Intimacy Matters

Jan Day - The Art Of Conscious Relationships

April 26, 2021 Jason Season 1 Episode 4
Intimacy Matters
Jan Day - The Art Of Conscious Relationships
Show Notes Transcript

We talk to acclaimed relationship and intimacy expert Jan Day.  We discuss Living Tantra, her school of intimacy and relating,  and her forthcoming book. We look at what constitutes a conscious relationship and how to cultivate one, and get some advice on practices that couples can use to help keep intimacy alive in long term relationships.

For more information visit Jan's website: www.janday.com

And you can find us at www.realrelating.com/podcast

Nicola Foster:

Welcome to intimacy matters. I'm Nicola Foster. I'm a sex and relationship therapist and a self confessed intimacy geek. I work with couples around the challenges of keeping passion alive, and how to deepen

Jason Porthouse:

And I'm Jason Porthouse. Nicola's partner. I'm intimacy. also fascinated by what makes for fulfilling, nourishing and sexually alive relationships.

Nicola Foster:

So whether you're in one or you want one, join us as we learn from the best experts in the field, and find out how we can have healthier, happier, sexier relationships.

Jason Porthouse:

So our guest on this show is Jan Day, and Jan is somebody who both Nicola and I have worked with for a few years now Nicola for longer than I have haven't you?.

Nicola Foster:

Yeah, many years. Yeah. I call Jan my teacher

Jason Porthouse:

Jan is, well, she's mine too now. Jan is a psycho spiritual teacher and relationship and intimacy expert. And can you just tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do Jan,

Jan Day:

Of course, in this time of COVID, which is where we're, when we're doing this interview, my main work is online. And, and I've been writing a book, so that's my work at the moment. But normally my work is teaching in person, in groups of people, really exploring the areas of relationship, relationship dynamics, sexuality, intimacy, being present with yourself, and coming home to yourself in a fully tantric sense. So it means that sometimes I call myself a Tantra teacher. But my definition of Tantra might not fit what most people recognise. So my definition of Tantra is to, to use everything to learn and become more conscious, and to include everything. So that means we include sexuality, we include intimacy, we include relationships, but we also include everything that happens in and around us day to day and include everything that happens in the wider world, and use everything as a stimulus to learn and grow to create more compassion, and caring and understanding. So that's my work, whether I'm doing it in a group, which is very powerful, whether I'm doing it writing a book, or online or in personal sessions.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah. And I can certainly attest to the power of the work in person. It's, it's profoundly changed my life. But I mean, what we're sort of talking about today is really sort of the idea of conscious relationships. Yeah, what would be your definition of say, conscious, a conscious relationship?

Jan Day:

What would be a conscious relationship? Yeah, well, in a way, I. So it comes back to the definition of Tantra, it means using everything in relationship to become more conscious and grow. So I think when we're young relationships are often about getting somewhere and getting something and reaching a particular stage of something in life, but I think when we decide that we want to be in a conscious relationship, what we're really saying is, this isn't about just about me getting something or getting what I want, or getting somebody to love me for the rest of my life. This is about showing up in the relationship, as transparently as possible with as little between me and you as I can possibly manage. So, so that you can really see me and I can really see you. And in that seeing we, we grow together, we develop an intimacy together, we see each other and we see our patterns mirrored back to each other. And we use everything that we see, to undo those patterns and defences so that there's less and less that separates us. So in the beginning, that probably looks a bit messy, and it probably looks like using the triggers and the arguments to learn just even how to listen to each other, for example, but in the latest stages of a conscious relationship, it might look quite different because it's a lot of the conflict will have fallen away. Or at least the blame and projection will have fallen away so that in the latest stages of a conscious relationship, it looks more much more like here I am and I'm hurting and I feel you and I see you hurting and I'm just going to reveal myself without any demands or needs or trying to get anywhere, but simply to be in the present in your presence, unprotected. So what a conscious relationship actually looks like, changes through the different stages of our own growth and our relationships growth. And ultimately, what it means is, whatever happens between us, we're willing to use it to reveal ourselves to ourselves and each other, more and more. And that, what that means is that relationship becomes an incredibly powerful teacher. I think most people who've been on a path of have any kind of self development will recognise the power of the presence of another person, you can get so far developing your consciousness on your own. But when you put another person in the mix, especially someone you love, whether it's a love partner, or a friend, or a family member, much more happens, much more stuff stirred up, that can become compost for our growth.

