Sex and Power–How I became a Sensuality Teacher

It all started with my father. You see, daddy was a preacher man. I a “PK,” a preacher’s kid. Famous for being rebellious and unruly, PKs are enough of a phenomenon to have earned a nickname.

But growing up in a preacher’s household, I wasn’t openly rebellious. I was more the passive aggressive, “I’m gonna lock myself in the bathroom and give myself this rad punk haircut, what are you gonna do about it” kind of rebel. Or the, sneak out after the parentals have gone to bed to go galavant with my boyfriend, kind of rebel.

The thing was not to be openly defiant of what I saw as my father’s all reaching power. As I saw it, only one of us got to be powerful and it wasn’t me. 

As a teenager, having sex was the ultimate way to rebel against the good girl archetype I grew up with, and to reach for a sense of power. As it turns out, rebellion is not ultimate power…but it’s a start.

“Everything in the world is about sex except sex. Sex is about power.” –Oscar Wilde.

The first time I heard that quote it brought into focus how my life as a sexual and sensual woman has been a journey of relating to power; How those two cannot be separated.

From those teenage days, I was always fascinated by sex and the body, but at the same time very conflicted about my desire for pleasure. This played out through an eating disorder and a heartbreakingly bad relationship with my body as a teen and into my twenties. I married in my mid-twenties. The marriage started out hot and sweet, but careened into the limbo of no sex. That’s when I decided that I would not live my life in a state of numbness and deprivation. 

And that’s how a sensitive preacher’s daughter from Costa Rica ends up on the path to “conscious sexuality” many years after the teenage rebellion stage of exploration.

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I sensed that sex and the body held secrets that were pointing to something mysterious and powerful, something I very much wanted to understand. And so my journey began in earnest.

(Scroll down to read about my upcoming course: SACRED SENSUALITY!)

All of this being ultimately about power was something I sensed and yet didn’t want to face head on. Because power scared me, just like my strict father scared me as a little girl. Power was taboo.

What if true power is the ultimate surrender? To deeply surrender, not only in our sex, but in the experience of being in our bodies. This is what I have discovered, and this is where sensuality comes in.

When we prioritize sensuality, we access moments where there is nothing to prove, no identity to uphold, nothing but being present and immersed in the moment. We’re left full of appreciation for life and for being here, in a body. What could be more empowering?

It goes against everything that I was taught growing up in the church. It goes against everything that was supposed to make me a good woman. And yet, there it is, the undeniable truth of it, that power starts in the body. That sex and sensuality are ways that we access that power.

It can be scary as hell to give ourselves permission to prioritize our sensuality. Which is why we need support and community cheering us on.

I am teaching a course where you can dive deeper into your journey. It’s called SACRED SENSUALITY. Join us!

SACRED SENSUALITY–the 7 week journey for women, starts December 6th. 

Here’s the scoop!

When: Thursday nights. 7:30-9:00 pm. 12/6, 12/13,12/20, (break for Christmas), 1/3, 1/10, 1/17, 1/24
 
Where: From your computer. (We’ll be using Zoom to meet virtually)*
 
Additional support: A secret Facebook group so that we can connect, chat, celebrate, and share our journeys in sisterhood. Yay!
 
*All sessions will be recorded for you reviewing pleasure. 
 
Investment: $147 (Or two payments of $80*)
 
To pay and sign up, click here: https://bit.ly/2DvyLtv
To pay in two installments, click here: https://bit.ly/2JOfFil
What happens next: Once you have paid to sign up, you will receive a welcome email to the course and you will be added to the Facebook group. (Facebook group is optional).
Questions? Feel free to email me at patriciablackcoach@gmail.com with your questions about the course.
peonies

The Women’s Sex & Sensuality Salon!

It’s here! The Women’s Sex & Sensuality Salon.

Women's Sex & SensualitySalon (2)

 

An evening for deep sharing, honoring your Erotic Truth, embracing your journey as a sensual woman, and welcoming your deepest desires.

Our sensuality and erotic energy are our core power. When we connect to this essential part of us, we connect to joy, creativity, and a state of natural flow. Our feminine souls long to live in this space!

If you are a woman who is wanting to feel more connected to your body and your sensuality but you can’t seem to prioritize this area of your life, this evening is for you. If you are exhausted from pushing to try to hold it all together and want to find a new and more pleasurable approach, join us.

It’s going to be a beautiful evening.

