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Friday, December 10, 2010
Between lovers, sex is not separate from whatever is happening in their inner landscape. The sexual aspect is present when lovers cuddle in the morning, their legs intertwine in unspoken care; it is shown in the hours that a wife spends in cooking her husband’s favorite meal; it is expressed when a husband brings pink roses to his wife to surprise her; it is found in little flirtations and jealousies scattered silently, in the aches felt by lovers who are separated by distance, in the excitement of a kiss or in the slow pleasure of lovemaking.
There is no meaning and fulfillment in sex without the presence of love. Love must be in attendance for bodies in conjunction to experience real ecstasy. Love must lend fire to caresses and kisses—it heats up the loins and accompanies the undulating bodies in their desire for oneness, pleasure being its path. According to Sam Keen, “We get to the essence of sex faster with love than when we get to the essence of love by starting with sex.” If we start with sex in our quest for intimacy, it will be difficult to go back to the route of care, commitment, responsibility, compassion, and tenderness. But if consider first the elements of love, sex becomes the deepest expression of one’s essential self. It is a gift we bring to the beloved in the wonders of our bodily contours, wetness, and hardness amidst pants and moans. In this context, sex is the physical expression of our soulish nature where the other’s pleasure becomes as important as ours because we love. Sex is therefore not the end but the means towards fulfillment, intimacy and unity. In love, sex becomes sensuous and erotic.
When does sex become sensuous and erotic? When at first there is love. You don’t choose to be sensuous and erotic but rather you become sensuous and erotic the moment you love. It doesn’t happen right away. It is a gradual awakening, a slow impulse, and a flicker that slowly ignites until it becomes fire. You become sensuous and erotic when your love takes on wings even if there isn’t any wind to make you fly. You become sensuous and erotic when your days and nights are interspersed with thoughts of your beloved, your senses flooding you with sexual yearnings because you love. You become sensuous and erotic when desires mingle with feelings of tenderness, when lovemaking is truly a celebration of love, and when, in the afterglow, love becomes immensely glorious like a spiritual conquest dotted with bouquets of languid kisses.
What does it mean to be sensuous? It is the exquisite sensation of love rippling through your bones and flesh. It is an aphrodisiac that liquefies the unbending to become yielding, the soft to become hard, and the dry to become wet. Sensuousness is a gift of the spirit that makes the heart quiver, makes the body tremble, making the lovers catch glimpses of the sacred in the profane, eternity in temporality. To be sensuous is to feel a heightened sense of touch, taste, sound, scent, and texture. This heightened sense is brought about by your acute awareness of the wonders of the other as a person. To be sensuous is to be a lover in the truest sense of the word—to be a loving human being.
What does it mean to be erotic? It is to become carnal in love. It is giving desire to your love, making love aflame without pain. It is a loving surrender to the throbbing of organs paving the way for rapture. The erotic is the longing you feel for the beloved, like a subtle yet steady cadence of a waterfall. It is the thirst for the many ways of pleasure in the miracle of the body of the person whom you love. It is pleasure accompanied by care, commitment, responsibility, compassion, and tenderness.
There is no sexual technique, practice, or wisdom to be learned other than what is involved in mastering how to love. There is no greater aphrodisiac than love itself. No sex toy could ever replace the pleasure that the beloved’s body could bring. The best way to become a good sexual partner is to focus on becoming a loving human being. One has to pay attention, listen, empathize, be compassionate, and be sensual if he wants to become a good sexual partner. Nothing more, nothing less.
There are men and women who have mastered the craft of sex. They know the different sexual positions, know just the right pressure, the right touch, and the right words to say. They are the best sexual performers similar to the great acrobats in circuses. But performance for the sake of pleasure is without self-revelation, awe, or spiritual vulnerability. In contrast, sincere lovers may remain amateur in the art of sex yet their lovemaking transport them to the world of the enchantment, where their hesitations become wordless desire, where their shyness brings more allure, where their inexperience becomes love’s liquid fire.