Nicola Foster:

That's a great point to pick up on, actually. So I wanted to ask you, you know, if a couple recognise themselves in that blaming or projecting stage of their relationship where there is where they're struggling, and they're feeling like maybe they maybe they want to leave, you know, what advice or suggestions would you have for a couple? Who are really in that kind of ordeal stage? What recommendations might you give them?

Jan Day:

Well, I would probably begin by, by explaining to them and seeing if they can understand that every time they're blaming and pointing the finger the other way, almost inevitably, there's some kind of risk, reciprocity, that, that that difficulties that almost never caused by one person. So both have a part in creating whatever the drama is, depending on what the particular conflict or drama was, we might look, we might look at the victim triangle, for example, so that we can really look at the dynamics of what's going on, we would, would probably do some deep listening so that we begin to take the perspective of the other. And we might play with what it feels like to be blamed. So if somebody's doing a lot of blaming, it can be a powerful experience, to have to understand what it means to be blamed. Depends, I mean, it's very different depending on what the situation is, I think sometimes I would take them back to just appreciation to calm everything down. Because in that moment of blame, depends how triggered people are, when people are highly, highly triggered and activated. They don't actually take much in or learn very much. And so oftentimes, the most powerful thing to do is just to calm everyone down into a more relaxed state to get them to breathe together to I gaze a little bit to go inside to, to, to go back to the moments of love that they will have experienced at the beginning, so that their system begins to drop down into a more relaxed state. And from that state, when they're softer and more open, they can then they're more likely to be able to process information I give them and also to see their partner and see beyond the narrow focus of blame, which is which is kind of targeted on some kind of fear, probably. It's an it's not a relaxed response. So it's trying to protect something. So we have to get underneath that. And we have to have the conditions right to get underneath that, which is being commerce. It's interesting. I

Jason Porthouse:

wanted to pick up on something that you said earlier on about the kind of, for me, I think when I first started to explore the idea of conscious relationships, it It felt really clunky. It was sort of, I don't know, it was there was something about the quality of kind of going back to basics again. You know, and I think for a lot of people you kind of think you know, relationships so you think you know how to do them, but you realise that actually what you've just inherited and loads of patterns from all sorts of different sources. And so that kind of initial discomfort, like you said, At the start, it can look like something that's quite triggering and quite kind of On the surface of it quite upsetting, but that's that's the fuel for growth. I guess there needs to be a certain degree of commitment to get over that hump, if you like.

Jan Day:

Yes, that's definitely true, I think, I don't actually think you can be in a conscious relationship on your own, you've both got to want that. That consciousness, you've got to be both wanting growth, you've got to be both in a mindset that says we're in this together. And we're going to do the work it takes. And we know that whatever happens, we're both co creating it. If you're on your own, in that, it's a bit tricky. You can go some way. But there's a limit to what you can do if your partner is not interested in that exploration. And only once, maybe particular goals out of the relationship, like somebody's wanting to cook dinner for them or something. You know, I mean, there's, there's different reasons for being in a relationship, and there's nothing wrong with them. But to be in a conscious relationship. It does take two because it takes two to relate. So yeah, and you're right, it can be clunky, because because at the beginning. Yeah, we think we know, we know how to listen, we think we know who we are, I think it's even a step to realise that we don't really even know who we are, most of who we are, is autopilot patterns. And we have to get behind those and be willing to kind of face the unknown, the mystery being revealed to us. And it's a bit of a leap of faith in a way, we don't know, and we don't like not knowing. And when we when we're with a partner, and really want to discover ourselves, we have to go into the zone of not knowing where we're going. And that's nice courage, and, and a lot of trust as well. You know, your work,

Nicola Foster:

you work a lot with couples, but you work with individuals too. And maybe you could say something about how this conscious way of relating applies when you're single or wanting a relationship?

