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I got this information first from Julie Henderson’s body of work – with Zapchen Somatics; but it has also been reinforced by years of giving and receiving process-oriented bodywork (Craniosacral Biodynamics, Reiki Energetic Healing and Visceral Manipulation among other potent modalities). This information is very precious. It is also very potent, so kindly treat it accordingly.
In Buddhism, there are the three doors through which we encounter the world (and receive the precious Dharma) – body, speech and mind. In the body, the three doors are represented by the body at the forehead, the speech at the throat and the mind at the heart. This is very important – the heart has more to do with the mind (subtle consciousness) than the brain does. With that said, let’s push ahead into a more fully embodied dynamic.
In Zapchen Somatics, a modality created by Julie Henderson, PhD., the three main centers are the Head (representing the brain, wisdom and clarity), the Heart (representing the heart, compassion and kindness) and the Pelvis (representing the pelvis and potency). Without awareness of all three, we are out of balance. Because a kind heart which is not informed by discerning clarity becomes very foolish. Likewise, a potent being who has neither kindness nor clarity quickly becomes a monster and loses many of their friends in the process.
Within relationships, we are attracted to someone for a number of reasons, but ideally, we want a balance of these three centers pervading that attraction. Let me elaborate: when we are young, and we don’t know ourselves well, and we have bucket-loads of hormones coursing through our bodies, then it makes sense that we have a Pelvic-oriented attraction toward someone. If we have not explored a lot intellectually, we do not know our mind well, and we don’t know who we want to be with intellectually. And if we have many unresolved wounds and misunderstandings, then we will not really be in our hearts, and as a result, there might merely be a lot of bumping of pelvises. But, for those of us with experience in intimate sexual relationships, we know that a relationship based solely on sexual attraction can wax and wane, and eventually burn out.
Therefore, it is good to get to know yourself. Do some work to come into your body – receive bodywork, do yoga, do meditation, go for soothing hikes in the woods, and above all else – SLOW DOWN! In Julie’s work, it requires years of time to fully come down out of our heads – seriously. Think about our culture – our time is limited and pressured, most people live in a rat race, barely making ends meet, and if we have a family to care for, we can’t count our spare time on our thumbs! Therefore, it is good to take time while you can, when it is appropriate to get to know yourself. Once you start to get to know your proclivities and predispositions, you can work to start changing any that don’t lead toward happiness and well-being.
Then once you start to work on yourself, then you will slowly start to come down out of your head and into your heart. As you come down into your heart, your pace of life and your kindness toward yourself will improve, slowing down and resting down with more ease. But it takes time! I cannot stress this enough. I have bodywork clients who I have seen off and on for five years who are just starting to be in their bodies. And they may have years to go before it is an easy, stable embodiment.
But once you start to come down into your heart, you will still have moments when you lose your balance – because a heart that is not supported by a conscious pelvis can easily start to suffocate and retract. There is potency in the pelvis – and depending on our wounding, we might have more or less access to that potency from the get go. But without awareness of our patterns, that potency might manifest in strange, distorted ways. That is why it can take 20 years to fully embody – say we pop one strong habit or pattern every few years… Well it will take a while to get there 🙂 But with slow, stable, diligent effort, we will get there!
And once you start to get there, you will notice when you are in alignment. You will notice when you start to fall out of balance. And hopefully you will have worked with a coach or healer or spiritual teacher who can authentically teach you tools for quality self-care – how to come back into alignment with ease and grace. And how to not beat yourself up (be kind!) when you do stumble, because we are human beings and we make mistakes – it’s not an “if,” but a “when.”
So when we start to embody more fully, when we are in touch with our innate potency, which is guided by both compassionate kindness and wise clarity, then we will start to be a ruby among garnets, a polished gem. Then people will feel comfortable around us naturally without our saying anything special or doing anything out of the ordinary. They will sense the ease in our field and they may (or may not) notice the way in which we gracefully move our embodied form. But most importantly, they will feel at ease because we are in our hearts, which is supported by our potency – so we can kind when appropriate, or fierce if need be, but it will be a wise wrath.
As such, I recommend taking time for self-introspection before falling into a relationship. If you feel a strong connection with someone, take the time to check in – do we laugh a lot together? Do we connect on intellectual subjects? Meaning, can we be together without constantly needing to be thinking about sex? Is there an empathic connection – meaning a heart connection? Are they able to be kind to me and to themselves? And of course, without the pelvic connection, you don’t have easy sexual relations… So go for all three if possible. But that requires you to be in your heart, in your body, comfortably and in alignment.
So be careful what you ask for – because if we pray with diligence for a potent, transformative, healthy relationship, eventually we will get it. If we pray for a partner that we ourselves are not, then expect to be called on your stuff. And acknowledge the areas that you need to change. Be flexible and fluid if possible. And then you will be able to navigate through the many obstacles which can arise when practicing relationship yoga.
(It also helps to have a reliable, authentic spiritual practice to dedicate yourself too – then you are buoyed and supported by a lineage of healthy wisdom, and you have a spiritual family to fall back upon in case those obstacles become too heavy. See my other posts for more on this subject of authentic spiritual practice – especially the Dharma category.)
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