How I Feel

Waning moon.

20 or so years ago, I was a total shithead. I'm not kidding. I was lost. I was a Fendi totin', Chanel doused, pushup bra sportin', stiletto wearing, acrylic nail nightmare of a mean girl. Not to say that's not right for someone because I'm sure it is but not. for. me. Never for me. Even though I donned that mask for quite a while. I drank my ass off... most of the time to be comfortable around others because I had no idea how to act in what I know now to be a very dogmatic, socially stunted, and suffocatingly patriarchal paradigm. And I was thoughtless. Painfully, so. And I was most certainly not the kind of woman I would want to be friends with.

At that time- about 18, 19, 20 years old- I felt I had lost all the innocence of my childhood. I was remembering this the other day when I was watching my daughter make beautiful rainbow colored cut outs from construction paper for her friends. I used to do that when I was little- gift my friends from the toys I had, or make them something from scratch from my big feeling heart with whatever I could get my hands on around the house. I gave regardless of the faces and the comments of "what is this?!" I was taught by my mom and dad that giving was from the heart; no matter what was given it was special. Eventually, I stopped because people never liked, wore, or loved what I gave. A little piece of me died when I stopped making and giving my unique, heart-filled gifts. So, I watched my daughter making gifts for all her school friends and I teared up. I quieted my cynical voice that was asking "I wonder when that will be over for her" and instead decided to focus on "I hope she does that forever." I wonder if that's why I've been singing this Coldplay song so much lately:

When she was just a girl She expected the world But it flew away from her reach So she ran away in her sleep

And dreamed of paradise Every time she closed her eyes

Life goes on, it gets so heavy The wheel breaks the butterfly Every tear a waterfall In the night, the stormy night She'd close her eyes In the night, the stormy night Away she'd fly

I have noticed something peculiar lately. I am one that tends to look to the past- mull over regrets, think about what if's and such- yet I've looked back at this past year and noticed my thoughts are more future oriented and even- gasp- in the present moment.

"The present moment"...

To me those were airy fairy words that floated above my head, just beyond my reach. Even when I uttered them over and over as I taught yoga classes and even as I read them from the mouth of Osho or Krishnamurti, it was never a lived concept for me. I'm only now really trying it on for size. And whoa... who would have known the transformational properties of being in the present were an actual thing! Lesson learned: never teach something you only know in theory.

One thing that has helped me to shift over to the present and future tenses is a connection to my period. I never paid attention to my cycle because no one ever told me I should and no one ever told me what I could find there. I suspect my Fendi toting friends of yore didn't sit there charting their cycles- along with moods, emotions, dreams, intuitions, and physical symptoms- so how would I have come into contact with this information? But here I am now, 38, and paying close attention to what my body does as it cycles monthly. And deeper than that, I want to know how my womb feels. I have come to know the womb as my second brain (I'd say the first actually) and trust what it speaks to me via feelings, physical clues, and intuitions.

One of the important things I have learned, besides shifting out of the past and the shouldacouldawouldas, is that the womb holds traumas- big and small. How do you get them out? Well, step into my office...

You can:

  • fiercely dance it out
  • shake it out
  • scream it out
  • cry it out
  • bleed it out
  • smoke it out (yoni steam or aromatic smoke)
  • yoga it out
  • talk it out
  • write it out
  • punch it out
  • kick it out
  • dark chocolate it out (my favorite way, besides dance)

Buuuuuuut, if you don't know it's there, how do you know there's something that needs exorcising? Chances are, in today's world, if you are a woman living and breathing, you have gathered some trauma in your womb. And it's probably looking for a way out.

So, this connection to the moon has also made me realize another ginormous truth about myself that I'd love to share and that is that I am not insane! Hooooooray! It's not as simple as "women are crazy", but again I didn't know that because all I heard was that we were. And without any explanation. We were just irrational, insane beings that were cursed with this process of bleeding. Learning about the hormones through the wisdom of Dr. Northrup and the phases of the moon in conjunction with the phases of my moon (see Lisa Lister's "Love Your Lady Landscape"), I know that our monthly cycle is a massive ebb and flow. Every month. We are confident and outgoing and social after we bleed and then we ovulate and become pregnant with ideas and creativity and possibility and then our moon begins to wane and we begin to become still, introverted, and observant. All the while, being these powerful fierce women standing in GRACE and LOVE through it all because we are the ones that were given the gift and the privilege to do the bleeding. Our hormones make us wackadoo and sometimes we don't know our elbows from our asses yet we show up and do the work and we are there to do it again, month after month after month for the span of our entire lives (because even if you don't bleed anymore or do not have a womb, you still cycle!) and how we do this again and again for all eternity when we embody the role of woman and not FRY ourselves is absolutely amazing and just. pure. magic.

So, tonight, as I sit here writing and listening to some soul soothing music, my moon is waning. I am getting ready to bleed. Day 21. Almost there. I'm entering my cave and purging whatever I don't need to take in there with me. Tonight I'm not in the present; I'm not looking towards the future. My womb is looking to the past and wanting to move and remove whatever pieces of anger, resentment, regret, and blame are left towards former lovers to further make space inside myself for more blissful creation and other spectacular goodies.

Time spent in the darkness is never wasted, just transformed into something lighter- with some patience and time . Where I am now in life is all proof of this. Do I still want to jerk up a middle finger at these guys? Maybe a little ;) But, I really do forgive all of these- all except the boyfriend that said the Foo Fighters were just a cheesy garage band. Excuse me??!? You don't mess with Dave Grohl. You just don't. In all seriousness, it's all good...  it's all in the name of a life well-lived, full of experiences and teachings.

