The Erotic Heart
The Erotic Heart
The Erotic Heart is a weekend workshop offering a healing and nourishing space for hearts, bodies, and sexuality to be integrated and celebrated.
The heart/sexuality split.
When open-hearted vitality flows freely through the body, we feel alive, sensual, passionate, and able to give and receive authentic love. If this natural flow has been severely met with disapproval, rejection, or detrimental responses, the heart desensitises, splitting off from the hurt body. This numbing from pain stops us from feeling self-love, pleasure and opening fully to another.
What the weekend involves
To heal the split, we need to listen sensitively to the body's story, this involves listening with the heart. Over the weekend this story will emerge through the work we do using movement, bodywork, pair work, group sharing, and creativity. Some of the areas covered will be intimacy, boundaries, touch, shame, and pleasure. The weekend will involve some exploration around sexuality within a contained, safe space where boundaries will be completely respected and valued at all times. There will be no direct work with the genitals and no nudity.
Over the weekend, within a supportive environment, there will be encouragement to be fully in the body. Bodies are a gateway to pleasure, authenticity, presence, and healing. Western cultures has played a major part in creating shame around bodies. Maybe this has been through objectification of form, size, shape, etc., advertising, Hollywood, social media, or a passing down through families or peer pressure. Whichever it is, it’s a disservice to those who want to be more fully alive and present. We only need to watch a child playing to be reminded of how much pleasure being more fully in the body can bring.
Touch: a danger or pleasure zone?
The weekend will involve some touch exercises, The focus of the touch will be from the heart and not sexuality. UK mores are steeped in a history of aversion to touch. Touch is often feared, yet safe and consensual touch is yearned for.
There can be many sources to discomfort around touch, some that stem back to childhood, such as inherited anxiety around touch through osmosis from anxious parents; being told to hug against our will; sexual; physical or psychological abuse; cultural beliefs surrounding the body and sexuality; libidinally charged hormonal adolescence altering our whole sense around touch without adequate psychoeducation; unwelcome crossing of boundaries and much more. Yet touch is our very first way of relating, through hugs, feeding, cradling, and hand holding. We are wired in such a way that healthy, consensual, touch from the heart remains a source of nourishment throughout life. In our cyberspace culture, we may not even know we’re touch-deprived until we receive heartfelt touch, and then softening, we remember how important it is in bringing quality to life.
The exercises involving touch will be structured, and involve finding ways to ask for and say no to what we want and don’t want, whilst making sure everyone has a clear sense of boundaries. The majority of exercises over the weekend will not involve touch.
Who’s it for?
This workshop is suitable for singles and couples wishing to explore the split between heart, body, and sexuality. It can also be attended as CPD for personal development workers of all modalities.
To be accepted onto this workshop it is important that you have had some experience of personal growth work. None of the exercises are obligatory but a willingness to engage with your own process is essential. If you have any questions, feel free to email or phone John.
Early bird (before Jan 2024): £140 (Low income £120)
Standard (from January 2024): £160 (Low income £140)
To book a space a £50 deposit is required with the outstanding to paid two weeks prior to the event
John will be assisted by Lisa Ford: Lisa is a mum, a certified somatic body orientated coach, Hawaiian massage therapist, and reflexologist with a background in social work and facilitation. She has experiential training in Tantra, Mindfulness, Focussing and Organic Intelligence. She loves experiencing new cultures, food, landscapes, sun, nature, the ocean and dark chocolate.
Facilitated by John Leigh Dent with Lisa Ford assisting
Venue: The Gasworks Studio. St Werburghs, Bristol.
Sat 10th – Sun 11th February
10am - 5pm each day
Healing the split between heart, body, and sexuality