When I attended my first Tantra workshop 2 years ago, I had no idea what I was getting myself into.
I entered the Tantra workshop room without predisposed expectations. I hadn't read the book everyone in the room was talking about. I hadn't met or seen the facilitators yet (in fact, when they walked in, I thought they were workshop participants), I had experienced very few intimate partnerships in my life. And I wasn't long out of my 23-year marriage that had ended with an amicable divorce but lots of pain.
I now found myself in a room full of people looking to "explore, connect, heal, understand, enhance, expand, deepen, emote, challenge, and increase their intimacy and eroticism." I’ve listened to Marvin Gaye singing the praises of Sexual Healing for decades, but I had no idea what he meant. What was I doing with these strangers who were speaking of their "hopes in finding God through greater sexual techniques"?
I've learned that we are complex beings.
I have also come to learn that there is only so much that traditional therapies can uncover. For some, there is another way of continuing our healing while finding wholeness and personal satisfaction in our lives, our loves, our relationships and ourselves. This is where sexual healing comes in.
Along with all these mental approaches, I have come to understand that we are energetic beings. We each carry a core of energetics in our body. It is important to become familiar with how these energies run through our being, and learn how they can become blocked or severed from one another. When these energies are in alignment and connected to one another, there is a feeling of harmony.
When our energies are not cohesive, there is dissonance. We become confused about what we are feeling or experiencing, causing us to grasp at ideas and philosophies in hopes of explaining the ensuing pain and chaos. We then continue with our old patterns of coping and struggle, hoping something will change.
Sexual healing is not just about sex; it is about bringing these energies together in a way that allows them to work in harmony and wholeness. It is a process that includes, but is not limited to, accessing your sexual center and sexual energy.
As a woman in the 21st century living in Western culture, I had learned to keep my sexual energy neatly tucked away in its own separate compartment of my life. Mostly what happened "down there" was yucky and messy and smelly. I knew there was some hidden pleasure spot, but even that was only occasionally accessed. I had thought of myself as sexually exploratory and open, as long as it was within the "appropriate" setting - mostly marriage or monogamous relationship. To think of exploring this part of my body with sacred touch and ceremony, with loving presence, acceptance, celebration, honor and love was a brand new concept for me.
Help me in my parenting
Help me in my work
Expand my creativity
Assist me in my relationships and
Enhance my overall well-being
It was all new to me, and I was petrified.
During my very first Tantric session, as I gazed deeply into the eyes of the man I was partnered with, I felt a flood of emotions that I had not previously known I was holding. As the tears flowed I felt the release of disappointments and pain that I had unknowingly been holding for years. As he held me, I physically experienced a feeling of release in my heart, as if a rubber band that had been constricting my heart's flow had been removed. His training had prepared him to expect anything. He had been told that a woman in her process could be ecstatic, angry, distraught, frustrated or any other of the hundreds of emotions we carry. His challenge was to stay present with whatever showed up, and to be willing to hold those feelings, and me, regardless. He did that beautifully as I cried, went numb, laughed and cried some more.
Over time I have gained an entirely new understanding of the masculine and how much healing there is when it comes together with the feminine with the intention of healing and wholeness. As our session came to a close we both laughed and cried together. I continue to be in awe of the power of presence, intention and healing touch that we can gift to one another. His sense of presence was certainly a gift to me.
After two years of practice, continued training, and eventually becoming a certified Tantric educator, I now know I had only been partially present in my own life. An invaluable part of me had been closed down in such a way that it was difficult to access the higher levels of joy, bliss, insight, intuition and connection. I now realize I had spent a lifetime in shielded protection from being loved too deeply, being seen too fully, opening too widely and being held too closely.
For months following the workshop I noticed how different my world looked and felt. Food tasted different, the wind on my face felt different, my interactions with people on the street were different, and certainly the quality of my close relationships became deeper, stronger and more profound than anything I had ever experienced.
And now, as I work with clients from around the world, I am able to witness the power of sexual healing for others as well. Tantra practice has opened me to new ways of accessing my heart, my feelings and my very being. Yet along with increased highs came increased lows. My range of emotion continues to grow exponentially and my ability to hold them all is increasing as well. I am learning that it is not without contraction that we find expansion, and the work of sexual healing certainly causes both.
As the inhale and exhale of our breath brings life, so the inhale and exhale of
our hearts brings depth.
