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Body Work: Trusting The Intelligence Of Your Body With Ali Mezey (S3E7)

PTBE Ali Mezey | Body’s Intelligence

 

Our body contains more wisdom than we give it credit to. Often, we can find healing just by tapping and trusting the body’s intelligence. Ali Mezey embraces this. She is a pioneer in body-based modalities, a practitioner, educator, and facilitator of individual and group transformation and healing. In this episode, she joins Clare Sente and Rachel Watson to discuss further the wisdom that exists in our bodies and many ways we can find healing in it. Ali shares her journey into doing body work and leading Family Constellations, enlightening us about powerful healing modalities that tap into the body’s innate intelligence such as massage therapy and Personal Geometry. She then gives great insights on how we can start practicing this and allowing our bodies to speak to us and, in turn, honor them. Follow along to this conversation as Ali guides us through transformative practices and unlocks healing potential through the intelligence of our bodies. 

To check out or sign up for her class “Personal Geometry”: https://www.alimezey.com/personal-geometry-foundations  

To learn about Family Constellations: https://www.alimezey.com/personal-geometry-and-constellation-work 

Link for “Walking in Your Shoes”: https://www.josephculp.com/wiys.html 

Link for “Wheel of Consent” by Betty Martin: https://bettymartin.org/videos/ 

Listen to the podcast here

 

Body Work: Trusting The Intelligence Of Your Body With Ali Mezey

We are in Season 3, Episode 7 and we have a guest. Her name is Ali Mezey. She is a Bodyworker and a Family Constellations person, which we’ll talk about maybe later. There are so many things we’re going to talk about. The reason I wanted Ali on the show is that she has so much knowledge about the body’s intelligence and the body’s wisdom. I thought it would be a perfect topic for us to discuss in this episode about the wisdom that exists in our bodies and the many ways that she’s worked with clients to help them heal and tap into the wisdom of their bodies. Welcome, Ali.

Thank you. It’s wonderful to be here with you both.

We are so excited to have you. It’s so much fun. Clare is trying to intro me and I’m jumping in because that’s how excited I am.

It’s good because it’s been a couple of months since we’ve recorded. I’ve missed you guys and I’m excited to jump in. Ali, I met you through Family Constellations Barry, a person we both know. I started looking at your website. I was like, “This woman is fantastic. I want her on the show.” There are so many things that I think our audience would find interesting. We could talk about many things, but I like the topic of having some of your work with individuals. Forty years, a bodyworker. You’re mostly in LA and then you also have a second home in Scotland. What are the odds of that?

I move around a lot, somewhat, unfortunately. There are pros and cons to that, but previously I was in Los Angeles for ten years, but before that, I was somewhere else. I was in Brazil and New York. I’m a native San Franciscan. I’ve lived in a lot of places.

 

PTBE Ali Mezey | Body’s Intelligence

 

Of the 40 years of being a bodyworker, it’s only 10 that you were in LA.

Ten in one chunk, but I was there previously because I did a lot of bodywork in the film industry. At times, I was in Los Angeles, though I also did that in San Francisco. I started becoming a body worker when I was nineteen, between my freshman and sophomore years in college. I have been at this body obsession, you can say, and the philosophy of the body as well as practicing healing methods that can help our experience of being bodies since I was nineteen. I’m 62 now so it’s been a long road that began earlier than that because I grew up as a dancer. I grew up with injuries quite young. I’ve been navigating this physical experience in a very increasingly conscious way for a very long time.

I learned something new and then my brain went in a different way. That makes sense with being a dancer, being in your body, and then injuries that stop you, then the massage or ways of knowing how to help your body get back into being effective with dancing again. What were some of the things that led you to the bodywork then?

By the time I was about sixteen, I was grappling with enough physical constraint and pain and also some depression and not feeling good about the world and myself. My mother found an amazing massage therapist in San Francisco, Megan James. She gave me my first experience of getting a massage. I was immediately blown away by that. I was like, “This has helped me so much,” and it became a very precious experience to this day. You were saying, Rachel, you’ve gotten a massage and it changed your world, even in your immediate experience, it sounds like, of your moment to moment, day to day.

Sixteen is young to be experiencing physical challenges and injury. I was about the same age when the first time I had a slipped disc in my back, which is so young to be dealing with that thing. I love the image of you going to your mother and your mom being like, “I found this and you can have this great massage.”

What a beautiful way for her to honor what you shared with her, believe you, hold you and get you that support that meant something in such a real and practical way for your body. She didn’t want to talk to you about it or get you some medicine to make it go away. Her response was very in the body as well, which I think is a beautiful response to a child needing help.

That is a beautiful reflection. Thank you for that. She was a dear person and doing her best in ways that she could for sure. As a woman growing up in the ‘70s, she had taken a massage course herself at Esalen, one of the first hippie colonies out on the California coast. She had dabbled in it a bit herself, but how she discovered Megan James, I don’t know.

It very much changed my world because then, when I left school and I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, they feared I would drop out and never return. It was actually after I started deciding that I decided I wanted to become a massage therapist during that time. In part because I wanted a trade that I could use, which I ended up using throughout my life, no matter where I’ve gone, which country I’ve lived in, or whether I’ve started all over again from scratch. For example, I was a jewelry designer for twelve years during that period.

