We Don’t Need to Be Unwounded to Help Others, We Just Need to have an Intimate and Honest Relationship with Our Wounds

These past couple of years, I’ve become very acquainted with the gifts and limitations of my wounds and how to tell the difference between the two. Helping or loving anyone from a wounded place can result in support that is either unhelpful or damaging. As parents, healers, ministers, helpers, therapists or support persons we don’t need to be unwounded to help others — we just need to have an intimate and honest relationship with our wounds so that it’s clear to everyone involved, who we are trying to “help.” I compare this to getting to know a lover. Seeking to know them inside and out — their strengths, depths, triggers and potential go-to behaviours when they (or I) just. want. to. stop. the. bleeding.

While I learned about all of this through counselling classes and other trainings I’ve done, the greatest teacher for me has been through my intimate relationships. Nothing matters to me as much as my children, partner, family and friends do, and yet  — no other area of my life touches my wounds as much as they do. Because of this, I’ve learned to recognize the dysregulation in my body when my wounds have opened, to slow down, pause and be present to what is actually real in the moment. 

There are 2 memories that stand out as for me as vivid reminders of what my wounded vs. unwounded help looks and feels like. In one — I’m standing at my eldest sons door, trying to help him grieve and find a reason to keep going after losing his friend from suicide. He keeps saying “don’t yell at me” and I can’t understand why he’s saying this when I’m not raising my voice at all. Only later do I realize that what he was feeling, was that my support (while good intentioned) was from a desperate place of fear that I’m going to lose him too, rather than from a place of present listening to him and what he actually needed from me. 

The second memory happened a year and a half later —  I’m holding in my arms a friend and mother who lost her son to suicide only a few days earlier. As she sobs, I feel the bones in her spine under my fingers, smell the shampoo in her hair and see her sons’ shoes on the porch floor under our feet. The difference between the 2 memories of myself is:  grasping, desperation vs. generous, loving presence. 

Since then, I use these memories as a reminder that when I’m helping anyone, there are 2 choices I can make — like 2 doors to open in my heart.  

There are 2 doors in my heart — each with a sign on them that says “helping.” Apart from the signs, the doors look very different. 

One is like those old saloon doors that have no handle and swing open without warning or thought to who is on the other side. Beyond the swinging door, the ground drops away immediately so that as soon as I step in — as fast as the door swings open — I fall into a big pit of gooey tar. There is no bottom to the pit and once in it, I have to tread tar to stay up. The tar is sticky and heavy and I have to not only tread fast enough to stay up, but also to keep it from hardening around me. Glancing around the tar pit I notice what I hadn’t noticed before — that the person I was trying to help, is in here treading tar with me. It’s difficult to see them for who they truly are in here  — someone hurting and needing support while also fully capable of surviving this pain. All I can see is both of us, desperately trying not to drown in the tar while their eyes plead with mine to save them. This door represents the wounded part of me that when triggered, can’t always tell my wound from another’s in this pit. 

The other door in my heart is wooden with a large stain glass window in it and  I can tell from the way the colours in the glass sparkle onto my face and chest that there is a lot of light on the other side.  This door is made with such obvious care that I can almost imagine whomever made it, hand planing and sanding it until it was smooth to touch. The handle is one that needs to be turned in order to open the door and as I reach down to turn it I’m present to every sensory detail I see and feel. Being so well cared for, this door makes me feel present, loving and generous before I even open it. Turning the handle and gently easing the door forward, I can see the person on the other side standing on the grass with light glowing around them. I notice the deep pain in their eyes, the quiver in their lip and the dysregulation in their chest as they breathe. When I reach out to hug them I smell the faint scent of soap in their hair and feel the bones in their spine with my fingertips. I am as present as humanly possible to what they’re going through and, while I can absolutely feel their pain and imagine with every vein in my body how it feels, I never once see it as my own or as my responsibility to fix. I am simply there for them, in whatever way they need, on their journey of healing. 

Before I help anyone, I take a breath, pause at the entry of these doors and ask myself which one I’m about to go through.

***In loving memory of Thomas Schorr and his loving mama.

Last Call to Register for Couples Date Night Experience

A Sensual Experience: Intimate Date Night for Couples

“I’ve never felt anything like that in my life. WOW.” – Previous participant

June 4th 2021, 7pm – 10pm.

Experienced in the comfort of your own home.

$75/individual, $150/couple (due upon registration)

Registration deadline May 16th

* max 10 couples (welcome to all genders/sexual orientations)

A sensual experience is a partnered exploration of pleasure as experienced through the 5 senses of sound, taste, smell, touch and sight. Alone in your home, hotel or private space each individual will take turns leading their blindfolded partner through prepared sensory experiences, designed to wake each of their senses to the pleasure that can be felt when focused attention is placed on them. You don’t need any previous skills or techniques to do this experience. Just simply the willingness to try.

