Candia Raquel Centro De Poder Founder And Clare Maxwell Mobile Body Alignment Creator Smiling In The Sensual Sessions 10 On How Sensuality Can Free You From Self-Judgement

#10 How Sensuality Can Free You From Self-Judgement — Clare Maxwell


Suffer From Self Judgment? You´re Not Alone!

Welcome to The Sensual Sessions #10 with Claire Maxwell, an Alexander Technique expert and a dancer, where we´ll discuss how sensuality can help you to get free from self judgment. 



What To Do When Self Judgement Is Affecting Your Body

The first thing to do about it is to get curious and feel safe.

So when I say that word curious, my whole body, just softened a little bit. It's like little tingly.

In general curiosity or wonder is not always so easy to get to. Because in order to be curious, we have to feel safe. We need to feel okay. Know where all the exits are. I can explore if this doesn't intimidate me.

For example, to record this Sensual Sessions, Candia and Clare had to talk to each other, just a little bit before we started, because Candia in Mexico City, and Clare Brooklyn, New York.

We have enjoyed talking before. But we needed to just kind of vibe with each other a little bit before we could really feel safe and comfortable to explore.


Why Is It Great To Use Your "Stupid Brain"

Sometimes the curious mind is a little clumsy, so I sometimes use the words "stupid brain".

Stupid. Yeah, like, explore this or that with your stupid brain, which means that your stupid brain doesn't know the answer. And at least is expected to fail or not  be perfect like your specialist, high level elite brain.

So the "stupid brain" already failed. So she's happy. It doesn't have to succeed in all the stuff that was brought up on one for succeeding in the capitalist world, and looking good in appearance and all that outward facing stuff that it's there.


Befriending Your Judging Mind

The second thing I would say is about that quality of us that that judges. It's very important.

We have a very complex brain and it likes to recognize patterns. It's there to protect us. It wants to take care of us. And it's highly evolved to assess, compare, judge, etc. So let's just be friendly to it. It's going to do that.

So we can just get curious about it. Is that really true? Is that judgment really true? How does that judgment feel in my body? 

This is a reframe, from judgment to discernment. That comes with a feel of more space to get curious on what's going on, instead of bearing the weight of judgment that demands responding to that. If it's even possible to respond because sometimes judgment comes from irrational expectations that are close to the fantasy.

Especially with pleasure.


Clare On Doing This Sensual Sessions

Clare: I mean, I have to be honest with you. The whole idea. It took me like, a couple of weeks to get comfortable, actually, with the idea of doing a podcast on pleasure. Which is ridiculous because I have so much pleasure in my life. But I'm like, I wonder what that means. Does that mean I have to be sexy? What does that mean?

Candia: Because of the judgment and the things that we all supposedly should like. But instead lets get curious about. What does pleasure means to us and sensuality. So you can explore and find the answers. Instead of bearing expectations. This is for me a constant challenge on how should I look to be sensual, but, but wait a minute, shouldn't be the other way around. Like you're having an experience of sensing pleasure in your body, and that is being seen and perceived. Sensuality is more like a rippling consequence of your experience.


Overcome Fear Of Public Speaking The Alexander´s Way

Use judgment to your advantage, we have a discerning nervous system.

Alexander´s work was not an anatomical, he didn't talk about anatomy, specific bones or muscles or anything. Embodiment as a word at that time did not exist. This is 100 years ago.

F. Matthias Alexander was born in 1869. So he started doing his work pretty young at the turn of the century, in the late 1800s. And while he was known for was improving people's breathing, and the resonance of their voice in their body so that was his initial marketing hook.

In those days, there were no microphones. The resonance of the body itself was your resonator because you did not have equipment. 

So he started working was his own reactivity. His fear of public speaking, how it affected him and how he got tight and he threw his head back in.

Then he started to see that the answer was in embracing the reactivity and beginning to calm it down. So it was the idea of speaking, the judgments about what it was that was that was causing all the problem. 

There's this connection in this in the organization of the body and the sensations. And to our subject, sensuality.

