Hi, and welcome back to the UNCUT Feminine Podcast.
If you’re new here, I’m Oana, founder of thefeminine.com.
We are an online platform dedicated to empowering women all over the world to trust their voices, follow their hearts and embrace their womanhood. And each month, we discuss here any topic that can be filed under the word FEMININITY. We discuss senses, vitality, healthy body, emotions, fulfilling lives, passion, sensuality, relationships, and sisterhood, all these with the intention to give a guide into anything that makes us amazing, beautiful, self-expressed, and powerful women.
This whole month, we brought up a very sensitive but very inspiring, hot topic called INTIMACY.
What is it? Why is it vital for our soul and what happens when we lose it?
How can we create it or recreate it in our relationships?
I have my partner here, Ioana, and we’re going to play a little bit back and forth with questions and answers. Hi, Ioana.
Hello, Oana. Nice to see you again. How was your week?
It was very intimate!
How was your month?
The same with all the ups and downs of what INTIMACY can actually bring and provide in our relationships.
You know, our last email was amazingly successful. Why do you think that?
The email on the INTIMACY and the gift that a woman can bring in a relationship with a man? Because I think intimacy is such a gift that we, women, are meant to offer to the world; and because we’re meant to offer it to the world it’s a part of what concerns us. It’s part of what we long for. It’s part of what we want to experience again and again. And I think it reached such a big audience because it’s there. It’s one of our fundamental needs.
For those who haven’t read the story, we are talking about… It’s a very beautiful story, a love story between a priestess and a warrior, and its main topic, if we can call it a topic, is looking for intimacy in your own soul as a way to be able to create intimacy with other people. Speaking about men or women, it doesn’t matter.
How can we reach INTIMACY within ourselves, so that we can recreate it with our beloved or with our friends?
That’s a very important thing you have just said.
It’s actually by understanding that INTIMACY is an experience that gets created and felt when we establish a relationship with ourselves. And I think one of the reasons why intimacy is such a hot topic today is because it is missing. We live in a culture where our education has not allowed us to understand that we should also develop a relationship with ourselves, complementary to our relationship with other people. And it all starts in childhood. But what’s relevant for this topic, for our womanhood, is that this is our gift. This is our secret.
INTIMACY just requires your understanding that there is you that you should have a relationship with, first and foremost! And then it’s like going on a date with yourself. It’s the same process as going out on a date with somebody that you don’t know. You’re eager to find out who you are and you’re eager to find out who you are on a more authentic level than you’ve experienced yourself. So you are curious about unraveling, discovering not your labels or what other people said you should be, but what you actually feel and what your intuition is telling you.
In that curiosity you can develop, you can give birth to a relationship with yourself. And the steps that you take to unravel that are the exact steps that a woman can take to create intimacy in her relationship with her beloved first and foremost, and then with the people in our lives. And the secret in womanhood like this priestess that we’ve been writing about in the article is that this is ancient knowledge. We were meant, as mature, fully developed women, to have the capacity to open the soul of any man through INTIMACY. And it requires receptivity and it requires some skills. And we’re going to talk about it during this podcast. But yeah, it’s definitely about letting go of the judgments and letting go of looking outside and really giving some space to what you feel inside and acknowledging it for what it is.
I am convinced that your words are going to trigger many of our listeners, but I want to come back a little to something you say all the time. Don’t try to understand it only with your mind, because like myself, probably many people who are listening to us try to understand the words you just said with their minds and go back to their childhood and try to understand where everything got broken. And they will try to reach the solution using their minds.
Let’s forget about the mind a little bit and explain to us or guide us to how we can open our souls to be able to sense and reach this level of intimacy with our own selves.
By opening our hearts and by opening ourselves to emotions and to feelings; emotions and feelings are the languages of the soul. If you’re brave enough and willing enough to go deep into those emotions, every emotion you experience, whether it’s negative or positive, is bringing a message that is more profound than our rational mind. So by not trying to address INTIMACY through rationale and just allowing it to open up as a space, the step into that is opening our heart and allowing ourselves a space of being vulnerable on an emotional level. And it’s very interesting because what actually stops people from accessing this space of intimacy is the judgment that vulnerability is weakness.
You’ve asked me how my week has been. It was very intimate because my partner and I explored intimacy during the weekend. It was really funny because he doesn’t know how to create it. And he’s afraid of opening up to intimacy. So his way of protecting himself is getting very shut down and very stubborn all of a sudden.