I continue the practice, I continue the learning, I continue the expansion and I continue breaking through barriers. Sexual healing, as well as my overall wellness, is a process, not an event, and my process is leading to greater joy and satisfaction than I ever could have imagined.Kim Keller has spent the bulk of her career the past 20 years as a personal coach, counselor, trainer, facilitator, speaker and program designer for Human Development projects across the US. Her wide range of experience in the field of personal growth, as well as her own life experience as a parent, wife, professional, business owner, humanitarian and now grandmother gives Kim a wide perspective on the many different hats women are asked to wear during this time of shifting in our consciousness, in our world, in our relationships and in ourselves.
Kim brings a vast range of expertise to her work, as well as her personal passion for assisting in the birthing of a new way to be in the world. TheYinProject.com & the Divine Feminine Institute
Submitted by Ellen Joy W.
“Reading this made me stop dead on my tracks, and it’s possibly something
lots of us men never really thought about.”
So the two guys I am having sex with both do the same thing: count and insist on seeing how many times they can make me come. I explain that for me having an orgasm is easy, though that doesn't apply to all women. Many of us can reach an orgasm better or easier all by ourselves so their accomplishment isn't really a huge feat.
They really should focus on foreplay and the climb to the orgasm to ensure the most intensity and pleasure from the orgasm itself.
So despite the pleas to "make it his" I decided to sleep with a second of the three guys I'm dating. At risk of feeling I'd be classified as a ho, I decided that men do it all the time so why not? I'm tired of double standards. Anyway, glad I did. Turns out they are both very good sexual partners and I get something very different from each of them. But something similar that I get from both of them is - counting orgasms and wanting to make "it" theirs.
The first partner alluded to it our first time together and by the third time was saying things like "I want to make this mine" and "I don't want anyone else up in this." The second partner said during our first time together, "What do I have to do to make this mine?" Well at least he asked. And since we have pretty good open & honest conversations, I asked if it was sex talk. He verified that it was but that it does hold some meaning. He would like to know that no one else will be having the pleasure of my company sexually. We also discussed that there is a difference between wanting the sex to be his exclusively and wanting me exclusively as in a relationship.
By the way, my responses to their questions are as follows:
1. So how many times did you come? “I don't count. I can make myself come as many times as I want to. I was more concerned with what you were doing before I came.”
2. What do I have to do to make it mine? “It's not up for sale or lease. It's all mine baby. Best you can do is be glad I'm sharing it with you and treat it like the very special gift that it is.”
http://networkedblogs.com/d9Mnw & http://www.ellensdoor.com
My body is my vehicle – I’m its driver.
As an avid athlete all of my life, I’ve developed a sense of my body and what it can do for me by pushing it to its limits and beyond. Sadistically running marathons doesn’t even faze me anymore; I’ve developed an extreme tolerance for pain. Plus. I wasn’t attuned to pleasure and paid little attention to seeking or receiving any.
While I was up to my 3-hour training runs for an upcoming marathon recently, my whole world turned inside out. I’m knocked up! In a million years I never dreamed I would become pregnant at my ripe age of 39, along with all the intense training I do, and well, I’ve never been pregnant before, and not for lack of trying.
But, low and behold, my body is no longer my performance engine. That title now belongs to this little being growing inside of mine.
My running days are over, at least for now. The over-exhaustion pregnancy cycle is raging, and I’m not. What amazes me is how this tiny mass of cells, quickly forming into a little heart, head, body, and limbs (my mate swears he recognizes a mini version of his own genitals on the ultrasound too, i feel he's a she!) could bench me on the sidelines overnight.
I’ve always been a control freak about my own body---what I feed it, what I don’t, how I train it, discipline it, and make it succumb to my wishes. Now, I am in total awe of this mini human growing inside of me; and of how I’ve lost control. From what I feed it and don’t, to these giant boobs topping at 38DD now, staring me right in the face (I special ordered my last bra, my back is killing me), to how my engine’s spent. I have no energy left for training and discipline which has always been my biggest passion and focus - all is dictated by this baby's breath - and my body’s surprising, inherent knowledge to create and sustain life. Every day brings new challenges and an awareness never felt before.
Seeing the finish line at mile 26 after running 4 hours, then crossing that line, was always my greatest exhilaration and proof of my strength as a woman. Now, I’m challenged by a one inch being in my belly who’s overturned everything I believed - with what it truly means to be a woman of strength. Another finish line is in my sight – and a starting gate, now that I think of it - the day my baby arrives to greet me. A nine month marathon puts my 4-hour race to shame. Running was much easier than this! Am I ready for this? Am I too old to venture down a path that most women do in their 20’s?
"And what was I always running from, or toward, anyway?"