Register here: https://bit.ly/2MLmeU7

This event is for women who want to explore this conversation in a safe and supportive space. We will share and discuss, and we will also do fun experiential exercises to help you connect to your body and your sensuality. You’ll get clearer on where you are on the map of your own erotic journey and on how to embrace your desires. You will walk away with tools to embrace this super-power of your feminine genius that allows you to live a life that is juicy, joyful, and creative.

I will also be sharing about my Erotic journey, from a fundamentalist upbringing with a lot of shame around sexuality, to a marriage that ended up sex-less, to my adventure in reclaiming my sexuality, sensuality, and falling in love with being a woman. The journey continues!

*There will be no nudity at this event.

*Please wear comfortable clothing that allows for movement.

*Bring an item that is meaningful to you for our altar space. (Can be a picture, a stone, piece of writing, etc.)

NYC, Thursday, July 26th. 7:00-9:30 p.m.

Register here: https://bit.ly/2MLmeU7

About your host:

Patricia Black is a Life & Sensuality coach. She works with women who are creative rebels, outside-the-box thinkers who want to feel inspired, in flow, and able to create through their feminine energy. They’re tired of struggling with overwhelm and the exhaustion that comes from pushing to try to follow their dreams.

Patricia is trained in various Life Coaching Modalities, with a strong emphasis on embodied approaches. She is a graduate of Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts. She is a certified Orgasmic Meditation teacher. She has apprenticed with Om Rupani in sacred BDSM. Patricia is also a Shiatsu Bodywork practitioner and a certified Holistic Health & Nutrition Coach. Her desire is a world where people love their bodies, are free from shame around their sexuality, and are able to access their full potential for ecstasy and joy.

 

Back to the garden

I just wanted to get back to the garden.

The image of a wild and perfect garden has been full of resonance for me for as long as I can remember. Maybe because it’s one of the first bible stories I heard, and maybe because I spent some early years in the countryside in Nicaragua in the 70’s, running around with scraped knees, chasing chickens, climbing mango trees and bossing around the other kids at the orphanage that my parents ran.

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The dreamy tropics

As a preacher’s kid, I grew up on bible stories, I only took them literally until I learned about “sentido figurado” or speaking figuratively, and that afforded me a little pocket of freedom in the Sunday church ritual. Man, did I ever need that little pocket of freedom to interpret the stories in my own way, because I felt trapped in the church routine, and I needed magic! I needed something I wasn’t finding between the pews. But, prophecies and ancient tales I could trip on, and so I did as well as I could with the materials at hand.<

The garden, the unsullied, the mythic place in our collective imagination. Is it just the utopian dreamers among us or is this a deep memory we are all trying to get back to in one way or another? The place where EROS was free, and innocent, the place before shame. Here’s Joni singing about it in 1970

That is my true dream. Without realizing it for the longest time, this was the deep vein in all my explorations, the desire to touch that sense of unsullied wholeness, erotic innocence, freedom.

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North Carolina in the 70’s with siblings and cousins. This ain’t the garden!

For the modern person, the city dweller, the body is now the garden, the place where we can find that innocence again, where we are inseparable from nature, even if it often seems otherwise.

The body is the battleground where so much fighting happens–women’s bodies, which is to say the body of the earth. Reproductive rights, body shaming and perfectionism. A woman’s sexuality. The way our culture relates to the body continues to express the christian distrust of our physical being, even those of us who are not religious can easily get stuck worshipping at the altar of the “perfect body” and paying penance through dieting and denial of pleasure. Oh, we will have pleasure one day, we tell ourselves, when we have earned it by being good.

This Mary Oliver line gets quoted a lot, because it’s really on point:

You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees. For a hundred miles through the desert, repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body. love what it loves.

To be at ease and unashamed in the body is the most radical and healing thing I can think of. It’s worth doing whatever it takes to find that freedom. 

Handling your to do list when you just feel like playing hooky

Spring has come to New York with a beautiful snow day.

I awoke to cottonly fluffs of snow swirling outside my window, falling in that silent and steady way that makes a snow day so magical.

As I was stretching myself awake I had this feeling of, let’s play hooky today. I believe in the power of pleasure and enjoying my down time with zero guilt! But something felt off about blowing off my whole day. Kind of like eating too many doughnuts, even with zero guilt, you’re going to feel sluggish and stuffed.

