Stay wonderful, every one of you

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Butterfly-Wallpaper

I have been through a couple of stressful weeks. And as they wind down and with this opportunity to sit back and reflect, I realise there are many things for which I am grateful. Two are specific to this tiny part of blogosphere I occupy.

Firstly, I am humbled by the trust and faith you have in me by contributing, either financially or through promoting, the campaign set up for Ronovan. We live in a world where online scams do exist. It is easy and for some, a default setting, to be cynical and doubting. This is not a judgment, in fact negative thoughts have crossed my mind when I get approached for fundraising or petitions. Yet you have contributed and shared my posts about the campaign everywhere, in effect personally endorsing what I was doing. Your belief in the campaign warms my heart. Yes, I do know Ronovan has a huge amount of goodwill. 🙂 It is fantastic to see the support of friends. Thank you once again. The campaign has ended and I hope Ronovan receives the funds as soon as possible, though Indiegogo Life did say 15 business days!

The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him.
Henry Stimson

Secondly, though I was not there, the articles about the Bloggers Bash indicate to me the genuine-ness of the bloggers in this community. It’s not exactly a revelation though the articles certainly bring a sense of connection and belonging even for one like me, so very far away… but yet so near ;-). As Ali (of aliisaacstoryteller.com) said, “Bloggers are shy”, “What you see is what you get” and “Bloggers have something to say”. Honestly, this feels like home – bloggers and writers give pieces of themselves in their writing. So in some ways, we know each other, or at least a part of each other’s soul. 🙂

Crafts make us feel rooted, give us a sense of belonging and connect us with our history. Our ancestors used to create these crafts out of necessity, and now we do them for fun, to make money and to express ourselves.
Phyllis George

Stay wonderful. Trust the journey!

– FlorenceT

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

The Dream of Life – a #BeWow post

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For this post as part of the #BeWow hashtag (an initiative of RonovanWrites), I share with you Alan Watts’ perspective on ‘The Dream of Life’. This is a must-watch 🙂 which will change your view about life or at least provoke you to re-evaluate. Enjoy!

 

 

For you who are asking, Alan Watts (1915-1973) is a British-born philosopher, writer and speaker who made Eastern philosophy popular in the Western world.  At the age of 23, he underwent training in Zen Buddhism in the US.  A few years later, he obtained a theology degree and went on to become an Episcopalian priest.  By the time he was 30, Watts had accepted a teaching position with the American Academy of Asian Studies, which he held for some 5 years before embarking on an illustrious career in writing and speaking.

Watts’ worldview is premised on “the whole universe consists of a cosmic self playing hide-and-seek, hiding from itself by becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe, forgetting what it really is; the upshot being that we are all IT in disguise“.

Excerpt of the video:

“If you awaken from this illusion, and you understand that black implies white, self implies other, life implies death — or shall I say, death implies life — you can feel yourself. Not as a stranger in the world, not as something here on probation, not as something that has arrived here by fluke, but you can begin to feel your own existence as absolutely fundamental.

“I’m not trying to sell you on this idea in the sense of converting you to it; I want you to play with it. I want you to think of its possibilities…

So in this idea, then, everybody is fundamentally the ultimate reality. Not God in a politically kingly sense, but God in the sense of being the self, the deep-down basic whatever there is. And you’re all that, only you’re pretending you’re not.”

 

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

A bit of (dark) positivity…?

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A positive post as part of #BeWOW @RonovanWrites love the idea, what inspiration!

When I heard this song, I thought, hey why not?!  So here’s a fun tune to share… and a message as well.

 

 

A bit of the lyrics, specifically the Chorus:

My problem, I never was a model,
I never was a scholar,
But you were always popular,
You were singing all the songs I don’t know
Now you’re in the front row
‘Cause my song is popular

Popular, I know about popular
It’s not about who you are or your fancy car
You’re only ever who you were
Popular, I know about popular
And all that you have to do is be true to you
That’s all you ever need to know

So catch up ’cause you got an awful long way to go

 

Oookay, there is a bit of edge to the song, a bit of ‘dark’ but that’s what I like … letting our shadow side out to play – quite harmless enjoying the song, fantasying about sweet revenge (watch the video if you have not) or just …

Then when the song is done, I go back to being the nice person that I am 😛

Enjoy, people!

