When it comes to relationships, intimacy, and communication, sometimes I am more invested in "being right" than I am in "being close". What is happening in these moments? How do I reconnect with my partner... and with myself? I am reminded of the Song of Solomon...
"I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine."
Their eyes and bodies expressed such awe and reverence for each other. They found their "bashert" and sang out in unison "I am my beloved's and my beloved is mine". Under the "chupah" they built with a canopy and four poles, they "davened" together in waves of pure ecstasy.
It is said in the Hebrew tradition that when two people join in love, a voice from heaven announces the merging of the souls. In Hebrew your lover or spouse is your "bashert", which means destiny. The word for prayer, "daven", comes from the same Latin root as the English word "divine" and emphasizes the "One" to whom the prayer is directed. Davening is done silently or out loud, or chanted through song. When one davens they also rock back and forth, bending and bowing in reverence.
In every moment we have the choice to "daven" and to consciously bless, honor and love our "bashert" as the divine. It's this kind of conscious recognition and connection that aligns and sparks our energies to co-create and experience true mojo with another. Our relationships stay juicy and alive when we remember to greet our beloveds with humility and respect, as if we are entering a sacred temple in Greece or India or greeting the Dalai Lama or Ammachi.
In Hebrew, the words for bride and groom are "kallah", which means Queen and "chatan", which means King. We create sacred sexuality when we remember that we are in the presence of the beloved Queen and King and express unconditional compassion, honor and love. This devotion creates a holy supportive environment to love and pray in.
Sacred sexuality is such a potent and effective dance, where beloveds pray and bow to the One, the holy source, and ascend into sacred and mystical states of consciousness and ecstasy together. Life in a body is a pure blessing in that it offers us a divine opportunity to feel the manifestation of spirit as deep pleasure and raw emotion through sacred sexuality. When we approach sexual union as a holy journey, we get to consciously explore and transform our own personal relationship to intimacy and sensual aliveness and recognize and heal any wounds that stop us from loving, feeling, and expressing our true nature. In the Hebrew tradition, couples do a personal Yom Kippur by fasting, reflecting and praying from dawn until their wedding ceremony the next day. This process allows them to be more aware of, and connected to, their own respective body, mind and spirit before they enter into sacredness with their beloved.
Like any ritual or ceremony, it's important to ground ourselves and be centered before we unite with another.
When I forget -- and yes, I forget and it is not fun -- to relate to my beloved in a loving way, its usually because I am more invested in “being right” than I am at “being close”. When I am fixated -- whether consciously or unconsciously -- on being right, I am also not connected to my body. How can I feel another if I am not even aware of my own body experience? So, what I have found is my intimacy experience is heightened when I consciously connect with my own somatic sensory awareness before I enter the temple of my beloved, grounded and open -- mentally, physically and spiritually.
I created a body centered technique called S.E.T. which can assist us at any time to pause and re-set ourselves by reconnecting with our "whole body" experience (sensations and emotions). S.E.T. brings us into a closer relationship with ourselves and can help us to show up present and ready to connect, even deeper, with our beloveds. This six-step process reveals the truth that we can use to create aliveness within ourselves and deepen our connection with others.
Step One: COMMIT First, commit to bringing all of your conscious attention inward by saying out loud or silently, "I am willing and ready to focus my attention on myself and feel what I am feeling, right now."
Step Two: BREATHE Take three slow, deep, full breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Relax and fill your belly on each in breath, then release the breath slowly and let your jaw drop open on the out breath. Keep the out-breath natural, not forced, like a soft sigh. Release the breath out through your throat, careful not to blow or push it through your lips. Breathe in and out rhythmically and let whatever organically wants to happen in your body happen. For instance, if your head wants to lean forward and drop, let it. Whatever instinct you feel, let it have its way. Let it flow, unedited.
Step Three: SCAN Focus on what is happening in your body. For instance, are you squinting or straining in any way while you read? Are your shoulders, neck and jaw relaxed? Is your belly feeling open or closed? Are you aware of any emotions? Just notice your state of being in this moment. Close your eyes for a moment scan your body then open your eyes when you are ready.
Step Four: DECLARE Declare aloud or silently what you notice. For instance, "I am noticing that my breath is shallow and I am holding my belly tight" or "I am noticing a lot of tingly energy running down my legs." Take a moment and give voice to your experience. "I am noticing _____________."
Step Five: WITNESS Sometimes when you declare your Self Evident Truth, body sensations begin to change. If this happens, simply note it. If you said, "I notice that my belly is tight" , this acknowledgement and mind /body connection may actually stimulate relaxation or increased energy flow in your lower body. Witness whatever your Self Evident truth is, right now in this moment.
Step Six: ACT Now, take an action that benefits you right now. For instance, if your Self Evident Truth is that you are not breathing deeply, take some deep breaths. If you notice that your belly is holding, relax it and let it go. If you are experiencing waves of joy vibrating through your entire body, breathe in to it and feel it even more.
Practicing S.E.T. alone and with your partner enables you to discover and discriminate subtle shades of feeling and sensation and enhance your visceral reality. Couples can use it as a tool for enhancing communication skills and opening a path for deeper truth to be revealed in the moment. This consistently clears the way for more intimacy. For instance, a partner who stops during a kiss would share "I am noticing when I kiss you I feel my throat constrict and my chest tighten. I feel afraid right now". By having this awareness and telling truth at this level, we are able to stay connected with ourselves and another and allow energy to move, creating an even deeper experience of intimacy and divine partnership.
I know for myself that when I am willing to express my truth and communicate sacredly with my partner as if we were under the "chupah", the pathway is open to enjoy greater amounts of love and devotion together. As beloveds, when we are willing to communicate and love each other with transparent truth and remove all the veils of illusion, we then instantly create safe loving containers -- "chupahs", to "daven" in together. Then in unison we can fully embody and express, "I bow to thee, beloved. I bow to thee."
What do you think? Does it scare you to think about communicating so sacredly with your beloved? Does it excite you? How do you honor your sacred sexuality?
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