The tribe is gathered to celebrate the changing of the seasons. Cool fall air hangs around our bodies with a crispness hinting at the approaching sub zero tipping point of Winter. Full frequency baselines pulse from the black hole speakers, shaking the blanket of air into warmth as the dancers move their branching limbs in mirrored rhythm to the shimmer of the stars above.
I am the dance. Eyes closed, into the body. My palm beats my chest as the Sound Sorcerer manipulates the space with rapid fire fingers, emanating a rainbow of subsonic colours and textures I find pleasing to some primal part of myself. I sense something awakening within the cells of my earth body and a strange version of me takes the stage in twisting contortions and eerie wing flapping motions. All around me are mirrors, smiling back and co-creating the dance in their own way.
A deep gaze from a forest angel catches mine and pulls my gut up into an excited twister, about to launch out of my mouth. She approaches me with the softness and grace of a leaf dancing with gravity’s pull, as the air provides a momentary breath of freedom before resting in the soil’s embrace. Her movements calm the stomach twister and fill my heart as the beating sun does on a hot summer day. We dance together in the warm bubble, expanding the space around, as the air separating us collapses and our bodies touch.
A million nerves ignite into supernovas of sensation as our fingertips trace the curves, hills, and valleys of each other’s skin, sending the electrical excitation of lightening between our melting boundaries. Our eyes lock like galaxies entangled in the cosmic dance of spiraling attraction, and the living crystal lens of her eyes reveal splashes of green and waves of brown, swimming in an ocean of white star dust. An embodied embrace activates the pull of rare earth magnets as our foreheads find union.
The timeless moment together continues to expand and ripple into the fluid air around, blending with the Magician’s musical spells to create shaky movement in the limb’s of the trees nearby. The eye of the storm; stillness amidst the chaos. I find myself wanting more from this moment, and this inner shift towards attachment is reflected by the unseen sensations of the arriving wind, sweeping away the calm container of still protection.
Her wings begin to spread, feeling the joy of the air enveloping her entire being in preparation to receive the invitation to fly. I want to hold on and keep her here… but how could I? What a violent act to cage something so beautiful and elegant, so full of love to give the world. Her bright crescent moon smile melts me back into my body, condensing my sense of self as she turns to depart; back into the world of mirrors. I feel full, and continue the dance in my own version of wind soaring. Will I see her again?
As my earth dance rotates me around the supportive forest floor, I notice my attention searching for the ray of Sun I just encountered. Something from across the way grabs my gaze and pulls me closer to investigate the gut wrenching knot in my center. The angel is there… but another character has revealed themselves… She is not with me anymore; she is with someone else. A gaping fissure splits across my chest that vacuums up all of the love and warmth I thought to be true a moment earlier. Chills fill the now-empty substrate of my skin as the anaconda of emotional constriction winds itself through my core.
I want to run, hide, rage, cry, and lash out at the cleverly disguised siren and this shifty serpent. How foolish of me to allow her in; to be tricked by her supposed loving lullaby and well practiced alluring song! I want to close up and fill the divide within my earth-body so I do not feel this pain anymore. Why do I expose myself to this kind of grief? I feel inadequate, undeserving, insecure, rejected, deceived, used, manipulated… separate…
Does a fish feel alone in the vastness of the ocean depths?
What is the purpose of emotion? How do we relate to our emotional state? Are there connections between the external situation/simulation, the body sensations, the thoughts and actions that arise?
Can we influence or change our emotions, and to what extent?
I, like many people I encounter, are curious about an idea that seems to have influenced the lives of exponentially more people in recent decades. You have probably come across the word enlightenment at some point. We hear stories of people – monks, gurus, saints, and many notable avatars – who have attained some unknowable and mysterious state.
The thought-game of enlightenment evokes a deep curiosity within me, especially when the stories are plentiful and contain beautiful examples of the potential within each human being. One element of the story I would like to explore is that of an enlightened perspective on emotions.
For some time, I imagined that enlightenment meant a pervasive peace and love in one’s life. Not that emotions were not a part of one’s experience, simply that the dark, mucky, crap emotions were no longer present. I embraced the idea that I could reach a state of pure and enduring bliss during this lifetime. After all, who would want to feel crappy if you had a choice not to? With an end goal in mind, the next question came: How to get there?
I soon realized such an ideal, the future goal of pervasive peace and joy, was actually preventing me from dealing with the emotions that came up within me in the present. I started to think in terms of ‘levels’ and denied myself opportunities to heal by pretending I was ‘past this’ or ‘further along’ or ‘shouldn’t be feeling this because I already dealt with it’… Each time I was simply closing myself up by fearing of the truth of this moment and the sensations in my body.
Two Halves to a Circle
The trouble with closing up to the uncomfortable and disturbing emotions is that you close yourself to the uplifting and enlivening ones as well. It’s why we fear vulnerability and openness with others, often reserving it for one, or maybe a few others, and fear the truth of a living, conscious planet. It’s why we distract, deny, and numb ourselves to what is happening within our bodies. But is living without emotion really living? I know anytime I feel most alive is when I feel emotions coursing through my body, blissful and uncomfortable alike.
