I have been working quite a bit on the last two cultural boxes i want to continue to examine in 2012. Both are related to how we view relationships. Culture tells us that we are only a mature adult if we’re in a coupled relationship, preferably one that is sanctioned by culture as marriage. I want to continue to empower myself and others to define our relationships in ways that nurture us, that meet our needs in ways that are life-affirming. Connected to that is an exploration into the sex-negative messages in our culture that tightly weave together intimacy, sensuality, and sexuality – often equating all three. I am in the process of untangling that, which sometimes is a bit confusing because i have learned, for example, that cuddling with a man i am not in a coupled relationship with isn’t okay (because it will lead to sex – that cuddling can just be cuddling seems to be impossible).
While i am pushing my own boundaries, i will be developing my right livelihood, which will teach us – yes, me included – how we can rewire our brains to affirm our choices that go against the dominant culture’s grain. Based on my research – i love that i can write this now – i can say that we cannot live in new ways simply by making that choice. Dominant culture is way too ingrained in us, in fact, it’s wired into our brains! So, instead of chastising ourselves for not “being the change,” we can learn to untangle ourselves from the cultural messages and in the process literally rewire our brains. I’ll share more about this as i develop my ideas!