Jan Day:

Sure, yeah. I mean, that's, that's a different situation, because then you're both wanting, everybody has some relationships in their life. Yeah. So our very first relationship, of course, is with ourselves. So we can develop a conscious relationship with ourselves. And that prepares us to go into relationship and have a conscious relationship with another person, that is actually the foundation ground to create that conscious relationship with ourselves. And we can say a little bit more about how we might do that. Beyond that, even if we're not in a committed partnership, we're inevitably meeting people at work in our family, our friends, we're in some kind of a relationship with all of them. And so we can begin to tune in to where there is the possibility to create some kind of conscious dialogue and exchange with people around us. Because there's a fair chance there'll be some people there who, who will be interested in a deeper conversation and to understand the dynamics of what's going on between us. And, and then, of course, there are, you know, that's one of the reasons why I do so much group work, because then there's a whole group of people that you get to know and witness who by the very nature of their being there, the fact that they're there suggests that they're already interested in conscious growth and development. So then, then you develop a very strong bond with all those people, and you can dive deeper with them as and create conscious relationships with as many of them as possible. And inevitably, some of them you'll fall in love with, and some of them will trigger the hell out of you. So it's wonderful. Actually, the whole mix is there. So just being on your own doesn't mean you can't practice conscious relationship. And that that could take us to the beginning of conscious relationship, which is the first intimacy, the intimacy that you have with yourself, which is a kind of willingness to be in your body, in the sensations and energies that flow in your body, in the feelings that flow in your body, aware of what's happening within you. So you're developing an inner does an inner observer. And you can do that with a partner just by speaking out what's happening as you observe it. You can do it on your own by turning your attention inward and just noticing and I see I notice I'm thinking notice, I'm Feeling sad, or noticing the sunshine on my face, I'm noticing an itch on my knees, whatever is happening, you just begin to notice, so that you become more and more in touch with what's happening. And then of course, sometimes you'll begin to see patterns and triggers. Oh, I noticed as soon as you start noticing, you'll begin to be able to notice more. So I notice I'm feeling kind of irritated by that person over there. And the way they're looking at me, I notice I'm projecting all kinds of ideas about what they might be thinking, I'm noticing that I'm imagining that they might be judging me. So then you're noticing what's going on in you, without being so identified with it that you think that is you, you're just beginning to notice. Another way to do that is by journaling, by really reflective journaling, which I recommend as a practice for everyone who wants to grow, ever from the moment they start to them until they're no longer on this earth. Because it's a wonderful way of it's like speaking to yourself and having a conversation with yourself and witnessing yourself. And I, I find it one of the most helpful practices that there is to untangle knots, and calm myself down and express myself without needing to create a drama.

Jason Porthouse:

Yes, coming back to that kind of conscious relationship with yourself. It's, I find that that was really transformative for me, because actually, I think that in today's society with a, there's no guidebook, when you're kind of growing up for this kind of thing be. There's so much kind of media, in flux in terms of who we should be what we should be doing, how we should be doing relationship, how we should be in, you know, finding the perfect partner, all of these pressures that actually, there's not a lot of space to actually figure out who, who we actually are. In that role,

Jan Day:

that's really true. Yeah, that's, that is that's a really good point about social media. It has. Yeah, so things are much more difficult for the current generation of people than than they were, because it's true social, social media puts a huge pressure on us to be a certain way conform, fit in compare ourselves. And it leaves very little space for Who am I and where do I stand? And what matters to me? And I mean, I would just say, again, that's why practices like, journaling are so important, because it gives you time on your own to tune into. So what what do I think about this? And, I mean, yeah, I would encourage people to turn most of their social media off. I'm not sure how it helps. Anybody do anything? except possibly marketing. But anyway,

Jason Porthouse:

I just, I just got a sideways look from Nick.

