Sex and Sailing

Sex and sailing.  It all comes down to this really.  The heart of my myth is that simple.  Around half a lifetime of experience (all being good, maybe a bit less if I stop drinking like a pirate), four years of challenging myself, giving myself over to my intuition, trying new things, learning about new passions, reflecting lots, freeing myself of the old and embracing the new, and that’s the beautiful core of what I’m about.

To date I’ve been rather more up front in this blog about my love of sailing than my love of sex.  What can I say? I’ve been feeling my way, finding my courage and my own voice of conviction.  There may be some relevance in the fact that I have regrettably chalked up more hours rolling around in boats than in beds in recent times, but nevertheless my reticence to date has more to do with caution than a lack of tales to tell.  Caution isn’t something I’m generally known for, but in this case I’m glad to have entertained it.  The time that I have sat with this has greatly clarified my intention and my purpose in opening up this conversation, as well as bringing me to a place where I simply can’t keep it within me.

The last five months have been a time of personal challenge, of grief and introspection.  Although the cause of that time remains painful, it has nevertheless given me room to reflect and the impetus to make some important choices about my future, about what I stand for.  If I have learnt anything in this time, it is the importance of creating our own story, standing up for what we believe and taking action to bring what we love to life.  I love sex (and sailing) and it is time for me to claim my purpose, to express my passion and engage my voice, the voice that each of us has within us, to explore and address one of the most important aspects of human life.

Sex is a beautiful, wonderful and I fear often mismanaged area of human interaction and potential.  It is a meeting place, a place of love and intimacy, of fun, of incredible pleasure, of connection and of deep creative power.  Sex is also sadly a place of darkness, of power games, of violence, of judgement and shame.  Sex is a powerful indicator of the state of play between man and woman*.  At the micro level sex is one of the first things to be sacrificed within a relationship that is not flourishing.  At the macro level It shows us, through common attitudes and prejudices, social convention and quality of conversation whether or not, as men and women we are engaging with ourselves and each other with the full joy, power and creativity of which we are, each and every one of us, capable.

My choice now is to direct my energy, my skills, my passion and commitment to making the world a sexier place.  A sexier place with boats.

* A major aspect of my interest in sex is in the broader play between masculine and feminine in individuals, in relationships, in business, in government, in communities.  My own experience and insights are those of a heterosexual woman, and much of my language and focus will reflect that.  I believe this conversation is equally valid for gay as for straight people, and welcome input from those with other experiences and perspectives than my own.

Trippling the Light Fantastic on Women’s Day

I am so inspired by the women of the world, by the women of my life, and by myself as a woman.  Today I got a beautiful moment of learning about one of the most powerful aspects of being a woman that is maybe less familiar, and certainly less generally celebrated, but which forms a core of the myth I’m living.

As I mentioned in my last article, I have recently embarked on a rather wonderful exploration of tantra and it is starting to open up an incredibly rich and intense relationship with the sexual energy that is available to me as a woman.  All my life I’ve admired women for their work, for their love, for their courage and sheer bloody-minded determination and inventiveness.  I now add to that a jaw-dropping appreciation of what miracles we are in energetic terms and in our natural ability to receive pleasure when we make the choice to be fully present to ourselves in the moment.

Whatever that means.

Maybe it will help if I give you an example.

I am on the whole a pretty brusque bather, my showers are generally speedy affairs that have earned me the reputation of being a tomboy as I emerge scrubbed, shaved (that’s legs, not chin) and ready for the next bit of the day minutes after starting my ablutions.  Today followed that pattern, in the shower, hair done, armpits and legs shaved, body soaped and clean.  And then I made the best decision of the day, which was to linger a moment and read my choices to myself.

My choices are a part of my intuitive practice; eight aspects of my Land Of Plenty that I would love to create in my life, established through a simple and powerful imaginative exercise.  They give the myth I am creating a structure and I read them aloud every day, and regularly ‘tune in’ intuitively to each choice to connect with the vision I’d love to create, the reality of where I am in relationship to that, and actions that will bring the vision into my life.  My choices this year have an interesting flavour to them not a million miles away from the tantric work, including the one that had a rather dramatic effect on my morning bathing experience: I love being supported by the vibration of my sexuality.

