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Satisfaction: drink it in, embody it

03 Apr 2014, Posted by Katie Austin in Kate's Blog
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Embodied satisfaction

Recently I was doing battle with the nagging beast that is loneliness.  It can be a cruel foe. Not stirring and invigorating like anger can be. Not edgy and adrenalizing like anxiety. It’s okay to talk about being angry and it can be okay to talk about nervousness. But loneliness can have a shameful quality that has us tend more towards staying quiet about it. I read a beautiful article recently about how this deep shame of loneliness isolates us even further to exacerbate the situation. I deliberated for ages about whether or not to post it on my Facebook page and expose myself as a sufferer. In the end I didn’t but now I wish I had. I like to challenge myself with pushing the edges of personal exposure.

Anyway the loneliness fought dirty with me, closing me in and stirring a dragging desperation. I retaliated by putting on my brave face when I was in company. And perhaps partly because of that, the loneliness then played tag with depression in a particularly nasty week.

Then suddenly, completely out of the blue one Friday, in strode a client in shining armour. He was wise and mature, reflective and insightful. He described a beautiful, delicate richness in his past relationships with women. He spoke with an awareness of the world beyond physical form. Actually perhaps it is too much to describe him as having shining armour because he was coming to see me as a result of losing some of his lustre, but all the makings of a great man were sitting right there in front of me. I was so enlivened just through the witnessing of these beautiful qualities as he slowly revealed more and more of himself during the session. He ignited in me a deep faith in the powerful beauty of men who really know themselves. Tears come to my eyes right now as I recall and write of the joy it brings me to discover greatness in men. Perhaps it evokes such a deep response because it fills me with hope that I will soon find the one great man I’m seeking.

Anyway, on this day of my beautiful client in lacklustre armour, I was suddenly overwhelmed by joy and enthusiasm for life. It was particularly powerful because it came in such stark contrast to the dragging lonely depression of that week. It was an emotional catapult. That evening I had the feeling of what it must be like to flip into the manic stage of bipolar. I felt as high as a kite. I suddenly felt full and overflowing with love and generosity. I was bursting out of myself. For all that I’d been contracted into my private anguish of isolation I was now propelled outward in joyous celebration. Where I’d been quietly aching I was now vibrant and alive and glowing. A switch had been flipped.

But I could also feel that I wasn’t totally grounded. I could feel that this invigoration stirred me mostly high up in my body. Although I felt completely full with happiness I also felt how I couldn’t quite contain it. It had the sensation of a drug rush or a caffeine high. I was overflowing and although I couldn’t fully admit it, a part of me could sense that a fall was coming. I had a very social and interactive evening ahead of me and I was looking forward to bringing this new energy into the mix, but by the end of the night I found myself depleted. I still felt great joy for my earlier client experience but the energy gain in my body had been lost. It took me nearly a month to understand how to hold onto it.

Another man helped me. I found him at my boxing gym. I’ve written previously about my love of the passionate demonstration of a man’s spirit through the power in his punches. This man had it. Lively and powerful and uninhibited. I hadn’t seen him before and I didn’t anticipate this potential in him when we partnered up. He caught me by surprise. And there was even more beyond his spirited power. Another quality I love in people is a willingness to listen, learn and grow. Men particularly though can find it difficult sometimes to admit things they don’t know. It can make it tricky to open up to change. Anyway, this man demonstrated none of that resistance.

I’ve been boxing for a long time and sometimes I’ll make a supportive suggestion about technique. I’ll admit it’s a pretty tall order really for a man to take suggestion from a woman about how to fight better. But anyway, this man responded instantly in adopting my suggestion and I fell in love with him a little bit for his complete ease with it. And so my joy was doubled. Here was a man full in his expression of physical power and at the same time wide open to embracing further improvement. To witness these beautiful qualities brought me such joy and satisfaction. A seemingly simple thing yet it touched me deeply – again stirring more inspired belief in the great and beautiful potential of men.

So it was a particularly potent session for me at the gym that day and I found myself riding home with a delighted, gleeful feeling. It was reminiscent of the elation I’d felt from my client experience. But although it was a very welcome energy, the ungrounded manic aspect was present again and more unsettling to me this time. I didn’t want this gorgeous feeling to be fleeting. And so when I got home I lay down to feel more deeply into what was happening with these feelings in my body. I sensed how they were all abuzz in the upper part of me again. Partly outside of me also. I put my hands on my pelvis and breathed the energy of elated satisfaction into my lower body. I used my breath to anchor it and as I stayed with it, I felt it drop and settle lower into me. The satisfaction slowly then became a part of me. It rested into my body. I felt my legs begin to tingle as they opened to receive the pleasure of it. Suddenly, with my awareness and my intention and my breath, I had managed to harness the elusive drug high feeling by welcoming it home into all of my body. I felt full and contained with all the aliveness from before but none of the ungrounded rush. It had been an untethered experience before but now I’d called satisfaction home into my physical body. I’d invited it in to find a deeper resting place and it stayed with me.

I’m sure it’s not entirely unrelated that the loneliness has largely disappeared for me now. There were certainly other pieces involved in extricating myself from that puzzle but I think it’s not so easy to be captured by loneliness when the body knows how to receive and hold onto an experience of satisfaction. It’s like quenching thirst with something deeply nourishing instead of a quick fix effervescence.  I might add that to my list of personal describers: Thirst Quencher.

And so perhaps then let me extend an invitation. If you find yourself captured by the emptiness of lonely feelings sometimes, or on a roundabout of fleeting highs, let me help you find more satisfaction to better quench your thirst.