Episode 37: PASSIONATE LIVING & ETERNAL LOVING with Francesca Gentille and guest host Geralyn Gendreau
PASSIONATE LIVING & ETERNAL LOVING with Francesca Gentille. Clinical Sexologist, Transformational Living Coach, Sacred Loving Counselor, & Cross Cultural Minister, and guest host Geralyn Gendreau MRT, Yoga Lifestyle Trainer, award winning co-author and editor of "The Marriage of Sex & Spirit."
In this episode, Geralyn invites Francesca to expose the challenging times in love & sex, as well as when to stay & when to go in relationship. Learn the Attraction Magic of creating and expressing sacred boundaries. Discover the transformational opening in Tantric Darkness. Uncover the key questions to ask to get what you want from life & love. Francesca intimately shares, in her naked & revealed way, what works in her own bedroom and shatteringly soulful life.
Woman: This program is intended for mature audiences only.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome to “Sex, Tantra, and Kama Sutra: Bringing You the Soul of Sex”. I'm your host, Francesca Gentille. But today, we're twisting it up a little bit and the person that would normally be the guest is going to be asking me some questions.
Francesca Gentille: Limits and boundaries are sacred. If I'm trying to be a good person or a nice person and I give up my limits and boundaries in order to get your love with an underground agreement that says, “I'm going to overgive to you and then you're going to overgive to me right back.” That is going to blow up and destroy every relationship.
Geralyn Gendreau: It seems that this is often why people stay that their subconscious/unconscious being knows that this is the one they’ve picked to get this piece with and at the dance is going to continue until the pieces are in place.
Francesca Gentille: To love is the other side death because if I love you I'd risk losing you and if I'm truly going to open to loving you, I must face that. Everyday, I love you, If a day were the loss of you would rip me apart and tear me to shred. If I run from that, I'll never fully open to my love for you.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome to “Sex, Tantra, and Kama Sutra: Bringing You the Soul of Sex”. I'm your host normally, Francesca Gentille. But today, we're twisting it up a little bit and the person that would normally be the guest is going to be asking me some questions. The person humming in the background is Geralyn Gendreau. She's a marriage and family therapist, a yoga lifestyle trainer, and an award-winning co-author and the Editor of “The Marriage of Sex and Spirit”.
Geralyn Gendreau: It's great to be here, Francesca, to speak to your listeners and have them hear your insights and secrets.
Francesca Gentille: What's circulating in that beautiful brain of yours? What are you wanting me to share of some the things that you know about my life and my skills?
Geralyn Gendreau: Well, I have watched you over the years with you're beloved John and had seen your relationship flower. There's so many remarkable transitions and had the pleasure of sharing your 50th birthday with you and he last year. I was really, really inspired and really moved to tears that night that the death and richness of what the two of you share.
So I'm most curious and have you to talk about--we discussed how to be a lover like no other that one may never forget, the glue that holds you two together is what I think so many people are looking for in a relationship. So I want to hear about that and, particularly, knowing the transition that you're going through right now and have you speak through that on a personal level to your listeners.
Francesca Gentille: Thank you, sweetheart. The transition we're talking about is that my Mama Gentille recently died and it's opening up a whole new level of heart and spirit and connection as I let it, as I stay with the process. This does relate to becoming the lover that we always remember that special one, how to redo that and how do we bring that force in one another.
I just want to give a little history for people that my relationship used to be a mess. I mean, I hate to admit it but it's true. They had a certain flavor over time I was able to see. I'm a very passionate person. I would fall in love, I would very much start out adoring someone and being very passionately attracted to them. And then, in a way that I couldn't understand, after three, six months, nine months, a year, it would just start to feel like the magic was gone and I couldn't feel the same spark for them.
We started to argue a lot and in the old days--in my former life in this lifetime--it looks like it was their fault. Like they're not the person that I fell in love with, they somehow betrayed me or led astray. Then after a certain amount of suffering in the relationship, I would begin to justify to myself that I could start looking for someone else.
Now, I didn’t notice this consciously. So unconsciously I might start to just have a friendship with other men. Unconsciously, at times I did have affairs. And the gift of aging if you make it that long, there's an opportunity to see one’s own patterns and I started to see, “Oh, my God, I'm the common denominator in all the relationships that aren’t working.” Maybe there's something--and this is such a great question to ask ourselves--maybe there's something of which I am not currently aware--I don’t currently know what that is--that if I knew that about myself and could actually shift it or bring consciousness to it in some way or bring healing to it in some way, that if I could bring that into awareness and shift it, the outcome of my relationships would change. The outcome of my sex life would change.