When we open to love and connection with another, we open to the space of wounding from the past, buried over time from when we were not ready to face it before. Any pain, loss, grief, or hurt we associated to love, whether in thought-form (i.e. “I am not deserving of love” or “Others will just use and leave me”) or in emotion/body sensations, will come to the surface to be observed, integrated, and released in order to move through the relationship triggers and patterns of the past that are no longer serving you. Through our relationships and what others mirror back to us about ourselves, we are able to dissolve what is not true so as to uncover the deepest truth for you.
When we fall in love with the Earth, we feel into the mounting wounds and spreading violence onto our shared Lover and the collective biophilia of the planet. A momentarily deep connection creates greater contrast to the darkness of disconnection. A knowing of the beingness of the Earth brings an awakening to the cruelty and pain perpetuated on our Lover, daily. Denying our grief only denies our potential to love, for contrasting emotions are two halves of the same circle. Becoming ecosexual means finding the courageous vulnerability to feel for the Earth.
The story I shared to open this piece brings forth an emotion I have been exploring intimately – jealousy – the feeling that arises in response to someone I feel emotionally tied/connected to, sharing warmly with someone other than me. It’s when my heart closes at the sight or knowing of attention I am seeking, being focused on someone else, and my pull to withdraw entirely. It’s the emotion I introduced in “Becoming Ecosexual” part one, my draw to more open/polyamorous relationships, and something I see as arising from false beliefs and indoctrinations around love. The core of my vision and pull is toward the elusive and rarely embodied example of unconditional love. By diving into uncomfortable emotions like jealousies, we come to know more of what we are not, so we may know more of what we are – this is the nature of interbeing and the gift of relationship.
“In the tantric path, human relationships are considered the greatest cauldron in which to practice awareness. You see, it is so easy to practice releasing attachment whilst isolated in a cave or monastery,” I smirked, “It’s much more challenging, and rewarding, to practice releasing attachment whilst still engaged in the world and in relationships where we are more frequently faced with all our most activated emotions, thoughts, and primal desires. The kleshas, or poisons, are more often provoked: avidya – ignorance of our true nature, asmita – ego/ pride, raga – ordinary grasping desire, dvesha – aversion/ hatred, and abhinivesha – self-clinging or fear…”
In part two, The Nature of Emotion, we explored an ecosexual perspective to the shifting weather of the chaotic feminine flow of emotion through the body and across the earth. Both part one and two take the approach of observation, acceptance, and release/expression for moving through, and healing, feelings that arise from sensory input triggering body sensations. But what about the stories of the mind?
The Mind of Relationship
The mind loves to play and participate in the dance of emotions through the body, and it plays an important role in all of this. In addition to the emotional residue within the body are the mental stories, threaded into the tapestry of human experience. These are the thoughts we have when agitated internally and the stories we attach to them.
Be aware of the mind’s desire to fix – there is nothing wrong or broken – it’s more about observing the storyteller and feeling into the feedback in order to integrate necessary shifts or make changes in destructive patterns as they are needed. Without the awareness of the story and feeling into feedback, the mind can easily trap you into a downward spiral of self indulgence (poor me) or distraction/denial. It is important to maintain a balance and awareness between the two – mind and body – in order to move through and creatively channel your emotional state into its greatest alchemical gift. For me specifically, this is to transmute and transform jealousy into unconditional love.
“The container of relationship provides far more volatile opportunities on a daily basis for Self-realization and the incineration of our samsakras, or the habitual, unconscious, ego-centric reactions. Within relationship, when our inner hungry ghosts are tempted, we practice severing all grasping and become servants of love, in whatever form it wants to manifest through us in the moment. When I say grasping – I mean the grasping that occurs in the heart, not in the hands. The most powerful place to practice the release of grasping is while we are still touching each other. Moment to moment, relationships have the potential to keep us ‘on our toes,’ awake, and present far more than peace and quiet.”
The Art of Relating
Relationships emerge within the space between two or more separate things (not just people). To observe and learn from the relationship, we must first see the separation – the presence of two – that come together to make a third (the relationship). When we learn to see the relationship as a unique entity, co-created by each individual part involved, then we stop projecting blame, playing victim, and take responsibility for our part in the overall experience. Both parts co-creating the whole introduces the relational tool of feedback – the consequences of your choices – the ‘what you give out is what you receive back’. This is why the external mirrors the internal, and vice versa; because both are participating as a part of the manifestation of the collective experience through the relationship.
It is our relationships with other people that provide powerful amplifiers of feedback so that we may come to greater knowing of who we are and what we want, by showing us, first, what we are not, and seemingly more often, what we don’t want in our life. In relation to the experience of jealousy, I have come to perceive it as a way of exposing not only past emotional wounds, but deeply embedded beliefs and layers of hidden conditions (my motives or ‘why’s’ I give) to loving others. Not as some future goal state I should be at – but as a perspective to approach my present moment experience with as much of my truest self I can muster in total presence to what is.
