Is it possible to become best friends with your bully? In her latest guest blog post, Yvonne Lumsden of One Love Medicine for the Soul explains that sometimes, we can be our own worst bully. She poses the question: “Don’t you think your body would be a greater friend to you if you were kinder to it?” Over to Yvonne …
Following on from a conversation with a client this morning I was inspired to write this blog about body talk.
How do you speak to your body? Is there an inner voice of a bully or a gentle voice of compassion?
This may initially sound a bit strange; how about if you were to see your body as a live organism and how you related and talked to your body would influence how your body reacts or responds back to you? I relate to the body as ‘she’ in the feminine form as this is beyond gender.
Some of the conversations I have in my work are what you may say, not the run of the mill! Often I will have a discussion around self-pleasuring or masturbation. I personally prefer the term ‘self-pleasure’ – touching, caressing your own body for sheer pleasure as an act of self-love, self-care, to explore how your body likes to be touched. How do your breasts like to be touched? How does your belly, your neck like to be touched? It’s important to become curious.
It’s not uncommon for men and women to share with me that they feel nothing. When they touch their bodies or genitals, they find themselves going to what works, usually fast, friction-based touch to release tension. This is not wrong, it’s just that we rarely, if at all, have these conversations, so we don’t know there are other ways. I didn’t know there was another way to connect with myself until I learnt this so you are not alone.
In a journey of learning the art of self-pleasure, just like anything in life we are learning, we can feel we’re moving forward, making ‘progress’, then nothing happens and expectations come out of the closet.
“I’m not having multiple orgasms.” We think “nothing is happening”, “I’m not feeling anything”. Doubt may creep in: “I’m doing it right, why won’t you….” and we start accusing our bodies of failing us. Feelings of frustration arise and if we follow this train of thought, down the rabbit hole of our mind we go, and this can appear to be very reasonable and can be subtle. But this is where the unattended mind has taken over. This is the time to hit the pause button. It’s time to become curious. When I speak to me like this, questioning, interrogating, I go as far to say I’m bullying myself. And what does my body do? How does “she” react??? Well, she becomes tense, numb, shut down. My heart races, my mind races and feelings of frustration rise. Pleasure and relaxation has gone AWOL.
We are bullying our bodies when we are trying to make something happen.
We are trying to have power and dominance over our body, and as a result, “she” will shut down in fear or become defensive in anger. This amazing live organism of your body is telling you she’s not happy, and it’s time to listen.
Are you going to meet her with more interrogation, or with love and compassion? This is not about being right or wrong, but to notice how you communicate with your body.
Since moving to Melbourne, I’ve gathered a few kilos from all the delicious food and I’ve needed to catch myself on how I was becoming critical of my body and guess what? I’m more likely to gain more weight as my body protects herself from my mind’s criticism. It’s quite amazing, really.
Where to from bullying mode?
When I catch a critical thought creeping in, I switch to a softer, more loving voice, and speak to myself from a place of appreciation and care for me: “Thank you, body, I’m sorry I’ve been neglecting you”. This is a deep internal dialogue with me and it can take practise. When I do this, I notice my body soften and together we have started back at the gym, enjoying what I eat but eating differently. I feel much happier as a result and my body feels lighter energetically.
This is no different to when we come to learning any new skill and learning to love ourselves. Giving ourselves pleasure with this mindset is a new skill or perhaps, more like an unlearning of how we may have pleasured ourselves in the past.
A wee bit of brain science here
Over time, we create patterns in our brain, and they become hard-wired like a computer motherboard. When it comes to pleasure, if we do the same thing over and over again, we can actually numb ourselves. In particular, when as a woman, you focus only on the clitoris through excessive stimulation, friction or use of vibration, eventually your clitoris will become numb.
Or like a drug, we need faster, harder, more stimulation to create the orgasmic release we’re searching for.
The clitoris is quite amazing; with over 8,000 nerve endings, she is a live-wire for pleasure, however, if we overdo it, over-use her, she’ll tell us. Your body is doing you a favour if you don’t feel anything. This is a sweet opportunity to explore something new!
This is a mind and body connection; when these two are in harmony, spirit comes alive, sensations arise, feelings arise, pleasure arises. Self-pleasure can be a time of healing; sadness may arise, tears may fall, tears of sadness to tears of bliss and joy.
When we become more sensitive to our body’s sensations, free from an attachment of how self-pleasuring ‘should’ look or end, i.e. orgasm, we go on an adventure with our body to see where she will take us.
If you find that your mind is chattering, come back to your breath, in through your nose and through your mouth. When we breathe out through our mouth, this helps to relax our pelvic bowl and explore with newfound appreciation for this beautiful body. Your heart will open and your mind will register the softness it now feels. You might feel called to say: “Thank you, thank you.” Or perhaps, “I’m sorry I’ve neglected you”, and notice how ‘she’ responds to this voice of love, in joy, your journey of pleasure!