June 3, 2012

The Softening

submitted by Amara Charles Back

The Softening

Pearls of Wisdom for Restoring Feminine Vitality

by Amara Charles

At first, I thought I might scare away new readers with this title. After all, who wants inspiration about being receptive, gentle or ‘soft’ in times like these?

Why is gentleness, softness, tranquility and rest so important when it comes to restoring your health and vitality?

Think of it this way: when you go to a typical ‘workout’ what’s the vibe? It’s full of action: pressing to meet agendas, pushing limits, counting, pumping, sweating and ‘working’ out. Plus, to take your mind off this pressing, pushing, and all  the resistance to more ‘work’, exercisers often blast something in their ears, listen to books-on-tape or read magazines to distract their minds from the whole process.

I know, what that’s like. It can actually be fun to zone out this way, and certainly, you can build abs, lose weight, add muscles or whatever you put your mind to.

 

It’s the Western Way-

in order to make the goal, get into that dress by Christmas or lose your post Thanksgiving sluggishness, you have to put your mind to it and strive away. Convinced we are progressing, succeeding and improving, the stress feels good. No pain- no gain, no stress no test.

As Westerners, we love this, we really do. It makes us feel like we are getting someplace, being a good, productive, non-lazy person. There’s no question the method of the goal, strive, perspire, achieve does ‘work.’

So, while, the let’s call it the overly ‘Yang’ Way – where goal-thinking and really hard work produces results, what if there were a different, more balanced and relaxed way to go about things that didn’t leave you needing a vacation from your free time?

Actually, most well thought out exercise programs bring a bit of Yin and Yang into the mix these days. Even the US Army is adding meditation and yoga into their basic recruit training. While Japanese Samurai have known for centuries that things like Yin mediation strengthen Yang Sword wielding, the idea of bringing stillness, silence and rest into a warriors practice is relatively new to the Western mind..

Doesn’t Softening make you lazy?

The question came up in my Yin Way Qigong class, where we practice a feminine, or ‘yin’ way of allowing things like gentleness, smiles, nourishment, and tea to blend with more active cardio type exercises. Part of our regime (which is everyone’s favorite part) even includes curling up for a brief nap!

Taoists call this process of allowing all things to be the way they are, accepting and reacting to whatever may be happening  the ‘naturally just so.’ So when a crisis hits, and it’s as if a storm has just dumped tons of snow on a branch, the tree neither seeks, resists, nor avoids the snow, it simply accepts the weight and lets it naturally slide off.

Some periods of life feel this way. When misfortunes keep piling on until it seems one more will bend you to the breaking point, that’s when to soften, letting the snow fall on means accepting the weight of circumstances without resistance, avoidance, stress or resentment.

The Naturally Just So

Softening into the ‘naturally just so’ however is anything but acting weak or lazy. It means accepting the way things are while waiting to spring back with all the resilience you’ve got. Softening, especially in your intimate relationships, helps you accept every outburst without holding an angry heart or making things up about your situation.

One thing is for sure: internal turbulence is a part of nature. It’s the way we fight, ignore or pout about difficulties that brings further suffering. Softening, even right in the middle of love (when you might like to be hard as a rock) is being as fluid as water. Water is powerful precisely because it takes the shape of it’s container without losing it’s own essence and can change from frozen ice to a warm cup of tea in a flash.

Amara’a new book ‘The Sexual Practices of Quodoushka’ is now available! Order a signed coy in our Shop, or on Amazon.com on September 27th.

Hello Amara,
Ive been involved with my Bf for three years now.
In the beginning the sex was erotic, and then we didnt have sex for months, and Im a sexual person being scorpio, then I caught him looking at porn which I dont mind but share!!! and be open…I then left him because of the coldness, and he jumped into bed with another women, and at the same time he was begging me to come back. Due to circaumstances we are back together again, but my sexual confidence has taken a knock.
What do I do to make him want me more and I want him, at the moment I dont really want to have sex with him, because of what I went thru with him, but at the same time, if Im going to make this marriage work what do I do sexually? I love sex and do want to make it more exciting for both of us.I read your articles etc, and thank you for your webite.
Looking forward to hearing from you.

From Amara

Sarah, Your questions are so beautiful and I wish you the very best. Here is something I wrote a while back about increasing our feminine attractiveness- from inside out. I hope it will inspire you to let go of the past, and help you you discover and express your natural beauty. Enjoy, and let me know how it goes. — Amara

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