Jan Day:

Yeah.

Nicola Foster:

It's an ongoing dialogue. And yeah.

Jan Day:

Yeah, he's, I mean, it's, it's addictive. Yeah. It's made to be addictive. I mean, of course, it's deliberately designed. I don't know if you've ever read the, the some of some of the designers of this stuff, you know, and some of them have even sort of afterwards been in great regret at what they done? Because, of course, they would they deliberately designed it to be addictive. And it's, yeah,

Jason Porthouse:

it is, it kind of takes it out. takes us out of ourselves. Yes. And takes us out of that. That that sort of intimacy with ourselves.

Nicola Foster:

That that's connected to something I wanted to ask Jan, that, that we're asking all our guests really is that I mean, a lot of the couples, I work with couples and a lot of couples I work with will describe that it's it's the busyness of life, it's jobs, it's housework, it's children. It's all the pressure that gets in the way of trying to relate consciously or deepen their connection. And I just wonder what you what you might suggest to a couple of us who are struggling with that?

Jan Day:

Well, I think the first thing is to carve out what matters. So you know, as you both know, one of the pieces of work we do in the living Tantra series is about values, what do you value? Now, inevitably, of course, Our children matter, and we have to earn enough money that we can feed ourselves and keep ourselves housed. Beyond that, there's probably a lot of things we spend time on that we actually don't need to spend time on. And that we're, we're in reality choosing or we're even not choosing their habits, but we're putting we're using time in a way that doesn't really serve us. So it's worth looking at what we are using time on, and whether that fits our values. And if it does, then, okay, but in for most people, it won't, actually and most people will be shocked if they write down a list of their values, and then notice what they're using their time for. So I think that's one thing is to really evaluate what you are doing. And, and say, you get to a point where you realise Okay, everything is things that is that have to be done that are important or urgent, or, you know, they there is they're not really a waste of time. And there's not much time left than the time that is left you use as well as you can to engage in some kind of conversation or dialogue or exchange or touch, or connection that feels meaningful. And even into what you're doing. I mean, I think you can build consciousness and meaning into just about anything you do. So okay, yeah, there's housework and cleaning to be done, but how you do it, and how you organise to do it together makes a difference. You know, there's, there's no reason why you can't enjoy and witness yourself and each other, in everything. In parenting in working in cleaning the house, there was a beautiful story I read recently, it was from Viktor Frankl about redoing some work on purpose. And it was about a garbage collector in Germany. And I guess most people would think a garbage collector, there's not much purpose associated with that. But anyway, he was he was okay in his job. But what he noticed was that there was a lot of people threw toys away, and he liked repairing things. And so he started collecting the broken, thrown out toys from the garbage and cleaning them up and repairing them and fixing them. And then he gave them to the poor kids who didn't have any toys. And eventually, he got awarded some very high honour in Germany, for the work that he done that was just coming from his heart. So you know, in something that appeared to, to be busy work that didn't have the opportunity for a purpose or meaning. He created a connection of love and purpose and meaning. And I think we can do that in every aspect of our lives. If we write off the day to day things, like cleaning the house and looking after the children, then we need to look at why we're writing that off. Because that's that's life. That is how we live our lives in every moment is, is our consciousness, it's where we bring our love. So I don't think you can really be too busy. To be conscious, you can waste time doing you know, I mean, I think social media is probably one of the biggest things and and one of the things we look at sometimes in relationship workshops is exits. How do you exit you know, what do you sometimes people exit physically by walking out and slamming the door, or sometimes they exit in a way that can look more conscious, like, Oh, I'm, you know, I'm gonna go fishing with my mate. But actually, it's a way to get away and not. It doesn't necessarily have that much consciousness to it. So it's not that there's anything wrong with doing things that you enjoy, but there's a way of doing things that is about pushing away from where you are, as opposed to creating a balanced life. It just energetically has a different feel. And there's a way of being alone that is about nurturing yourself as opposed to being alone to get away from the one that you're with.

