Intimacy Matters

Adam Wilder - Togetherness, Intimacy and Sovereignty.

May 23, 2021 Wanting More Season 1 Episode 6
Intimacy Matters
Adam Wilder - Togetherness, Intimacy and Sovereignty.
Show Notes Transcript

In this episode we talk to Adam Wilder about all sorts of interesting stuff - how Togetherness, his school of connection and online community, started; safety versus authenticity (and how to navigate between them); the collective and the individual; 'us and them' and how we can use our common experiences to foster connection. We also touch on men's work, how we bring connection into our intimate relationships, saying no, how Dutch people break up with friends, notions of sovereignty and much, much more...

Adam's website can be found here: https://www.wilderintimacy.com

Togetherness can be found here: https://www.togetherness.com

And remember you can find us at https://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 intimacy.

Jason Porthouse:

And I'm Jason Porthouse. Nicholas partner. I'm 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 hot on the back of your net sell survey, which I know you loved so much. The SEC survey for the for the UK, as this article appeared in The Guardian, not tonight darling, how the world lost its libido and how it can get it back. I thought it was really interesting.

Nicola Foster:

It, it covers a lot of the ground. And it confirmed what we've said on this podcast a couple of times that, you know, it's difficult to be sexual or to feel like you want to have desire, when there's stress in your life, and there's anxiety, which a pandemic is a

Jason Porthouse:

pretty good example of stress.

Nicola Foster:

And, exactly it's been, you know, we've all been subjected to that collective stress. But also, if you're in a domestic situation with your partner all the time, that desire needs space, you know, desire happens in the space between people. And it's difficult to just feel that kind of missing, the missing thing that can happen, you know, when you're dating, and your partner lives somewhere else, and then they turn up, you often hear that you can't wait to rip your clothes off each other's clothes off because you've, you've missed one, you've missed one another...

Jason Porthouse:

There's that anticipation, you're going to see them again. And there's going to be you know,

Nicola Foster:

it's discovery, it's new, it's novel. And when you're together 24-7 for months and months and months, you don't have that you don't even have the kind of going to work and coming back. And you might be hanging out in loungewear, because you're not getting dressed up. So that part is really challenging. And I like that they they talked in the article about creating playful things to discover to introduce novelty. And of course, that is a great antidote. But what I also think is really important is to cultivate the kind of sexuality and sensuality that isn't novelty driven. So they talk about scheduling, and it's something I talk about in my work all the time that we need to schedule, actually time for intimacy and look at the windows in our days and weeks when there is the possibility to be intimate, which of course when there's children at home. I know it's very difficult for some couples, but it's also difficult to lose your relationship because you haven't got any sexuality. So it's not like, because it's difficult. We shouldn't try. Yeah, we need to try to find at least some time when we can be physically intimate and schedule it. But also that, that that kind of thing can be. It can be about nurturing, nourishing, loving sensuality is, you're nodding her way. And I've been talking too long. I get a bit excited about these things.

Jason Porthouse:

You're enthusiastic! Yes. It's the importance of having timed for intimacy that doesn't have to lead anywhere,

Nicola Foster:

Right, Yeah.

Jason Porthouse:

And scheduling sounds really unsexy. So I think a lot of people push back against the idea.

Nicola Foster:

Yeah, there's a lot of expectation that sex needs to be spontaneous. But if we only ever had spontaneous sex in long term relationships, we wouldn't have very much of it. Yeah. So if you want to have a sexual relationship, then scheduling is required. Yeah. Sexy or not.

Jason Porthouse:

And simmering was another thing they mentioned.

