They say we teach what we most need to know… so what has tantra helped me to learn, that I now do my best to support others to learn and embody for themselves?
When I walked through the door of my first tantra weekend 13 years ago I felt this powerful feeling that all of me was welcome, and loved unconditionally. I got that from my teachers; I knew they could hold me because they’d traveled into their greatest light and deepest dark. I felt safe to travel my version of that journey. It was a profound feeling.
On the workshops we are invited to be generous and share what’s really going on for us. Through that we feel how another person sharing their truth touches us, and the converse of that, how when we say what’s really there it helps others too. We really are mirrors to each other.
Before tantra I’d experienced pleasure for sure, but sometimes that was tinged with frustration. Sexually I’d had some experiences that felt like I was flying, but then I’d realized my partner was still very much on earth! I wanted to learn how to fly together. I also wanted to really own my sexual energy… I seemed to put it all onto the other, i.e., they were either a good lover or a bad lover. The idea that my experience had something to do with me was, at that time not something I really understood. My communication skills were pretty shoddy too and I tended towards ‘putting up with’. It’s horrible to remember those feelings. Anyway, I knew that tantra would help. And it did.
When we study tantra we may well fire our arrows in the direction of pleasure, but on the way I have walked through and met my inner demons … so cringe worthily uncomfortable, but the truth is it was so much more uncomfortable not to face them. I’ve walked through what I imagined I couldn’t face, and not only have I faced it, I’ll face it every day. And what do I find, well more often than not I find the very golden nuggets of life there – freedom, liberation and a good few surprises as well. Any energy that is stuck, contracted and unexpressed is a struggle… and any energy or feelings when allowed to soften, expand and be expressed bring release, lightness, freedom and pleasure. But the container matters. I was held in it when I started to study, and now I hold others… and of course I still feel held. That hasn’t gone.
I never planned to be a tantra teacher; I just started assisting my teachers as the work was so flipping awesome. It was a total honour to witness others blossoming, facing fears and finding the freedom, to live their lives in bigger ways. Then one day, in a very spirited way, I realized I had to teach this work. I could then see how my patchwork life had led me to this place. All the threads came together, with ease… Stone the crows, I NEVER planned that!
Tantra is a discipline that happens through the body and through the work we clear energy pathways so that we can soften into pleasure… and then can expand, feel, love and open more to the subtle and varied ways that orgasmic energy expresses itself.
Play and innocence are totally tied in with the journey – I used to look at more experienced students and my teachers and be in awe of their freedom and expression. Now I too can be that free and playful, if I feel like it!
There’s a thread of sweetness and grace that I know in my deepest heart and I love to see and feel that open in others. I need to live in a world where honesty and truth are paramount, so I do my best to be part of co-creating that… and I really do have hope for us all.
Annabel is inspiring in her embodiment of tantra. Her deepest intention for the brave souls, with whom she works, as they walk the tantric path is that each and every one of them can find this sense of beloved within themselves.