Feature Image – Incredible artwork by Mike Dargas (mikedargas.com). Yes, it’s a painting!!
“Passion gives me moments of wholeness.” ~ Anais Nin
Spontaneous thoughts on the topic of love
Take a deep breath, let it out, take another and as you exhale, bring to mind a time when you have been deeply pleasantly surprised. When something tickled your imagination because the world presented it to you before you had imagined it, seen it or dreamed it elsewhere.
Last week I was home with my little boy, in the morning he woke, and I didn’t hear him walking to my room, so just as I opened the door, he also was opening the door. We both screamed and then two seconds later we both burst out laughing, the pure joy, of the feeling of surprise washing over the morning and our hearts. There is a bliss found in this moment that is unlike any other. A vulnerable moment where the environment conspires to push you over the comfort cliff into pure vulnerability and then catches you right before you hit fear. It’s a complete moment of pure surrender.
It got me thinking about acts of unexpected event in our lives. In a romantic context, could there be anything more sensual than being taken on a path of surrender to a point of delight that is both unexpected and considered at the same time. When a lover takes the time to attend to the details of your experience, pushing you into the unknown all the time holding you safe in their guidance. It’s trust, in motion. It is deep consideration in action. It is magic. It is also, dare I say, out of fashion.
When I think about modern dating (I’m not going deep into this topic, because it isn’t the point here) it doesn’t really have much of any surprise attached to it. Spontaneous experience does not live in the realms of dating app algorithms nor does it live in dinner and a movie. No such surrender lives in the rules of contact, the “I’ll meet you there” or the “it’s a numbers game”. I’m not insulting any of these realities, they exist and have their place, but I cant help but question, that if there is no surprise, if the spontaneity is gone, has the bliss of unexpected sensual delight gone with it?
It is not hidden that the construct of traditional marriage style relationships are not going so great. The divorce rate is now past 50% of all marriages in the western world. It gets me to wonder if part of the reason this is the case is that by the very nature, a marriage style relationship is founded on consistency and routine. When meeting and experiencing time with another is so devoted to your own set of rules and accommodation of habits of when, what and how things should play out, does that come at the cost of never really surrendering?
So what could this look like?
Step one, you have to think about the person, what they like, the things they have said, the things they do in passing, what opens their mind, heart and world to joy. Step two, you have to research; search out and find ways, places and people that bring these things to life. Step three, you have to really consider how this person will feel about all parts of the experience. You have to deeply empathise with them, and take time to consider how they see the world. Step four, you have to think about details, the little things that sparkle and give depth. You really need to take the time to make sure that everything is conspiring with you to bring forth the true depth of experience you want to bestow on your lover. Step five, you have to be creative, to bring the timing, presence and circumstance into play. Step six, you have to let go of any expectation and make the whole experience about the other person. Step seven, you have to listen, watch and hold space for them through the whole experience.
When you really consider what it takes to truly delight someone you care for, in surprise, it is in fact the personification of deep connection.
Step one. Consideration. Step two. Effort. Step three. Empathy Step four. Attentiveness. Step five. Creativity Step six. Selflessness. Step seven. Kindness.
As the giver it takes vulnerability, but is there any sensuality in life without this? It takes a deeply passionate gesture to bring someone out of the grasps of self-control safely into the arms of surrender and back down to earth again softly. Perhaps this is what Anais was speaking to when she said “Passion gives me moments of wholeness.”
I tend to lean towards this being something you practice at all stages of a relationship; as strangers, as intimate partners, as long time companions.
The incredible author Paulo Coelho once said, “The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion” and in the dating world, where experience has somehow been distilled down to three or four standard options of activity you have a choice. We can choose to tell people all about how show up in the world all while fitting into the status quo; or we could simply do something to surprise them.
The flip side of this is. You also must be open to receive.
As with all deeply loving actions, the benefits for the giver are exceptional.
Inspiration, originality and creativity breads more inspiration, originality and creativity. It also breads energy, excitement, focus, worth and positive bias.
Seems like a good deal to me.