by Adrienne Parker-Morano
What does it mean to be on a spiritual path? Is it a path to the ultimate reality, or God? There is no wrong definition. Whatever it means to you is what it is. But if I’m talking about spirituality and you are listening, you should understand my definition. A better question might be, “What isn’t spirituality?”.
Spirituality encompasses everything in life. There isn’t any aspect of my life that isn’t a part of my spiritual path. It’s a mindset. It’s about living in the moment. It’s about embracing what is and learning not to struggle with reality. It’s about accepting what is (as difficult as this is at times), wanting it–in fact, loving it, whatever it is. It’s also about finding a way to change what is, if that’s what I’m inclined to do. It’s about being here now, and being responsive to whatever life offers me.
People often refer to having “spiritual experiences”. I like the saying, “We are spiritual beings having a physical experience.” This is exactly where I am coming from when I talk about using sexuality as a spiritual path. I consider everything about this physicality as being infused with the essence of spirit. Everything is spiritual. As my friend, David Sisk, local artist extraordinaire, and wise philosopher says, “Nothing isn’t sacred.” In the same vein I say, “Nothing isn’t spiritual”.
Acknowledging that we are spiritual beings having physical experiences, I ask, “What is this physicality all about?” Without denying anything and everything as ultimately spiritual, we live in physical bodies in a physical world. That which is physical, is tangible. Touchable. It takes its place in space. It doesn’t matter if this physical world is an illusion or not because here we are in the midst of the most powerful experience of it, and if it is an illusion, it’s one I’m fairly fond of. Most of us are intensely focused and attached to our bodies, spending massive amounts of time, energy, and money, caring for them. We want our bodies to look and feel good, and to stay around for as long as possible. So we engage in a lot of activities to keep them happy. We clean and adorn them, doing our best to honor and respect them as the temples that house our spirits.
Some say that the quickest, most accessible path to spiritual awareness, to the naked truth of who and what we are, is through our physical bodies. These bodies are equipped with the most extraordinary senses–touch, taste, sight, smell, and hearing. Sensual awareness is how we interact with life. Sensuality is the most precious gift that makes living in these physical bodies a joy. The things we can do with these bodies are fantastical. We roller derby; run races; climb mountains; skydive; scuba dive; dance; massage; do yoga; eat food; make music; have babies; engage in sex. Sensuality combined with our spirit essence makes sex not only feel good, but also makes it a potential tool for enlightenment. But as great as sex is, or as great as we imagine sex can be, it can also be very scary. I want to acknowledge that–how scary sex is for many people. It’s a big deal and there is no denying that. This big deal that sex is, is why I enjoy studying it. I want to understand myself, and my relationship with sex better. I want to understand others and their relationships with sex. It’s a huge part of the human condition. And this is some of the work I offer to my clients–helping them to realize the potential of using their sexuality as a spiritual path.
We live in an age of incredible sexual freedom. We can engage in sex, simply for the pleasure it brings. We have the ability to protect ourselves from unwanted pregnancy and disease. And yet, so many people feel stymied, unable to express their sexuality authentically. They experience fear and entrapment. Most of us have been raised, more or less, with a fear-based attitude about sex. We have been shamed and taught to repress and separate ourselves from our sexuality. Many religions use sexual repression to control people and the fear of God’s punishment is imprinted on their psyches. So many resist, or totally deny the beauty and the power of their sexuality. They are scared and don’t have a clue where to begin to change their relationship with sex, even when that’s what they want to do.
If you are interested in learning more about how to use your sexuality as a spiritual path, please contact Adrienne Parker-Morano LMFT, at 530-321-6148 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for an appointment.
Pamm Larry, Sex Coach, and Adrienne Parker-Morano, Psychotherapist, are offering a monthly series of free talks on Conscious Relationships, Conscious Sex.