The question is: How can we fix our boundaries?
So far, we have learned to read our yearning for surrender in a new way: as a question of boundaries. Often it is a physical fear for our boundaries which prevents us from opening up sexually, or trusting another human being. If we can’t surrender, we deploy our defence mechanisms and we can find 4 different levels of this deployment. In order to fix our boundaries, we change the following:
- Our thinking (mind-set)
- Our visualisation – Clichés, Ideas and expectations
- Our bodies (breathing, posture, voice and movement)
- Our emotions
Although every healing path is different, these 4 levels will be encountered and will have an effect on every path.
1. Our thinking (mind-set)
Radical change of thinking. That’s the main issue in about Surrender #1, and Surrender #2. Wherever the topic of surrender appears, we are redirected to the actual question: Am I safe here? With myself? With you?
A simple yes or no, decided by our bodies within the blink of an eye, has become a highly complicated minefield of doubts and strategies in every day life.
It’s not as if we don’t use the word NO after trauma, in fact whenever I explain the importance of setting boundaries in order to surrender, I often get reactions telling me that saying no can’t be the problem. However, since we are using ‘no’ as a chronic defence against everyone and everything around us, we end up exactly where we didn’t want to: in solitude.
This form of saying NO is not what I am talking about. To chronically shut down other people’s offers is a reaction to violated genuine protection – its compensation, its attempted damage control, this is not healing.
Saying no isn’t necessarily saying ‘no’ specifically, in fact quite the contrary; we compulsively say ‘no’ to everything because deep down we are convinced that we won’t be able to protect or defend our boundaries.
Chronically saying ‘no’ is therefore based on the same trauma as chronically saying ‘yes’. Both originate from the feeling of being expelled from one’s own territory.
After a traumatic incident we adopt a certain edginess in how we react to the wound, but our thinking and behaviour will be scarred by the idea that boundaries isolate us – whilst contact means gradually sacrificing ones boundaries.
If we start to practice saying NO, we do so in order to calm and dissolve the shifted manoeuvre of chronic defence, more specifically of self-abandonment – because it doesn’t comply with the social and open animal being within us.
That’s how we internalise another essential way of thinking about surrender.
2. Visualisation and Images
Images dictate our senses, our experiences and our bodies more than we would like.
At this point I am not talking about conscious, positive images which we can use for our sexual fantasies, but about the unconscious, negative images which we inhale from Hollywood, which flow towards us in pornographic rivers and which arise from clichés of femininity and beauty.
Multi-billion dollar markets underlie our individual sexuality with the collective allegation: Women can’t defend their territory against men.
This allegation is wrong. It’s made up. Not a single fibre of our instinct agrees with this, but beneath the storm of images our bodies have become silent.
The crux of the matter is, we don’t even need to have experienced “something really bad” sexually, to let the collective allegation restrict our sexual surrender and desire.
It’s almost as if every penetration is afflicted with a latent, unconscious, whispering fear that it might as well be happening against our will and is therefore untrustworthy.
It’s tragic, especially since it restricts, frustrates and humiliates endless possibilities in our sexual encounters.
For the purpose of our project of repairing boundaries, we need other imagery in our heads rather than the one of helpless, vulnerable woman who can be raped (unless her hero comes in at the last second to save her).
So far, the best examples I have found are living pictures – videos which can demonstrate to our eyes, our nervous system and our instincts what has been in us all along. We can watch images that remind us of our own body-knowledge.
The following videos are suggestions for you – YouTube- clips of the Krav Maga or Model Mugging method (which comes pretty close to my beloved TigerWork).
Realistic assaults against women will be simulated in these films and methods. If you know that those images trigger you, please skip the following links. Alternatively if you type in YouTube: “Self-defence women”, you will find lots of documentaries which treat the subject much more gently and less directly.
If you want to watch the videos, you should do so in a free moment where you can take your time and focus to “physically watch” – whilst taking deep breaths, relaxing your eyes, sensing the ground beneath you, in order to let this new – old message sink into your skin.
Slowly these images will root themselves in your experience and strengthen your boundaries instead of underlying them.
- Model Mugging Action
- Model Mugging Action #2
- A documentary about model mugging with a few fight scenes (Trigger warning: Simulated rape attempt until 00:59 min.)
- Krav Maga Clip (assaults starting 0:40)
Ask yourself: what are you experiencing throughout these images? What do you sense in your body? Is there a split between the opinion you have about the images and your physical resonance?
Does your own self-image appear during this experience? Maybe it’s saying “I can do that!” or “I would never dare to do that!” or something else.
You may start to understand these perceptions, thoughts and feelings as a indicators of your own inner map – in what way the preconception of feminine inferiority is stored in your system and how you have acted on it until now.
Oh and please move your body and take a couple of breaths, so you won’t freeze up.
(Isn’t it strange, that we can watch a woman more relaxed and at ease when she is submissive then when she is fighting – and winning?)
It is so important to know these images. That’s how we can “internally defreeze” – we untie our nervous system from a secret and unnoticed resignation… and we can see that the power and certainty of these women within themselves is not a result of hard training, but an answer coming from instincts deep within ourselves.
This stunning awakening from our cultural bondage and confusion is also the main point in our conversation regarding our seminars TigerWork. It’s an essential process to remember the natural feminine territory – that defence is a background image for our entire life.
A culture which encourages smart and calm vigilance of our bodies – which sees and strengthens the physical power of girls and women, lays the best foundation for successful sexual encounters, surrender and relationships without fear.
But “Submission can be sexy too.”
At this point I want to say something about the argument which states that we would lose sexual attraction and stimulation, if we let go of our physical inferiority.
“Submission can be sexy too.” – It’s true. Being submissive is one of the strongest turn-ons for women (not only for women). This doesn’t contradict the liberation from our social brainwashing that women don’t have a choice.
In fact we can live out sexual roles such as dominance and submission more and in a more wholesome way the more our bodies can embed themselves within our boundaries. The difference lies in the sequence within our nervous system,
- Step 1: Safety ( Protection of my boundaries)
- Step 2: Approach (sizzles… and contact…)
- Step 3: Touch/Contact (including. indulging sex)
- Step 4: Bonding
Defending ones territory concerns step 1 – we are still far away from sex.
Being up for submissive sex concerns step 3 – varieties of contact – by then we (hopefully) have set the foundation of intact boundaries.
So it’s superficially “true”, if a culture tells us female submission is sexy – but at the same time it is slipping us a life threatening possibility of mixing the two levels up.
Not being ABLE to defend ones territory is a state of alert in our nervous system- the survival mode.
WANTING to be overpowered, if we have found our way out of the survival mode back into our boundaries, is where we are able to live and encounter, instead of being afraid.
The fact that we are culturally too confused and vulnerable to differentiate between made up imbalances and the truth shows us how sexual violation of boundaries has become a collective minefield.
If in response to something invented, we are able to consciously offer reality in the form of determined, brave and vigorous women’s bodies, then inhaling and remembering these images will slowly and surely fix our inner images regarding surrender.
In what kind of situations would you feel or act differently, if the discussed images would return to being seen as normal by you?