This is the third and final installment on this series of the blog. It has been very challenging for me to write this final piece because in all honesty, shit got crazy. I felt that it was a sign from the universe to write this now because as my fingers graze across the keys there is lava is heading straight towards where this whole story takes place. It is like nature is transforming that whole place for me. Clearly, my satisfaction is bittersweet thinking of the people that live there and I’m sending them light and love. Without further hesitation here is the last part of the story.
Getting in the car and leaving for Kona was a gift. Driving on the big island is crazy because you go through so many different environments. It’s absolutely beautiful. I was talking to my fellow driving mate about the program and Bill and even she, who had known him Bill for years was disappointed in the program. I was totally broke at this point, but I didn’t care. I had $17.00 in my bank account but I went on the trip to Kona anyways. Not having money was a factor for me to think about if I did leave the program. How could stay in Hawaii? I had already started to look for yoga jobs, but there were none. Puna is not a hot bed of economic activity.
My mind raced like the passing landscape about what to do. My friend, let’s call her Lily, had to see a client when we got to Kona. I didn’t know what that meant at first and then I realized that she was talking about prostitution. She never confirmed this for me, so possibly I’m wrong, but there was something so sad in her like she didn’t want to go. She asked me if I wanted to join her and make some money, but I said no. I spent $4 on a latte and watched the sunset. I hadn’t seen a sunset in a month being on the other side of the island and it was so breath taking. I had never felt so grateful to be drinking my latte and not having to sell myself. There is not a lot of opportunity on the island to make money especially if you live in Puna and especially if you have a child and a drunk mother to take care of. My heart empathized with her situation. Haven’t we all sold ourselves at some point on some level?
When she finished, we stayed at her friends house and have a lovely rest of the time in Kona. As we start to drive back on Sunday evening to Puna, the knots in my stomach started up again and I knew trouble is ahead. When I got back to the house I sat in silence in the middle of the floor just looking around trying to speculate what tomorrow will bring.
Morning came and I went down to the black sand beach to swim and hopefully see the dolphins. The waves had been getting bigger and were at a point where it wasn’t safe to swim in the ocean. I went back to the house and class was about to begin. Bill opens up the class with, “how is everyone feeling today? Good? Let’s begin by getting naked and practicing sensual massage.” Like a cartoon there was fire coming out from my ears and in my eyes. How could he do this! After our heart to heart, how could he take it back to the place of just wanting to get naked. I was crushed.
At that point I just said I wasn’t doing anything and went to my computer. I hadn’t been talking to the miscarriage guy at all and in my moment of distress he messaged me on Gchat. I started typing feverishly to him about the state of this crazy place and what’s been happening. I unleashed it all on him. He told me that I need to leave to as soon as possible, and I agreed. My family must have been able to feel my pain because then the texts and emails started coming through (I couldn’t receive phone calls due to lack of service at the house) After weeks of silence I finally told my Mom what had been happening at the training. Within seconds she was looking up flights back to the mainland.
I felt like a failure, a fuck up, idiot, gullible, weak, broken, disappointed and worthless person. I had put everything on the line for this program and it didn’t work out so now I was going to have to leave the island and figure out what to do for the remaining month without my apartment that leased. I started packing up my stuff to stay with a woman that had left the program but was still on the island. I had a final conversation with Bill as I was packing. He tried to convince me that I was giving up, that I was bailing out on all the others, that I wasn’t good enough. Ironically, these were all the stories I normally told myself, but in that moment of him trying to beat me down I stood up for myself. And I told him, "Bill for the first time I am being good enough to know when to leave because that is in my best interest." So fuck off.
I got picked up and suddenly was in a beautiful, luxurious home with other women that had left the program. It all seemed surreal. There were talks about how to get our money back, legal issues, pain and suffering. I told my mom I wanted some time to enjoy the island for a few days before leaving to see the parts of Hawaii that are so magical. My last morning I wanted to take beautiful nude photos on the black sand beach that I had always wanted since seeing the Chris Issac music video for “Wicked Game”. One of the sweet Kiwi ladies took them for me and I felt a peace within me being exposed on the black sand beach against my white skin. It made me think of the balance between yin and yan. Then I was off to go back to the mainland to figure out what was next.
To wrap things up of what happened when I returned, the guy I told everything to stopped talking to me, I stopped talking to the man that loved me, lululemon didn’t hire me back, and I was completely fucked up in the head over the whole experience working odd jobs that I disliked immensely. My whole world was crashing down around me. I had this moment on my deck where I just balled my eyes out and it became clear at this point that I can let this break me or rebuild me. I chose to let it rebuild me and I’ve been moving forward ever since. It is the reason why you reading this blog right now.