Nicola Foster:

Yes, I think this is the this is a really helpful idea. I like the way that they use this word simmering because I used to talk about this before I sort of read it written down anywhere but I often thought that it was a bit like you know, if I'm going to make some boiled potatoes or something, I might boil the pan of water and then turn it off. And then I bring it back to the boil when I want The potatoes, or I might just leave it simmering. So I'm not going to try and get this big cold pan of water to boiling. Just when I needed the potatoes, I need to kind of do some of the pre heating. And I think this is really important in relationships, there's a couple of things to think about, we can make sure that there's a low level of physical contact happening in the dynamic all the time. So just keep the simmering going. And that's brilliant. You know, that's like just having little hugs, or kisses or touch. That's interjected throughout the week. But I think there's another idea with this, which is that we can also take responsibility as individuals, for for bringing ourselves up to the boil as it were, like, if you're aware that you're somebody that needs lots of time, and you're concerned that you want to put some more effort into your relationship sexually, then there are things that one can do for one solve to just, you know, we talk a lot about brakes and accelerators to reduce the brakes and increase the accelerators. So that might be taking a bath, reading something that's a little bit erotic, indulging in a private solo fantasy, like preparing one's own sexual energy in order to bring oneself to sexuality. A little bit simmering.

Jason Porthouse:

And I'm at a loss to how to connect that with potatoes.

Nicola Foster:

Well, it could be any kind of vegetable.

Jason Porthouse:

I think we better stop now. So we're really, really excited to welcome as our guest this week, Adam Wilder, and Adam is a man of many, many talents, but probably the most notable for his work in an organisation called Togetherness. So Adam, welcome.

Nicola Foster:

Thank you for joining.

Adam Wilder:

Hi and thanks for inviting me.

Jason Porthouse:

Oh, no, that's great. And tell us a little bit about togetherness as an organisation and how it came about

Adam Wilder:

Togetherness as a movement for more meaningful human connection. And I suppose it came from my own feelings of not fitting in, and actually being shy. And knowing the difference between on the outside things could look very nice and rosy, but on the inside, really feeling separate and apart. And really wanting to create spaces, which give people the safety to explore who they are, and to connect more meaningfully with others. And it was actually catalysed by the whole Brexit thing, because I woke up that day. And I felt so torn inside. The idea that we can resolve things by talking about them when we're all going to come to agree on on one thing just seemed impossible on this on this issue. So I really thought, well, we're not all going to agree we're not all going to get along. So how about we make a space where we can actually communicate and hear each other rather than just polarise and fight and blame.

Nicola Foster:

Wow, I remember reading that in something that you'd written. And it's just touching me again at the moment because of course, it feels like we need that more than ever. Right now, with all the polarisation. At the time of we're recording, we're in a time of like national vaccination and a lockdown. And there's so much polarisation even between really good friends. So I think we're going to need it even more, right?

Adam Wilder:

Yeah, I think so. And I even in my intimate relationship, we certain things we talk about, and we get, we get angry with each other, you know, and the the emotions come up. And I think so many of us are bought into these these big narratives. It's almost like we're playing out something that's bigger than ourselves. It's almost like we're playing out some mythology. And it's really hard to come back to that real upholding the goodness in each other. And where really, are you with this? And I think it comes back to understanding what are the needs behind what's going on, because we might think that someone's inappropriate, or that their ideas reprehensible. And maybe it is, underneath it, there's a human need. And it might be I'm looking for safety or it you know, I don't feel okay, or I want to be accepted. And I think when we go back to that very close connection of what's actually going on there, then I think there's space to connect, because these are these are universal, these needs, and it can create a space for empathy with each other.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah, yeah, I think that's so true, isn't it and like you say, it comes back to often really, really simple stuff. Our need for connection our need for sort of feeling part of the tribe to be part of the tribe, I guess. Because I've been to a couple of your festivals that togetherness have held, and that was a real eye opener for me that that so many disparate people could come together and, and foster a real sense of intimacy with one another and really kind of go quite deep, quite quickly.

Adam Wilder:

It's great, when there's lots of different people, it can create this stronger field of permission. And I think it's really important to set up this container of safety. So really, our motto is, you know, 'however you are is okay, just show up. And you're welcome here'. One thing I really love is bringing people with different backgrounds together. So I think the audience that I've attracted has, has changed a bit over time. And I think when I started, I was a lot more about sort of sex positivity. Because I think sexuality is so powerful in terms of understanding ourselves and each other. And I actually moved a bit more away from that, because what I was noticing is that, before we go into the sexuality, there's actually a lot of work that that's really good to do about understanding what do I actually want? And am I okay to ask for it? And what is it like to be vulnerable? And it's only when we can start showing up like that, that I think the sexuality work can become really empowering. So I love now that I've started recently, a community called the Togetherness Village and, you know, we've got people from Brazil, like mothers in their 50s, in psychology, we've got yoga teachers, we've got it programmers, we've got single dads, we've got really different opinions and backgrounds. And I think it's so enriching to come together and feel just how universal all these things are.