– FlorenceT

 

© 2015 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Soulful sexuality in daily life

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sacred-sexuality

I wrote about sex as a soul experience some three weeks ago… and somehow it felt incomplete. Then it hit me… the thought which had remained was … how will this translate to daily life?

So here it is… soulful sexuality in everyday life… Let’s begin in the shadow 🙂

If we accept the premise that sex is a soul experience and that the soul has its shadow, then the “shadow” side of sex is inevitable, which is expressed in say, pornography and certain sexual practices, rigid moralism and repressive religiosity. Yes you heard right, rigid moralism and repressive religion. It is this – in the absolute dogmatic refusal to consider (much less accept) the possibility of different essences of sexuality, therein lies the fear and the denial of an enriching part of life, thus the shadow.

Our individual challenge has always been to respond with love, not fear, rather than attempting to control every aspect of life and bind it in rigidity and repression. Regardless of our values, our human calling is to be non-judgmental and to give this shadow proper place, time and attention.

Take for example, sexual dreams or fantasies. Do you judge yourselves for having them or for some of them? How does this matter?  In life’s journey, sexual dreams, fantasies and erotic intelligence are the soul’s expression of our search for meaning, direction and individuality. And at the end of the day, interestingly they are not always explicitly about sex per se.  For example, serial sexual relationships may point to the soul’s desire for connection.  Thomas Moore said, “[L]ove and sex need to withdraw…from both its physical present and its moral and intellectual interference” so we can allow the soul to come to the foreground. The soul requires a certain stillness to reflect and await the unfolding of its desire. Desire is desire, it in itself is faultless.

The soul’s desires can have many expressions.

  1. nude torsojpgSee beauty

The appreciation of beauty is one soul desire. The pleasure of viewing sculptures, the admiration of innovative architectural design, are some examples. There we fall into a place of desire and pleasure.

Here’s a radical suggestion made by Thomas Moore, in which he proposed a deepening of ourselves as sex objects in the Other’s sexual dreams or fantasies – to be open to the Other’s “intimate erotic gaze” and reflection, to be willing to be vulnerable. Contrary to popular or mainstream belief, Michael Bader, a psychoanalyst, proposed that “we momentarily become selfish” – selfish as in without guilt for one’s own pleasure and without a sense of responsibility for the Other – this in essence requires the Other to be an object of sexual desire.

I agree on one condition: that the relationship between One and the Other is one borne of trust and respect.

Its shadow may be the coveting of material objects, the obsessive objectification and possession for fear of loss. Yet in this place, there is no judgment, only query.

  • Why the intense desire to possess?
  • What is its meaning?
  • How does it satisfy our life?
  1. harvest-applesExperience nature

Nature is another such ‘object’ of desire. To immerse ourselves in nature brings forth a certain fantasy and reverie.  Does that not revitalize and energize? To be able to see the resilience of life; to feel its elemental power, its alluring gentleness and peace; and to hear its hypnotic calls – I for one can appreciate the attraction and most decidedly sensuous encounter.

Its shadow – destruction of the rainforest, the rejection of creativity perhaps as a means to control these desires out of fear.  Again we ask to be aware,

  • Why the intense desire to control?
  • What is its meaning?
  • How does it satisfy our lives?
  1. sexy-foodsSavour

What of the seduction of food? The epicurean life is a highly sensuous one, as any ‘foodie’ will attest. I for one love food, from its taste to its texture and the aesthetic look and touch. Every aspect appeals to my senses. Its shadow side – gluttony, of course.

So as we selfishly indulge our desires, we may reflect,

  • Why the intense desire to ‘gorge’ oneself?
  • What is its meaning?
  • How does it satisfy our lives?

