I'm fully dressed leaving a sauna in Berlin

So where did we leave off? Oh yes, the Naked Finnish Sauna Man (NFSM).  So, I was disappointed in myself. That in that moment I didn't say what I was feeling and thinking. That I've done this so much in my life.  And that I block myself from receiving the abundance the universe is pouring on me. That this fear of bringing pain stops me. Not being able to believe it can be good, easy and kind, especially from men.

I leave the sauna and take myself to the Ritz Carlton lounge, order myself a delicious glass of Pinot Noir, enjoy the free wasabi peanuts and olives stuffed with almonds and start typing away. I type all that happened and I keep giggling and laughing as I type. I laugh at how I said hello to him and it wasn't him. I laugh about how me met, the nudity, about the woman who sat between us doing her mime act as I kept moving my head to make eye contact. I laugh at the humanity of it all, at my humanity. 

I start walking back to my hotel. Still giggling and laughing about different scenarios, things I could have said to NFSM and then mid-laugh I started tearing up, then the tears are streaming, then the sobs come. This other part of me that is so longing for connection.  This sweet precious part of myself that is trying so hard, that is so kind and good and wants to be met with that same energy.  This part that is tired of being alone, tired of working at it, tired of missing out, longing for touch, for passion, for attraction, affection, this ancient, primal grief of fear of men and feeling myself withdraw in their presence when I truly want communion with them.  I have spent so much time, energy and money healing from abuse and trauma and to know there is still this part of me that feels unworthy/unsafe and scared breaks my heart. 

I stop on a bridge and let the tears fall into the water below. I let the sounds emerge, the wails, the longing and pain coming from the deepest part of me. I turn my palms up to sky and silently say this prayer  "I will go wherever I need to, do what I need to do. I surrender. Help me."  

Help Me. I have to believe help is on the way. 

I leave the bridge and the tears eventually transmute into a fierceness. This part of me that is so fierce for my soul, my pleasure, my joy. This warrior part of me that is so solid, strong and powerful. I put some Gaga on my iPhone and do a power walk/strut/dance through the streets of Berlin. I am my own music video. I am not letting it keep me down. I go back to the hotel, change my clothes and go out for a walk. It's about 11pm. Berlin is a late town so even though it's a Monday, restaurants are open and folks are enjoying this incredible weather by sipping their wine and savoring their meals outside. I am smiling at people as they pass, I head down an alley into a courtyard checking out the menu at Oxymoron. When a man makes a comment about the menu. I turn and recognize his as man who I had smiled out moments before. He has followed me.

He asks me to join him for a glass of wine. I say yes. He's from the Ukraine, lived in Berlin on and off for 20 years. Spent time in India, Italy, France. He is well traveled. He is not NFSM. I do not feel that chemistry, that desire to kiss him or have him kiss me. We head to another place to trade more stories, our perspectives on life, art. He wants more, I am not interested in more with him. So no. No thank you. I want it to feel good, honest, true and easy. I am worth that. I am grateful for our conversation and I want more. I desire to feel safe receiving the abundance, love, passion, heat, tenderness the universe has for me. I desire for this part of me that is scared of intimacy and goodness to feel safe, loved, whole and ready to receive more.

I desire this for us all. So that we are so filled up with what we truly want we are able to offer more love to ourselves and the world. And for those parts of you that sob on bridges too, I see you, I am hugging you, I send you love. 

The Embrace. An art piece from Burning Man 2014. 

The Embrace. An art piece from Burning Man 2014. 



I'm naked in a sauna in Berlin...