Occasionally, if I needed extra money or somebody needed help, I would do some bodywork, or when that career ended, I went back to doing bodywork again. It has stayed very much a staple in my life and has continued to inform my life and my professional work. As I’ve transitioned increasingly into Family Constellation works, my own streamlined version of that personal geometry and my training as a sexologist have continued to inform how I look at everybody, how I experience my body, and how I interact and integrate all my other training and sensibilities. Massage therapy has been a cornerstone of my existence. There’s no doubt about it. It’s a beautiful profession. One that I think could use a lot more respect and appreciation in society and the world because it’s an amazing, invaluable service.

PTBE Ali Mezey | Body’s Intelligence
Body’s Intelligence: Massage therapy is a beautiful profession that could use a lot more respect and appreciation in society and in the world because it’s an amazing, invaluable service.

 

Sexologist, as well. What does that mean for our audience who has never heard that term before?

It’s a wonderfully loose term. It’s an open, inclusive term in a lot of ways. My specific experience was after I’d been a Constellation Facilitator for several years and because of my lifelong interest in sexuality, mine and everybody else’s, I was referred to a place in Los Angeles, a renowned clinic called the Center for Healthy Sex, founded by Alexandra Katehakis and her husband. They provide an amazing range of services to help people with their sexuality and their sexual lives, including intensives for people who are grappling with sex addiction and sexual compulsivity.

I was invited to come in and do these intensive experiential experiences, these experiential sessions with usually four men in a 2 to 3-hour period. I had a very limited amount of time to help these people gain insight into what the root cause was and the resources needed to transform this super problematic behavior.

It had nothing to do with the quantity of sex people were having, or what kind of sex people were having. It was about the destructiveness of the sex they were having, either to themselves and their own bodies, to other people potentially, but also the use of college funds for their kids, or the lying that was going on and destroying their marriage or losing jobs because porn was found on their work computers, these kinds of things.

I worked there for five years. I consider it like a PhD in working with sexuality because I’m seeing such a wide spectrum of behaviors and issues. This brings us back to the intelligence of the body. What I found is that, as we probably all know, a lot of talk therapy keeps people in a lot of loops that can create and reinforce defenses and stories, narratives, excuses, obstructions, or blockages of sight and feeling. A lot of talk therapy. By the way, I love talk therapy. I’ve been in talk therapy on and off for 50 years of my life. I think there’s huge value in that, particularly for people who are willing to strip down and don’t want to fight against a therapist but want to get to the root of things.

This was a way, particularly working with, in general, high-powered wealthy men, usually White men, usually, but not always, heterosexual men who oftentimes were lawyers and doctors and people who had a lot of status and defensiveness. This was a way to give the body language so that we could immediately see within minutes what the behavior was trying to do for these people.

Bypass the thinking mind, the egoic defenses, and even the trauma responses in order to see, diagrammed, or map out in front of us immediately because I use these colored maps. If you ask somebody to map out any given relationship in their bodies and their experience and diagram out on the floor or on a tabletop, whatever it is you’re using, to diagram a relationship to a particular person, to parents, to a spouse, to sexuality, to an addictive substance, to a particular emotion, no matter what it is, you can see that diagrammed out immediately.

You can see it is something. Are you able to see that element or that person? Can they see you? Are they encroaching on you? Are they too far away? What color are they? For some people, color is important. What is it? Are they blocking? Is that behavior blocking something, an element you might be afraid of? Is it trying to connect you to someone or something who’s either alive or dead?

All of this got very immediate, very visual, and even visceral for people in a way that they could recognize, feel, admit to, and get so much insight into what they’ve been doing in a way that didn’t feel shame, judgmental, or in most cases, frightening to people. This is so much from the body and I shy away from using the term wisdom because wisdom has a certain connotation. It has an implication of something that, to me, can sound more verbal, more transformational in a more cognitive way once it’s translated into consciousness anyway.

I love the openness of intelligence, or as I say in my work, brilliance because it’s more open to all the different ways. I was thinking while taking my supplements and dropped a couple of them. I don’t drop things very often. I’m pretty sure-handed. I’m more and more wanting to trust that if my body drops something that I trust that my body didn’t want that particular element or that particular input instead of it being, “I’m just clumsy,” or it’s a purely physical act that was a mistake or an accident of some kind.

I was walking out of a room. This happens to us often, I think. It happens to me anyway, where I’m walking out of a room and I know there’s something I’ve forgotten. I can feel that pull in my body towards a part of the room. I cognitively can’t bloody remember what it is that I forgot, but I know there’s something because of my body’s intelligence, there’s a sensation of pull. Sure enough, I was like, “I’m going to trust this. I know there’s something.”

I turned around and moved towards where the body was drawn and sure enough, I’d forgotten a thing that I needed to take downstairs and had forgotten about. Those are just two examples. Of course, there are so many of them that we experience all day long and have been trained not to notice, let alone respect of sensations that we get about someone.

In this case, Clare, you were talking about this experience with this man on the dating site. Particularly if there’s ever been abuse or trauma of any kind, we start to override our sense of no as well as know. We override these things because we were trained to override them either in a traumatic experience or as training. It’s like you should want to hug your uncle or your aunt or somebody.

