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What happened to Body Trust?


In late 2019, what was Body Trust — a circle of four (Alex, Amy, Lizz, and Zed) in a circle of beloveds — paused to digest and ponder. We had clarity to celebrate the past year and say goodbye to Amy, who felt it was time to move on. With three of us left, we asked: how should we change? Body Trust as an organization was cleared, organized, accounts closed, and taken down to the bones of it. Then we paused again, as COVID hit the world. We let things settle. And as we rested within ourselves, imaginings started emerging.

Eros, circle, collaboration, social justice, decentering our whiteness, anal breath. In order to fully live into our values, which are centered on liberation for all bodies, we wanted and needed to dismantle our all-white leadership and become part of a multi-racial organization. 

So we pondered: How many in the circle … 4? 5? 6? 7? And then we gathered. First 5, then 6, then 5 again, and then 7! Adding juice, ideas, possibilities. A sexy septet of queer erotic educators, artists, conjurers, practitioners, sacred intimates, and tricksters — Zed, Tru, M’Kali-Hashiki, Max, Lizz, Garland, and Alex.

And we began emerging! One (anal) breath at a time, we became the EroSomatic Arts Collective: Liberating Bodies for Radical Pleasure.

We are so excited to offer some new workshops, online and in person, in 2022. Keep an eye on our social media, on our mailing list, and on erosomatics.com, for what is coming next. We are so excited to play with you!

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Newsletter

Community Meditation Connection Series with Lizz

This is a difficult, yet wakeful, sorrowful time … between politics, intensified systemic racism, covid and the election, many of us are aching and overwhelmed while feeling the unraveling of the planet.
And, there is medicine for each of us when we drop in, connect with the above and below, in a circle of beloved community. This beautiful Body Trust community has been built on being with each other in the flesh: skin to skin, sweat and tears flowing, hearts opening. Our community of embodied explorers has been painfully impacted by the pandemic, our bodies now in isolation, this hurts my heart and every cell of my being. I crave being back in circle with you all. So, let’s gather….. to ground, meditate and share from the portals of our being in a community of body trusted folks.
We will begin each gathering with a guided grounding and meditation led by Lizz and then have a portal sharing circle weaving our community thru embodied presence.
Will you join me?
Dates: October 31st: November 21st, December 19th
Time: 10:00am PT/1:00pm ET
Duration: 60-75 min
Cost: $20 each (drop in once or come to all)
*no one turned away for lack of funds
To register please go here: https://forms.gle/1pmWjeHHt8UiZ1EDA

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Newsletter

Equinox BDSM & Energy Gathering in Seattle

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The year wheel is turning,
light in the sky changing:
harvest is here.
 
At Equinox, there is a balance between the day light and night time. Pause during the day that the sun provides a zenith, a downward gaze allowing for equal illumination.
This gives us an opportunity to harvest and embrace the fruits from the cycle started in the spring.
Notice your ripe, your withering and what is your natural seasonal rhythm. Reflect on the balance of rest and activity/play. Conjure ideas for sensing your needs. An occasion to mark and acknowledge our living relationship to the Earth.
Equinox is the zenith, the harvest from seeds planted during the spring.
We have an invitation to gather for the Autumnal Equinox.
Use the season change as guide for reflection and balance. In the autumnal equinox, we will meditate, have time to share with each other, and explore experientially.
Year Wheel: Energy & BDSM
Intermediate weekend workshop with Alex & Zed
Seattle, Saturday & Sunday, September 14-15[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_btn title=”Are you called to it? Click here to sign up” align=”center” button_block=”true” link=”url:https%3A%2F%2Fbodytrustcircle.com%2Fyear-wheel%2F|||”][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Newsletter

