Psalm Isadora is the top tantra expert in the world and a highly sought-after sexuality, relationship, and trauma expert specializing in women’s health and empowerment and modern sexual education. In this weekly advice column, Psalm brings her expertise to common sexual and relationship issues. If you want to ask Psalm your questions (anonymously), email firstname.lastname@example.org and check back every week to see if she answered yours!
After four and a half years in a relationship with someone I was deeply loved by, he began picking on my body and habits. I tried several different things, but he still complained about my body, openly saying he "had to work really hard to orgasm" and blaming me. This happened for five years.
He abruptly broke up with me, never explaining why. I feel so ashamed of my body that I can't even look at myself in the mirror. I'm scared to embark on any relationship out of fear that similar shaming would occur.
I've tried your tantra course. It's beautiful, but I'm ashamed of my abilities in bed and my body and so scared of it happening again. I feel like I have nothing to offer sexually. I say no every time I'm asked out. Insecurity and fear are powerful emotions. What you teach is beautiful, but I still don't feel beautiful or desirable, and so I'm still afraid.
Brace yourself for a dose of tough love. The problem is not your body. It's not your skills in bed. And, it's not your boyfriend (though he does sound like a jerk.) The problem is your mindset.
The first problem here is low self-esteem. Your third chakra, the solar plexus, which is located between your navel and breastbone, governs self-esteem. Yours is likely out of balance. I want you to work on this.
If you work on your confidence and develop a stronger sense of self, you'll stop shaming your body and learn to love yourself as you are—inside and out. If you don't learn to love yourself, no one in the world will ever be able to love you.
Stop making it about anyone else wanting you. Learn how to choose yourself first. It may sound impossible, but the day will come when you value yourself so much that you would never for a moment let yourself be treated this way.
You're also playing the victim. Put on your big-girl panties and stop waiting for a knight in shining armor to come and make you feel worthy. You need to establish your own worth and understand that for some reason you are getting something out of playing the victim. You're talking about how badly he treated you and how badly you feel about yourself, but until you get out of the victim loop and stop feeding that part of yourself, you'll keep isolating yourself.
Here are three exercises for boosting your self-esteem:
1. Breathe energy into your third chakra.
You can start with a few minutes of Tantra Sound Breath in the morning every day. I want you to stand up with your fists in the air over your head in the shape of a hockey goal, and take a big inhale. On the exhale, you pump your arms down to your sides and exhale with an audible, strong breath that almost sounds like you're saying, "Huh!" and visualize breathing that air into your third chakra to strengthen that chakra.
2. Affirm yourself daily.
I'd also like to give you a mantra to say to yourself when you're feeling weak: "I am enough. I am beautiful. I am worthy." Say it to yourself in the mirror every morning. Say it to yourself in your head when you're confronted with insecurity out in the world. Say it again at night before you go to bed.
3. Incorporate OYoga power moves into your workout routine.
One great OYoga move that really makes you feel like a warrior princess is Kneeling Goddess. Start by sitting on your knees with your butt on your heels. Inhale and raise your arms to the sky, lifting your butt off your heels. Exhale a strong, powerful, and loud "Huh!" as you pull your arms in and thrust your hips forward by squeezing your glutes and your Kegel muscles. You'll feel a tremendous amount of energy condense in your body. Repeat this five times and then sit back on your heels and with your eyes closed touch your arms, legs, and body to circulate that heat and energy throughout your body.
But, in all honesty, the issue is deeper than breathwork, meditation, and OYoga can fix. You need to get to the root of the problem, literally. One of the main things I do in my practice is help people identify their root and reenactment patterns. So, let's go back to your root chakra, the first chakra, which is located at the base of the spine in the tailbone. Let me ask you this: Did you grow up being spoken down to or spoken to in a way that made you feel bad about yourself?
If that's true, you are likely subconsciously perpetuating this reenactment pattern. That means you choose partners who play out that same role with you over and over again. It's like a broken record. You keep hoping it will change, but it doesn't. The wounded child in you is what needs to change first. You need to break this pattern now.
I have an intuition that this also has to do with you avoiding real intimacy. As long as you choose reenactment patterns with partners who are unkind to you, or if you continue to avoid new relationships out of fear, you're giving yourself excuses not to make yourself vulnerable through true intimacy. Your fear of intimacy is the real issue here, not your body, not your skills in bed, and not your verbally abusive boyfriend.
Stop feeding your inner victim. Break this reenactment pattern. And learn to love yourself.