What to do? Push into “productivity mode”? Call myself lazy and undisciplined. Nah. Doesn’t work for me. What this calls for is to “change state,” by bringing pleasure and the type of energy you want into the moment. If your current state is feeling blah and you want to feel energized and inspired, I highly recommend some type of movement to quickly change your state.

So that’s what I did, I put on  this Bebe song and got to dancing, letting my body lead the way with shaking and stomping and singing along badly! To move, to sing, to connect to your aliveness, these are all great ways to change state.

Only trouble is, sometimes I find it hard to stop dancing and sit down to work! But that’s ok, that’s a great new “problem” to handle. Then I shift into grounding myself to feel clear and calm and focused. I do that by lighting a candle, connecting to why I am doing the tasks that I’m doing today, and taking a few slow deep breaths to get settled.

Because I talk about a pleasurable approach, people sometimes tell me if they embraced pleasure they’d never get anything done. But, this is where discernment comes in. Is it truly pleasurable for me to play hooky and watch movies all day? Some days the answer might be yes. Other days, if I slow down and get honest with myself, I know there is a deeper pleasure in showing up for my to-do list and my work because I care about it and I’m connected to a sense of purpose, which is it’s own type of pleasure.

So, what’s your preferred way to “change state” when you feel like blowing off your to-do list? How do you know when blowing it off is the right thing for that day? I’d love to hear from you in the comments.

Take time to digest the year

 

I’m writing you from bed, where I’ve just spent the past hour looking through my 2017 planner. (Yes, I love an old school paper planner!)

I wanted to go back, month by month, and remember and savor and celebrate the experiences of this year. In a word, DIGESTION. It is so easy to forget all the good we have experienced. It is so easy to forget to acknowledge all the lessons we learned, and all the ways we showed up when we could’ve more easily dropped the ball.

Some of the highlights for me were traveling to Mount Shasta for an amazing women’s retreat/pilgrimage and getting to go deeper into my studies on embodiment. Another was giving myself permission to celebrate my birthday all month, and getting to really take in how loved and supported I am and how many amazing people I share my life with.

More recently, I was thrilled to offer my first Women’s Sex and Sensuality salon in Miami. That was amazing for me and the women who showed up got a lot out of it. This was a big deal because one of my prayers this year (part of why I went to Mount Shasta) has been around wanting to be more fully living my purpose. And well, part of that has to do with bringing more awareness to our relationship to sexuality. But, I had a lot of fear of being visible around this topic. So I’m grateful and I’m proud of myself for facing those fears and sharing my work more openly with more women.

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And then there’s gratitude for the hard stuff, the dark stuff, the stuff that in the moment makes us want to pull out hair out! Yes, there was some of that too. I almost got a full time job as a translator. I thought I was ready to stop with the freelancing life and get “real” and I tried my hardest and it just did not work out. And in retrospect, I am so grateful for that! I needed to get clear on what my true work is and I needed to face some practical realities around money. The process of trying to get that job (it was a government position so there were lots of hoops to jump through), brought up all this stuff that I’d been putting on the back-burner to be handled. Hallelujah!

I’m grateful for all of it. I don’t say that lightly. Some days I have to dig deep to touch that level of appreciation.

I wish you a window of time where you can drop in and digest your year. Love yourself up while you’re at it. Appreciate your efforts. Acknowledge all the good. Make space for what this coming year wants to bring you.

XOXO

Holding what is heavy in your heart and the evolution of our world

What is heavy in your heart? What stories in your heart contribute to your spiritual stagnancy and the withholding of the greater evolution of our world?

A friend poses the question as a writing prompt and my first thought is that my heart feels light. Then I remember, my love feels heavy in my heart right now. A distancing from a lover and how I perceive rejection when I feel misunderstood, and then I need time to go find my own space and feel what is true for me, over several emotional waves. I don’t want to disappoint him and lose his love. I trust this love enough to know it isn’t so easy to lose, but still the tenderhearted child part of me believes it fully! She believes I will not be loved if I don’t please the other, if I don’t do as the other wants me to do. So, this question of surrender is heavy in my heart. What does it mean to surrender while still having healthy boundaries? It feels like a lot to navigate, and it feels heavy to cut myself off emotionally in order to find those boundaries…and surrender? Well, it gets put on hold for now.

What stories in my heart contribute to my spiritual stagnancy, and contribute to the withholding of the greater evolution of our world?