We need to attend to and be sympathetic to the natural rhythm of the soul. We need to take our desires seriously as they signal the presence or movement of our passions, our soul’s work. It is ever evolving.  It brings sensuousness back into a society that is sex-act obsessed.  Let us restore sex to the imaginal realm where fantasy, reverie and memory dwell.

A healthy perception or understanding of sex as an expression of love and of soul’s desires, to see sexuality within our day-to-day life, in our interpersonal relationships, in our relationship with material things and our environment is necessary for a vital and authentic life.

Soul Expression Tryptich by Louis Parsons

Soul Expression Triptych by Louis Parsons

If we listen and pay attention, we will identify from the varied expressions our soul desires, which will bring us deeper into our human-ness.

All desire is energy.
All feeling is energy.
All thought is energy.
All living is energy.
– Krishnamurti

Namaste.

– FlorenceT

 

Bibliography:
Bader, MJ (2002) “Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies”
Buber, M (1923) “I and Thou”
Moore, T (1998) “Care of the Soul: How to Add Depth and Meaning to Your Everyday Life”
Moore, T (1999) “The Soul of Sex: Cultivating Life as an Act of Love”

 

© 2014 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Soul experience of sex

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sensual mother

Sex, sex, sex… that got your attention, 🙂 ? We know what ‘it’ is, don’t we? And how disappointing some of ‘it’ can be.

There IS more to sex than what’s being portrayed in the media and beyond the discourse of rights and freedom.

Sex has soul. In fact, sex is an experience of soul.  Often we seek to deny this and try to place sex solely in the realm of the physical, mental and psychological. Human sexuality, eros, sensuality, pleasure and desire are life-affirming, soulful imperatives of Life. And when we experience it merely in the physical, mental and/or psychological plane, we lose something intrinsically beautiful and joyful.

A human being personifies a world of meanings – of dreams, fears, wishes, emotions, memories, cultural imprints, and an inner life of thought and fantasy. They are what ‘soul’ is… and sex is a space where these meanings can be expressed or made.  Sex is a vital source for the fulfilment of life.

It is unfortunate that contemporary society approaches sex as an egoic act – and therefore the talk of individual rights and freedom stem from it. And within this paradigm, egos posit what is right, what is wrong, what is appropriate, what is taboo, what is to be repressed, what is to be stigmatized.

tango

Sex, as soul expression, and eros, pleasure and desire as soul needs, is to be celebrated. Consider this. Soulful sexuality can exist in the intense passion in the bedroom or the playful flirtation in social situations. Have you ever been ‘turned on’ by exquisite art, inspiring architecture, stirring music, or delectable food? Well, soulful sexuality at play. Why not lighten up? Is there an issue being sensuous in the food we prepare, the clothes we wear, the décor of our lounge room? Should there be an appraisal of someone’s sexy manner or behaviour, or sexual creativity say in visual arts or performing arts? Ought there be judgment on a flirtatious personality or attractive encounters?

This is not to say that it is all ‘beautiful’ and ‘good’.  Because sex is an expression of soul, soul has its Shadow, which cannot be denied or repressed. We can honour this Shadow, meaning to accept that it is within us, recognizing it as part of our life journey. As we know, life can get downright messy, can it not?

Pay attention to your soulful life unfolding – just being, noticing and reflecting. No active doing required.  I agree, it’s easier said. However my experience has been that it is a matter of quiet practice. We are capable of it.

Solitude_of_Soul_Lorado Taft

As Thomas Moore said, “Sex gives life color and vivacity. When we hide it out of fear, our personal lives and our social life become flat”, so “our choices are basic: either Eros or Thanatos, sex or death”.

 How do you express your soulful sexuality?

What is your shadow self, and how do you respond to it?

Where are you in your soul life journey?