Nicola Foster:

I like what you said as well about how the this kind of safety that we that we all need it to express our needs. We need it in these groups situations, but we also need to create it in our own intimate relationships. So it's all very well being able to kind of work on something in communication with like a boss or something but then just get kind of lazy at home, I think. So I really love that you're kind of taking your own principles and applying them in your own relationship and mentioning that it's, there's so much isn't there that we need to create safety to be vulnerable, just between the like two people in a domestic setting.

Adam Wilder:

Absolutely. And it's more intense in a domestic setting. I mean, to be fair, niggle I think can be quite intense with your boss as well. Yes. But when I think we need to practice When to stop practising. And it comes down to I love how Gabor Mate talks about this. It's this conflict between authenticity and attachment. And when we're young with growing up, we need to be attached for safety with others, we need our parents to feed us and clothe us. And we don't want to be kicked out of a group. Because back in the day, you know, being out of the group literally meant death. You can't fend for yourself if you're not in a in a group. And so we need that. And we were programmed for that. And every time we, as a child, we cry and our parents get angry with us. We learn 'Oh, I shouldn't cry, I shouldn't make a fuss'. We learn in our in our peer groups, maybe not to say what we really think or feel in case we are rejected or belittled. And as we grow Potts, it becomes more and more important is this need for authenticity to be who I really am. And that's the drive behind all of my work is giving people the safety to explore that authenticity and how to express it. So I think we can practice in these safe places. And it's like stretching our muscles, it's like doing yoga, of connection. And then when we're in our everyday lives, it becomes easier to to be more authentic.

Nicola Foster:

I absolutely love that. I hadn't heard Gabor Mate say, the the kind of balance between authenticity and attachment, but I absolutely love it. I've written it down again, because I'm often talking about the Yeah, freedom and safety. You know, this is similar. Yes, it is a similar thing, isn't it? We, we, we need both and, and often I do a structure sometimes with in sessions, where we look at what's the both and have the freedom and the safety or the attachment and the authenticity because we need them both. I love what you just said about stretching the muscle of it.

Adam Wilder:

Absolutely need both. And I think we need to learn to choose, we need to be able to learn like right now, do I want the safety of knowing I can come back to my job tomorrow and paying my mortgage? Would I want the authenticity of telling my boss? No, that's definitely not okay. For you to ask me to do that piece of work or to talk to me like that. And we get we get to choose. It's not like we have to always prioritise one over the other.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah. And we're moving into an age really where I think that that's, that's being played out and on a large scale as well. And why isn't it because we've got this kind of move towards individualism and sort of identity politics and things like that. But also, then there's the sort of larger collective responsibility that's coming in as well, especially now in this time of the pandemic. And, you know, the way that that sort of playing out in terms of how we, as society respond to things.

Adam Wilder:

Yeah, I think that it's almost like with the Well, there's two kinds of identity politics, right. There's the common humanity, identity politics of Dr. Martin Luther King, where we look at what unites us and that's how Dr. King was so powerful is because all the white church leaders got on board with all of his Christian ideals. And it really amplified his his voice. It's like, this is what we all believe in together, it's very strong. And then there's the common enemy identity politics, which really focuses on what's different between us and what's wrong. And I'm personally what I've noticed is that in creating spaces for connection, it's really good to focus on our on our common commonality. And I think when we focus on our commonality, it It grows the field of acceptance, and connection. I worry a bit sometimes about the common enemy identity politics, because I see it can be so divisive, and it's a bit like if you have if you're working with someone, Nicola and they're always focusing on the very worst things all the time with the negativity bias, it can be very hard to and there may very well be terrible things going on. That's absolutely true. But when you vote put all your energy into that it leaves less space to connect less space to grow and less space to meet. It's a bit like I find it can actually silo us a bit more. So the work I do, I like to work on what are our common values and how can What's the truth for you right here in this moment? Because when you when you speak from that place? Well, there's all this space to connect, when you tell me about all these things that that are wrong and who's to blame, there's less space to actually meet. And it might or it might all be true and well, so I do worry a bit about that in our culture.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah, I think it's, it's interesting how that then plays out in even in just in one to ones in close relationships, that that, that dynamic of blame and and kind of, it's the other person's problem. It's the other person all the time. And, you know, how do we kind of bridge that gap?

