To Alex, February 18, 2016
All names in the letter, except Ales and I, has been replaced with x to protect their privacy.
On the island, I took some time to even deeper reflection on the burnout and depressions that have happen to me and to my sisters the last year. I have been reflecting on this for a very long time and now It starts to land in me…
I have for a long time felt that something has to be wrong in my spiritual practice when I getting more and more drained. But like always, I try to find fault in myself, thinking I am off. But now when all the women in the team feel this, I feel that we have to dig deeper and find the root of this problem. We can no longer put it on an individual level or just try to cure the symptoms. I feel like we have to look into it as a problem in the organization (the community).
If all my female employees in my formal company got burn out (I had 4 of them), it would be stupid of me to just talk about what they did wrong. We would have to look at, what we, as an organization, did wrong and to look into my part of it as a leader. Something is going on here and I feel it is time to take on or most curious glasses and look at every piece in the puzzle and look for the 20% were we may be of.
What I can recall I was the first one getting the burnout and depression syndromes… and then x, x, x, x, x and now x. (x also what I can recall)
I heard that you had a talk with x and x about your perspective of why the women in TNT is becoming burnout and depressed. x sent me here notes on it and what I can see I agree. For me, it is also how it looks from the masculine perspective. This is more or less what you told me one year ago in Denmark when we had a talk about my burnout and also this summer when we were at x place.
I have been trying to do the things you recommended. …
Tantra is about balancing the masculine and feminine so I also want to look in it from the other perspective, from the feminine, what it is then that makes of having to conduct so much that we get sick. We can not risk the health of all the women not doing it.
None of us is in any way experts on mass burnout symptoms in organizations and I feel that we also should invite one to look at this, from an expert point of view. Off course we are all different and my guess is that there is not just one solution on this, there seldom is. But let me start by sharing my reflections and list what I have sees has affected me and what I also have seen in other sisters.
I hope this can be a step where we can see if this resonates with some of the other girls and that they also can start to reflect on there one journey and then we can go on and look at this from there and put all the pieces together…
I feel more and more drained and it is not getting better. It is like my body reacts on it even if I try to not to get to attach or lost in the human storyline from my head. But the human storyline is here just like the level of perfection and I think we have to find a balance. A balance between the masculine and the feminine. It feels like this masculine practice doesn’t solve it on a long-term bodily level. Over time it feels like I have more and more problem just to conduct intense energy. I don’t even have a concept of it from my head, it just gets direct to my body. (Like when x don’t know why she gets depressed, it just happens). When I have been in intense environment or situations for too long I am so tired, crying and I need my solitude time to find my way back to myself. These days I am super sensitive and I don’t need much to get exhausted.
You mention the work part of it and the emotional relationship we have to the work for x and x. I agree with you. I don’t think the work itself burn people out. People have worked hard in all generations. I also think it emotions that burns us out. I have looked into the working part for me to see if there is something there in my burn out.
What I can see is that I have worked a lot harder than this in my life. Running my company, working extremely hard, taking care of my employees and struggle with a business partner to find visions and concepts in our company. So can it then be my emotional relationship to the work I am doing in TNT? Maybe, but I had a huge emotional relationship to my company, more than I ever had for TNT, my company was my baby for 12 years. I also had a huge emotional relationship with my employees really doing everything I could to create the perfect working environment for them. It was the same for the work we did. When you create events you have to conduct enormous amounts of stress in your body. It is like being in live broadcast all the time with hundreds and thousands of people looking at your work. I was always in the spotlight, and people put me up extremely high and had huge expectations for my work. We had constant feedback from our guests and our clients. This workload never drained me this way. I never ones had burnout symptoms like this.
Sins I got the feedback from you in Bali 2015 (after my motorcycle accident) to slow down not work so hard I work so little. Less than I ever did in my adult life. x is doing most of the masculine work. But it is not making it better.
Work vs relationship
I think the problem is related to human relationships (not just intimate) we have in our lives and how our relationships are working, how healthy they are. If I look at my case, I can see a lot here. Let me share some of the things I have noticed effects me…
When I look back to this year, I can hear myself repeatedly saying, It is too intense for me, this is too intense for me. It is like I have a problem conducting the energy itself. But what was it that made it so intense? I have tried to figure it out, but I could not get it. Now I have started to find some variables of intense for me.
I have been an intense person as long as I can remember. My mother was the same. I have always been drawn to intense people. Environments with a lot of energy, were it happens a lot. New experience, changes and so on. I can see this clearly in my parents too. It feels like something I have inherited from them. If you grow up in an environment like this, you often create environments like that for yourself as an adult. (Pujas words from Primal) Because it makes you feel safe, you feel at home, even if that environment maybe not is the best for you.
Just look at all dysfunctional relationships. It works the same with all dysfunctional patterns from your childhood, you copy them or you do the opposite. In the 12 step program, they have a name for this, “Adult children to dysfunctional parents”.
When I came to Cambodia to this island without internet, electricity and phone my system finally start to relax on a deeper level. Things I have been feeling start to fall in to place and it felt like I started to heal from the inside, without actually doing anything. It felt like I could start breathing again.
