Let’s Play A Love Game?

Around every corner recently I keep bumping into the research of psychologist Arthur Aron.

Aron’s research was an exploration of whether intimacy between two strangers could be accelerated through series of personal questions. The study used the premise that mutual vulnerability fosters closeness.  Okay so that may be but, while closeness may be a necessity of love, closeness is not always romantic, right? I have felt close to people for fleeting moments but I didn’t necessarily want to pounce on them or hear wedding bells.

Questions kept nagging at me.

How the fuck can 36 questions lead to love?

Was alcohol consumption a variable?

Who on earth wants to feel even more vulnerable on a first date by divulging such details?

Where can I find a willing victim to play this game with?

The other week I was sat on the loo (power source of many a genius idea) and it hit me, I was ready to date again. Boom. So, I signed up and hopped to it. Then the reality of the situation hit me in a parade of sexual propositions. Sweet Jesus, beam me up. So far:

Percentage of smutty morons: 80%

(Obviously I was honored that onenightstand69me wanted to meet me)

Number of messages I actually replied to: 4

Percentage of messages from time wasters: 75%

My friends weren’t kidding when they said it was a numbers game. I am no mathematician but…

That said I am talking to someone I would like to meet. He is seemingly literate, employed, cultured, intelligent and really fucking funny. He has kind eyes and an awesome smile. The bonus is that I googled and he is a real person. So far so good right, but will I ever hear from him again?

I went back on Tinder too, it makes me laugh. It’s great for an ego boost when you get matched with lots of hot guys, who probably are neither (a) real or (b) literate. Most of all it’s like a fun five minute game of snap you can play on your own to fill time.

All in all it has been a productive period of my life so far.

I have no idea what happens next, I trust what will be will be. However, I do know with absolute certainty I do not want to play any such games. I may choose to have one basket but I accept that others have a whole cupboard of baskets. Aron’s game sounds appealing but surely falling in love gradually over time is more of an adventure? Let’s face it, if it works you have (in romantic theory) a lifetime to stare into each others eyes and question each other.

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Okay, I know you’re curious.

Set I

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
  2. Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
  4. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you?
  5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
  6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
  7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
  8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common.
  9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
  12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?

Set II

  1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know?
  2. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  4. What do you value most in a friendship?
  5. What is your most treasured memory?
  6. What is your most terrible memory?
  7. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  8. What does friendship mean to you?
  9. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
  10. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items.
  11. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
  12. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?

Set III

  1. Make three true “we” statements each. For instance, “We are both in this room feeling … “
  2. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share … “
  3. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
  4. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
  5. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
  6. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
  7. Tell your partner something that you like about them already.
  8. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
  9. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven’t you told them yet?
  10. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
  11. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
  12. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

 

 

 

Let’s talk…Be Here Nowish with Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo

Be Here Nowish is a new comedy by Natalia Leite and Alexandra Roxo about two sexually progressive New York gals who ditch their down-and-out lives for LA in search of a spiritual awakening.  

The show is a fresh portrayal of a generations exploration of sexuality and spirituality with its ups, downs and sheer absurdities. The show oozes panache and charisma, and it’s fucking funny, to boot. 

Meet Alexandra Roxo and Natalia Leite.

BHN1

How have your own personal journeys influenced your work?  

They have.  They are very intertwined!  In Be Here Nowish our characters go to a plant medicine ceremony together and that’s something we did together before we even began writing BHN.  

So, Be Here Nowish; what’s it all about and how did you get it off the ground?  

It’s a web show, 10 episodes all online!  Watch them here.  We created it together with the help of our friends and a Kickstarter campaign.

The Synopsis: SAM (Alexandra Roxo) and NINA (Natalia Leite) make their livings in New York City as a dating consultant and drug delivery gal, respectively, barely scraping by. Though Sam consults with guys about their dating skills, her own aren’t so hot. Nina delivers prescription pills to eccentric clients, refusing to commit to anything in life, including a girlfriend. The two become friends after an awkward meet-up and become even closer when both their lives independently start to fall apart. When Nina tells Sam about her plans to meet a highly recommended guru-shaman in Los Angeles, Sam desperately piggybacks on it in the hopes of also inspiring transformation for herself. But in Los Angeles the two are faced with a tug-of-war between their old selves and the new spiritual circle they partake of. They undergo spiritual bootcamp, have their first plant medicine ceremony, and are forever changed and faced with a different future than they’d ever dreamed of. 

