One reason a lot of us find the concept of Taking so challenging is that when it’s unconsenting it results in someone being forced to allow. And we all know only too well how that feels…
Every day we are forced into allowing, without our full consent: enduring endless ads for things we don’t want wherever we go (even on our phones and in our homes); tolerating behaviour from strangers, colleagues and even friends, which doesn’t take into account our own needs.
Allowing is something we’ve learned since the day we were born. Our earliest experiences as a baby are ones of allowing our caregivers to make decisions about what happens to our body. They may have our own best interests at heart, but even if we cry or scream because we don’t like something they’re doing, our protest is often overridden. So we learn to put up and shut up.
In the Wheel Of Consent tool, Allowing is the aspect most of us feel most comfortable with as a default, even if it often doesn’t yield results that make us feel truly feel comfortable:
‘Wanna go out for a drink?’, ‘Sure, why not’.
‘Wanna come home with me?’, ‘I guess…’;
‘Wanna fuck?’, ‘Um…. OK?’
And this is where many of us come unstuck. We’re so used to existing in a state of constant allowing that we no longer really have any idea where our limits are. We no longer know when to say: ‘this far, but no further’. Until it’s too late.
So how can we learn to change this pattern, and begin to be more conscious about what and how we allow?
Well, this partly depends on truly knowing, in your body, that you have a choice about what you allow – particularly in interaction with other people. Allowing is a form of giving, and what you’re giving is access to you.
Try making a practice of this meditation:
‘Feeling it Differently’ meditation
Simply bringing conscious awareness, and expression, to what we feel in our body in response to situations can begin to alter how we respond. Consciously changing your body sensation can be an immediate physical first step of beginning to change how you are responding to the situation itself.
Exploring how these different states feel in a safe environment like this exercise, without the pressure of needing to respond to an immediate physical situation, can be a great way to give your body new reference points.
Allowing is one of the 4 quadrants of the Wheel Of Consent. This is a simple, powerful tool which can help you navigate safe, consenting exchanges – essential for both intimacy and life. Learn more about it works.
We are all born with the instinct to breathe, to move, and to make sound.
We are all born into a body, with a mind of our own, and a unique spirit.
Our ability to touch and be touched, both physically and emotionally, is what weaves all these parts of us together.
If you’d like to learn more tools to listen to, understand and communicate what your body needs, contact me