 2010 · 15 comments

Hello, I Love You, by Zenera

Hello, I Love You, by Zenera

Anytime you think of sexuality, you’ve got to think of your whole life.” Cornel West

Reverb10 Day 06
Prompt: Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

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Love.

This year has been about making love. And, I’ve used my heart, my body, my mind and my soul

Now I know most of us have been taught that making love means having sex with someone we love. But, I want to break open the tiny sliver of a way in which we see sexuality, sensuality, the erotic.

The way we currently see sexuality is limiting, yet it is so much more. Collapsed and hidden within our culture’s definition of sexuality are sensuality, longing and desire, passion and beauty, and touching to deeply connect.

Let’s take women’s sexuality today – so many women see pole dancing as a way to find their sexy selves. Connecting with our fire in this way isn’t a bad thing at all. It has helped so many women tap into a part of their nature and give it breath. And, yes, it is just one way. And, it can be limiting. It is also a way that can fit into this culture’s view of women – as sexual creatures, even objects, that are here to serve men’s erotic fantasies. The pornography industry is big business. It has a particular view of women, and it isn’t a pretty one. This industry has become ubiquitous in our culture. Its perspective has infiltrated mass media.

When we see ourselves through this perspective, is it serving our wholeness, is it serving how we see and value ourselves? This doesn’t mean trying to eliminate this view, but rather opening up to our whole lives, a sense of wholeness as souls here to love life, to serve with our whole being

I want to open up our view of our sexual energy so we see what’s been hidden. There is a fire in the erotic, a fire that can serve our work in the world.

What if our sexuality could be informed by our intentions, not our conditioning?

I see the possibility for a profound shift for humans: to open our point of view around love-making from an act in the bedroom to all of our acts in the world. To know ourselves as erotic beings in a way that is whole, loving to self, and in tune with the whole of life.

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A story that captures the essence of what I’m wanting to convey:

This man in India is a man of the Brahman class. As a Brahman, he is not supposed to touch people who are beneath his caste. What he does is feed the poor, the homeless, the destitute, the old people who have no one. He cooks each day, then delivers the food, even feeding some people by hand, the ones that can’t feed themselves. He also explains how he loves these people. He is shown bathing them, giving them haircuts and shaves, even massaging their feet. His actions show great love. His voice speaks great love. He is showing these people great love in each action. His touch seems to indicate that he is loving them with tenderness, true compassion and caring.

His actions so clearly show what I am trying to convey. His love infuses his actions.

You might ask why I call this making love, and not simply doing good works. You might find it confusing to mix up sexuality, sensuality and the erotic, and doing work in the world with great love.

All of this can be confusing, because trying to communicate with each other through words is limiting at best. Words come with baggage. We collapse distinctions around words, causing them to point to a mixed-up jumble of conditioning, experiences, beliefs and desires.

For me, this opening up of our minds to our own soul nature is crucial if we are to rediscover our whole nature as sensual, sexual, erotic loving beings, and find the fire and passion to unleash our greatness.

I’m wanting to explode open our limited conditioned ideas of sexuality and making love, for buried in them is our fire, our passion, our power. We are so much more than objects that can be sexy, if we do all the ‘right things’.

Here in our culture, many times when we see people touching we immediately think in terms of sex and sexual attraction. We make up stories about touch. Yet, touch is one of our most amazing senses, and one of the most amazing gifts we can give another. To touch and feel in the heart at the same time, brings a closeness unique to the sense of touch.

::

Somewhere, eros and sex got mixed up.

Somewhere, love was thrown into the mix, making things downright messy.

From Wikipedia:
Éros
(ἔρως érōs[2]) is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love;” however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage. Plato refined his own definition: Although eros is initially felt for a person, with contemplation it becomes an appreciation of the beauty within that person, or even becomes appreciation of beauty itself. Plato does not talk of physical attraction as a necessary part of love, hence the use of the word platonic to mean, “without physical attraction.” Plato also said eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth. Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros.

eros helps the soul recall knowledge of beauty, and contributes to an understanding of spiritual truth…Lovers and philosophers are all inspired to seek truth by eros.