BHN2What are the key messages you wanted to get out there?  

It’s about exploration, curiosity and being on “the search” in a crazy/chaotic world.  We wanted people to relate to what it’s like to be between two worlds: wanting to stay home ad meditate but also wanting to have fun, go out.  The constant search for balance.

What does 2015 mean for sexuality and spirituality?  

Growth, change, expansion!  So many beautiful and interesting changes happening and we always want out work to reflect those.

And for you?  

For us, it’s the same.  We’ve been spiritual seekers since our teen years.   Same with sexuality.   

What does Holistic living mean to you?  BHN3

It’s about seeing the whole picture!  We def aren’t experts on holistic living but this chick Organic Olivia is!  Check out her blog we love it!  

What is your message to cynics, sceptics, and the intrigued?  

It doesn’t hurt to try, to learn, to explore.  Even if you just get one little nugget of truth, that’s something. 

Finally, what are your top three tips for self-love? 

  1. Meditate so you can shut off that judgey voice in your head.   
  2. Let negative thoughts pass through you but don’t hold onto them.  Judging one’s self and beating yourself up is so 1990’s. 
  3. Put yourself first.  Over your family.  Your significant other.  Your work.  Make sure you’re taking care of you. 

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Further Links

 

Digital Detox, could I?

January Facebook status would have read:

Fixed a toilet, am now DIY Goddess

Read a book

Living Home Alone. Hope I don’t get eaten by Alsatians, become a Celine Dion fan or injure myself with epic power grabs.

Squatted with 40kg. I rock!

Read a magazine that didn’t include glossy pictures/gossip/fat celebs/thin celebs/and other people who mean nothing to me

Bought weightlifting shoes. I love them. #ShoePorn

I love Taylor Swift.

Lost half a stone in three weeks, feel amazing

Read another book

Wine and dairy free for a whole month. Who am I? #BringBackTheCheese

But it didn’t, and I don’t think the world even noticed. The best part was, neither did I.

What can only be described as my best month in a long, long time was Facebook free. I bloody loved it. I didn’t miss a thing. In that month only one person, who I don’t speak to on a regular basis, messaged me to check I was okay, as they hadn’t seem much of me on Facebook. Telling, right?

I saw and spoke to the people that really matter day to day. I focused on myself. Brené Brown taught me about the power of vulnerability, I grew. I became more present. I listened, like REALLY listened. Kristen Neff taught me about self compassion, I grew some more. My attention improved. I gained so much time from not pissing around online.  I focused on myself even more.

I felt more connected to others than I had in ages. Ironic, right, considering the tagline reads “Stay Connected.” Facebook lies and has built its billions on that lie. Pretty darn impressive.

Rather than look into the window of the lives of others I lived my own life, appreciating those people who are in my ‘real’ life. From the best friends & family I love, to my awesome colleagues who I laugh the days away with each week. It really hit me how fucking lucky I am. Why on earth would I want to spend hours a week in the fake world online when everything I really need is right in front of me?

I went outside more. Cardio, weights and yoga become my best buddies. I felt better and better day by day. My diet improved. I surrounded myself in flowers, incense sticks and wise words. I felt content.

I love taking photos but what is on Instagram or Facebook pales into insignificance against what is in my memory. That’s where the real treasure lies. I don’t need to share my life with the world, its moments are priceless and perfect just the way they are. No validation needed. I know how awesome my life is without being told, and for that I am beyond grateful.

I have met so many incredible people online but nothing beats spending time with them in person or reading a real book absorbing life-changing words. I love Google, it knows everything. But, I survived without it. (although not Google Maps, risk assessment said that had to stay in my life).

Emails, well, I could cry thinking about the number of hours I have wasted checking them everyday for years. Once a week could have turned into once a month and I don’t think the world would have ended. Praise be to Unroll Me.

Digital detox, I could. Best decision I have made in like, erm, forever. Do it! Stay real. Be present. Enjoy it!

Digital Detox, could you?

 

 

 

 

 

What would you tell your younger self?

I dreamt that I had a chance to relive my younger youth with all the knowledge I had acquired the first time around.

