|Posted by Jody Helfand on September 16, 2011 at 12:35 AM||comments (1)|
I've been traveling since May 11th on a journey of self love and self discovery.
My first stop was LA to visit a friend I met on Facebook. On the plane, there was terrible turbulence and I was scared. I was scared because I wasn't in control and I knew this was just the beginning of what I was going to learn about fear. I gripped the armrests, closed my eyes, and thought "smooth, smooth." I repeated this until the only thing I coud think about was smooth air and smooth flying. It was crazy. I was going crazy in my head because of this chanting. Have you ever felt this way? That words made you crazy?
The turbulence stopped and then started and then stopped and then started, but the curious thing was that it stopped when I was in a trance of chant-- saying "smooth air" and thinking about flying through smooth air. Did I do that? Who knows. My heart thinks I did. My mind has serious doubts.
When I landed in LA and saw the place I was staying at, I realized my next lesson was to accept and be grateful for what's offered to me. My friend had done everything she could to make her place comfortable for me, but when I walked in, I felt a heavy energy, and I wanted to walk right out and get on the next plane back to Hawaii where my car, my dogs, and my family were. But I didn't.
I stayed, because I knew this journey was going to be about lessons. My lesson was to lighten up and to not be so self-centered and self-righteous about the way I live. And to not be so matter of fact about how I will live. So extreme. So neat. So clean. So "perfect".
And I hated LA, but I stayed. I stayed because I knew staying was another lesson for me.
I needed to walk through a negative city, a city that held so much negative energy, a city that honks, and curses, that's unforgiving. A city that doesn't give a shit about you, that teases you and tricks you into believing something is pretty when it isn't. I stayed because I needed to be immersed in this atmosphere so I could learn to be happy anywhere.
So I walked everywhere. One day I walked for three hours instead of taking a $20 cab ride. When I walked, I observed the energy around me. It's like it was asking to be released, but didn't want to be released-- it was happy in its heaviness, its darkness, its passive aggressiveness. That was the day I went to see The Tim Burton Exhibit. After I looked at all of his drawings and movie memorabilia for hours, I walked through a small field behind the museum, and in this field, there was a dog running with a stick in its mouth. Something about that dog made me want to walk back to my friend's house. It was the freedom from all things material. I walked eight miles back to her house thinking about Tim Burton and how for one day I'd like to eavesdrop on his thoughts.
Another day in LA I went to Venice Beach and met a woman who was selling all kinds of stones and crystals, and realized that I had an obsession with crystals and stones. I couldn't believe that I didn't know this about myself before. I talked to her for a long time and bought selenite, rose quartz, kyanite, tektite, azurite, emerald, garnet and rainbow obsidian. I remember her dumping a huge bag of raw carnelian out on the floor for me. There must have been about 200 pieces of carnelian on the floor and I just knelt down and looked through them. The carnelian was peaceful and dirty.
One of my last days in LA, I went somewhere that changed me. I went to one of Marianne Williamson's talks. I sat in the front row and as people walked in, the seats around me began to fill up. Before I knew it, I was surrouned by a crowd of older gay men. The man sitting next to me was familiar. When we talked to each other, I showed him a piece of citrine I was carrying around with me and he pulled out a piece of moonstone from his pocket. We exchanged stones and held them for the entire time Marianne was speaking. I listened to her deeply. I saw a genuine and evolved person who still struggles with the same issues we all do day to day, but who is intent on making a difference. After her talk, she went into the audience in a very intimate way and answered questions. There was a man there whose partner had just killed himself and who didn't leave a note explaining why. They were raising children together. The man was there with his partner's best friend, a woman who wanted to know why her best friend did this. They told Marianne what happened and spoke to her for awhile, both crying, and she said a prayer that was long, emotional, and very powerful. I'm convinced that the entire room was focused on his lost Spirit, sending him peace and a true release from anything he clinged to. Over 300 people focused on this at the same time. There was a light. My heart opened up more.
When it was over, I exhanged phone numbers with the man sitting next to me and gave him back his stone. We agreed to meet that week for lunch, but ended up meeting for a smoothie at The Beverly Hills Center Mall.
I was sitting at a table reading when I felt a kiss on my head. I looked up and it was him. I grew up fearing germs and developed an irrational fear of germs and sickness as I got older that heavily affected me for years. I didn't like that he kissed me on the head. I didn't like sharing energy like that with someone I barely knew. The interesting thing is that I was going to choose a different seat so I could see if he was coming, but instead I assumed he'd see me. If I would have seen him coming, I wouldn't have let him kiss me on the head.