What I also felt was that It was hard for me to go down in this relaxation without almost being forced into it by the setting. The first period of time I was restless, irritated, I had a problem to relax and not doing anything. It felt like I started to go into a depression, I had times I just wanted to swim out in the ocean and disappear. I wanted to give up on life.
It felt like I got abstinence, it is like irritation and restlessness. I felt some of this before when I stopped smoking so I recognize the feeling. But abstinence from what? I skipped all my discipline with smoking and food after level 8 so I had nothing to have abstinence from. Then it hit me. Could I have abstinent from the intensity itself? When I saw this I started to remember everything I learned from my 25 years living with the 12 step program. (And I felt stupid I had not recognized this before) I started to see that I get dopamine kicks from intensity itself. Dopamine, is like we know, our reward system. You can get dopamine rewards from almost everything. I often get dopamine kicks from intense experience, whatever that may be.
To go into this intensity is also a way of not being in contact with myself, my inner wounded child. I distract myself, unconsciously, to not let that part of me take place. That little girl in me is caring a lot of sadness. And it is not always so fun to be in that vulnerability and that sadness of being an emotional damage human being. So I distract myself, with whatever comes my way; Internet, shopping, food, cigarettes, relationships, taking care of others, sex, working. A little bit of everything so it, one by one, don’t look like an addiction. But put together you can see the patterns. It is like my little girl screams to be entertained, I get tired and drained and think I have to rest, then something new pops up, something’s that gives me a dopamine kick (even just the thought of it) I get energy, feel happy and after a while I crash again, even harder. This is also a well-known term in the 12 steps program were they talk a lot about intensity vs intimacy.
What also happened in Cambodia was that my addictions started to disappear by itself. After a while, my body wanted to have healthier food and I did not feel I wanted to smoke anymore. I remember this from my time when I practicing white tantra. It was never a challenge for me to get rid of my addictions. It all happened by itself when I start to practice intimacy with myself. I find a self-love and self-wordiness that just made it impossible to treat my body like I had treated it before. I have so long wondered why I can’t do this again. Why I fall back and why it is such a struggle now when it had been so easy for years. It felt like the pieces in the puzzle started to fall in to place, even if it still was a lot that I could not put together.
When I came to Bali and with the team, it was so clear how I went back into addictions again. Smoking, eating sugar, coffee, and snacks. The energy was super intense and challenging and it made me lose contact with myself again. Instead of being able to stay with all the emotions to hold myself I went into addiction to not feel so much.
A core longing for the feminine is intimacy. I don’t know how many times I have said that I want to bring in more intimacy and white tantra in TNT. I have felt this is something I missed in our practice. Most of our students don’t have that foundation and easily get lost in the harder practice we are providing. It was in white tantra I started my journey and it was very healing for me, especially when I have the background I have. We all come from different backgrounds, some of us have to free our sexuality and some of us has to heal or sexuality, learn to be intimate and set healthy boundaries.
I could also feel this on level 1&2 in Bali, we all could feel it. The deep longing for intimacy in that group. That also felt like it was a confirmation of this. A lot of people were not ready for the hardcore things we often do. When we all felt into the group we had to change the schedule and I had to create 3 new exercises for this group, exercises about intimacy to find a better balance. The sharing after this exercises was amazing. After the second one, the virgin exercise, the sharing was mind-blowing. This was a deep longing in so many of them that now had been answered, to feel a glimpse of true intimacy again. After that, I could feel we started to serve the group from a deeper level.
If I look at myself, I often lose the deep intimacy I want to have with myself and others when I go into intensity. It is like intensity and deep intimacy not can exist at the same time. I need a balance between this two to not lose myself, to feel my vulnerability. I feel it can be scary to go down so deep in intimacy because then my inner sad child often comes up. But for me, it is also there the healing comes by itself. It feels like a healing from the core. In periods of time, I can feel that my power and my vulnerability (inner child) is in harmony and I then feel so good, almost unstoppable. It is in this balance I feel in most contact with life.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe it is good to get through the pre-front of cortex with the help of dopamine but I also heard that too high dopamine levels into long periods, can also create burnouts, depression and suicidal thoughts.
What I also felt effects me this last 6 month is that I can hardly get fuck really hard for too long anymore. I have a problem to conduct the energy and I feel less open afterward. What really opens me (both my pussy and my heart) is sex with a lot of intimacy. Then my shields are cracking and it feels like going back to teenage sex again. I feel recharged, naked and vulnerable and it is extremely healing for both me and x. My womb has time to open up slowly in love and I experience an opening from the cervix and the womb that is deeper than I ever experienced before. My body starts to move by the kundalini and the things that are happening can be so powerful and extremely horny, like nature itself. I have heard from a lot of higher TNT sisters lately that they experience the same. They don’t feel recharge or open anymore after just hard fucking. It gives you a kick, maybe makes you happy and horny but it does not open you to the depth of the core longing in the feminine.