Nicola Foster:

Thank you. I think that's such a rich answer. I've really personally taken a lot from that.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah. Because one of the things that I think COVID has done and I know there's been an awful lot of stress and worry in terms of people's work and things like that, but but in a funny kind of way is made space and has taken away some of the superficial things that people would spend money and time on because they're no longer able to sew a wonder When all this is over, whether a lot of people will have discovered that the things that they liked, and they thought that they wanted to do and not the things that they actually want to do, and spend their time and

Jan Day:

I hope that's true. And I think I think you're right for, for individuals and society as a whole, worldwide, even I think COVID has been, it's like a shock. It's like a wake up call. And we can heed that wake up call or not. And I think lots of people have discovered different things in a simpler way of living. As a result of just having, having all our routines shaken up, just we've been out of our habits, we had to find a different way of being. And so yeah, it's an incredible shock. And it gives us a chance to sit back and look at things through a new lens, because the habit is just gone. You know, even if we're busy, the habit, a lot of the habits are gone, because life isn't the same as it used to be. So anytime we shake up our autopilot, it, it gives us a chance a window of time, as you say, to, to wake up and look at things differently. And I, I think it would be really sad. If at the end of this, we just go back to business as usual. Because in every aspect of our lives, there's the opportunity to review what matters and different ways of doing things, as well as all the difficulties. You know, I think for many, many people, of course, it hasn't, hasn't just been a wake up call or a shock, it's also been, you know, a time of extreme challenge and difficulty. But challenges and difficulties very often stretches to be bigger than we were bigger than we are so that we can, we can take the learning from that forward. So, you know, in that respect to hopefully, hopefully, it becomes a time of growing,

Nicola Foster:

slight Change of subject. In my practice, I specialise in working with couples who have got difficulties with intimacy, and I thought it'd be really interesting to ask you about your views about this idea that passion, you know, does passion, compassion last and a long term relationship? And also, you know, what can couples do to keep the passion in their relationship alive?

Jan Day:

