As I began to explore this topic, I started considering the following questions, with the intention of uncovering some of the core elements and key dynamics at play.
- What does it mean to consciously embrace our sexuality?
- What does this look like?
- What keeps us from embracing this fully?
- Whose model are we following?
- How can we begin to explore this subject in a way that honors our individuality and the unique way sexuality manifests and expresses through each of us?
The following is part of what organically emerged...
After living nearly four decades in a culture that openly body shames, critiques our sexuality, has an opinion and judgment about nearly everything we do, and basically dictates “the way” that we all “should” behave around sex and our bodies, I noticed something occurring — in myself, in my clients, and in my friends.
What I noticed is that at a certain point in our lives, we tend to experience a big shift in our consciousness around how we approach relationships, our bodies, and our sexuality.
A closed system will seek to express itself.
This may show itself as a push towards extremes, a strong swing in a new direction, a draw towards the polar opposite of what we have been previously experiencing. When something has been suppressed for too long, it builds up pressure and momentum and if not consciously addressed, it eventually explodes. This naturally happens when we stifle a part of our true authentic self.
Before we can slow down and find our natural rhythm, we must first discover what this natural rhythm is. This discovery can include an exploration of different ways of being — within our relationships, within our bodies, and within how we choose to consciously embrace our sexuality.
The way we choose to embrace and express our sexuality can and does take many forms.
There is no one-size-fits-all formula, no one correct model, no rule book, and no “right way” to approach this.
Some universal pieces that I have found, which can be helpful in this process: Be open to exploration, be mindful, get curious about whatever feelings arise, follow what feels comfortable personally, be aware and conscious around your personal choices, be willing to let go of other people’s opinions and judgments.
Embracing our sexuality involves learning what truly works for us vs. following a prescribed generic model.
Part of this discovery process involves releasing our attachments or concerns about what others may think, clearing out our own internal judgments around sex and our bodies, and truly examining what deeply resonates with our unique soul.
How we were raised, our level of conscious awareness, and our personal comfort zone, will all affect and contribute to the way we consciously embrace our sexuality, and in such, each person’s personal relationship with their own sexuality will differ.
How do we consciously embrace our sexuality in a culture riddled with infinite opinions and judgments surrounding this topic?
I recently witnessed a close friend leave her stifling unaligned marriage of nearly two decades and dive head first into exploring her sexuality in a big bold new way. It had become unbearable for her to live in a tiny emotional box that was packed full with expectations and agendas that did not match her authentic essence.
For the first time in her life, she stopped giving a shit what people were going to say and gave herself full permission to be completely free. She stopped dimming her own light and chose to follow what felt good to her, to break down her old programming, to create a new rule set for herself, and to explore her sexuality, how and with whomever she chose.
After suppressing so much of herself in a relationship where there was little to no sexual chemistry — with someone who didn’t even begin to nurture or feed her soul — in now connecting with people she felt an actual electric spark with, she discovered parts of herself that had been dormant for decades begin to awaken and activate. Her entire life began to transform as she embraced more of her sexuality and honored how it wanted to authentically express itself.
Everything we do creates a ripple. Changing one thing will affect the entire system.
Embracing her sexuality became a metaphor for change that rippled into all of her relationships. She began to examine the other arenas in her life where she had been operating on autopilot, remaining unconscious, and allowing herself to be in unhealthy draining relationships, that sucked the vital life force out of her.
At first, she did all of this with a flavor of force and rebellion. Over time, her style eventually softened and integrated into a more powerful embodied space, as she released the importance of the opinions of other people, and consciously chose to create a relationship with her sexuality, and with her life, that worked for her.
After allowing herself to break free from the traditional societal mold, giving herself permission to be as wild and open and free with her sexuality as she desired — fully embracing the parts of herself that wanted to explore, and express, and live by her own rules — she made the conscious choice to wait for an aligned partner, one who would truly resonate with her soul. When she fully embraced her sexuality, she was able to move towards more balance and freedom in all areas of her life.
On the other end of this spectrum, I spent decades single, exploring and testing the dating waters with different people, while consciously waiting for an aligned partner. Several years ago, I took a long pause on dating altogether, having decided I could not, and would not, date one more unaligned person, for even one second longer, as it had literally become too emotionally exhausting and too energetically draining for me.
I’ve always known within seconds of meeting someone if there is real chemistry. Going on a date with someone whom I’m not aligned with on a deep soul level, is like being forced to eat rotten fish and smile while doing it. It turns my stomach and there is simply zero appeal.
Instead of “taking what I could get” or settling for “good enough”, simply to be in another person’s company and not be alone, by choice, I spent most of my time solo, following the wisdom of Rumi, addressing and cleaning up my own inner world, so I would be ready when an aligned person showed up.
As Rumi said: “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.”
How to begin the process of embracing your sexuality.
Again, there is on one size fits all model. This is going to look different in each of us and you must find what works for you.
Here are a few simple tips:
1. Stop looking outside of yourself for other people to dictate the “rules”.
Claim your own power, and your right to choose. Remember, you get to create your own rule set that aligns with who you truly are and what you truly desire. Begin acknowledging that you are the ultimate say on what works for you and your body.
2. Consciously choose to change your negative programming.
Give yourself permission to throw away the negative tapes in your head. Say goodbye to any unhealthy voices, internal and external, that dictate a shameful way of feeling or being around your sexuality.
You are allowed to decide what stays, and what goes. You are the ultimate authority on you. The moment we forget this, we give our power away and start stuffing ourself in a collective box designed to suppress our true authentic self.
3. Begin exploring.
Experiment with different ways of being and embracing your sexuality that appeal to you. Find out what flavor you like.
Remember, sexuality is a spectrum, and there is no “right” place to reside, beyond what resonates with you personally.
Seek support if you have experienced trauma or abuse, in general, or around your body or your sexuality specifically. Find a professional whom you trust, to help clear what is blocking you and to be a guide on your path in finding your personal aligned truth around what embracing your sexuality looks like for you.
This is all part of what I call, The Alchemy of Awakening.
Diana is a Writer, Psychotherapist, and Emotional Wellness Coach. She sees coaching clients worldwide, via Skype and phone. You can connect with her on Facebook.