g a t h e r i n g s

Exchange

Like all language, sexuality has many expressions, dialects and modes. Imagine, there are over 3,000 languages on the continent of Africa. Still, everyone is doing the same thing — expressing, communicating, reaching toward.

Language has two elemental forms: monologue and dialogue. In the monologue, the speaker expresses whether or not a listener hears or is even present. The release of energy is the purpose — self-contained, non-relational. When there is another covertly enlisted into experience of the monologist, the result will likely fall along the spectrum from boredom to abuse. The monologist who pretends to be in relationship draws the other to him or her rather than meeting the other midway.

In dialogue, there is an exchange. One person speaks (one kind of offering) and the other listens (another kind of offering). Both positions are alert to slow and fast opportunities for reciprocity. This dialogue is explorative, as people discover more through each other. Dialogue implies and requires connection, to oneself and to other.

Sexuality is a common and unique language, one that cannot be fully expressed or received indiscriminately. Such mutual revelation and deep acceptance is reserved for the communication between beings who feel it irresistible to connect — to reveal the self and agree to the other. Unlike the monologists, those in dialogue move together in a free-flowing give-and-take.

This stream of give-and-take has an organic rhythm that needs to be supported by open gestures of care, acknowledgments of relationship. Sexual exchange is a beautiful overflow of reciprocity that soon settles down into a wider field. Once partners rest into that wider field, the exchange of give-and-take can continue — more gently, more subtly, more reliably — the interstitial correspondence that naturally builds incrementally to the next intensity.

Whether or not a sexual encounter results in the conception of a child, it is beautiful to look at every sexual encounter as having the potential to result in a kind of unique conception — a shared realization, perception, appreciation.

Wake Walking

I walk every morning. As I look out toward the vanishing point I realize that even on this road that I know so well, there are gifts I have yet to find. The deal is that I must keep walking to find them. I can’t slip into lethargy, close down my senses, or turn back if — when — I stumble.

When I walk in the morning, no matter how I start out, which is often less than blissful, soon my mind starts to clear and the threads begin to detangle. When I was a kid, my aunt Pauline used to massage conditioner into my hair, scraping my scalp with her long shiny nails, and then gently drag a comb through to take out the knots that had gathered on my pillow. Similarly, my walk begins to detangle the nots that tend to cluster in the night.

As a practice, walking in the morning allows me to step incrementally out of the world of the unconscious. I take the time — without fail — to transition from the inner landscape that arises in sleep to the external landscape of which I am just one small part.

Waking up is a process. After opening my eyes to any given day, I find it essential to open my eyes to myself in this particular day. Walking is my meditation, each exchange a kind of landing wherein I gather my own personal language of reciprocity. What will I contribute today? What will I receive? Reciprocity is refreshed each morning as I first claim myself, giver and taker, in this space called life. With each step, I listen deeper, broaden my gaze, sync my breathing, feel the air stick to or skip across my skin.

It is simple: The days are so much better when I prepare for them. In finding my own practice and then letting myself enfold that practice, protecting it from forgetfulness, I claim the ground under my feel. Such a practice doesn’t guarantee that the day will go well — it is that I will go well in my day. Every single morning I try to wake up completely, rise up, move out of my default passivity, that sleepy wishful thinking, and declare myself proactive … ready for what’s next.

Establishing the Presence of Forward Thinking

Professional Constellations provide a fast and clear view of where things have become stuck or gone off-track in a professional setting, whether an organization or entrepreneurial endeavor. A process of experiential out-picturing allows participants to actually see potential sources of disorder and, as important, optimal ways to redress them.

Most of us suspect that, “things are not always what they seem.” What we may not realize is that this is in part a consequence of tending to look at an ever-changing landscape through just one lens.

What is uncovered through the Constellation process:

Sphere of influence — You may be used to thinking about the sphere of your influence on others but it can be very revealing to “set up” the elements that surround you as the overt and covert influences that impact your own understandings and behaviors. The awareness of these influences allows you to transform your internal challenges into some of the unique strengths you will bring to any table.

Central intelligence — There is a through line of intelligence in each of us that is informed as much by so-called failure as by temporal success. The process of deep inclusion, even of elements deemed insignificant, allows central intelligence to emerge whole — a well-spring that can be tapped at any time, in any situation

Soft focus — This approach invites greater clarity and mobility from a position of engaged distance. In out-picturing the question/issue, we can find right proximity to allow for a level of focus to emerge that is enhanced by maintaining clear peripheral sight. Soft focus actually reveals the best view.

The balance of give-and-take — This form of balance is a movement. It is balance-in-forward-motion, when, as in walking, one foot steps off, a moment of uncertainty follows, and then the second foot safely lands. Give-and-take in this sense refers to ways of becoming alert to negative and positive reciprocity, and to the interactions that stimulate success.