To be honest, my head doesn’t have a clue what this actually means, but I learnt today that my body is pretty sure what it’s all about.  As soon as I connected with the words, and the images that are part of the vision of this choice, my whole being opened up to the moment, to myself and to what my senses were experiencing in the shower that my hurry to get into the day had shut off from me.

Talk about a revelation.

Suddenly my whole being was suffused with the pleasure of the water on my skin, and aware of the energy that was flowing from that pleasure.  There was so much to explore and play with, so much to enjoy.  Simple, easy to access, innocent even.  My birthright as a woman, and all it took to experience it was to open up to myself, to be in myself, to shift out of my busy head and and check in with what was actually going on for me, what my body was telling me about that moment, right there and then.  If you know the film Pleasantville, think trees bursting into flame.

The myths we get caught in so often take us out of the moment and into our worries, our schedule, the future and the past.  This Women’s Day it was such a delight to really choose to be present to the most important woman in my life – me; to give myself time to appreciate the woman I am, the miracle of my body, and the pleasure so simply available to me.

It was a lovely lesson that I took into the rest of my day, really aware of being in my body and enjoying the many moments of pleasure that were there for me: the company of my friend Kat, the delight of seeing the ducks all suddenly partnered up and tootling happily around the park lake in comfy couples,  the deliciousness of a piece of toast with Nutella, the beauty of a man engrossed in drawing by the river.

Women are creatures of incredible resourcefulness and courage, and we are also creatures of pleasure.  We have huge resources to enjoy life through our senses.  Any moment can open up a world of delight, of taste, touch, sight, sound, smell to make your day special.  Indulge yourself and celebrate.

The Big Leap

For the last couple of days my wiggle walking around the park has been accompanied by growing evidence of the leap into spring.  The first, tender early blossoms are now dusting the trees white, pale pink and fuchsia while below them daffs nod their merry heads.  The coots are massing on the lake and putting on impressive displays of macho intent (and that’s the girl coots) and today I noticed little spikes forming on the cherry trees lining the pathways; a pre-curser to the wonderfulness of the thick, massed, dreamy blossom to come.

As our little pocket of the world readies itself for this big, annual leap into life I’m sitting with the niggling tension of not knowing whether or not I should be making my own leap into my new mobile life.

My intuition is screaming at me to get away, to get on sailing boats in beautiful, tropical waters and enjoy the freedom of the sea and of exploration.  My intuition is also informing me, gently and insistently, that my next learning exploration is through tantra, and with the tantric master Nityama here in London, very happy to share his learning with me (I could get all sorts of double entendres in there, but I feel fairly confident you’ve done that for yourself by now) it seems smart to stay and make the most of that.  My logical mind is putting its own concerns into the mix reminding me that I am not sitting on a bottomless pit of money and if I want to be back for my friends’ wedding at the end of March, it’s just daft to do anything right now.

When I got back from my walk, with this post bubbling up I realised that it is Leap Day.  Luckily I’m not getting any impulses to propose to random men to add to my confusion, but I think it does put some context to my sudden ants-in-the-pants-got-to-get-moving urge.

I am in the process of making up what I’d love, making up the myth I want my life to be.  In my myth I am a sailor, engaged in a wide-eyed adventure with the sea, I embody the essence of my femininity and am supported by the vibration of my sexuality, I am at the centre of a loving, jolly community and I am grounded in the home my heart creates wherever I am.

All this and more is the substance of what I am creating in my world.  My practical mind separates it all out and says I can have this or that, one or the other, travelling or tantra, celebrations or sailing, weddings or woaming (*shrugs apologetically*).  My mythical self sees the big picture and is using the symbolism of today to tell me that my next big leap is another leap of faith in the belief that I can have it all.  To take the first step of my journey and watch all that I’d love magically drop into place.

