How to touch someone with finesse, skill and attunement in a way that is unattached to outcome, listening to both your needs and theirs, following the flow of what wants to happen... It's an art.
On one level, it's super simple to touch someone - you just do it.
However, we're complex creatures.
I'll speak for myself...
I want to be attuned to, deeply heard and seen. I want the person touching me to release what they think they know and to actually listen to my body, my energy, my words, my breath, my soul AND theirs. If they are not aware of what's happening for them and they're focused solely on me, something is missing.
What is attunement?
Speak to me, make contact with me in a way that has my body, mind and energy soften and clarify in your presence. When we are attuned, my body trusts your touch the moment you come into contact with me, and where you come into contact with me is not necessarily physical touch first. Here in this moment as you're reading, you are coming in to contact with my words, my thoughts, my energy field. The energy field spans distances and time.
Attunement is finding resonance where your body and mine meet. It's finding harmony between us.
Attunement is how a mother knows exactly what her baby requires, and giving it to them in a way that they can fully receive it. Attunement is not assuming you know what someone else needs based on past experiences, but being present with the being you are with in the moment, who may be different than how they showed up 10 seconds ago.
A guitar will need different tuning in dry and humid conditions. A living human is far more complex than a guitar. They may desire completely different contact now than you gave them 2 days ago, or different than you would like to receive yourself.
HOW do we attune to our partners?
First, know yourself. Become so purely present with yourself in this moment.
As I type this now, I feel tingly in the back of my head, tension in my jaw and teeth, distrust of people who may read this (I have a story that the more strangers know about me, the more they'll take advantage of me, in a way that takes and doesn't give), awareness of sounds around me - the dryer running, neighbors upstairs - my sleepy eyes, the ticking clock, the habit of my energy coming forward, then recalibrating and finding where my energy wants to be - naturally sinking in to my belly as I allow it.
What's the point of noticing and naming all of this? Why does any of this matter?
Because as I write, as I notice everything in my experience, I soften, settle, and relax. My energy expands. The pressure in my head releases.
How does this relate to attunement to a partner?
If I'm holding tension, or on edge, or not present and aware in my body, then some part of the person I'm coming in to contact with is aware of that, whether they are conscious of it or not. Their body, or their energy, or their subconscious knows. And the better that I can attune to myself, to become aware of my present state and to give myself what I need, I will be better equipped to make contact with another being in a way that is clear and mutually supportive in a clean, unattached way. If I were disregulated and not aware of it, not owning it, and then offering supportive contact to someone, I may actually be receiving more benefit by touching them than they are receiving from me. I may actually be subconsciously taking. This can create an energy imbalance - an unconscious way to pull energy. The more that I as a support person am aware of my experience, and am grounded, centered, and owning my experience, the more I can offer neutral, attuned, supportive contact.
Once you know where you're at, you're ready to start attuning to another... which I'll write about another day.
If you're not clear where you're at and what's happening for you now, reach out to schedule a session. Bodywork, somatic coaching, and Biodynamic energy healing will clarify the body, mind and spirit.
What am I doing?!!!
I started something new, initiated myself into a 156-day project. Whoa. That's quite a commitment.
So I was at the bookstore with a good friend yesterday, browsing Tarot and Oracle cards, and she asked if I ever considered making my own, as she's familiar with my art.
Yes, yes I have.
And I have felt stifled by the prospect of such a big task - wanting to "get it right." I'm fairly new to the exploration of Tarot. But another book I picked up inspired me to start my own exploration in depth. It was a beginners guide to tarot that included spaces to draw your own Tarot images based on the description of each card.
After years of using other people's guidance to learn about various modalities, about myself and the universe, I've decided to give myself my own "homework assignment." With a desire to CREATE my work, to understand myself more deeply, and to share with the world what I know, here's my project:
Create one painting for every Tarot card, at least every other day, completing by December 25, 2019.
Technically it would be December 26 from the day I started; however, I like the possibility of ending at the start of the holy nights (thank you, Sweigh Spilkin for your influence there - I gained a newfound appreciation of the 13 Holy Nights after your guided meditation practice).
This is a big task, at least it sounds like it in my mind. Commitment. Daily practice. Learning something new, for a set time period. Parts of this are very masculine - direct, focused, set framework. My teachers have been suggesting that I need a masculine presence to help balance my yin essence. Yin is all-encompassing, includes everything, flowing, spacious. Yang is direct, focused, stable, structured. I want to allow my yin to play and enjoy herself, and give her some framework to stay balanced, on-track and clear.
Each day will be a mini journey, an opportunity to see what's happening in my world. Let's take a look at what day #1 has brought up, my relationship to beginnings.
0: The Fool: New Beginnings
The Unknown . New Possibilities . Beginnings . Innocence . Unfolding
Yay! I'm starting something new! I committed to something! Look at the line-up of dates - this is gonna be great! Look at the potential, the possibilities this could bring.
Did I make the right choice? Is this the best use of my time & creativity? What will other people think? This seems like a big commitment...
In my work with John and Anna Chitty at the Colorado School of Energy Studies, I've learned about the process of beginnings, middles and endings. They say that our relationship to these aspects of life is dependent on our earliest imprint - from conception to birth. How we deal with beginnings is reflective of the moment we were conceived, how our mother was when we were in utero, and how the beginning of our birth was - if the start of our birth was delayed or complicated, we may have difficulty with beginnings.
I wonder what my mother was thinking when she first conceived of me... Was she questioning her choices, wondering what other people think of her? Sensing in to my birth, and thinking of what I've been told about it, it was both easeful and scary. I was ready to come in to this world, but also not completely trusting of the experience.
An excerpt from The Wild Wood Tarot (0 is "The Wanderer"):
At this moment the burdens of the past are set aside - either for the Wanderer to pick up and take along, or to leave behind if the weigh is too great. The Wheel of the Year is beginning its great cycle, bringing a new range of possibilities and challenges. The Wanderer is ready to make the leap into the unknown - all that is required is faith.
From White Witch Tarot (I just realized both of my tarot decks are WWT... I wonder what the significance of that is?):
Certainty comes quietly
Of its own impossibility
It seems to me that my drawings always start with the unknown - I usually don't have an idea of what they're going to look like. In this case, I started with sensing in to the energy of the Fool, and following the crayons and paintbrush from there. It's a practice in surrender. These images and this process may not make sense to a lot of people (sometimes it doesn't make sense to me!), but I want to allow the process to unfold, to have faith in the unknown. I feel grateful for those who do appreciate and see value in my work. And at the very least, it's fun and interesting to me.
Final note: Reversed (upside down), this Tarot card represents recklessness, which I noticed as I was completing the painting on the first night - I started to check my phone, considering replying to a call, before I had finished cleaning up the space, and I knocked over a glass of a chlorophyll-enhanced water, nearly staining the carpet green. It felt clear that this process requires more respect and intentionality, that it's best to maintain a clear container as I'm working and finish cleaning up the space before moving on to the next thing.
Thank you for reading this far! Thank you for joining me on this journey. And if you have any reflections on what this brings up for you, thank you in advance for sharing.
Intuitive energy healer, massage therapist and somatic coach in Asheville, NC, bringing you insight and inspiration on healing and conscious living. Formerly in Boulder, CO.