On Pleasure and Interbeing

We are in a tight situation on planet Earth – our home. We need a new story. Not a tweeking of the old story, because it isn’t working – but a New story. The old story is born from a consciousness of separation. Humans over nature – each other and anything else we can think of. The new story has to be about Interbeing. Many of you will agree with this statement. Some will wonder what in the heck I’m talking about. After all – ‘Hasn’t it always been this way. Man versus nature?’ I say No – these are simply choices we’ve made based on beliefs that have turned into ‘truths’

It hasn’t always been man versus nature. Human’s used to live in harmony with nature, and some cultures still do. Honoring the cycles and respecting the limitations of Her bounty. Always aware to give back when you take. So what has happened that we have become so disconnected that we are destroying the very life systems that we depend upon? If an alien was watching us, they would say that this reeks of ‘insanity’. Yet, we see our actions as normal. The quest for power over & acquisition of money, at any cost. So what is the cost – really?

The rampant addictions that plague the western world are all indication that, at our heart of hearts, we know that there is something more than the world of superficiality we have created. I don’t mean to say that love and family are superficial. Not at all. In fact they give meaning and purpose. But how many people actually have – or take – the time to cultivate that sense of deep union that all of us so yearn for with our children or partners, our communities, animals, nature & those special things we love to do. Or are we so busy with the business of making money that what gives meaning and pleasure to life is forced to be secondary. Isn’t it actually only when you feel connection with something – a beautiful landscape, an animal, another human, with yourself – that we feel pleasure and fulfillment – that, in fact, life makes sense? Yes, you can feel pleasure when buying something that you have wanted, or finishing your ‘to do’ list (until the next to-do list), but will that be what you will think about on your death bed. Or will you think about the relationships that you had the privilege of loving and caring for and of those who loved you. Of the service you offered that made another’s life easier and happier. I guaranteenyou will not be thinking about the money you have in your bank account, because it stays here. What you do take with you are those moments of interconnection when you felt a sense of wholeness – of being seen and of seeing another.

OK, so this is great. I think you get the point or have known this for a long time. But how do we get out of this habit of separation – the story of our industrial culture – and create a new story of Inter-being? Where do we look for guidance? It has to come from a different source then what created this present story.

There are primal expressions that help us to drop under the chatter of our current cultural story with all of its fears, distrust in self and other, and often a sense of hopelessness. These expressions have refined themselves over millennia to support healing, the maintaining of balance and regeneration. They are so simple that I wonder what people will think when I say them. ‘Oh, it must be more complex than this. This is so unsophisticated. Or – I don’t have time for this kind of nonsense. Our world is falling apart.’ Well, we don’t have time to not take time for these things. Because of their primal nature evolution has implanted these expressions in everything – be it a person or a tree.

The first I’ll speak to is Movement and Sound. All ancient cultures drew on the power of dance, song and natural sound as a means of reconnecting. There isn’t a child who won’t dance and sound if given the space. You don’t have to teach them how to – they just do it. It’s primal. Unstructured movement and sound, such as shaking, free flow dancing, fluid, undulating expressions, have multiple creative functions. One is, they release tension. Being more open – less stress – we can connect with our innate intelligence and creativity more easily. We feel better and are happier, even though nothing has changed in your external world you are better able to solve problems and create new solutions from a deeper sense of joy. As we allow ourselves to move in these ways we get to know ourselves better. Our felt sense – which is truly our internal guidance system – becomes more finely tuned, along with our intuitive knowing. Trust in oneself and therefore in the processes of Life naturally follows.

For myself, engaging in these processes on a regular basis opened doors, not only to a deeper knowing of myself, also to the healing of traumas from my past that kept me bound and afraid to move forward in my life. I realized that it wasn’t the ‘hard work’ of trying to figure it all out with my mind that would change me – because in fact it can’t. It was surrendering into a larger wisdom through the natural, deliciously sensuous expressions of my body that brought me to the profound realization that we heal, transform and regenerate through following our pleasure. As I surrender to the pleasure of the movement experience I reconnect a primary source of Life-force energy.

My movement, sound and breath work done in intentional ritual space, coupled with deep nature connection, stillness, contemplation and philosophies that support the new story of Interbeing showed me that I had it all wrong. I was trying so hard on my spiritual path – to understand. I lived from the place of – no pain, no gain – you have to ‘work hard’ for anything that is good’. Well, yes, it does require some blissapline and sometimes we have to meet the pain that has been denied for years, but even this is good, because it’s such a relief to finally be honest with oneself and let go of the facade.

Following your pleasure is not self-centered when done from the place of Interbeing. It’s only by listening to what allures us that we are guided to our path of service — which ultimately is a path of joy. Movement, unstructured dance, organic sounds, singing, music, rituals, meditation, Eco-philosophies, mindful living (but not so mindful that we abandon spontaneity and joy) drop us into the wisdom of our hearts – your most powerful guiding organ.

The other important aspect I discovered when exploring these primal expression is the ease with which healing of past trauma and pain can occur. It is necessary to meet the pain of our past, and the pain of what we are doing now to the Earth and each other, and to future generations. These processes allow us to do this with grace. As I open to my pain, so does my pleasure increase. They live together.

Healing the consciousness of separation begins right here in our bodies. This beautiful, dynamic eco-system that functions in perfect harmony with Earth’s vital forces – and we remember that we are One family. And the new story begins….