Fear of Intimacy: Message From a Man

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Why do you protect yourself from intimacy?
“As the representative for the delegation of men on earth, I would first like to start off by saying “We’re sorry.”
Secondly, given the enviable task of addressing how we would protect ourselves if given the chance to grow an intimate relationship with you, many thoughts came to mind.
With endless permutation of factors that could arise, rather I focused on three lenses of defense: The view of the man in pursuit, an overall societal view, and your divinity through said man’s eye.
For men there is a consistent call towards a fear of intimacy in relationships. Be it letting ones guard down, opening to vulnerability, or struggling to become physically and emotionally adjacent. As humans, we have torrid pasts that may consist of trauma in relationships from family or intimate partners. Growing up with absentee parents, losing a loved one at an early age, or being the victim of an abusive household. Subconsciously we can be drawn to relationships where spouses will allow or mirror this pattern of abuse.
When you get “iced out” after a moment of intimacy, it is simply the easier option built through avoidance mentality. It is a defense mechanism built in to eschew doing the real work required to be intimate with you. Through fear of rejection, unhealthy self reliance to meet all of your own needs is created. Life as a zero sum game. If you open your heart fully, it is too risky for what you would lose.
Addiction to new relationships is also a possibility as there might be someone or something just a little more perfect. For most men sex and intimacy are not mutually exclusive. Sex can be performed without looking in the mirror at our own frustration, regret, sadness, depression, anger, and remorse. Intimacy can not.
The narrative that has the most subliminal impact on men is that of our societal culture. Patriarchy is baked into the bread of our social order, which immediately puts your presence as a threat to our norms. Success and ultimately happiness are measuring sticks that in our civilization are proportional to institutionalized standards. First you get the power, then you get the money, then you get the women. Trophy wife, nice house, fast cars.
What us men fail to realize, however, is that these measuring sticks of happiness are built in a society that gave us a predesigned lifestyle. In a vapid culture of unnecessary possessions and broken sexual expression, the fallout is devastating. Massive increases in diagnosis of depression, obsessive compulsive disorder, schizophrenia, and anxiety all fall under the umbrella of social phobias and disorders that cripple intimacy. Fear of failure in interpersonal relationships and meeting the high need structure of emotional inexperience fuels low motivation and self worth.
And how do we cope with these mechanisms? Developing addictions: drugs, sex, lying and cheating. Measuring up to standards set by a society that emasculates self introspection slogs us toward this predesigned lifestyle.
Finally the last lens in which we build protection around surrendering to intimacy, the male view of you Anjani.
Your robust desire for vitality, embracing the fullness of the life you live, and the palpable aura that projects.
Mistakenly taking your fervor for growth and knowledge, as pressure that you want to change him.
You are an ambitious, entrepreneurial, intelligent, strong minded beautiful woman who shatters the mold of the traditional male breadwinner. The strength you bring to your practice, career, and family shows a love so deep, it can be frightening. “Brain orgasm dripping dopamine all over my philosophical matters.” Igniting this phoenix of desire is fueled through intellectual stimulation, which is something that must be cultivated and nurtured with intense passion.
Coming across as an expert in the art of sexuality is intimidating for men. As a Tantrica, your comfort in your own body can cultivate doubt and body issues of ours. Building up to feelings of inadequacy or performance anxiety, your ownership of your power through self reflection is daunting.
In the nethermost moments of intimacy, the body creates natural potent drugs such as dopamine, opioids, and oxytocin that create physical and mental attachment through pheromones. I have yet to meet another woman more in touch, and in control, of her body and its power. Through the physical experience, or the emotions conjured after, the divine fragrance of your essence is a faculty most men are unequipped to handle.
The value hierarchy men seek is perfection, while women seek wholeness. The corresponding acknowledgement and reaction in our life practice shows the enduring entity of these reflections.”

– M


How My Yoga Teacher Taught Me Love

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Like the sound made without the striking of two things, my love is pure, attuned with the source and knows no opposite. 

I have had many teachers throughout my life but one who illuminated my shadows around male/female relationships. He made me question everything I knew about how to engage with the opposite sex and taught me the meaning of divine love. Not through romance but by the example of his presence.

It was 11:30 and brunch was almost over. I sat down on the floor of the dining hall and was served the usual rice and curry. I begin to eat with my right hand and observe the people moving about. My gaze was directed to a man dressed in all yellow with his back to me. I watched as he served food out of a huge steel pot into to plates of students of the ashram. His movements were ethereal and he seemed to be floating on air. His skin had a radiant brown glow and his hair was lustrous. The moment I saw him, my heart jumped into my belly. The overwhelming butterfly sensation almost made me burst into giggles. We didn’t make eye contact and I soon left the dining hall. For the rest of the day, my mind returned to this beautiful and mysterious man.

