From Rage to Ravishing Resilience: Presenting Lillie Claire, Founder of Lillie Claire Love: Self-Love, Sensuality and Feminine Power.
I met Lillie last year as she led a Sensual Yoga workshop, learning not only get in touch with my body as a woman, but also learning how to feel strength and sensuality through movement without a partner. On first appearance of Lillie, I thought how incredibly gorgeous this red head with infinite pool eyes was. However, as we all know there is more than meets the eye, and I began to learn more about her life path and transformation.
Lillie is a certified Yoga-Tantra teacher, specializing in Women’s Trauma Healing and creating authentic intimacy between couples. She journeyed from Australia to LA 5 years ago and Tantra was one of the modalities that transformed her own inner life, leading her to be the ravishing woman she is today.
One of the beautiful aspects of Tantra is eye gazing, learning how to surrender one’s emotions in the present and learning how to balance both masculine and feminine energies within. Lillie sat down with me and shared her personal journey from anger and self-hatred to self-love and sensual empowerment. Today, I’m excited to introduce to you, Lillie Claire Love.
A Candid Interview with Lillie Claire Love and Erika Briones, SexySoulMatrix online coach, and blogger. [Transcript]
Erika Briones: My first question is inspired by my favorite company, MindValley Academy, and that is, “What wakes you up in the morning?”
Lillie Claire Love: (giggles) Right now, it is my alarm, literally! Sleep has been really important to me lately. It is something I need and crave, and I’m beginning to cherish it. I’m listening to my body instead of “go, go, go” all the time. That is the literal answer; my alarm clock! Passion, excitement and gratitude truly drive me, wake me up and fuel me. When I wake up I am excited about the day, passionate to share with others and there is a state of sincere appreciation for my life, and that’s what really wakes me up and lights me up. Also, I appreciate the structure and routine and see that as the masculine energy, it’s the container. The feminine then get’s to move within that container freely, sometimes wildly, and sometimes more gracefully, but allowing that to be in that moment.
Erika Briones: After getting to know you recently, I would love our audience to hear more about your transformational story, or as I call it your “Cinderella” story.
Lillie Claire Love: From the beginning?
Erika Briones: Absolutely! Can you give us the movie trailer version of your upbringings?
Lillie Claire Love: The movie trailer version is that I grew up in a kind of small but spread out town, in a hippie-Atheist family. We were out in the Aussie bush, in the wild, with Aboriginal friends and family. I grew up very connected to the land and the Indigenous culture. As life happened and I grew up, there was a lot of chaos around me, a lot of disconnection and a lot of anger throughout my family. My parents broke up when I was five then they fought for much of my life until my mom passed away four years ago. I was the mediator of the family, the supposedly calm and “sensible” one between everyone. I was close to my mom, but she developed a drinking problem and was in a long domestic violent relationship, so I was often the mother to my mother. When I turned 18 and moved out, then we started to rebuild our relationship, as adults and became best friends. I always tried to save my boyfriends, my partners. I was putting my attention on somebody else instead of saving myself and that was a big lesson for me. Releasing that codependent relationship and allowing other people to have their journey. My life came to a big crescendo when my mom passed away, I was drinking a lot and becoming more destructive with myself and my close relationships. I was full of rage. Being around anger for so long, I learned how to suppress it to keep it together for others, but then it boiled up to a point and it had nowhere to go except out. It got so bad, dangerous actually, that I finally realized, I’m the common denominator in my life and I can keep looking outside and saying “it’s this person’s fault,” or “that experience’s fault”, but it was me in the common thread of my whole life. I always had a huge desire to contribute to others in a positive way and here I was contributing to someone not positively as well as myself. I found myself having to make a choice, to take responsibility for everything in my life up to this point, and to turn things around from here and allow myself to be loved and to love in a way I didn’t really know how to yet. I then committed to a different way of being, to diving into the deepest, darkest parts of me. That took a lot of work! And it’s always ongoing, but it gets easier. I would never say that I’m there. It’s a continual moment to moment, day by day. That commitment to take responsibility for my life, and to know there has to be a light at the end of this tunnel, that’s really what kept me going. There is a light.
Erika Briones: Speaking of the light, I recall that you have done energy work, specifically energy healing. What I’m curious about is this whole buzzword of “energy” and people tend to misuse it. Can you tell me how you use that term in your life, and also how that improved your relationship with your mom as well as your path towards enlightenment?