Even if, as a child, you didn’t like that, you didn’t want to. You were overridden that your parents said, “That will hurt their feelings. Go hug Uncle Joe.”

It may not have been that you didn’t want to do it because they were creepy or potentially a sexual predator. It may have been that they wore a cologne or a perfume that you were allergic to, but didn’t know that at the time.

Maybe you didn’t feel like hugging, but you didn’t get to have a boundary because that’s okay too. I’m sorry, I’m jumping in. I love everything you’re saying. I remember my oldest when they were about maybe eight. We got on the bus to the next town. He had something on his face, maybe a cold sore or something. This lady who I think was potentially drunk at the bus stop in the middle of the day said, “What’s wrong with your little one’s face?” She grabbed Ozzy’s chin to turn his face to her. I watched. I was frozen. It felt like an assault. It looked like it.

I saw my child just go with it because what else can you do? We got on the bus and I was so shaken up that when we got home, I said to him, “Never will I let anybody do that to you again. If the president of the United States grabs you and you don’t want to be grabbed,” I don’t know why I went with the president of the United States rather than our prime minister.

Even though you are a child, you get to always say no. You don’t have to do any of these things.” We’re talking about crossing our legs and keeping our legs together and it’s those innocuous things that teach us to override our body’s intelligence and comfort and do what’s expected of us from such a young age.

At school, we sit still and we sit nicely. At church, I was to cross my ankles, not my knees. A real lady crosses her ankles and never her knees. It’s that sitting up and sitting nicely and placing hands and always putting your own comfort and boundaries aside in order to please the people around you. It’s so fascinating.

I was in therapy. I have a weekly therapy appointment and it was good. I listened to the end of your podcast, Ali, on the way home about returning to that. I was about to say the word wisdom, but I agree with you on that. It seems like a headology kind of word about returning to your body, about lowering that consciousness from the travels around and around and the brain that we do to try and figure everything else out. Let that lower and let that drop.

When I got home, I didn’t want to sit down, I didn’t want to ruminate, and I didn’t want to go over the things we talked over, lowering my awareness into my body. Even as I drove, I had one hand on my belly to help aid me in doing that. My body was saying, “Walk me.” It wasn’t the dog I was walking. It was me I was walking when I got home. It was so interesting coming from the head therapy and then on the way home thinking, “Now lower that,” because I think both needed help after that and both need help every day.

Trusting that all the goodness that happened in your therapy session was being further integrated by that movement and your interaction with your dog, if your dog did get to go.

She got to come too.

It’s a beautiful marriage. It’s not either/or.

If a woman is tuning in, Ali, and she is hearing all of us talk about how we’re on this journey of trying to get more in our body because it’s not a common thing like, “What does your body say?” It’s like, “What’s your answer?” I remember when I grew up with my dad and we had to make a decision. It was illogical. He is like, “You make a T chart.” You put the pros on the left side and the cons on the right side. It wasn’t until 2005 when I was reading a book by Malcolm Gladwell called Blink that I heard that there was evidence that your intuition, your body, or your something could give you a better answer than your logical brain could.

That’s 2005. I was born in ‘62, so until that point, I didn’t get the answer that it’s okay to go that route too. What are some of the ways? Have you been teaching your clients through bodywork or does it come out through your personal geometry work with clients? If they’re like, “That’s amazing. I felt this in my body. How do I do that more?” How do you help someone to either get a practice or even start? How does someone start? Two questions, especially if they’ve had trauma as we said, and you’d turn things off in your lower body. I work with a lot of women who will say, “I feel numb down there.” We say, “Yeah, that’s a feeling too.”

I want to come back specifically to that numbness. Remind me if I forget because there are so many questions and I want to say a bunch of different things. It’s a great question. First of all, what you described, the spreadsheet model of knowing, is very much the left brain slicer. I’m calling it more and more the slicer and dicer. We have to look at things, analyze things, make distinctions between things and it’s a word-crunching mind. We tend to point to our heads and skulls when the brain goes all the way through our bodies. It innervates pretty much every millimeter of our body. Our brain is everywhere in our bodies.

We have been taught to think it’s this walnut thing up in our head, even more specifically that it’s pretty much a lot of our left-brain functions. I was speaking to a neuroscientist. I am not going to get into the brain complexity of how the right and the left are both involved in lots of different kinds of thinking. We’re not going to get there. Certainly, that experience of trying to figure things out in this very mental flow sheet way is the predominant way.

The brain goes all the way through our bodies. It innervates pretty much every millimeter of our bodies. Our brain is everywhere in our bodies and we have been taught to think it’s just this walnut in our heads. Click To Tweet

A lot of us try to figure things out, again, because we’re overriding things, because we don’t trust that being in a more physiological, sensational, intuitive way of navigating our worlds wasn’t exactly encouraged, let alone taught. I’ve learned some other methods because I can be so analytical and because that has in my life tended to lead towards a lot of difficulties in making decisions, because many of us can come up with as long a list of the pros as we can for the cons. You can get into incredibly complex and talk yourself in and out of pretty much anything.

There’s another technique that I want to mention because I think it’s one of the best ways to make a lot of decisions and to get insight about pretty much anything. It’s a sister technique to Constellation work called Walking In Your Shoes. We keep using the word dropping into the body. I don’t even like the term into the body because it implies there’s an out and there’s an in.

