All of my deepest moments in life have been those in which I entered my true vulnerability. And the most powerful of all were the ones in which someone held the space for that…in other words someone witnessed my vulnerability without judging me or trying to fix me. When I was simply seen at my most vulnerable.
And yet, when I was growing up I consistently received the message that vulnerability is weak, and to be avoided at all costs. My culture taught me a myriad of ways to mask over and cover up any weak and vulnerable parts, as my society appeared to value strength over depth. What ever you do, don’t let the deeper emotions show. Stiff upper lip, what ho!
So when I reached the age in which intimacy became an inner yearning, I found that I was trying to connect to boys by pretending to be what I thought they might admire, rather than being who I really was. Me and my circle of friends all pretended we knew more than we did about love and sexuality and intimacy, strutting around like we knew it all. Inside we were terrified and confused, but there was no safe space to express that.
Of course there can be no connection when two people are in their masks. So society gave us alcohol as a way to temporarily drop the masks. Connection was then possible, but sadly at the cost of our consciousness. In a drunken stupor we could be open together, but not able to stay sober for that connection.
What kind of relationships can be built on a foundation like that?
Tantra workshops have given me the space to feel safe enough to drop the masks and start to expose what lies underneath. To this day, still one of the processes that I share the most (as well as sharing in my own workshops with students) is a communication structure that came originally from Margot Anand of Skydancing Tantra. It is a simple formula that makes the space to connect and drop beneath any layers of protection that night hold us back from love.
Like all the best things in life, it is super simple. It is best when the two people communicating sit opposite one another, face to face. One person speaks and the other listens with their whole being, a deep breaths (this helps you hear your partner more). Then the exchange happens and the other partner shares. The three things you are with each other are as follows:
One person shares all three points, and then the other shares. It is best not to plan what to say before you sit down. Authenticity arises in this present moment, and that’s where the masks dissolve into truth. Without choosing to expose our deepest fears, we run the risk of acting out defence mechanisms without even realising. Relationships become distorted with projections, and blinded with veils of fear, and these block the love that is there.
It is not so much that we have to learn how to love. We have to learn how to stop blocking love. And the opening to this deeper truth is through having the courage to be vulnerable…
Want more Tantra?
Teacher Trainings in Tao Tantric Arts: for those who are ready to share the journey with others.
Feature-length movie on the path of Tantra, to be released soon…Sex to Spirit.