I’ll let you know how that goes.

Staying put but not staying still

Things are shifting a lot already in the myth factory that is my life. Although a myth cottage industry is probably a more accurate term at this point, as it is my own myth I’m working on rather than churning out myths for others to live by.

Having said that the existence of this forum is a bit of a clue that I am keen to  grow my cottage industry and involve others in making up their own myth. I love helping people to uncover what it is they love in life, and bring more of that into their world.  I want to encourage people reading this (and many more who aren’t yet) to get imaginative about what they want in their life, to raise the bar and get creative.  So, I guess I do want to create a myth factory, but it’s a factory where everyone is given the inspiration, the encouragement, the tools, and the support to make up their own version of life, rather than comply with the limitations of the mass-produced, made in Taiwan version that many of us live as a default.

I came to this way of life myself through a stretching and fun period of learning and experimenting, guided by my teacher and friend, Darren Eden.  With him, I learnt to make my intuition my primary guiding force and information source.  I use my intuition daily, indeed, in the moment, to choose what I’d love in any situation, and to get the action that will create that end result.

Our intuition is such a valuable  resource, and more easily accessed than you might think. It is a vibrant, imaginative and interesting way to chart your course through life. Following your intuition is like following breadcrumbs because there is no project plan, or step-by-step guide, just the next action, and the next action knowing you are focussed on an end result, and somehow these actions are leading you to it.  The vivid nature of living in this way is expressed beautifully by Elle Harrison, author of Wild Courage: A Journey of Transformation for You and Your Business (highly recommended reading).

Listening to our intuition, we lean our awareness into the present.  We notice what captures our attention, what draws our curiosity, what brings us alive – and we follow it.  In a sense we therefore participate in a vibrant field of energies and possibility that exist right here, right now, and that also draw us into the future with their unfolding…seen in this way the future is not an inanimate space we walk into, but something that is alive, magnetic, charged.

Elle Harrison, Wild Courage: A Journey of Transformation for You and Your Business, Watkins Publishing, 2003.

That alive, charged space Elle talks about means that nothing stays fixed for long.  When you are making it up, I’m learning that you also learn to shift and bend with circumstances, and to the magic that you create along the way.  When I started writing these pieces, my intention was to leave on a trip to Mexico this week, to experiment with a mobile life in the sun; sailing, coaching, being somewhere warm and colourful, warm sea a constant companion.  I’ve had my leaving party, I’ve received presents and cards wishing me luck and I’ve communicated with friends in Mexico that I’m on my way.

However, a bit of magic has just popped up, another breadcrumb has been dropped into my path, and plans go out of the window (I knew there was a reason I hadn’t actually bought my ticket).  A great tantric teacher, (Nityama, otherwise rather wonderfully known as the Tantric Mongoose) who lives in America and who has been living very privately for two years, has very unexpectedly rocked up in London town.  I did some work with him 4 years ago, and could see then the depth of knowledge and wisdom he had to share, but I chose working with Darren at that point rather than going to America to learn more.  Suddenly, and very magically at a moment when I have very recently decided to deepen my understanding of tantra, here he is.

In the old days I would probably have carried on with the original plan, or at least, got very stressed about shifting my own direction and not delivering on the expectations I’d set up in others and myself.

Today, my intuition is my guide, and intuition above all takes you to what you’d love and what’s obvious.  What’s obvious here is that when the mountain comes to Mohamed, it just seems rude for Mohamed to pack her bags and jet off. So, for a few more weeks at least, I’m staying put, and the biggest move I’ll be making is to swap bedrooms with my house mates, and to trundle happily off to Cardiff for my friend’s Hen House Party which I thought I would be missing.

I’ll be staying put, but I won’t be staying still.  It’s obvious to me that working with Nityama is an important part of the story I’m living, another facet of the life I’m creating.  I don’t know exactly what that is yet, but I’m looking forward to finding out and I promise to tell you all about it then.