Adam Wilder:

Yeah, there's a brilliant book by Jonathan Hite and another chap. I can't remember its name right now. But he talks about the three great untruths. And the first great untruth is that the world is full of good people and evil people and you have to fight fight fight until all the evil people are gone and dead. Right? And the for each untruth. He also says what the truth is. And the truth is, I think Carl Jung said this, that the line between good and evil runs through the heart of every individual. And I think if we really want to connect with each other, if we really want to create a common humanity, I think we have to learn to turn towards our own shadows more and integrate it in own for each individual, what what is dark within within us, rather than projecting it and playing out in the world. And also, again, I just want to say, terrible stuff, of course, is going on in the world the whole time. And there are things we can do. But as an individual, I feel powerless. That seems like it will continue. But what I can do is I can turn towards my own shadow. And that's where I've found growth and belonging as an individual quite often is going into the darkest and scariest parts of my psyche. And, and coming to a place of being accepted, even exploring those places and exposing those places. And that's why I think it's really important to set up situations of safety where we can explore those things and where people know, they won't be judged. For having shadows, essentially, we all have shadows.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah, and, I mean, that feels really, really sort of apt at this moment in time, because of, you know, everything that's going on around the kind of role of men in society, and in particular men's violence towards women and things like that. Yeah, I'm kind of moved to sort of ask you about men's work and how you see that fitting in with this, this whole sort of thing and

Adam Wilder:

is interesting as you as you were talking about that I felt a little twitch in my stomach. I think that this is just such hot button. topics. Yeah. I'm really proud to see great people doing such amazing men's work. Guys, there's a group called Band of Brothers. There's some friends of mine set up rebel wisdom originally is a men's work group. And it's since grown into a whole kind of media channel, and sense making series. But I think it's very important to have spaces where we can come together and expose a vulnerability and especially for men. To be fair, I think for for women as well. There's not many spaces where you can expose your vulnerability. Maybe it's less so for for men, but to have a circle where you can sit with others, and realise all your pain and all your suffering is common between you and you've all got the same vulnerabilities. It gives us It can bring us to this place of acceptance and, and wholeness. And this is how I think we need to be with each others in our homeless. Quite often, we tend to split these parts of ourselves off that we're not proud of. We tried to hide them. And it's it's like masked characters trying to interact, costumes and masks and you know, I've got a theatre background and that can be really fun as well. But to really meet each other, I think we have to be able to, to walk in our wholeness and acceptance Yeah,

Jason Porthouse:

yeah, we've we've had some of the guests on the show have talked about things like sort of part, I'm thinking of Ruth Culver, when she was talking about her work with sort of parts and IFS, and this, this notion that there are sort of disowned parts of ourselves that we won't look at. So it coming back to your idea of, you know, looking at the shadow, looking at those aspects of ourselves that, you know, and I think, I think, in particular, there can be a real it the whole kind of not all men movement, you know, it's not me, it's not sort of I don't do that I don't have that sort of side of myself, but in the very denial of even looking at the possibility that it's there, we end up sort of repressing something. And to me, inevitably, that's going to come out in leaky ways that that are managed.