Until I venture the path of motherhood I’ll never know what my body’s truly made for.
I wonder if I can draw upon some of my painful athletic endeavors to get me through the labor process? Surely the visualization exercises I did as an athlete transfer to seeing myself carry out a successful pregnancy and delivery. Who would have thought that after 25 years of running marathons and triathlons, that everything I’ve done up to this moment wouldn’t come close to preparing me for what I’m going through. My friend recommended I read Mindful Motherhood by Cassi Vieten - in some ways this intelligent approach reminds me of the discipline of my peak performance mentality, without the duress and teeth gnashing. I’m loving every word. I feel sort of grounded now, yet connected to something bigger than myself.
Hats off to all mommies who've experienced pregnancy and labor - thriving in the healthy rush and glow of finishing that 9 month marathon - my true passion and focus now.
For years, people in my life would say don't take it so personally, or this is business, or don't sweat the small stuff, but secretly I thought to myself I would lose my innocence, that I’d ‘lose who I am if I don't identify with this pain.’ I felt that it was me, and that I would disappear without it.
I was really struggling to make a life for myself from this fallout, but I was so afraid, and couldn’t get traction with anything tangible. I guess I always thought I’d be taken care of in my life, until I looked down the barrel of mid-50, and felt paralyzed. Marriage, a successful man, and a promising relationship for security and support seemed a slim option at this age, and I began desperately trying to pull myself out of the past and create a dynamic successful, compelling future. No easy feat, I was always tripping over my own in the process. I was always in pursuit of my happiness, so I stayed in the groove of victim - not victor.
Exhausted, stuck and sick of myself - I needed help, high tailed it into Jungian therapy and wow! I have discovered my automatic pilot switch, and to my surprise, my innate gifts.
Rather than regarding the unconscious merely as the repository of repressed memories, Jung viewed it as the wellspring of psychic energy and healing. It’s been a hell of a ride, well worth every effort, filled with plenty of struggle and valuable, transformative lessons. For the first 2 years of therapy, I went twice a week. Sometimes I’d drive there at high speeds, feeling the full, murky weight of my burdens, and would fantasize about careening off the road into the Presidio and down the ravine. Other times, I was euphoric and hopeful, though short-lived and over shadowed as deep despair seemed always just behind the scrim.
With practice and conscious awareness I am far more even tempered now, and although I sometimes lose my cool... it’s warranted, definitely not at the drop of a hat like before.
I learned how I allowed OWR, my acronym for my Obsession With Relationship, to be my smoke screen so I wouldn't have to deal with the truth of myself, and how I was creating chaos in my life. I was unbalanced and let myself dwell perpetually on habitual negative thought patterns, like ‘why do bad things always happen to me?’ or ‘I’m fat - no one will ever love me,’ or my tripwire – ‘I won’t be happy until I find the right man.’
I used to feel slighted and jipped. Happiness was elusive, always out of reach. I kept myself super busy to avoid my needs, to what sirened inside me. I actually steeled myself, and my heart to it. I was so wrong. Kahlil Gibran said it beautifully – “…and I felt myself soften – when I stopped and observed the truth was apparent and right before me.”
Things really do change, and if we women focus on our inherent gifts RIGHT NOW, in the present, and not let 'relationship obsessions' and the PAST get in the way, we can grow and change. I have changed.
I’ve learned that reality is empowering. I’ve learned to account for my own choices, mistakes and stains and stop the blame train. I’ve learned to wash that laundry clean with forgiveness and humility. I really feel changed inside. I’ve moved beyond an imaginary life style filled with expectations and disappointments and have embraced honesty – to accept what is and discover its grace and lessons.
Reality is my tool now to shape my life beautifully. I feel equilibrium is here, and experience my interconnectedness. I learned to become god with myself, and have made the effort to grow up my hurt, scared, doubting and stubborn little girl inside. I am taking care of me - and I love it.
I imagine myself at the helm of an immense chariot with 6 horses at my command. I am the driver, both feet planted, squarely and balanced. With reigns held firmly in my hands, not clenched and white knuckled, I navigate each turn with my every muscle and brain cell alert.
Life's curves can be harrowing, and at any moment anything can happen - but I am its driver - and the glorious wind is in my hair.
I am fairly 'new' to my sexuality, and discovering myself for the first time. I am not sure where this will go or who it might 'speak to' ...but I will tap out where I am, because I am 'no longer whispering'.
