The Blessing of Men Who Don’t Want to Sleep with me

I am fiercely independent woman and do a good job on my own. In my 20s, I was wildly aware of my sex appeal. I insisted on buying my own drinks, never committed to just one place. I was always busy and moved around like I owned the world. I had mostly male friends, knowing full-well that there was a power to my appeal, a tease in my failure to commit or fall for sexual courtship. It felt good to have that power and I used it to my advantage.

In my 30s, I am plagued by men who are not interested in me. A good male friend of mine invited me to an out of town wedding in Charleston, SC. He invited me with plenty of time (1 1/2 months) and he made sure I wasn’t seeing anyone else. It was a good drive, we used Airbnb and planned to stay 2 nights. We are both single, we get along well and I really enjoy his company. I feel his distance from me but thought maybe this was a situation whence boundaries could be blurry. I’m attracted to him and felt he was attracted to me but non-committal.

We had an amazingly intimate conversation on the drive down and into the wee hours of the morning. Sharing intimate details about our lives and pasts, accepting and agreeing on politics and religion. We respectfully challenged each other in our opinions and talked about life philosophies. Then, we talked about drugs.

This is a hot button issue for me and I won’t go into it because it could be evolve into a book. In short, I think habitual pot smoking is detrimental to relationships. How can a person connect and “check in” with a partner when they are always “checking out.” Say all you want about how safe marijuana is, habitual use for mood enhancement is denying you the process and gravity of self-regulation.

Anyway, we went to bed. In the same bed. A full bed. The distance between us could not have been larger for me. Here is a man that I have been open and verbally intimate with all day and he does not even want to accidentally brush his leg on mine.

After hours of not sleeping, and restlessness, I got up to do yoga. This is where my revelation came. I have had 2 previous relationships with men who habitually smoke marijuana. We were physically intimate before we even got to the point of sharing a discussion on it. The physical intimacy was so cold after those discussions, even if he told me my point was valid and I was right. I internalized that (and was often told) it was my fault for bringing it up. It was my fault for having an unfavorable opinion. It was my fault for putting a sour spot in our relationship. It was my fault for disrupting their buzz. It was my fault.

But the thing is, it’s not. This is how an addict talks and reasons. He sees the detriment and the negative effects, but it doesn’t matter. Because it makes him feel good. And that outweighs the need to be present or regulate yourself and your emotions.

This is liberating. My friend and I talked about it the next morning when I had some time to process it. He said things like, “I have a lot of girls that I know and think about, and I think about you the most” and “you deserve someone that doesn’t smoke pot.” I think these things are bullshit. One statement is trying to keep potential alive and the other is detaching from the situation to justify getting high. The thing that is liberating is that these statements do not reflect on me. It is not my fault that he isn’t interested and that “our friendship means too much.” He may be rejecting me because I have qualms with habitual smoking, but I wasn’t deprived of physical affection because of it. I wasn’t required to “work it out” with him and accept responsibility for the fate of our relationship simply because we were never together! We are friends, and can remain such. The thing is, I don’t have to accept responsibility for his reaction or the fate of our relationship.

I am free.

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Significance in Other

I lived with a man. A man I loved. A man in limbo when my career was steady and full. A man that was easy-going and never had a problem in the world. Except for me.

Relationships are hard, but when you love someone, you work it out.

I found out I was pregnant by that man. That man said he needed me to move to Colorado with him because it was the best thing for our future. For our family. He was going anyway.

Relationships are important, you are investing in your future.

I was engaged to that man. He did not propose romantically. He gave me a diamond that belonged to his grandmother on a necklace in a bed in a remote hotel my company paid for. He was returning from a ski trip. We had the ring sized and set.

Relationships are sometimes uneven, one person carries more weight than the other.

I announced my engagement and my pregnancy at the same time. I was 29. It was like I was part of a club that I didn’t know existed. It no longer had the stigma of scandal. I felt trapped. My heart was confused.

I panicked.

I had a miscarriage. I cried. I wept. I grieved. I planned a wedding.

RELATIONSHIP!!!!!!

He moved to Colorado and I had 6 weeks left for my job. My sister threw me a wedding shower. I bought a dress. My mom and I fought.

Relationships are hard, but when you love someone, you work it out.

I moved to Colorado. He was distant. I asked him why he wanted to marry me. He said he didn’t want to be alone. I gave the ring back and we said we’d work on it.

He smoked some pot and said he couldn’t do it anymore.

Sometimes relationships end.

I flew home.

I feel like my life has just started. But it’s not what I expected at all.

and sometimes cliche advice is just shit.

Breath Inverted

Breathing is the shape change of the body’s cavities. — Leslie Kaminoff and Amy MatthewsYoga Anatomy 2nd Edition

Breath coordination is central to the production of sounds, safety in swallowing and yoga. The topic of breath is far too broad to broach in one sitting, so I will focus on its expiration. Breath is both voluntary and autonomic, meaning it happens without you thinking about it but it can be stopped or started, and manipulated in rhythm and time.

Breath does not solely concern the lungs. Think of the core body in terms of 2 cavities: thoracic and abdominal. As the thoracic cavity expands, the abdominal cavity changes shape and vise versa. According to Yoga Anatomy 2nd edition, the abdominal cavity is like a water-filled balloon; if you squeeze one end, the other bulges in a different direction. The lungs are like an accordion expanding in 3 dimensions (front/back, wide/narrow, and up/down). In yoga, often times you hear instructions to “draw a little more air in to fill the upper chest all the way to the collar bones”, ” fill the belly up with your breath” and “draw the navel back towards your spine to make sure the belly is empty of air.” Essentially, these breathing exercises are designed to change the shape of your abdominal and thoracic cavities. They are contained within the same structure (your body), so changing your body’s position (i.e. laying down, twisting or sitting upright) changes the efficacy of your breath. Breathing techniques are many and can be found in yoga books and but are not often emphasized on many speech sites.

Exhalation is a process of expelling air juxtaposed by the pressure in the lungs trying to return to its original volume. In school, we learn how little of our lung’s volume we actually use in breathing and in speech. In addition, forced exhalation is often inadvertently associated with abdominal contraction. Without thinking about it, the same muscles we use to strain during a bowel movement are used in forced exhalation. With practice and training, we can learn to use different muscle sets for exhalation in order to balance the shape shifting of our system to healthier patterns.

It makes sense to me that one of those ways of balancing the volume change of breath with muscular coordination is inversions. This is where I go on my own in drawing conclusions. The information above is paraphrased from Yoga Anatomy 2nd edition. The ideas below are my own.

If an accordion sits atop a water filled balloon, I picture a heavy accordion on a constantly squished balloon. This insinuates therapeutic interventions beginning with posture changes to lighten the load. The most extreme posture change being handstands, head stands and shoulder stands. Kids do them all the time, somehow channelling their body’s need for pressure change. It is difficult to manipulate the posture of the elderly, especially without assistance by a trained professional (Physical Therapist or Occupational Therapist). Obviously, The elderly cannot usually manipulate themselves upside down. But they can lay at different angles supported in different ways (that a trained professional says is ok). The insinuations are endless in releasing tensions of the throat, strengthening of abdominals that can decrease the load of the lungs and in turn creating space in the throat for proper speech and swallowing.

The visual of an accordion and a balloon also helps explain the frequent incidence of Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) in the elderly. Poor posture, weak abdominal muscles, and slower digestive system makes the balloon unsustainable.