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On vulnerability and saying “no thanks”

Hey everyone,

Gosh, it’s awfully cute the comments I’ve been getting about vulnerability, from Anonymous and Gone Savage in particular. In case you missed the comments, both of them were saying how much they miss the vulnerable Erika (“I miss the more spiritual tone of Erika’s earlier posts and that vulnerable space of sharing…”).

When I have a little more time, too, I want to answer GS’s question about non-violent communication and praise. The short answer is that of course praise, appreciation, and admiration are practices we want to continue. It’s just that the intention with which we use them changes. They are no longer used with the expectation that the other person is going to reciprocate in some way. It becomes all about pure in-the-moment enjoyment of another person. And, yes, GS, I have a lot to say about the teachings of pickup regarding “doing something in order to get someone else to do what we want.” I just flat out don’t believe in that.

Which brings me back to vulnerability. Of course I love the days when I feel fully open to the world, and soft, and loving … and even the days like yesterday when I feel sensitive and touchy and raw … where I go quiet because I’m worried that my ego will do the talking.

And of course, as GS suggests, I focus primarily on do’s rather than don’ts. I keep my attention on what I want rather than what I don’t want. Because whatever we focus on expands. (That, btw, is why appreciation, admiration, and praise are so important. They keep our attention on things that we like about people, and people tend to blossom in that kind of energy.)

But all that said, there are also days for toughness. Sometimes, in order to say yes to what we really want, it is important first to say no to what we don’t want. I have found that it can be a very slippery slope, especially in romantic relationships. The guy starts doing or saying things that are triggering a lot of discomfort in me (whether it’s intentionally fucking with me or just being wishy washy about what he wants), and sometimes staying in that conversation is just going to make things worse. Because the more uncomfortable I feel, the more challenging it’s going to be for me to stay vulnerable and open to men. As a woman, it’s important that I be very internally clear about what feels good to me and what doesn’t so that I can stay on solid ground regardless of what any man is doing. In other words:

Sometimes a woman simply must say no to what she doesn’t want.

Doing that clears the space to allow into her life what she does want. It clears the space for a guy she already knows to step up, or for an entirely new guy to step in.

About the Author:

Erika Awakening is a Harvard Law School graduate and former practicing attorney. She left the rat race to become a location-independent entrepreneur, holistic life coach, blogger, speaker, healer, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT tapping) expert. Erika Awakening is one of the world's foremost experts on eradicating limiting beliefs and lifestyle design on your own terms. Learn more about Erika Awakening

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Comments

  1. - PD says:

    Erika,

    I understand the idea of spiritually-grounded approach. I even believe it works wonders. I really do.

    What I do not see, is how one can study this approach to become selfless, and still has selfish goal in mind – seducing women.

    I understand that you can re-frame “seduction” as mutually enjoyable wonder of connection… But guys are not studying seduction for that – more often then not, it’s to increase their own sexual pleasure. Pretty selfish, I’d say.

    Imagine the thought: “how am I doing? got enough sex? no? ah, I have to try to be more selfless and stop hunting for women, and care more about connection…” There is just something false about this.

    I don’t see how can one study this spiritual approach without lying to self about own intent, if they come to this spirituality for pickup.

    There are plenty other ways to get there. My understanding that you did not study it “to get guys”. So, the picture of a guy studying selfless spirituality to get girls just feels un-authentic to me.

    I hope to be wrong :)

    More power to you,

    - PD

    P.S. I wish the focus of your book would be not “how to…”, but more like “look what else you can do together with a woman (and all people for that matter).” I feel that you have tremendous potential to share the vision of what is possible in the relationship with all people. Then may be some guys would try spirituality not to get girls, but for the sake of connection. That would be very authentic indeed!

  2. Erika says:

    PD,

    It seems like you are thinking of seduction as something you “do” (to people).

    A spiritually-grounded approach to seduction focuses on changing one’s belief and energy system so that seduction just becomes part of who you ARE. You become naturally magnetic because you are literally radiating love to people.

    Perhaps it’s the word “seduce” that has connotations that are not feeling congruent to you?

    love,
    Erika

  3. - PD says:

    Entropy4, thank you for your explanation.

    It was my mistake, I took original line out of context: it was about situational behavior (manipulation to get this particular woman), not about life philosophy (changing own life in order to get more women). Certainly, win/win is more conductive than manipulation.

