Five months ago, I moved to the foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Breathtaking mountains. Clean-ish air. Tons of locally-grown non-GMO food. Bicycle friendly. Conscious hipsters sipping green tea on every corner. A gazillion yoga studios.
Nirvana on terra firma. Heaven on Earth. I found it! Needless to say, it’s idyllic.
Then I started doing my thing: penetrating the community with the gifts I bring to this world. Simple workshops to cultivate mindful relationship. Creating community around conscious sexuality.
You know, your friendly neighborhood sex coach.
And what shows up?
Well, for starters, I see hard bodies + somber faces. No joy. Fail.
I found a town with more psychotherapists per capita than anywhere on Earth. (Hold on, let me get my trusty research assistant to get the 411 on this one. Stat!) Oh, and these are bona fide workshop junkie peeps. The ones who very actively seek enlightenment. Constantly. Continuously. No doubt, their monthly personal development spending exceeds the not-so-average family of four’s 30-day grocery budget. Believe me, I know. I’ve been there before. Willing to mortgage home + hearth on the unending quest for “it.”
Just to be crystal clear and to avoid any misunderstanding or hard feelings among my newly-adopted local yocals, I’m not dissing my town or the people in it. The deep gratitude that I have to live, work + interact here is immense and immeasurable. I’m merely noticing. You know, hard-time-on-a-soft-cushion kind of noticing.
Here we all are spinning on this gorgeous planet, in a particular spot that is highly coveted after for its celestial quality of life. I can’t help but notice. Why the sad faces? What’s the struggle, people?
Why is enlightenment so fucking hard?
When I look around everyone is dutifully in their practice: yoga, meditation, cleansing, raw food-ing, working out. Running. Biking. Hiking. Running some more. Sometimes in the same day. Religiously. Disciplining gray matter and flesh to submit on the path to being a bodhisattva. Why are we puritanically wrenching out our own salvation?
Oh, wait a minute. Transparent reflection time: let me include my tape in the mix. (Me = my ego. Soul = well…my soul. Ha!)
Me: “Wake up, Jenny. Pay attention. Take full responsibility for your growth and development. For contributing to the health of the planet. You want to be a good _________ (insert pious + PC objective of choice here), don’t you?”
Soul: <rolling eyes, with a facetious smirk> “Yah. That sounds like a lot of fun.”
Me: “I want it to be fun… But this sucks. You know?”
Soul: “No. I don’t know. I just go with the flow. Umm, it’s called ‘surrender.’ ”
Me: “Oh, that’s asinine. You sound like some airy-fairy, new-age crackpot.”
Soul: “Really? <shrugs face> It sure is easy over here.”
Me: <sarcastically> “You think everything can be all: Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. That’s bullshit! You’re going to end up ________________(insert absolutely terrifying bottomed-out destination of choice here, i.e. in a van by the river; on the street corner with a cardboard sign; desperately, horribly, miserably alone; fat, ugly + friendless; eating ramen – no, make that, saltine crackers – for the rest of your life…)
Soul: <Nodding in light-hearted retort with a dollop of compassion> “Easy for you to slap me with some judgmental label, isn’t it? Come with me.”
Me: “Where are we going?”
Soul: <gently, but firmly> “Just get in the car + drive.”
Me: <in resignation, yet totally curious> “Umm. Ok. Where to?”
Soul: “Nature break, Ms. All-in-your-head. Time for a somatic immersion.”
Me: “Alright. I’m game.” <After breaking down the night before, sobbing for two hours on the couch in the fetal position writhing over some self-inflicted, cosmic grief + trying to ‘figure it all out’.>
Long story short, my intuition took me to this luscious green labyrinth. Ahhhhh, relief! An exquisite circle, a natural container, for me to be in willingness to the cosmos. Empty my mind, expand my heart, attune to sensation in my body. Feel the sharp coolness of grass between my toes and the moist, lumpy earth meeting each footstep. As I rocked my heel to toes, I recited this simple incantation: “I surrender. I trust.”
And then it dawned on me, I remembered where the “it” resides: in the involuntary. Enlightenment – or whatever you want to call “it” – is not a struggle. It is not a matter of solemn discipline. It’s a matter of letting go and going for the ride.
My dear friend + colleague uttered these words of wisdom to me this week: “Freedom comes in the container.”
Now that’s sexy! If life is like orgasm*, then co-creating a container for me (and/or my partner) to be in full surrender allows for emancipation. How liberating!
So, I admit it: I have a yoga practice. Occasionally, I meditate. Sometimes, I go for a hike in the forest. Other times, I pump iron. I have my sights on getting a bike in the near future. Yet, within all this practice, the container is permeable. There’s flexibility built in. This allows me to practice, not according to some rigid, training schedule, but by listening to the nuance stirring in my soul. Surrendering, letting my body and heart be “asana-ed.”
Be generous. Seek freedom. Let it be easy. ~Danielle LaPorte
Sexy enlightenment. Orgasmic living. Yah. That sounds like fun to me. And easy.
*Your orgasm may vary. And to create distinction between climax and orgasm, I define “orgasm” as the creative expression and sensation of pleasure in the body and in life. “Climax” is a fleeting moment of involuntary muscular contraction at the peak of excitement usually accompanying a release of energy. “Climax” can happen or take place in a matter of minutes; “orgasm”, in this sense, can be sustained for hours, even days. How ‘bout them apples?