The LoveLife Blog: guidance on mindful, bodyful, soulful loving!


#298: It's Time to Let Our Souls Catch-Up

Jacqueline Hellyer - Sunday, April 26, 2020



After a couple of really full and busy years, I had hoped 2020 would be slower-paced, but I wasn’t expecting it to be like this! With the bushfires at the start of the year there was no annual beach holiday to refresh and recuperate, so I thought a ‘stay-cation’ would be good as I could potter at home and get the house and garden looking good (when it wasn’t too smoky to go outside that is). And…I’m still pottering at home. The house and garden are looking amazing! I am fortunate than I can still get out of the house go to my clinic to see clients, mostly online.

It is interesting to see how clients are reacting to the pandemic restrictions. There are couples who are finding that spending more time together is solving their problems as what they mostly needed was more downtime together. Others are finding the forced time together is highlighting and exacerbating existing problems, bringing their troubles to the fore and forcing them to address them. Some single clients are withdrawing from the world while others are reaching out and finding that the longer ‘dating’ required at this time means they are forming better quality connections.

For me, at the start of the pandemic, like so many others I dropped into ‘production’ mode. What more could I offer, how could I help people more, what myriad of online course could I create to support others? Then I was hit with overwhelming tiredness. I didn’t want to do ‘more’, I actually wanted to do less.

It’s surprising how tiring this is. I was just reading an article about how for most neurotypical people (those not on the autism spectrum) spending hours in on-line meetings is much more mentally tiring than in-person. The reason for this is that you can’t get all the cues we normally get when in the presence of someone, so your brain is working much harder to find them and to interpret without them.

That was a relief for me as I’m finding doing session after session staring at the screen really exhausting. When I get a rare client come in person it’s an amazing relief. I feel my whole being react differently than if they are online. Technology and the ability to work online is a blessing these days, but understand too how challenging it can be.

But I feel the tiredness is more than that. The pace and intensity of life has become so great of late. Everyone is so busy, there is always so much to do. We live life focused on what we are doing rather than what we are experiencing, as if we are Human Doings rather than Human Beings. We live life from the outside in, rather than from the inside out.

It’s time to let our souls catch up. I’ve been letting mine catch up, which is why I haven’t sent out a newsletter for over a month. I'm accepting that what I do is enough. Sure, I could offer more, and I probably will offer more, but for now, let’s go at a pace that nourishes me.

There has been a movement of ‘slow’ and ‘simple’ over the past few decades. Slow cooking, decluttering and, my particular interest, slow loving.

My research in optimal sexuality (which I have been doing very slowly of late!) is showing that the best sex in long-term relationships is slow, couples with optimal sexuality take their time to really feel into the love-making, to allow their minds to still, their bodies to soften and their hearts to open. It also tends to be quite simple. While couples who have this optimal sexuality generally are open-minded and have a broad repertoire of sexual possibilities, they find that they prefer depth over breadth and that depth doesn’t necessarily require a lot of variety.

This approach gets you into a state of embodied mindfulness, one where you are really present to what you are experiencing. As a client said recently: “It’s reveling, luxuriating within my body.” From this space, there is so much ease and contentment that the simple joys are heightened. It's as though you really are experiencing life with body and soul. Experiencing this in love-making (solo as well as partnered) flows out into the rest of life (and vice versa), so that the whole of life is felt more richly, more soulfully.

As I sit here writing this in my pyjamas, enjoying my first cup of tea of the day in my beautiful garden, I do feel the deliciousness of this current moment. My soul is well and truly present. It has caught up and it is loving being back.
Let yours settle back in too. Experience rather than do. Live life, love life, from the inside out.

 




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