Guest post by Taryn
I was madly in the process of scribbling some notes on the topic of ‘touch’, taking into account all that I’ve learned over the past few years working with clients when I got a clear message; not everyone understands the deeper resonance of touch or the energetic aspect and its power to heal relationships, whether that be with our self or with others.
The inherent value of human receptors being able to sense physical touch is a remarkable evolutionary tool that helps us to connect and ultimately bond with another living being. This is nature’s way of comforting us, ensuring that a) we procreate and b) we survive well into adulthood.
I guess the first notion needs very little explaining, except to say that without being close physically we don’t get very far with our partners, although of course there are degrees of physical contact that may perpetuate a negative response if not experienced on a conscious (aware, mindful) level. Touch opens us up to many processes simultaneously as the sympathetic nervous system registers and evaluates what is really going on. We know it’s imperative for babies to feel the loving touch of their mother (or carer) in order to feel safe, but what happens as we grow older and more conditioned to the values of surviving in the outside world?
Being in close proximity to a person can be a powerful indicator of these feelings as we make our way each day in big cities, siding up against strangers on public transport and sitting in open offices alongside colleagues, aware of inappropriate touching and therefore avoiding it altogether. Generally there’s not much reason for pressing the flesh with someone unless the occasional hand shake is called for, but one thing that’s rarely considered is the unseen touch as transference from our energy occurs every second of every day.
We come into contact with other people’s energy without knowing the implications. For some of us who may be especially sensitive, we can become weighed down by negative or toxic waves, which is something I experienced years ago during a massage. The masseur, a young girl intent on telling me about her recent split from a boyfriend (I’ve since learned not to mention I’m a Relationships Counsellor on my day off) was obviously quite upset. I had to kindly ask if it was okay for her to massage me in silence so I could relax and meditate.
What happened next as I lay there face down, her fingers kneading away at my shoulders then my arms, is a great example of transference. Unsure exactly how to interpret what was going on, I just knew that I didn’t feel relief which is the usual outcome a massage generally offers. It wasn’t until later that day when feeling heavy and a little nauseous, I recalled our conversation only to realise that anger was coming up. I had absorbed her anger! This experience had me research and consequently understand more about the impact of energy and boundaries, leveraging further study into this fascinating area that we are so naively unaware.
It’s important we all understand the intention we place upon touch, as toxic energy may be passed on and absorbed by unaware individuals. Whether in a tactile profession or when touching another human being, we need to ask ourselves how we are feeling at that moment. Are we mindful of our client’s needs and able to be fully present as they come into our space for healing? Is it with pure love that we hug our partner without any hidden agenda or repressed anger? Are our thoughts and intentions positive and without expectation when we kiss our friends and children hello or goodbye?
I cleanse and clear my workspace constantly after each client, especially if there have been any negative issues or responses throughout our day, as this can linger in the atmosphere and be absorbed by the energetic body. We unconsciously make choices about how close we get to people as our minds evaluate the level of intimacy metered out. Is the touch gentle and soothing? Am I responding to this touch in a positive way or is it making me anxious or cautious?
Anxiety was a constant companion during my early adult years, making it difficult for me to get too close for fear I may be hurt. In response to trauma a few years later, my psyche recalled an experience of physical abuse in early childhood which set me on a course whereby I was able to completely detach from feeling anything at all. Through what is undeniably an interesting path to take next, I became an Escort, this lifestyle giving me the time I needed to heal.
I’m sure that many of you will be thinking of all things, isn’t this where you would experience a great deal more touching? Whilst to some degree this is true, what underlies my choice is that having literally had the wind knocked out of my sails (or the energy from my lower three chakras, as I now understand) I was only functional on a mental level, completely disengaging from my body’s sensory perception. I was able to easily detach myself from feeling anything on my skin hence I didn’t register the touch of strangers at all!
Sound too bizarre? What about the psychological impact, you wonder? Well, fortunately I have been blessed with emotional intelligence and with the impact of anger surfacing as I processed these crises in my life I was able to justify my position. Sure I felt the occasional groping and yes sex happened (always with a condom so I was definitely untouched) but I never physically nor mentally acknowledged a personal connection with the event taking place.
The human in all its elements is an amazing adaptive being, and with my studies in psychology at that time (plus compulsory therapy, thank Goddess!) I was able to learn more about my behaviour which had armoured me quite significantly, allowing me to negotiate this role with panache as I completely disassociated, always leaving my ‘work’ behind at the end of the day.