Adam Wilder:

Absolutely. This is why I love Betty Martin's work so much, which we would you were also a fan of Nicola. She helps us to understand what what is it I really want? And what stops me from asking for it. And what do I do instead. So if, if what I really want is a cuddle, maybe I don't even know that I really want to cuddle. But the closest thing I know to a cuddle is maybe having sex. So maybe I want to go out, clubbing getting drunk, maybe I have sex with someone, I don't even really like, maybe I don't even enjoy the sex. What I really want is to cuddle all of our interactions with each other, it can come down to getting really clear about this, if I can be really clear about what I actually want. If we can negotiate and communicate, then our interactions can be less leaky, because like you say it can it can come out. And the biggest way it can come out is in you know, stealing sex, stealing, rape, violence, or war murder. I think if we can have a culture where we're less afraid to ask for one communicate, to lean into that vulnerability of someone might say no. They might say no. And that can feel like a death when someone tells us No, but when we can lean in and accept it and say thank you. I think we've got growth as a community.

Nicola Foster:

I, I feel very moved by by some of the things you've just been saying. And as you see, I'm also a huge fan of the wheel of consentement. And Betty Martin's work, and I'm reminded something that she says a lot in her training is the every quadrant of the wheel is vulnerable. We are so vulnerable when we're in every piece. So for any listeners, listening is not familiar with the quadrants. It's giving and receiving and taking and allowing, but actually either offer something and as you say, then be you know that not to be accepted? Or to ask for something. And to hear and know it. Yeah, it can be just such a vulnerable place. And we we need to practice Yeah, we need to practice saying no, and hearing no.

Adam Wilder:

And I think it can be healthy to reframe the No, I do some work around this. There's hundreds of reasons why it's good to say no, you say no to something, someone tells you No. Well, then you can stop asking for that. And maybe you can ask for something else. Or you can see what is possible. And there's this this ultimate respect we can give each other is to be truthful. It's Have you ever had it where someone someone's kind of fobbed you off, and it's not felt really good. And I think one for me, I remember, I think I was in my 20s and someone gave I asked for her phone number she gave it to me and you know, I rang her and hey, do you want do you want to meet up and she said, 'Oh, no, I can't. I'm doing something'. And this happened about 10 times because as an innocent guy, I didn't get that she didn't want to go out with me. I was like, Oh, she's giving me her phone number. And it wasn't a nice feeling. And it was it was confusing. But we didn't have a culture and we still don't where you can tell someone 'actually I you know what, I gave you the phone number because I felt I should but I'm actually not interested in you and I'd rather that you didn't ask me out'. I think that's wonderful. The Dutch can be really straight up about this, I've known Dutch people who actually, they have they break up with with their friends just like your breakup in a relationship. Oh, yes. Yeah, you know, I don't want to be your friend anymore. And there's something so, so healthy and whole about that. And I think it's, you know, what's good for us to learn is that when someone tells us No, it's, it's, we don't have to take it personally. It's really about the other person. It's not It's not about us.

Jason Porthouse:

And I think that's a real particular thing for the British as well, isn't it because we are masters culturally, at mean, quite often you see these memes or these these sort of lists of jokes on social media or something about, you know, the British and what they actually mean that we never actually say, what we mean, as a society, there's this whole sort of strata of kind of code that we're supposed to kind of infer from things and we're and we're just not good at being straight. And so when we do encounter people who are far more straight talking, we kind of project onto them some sort of, you know, that's just brash Germans are that's the sort of the Americans being loud. And you know, so did you get what I mean, you know, this, this, this kind of idea that culturally, I think we in this country are terrible at just being straight?

Adam Wilder:

Absolutely. It's all designed to save face and avoid shame. Because shame feels terrible. Yeah, shame is even worse than rejection or you're a bad person. is it's a big one. I've been watching the crown recently. And if you've been watching that series at all,

Jason Porthouse:

sorry, yes. We've been bingeing on that a little bit.