 

– FlorenceT

 

Image #3 ‘Solitude of the Soul’ by Lorado Taft

© 2014 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Soul connection, really?

soul connection
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soul connection

“A deep sense of love and belonging is an irreducible need of all people. We are biologically, cognitively, physically, and spiritually wired to love, to be loved, and to belong. When those needs are not met, we don’t function as we were meant to. We break. We fall apart. We numb. We ache. We hurt others. We get sick.”   Brene Brown, “The Gift of Imperfections”

 

I know I am not alone in this.

All of us have an inherent longing for connection and belonging – to be part of something more, something greater perhaps. Even the recluse needs the connection with her environment to sustain her.

Thus what we say or do, it is for this deep, and often unconscious and unacknowledged, desire for soulful connection and belonging.

For me, it is not singularly targeted. There are times when my longing for nature and solitude is irrepressible that I take myself for long walks in the bush, to listen to the wind through the trees, to just look up and appreciate the immense sky, to be at peace. There are times when my need for intellectual stimulation and exchange of ideas connects me within blogosphere, the collegiate environment and the legal fraternity. Then there are exquisite times for the communion of spirits, of souls, of hearts… and I am privileged to have access to these too.

Where does your soul connection and belonging lay? Where do you go?

Soul connection and belonging is a necessary part of our being. In fact, it is the essence of soul. When soulful connection is absent, we feel lost – anxiety, worry, self-doubt, sadness, hopelessness, dependency, obsession are some ‘conditions’ that can manifest, and we struggle with whether we are “good enough” – good enough to connect or belong to a group or relationship.

So we attempt to regain this connection and sense of belonging, consciously or otherwise, because the soul requires it.

Reflect on what you have done, especially the significant moments in your life. Has it been to impress? To gain acceptance or approval? To avoid being the odd one out? To seek a friend or companion? To not offend? And for what gain? Has it not for some part, if not wholly, to connect and to belong?

And some of us have taken to forging this desire for connection in the extremes – taking risks that endanger or harm. While others have put on strong armour for this pursuit – on one hand wishing for soul connection and on the other hand, already expecting disappointment and perhaps hurt.

So, what are you willing to do for that supposed sense of connection and belonging? Will it indeed bring you soul connection? Or merely an illusion of it?

The test is not whether the ‘how’ is pleasant or unpleasant, good or bad. We can’t ‘do’ soul connection and belonging. Soul connection and belonging happen when the conditions are ripe. We just have to let it be and, most significantly, embrace positive expressions of our desire for this connection and belonging – to be open to possibilities, to be kind, to be generous, to respect, to care, to love. These positive expressions reverberate and its energy rejuvenates. In this space, soul ‘work’ happens – true soul connection and belonging.

Namaste.

 Wishing you soul connection,
– FlorenceT

 

© 2014 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

Intimacy – a review

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Who is the third who walks always beside you?
When I count, there is only you and I together
But when I look ahead up the white road
There is always another one walking beside you

But who is that on the other side of you?
TS Eliot, ‘The Waste Land’

 

What is intimacy? Its meaning varies for different people and different relationships.Boris Kramer -intimacy_bronze_II

One of most poignant literary exploration of ‘intimacy’ I have encountered is Sally Vickers’ book “The Other Side of You” which explores the meaning of love between friends, spouses and soul mates.

A former Jungian psychoanalyst, Sally Vickers explored the shadow side and the soul’s redemption through love, through the book’s two main characters – Dr David McBride, a psychoanalyst whose spectre of his dead brother remains with him since the brother’s death at 6 years of age, and Elizabeth Cruickshank, a ‘failed suicide’ (David’s client) whose love affair with Thomas Carrington, an art historian was doomed by her inability to accept love. David is the narrator, recalling the brief therapeutic relationship which made him aware of the parallels of his and Elizabeth’s lives – the denial and subsequent recognition of the ‘other side’ of themselves, and their bittersweet experiences of love.

Through the different relationships, intimacy is defined:-

Trust1. Between David and good friend, Gus – “Watching him, I was aware of a sensation which often visited me when I saw Gus, which was that with him I was safe from harm… This, it came to me, in an access of gratitude…was why I loved him.” – intimacy is trust and psychological safety.

