Can you change your life in just a week?

Good Housekeeping Magazine

‘Now I have the confidence to say what I want’

Caralyn Duignan, 41, lives in Crewe with her partner, Michael Robbins, and her children, Emily, 12 and Mark, 10

‘Two years ago, my 17-year marriage had just ended and I was half-way through the divorce. My husband and I had gone for counseling but, in the end, we’d decided it would be kinder and quicker just to end it as soon as we could. It became very clinical-no shouting or vindictiveness, just very cold. I felt I’d become very closed up. I wasn’t talking to anyone-not even friends or family-about how I felt. It was as if I had a shell around me.

I’d ended up in the situation so many women get into: you’re so involved in your husband and children’s lives that you’ve no time to work out what you want for yourself. Everyone else had become more important that me. But telling my husband I wanted a divorce had been a great sense of release. We’d been drifting apart for some while and by then I’d met someone else-Michael. He and I got on well and it made me feel open to anything, so when he asked me if I’d like to go on a tantra weekend, I saw it as an opportunity just to be me. I did wonder what I’d let myself in for, though, and worried that everyone else on the weekend might be a bunch of weirdos.

We arrived at this lovely place in Somerset and settled into our room, which was part of an old converted byre. On our first night I was still very nervous but determined to give it a go. The weekend is called Dip Into Tantra and it teaches you about touch, relaxing and thinking about yourself and how you relate to other people. We were in a big group of 30 people, both couples and singles. It was very clear that everything was voluntary-we were encouraged to participate but if anything didn’t feel right, we could say no.

‘If you were attending with a partner you stayed with him or her. We had one session where we were blindfolded. We were fed morsels of tasty food and given shells to feel, and we listened to music and had essential oils wafted under our noses. All my senses were brought alive and it was very moving. I was so emotional that I burst into tears and began to see how much I’d been keeping everything bottled up.

‘I also brought away the idea that it’s not only good to give but also to get things back. I used to think, particularly with sex, “If I do this for you, then I expect that back from you.” With tantra there’s no expectation. Also, I’d never tried massage before and enjoying it on the course helped me to awaken my physical side.

I’ve always been quite a traditional person and conformed to what life ‘should’ be. But my relationship with Michael now is like nothing I’ve experienced before-and we talk about everything. I feel more sure about myself, and I have the confidence to talk about myself, about sex and my relationships with the people who mean most to me.’

If you’re up for a challenge find out about tantric courses from Diamond Light Tantra on 0845 388 2231 or visit


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