Whole Life Magazine

December/January 2014

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Page 13 of 43

By Wendy Strgar T hink about the last time you felt profoundly grateful. Try to remember how it felt in your body the last time you were fully aware of how good life can be, and notice how engaged your were by your senses. Maybe it was the extraor- dinary taste of favorite foods or the scent of seasons changing in the early morning. Or perhaps it was great music lingering and changing your physiology, or colors capturing your imag- ination. Turning the practice of gratitude into a felt sense is as simple as bringing our full attention to our sensory capacity. Learning to recognize and actually physically feel gratitude gives us access to more joy and pleasure in the everyday. Nowhere is this gratitude response a more powerful and transformative visceral reality than in the moments of fi nding your body entwined in erotic pleasure with a lover. The range of wondrous sensations evoked by the language of touch expresses all the nuances, depth and mean- ing that words convey, and more. The myriad of chem- ical reactions that sponta- neously occur with perfect synchronicity opening our potential for the highly coveted experience of or- gasm is one of life's peak moments of gratitude for living in a human body. Nothing alters our perception of time and space as defi nitively as when the inner and outer worlds, self and other, merge and become indistinguishable. In moments of grate- ful pleasure, giving and receiving are truly one and the same. Mahatma Gandhi once wrote, "To give pleasure to a single heart by a single act is better than a thousand heads bowing in prayer." Overcoming our resistance to intimate pleasure is a profound spiritual awakening. As we practice the art of receiv- ing we expand our capacity for pleasure and literally embody the experience of gratitude. Conversely, the inability to receive through our senses correlates to the signifi cant incidence of sexual dysfunction and its collateral damage to the experience of orgasm. Millions of people, both men and women, suffer from condi- tions that hinder their ability to receive and experience sexual pleasure. Whether due to early, repetitive and unhelpful mes- saging about what sexuality means about us, or the bad choices most of us make on the way to fi guring out our sexuality, we live within an erotically wounded culture that swings widely between the prudish "just say no" and the endless hookup. Each moment we tap into a universal force of forgiveness is a world-changing act. By loving the wounded places in ourselves, we make the es- sential commitment to healing that in fact feels like gratitude. The experience of pleasure is how we say yes to life. Curiosity replaces judgment in matters of arousal, which in and of itself alters your relation- ship to sexual gratifi ca- tion. It's amazing how well our arousal mech- anism responds to our ability to surrender to it. One night in the midst of my own passionate weavings I realized that want- ing to fall down the fast moving chute into a pleasure delirium is everything, and that desire is entirely propor- tional to our felt sense of being both loved and lov- ing. It also presents a formidable risk-taking with your heart. Welcom- ing moments of naked vulnerability is the only way to experience how healing human touch can be. Yet it is equally unpredictable, this deep dive into shared erotic bliss. Anything can happen, and usually does. But if you enter with two feet in, chances are good that the cycle of gratitude that these moments create will ground your life and encircle your love. —Wendy Strgar, writer, teacher and loveologist, is the founder and CEO at Good Clean Love, makers of Almost Naked 95 per- cent-organic lubricant. When giving and receiving become one THE MOST GRATEFUL MOMENTS whole living SEX TALK 14 wholelifetimesmagazine.com

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