Intimacy is something we all crave as humans. it is something we need, and at a time of year when we may feel it is lacking, like Valentine’s Day, it can make us feel insecure. Let’s take this opportunity to talk about ways to feel loved, connected, appreciated and intimate that don’t involve a romantic partner.
I used to be a serial monogamist- I was always in a relationship and stayed in unhealthy relationships because I feared being without someone. I continually made compromises of my wants and needs to accomodate my partner because I did not know who I was alone. In doing this, I further lost my sense of self, as well as a congruence in who I was and what I stood for.
In the past 5 years I have chosen to be single. I have chosen what I wanted and needed, I felt my way through the insecurity of being alone on vacations, in restaurants and on dance floors- all for the joy of falling in love with who I am. I went on dates alone with my favourite couples, and learned to feel like I was enough. I did not need to be an ‘us’, I could make important decisions as ‘me’. I learned to be alone, without being lonely. In doing so, I learned some important ways to create intimacy in my life without one night stands and without being the ungroomed chimp.
If you have listened to Eric’s lectures, you know he often talks about the grooming order of chimps. We have seen from observation that chimps will sit in a hierarchical line in trees. The higher ranked monkeys are groomed of ticks, fleas, and dirt quite frequently. The lesser ranked monkeys have no one to care for them and so are more susceptible to diseases and often die of loneliness and neglect.
Although we as humans have learned to bathe ourselves, we still have the primal need to be taken care of and accepted by the group. In our primal hardwere, attention and affection mean survival. So, let’s create some new software to communicate this hard wired need to our primal brains and bodies without depending on a sexual relationship:
Create deep attachments and intimacy with people in your life who are close to you. Often we imagine that intimacy means sexual contact, but this is a social construction. We have been conditioned to live in nuclear families, to keep our private business private, and to be emotionally and physically closed off from everyone except our partners and children. Life does not need to be this way- and you can find a community of open minded, heart centered people to be a part of. (I know because I have personally sought them out around the world.)
The Living WildFit Community and each individual WildFit Tribe is going through an intimate transformation together. We are each changing our lives on a deep, subconscious level, with the help of those in the community. We ask for help, which is very difficult for most humans to do, and accept the support and guidance of those who were strangers days or months ago. There is an opportunity to share your greatest fears, challenges and perceived weaknesses with others, and they reciprocate with empathy and understanding. If you are a part of these communities and have cultivated deep bonds with former strangers around the world, you know what I am talking about. If you are in this community and are looking to create deeper bonds- put yourself out there. You may be overwhelmed with love and appreciation in what you get back. We are global, so you can also make an effort to form deeper connections with local WildFitters.
Aside from online relationships, make an effort to connect with those you are related to and want to cultivate a deeper relationship with. Be brave and make the first move. Reach out and tell them how much they mean to you, if they are close by, hug them more, hold their hands, touch their faces. Explain that you really appreciate their presence in your life and you want to feel as close to them as possible. Openly share with them your thoughts and emotions- both about them and about things that are important to you. By being brave enough to do this, you open up space for them to do the same with you. This is the beginning of a more intimate relationship.
Finally, learn how to show self love and appreciation. This is the most difficult skill to master. In the first two weeks of the WildFit challenge, we identify the not so nice voices in our head that formed harsh judgements about ourselves and our behaviours. We can talk to ourselves in a way that we would never do with our friends, family or even enemies. Identify your self talk and how it is serving you. Can you be kinder with yourself and get behind your own efforts? Can you learn to love and appreciate your body?
Our body will never look like a magazine cover model’s body. Even their body does not look like that image. We need to gain perspective for what our body does. It allows us to interact with our world, it carries us around, it does it’s best to keep you alive and find equilibrium no matter what fuel or toxins we feed it. Can you open up a possibility to be loving and show tenderness towards your body? Is it possible to nurture, love and appreciate it the way you wish your ideal partner would? Can you find ways to compliment yourself for how you look and what you do? Can you find ways to touch yourself with love? To caress your own body without fear or judgement?
These questions and their answers can lead you on a powerful journey. As you learn more about yourself through WildFit, you gain more appreciation for yourself and the incredible power your body has. It can be difficult, and may take time- but if you begin to approach these tasks you will feel more connected and less lonely. If you have love in your heart for yourself, you need never lonely. The work is in discovering consciously how you speak to yourself, and shifting it to be an intimate, tender and loving message. We are here to help you find the way.