“I’ll tell you what Freedom is. No fear.” Nina Simone

I’ll tell you what freedom is. Imagine a velvety red rose in springtime bloom, ripe with petals and drops of morning dew, lying naked before you. Close your eyes and explore the flower’s beauty, slowly, with no goal in mind other than to be fully present with the rose.  Inhale its scent and feel it intoxicate your sense of smell. Let your fingers explore the flower’s infinite depth. Allow your lips to graze its soft surface. Pause on the edge of a petal to briefly acknowledge an old fear that threatens to interrupt your exploration. Breathe deeply, dispel the fear. Let yourself delve deeper into the mystery that awaits between parted petals, each moment offering the adventure of new discovery of God’s exquisite creation.  Become conscious of how it all makes you feel.

Now, be the rose.

How do you react as you are touched? How do you feel when someone inhales you? Think about a lover exploring the depths of your soul, what happens when you feel your petals unfold in response? What fears, if any, threaten to undermine your experience?

At one point in her life, Tracy Gnojek of Love Flourishes was “petrified” by the thought of receiving love from another person. “I knew I could please a man by giving but, how in the world would he ever want to be with me if I was only taking and not giving anything in return? How would I let myself feel what I perceived as a weakness?”

Her Love Flourishes partner

Deb Stambula experienced something similar. “Eventually I came to realize that I had spent literally a lifetime trying to be someone I wasn’t. If you would have asked me five years ago to predict what my life would look like today, I could never have imagined it.”

Then Tracy and Deb found unimagined freedom and a state of being that they didn’t know existed,. They discovered something they didn’t know that they didn’t know and it was something akin to an unfettered exploration of the expansive depth of a rose.

Freedom

Their journey to freedom began with learning to be present in the depth of each moment, in the fold of each petal. It proved to be a sanctuary from old oppressive beliefs. Fear proved to be an obstacle to personal growth that caused Deb to feel “shut down, angry and resentful.”  She was constantly plagued by “anxiety, panic attacks and profound depression.” Tracy was “that woman who pushed my partners offers of assistance away so he could see how I needed only myself.” Both women began to embrace their fears as growth opportunities.

No became yes. No fear birthed confidence. Oppression yielded to freedom. Intimacy became “conscious sexuality.”

From Tracy: “I now walk through life finding my strength, not my weakness…A priceless gift!”

From Deb: “What I received was a gift that transformed my life.  A how-to guide on navigating relationships, processing trauma, finding your voice, being present in your life. I learned to manifest how I choose to appear in the world.”

No Fear

A key element of their transformation was their ability to create a space of “no fear.” Tantra yoga, a practice that will be explored more in depth in our next blog post, was the path they followed. It is also the practice they teach. Both helped them to gain a freedom they didn’t know was painfully absent from their lives and intimate relationships.