This highly erotic experience is wonderful for all couples and can be especially beneficial if you identify with any of the following:

  • Have felt disconnected in your intimacy and want a way to bridge the disconnect
  • Are interested in exploring higher sexual practices and are looking for a starting point
  • Experience performance issues in sex
  • Desire to feel more pleasure
  • Have difficulty giving or receiving
  • Take your 5 senses for granted
  • Are open to exploring new things and having fun
  • You want a hot, intimate night with your partner

How does it work?
I will prepare kits for each registered couple including all of the props needed for the experience. Each sense will have a variety of items designed to awaken you through that sense. The kit will also include detailed, easy instructions and tips on how to deliver the experience, labels for each sense (making for easy access), blind fold, homemade lube, link to a playlist and candle. Kits will be delivered to your door (Saskatoon residents) by 5pm on the 4th. Kits will include perishable and non perishable items so need to be used within 48 hours. The non perishable items can be put back into the kit and used again and again in the future – providing you endless experiences.
*if you are from out of town you can arrange to pick up your kit from my house

June 4th, 7pm – 8pm (max)
  • Zoom session. Introductions, instructions and details about the experience. This is a time for you to ask questions and for myself to provide tips.
8pm – 10pm 
  • 50 minutes sensory experience guided by your partner.
  • Switch roles
  • 50 minutes sensory experience guided by your partner
June 6th, 11am-12pm (optional)
  • Zoom session. Time for couples to share their experience if they wish and anything that came up from it. This session is optional and allows time for couples who can’t do the experience until the 5th, to attend.
Contact me to register at natashasalaash21@gmail.com or 306-241-2408. Space is limited.

I Do This Work For……..

Having more time at home with my family this past year has given me time to reflect on my life, values, the work I do and my reasons for doing it. This time of reflection has strengthened my resolve to wait for in person workshops to resume, rather than converting them to online delivery. It’s also reminded me of the value I get from my work that doesn’t come from the fee, but from my experiences with the people I work with. I do this work for reasons that online formats and money can’t provide me. 

I do this work for…… the initially awkward and distant couple who is struggling to bridge the divide between them. For the moment that one of them softens, turns towards the other, looks up into their eyes and shows them — sometimes for the first time — that they are willing to do their part to break through their divide. 

I do this work for…… the people who are afraid there is something horribly wrong with their body and that no one would ever love them if they see it. I do it for the moment that we show each other our bodies and they realize that just like me, they are okay as they are — exactly as they are — and that someone who loves them will think so too. 

I do this work for…… the middle aged married woman who brings herself to orgasm for the first time in her life and, through her tears, cries over and over “I’m normal!” 

I do this work for…… the seemingly cocky man who ends up admitting that he needs help because he’s scared in intimacy, can’t relax enough to get aroused and is so afraid of making a mistake that he can’t even listen to his partner. I do it for the moment he learns what relaxation feels like in his body and that arousal happens naturally when he takes time to allow it. I do it for the emails he excitedly sends after sessions telling me how he was able to hear his partner for the first time and that he allowed himself the time to become fully aroused in sex. 

I do this work for…… the moments in Bodysex retreats that happen after workshop hours are over. When I see Justine lovingly adorn a naked woman’s scars with henna, cuddle piles in different corners of the room, shared laughter over stories and experiences of women from different ages and walks of life. 

I do this work for……. what I learn about a Counselling client from the moments they break eye contact with me, look down at the floor, shift their legs, say “ummm,” start playing with their hair, bite their lip or fold their hands across their stomach. I may not know what any of these necessarily mean for them, but I know there’s something there. By being present with them, I can notice and ask them about it. 

I do this work for…… the child with ADHD who feels completely misunderstood and doesn’t understand why they’re in trouble for something they did. I do it for the moment they tell me why they did it (which most often makes perfect sense) and the recognition and love on their parents face as they understand for the first time. 

I do this work for…..me. 

I love my work and miss the group workshops, and more in person interactions. And yet, I also don’t want to do it any other way. So —  just like edging an orgasm  I’m  patiently enjoying this time as a gift for what it’s showing me, and will fully celebrate the groups( and the orgasms) when they happen.<3

Q&A: Why does my vagina stink after having a lot of sex?

Our vagina’s are amazing self cleaners and regulators. We don’t need products to clean them and the less products we use, the better in balance our PH will be – resulting in a normal healthy vagina with a normal flavour and scent to it.
While douches and soaps can actually mess with this, another culprit is sperm. If you have regular or often penis/vag sex and the sperm enters you, you may find that your vagina smells and tastes different. This is because sperm is designed to stay alive and can stay alive for days in your vagina thus affecting the normal balance.
The best way to come back to a healthy ph is to take probiotic supplements. I find it best to just insert one into my vagina rather than taking it orally. It is amazing how fast they absorb into your vaginal walls and your awesome flavour is back! You might notice that the gell capsule (not the contents of it) takes a bit longer to dissolve and that’s okay. You can always reach in and pull it out or giggle at it on your partners penis when you have sex. he he. You can find these probiotics at health food stores and Superstore organic section and they should ALWAYS be refrigerated.
As women we are inundated with products to shame us into thinking our natural scent/flavour is wrong, and we should smell like fake cherries or flowers. No one tells us that fake cherry smell and sperm are actually big culprits here and that our natural scent is gonna be hot to whomever is hot for you – yourself included. (yay for pheromones!)