Seeking liberation in restraint

Liberation in restraint rope bondage surrender

My teacher Joseph Kramer found it humorous that I’m seeking liberation in restraint. Well, the rope – the restraint – is just a vehicle. The friction comes from inside of ourselves, when we need to trust ourselves into the unknown… To trust another (imperfect) human being. To let go of control. This is the moment where our patterns come out powerfully. 

Since I was a teenager, I have been obsessed with freedom. I felt it strongly, physically in my body, as a shortcoming, how much I am being held back by my pre-existing patterns. Habits. Stories we were told when we were little, stories we keep telling to ourselves. It was unbearable for me to feel my fear – that would bite me right at the place where I wanted to take the next step. And it was even more unbearable to feel that that wasn’t coming from me, but from something someone else had told me… So I was fighting a lot with myself. Looking back now I understand how this was exactly my conditioning playing out, but I also think it’s kind of cute how fiercely I was seeking and that it brought me eventually to somatics and all the answers I found there.

“A soma that is maximally free is a soma that has achieved a maximal degree of voluntary control and a minimal degree of involuntary conditioning. This state of autonomy is an optimal state of individuation, i.e., one having a highly differentiated repertoire of response possibilities to environmental stimuli.”

Thomas Hanna

This pretty much sums up my life purpose, if I would be in need of defining any. Seeking liberation, as a minimal degree of involuntary conditioning and maximal degree of spontaneous reaction in any given moment. Not possible to achieve in this life, I am aware I will never get there. I enjoy exercising it. Also when I’m being tied.

So back to the rope or what rope represents… The restraint play can be practiced in two ways, as receiving and as surrendering. There are some great learnings we do when we “receive the rope” – same as when receiving loving attention or a present from others… But there is a Learning when we start to surrender. This is when we really face ourselves. We have a chance to become aware of our “repertoire of response possibilities”. We can practice the “responding” in a focused way. We can ask ourselves: 

How do I behave in a situation I cannot control? Where does my mind go? What does my body do? How do I keep myself safe? Do I always do the same thing or is it different? Honestly, does my response have more to do with a present situation or my habit?

Somehow I never stopped obsessing about that learning edge between habitual and spontaneous, where real life happens. I’ve been lucky to gather some pretty unique experiences as a Kinbaku model. I’ve been educated as a Sexological Bodyworker and met some very inspiring mentors on this pathway. I was lucky to have a few years in my life when I did nothing but learn to attend, feel, touch, and breathe. I learned a lot of tools that helped me in my search for somatic freedom. Also, tools that are helping me to align my actions with my values…

I know we will never become free completely. We can only strive for it. The main question remains: what do you like to exercise? What do you like to become?