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Being involved in something meaningful--be it a relationship, a career, or a community project--allows us to experience life's magnificence. Life gives to us what we give to it. And by life we mean the whole existential gamut--humankind, animal-kind, plant-kind, and the ecosystems.
Life is so rich, pulsating with vitality, that it is impossible not to be drawn to it, either in a big or small way. In a way, we could say that life has chosen us through our birth. But since then, and until the time we die, we inadvertently choose life.
Yet how do we choose life? Are we driven each day to work and feel less grateful to life because of workplace stress and politics? Do we feel unhappy because our relationship falls short of our expectations? Are we so sick emotionally that it is difficult to get up in the morning and greet another day?
We choose life when we are grateful. We are not here to outdo each other in material things, titles, or honors received. However, we are here to outdo each other in kindness, understanding, and love. And because we cannot live without others (parents, relatives, friends, strangers) it is important that we feel grateful to the people in our lives who have contributed to who we are and what we have become.
We choose life when we create the best for ourselves. We can choose to be mediocre but we know it is not choosing the best for us. Choosing the best for us--whether it be education, a life partner, a business--requires putting the bar higher for excellence, not perfection. When we choose the best for us, we are indirectly choosing the best for others. If it were not for Thomas Edison's desire to be his best--despite 2000 failures--there would have been no light bulb in the world today and the rest of us would still be using candles or LPG-driven lights.
We choose life when we learn to forgive. If we were to count all the people who have wronged us and the terrible things they have done to us, we will be spending the rest of our lives in misery. We should not take things personally when people hurt us otherwise we get stuck emotionally. The only way to make a clean slate is to forgive and move on. An unforgiving heart is a heavy load to carry.
What are you giving back to life?
I welcome comments and reflections from you. Share your experiences about the people you are grateful to, the goals you are striving to creating your best self, and the people you have forgiven to make your journey lighter.
I would love to post your answers here in my next article. Use the "Comments" button and write your reflections.
Until then, be blessed!
Monday, December 6, 2010
Success in whatever you do is largely determined by your belief in your self. Of course, there are other factors to consider such as education, environment, and support from family and friends. However, belief in your self is the basis from which dreams--big or small--become reality.
Belief in your self springs from two sources-- self-awareness and courage. Self-awareness involves an understanding of what you can do and what you can be. It allows you to “scan” your self in full dimension to know the parameters of your limits. Courage is your ability to execute what you want to do within and beyond your perceived personal limits.
In 1977, Terry Fox, a Canadian, discovered that he has a malignant tumor in his right leg. He was only 18 years old. The night before his right leg was amputated, he read about an amputee runner and decided he would run even with only one leg to fight cancer.
Terry Fox started his marathon in April 12, 1980, running an average of 42 kilometers a day through six provinces with only one leg. His goal was to raise $1 from every Canadian to fund cancer research.
By September 1, 1980 cancer has spread through his lungs and he stopped running just outside of Thunder Bay, Ontario. By this time, Terry has covered 5,373 kilometers, running a total of 143 days. By February 1, 1981, his dream of raising $1 from every Canadian was realized. At this time, the Canadian population was 24.1 million. Terry’s run netted a total of $24.17 million.
Terry died in July 28, 1981. He was 22 years old.
You can learn a lot from Terry Fox’s story: What might seem at first to be unattainable and insurmountable becomes possible when you believe in your self. Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results. But first you have to believe in your self.
It is appropriate to close this article with the song, “Believe” by Josh Groban. The last four stanzas of the song say it all:
Believe in what you feel inside
And give your dreams the wings to fly
You have everything you need
If you just believe
Mercer, S. (2008). Learner self-beliefs. ELT Journal, 62(2), 183-183.
Terry Fox and the Foundation. Retrieved from: http://www.terryfox.org/Foundation/Facts.html