The stories that say I cannot contribute unless I am 100% clear, that what I offer isn’t worth all that much or will not be appreciated in the market place, the stories that say I am never ready and therefore not able to give. Those stories keep me stagnant and wallowing in my own sense of emptiness. Getting stuck on the how and getting stuck in the mental figuring out of the big “how” while the heart is holding out the flower of her gift and often there is no one to receive it, because often I am the first one who is missing. Ah, heart, I am sorry. The story runs deep, the conditioning runs deep, the traps and barriers to love are built deep into the ground and that ground has to be tilled. Letting the heart break is letting that soil be tilled.

When was the last time my heart broke properly? My father’s death. I have not let anyone or anything get close enough to break my heart since then. I have lived in the shelter I created to protect my heart and I don’t blame myself for it. It’s just that she wants to breathe more fully again, to expand again.

I will write a letter to that lover, I won’t just stay silent and slightly sulking from the hurt I felt. Yes, I am sensitive and yes, I can still stay open and say the truth of how I am feeling.

How does all of this intensely personal stuff relate to the greater evolution of our world? What is the greater evolution? It is a spiritual question, after all, this question of evolution. We are at a crucial moment where we are becoming more and more machine like and less and less aware of our connection to the natural world. The way I know the natural world is through the body, since I don’t live in intimate daily connection with “nature.” I notice myself becoming programmed to be machine-like, my attention siphoned off into the small and glowing portals of screens where I can get lost for countless hours, unaware of sensation, unaware of the physical world around me, the sensual world of sound and light, real color, warmth–the world of kinesthetic wonder.

I vote for an evolution that brings us back to that innate goodness of our connection to our bodies, and each other, and the earth. I wonder if I am naive and simply part of a dying generation. I wonder if I am merely to become a thread of humanity that died out as we evolved into a more robotic future where humans forgot about soul, where humans gave up their access to something like spirit in order to live totally plugged in to the matrix. I wonder. And I have to chose what feels true to me even if it does break my heart.

When do you decide that you are enough?

So many of us women believe that what we have right now is not enough or that who we are is somehow wrong. That if we work hard enough, get it right, be a good girl, figure shit out, meet the right people, fall in love, lose 10 pounds–the conditions are endless…that if we do these many things and do them right, then we are allowed to feel joy, to feel that we are enough.
 
But it’s the other way around. You have to touch that “enoughness” inside you. You have to give yourself permission to feel joy for no reason. Then all those other things become that much easier.
 
I know this has been said before so many times, but I repeat it as medicine against the virus that lies inside me and you, waiting for us to go to sleep long enough to begin eating away at us from the inside. That virus gets passed down through generations and eats away at our power. It tells us that we’ll only get what we want by berating ourselves over and over.
 
And the way I have found to become stronger is to engage with life from a place of saying YES, in this moment right here I am enough, this moment right here is ripe with beauty if I can open my eyes, and my mind and don’t forget to also open through my body. The joy and the enoughness are right here, naturally.
 
That’s where it gets tricky. All the new age memes make it sound easy and breezy, but as we start to practice and go deeper, we realize that there are old patterns inside of us that find it terrifying to open, there are places in the body that brace against opening, where it feels so much easier to pull the covers over our heads and say no, I can’t open to any of it.
 
And because those deep patterns can be sneaky and tricky and downright impossible to uproot on our own, we need to ask for help. It takes strength to ask for support, to decide that you are enough and to give yourself permission to love yourself right now. From there, you can begin to truly create.
 
I’m here for you if you want this kind of support to create more freedom within yourself. Let’s have a conversation and see if we are a good fit. No pressure. Lots of possibilities. 

Why Loving Your Belly is a Radical Act

I started sucking in my belly when I was 10. Around this time, my father started calling me fat whenever I was overly rambunctious and he wanted me to simmer down. I have this memory of dad yelling at me to get down from a carport gate where I was monkeying around, because “you’re too fat! You’re going to break it!” he yelled. I ran into the house, where my sister started poking at my stomach and teasing “suck it in, fatty.” These memories mark the beginning of becoming an awkward and self-conscious teenager, after having been a feisty little girl. That is one clear moment that I can pinpoint where I started to shut down my power.

art by Ralph Pucci
art by Ralph Pucci

After that, I’d never go back to being a kid with a relaxed belly, naturally expanding on the rhythm of my breath. I learned to suck it in from my older sister. One day we were walking past a store window and she told me to “suck it in,” pointing to our reflections and how much better she thought we looked with flat, sucked in stomachs. After that I tried to remember to suck it in anytime I was out in public. Eventually this became my normal way of moving through the world, belly tightly sucked in. Store windows and glass doors became witnesses to my constant vigilance, lest that shameful protruding belly dare to show itself.

