Apprenticeship to Love: Meditations on this Path to Authentic Relationship, November 9, 2023
• Today’s questions: What's your hurry?
• Today's suggested practice: Day 1 of this month's practice, to breathe and receive (see my "Short Practice,” below)
• My practice today: 5am: 60 minutes: yoga, mantra, and Mala Japa meditation.
• My vulnerability practice: I feel "things" moving. I'm allowing them to move as they need to move, without me pushing or pulling.
★ Wednesday, November 15 I'll be hosting "Men & Dating," as the Apprenticeship to Love live virtual workshop. My guest will be men's coach Leroy Gordon. Free to all Apprenticeship to Love Premium and Premium+ subscribers. Register at
★ The original artwork for this post, Venus in the Garden, is by permission of the artist Lucy Schappy (see lucyschappy.com). This painting is part of the small but growing Lucy Schappy collection at The Garden Guest House, the Airbnb I operate as a resting and restorative space in my home. If you're visiting Vancouver Island I'm offering all Apprenticeship to Love "early readers" and their friends and family a 10% discount on short-stays (up to five days). Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.
It was a risk. She struggled with the legacy of what she described as her “recklessness.” I struggled with the legacy of being “an idiot.” That is: I struggled with my twin habits of resistance and arrogance. A week of practicing the yoga of authentic relationship at TangoMayaFest was a week of profound vulnerability. I had no idea what would happen. I had worked hard to release myself, and her, from all expectations. In the end it was a week of experiencing a spiritual intimacy of unanticipated depth…
A lot happened. Now, to let it percolate. There is no hurry.
I've said this before: She asked me for very little. And, she asked a lot, because she asked me, so bent on bending the world to my will and in a particular urgency, for patience. Of all the things she could have asked for, could have needed, this was the hardest for me to give.
Husbandry is the art of patience. The art of knowing that something unimaginably beautiful is being born. The art of allowing this being-born to occur in Her way, Her time.
I've not been so good with patience in this life. Is this why she chose me? This is, it turns out, why I choose her: Here I learn what I need to learn.
A week ago, on the morning of November 1, I put something to her. Something I'd been preparing to offer for a long time.
I said that there was no urgency. That this was my offer. Not a demand. For any answer.
She received the offer in the gracious way she has of receiving so much that I offer: without comment, but with an evident and palpable vulnerability and appreciation. Sometimes I feel this as her radiance. In that moment I was too caught up with my own feelings of vulnerability to feel much of her. That's how it is sometimes. My own experience is overwhelming. I struggle to hold onto myself, to remain grounded.
But I was grounded. Enough that when she offered me her vulnerability I was able to receive it, even though it was decidedly not what I wanted. Then she questioned her timing.
No, I said, your timing is excellent. And we proceeded to enjoy a beautiful week together. Yoga on the beach. Tango. Conversations over breakfast, lunch, dinner. The after-milonga stories.
My offer? It stands. Spoken. Articulated. And, patient.
It's been there for years. It was time to take it from the ether of words and thoughts and imagingings and make it more concrete. So now it stands a little sharper in the mind between us.
I test you, she said. I know, I replied.
So now the offer, standing in sharp relief against the sky between us, is part of that testing. And as with all of her tests, I am both struggling to stand with it, and knowing that this is the only way to prove myself.
Something has shifted between us. Again. I do not know how to do anything now except allow this shift to become what it will be. There is no hurry. Only allowing. Only sitting in the forest and listening to the ravens speak their raven-words that only remind me to be patient. Allow. Open to wonder and awe at what she brings in her mysterious ways into my life, into this body.
I am reminded: Her testing never ends.
When I danced in the milongas I was aware always of the tenderness of the body I was holding. How to hold this woman in a way that she experienced trustworthiness, enough to open herself for our tanda —our four songs— together?
Every follow, the feminine in tango's lead/follow dynamic, tests for the lead's capacity to create and hold safe space for them to flow, as if without thought or will, into the spaces held.
My beloved tests me similarly.
She was once reckless, offering her heart and body without testing my depth. That was a painful experience. For her, and later, for me, to understand my lack of depth and trustworthiness. She will not allow such recklessness again. And so, she tests me.
This I know: her testing will never end.
And with each testing, an opportunity for me to prove myself worthy to hold this space between us, worthy to experience her flowing, without thought or will, as if guided by a deep nature, into the space I hold.
Something beautiful passed between us during this week together. Another tending of our garden. Another moment of being the husbandman to her blossoming. Learning to know my patience as the soil that holds her safe.
There is nothing I deserve in this life. And yet She gives me everything I need. Patient, I learn to be grateful, and especially for her testing. It is a gift from her heart, that she would take this risk.
🌀You’ve been born as a radical disrupter . . . not here to blend any of these conversations. You’re here to bend what’s taking place.
…[You are] over with all accumulation; ...you’re no longer attracted to keeping score in the game; ... you’re ready to use this body as an instrument of the highest consciousness and share this joy with everyone. ... (Guru Singh and Guruperkarma Kaur)
🌀Our “work” is to receive. The rest is preparation. (Leroy Gordon)
🌀You deserve nothing. (Kendra Cunov)
🌀 I test you. (My beloved, my Oracle and Siren)
TODAY'S SUGGESTED SHORT PRACTICE
Day 1 of this month's practice, to move and to notice, and to receive:
Please read through first, then ...
- Today, set two alarms, one for the early part of your day, one for mid-late afternoon when you may be feeling low energy.
- When the alarm sounds, wherever and however you are, take five minutes to do this short practice:
- When you’re done, sit or stand for another minute or two, breathing gently, slowly filling and emptying your belly. Here, as you breathe into your fullness, ask yourself, What's your hurry?
- Notice if your body-mind feels somehow changed. And whether you notice a change or not, be content with yourself, exactly as you are in this moment.
- Continue with your day until the next alarm sounds, and repeat.
- If you want to talk about your experience, or your resistance, or about anything that, as one reader has put it, "lands while reading these chapters," please set up a 45-minute session at https://www.sacredbodies.ca/coaching. If you're an Apprenticeship to Love "early reader" please use the EARLYREADER code for a 25% discount.