Lillie Claire Love: Whether you feel energy or not, it’s there, we are all made of it. Our cells, our DNA, the universe, the stars. Everything is spinning, everything is turning, and it’s made up of energy. The rocks, the plants, the birds, and everything is alive. Everything has life running through it, and it’s made up of all these small little cells. I think all these different modalities are useful; reiki, the holy spirit, EFT, sexual healing. If you have the intention for good and for healing, then you're tapping into that source energy, where we all originate from. That source is good and that source is love, healing, and expansion. The universe is continually expanding and we are all part of that. Whatever name we call it or modality we use, we can all tap into that source. Before my mom went into a coma, my mom was sick for a long time and I started getting into an energy healing modality and it opened me in an energetic spiritual way that opened me to entities and spirits that didn’t have a body, ghosts essentially. This is something that happened accidental, and it gave me an opportunity to determine what to do with this gift. Eventually I offered to do a healing on my mom even though I didn’t know what that looked like. At first she was hesitant for the first six months, saying she was fine, then later she called in a lot of pain and asking if I could do a healing session with her. In our conversation I said, “let’s release the attachment to the identity of who we are to each other of the mother and daughter, and everything that is there. Let’s recognize that we are two beings, so we can be really open to whatever can happen here.” Then I imagined my hands starting at her feet and inviting that source of love energy flowing through me and flowing through my hands into my mom’s body. I was inviting that energy up in her body, and as we did that we spoke about different things that were coming up. I remember I was on her knees and I was imagining my hands over that part of her body and then I was asking her, “What are you feeling right now?” My mom then said, “ I was thinking of what it meant to be on ‘our knees in life’.” That can be a “I’m on my knees open and surrendering and in awe of the universe” or it can be “I’m on my knees, totally desperate and I don’t know what to do.” In that moment my mom and I were very open and it felt very intuitive. We cleared a lot of stuff from her past, she was brought up very Catholic and then she abandoned religion and took on an identity as a hippie feminist in the 70’s. She was an active protester for women's rights and equality. Her ribs were broken by the cops and put in jail due to a protest. She was a wild woman and she stood up for what she believed when it came to protecting others. Even though she was seemingly so “free”, she still carried this shame and guilt, Catholic guilt she called it. We cleared the shame and for the first time she was open and able to give herself permission to be kind to herself and put herself first, she didn’t need to feel selfish. She realized she was her own, biggest judge. She thanked me for the session and I told her that I loved her and wouldn’t judge her, whatever she chose. A week later she went into a coma and I was able to communicate with her spirit and help her to move on from this life with freedom. She let go of holding onto a sick body because she thought she needed to stay here for her kids and her partner. She saw she could be more helpful to all of us by returning to the natural state of Unconditional Love. Now she is one of my Angels and sends us positive energy from the source.
Erika Briones: When you were talking about your mom and how she overcame so much, and with the political protests, it reminded me of the word “rage” and how similar you both captured it. Can you tell me more about what rage means to you now and how you handle that rage?
Lillie Claire Love: My mom definitely had rage, she grew up in a screaming house, and when dad left, I think she felt abandoned and betrayed by life. As children, we are open sponges and we soak up the energy of emotions around us. Energetically I was soaking up rage, and by example, learned that is how people who “love” each other treat each other. As kids, when there is chaos, we make it mean that there is something wrong with us; it became my job to make sure everyone was ok and I felt like a failure when I couldn’t stop the pain around me. Emotion and trauma is also passed down in our DNA, it’s in our cells. Scientifically there is research coming out that for example, your grandmother’s trauma is present in your current biological DNA. We are carrying trauma and negative belief systems that isn’t even ours to carry. We need to clear that ancestral line in order to not pass it onto future generations and to live whole and free lives. My mother definitely had this fire inside of her. That can be such a positive force to create a movement and shift in the world, hence the Woman’s Right’s Movements. It’s important to stand up for equality, use your voice, not being afraid. There is a great power within the rage to create change. But it can also be destructive. I’m carry that fire inside of me and I can be really powerful, scary even, when I stand up for others. But it is a fine line into righteousness and martyrdom. I am compelled to create a movement for good in the world, but I have been through a process of letting the rage soften and it is just as powerful to tap into unconditional love and in that place anger doesn’t exist. Fear doesn’t exist. Fighting doesn’t exist. I am asking the question how can we come from a place of total acceptance and love to create this positive shift that we want to see in our own lives and in the world, without having to use force or be rageful. How can we shift with more ease and total acceptance and total knowing that a shift is happening. That is all a balance.
Erika Briones: When I think of rage, I imagine Kali Ma. In a lecture, Alan Watts describes how in Hindu mythology, Kali Ma, is “The great mother, who is represented in the most terrible imagery. Kali has her tongue hanging out long drooling with blood, she has fang teeth, has a summit in one hand and severed head in the other, and she is trampling on the body of her husband who is Shiva”. Seeing how Kali encompasses fierceness, can you tell me what she represents for you?
