I was being shuffled off to a separate section of the Vancouver airport for further questioning. Something about my 40+ pages of stamps on my passport to X amount of countries provoked the need for an hour and a half of investigation. As the tall, dark and handsome man went through all of my bags, it felt like a scene in a movie when he opened my suitcase and the book, Autobiography of an Orgasm by Betsy Blankenbaker fell out. He read the title, looked at me and we lingered in the awkward silence.
The book Autobiography of an Orgasm, is the first novel written by my friend and fellow Qoya teacher Betsy Blankenbaker. It’s a nod to the spiritual memoir Autobiography of a Yogi by Paramahansa Yogananda and it’s the most honest account I’ve ever read of a woman’s sexual exploration. She takes you along for the ride as you are a witness to her journey of dealing with childhood abuse, confusion as a young woman, marriages, a miscarriage, giving birth to five children and then the unexpected turn of events that led her to turning fifty and exploring the connection between the sensual and sacred by researching her relationship to orgasm.
It is one of those books you sit down and read in one sitting and every couple pages there is a line that changes everything and feels like a puzzle piece of your soul just got clicked back into place. In the courageous dance so many of us take healing past trauma and abuse and trying everything, only to end up with the one thing that works- coming back to the temple of our own body. Her exploration of orgasm as a spiritual awakening through spiritual embodiment is honest, erotic and a must read for all men who are inspired to hear the inner workings of a woman’s journey and for all women who want to breathe a sigh of relief that we finally live in a time and in a way that we can say our truth out loud and the truth will set us free.
The customs officer took my phone and computer away from me and left me alone to sit and wait. He said that if I’ve lied to him in any way he would find out and I could be put in jail or refused entry into Canada. Interesting. Flashbacks of the inquisition came up, that it was not so long ago that a woman’s voice and a woman’s truth could not be so openly heard.
The freedom I experience in my life as a woman allows me to travel alone and have a passport full of stamps is not lost on me. The fact that we live in a time where Betsy can share her story as she experienced it. Her true story. Wow. I love 2014.
Betsy has done something very courageous with her release of her book. Not only has she, like all of us, lived life, taken the journey of the unknown and been forced into surrender to the blessings and challenges of each day. She has also, like us, taken all of her heartbreak and heartache and used it as fuel to choose love again and again and to dream bigger dreams. One thing she has done, that maybe we haven’t all done (yet) is she wrote it down and said it out loud.
Muriel Rukeyser asks, “What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open.” Betsy did the thing I haven’t read anyone else do before. She said all the things out loud. With her voice and the sharing of her story, she gives you permission to acknowledge and heal your own trauma, to grieve your own losses, to celebrate the sacred moments of divine perfection, to learn the wisdom that lives in the body and most importantly to embrace and honor the journey.
When I do my Qoya teacher training, I always emphasize the concept that authenticity builds trust and trust creates opening. The more real and honest and vulnerable you can be, that is how you will connect with the students. When the students trust you and your authenticity, they will start to open. See if it’s true for you. Read this book. And just notice, does reading her story, feeling her vulnerability as strength and seeing the spiritual embodiment of life through the movement of the body help you remember, like it helped her?
I feel incredibly honored to be mentioned in the book and to have Qoya be cited as one of the main catalysts for the integration and healing in the embodiment of her soul. Betsy told me that, “Qoya is what brought everything together.”
Hearing this is a dream come true for me. Qoya is designed to be a safe and sacred place that I and other teachers create in class, on my retreats and in these blog posts to explore the idea that through movement, ritual, community and pilgrimage, we remember. Where we feel the physical sensation of truth in our bodies and experience our essence as wise, wild and free. And once we truly feel the embodiment and alignment with our soul, we begin to live life following that feeling, of divinity in our body like north on a compass as we navigate the journey that is our life.
Read Betsy's book and see if being a sacred witness to her truth evokes more of your own. I hope it does. And I hope that all of our stories find ways to be birthed into the world to break it open again and again.
With love and gratitude,
Join us for the upcoming Qoya Costa Rica Retreat April 4-11, 2015! We still have spaces and has an early bird special until Thanksgiving! Book now through November 27th for a discount of $200 off! Click here to for more info and to register!