Enlightened Audacity is perhaps the greatest skill we can learn in love. Enlightened Audacity means being brave enough to present the real version of ourselves (not the airbrushed one) and then taking the time and care to express ourselves in a way that honors the humanity of whomever we’re interacting with. In this episode, you’ll learn the simple, powerful steps required to master this life-changing way of relating.
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Table of Contents
- What Is Enlightened Audacity
- Bravery And Intimacy
- Expressing Kindness And Generosity
- Showing Vulnerability
- Owning Our Originality
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Enlightened Audacity: The Key To Heart-Filling Intimacy
Discovering The Magic Blend Of Authenticity And Compassion
Enlightened audacity is one of the most exciting, delicious, and powerful intimacy tools that exist. Stay tuned to this episode of the Deeper Dating Podcast to learn this skill, so that you can use it to transform your relationships in powerful and wonderful ways.
Hello, everybody, and welcome to the Deeper Dating Podcast. I’m Ken Page. I’m so glad to be here with you. I’m a psychotherapist and the author of the bestselling book, Deeper Dating and I’m the Cofounder of DeeperDating.com, a new way for single people to meet online that’s warm, and fun, and inspiring, and focused on creating healthy, positive relationships. Today, I’m going to talk about enlightened audacity. One of the most wonderful, powerful, and liberating tools I know for anybody who wants deeper intimacy in their lives. If you want to learn more about the deeper dating approach to intimacy, just go to DeeperDatingPodcast.com.
What Is Enlightened Audacity
We’re going to jump right in. Enlightened audacity is maybe the greatest skill that we can learn in love, and enlightened audacity is being brave enough to present the authentic version of who you are, not the airbrushed one, and then to take the time and the care to do it in a way that honors the humanity of whomever we’re interacting with. Enlightened audacity starts with kindness to ourselves by feeling our humanity, our ambivalence, whatever it is that we’re feeling and experiencing in our bodies, our hearts, and our minds, even if we don’t know how to handle it, or it scares us, or it confuses us. When we begin with kindness to our humanity, our inner world begins to light up.
Then we think about expressing whatever it is that we want to express, our needs, our experience, to the other person. The rules in this step are beautifully and simply expressed in the Al-Anon slogan, “Say what you mean. Mean what you say and don’t say it mean.” When we’re authentic like that, it creates honesty waves that enter into the very being of the person we’re talking to. People register that kind of truth. It’s gritty, it’s real, it’s human, and it evokes trust when we do it in kind ways. Everyone is defended against manipulation, but simple truth with the ring of our heart in it passes through the barriers of defensiveness and resistance that the other person has.When we begin with kindness to our humanity, our inner world begins to light up. Click To Tweet
Every act of enlightened audacity that you do brings the exhilaration of honesty and the closeness that kindness fosters, and those two together are magnificence. Doing this is a kind of sacred intimacy act that changes our inner state, and it enlivens us, and it makes us radically open to greater intimacy. Enlightened audacity helps us ask for what we need, helps us express appreciation to other people, and to share our authentic selves with the people who deserve it. Also, amazingly, the commitment to live in a state of enlightened audacity turns down the volume on our fear of rejection.
I want to talk about five different ways to practice enlightened audacity. Some of these might feel really natural to you. You might say, “I’m doing these already.” That’s cause for celebration and some might feel a little harder, a little scarier, a little more raw, a little more of a sense of, “I need to work on that one.” Just as I said, there’s just nothing like the experience of honesty and kindness, and having the ripples of that state met and mirrored by another person. That’s a kind of perfect joy.
Bravery And Intimacy
I want to talk about bravery first. I think that bravery is one of the great skills of relationship. It’s one of the great skills of life, and it’s one of the great skills of dating too. For many of us, it’s the biggest fear of all. In the realm of dating, letting somebody know that we’re interested in them, it’s like building a muscle. We get better at it, but it is hard and it’s hard at first. There’s like an intense vulnerability to that and often, it almost feels like we’re weakening ourselves by letting somebody know that we like them, but we’re not weakening ourselves. We are making ourselves vulnerable. Another way to look at that is that we’re being generous. We’re giving the other person a gift, and the sensitivity and the decency of their reaction is going to tell us so much about who they are.
It takes so much bravery to get out there and meet people. It takes courage to let your family and your friends know that you’re looking to meet someone, and to ask them for help, and it takes courage when we’re stuck in a new relationship or stuck in an old pattern to say, “I need help.” These are acts that change our world. They up us to an entirely different platform than trying to make those changes in our heads. When we interact with the world from this place of enlightened audacity, we kind of change the fabric of our lives.
If you could just take a minute and think about a time that you were honest, really honest with someone, and you did it in a way that was kind and caring, but it was really honest, and how that felt, the scariness of it, but also the love of it by doing it in a way that was kind and caring, and making space. Just remember that feeling of truth and kindness together, how completely awesome that feels. It opens the door to a kind of floodgate of goodness, sexuality, desire, and connectedness when we do that with someone who is a safe person.