Audre Lorde wrote this of the erotic:

This is one reason why the erotic is so feared, and so often relegated to the bedroom alone, when it is recognized at all. For once we begin to feel deeply all the aspects of our lives, we begin to demand from ourselves and from our life-pursuits that they feel in accordance with that joy which we know ourselves to be capable of. Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.

She adds this:

When we look away from the importance of the erotic in the development and sustenance of our power, or when we look away from ourselves as we satisfy our erotic needs in concert with others, we use each other as objects of satisfaction rather than share our joy in the satisfying, rather than make connection with our similarities and our differences. …

But this erotic charge is not easily shared by women who continue to operate under an exclusively european-american male tradition. I know it was not available to me when I was trying to adapt my consciousness to this mode of living and sensation.

We can choose to see what perspective we are operating under. The European-American male tradition has choked the life out of women’s eroticism, out of our sense of our erotic, sensual selves. It’s put it all into narrow confines and wrapped the words sexuality and sex around them. Everything points there, and yet in reality, that simply isn’t so.

::

A soul that can give of itself to the whole of life.

2010 has been about discovering for myself, what it is to be a sensual, erotic being. In making love to life, I am beginning to re-member the sensual and erotic nature within my being that I cut out because it didn’t fit into the cultural tradition in which I was raised. I began to earnestly make love to life, to let go of the small narrow ways I see myself, so I can open to the erotic nature of the soul and of life itself.

What is it to be a soul in a human, female body, a soul that longs to remember its wholeness, the beauty of the world in which it lives? A soul that can give of itself to the whole of life?

Bringing our whole selves to our work, to helping give birth to this new paradigm means re-discovering our nature, a nature that can bring the joy, the eros, the love back into a world starving for what we have to give. We can unleash a passion that fuels our work, so we give our whole selves to it, not just our small, timid egos.

I am in the midst of this making, a making of how I live in this world, how I see myself and what I can truly do, so that it isn’t quite so overwhelming, but rather a natural extension of my nature.

Let’s allow ourselves to notice the fire that was hidden, the passion and joy for life that have been tucked away in the bedroom, or that have become non-existent in our lives, because we believe they can only come out when we’re having sex, or feeling sexy.

Let’s allow each other to discover this for ourselves, to not judge how we do so, but to know we’re all on this journey together, in service to the emergence of the sacred feminine within us.

::

Image courtesy of Zenera, under CC2.0

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

wholly jeanne December 6, 2010 at 9:41 am

love making. making love. living infused with love. stoking the fire that’s been allowed (sometimes forced) to dwindle. >> all of this and more done “in service to the emergence of the sacred feminine within us.” now that’s a fine thing to make and a fine path to take.

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Marjory December 6, 2010 at 9:57 am

Julie,
This is lovely Julie. How we need to heal our view of sexuality and life itself. I love that you work so diligently “in service to the emergence of the sacred feminine within us.” Bravo dear one. I am SO with you! Love!

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Karen Sharp December 6, 2010 at 10:50 am

This just melts me, weeping tears of love.

Julie, your beauty, the beauty of the man in the video, the beauty of all of us, all of life… it just stuns me. How is it that life can be so beautiful?? How is it we could possibly respond to such erotic gifts, such gorgeous stunning immensity of life?