He sat down and we started to talk and I found out he was a retired English teacher. I told him I teach English. We talked about Marianne Williamson. He told me the night I came was one of the most intense nights he'd ever been to and he'd been going to her talks for over 20 years. He told me I had something to share with the world. I didn't believe him. He told me he was HIV positive. He grabbed my hand. He wanted a sip of my smoothie.
I told him to do what his passion is in life. To do what he loves. To do what his heart says. I told him to listen to the language of his heart and showed him some things I was learning for my training at The Heartmath Institute. We talked about listening to the heart, breathing through the heart. He said he used to be addicted to drugs. I told him I never did drugs.
I walked back to my friend's house through lots of dirt and smog. Someone followed me for a little while. I ignored him. I was thinking about the night before when I had gone dancing at a gothic club my friend works at. I danced to Spit It Out, by IAMX. Precious, by Depeche Mode. Erase, by delta-s. I kept thinking about the song Spit It Out. I was thinking about the words. "The past is weakness. Don't beg the question. When the answer is war. There are moments when I'm overcome." I thought about my new friend who kissed me on the head and how I wasn't scared after we left each other. I thought about being scared of things that you don't have to be scared of. How my irrational fears were as bold as I allowed them to be. I thought about thought loops and how powerful it is when I forget about free will. When I forget about the fact that I can make any decision I want.
|Posted by Jody Helfand on July 2, 2011 at 3:53 AM||comments (1)|
Many of you know that almost 7 weeks ago, I left Hawaii to travel. I asked the Universe to show me new things-- to teach me new lessons; I knew it was time to do this and to experience the next level of spiritual growth.
This has been a year of change and I'm sure you know what I'm talking about. Think about what's changed for you this year and why it's changed. For me, when something changes, it means I'm ready for the next lesson. And the next lesson has been to be fine with uncertainty. To welcome uncertainty, because the idea of uncertainty having a negative connotation is a construct. The fear associated with feeling uncertain or unsure of when, why, how, where something will happen is not real. When we were born, we didn't know uncertainty. Can you imagine as a two year old, worrying about who would feed you or being uncertain if the people around you would take you to the bathroom when you needed to go? And trying to control the outcome even when you didn't have to go to the bathroom-- meaning always worrying about the future? When we were very young, we didn't worry about the idea of uncertainty. We accepted it.
As we grew older, uncertainty became sinister. Somewhere along the way, we were taught that we needed to know all the answers-- the who, the why, the where, the what, the when. And this is simply the ego needing to control outcomes, and when this happens, the exact opposite happens-- not only can you not control outcomes, but you don't get what you want because you're trying to control the outcomes.
So how do you become okay with the idea of uncertainty? Here's what I learned so far on this trip:
1. Recondition your thoughts about the idea of uncertaintly being negative. Say: I appreciate uncertainty. Uncertainty is exciting. Uncertainty is a normal and natural part of living. Uncertainty is peaceful. I am okay with the idea of uncertainty in my life. And if this is true for you, you can also say: As a child, I accepted uncertainty and I was safe.
2. Let things happen. Let things flow. Don't intervene if you hear that voice that says not to intervene. That voice is subtle and is your heart's way of saying to relax, to trust, and to wait. Listen to that voice. It's the voice that knows the empowerment achieved with accepting uncertainty.
3. Stay in the present. Worrying about the future is projecting events that may not even happen. Be in the moment. Remind yourself of what you're eating, what you're seeing as you drive. Remind yourself of how our fingers feel as they type on the keyboard. Work on staying in the present by paying attention to what you're doing-- by paying attention to the people around you and to nature, too. Sharpen your five senses, because your five senses relate to how you pay attention. Paying attention helps with understanding that uncertainty is a normal part of life, because when you're in the present (paying attention), you're not thinking about how to force something to happen that you want. It either happens or it doesn't happen and being okay with uncertainty is being okay with the outcomes.
As I write this, I don't know where I'm going to end up living, how I'm going to get to the next city I'm going to, who I'm going to meet, etc., but it's okay, because I'm not supposed to know. Needing to know is the ego's need for false security. And I'll have my setbacks about all of this uncertainty, sure, but I'll also recognize what's happening, too and change my internal dialogue so that I welcome uncertainty, and recognize the important gifts it offers me. Because I know (my heart knows) that the knowing comes once I accept the idea of not knowing.
|Posted by Jody Helfand on April 29, 2011 at 4:45 AM||comments (2)|
What would happen if you took all the stuff you own and piled it into one room and then gave yourself thirty minutes to pick what you wanted to keep? What would you choose? I'm going to put all the stuff I own in one room right now, and then continue writing this blog.