It’s such a risk to do that though. I remember I took a workshop in trapeze work. I remember climbing up this wobbly little ladder and like I got to the top there, and the trapeze came and I had to jump. There was a beautiful, big, strong net underneath me, so I knew I wouldn’t be hurt, but that experience of jumping into space to grab the trapeze was like pure inky terror. It was just pure dark terror. It was pure terror, but then the experience of grabbing it and holding onto it was very exhilarating, even though I fell off in about a minute, but it was still a joy.
That experience when I think of someone doing trapeze work who really knows what they’re doing, that experience of leaping into space, and someone else coming, and knowing that when you leap into space, their arms are going to catch you. What an amazing experience that is, but when we take the step to be vulnerable, extra vulnerable, scary, truthful vulnerable to someone, it’s like that. It’s like letting go of the trapeze, and when that person catches us, that’s just a grand and wonderful kind of intimacy. It’s a cement of bond and the experience of being with someone who can do that with you is just glorious. That’s the result of enlightened audacity with a safe person.
Gandhi said a wonderful quote. He said, “Love is the prerogative of the brave,” and it’s so true. It takes true bravery to share who we really are with a loved one, first with ourselves, but every time we do it, we become a little stronger. We become more inspired and we become a bit more willing to live in the world as we really are, and I think that in this process of achieving enlightened audacity, the first step is that bravery to say, “What’s my truth?” To actually allow ourselves to put our hands around the insights, the experience, the truth, and the way of experiencing the world that we truly do, and that is scary because the voices say, “You’re going to get in trouble. You won’t be loved. You won’t be accepted.” So much so that it’s hard to grab on to the truth of what we’re experiencing.It takes true bravery to share who we really are with a loved one Click To Tweet
Expressing Kindness And Generosity
That’s the first foundational stage of intimacy and bravery. It’s being able to say, “What is it that I’m thinking? What is it that I’m feeling?” That act is an act of personal greatness. It’s a first step act that is just huge. Then the next step is to express that and to take the rawness, the realness of what we’re experiencing, to make that commitment that we’re going to own it. We’re going to own it and love it as our incomplete evolving truth, but our experience of truth at the moment, and then to take that and think about, “How do I express this in a way that sees the humanity of the other person?” Let me back up and think about what they have been trying to tell me, about what their needs are, their feelings are, their sensitivities are. What it’s like to be inside their world now, and not to let that stop us from claiming and expressing our truth in the right way at the right time, but being able to hold that in such a way that we can frame and craft what we want to say with that kind of kindness, caring, and cherishing.
In dating, we’ve been taught to be cool and not kind. It’s like the modern dating call is “NEXT”, and if dating culture is anything, it is unkind, and we’ve become so used to it. I’ve talked about this a bunch before, but with the multitudes of people that we meet online, we’ve lost some basic codes of kindness that actually create the possibility of healthy intimacy. That cold approach has dead ended countless potential good relationships, and it’s led to a singles culture that is filled with deep loneliness, which is part of why we created Deeper Dating.
It is scary to show an extra degree of kindness and generosity. It exposes our soul to do that, and then in an interaction with someone where what we’re feeling, experiencing, and needing goes against what they are, we often come in in a kind of aggressive way for a good reason, and the reason is that’s what we feel like it takes to protect our truth, but actually, when we can hold our truth in ourselves, we can do it in a much gentler way of, “We’ve made the intention and the commitment to honor that truth no matter what,” then we can come in in a way that’s a lot more gentle.
How the other person responds to our kindness and gentleness tells us worlds about who they are, and if they’re someone we want in our world. This leads us to meet kinder people, and people who are capable of long-term, healthy love. Kindness and generosity are intoxicating to people, and they’re the medium of intimacy. There’s this kind of awkward vulnerability that we experience when we express this kindness, this generosity. It leaves us feeling kind of raw and vulnerable, and our culture has cut out so many opportunities for settled kindness due to the pace of our interactions. Current dating advice is all about confidence and carefully modulated, crafted ways of writing your profile, flirting, and interacting with people, keeping the other person guessing, but really, it’s kindness that spawns love.
Another is showing vulnerability, because at our core, we’re not only strong, we are tender. All of us are breathtakingly tender. We’re sensitive in the deepest ways, and life teaches us really quickly that we need to toughen up, but we all know that the more authentic we get, the more we feel our tender soul, and that’s where our life is. In a world like this, that’s scary. We’re afraid of showing and feeling our tenderness, our sexual passion, our care. Letting somebody know when we need to be held, how hard is that for so many of us? Letting people know when we need to be listened to even more deeply when we’re feeling insecure, it’s so hard to do those things. It’s not wise to do those things with people that are going to gaslight you, or criticize you, or cut into you.