Those complaints, that we all have--I'm guessing everybody is not like me they have complaints--those complaints that we have of people don’t see us or they're not passionate enough or they don’t really communicative enough or there's something that they're not enough. If I could bring into awareness some part of me, those complaints would shift and there’d be more ease and grace in the relationship. So I got to that point finally, it took me long to tip [sp]. That’s when something really new started to happen and my ability of living and loving
Geralyn Gendreau: Did that happen with John or overtime in relationships that you were in as you approached this one that has now [xx] for a number of years?
Francesca Gentille: We're growing together and it happened really, it was a preparation for him. So I'm going to touch on something like how do we know whether to stay or go and this is something that’s very confusing for us. “Should I stay, should go?” There's good parts and there's not so good parts. There's things that I love or used to love and there's things that are really painful for me. One algorithm, one mathematical formula that we could try on is when I look at this person that I'm in relationship with, is this someone that I want to bring my issues to and feel that I'm capable growing with? Those are two different things. One is, I'm willing to grow and the other is I'm capable with this person.
Geralyn Gendreau: Those questions are about yourself.
Francesca Gentille: Now, those are true about me. So I look at this person and I say, “Is this someone that I can trust or I feel like I could bring my issues--and we all we have issues, you know, growth ages--to this person? Am I capable of really growing with them? Now, let's say the answer is yes, now then I get to ask, “Does it really look like they're willing to grow with me? They're willing to bring their issues to me and grow with me?” There is no partner out there that’s not going to have issues. I know we always want to look for the one that’s already enlightened and that will save us and bring us into bliss without us having to do any work.
Geralyn Gendreau: And then [xx] all the time. It's a hard fantasy to [xx].
Francesca Gentille: I have issues--everybody is going to have issues--so is this person someone that is willing to grow with me? Now, this is where it gets confusing because sometimes someone’s willing and they say, “Oh, yes, honey, I love you, I want to work on this part of our relationship.” But they're actually not capable, so it's willing and capable. So sometimes someone is actually capable. We've seen them grow and change in other areas of their lives. They used to be a mess in finances and now they’ve got their financial act together. They used to maybe not sure what career they're going to have and now they’ve got clarity in their life’s purpose.
So if they're capable of growing but maybe they're not willing to grow in relationship or sexuality with us, so we look over to the other person and we say, “Is this person willing? Are they capable of growing in and healing with me?” If I look over either to myself, I'm neither willing and/or not capable of growing with them, and I look over to them and I say, “They're either not willing and/or not capable of growing with me, I would say, it's maybe time to start looking at a conscious transition out of this relationship and to say, “Thank you, thank you for coming to me. Thank you for contributing what you've contributed. And one of the things I'm going to practice now with you is setting limits and boundaries in a loving way and transitioning out of this relationship.”
So this was something that I've learned in other relationships prior to John is I learned my own issues and what I would be bringing from the shadow, from the dark side to a relationship. I learned my own strengths and my own weaknesses and what I was going to need to be working on overtime. I learned that limits and boundaries are sacred. That if I'm trying to be a good person or a nice person and I give up my limits and boundaries in order to get your love.
Like “Well, what do you want, Geralyn? Or what do you want, sweetheart? Let me give that to you” with an underground agreement that says “I'm going to over-give to you and then you're going to over-give to me right back, that is going to blow up and destroy every relationship that I need to be able to say “I think I don’t want pizza tonight. If you want pizza and I want Chinese, why don’t I get Chinese and you get pizza and we both bring it back home?” Even something as little as that, is that if I start stepping away from my core center to be with you, there's no one inside me to love you. There's no one inside me for you to love.
Then boundaries are more limits to change. You know, we get full and we have a limit of eating. We get hungry and we have a limit of being hungry. We stand and we have a limit of standing. Limits change from moment to moment, boundaries are more pervasive or maybe I say they're based on values. I've a value of honesty, let's say and I find out that if you're lying to me or my beloved is lying to me, that’s a boundary issue. To do that beautifully, my boundary needs to be with compassion. Old model of boundaries, tyranical. You don’t get to treat me this way? You don’t get to lie to me. That’s not OK. That’s the boundary expressed tyrannically through the tyrant itself.