Lillie Claire Love: Yes, Kali Ma, represents fierce love and a need to cut loose from the bullshit. Sometimes I notice a client wants to hold on to something which keeps them in a kind of hardness, or in a victim state, in the struggle, versus the ownership of their life, and I feel Kali come out in this fierce “mother love”, saying “No. It’s time for you to move forward with your life. Stop clinging to the pain, it’s safe to trust life.” That is what Kali Ma stands for. In her presence it sounds like a strong, “No!” and it’s time to let it go. This can also be represented when we are standing up for our boundaries, and saying no to someone who doesn’t have healthy boundaries. If we can declare our boundaries in a way we are standing in our power and clearly state; “No, that is not ok” as opposed having to fight aggressively for our right.
Erika Briones: In terms of fighting, I believe with anger there comes this instinct desire to move. Within that emotion, I believe it’s healthy to move that rage as you mention with exercises like lifting or yoga. That being said, seeing how you seem at peace, can you tell me more about your fitness lifestyle and how it helps you with your negative emotions.
Lillie Claire Love: I definitely believe it’s important to move and to physically move not just to keep healthy but to move stuck energy and stuck emotions like anger and grief. Firstly, I want to mention that I have always been thin, but I have not always felt beautiful. It’s important to give context because some people like to say how lucky I am to be thin, and there has been a lot of pain with my own body image to get to a place of really embracing the body I am in. If we continually compare bodies with each other, we are really going to never be happy. My mom would take me to the doctor when I was a kid and would tell the doctor, “She eats all the time, but she’s so skinny”. Not til my early 20's I started to develop hips and some curves. I didn’t believe I was beautiful as a teenager because others called me skinny. It was a process of appreciating my uniqueness. I started yoga when I was 18 but when I was drinking a lot I was inconsistent with it didn’t go to a class for about a year. Finally I got myself to a class and I remember crying the whole way through it and realized why I had resisted doing it. I didn’t want to feel. Once we start moving physically we can start moving things energetically, emotionally, and mentally through us and out of us and finally release it. When we do that we have to realize the feelings will be there whether it’s anger, disappointment, loneliness, grief. It’s very important to move, but you have to find something that you want to do whether yoga, rock climbing or dancing. I recently started getting into five rhythms which is a dance meditation where you dance for several hours and move through different levels of music. It starts off soft and slow, just swaying your body, then the bass kicks in and you jump around like a wild woman. You move through the various energy systems of the body, the chakras, which relates to the different developmental places in our lives and emotions. Weight training, squats and kickboxing are some of my favorites too. They ground my energy and help me to push past what I think I’m capable of.
Erika Briones: I also hear that another way one can also heal is through Tantra, and was curious if you can elaborate more about this ancient sexual art for our muggle audience. One of the popular rumors people hear about, is how Sting has done Tantra for several hours, and it’s said to give one insatiable orgasms. Being that you're a Tantra teacher, can you describe what Tantra is now vs centuries before?
Lillie Claire Love: The basics of tantra is that it’s a philosophy, not a religion. Same as yoga or meditation. It’s a life practice and the main point of tantra is to become more aware, more present, more conscious in your life, in every moment. The Western world really locked into Tantra as a sexual practice. Tantra includes all life. In Eastern cultures, sex is normal, and a very big part of life. There is no stigma or shame around it. It’s part of this wellspring of life and how we stay young and vital, energetic and creative. With all the christian influence in the west there is so much shame around sexuality, we’ve made it wrong, dirty, and bad. Thanks to Eastern and Indigenous influences, now people in the Western world are waking up and started to integrate Tantra’s teachings because we need it. We need to let go of the shame, and taboo around it. Within Tantra, one becomes more conscious and connected to one's body. We live in such a fast-paced, money oriented, driven world that we are living from our neck up. We are usually in our head constantly thinking, analyzing, and not really connecting anywhere down, or connecting to our heart. Our heart is not just a physical thing in our chest, but it holds the center of for our capacity to feel, to love, to have compassion, to bond with one another. Below that is our will power, and our confidence. Below that is our sexuality, our creativity, where we hod our subconscious beliefs and at the root is our survival and our need for safety, it’s our grounding in this physical world. Tantra teaches us in a practical way to come back to our body and to get out of our head for a while. Some of us are so numb in our body and desensitized in sex. Men are desensitized from crazy, explicit out there porn and being so over-driven. Women are desensitized from shame and body hate, from abuse and trauma, as well as trying to do it all like a man. We tend to live in this masculine energy of doing, doing, doing, instead of just being able to relax, receive, and surrender.. There is so much misconception of what surrender means. Sometimes we see tapping into our femininity as weak and powerless. Vulnerability being part of femininity has a stigma of being hurt. Through the practice of Tantra, we become aware of all the shit that’s in the way. We say BS is short for bullshit, but I say BS is for our bullshit belief systems! Our BS is what limits us from living in the present, allowing ourselves to drop down into the layers and open up to a partner in an intimate way, to give ourselves permission to really be seen in all of the dark corners that we try and hide. We have to allow ourselves to just be held and seen, to truly see the other person, not what we expect or project them to be.
