I felt like a fraud for the first years I taught Tantra. I pretended to be something that I wasn’t because I told myself it was what people needed to be inspired and believe I had something to offer. When I accepted myself fully with all my blockages and insecurities and started to share those in my teachings, I had more to offer and people trusted me more. I also was able to move beyond where I felt stuck because I wasn’t trying to start from some place I wasn’t.
Being a Tantra teacher wasn’t a path I chose on own initiative. I was asked to take over teaching the Tantra workshops at our center. I was still working through my own limitations and blockages around my sexuality and yet I felt that as a ‘Tantra Teacher’ I should be a fully open, orgasmic woman, so I played the part.
I portrayed a certain image of myself by not sharing the whole truth. I spoke about my pleasure, profound orgasms, and blissful states as if they were constant and flowed with ease. I didn’t share how hard it was for me to get out of my mind and into my body, that I would rather take care of my to do list than have sex, or that I felt I was only scratching the surface of my orgasmic potential. I avoided talking about what I saw as my inadequacies.
It wasn’t until I attended a psycho spiritual retreat that my whole façade came crashing down and I was left just being me. I was ashamed, embarrassed, afraid of being judged, worried I would be rejected by my students and my teacher.
There was an exercise where we were to put ourselves into an orgasmic state by simply getting into our body and igniting pleasure to awaken and move through us, no genital touching or interacting with others was allowed. This could have been a fun thing to explore as I had not tried to do this intentionally before. I had spontaneously entered into orgasmic with my mind or deep breathing. However, the other part of the exercise was that the rest of the group watched the person who was opening to their pleasure. Having spectators was to help us move through any shame we had around pleasure and sexuality.
I felt paralyzed by the possibility of not being able to enter into an orgasmic state. Most of the participants in this retreat were people from my community, people who I taught Tantra to. People who were now going to see that I was not the fully orgasmic woman I portrayed myself to be. Shame around pleasure and sexuality was not the problem; shame of living a lie and pretending to be something that I was not, had me frozen.
I thought about faking being sick and sitting out or leaving the retreat all together. I was so afraid of failing, failing to enter into orgasm. The facilitator called on me to come to the mats. I wanted to cry. I was completely in my head, consumed by fears and insecurities. My body was frozen. What if I can’t orgasm? What will they think of me? Will they judge me? Will they lose respect for me? Should I step down from teaching Tantra? Will I be asked to not teach anymore? I am so focused on what people would think, that I was not aware of how I was projecting my own inner critic onto the world around me.
Deep orgasms are not something that we can make happen. A goal oriented mindset, pushing to make it happen is the opposite to what is needed. Entering into deep orgasmic states unfolds when we are relaxed, present, surrendered and in our body.
Needless to say, I didn’t orgasm. I probably appeared as awkward and clumsy as I felt. Every second in front of the group felt like an eternity. I was so relieved when I was told my turn was done.
In the following exercise, the facilitator called me frigid. It was happening, my fears were unfolding before me. Her words landed in my chest and I felt my body cave with shame. However I presented myself as open and untouched by her feedback, a coping mechanism I started as a kid. I didn’t share what was going on inside of me as we debriefed. The façade of confidence kept me strong and moving forward, only I didn’t realize that part of me was left behind and that it wasn’t true strength.
As I sat there, the word ‘frigid’ echoed throughout my being. I felt the pain of my pride and the disappointment of my perfectionism. My fear of rejection was triggered and the wound ‘I am not good enough’ was active. Only this time, I sat with it, I felt it.
I had spent years avoiding being seen in my frigidity. Sitting with the embarrassment and shame, allowing it to have its life, delivered me to self love and acceptance. She said I was frigid, and I was… in that moment. That didn’t mean it was a lifetime sentence or that I had not had an authentic sensual experiences in the past. As my process unfolded, I found freedom. And more than detaching from someone’s judgment, I recognized that what I had been avoiding, had just happened and I was still okay.
It was time to be me, plain and simple me, no exaggerations or facades. That evening at the end of the session, I asked for the group to listen as I had things I wanted to share. All eyes on me and I shared my inadequacies, my insecurities, my blockages. I shared my fears that kept me hiding and my concerns for what was going to happen with exposing myself this in way. I sat there totally open and bare, stripped of what I had previously used to receive love and approval.
I felt more loved and accepted than ever before, and the key factor here was that I had finally loved and accepted myself. My very search for love and approval is what kept me from it. I believe others can help us to love ourselves; they can show us the way. And it is up to us to bring our energy and power back to ourselves.
I was not fully aware of all that I was hiding, as I was hiding it also from myself. When I allowed myself to see some of it, more started to reveal itself to me. Prior to this, I was reacting to the feeling of I am not good enough instead of sitting with it and listening to it. This was a beginning of an intimate relationship, with myself.
I started to teach from this place of transparency and vulnerability. My previous fears that my inadequacies and insecurities made me a bad teacher, were proving to not be true. In fact, revealing my inadequacies and insecurities was making me more relatable and easier to connect with. I am so grateful for powerful group work that allowed me the opportunity to be seen and move through my fears.
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