When it Hurts
I feel jealous when I discover hidden expectations I had placed on another – such as something I thought I was getting back from my previous giving (conditional). I constrict when I uncover attachments to someone I connected to – like wanting more time and attention with them. I wall up and rebel against my disappointment when another’s choice is not to be with me or not aligned with what I want to do – often when one’s behaviours are not what I expected or anticipated and based my choice on.
If I start to open my heart to someone and feel hurt when they are giving attention to someone else, this is the key moment to engage what is coming up for you (well, every moment is…) as best as you can. What are the sensations in your body? How do you want to respond and can you allow yourself to remain open rather than close off? What stories are coming up in your mind? Can you take responsibility for how you are feeling, rather than project it through blame onto another? Certainly communicate, express, boundary set, or do whatever you need in that moment of truth to create the greatest gift within the relationship.
Remember, there is nothing to fix.
Two elements of unconditional love I am exploring are the perspectives of nonattachment and no expectations. This is easier to do if you remain distant and choose to not enter agreements with others (such as in the first added quote about hiding in the mountains). But when you connect deeply and open to love for another person, it will show you your attachments. And when you are vulnerable with an invitation or need, and make an agreement with someone else, it will expose your expectations (i.e. trusting yourself and another to live in alignment with their words and actions previously planned).
It’s easy to not be jealous when you remain closed to connection. It’s easy to not feel the pain of rejection if you never put yourself out there in vulnerability. It’s easy to avoid grief if you avoid the expansion of self accessible through the power of love. It’s easy to remain complacent and ignorant of the destruction of the Earth when you see it as something that is not you. But really, is it easy?
The Journey of Reunion
The journey of reunion is one full of the intensity of separation. By exposing the wounds of separation, like the symptom of jealousy and its core dimensions of attachment, expectation, inadequacy, unworthiness, scarcity, insecurity, rejection, and whatever else you might find, we dig deeper in our knowing of truth.
You have no control over others – can we find peace and forgiveness within ourselves that does not depend on the behaviours of others, while holding each other with integrity of word and action?
You are whole and complete within yourself – can we find the well spring of love and joy within our own hearts?
You are deserving of a full life – can we embrace death and embody gratitude for the gift of today?
You are never alone – can we allow ourselves to feel into the ocean of connection with the nature and web of human relationships of which we are a part?
You are safe and supported – can we embrace the unknown and uncertainties in life to find security in knowing we have what we need in the present moment?
You are courageous and powerful in vulnerability – can we appreciate rejection as a tool to know greater alignment with our path and purpose?
You are not separate from this Earth, our Lover, or those two people experiencing joy together in an exchange of energy and attention – can we feel into another’s space and receive enjoyment through vicarious observation and knowing they are not ‘an other’?
As I watch the birds jovially splash in the eaves trough waters, I experience no expectation they will continue. When an avalanche occurs, I notice no attachment to what the mountain was before. If I share my food with an innocent child I do not feel less than I was. Feeling the sun on my face and cool breeze caress my skin brings no trace of unworthiness, only gratitude. The trust in the air around to provide my next breath of life force dissolves the very notion of scarcity.
Can we apply our easeful non-attachment and no expectation love of the natural world to our human relationships? Can we bring the depth of love, connection, and unity we find in intimacy with other people into our relationships with the natural environment – the land, water, air, plants, and animals of which we are a part of?
This is the practice of the ecosexual – fearlessly and passionately loving all of life and appreciating every unique relationship that emerges from the nexus we identify as the individual Self. The more we can open to our nature as interbeings, by feeling as deeply into our present state as our courage will allow, the more we dissolve the illusion of separation at the core of our deepest wounds. It is through the darkness of our pain and grief that we discover the light of our joy and love being called forth from the heart of the Earth.
Listen to the feedback, feel into the sensations, observe the thoughts and actions.
Move from a space of unconditional love and you will become a potent ecosexual, inspiring and inviting others into a deep caring for the Earth, other people, and future generations.
This is the third part of the “Becoming Ecosexual” series, and the continuation of “The Soulmate Delusion” series, exploring the concepts of relationships, emotions, mono/polyamory, love, and freedom. The “Becoming Ecosexual” series will continue to develop the concept of ecosexuality through my personal relationships and experiences as they relate loving the Earth and to loving each other. Links are found below.
Thank you for reading through these stories, weaving word and experience together so that we may know our togetherness. I hope the words resonated with you in some way and help along your path. I am available for feedback, questions, and discussion. If you feel called to support my gifts, through comments, shares, likes, hugs, or dollars, know that your reciprocation ensures I am free to continue giving, and others are able to receive. Each blog I write averages at least eight hours of gifted devotion and any donations allow me to feel supported in this creative direction. Click here for details, or firstname.lastname@example.org and know they are received with gratitude; every bit helps.