That is thing about life, we always have a choice. No matter how gnarly, horrible, painful, unfair shit is going on, there is always a choice. You never know that you have wings until you trust yourself to fly. So fly on little wing. My wish for you is that no matter what has happened you choose love, forgiveness, and trust. Light and love.
This week I am so inspired by Beyonce’s performance from the MTV Video Music Awards. The part I especially loved is the quote from Chimamanda Nogzi Adiche.
The full quote is, “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much. You should aim to be successful, but not too successful. Otherwise, you would threaten the man.
Because I am female, I am expected to aspire to marriage. I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support but why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?
We raise girls to see each other as competitors not for jobs or accomplishments, which I think can be a good thing, but for the attention of men. We teach girls that they cannot be sexual beings in the way that boys are.”
The following is a journal entry from when I started to wake up back into myself.
Januray 21st 2007 at 9:54am DFW airport
Well as scary as it is I have come to many conclusions to my month of self exploration and discovery at home with family. Although, it was a short break, I’ve made huge moves within myself. I have been meeting boys and fucking them for years, and yes that’s enjoyable to a point, but then I’m left feeling empty inside. I love sex, but I’m over just getting fucked. I deserve to be loved and worshipped, and not just someone’s play toy. If I do want to fuck someone he will respect me then it's okay. This whole thing may sound contradicting, but to me it makes perfect sense. A part of me loves to be made love to and a part of me loves to be fucked, why do I have to choose? It’s my life. I’ve got hurdles to jump over and conquer on this but I’m ready. Please universe give me strength when I’m tired or weak. Help me have faith in myself and stick up for what I want. Keep those away from me that are parasitic and just want to suck the life blood out of me. The new Liz will be unshakable, strong, see and love myself for what and who I truly am. I am a beautiful, intelligent, fun-loving, loyal, and strong woman!!!
It is okay to be sexual, intense, intelligent, emotional, and strong. It is okay to decided you want to change something then revert back to your old ways, just bring more awareness into your actions the next time. It is amazing to be yourself. It is beautiful to be vulnerable. It is beautiful to be all the parts of who you are. It's okay to be all of things as a man or woman. No filters needed. I send you all love and light.
I arrived at the guest house and immediately I realized that this is NOT the house that I had been seeing during my Skype sessions. I would later find out that was the retreat center down the road. The place was a dingy old house with home made bunk beds and old pillows and blankets everywhere with crack head neighbors living behind us house. There was nothing luxury about this place. What made it brighter were the ladies inside making some amazing raw food treats in our tiny kitchen.
I made my way into our “room” only to find two sets of bunk beds, one book shelf for storage, and one closet. For four ladies. For two months. I had never done any communal living like this so naturally I was petrified. I finally got to meet Bill a few hours after my arrival. I was excited to finally meet the man behind the screen. He seemed in that moment very genuine even though underneath I was worried about the housing situation because we were also doing the training there. That’s a lot of time in the same space with the same people. I kept on reminding myself of that, to take myself out of my confront zone and dive into other area of interest, my sexuality and how to help others with theirs.
My first full day in Hawaii I swam naked in the ocean with the dolphins, rode my bike along the breath-taking coast line, and ate fresh fruit off the tree. I felt I was in heaven and the miscarriage, relationship, and Austin all seemed so far away and I couldn’t have been happier. The first week of training went well and I loved the women I was staying with. By the beginning of week two everything started shifting again.
Suddenly in the training we went from dancing and eye gazing to getting naked. I love being naked. It does not bother me as long as I am choosing it. It’s a different when someone tells me I have to get naked. I felt this hesitation in me, but I did it anyway because I was there to learn and do what it takes to learn this information. I was unwavering in my dedication to learn so much that I blinded myself.
One morning Bill decided to use the milk specifically labeled, "for tea use only.” Having milk for tea is not important to most Americans, to New Zealanders it’s a serious business, and we are supposed to be living in community and respecting each others wishes. I personally had to strain myself to be quiet every night because everyone went to be early and I am a night owl. Bill just wanted to make the rules and not play by them. In doing so,he lost our trust one by one.
The Kiwi finds out the milk is gone and starts to ask people about who drank it. Bill just hides and pretends like he doesn’t hear anything. The cleaver Kiwi picks up on this and calls him out. He can’t admit he did it and its at that point that he looses the respect of the group. Then things start unwinding faster and faster. There is fighting in front of the group, a refusal of getting any money back even for unused sessions. Eventually, the Kiwi is shocked and appalled by Bill’s behavior that she leaves the program. One down, three to go.