Okay, it's about forty five minutes later and I just did it. I looked at it and a funny thing happened. I started feeling extremely ill, like I was seriously going to throw up. Then I felt dizzy. I still feel this way a little, but I went into neutral mode, meaning this: Heart focus. Heart breathing. I did this outside and now I feel better. I'm doing it right now as I write this, too. You can breathe through your heart during moments of stress or during calm moments, too; you don't have to be stressed to do it. Neutral mode regulates your heartbeat, creating coherence, and balances cortisol and DHEA; to read more about this, go here to this amazing website: http://www.heartmath.org
I'm getting ready now to go back in that room and start the process of choosing what I want in thirty minutes or less. The following 4 ideas are what I'm focusing on thinking, because what I do and how I react emotionally, relates to the story I tell myself in my mind.
1. I don't actually own anything.
2. If I really want something, I can get it again assuming it's available.
3. I cannot allow emotions to rule this process of choosing what to keep.
4. And, as a dear friend just reminded me: If another person looked at all of my shit on the floor, he/she would have absolutely no attachment to it.
I was just about to go in there and do it and my brain said this: You're hungry. Don't you want to eat some cereal with soymilk? I would love to eat some cereal with soymilk, except for the fact that I'm NOT FUCKING HUNGRY right now! My brain is trying to get me to do some unhealthy emotional eating. Hey, I almost considered it, too, because it's really tempting, but I've been in this familiar place, many years ago before I changed my gender-- choosing the instant satisfaction that food provides to distract me from the task at hand or from the emotions/feelings I'd rather ignore. Here's the truth. I still really want to eat right now even though I'm not hungry, but I'm not going to do it. Instead, I'm going in there to choose what I'm going to fucking keep.
I'll be back in thirty minutes.
Well that was fucked up. I mean, seriously, thinking about a pair of pants for more than a minute?
I just got rid of a ton, and I mean a TON of stuff. I'm going to donate it all. This is what happened while doing this:
1. At first, the dizziness didn't go away and I still felt like I was going to throw up. My interpretation of this was the ego or the mind in a panic, afraid of losing control. My heart was very happy and relieved and concentrating on heart-based breathing and staying in neutral mode helped me eventually to alleviate these feelings of fear and panic.
2. After ten minutes, I got into a serious groove where I was like who needs this CRAP! I started bagging stuff faster and it felt really good to detach from lots of things my mind thought it needed. The funny thing is that 80% of the stuff we own we don't use; 20% we do. Look at the stuff you own and seriously think about what you use each day. Making a list of what you use on a daily basis really puts the idea of what you actually use into perspective.
3. What's left on my floor are some books and some miscellaneous computer stuff that I've been keeping for way too long. It's too late-- that stuff is going to be donated, too.
4. After about ten minutes, I realized that If I had to think about keeping something, then that meant NOT to keep it. Thinking about something means I'm unclear, and If I have to think about something I supposedly own, then I don't fucking need it!
This was a fun way to spend an evening. And guess what? Now I'm hungry.
|Posted by Jody Helfand on April 14, 2011 at 6:24 PM||comments (2)|
|Posted by Jody Helfand on March 18, 2011 at 5:28 PM||comments (17)|
|Posted by Jody Helfand on March 1, 2011 at 4:25 AM||comments (8)|
My mom teaches communication courses and told me about the Johari House with four rooms.
These are the rooms:
Room 1: The part of ourselves that we see and others see-- what's completely visible.
Room 2: What other people see but what we can't see-- what other people notice about ourselves but we don't notice.
Room 3: The part of ourselves that we can't see and that others can't see, either; the subconscious or unconscious mind. What is hidden completely.
Room 4: What we know about ourselves, but others don't know about us-- what we keep hidden from others.
After she told me this, I started getting obsessed with the idea of the four rooms and thought about each one carefully in relation to my friends. And then I thought about them in relation to the other people I come in contact with-- strangers. And then I started thinking about each room in relation to myself.
Can you answer these questions about yourself in relation to the four rooms? I did, and in the process I learned a lot about myself.
Here are the questions I asked:
What do I see about myself that other people see, too?
What gestures am I aware of that other people are aware of, too?
