I used to see this initiation process as more of a cosmic hazing than anything else. And sure, sometimes it still feels more cruel than necessary. However, the truth is that it is always a gift – eventually. The initiation allows the opportunity for us to go even deeper into our intentions, more so than we might have otherwise thought possible.
So when on a Sunday evening sister call I heard myself declare an intention to embody a feeling of calm, I quickly thought, “Oh shit, can I handle an initiation on that one?!”
BAM! Monday morning hit hard. A coffee date was canceled after I had started my day an hour early for it and after I had driven across town for it. Response: Argh! I could have gone to yoga! Oh wait, I can still go to yoga. And I actually like the late morning class much better than the early one anyway.
Feeling chuffed with myself, I left the studio and then I got a text about a hate blog. (Side note: Did you know that there are hate blogs? Blogs entirely devoted to hating on a person or group of people? Gross!) The first text told me that my dear friend and mentor was on one of those awful blogs. Response: What?! How could anyone possibly hate on such a wonderful presence in this world? I sent extra love and appreciation her way and I also read her beautifully and potent share about it.
Next text came through, this time it was informing me that I and O’actually were also mentioned the hate blog! Response:
So here is the gist: I and my podcast interviewee were being mocked for prioritizing self pleasure. We were being called selfish and making things all about “me, me, ME!”
Interestingly, before Monday, I would have said that this exact tease would be of the most, if not THE MOST, upsetting thing to me. I would have assumed that I’d be deeply hurt and supremely defensive. And yet, I couldn’t have felt more different. I was positively smitten with the news that I was in such good company (regardless of the context). I wholeheartedly agreed with one dear friend who called to say that she really appreciated the curation process of the hate blog because it introduced her to some new woman that she was excited to follow!
Mostly, I was thankful for the feeling of calm because it allowed me access to some rather cool reminders.
A reminder: Self-care is not selfish. Self pleasure is an incredibly important – all too often ignored – part of self-care. So therefore, self pleasure is clearly not selfish.
Our society is starting to wake up to the truth that we are most safe and in best service to others when we put on our proverbial airplane oxygen masks and look after ourselves first. I struggle at times to embrace this truth and yet, it is simply true. I catch myself worrying that I’m a bad puppy mama for taking a bath because little Lugh dog wants to play. Then I give him a bone, take a bath, and boom – genuine playtime emerges. There is no doubt in my mind that Lughdog would rather twenty minutes of my full attention than an hour of me occasionally offering a pat on the head while typing. If the “selfish” bath is what got him 20min of undivided fetch and cuddles, he is a canine love bug proponent for self-care. (Yes, I agree. A human example would be better… a blog post on calling in my man is coming soon:)
But really, come on now. Has a romantic partner ever complained to you that you are just too turned-on? Have you ever heard from an genuine friend that they are worried about you because you are too authentically alive?
Of course not! Turned-on ALIVE people are freaking magnetic and delightful. And, they didn’t get that way through shoulding and depriving themselves. They got that way by diving into the inquiry of what ignites them and then having the courage to do those things.
We’re all unique, of course. Things that light me up may or may not light you up. Yet no matter how we get to pleasure – candles, BDSM, flowers, – our orgasmic pleasure creates the feeling and reality of exuberant aliveness.
So thank you dear hate blogger person. You took the time to listen to my podcast, you took the time to write about me, and you helped me further appreciate my awareness that I have released insecurity around solo-sex. In fact, I believe solo-sex is a quintessential aspect of access to a fulfilled life. Thank you for making me more bold and resolute and calm in my knowingness of this truth.
Love and thanks,