12 Men, 12 Humans, 12 Sex Offenders, receiving a chance to be empowered to make different choices in life. An invitation to live my Dharma more fully found me late in 2019.
Imagine living identified as a number or a title. Imagine not having a name, having your humanness forgotten in a system, and possibly living lost in a world of condemnation.
How can we change anything at the cause level if we toss humans away and throwaway the key?
While in Bend, Oregon, in December 2019, I dropped into a heart touching, riveting soul conversation with Maritza Encinos of Buena Vida Counseling. Maritza, is a Sex Offender Therapist. She provides outpatient mental health counseling and evaluations specializing in sexual behavioral issues for male and female adult and juvenile clients. Presenting clients with various forms of interventions, tools, and strategies paves the way to help them move through discomfort and be 1000% accountable for the harms they have committed.
As our conversation deepened, I felt impacted by her compassion, care, and presence in ending sexual abuse by working closely with sex offenders. Her passion for remembering the human in people, and her desire to create environments to impact change from the inside and provide better outcomes for all humans mirrored my passion and Dharma.
At the end of our conversation, I was invited as a guest speaker to present a 75-minute experiential workshop in furthering their education on various forms of intimacy, deep listening, and compassionate communication.
What I know is that we can’t succeed without the tools, safe environment, and reliable guidance to do so. I see so many living in sexual and emotional confusion from day to day, not understanding their feelings, what to do with them, or where to turn. Either implosion or explosion, self harm or harm upon others to various degrees is often what happens.
On December 19th, 2019, I spent 75 minutes in loving kindness with a group of 12 humans who have experienced internal battles, made terrible choices, and are now showing up willing, available, and present to do things differently. Today was one of those experiences, which provided a place to be accountable, to be loved, and to learn new ways.
Willing and enthusiastic participants showed up. Not denying what they had done, but a new desire to learn to do life differently; to experience intimacy and connection from loving kindness. For 75-minutes we dove in together as we explored conscious connected breathwork therapy, the power of deep listening and compassionate understanding.
It was an invaluable gift to be with these humans, these men, and to compassionately witness them opening up their hearts to themselves and to each other. To speak about their feelings as actually being safe. To recognize the fear and welcome in the love.
We all make choices and sometimes bad decisions that will impact others’ and our own lives for a lifetime. Some make extremely bad choices and I too believe they deserve a safe environment to grow, change, and get a chance to do things differently.
To some degree, we all have experienced addiction to something in some way. What I know is to create change, we must create environments similar to what I was a part of todayly, Remembering that all humans deserve this environment to do so.
These men now learn they must now become the protectors, ending their sexual abuse cycles. They now have an environment which also guides them to change their internal state in order to change the external.
I have more tears welling up as I write this because of sharing this experience. My intention is to be more available to offer my service in this way to the world with other sex offender therapy centers. At Buena Vida Counseling, they use the term CREST, which stands for “Consent, Respect, Equality, Safety and Trust.” with three forms of safety: Physical, emotional, sexual, and consent.
I see a world with more sustainable structures and systems in place to work with humans who have sexually offended. By offering such compassionate based learnings, accountability, and alternative approaches to therapy and skill-building, we are impacting the level of sexual abuse in the world and healing humanity by remembering these humans are more than a number.
Thank you, Maritza, for allowing me to share space with these 12 humans with such willingness, respect, and a desire to do it differently.
I am passionate about a world where all humans experience sexual agency, compassionate understanding, and revolutionary empowered relationships. Living from the CREST motto of consent, respect, equality, safety, and trust.
I am passionate about a world of saying YES to being a part of the movement to end sexual abuse from a different angle and bring a different perspective on willingness to move through discomfort.
With appreciation to all my relations and the grace that guides my spirit, thank you for allowing me to be a part of this experience of restoring and empowering humanity through loving-kindness.
To learn more about my guest speaking in Sex Offender programs or any of my work in the realms of sexual agency, mindful relationship, compassionate communication and breath work therapy click here https://www.tziporahintimacy.com/work-with-me/.