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angela December 6, 2010 at 11:28 am

Julie,
There’s so much comment-worthiness here that it’s hard to pick one (or two) things.
I should read Audre Lorde every day for words like these: “Our erotic knowledge empowers us, becomes a lens through which we scrutinize all aspects of our existence, forcing us to evaluate those aspects honestly in terms of their relative meaning within our lives. And this is a grave responsibility, projected from within each of us, not to settle for the convenient, the shoddy, the conventionally expected, nor the merely safe.”
And I should read you every day for words like these: “What is it to be a soul in a human, female body, a soul that longs to remember its wholeness, the beauty of the world in which it lives? A soul that can give of itself to the whole of life?” xo

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Amy Palko December 6, 2010 at 2:54 pm

Oh Julie, you are *such* an inspiration! Your words ring with a clear radiance that they cannot fail to ignite the sacred feminine flame in all of us.

Just to pick up on the importance of touch – it’s one of the components that we include in each of the goddess playshops I co-host, and it’s often one that our participants can feel a bit nervous about. It ends up being the highlight of the day every time!

Receiving a hand or foot massage, a hug or a shoulder rub – that physical connection shared with unconditional love and acceptance is one of the most beautiful gifts given. Similarly, allowing yourself to receive another’s gift is a wonderful gift in and of itself – one of my own key lessons of 2010 ;-)

Please keep sharing your words with the world, Julie – it is surely a brighter place because of them.
Amy
xx

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emma December 6, 2010 at 5:10 pm

hot damn, my friend, this post is on fire! and, as always, has me lost in thought as preconceptions i didn’t realize i even had suddenly shift. you are such a gift. xo

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Jasmine December 6, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Thank you, Julie. I’m on fire with love in my life right now. This post reminded me I can not just be in love with life, but I can make love to it—bring the sensual into every action. I can purposely share my love to create more love. Erotic. Practical. Tender. and Present.

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Alaia December 7, 2010 at 12:56 am

Love this post! Thank you so much Julie. Honestly, it’s getting late now, so I will have to read it when I’m more awake. I can’t wait! I’m sure it will be even better the second time around!

#reverb10

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Bridget December 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

I wondered if anybody was going to use “love” as the last thing they made. I love what you put forward here, especially differentiating between eros and sex. We’ve lost touch, I feel. That makes me sad.

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eb December 7, 2010 at 11:35 am

Wonderful passage from Audre Lorde. Another thoughtful post. I’m grateful to the fairy godmother for pointing me in your direction.

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Julie Jordan Scott December 7, 2010 at 12:28 pm

Yes, yes, yes a resounding yes, yes, yes to this, this, this whole post but this paragraph nails it 1000% for me:

>>>>> Let’s allow ourselves to notice the fire that was hidden, the passion and joy for life that have been tucked away in the bedroom, or that have become non-existent in our lives, because we believe they can only come out when we’re having sex, or feeling sexy.
>>>>>

I love when I forget the need to feel sexy is when I am actually my sexiest. I don’t even recognize it anymore. I set this intent (to shift beauty toward even those of us who are unconventionally beautiful) and all of a sudden, the attention and attractive comes from that passion for life and love itself.

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

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Cristina December 7, 2010 at 5:33 pm

I love (yes love!) this idea so much because I think it resonates so completely with who I am, a passionate and breathe deeply kind of woman. It’s so very transcendental. Human and real. Authentic. Yes. And that’s it entirely. It’s Yes.

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Yael Brisker December 9, 2010 at 6:37 am

Dear Julie
Fantastic post.
So thought provoking, so ground breaking, and yet ground- giving ( That make sense?)

I am with Amy Palko in re-sounding the importance of touch.

They say babies thrive on touch, and that is the main thing that helps their development. Why are we adults any different? We’re all babes in bigger outfits…(-:

I know from my own personal process and learning how touch can unlock so many forgotten places, after all, we were feeling-beings long before we could verbalize.

I was moved by the Indian man. The way he opens his arms and lovingly hugs the man…brought tears to my eyes.

You have given me so much to reflect on. Thank you

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Debbie January 2, 2011 at 11:56 am

The video has me in tears! Beautiful!

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Jennifer Louden February 9, 2011 at 5:39 pm

so needed this right now – so needed it – so needed this fire, thank you friend!

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