I don’t tell this story to talk shit about my family or to point out how awful my childhood was. It wasn’t. I tell this story because I carried those memories along with a ton of shame for many years, and because I know that I’m not alone in this.

As I became more self-conscious about my body, I wanted there to be less of me. All that exuberant girl-child energy turned toward dieting and obsessing about my newfound terror of getting fat. Getting fat became synonymous in my mind with not being loved. For years, my body hatred focused intensely on my belly area. Even now, anytime I start to feel down about my body, my belly is the first place my attention goes. This is not a quick-fix topic. To learn to love our bodies, whatever our “problem areas” might be, means confronting all the woman hating messages we’ve absorbed, and all the shaming of the feminine and of women as sexual beings.

In fact, the seeds for much of the work that I do now as a women’s coach were planted in those early days when I learned to hate my body and by extension, my femininity, and myself. I believe that healing our relationship to our body builds the foundation for self-love and self-expression.

art by Tamara de Lempicka
art by Tamara de Lempicka

How we feel about our bellies is a great barometer for how we feel about ourselves. How we relate to this part of our body makes all the difference in how we see ourselves, and yes I see it as both a vulnerable and a radical act to choose not to suck it in. It’s radical because it says “fuck you” to the notion that your beauty comes from fitting yourself to the culturally accepted norms. It’s radical because by choosing to  stay tuned in to your body, your feelings, your in-the-moment intuition, you are much more powerful as a woman. Instead of sacrificing all that power for the sake of some cultural stamp of approval, it means choosing to be sovereign in your own body and life. That is radical. Just imagine what would happen to Madison Avenue and the massive diet industry if women chose the stance that our bodies are perfect and beautiful.

Loving your belly is radical. Loving your belly is also incredibly vulnerable. You take the risk of being judged harshly by other women who will project their own body hatred onto you. You may run across men who judge you for not fitting with their pornified ideals of a woman’s body. You will begin to see just how much you have internalized the fear and hatred of women’s bodies. So, why put yourself through all this? Why not keep sucking it in and worshiping at the altar of flat-as-a-board, six-pack abs? Because…

Hating your belly is really hating yourself. 

When you suck in your belly you lose access to your feeling center, intuition, solar plexus center of power. Your breath becomes shallow and you develop patterns of rigidity in your body as a whole. There is a feeling of not being at home in your body and if you can’t be at home in your body then where the hell will you ever truly feel at home? Besides, every time you look in the mirror with critical thoughts, you’re sending your body the message that she is wrong, bad, unloveable.

As you deepen your connection to your belly, you’ll notice that it feels so much better to be relaxed, open, to have strength and solidity, which has nothing to do with your belly being rounded or flat. It’s way harder for us to achieve that “hard body” ideal than it is for men. A truly strong and developed core is not the same as a hard, numb core.

I tried on and off over the years to stop sucking it in. It hasn’t been easy. I understand the feeling of being super self-conscious about your body. The pressure to mold one’s body to the flat-belly model is really strong. But it’s worth practicing. The benefits of an open and relaxed belly are profound and immediate and totally worth it.

Here are some benefits you’ll get from loving your belly and doing less sucking in:

  1. A whole new level of relaxation. Your whole body relaxes. Your breath deepens on its own. This, reduces worry and anxiety, increases oxygen intake and gets your body out of fight-or-flight and into relaxation mode. Ahhhhhh.
  2. Experience your feelings. Not just what thoughts are running around in your mind, but your emotional state in this moment. Along with your feelings, your intuition will also become stronger as you connect to this part of your body. There’s a reason we talk about “gut feelings.”
  3. Know your true needs. Being able to differentiate between physical hunger and some emotional need, for example. With a relaxed belly, you’ll get accurate information. After all there is a whole other “brain” in the belly, as lots of research has revealed. Check out this great piece by Marc David here  ( http://psychologyofeating.com/the-brain-in-the-belly/).
  4. Find your Power Center. In the chakra system, the belly area corresponds to the third chakra or “solar plexus.” Solar has to do with the fire of the sun that is like the fire of our will, the fire of our metabolism, the fire of our resolve.
  5. Rich sensuality. Picture the lovely, powerful undulations of a belly dancer compared to some punishing ab-busting routine. Feeling through a relaxed belly lets you feel more with your whole body so that there is pleasure to be found in the simplest experiences of the senses, from petting a kitten to feeling the breeze on your skin.
  6. Great sex. As your breath deepens, energy is able to move up the central channel of the body allowing you to expand orgasmic feelings throughout your body. Also, as you relax, you are able to shift your focus from how you look to how you feel. This is one of the secrets to better sex, and it makes you more attractive because instead of performing or “posing” you are simply being you while in a state of pleasure.