In Search of Lilacs

You know that feeling when you’re doing something really hard, when you’re challenging yourself, when you’re stepping out of your comfort zone?
That feeling when you have studied for weeks and weeks and weeks and your test is tomorrow and now there is just nothing to even think about because maybe you’ve studied everything you possibly can, or maybe you’re exhausted, but either way, you have to just let go and walk in to that room and pack your entire bag except your #2 pencil and open the booklet?
I’ve been living in that gap lately — continuing to run and leap at the Next Level. I don’t really know what it is, but I have some pretty good ideas of how to get there. They are involving all my strength to keep going keep pushing keep showing up when I want to quit or give up or take another nap. And how can I tell if I’m “not showing up” or if I’m taking care of myself by resting? How can I tell if I’m giving up or if I can’t actually do that without some sort of harm to myself?
These are questions I’m grappling with.
Meanwhile, it is high spring in the Bay Area. I got a sunburn this week, which is something I am usually very mindful of — turns out I burn easily, and am very affected by the heat. It’s taken me years now to adjust to the California sun, to say no to outdoor activities, to go into the shade even when the action is in the sun.
I haven’t been able to find any lilacs, though. They are quite rare here. Maybe they like to be farther north? I am used to bouquets of them, bushes of them with branches heaving under the weight of their heavy blossoms. They aren’t the kind of flower where passers-by stop to awe at their shape, but they do stun us with their smell: perfume and magic and stardust.
As a kid, I was taught never to pick flowers — except for lilacs. If you don’t harvest the lilac flowers, the dead bloom will stay there into the next season. But if you do, another flower will grow back in its place. This is what I was always taught.
They were special, personal, friends — almost like they wanted to be in homes, on dinner tables, on windowsills, rather than stay on their bush and drop their petals.
Maybe they are just good at adventuring, at going out of their comfort zone, at wanting to see more than the place from which they grew. Maybe they know they need a leap, but don’t have their own mobility, so they smell so good to encourage us with hands to take them.
Maybe that’s why I’m craving them so much during this mid-air free-fall leveling-up process of spring.
.
.
.
PS: Doing a really hard thing this weekend. If you think of me May 2-3-4, send a little sparkle my way. Will report back about leveling up.

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Newsletter

Being Brave, No Matter What Happens

I hope you’ve been following Blair Braverman as much as I have. She writes all the time over on her Twitter channel about her adventures as a musher, training, caring for, and racing sled dogs. Just this week, she finished the epic Iditarod! Can’t wait for the tweets about her stories to start coming in (after she’s rested).
I still think about this article she wrote, How to Teach a Dog to Be Brave. Bravery has been on my mind lately: I’m job hunting, and continuing to make myself vulnerable and get invested in a job I want only to not know whether I’ll get it is an act of bravery. My partner Hunter and I are also going through a process of being recognized as more formal community leaders in the leather/BDSM worlds, and that, too, has been requiring bravery.
And I’m thinking about failure, shame, embarrassment. What does it mean to fail something? There is much talk of “failing forward,” “failing big,” and how much failure is not a bad thing — but what about my personal relationships to that?
Blair writes:

What I’ve learned through years of blizzards and frostbite and broken headlamps, tangles and wolves and splintered sleds, is that whatever happens, I’ll find a way to handle it. I can’t predict or control problems, but I have a darn good track record for protecting my team and coming out the other end. Sometimes I think that’s as close to real courage as I’m going to get.

I’m thinking of Blair’s words as I write another cover letter, contact another mutual connection on LinkedIn. Whatever happens, I’ll find a way to handle it. What a lovely thing to trust, when (if) I can do that.
Happy spring,
Zed
PS: Save the date for Portals of Pleasure 2019! July 24-28 near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Registration will open in April.

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Newsletter

Winter bliss

To me, winter is stunningly beautiful.

Crystaline. Clear. Brought down to the bare bones. Fresh starts and traces of stories to be told.
Trees show their skeletons, stripped bare of the leaves that festoon them all summer long. Now, on a cold day, I can see the variety of shapes, the patterns of twigs, the golden ratio of trunk to branch. I can see all the hidden beauty that is overshadowed on those shady summer days.
Fresh snow wipes clean the surface of the ground, covering all and creating a fresh start. Stories get told in the paw prints left behind. Was this a fox? Or two? Was it trotting by when it heard the sound of a blind mole beneath the surface, when it circled back to pounce? Did a friend come to join in the feast? Or to gloat, “Hah! You missed another!” And did the snowboarder scare them off or slide through when the drama had long since passed.
These things leave me in awe and filled with Winter-Love!
xo,
Amy
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Newsletter

Wintertime Air

Noses are portals, between the inner world and the outer world. The function of breath invites awareness. Each breath allows contact with the environment and points attention to our body.
Breathing wintertime air can be an experience of breathing air from over baked interior environments, to cool wet/cold dry outside environments. Wintertime is an opportunity time to tend to your nose, and tend to your awareness.
A simple practice of breath awareness is Alternative Nasal Breathing.
Place the thumb of the right hand over the right nostril, middle finger of the same hand over the left nostril. Cover one nostril and close it, exhale through the open nostril. Then inhale through the same nostril. At the end of the inhale, close that nostril and open the opposite nostril. Exhale then inhale through the same nostril. Do this cycle three times each nostril. Notice your breath, and the inhale/exhale.
I am breathing the moist air of maritime pacific northwest. What is your air like?
Alex