The fact is, while we’re alive, we are this. Our minds can feel like they’re out and be unconscious or, as you say, numb to experiencing our lower bodies, our fingertips, our throats, or any part of our bodies. We may not be moving, as I say, our mind through our matter in any detail. A body scan is another way, people use that term, to be able to literally journey through any part of your tissue, which is, by the way, part of the beauty of massage therapy or sex for that matter, good sex, is that it helps you feel in detail your flesh, your tissue, your energetic movement and opportunity for pleasure, as well as for emotion.

A lot of numbness, in my own experience of my own trauma healing, has been that when you feel your flesh in more detail, you’re likely to have more emotion come up if you’re open to it. That is why people stop feeling their bodies because it brings up emotions we are afraid to feel like anger, terror, rage, sadness, grief, and all the nuances and mixtures of those things. Particularly when you’re getting into any genital, or as Gil Headley, the integral anatomist, calls intimate parts. When you get into our sexual organs, particularly in the vagina, which is a whole topic in itself, all our history is in those tissues. At least our sexual history is in those tissues. I’m convinced of that.

People stop feeling their bodies because it brings up emotions. Click To Tweet

When it’s being massaged, penetrated, stimulated. You both are mothers, so I can’t speak to when a big being is exiting it, I don’t know what that does to your sense of history and self and all of that. I can speak to it on a sexual level that potentially, any given being who’s into your body by finger, by penis, by dildo, by intent, even thought, whatever it is, can potentially awaken that history. That can be positive, negative, neutral, or all kinds of things.

I noticed that for me, to have spent years un-numbing in a variety of ways, not that I felt particularly numb, but I have felt disconnected. My lower body had a life relatively separate from my heart and my upper body, which again is a whole other topic. If you can awaken that tissue, ideally with a partner who is appreciative that you don’t have to stay in only happy, joyous pleasure when you’re having sex with somebody.

This goes for men too. Any configuration of genitals has a lot of history involved in them. For some people, scar tissue. How do we allow ourselves and with partners potentially to awaken and be alive and available to what comes up in a session of lovemaking or having sex, for example, or in minutes of that? You could go from, “I feel numb,” to all of a sudden, “I want to smack you,” to all of a sudden, start sobbing, and then all of a sudden you allow that sobbing.

All of a sudden, pleasure starts to arise in ways that might feel frightening. All of a sudden, you might feel afraid, but it doesn’t have to be any particular way. I believe with the body, if you want access to what it is your body knows and can tell you, whether that’s in a verbal way or a sensational way, we have to allow and include whatever those sensations are so that we can begin to start relearning how to interpret them, how to live as them and honor them.

PTBE Ali Mezey | Body’s Intelligence
Body’s Intelligence: If you want access to what it is your body knows and can tell you, we have to allow and include whatever those sensations are so that we can begin to start relearning how to interpret them, how to live as them, and honor them.

 

It was great and we haven’t even done the numb thing. I don’t know, you might have more to say about that, so we’ll remind you again, just in case. I have a TMI moment, if I may. Is that okay? One night with my husband, we were together and his fingers were inside of me and it was vigorous and quite sexy. In my head, I was saying, “This is very sexy.”

He was very excited, but then there was a, “Hold on. What you were doing there was nice. Can you find that again and slow down to find that again?” It turned into a stroking, like that softer searching. It wasn’t that vigorous lovemaking. It was a slower search. I was like, “This is amazing.” I almost couldn’t compute how different it was to what was happening and how nice it felt, but in such a different way of feeling nice, that slow stroking, like exploratory.

It was gentle. It was almost like a gentle massage. We haven’t had a chance to debrief, but I want to say to him, “I’d like to do more of that slow.” He goes, “Let’s try that again.” When you’re talking about all the things that can come up, it’s so fascinating to feel how I responded to both of those. The first was my head was excited because I was observing his excitement. My head was excited by that, but I don’t think that my genitals were excited by that. When it switched and we went slower, suddenly there was this whole new warmth.

That isn’t right. Nobody got warmer, but the pleasure was so different. I saw the potential to feel sad. I felt emotion and I’m not sure which emotions were coming, but I knew these feelings were coming up. If we were to do that for longer, maybe yes, I might cry. I think that I would’ve been okay with that. I would like to have made sure that he was okay with that.

It’s so fascinating. We talked about this with Naomi Gay a little bit, the fascial massage, that very gentle, very surface tissues where we are storing so many of our experiences. Even from the first time you inserted a tampon or when you go and get your IUD fitted. There are so many experiences we’re having in our genitals. That’s what it made me think of. That was TMI, sorry.

For some of us, numerous people who didn’t love us but who were nonetheless the center of our bodies. I’m glad you brought up that massage because one of the other training that I’ve done is sexological bodywork, which I don’t currently practice. One of the beautiful things that they teach is to map the vaginal walls. You can do this with breasts and with any part of your body. You can do it with penises.

There’s this fantastic term called the genital hole. There is, for some people, an actual experience. This gets into the numbness conversation. It’s where people neurologically aren’t firing very much. By the way, many of us have had bad tailbone breaks, which tend to get ignored or not clocked. That will also affect the nerve feed to your genitals potentially.