A few days went by before I saw him again. He was teaching a yoga class to the guests of the ashram where I was taking a teacher training course. I was too shy to go near the yoga hall so kept a safe distance to avoid my awkward feelings. I soon learned that he was a  brahmacharya and was visiting the ashram to assist with teaching. I wanted to know more about him but couldn’t bring myself to approach him. One night before evening satsang, I was sitting in a temple practicing meditation. Through the corner of my eye, I noticed a man watching me through the temple window. It was him! I thought, “He must be interested in me!”

My mental programming was set to a view of western mating rituals that had zero foundation in reality. 

That evening after satsang, he came up to me and begin to speak. I almost fainted. Rather than speaking what my habituated mind was expecting to hear, he explained to me about my sitting posture he observed through the temple window. He recommended that I use the provided rice sacks to sit upon to help with comfort and energy movements in my body. As he spoke, it was as if God Himself were speaking to me.

I told a friend of mine, “I think he loves me!” She replied, “Yes. He does love you. Just not in the way you think.” 

Over the next month, I found ways to place myself in his line of movement in places he would be, which was not hard since we were living in the same ashram. I relished every opportunity to hear him speak and to see the light in his eyes. I finally decided to write about the feelings that were coming up for me. It turned out that there was nothing sexual there. My desire was only to know him. To be intimate through gazing into his eyes and receiving his wisdom. It was a turning point in what I considered to be worthwhile interaction between myself and another human being.

Over the years, I have spoke to him many times over the phone, corresponded through email and have even went back to India to assist him in a yoga teacher training course. The feeling that his presence invokes 9 years later is that of electrifying connection with my pure essence nature. He makes me want to be more of myself. To find new ways to express love and appreciation. I honor him as I honor myself which is how I honor the God/dess in all.

I thought I fell in love with my yoga teacher. It turns out, I fell in love with the One who was always at the core of my being.

Deep Intuition or Deep Programming

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Ahamkara is the “I am” or ego state. This is the part of you that believes it is separate from the whole. Humans are given ego as part of the Divine Play for consciousness to know itself. Ego is the part of you that identifies with the senses, objects, and defines “you” in relation to the rest of reality.

Intuition arises from intelligence or Buddhi (higher knowledge) yet transcends logical thinking. Intuition passes through your ego, or the part of you that believes it is separate from the whole. When you have an intuition, an impression may arise in your perception through the senses or an inner knowing. There are little to no words with intuition. There is no argument, judgement, guilt or shame with intuition. Those things may arise from your “I am” or ego identification when you notice an intuitive hit.

how to know the difference between deep intuition and deep programming

Whether you call it a hunch, gut feeling, or intuition, there are ways to discern whether the information is deep programming or deep intuition. You will first need to form a relationship with your internal characters and get to know them for yourself. In my experience, the ego talks a lot more. The ego wants to keep me safe and has a lot of definition and boundaries. Often, there is a sense of fear and anxiety associated with the ego voice. This voice may drive a person to make the infamous “drunk dial” or leave a text message or email laden with blame, shame and victim speech.

Intuition speaks a unique language, which for me, is often in symbols. In a dreamlike state, I feel, sense, and often have imagery associated with intuitive information. When I am faced with a choice, I can sit somewhere quiet and get into a semi-meditative state and LISTEN. I do not expect information to come in any one way or another. I am open to receive even when that means nothing comes at all. I practice this constantly in my day to day life. When intuition does come, I honor her like a guest and LISTEN. When she speaks, it is as if God Herself is speaking to me. I practice a handful of discernment along with a pinch of logic in my decision-making strategy. From time to time, I do think-my-way-out of following intuition. This has proven to be disappointing to my expansion and evolution.

Next time you have a gut feeling about something, spend a little time questioning where it is coming from. If your internal dialogue starts to defend, judge or try to prove something, it is likely deep programming. If your internal dialogue remains quiet, peaceful and loving, it is likely your intuition.

integrating healthy ego and intuition into your life

LISTEN: Listening is an underused form of communication that is vital to growth. Practice listening. You can do that now. Pause your reading and close your eyes. What do you hear? Take a few moments to notice the sounds around and inside of you.

AWARENESS and CURIOSITY: Having awareness and curiosity are priceless gems in getting familiar with intuition and ego. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you can think to ask! In your asking, you will receive information and heighten your awareness.

JOURNAL: Keep a journal. This journal will be used to document your intuitive hits as well as the voice of your ego in day to day life. Using it to write down dreams can also get you in touch with your cosmic, unlimited self while connecting you deeply to intuition and healthy ego.

TRUST YOURSELF: When you doubt yourself, you further perpetuate past programming. On the other hand, trusting in yourself tells your subconscious mind that you are open to integration. This will encourage a flow from deeper layers of yourself to come to the surface. Trust yourself. Even if you end up being incorrect, your relationship with yourself will improve.

final thoughts

The ego is not bad and intuition good, or vice versa. There is no hierarchy. In the Divine Play of your existence they are both valid. All parts of yourself are welcome, necessary and worthy of your unconditional love and appreciation.