The only person that you are guaranteed to spend the rest of your life with is yourself. If our primary relationship starts within, it means we don’t become needy for another’s love or become dependent on someone else to provide everything for us. The only place we can find what we’re yearning for is within ourselves, and from filling our own cup, we can experience the great joy of letting our love overflow to another.
A key aspect of Tantra is relationships (with ourselves and others) because life is relationships and Tantra is life.
To people who haven’t experienced true Tantra, their thoughts on the topic are generally related to wild, long-lasting, amazing sexual experiences. To people who have experienced it, Tantra goes far beyond that. Yes, it includes great sex, but it also includes power, freedom, responsibility and living Tantra as a PRACTICE.
So, what is the practice? The practice is coming back to center, being present with what is – dark and light, holding our own masculine energy (including father) and feminine energy (including mother) rather than expecting it outside of ourselves.
Here are ways that you can practice coming back to center:
1. Stop resisting your pain.
So how do you know if you are resisting your emotional pain?
- When stuff comes up, you feel isolated, too sensitive and like something is wrong with you.
- The areas of your life where you are stuck don’t ever really change.
- You become stressed when feeling low, look for a meaning to your pain and excessively analyze it.
- You think witnessing your pain and healing it are the same thing.
- Once you feel emotional pain, you enter a downward spiral and/or depressive vortex.
- You think you can get rid of feelings without purging them.
- You are addicted to temporary alleviators of pain; external medicines, drugs, social media, food, socializing, keeping busy with work and/or play.
- You constantly search for outside validation and approval and are concerned with what other people think.
- You prefer the heights to the depths and constantly chase the heights.
2. Feel your pain.
- Be with how you feel – stop running away from your emotional body and allow yourself to feel.
- Meditate: observe, breathe, notice. Be with your feelings, which is to fully be with yourself.
- Feel the emotions all the way by expressing them and releasing them.
Once you have allowed your feelings to surface, give them some expression so that they are able to be released from your nervous system.
The eight express and release techniques that can be used when emotions arise are:
The irony of these express and release techniques is that children naturally do them when they are upset, but we tell them to do otherwise. Our basic human instinct knows what to do with the emotional body until we are conditioned by society. Animals move their body as a way to release trauma too, especially through shaking. So next time you feel emotionally charged, instead of projecting your emotional body onto your partner or retracting into your cave, try practicing some of the above techniques in the safety of your own company.
Whilst I am suggesting you acknowledge and validate emotions, I am not suggesting you re-live the trauma of the experience itself. By acknowledging the emotion, validating it, feeling it and responding to the emotion itself, we can begin to release it and heal from it.
3. Ask: What is the emotion showing you?
Once you have released the raw emotion associated with the trigger, come back to a place of peace and ask yourself:
- Is there a boundary that I need to set with someone or something?
- Is there a healthy request that I have for either myself or another?
- Is there a situation or person no longer serving me in my life, and is there an action I need to take?
4. Re-parent yourself.
Is my inner child okay, or is she needing safety? Reassure her, “I am completely here with you now”. Once this relationship is formed between you and your inner child, and a level of trust is gained, you can start asking your inner child for what she needs from you to feel safe and loved and give it to her rather than expecting your partner to give it to you. Cultivating a relationship with your inner child is a daily practice and a lifelong experience.
5. Seek support.
When we are a part of a community of brothers and sisters who support each other, sing and laugh together, who reflect, share and connect, this helps us to remember the love that we are. We can also seek out professional healing and support by a skilled practitioner.
Union, within and without, is no resistance to any emotion, and no attachment to any emotion. So when we’re no longer attached to pleasure, and were no longer resistant to pain, we are Living Tantra. When we are rising in love and allowing our relationships to help heal and grow, we are Living Tantra.