Magic, Superpowers, and Orgasm: 6 Things I Learned From Life in 2015
by Marie-Elizabeth Mali Dec 30, 2015
1. Magic is real. When my boyfriend and I traveled to New York for the holidays on a full flight, I checked my bag in at the check-in counter and he gate-checked his carry-on when they asked him to. When we arrived, our bags came out side-by-side.
I’ve cultivated my attention this year, which has resulted in noticing more magical moments as they happen. Today I unexpectedly had to take my dog to the vet so I texted my client to see if we could coach an hour later than planned. Her boss had just asked her to work that afternoon and she was about to text me to ask me to reschedule. It worked out perfectly.
Because of situations like this, when plans suddenly change I keep myself open to see why it might be happening rather than immediately going into irritation or panic. Because I know magic underlies my life, I’m more willing to stay in the unknown and be open to how things unfold rather than use my will to hang on to the outcome I think is the right one.
2. Necessity unlocks superpowers.
I’ve always been a writer who needs total silence to write. Even the sound of my housemate’s footsteps can break my flow. Recently, a friend asked me to write a poem for his wedding, on the morning of the wedding. We were at the Orgasm Intensive course and the only time I had to write it was in the 20 minutes before the ceremony began. I sat on the edge of my bed with headphones on, Indian flute music playing, while my five roommates got dressed and the people setting up the main room loaded boxes, chairs, and more into our room, the de facto storage space.
I finished the poem just in time and only later realized what a miracle it was that I was able to focus and write in the midst of that chaos. What changed? My desire to gift the bride and groom a memorable poem honed my focus and overrode my mind’s fixation on what it thinks it needs in order to write. I undid one of my limiting stories and found freedom in that spot.
3. God knows better than I do. (I know, duh. But, really.)
There’s an old fable about a man who prays to God to save him from a flood. A neighbor stops at his house and offers to drive him to safety. He declines, saying he has faith in God to save him. The water rises. A boat stops by and the captain offers to take him to safety. He declines, saying he has faith in God to save him. The water rises. He climbs on the roof and a helicopter comes by. The pilot offers to pick him up and he declines, saying he has faith in God to save him. He drowns. When he gets to heaven he asks God why his prayers weren’t answered. God says, “I sent you a car, a boat, and a helicopter, what else were you looking for?”
I’ve had chronic pain in my hips for six years. I’ve gotten bodywork, chiropractic, acupuncture, hypnosis, eaten a clean diet to reduce inflammation, taken supplements, stopped doing any workout that would aggravate my hips, worked with a spiritual psychologist on underlying emotional issues, prayed, meditated, done ThetaHealing®, and more.
A month ago, after three years of barely being able to walk, I was finally desperate enough to act on a friend’s suggestion to see an orthopedic doctor. I found out that I have advanced arthritis and am a candidate for bilateral hip replacement. All these years I thought if I could unlock the underlying mental-emotional-energetic-structural cause of the pain it would get better. I couldn’t imagine — thinking I knew best how to be saved — that the boat sent for me would be surgery.
4. Keep attention grounded in my body.
I’ve been practicing Orgasmic Meditation for almost two years and the practice continues to astonish me. My boyfriend and I started to reorganize our room this morning because it’s the end of the year — good time to let go of stuff — and we needed to set up a small infrared sauna I bought to use for pain relief. I began to spin out on details, so much so that I kept moving stuff around the room, pants off already, ignoring the waiting nest and stroker. He finally said, “Do you want to OM?” “Yes.” “Then get in the fucking nest!” I cracked up, shut up, and got in the nest.
As the OM began, I felt heat, tension, and sensation in my upper back and head. I hardly felt him stroking my clit. This was a perfect mirror of my over-functioning, stressed-out state. As the OM continued, my awareness of sensation spread out to include my whole body and my legs got warm. I ended the OM grounded and resourceful. We had a breakthrough afterwards in the room organization because I was no longer a disembodied mind running amok. Instead, I was reconnected to my body and could feel the next right thing to do.
5. Just do the next right thing.
I have one of those minds that will spin out so hard on the future, I freeze and don’t know where to start. I’ve learned to say to myself, “What’s the next right thing? Just do that.” Between selling a house and buying a condo, packing up and moving across the country, rescuing a traumatized dog, getting used to new housemates, growing my coaching business, traveling for courses, doing everything outlined in #3 that led up to the arthritis diagnosis, falling in love, moving in together, and blogging for this site, it has been a very full year. I couldn’t have done it all if I hadn’t focused more on the next right thing rather than on the whole picture. Doing the next right thing leads to the next, and the next, and pretty soon I’m somewhere better than I anticipated.
6. It’s okay to be happy.
I tend to temper moments of joy with thoughts that it could all go away in an instant, that everything is impermanent, that I — or someone I love — could die at any moment, that something terrible is going on in the world, so who am I to be happy?
As if imagining the worst is a shield against loss. As if imagining it first would have it hurt less when it comes.
I didn’t used to be this way. Several tragic deaths and shocking phone calls later and this is now my mind’s default setting. The truth is that this way of thinking is a groove worn in my mind by trauma, and it’s not useful. Imagining the worst doesn’t make it hurt less. In fact, it’s double the hurt because I feel it both when I imagine it and again if it happens!
Now I actively turn away from worry. I enjoy my joy as a radical act of defiance against the media that would have me cower and scowl. I enjoy my joy and let it spill over toward people I meet. I enjoy my joy in order to build up a base of resilience so strong that when the next shocking phone call comes I can be present with the person on the other end with an open heart and a simple breath. I can fully feel loss because I’ve practiced feeling joy.
As Jack Gilbert wrote in the poem, A Brief for the Defense, “We must have / the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless / furnace of this world.” I learned this year to cleave to joy in the face of everything going on within and around me. I claim joy. And so it is.