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I want to write about intimacy.

I feel like I spent my 30s arguing with myself.

Now, I think I finally have enough awareness to be able to

  • stop
  • decide to allow open presence to listen
  • have a kind of embodied faith in the movements that follow
  • continue to allow embodied presence – soul presence – to unfurl as my life, moment to moment

And so what does this have to do with intimacy?

It seems like what is required to be able to rest in open awareness is this learned acceptance of time + sensation as they occur.

The thing is, we only GET to practice that in the sort of inner battles of our karma, with the people, places and situations where we feel least present, least open, least peaceful.

Said differently, only through a willingness to be intimate with hard experiences …

… and most importantly, identify and own our reactive impulses to defend, in the moment …

do we slowly earn an awareness of who in us is having this experience, who wants to build a case about the wrongness of it, and what else might be possible in a kind of embodied peace.

What I’m saying is that intimacy with our challenging experiences …

the kitchen’s a mess and I just can’t deal

the kids are screaming, I’m late to work and I’m gonna freak the f out

she/he/they did this to me and I swear I will get even

IS the road to open awareness.

For me, when I’m IN the experience – with no access to open presence, to soul – I tell myself I have to get there, I have to rise above it, I have to somehow BE calmer.

This is only an attempt to defend.

What’s actually needed there is slowly becoming a consciousness that can be open, by applying all the love, patience and openness I have access to in that moment to the parts in me that are hurting, like a wet balm, like a kiss.

Or many kisses.

Sometimes it’s all I can do to just take the dog for a walk or focus on my breathing.

Open awareness is the body-psyche completely trusting the one that got it there. It is not the state of no drama. It is the state of drama-having-been-OK until the drama relaxed and all that’s left is the halo of love you built with every choice not to react, not to defend, not to attack, not to collapse.

It is you, intimate with your experience, minus your drama.

It is life.

Photo: Corinne Dove

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