Are any of these parts that I'm showing to other people dishonest? If so, why?
Am I looking for approval?
Do I want to be accepted?
Does it really matter if I know what I'm showing to other people anyway that I'm aware of, too?
What do other people see about me that I'm not aware of?
What am I not noticing about how I act or what I say?
Why am I not noticing this?
Does this have to do with being preoccupied with the past or future instead of living in the present moment?
Why are other people seeing things I can't see?
What has become so common to me that it's invisible to me, too?
Why does this even matter?
What don't I know about myself?
How can I find out more about myself?
If others can't see this part and I can't see this part, then how deep do I need to go to find out what I don't know about myself?
What can I do to access this part of me? Meditation? Hypnosis?
What becomes dangerous when this room is ignored? Why?
What am I not showing people-- what am I hiding?
Do I have good reasons for not showing these sides to people?
Do I have to show everything to everyone?
Am I hiding certain things from other people because I'm afraid to be myself?
What, if anything, doesn't have to be hidden and is only being hidden out of fear?
How will I feel if I reveal some of the things I'm hiding from others?
If you can answer these questions honestly, you'll be surprised at what you find out about yourself.
One thing I realized is that I used to hide my femininity from my ex-wife because this behavior was judged and not accepted by her. I wouldn't wear rings I wanted to wear or clothes I wanted to wear or sit with my legs crossed. And I was self-conscious of using my hands when I talked because she said I looked too girly when I did that.
I felt pressure to be masculine because of some of her negative comments that related to my "feminine" gestures.
I'm detaching from the anger and disappointment the ego brings up while I write this. At that time, I just wasn't confident enough to act the way I wanted to and not care what she thought.
And at that time, she was too concerned with what people thought and with stereotypical definitions of what a "man" is. I can look back on this now with confidence, actually, because I act the way I want to now regardless of the ridiculous labels of "feminine" and "masculine". And the next woman I'm with will accept this behavior 100%-- the same way I'll accept her behavior 100%.
I also realized that being myself in that relationship was harder than it seemed, because I didn't know myself enough to be myself!
I thought I was being myself, but that's the sense of humor The Universe has-- I change my gender and I'm finally myself as the man I feel like inside, but the trick was really being myself as the person I am, not just the man. Knowing who I was without stereotypes attached to gender.
It's so important to be yourself as much as possible and to not compromise your behavior. You have to love yourself enough to be yourself.
And the people around you have to love you enough to accept you.
We can change what we show to the world and to ourselves if we decide it's healthy to do so. And I believe the healthy part of it relates to simply being true to yourself and loving yourself enough to accept this truth.
|Posted by Jody Helfand on February 22, 2011 at 2:37 AM||comments (0)|
Throughout my life people have asked me the same question: Why did I change my gender? I used to tell them this: Because I was born in the wrong body and needed to change my body to match my mind. Now I tell them this: Because of self-love.
The thing is that I realized changing my gender has to do with really deeply and truly loving myself. Before I changed, some people around me were concerned.
My father said: What if nobody ever dates you?
A friend said: Why don't you just stay in the lesbian community?
And I often heard this from many of my lesbian friends: How do you know you're male?
To which I said: How do you know you're female?
And then asked them this: If you woke up with a big cock and balls between your legs and someone chopped your breasts off in your sleep and replaced them with a flat hairy male chest, would you feel okay with your new body?
The truth is that I got really tired of all of these questions. I wanted people to understand and accept my decision without questioning it. I wanted my friends and family to love me unconditionally. How I choose to live my life has nothing to do with their happiness, but it has everything to do with mine, and that's where self-love comes in.
15 years ago I didn't realize how much I actually loved myself. All I knew was that I was going to change regardless of obstacles, regardless of negative reactions, regardless of the "friends" I lost along the way. When I look back on this now, it's clear that I loved myself too much to stay in a body I didn't resonate and bond with on a physical level.
The fact is that I loved myself too much NOT to change. And what I'm also realizing now is that self-love involves having a lot of courage, because there were times when the fear of changing took me to very dark places in my mind. But self-love won; the love I had for myself during that time cancelled out the fear, because love and fear can't exist at the same time.
Lately, I've found myself thinking about self-love quite a bit. I think about it in relation to what friends I choose, what I do each day that I truly enjoy doing , what love interest I'll pursue in the future, what I decide to buy for myself, how I decide to take care of my health in relation to exercise, sleeping habits, and eating right, and how I focus on having a balanced life. Self-love is a theme in my life because, as the cliche says, if you don't love yourself, how can you love anyone else?