Adam Wilder:

Yeah, it's it's really funny how there's all the different protocols to save face. And it's fascinating. I think it's very important as a culture that we we start being more straight up with each other. And so I think it's important to be able to express a variety of ideas. And I also watched the social dilemma. Did you see that? I haven't seen it yet. Harris. It's, it's all about how social media is destroying us. It's putting us in little silos, and everyone that we see agrees with us, and everyone who doesn't agree with us is a is a Nazi. And it's, it's really dangerous. So I'm the community that I'm creating. Now. It's not about everyone, it's about a few people who you can connect with, and really trust and really explore your ideas and really be yourself. And I think that's so important. It's not healthy, for everyone to be judging. Like everyone in the world to judge everything that we've ever written, or done or photographed forever. It's like, at some point, it's gonna be wrong. Even even we're speaking to each other now, when these computers with chips in them, which have been probably children have in mind some of the elements and people are gonna look back in the future and go this is this is terrible, what people did, didn't they know. And that's one of the dilemmas about life right now.

Jason Porthouse:

One of the things I wanted to ask you about was your, your work, because I've not experienced this directly, but I'm aware that you're doing a lot more workshops and things around sovereignty. And I wanted to ask you about sovereignty and what that means to you and, and how you feel that sort of fits in.

Adam Wilder:

Yeah, this is very much come out of the work I've done with Betty, and that we live consent. And it's it builds on gabicce idea about authenticity versus attachment. And it's about the freedom to be yourself in the world, to be able to stand up. So I like the image of the crown, actually, you put it on your head, it's got these little points on it, which kind of point up into the cosmos. And as soon as you put it on your back straightens in your chest opens. So it's about being connected to inspiration in the world, having your your heart open, and being in this relaxed, power to be you. So it's not about power over anyone else. It's about the empowerment of being able to choose being able to ask for what you want. Being able to say no, being able to say yes. Being your magnificent, crazy individual self despite all the pressures from society, to conform. It's about being you and I have a lot of female participants on these workshops. Because I think for women, it's a lot, there's a lot more pressure to behave in certain ways. And people find it so liberating to understand the mechanics of why they find it difficult to say no, or to ask for what they want, where they feel obligated, in family situations, and to discover that they actually have a choice and that there's a freedom that comes from that. And it's about leaning into this vulnerability. Because when you start to understand and live from your sovereignty from the, the wisdom of your heart, some people are going to get upset. And it's quite often people who've been benefiting before from you, not speaking your mind. And it's, I'm enjoying it very much.

Nicola Foster:

Yeah, it makes me think about, you know, a word that hasn't come up yet. But I'm not surprised it's come up now. The word boundaries. You know, that's something I'm always teaching about and talking about. I mean, we've been talking about saying no, which is, boundaries, but I've, I've realised that what I'm teaching, often when I'm teaching about boundaries is is about being with feelings, because what actually boundaries means often is the guilt that we feel when we're not meeting somebody else's... yeah, going along with what somebody else wanted. So actually, setting the boundaries is often the easy part, it's then being with the, the difficult feelings that arise in us when we when, when we're not going along with and that's, yeah, I wonder if you've got anything, any practices or thoughts about you know, being with difficult feelings?

Adam Wilder:

I was good. As you were saying that I was going to ask you about what practices you use to help people... Isn't this the work that we do Nicola is to make space for people to feel their feelings. And that in a way that if you, it's almost like, if you absolve someone of feeling their feelings, in a way, it's disrespectful to them, because part of that work is, is feeling that and being in that discomfort, potentially, and, and making your home there, because that's where we really grow and really get to experience I'm allowed to feel this, it's okay. It's, I can say no, and someone be upset. And that's, that's okay. So, yeah, I'd love to know any tips that you have about that!

Nicola Foster:

I like, I like very much what you said, Adam, actually, that it's not about actually trying to get rid of them necessarily. It's about accepting that in a human journey, some of our feelings in our bodies don't feel very comfortable. And that might just be because we're not very used to them. There might be nothing wrong with them, but we are not used to them, because we're because they're so unfamiliar. And actually some of the energy practices like dancing, I mean, I'm I love you know, I started dancing five rhythms a long time ago. And I try and dance as a way of moving my feelings, or just going standing in the garden. And I did go out actually and screamed one day, and I did think the neighbours probably didn't love that. But, you know, it's a great way to just let that energy move, isn't it to move it through?