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Newsletter

Sweet Cave, Sweet Music

I’m still in a sweet cave of reflecting on the year behind and tilling the emotional-spiritual soil so I can plant things for the year to come.
I also have about ten projects in the fire, so part of my cave is pulling back and creating creating creating.
While I used to listen to tons of singer-songwriter kinds of music when I worked, lately I’m listening to a lot of sweet things, mostly instrumental, as they help as a kind of white noise but they aren’t usually very distracting.
I’ve used last.fm for years — it connects to iTunes and Spotify (and before that, my Windows Media Player) and tracks all the artists and songs I listen to. (I think my profile is public? You can look at it here, if you want to know more about my music tastes.) I just got my year-end report which said my most listened to album was Rise & Fall by the Sweeplings, and my most listened artist was Tori Amos (duh).
But in addition to that lovely music, I’ve really loved the few double-guitar solos that Jason Kertson has. Aside from everything else, that he’s playing two guitars is really cool!
How’s your January, beloveds? Are you in a sweet cave? Hope you are warm and cocooned and snuggled.
Love,
Zed

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Newsletter Poetry

Her Message: A poem after the California fire

On the first day, the fires came without warning. Just a precession right down the middle of main street, hello, hello, I’ve been looking forward to meeting you. The wind scattered sparks skyward. There wasn’t enough time to find the cat who has been stalking butterflies outside. There wasn’t enough time to check in with the elderly neighbor who shared photos of their grandkids and loved your pumpkin pie. There was only time for those who could to run.
On the second day, the smoke had already traveled hundreds of miles. The nearby towns and cities are choked with grey, including mine. We are told to get P-100 or N-95 masks. We are told not to go outside. We are told to close all the windows. And we are the lucky ones: we still have our bookshelves. Our car tires are not melted to the road. The air is toxic, but we are alive.
On the third day, I think about the smoke. It isn’t just ‘smoke’: it is the remnants of melted car tires, burned photo albums of baby pictures, charcoaled couches and guitars and lamps, burned human bodies of people who died in their cars trying to escape. I am breathing them in. They are becoming part of me.
On the fifth day, I order reusable N-95 masks online. I have been putting this off thinking that by the time they arrive, the smoke would clear, but the fire is only twenty percent contained. This is the third time I have needed this kind of mask since I moved to California. The fires are becoming a regular occurrence.
On the sixth day, the air is the worse it has been yet. I read about the cities whose air quality is always like this. Yes, San Francisco’s air is bad: 290. But Dhaka, Bangladesh is 465. Delhi and Mumbai are frequently above 290 on typical days. Kolkata, India is 208. Lahore, Pakistan is 207. What is it like to live with this as a daily reality?
On the ninth day, I realize that my bedroom is not at all sealed. The cracks in the windows and doors are completely open to the outside air. I think about sleeping on the couch.
On the tenth day, I read that the trees love smoke. Smoke is carbon dioxide, which is what they love to breathe. I read that areas where there are the most trees, the air is the highest quality.
On the twelfth day, I read that the air is so bad, it is the equivalent of smoking ten cigarettes a day. As a former smoker, I think, well that actually isn’t so bad.
On the fourteenth day, the rains finally came. The puddles become full of toxic ash. We are advised not to let the dogs drink from them, but who ever could stop a dog from drinking a puddle? Our deck is slick with the residue. The city glitters and shines, fresh from a bath, and I can see across the Bay again.
Every day, I think: Could the earth be any more clear in her message?
Paradise is burning down.

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To Rest is Radical

Yoga Nidra: A practice of resting into the center of your being, into form and formlessness.

Hello Beloveds!
The veil is thin and the days cooler, shorter and darker. Rest beckons yet we may resist. Recently I went to a Yoga Nidra event led by a teacher from the UK, Uma Dinsmore-Tuli PhD. It rocked my world! The approach she uses is very feminine, circular, non-prescriptive and inviting. The intention of the practice is to assist ourselves in coming home. I did not fall asleep, which is a common use of Yoga Nidra. I actually experienced an awakened awareness that connected me to my form and formlessness in an exquisite container of softness.

Here’s a sample by a student of Uma’s I really like. See what you think!

With all the business of life, a practice of conscious rest can be considered a form of activism.
With love,
Lizz