When you decide to focus on self-love you're getting into a relationship with yourself, and this takes dedication and major commitment. You touch yourself, you talk to yourself, you take yourself out on romantic dates, you buy yourself nice clothes and cologne, and healthy food. You give yourself permission to take care of yourself and nurture yourself, until one day, the relationship you have with yourself is healthy.
Here's what I think self-love involves:
1. Trusting yourself enough to listen to feelings that appear without thoughts, meaning the feeling is just there and didn't happen because of a thought you had first.
2. Making a decision to do something whether it be a career choice, changing your gender, not going to school, etc., despite what other people say or expect of you.
3. Eating healthy and exercising. Taking care of your physical body.
4. Educating yourself. Reading books and pursuing knowledge to expand your mind.
5. Making the list I talk about in a previous blog entry about figuring out what it is you love to do and doing it. Knowing yourself enough to KNOW what you love to do, too.
6. Taking time for yourself, meaning alone time, to reflect on your path and direction without feeling guilty about it.
7. Making the choice to surround yourself with people who support you and who don't need anything from you. People who don't have false agendas and accept you unconditionally. And making the decision to let go of people you know are no good for you, with love, of course, to make room for people who are good for you.
8. Knowing when to say no to someone and not feeling guilty about it.
9. Forgiving yourself for any/all past mistakes; this may mean saying you're sorry to some people, too. Forgiveness is healing and helps you move forward in life. The main thing is making a serious effort not to repeat the same mistakes again-- but if that happens, you have to forgive yourself again, until the day comes when you finally learn NOT to make that mistake, if you know what I mean!
10. Understanding that true happiness and self-love comes from within, is internal and that external things will never make you happy, including people. You have to decide to be happy and commit to that decision, which usually means battling the ego who senses its impending death looming in the shadows. This takes practice and discipline but the results are worth the effort.
It's interesting to think about self-love in relation to making the decision to changing your gender or in relation to not changing your gender and simply identifying as what you want to identify as anyway, or making up your own definition of what makes you comfortable in the world, regarding gender expression. The main thing is that you commit to loving yourself first, so that what people say to you about this decision doesn't influence you. And I'm talking about positive and negative remarks. I remember a friend once said this to me: You're going to get a penis, right? You can't be a man unless you have a penis. Now she was a good friend, a well-meaning ignorant friend, however that I didn't take seriously. Self-love means not being influenced by someone who doesn't know the first thing about how I feel/felt like inside.
When it comes down to it, loving yourself also involves creating a loving, harmonious, and peaceful environment, and the people you choose to surround yourself with are an important part of this setting. Love yourself first and never apologize for it. If you do this, the people who don't understand will eventually fall away from your life, to make room for the people who do understand supporting the loving, harmonious, and peaceful environment you desire.
|Posted by Jody Helfand on February 17, 2011 at 7:10 AM||comments (4)|
|Posted by Jody Helfand on February 15, 2011 at 6:14 AM||comments (4)|
Today in class I talked about attachment versus detachment with my students. I put the word "attachment" on the board and asked them to say words out loud that they associated with attaching or attachment. I did the same thing for the word "detachment"--
Here's what we wrote down for the word "attachment":
False sense of security
Here's what we wrote down for the word "detachment":
Next, we talked about why it's important to detach yourself from people, the ego, objects, outcomes, and situations that happen around you. I said when you detach, you detach with love. You still care, but you are not invested, you are not affected. You don't react. You realize that you have no control over situations or outcomes. You realize that everyone is on their own path and you cannot interfere. You understand that you have to mind your own business in life.
When you detach, you realize that being in love and that all relationships can be very temporary. You understand the importance of living in the moment and you also know that if something changes that can be perceived as negative, like a lover leaving you, that it's NOT negative. You know that if a lover leaves, the lesson has been learned and it's time for a new lesson.
Detachment is healthy. Detachment means you're clear. Detachment means you don't think so much, you don't question, you accept, instead. Detachment means you still feel with love, with your heart, but you don't judge the feeling. Detachment means you observe your behavior without judgement, and instead, recognize what needs to change, meaning you see the ego's need to attach, are aware of it and instead, detach.
