Opening To Intimacy – it sounds almost glib in this era when ‘intimacy’ as a word is bandied around so emptily, so over-readily. And conflated with sex. Intimacy is not sex!!! Although sex, in my view, is definitely enhanced if intimacy is present because the transforming power of love is present. Ultimately opening up to all those dark nooks and crannies within releases something profoundly liberating. And joyful. Yes, you can relax so much more when everything is visible and accessible.
And there are so many light-hearted moments as well. Not to mention wild dancing if desired.
I’ve done this Opening To Intimacy residential workshop with Tim Broughton (who leads 5Rhythms groups in St Albans, Kew, Suffolk and Norfolk and the Field of Love Summer Camp in Dorset) and Jayne Blackman, a few times at Easter and really and truly it allowed me to dwell in places within myself – especially vulnerability at that time around not having a partner – where I had previously been uncomfortable. Which felt challenging but eventually was freeing. The space is held lovingly and safely by Tim and Jayne. It’s only because I trusted this holding that I could travel so deeply. And incidentally, it is held in the wonderful Whitwell Hall, which has an old ballroom – cue wonder – to dance and work in, which I loved.
Tim says about this workshop; “Through opening to our natural innocence we free ourselves into playful, joyful and loving relating. We work always with an honouring of boundaries that lead you to grow in trust and confidence in your own intimate, sensual relating as well as in the realms of sex. This can open doors into the rewards of heartfelt meetings in your life. They may be light and joyous, in honest friendship, or where sensual pleasure becomes deeply nourishing and a doorway into spiritual consciousness.”
One previous participant says that she finds that whatever she’s feeling comes out in this environment. “I found it gentle,” she explains, “my tears which had been difficult to access before around post-menopausal feelings but they emerged here. It felt safe enough and that’s really important to me. There was stuff around my longing for a partner that came up and I found myself really welcoming in my tears. I also had some amazing connections with others there and that was very important to me.”
Another male participant says he went when he was in the process of splitting up with his wife. “It’s hard for me to leave my head behind but Tim helped me realise how lost and raw I was feeling. I realised that so often I don’t realise what I am feeling. In these days, I was able to explore this lostness in a trusting way. In fact this time I really got to understand what people mean when they refer to it being a safe space. That’s what I felt Jayne and Tim did here. That meant that I could really open up and let go.”
There’s plenty of opportunity over the weekend to explore and experience your personal boundaries within a clearly held and supportive space. Intimacy is increased when we become more familiar with when we want to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Often people are not clear what they want or don’t want. Especially when it comes to touch. In Opening To Intimacy, you get to practice in a way that can feel like you’re taking a risk or the opposite, in order to learn what you deeply desire. Tim says “It helps the clearer you are able to be about your boundaries in each moment, and the fact that they are often changing within us. Time and again within the workshop participants are astounded how little they communicate simply in the moment. The more you are in touch in the moment with yourself, it is this that opens us into greater freedom as you be with another”
In the realms of exploring being touched I remember how difficult it was for me to say ‘Yes’ which means – ‘Yes, please, I would like more’ or ‘No, that’s enough’. Just the idea of being able to ask for more with such gusto seemed to be beyond my permission. Similarly to communicate simply and clearly when I didn’t want to be touched was liberating too. I did get used to it with practice and it has made a difference in my life!
Opening To Intimacy becomes more possible when we can allow our fears to be brought out into the open. Once acknowledged they can be released, freeing us into deeper connection with others. And we all yearn for that… In this case, you can explore in a warm, heart-open atmosphere with lots of love and laughter along the way. What a way to spend Easter.
Opening to Intimacy takes place in Norfolk 7th to 9th October 2016.
More info Julie Stone: firstname.lastname@example.org 07984 039 210