It is wise to practice that bravery with those precious people who cherish you and are going to show that. When we feel blocked in our lives, or when a dating relationship or romantic relationship becomes stale or stuck, it is because we have chosen not to be as vulnerable, not to be as authentic, not to be as truthful as we could be. Psychotherapists know that when we’re in session with a client, and all of a sudden, out of nowhere, we get hit by this wave of deep tiredness and exhaustion, like all of a sudden, it becomes hard to keep our eyes open. We know that there is something we are not speaking or something our client is not speaking, and it creates this staleness that when you experience that as a therapist, you often ask yourself, “What’s not being said? What’s not being shared? What am I afraid to share that is in fact, all of a sudden, hitting me with this supernatural wave of tiredness?”
Owning Our Originality
It’s one of the amazing experiences that we can use as therapists to understand that there’s a secret in the room. That there’s a lack of energy because there’s a lack of truth around something. Another one is our originality, and originality is scary. Even with our human similarities, every one of us is a completely unique creation and as much as we share a language, we all have our own language of what love is, of what we see the world to be, and that uniqueness is terrifying. That is the uniqueness that artists brave every time they try to tell their truth through their creativity. On some level, we’re herd animals, and when we express parts of ourselves that make us feel different, it feels like we’re straying too far from the pack. We get scared. “Will I end up alone? Am I so different that no one’s going to want me?” As we go deeper into our authentic self, and we feel that fear, we learn the importance of cultivating our tribe. Those people with whom when we share these parts of ourselves, they look at us and we could tell that they get it, and those people are our home in the world. They are our tribe.
All of us can think of moments when we have been afraid to share, afraid to share our deepest thoughts, or questions, or insights with someone that we care about. On a date, we curb our originality so that people don’t judge us as being odd, or there’s a piece of art that we want to share, or words that we want to put down or speak, and they scare us because they’re so charged, and we know we could get in trouble by expressing those truths. These are so human, and this is the exhilarating state of enlightened audacity. It’s making the choice to express these parts, and having the enlightenment to do it in ways that are kind, if it’s in an interaction with someone, and in ways that are discriminating. That’s the enlightened part, that we do it with people who can get it, that we search for people who can get it, that we know that there are people in this world who are going to love the language of our souls.It is kindness that spawns love. Click To Tweet
I think we’re afraid of our passion too. We’re scared, and I raise my hand for all of these. Everything I’m talking about today, I’m talking about because I’ve seen it in clients. I’ve seen it in the world, and I live it in myself most days of the week. Most of us are also scared of the depth of our love. I say this to my husband. I say, “My biggest secret is how deeply I love you.” It scares me to say that. It makes me feel so vulnerable. How powerful our anger can be… How fierce our hunger, how burning that need plays, how huge our love, how fierce our protectiveness for the people we love. I think we’re all scared of our power. Scared because we feel like it’s going to frighten other people, or maybe people have misused power on us, or we’ve seen it done so often, and we don’t want to do it to someone else. The Icarus’ image is so powerful. If we fly too high, if we get too close to the burning sun of our soul, our wings are going to melt and we’ll come crashing down. We’re afraid of showing the intensity of our power as equally as we’re afraid of showing the tenderness of our sensitivity.
Before we close, I just want to lead you in a quick micro-meditation, and as always, you can do this, you can close your eyes and take time to just really go into this, or if you’re walking or driving, keep your eyes open and you can just kind of do this in your head as you’re listening. Have you ever had an experience where you said something that was really difficult to say, either positive or negative, and you did it with an open heart in a non-defensive way to somebody who heard it, and appreciated it, and responded positively? Have you ever had that experience? If you haven’t, just imagine what that would be like because my hope is that that’s going to be in your future. If you have, just remember what it was like taking that scary step, and then also, what it was like to kind of like own your truth but then express it with kindness. With kind of, as I talk about, cupped hands, with the cherishing of the humanity of the other person. What did that alchemy feel like inside of you? That bravery and that love mixed together. Just remember that.
Then what it felt like when what you said was met with caring, appreciation, being heard, decency, humanity. Remember that maybe you felt warmth or gratification mixed with adrenaline or all those different things. Just take a moment to remember what that felt like. This glorious and earned alchemical feeling. These are some of the feelings of enlightened audacity. Just take a moment, remember that experience, and also acknowledge yourself for your bravery, your kindness, and your vulnerability in that experience, and just rest with that memory, and picture a life where you are with people with whom you can do that more, and with whom you do do that more. That’s the stuff of intimacy. That’s the stuff of happiness. That’s the kind of brick and mortar of building a life that’s full of love. Thank you all for listening. I invite you to go to DeeperDatingPodcast.com to join my mailing list, to leave me a review, to subscribe, all those good things if what I talked about spoke to you. Good luck and enjoy your adventure of living enlightened audacity in your own life. Thank you.