I could go on and on, but I’ll sum it up like this:

Not sucking in the belly changes one’s entire relationship to the body to one of sovereignty. It’s saying to your body: “I am at home here. I belong to myself.” This can change everything.

bigtimebellydance.tumblr.com
bigtimebellydance.tumblr.com

If  you hate your stomach or any other part of your body, by now you may be thinking this is so much easier said than done. I agree that it’s a process. Even if you don’t fully succeed at all times, you can still choose the radical stance of loving your belly and your whole body. It’s radical to choose not to walk around holding in your power, your magic. It’s possible to not live hostage to the ubiquitous body shaming around us. To change from an external focus based on how we think we are perceived by others, to an inner focus where we move through the world from that place of deep connection to our center.

Try this simple exercise to relax and feel your belly: Take a deep breath, fill your lungs and feel your belly expand. As you exhale, allow your belly to fall naturally. Pause before the next inhalation and just feel your belly. Don’t push it out, don’t suck it in. Pay attention to your breath as you feel your belly and allow it to relax.

You may not be ready to do this while you’re posing for a picture or walking into a party. That’s cool. Try it while you’re driving, or while you’re sitting at your desk. Then notice how you feel. See what’s different. I’d love to hear what you discover, in the comments.

Belly love practices: Belly dancing is a beautiful art form that fosters a positive relationship to the belly. Massaging your own belly with essential oils or receiving belly massage such as Maya abdominal massage is excellent. The simple act of putting your hand on your belly and breathing steadily can begin to shift you into belly and body love.

Let’s talk. If you’re sick and tired of putting your life on hold till you lose the weight. If you feel trapped inside your body instead of loving who you are. If you’re exhausted with the dieting game and the constant worry and dread about food and fat. If you don’t feel like you can have love, intimacy, and connection as you are right now. This can all change. When you change how you feel about yourself and your body, you are free to change your life.

If you want to learn how to trust your body as the ultimate source of intuition, pleasure, and power, I’d love to talk to you. If you know it’s time to feel confident in your skin and begin to live fully and embark on your next adventure, let’s talk. It’s possible. What if it’s easier than you’ve always thought?

Contact me through the form below to schedule a complimentary Deep Dive Coaching Session. This is a no pressure conversation where the focus is on you and your desires. We go deep to what you want, and what is getting in the way. I help you get clear, inspired, and give you tools and practices to start to make the shifts that are most important to you right now.

 

Are you sure you’re not just a brain in a jar? 4 simple ways reconnect with your body

I watched the movie “Her,” where Joaquin Phoenix plays Theodore, a lonely guy who falls in love with his operating system (OS), Samantha, played by Scarlett Johansson. There’s this moment where Theodore is in bed talking to Samantha. She gets quiet and then her raspy voice sounds pained when she asks him, “what does it feel like…to have a body?” Stop and think about this for a moment. What does it feel like? Because it’s so easy to forget these days! Of course, Theodore can’t give Samantha a satisfying answer. She’ll never have a body. But you and I do, every moment of every day. Forgive me for stating the obvious.

Remember those old movie images of brains in jars? These days we live more and more like disembodied brains and our bodies are suffering. But it’s not only our bodies that are suffering–we end up depressed, addicted, and feeling like we’re not really living.

image from darwinian-medicine.com
image from darwinian-medicine.com

Eventually, the lovers in our modern tale grow closer in their relationship and they want to have sex, or something close to it. Samantha (the OS) finds a human woman online who is willing to be a “body surrogate.” The scene that follows is heartbreaking. Theodore and Samantha are trying to connect through the body of this third character who wants to be part of their relationship. But the awkward attempt ends in horrible disappointment for everyone involved. It’s fiction but it’s not really so far-fetched; people are already finding it harder to connect with other human beings.