    “Spiritually-grounded approach to seducing girls” still bothers me as a concept, but it’s irrelevant to this post.

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is great conversation! It’s really meeting my need to understand at a deeper level both my own journey through sexual awakening and relationship and the journey others are sharing here :: and I have to ask:: what’s so freakin’ enlightening about Pick Up?! ((she smiles))

    I reviewed Entropy’s site last night and came away with a ((have to say it)) hangover… not from drinks… from the focus being so intently directed to conversations that had to do with a certain bandwidth when I would have welcomed an authentic sense of ((oops, I was going to say, spiritual dimension! but wow! that shifted into)) the feminine voices involved in the scenes… including the voice of the girlfriend…

    Would have also liked to connect with vulnerability in those posts and where, when and how that shows up… Confidence is attractive… win/win is attractive… and it’s interesting to know that men can read a woman’s sexual history in 10 seconds or less and be on the look out for the win/win… Michael echoed a sentiment I was having earlier today… and I would express it like this :: so, you get the green light to sex each other up… what about the dimension of increasing love, experiencing love?

    Win/win is mutuality… is it love?

    And when you read the woman’s sexual history, or herstory, do you also read what she wants to open up her life to next as well as her heart, as well as her …

    In my observations, the sales thing is so…, shall I dare say, delicate… having an agenda is having an agenda… like ((hopefully)) attracts like… she wants X and he wants X… she offers, he picks up… all good…

    It’s like tuning into the vibe she’s sending out… I’m looking, are you available? wanna do it?

    Remember ever having a breath takingly beautiful connection with someone? that was genuine… magical… unexpected? or a connection that supported transmuting so much energy that she changed her life for the better? or he did? and there was no fall out or angst or drama…

    ((sigh))

    I think I’m saying no, saying yes, making a request, sharing an invitation… no expectations… just my softer side coming forth in response to sooooo much talk about getting women in bed…

  5. Erika says:

    Saying no “… so all the ‘yeses’ are so much more powerful and deeply felt.”

    Thanks, Rori. That was beautiful and feels just right.

    PD, you used the word “selfish.” What I’m talking about is a world view where selfishness is impossible. Why? Because it rests on the fundamental premise that there are no private selfish interests. We as human beings are not separate from each other, spiritually, so if we attempt to gain at another’s expense, we will always lose.

    Every situation is either win/win or lose/lose. There is no other option. This is not something that needs to be enforced. It is a fundamental law of the Universe.

  6. Entropy4 says:

    PD: The short answer is create win/win situations.

    The line you quoted basically manipulation: say and do things to get a girl to do what you want her to do.

    The idea is to create a situation where you and the girl want the same things and so it will happen naturally.

    I don’t necessarily see this as “spiritual.” You see the same thing in other parts of life. Take sales. There are various ways to market and sell to people. One is to trick them into doing what you want them to do. The other is finding the intersection between what you both want.

    It’s basically the difference between a value-exchange and value-taking.

  7. - PD says:

    @ Michael,

    Are you suggesting that people are interested in “a spiritually-grounded approach to seducing girls” *because* they want to satisfy “universe wants regardless of what we want”? That just does not sound right.

    I am pretty sure, no matter what approach people take, their initial motives are pretty selfish. Sure, some teachings suggest that focusing on “universe” will get you further (and I tend to believe that too). I am just very curious how people who follow this path combine their selfish initial intent with suggested ego-less mindset. Erika seem to be pretty much down the road and still able to use both, as quoted in my first comment.

    So, how do you do it, Erika?

  8. Michael says:

    doing something in order to get someone else to do what I want
    doing something in order to get someone else to do what we want
    doing something in order to get someone else to do what the universe wants regardless of what we want
    seem to be three totally different things.

  9. - PD says:

    Re: “doing something in order to get someone else to do what we want.” I just flat out don’t believe in that.
    I assume, you believe in studying “a spiritually-grounded approach to seducing girls”. Is it not doing something in order to get girls seduced?

  10. Rori Raye says:

    Not sure what’s gone on here – but, to me, saying “No” is an act of vulnerability. It’s a toughening up on the INSIDE, so that the outside can stay soft. To me, the ultimate “girl” thing is knowing what you don’t want, saying that, so all the “yeses” are so much more powerful and deeply felt. Love, Rori

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