Connecting with life.
I’ve just returned from a beautiful weekend retreat at Ratna Ling retreat center, near Cordoza, California, a spot in the coastal mountains of northern California. The land is so beautiful here. The retreat time was short, yet filled with so much wisdom and learning. I learned so much about myself, how I hold back from a truly fulfilled life of truth and transparency, and ways to access my instinctual self more readily. All of this so amazingly fits in with my last post on being an erotic visionary. I thank you for sharing that post, and also thank those of you who shared yourself in the comments of that post.
At the retreat, I loved the exercises we did to discover ways in which our instinctual selves are so accessible and so ready to be expressed more fully. In one particular exercise, we were asked to go exploring in twos. Our explorations were to notice and follow our instincts through our senses.
It’s amazing what happens when we allow our instincts to guide us. My partner and I spent thirty minutes exploring the land around Ratna Ling center through our senses, allowing ourselves to follow our instinctual impulse.
We climbed into the center of huge redwood trees hollowed out by fire. We stroked moss covered bark and the insides of charred redwood trees turned silky over time. We found the tiniest red flowers sprouting from minute lichen. We delighted in a Yucca plant in full flower. We took turns sharing with each other what we were immediately drawn to.
What was I drawn to?
Contrast, Joy, and Tenderness.
The intense color contrast between sunlit orange Tibetan prayer flags and the bright blue skies that canopy the hills of northern California, just miles away from the Pacific Ocean. When I had first arrived at the center, I was delighted by these flags. In giving my full attention to this delight, I gazed at this contrast and realized how much I LOVE color, light, and contrast. This love has been with me from as far back in my life as I can remember.
The tenderness of flower petals, how the light shines through them, and how they so fleetingly exist in a world where everything dies, where everything in creation eventually dies.
The experience of the impulse itself and the very simple, yet oh so important, joy of discovery what life is displaying just around the corner… discovering what lies at the other end of the instinctual impulse.
We have these impulses all the time, yet how often do we allow our eyes to simply land on what they want to see, our hands to touch what they long to feel, our ears to listen to that which they long to hear?
We are so strongly socially conditioned to inhibit our instincts. Yes, some of that conditioning is a good thing; AND, some of that conditioning inhibits the soul from freely expressing itself in the world, of following the instinct of love, joy and creation – eros.
When we follow this instinct, we connect with life and with the earth. When we trust our instinctual selves, we rediscover an aspect of self that we buried so long ago.
Learning to trust this instinct, and guiding others to trust this instinct as well, is where my work is leading me. My work is shifting in a direction not yet fully formed, which is exhilarating. I’m following the trail of where my soul is calling me, where the instinct is leading me.
If you had fifteen minutes to follow your erotic impulse with a friend, where would your instinctual self lead you? Take fifteen minutes today to follow this erotic impulse, whether with a friend or alone. Notice the feeling of the impulse, the pull of what you are drawn to. Notice where you stop yourself. Just notice what it feels like to follow the instinct of love, joy and creation.
Then, come back and share with us what you discover in the comments. I look forward to learning from you!