Intimacy. What does that even mean? Through my studies I have come to experience and be grateful for the following simple definition: in to me, I see (Thank you, Nan!) Diving a little deeper, intimacy is the deep relationship with our internal selves and all those who cross our paths on a daily basis. It is the deep internal look and external realization that absolutely everyone, yes even that person that drives us crazy, has something to offer us in regards to growth and our existence because they reflect us. Thus, everything is simply a projection of our perceptions and experiences. We create the pictures we see and experiences we endure.
In my experience, healthy intimacy involves us seeing ourselves in our actions and building each other up so that we may all find our best selves via intellect, experience, emotion and sexuality. Intimacy is opening oneself to greater opportunity to be loved and cared for by both the internal and external worlds. When we open ourselves to true intimacy – without judgments, attachments and expectations — we truly free ourselves.
It is amazing at what a single glance, smile, touch or laugh can do to the soul. It can literally be the Agni, or fire, to change the tone of not just the moment but also an entire day, week, year or even a lifetime. Why is this? What does such a little act actually do? Those acts extend far beyond the surface. The actions and thoughts we put out and surround ourselves with affect our etheric, emotional, mental and spiritual bodies and literally alter and influence our energetic patterns ranging from the chemical processes in our bodies to our mental thought patterns and emotional experiences.
Literally every action and thought has a physical and tangible chemical cascade throughout our bodies. The more we receive a stimulus, the more our cells are conditioned to the appropriate response and reception of different neurotransmitters and proteins. Energetically, we create patterns within our bodies and can start to warp our chakras, or energy centers, and sometimes we even bind them to other individuals.
This is what makes change so hard – we actually have to teach and condition our bodies on how to disconnect from current patterns and be receptive to other chemistry and energy, which is no easy task.
Our intentions, thoughts and actions are literally some of the most powerful powers we possess. You may not even realize it, but sometimes our personal intentions are absolutely horrific. Then we ask why oh why do things keep falling apart around me? Why can’t I have a break? Why is the whole world out to get me?
Svadhyaya, or self-study, is the Sanskrit term to help promote the realization of our best selves and maintain homeostasis in our bodies. We can use this same tool to help redirect our samskaras (think of these as old habits and patterns) and bring about a favorable homeostasis when we are out of balance.
I’ve been learning this in the past years after a series of events in my life left me closing myself off to most nurturing and fair relationships and interactions. I’m pleased to tell you that I’ve had the best time figuring out that my initial beliefs were bogus and how free I feel now that I have unyoked myself from them.
After a nasty car accident shook things up in my life 8 months after moving to Colorado, completely throwing off my homeostasis, I deepened my studies of the body, mind and spirit and the practice of svadhyaya. I started working with a Reiki (bless you, Michael) and realized that I had locked emotions from the past traumas and that I was finding present day energetic ways to relive the pain and suffering.
Empowered with this knowledge, I began down a path of affirmation, meditation, mantra and practice to help relieve the locked traumas, physiological imbalances and energetic disturbances. I have been able to free myself from a destructive cycle and affirm my current goals, paths and contentment.
So go ahead and step back from yourself for a moment. Become the witness to your own existence. Yes, the witness. Be truthful with yourself and others and ask yourself:
- Do I know what I am projecting?
- Do I know what my intentions are with each action I take?
- Am I creating harm? If so, am I doing a good job at minimizing it for all parties?
- Am I uplifting and supporting others as I wish to be?
- What are my personal intentions?
- Am I happy with my situation?
- Do I love myself?
- And here’s the kicker: if every little bit of my life other than myself changed, would I be happy with myself? Would I still feel content and joyful?
If the answer is “no,” don’t worry. You can get there. Remember, the outside world is a reflection of your interior world, so the more chaos there is within, the more life is going to kick you in the rear and make it that much harder for you to get to where you want to be. Once the internal world starts to change, that’s when the external world agrees to support the change and the real magic starts to happen.
I leave you with the following affirmations that have been extremely helpful to me as I continue my own studies and build my own arsenal of nurturing experiences:
“I free myself of my past, operate in the now and strive to build a beautiful future for the community and myself. I open myself to all healing intimate relationships and interactions. I open myself to touching my heart and synchronizing with another’s. I relish sharing a touch, a glance, a smile, and/or a laugh in the mutual recognition of our innate greatness. I am delighted in the partnerships and friendships that come as I fully embrace my inner goddess/god and the ability to bring out the best in my friends, family and community.”
Place all or portions of the above affirmations on a sticky note and put them on your mirror, your dash, or your office desk. Say it to yourself as many times a day as you are able and start looking for kind moments to share a glance, smile, laugh or touch. Start to be the creator of your interior world and the shaper of your exterior. Most importantly, have fun while you do. Laugh at the times that you find yourself getting stressed or frustrated. Smile. Enjoy. Live.
At some point in our lives we have all been sitting with friends, at the gym, in a yoga class, in academic classes or work, etc and our minds are somewhere else entirely. We spend that time in the past or future but seem to forget the present moment.This is what yoga and fitness are all about. They are about learning to truly love the moment and become in sync with yourself and environment at that very moment.
There is a huge amount of empowerment and freedom that comes with letting go of past baggage. Not only does our physical body stop reacting to past emotions and starts tapping into the present and is able to adapt more for the future, but also our ability to see opportunities and different perspectives becomes great. You stop missing things because your mind was somewhere else.
The subject of presence makes me think of the Gorilla Study where radiologists were asked to look for tumors on a brain scan and then were asked if anything was wrong with the scan. A whopping 83% missed a hidden gorilla (yes, a picture of a gorilla superimposed on the brain scan films) because it was not what they were looking for. How much of life do you think you miss?
Try saying the following once a day for 7 days and see how your life changes:
The past is the past and will always be there to reflect and learn from.
The future holds only what you cultivate based off of your actions today, right now.
The present is a gift at this very moment and is meant to be lived and experienced with every breath .