March 1 through August 31, 2017
Six months of connecting to our bodies, our boundaries, our consent
Love letters, exercises, journaling prompts and videos arriving in your inbox every Tuesday
Discussion prompts every weekday within our private Facebook group
Two live group calls per month
$79/month for six months or a one time payment of $474 (USD) (Partial scholarships available. To request a partial scholarship, please email me directly at gwynn at gwynnraimondi dot com)
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Consent. Our body. Embodiment. Unearthing, unraveling, dismantling and dislodging the messages and stories we’ve been given over and over and over. By our families. By our mentors. By our friends. By our culture.
Those stories of how our Noes don’t matter. Those stories of how our will is irrelevant. Those stories of how we need to remain silent and small to stay safe.
And then, in those moments when we gather the courage to share the truth of our own lived experience, when we open our throats and whisper or speak or yell our No or Yes or Truth, we aren’t believed.
We are told, No, it didn’t really happen like that. You must be misunderstanding. You don’t really mean what you say.
Over and over we are told we don’t know our own body. We don’t know our own mind. We don’t know our own boundaries or wishes or consent.
And, because we are told so often and from such an early age, we believe them.
And in the believing we allow others to have control over us. Over our body. Over our voice. Over our being. Our lives.
A Truth, that is deep within our muscles and the back corners of our minds and on the wingtips of our spirit, that Truth is we do know these stories are lies. Deep within us, we know.
We know we are capable of knowing our own body, her whispers and her screams. We know we do know our own lived experience, the feelings and actions that we were witness to and/or victim of. We know we do know our own mind, our thoughts and logic and that we actually did not make it all up. We know we do know our own boundaries and wishes and consent.
Our body knows. Our mind knows. Our essence and being knows.
A Truth is this knowing has always been within you, within me, within all of us. Your strength and power and daring. Your Truth and voice and knowing. Your Noes and your Yeses. And my work in this world is to create safe and brave spaces for you to unearth, connect, explore and consciously decide what is to stay and what is to go, what to build on and what to let go of.
This work, I deeply believe, is best done in community. With others who are also finding their own ways into and around themselves. With others who have similar and yet their own unique experiences. With others who are ready to be in the brave spaces to push and pull at the old comfortable stories and emerge into that which has always been within us. With others to bear witness and offer support.
So here we are. Gathering together to do this deep work of unearthing, examining, dismantling and dislodging the stories we have been told about who we are. This deep work of reconnecting to our body, to our being, to our Truth. This deep work of feeling, knowing, honoring, and defending our boundaries and our consent.
If this feels like the right time for you to dive into this work, I would be honored to have you to circle with us.
In rebellious solidarity,
Learning to say no was a really big thing for me.
It felt like speaking with a mouth filled with cotton and gagging on my own articulation.
My whole body would go into an adrenaline surge and my heart would pound and palpitate. Just saying no. No, I don’t want to. No, thank you. No, stop. No, that doesn’t feel good to me. No, I will be unable to attend/show up/go. No.
And I don’t think it could have been otherwise. Because there were all these times, years and years of my life, where my body and my knowing was saying no, but it was too unsafe to speak it aloud. To survive was to feel and hear my no, and then sit or lay there and take it, swallow it, submit to it, leave my own body and let others do what they do. This was my earliest understanding of the violation of consent. So it seems almost inevitable that it would then take me years and years and years to learn the language of my own no and to begin to speak it and trust it and back it up with bite. To move through the world feeling fear in my body and still know that this time I could and would say no. It helped me to learn the edges of my own self and skin, where I end and another begins, to heal what had been blurred beyond distinction. It was from my no that I could hear and begin to love my own yes.
In learning my yes and no, in building my own house of belonging in this body and world on the foundation of consent, I began to re-write my own name for things and the stories I had about who I was and how I could be in the world. Consent, consent, consent. It became the orientation of much of my way of healing and my work in the world. It still is.
I have wanted to come together for quite some time, to circle with others, and enter into the landscape of our own language and relationship with consent:
in the body,
and the repair work of believing the body,
in our voice,
in the articulation and honoring of boundaries,
in the freedom of a whole self saying yes,
in the unlearning and dismantling the patriarchal kyriarchal structures and system that muzzle and hold down and demand silence,
in the learning new,
in the occupying our space fully,
in the wisdom of a clear ask,
and the clarity of an honest no,
and the self-trust that goes strong like a muscle
and the welcoming return of our own lost selves.
So I wanted to begin, to join with one whose work resonates deeply with my own and create such a space, for us to all come together and be together and walk through this door of reclaiming consent, radicalizing our own resistance and resilience, and find refuge and awakening in being in community.
It is not always the simplest or sweetest work. Often times, for me at least, reclaiming my own body of consent is messy and murky and asks that I enter into the flail and fumbling without judgement for how this is supposed to look or be or what it means, and to stay with myself in the wrestling and the soft and the spaces of complete clarity where I know again the sound of my own yes and no ringing out through rib cage and lungs and throat opened again toward speech. And that it asks for a kind of devotion, to show up for myself and those I circle with and listen with all of me. And if this is true for you too, and if this feels like the right moment in time to step in and say “let’s do this, be in this, together,” then I’m right here with you and would love so much to enter in together.
In love and defiance,
I am a writer, a consent culture activist, a corporeal artist and sex educator, a birth and death doula.