I’ve tried to create a space of intimacy with him, and then, of course, he reacted to it, and he became very stubborn, finally shutting down. And I was in a very light, neutral way, sharing it with him. But you actually want to open up and you want to open up with me. That was very clear to both of us.
So what’s stopping you? Let’s look into that. Well, first of all, I don’t know. I don’t know how to be intimate, and I’m afraid of surrendering to intimacy because I don’t know what it looks like. That’s the first stop. Secondly, there is this judgment that I’ll be weak if I allow myself to be vulnerable. And it’s a misconception, but it’s so embedded in our psyche that it just stops us. And it robs us of exactly the emotional climate we want to live our lives inside. We want to feel love. We want to have the experience of emotions flowing from us to our partners, and from our partners back to us. We want to be vulnerable, but yet we are afraid of exactly opening up to that. And I think it’s just being brave and stepping into being vulnerable, whether you think that’s a weakness or not.
Explore vulnerability for what vulnerability can bring, because it is actually very powerful, but you can’t see its potent power unless you open up to it! It’s like a medicine that’s so enclosed in its shell that unless you open the shell, you’ll never drink from it.
While listening to you I had this feeling of just starting to synchronize with your intimacy. It’s like taking a leap of faith. It’s like jumping with a parachute all of a sudden because we’re not used to it. We don’t even know how it tastes. Or how it looks.
And of course, we start exploring our relationships with men, and with friends and question why these relationships do not work. And most of us don’t look for intimacy. And I don’t know if it’s very useful to start exploring the very precise steps, what you can do mathematically to open up the relationship. It just feels like you just have to take a leap of faith in a moment deciding you have to open up, no matter what. Is it true or is it risky? Because I’m sure it can sound risky. A leap of faith is risky!
It is risky. It is risky at an emotional level. And you’re afraid of being rejected. That’s such a human fear that most of us could just get stopped there. It is a leap of faith. You don’t have any steps, no matter how much rationale you put around why your relationships don’t work.
At the end of the day, in a relationship, you either take that leap of faith, risking being rejected, opening up anyway and feel something – for God’s sake, feel something, anything, just feel it! – or you’re going to have a very good explanation of why you want intimacy. But you can have it, and you’re going to get shut down and remain shut down. It’s that simple and that easy!
And yes, your mind wants to find an escape, all the time, to find an excuse, to go somewhere else, to put the attention somewhere else…. But INTIMACY is right here, right now, between you and me.
It’s that easy! Are we going to open up? And it’s not just in intimate, sexual, loving relationships with a man or a woman. It’s here in the sisterhood, as well. It’s everywhere where you want a relationship to matter.
That’s amazing! We’re so good at finding excuses all the time for why we are not doing this or that. We are “proficient” at doing that. But let’s go back to what you were saying. Let’s take the myth of this intimacy issue because many of us think it’s only related to men, women, or relationship mode.
But intimacy is something you manifest or you bring in any kind of relationship you have in your life, with yourself, with your friends… Let’s go back to this.
Yes, because INTIMACY is actually the way in which human connection happens.
And why, in therapy, we always go back to childhood, because the first intimate relationship we have is with our parents and how they can open up to feelings and allow us to open up to feelings in a way that occurs for the child is safe.
It’s how we learn INTIMACY as a natural thing in life, and then how we are able to open up. And the second thing that stops people from just allowing this flow of emotions to happen is this need to avoid pain.
One of the things we learn in the Asian knowledge of womanhood is that pain is part of life. Pain is part of the process. You can’t open up to real life love experiences unless you’re willing to leave pain as part of the process of opening up – whether it’s that your heart cracks open and there’s a pain, like when your chest opens up for the first time, it’s pain there… Or you leave something extraordinarily intimate and profound for you, and then you lose it for a reason or another, whether it’s you or something outside of you. And the loss of that brings pain, whether everything is going fine, but you have to take a break for one reason or another.
Going on a trip away from your beloved, you miss him. It’s painful. So pain is a part of the fabric of love! There’s nothing we should do about it but embrace it. And the moment we take a buffet, the moment we allow pain to be part of the process, then we actually allow love to give us that potent medicine we’re longing for and looking for. And yes, experiencing INTIMACY does start in childhood, but it develops through our adult life. And in ancient times, women were taught by other women how to develop a relationship with themselves and how to create intimate relationships with others. This was an art and it still is; unfortunately, nowadays we have lost it… And what we want to achieve is to bring it back!
