Getting Connected – with yourself and one another
Towards the end of what had been a year where everything I had known was given a firm shakeup, I became more aware about my most important relationship in my life, my relationship to myself. It took awhile to understand what was being shown to me, to refocus on who I am in this world, to trust in myself and to honor the path I know is meant for me. Or to even understand that path and its possibilities, which is an unfolding lesson. I began to seek out some meaning around the discomfort I was experiencing within myself by looking outwardly.
My fears were reflected in my relationships with others, and I turned to these stories as a way to deflect that actually, this was and continues to be about me. Along the way to this understanding I came across a recommendation from a friend who had begun an adventure in learning to be a ‘Somatic Sex Coach.’ A fellow student friend of hers was looking for clients – being open to new experiences, lamenting about a perceived lack of connection in my intimate relationship and wanting to explore what this means to me more deeply, I found Sonia Waters of Wildself and we agreed to a session at her beautifully designed place in Albertown.
I attempted to casually rope my partner into coming along to the session and being the amazing guy that he is, he agreed – as long as he was able to plan our next ‘date day’ together. Every five weeks or so, we arrange time away from our kids to focus on being a couple and not just parents, or team mates. We found ourselves heading over the crown range on a sunlit Saturday, no kids, off to get to know each other and ourselves better. Sonia took us to one of the homes which hovers above a lagoon, there are four and each is a self contained space in which to relax, learn or connect in. We learn that Sonia designed these spaces and runs retreats involving connection with the outdoors, one another and yourself.
‘Welcome to Wildself where you dive into your nature and emerge wild, connected and free.’
We began the session speaking about ourselves as individuals and as a couple – each with our own perceptions of course. Sonia explained the concepts behind her training, who she is and her path towards being a facilitator of embodiment therapy, with individuals and couples.
Introducing myself, your Wildself guide: Sonia Waters, woman with heart, love, scars, children, partner, life experience. Embodiment therapist, somatic s3x educator, life adventurer.
As we got to know one another I felt we were in a safe, guided space with someone who really knew what they were talking about. We could tell Sonia enjoys sharing her knowledge. We spoke about ‘Arousal Patterns’ and how everyone has different ways of becoming aroused and how sometimes it is difficult to sync up your patterns, but it can be fun learning to! I felt we were able to get a lot of stuff off our chests by speaking about challenges around this and having small children taking up a lot of our energy.
An interesting understanding emerged around this, which Sonia was wonderful at articulating and challenging us to look at life differently. The tools Sonia offers are about exploring the everyday in a more pleasure based way. Sensuality can be on offer anywhere, and it does not always need to lead to where you think this whole thing would, due to our framing of pleasure. Sonia spoke about how the aim is to see something as habitual and mundane as brushing your teeth as an opportunity to feel into every sense involved in the act. Honing in on any morsel of enjoyment – the coolness of the toothpaste in a warm mouth, a shaft of sunshine on the back of your neck as you scrub away the day’s eating and begin anew. I could see where she was going with this, and I looked forward to a more enjoyable teeth brushing session among other mundane activities!
We finished with a bit of unwinding and learning about how we play different roles when connecting physically with one another. Moving into the bedroom, we were invited to get comfy, take clothes off if we wish and play a game. Other rules and boundaries were outlined, which was reassuring and helped to create a safe space. I invited my partner to play with my hair, he asked me to drag my fingertips up his back, I enjoyed massaging his hands, he asked if he could run his fingertips up my forearms. It was a freeing and delightful experience, and I enjoyed seeing a side of us where more tenderness emerged – a willingness to learn something new together felt like a good thing.
Later on, when we were home – things didn’t evolve like you may think after a Somatic Sex Coach session. We got dirtier then that! In the garden, under a warm evening sky, music playing backdrop, we weeded and planted, sprinkled seeds, clipped edges, pulled out old dead things and made way for the new. With dirt under my nails I pushed my hand through thick, spongy grass, inhaling deeply at the smell, I felt all my sore muscles and the silken warmth of the night air – I watched my man with his cheeks glowing and I felt into the happiness expanding from all of my senses. The gift of pleasure. We ate strawberries dipped in chocolate in the lounge, listening to the summer rain. I reflected on what we had learnt that day and felt inspired to be in the warm rain with my top off, bare chested. So I did.
I learnt that cultivating intimacy with another is a beautiful dance, of taking and receiving, giving and allowing – timing is key, but so is a state of mind which invites opportunity to be in pleasure whenever and where ever. Equally, a pleasure state can be experiencing with oneself, by biting into a juicy strawberry coated in rich dark chocolate and letting the smell and the velvet feel carry you away. Cultivating an ability to connect with oneself is what creates intimate healthy connection with others, the best thing about this is that it can be fun, pleasurable and deeply fulfilling as a journey back to yourself.
In my following session with Sonia, we explore mindful connection within the family unit as Sonia spends some time with myself and my two girls exploring the magic in ‘slowing down,’ practicing tuning in with our desires and how touch connects us with ourselves and is great for sensory learning…