WIL Workshop | Getting real in relationships

Walking into a smart, modern venue in the heart of the Brisbane CBD, I felt instantly at ease and knew today was going to be a great day. This is definitely the place for a truly modern woman, one who doesn’t shy away from engaging in life, her workplace, her community and her family to be. While we have known forever how vital relationships are for all of us, the Women in Livingness event on the real deal of intimacy was just getting started.

So often it is perceived that women who invest in personal development and are interested in self-growth have a certain look about them that could be considered fluffy, new-agey or spiritual. But here was a room packed with oh-so-normal women, from all walks and age groups of life, who most definitely expressed the epitome of the modern woman. These 130 women had come to hear a couple of relationship counselors present their take on What is Intimacy.

Ready to find out?

Annette Baker and Gabrielle Caplice walked onto stage. They oozed spunk, tenderness, seriousness and understanding, rolled up with a good dose of humour. Here is a couple who have dedicated probably thousands of wo-man-hours exploring relationships, starting with their own, and leaving no stone unturned in the process. We were about to spend 4 hours seriously contemplating our own relationships, for some of us possibly the first 4 hours ever!

We began with some provisos:

1) The word relationship refers to ALL relationships. Couple-types, friendships, familial, work-colleagues, ‘random’ meetings with strangers, and the one-off encounters with tradesmen as examples. The purpose of the workshop was to get beneath the understanding that intimacy is confined to the couple-type relationship and therefore make a move to bring intimacy into all relationships.

And it must follow naturally that 2) Intimacy isn’t about sexual behaviour. Period. The reduction of keeping our understanding of intimacy only to the physicality is outrageous.

And finally, 3) Perfection. There is no such thing. We the audience/participators were to be open to the possibility that we can have intimate relationships with everyone, however if we didn’t, it didn’t mean there was something wrong with us, rather signifying it’s time now to bring a focus of intimacy within our relationships.

So, how are many women living?

Have you ever used your body as a shield, to give someone the cold shoulder so to speak? Averting eyes to not meet another’s gaze? Anxiousness is a killer of intimacy and so living with that kind of tension in the body, your body will not be fluid, open and free, which is what is needed to be truly intimate. Instead we live with tense jaws and stiff hips! We’re using our body to push people away, perhaps even being overtly intimate in the wrong way! A far cry from using our body to be intimate (refer back to proviso 2!).