In this post:
Thoughts on wisdom-seeking.
What are your wisdom seeking questions about your life in relationships.
An audio on four essential elements of intimacy.
In my life of conversations, I am always sensitive to the surprise or the gift of wisdom — the moment when I am responding to a question (one that pops up from my heart or is asked by a conversation partner) and a revelation occurs – bringing form to the formless, direction to the wondering/wandering, forgiveness and reconcilliation to oppositions, lifts the veils of appearances, and sometimes just makes sense. And it always feels obvious as if it had always been there, just not seen, heard or felt, or had not come to language until that moment.
I just gave an interview/conversation with Donna Ashton for her International Association of Waldorf Homeschoolers. The wisdom moment came when Donna spoke about her ten-year old twins asking those questions about “babies” and the inner awkwardness of the parent in finding the right response and asked if I could explain the timing and the experience. In spite of inwardly wondering how I could possibly answer the question in a meaningful way, I said two things that surprised me – I’ve italicized them.
I described that a shift in the production of melatonin that occurs in the tenth year had triggered the onset of puberty and that this biochemical activity/awakening of sexual development was initiating a new awareness of and interest in the making of babies.
Then I described the questions as wisdom-seeking, not as curiosity. I write and speak about wisdom and about questions all the time, but never before had I named the questions wisdom-seeking questions. Let’s coin that phrase now as our individual and collective futures depend on our ability to ask wisdom-seeking questions.
Motivating these wisdom-seeking questions is the awakening desire to know what it means to be a person, to understand feelings, make choices, live fully, do good and be authentic. Children want the what, the how, the why, and the mystery to be gently unfolded so the sacred and moral challenges of meaning, purpose and significance can begin to emerge. They don’t want a dogma, they want wisdom.
Kids asking wisdom-seeking questions especially around sex and intimacy truly challenge parental confidence. Parents wonder what the right answer is and usually fall back on yukky facts or yukky vagueness while smiling to coverup anxiety and a little embarassment.
And kids get that parents are uncertain and internalize the experience that asking questions about intimacy and talking about intimacy is difficult.
It’s easier to read books (fiction and non-fiction), watch Hollywood’s versions, depend on google searches, and fantasize. So we stop seeking wisdom about relationships and only seek answers and pleasures and sadly create relationships that are full of drama, conveniences, habits and selfishness, never learning about the mysteries of real intimacy.
A SUGGESTED EXERCISE
Go into your memories and recall your sex education and your intimacy education. What was awakened in you? What was learned? Were there conversations that gave you permission to seek wisdom and that offered wisdom? Did you get what you needed to have fulfilling, evolving relationships? Or do you feel, like I do about my own relationships, that your education about the sacred and profane aspects of intimacy hardly prepared you for the enjoyment, the challenges and the dilemmas of the reality?
What are your areas of ignorance? What are your areas of fantasy? What are the questions that leave you mute, unable to ask? Where have you become resigned or hopeless? Write down your recognitons and observations and sink into them. If you surrender to your suffering and your ignorance, paradoxically, you will cross a threshold into revitalized questions and open up to the generation of wisdom and possibilities.
Please don’t label your relationship experience good or bad — this will block possibility. You need to release all judgment to move to wisdom: you want to observe with compassion. Let me rephrase this. The wise and the wisdom-seekers do not label or judge. They question, observe and note. They do not react. They consider, relate and integrate and question again. Wisdom is not an answer, it is a process of deepening questions.
The Imagine Intimacy program is for wisdom-seekers. You will find guides for forming your questions, making your observations, and transforming your experience of intimacy. You will become a generator of possibilities.
I want to give you a taste of the Imagine Intimacy program. Click here to listen to a 27 minute audio on four essential elements of intimacy. You can download this audio and listen to it with your lover or with your intimate friends.
I invite you to register for the Intimacy program.
I would like to encourage anyone who is considering whether to take this course or not – DO! Sadly, our culture does not offer a whole lot of support for those of us who are seeking a soul-sized life – and Lynn’s way of working has held the space for me to do my own work of becoming more of who I really am – in ways that are alive and inspirational. Through these webinars, I can be at home on the remote North Dakota prairie and feel connected to others around the world who are transforming. What a world!
Linda Johansen, Fargo, ND