Yeah, I think one thing that's important to know is that passion, and erotic charge inevitably changes. So that high excitement that happens when a couple first meets lasts between a few months and a few years, is really the first stage of a relationship. That kind of passion doesn't change, it doesn't sorry, does change, it doesn't stay, there has to be. It's, it's important that couples understand that because if they're trying to get back to the beginning, then they're going in the wrong direction, because they need to go forward into the next stage. The next stage of the passion of a couple it's affected in in at least two ways. One of them is much more to do with the woman, which is that as women get older, and also as the erotic charge of the the initial stage of the relationship wears off, she moves from desire leads to arousal, to arousal leads to desire. Whereas a man doesn't make that a man is much more visual, and so tends to see her and desire her. This even works in mice. Apparently there was an experiment done where if mice are copulating, and then you put a piece of cheese in the cage, the mat, the male mouse, he's not he doesn't even notice he's having a good time. Thanks. So he's not interested in the cheese. But as soon as the female mouse smells the cheese, she's like, oh, something else. So it's very contextual. And what that also said, what that means is in day to day, life is that very often a man will say to a woman, do you want to have sex? And the answer is inevitably No. Because actually in that moment, she usually doesn't it would be unusual. However, so the question itself is is need could be phrased a bit more contextual really should we say, just so as not to get the answer? No. But what both need to know is that, because the answer is to that is inevitably No. What's did What changes is that if she is slightly aroused? If so, if he strokes her, or even if she starts stroking and playing with him, if they start cuddling, there's a fairly good chance that she's Five minutes later, she will get aroused. And after she's got aroused, then she will have desire, and then the answer will be yes. But it wasn't, yes, 10 minutes ago. So I think the knowledge of that is really important, because it helps the man not to phrase the question so bluntly that the answer will be no, of course, that's worse, because in our current time, especially with the me to movement, and and since women were taught to, you know, not do it, unless they feel like it, well, a woman at a certain stage in her life isn't going to feel like it. So she has to know that she will feel like it if she starts, but she won't feel like it unless she starts. And so that means that having an awareness of that and and knowledge of that helps, because it means that you can have an intention and a recognition of at the end of lovemaking. Oh, wow. Yes, this felt this felt fantastic. Let's do that more often. But I won't feel like it tomorrow, either. So in order to do it more often, I actually have to get over the first hurdle. And that often means having cuddle time without it always leading to sex, so that so that the very fact of touch, which will lead to arousal, doesn't automatically trigger and know in her head, because she thinks, oh, if I start touching, then I'm gonna have to have sex, and I don't feel like sex. So I'm not even going to start. So there's a whole kind of middle loop there that that needs to be gotten over. I think another. Another big hurdle is that as couples get close together, and bond and become like, the stakes go up in a way as your heart opens to your partner, and you begin to love them more deeply and just feel bonded, like the risk of losing them is greater. And also the risk if you've given your heart to somebody, so totally, and then you give themselves give them, give yourself to them sexually as well. There's nothing held back. So it's a much more undefended state. In the beginning, when you're having wild sex, you know, you probably haven't given your heart to that person quite so much so that sex can happen without the heart involved to quite the same degree. When you know, somebody and you know them inside out. There's a different quality of letting go, that happens. And it involves taking down like we talked about at the beginning a lot of the the defences and barriers and being willing to be even more transparent. And that's a bit scary. So that means that you have to build a much deeper trust and courage with your partner in order to have lovemaking which as a result will then be perhaps not the same fireworks that you had in the first few months. But it will have a depth and a significance and an intimacy that far exceeds what you had at the beginning. And I know that in my own journey, there came a point after maybe a year or two where I just wasn't interested in the fireworks. What I wanted was that the depth and the quality of intimacy that came with being with my lover. And so what came earlier wasn't so appealing or interesting in the least. So Oh, there's another thing I could say Actually, this is something I've learned about quite recently that it's really fun. Because in recognising what the importance of making love the importance of really having that continued passion and physical connection, it's kind of like saying, well, so we need to make a little bit of effort, you know, this isn't going to happen on its own. And we can introduce some more kind of playfulness and excitement if you like, by revealing ourselves more to our partner. And a lovely way of doing that that I just learned about is making a lust map. So each person does it individually, just like a huge sheet of paper and you write last in the middle and then like kind of wavy lines all the way around. And then you just write words or ideas or put pictures like anything that turns you on. So it It could be that, you know, for a woman, it could be like, you know, walking quietly in a sunset just turns me on being tickled turns me on or him stroking my hair, turns me on, or having my toes sucked. But there might be lots of lots of things on there that are risky that you've never even, you know, you've barely even admitted them to yourself. So you put on the last map, everything you can think of that turns you on and gets you feeling juicy and gets you in the mood. And then when you've both made the last map, you share it with each other. And you can put fantasies on there even. So whatever you want, you can put on there. And just because you put it on there doesn't mean that you will do it with your partner, but it's like revealing yourself, and it gives your partner a map of who you are. So they've got more ideas to draw on that perhaps you wouldn't have thought about talking about? or asking for. So it really focuses your imagination. Yeah,

Jason Porthouse:

that sounds a lot of fun.

Jan Day:

I think so. And I think. Yeah, I think it's making it fun and giving it some, some attention and intention helps.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah. And so often, couples kind of can go through their lives not really knowing their partners. Yeah. And it's a bit like the old pina colada song, you know, that we kind of you suddenly realise that your partner is into all the things that you wish they were into, but you realise

Jan Day:

Yes, exactly. So.

Jason Porthouse:

So doing something like that kind of, yeah, kind of opens that up, just opens up that discussion.