I wanted to add that because so many people, for example, women particularly, but this can be the case for men as well, or different genders can have trouble with orgasming, for example. I’ve never heard anybody speak about this even on full-on sex podcasts. It can also be from interference from coccyx breaks or injuries. That’s something.

That is a tailbone, for anyone who doesn’t know what that word is.

Part of how I discovered sexological bodywork was because I needed help with my very bad tailbone break. One of the best ways to access it is through either the vaginal opening or the anus. You can get directly to the back of the sacrum and the coccyx. If there’s scar tissue along that, and there are nerves that feed the whole pelvic region coming through, both the sacrum and those lower vertebrae and above the tailbone.

I wanted to add that because there’s so much stigma, shame, and frustration that I know a lot of women feel not being able to orgasm easily. That process of remapping the vaginal walls, which ideally could be done with a partner, not a paid practitioner, where you, super slowly, can with a fingertip, go all the way around 360 degrees.

There is so much stigma, shame, and frustration a lot of women feel not being able to orgasm easily. Click To Tweet

Imagine it’s a sphere in there. It’s more or less like a sphere where people can explore. What a gift to a partner if that’s what they’re willing to do and to share that degree of intimacy. “What happens if I press there and I’m going to move a millimeter or two to the left or the right?” You go all the way around. Believe me, you’re going to find a lot of material, a lot of experience, both emotionally and sensationally, in there that might surprise you.

By the way, for people who don’t have partners, there is also a fantastic tool. I don’t know, Clare. Do you know about this? It looks like a honey dipper. It’s a plexiglass wand with a honey dipper tip on it that somebody developed. I’ll see if I can find it and get that link if you’re interested. It is bent in a certain way. It’s an amazing tool to go in and work with all your own tissue. You can try either pressing hard or not very hard. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve started to sob from different places within my own vaginal walls that are clearly holding a lot of emotion and, I believe, history.

In our sex love and relationship coaching, we did that with fingers or with a wand. I still remember thinking, “I haven’t had rape,” and then I hit one of those spots and then the tears are coming out. I was so amazed because it’s like, “Where did that one come from?” It’s the same way you were saying, Rachel, that there’s so much stored that you don’t know.

I think someone who until they’ve had that experience, they’re in their head and they’re thinking, “I don’t even know what she’s talking about,” but then we’re working as a body worker. You’re working on someone. My hands will feel a certain point and it wants to go back to that point. The person’s like, “I feel sadness.” I’m not doing anything vaginally. I’m doing it on their body. There’s trauma that’s in all parts of our tissue that can be stored.

By the way, Rachel, I loved that you shared what you did and the distinction between those two different styles or energies of touch of the same body parts. I have to say that I felt a sadness come up when you described the second way. I don’t know whether, in part, I was feeling yours or it was my own for feeling like, “If I were experiencing that, I would feel loved. I would feel seen.”

That would feel touching to me, either because we all love to feel loved or perhaps we haven’t always felt loved, particularly even when people we know love us or have sex with us. It’s very easy. I don’t know about you, but it’s very easy for a lot of women I know and myself in the past to feel like on some level, they’re using me because we’re taught that. We are taught, as girls and women, “Men want to have sex. They want to take something,” as opposed to a lot of good men want to give something, but they may not know how to do that because they’re not taught to give. They might have to ask how to give, and how is best to be received.

We all love to feel loved or perhaps we haven't always felt loved particularly, even from people we know love us. Click To Tweet

How to hold that space. Rachel, when you were describing that, I’m thinking, “Steven is trainable.” You could tell him, “This is what I need. I’m going to feel these five emotions or more and hold all of them,” because they will flow like water from one to the other and out. Even if it feels like it’s going to take a while, that’s where you hold it. Maybe I cry or maybe I shake or whatever it is.

As you said it, I was thinking, “How many men don’t even teach the proper way to pleasure a woman?” Most women don’t even know the proper way or how to warm themselves up. Now, we are going to need to teach a man how to hold this space of what we’ve been talking about. This doesn’t exist. We need to be creating more of this so that there are more partners that can hold that space, and how much will be awakened from that from a woman’s body.

I’m so excited to say this because of what you said, so I’m going to be rude and not let you talk. What you said about when in heterosexual sexual relationships, women have that narrative that men will have sex with anything. They don’t care. It’s easy to internalize that message and think, “I could be anyone and all he needs is a hole. It doesn’t have to be me.” That is very much the difference between that first and second experience.

On the first, I could have been just a hole. If we’re going to be crude, it is very easy for my head to think that. In that second experience, that was me. He was with me. He was holding me. He was touching me. He was feeling me. It was not just anybody. It was very much me. When you said that, it’s easy to imagine that it’s not just about me. I could be checked out of this mentally and he wouldn’t care because he needs something warm because that’s what we’re told.

Yes, but I bet he loved the difference in how you were able to respond to him more when you felt seen and loved. Didn’t he?

I’m not just a hole to my husband. He does love me.

Did you also notice how it changed his experience of you and himself when he was able to contact you and connect with you in that way? What did you notice changed in him? Of course, there’s so much benefit to partners to be able to access that greater sensitivity in themselves as well as in their partners.

PTBE Ali Mezey | Body’s Intelligence
Body’s Intelligence: There is so much benefit to partners to be able to access that greater sensitivity in themselves as well as in their partners.