Compassionate boundary – “I understand that you might feel like you need to lie, that you might feel unsafe saying the truth. I understand that I might even be a part of that, that there might be a way that I'm not creating safety for you and out of my love for me, I'm going to need to back up to from this relationship. If lying is a strategy is what you need to keep doing to keep you safe. I mean, really I do understand that out of my love for me, I'll need to back out. My boundaries are not against you, they're for me.”
Geralyn Gendreau: There's something so invitationable [sp] about that, too, like you're inviting the person to step into more honesty rather than blaming them. I think that’s what you are pointing out about willing and capable. Is if you actually invite that willingness in times like that. I'm curious for the listeners who may not have that kind of clinical skills that you have to evaluate that. Where do they listen to determine that?
Francesca Gentille: Willing and capable?
Geralyn Gendreau: Yes. How would you “someone who’s in the mire of their relationship” dynamic and this week, he seems unwilling and last week, he was willing but today he's not willing. I mean, you're so very good at showing this distinction, I wonder what you would say to someone who needs that piece to part of that.
Francesca Gentille: Thank you for a great question and I want to talk about that more after a break and a word from our fabulous sponsors. I encourage our listeners to support our sponsors because that’s what allows us to keep providing these great shows to you. So we'll be back in just a minute.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome back to “Sex, Tantra, and Kama Sutra: Bringing You the Soul of Sex”. Our guest-host today is Geralyn Gendreau who is a yoga lifestyle trainer, marriage and family therapist. She's interviewing me and we're talking about what really makes this as the lover that someone never forgets. We're talking about it in a way like, “Wow! We're not in the bedroom yet!” And I have to say that some of the most sexy parts that building of the container that’s going to have, the bedroom be amazing over time happens outside the bedroom.Technique is great and without a sense of trust and respect and kind of a way that we can surrender to one another outside of the bedroom, the bedroom isn’t going to last in its passion and its power over time.
So we're really looking right now at how do these skills that allow us that passion and connection over time. We talked about how do we know whether to stay or to go and in the moment when we're like--especially you've mentioned someone who’s confusing. At one point, they're saying, “Oh, I am willing. I do want to work with you.” Maybe they even do that day or do it a couple of days and then they slip. Then, they're not willing and then they're saying, “Oh, lighten up, why do we always have to work on the relationship? I'm so tired of this. Why can't we just have fun?” Now, they're pulling back. They're saying that they're, in a sense, not willing to work. So how do I decide?
One of the things to look at is--once again get a little mathematical about it. If I look at it over time, are they're spending more of the time willing to work? Sometimes, they wanted to take a break and maybe that’s an opportunity for me to look at, you know, those guys sometime push too hard and I may a little play challenged where I'm not willing to just relax sometimes in a relationship and have fun. So that’s something to look at.
The other thing is if I do the algorithm and I'm saying, “Wow! They're willing to work on it once for every 10 times and I'm really suffering.” Another question to ask myself--now we're getting into the heavy stuff but this is awesome and this has transformed my life—is this somewhere where I need to be to learn some kind of lesson? By the way, we don’t check in to the head.
One of the personal training in growth organization I've studied with Landmark Education often says, “Get out of your head. It's a bad neighborhood.” In British tradition, we call it the monkey mind. It's always racing around, having a tendency to go into fear and criticism and projection. The mind is meant to be a tool, it's not meant to be the leader. This is one of the ways our culture is off balanced. We think the mind is meant to lead, it’s not.
So the ancients believe that wisdom was in the heart and the heart has a slower wiser rhythm. I even think about it, my voice changes not because I'm trying to change my voice but because the heart has a different rhythm. I check in to my heart and I say to myself, “Am I got even lower? Am I meant to be here? Is this something I'm supposed to learn through this suffering?” We learn two ways: pleasure, what we're drawn to; suffering, what hurts.
In some [xx] in relationships that the person really hasn’t been all that willing or capable to work with me and yet something deep in me said, “And I need to be here to work with them.” There's something that I'm meant to learn in this relationship. Until I learn that, if I were to leave, I would just go back into the suffering again with someone new because I would not have learned the lesson.
Geralyn Gendreau: It seems that this is often why people stay, that their subconscious/unconscious being knows that this is the one they’d picked to get this piece with and that the dance is going to continue until the pieces are in place. Do you think that?