So in his ability to feel his body, what he realized was that he thought his body was free. But his actual sense of his body had gotten completely hijacked. He was a man of a in a colonial culture. M en were taught that to be male was militaristic and stiff. So he was lifting his chest and pumping it forward and tightening his back. And actually, people are still doing this today.

We live in a different time. But do exactly the same that is like the fantasy of the projection of of a happening that affects the way you organize yourself and affects your performance.


When Self-Judgement Creeps In Taking A Selfie

Candia: I liked how I look today in the mirror and wanted to take a selfie.

But as soon as I became aware that I was going to tell take a selfie, self-judgement crept in.

I lost the enjoyment and sense of pleasure in what ultimately was to be seen in the picture.

The selfie capture a pose, an appearance, a pretense, not a true expression of myself. I didn't know how to pinpoint what was going on in me even though I was suffering from self judgment.


Clare: Well, actually, you were suffering from your awareness of what happens to you.

Yeah, when that kind of thinking kicks in. And so what this does is the most amazing thing, which is it revealed the lack of separation between what we call mind and what we call body as your brilliant guests said, we are this living being in process.

There is no mind talks to the body, but somehow we have this really complex system. I think that that does express something about our reality.


Why Ideokinesis Helps You Feel Awesome

In Alexander's work, we're now in like generation eight or nine of teachers. Many people have taken this brilliant work and woven it in influenced by other things. In the dance world a lot of what was woven in was this deep knowledge about muscles and bones.

Then Ideokinesis was created to help injured dancers, kind of rehab. Working their brains connection to their body so that they could repattern and not re injure themselves.

So instead of just fixing the injury, they wanted to go deeper into the system. And where they were going with the imagery was into what we call the brain or the imagination.

Working right from the source and getting curious about different ways of being. Instead, different ways of doing because the doing is the motor activity. And the being is the state for which the motor activity arises.

It happens and then it settles back down into the beat. And it's so there's a cycle of activity. And that's what the Alexander Technique really is. It's it's like a process loop from the imagination. Through the energy that sends through the nervous system into the tissues. And after that message is sent. You get sensation that feeds back into the that tells you "Oh, that was a great thing." To think that feels awesome. Or that really sucked. So you can learn to use that loop to your advantage.

So you take the judgmental mind, but you put it at the beginning and at the end, and you use that to generate another more constructive thought.


10 Awareness Preludes To Feel Good About Yourself

I will give you one of the first processes that I use. I call these awareness preludes.

So at present, it's like we assume that everybody knows even how to tap into their own pleasure or pay attention to themselves. But for many people, when you say become aware of your body, it is not a pleasant experience. There's not even a person bad experiences and trauma, it can even just tension.

1 Check in

Check into your body right now. The nervous nervous system will give you information about where the problems are.

2 Notice Tension

So there's this general feel of ease and pleasure, but the tension sticks out. Yeah, it's like the red lights, also for survival. And I think we are like socially allowed to talk about our body really experienced in a context of pain, like, oh, I have a stomachache or I am so tired from the workout. Or I suck at these when I do that. And we are welcomed to talk about how good you're feeling about something about how grateful you are for your pumping heart. And literally pumping blood to every far away cell of your body non stop. Since you were born. And that's amazing, right?

3 Acknowledge Pleasure With The Sensualometer

What if we were just to sit here together and just go back and forth on what´s great. This is one form of what I call your easeometer. So here for this podcast we change it to sensualometer. Where does it feels pleasurable? There's a little bit of a sensual feeling around my heart. Yes, there's tension elsewhere, but around my heart. I can feel that pleasure. Yeah. And so now you. For example, my belly feels good, around the heart there's a pleasurable sense of tenderness. It's actually softening my shoulders as I speak.

It's a loop, sensuality is transitory. And it changes.

So that was just a little use of our our brain, which is part of our nervous system to say I'm curious, my stupid brain is curious about pleasure right now. What if it didn't have to be like something else? What if I´m asking my own body? What's pleasurable right now?

4 Use A Little Bit Of Rigor 

So there's a little bit of rigor, our nervous system needs something to chew on. And if it doesn't have something to chew on it will make trouble. It will say she's in a bacteria free environment, but we need to fight something so we'll make her allergic to milk or you know, find an allergy.