 

What changed in him was I felt him tune in. He was looking for my response. He was watching my breath and feeling. I saw him tune in to how I was reacting. It all slowed down. I felt it almost physically, that tuning into me, and felt him being with me and watching me.

I felt it when you were saying it.

I was going to say, I think that’s what people call intimacy. That is one of the main differences between that and fucking each other because then both people are checked out. Their bodies are doing things to each other. I got to shout out to people with penises. All that history is also in them. They’re also raised that this is a meat sausage that doesn’t have sensitivity, that doesn’t have emotion, that doesn’t have connectivity in a certain way that people are suffering from not being allowed to have. What is it like for them inch by inch, millimeter by millimeter, being in contact in that way? What does it feel like for them in their hearts?

They aren’t just meat sausages going in and out of a hole. They’re a profoundly intimate part of someone’s body that can also be used and not seen and create fear and disgust in people. What would that feel like? Your first sexual experience is you whip out your penis and somebody is either afraid or disgusted. That happens a lot to a lot of male beings. Where does that history go? What does that do to people’s erectile function or their capacity to be with their own pleasure or to feel that this wand has the capacity to connect and to enter somebody’s inner being?

In that place, move energetically up and out and through someone through hopefully by sharing pleasure and intimacy. Even if it’s just for sexual purposes, what is so clear is the more, in my experience and it sounds like in yours, Rachel, and I imagine in yours, Clare, that the more emotion is welcome, the more it is included, the better sex people are going to have.

The more of us that gets to be there, that gets to show up, that doesn’t get stuck, as you were also saying, Clare, that gets to move and process and go. I’ll tell you. I can start crying and almost every single time, immediately within seconds sometimes, my pleasure wave is so much more open and available. It translates immediately, and it always amazes me, into my nervous system and my sensual awakeness intensified.

I feel that too.

Guys or people who are afraid of emotion in both directions, that would be amazing if we can include that and allow it to be there and get to include that in our sexual exchange instead of it being like, “Sex doesn’t look like that when I watch porn. People aren’t crying.” They’re laughing all of a sudden. They aren’t doing anything. They’re just being one way. It’s sort of a one-trick pony. Very limiting.

One of the things I’m thinking about with what we all talked about and thinking how can we take a listener who is with a partner, same-sex, heterosexual, whatever, and maybe slow down and spend a little bit of time in connection and breathing together. That is something I keep coming back to when I work with a couple or an individual. You can do it with yourself to start having that connection, putting one hand or both hands cupping over your vulva and breathing and connecting and sending love there is healing without a partner.

I have asked a partner for me. I said, “Can we breathe together where you put your hand out of my lower belly, or if at some point when I’m more turned on, then you can put your hand over my vulva and just breathe? I don’t want you to move it around. I’m not interested in you exciting me. I want to feel that you are connecting to my body this way.” That’s when I started to feel all of those feelings first. There’s like, “I feel something. I feel some sadness.” I breathe through it and it’s this whole range of motions, but I feel connected. That’s when it’s like, “Great.” He’s like, “I’ve never done that before.” I said, “It’s something I need to know that you’re seeing me.”

Some people can go on automatic pilot. “I touch her here, I do this, and I jump on top of her,” and then it’s like, “I guess I could be anyone.” That, to me, has been something I’ve worked with couples on. You could start with clothes on with someone. You hand over a heart of his or hers and their hand over your heart, looking at each other and breathing. I find that that’s one of the easiest ways, whether you’re sitting or you’re laying down together on a couch or a bed or the floor and looking at each other and trying to learn to breathe some energy from your hand, from your heart through your hand, into their heart is I think magical.

We’ve talked about things that can come up when we connect to our bodies. I hope we haven’t but maybe we’ve made it sound a little bit intimidating. Traumas, so you might be sad. I have a theory about my body, which I don’t know is universal, but I’ll put it out there anyway. I’m a photographer. I’m mainly a boudoir photographer. In my line of work, I see a lot of naked ladies and naked bodies and people and I love it. I observe the way that people are with their bodies and that vulnerability. My observation of myself and the people I see is that it’s our heads that are not kind to us.

It’s our heads that will criticize, pick out flaws, or tell us we’re not good enough. It is our bodies that are there all the time. They’re there for us. Your body is there for you no matter how it feels. We deal with pain in our bodies and all sorts of things, but your head will be like a dick. Your head will be the best critic to deal with. Your head will criticize you.

Did you want to say your head will be a dick?

She said that in the past.

That’s a bumper sticker right there.

We’ll make one. “Your head is a dick.” I should use dick as an insult. I’ll rephrase it.

That’s better than your dick is a head, which is how it goes.

Your head is the one that gives you the problems. Your head is the one that picks up all the issues. Your body is here. It’s here and it is always there, offering you love, pleasure, and good feelings whenever you tune into it.

You’re basically describing a lot of animals.

I find that way also, Rachel, when I am immersed in the feeling part in sex with a partner. I’m having a good time. I’m totally out of my head. We may switch positions and then there’s that quick moment where my head’s going, “I wonder how my butt looks sticking up in the air that way. What is he seeing and is he getting grossed out?” It’s like, “That ruined the whole thing right there.” I’ve trained myself at this point like, “Shut it down like shades. Turn those shades off. Get back into your body.” I see that when I work with some couples. That’s what stops having a good orgasm.