Francesca Gentille: I do think that’s the case, that Hendricks [xx] says that talks about in the Margot [sp] therapy, they say we're always drawn to that person that almost replicates woundings that we had from childhood or our teenage years. We're drawn to them because we're wanting to get the feeling, we're wanting to work it through.
Geralyn Gendreau: Close the circuit.
Francesca Gentille: Close the circuit, but we're never going to close the circuit until we start asking ourselves these [xx] question. I say our lives are formed by the questions we ask. If I ask how much money can I make, my life is going to have a certain direction. If I say how much sex can I get, my life is going to have a certain direction. If I say to myself how can I live as an embodied soul, a soul that chose to have a body to learn from the experiences of our body? How can I live to learn the lessons that I'm meant to learn?
How can I live to break the cycle of suffering? How can I live to deepen my capacity to be the healing that the world needs? How can I live like that? Now, when I start to ask those questions, well, my life opens up with a richness and a depth, a self-fulfillment. Before I start asking those questions, it's not even real. It's the difference between living a candy bar existence and living an existence of thief, living an existence of surface, of skimming, life-grabbing, from here and from there and the existence of coming home to one’s body for the sense of purpose.
Geralyn Gendreau: Yes, you live the [xx] like hardly anybody I know. You're so deeply embedded in the sensuality of life, love, and nature and the movements of existence. I really appreciate that about you and would love you to talk to your listeners just briefly about what you're going through right now and share with them some of the challenges and brilliant insights that your mother’s death and watching John’s father go through Parkinson’s and some of the stories that you were telling me this morning about where home is for you. Can you talk something about that?
Francesca Gentille: I really do want to talk about that and I'm going to contextualize it before I do. What we're talking about is grievings, transitions, losses, and change. Whether we're 20 or 60; whether we're single or married; life the embodied soul, I say, chooses to be born, to live through learning from life and that interwoven with the pleasures and sweetnesses of life, the newness, the openings interwoven with that and meant to be interwoven with that are the losses, the transitions, and the changes.
If we avoid those, if I say I only want the sweetness but not the sorrow; I only want the highs and not the lows. What I become is an addict. What I become is an avoider. That if I can find the courage--and it takes courage--if I can find the courage to really begin to embrace these transitions, these losses, these changes and to be with those as fully as I want to be with the pleasure, as fully as I want to be with opening to love, something amazing is going to happen. I so would like to share what this amazing stuff is because our culture doesn’t talk about it. If we're blessed with spending time with anyone over time, these changes, losses, and transitions are going to happen.
I want to talk about that and close the show with that after we come back from a break and a word from our delicious sponsors.
Francesca Gentille: Welcome back to “Sex, Tantra, and Kama Sutra: Bringing You the Soul of Sex” with our beautiful guest-host, Geralyn Gendreau, helping me share with you all the lineage of Francesca, the teachings of Francesca, the book of Francesca which I hope that some of you will resonate with and be able to claim into your own book of life, your own book of sacred teachings.
We were just talking about transitions, losses, changes for life and for our own relationships with ourselves and with others. We talked during the break and I'll tell you a little secret is that Geralyn mentioned so wisely, “Isn’t this Tantra? Isn’t this the embracing of the all?” She’s right. Those of you who are listening still with us is that this is Tantra. Tantra is the embracing of the darkness and the light; the embracing of the embodied existence of the soul. That is what makes the Tantric spiritual path unique and we're right in it. So listening here with us, you're right in some of the deepest mysteries of the Tantric path.
This working with death and grieving loss and change, the loss of a job; the loss of a relationship; the death of innocence; the death of a dream; the death of a being, moving, going from being a non-sexual being to a sexual being; going from being from some individual even if you have a beloved to being a parent in which the total responsibility for another life is on you; going from being a parent to being an elder; seeing one’s parents die; seeing one’s body age and die. All of these things are meant to be embraced and I will show it to you what's opening for me.
When my mother died, I started to feel these strong emotions and the culture said, “Deny them, suppress them, reject them. Emotions are dangerous, don’t go there.” And as I reached out for people and support and community, people pulled back. When I asked them later, “Why? I know you love me. Why did you pull back?” What they said was, “I was afraid of saying the wrong thing. I was afraid of making it worse. I was afraid that my own loss or suffering which is not the death of a parent wouldn’t compare to yours. I'm afraid I thought that I wasn't that important to you, that you're community of heart did not include me and that I couldn't contribute to you in the way that I want to contribute to you.”
