Safer vs. braver spaces (2019)

One of the biggest takeaways from EURIX 14 was the idea of “braver space” – I stole it from Cazou Fairydance, so kudos to her for the brilliance.

I’ve for a long time been trying to define what happened to me during the years of Schwelle 7 because it turned out to be the seed for my own research into the in-between space. Schwelle 7 was a place where bodywork and dance met BDSM and tantra. Together we practised body awareness with an idea that the body often knows better than the mind.

I learnt to listen to my body and the bodies of the people around me. This was completely in contrast to my everyday life working for a big telecom company. In my professional life, I practised enslaving my body under my mind. To ignore my pain and tiredness in order to think harder and longer.

To enter the world of Schwelle 7 I had to be brave because I had to let go of my past. I had to tell my mind to stop speaking to it self and start listening to the world around me. What exactly did I let go of? Mostly the future and the past. The past contained all my knowledge about what I liked and disliked, my judgements about people around me, and ideas about who I where. The future contained my wishes and dreams. Or the ideas about what I thought I desired. I had to take a break from this and instead I learnt to listen to the present now.

I had a habit to build my sense of safety based on the knowledge about the past and the future. Learning what had been successful in the past would lead me to a future that I had already predicted. This made me feel safe. Like walking down a known road. Don’t get me wrong, this was a very successful mindset, that rewarded me with a top career lasting fifteen years. But it was boring and it made me very disconnected from the present.

Schwelle 7 offered me a space to practice to find my sense of safety in the present, with like-minded people curious about the same. It didn’t matter if the idea about dedicating ourselves to the present was right or wrong. What matter that we dared to be brave and together we created the space for this.

So now ten years later I carry the fruits of Schwelle 7 forward in my own work with the in-between space. Now I realize that I’m personally more interested in a space to be brave, than a space to be safe. This becomes extra important because a safer space often stand in opposition to a braver space. So two qualities must be consciously balanced against each-other. Only safety will result in stagnation, and only bravery will result in chaos. Safer spaces are very in fashionable lately, and for good reasons with #metoo movement, and both tantra and BDSM becoming more mainstream. So it’s important to be aware of the opposite.

In the end I believe that the most important is to give each and every individual the possibly to choose the balance they need between safety and bravery.