This simple quote nails it. When I feel you the same instant I sense being felt by you…well, that is intimacy. Which is a crucial building block for experiencing safe relationships. The tricky part is that this reciprocal sensing is in constant flux, a moment by moment experience fed by fluctuating signals to and from our nervous systems. The raise of an eyebrow. A quick glance to the left. An arm covering the heart. A step back. Or forward. Our bodies make adjustments and our nervous systems detect, interpret, respond. It is an endless data streaming service that requires one key element to remain fully operational: presence. Oh that.
Real time presence is demanding. Presence asks us to separate our thoughts, judgments, agenda and expectations from our ability to just be a witness. To simply rest in pure awareness. Nothing better to do than be with you. Open, welcoming, receptive. In a field of presence, our nervous system is primed to guide us into attunement with another. We might think of attunement as our ability to be absolutely present with our own inner world at the same time that we include another.
I remember feeling this utter conundrum—stay with yourself AND take a partner—identified that first year I inhabited the dance floor. I’ve been practicing ever since. I do not have it mastered. But there have been strides. And attunement took a leap this last week under the tutelage of Sylvie Minot at a 5Rhythms teacher refresh in West Virginia. The dance floor pictured above set the stage for development of a physical skill set. Because intimacy is not something we can just read about and think our way toward. An embodied practice is the only way I know to bridge the enormous gaps out there. Gaps that feel ever-widening and sometimes almost insurmountable these days.
We can’t give up on this. It’s utterly crucial. We know what it’s like when we resonate with one another. It’s a feeling in our bodies of tenderness, kindness, respect, safety, openness. It can have the flavor of expansion, edginess, mystery, juiciness…fill in your own blank. And we each sense it in different body parts, at different times and in different partnerships: in the soles of our feet, the pelvic floor, the belly, the solar plexus, the heart.
You know it when it happens. It is as important for our health as food and water and exercise. And it has the opportunity to ignite when, in the presence of another, we open and become receptive to what is happening right as it is happening. So come out and attune with me this week on Tuesday and Friday and Sunday. And pay special attention to these two deeper embodied attunements in July:
Rhythm & Release w/Bella July 5
A moving dialogue between myofascial roller release and dance. Our channel to heart, mind, soul, spirit is through the body. You’re sitting in the only one we have. This is expert support for 5Rhythms practice which at times leads to physical problems and at times exacerbates existing challenges. This is also total support for a yoga practice that wants to take a leap off the mat. Come feel.
Connections w/ Lucia Horan July 21-23
I have been studying with and assisting Lucia at Esalen for several years. Her ability to catalyze a room into 5Rhythms practice is unparalleled. So. Much. Integrity. She articulates the experience in a way that never fails to completely move me. Totally about attunement: “we follow a path that can lead us out of isolation and into connection… learn to create the conditions for healthy connections between self, partner and community.” Read the full description. Enroll. Do not miss this opportunity to spend a full weekend in the presence of a total master.
And in the meantime please know that I feel you feeling me. And it feels good.