Flying Home ~ 5/7/12
It is challenging to be thrust back into the masculine world after spending four days melting into the feminine until cracked open, vulnerable, raw and shattered. I need to stretch, massage my sore quads and low back on a foam roller, eat and sleep. Instead I am trapped on a packed Southwest flight.
I have so much to share but am struggling with where to start. Saturday and Sunday were the longest days of any yet (at any retreat). I’d planned to share during each day. But there was no down time. I couldn’t even steal any.
Let me share Saturday’s agenda to give you a sense of what I mean:
Saturday: My Day of Tears ~ 5/5/12
5:45 am: Shuttle to beach
We waited 20 min and arrived a little late : (
6 – 7 Sunrise S on the beach
The packed sand was too hard. Boo. Still I’ll take the beach anyway I can get it. And I loved walking in the tidal zone. I wanted to get down in it, but worried about drowning my ipod.
7 – 8 Shuttle back to room, Shower off sand, pack dance bag of workout/erotic creature wear for day of classes & shuttle or walk to breakfast.
For most of us, these four activities took longer than an hour, they were not possible in the alloted time.
8-9 Breakfast Most of us arrived late – meals were when I expected to sneak in short blog entries. We all barely had time to eat.
9-10 Sharing with Sheila
We started late and went long. Sheila added a brief emotional music exercise. I’ve done variants of it at least six or seven times. It’s always interesting, sometimes fun, sometimes intense. She asked us to move while she played clips from songs that embody at least three of the basic feminine emotions (according to Sheila):
- Shame (Shameless/Naughty)
As Sheila ended the clips, we stopped moving and recorded the emotion we heard/felt in the music in our journals. If you do this at home it’s important to focus on the emotion in the music, rather than what the music makes you feel. For example, angry songs make me feel attacked & afraid, especially if I’m feeling sad and vulnerable. Still, I record anger for those, not fear. Sheila, on the other hand, relishes dancing to angry songs; they make her happy.
The reason for paying attention to the emotions in music that resonate with you is that they help you discover the emotional core and essences of your Erotic Creature.
Then we did a gaze exercise. I didn’t want it to end. Natalie and I had an intimate connection. I felt seen and understood. We seemed to share a similar emotional arc in our EC’s life story. We began dancing together without words. Many attendees report this to be one of the most powerful exercises of the retreats (We’ve done it before, but it’s always different with a different partner). It fosters and strengthens feminine intuition. And makes gazing at the chair during free dance more comfortable and powerful. It also strengthens one’s ability to give and receive.
10-1 Second Class with Diamondbacks
I began crying during my warm-up dance to Tina’s song, All My Colors by Nouvelle Vague.
We were supposed to be playing with the gaze. But I plunged into the most intense depths of ache and unfulfilled longing I’ve ever experienced since starting S Factor almost seven years ago. I noticed Katie in the chair. I wanted to get there, but it seemed a marathon away across the diagonal of the room. Susan, my teacher, encouraged me to breathe deeply and slowly. During my inhale (which I was doing) and my EXHALE (which I hadn’t been).
Try this the next time you find yourself crying in a place our culture deems inappropriate. It works and got me through buckets of tears on Saturday. And as they keep flowing on this cramped plane. I’ve learned it’s better to let them flow. If I don’t, then I get a wicked headache and am exhausted when the pent up emotion finally springs forth.
“In fairy tales, tears change people, remind them of what is important, and save their very souls. Only a hardness of heart inhibits weeping and union. There is a saying, a prayer, really, among Sufis, asking God to break one’s heart: “Shatter my heart so a new room can be created for a Limitless Love.” – Clarissa Pinkola Estés in Woman Who Run With the Wolves (p 157)
I have more to share about this dance, it’s lessons and effects. But I’ll save it for another post because the story is long. For now I’ll say, Sunday was AMAZING! My life becomes more like a fairy tale the more I welcome the tears when they come.
We were running late and had a maximum of 30 min to eat and talk within small groups following up from an exercise the day before.
2-4 Class with surprise guests
Guests were Tahil Gesyuk & Viviana Lahrs teaching about the language of love between men and women (For more information see their facebook page: The Intimacy Forum. I was so raw and melted into the feminine I couldn’t participate in the exercise because I couldn’t give, never mind be strong and masculine in role play. I watched with Sheila. I did take away an important message that men hear best when we tell them our problem and then ask for help directly. For example, “Honey, I’m exhausted and hungry. Would you go pick up take-out at Le Cheval for dinner. I’ll even call it in.” After, he completes his mission, be sure to thank him (and I know my guy loves a hug & a kiss too).
4-7 Dance classes
Those who wanted to could dance with Tahil in the chair to play with masculine energy and gaze. Some women chose to watch the male-female interaction, but asked Tahil to leave and have a female classmate in the lap dance chair for the gaze challenge. Others chose to attend a second class with no male energy. I felt so vulnerable I wasn’t sure what I would do when the time came. During the warm up, I managed to tap into my sensuality, love and seductiveness merging it with my deep achey yearning. Thank you Susan for a slow and seductive playlist, it was exactly what I needed:
- Be My Baby, Leslie Mendelson
- I am (stripped), Christina Aguilera
- Slow Dancing in a burning Room, John Mayer
- Trouble, Bei Maejor
- I put a spell on you, Nina Simone
I invited Tahil in from the hallway to sit in the chair for me. When he said he remembered me from Montery, I felt happy, but more nervous since I was in a much more vulnerable, raw state this time.
As I waited for the seductive sound of Jericho by Weekend Players to fill the room, I stood facing the chair at the front pole futherest from it. The open curtains fluttered behind me, sunlight spilling onto the floor.
I don’t remember much about my dance, except that I maintained eye contact for the whole time, except when my movement naturally turned inwards. My movement felt slow, seductive and full of longing.
When I finished, Sheila stared at me, speechless for a few beats (that made me grin) before telling me, “I’m so touched. That was incredibly touching. And that GAZE. I’ve never seen you GAZE like that in all the years we’ve worked together.” When I sat down, Sarah, one of my classmates told me, “You’re such a Goddess out there. You know that, right? I’m not kidding.” I nodded, smiling.
8- 10 Moveable Feast Dinner
Umm, lasted until 11:30! Since this also happened in Miami, I think I’ll keep the secret in case they decide to do the same dinner again at a future retreat. It wasn’t as fun for me as I would’ve liked because tears were triggered by tiredness, misunderstandings and the achey longing my dance had stirred. My slow breathing and S’isters helped me through.
Note: I drafted this post on my flight home, intending to finish and post on Monday, but I was sooo exhausted I went to bed at 5pm PST—the earliest I’ve ever gone to bed. (In my defense it was 8pm EST) I slept until 5:30 am. Cried for an hour upon awakening. Then got up and went for a walk in the early morning sunshine. Something I need to restore my soul and fuel my fire (I learned this Sunday morning while dancing with the ocean and the rising sun. More to come in a future post). Probably every day. Remind me if I ever forget again.
Note 2: Updated to include playlist I only requested a few hours ago from Susan. Yay Susan, you rock!!