Giving Soul a Chance

IN THIS ISSUE SPRING 2011

From Jim Channon's Column, The Next Humans
Author: Jim Channon

Let’s presume a man and a woman have acquired a “mindful” reason to connect. They have entered a phase beyond a natural set of socially acceptable exchanges and have begun intimate and soulful discovery. It is unfortunate, but most men have little knowledge of intimacy per se. Instead, they often behave in a patent and not very exciting manner of pressing toward a sexual encounter, thus leaving a lot of “loving” territory undiscovered. As a result, women have taken a position of not showing interest unless the encounter shows signs of going the whole route toward a committed full-on relationship.

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Giving Soul a Chance - From Jim Channon's Column, The Next Humans

So what happened to courting? Or what about the “love affair”? Can simple intimacy still be an option? Perhaps it’s the speed at which people in the modern world are pressed to decide. No more mint juleps on the veranda. Women are looking more for a clue to the man’s emotional depth perhaps, while men have been coached to focus more on the performance features of their lovemaking.

From an American male perspective, I would offer that there hasn’t been sufficient introduction to the range of intimacy required to create a space for soulful and mindful exchange before sex enters the picture. We have been limited by the action explained to us like a hygiene class: It’s been mostly about what not to do followed by all the sanitation advice and, of course, the ubiquitous porn parade, which was really focused only on the sex.

We as men and women rarely are exposed to the range of intimate but nonsexual acts that are possible, those that engender great longterm friendships, which by the way is another under-rated subject. Allowing someone to “feel” you deeply and share your beingness in the most natural of ways obviously needs to be more “thoughtfully” explored. I can already hear the snickering of embarrassed men in the background. But here it is anyway: Guys ‘n Gals … listen up. Stay with me for five minutes while I offer some thoughts on the matter:

EYE CONTACT
Even among the most seasoned of couples there is often a reluctance to enter the gaze of another calmly and directly. And yet, the effort is doubly potent. With even ten seconds of steady and easy gazing, a clear sense of the magic inside another can be experienced. A field of energetic aliveness may surface and produce a genuine kind of full-bodied excitement or a quiet but palpable recognition. One might call this a spiritual check-in.

Often there is a sense of diving into the depths of another’s eyes and thereby reaching a kind of sacred access to their core presence. Sometimes a clear cognition or flash of insight will also accompany that moment of real connection, and this is where the most primal identity of the other can be experienced.

Once this eye-gazing practice is somewhat established it can be the most potent way for two people to confirm their love. Mutual flashing … just seconds of connection can communicate everything necessary for a deeper connection to be experienced, and tangible energy can also be exchanged.

THE HANDSHAKE or INITIAL TOUCH
This is an opportunity to allow another to sense your interest and qualities of caring, generosity and comfort with touching as part of your vocabulary. After an engaging handshake or kiss on the cheek the quality of one’s gentility shows itself. Raising the hand and kissing it gently may trigger the snicker factor here, but the risk is often well worth the effort — especially when that opportunity might only present itself for a moment. Laughing will not detract from the act itself. Perhaps it might even add a bit. The eyes can deliver a great deal of information in a nanosecond during this contact.

HUGGING
It is always nice to step into a hug by stretching your arms out with a gesture of “Oh, how sweet it is too see you” and move naturally into a gentle but naturally sweet embrace. A woman always has the prerogative of full body connection or not. With someone you know better and with whom you want to confirm your connection you can make the “hugging” more pronounced with even a swing and sway motion to assess stiffness, and venture into some generous sweet talk.

If you know there is an interest in an extended hug, then place your feet comfortably under you. When the contact is arranged so you can feel both bodies touching the other … then … relax and allow your energy to flow out and mingle with theirs. A slow sigh might be in order, as it signals that this could go on all day, and in that way can really be nourishing. Take your time with this energy exchange. This again can become an extended and soulful exchange in the right social setting.

Giving Soul a Chance - From Jim Channon's Column, The Next Humans

CARESSING the FACE and HEAD
This seems to be a lost art. While gazing softly into the eyes, reach slowly up and cradle the face in your hands. Cock your head in wonder with genuine appreciation of a soul-searching gaze. Stroking the hair slowly downwards or back is a complementary gesture. If the opportunity unfolds, offer a mini-scalp scrub. Starting at the back of the neck slowly raise both hands to the crown with fingers on the scalp and allowing the nails to just slightly touch into the skin. Know that a somewhat electrical charge can be felt here. Stay with the intimacy here. Be exceedingly gentle.

LIGHT TOUCHING and MASSAGE
If you watch people carefully they will actually touch themselves as they would like to be touched, and women will also play with their hair in a way they wouldn’t mind if you played with their hair. Pay attention to this kind of self-touching and get your ideas from there. Enjoy this as a friend and comrade.

Are their muscles stiff or sore? Find out where. If the places are not too close to erogenous zones, simply ask permission to work out the kinks a bit. This is the time to show your tenderness. Start really slow on the area in question. In fact, like good massage protocol, allow your hands to rest there for almost a minute, just tuning in, before rubbing. If there’s a question about where to start always ask, “May I touch your shoulders now?” Communicating that you won’t proceed anywhere without asking is very comforting and builds trust.

These are but beginning steps. My sincere hope is that all of these moments can be viewed as intimate and be completely satisfying in their own right, and that people can develop lasting friendships in ways that relationship parameters do not become overbearing too early. Men and women need the wisdom of the opposite sex and nothing I have found is more important in the end than lifelong trusted friends you can just be deeply nurturing with in a socially sensitive way.

Do you normally use physical and/or eye contact with your close friends to build a more intimate and mindful connection? Has it ever been misinterpreted? Did it get you into trouble? Share your experiences. - Tell us below!


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