Last week it was my father's birthday. He would have been 91. It reminded me of the days before he passed in January 2015, when I would sit silently with him.
Watching his closed eyes, seeing him breathe in and out quietly and gently, while stroking his body or holding his hand, my eyes would moisten. I was so moved as I contemplated the pure love of this man I could proudly call my Dad.
He's was a pretty hard man when we were little but he grew in love as he grew older. His edges softened and his heart widened. He would take everything in his stride and when it came to our kids, no matter what they did, he would say, 'Just love them'. Simple.
As I looked at this incredible human being in his final stages, all I could see emanating from him was LOVE.
Dad was brought up catholic but he fell away from formal religion, adopting his only true religion - love. We all felt it, we were all bathed in it and people, even outside of our family were touched by it. In his final years, as his body faltered, he grew in simplicity, innocence and love.
The day before he died, I'd just written a blog for my newsletter. As I watched him silently, the thought kept on coming over and over to me - 'it's not all about sex', 'it's not all about sex'.
Had he had a good sex life? (Sacriligious of me even to think about!) Well, maybe not. In the end, who cares? When you are on your death bed, is that what you will be thinking? How many multiple orgasms you had? I'm not so sure. I know for me, I will be asking myself, 'How much did I love?' 'How much did I let love in?' 'How much did I live?'
Well, of course part of that does involve how much you enjoyed your body.
It helped me, however, put into perspective something that was already in my consciousness but that had not quite formed. I see so much in the Tantra world about 'how to be more this, how to be more that.' And it's wonderful to explore the God-given potential of our amazing bodies. Go for it. But in the end, if it's all about how we can get more sensation, how we can have more, always seeking the right technique for this or that, unless it leaves us 'in love', in a state of love, or even better a state of Grace, a state of pure innocence and acceptance, it can leave us a bit hollow.
When Dad passed and I looked at his body, I saw that what animated it, what moved it, was this soul and his heart. It was no longer there. But the remnant vessel that carried it, his still strong body, his beautiful long limbs and arms, the half smile on his face, were like a gracious testimony to this love - and this love was a love that had no boundaries, it was not personal, it was universal.
As humans, we are always seeking to fill the hollowness. The only way this hollowness can dissolve is through the heart, and the soul, returning to this that animates our body, not through another or through something that exists outside of us. And it's in the sharing of that, without boundaries, that we are lifted. I believe the soul and love, the heart, are inextricably connected, perhaps one and the same. If we can authentically, viscerally, connect with what lies within, while being willing to meet those hard places of resistence, then we have something to give and recieve.
And our beautiful body, our precious body, this beautiful sacred vessel of love, is the bridge.
It is the pure expression of the heart of our soul. So to disown the body is sacrililege really. For it is through the body that we feel love and through the body we can receive untold pleasure, through all of our senses. But let's not make pleasure our God. That's way too shallow for the soul. Let's open to the all, and allow pleasure if it arrives, to be the beautiful by-product of being ever present to love.
I've seen transformation happen in people's lives over and over for the last 5 years at The Making Love Retreat when they realise that it's not all about sex. That sex is an expression of the life energy within us, and has the potential for a higher love that affects every single part of one's life.
I wish Dad knew the truth of what I do through my work with clients and the retreats. I could never really find the courage to say it. I think he would see we are totally on the same page. In fact I know he does anyway.
I'd love to know if you resonated with this and your thoughts. Leave a comment below.
And I'd love to see you at the next MLR in March - 18th - 25th. It's already filling up, so please book on to save your space now. And call me if you have any questions - 0428 726 849. Watch out for new offerings for women coming up in 2017 too.
All love, Janet
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