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!