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Notes on failure

Notes on failure

I’m frustrated. I want to record this song for my beloved and I’m not practiced enough yet. It’s not a perfectionism thing, it’s literally the familiarity with the pathways for my voice and fingers on the guitar. I don’t have it down yet. This is not my first attempt.

Someone said to me recently, what if failure was simply falling short? Yeah but if failure was simply just falling short, what about my story and drama? Well, let’s see if we can set aside the story and drama for a moment and look at failure as simply falling short. I had a commitment to accomplish this thing and I fell short. I guess I could just get up again and discover what happens when I keep going…?

Where have you fallen short recently and could keep going, if only for the wonder of discovering what might happen?

How do we shift from carer to lover?

How do we shift from carer to lover?

Over the years, during periods of ill health, I’ve been fortunate enough to have had many women who have cared for me. [Thank you!! You know who you are.] And there have been times when I’ve been a carer to my partner. When a partner steps into a caring role, our attention and energy goes into tending to those practicalities that assist with healing – making food, taking care of household tasks, massage, making more food – chicken soup, have you taken your medication/vitamins? Being supportive and emotionally available.  Listening to vivid descriptions of symptoms, theories of self-diagnosis and oftentimes listening to complaining and whining. Some of us even worry about our partner’s health. Worry doesn’t make much of a difference – it can be a useful motivator at times, but it also comes with it’s own cost to our wellbeing.

After going through days or weeks of being the carer, what’s left when the care is no longer intensively needed? Habits of care? Do you find yourself now organised around caring for your partner? Your thinking and actions are now orientated that way? Do you ever notice what happens to your sexuality, to your sexual energy? When your partner is not well, it’s not always the time for raucous lovemaking. In fact, most of us restrain ourselves and set aside our desire when caring for our beloved.

Declaring a period of care complete goes a long way in being free to shift from carer to lover. I start with acknowledgement. Thank you for caring for me so beautifully and meticulously. You did a great job of taking care of me – thank you. There may even be some things to acknowledge that were challenging or painful. Thank you for not making me wrong even when I was at my most whiny or my most down and dark moments. Or simple things like, thank you so much for that chicken soup you made – it was magic for my bones.

It’s a simple declaration – thanks for the great job you did, and your work here is done. And here’s where sexuality comes in. Once we have shifted to a resting phase (see the work of Jaiya for more words on ‘resting’ – the kindest distinctions around sexuality I’ve come across), it often feels like our sexuality has become dormant. Maybe we feel shut down, cut off or numb? Physically and energetically. It’s like our sexual energy has gone to sleep. Guess what? It has! You’ve been in a resting phase.

In an ideal world, what’s your favourite way to wake up? Many of us wake up to the sudden interruption of an alarm to which our internal dialogue says, press snooze. But just imagine it’s your day off, there’s nowhere you need to be, how do you like to wake up? Sexuality can be like that also.  It’s needs some warming up, some gentle reawakening. It’s alive, and always there – it never goes away, and yet it can be dormant. Start with a gentle massage, and quite possibly some coconut oil…

By the way, for those of you who are now curious, interested or intrigued, I’ll be facilitating a Tantra is Love workshop on Yoni Massage at the 2016 7 Sisters festival.

A gift to the world

A gift to the world

Today is the anniversary of Alan’s death. I have to admit, today has been a bit of swirl for me. However, 37 years ago today, when Mum was pregnant with me and had 3 kids under the age of 6, Alan died unexpectedly. And while there are some amazing things I inherited from my father – like my hair that naturally quiffs and my eye colour, I was raised by another man, Geoffrey Baker. Not only did he marry my Mum when I was 1 and a half and carry me down the aisle, he took on an instant family – my brother, my two sisters and me. What kind of man does that? A man with a big enough heart. He raised us as his own and got his job done – we all turned out wonderfully. Plus we have the invaluable bonus of a younger sister who also turned out wonderfully. Together we make up the ‘Baker family’.

They say if you are not complete with your parents, you’ll predictably play out the same probable future over and over in your own relationships. I wrote Alan a letter and got to express things I’d never said before – like, how disappointed I was that I never got to look him in the eyes and how mad at him I was that he didn’t bother to stick around and meet me. As if he had a choice!  I had a rocky road with my parents in my early twenties and I’m grateful to say that all of that is now in the past – where it belongs. I only have to think about my Mum or think about my Dad and I’m moved to tears by who they are and how much I love them –and they love me. My family loves me and accepts me as I am and sometimes I forget that. Then I remember and I think, I am so blessed.

I am my father’s legacy and I am also the progeny of those who loved me and raised me. Thank you for my life Mum, Dad and Alan. It took a village.

Do I?

Do I?

I’m afraid of marriage. No, it’s not the commitment – I’ve demonstrated my ability to commit in relationship. I love the commitment and devotion. It’s not the ‘forever’ either. I’m wired to dive straight into forever. It would always be an open marriage as it’s against my values to be sexually exclusive. So is it the cultural maya of marriage – the ‘trap’ of it? Is it that I’ve been rejected before when I asked the woman I loved to marry me several times and she said no?

When people ask me if I’m going to get married to my partner, I always say, ‘It’s not legal…’ I want to point that out. My view is – heterosexual people with the right to marry should be the ones to change this law and make it equal. And I’m glad some of you are finally speaking up. But I’m not going to do anything about it.

It’s just that I have a niggling feeling, a suspicion that I now use the ‘it’s not legal’ line to back people off. Because I’m afraid. I’m afraid of wanting something that I might not be able to have, I’m afraid of getting married just so we can get divorced, I’m definitely afraid of bringing two families together. I’ve had two families before and after losing one in the ‘divorce’, I can’t bear the thought of losing another…

Should we have the choice? Yes. Then just watch me squirm in the public declaration and legality of marriage. Here’s one way to make it equal – abolish marriage – what’s it got to do with the State anyway? I don’t even know if I believe what I just wrote…

The thing is, I don’t want to get straight married. I’m not for straight marriage. I’m personally just not ready for it. I’d rather get gay married. You know, where there’s lip synching at the engagement party and Lady Gaga costumes at the wedding under a big gay mirror ball…

Ps. Of course I do!

Image source:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/floperry/super-cute-lesbian-wedding-ideas#.td71LDBwD