July 2, 2010

On Intimacy in Relationship and Community.

This morning I woke up to a clean, empty house, a considerably small to-do list, a well-managed order queue and a brimming heart. This profound sense of next level understanding invites journeying to the depths of a deeper meaning I didn’t know was there. How is it, I ask, that there is so much more – infinitely more, to learn, to grow into, to celebrate?

In fog-provoked reverie I sat and tasted the flavor of this unfolding chapter. Hints of the usual excitement, joy, and wonder and their counterparts, anticipation, desire and anxiety – but within the usual a new ingredient, a better understanding, a silver lining threw in its hand and took the shape of sweet communal intimacy.

I recently listed to a pod cast with my favorite poet, David Whyte, where he spoke of parenting. He said, “everyday the person you love is growing away from you and so you play an endless game of catching up.” I have learned that to be effective in our intimate relationships is to practice seeing that person in light of what is arising at this present moment, not in light of yesterday, or the day before, or even the year before that – to hold space for the flux of personality that growth requires – and I learned this first on myself.

The real zing of this new flavor is a reconstitution of the person I believed myself to be -fiercely independent, self-motivated and competitive, firey and fast moving. The biggest act of self-love I’ve performed lately has been to allow myself to be/to see more than who I thought I was – flowing, free, compassionate, co-creative, open and community-oriented. David says: “You are trying to overhear yourself say something you didn’t know you knew.” In Tantra, ignorance is defined as knowing a little and believing that to be all there is. How often do we place ourselves within limited and out-dated “I-am” constructs? The stories we tell ourselves shape our world.

Which is all a really long way of saying that at the pith of my current experience sits the support of my community, the sweetness of my friendships and the space held by my family. Anodea Judith in her delightful and illuminating book, ‘Waking the Global Heart’ says: “The hero’s quest begins with the striving of an individual-but ends in the healing of community. The quest illuminates our power, but the return is an act of love.”

Last weekend 200 of us gathered at Movement Play, a Northern California festival that is the love-baby of one of my dearest friends in San Francisco, Miss Rosie. A gathering of that size is totally conducive to co-creation, and co-participation – to cooperation and community interaction that supports real, authentic self-expression. When we allow others to be at their best, to be the expert in their experience of life we encourage a state of empowerment that holds us all. In other words, when we see others in their best light, we invite them to step into that more fully. When others are more fully their best, they invite growth in us…and the circle continues without end.


It’s no secret to many of us that we’re moving into an age where the collective is king. In my studies of Indian philosophies we see more and more that the guru of old is now the community of today. The synergy existent within conscious groups of people accelerates change. At Movement Play I feel that I danced that truth of interconnection as witnessed by the community and was hit with a profound and earth-shaking opening under the full moon – an opening that was not unique to me alone. In closing circle we looked around, one to the next and interconnectedness moved from an existential philosophy and settled into a very real, and very present embodied experience.

And there have been other awakenings lately – synchronistic time well spent with old friends, a merging on the horizon – away from competition to cooperation on a business level, and a celebration of archetypal balance. And all of these things, these growth metrics, boil down to a fundamental understanding of reality where we humans are gifted relationship with others so that we may better know ourselves. Anodea Judith says: “In the realm of the heart, we reconstitute the archetype of sacred partnership: balanced, respectful, and mutually enhancing.”

Now more than ever before my door is open – clear boundaries, no limits as Douglas Brooks says. I have my friends, my family and the global community to thank. In Tantra we learn the self is a dancer, playing different roles – Nartakatma. On the dance floor we move in partnership with each other in respectful, spatial awareness, and in grace to the music pulsating us alive.

The universe is a gift of intimacy. How do we as individuals, choose to ask the question of life?


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