Here's the thing. Just six months ago, I would not have agreed that detaching is a good thing. I would have said detaching is cold, is an excuse not to feel anything, not to care about people, places, objects, outcomes, etc.; now, I see why it's extremely necessary to detach. Now I understand why detachment is positive and important to my emotional wellness. This is what convinced me:
Last year I got a divorce. I was with this woman for almost 7 years. Before that, I was with a woman for almost 9 years. When the second one ended, I didn't understand and felt angry and to be honest, used. In this anger, in these dark moments, I realized something. I needed to step away from what happened, meaning I needed to detach. My emotions were driving me crazy. My thoughts were all over the place, torturing me. I wondered why both of my relationships ended. I asked myself this question over and over and over, and there was no answer. Then, when I detached, when I stepped away emotionally, I immediately understood. I needed to learn lessons from these relationships. The first lesson I learned was forgiveness. The second lesson I learned was to love myself. The moment I made the decision to detach, I felt better. I immediately understood that life is about detachment. That life is about accepting and being content with the idea of uncertainty, too, because detachment and uncertainty go hand in hand.
We would love to think that we have control over everything, that we own our houses, our cars, that we are in complete control over our relationships, that there is such a thing as forever. The ego craves this false sense of security, this pattern, because there is a perceived, however false, sense of security and confidence in patterns, and what's considered to be "normal" behavior. But I ask you this-- would you rather live in an illusion, thinking everything is wonderful, attaching yourself to your objects, to your house, to your lover, to your pets, etc. or would you rather finally admit to yourself that in detachment, there's this sense of relief, this sense of complete confidence that nothing can affect you emotionally, because emotions aren't even real in the first place-- that in detachment, there's finally freedom. That in detachment, there's emotional wellness, focus, and forgiveness.
I'm not saying it's easy to detach. My ego still struggles with detaching, too, but I see strong improvements in my moods and in my behavior simply by being aware of the idea that I am attached to certain things, and then taking action to detach immediately.
Your thoughts are so powerful, so why not use them in positive ways, directing them to the idea of detachment? If this writing resonates with you, if you felt something or are feeling something now-- sensing that this all makes sense to you, then research how to detach further. Practice saying "thanks for sharing, but no thanks" when a thought comes that wants you to attach to something. Be aware of yourself and your actions and words, and then start to focus on detachment in slow intervals each day. Soon, you'll find that detachment becomes easier, and that your quality of life starts to improve drastically. You'll also raise your vibration, attracting more positive heartfelt experiences to you, because The Universe will know that you're not attached to outcomes.
I believe learning to lovingly detach is one of the secrets to emotional health and overall happiness. I've seen proof of this in my own life. I still have work to do, but I don't focus on that. I'm detached from this idea, too. Every day I live more and more in the present moment because if I'm too busy attaching myself to the future or the past, I'll miss out on the most important experience; the now. I invite you to try this, too; to detach and to see the positive changes that happen in your life, if you do.
|Posted by Jody Helfand on February 11, 2011 at 4:24 PM||comments (1)|
Wars have been lost. Hearts have been broken. Money has been spent. Marriages have ended. Friendships have been lost. Lives have been taken. Because of the power of seduction.
To seduce. To be seduced. With words, with false promises, with lies, with subtle body language and sensual gestures. A slight touch of the elbow. Looking into the eyes and then looking away. Licking the lips. Touching the back of a neck. Saying "I've never met anyone like you". Agreeing with every word that's said. Saying: "Really? Me too!" when it's not true. Getting into your mind, creating an image in your mind that's a lie. Making you think you'll never meet someone else like this again.
The seducer who does this on purpose plays mind games with you, gets into your mind, appeals to your senses and emotions. Appeals to your desire to meet the one or your soul mate. Knows exactly what to say and do to mold into your dream. And when this person goes away, you're left with the idea of something that never existed in the first place. A false image of someone. An untruth that feels so much like truth. Something that is not real, but that feels so much like it is. And then your mind obsesses and thinks you've lost something so important, so crucial to the success of your existence. And for awhile you can't stop thinking of this person. And maybe you think of this person for the rest of your life and attach ideas and feelings that are based on a falsehood, creating tension in future relationships because you're always comparing the past to the present.
I have met too many people in my life, myself included, who have been seduced by someone who misrepresented themselves out of fear, out of desperation, out of survival, out of desire, out of cruelty or for some other ulterior motive. This is why I feel very strongly that being friends with someone first and REALLY getting to know that person is essential, before being intimate and dating and moving forward to the relationship state. Can you imagine how much healthier love relationships would be if everyone was simply friends first and controlled their lust and their attraction, putting it aside in order to get to truly know someone?