You said something about pain. I remember that during one of your live workshops, you once made a distinction between pain and suffering. I know we are speaking about INTIMACY. I don’t want you to jump into another topic, but maybe if you come back with this extinction, it will be clearer for our listeners why they don’t have to avoid pain… because pain is not necessarily suffering.
Yes. True. Pain is pain and suffering is the story we have about the pain.
That’s very important because we generally get stuck in suffering, not only in pain.
Yes, pain happens in 3 seconds. And if we look at animals, we see that they don’t have trauma, because they just shake the pain. They shake the impact of any pain or any trauma, physical or emotional, they experience by shaking their body until they get rid of the impact of the pain in their physical body. It’s an instinctual reaction.
Humans, on the other hand, because we have a psyche and because we have a rationale, our emotional reaction to pain allows us to get stuck into the story, into the shock that that pain happens. Because again, we’re living in this belief that pain shouldn’t happen. So we’re in shock when it happens because we have this fantasy mode of always being happy all the time and nothing else. So we get stuck into the story we carry about the pain we experience.
If you just breathe through the pain or you breathe through any negativity or any emotional upheaval, at some point after a couple of minutes, even hours, the pain stops, because we have this natural capacity to relinquish it. We have this natural capacity to overcome it, and we grow out of that.
It’s a process of evolution for us. And we don’t do that normally. We’re not that natural like animals; in a way, they’re smarter than us. What we do is get shocked by the fact that we were in pain. And then because of that shock, we carry a story, we create a story that brings us suffering, and we are just generating the suffering all over again! Again and again and again…not letting go of the past, not letting go of that incident. And that’s the reason why we get stuck.
Do you know what helps me get unstuck?
Sharing can be very useful because I know stories are different, but because we live in the same society, we probably share more than we can imagine. And like many of us, I had this connection from my intimacy, from my intimacy. And I was unable to create pure and honest intimacy with the people in my life. And the thing that I know that helped me the most was something, let’s call it generally sisterhood. But the friendship and the intimacy that I learned to see and then to be able to slowly start to create with women, with our colleagues, with our friends that come to our workshop, with you, because this is how the feminine works. And I can sense this after one year and a half of doing this work and of sharing this intimate connection in sisterhood. But I know this is a very powerful and very strong cure a lot of women can find for this disconnection from intimacy.
How does this happen if there isn’t a rational explanation for that?
Well, sisterhood, on a conscious level, when it is built and created within a sacred circle, as a sacred circle, within a loving, conscious, self-accepting, and all-accepting context and space, becomes the family you never had. Become the community you never had. And if you think of our evolution as human beings, we first get born into a family that is part of a community.
So, our first experience of INTIMACY, our first experience of human connection, doesn’t happen on a romantic level. That’s a very upgraded experience. It happens on a family and on a community level. Sisterhood is actually the way in which we can heal and bring back, in a safe space, in a process that has for every woman a different rhythm, the experience of love and connection and intimacy in that way, we were longing for and needing it when we were children or adolescents – and that was missing for us maybe most of the time. It’s a safer space. It’s a safer way of opening up to love because it doesn’t ask for anything. In a relationship with a man, you have the pressure of making it happen. It’s you and him. You have to make it happen!
So that’s one of the reasons why when women step into the sacred circle, it’s such a relief of pressure because they’re fed by the circle, they’re fed by this unconditional, all-accepting love that doesn’t ask for anything, it just supports. And we all need that. We all need not be asked anything off and just be supported. Then we can heal ourselves, we can activate what we need to activate, learn what we need to learn, discover who we are, trust ourselves, and then get all that fiery energy of our feminine power up and running and feel confident enough we can open up to a romantic love from a more conscious level. A level where we know who we are as women and we can bring that as a gift in the relationship.
So that’s why sisterhood is such a potent medicine. And I think it’s the first step into INTIMACY or the first gate.