Yesterday I took myself to Liquidrom...a sauna, salt water pool extravaganza in Berlin. I'm in the sauna- luxuriating in the heat, the lavender infusion, my eyes are closed. Then I hear "Miss, no bathing suits allowed in the sauna."  I admit I am a little thrown, then I'm even more thrown when I get up and see the two men behind me...naked and I have to say gorgeous.  So I somewhat gracefully exit the sauna, use the shower and then walk back in and take off my swimsuit. Doing my best to get lost in the lavender infusion and having a bit of a hard time.  These are my thoughts.  "Is it no swimsuit...wear a towel around your body?" I don't think so because the men aren't. "Is it no swimsuit but be on your belly?" Doubtful. And mind you there is a wall of glass in this huge sauna that opens up to the a large outdoor lounging area where most people are in robes and bathing suits so I feel a bit on display.  A new person enters and I covertly open an eye lid and see it is a naked woman and she is not wrapping her towel around her body so I stay laid out on mine and relax a bit.

I start hearing this language I've never heard before. It is a rhythm like Australian at times and yet clearly isn't. This thought goes around and around in my head until I flip over and ask the men what language are they speaking.  Finnish. We talk about language, Finns and the saunas in their apartment, that these two men work together and are with work colleagues and a prospective hire...to see if they can hang out together.  Their words not mine.  One of the men has a kind, open energy and I am instantly attracted to him. He feels good to me. No need to think about.  We keep talking- amidst more arrivals, one who sits her naked self in between me and the men and is taking quiet awhile to get comfortable so my view goes from her torso, to his face, her arm, to the other man's face...we keep talking. I like this man more and more. His friend announces he is off to get water and the other man follows, his towel discreetly placed- thank goddess.

And I start thinking...how does one approach a naked man at a spa who is with his work colleagues and ask him out for a drink. Because I am clear I want to spend more time with him.  And it is important for me to be honest about what I want and to go for it.  

One dip in the magical salt pool later, I sit across from him and his colleagues at the outdoor lounging area, sipping my water but I don't make eye contact. I will my eyes to open and smile and they will not! I am in my head. I am acting aloof but I am not. There is a precious part of me that is scared, that has no idea about boys/men.  That has been keeping them at bay for a lifetime.  Especially ones that feel this good. I can talk for hours to the ones I have no interest in, make eye-contact etc. But when there is attraction some part of me is so afraid I flee. I've seen it happen time and time again.  And I spent the summer being curious and loving about this, seeking help, doing body work, healing up more PTSD...and my eyes will not open. Some part of me is still terrified. I forget to go to the bathroom and do a dance move to get back in my body. I forget to breathe deep. I forget to laugh, I forget to listen to music. 

At one point I am walking by the bar, glance up and see him sitting there. I say hello, except it isn't him..it's yet another scruffy bearded dark haired man. Ugg! Nice try though. Then, at long last I am back in the sauna and I see his entire group of co-workers heading to the dressing room. I lay there for a few minutes more because it isn't in my pleasure to leave yet, I want more time in sauna land and I want to talk with him (at the time I am thinking my options are get dressed and leave or stay in sauna...now I know there are more options).  I make my way to the dressing room, attempting to put on my bra and form fitting, need-help-to-get-the-zipper-all-the- way-up-dress over my sauna-hot body and I get a glimpse of him in the dressing rooms- clothed. Yes, the dressing rooms are sanctioned as male/female and yet they are no walls. That was another shock when I entered the glass door with the figurine of woman, I thought i had walked into the male locker room.  Perhaps another reason I am feeling a bit ungrounded.  I get help getting my dress zipped, go outside and he is...gone. No sign of him. Ugg. 

I go back in, put on my bathing suit and head back to the sauna to sit with all that happened and didn't happen.  

I am so tired of missing out, of being fearful, of holding back, of fleeing, of being paralyzed, of not being able to open my eyes and welcome him in. Of not asking for what I want. And yet there are many gems and expansion in all of this as well. 

Part 2 of the naked Finnish Man in the Sauna will be shared tomorrow.  It involves talking to myself in the streets of Berlin, giggles, wasabi peas, sobbing on a bridge and being asked out for a glass of wine by another man in front of a restaurant called Oxymoron.

Until then, I wish you so much love. May your eyes and heart open.