Jan Day:

Yeah, it does. Another thing to say that's worth couples realising is that the less you make love, the less you make love. And that's, you know, it's it, it, it doesn't come. So naturally, to just jump into the bed all the time, or wherever you're going to make love. Yeah, after you've been together for a few years, especially if there's children around. So it is something that needs our attention, and really bothering to give it time and energy. Because when we make love, and we really show up, and we're there, in our heart, and in our physical presence, we do literally make love, we make the energy of love, and we need that for our relationship. And the world needs it. Something happens, you know, when we tune in, and we begin to be sensitive to our body, something happens when we make love, that, that that only deep lovemaking can do and it affects our whole body and our way of being. So I think it's it's incredibly important.

Nicola Foster:

Something I discuss with couples sometimes around this is that it can feel challenging when there are children around. And like you say this, this, this love that's created between the couple is such a beautiful energy for the family for the children. And so it's Yeah, you know, it's important to attend to it, like you say, in order to create a really safe space for the children to grow into and to have a healthy relationship and understand that sexuality is part of life.

Jan Day:

Yes, absolutely.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah. And then the wide ripples of that out, like you say, into society where actually we're taking the energy of, of all of those sort of good chemicals, and also what it does for our spirit, you know, that we can approach society with a little bit more soul empathy, compassion, kindness, all of those things, because we're, that's we're accessing those bits in ourselves as well. We can kind of,

Nicola Foster:

you know, well, that's why we're doing this podcast, you know, because we, you know, is to is to have that ripple effect of helping to spread the word about all the things you're saying today, john, about sexuality in its most loving form. There's lots of podcasts out there about like sex education or the practicalities or overcoming the fears or the taboos. And that's all brilliant and important, but I think it's also important to talk about this the were into intimacy. That's what we that's what we're talking about today. intimacy,

Jason Porthouse:

coming back on something you said. My own experience of being on this journey is actually one of the things that's deepened for me is is this the satisfaction that I get out of just sort of And touching, you know, quite kind of it doesn't have to go into full on lovemaking. You know, it's like I've got a, sort of an expanded sensibility towards those things that are, yes, that we might dismiss, you know, just a touch or a kind of a hug or a look or, you know, all of those things, or a kiss or something like that, you know, and actually 10 minutes of hugging in the morning can be really, really nurturing and really kind of settling to the system. And it's just sort of sets you up for the day, and it doesn't need to be a full on Kind of,

Jan Day:

yeah, and that you have to be there for that. So that's, that's a lot about the first intimacy that you're there to receive it, there's somebody there to receive the hugging. And the subtle, you know, some of the subtlety of the connection. So it doesn't have to be a full on orgasm, it can just be it can just be a hug, and you can still feel and, and be nourished by it's like you can taste it and you can metabolise it. But if you're not there for that, then it won't nurture you, it's like, it's like eating strawberries and throwing them over, you know, instead of eating, putting them in your mouth, you throw them over your shoulder, kind of, you don't actually take them in. So you have to be there to take in a hug, and be sensitive to what's being touched in you. It would be lovely to say a little bit about the body of love practice,

Jason Porthouse:

we would love that. Yeah, yeah. So for any listeners who who kind of weren't aware of this, we have been on one of your couples workshops on online and in that you introduced this, this sort of concept of the body of love.

Jan Day:

It was a concept that was introduced to me by my mentor and Garrity. And she wrote a book that she really used to describe the body of love practice. And it's essentially acknowledging that when a couple lives together in love, love each other and are committed to each other, they build a body of love, that is like a, that is an entity that actually exists, there's a body of love that they build between them. And over time, it grows stronger and stronger. And you can use that body of laugh, to speak to, and to draw on as a resource. Because it is, it is a body of love. And when you need it, you can speak to it and ask for its help you can sit next to each other speaking to your body of love. And so if things are difficult, you can speak to the body of law rather than directly to each other. And the body of love absorbs and hold what you're what you're saying. And you can ask for help from the body of love. And it's like acknowledging that there is something that you've created between you, that belongs to you that you can nurture, and draw support from, so that it can so that it can, can give itself back to you. And so it becomes like a loop. And you build that body of love, in part, not only by your attitude to each other, but also by your physical lovemaking. Every time you make love you build the body of love. And I think it's a it's an incredibly powerful concept and practice to to sit with and to draw strengths from, as you've probably found out since you're stuck.