Yes, it is, because I was thinking about an intention I wanted to work with in our next workshop and I was tempted to work with the energy of love and with the energy of healing. And I was just staying with these intentions and something wasn’t clicking and I started asking, what am I exactly looking for? And then I got my AHA. I said, yes, I’m looking for this because on my own, alone in isolation, I won’t be able to recreate the energy and love and healing. This is so true because we’re just working with what our personal interest goes to, but we don’t think about the context. And this is where sisters come and step in because we’re not going to be able to open up to love or to healing or to anything without this context that supports us. And friendships are probably affected by this disconnection from the sisterhood. Because I’m not very sure a lot of us look at our friends as sisters or brothers.
Or brothers in a sacred way! Yes, everything is connected to that!
But sisterhood, in the way we teach it and in the way we live it in the feminine it’s an invitation for all women to join the circle, and to be fed by the circle is actually more than friendship. It’s a sacred context in which we consciously accept and love everything that we are, with the intention to support our most beautiful, most powerful expression of ourselves. A context of giving ourselves the space to step into who we are on our most beautiful, powerful level in our own rhythm.
Okay, my last question, is because I know we’re pretty out of time. I don’t want to leave behind the topic of relationships because I know everybody comes back and forth to relationship mode, but I would love to tackle it from a different perspective.
How does our capacity to be intimate and to create and recreate INTIMACY connect with our sensuality? Let’s go beyond relationships, the first layer of romantic mode, and dive deeper into our sensuality and how intimacy helps us with that.
I know why you’re asking that. There’s a direct link. We’ve also noticed that in the article we have just shared about INTIMACY, the one about the warrior and the priestess.
I have to explain what sensuality is from our perspective and then what intimacy is from our perspective. To get that link clear, we look at sensuality as the awakening of all the senses. So it’s an opening on a level of the senses that allows us to be more receptive, that allows us to feel more.
We’re not just feeling in the middle of our hearts, we’re filling with all our being!
We’re tasting, hearing, sensing, smelling, and singing… and all of these become channels of communication. And they open a woman to her receptiveness, which softens her, because most of the time, living in a masculine culture, we’re very tight inside, we’re very stressed, we’re very rigid and we’re longing for that relaxation. But the relaxation comes from gently opening our feminine energy that comes through opening our senses. And it’s a very very soft process. It comes through caress and love and gentleness and being vulnerable without being afraid of it. And stepping into being receptive, without being afraid of it and not understanding that as nonaction, understanding it as the feminine principle.
When a woman becomes receptive, this is the moment when her subtle feminine energies open up. And those subtle energies that she encompasses, she embodies, start creating waves in her beloved, and gently, gently, no matter how that man is, he becomes activated. He starts opening up in her space.
This is the art of the Priestess. This is the way in which women in ancient times were initiated and ignited into this capacity through her receptivity, to open the soul of the man, to open him up to deeper layers of his own being. It comes through sensuality because it comes through receptivity. And they’re very linked.
And to be even more hands-on, because we’re always finishing our podcast with a very hands-on practice or exercise, could you share with us some small tips that can help us open up to our own INTIMACY?
Spending time with yourself, even if you’re afraid of it, and really engaging with who you are and what you feel from a place of non-judgment and trying for a while to lose the need to produce a result out of it. Disconnect, spend time with yourself, and develop a relationship with yourself, with the need to repair your relationship with your beloved or have a man in your life or get more successful in your career. Or mend the broken relationship.
Do it with no objective! Because if you do it with no objective, you’ll be able to sync with your heart easier and that will create, the process that will open you up and that’s exactly the same process you have to undergo in any relationship if you want to create INTIMACY. So it’s a way of you tapping into yourself, but also you learning from yourself how to open up and create intimacy in your life.
And of course, be patient, because you cannot mandate in two days what got broken in 20 years!
Yes. Or what we couldn’t experience out of knowledge, out of lack of knowledge.
And yes, for INTIMACY and for relationships, we need patience, because as adults, we open up very slowly. There’s a lot of mistrust in our hearts. So we need space, we need time…
So the first step is to be aware, having awareness about what you are doing and working in tension. Secondly, don’t have a hidden agenda! Just be intimate because you want to heal this with yourself, not to repair relationships or to get a lover. And be patient!
Thank you, Oana! It was wonderful! This was really a wonderful topic and we’ll be back with many, many other articles about this issue!
- Thank you too, Ioana!
I hope all the women will be able to tap into the little secrets we’ve been sharing in this podcast.
And I hope it will open their hearts and it will make them available to take that leap of faith that will, for sure, open the hearts of the men in their life.
So I brave you and I’m by your side to have an amazing, intimate experience with yourself and with others!
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