It's become a pattern that I include my personal experience in this blog, so I'll tell you something interesting that I did last night. I went to a strip club. There was a time when I would never step foot in a club like this. I was so against it. So adamant that it was sexist and wrong. That women were objectified and that I would never be part of this or contribute my energy to it. It's funny how you think you'll never do something and then The Universe says, "Oh yeah? Let's see about that!" I feel that's what happened last night to me. I was supposed to go to this particular club and talk to this particular dancer. And be inspired last night on the way home to write all about it. So here goes.
We walked into the club and I felt strange. Everything looked surreal and for a minute I wanted to go, but I knew I needed to stay. I immediately noticed one dancer whose energy was different than the rest. She seemed more centered and balanced.
My friend and I sat down in two chairs that were in front of her, something very new for me, and at first I sat too far away, because I didn't think to scoot the chair closer to the stage. Funny. I felt awkward but I still stayed there. The woman started dancing and went to my friend first. She touched my friend a little, teasing, and put her hair in my friend's face. Then, lifted the thin circle around her thigh and my friend slipped a dollar underneath it.
Next, she went over to me and touched my chest slightly and put her hair in my face and wiggled her body a little. Then, she lifted that thin circle around her thigh, and I was so off-center because I was nervous and felt awkward, that I slipped it in the wrong way and it fell on the stage! I thought it was funny. She obviously didn't, so I told her it was my first time doing this and then, just for a second, something interesting happened. Her true personality showed. She smiled a genuine smile, and broke out of the seductive persona, and I saw someone else.
We stayed there for about twenty minutes and she gravitated more toward my friend. Later I found out she touched my friend's nipples and when I apparently wasn't watching-- here's a funny thing, I wasn't watching because two people I knew said hello to me! When this was happening, the woman put her private area, her vagina, into my friend's face just enough not to touch her mouth.
My friend said she blew on it when that happened and that blowing was the thing to do if a dancer ever did that. I told my friend that it must be a hard thing to do to get just close enough to not touch someone's face.
What I noticed most about this experience with this woman, were her eyes. When this woman paid attention to me, I mostly looked into her eyes. Sometimes she looked at me, but usually she looked away. I had no interest in her private parts, and if I'm being really honest here, I was actually scared of them! I was scared of the energy that surrounded them.
After we finished, she came to our table and we talked for a couple of minutes. She told us she was from Russia and that she doesn't drink alcohol. She said the private dances were a rip-off and told us she'd be back on stage in an hour-- That now it was time to get some private dances.
Later, my friend noticed that this Russian woman took a man in the back for a private dance, and he came out five minutes later looking devastated, because he didn't have money to continue, and as the Russian woman walked away, my friend said the guy just slumped his shoulders, staring at her in desperation. I didn't see this, because at that point, I was with the woman I told you about earlier in this blog. The woman I was supposed to have an experience with.
Here's what happened:
After the Russian dancer left to pursue her private dances, my friend and I found a booth and sat down. As we were talking, I noticed a dancer get on stage. She was very gothic. Black hair, pale skin, tall and thin. What's interesting about this is that a half hour earlier, I was telling my friend that it would be nice if there were alternative dancers or gothic dancers instead of the stereotype I was noticing; the pattern of outfits, hair styles, hair color, makeup, shoes, tones of voice, etc.-- so, there she was, the gothic dancer.
I looked at her, but she didn't see me. The pull to go was an instinct. I didn't think about it. And, I wasn't attracted to her sexually. On a side note, it takes me a long time to be sexually attracted to someone. I need to know who they are first, so I know who I'm kissing and sharing my energy and body with. I'm a serial monogamist at heart. Okay, so where was I? I wanted to go to her, so I did.
I sat down, this time remembering to pull the chair close to the stage, and she said "What's your name?" I said: "Jody". She said: "I'm Raven, like the poem by Edgar Allen Poe." I didn't laugh. I just thought, ha ha in my mind. The seduction begun. She asked me what I did for a living and I told her the truth. She asked me where I was born and I told her the truth. Then, she told me she loved reading and writing and that she wrote poetry. She told me she was in school and that the money is going toward her schooling. At this point, you may be wondering why we were talking so much. We were talking so much because I told her I didn't want her to dance for me, that I didn't want to be close to her breasts or her other area, but that she could put her head on my shoulder if she wanted to. So she put her back to the floor and her head on my shoulder, if you can imagine that picture. Then, she turned around and bit my ear slightly, and said: "What am I going to do with you?"