In another scene, Theodore walks around the city listening to Samantha through little wire-free earbuds. As he goes down the stairs to the subway, every other person coming up the stairs is talking through their little earbuds, presumably to their own operating systems. Or they are exactly like us today with all our devices? Constantly plugged in, negotiating life through these technologies; each in our private bubble of experience.  The first step in alienation is losing the connection to our own bodies, our own physicality.

Artificial intelligence is here and our lives are already changing faster than we realize and that change will be exponential in our lifetimes. Instead of freaking out about some dystopian vision of the future, we need to cultivate the ancient technologies that can only be accessed through the body, the technologies of human connection to ourselves and to one another. It kills me to think that as computers and machines become smarter and  beat us at our own games (and jobs), that we will allow ourselves to become dumber and duller and more reliant on them to navigate our way through the physical world.

We are suffering with widespread depression and other emotional and mental problems because we have these bodies that are part of nature, that are still connected to millions of years of being wild, and yet we live an almost machine-like existence–constantly indoors, barely moving, breathing just enough to stay alive. We have our senses, yet we barely explore what it means to have so much capacity to taste, to smell, to feel! The thing is, we can’t really separate the mind from the body. We need to learn how to have mind and body play together.

art by Milo Manara

It’s no small thing to smell the aroma of baking bread, to go outside and feel the breeze on your skin. It’s no small thing to hold another person, because touch is a basic need. When we slow down enough to feel something as simple as sipping a cup of tea can be a richly layered experience. And when we are plugged in to this richness of the senses, of the body, something in us begins to open up. Our anxiety starts to release bit by bit. This is no small thing.

If you do sometimes feel like a brain that is untethered from the body (and who doesn’t, nowadays?) what can you do about it? It’s simple though not always easy. It will take changing your habits, and it will be so worth it.

Here’s the key: Learn how to feel again. Get into your senses while using your awareness to pay attention. Body and mind playing together. Yes!

 4 SIMPLE WAYS TO UNPLUG FROM TECHNOLOGY AND RECONNECT WITH YOUR BODY.

Set a timer if you must (use that same technology to help you get free) and go do one of these:

 1. Go for a quick walk. Leave your phone at home! If the thought of that freaks you out, that’s something to ponder while you’re outside feeling the sun on your skin and smelling the air.

 2. Move that body. Get up from your desk or couch and move around. Go slowly so you can pay attention. Crawl on the floor, or dance to your favorite song. Let yourself be silly if this feels silly. How much can you tune in and feel?

3. Find a practice. Whether you take up yoga or tantra or some type of dance, all of these are great ways to develop your ability to feel more and connect to your body. One caveat, find a practice that is more about feeling and connection than it is about looking good or competing.

4. Be kind to yourself. The habits of disconnection are easy to fall into. It seems like everyone around you is on their phone 24/7. The habit of feeling and connection takes practice. It takes deciding over and over, moment by moment, to come back to your senses.

To have a fulfilling life, we need to live through our bodies again. Modern living can make us forget the joys and pleasures of living through the body, not against it. Healing and real transformation happen through deeper connection with our bodies, not by denying that connection.

As a Women’s Life and Desire Coach, I teach my clients how to connect to the body for aliveness and for intuition. We include body wisdom and pleasure, not only in their vision and their desires but in every step along the way. Learning how to return to our natural state as sensual creatures, our lives can quickly to go from black and white to color–life starts to feel worth living RIGHT NOW, not just in some imaginary future that could be dreamed up by that old brain in a jar!

laughingsquid.com/beautiful-flower-mandalas-by-kathy-klein
laughingsquid.com/beautiful-flower-mandalas-by-kathy-klein

If you feel trapped in a life of overwork and way too much screen time, don’t be afraid to get some support. Working with a coach who can help you design a rich and embodied life can make all the difference. You can reach your goals and savor every step of the way.

Contact me through the form below and let’s have a no pressure chat about what’s happening in your life and how we might work together.

Where the Soul Reigns

It is alright
to admit you are running
on empty

It is alright
to want to take to your bed
for days
while the snow gathers
outside your window

To go into the space of dreams
drop into the underworld
where the soul reigns
amidst golden caves

The air is not what you are used to
your breath expanding and softening
like some ancient and quiet instrument
made as much for moving air
as for listening

It is alright
to visit this place
and meet yourself there

Then to walk out without notes
without predictions
or certainties

Nevertheless enriched
and the riches simply
the opening of your heart
to yourself