I have taught myself over the years to release the past and to cut the cord on all that held me back. I considered that to be complete, however I had never asked myself this question before; what would I tell my younger self? It turns out, rather a lot.

Your body ~ Okay, so you get your periods, hips ‘n’ tits by the time you are 12, this sucks, a lot. You are not a freak, you’re just ahead of the game. You’re not fat, ugly or disgusting and those thoughts have no place anywhere, now or at any point in the future. You need your body, love it, it’s incredible. Nurture it. Sleep. Exercise. Definitely dance, a lot.

Eating – Food is your friend, use it to nurture your body. Stop starving yourself, binging and purging. You are only hurting yourself.

Education ~ Learn, it’s a gift. All the things you think are important at school are not. Show up, do the work and you will enjoy it so much more than all the other distractions. Continue with your A-levels and go to University. Keep learning, it lights you up.

Boys (to men) ~ Boys will come and go, don’t get so hung up on it all. Rejection feels hideous but just because someone doesn’t like you it doesn’t mean you are ugly/fat/disgusting/a failure/not worthy etc. etc. Stay away from anyone who makes you feel less than awesome. Never settle for anything less than extraordinary.

Sex ~ It isn’t love. You’ll have plenty of it and you will love it. Don’t use it, abuse it or mistake it for something it is not.

Smoking ~ Don’t, just don’t. It will be the one regret you carry with you. You know it’s dangerous, listen to what you know.

Alcohol ~ For every fun time there will be ten times the amount of shit moments. Know when to stop and when it does not serve you.

Money ~ Respect it. Nothing you buy will fix anything so stop searching for quick fixes. Save, save, save!

Enthusiasm ~ Never lose this. It drives you through so much and draws others to you. It’s a gift to see the world with so much excitement.

People ~ Spend time with those who make you feel good, anyone else can do one.

Learn from every situation, good or bad.

Everything else in between ~ The spaces between are woven together with something that you can’t see. The threads that tie the sadness, anger and frustrations together, which make you feel fragmented and disconnected, are beyond your control. You are ill but you are not crazy. It is not who you are and it is not your fault. Accept the help on offer, including medication. Don’t give up, you are so much stronger than you realise yet.

As this New Year begins and intentions are set ask yourself, what would you tell your young self?  You may be surprised by the things that are still holding you back.

Let’s talk… Prowl Magazine, and Being Human & Mind Independent with Lisa Luxx

As soon as I heard her spoken word it was love. Anyone who tells it how it is and uses the word cunt correctly and so freely gets my vote straight off.

Plus, check out this list of totally sparkly awesomeness:

Preditor-in-Chief of PROWL. Published poet and artist. Writer for Sunday Times, Telegraph, Elle, Red, Tank, The Numinous and more. Founded Prowl magazine and Prowl House in a move to put positive and honest media into the world that celebrates what it is to be liberated and compassionate human beings. Doing so by forming an annex for the independent, radical movements of now.

Redefining Today with sexy, sassy splendour. Meet Lisa Luxx.

Lisa Luxx by Marco Zaffino

Tell us about Prowl Magazine

Prowl is the independent print publication for the post-net counter cultures. Provocative, radical and spiritual. We celebrate what it is to be human beings in a world full of machines. The artists and brands we feature are all independent. Most of the people profiled are folks I’ve encountered while knocking about as a psychedelic punk poet on both the underground and highly up-town creative scenes (hence why it’s a place that unites everyone from poetry brothel performers to Yoko Ono via Suki Waterhouse and the mad squatter of London). With Prowl I hope to encapsulate the energy amongst the independent renaissance at this poignant moment in history. I’m very inspired by Oz magazine too.

I’d worked for big national newspapers and magazines in the past and felt there was a real gap in the market for honesty. So I began Prowl as an opportunity to print all the voices and ideas that are otherwise censored or shut up. We do it all very visually, with a textured cover, pull out art work and pages of sheet music too so that the publication has a feel, sound and dynamic sight. I want it to engage with peoples senses as much as possible.

How has your own personal journey influenced your work?

