My first retreat was a Disaster!

 

My first retreat was a disaster

 

No a catastrophe…

 

In fact the more I sat with this, the more I realized that it was the biggest success!

It actually was the best learning experience that I totally needed to have. The nature of retreats right?  You know that saying: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong? Well, that is pretty much how I have been rolling  since I arrived here.

I know, I must have called this experience in, because honestly, I could go into the coulda, shoulda, woulda, but I refuse to.  It is all in divine order.  All I know is that if you are not ready for this work, you will find a million excuses not to do the work.

This stuff is not for the faint of heart. Putting together a retreat and a retreat space are too much for one person alone.  I really needed more support, I also needed to know a little more about my students before they signed up. Lessons learned, in no specific order:

 

Things will go wrong- you can feel sad, but don’t react.

YOU are the only one to help bring things up the stairs – there’s your daily workout ! Ha!

YOU will forget many things and have to drive to the nearest town like 10 more times – enjoy the scenic drive.

Things will break – you can curse, but don’t stress.

There will be nights you can’t sleep because of cold weather, weird sounds, too many thoughts…- stay with it.

The weather will go bad – accept.

The 5 elements will mock you – laugh with them.

The fire will not start – befriend it.

The water will not cooperate- go with the flow even if it means no shower for four days.

The electricity is controlled by Enel – just have the whole town, including the mayor calling them.

The wind will howl and slam the shutter- lock that damn shutter!

The students will not be ready – send them home, perhaps they will be back when they are ready.

Feeling alone on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere- facetime your entire family.

People will be weird – be weirder.

The dance floor you ordered goes missing in Aprilia – dance on the terra cotta!

Only 2 out of the 10 cushions you ordered arrive- message the German vendor on amazon.it,  in Italian ?

 

And just when you think everything is working fine, you suddenly just cannot sleep because the tile is a bit too terra cotta-ish for your tender back in your sleeping bag- get up and write your next blog  😉

 

Keep the hope,

keep the focus,

pray,

surrender,

thank the helpers in human form and otherwise,

and know there will be a fresh new retreat real soon

Some day it will all work out.

My biggest take away: so many people are afraid of their shadow, and most are afraid to paint.  I am sure there is a connection.

Signing off…until the next post…

Sex in the 21st Century

 

The conversation usually goes something like this:

 

Them: You are writing a book?

Me: Yes

Them: Wonderful, what about ?

Me: Sex

Oh! Wow! (eyes widen, big smile happens),what about sex?

This is not what you are thinking…I begin to explain,  I am not a sex therapist, I am an artist. I am writing this book from the experience of having lived in both an Eastern culture and a Western culture.  I write about the patriarchy, misogyny, repression and oppression. I also write because of epiphanies I had while researching creative process.

You see, creative energy is really that which the yoga world calls  kundalini energy.  This same kundalini energy is actually the same energy used for creating all kinds of things in one’s life, a meal, a book, a painting, or even a beautiful living room.

Be the Master of Your Kundalini

Mystics have continuously spoken of how we can be the master of our own kundalini energy rather than allow it to become our master.  This is called the use of the will. We humans have this amazing capacity, that which distinguishes us from the rest of earthly creation.  When we meditate, do yoga, fast or do any other sort of spiritual practice, what we are really doing is strengthening our will.   Mystics, spiritual teachers, and prophets throughout time have known this truth.

What inspired me to write such a book is that I have seen two very conflicting and extreme world views on sex. What is more, in the Western culture that prides itself on sexual liberation, sex is still as taboo as anywhere else. In addition to this, women are still treated like objects, used to gratify a man’s sexual urge under the pretense that there is more.  I know, this may seem like a general statement, however there is solid research that has been done.  Although honestly, we really do not need this research as we have evidence in the form of the  me too movement that took hold of the entire globe just last year.

 

Sex Education Crisis

In November of last year I came across an interesting article titled The Sex Ed Crisis.  This was validation to me that this book that I am taking my time producing is very much needed in our times.  On the other side of the spectrum, to this day we hear stories about honor killings in countries such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.  Women whose lives are taken because they shamed the family name as a result of engaging in some sexual scandal.

This book is about my own experience with a seventeen year marriage which looking back could have been completely different had I even had the relationship and sexual literacy I have today.  I bring attention to scenarios that could have been avoided without the social programs that we are fed as children, and the taboos that we are handed down from our mothers, fathers, grandfathers and beyond.  Those are the things I wish every young adult can have access to and work with.

Let’s Talk about Sex

You see, dear reader, I do not claim to have the answers, however I feel like this conversation needs to be happening within conscious communities around the world. If we do not begin this who else would? When I say conscious conversation I do not mean that we are to encourage it either.  From my learning and experience I believe in finding a happy medium.

I also do not think the problem is solely the women, nor is it solely the men.  It is something that we co-created eons ago. We must take responsibility for this culture of misogyny, we (humanity) created it with this default mentality that women are less than men and that men can get away with everything, while women cannot.

I have come to the conclusion that gender is a distraction! Why is gender a distraction? Because it is another way we bypass our common humanity, in essence we are all the same underneath our skin, masks, and gender identities that we are taught as children. Few of us have the courage to break free from such things.

Clearing up Myths

Some of the questions I ask and attempt to answer in this book are, will we ever be able to bring the masculine and feminine to the same level? Why was Lilith cut out from the story of creation? Is there a different creation story that would better serve us?

I also clear up some myths around sex. Did you know that the myth of the virgin is a big lie the patriarchy concocted to control women? The hymen is not a what the patriarchy has taught us. No one ever told us that the hymen is actually like a scrunchy.  Yes, that unfortunately was vital information that was left out in our sexual education.

The part I find humor in really is that no matter the great lengths that we have  taken to control sex or to sweep it under the rug, sex still happens!  Wouldn’t it be better if we actually educate our children to view sex as a completely natural thing, which it is, and not bring in fear, shame and guilt into the equation?

What we  really need to fear is people passing on their wounding and abusive behavior to others when engaging in sex .  Many of us parents, myself included worry about our children ending up in highly abusive situations.  There is no avoiding this as the world is replete with psychopaths.  We need to educate our young adults about what healthy sex is -not that sex is bad.  Teenagers would benefit from learning to recognize unhealthy relationships, to protect themselves from disease, from harm and to be discerning in choosing partners.  Some countries are already teaching children about everything sex related at an early age,  it has to be the entire world.   If we keep the old programming about sex we will never get out of this vicious cycle.

Creative Process Research

After about eight years of research on creative process, I have come to see that engaging in creative process regardless of what the medium is must be something that every human being is able to do on a daily basis. Being in touch with this aspect of our self is a way to manage, heal and clear our sexual energy.  Through the research I found that creative process is the safest, and simplest way to individuation.   Carl Jung recognized this many years ago and it surprises me that it has not been widely implemented yet.

Allow me to add that creative process is not enough alone, neither is sex education.  We must include a spiritual, mystical education,  that sex is sacred and I expand on such a notion within this book, attempting to answer the question what does sacred sex really look like in these times?

I hope this book will become a reference, mostly to young adults as within it will be some helpful information that I draw from my experience, research and the guidance that led me to write such a book.