You’re bouncing back. You maybe have moments that you’re in your body and maybe that’s what we need to celebrate, that you’re moving towards that any extra minute out of your ten minutes of having fun or whatever it is. Celebrate every minute that you can be in your body and not in your head. It’s the same way for me like meditating. If I sit for 10 minutes and meditate and I could get 2 minutes where I’m not in my head and I’m focusing on my breath or feeling a sensation in my body. Mindfulness is not to be judgmental. Just celebrate. That’s what minds do. Minds are dicks.

Also, as I’m listening to you, I’m thinking this left-brain slicer and dicer function is also like a drone. It sounds like something we all have experienced where here you are feeling your body and all of a sudden, this part of you zooms out of your body, goes above your body, and is looking down at your ass supposedly from his perspective. You’re putting the spin on what you think he’s seeing. Not just physically but also psychologically, emotionally, and sexually. This is what we do.

That is such a great analogy, that drone.

We’re no longer in the sensation, in our senses, experiencing ourselves from the inside. We’re suddenly experiencing ourselves from the outside. Our slicer, dicer, trauma projector, distorter, and neurotic belief system kicks in and then attributes all kinds of stuff from whatever point of view it is we’re looking at ourselves. For many of us, it has to do with weight because that is one of the main things. Sadly, we tend to judge from the outside.

I love, Rachel, that you’re being the loving point of view. You’re coming in and saying, “This is how you can also see yourself from the outside. This is how I see you from the outside.” Replace those, “My ass looks fat,” or cellulite, or whatever it is we tend to project on other people. You look gorgeous and sensual and delicious and feminine and magnificent and desirable and all this stuff. I wish my drone did that for me. I need a Rachel drone.

I want to do that for every woman in the world. I’m going to refer to myself in that way from now on.

You described it, Ali, because that’s what she does. When she’s taking these pictures, she’s reflecting that back, and that relaxes these women’s postures and bodies. They give these looks that then they and she captures it quickly with her camera. They have a look at that and think, “I’ve never seen that part of me before. I’ve never seen that beautiful woman staring, that confident woman staring back.” How wonderful is that when you have that picture and can look at that? That’s something that can hopefully be internalized more. It’s not just the millisecond that Rachel snapped it. It now become something you should look at more.

I love being so smug, especially with women that maybe I’ve known them for a few years or a while. We’ve met a couple of times. There are a lot of women that I’ve known before I photographed them, and all the time, I’ve been telling them that I think they’re gorgeous and sexy. They’ve been going, “I don’t believe you.” We do this boudoir shoot and they go, “I’m gorgeous and sexy.” I go, “I fucking told you. I’ve been telling you that for three years.”

I didn’t finish what I was saying about Walking In Your Shoes because you asked two things. I am like, “I have to remember to say this.” First, I’ll say, Walking In Your Shoes. Remind me what the second one is, even though you don’t know what it is yet. Walking In Your Shoes is an amazing way to access what our bodies know about anything, a decision, a relationship, an animal, or a religious experience. It doesn’t matter what it is.

All it requires is to bring our consciousness, our sensational awareness into our experience of ourselves and state, “I am now in the Volvo car.’ I’m Ali in the Volvo. Let’s say that’s what I’m trying to decide. Do I want to buy a Volvo or do I want to buy a Volkswagen? I’m doing a small thing, a small decision. You start to walk as that experience of how it would be for me to purchase a certain thing. You notice everything. The key is not to think, “I can’t do this. I’m not good at this. This is stupid. I’m not going to notice anything.”

You stay with it because sometimes not feeling anything is your answer. It is letting this doesn’t have much juice for you. This isn’t great for you. You contrast it with something else to test it out. Walking, you may not feel like moving at all. You might feel quite paralyzed and not be able to take a step or you might start walking around the room quickly.

Sometimes, not feeling anything is your answer. It is letting you know that this doesn't have much juice for you. This isn't great for you. Click To Tweet

You might start staring at something in particular. That also is the body’s way of giving you information. Why am I looking at that particular painting at this particular time when I’m in the midst of a particular query? How does that painting make me feel? What do I associate it with? Some of the ways the body speaks to us are through sensation, symbol, images, color, fantasy, and what people call daydreaming. It can be instinct or directionality, like all of a sudden, I’m drawn to walk towards something or away from something.

It can be in spatial relationships, which is why I love personal geometry so much because it reveals so much information in such a way that my body relates to maybe because I grew up as a dancer. I understand that if something’s too close to me or far away or how it feels, I immediately feel it in my body, even just looking at it.

These are some of the ways that the body can start communicating what it knows in ways that aren’t so much here. Everybody’s different. Some people are visual. They can sit and they can imagine themselves sitting in the Volvo, for example. They can sit and feel, “How does my body feel when I’m sitting in that one as opposed to the Volkswagen?”

There are so many different ways that we as children naturally know and were to be an explorer, our understanding of things that weren’t, and then we were taught to crunch and think in a way that is so truncated and truncating of our capacities. I wanted to tell you about that. I’ll give you these links if you want to explore Walking In Your Shoes. You would love it. It’s beautiful work.