Erika Briones: Love how you weaved all concepts of Tantra and wondering what are the ABC’s of Tantra or some ways we can apply it in our daily lives?
Lillie Claire Love: I would always start with breath. Tuning in right now, are you breathing? Your breathing, right because otherwise you would be dead, but are you aware that your breathing? It’s a miracle that your body just knows to breathe, to take in life. When we become more and more aware, we start to elongate our breath, and deepen it and breathe from a deeper part of us, not just in our chest which is shallow. Start to expand the diaphragm, start to push the breath into your whole abdomen, even down into your sex, into the pelvis, into the pelvic floor. Elongating and deepening and expanding the breath opens and expands your whole body and being. Physiologically, this allows the oxygen to get into your cells, your bloodstream, your brain. That’s going to expand your capacity to feel and to be open to allow the B.S. to move through you and more easily, to be able to tap into your intuition rather than being in your head. Get out of the constant “good/bad, right/wrong”, that our mind likes to do. Once you get into this rhythm of breath, you become more present. It will also deepen and expand your orgasm potential and the ability to be in an intimate moment. Breath comes first before anything in life. The next phase would be movement and movement in two ways. Physical movement in your pelvis, rocking your hips back and forth, awakening your sensual energy. And then also movement in the sense of energy, so as you breathe and turn your hips and become aware of your pelvic floor and your sexual region, start to imagine that energy like a white light or beautiful water flowing through a river and imagine that energy or oxygen flowing through you upwards, through the center of your body, all the way to the top of your head then cascading back down the waterfall and finally back to your sexual center which keeps moving that energy around. You are then moving physically and moving energetically. That will really wake up your sexual/ creative center, which doesn’t just have to pertain to sex and intimacy but pertains to all of life. You can use that energy to create anything you want. As you move energy around your body you can also set your intention and attention that “I’m going to send this creative energy out into a project or a relationship or send it to heal someone, or myself.” It’s unlimited what you can do with it. Connection is another element of Tantra and connection is something you can do with yourself in terms of touch. Use your fingertips, very gently and lightly caress your skin. Caress the parts of yourself that don’t usually get your attention. In sex, we usually go straight for the “sexual” parts, but our whole body needs attention and our whole body can be orgasmic. Can I connect to and touch my feet, my neck, and the small of my back. Give yourself that love. The second part of connection is eye gazing. We can do it with a partner by starting to first engage in breathing together and eye gazing and allowing all the masks to fall away and just really allowing ourselves to see and be seen. We can also do this practice with ourselves by sitting in front of a mirror and take yourself in and look in your own eyes, almost as if your sitting in front of a friend or a lover. When you do that look at yourself like your valuing, appreciating, and nourishing that person.
Erika Briones: I love these practices and how deep one can go not only with a partner but within oneself. Speaking of loving oneself Miss Lillie, can you tell me your plans for 2016?
Lillie Claire Love: My mantra this year is to “go big” in all aspects of life. I am not living form the old BS of staying small and safe any more. I am committed to living a big and exceptional life. I’m allowing myself to expand Lillie Claire Love across the globe through online coaching programs, I just launched my first webinar course with women from Sydney and my hometown Darwin in Australia, women in Paris and all over the states. I am excited to connect with and be a contribution in other people’s lives. I am launching a 9 month Program to use your sexual energy to create abundance in your life in April called O Manifest, and co-facilitating a retreat in Costa Rica April 1st to 4th too. We can look at our reality, and look at what’s going on in the world and see how there is a lot of stuff falling apart like our government system, economy, environment, war. We can look at all of that and get bogged down by the hopelessness, or pessimism about it. There is something far greater than all of that we are all connected to. What we focus on and what we say with our words and the thoughts we think, that matters and that’s what creates what we live in. Let’s be part of creating what we do want, not what we don’t want. In time, the physical world will catch up so there has to be some faith and trust and perseverance and patience. We can do it together.