A few years ago, I was asked to take a Tantra class with a friend. I was curious and decided to do it. Why not? What could it hurt? Plus, I was curious. What is this about? Sex? That’s what Tantra is, right?
Tantra is simply:
“spiritual practice that uses physical energy, especially sexual energy, to boost human consciousness to higher states on the path to enlightenment.”
Excerpt From: Sienna Newcastle. “American Tantra.”
I quickly learned it was about energy – male & female – Shiva and Shakti – earth and sky – matter and energy. And, as my teacher is so fond of saying – both of those things are present in everything and fucking constantly creating the energy we feel. (She loves the idea of everything at every moment fucking – it makes her laugh.)
So Tantra is an understanding of those energies – creating an awareness to be in the now – and using that energy to create what you want in the future, in yourself and the universe. Good powerful stuff.
I recently decided to brush up on it and take the class again. I was feeling a bit weird asking if I could, like I was a tantric failure to my teacher, but she assured me that she took White Tantra (or beginners tantra) five times even after she moved onto other, more advanced Tantra learnings. In fact, there are five of us in the current class who have taken this before. Perfect, I thought.
This past weekend, I had a make-up class for a class I missed. I was going back and forth about it given I was in a bad headspace yet after my in-law fun, but I had committed to being there – so I went.
I am so glad I did.
Ended up that I got a private lesson because the others did not show up. The teacher and I have become friends over the years, so it was nice to sit and catch-up and have kind of a customized class for me that still covered the material I missed. And because of that friendship, it was great to be able to talk about things we are processing in our lives and, for me, to hear how she is dealing with some of the same things I am – just a different flavor.
“It’s hard seeing people make the same mistake over and over again – then get up and try again. It’s like they keep walking straight into that low hanging branch, only to try again and still not ducking under it. But I have to acknowledge they are the one stuck – not me. That there is nothing I can do but maybe realize that it is I who is seeing it differently and reacting to it differently – they have not changed – they are still getting back up and walking into that low hanging branch. All you can do is let them keep doing it – and put your energy elsewhere because chances are, you are putting more into them than you are getting back. And that’s ok.”
Perspective is a wonderful thing.
My in-laws have not changed. They are still pulling the same bullshit they always have. Truly, they are. My mother-in-law is still making the same judgemental statements and comments – the same she did when I first met her 22 years ago. My father-in-law is still doing the same shit he did when I first met him. There are no difference in them today.
But there are in the person they met 22 years ago and the person who is their daughter-in-law today. Lots of differences. Difference that create me to have different reactions to it than I did 22 years ago.
I had forgotten that this was the lesson where she pulls out her phrase – my favorite phrase – Energy flows where the attention goes. In other words, if you are focused on the bad shit, your energy goes to that bad shit therefore feeding it.
Second “ah-ha” moment with her….
Not only am I not acknowledging that this is how my in-laws are – and responding accordingly – I am feeding that negative crap!
And by worrying about what they could do that would create drama with my kids, I’m giving my attention to that “what if” and could be helping ensure it to happen because I’m feeding it.
And to add insult to injury, through our discussions, she commented how when we focus on that stuff, we stop staying in the present. We stop experiencing what is in our life fully because our focus is not here and now – it’s on the what-ifs – the worrying – the crap that we don’t want to have happen. We mute our joy – we mute our experience – we stop listening to the lessons of the now.
She’s right. I have spent most of my weekend trying to figure out what to do, worrying about situation at hand – and how much of my weekend did I enjoy? How much was I present for?
Perspective is a funny thing. Definitely shifted my thinking after going through the lesson – connections were made. And in her sharing her own experiences with this lesson – experiences in her own life with connections being made, I realized a very important one –
It was not an accident I had a 1×1 class with her – I had been focused on wanting a solution to this issue even if it was just the way I thought about it – and the universe gave me one – in the form of the teacher and the lesson and the applications of it in her own life story.
Made me realize I need just be here – and now – and bask in the great stuff I have.
Fuck the rest of them.