What does SkyDancing® Tantra have to do with healing attachment wounds and establishing fulfilling, intimate relationships?
I recently watched a webinar by a renowned psychologist, Diane Poole Heller, on attachment disorders. As she described the healing process, it was wonderful to see that the examples she gives are the same practices that we guide in SkyDancing Tantra, and have been done for decades! It’s not surprising that people are thrilled with our workshops, saying in summary, how full of love and peaceful they feel.
What is attachment? As a child, one of our basic needs is to emotionally attach to our caregivers. We bond to survive and thrive. When we experience consistent, loving contact with others and are valued, we feel secure. We are then more able to engage in a loving, playful and attentive relationships as we grow into adulthood. When inevitable relational conflicts arise, there is less reactivity because of our connectedness and sense of safety.
Very few of us, however, have had all of our developmental needs met in order to form a secure attachment. Possibly, our parents were busy, stressed, had psychological wounds, didn’t know how to meet our needs, or something occurred to impede our connection with our caregivers. These dynamics can create a blueprint from which we live and can manifest tendencies in fears of rejection or feelings of abandonment. We instinctually adapt by avoiding intimacy, holding on for dear life, or have difficulty forming relationships. Fortunately, we are social beings, hardwired for connection and will seek opportunities to heal our wounds.
As I listened to Diane Poole Heller, a lightbulb went off for me. When I started SkyDancing Tantra, my insecurities influenced most of my interactions. I was critical of how I looked. I worried I would say or do something embarrassing. I was terrified people would see my inadequacies. My relationships suffered when I felt anxious that my spouse would cheat or leave me, so I kept people at arm’s length. Likely, I didn’t fully trust anyone. Have you ever tried to have true intimacy at arm’s length?
Although I didn’t come to SkyDancing Tantra for healing, through Tantra, a shift occurred. I now feel that I am living as a confident woman, rather than a small, scared child. I am much less nervous to show myself and don’t wonder whether or not I can handle life. I rarely fear being replaced and I am happy to say that I have many fabulous close friends.
Diane Poole Heller recognizes the healing power of connection. Here are 5 simple attachment-repairing Tantric practices.
- Receive loving contact with others. The Tantric act of slowing down to be present helps us feel safe, relax, and be open to connecting with others. “Presence is the most powerful medicine.” Through eye gazing (“gleam beam”), being seen, heard, and held in nurturing ways, we feel like a person: who we are matters.
- Notice the acts of love. Be aware and feel the connection. Since most of us have trouble receiving love, we suggest a technique similar to what Diane Poole Heller calls “sponge it up.” Fully absorb and savor the positive feelings long enough to change the neural pathways of your brain. Rewire to positive sensations that support you feeling lovable, important, and safe.
- Calm down our nervous system. We learn to soothe ourselves with breathing techniques and simple ways of releasing stress. With awareness, triggers are helpful cues rather than landmines.
- Enjoy affectionate touch. With SkyDancing Tantra, touch interactions are designed to stay in pleasure and avoid enduring. Unwanted touch can retraumatize. Nurturing and wanted touch repairs. If the touch we desire in one moment involves being held, soothed and affectionately validated, great. In another moment, if we desire sensual stimulation and playful caresses, great. And another moment, our fire burns with intensely passionate force, great. Listening to and trusting our desires, our needs and wants is incredibly powerful healing.
- Feel empowered and communicate. We develop skills of deep personal listening, of knowing our true feelings, thoughts, and desires. Then, take turns speaking and listening to feel heard. The ability to communicate clearly allows freedom to enjoy more fulfilling relationships in all areas of life.
Healing occurs when we mindfully see signs of affection in present-time, rather than through a lens of old beliefs. We have to let go of an inaccurate perception of being unloveable, alone, not enough, going to be wrong, bad, or abandoned. The SkyDancing Tantra community is incredibly accepting and provides many opportunities to experience the gift of respectful, empathetic, and attentive connections.
I have witnessed many participants transform, as their hard, guarded edges softened, they developed a kinder voice, and moved freely in their bodies. They would comment on how comfortable and safe they felt in a short time. It’s heartwarming to see how often they playfully relaxed in their relationships and engaged more authentically and intimately than ever before. Some people spoke about how it helped prepare them for the loving relationships they have now.
Each person finds their own healing journey. SkyDancing Tantra is a beautiful path on which to support one’s evolution. It brings acceptance and compassion as one returns to their natural wholeness.
By Sara Stout
SkyDancing Tantra is not a replacement for psychotherapy.
(Photo by Helena Lopez on Unsplash)