What happened when I found my sensuality
What happened when I found my sensuality
Natasha Mason, Founder @nourishmelbourne
Is it just me, or do many people exclusively associate the word ‘sensual’ with ‘sexual’?
Well, if this is you, then STOP! OK, it’s not that those words don’t have anything to do with each other, it’s just that when it comes to sensuality, sexuality is not really high on the agenda.
In mid October 2016 I found myself at Vanessa Muradian’s Pleasure Weekend workshop. For those of you who don’t know Vanessa, she is leading the field when it comes to empowering women with the tools that they already have (they just don’t know it). Vanessa is a Melbourne-based sexologist and yoga teacher.
Some have called Pleasure Weekend ‘Sex School’, but I’d have to disagree. If I were to call it anything else it would be something like ‘Sensual School’, ‘Set Myself Free School’, ‘School of Awakening’… you get my drift. It’s about so much more than just sex.
I thought about writing what happens AT Pleasure Weekend… although I’d possibly be ruining the surprise for you. (In a nutshell though, it’s awesome, you’ll meet amazing women, you’ll be pushed outside of your comfort zone, you’ll discover yourself in ways you never knew, and you’ll walk out feeling a little shaken. But just you wait and see what happens when it all settles and you absorb what happened over those two days.) There’s also really delicious cake because cake is sensual, right?
Instead, I’d like to tell you what followed Pleasure Weekend. I think it’s important to note here that the reason I went along was because I was curious. I was curious about my sensuality (my gut was telling me there was more to what I thought my sensuality was), and I was curious if there was a side of me that I hadn’t yet met, a side of me that could change all sides (passion, loves, desires, self-belief, self-love and even my sex life). Depending on what gets you there will determine what happens on the other side. There were women from all walks of life who so openly shared the reasons why they were there. I’m not in a position to share those reasons here, but I’m truly grateful for all the women who were there that weekend. If any of you happen to be reading this, thank you for your strength, creating space and just letting the tears roll out.
For now, here’s what happened once I found my sensuality.
I LEARNT TO LET MY HAIR DOWN
Almost literally. OK, so I’ve really made an effort to just go with the flow more and simply not give a f**k when usually I’d be in a tizzy (and I’m still working on that). But something happened post Pleasure Weekend that I didn’t actually take much notice of until a few weeks later. I started letting my hair be its natural self. No blowdrying or straightening, I just let it go with the flow. And then the comments came: “Oh, I love your hair”, “What have you done to your hair?”, “You’re glowing”.
Lesson learnt: Mother Nature knows us better than we think she does. What’s one thing you can let go of and let it be as Mother Nature intended?
I LEARNT TO LOVE MYSELF… MORE
Ah, self-love. We talk a lot about self-love at Nourish Melbourne. I would say I already have many a self-love practice in place (massages, walks on my own, yoga, facials, etc), but I felt I was falling into the pit of self-pity again. “Oh, I wish my stomach was just a bit flatter”, “Oh, I wish I could fit back into those denim shorts from 10 years ago” (seriously, I know). Here I am, three-plus months after the workshop and boy do I just love my body for how it serves me every day, how it’s grown a human, how it bends, moves and resets each and every day. Although don’t get me wrong, I still have days where this is not what I think. We’re human, just as long as we remember there are strategies to help.
Lesson learnt: you can never self-love enough. Think you’ve got it down pat? Do it some more. (How to self-love post here.)
I LEARNT TO JUST DO IT
The ‘scary’ stuff: the stuff that just downright would scare the bejesus out of you if you woke up in the middle of the night and it was there, staring you in the face. I’ve done it and I plan to do more. I think that because there were many times during Pleasure Weekend where I was pushed beyond my comfort zone, this ‘just do it’ mentality simply walked out of that weekend with me. And that ‘just do it’ mentality is not just about the ‘big scary stuff’. It’s even about speaking the words you’re thinking – tell someone how wonderful you think they are, tell someone their outfit looks great, tell someone how great their work is (and just watch how bloody amazing you feel in the process, and how their eyes light up).
Lesson learnt: the higher the ‘scare’ factor, the more exciting the reward. Courageous people always win.
MY CREATIVITY SOARED
New ideas have since come. I’m writing more. (If you want to know more about journaling, check out this recent blog post.) I’m doing more with less. I’m using my hands more (like using them to paint furniture and make terrariums). We were born to create and whatever your thoughts are on being creative, it’s not just for the ‘arty’ types.
Lesson learnt: spending time on creative pursuits is time well spent. Watch your ideas and ‘lightbulb’ moments soar.
I LEARNT TO SURRENDER
There’s a book out there called The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck. I have yet to read this book, but I love the sound of it and that title pretty much sums up ‘surrendering’, and all of the above points. Just let your hair down, just do it and just say it, just be with yourself and see how you’re actually really bloody creative. I learnt to surrender to the unfolding of plans whether I liked them or not. My trust in the power of the universe and the blueprint it has for me soared.
Lesson learnt: surrendering allows the magic to happen.
P.S. Yes, you will learn a whole lot of ‘sex stuff’ at Pleasure Weekend, too. Yes, you’ll be surprised, and you’ll wonder why no one ever told you all of ‘this stuff’ earlier.
Vanessa’s next Pleasure Weekend workshop is on 11 and 12 February 2017 in Fitzroy. Vanessa is offering 10 per cent off for all Nourish Melbourne members (members click here when logged in to view your redemption code). If you’re not a member, click here for details and to sign up.
To find out more about Pleasure Weekend and book your place, click here.