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Mid-Life Re-awakening Chapter 2

Updated: Apr 25

While the mid-life Sleeping Beauty takes her rest, who is making his way through the thorns to wake her? What are the qualities of a fifty something Prince Charming?

It's important to say at this point that while traditional stories express themselves in clearly demarcated gender roles, we all have all the characters within us. Gender is part of our dreaming state – on awakening we discover that we are as much Sleeping Beauty as Ugly Sister, as much Bluebeard as the Brothers who come to the rescue, as much the Princess as the Frog. Take from these tropes what serves you and leave the rest. For me, I love the erotic play between the characters. Rapunzel's blind prince, for example, stumbling towards his beloved's song. Her shorn hair, as much a symbol of her freedom, as her voice is a token of her agency. His sight restored in her embrace, emblematic of his journey within to find the strength that arises from wisdom and not prestige. The lover's re-union, the restoration of the wholeness Rapunzel's mother sought when she sent her beloved into the witch's garden for the healing root – the crime that led to the whole sorry adventure in the witch's tower.

Sleeping Beauty's Prince Charming also has thorns to penetrate before he can embrace his love. These don't blind him because he is armed with a magic sword. The fairy who modifies the curse of death into one of sleep, enchants the overgrowth so it creates a thorny fortress to protect Beauty's one hundred year slumber until the right man with the right sword at the right time shows up. Given that we play all the roles in this story, when we hold the fairy's wand, with what magic shall we imbue the brambles? To which sword will they retreat? Women of all ages, think on this carefully. The sword, unmistakable phallic symbol and emblem of masculinity, is an apt metaphor to consider given the way western culture weaponises the penis. This is not to deny that some men use their genitals as weapons, they do, but it is to emphasise that there is currently so much confusion about sexual liberation that it can be challenging for a kind, spiritual man to inhabit his body fully. More pornography, more partners, more sex toys, more kinks. Frenzied jerking off is so normalised in our society that most of us have no idea that there are cultures in which this is an anomaly – not through repression but through heart centred meditation that embraces the sexual organs and invites both men and women to tap into the life force – the orgasmic source from which we all arise. Western tantra has shone a light on the possibility of entering sexual relationships mindfully, spiritually and orgasmically. What it’s failed to demonstrate and teach is the emotional groundwork, and when techniques are employed to prolong and heighten orgasm, any emotional imbalances are amplified.

It's been my experience that love-making doesn't always make for a loving relationship. When there is unresolved anger, grief and guilt in the mix, as the orgasmic energy rises, so these emotions are amplified. This explains why so many passionate relationships might also be violent or abusive.

Sleeping Beauty's Prince Charming must first vanquish the giant before he can even attempt to traverse the forest of brambles. This giant represents the emotional baggage that we are prone to lug through life. Men are not generally encouraged to be emotionally aware in our culture and so may rock up in mid-life bent double under the weight of their repressed feelings. Notice this, dear women, Sleeping Beauty does not stir from her repose to unburden him. She rests easy upon her bed while he deals with the giant himself.

There are many ways for men to become loss literate and learn how to take care of their own hearts. The Grief Recovery Method is a wonderful toolkit for this purpose because it is so precise and effective. Not weeks of talking therapy, it takes just 7 weeks to learn and impliment the steps necessary to shake off the burden of unprocessed emotions.

I also find the Taoist sexual practices a beautiful way to foster the expression of love through the body. The heart meditation takes centre stage, growing and amplifying love, before experimenting with any sexual techniques. This is especially important for mid-life couples who bring a history of sexual experiences to any new relationship and who may be tempted with Viagra-style drugs and lube to counter the effects of age. With the right emotional and spiritual nourishment, a man in mid-life can balance physical prowess with emotional authenticity. This has the effect of magnifying love in the sexual encounter, and this is what Sleeping Beauty is dreaming of.

The story of Sleeping Beauty debunks another of our culture's sexual myths – that coitus is an act of thrusting. Prince Charming is not using his sword to thrash through the undergrowth to reach his beloved; they part for him because the fairy's magic knows him to be the One, just as the vagina will open to the penis of a lover who is tender, gentle, patient and loving. Coitus is an act of receiving.

Mid-life Beauties, let the magic forest that we cast around ourselves as we take our rest, retreat only to the sword bearer who has vanguished first the giant of unresolved grief and who bears a sword that he knows how to wield with the heart's energy.

If you want to become loss literate in just 7 weeks, book a free call with me

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