When I looked at this, I thought, “Wow, our culture is messed up.” We’re messed up here because the other side of all of that, the shadow side of all those sweet statements of “I want to keep you safe. I want to support you in the way you want to be supported. I don’t want to intrude.” The shadow side of that is if I said something and you got angry or sad, that would be bad because emotions are bad.
If I said something about, “Oh, you must feel so sad about your mother” and you cried, I would have failed you because I've led you into the land of emotions which we all know are dangerous and bad. If I said something and I came to reach out to you and you said, “You're not close to me. How dare you reach out to me in my grieving.” Then, it would prove that I don’t have worth and value and I couldn't take that. It's just like, “Wow! How different it would be in our relatedness with one another.”
If I said to you you're going through something, the death of a relationship; the death of a dream; the business failed, whatever. And whatever you're feeling with that, I'm here to hold it. I can hold it for you without taking it on. I can take it in without taking it on. Lay it on me; cry, rage. I'm here, I'm just going to breathe. I don’t need to save you; I don’t need to fix you; I don’t need to change you. You can have it; you can have your life’s experience; you can have your emotions and I'm strong enough to just stand here.
The tree being waved by your wind. The tree being drenched by the water of your tears and I can take it in to the extent that it's going to blow the leaves away that I don’t need to nourish me the way that I need and then I can let it go and just be there for you. I mean, how amazing would that be but we are not train to do that so we run away from each other. We start to go into the depths of shattering emotions, to love is to shatter; to love is the other side of death because if I love you, I risk losing you. If I’m truly going to open to loving you, I must face that. If everyday I love you, if a day were the loss of you would rip me apart and tear me to shred. If I run from that, I'll never fully open up my love for you.
Geralyn Gendreau: It is the paradox of loving, isn’t it? Does it always, at some point, will end or transition?
Francesca Gentille: Absolutely. Even if my beloved and I--you know, I say that he and I are divine, I love him, he's my soul mate--even if that’s true, some days he’ll die or I'll die. Chances are really slim here, Geralyn, that at 95 years old be holding him, eye gazing into one another’s eyes as we lay in bed and take our last breath together. Chances are pretty slim. You know, one of us is going to die before the other one and who knows what happens in life?
I adore my beloved, but in adoring him--awhile back you said that he was in kind of spiritual midlife crisis wondering what his whole purpose was. He said that maybe he needed to go into a monastery or maybe he needed to go to Vietnam and teach English as a second language to get more deeply land in his embodied soul in this lifetime. I wanted to kill him when he said that for daring to take his life path away from me. Of course, one part of me wants to kill you right now. And then I said, “A part of me that just loves you and that is totally your friend and adores you, says that if that’s what you need to do then you need to do it even though it would shatter me. You need to do that because if you abandon your soul to love me, we will at that point, have a ghost of a relationship.”
Geralyn Gendreau: You'd have half a man or less.
Francesca Gentille: Right, and that’s the paradox of loving the courage, the absolute courage that it takes to love. But on the other side of that is all that sex and passion and grrr and deliciousness that we just so want to share not just when we fall in love, not just when we meet someone new, not just when the prime was leading us but over time. To share that over time means to ongoingly find the courage to open ourselves to the potential of death and loss and to embrace that with our partner as we age, as businesses die, as dreams die, to stay in that open together.
Geralyn Gendreau: So beautiful.
Francesca Gentille: Thank you, darling. There's a part of me that’s close to tears right now and I don’t only want to thank you, I just want to thank my listeners and I want to say to my listeners that you are part of the community of my heart. Even though I don’t know you or I've never met you or we've never even talk or by email or phone, if you're listening to this and part of your soul is nourished, part of your soul is open like, “Oh, my God! Thank God someone’s talking like this”, then you're part of my heart’s community and you are precious to me. In knowing you, I'm no longer so alone and in knowing me, you're no longer so alone and we know now that we're in a community of embodied soul and spirit and passion together.
Geralyn Gendreau: Thanks for sharing your heart in everything you do. It really awakens the heart and everything person who hears your voice because [xx] to you're whole body.
Francesca Gentille: Thank you, darling, and thank you for being my precious friend, my inspiration, one of my mentors, just a beautiful feminine being embodied soul in my life. I'm going to transition out for all of us here is that you've been listening to “Sex, Tantra, and Kama Sutra: Bringing You the Soul of Sex”.
If you want to read the transcripts, reach Geralyn or I, delve more deeply into this information, you can do that at www.PersonalLifeMedia.com.
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