5 Make Pleasure A Conscious Decision

So it's a conscious decision. And this is very helpful, especially when you have pain or an old injury or something that's very present. You don't have to get rid of it. You don't have to heal it. You just say, well, is there some pleasure somewhere else that maybe could come in?

And that is working in being in the present, like, not waiting for the injury to go away.

Or wanting your bad coworker to get fired. Wanting to lose weight or to gain weight or to whatever, then how could you enjoy pleasure? No, no, it's right now, it's right now! And we can give it the same priority.

Or we actually prioritize pleasure over the obsession of pain, or problems or conflicts.

Then think of them for doing something about it.

Pleasure actually supports the organization of what's working properly. That will help you overcome challenges.

6 Notice Your Posture

So characterize some of the things that are happening in your tissues. For me right now in my feet, for instance, there´s a little bit of a spreading.

So when we talk about posture, we see it as an adaptable, fluid relationship to the earth. When we are hunching, we pull up off the earth. And when we are in pleasure, we soften a little bit and we have more, a softer contact with the support.

7 The Core Of Pleasure Is In Connection To The Earth

We are creatures of the earth in the most basic way. And that is the core of our pleasure. 

Everything in every cell in our body, every muscle, every bone has evolved over millions of years in this beautiful, loving relationship with gravity, and everything is is good.

8 Practice A Little Everyday

Practice just a little bit. You can do five minutes a day.

9 Share In Community To Create A Different Culture

Or imagine what would happen if we sat in with four friends for 10 minutes, and just share it around the circle. Yes, it's feeling pleasurable in my body, right? Yeah. Because then it catches what feels pleasurable. It's like, oh, I can relate to that.

And it's, it's also a very important way of nurturing connections, sustaining relations, that are not only through the dialogue of complaint, but that that kept like, the dynamics of pleasure and enjoying the body and the joy of sharing.

That is brilliant, because there is a culture of complaint. And there is a lot to complain about. There is a lot to be afraid of. So bit by bit. We can change these habits and create a different culture. 

10 Vulnerable Sharing

It's very vulnerable to share your pleasurable self.

We can really do this across them lines that that divide us class lines, gender lines. That it permeates every institution we have.

So how are we going to build the energy to undo these books? Using the vulnerability to come to more good ones!

Feeling what the other person feels is empathy.

I also feel that same warmth and the softness around the chest and all that your experience informs my experience.

This is a restorative and creative ability. Like we have just paid attention on what works well in the body through the easeometer/sensualometer and my alignment it's much better and the depth of our dialogue. We went to a deeper and more refined level, powerful.

So I think it's very important to be more discerning on on your experience and use the tools we have the geometry, five minutes they are no but not too much, only five minutes.

When you get up in the morning, if you can just take five minutes just sitting in your kitchen, turn off the radio, get rid of your phone, you know, sit there while your tea is steeping and just ask yourself "I wonder where there's a little bit of pleasure in my body right now?." 


Why Find Sensual Pleasure In Your Body 

Pleasure is great. It could come from anywhere. It's fascinating how this sets you up.

Sensuality is literally the felt experience of yourself and the physicality of it. Which is non verbal and always at the present moment.

Pleasure is easily accessible at all times, unless you're really under stressed. This is what you want to learn, to rest your problem solving mind.


How To Train Yourself For The End Gaining

So Alexander called end gaining to all of the problem solving in future.

He said, the most important thing is the next thing you're going to do not the fifth thing you're going to do. 


Use End Gaining To Take A Sensual Selfie

The next important thing is to ask yourself, where is the ease in my body now?

For example taking a selfie.

I reach for the phone. I haven't even touched it. Oh, now I'm touching it, that feels nice. Yeah.
My body reorganizes to carry it´s weight, and feel the way that is transferring into your hands. Yeah, baby!

Then feel pleasure in your body while you're seeing your own image in the phone. Yeah, that's trippy!

We do our end gaining once we have overcome the self judgment with the easeometer and this practice, because this is an effective way of being in the moment and creating effective action to actually get what you want, like look sensual in the selfie.

