We began with the check in; ‘What does your body want right now?’
Some humans found this easy and others found it to be quite difficult. In the week leading into the discussion I participated in a consent lab; an intentional space to practice asking for what we want whilst also taking the time to respond to another’s request. I noticed that I found it easy to give and difficult to tune into what it was that I wanted. What was the immediate want or need that would satisfy me here in the present? Where does this immediate need stem from?
I noticed as a general pattern the women of both the human group and the consent lab knew exactly what they wanted and the men were less resolute. Coming from my own understanding of myself, I notice that my ‘wanting’ comes as a concept, experiment or goal created via the mind. Making a request referring to the immediacy of the present moment,’What do I want right now?’, the conceptual ‘wanting’ from the mind seems ill equipped to serve.
This suggested there were at least two points of reference to form a ‘want’; the conceptual mind, and the feeling body. Two intelligences that serve us in navigating the world around us.
How do these two intelligences serve us?
One human mentioned she could sense signals within her body and make decisions accordingly either to protect or satisfy herself. Another said she knew exactly what she wanted at any given time of the day. However the planning of ‘wanting’ was not as effective as she recalled the following example; my partner asked me if I was hungry and I said no, an hour later when my partner had served himself his food I was hungry, luckily he had cooked extra anticipating this. An age old story you have probably experienced.
This is where the conceptual ‘wanting' can be used to predict the future needs; anticipating the need for more food as the present ‘wanting’ will appear at the time in which it is needed.
It was clear to me that this intelligence comes from an internal compass, one in which is championed by the women of the world.
Why is it difficult for me, a man, to make decisions from my body’s intelligence? Is it evolution, trauma, necessity, and is conceptual ‘wanting’ stemming from the mind inciting more separation, and perpetuating this harmful administrative machine that is vampiric upon the the environment and life itself?
Dr Gabor Mate in a podcast with Russell Brand believes that we are a severely traumatised society enslaved to our consumerist addictions which are threatening our existence upon this earth (1). Like a junkie willing to take the hit that might kill; driven by an endless craving we suck the life from everything around us pursuing the forever unreachable conceptual ‘wanting’ while ignoring the present ‘wanting’. Is our parasitic nature due to the imbalance of where our ‘wanting’ comes from; the mind over the body or heart?
I was in conversation with a friend the day of ‘consent and wanting’ and she mentioned that her conceptual ‘wanting' was completely overrun by a maternal longing that expressed itself through gardening, family, wanting to be a mother to all living beings, creating a visceral affinity with nature itself.
Mother Nature is a woman for good reason, symbolic and infinite in wisdom, however, we are yet to fully comprehend the power of the feminine aligning us with the momentum of nature. Perhaps the ‘wanting’ from the heart/body is a clue along the path to discovering this potential and healing our conceptual isolation and the harm it precipitates.
Can I, as a man, learn how to 'want' from my body and heart and is this present inability the flagship symptom to the trauma Gabor Mate speaks of. Is our trauma the initial separation from the environment in the first place; leaving the garden of Eden or perhaps the way of the hunter and gatherer to pursue knowledge?
The conversation further perpetuated my interest in discovering the intelligence of the body and heart, listening to the feminine, holding space for women to give voice to this intelligence, to teach us men how to connect with ourselves. Perhaps we will feel before we act and not dig that mine from a place of overwhelming compassion and empathy for life itself. Mending the connections and relationships that have always existed just been forgotten, ignored and undervalued.
The heart is ready to lead the charge towards a sustainable future and right now it is most powerful within the women of the world. Perhaps my pleasure in ‘giving’ can align itself with the present knowing of a woman. It is time we asked the feminine, mother nature, and women themselves for consent and let it be a ‘no’ as we respond with ‘what can I do for you?’
The masculine myth to of boys becoming men has ravaged the earth in search of a meaningful quest. While the worthy purpose and meaning has waited patiently for a moment of crisis when our conceptual powers and experts are of little value, we listen to those who’s hearts speak the loudest, for they know the way back to connection, relationship and life itself.
Nature is happening and we have nothing left to do but listen.
1. Brand, R. and Mate, G. 28/06/19. ‘Russell Brand & Gabor Mate | Damaged Leaders Rule The World’ - Under the Skin. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-mJnYmdVmQ. Youtube video.