Coming from a very religious family, where sex was used for having babies, and NEVER talked about, I grew up with prudish morals ('til the age of 12 I thought you could get pregnant from kissing...that gives you some perspective). I was even a virgin on my wedding day. What a rude awakening I got when I realized that I loved and had married a man I did not have sexual chemistry with. In fact, I really didn't like sex, and just did my 'obligatory' marriage duties when he beckoned.
Oh we talked about it. But I didn’t value my needs and desires enough to really know, or learn how to be heard. I didn’t even know it mattered. I gave up and made the best of our life together.
I knew how to satisfy myself, so this is what I did for nearly 24 years. My husband was not into pleasing me in this department, nor could he hold back to give more time to satisfy me, so the average 'obligation' took less than a minute. Since I did not enjoy having sex with my husband, this became a very nice routine because in less than 5 minutes tops, he was happy, and in a way, so was I because I couldn't wait for it to be over.
All the years I was with my husband, I never once had an orgasm with him (I had plenty on my own mind you, so I wasn't completely dissatisfied). Now, you're probably saying (especially if you've been in tune with your own sexuality far longer than I) "she's crazy to have stayed with him that long." Yet outside of this one thing we just didn't have success with, we had everything else in common. Outside of the bedroom, he treated me like a queen, and was the best companion and friend. We had all of the same interests.
We wanted babies too. We thought that maybe this was the missing piece in our relationship, creating a family together, and that we needed to focus on and love something and someone more than ourselves. A mighty distraction! I am an expert at this, and used to give myself credit for finding distractions – a seemingly great coping mechanism - to get me through the difficulty of disowning my buried sexual diva.
One of my favorite forms of distraction was staying in college forever, even getting my doctorate. During the Ph.D. process, I had ZERO time to check in with myself. My stress levels were higher than I had ever felt, and I aged 10 years in 2. All the years we tried and tried to get me pregnant, fertility testing – the works - I found myself getting depressed for no good reason and developed many health problems in the process, chronic back pain, mono, double lung pneumonia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and generally felt lousy. I kept on working though, afraid to stand still and listen.
Trying to make babies could be fun, my husband loved it...he got sex whenever he wanted. While it was disappointing as usual, this actually gave me some hope and a goal to focus on, so I tried to enjoy it more. I suppose the thought of creating a life inside of me helped me emotionally want to have sex. Alas to no avail though, we weren’t blessed with a child.
When I first began to realize how important my sexuality was, and that cutting off that part of me was killing me, I could no longer do 'my wifely duties' with this very good man I loved more like a friend than my mate. In the final years of our marriage, we had sex about once every 3 months. It was getting to the point where giving this part of me away, and he taking from me even though he was aware of how much I loathed it, was robbing my soul. I was not being true to myself, exploiting my heart and soul out of devotion to my marriage vows.
I realized that my husband and I were never meant to be more than friends. You would have thought I could’ve recognized that after the first years of our relationship as our physical chemistry was null and void, but with those darned religious morals I was raised with, I didn't believe in divorce. I believed in 'for better or for worse' and I had found ways of accepting what had become for me 'the worst'. Looking back now, my inner diva, locked up inside waiting to get out, is what eventually prevailed and our marriage ended. Amicably, we’ve remained friends, but over just the same.
As the world turns, so has mine. I met someone very special. Someone who I had instant sexual chemistry with, and the pheromones began to fly. We nearly fell in love at first sight! We connect naturally on so many levels, and orgasms were instant...without trying!
Simultaneous, erogenous, emotionally communicative, loving, and wildly passionate orgasms unlike any I had ever experienced on my own. A transcendent, out of body experience, pure ecstasy, as if this diva was locked up for so long when she was finally released from the prison I kept her in, she connected my body, mind, and soul. Seeming as if she’d heard my cry in the dark, and rose up like a phoenix to take care of me.
I feel things happen for a reason. While some folks (including my own family) may think I have completely screwed up my life by giving up a good man, I, for once in my life, feel truly at peace. All the parts of me have unified. For too long these parts were battling each other inside, constantly fighting over 'who I should be' for others and I wasn’t even aware of the consequences.
Understanding that all of my needs are important and allowing ALL of who I am to express itself fully, even if I don’t conform to the religious values and beliefs I was taught, makes such a difference. I’m in love. Mind you, I still get scared, but when I find courage to express myself I experience the kind of intimacy I had longed for all of my life.
I’m 46 now, and grateful to know the truth, I feel connected in beautiful ways that I continue to discover every day. Outing my inner diva, valuing my voice, expressing myself vividly makes me happy. So much Joy! I love right now and I have such a bright future to look forward to.