Elements of Intimacy
How can we truly live into our capacity for love? When we feel afraid and under-resourced, autonomic nervous system responses of fight, flight, appease and freeze play out in patterns of relationship based on threat management. We can learn to use our reactive energies as portals to more spacious places in ourselves and our relationships, where we feel empowered to interact in courageous, generous, kind and loving ways.
When relationships are unloving or unwell, we are liable to bounce around in a pin-ball machine of reactive energies. We become hypervigilant, seeing danger everywhere, or dissociative, failing to track real danger, or we alternate between these states – and so we are liable to keep on experiencing more danger, dysfunction, neglect and violence in our lives. Relational well-being produces its own positive feedback loop. When we feel resourced, safe-enough, and challenged in manageable ways, we experience a cascade of beneficial physiological effects. We gradually let go of chronic fascial contraction, emotional turmoil and anxious thoughts. Our nervous systems suppress stress chemistry, and activate feel-good neurochemistry, including oxytocin, dopamine, serotonin, endorphins and endocannabanoids. In relationships where we can be brave, curious, excited, supported – and experience embodied pleasure – we can heal and grow our traumatized nervous systems, and build more and more capacity for joy.
We can learn to interact in ways that foster intimacy, and empower a dance of loving connection based on goodwill and welcome. We can practice gratitude and generosity, and attune our energy with the biosphere of belonging. As we learn to create a neurological feedback loop that supports a wonderful world within and around us, we find ourselves welcoming more and more joy and intimacy into our lives. A free handout on the Elements of Intimacy can be accessed HERE