Permission to Grow
In the British Navy, there has long been a rule that sailors can only serve clean-shaven or with a full beard. To move from clean-shaven to bearded required seeking “permission to grow” from the ship’s captain. After a reasonable time, if your beard had not fully grown, you could be told to shave it off again. It was somebody else’s decision.
When I started going to Tantra workshops, I was a novice, not only in relation to Tantra but also in relation to personal development. I thought that turning up was enough – that somehow by osmosis or magic, I would develop and grow as a person.
To some extent that was true. I learned about myself, both directly and by listening to others’ experiences.
As I moved deeper into Tantra, I was still expecting that someone would teach me the truth, would give me permission to develop – would show me how to become a fully developed person.
Then there was a lightbulb moment. It was when I realised that the only person who could make a change was me. That it was my responsibility. That no teacher or process or exercise or meditation would change me unless I allowed myself to change. Unless I gave myself permission to develop and grow.
Once I had given myself that permission, I could start fully to learn from the teachers I worked with.
So what was getting in the way of allowing myself to grow?
It was mostly fear – fear of being rejected, or of going too far, of not fitting in, of not being good enough. All of which had their roots in the past. And all of which I could let go of.
The permissions I gave myself were of various kinds:
• Permission to desire
• Permission to feel emotions, including anger
• Permission to express myself – loudly when necessary
• Permission to start from now rather than to live in the past
• Permission to enjoy myself
• Permission to be sexual
• Permission to say no
• Permission to laugh
• Permission to say yes
• Permission to state my wishes and needs
• Permission to receive and to give pleasure.
Once I allowed myself to be true to myself, and accepted responsibility for myself and my growth, I was able to live more fully, more truthfully, more compassionately, more ecstatically.
There may be things in your life at the moment which you feel need to change. That can be scary and exciting. The first step may be to become captain of your own ship – to give yourself permission to move forwards.
I’d love to hear what you choose to give yourself permission to experience and be.
Tantra Coach: Sex and Relationship Coaching for Individuals and Couples