We talked for almost an hour and in-between talking, she would put her head back on my shoulder and nibble a little on my ear. She assumed I thought we were getting to know each other. She thought I thought that she was attracted to me. She thought she would get more money from me if she invested her time a little and talked to me instead of wiggling her body in front of my face. She thought she was seducing me. And who knows, maybe she was. Because during that time, I felt like I was in a trance. We talked about the music we liked, like VNV Nation, Wolfsheim, The Cure, etc., and we talked about using essential oils and she pulled out lavender from her bag and let me smell it. We talked about loving animals and she said she had three dogs and two cats. She told me she was a Scorpio after I guessed that she was a Gemini. I told her I was a Taurus after she guessed that I was an Aries. I told her Scorpios were creative but they're always hiding something. And she said, "That's true."
I asked her if she liked being a dancer. She said she loved being a dancer because it empowered her. She said before she was a dancer, she had no idea how much power she had as a woman. She told me she started dancing when she was 18-- almost ten years ago, and she said she saved enough money to feel financially secure, that she never did anything she felt uncomfortable doing, that she doesn't drink or smoke and that she's a vegetarian. She told me how happy she was. That she loved her body. That she felt confident as a woman and loved getting paid for simply dancing and being naked-- that it was amazing that all she had to do was dance and be naked to make money-- that her body was that important. I gave her the rest of my singles, even though she hardly asked for any money during the entire time I was sitting there. But an interesting thing happened after I did that. She asked me for a private dance and I said no. $25 a song, that's interesting. And when I said no, she kissed my head three times very gently, then kissed my neck twice, yes, I was counting, seriously, if you know me, that's how I am. And then she kissed the outside of each ear, and whispered Mmmm, mmmm, and then said, "Well, my dear, I must bid you adieu." I told her that I wasn't coming back, and that I wouldn't come back just to see her, too, because this isn't my thing, and she said she thoroughly enjoyed getting to know me and wished me all the best this life has to offer-- something like that at least.
Now was everything she said to me a lie? Does she make up a specific persona after she sizes up the person? Or was everything she said to me true? I wanted to project honest energy and that's why I answered her questions truthfully, but was she being honest? Was she using her power of seduction on me? What was true and what was false? She saved all of those kisses for last. Did she do this so I would stay? So I would pay for private dances? So I would think about her and decide to come back to see her? This world fascinates me. I'll never know the answers to these questions, so it's really no use thinking about them. When we left the club, I left any false emotions that resulted from this experience, there. I affirmed it and released it.
I thought I knew what I was doing when I went to this club, meaning I wasn't going to be seduced or to be suckered out of my money. I didn't even think I would do anything except observe what was going on. But the thing is, when the second woman put her head on my shoulder and we were talking and she was mentioning things that we had in common-- or lying about it, who knows-- the thing is, that I enjoyed the human connection, I enjoyed the affection. I liked the kisses. I liked the subtle nips of my ear. I let her do this to me because I felt comfortable. I don't even remember what her breasts look like, except that they were both pierced, and I don't remember what her genitals looked like, either.
What I remember is the affection she gave me and how skilled she was at the timing of the affection. We would talk about something and she would try to connect with me with her eyes and then if she perceived success, she would be affectionate again. We were together for about an hour and she did this the whole time. Then, when it was over, I was left wondering what was true and what was false, and the whole experience became sinister and almost evil! Tricks on the mind were played, and I was aware of this most of the time, but there were times during this exchange where I genuinely thought that she was looking into my eyes in a different way than she looked into other customers' eyes. Funny, huh? I think it is. Because that's just my ego talking, not wanting to be tricked or fooled into thinking I was duped. You know what I mean? But I was. And there was a very big part of me, about 80%, that knew exactly what was happening and that simply didn't care, because I was having fun. Or was I?
Seduction is a dangerous art. You have to know what to look for. If your animal instinct says this person is seducing me, I would bet it's true. The question is, do you want to be seduced?
Or do you want to find a true person whose intention is to be honest with you, and who is confident enough to be herself or himself without worrying if you'll judge or make assumptions based on his or her behavior, likes and dislikes, etc. -- a person you feel comfortable being yourself around, who loves you for the person you are, who doesn't play games and who supports you in what you do. A person who doesn't complete you and who doesn't define you, but who instead comes together with you similar to the number 8 instead of the number 0. A person whose intention is true. Seduction may appear to be fun or exciting at first, but in the end, it's a poisonous game with a poisonous outcome.