“Go where it’s warm,” he said. That’s his mantra.
I thought back to when I was a kid, my eyes bound with one of my dad’s old bandanas. My arms outstretched, just in case there was a wall nearby. My brother’s squealing guidance: “Warmer! Warmer! Ohhh, cold, cold, colder!”
I’d follow his encouragement until I found what I was looking for. That’s how G-d works, too.
We’re all a bunch of blindfolded 7 year olds, searching for that thing. And, there is someone guiding us: an extension of ourselves whose voice is dimmed for a reason. We have to decide if we’re going to quiet down, listen, feel and follow the cues: warmer or colder.
He’s kneeling down facing me, my right leg resting over his left thigh, clasping my other foot by his hip with his strong, supple hand.
The only other time a man has held me in this position, is right before he penetrates me; my breasts exposed; my vagina surrendered; my eyes usually averted as not to hand over my spirit, too. Those were the cold times. This didn’t feel that way.
I’m still getting used to this feeling: being cared for like this. Being loved like this. Being protected like this.
I’m dressed; he’s dressed. We gaze at each other with a childlike innocence. He holds me in place, bending my knee and extending my leg in and out, breaking apart the plastic anger and sadness that’s been hiding inside the crevices of my hips.
“Fraud!” I scream to myself. “Cold! Go the other way!” I pressed my hands to my forehead, to quiet the self-mutilating thoughts icing over my heart. “I am not a fraud. My body is not failing me. I’m human. I can be injured, too. I can be hurt and I can still help. I don’t have to be cured, to heal others.” I warm up, again.
“Trust him. I can trust him.” Even warmer.
Over the years, I’ve allowed very few people to work on my body, because, I know the intention that needs to be behind it to be of benefit: a motherly love and a fatherly protection. Too often in my earlier yoga days, I’ve been touched by women whose minds were outside of the room we were in, and men, who were fantasizing about what it would be like to be in, inside of me; inside of all of the women who entrusted them with their vulnerable, prostrating bodies, for an hour and a half reprieve from their hectic lives.
Not him though. He’s different. I’ve prayed for someone like him to enter my life. And, it took a leap of faith to find him, to open to a new way of thinking and a new way of being.
I found him by following the feeling, away from the coldness.
Serendipitously, a couple months ago, I signed up for training in a modality I’d been intrigued by, completely different than anything I’ve studied previously. The moment I walked in the door, I felt warm.
On the last day of my preliminary training, my assigned mentor said to me, “it’s rare for someone who has been trained like you have in yoga, to be so open to a new practice, a new method. I feel how receptive you are.”
Me? Open? Ha! I can be more rigid than a 2 x 4. But, I guess I have changed. When something isn’t working and it keeps happening over and over, it’s time to seek out a new way. So, I did.
I’ve been praying for a teacher to guide me, to help me become more effective at what I do. I found him, because, I kept looking. I didn’t give up, even when the search went frigid. I turned a different direction and I asked for help.
When you’re committed to the search, G-d gets louder: “Here’s someone who can help you,” she said.
I reached out to him and he reached back with both hands.
“Go where it’s warm.”
Yesterday, we pushed and pulled in unison, and I could feel the cold extinguished by our heat. Anger, up in smoke. Fear, melting away. Trust, blazing.
I pulled off the blindfold. Here I am…
For you, Chris, the teacher with the warm hands and warm heart. ~Rebecca