Consent is an agreement made between two or more able and willing parties.
It can be further described and understood through something I created called...
Consent and the Four C’s.
The four C’s offer a road map, in consecutive order, to assure that consent is happening.
Before even considering connection with another person, you need to connect deeply with yourself and understand what it is that you’re really wanting. This is why connection with yourself is the first step to assuring consent.
It can be as simple as taking a few minutes (or even seconds!) to drop in with yourself. Closing your eyes, taking a few deep breaths and checking in with your mind-body-spirit and asking yourself
“What is it that I’m really wanting?”
The purpose of this drop in is also to hold yourself courageously and authentically accountable for what it is that you are really wanting. To be real with yourself, and acknowledge if you were initially desiring something that was a mask for what you are actually wanting or needing.
After you’ve discovered what it is that you’re really wanting, the next step is to consider yourself and the person/people you wish to engage with.
First consider, “Now that I know what I really want, am I really in the best state of mind to ask for it or engage in the interaction I wish to have right now?” Be gentle with yourself. If now’s not the time, there’s always another time.
Also consider the other person’s state and what they may be available for. Take a moment to take that person in non-verbally that you desire to interact with. Scan them. Note how they feel energetically, emotionally, and embrace taking them in empathetically, from a distance.
Now that you’ve taken a moment to check in with yourself, get real with yourself and what you’re wanting, and consider your state and the other person’s/people’s state and ability non-verbally, you’re ready to communicate verbally!
Ask clearly for what it is that you’re wanting from that other person or people. Also, be open to what ever their response is.
I encourage you to embrace the notion of not being attached to how you get your need met, that there may be multiple ways you can get it met (and that may look different than you initially thought), and that you may not get your need met at all by this person.
If what you ask for isn’t exactly aligned with what the other person is available for, here’s your chance to get creative and collaborate!
Encourage the other person to offer a counter-offer OR you offer something different. Invite the other person into conversation around how each of you can get both of your needs met and find something that feels really good for the both of you.
This can also be the step where someone blatantly says no, and you need to respect that. Remember if that person is saying no to you they’re saying yes to themselves and saying yes to real connection rather than forced connection.
And the last step brings everyone back to connection, our first step. Because real authentic connection, that which I believe all humans need, its directly dependent on TRUST.
The four steps above also create trust with yourself, alongside the trust of other individuals--
Trust that you can listen to yourself and your authentic needs and trust that you can listen to another person and their authentic needs, making it more accessible for you both to feel real connection. Because the real truth of it all is that …
<3 Consent As Love
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