Cultivating an Embodied Inner Lover
by Cherie Byrd, MA
It makes me grin when I think about it, for it seems I have created a very privileged role for myself. I’m in practice as a holistic psychotherapist and I teach "Kissing School!” I’m blessed with a lot of deeply intimate conversations with friends, clients, and perfect strangers about their sex lives, their longing for love, passion, what turns them on and off. I hear about the struggles between sex and our beliefs regarding its value, its relationship to spirit, to body images, and the power issues between partners.
I'm told frequently that people feel cheated, that real sex doesn’t live up to the promises, the fantasy. It’s clear that sexual and sensual shutdown seems to be rampant in these stressed out times. I hear tales of hormones, non-responsive partners, depleted energy and general disconnect from the experiences of the body. Our inner lovers seem to have been stuffed into a dark closet along with too many other good ideas gone wrong.
Interestingly enough in this time of massive information, coaching, and personal trainers I find almost no one holding the idea that we can educate these abandoned and clueless inner lovers to be deep, intimate, potent and fulfilled. There is almost no awareness that sexual energy can regenerate and heal us, offering a luscious counterpoint to the wear and intensity of our lives. As a culture we’ve pretty much split ourselves off from the impulses and energies of the body in order to function above the neck in an extremely mental world. For this we pay a very high price.
The body is designed to be an amplifier of our inner experience, enriching us with the felt qualities of our life and when we choose not to engage this amplifier in our moment-to-moment consciousness we loose touch with our soul and we become numb, disconnected, out of touch with ourselves and what we are experiencing in any given moment. This disconnect has a large impact upon the health and vibrancy of our bodies and our emotions because it literally unplugs us from the bioelectrical circuitry of our subtle energy bodies.
These circuits carry the mental, emotional, psychic and spiritual energetic communication impulses to the etheric energy meridians of the physical body where they are chemically translated into physical experience. When we disconnect from our body we generate a deeply diminished exchange of bioelectricity or consciousness for the conversations of the body/mind. The body becomes clueless and we experience a sensual disconnect. We no longer sense our emotions as they are happening, our experience of our physical body is blocked, we lack inspiration, and we feel cut off. We are no longer functioning as a whole system.
Let's face it, its next to impossible to leap into an experience of full body orgasm when we are not being fully embodied organisms, no matter who is doing what to us. What to do? What’s necessary to generate a functioning energy system so that we can directly tap into our own juice, heat, electricity and healing? Education and practice mostly, along with a lot of internal permission.
There have been schools for the loving arts all through recorded history in which people were trained to experience giving and receiving love. They were many and various in their intentions, ones for healing the war out of returning soldiers, or for achieving heightened states of spiritual union, or for enhancing the realms of communion in ones daily life. They’ve left us a legacy and we can learn from them.
It makes sense that energy mastery is at the core of most of these teachings. Developing resonant states of awareness within the bodily tissues, learning to move energy and empower the flow of communication between our body, emotions, mind and soul are essential practices for an empowered life. These practices naturally generate a responsive and potent inner lover; for when we are present in the body sensual awareness can be deepened into a fine art. Subtle nuances become very large events. The dance of energy between self and other moves us. It becomes possible not only to experience a full body orgasm, but also to be a body/mind/heart/spirit that is fully orgasmic.
From this fully embodied state one can experience orgasm from a kiss, from a tongue sliding between fingers, from a drop of water running down the spine, from any point of connection with a partner or oneself, the world, or from the mere idea of it. Well-educated inner lovers have the ability to open us deeply to healing, transformation and the rich presence of our inherently bright spirits. Learning begins with where we are now, graduate school is optional.
7 everyday steps toward cultivating an embodied inner lover:
1) Learn to BE HERE NOW. By trying to be everywhere we end up nowhere. Our access to our power is available now, and now, and now, and...Bring yourself to it again, and again and...
2) Learn to breathe deeply and do it a lot! Diaphragmatic breathing generates an increased flow of chi, or vital energy in the body. If you are aware of your heart chakra open it at the top of the inhalation allowing it to fill full of light. On the exhalation allow this lightforce to flow thru the body. This practice will directly impact sexual potency.
3) Learn to walk using your whole body, beginning the step from the hip and allowing it to flow thru the upper and lower body, arms swinging in counter position to the legs. Now do it while breathing diaphragmatically! With this we encourage the brain/body conversation.
4) Drink pure water often. Yup, another bid for increased water drinking. One of the reasons that water is so recommended everywhere is that it is an essential carrier for the bioelectricity. Our whole field droops when we are dry.
5) Get good massages, practice yoga, or do frequent stretching of any kind. Our chronic tension patterns are the prison bars of our inner lover. We have to move past our disembodied energy habits in order to recreate them. Keeping the mind focused encouragingly within the body during the massage and the stretch will open the door to new possibilities.
6) Reconnect with your senses. Awareness and permission are the keys. Really feel every nuance of what goes on in your shower, taste a whole meal often, feel the texture of the earth underfoot as you walk in nature. Learn to become multi-sensual; walk feeling the earth, smelling the air, seeing the various shades of all the colors around you, feeling the variance of temperature on your face as you pass through the sun and shade while breathing diaphragmatically! You'll become so very alive.
7) Risk letting down the walls between you and other...people, plants, pets, sunsets, experiences. Feel yourself in the presence of life. This is where intimacy lives.
Bio: Cherie Byrd is an internationally recognized holistic psychotherapist, author, healer, speaker and educator specializing in body/heart/mind/spirit integration, spiritual emergence, and sacred sexuality. She has been in private practice in Seattle, WA since 1978 and is a pioneer in the field of Energy Psychology. Cherie is the creator and facilitator of trainings on sacred sexuality and the embodiment of high frequency states of consciousness, including her internationally recognized Kissing School. She is the author of Kissing School, 7 Lessons on Love, Lips, and Life Force, and has been profiled in print, screen, audio and internet media around the world. Cherie can be reached at http://www.KissingSchool.com, or 206.324.2526.
(originally published by Women Net Work, women’s publication for growth and wellness, Feb 2001 http://www.women-network.com