Archive for December, 2013

Dancing on the Edges of my Perfect Imperfections

Dancing on the Edges of my Perfect Imperfections

Dancing on the edges of my perfect imperfections, with each sweeping step I slough off a little more of the dusty, caked on layers of experience from my past to love and see my partner and my self more clearly.

Love brings up all that is in its way to clear the path back to love.

An intimate relationship with our partner, children, or family members is a perfect place to get a good look at the unconscious soot that has covered our hearts and clouded our thinking.

“Dancing on the edges of my perfect imperfections.” It sounds so poetic, doesn’t it? Yet in those brief, chaotic moments of experiencing my judgements, heart closing down, or projection of my fears on my partner, I am far from feeling elegant or Rumi-like.

Love brings up all that is in its way to clear the path back to love.

Where else could I get such a quick and thorough dose of my own medicine?

Our nervous system is hijacked (fight, flight, freeze) when we’re triggered by something deeply unconscious, or mildly or severely traumatic (I recommend books and videos by Dr. Peter Levine PhD http://www.traumahealing.com/somatic-experiencing/peter-levine.html, trauma recovery through Somatic Experiencing). It is like being pulled out to sea in an undertow. We long for the safety of the shoreline, but there we stay thrashing about for what is usually a little while, but may feel like an eternity.

Self awareness is key to coming back to shore. We can feel and sense into part of our body that feels grounded and peaceful – a technique to stay present to what is real and what is happening to us. Attention to the breath is often a wonderful place to anchor ourselves to the moment, but at these times of heightened reactivity our erratic breath may not be the best anchor.

Conscious relationship IS a daring path to enlightenment for some of us. I think it is a warrior’s path to enlightenment – not for the meek or weak-hearted.

I am grateful for all the master teachers out there that put themselves through hell to share tools for working with ourselves (Robert Augustus Masters http://www.RobertMasters.com, Dr. Peter Levine, Lorin Roche, jsut to name a few.)
I am grateful that in this lifetime, I am naturally committed to taking responsiblity for my reactions through deep reflection, meditation, or consulting with friends or therapists.

I will end with a poem by Lorin Roche (http://www.LorinRoche.com)…

“You don’t have to change yourself.
You don’t have to sit still.
You don’t have to sit cross-legged.
You don’t have to make your mind blank.
You don’t have to calm down.”

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The Still Face Experiment

We are such relational and social creatures-wired to connect with each other. W can experience extreme stress when we perceive  or feel disconnection from those we love, and in our intimate relationships.

My friend who practices Hakomi Therapy and Somatic Experiencing said to me today, “it is a totally normal response to get triggered when someone withdraws their loving attention.”

Please watch this short video experiment by Dr. Edward Tronick…


Do you recognize this feeling when your partner pulls away from or appears to withdraw love or attention?

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A friend of mine commented yesterday on a pleasurable pastime of mine – having a glass or two of nice wine at dinner.

She said, “white wine is empty calories. At least red wine has bioflavonoids!” I sat there slightlyblackbasslunch2013 dumbfounded. I knew, without a doubt, I had never even considered this in my choice to drink wine at all, or when I have had to choose between white wine or red wine.

I don’t think I said anything. I knew at that moment that our perceptions were so totally different, and that any further discussion should be left for another time. The topic could get deep.

So tonight on the way home, after I enjoyed a glass of my favorite Organic (no detectable sulfites) Pacific Redwood Syrah at dinner at Rick’s in Lambertville, NJ, I carefully considered my relationship to wine, and food in general. But before I go into my insights, I’ll just give you some background info about me: I am a Libra sun sign. I love things in moderation. I most often see both sides of an issue. I love balance. I rarely, if ever, overdo anything. I enjoy simple pleasures in moderation. I am daring, yet cautious.

If given the choice between ingesting a periodic glass of wine, which to me is pure pleasure in the form of flavor, or thinking about my caloric intake, I would choose the former (in yoga energetics, pleasure is the “right” of chakra two – location is pelvic region of the body). I do like the light “take the edge off” effect wine has on my brain too.

I realized tonight, that for this friend, not having the wine was just as intensely pleasurable for her because she was doing something she perceived was physically and practically beneficial for her body. Her choice was as natural and obvious to her as my choice was to savor my beloved beverage.

Encountering another person’s reality can at first throw us off and often our minds will judge them. But variety is the spice of life! I love when I can honor people’s preferences and perceptions of life, and at the same time, my own.

My large world view is the spice of my life! I am grateful for my open-minded mind.

As I finish this blog, I raise my glass to my mouth and notice the light reflecting on the bottom of the glass. Ummmm, that was a delicious last sip.

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Love = YOGA. This intense, loving, new relationship has me waking up with a “Christmas morning” kind of magic I felt as a kid. Fluttery sensations tickle me around my heart area, and the world just seems more friendly. The deep sense of belonging and connection I feel with him spreads out to everything and everyone in my world and beyond. My body feels comforted and cradled like surrendering to the sway of my jungle hammock.

Yet the nudge of fear elbows me unexpectedly from time to time. Those momentary old mind interrogations block the flow of bliss. “Is this for real? How are we doing? Will he pull away? What happens next?” mind asks.

Thankfully, I don’t pay much attention to the content anymore, and I have learned through yoga and meditation practice to let my mind settle down and focus on my body’s sensations. Okay, so let’s feel it Stefani… so there is some edginess of uncertainty (waiting for shoe to drop syndrome)… some restless longing to merge again… some fatigue from the fun-filled nights. Patience. Patience.  I accept it. I feel it. I cultivate a feeling of kindness toward myself for plunging into the unknown waters of profound love. I integrate my experience. I move on.

“It’s all good. Te amo,” he thoughtfully texts, and I once again I bathe in the warm relief of our love connection.

“I will love you a minimum of forever, and take responsibility for whatever appears to get in love’s way,” I tell him before I traveled abroad last week. I have never said that to anyone before. I know that I know it is true, and it is scary! I am all in. No turning back now!

My friend Dori reminded me a few weeks ago that finding balance in a relationship is like balancing an egg on a spoon.

And yes, I agree with him. It is all good. The good of growth. 

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