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Being fully present to what arises, dropping the masks of doing or getting, showing all that I am, showing my vulnerability without getting hooked into story. Holding and soothing my inner child so that I’m meeting the other from my adult woman. Shifting my inner focus and really seeing the other person in front of me – a meditation. Slowing everything down, spaciousness, holding each other in the silence -beautiful magical intimacy.

I used to think that I knew what intimacy meant until I attended the next part of my 18 month tantra training back in June. I was in a very confused “who the hell am I now this layer has been peeled off” place when this video was captured. I unexpectedly confronted my fear of abandonment and learnt how I have been using various masks to avoid recognising, feeling and dealing with it. For me, this is the beauty of relating exercises within a workshop context- they seem to reveal my blindspots and go right to the core of my wounding. 

I absolutely love how time has helped me integrate my learnings and am very happy (and a little relieved) to report that I have experienced some wonderfully rich intimacy over the summer. This has had major ripples across my life as I am applying the same prinicples of intimacy to how I am in the world. Trusting, being present, allowing myself to be however I am, not trying to control things….surrendering to what is in the here and now. Am I an A* intimacy expert now? Of course not, I’m still terrified on one level, it’s just that I am learning to hold myself a bit better in the process.

Inner Mothering

I mentioned in the video that I was encouraged to create an inner mother for myself in order to hold and soothe the scared parts of me. This is something I have been working with a lot lately… A couple of weeks ago I woke up filled with anxiety and thought about ways I could self soothe. I often imagine myself holding Little Lesley close to my chest and stroking her hair as a way of calming her down. On this particular morning I decided to do something completely new and I picked up my guitar to see what emerged…and wonderfully the soothing words of my inner mother were voiced – which you can listen to here. Since then, when I have a little wobble, I have this song floating through my mind.

Ma Prem Eshana

I’ve changed my name on Facebook…. have I got married? Nooooo. Have I joined a cult? Nooooo. Eshana is my Sannyas name, my spiritual name. I’ll put my hand up first to previously having loads of judgements about people changing their name or having a spiritual name….and here I am – oh life you make me chuckle.

I took Sannyas back in August at the Osho festival. Earlier in the week I had a huge sense of surrender and a deepening of my spiritual path. The timing felt too perfect not to take Sannyas and be witnessed in my surrender. Ma (Mother) Prem (Love) Eshana (Longing and Desire) means to know and to follow my hearts desire and to listen to my souls calling. I chose part of my name ‘Eshana’ inspired by John O’Donohue’s poem ‘For Longing’.

Do I call you Eshana or do I call you Lesley – I hear you ask? So if you call me Eshana then great, if you forget and call me Lesley…then also great. I’m holding the whole thing as lightly as possible and trying it on for size. The meaning behind the process has the most significance for me.

For Longing by John O’Donohue

Blessed be the longing that brought you here
And quickens your soul with wonder.

May you have the courage to listen to the voice of desire
That disturbs you when you have settled for something safe.

May you have the wisdom to enter generously into your own unease
To discover the new direction your longing wants you to take.

May the forms of your belonging–in love, creativity, and friendship–
Be equal to the grandeur and the call of your soul.

May the one you long for long for you.

May your dreams gradually reveal the destination of your desire.

May a secret Providence guide your thought and nurture your feeling.

May your mind inhabit your life with the sureness with which your body inhabits the world.

May your heart never be haunted by ghost structures of old damage.

May you come to accept your longing as divine urgency.

May you know the urgency with which God longs for you.

Photo by Simon Rae on Unsplash


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