In the meantime I got my sensual, intimate nurturing from the strong bond I have with my nephews since their birth. During the years I saw them regularly and marvelled at the depth of my emotional response each time I held them. It was this love that managed to seep through my many layers, their transference restoring and stimulating the positive endorphins in my brain. Inevitably I became aware of the value of holding them as I trained in Energetic Healing and Tantra, mindful of all six senses as I endeavoured to trust these feelings a little more as I consciously practiced living in this way, always focussing on the other person’s touch and how my body responds.
Once the energetic wounds were eliminated my emotional and spiritual world aligned, creating a connection with my physical body that hadn’t been present for some years. This is when I met one particular (very handsome) man, his hug sending me immediately into a spin! I felt an electric charge as we hugged, proof that with all the self-help work and energetic healing I’d done; my body had been cleared of past blocks relating to fear and rejection. Also it’s interesting to note that for some reason I knew that he was going to be someone significant in my life!
Our meeting triggered a return to meditation, helping me stay grounded as I felt my energy become depleted (excited, juggling too many things and giving away too much of myself), revisiting my tantric practice which became easier. Why is it easier with meditation? Because what we’re doing is, well, nothing! We are encouraged by stillness to be fully present not only within ourselves but also with our partner. By being relaxed and keeping our minds still, our body is more able to adapt to the natural forces between us.
The art of Tantra simply put is this:
Awareness in the present moment helps us to bond with our partner, building a deeper connection
Sexual energy is the life force, and by becoming aware of this energy we can utilise it to nurture our whole body, up to our hearts and minds
Breath powers this life force, and with each deeper breath we can become more relaxed and awakened to the energy that builds between us
Being the perfect lover is not the goal – accepting each other’s loving is a gift that opens us up more fully
By balancing our male and female energies we can enjoy healthy, empowering sexual relationships
Intimacy is created at a far deeper, spiritual level as eye contact and sensory cues heighten the feelings of love between us
Communication is fundamental as we share both body and heartfelt feelings; words expressed will feed each others’ spirit and fuel a deeper commitment
Feelings can be expressed freely in the moment – consciously (emotions are an unconscious expression of the past)
Tantra helps build trust, allowing us to surrender into vulnerability not only physically (it is the traditional platform upon which Yoga was birthed, which helps with flexibility and positioning of the body during intimate communion) but also on a spiritual level. This practice can help alleviate any unconscious, debilitating pattern that may lead to relational, sexual or emotional dysfunction or disease. Understanding and believing this will resonate through our mind, body and spirit, creating a healthy pathway for restoration of what may have been affected by trauma.
As a teacher once said, “If the spirit is strong, the body will always heal itself,” and if we are completely content in our own wellness, our energetic resonance attracts qualities such as unconditional love which I have come to learn is the ultimate key to having a healthier, more sustainable relationship with others!
With love and a hug,
Taryn ‘s colourful career began in 1998 when she worked on the launch of Viagra in Australia. A Public Relations Consultant in Pharmaceutical Healthcare, primarily in the area of sexual and nutritional health, she soon realised there were conditions that drugs just couldn’t fix. Taryn herself was also becoming ill as the effects of a dysfunctional lifestyle fuelled by relationship heartache caused her to burn out, leaving her with Adrenal Fatigue, a relatively unknown condition. Realising that her body had its own belief system, she discovered that the energy we expend needs to be balanced with all natural elements found in everyday life. A review of lifestyle behaviours showed that by ‘being’ in balance (happy, relaxed, eating well) and ‘doing’ less far outweighed the consequence of becoming stressed, which often becomes the root cause in creating unhealthy relationships with others
After four years of cathartic scribing, Taryn’s manuscript entitled ‘Trust’ is with her editor to be released by the end of 2013. Sharing her experience of physical, spiritual and emotional detachment due to childhood trauma and subsequent illness that led to a life as an Escort, her transformation became the catharsis for eventual long-term healing. (At the time, a tarot reading revealed the harrowing Death and Tower cards, with the reader stating that she was about to experience ‘death of old ways of being and a radical new career change lay ahead’)
With ongoing study in psychology and energetic healing during this time, beliefs were re-evaluated as she recognised that to have a healthy intimate relationship she had to love and reconnect with herself first.
Today Taryn is a Relationships Counsellor and Tantric Sex Coach working in Sydney where she incorporates energetic healing and touch into practice with clients. Her aim is to support others as they work toward building healthier relationships, learning about their own innate power to create intimacy and the importance of keeping their hearts open to attract love.
Her second book entitled ‘Touch’ is currently underway.