Prowl started as a zine called Howl which I put together when I was supposed to be handing essays in at uni. It collated work from all the radical creatives within my circle. I went on to land top class jobs at the most recognisable publications in the UK and that’s where I learnt the skills to put together a magazine. I dropped out at the start of 2013 and went on a solo and independent digital detox 3 month road trip across the west coast of America. It was a chance to re-introduce myself to the present moment after being hooked to my mobile phone since I was 10 years old. The people I met through yakkety yakking with strangers on the streets and joining underground poetry gathering outside subway stations formed the pilot issue. That trip hugely inspired the lurch forward with Prowl and we had it created and distributed across England before the year was out.

How does your work help others?

I regularly get e-mails from different places all over the world, people saying they picked up Prowl in a shop and want to be part of the movement, or customers thanking me for putting these products out into the world which make them feel hope and safety in the fact that there is some force fighting the man in a peaceful and enlightened way that isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty.

Lisa LuxxMy poetry had elicited responses from women who have been so moved and empowered by my pro-sex feminism spoken word that they’ve been crying or cheering from utter love for their cunt! Others find my poetry inspires them to revolt, digital detox or love/feel/live/believe louder and more brazenly than they’ve done so before. It’s a pretty fucking awesome feeling to get these responses. I really believe if I can plant one seed of light in one human every day then I’ll live a fulfilled life with purpose.

What it is to be human; expressive, mind independent and “badly behaved today?

To create and express oneself in a non-virtual reality, to make art just for the sake of exploring the imagination you are lucky enough to have access to. To think for yourself and fight for what you believe in because if we all declare our independence the world will be such a rich and dynamic place to live. Don’t be fed decisions masked as choices – which university do you want to go to? You don’t have to go to any! Go learn the skills you need from a sorcerer in South America or sweet talk your way into your dream office and charm them into teaching you everything you need to learn. How much rent are you willing to pay? Fuck it, don’t pay rent, live in a squat or dog-sit regularly for a place to stay! Where shall we go drinking this weekend? Don’t go drinking, go foresting with your buddies or build a den or brew your own poison … you don’t need to spend money or drink booze to have fun and you don’t need to live conventionally to do it “successfully”. As for the badly behaved, it’s simple; don’t follow the rules that don’t work. People are perfectly capable of policing themselves but we have this stupid governmental system which gives middle-age, wealthy white men the opportunity to build the tracks on which we ride our train of life. Life is sacred, trust your human instincts to navigate your way through it rather than under the instruction of figure-heads who’ll never even know you existed.

Why do you believe the counter culture isn’t over?

There has never been more to counter, and in the age of aquarius after the outpouring of indigo light there’s no way the millions of people who are waking up to the universal truths are going to sit quietly.

2015 will be the year of…?

The wooden sheep! I think. A grounding year, earthy and soft. This is the year I’ll be putting out my directorial debut – I’m in production with my first poetry short film (about indigo’s and love called Wake Up/Indigo Love) – but also spending much time in deserts and caves working on a new poetry project. This will, hopefully, be a good year for incubating. Ready to launch wild in 2016 – the year of the fire monkey (!!!!)headshot by Olivia Sykes

What does Holistic living mean to you?

Treating your body and mind as the source of light which projects the feelings, moments and physical responses that make up your existence. Living holistically is about keeping that channel of light clear so that the light of your existence has clarity and thus reaches its full potential.

What is your message to cynics, sceptics, and the intrigued?

Why be a lit match when you could be a Catherine wheel?

Finally, what are your top five tips for self-love?

  • Digital detox. Turn your phone off at least an hour before bed and don’t turn it on again until you’ve showered, eaten and connected with yourself first in the morning.
  • Mindfulness. It’s everywhere right now and not for no reason. Let go of the authority in your voice that judges your thoughts, give space to conscious day dream, learn to respect the flow of ideas in your mind, regularly scan your body to get a solid picture of how exactly you’re feeling right now.
  • Play. Play a game alone or with friends. Using your imagination, thinking on your feet, being silly and experimenting with your free time are all excellent ways to liberate yourself.
  • Masturbate regularly. Orgasms are so important. Take yourself on the perfect date, spend lots of time in front of the mirror checking out all the things that make you damn sexy, light candles, play your favourite music and get tantric with yourself.
  • Dance. Too sleepy to meditate without snoozing? Time to start grooving. Become who you want to be through movement and explore the way you fill space.

Further Links