Articles & Reviews
by Niyaso Christine Carter
About the Sacred Loving workshops and the Body, Heart and Soul Training Despite all the exposure that sex has in the media these days it still remains a topic of great mystery and confusion. How do we define a healthy sexuality?
Personally I find the answer is not at all easy. But just for fun and to give you some food for thought I’d like to draw you a picture. A sexually healthy being, to me, is someone who is able to experience their own body as a pleasurable place to be, who can receive touch and enjoy it, someone who knows what touch they like and what touch they don’t like and is able to communicate these facts clearly and effortlessly.
Someone who finds the act of lovemaking, when they choose to engage in it, pleasurable and fulfilling most of the time and ecstatically inspiring and deeply moving at least some of the time. Someone who is able to be honest about whether or not they are enjoying a fulfilling sex life because they trust and listen to themselves. Someone who has the ability to choose a partner or partners that they can find fulfillment and growth with in the matters of love as well as sex; and who is able to sustain such relationships. Someone who knows how to enjoy themselves alone, live fully with others and transform their sexual energy into any creative act they wish.
Often when I tell people about the work that I do, they react skeptically and find it hard to believe that there are workshops available where people learn about sexuality in a way that has integrity. This skepticism is very valid in a world where there is so much confusion, disappointment and abusiveness around the topics of love and sexuality.
It is no small task to create a workshop that is at the same time profoundly opening and completely safe. Paul and I and our team are continuously fine-tuning the way we present structures and processes in our workshops, making them more effective and safe. We have come a long way since we first started presenting sexuality workshops as the Body, Heart & Soul Education 12 years ago. We create the context in which the participants are invited to play, honoring their needs and boundaries and giving them the opportunity to learn and practice healthier ways of relating and loving. Learning in this way is truly empowering. Sometimes when I think of how my work is most simply described I’d say it’s my job to help people learn to enjoy themselves more, to help women and men awaken their passion and pleasure and rediscover their joy and open to love; and if they already enjoy these qualities in their life, to expand their capacity for them.
This sounds pretty trivial but it really isn’t at all. Because on this journey of finding your happiness, joy and pleasure everything that’s in the way will present itself for healing and transforming and that is no small endeavor. We all have our places of darkness; my own journey for example has brought me to my knees a many many times over the years. But in the process it’s opened me and it’s also given me first hand experience and training in trauma and recovery work. It’s challenged me to look at the work that I do from yet another perspective and I was pleased to discover that it is good and the changes I’ve made because of my experiences feel like a natural evolution rather than a change of direction. So these journeys we make into the underworld always reveal themselves as a blessing in the end.
Today there is a tremendous need for programs that teach congruently in the area of sexuality, especially considering statistics that show that every third woman and every tenth man in Western society has experienced some form of sexual abuse or molestation by the time they are 18. Not to mention the moderate to severe wounding incurred by the “normal” sexually repressive upbringing most of us have had. And things are not really getting any better in the world at large. People often ask if we teach Tantra. In our programs we do teach techniques and offer rituals, some of which are derived from ancient practices. There are workshops that teach techniques for spiritual sexuality, generally termed Tantra workshops. They can be very valuable but rarely do these workshops address issues like the need to learn about boundaries or how to negotiate the different feelings that come up when energetic opening happens. It is simply not their focus. Yet it often is the sexually wounded, whether they are consciously aware of it or not, who seek out these Tantra groups because they promise what these people so rightly long for; sensual sexual fulfillment, intimacy and love. Then there is the self help and recovery movement, with books on codependence, sex addiction and abuse healing and the twelve-step groups, which provide crucial information and support. They are very good at describing symptoms and explaining them, an important first step that helps people stop their self-destructive behaviors. But they devote little time to the how to’s of finding your passion and joy again. Not to have the wrong kind of sex is good, but it’s not enough. Finding good support can be pretty hard for those looking for help with their pain and in finding joy. No matter how much we talk about ecstasy, unconditional love, and honoring ourselves, it is the trial and error real-life learning that makes a difference. To do this learning in a safe, informative setting is invaluable. What we have created in the Sacred Loving workshops and the Training is a comprehensive program that brings together the teachings, learnings and rituals so often held separate in a society, where spirituality, psychology and biology are taught in fragmented compartments rather than as interrelated aspects of life. Our workshops are safe, they are fun and they really work. I invite you to come play, heal and transform with us.
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