The following blog post was written by a student in Wellcelium’s Ignite! Course, Fall 2020. Bold quotes below were written by Dr. Pavini Moray as part of the Ignite! course curriculum. The questions and practices sections at the end of this post were developed by Wellcelium to support your exploration.
It’s the first week of Ignite! and I’m wondering what I’ve gotten myself into.
I always wonder this when I’m on the precipice of embodying a new commitment but this time there’s the mini-haunting of the question, “Am I really ready to face myself? My full erotic self? And love her for whatever I discover her to be?”
I’m here because I feel stuck in my erotic life. I haven’t given it as much attention as other parts of my healing. And I don’t know how to. I have a handful of friends that I talk about sex with but it doesn’t always feel like we have to tools to guide each other in learning and healing.
I think of myself as pretty open about sex.
I’ve been to sex parties and clubs, I’m happy to talk and listen to others talk about sexy experiences, but I haven’t found that lever to open up the stuck places inside myself. Or even the words to name them. What are those knots? How can I even begin to know them more deeply?
A few months ago, one of those friends sent me a link to the free Pleasure Lab offerings of Wellcelium. Through watching the excellent videos, I grew a trust in Pavini as a facilitator and got a taste of the wealth of knowledge that pe has worked to gather. When an email came through about Pavini’s Ignite! Course, I knew in my guts that this was the context I’d been seeking in order to do some learning, healing, and embrace my erotic self.
Mindset = thoughts and beliefs + feelings
In our weekly online class, Pavini says, place your hand over your face with your eyes peeking through. That is mindset. Mindset is a place we operate from but don’t usually realise it because it’s ingrained and taken for granted. The idea Pavini proposes is that if we become aware of our mindsets, we can then choose if we want to keep reinforcing them with our practices.
But what the heck do I actually think about sex and my sexuality?
There are layers of belief that my political, intellectual self has decided. I know there’s got to be something that’s blocking me underneath that. But it feels too big to broach. All the learnings, all the traumas, all the joys, how can I possibly untangle them to see where I’m really operating from? What do I really believe about my own sexuality?
A belief is basically an embodied narrative. It is something that we believe is true, and we embody that story.
I open the worksheets for this week. It starts by asking me to list my circle of intimacy from the closest person to me right now, going outwards. Okay, that I can do. Then it asks me about what I learned about intimacy from my family, from my socialisation, from my friends.
The terror of reading a new question and feeling I can’t answer it slowly seeps away.
I start to realise, oh yeah, that’s true for me or I go back to erase something that doesn’t feel quite on-point and re-write it. Suddenly, an hour later, I have a little pile of sheets full of information on how I’ve developed a concept of intimacy and what I wish it were like instead. I can better see where I learned limiting beliefs from and which ones are not serving me any longer.
In class, we practice replacing those limiting beliefs: “If I have lots of sex I am bad. I’m not queer enough. I’m not attractive.”
And with Pavini’s dapper, calm voice guiding us, we each try saying a new replacement: “I can have lots of sex and be good. I am queer enough. I am attractive.”
And suddenly I begin to experience the community element of this course.
Because we meet online, I wondered if I’d feel that sense of togetherness and immediacy that I get when I share space irl. But I witness these new statements landing deep inside each of my classmates, and I get to have them witness me say mine. And, it feels cheesy to write but it’s just true: it really does make a difference.
I feel so honoured to witness and be part of their processes and I learn so much from their self-reflections. I begin to feel that I’m not alone on this journey into the unknown mysteries that our bodies hold.
Our practices are the things we do that support our embodied narratives.
Practices. Pavini says pe believes that intimacy is a set of skills and practices that one can practice and learn. I think about the practices I do and have done, little daily things like brushing my teeth so that they stay in my mouth, and bigger commitments like striving to draw every day and do stretches every night. But what are the practices I have that contribute to my erotic life? I need something smaller, easier, more versatile than masturbation.
One of the suggestions on our worksheet for the week is “savour having a pee.” I love the suggestion. Allowing enjoyment into small things I do every day. Honouring my body and its feeling capacities feels hard and big, but savouring a pee… that I can do. Alright beginnings of my erotic embodiment journey: to the toilet!
Questions to Ask Yourself:
What I have been told/witnessed/learned about intimacy from family? Culture/Religion? Friends? Past?
Which of these are narratives that I still embody today?
The three things I am going to do today to support the intimacy / sexuality I long for are:
(Make this practice of DOING things differently integral to your day. Make your three things small and short. For example: I will enjoy my shower. I am going to be fully present and listen to this one song. I will savor taking a pee. I am going to walk in the woods and let my genitals lead the way.)
Write down the three things you commit to doing today or text them to yourself.
Originally posted on wellcelium.org