I also have discussed this with x several times. When I get fucked hard too early I have a tendency to close down or go into “anger”. I know we have been talking about the “anger” energy and that it is normal that women do this. X has always disagreed with us. I also thought it was natural from experience it so many times myself and from what I have seen over and over again in other women in TNT. Now I feel it is more a protection, my anger comes when I don’t feel ready when I feel forced into openness. Like when someone is banging on my cervix way too early. It feels like I am being ripped open.
Me and x hardly have sex with others anymore, it is so clear to me that my body just wants to invite x in so deep these days. What I experience this day is that it takes a lot of love and safety to open a woman to her death, to the light in her womb. Sometimes when we have sex with others we notice it never makes us more open, happy and vulnerable anymore. After level 8 when I had the gigolo sessions I felt so contracted and drain. I ripped my self-open to give x the deep imprints and afterward I feel a repulsion in my body, actually cried for days. It also takes time for me and x to come back to our sexual depth again. None of us is jealous anymore, this is on a deeper level. It is like my body doesn’t open so deeply after, even if I want. And it can take month to come back to the depth we had before.
I had a talk with x about this on Bali and he also told me that he feels that x gets more masculine and less open when she had been on sex dates with other men. David Deida also talked about this on his workshop…
For me, it is draining and it hurts to put on a masculine protection shield when you have hade the experience to be without it, like a heavy coat you have to carry around…
I also had a lot of question about this from sisters in TNT. They say that they get confused, that after years their man can still not respect the guidelines have problems with transparency and are not clean from romance with others, texting, giving the women a lot of LAA when they seek it, even when they agreed on not doing that. This creates a lot of suffering in women and it is a lot to conduct. It affects the trust that is so important in a relationship if you want to go deep with each outer. They also say, I am not jealous, I can get horny on seeing my partner having sex with others but when he is away on his dates alone it affects our relationship in a bad way. It is too much to conduct and I am closing down when I feel that he is doing it by himself. We are suddenly not two anymore. The trust is hurt on a deep level.
In my opinion, not many of our students are ready to have open relationships in this way. I think it is hard for many couples when it has become more like a standard, “in TNT everyone has open relationships, so that is the right way” I know we don’t say that on level 1&2 but this is what happens in the community. I also heard that feedback from monogamous couples as a reason to not do workshops with TNT.
I have looked into the dramas for a long time now. Looked at every angle of it. For me, drama does not belong in healthy relationships, it is a sign something is wrong. Drama can also become like an addiction… and for sure drain your energy on a deeper level. We can talk more about that later but what I notice is that drama, externally or internally, is extremely draining. I have experienced it myself, I can go into emotional overload/drama in unhealthy periods of our relationship and it drains my energy a lot.
Nowadays trough our vulnerability and intimacy practice me and x never goes into any form of drama or fights, and it is such a relief and it makes us come even closer to each other. It feels like our relationship is starting to become healthier. And I can see my energy levels are much higher.
What I also see is that men often point the finger at the women thinking that she is off because she does drama. That she needs to get her things together, conduct more or just stop making drama. If the drama comes as a reaction of emotional pain it takes two to tango. It is so emotionally draining to be left with the responsibility for the dramas that occurs in the relationship. Yes, less aware women also use drama to control and create guilt in their partner but that is a different thing. In us that has grown away from that kind of drama, it is a signal something is off balance in the relationship, that it is starting to become dysfunctional. We need to look into it as a problem in the relationship from both angels. To learn how to stop a drama is one thing, but we need to go down to its core and see why the dramas are coming up… I think we can teach this on a deeper level and I would love to share more of what I am seeing and help you teach about this.
Unconditional love practice
Love like you nerve been hurt before, is the deepest feminine practice and it is such a beautiful practice. But I also want to flag that I also see that for a lot of us this easily also can become an unhealthy form of love and service. If you want to practice unconditional love it is, in my opinion, were important to first have a lot of self-love and respect. Otherwise, it is very easy to get lost in co-dependency. I talk from my own experience.
If you, for example, has a problem to set healthy boundaries around yourself, is easy to get lost in the other person’s needs. You may start to tolerate things you in other circumstances never would accept. You do things for others sakes that you also should do for you. You start to over-focus on others needs and forgets about your own. A co-depended person is often very loyal and develops a high empathy. Always try to read the signals from others to take care of their needs. This often results in low self-esteem and that you may feel useless if you don’t take care of others. You actually also unconsciously start to support the other person’s ego and that is not in any way 3-stage or un-conditional love practice. Co-dependency is also extremely draining and can actually also be a source of depression, burnouts and suicidal thoughts. I feel much better when me and x have been peeling of the co-dependency patterns that slowly has occurred in our relationship.
I think it is important to also talk about this on a deeper level when we talk about unconditional so we all can see the healthy and the unhealthy part of it. I would love to also bring this into TNT.
This is my reflections and my journey and what I have seen affects me. I would love to hear the others refection and insights to see if we together can find some core issue of this. But as I sad, we are not in any way professionals and I think we also may need some outside help in this, it is easy to get blind in your own home environment…
Looking forward to having your inputs and go on working with this.
With deep love