Adam Wilder:

Yes, physical things like dancing and making noise and power stomping. I remember one workshop I did. This guy was like, okay, so if you want to be a Shaman, you have to know how to do power stomping, and he was like stomping up and down and shouting and screaming into a pillow. And as he was doing, I thought, 'This guy has learned off the back of a cereal packet, how to be a shaman' but we were all doing the practices, and they were surprisingly effective. Because I do like these techniques of expressing the emotions. I'm also really fond of the process of inquiry, the verbal exploration. And what we have to learn to enquire properly is to be curious, and to observe what's going on. So as soon as you say, I noticed, as I'm talking about this sadness is coming up in my chest, we're a little bit away from it. We're not in it, feeling it completely. we're noticing it and that allows us space to explore it and to be curious about it, and track it through the body. So I think that can be a very powerful way of doing it as well. And the other thing is to titrate ourselves, I think if something's really difficult, well, maybe don't go and live there the whole time. But you can dip your toe in, see what it feels like? Notice it, you know, come back out, go back in again later and increase it. And again, I think it's like stretching and retuning our nervous system.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah. And that balance between being in being in the mind and being in the body, isn't it so that we're not ever totally in one thing, that we've got that ability to sort of, like you say, come out and notice what's going on inside of us and be aware that, you know, it's not all of us. You know, we might be having these awkward feelings, but that's not our entirety. There's another bit of us that can look at it and go, Okay, I'm feeling sad. I'm feeling angry. I'm feeling whatever it is. Let's explore that a little bit. Let's, let's look into that.

Nicola Foster:

Yeah, not making it wrong, necessarily. That is, you know, that it's not wrong to be angry, or it's not wrong to have to, to have me feelings move through you. And try not to get stuck. You know, try not to get stuck there. Yeah.

Adam Wilder:

Yeah, this is the big thing that we learn from psych society is, it's wrong to feel, especially around around anger. I mean, I love I love working with anger, because it's on this same line of well, I saw Gabor Mate explaining this in one of his seminars. He someone said, Oh, I don't get angry, I think anger is anger is wrong. He said, Okay, well, what if I tell you over here that I'm going to come and stand right on top of you, is that okay with you? And they were like, okay, and he kept standing closer and closer to this person. So he was literally standing on their feet. And he said, Well, look, at some point, you're gonna get angry and say, Enough is enough. And that's one of the reasons that we have anger is to set a limit to set a boundary. And when we can express it at the lower levels, by saying by saying, No, I don't want that, then we don't have to express it at these more tense levels. Because when it gets up to like, 70 80 90, out of 100, we can go into a rage, right, and there's no way to control it. But when we have this relationship with anger, like this is healthy, this is good. It can it can feel really empowering for people to get in touch with that anger and to feel their, their strength and power. I think we'll have a better culture.

Nicola Foster:

I think one of the things I've learned as a woman in relationship to anger. And it relates to what you were saying, Adam, about kind of Shadow Work is that I didn't think I was somebody who did anger. But as I started, as I've developed more awareness, I do irritation, I do frustration, I do resentment, you know, these are all flavours of anger. But I didn't I didn't label them as anger. So I thought I didn't do anger. Actually, I'm supremely good at over all three of those. And it's really, I think it's a really interesting journey of discovery to look at what the kind of subtle aspects of, of anger and and how they, like you use the word leakier, Jason how they kind of leak out in ways, you know, thinking, in couple dynamics at home. Resentment can be something that's really in the way of intimacy because it's built up in little layers over time. And not addressed. And if we just been angry and said, Actually, that's not okay with me. I have a note of that, when you leave. Now, I better not get into our domestic dirty laundry in public.

Adam Wilder:

I know that dynamics so well. And I've experienced that in many relationships. But something builds up over time. slight little things. It feels like too little to say anything about and it builds up and suddenly, all just bursts. And there's all kinds of blame and judgement going around. I think it's really good to make the space. And I've I've been in situations where I thought if I tell the person what I'm really feeling and thinking they might not want to go out with me anymore. It might be the end of the relationship. And what I found pretty much every time is that going to that place actually opens us up to a deeper level of connection. And when I don't say that thing, I feel suffocated. And in fact, I've left a lot of relationships in the past rather than say what's difficult to say. So now I'm all for like, okay, we commit to each other, let's go and see what it really is. And I think it is good at this point, not to be emotionally charged. So you know, to make a space for it. So we can really hear each other.