The end gaining is in focusing on not the end result first, but acting a process the process of the next thing. So it's very important that it's exactly the next thing. Just in the immediate future that you're going to do.

So in the example, the first is how I reach to the phone. It's not even like clicking the button. It´s like, okay, I´m in this position reaching, touching. Then the body responds different.

Is really creating that curiosity, space and I that's the key also for creativity. Because, yes, this is radical. 


No More Judgement For Being Smart And Sensual Women

Clare: I´m a woman, raised by a really smart woman who was shamed for being smart. I´ve had a lot of entertaining around being smart. But what my mother went through, I just don't even know the humiliations that previous generation of women fought just to be.

Candia: And that´s for being smart. Let's not say for being sensual as a woman like, like today like we are a little bit more respected for for being like the boss and wearing the pants or being self sufficient and we're not so ashamed. But then when we want to express sensually like this is me like, fully.

Clare: Then they call us a dumb broad.

Candia: Yes, to say the least. And so it is hard to access.

Clare: It's like it's cute, for me to say your "stupid brain". This is weird to say but I don't actually, I feel myself as a sexy person, but I don't think of myself as a sexy person.

Candia: You´re gorgeously sexy!

Clare: Thank you. For years I think I have a little bit of a personality that I project that is more Pied Piper and a little bit less sensual. You know, the "stupid brain" was really hard for me to become friends with because I learned to be so fierce about my intelligence. And to defend it because we are lucky to have come from mothers that are smart and bite for that aspect of her of their identity. We're lucky to have that in this world. And then like embracing the "stupid brain" when you're so smart and that has protected you, how can you find this safety for being in this "stupid brain" and actually get creative?


About Clare´s Class

That's what I do in my dance class. It's so geeky and nerdy. And I have all these embodiment practices that I pulled from, but I never know what I'm going to do, because I just follow my "stupid brain" tissue. So I never know what I'm going to do. And it's really fun.

I have dancers, ex-dancers. I have other people who know nothing about dance. And nothing about anatomy that just wants to feel good and move. So we move, we play music, but you always learn something.

The class every Tuesday at nine o'clock in the morning and very affordable. Eastern Time 9am

If you have to go into the office at 8am It's wonderful to have some enjoyment pleasure at your desk. You could even do it in your office before the other if you're still going to an office with the door closed and locked without anybody knowing what you're doing.

So anybody who wants to learn from me there's a lot of ways but that's one way. Click on the link and go learn more from Clare Maxwell at her Weekly Mobile Body Alignment Dance Class:

About Clare Maxwell

Clare Maxwell is a nationally certified Somatic Educator and teacher of the Alexander Technique. She was a professional dancer and choreographer for over 30 years. The Alexander Technique saved her from overwork, dissociation and despair during the course of her dance career. The Technique restored her ability to calmly center in her own body and perceptions even during times of high-stress and challenge.
She is now an internationally recognized embodiment and movement teacher and the owner of Embodied Learning Systems, which provides private and group learning as well as supportive, non-hierarchical learning community for other embodiment teachers who want to develop a unique body of practice and build successful businesses.
Clare has created two healing movement practices, Cranial Nerve Sequencing and Mobile Body Alignment. Trauma experts tell us that we should listen to our bodies, but because they are focused on healing and not creativity, they sometimes don’t explore the full palette of colors, textures, and abilities that is available to us. Science is important, and healing is important, but so is creativity. Clare's practices break down the skills you need to “listen to your body” nerve by nerve, organ by organ, step by step, while still making room for the capricious, unique spirit that lives within each of us.
We all have an intuitive relationship to our unique bodies that can be a keystone resource for highly sensitive and gifted people who need even more embodied grounding than most. Clare honors that intuitive relationship as the keystone of all embodiment practice, understanding that it is more important than any method or technique.
Learn how to listen to your own body on Clare´s YouTube channel:

What´s Next?

Go To The Sensual Sessions #11: Embodied Enlightenment

 Learn More About: Sensual Confidence

Get On The VIP List: The Sensual Journey