There is a profound little book, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. This book delineates that Resistance is the true enemy of ALL artists, writers, entrepreneurs and spiritual seekers. All of us who ‘want’ to start doing yoga, lose weight, leave a relationship, leave a job or commit to any political, moral or ethical endeavor, or change for the better some unworthy thought pattern or conduct in ourselves. This morning, I have: watered the plants, made broccoli parmesan, pulled some weeds, got grouchy at my partner for not following through on a personal commitment that had nothing to do with me, put dishes away, waxed eloquent about ‘other’ peoples lives and what they could be doing, and read emails. I’m sure there’s more. All this in the spirit of resistance. To forestall sitting at this blank page, any blank page, to deepen my path and commit to writing. To dive into what is the expression of my personal voice, to bring forth the genius in me, the genius that is in each of us.
About a month ago I received an email from someone who shared that they loved the writing on my blog. Noticed I hadn’t added anything for, hmmm, two years. Wow, that’s resistance. I do some travel writing, deciding that only my close friends would be interested in that. I have very intricate excuses for why I don’t write. My favorite is “there is so much shit being written daily, I don’t want to add to the pile. If I’m gonna write something, it has to be relevant. Different. Brilliant. Something that will change the world. At least yours. Or mine.” Get my drift? I even spend time editing other peoples’ writing. Helped one friend massively edit her blog, and then feel somewhat annoyed when it is published and the comments state what a great writer she is!
A colleague, Robert Allen, wrote a great piece “Why I Hate Tantra”.* It begins to touch on the empty space I find myself in, after having committed the last 20 years or so in supporting individuals, couples and groups around integrating sexual and erotic expression. There is an upcoming conference to which I have been invited to co-MC with a leader that I respect and I just don’t want to do it.
Some of you know parts of my story. The part I’m referring to happened towards the beginning of my path on this particular ‘sexy’ road, as I was beginning to realize that I didn’t really know shit about ‘tantra’. I’m talking about the real deal. The committed practice of living an awake life. Committed mindfulness. Awareness. An experience with a real teacher, Ma Jaya Sati, was my first slap into awareness. I took the word ‘tantra’ off my business card, became careful how I used the word on my website.
The realizations I have been having of late actually fly in the face of what people are coming to me to ‘fix’. Erectile dysfunction, sexual novelty, disparate desire, boredom, relationship longing. Maybe this is a natural function of the life stage I’m in. I’m realizing that the type of sexual, erotic and romantic engagement that our entire western marketing machine floods onto us daily is not truly sustainable. No, you are never going to feel the way you felt in those first few months of relationship. No, your partner (or partners) of the past 15 years will never provide the same quality of novelty that the pervasive and ever changing images of the world wide web provides.
I am compassionate to your plight. I understand your frustration that your penis won’t stay hard, you don’t have orgasms, you don’t have the right kind of orgasms and your childhood sucked.
I just don’t want to be another voice in the wilderness saying there is quick fix, and I have it. I don’t want to see any more 5 minute videos of what you do, or your 10 week online course. Can’t we get it? The states of love and lust that western culture tells us to maintain are hormonally driven states of our biological imperative, to procreate. If you and I were in that perpetual state, we would not be sitting at our computers with electricity, either reading or writing this. Don’t you remember being in love? You don’t want to work, protest, give a shit about the homeless or the disenfranchised? Though we could argue that many of our steps forward as humanity are actually killing us and the planet, there is evidence that a greater and greater number of humans are becoming aware of a growing consciousness.
I’m interested in my heart. And your heart. I’m interested in a vibrant level of engagement with whatever life is throwing at my feet. Anymore, when someone asks me ‘how’s life?’, my response is “life is fine. Life is doing what it does. I suffer when I resist embracing what life brings to my door. Injury, illness, aging. Beauty, nature, communion. I’m interested in feeling how my body opens and closes, and I’m committed to remembering how to open in the presence of those daily contractions.
And I might suggest, that as each of us remembers and practices this spaciousness, an open-hearted connection, as close as our relationship to the breath, your attachments and preoccupations with your penis, your orgasms, your relationships and your childhood can drop.