This post was originally published on https://www.therewilders.org/ on July 26, 2021.
I have been working long hours lately while we were looking for a new Rewilder team member. I am grateful to announce that we now found her, Kim Ewell. She will be helping with all things related to the Rewilding Community and also supporting us with project management.
But during the time of my overworking, I noticed my body speaking to me about my lack of self-care. My back was sore. I was not sleeping well. My emotions were giving me feedback as well. I was less patient and more reactive. The signals were clear that my mind was more stirred up than usual. This was not caused by me working longer hours. There have been plenty of times when I work long hours and am not stirred up, but this time I was identifying with low mood thinking. And I was more vulnerable to do that because I was tired. This distinction is important to me because life is much simpler when I remember that my experience is only created one way — from the inside out.
Fortunately, technology conspired to slow me down. My fairly new MacBook started freezing at various intervals. This morning it is non-functional so I am writing this blog post by hand. It has been a long time since I have hand-written a first draft. As I write I am noticing the shape of my handwriting and appreciating the lines and curves. It feels sensuous. There is a slowing down happening in my mind as the words flow onto the page. I am feeling less like the writer and more like being written. I’m enjoying being in the experience of writing. I am in the flow of it. I am allowing my intellect to become mesmerized and lose its focus. I’m not spelling words correctly and that is okay. I am feeling the pen touch the paper and allowing the scratching sound my pen makes when leaving ink on the page to soothe me.
This feels good. Nothing in my nervous system is feeling stress. I am in the pleasure of the present moment. I feel my aliveness and am appreciating the gift of my senses. I am being rewilded. I am not compartmentalized inside my brain. Even though I’m engaging in the intellectual activity of writing, I am not living in my head. I feel my full existence. I am in the fullness of presence and it is delicious.
It has been so close all of this time, but when I was caught up in my thinking and feeling stressed and overwhelmed I was forgetting to enjoy the present moment. When I was feeling exhausted, I was living in my conceptual mind and ignoring the animal nature of my body. I was forgetting how the senses allow me to feel my aliveness and how they act as a portal to the space of peace and wellbeing that lies within.
What comes first, pleasure or peace?
They can’t be disconnected. They are one and the same. Our spiritual nature cannot be separated from our humanness. They are different expressions of the same truth. Pleasure is an indicator that lets us know we are feeling settled and safe. We are in alignment with our true nature. We are experiencing our natural state.
Aristotle wrote more than 300 years ago BCE:
We may lay it down that Pleasure is a movement, a movement by which the soul as a whole is consciously brought into its normal state of being; and that Pain is the opposite.
Somehow this definition of pleasure in Eurocentric cultures was usurped by a moralistic interpretation of pleasure that associates it with hedonism and sees it as dangerous and destructive.
Pleasure has been relegated to the realm of the carnal and impure. Whereas spiritual awakening happens in the mind and is pure and holy. But what if, as Aristotle said, pleasure is purely an indicator that we are aligned with our natural state of being, and pain simply lets us know when that is not the case?
Pleasure is an experience that lets us know we are in tune with our spiritual nature. This does not nullify pain but recognizes it is a helpful indicator to let us know when we are experiencing the truth of who we are. It is a simple hot and cold game where pleasure is not a dangerous temptress, but something we get to fully enjoy, experience, and welcome. We not only get to embrace and enjoy pleasure, but we also get to drop into it as a portal for experiencing our wholeness, our aliveness, our true self.
Rewilding is about returning to our natural state. The state that is before our learned conditioning that limits our experience of who we are. Our conditioning is our biology’s best attempt to keep us safe in an unsafe world where death of the physical body is a fact. This is all part of the common sense we have that allows us to live in this world to the best of our abilities. However, this isn’t all of who we are. We aren’t just a physiological package of nerves, bones, and muscles. The form of who we are is a small part of our nature that is expressed within the larger context of our formless nature whose essence is love. We can trust the larger part of ourselves to be our compass and guide us. It is pleasurable. It is loving. It is peaceful. It is you.
For those of you who want to explore pleasure more fully, I am offering an introductory exploration of awakening to feminine pleasure with a free 10-day workshop series that starts on Friday, July 30th, 2021. We will be exploring the below themes. To learn more click here.
If you would like to listen to the Rewilding Love Podcast, it comes out in serial format. Start with Episode 1 for context. Click here to listen. And, if you would like to dive deeper into the understanding I share along with additional support please check out the Rewilding Community.
Rohini Ross is co-founder of “The Rewilders.” Listen to her podcast, with her partner Angus Ross, Rewilding Love. They believe too many good relationships fall apart because couples give up thinking their relationship problems can’t be solved. In this season of the Rewilding Love Podcast, Rohini and Angus help a couple on the brink of divorce due to conflict. Angus and Rohini also co-facilitate private couples’ intensives retreat program that rewild relationships back to their natural state of love. Rohini is also the author of the ebook Marriage, and she and Angus are co-founders of The 29-Day Rewilding Experience and The Rewilding Community. You can follow Rohini on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To learn more about her work and subscribe to her blog visit: TheRewilders.org.