Compassion2. Between David and Elizabeth – “It is said that when we touch pitch we are defiled. But when we touch, or are touched by, another’s story, that also affects our being, and more radically.” – intimacy is compassion. It is soul connection – being attendant to and ‘seeing’ the other – as Elizabeth wrote to David, “Were not our hearts burning within us?” and demonstrated through David’s willingness to take on himself for Elizabeth.

The Kiss - Kilmt3. Between Elizabeth and Thomas – intimacy is characterized by the “air of not-quite-belonging”, of being transported to an alien yet exciting place, of sexual attraction and tension. Most significantly, it is a soul connection which Elizabeth described “[I]t was as if I were meeting someone whom I had known intimately and from whom I had been separated for a very long time”. As David said, “[W]e all long for someone with whom we are able to share our peculiar burdens of being alive”.

Intimacy is the recognition and acceptance of “the other side of you – our shadow. As Elizabeth states “[I]t was as if we knew each other from way back…I mean really knew…deep down things…you don’t know yourself, until you meet someone who knows them for you. It was the effortless knowing and being known” and “utterly and unquestioningly liked for it.”

We struggle with intimacy because it requires us to put down our defences, to be vulnerable, to expose our whole self even when suspecting of possibly pain and hurt. Courage is a tough act.

Intimacy also necessitates trust and faith – in ourselves that we are lovable and in the other that they love us unreservedly.

Intimacy also requires effort – engaging the spirit and soul and never guaranteed of a positive outcome. The development and maintenance of intimacy can be unpleasant and painful at times when it compels self-and-other reflection.

Thus, to have intimacy in our relationships requires us,

  • gentle-hands-intimacyTo hold and support each other, not just physically but also emotionally and psychologically,
  • To have faith in each other to honestly love
  • To trust yourself to be worthy of love,
  • To be courageous in order to be vulnerable,
  • To give of yourself, quoting Andreas Salome, “[I]t’s in giving yourself that you possess yourself”
  • To find means of uniting “through sheer reciprocal joy in the other’s being”.

passion-intimacyAs an aside, when we are in a truly intimate romantic relationship, sex is great! Where intimacy informs and is the basis of sex, it becomes a spiritual and soulful experience. And where intimacy is absent, sex is just sex, with no greater meaning and fulfillment beyond the physical.

Intimacy is soul work that requires commitment and perseverance beyond prevailing cultural and societal expectations.

So my questions to you in this are – do you have intimacy in your relationships? What does intimacy look like in your relationship, romantic or otherwise?

– FlorenceT

 

NB:
Sculpture ‘Intimacy in bronze’ by Boris Kramer
Painting ‘The Kiss’ by Gustav Klimt

© 2014 Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

 

Who is the mirror of your soul?

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“A true soul mate is a mirror…” Do you agree? Can you be your own soul mate?

Otrazhenie

From http://polysyllabicprofundities

“People think a soul mate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that is holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life.

A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.”

From “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert


From http://eeella.deviantart.com

Look in your mirror and stay awake 😉

THE END

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My Desires: My Letter of Confession . . . to . . .

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I have to reblog this…because frankly, I wish I was the one who had written it 🙂
The soulful expression of desire…

ronovanwrites

I am a simple man. What I desire is obvious to anyone that wishes to discover.

What do I desire? I desire to be stimulated, mind over matter. Turn my mind on and you have me forever. Only . . . turn my body on and have me for a few hours. I want to belong forever to . . .

What do I desire? I desire physical pleasure; a touch from love, a hand in mine that sends electricity through my body, a caress of my cheek that makes my body melt, a tender kiss that makes my body alive. I live because of . . .

What do I desire? I desire friendship far more than relationship. A friend understands, cares, is there, is honest, fights for you and with you if you are deserving of either. A friendship wants to be and does not have to be…

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