Bill had also at this point inappropriately grabbed and wrestled to the ground. He thought that he was being playful, but that playtime was unwanted by the woman and unprofessional. We were all starting to noticed his boyish need for attention from the ladies and when he did not get it he became frustrated. When confronted he was unwilling to admit to any wrong doing. The remaining ladies of the guest house asked him to maintain distance from the house if he was not teaching. He did not comply. We stopped learning anything during class and Bill just kept asking everyone why we were not liking the program, but had no interest in hearing anyone’s wishes. He just wanted everyone to get over the lack of program there was and have a “fun, sexy time”. More evidence that he didn’t have a clue what he was doing. I stayed hoping and praying it would change.
Week three. Three out of four left in the house. It’s just me left. I thought, I can get him back on track. I can help steer us to a place where we can get to the information and let go of the idea that everyone was going to have a hot sexy time with the people at the training. The people at the training were lovely, but if I wanted a hot sexy time I would have stayed in Austin for the Summer. I was Hawaii to learn and grow.
Before I leave for Kona, Hawaii for the weekend I decide to speak with Bill. I tell him everything I’m thinking. That if you want to teach about sexuality you can’t do it in a run down house, unorganized, and focusing on trying to make people get naked because it fits what YOU want and not the group. I pleaded with him to ground the energy of the group down and back to teaching. I somehow wanted to get it to shift it back to the first week that we were there. As I jumped into the car to leave for Kona I was hopeful that things would be different on Monday, but my stomach was in knots.
When have you felt your inner guidance tug at you and yet you ignored it? When have you stayed too long in a situation that you know will only worsen? When was the last time you wanted something so bad that you didn’t care how bad it was just wanted to finish it? I felt all these things and more during this time. It’s easy to get caught up in the rational of things and lose track of what your heart is saying to you. See if you can start to practice trusting your gut in your everyday life. Stayed tuned for the third and final part!
It is amazing what can happen in just one short year. When I normally think of a year its no big deal time moves by quickly. It’s when I reach a bench mark of time that you realize just how much actually did happen in just a short year of life. To me, its not the easy times that compel me to grow, but rather the difficult, heart wrenching, confusion that is the most transformative if you let it. Because really when do we do anything life changing when we are comfortable.
Recently, I just got accepted and started going to school for sex coaching. It is not the kind of coaching where I am standing in the room yelling, “Go, go, go” but rather someone who has a bunch of different proactive solutions or tools to give to an individual or partners. Just because we have the parts does not mean we automatically know how to use them in all the amazingly incredible ways that are available to us. This is also not the first time that I have ventured to learn this kind of work and almost never ventured to do it again. This blog is about choice of circumstances, let it break you or build you
Last year I enrolled into a program on the Big Island of Hawaii to learn about conscious sexuality. I had been working with this man, let’s call him Bill, via Skype to help me heal some of the sadness that I was feeling from my current "relationship". I use relationship loosely because we were only sleeping together, and it ended up resulting in a plan b that didn’t work right away. About month later I woke up in the middle of the night covered in blood. After going to the doctor I found out that it was an early miscarriage. So there was some guilt, sadness, confusion, rejection, judgement, shame the list goes on and on. This person I was seeing would barley acknowledge me in public and then we had this whole other world behind closed doors. It was tearing me apart.
I also was in funk with work. I had been at lululemon for 4 years and needed a change. Everything I had originally loved about it slowly got taken away as it came more corporate. I wanted to focus on my healing career and do something to give back to people. All these things combined, I put everything on the line and set off for Hawaii for a two month training that would absolutely change my life, and did it ever.
I got on a plane to leave it all behind, to start something new for myself. I thought I would learn more tools to help empower others and bring joy, bliss, and connection into their lives. I felt that I was strong enough to do this intense training so I could bring it back for other ladies that wouldn’t want to do it. I also decided I would be totally sober and eating raw for the entirety of this trip. I had the highest hope for myself, the training, and my career.
When I arrived in Hilo, Hawaii I got picked up by a cheerful lady from New Zealand and I fell in love with her instantly. The drive to where I was staying in Puna, HI it was absolutely breath taking. Its so raw there. Black lava, massive lush trees, mountains, little to no development, its beautiful. I was full of excitement, wonder, nervousness, trust, and happiness. Then we arrived at the house we are doing the training in and everything dropped inside of me. This was a bad idea. I knew instantly.
When have you had an intense time in your life where you feel you just want to run away and start all over again? Do you feel like your problems won’t follow you if you move somewhere or travel to some other place? Believe me, you can run all you want but there is only one person you are truly running from: yourself. No matter how hard you try to ignore it what plagues you on the inside, it will always be there getting bigger and bigger until you meet yourself. Stay tuned for the rest of the story as the plot thickens.