Nicola Foster:

Yes, we, we were doing it daily, and we've moved to weekly, but we certainly asked it for support with our podcast,

Jason Porthouse:

and other things as well. It's interesting how the more we did it as a practice, the more I felt an appreciation for all of the things that can can kind of go by the wayside a little bit in a relationship. You know, and I imagine that for somebody that's been in a very long term relationship, if they start doing this, that they're going to end up with a very full sort of container of all of the history of what's gone on between a couple, you know, all of their kind of their ups and their downs and the things that they've sort of gone through and whether together and you know, the kind of love between them. It's a it's an incredible resource to draw on.

Jan Day:

Yeah, it's as if it creates the container that enables a relationship to be a crucible it, it fuels it and gives it holds the container there so that there's the possibility for healing to happen. So it creates I think a safety that that enables the risk of the relationship being of crucible that enables growth. So it feeds round in a circle. Yeah. Yeah,

Jason Porthouse:

that's beautiful.

Nicola Foster:

This has been such a rich, we could talk for another three hours. But you mentioned at the beginning, Jan, that you are writing a book. So people who want to have more of your wisdom, Yeah, sounds like they may be able to receive it in the written forms

Jan Day:

in. So it will be published in April, or the schedule for it to be published is April 2022. So I'm almost finished writing it and I guess it needs a year for publication. the working title is living Tantra, but I don't know what the final title will be. But it is basically about how do you live Tantra in your everyday life with yourself? Finding your sexuality, finding your way into relationships, being in relationships, and being in the world of spirituality, finding your heart, finding your soul? And how do you relate to the world? How do you find? How do you use everything that happens in the world like, climate change, like COVID, to heal and grow and become more conscious, so it's about living, everyday life, with consciousness, applying the my definition of Tantra, which is what living Tantra is, including everything, weaving everything together, using everything to grow and become more conscious. Sounds fantastic. It's been a lot of fun writing, actually. And it's been really interesting, because it's such a different way of exploring my work, you know, because I'm used to working with people kind of, in a very moment by moment generative way. And writings are kind of a different, you know, it's different, because the paper doesn't talk back to you. So it's a very different way of working, but I've really enjoyed it.

Jason Porthouse:

Now, I can imagine it being really different, because you know, your work is so in the moment and with whatever is coming up that we had to actually then kind of condense that and put it onto the page in a way that it does it justice and gets the you know exactly what you want over action, I can imagine that would be a really interesting twist on what you're doing. So I look forward to reading it. And if people wanted to experience your workshops and things like that, what are you offering at the moment,

Jan Day:

everything can be found at Jan de.com. So if people go to Jan de.com, and sign up for the mailing list, we'll let everyone know when in person workshops become available again. And also when the online offerings are, in fact, it's quite likely that there will be an online offering, organised by alternatives coming up in the spring in April. It's just being organised. So yeah, so that'll be a little, just a short series of evening workshops. And that will be for anybody. So we'll see. But it'll all be on jan.com. And we'll let people know. Yeah. It's been really lovely to talk to you, though. Thank you for the work you're doing to just spread conscious relationships out into the world.

Jason Porthouse:

It's been absolutely fantastic having you as a guest. Thank you for that. And hopefully we'll have you back in the future to talk about

Nicola Foster:

Yes, we're hoping this is of several.

Jan Day:

Yeah, very good. Okay.

Jason Porthouse:

Thanks for listening. If you like what you hear, subscribe so you never miss an episode. And remember, you can interact with us at wanting hyphen more.com