The other thing I wanted to say, getting back to intimacy and emotion, is that there’s another person I studied with called Betty Martin. You know about her, Clare. She teaches about the three-minute game. You can have the link and go to that, but it’s an amazing way for people to communicate to partners and also to themselves to ask, learn to ask for, “What I want right now is for you to brush my hair for three minutes or I want you to gently caress my sacrum, my lower back, right above my buttocks lightly for three minutes.” You get people agreeing to it or not agreeing. Maybe they’ll modify and say, “I don’t want to touch that, but I’ll touch this and I’ll do it this way. Is that okay with you?”

It teaches identifying what it is you’re wanting so that you get to learn that what you’re asking somebody to do is agreeable. They don’t want to fuck a hole. That’s all they’ve learned how to do, though. A lot of people don’t know any better. It’s not that they don’t want to give you pleasure. Most people want to give pleasure. They don’t know how to do it. They sure as hell don’t know how to ask you how to do it because then it makes them look like an imbecile and idiots and don’t know what they’re doing, which they don’t a lot of the time.

Most people want to give pleasure. They just don't know how to do it and they sure as hell don't know how to ask you how to do it. Click To Tweet

The three-minute game is a great way to learn about yourself and your partner and learn that a lot of times what you ask for is very much what your partner would love to do for you or with you. I wanted to say that including this issue of tissue being so full of experience, emotion, and potential intimacy, asking a partner to stroke your face slowly. Do that right now. I encourage you to do it. It starts to make me want to cry. It tears me up immediately, slowly.

It’s a memory of a mom for me.

Is it? It makes me feel so cared for and so seen. Also, there’s sadness in that for me. If you were to ask a partner to stroke your face for 30 seconds or 3 minutes or until you were done, it would lead to better sex. I’ll tell you that.

That’s some fantastic stuff. She pulls and throws all at the end all this good stuff. We have a link for Ali’s Brilliant Body Podcast, which is fantastic.

Even the way that you talk Ali, I don’t hear what we talk about. I’ll tune that and listen.

It’s a very soothing, sexy, comforting, all that mixture. I do. I love listening to your voice too. Full disclosure, I am taking Ali’s personal geometry class because I find that so fascinating and think that that could be a great way to throw some different, as I heard you say in that one thing you recorded, you can do coaching, but you could do this to again see like action out. Let’s put your partner or your orgasm or something and see how moving it closer to you, moving it further away from you, having it look at you, and being able to see in your body how you react to those things can be some great new pieces of information for the person.

After you’ve taken my class, which, by the way, there still are a few spaces and anybody who’s any kind of healer, therapist, healthcare practitioner, teacher, or anything who wants to learn an adjunct method and technique that they can easily weave in, even for minutes in a practice can give a huge amount of information quickly and bypass as I was speaking about all those defenses and stuff.

If you, at some point, want to do another episode where we do it like an experiential, or you’ll learn how to do this yourself in my class but where you can guide people to see where they are in with their orgasm right now, for example. Is that in a place they want it to be? How does it feel to them? If not, what needs to happen for that to be in a different place?

For example, what if it is in a place where ideally, you would love it to be mapped out and I don’t know because it’s individual for everybody. What emotion does that bring up? I know for myself, I can have this experience of if I orgasm with you, I will bond with you. You might leave me. As frustrating as I feel sexual that I’m not orgasming with you, I can also recognize it as being a brilliant body doing to protect me from that bonding with somebody that may not be so good for me to bond with. There are so many things to explore, but thank you for mentioning it because it’s beautiful work and I would love to share it with as many people as possible.

Rachel, do you have any closing questions for Ali?

I’m a happy girl. This was fun, Ali. Thank you so much. It’s so funny because it’s such a similar thing in ways. We’ve talked about very similar things before, Clare and I, but bringing in a person who even studies the same thing. We’ve even talked about the pelvic bone before in an episode. We’ve talked about the massage of the tissues or in the vulva, but you have brought your own life and your own open heart to this, Ali. Thank you for coming to something that we love to talk about, but bringing yourself with it. Thank you. That was beautiful.

Thank you for having me. That touches me because these are topics that I have lived with and lived by since I was a little girl. I don’t talk about it very often with people, and I want to talk about it increasingly in my professional public life, not just with clients or with friends. It touches me to feel such fluency and such comfort with both of you to discuss what you are both so comfortable talking about. It’s a gift to me to share this much more of myself personally and professionally. I want to thank you. I’ve loved being here.

We’re having that typical love fest. She threw it back at us, didn’t she, Rachel?

All three of us have our hands on our hearts right now, by the way. How do we end every podcast, Clare? I think Ali can take it. I love you.

I love you and I love you, Ali. You are a gem.

I loved being with me and letting me be with you.

Thank you.

 

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About Ali Mezey

PTBE Ali Mezey | Body’s IntelligenceAli Mezey is a pioneer in body-based modalities. She is a practitioner, educator, and facilitator of individual and group transformation and healing. Ali has worked with thousands of individuals over four decades to help them tap into the innate healing power of their somatic (body’s) intelligence. She blends her vast professional experience in massage therapy, Constellation Work, & sexological + sobriety counseling. Ali is on a mission to help humans inhabit their embodies wholeness for the benefit of individual and societal healing.

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