Jason Porthouse:

Yeah. And that's about learning techniques. To do that, isn't it? You know, that, again, this, this is all stuff that we're not taught, you know, these these kind of basic emotional tools that, you know, how do you have a difficult conversation without triggering one another? How do you? How do you make a space to have honest dialogue with one another, whether that's in your, your intimate relationship, or whether it's with friends, or whether it's with co workers, whatever it is, you know, these are skills that generally don't get taught to people?

Adam Wilder:

Yeah, I think this is what we need to learn and to practice. So we start learning on nervous system. Yeah, this is okay. It's okay to show up and be me. Yeah. It's not appropriate to do it everywhere. I remember when I first got into intimacy work, I turned into this kind of intimacy Nazi I arrived that that family person, right, everyone, we never talked to each other, let's go around the table. Everyone's saying what's really going on for them? roundly rejected. And I look back on that now. And I think, gosh, I was really trying to impose my stuff on everyone. Yeah. And so I think it's not always appropriate, but what I find is by by seeking out those places, where I can practice and be me, it helps me to come alive and bring my authenticity into my business relationships, my partnerships, my family, and the way the way I live, and I feel so much more happy and alive, being authentic, instead of pretending to be the person I think I should be, to fit in and be loved. You know, that's such a lonely place. And I know, it's so well.

Jason Porthouse:

And what I think is really interesting about that is then, you know, without becoming an intimacy, Nancy and and kind of imposing it on everybody, but you can kind of sneak it in the back door a little bit. You know, you can kind and, and in my experience, it's amazing how it changes dynamics. I mean, there's always that sort of, you know, be the change that you want to see kind of, you know, idea around a lot of this, but but just by you changing your, you know, me changing my behaviour, I've noticed in certain circumstances that it makes a really big difference, because comes back to that thing that we talked about the beginning about making space, where people are allowed to be who they are,

Adam Wilder:

yeah, this the ultimate respect, we can show one another is to someone, I had this, someone who's been in my life a very long time, and had terrible experiences with them as a child. And I never wanted to talk to this person about my experiences, how I'd found it. And actually, we had a very frank conversation once and I said, actually, you know, as a child, my experience of viewers was this and it was really difficult. And it opened us up to such a level of respect and intimacy and connection. That was just just amazing. And it's really counterintuitive. And it I think it worked because we were both at a place of emotional maturity, where we could listen to each other. And it wasn't blame. You know, even if you go to someone and you just blame them, and I had this terrible time, and it's all your fault. There's less room there for intimacy, like it might still be useful for you. But when you can really own your experience, and and say this, this was my experience, I found it difficult when this happened, I found it like this. I think it can, can open the door for us, and people who we might have thought were our arch enemy can become a real allies and intimate companions.

Jason Porthouse:

I think hat's a fantastic place to en on. So what's the fu ure for togetherness? what' what's going to be sort of gr wing in the future

Adam Wilder:

Right now we're working on the Togetherness Village, which is somewhere we want to give people wherever they are in the world the opportunity to experience this connection, this safety, this freedom to express themselves and explore that authenticity. So that's what I'm working on right now. And that's the main thing. We're doing more courses on embodied sovereignty and anger. We did a few live things, but it's more now about having more of a global reach and finding people wherever they are in the world so that they can connect and belong.

Jason Porthouse:

And where can people find you?

Adam Wilder:

togetherness.com baby.

Nicola Foster:

Such a such a great name. I love it. It really does sort of encapsulate what you're offering. So yeah, I hope people do go and check it out and find a little place to practice being their authentic selves. Thank you so much, Adam. It's really been interesting. We set this podcast up because we love having these kinds of conversations. And it's just a joy to talk to other people who are as geeky about intimacy and authenticity as we are. So I'm so thrilled to, to get to know you a little better through this and we're becoming more more intimate in our conversation. So thank you,

Adam Wilder:

Guys, it's been great fun. Thanks so much.

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