Getting Close to Yourself

I’m in a very unusual class. It’s called the Master Alma (“soul” in Spanish) Class. It is the baby of Julia Carmen a bona fide curandera, a seer of Souls. Every month we pick a theme, and last month it was “self pleasure.” Everyone got a good giggle over that imagining themselves running off to the nearest Good Vibrations store.

The first thing I did was schedule a massage, which was wonderful. I could get a massage every day. I figured I was about done for the month, when an email came in that one of the participants was practicing self pleasure in some form or other every day.

Every day??

Clearly I needed to up my game. I committed to a daily practice and quickly learned how little real pleasure I allow myself. I’m good a self care, which is not the same thing. I walk every day. I meditate and do yoga. I eat well. I go shopping, and, while I derive pleasure IMG_6065from these things, self pleasure implies getting intimate with yourself. Yikes! Having grown up in an alcoholic family system, getting close in general was not our strong suit. Independence, strength, achievement were highly valued traits. Besides, alcohol is much more dependable for feeling good than real relationships with real people. In alcoholic families, there is usually a family history of fragmentation, trauma or loss that disrupts or threatens ones ability to get close to parental figures, and the pattern repeats itself over generations to come. I’ve even heard that addiction comes from a denial of the need for intimacy.

Despite my unfamiliarity with self pleasure, I started lightly touching my arms and legs focusing on the parts that sent chills through my body. Intoxicatingly delightful, I challenged myself to tolerate more intensity and build my threshold for self pleasure. As my breathing would soften, it felt like I was getting bathed in a deep sense of self contentment. Maybe it’s okay for me to get close to myself after all.

This practice also made me think about how you can get the chills when you have a psychic hit on something. Maybe you get the chills when you are getting close to spirit too. It provides a double delight – getting closer to myself and getting filled with spirit at the same time.

I think I can do this.