And now, back to my cave.

 

 

Extraordinary in the ordinary.

There are some people that live their life deeply enmeshed in the sacred. People who you'd be taking a walk with and suddenly they stop, look up at the sky, and burst into tears at the beauty of a colorful sunset. Then there's the other extreme, where life is full of rational explanations to everything and logical answers to every question. I am somewhere in the middle... In the middle of my lately very ordinary life of nursing, reading textbooks, and binge watching Netflix original series (how great was "The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt"?!?), I found a sacred moment. In the shower as the hot water took me out of my mental chatter and into a quiet moment, I felt a gratitude bigger than me. I was so grateful for my body and for my womb- it had recently worked so hard to develop and birth my baby. So I took a deep breath and put my hands over my womb and said "Thank You" with a reverence that humbled me. It was a full hearted appreciation from a place I don't really know how to describe with words.

I felt magical and wonderful and amazing. I was happy to be a woman. I felt so honored to share my womanhood as mother to my children, as partner to my husband, and as magic in this world.

One of my goals in life is to always remember this magic I hold inside.

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Red.

Morning: Surinam Cherries.

One of my favorite things to do in the morning is go outside with my son or daughter (or both sometimes) and forage for deep red surinam cherries in the bush next to our house. They grow all over the place in South Florida but I never feel safe enough to pick from just anywhere because people spraying RoundUp grow all over the place in South Florida, too.

But this particular bush, as we have observed, is RoundUp free. So, we pick.

Every morning my son comes out with me in his birthday suit. I watch him picking cherries, sometimes reaching far into the bush to pick a really ripe, really red one. I see his little naked body and can't help but think of Adam and Eve in the mythical Garden of Eden, picking freely from Earth's bounty.

As I pick cherries myself and then wash and eat them, I can't help but be in awe of the whole process. To think that from a simple, tiny seed, food emerges. This food is alive so it serves as food for our soul as well as our physical body. It is magical and beautiful in a way that humbles me and brings me to tears. Little clusters of information packed into a microcosmic universe that one day sprouts from Mother Earth to provide food for her children. Within the food is the knowledge of Mother Earth herself. In the garden, we ate from the tree and gained all the knowledge from the Mother. Just like when my children drink milk from my breasts they merge with me and have information about me in their cells. it's a sweet exchange. So, when I awoke to new possibilities with the story of Eve, I decided to look upon women as not the downfall of the world but as curious creators and seekers of truth and knowledge.

Later afternoon: Coin belt.

My whole body was buzzing all day with the coming full moon and full lunar eclipse. All day the word excitement and a feeling of something coming danced all around me. And all day long, I too wanted to dance. With no babysitter available so no way to get to a dance class, I took a hot relaxing bath with the little ones with fragrant bath salts. They played with their water toys while I melted into the water. The desire to dance became stronger as the heat of the water released all the tension in my body. The cleansing water stripped me of any "have to's" and all the wild lunatic thoughts surfaced. After the bath they went off to play in their playroom and I stayed behind in the bedroom, picked a sexy pair of red underwear, red organic cotton pants, a light tank top and my favorite red coin belt.

I danced alone.

I danced in the space where nothing matters. Just movement. No right moves. Time moving slowly. Thick music. Eyes closed. Hips, arms, spine moving like a serpent; gliding. Smooth. Erratic. Moving everywhere and nowhere. Loving myself. Being everyone and no one. Living life fully in my exquisite body for a few moments. Then letting it all go and going back to momma, back to wife, only now I am one soulfully reckless dance better.

Late evening: The Blood Moon. 

Lunacy. Insanity? Extreme folly? Eccentricity?

To me, lunacy now simply means "woman".

Since late last night I have been feeling the pull of the oncoming full moon. Gazing at the moon reminds me of myself: strong, bright, and a powerful natural and creative presence, yet vulnerable in my cycles and in my shadows.

Today's blood moon is shining red down on the world. I can't turn away from the thought of blood- no one can tonight. It's up on display in our beautiful sky. For this night, perhaps, I'm not "just a hippie" talking about bleeding and hoping every woman could connect to eons and eons of lineage behind them who have also bled and birthed and been part of the mystery of womanhood. For the length of time the moon is in the darkest part of the earth's shadow, we will absorb a light into our cells that tells us we are all the same. We all have the same longings whether we know it or not. We all love ourselves whether we know it or not just as we are. We all aspire to experience love in every form and discover all its faces. We all want to connect into the grid- the one that not all of us yet knows exists. If we look up at the moon, at any time really, the stirrings- be they subtle or extremely loud- cannot be ignored.

A total lunar eclipse and a full moon communicate some basic universal truths. The moon is in its fully lit glory tonight and that always brings celebration, openness, creativity, movement. Women have always been related to the moon. The moon is feminine energy. And the sun- male energy- casting its life giving, delicious light, will be in line with the Earth and the moon. So the moon, passing into the Earth's umbra, will begin to shine red. She will remind us of our magic. All due to a simple alignment. Balance. As the alignment shifts and the shadow lifts, we will be cleansed of some things and renewed in ways we can only imagine. How sublime.

I acknowledge all women today as sisters all dancing the dream as they feel the pull from the moon tonight, whether it be a mere gaze or a full-on howl at the fullness. Hers is OUR fullness, too. She reminds us it is our birthright to be beauty-full, wonder-full, and joy-full. So be it.

Let it all surface, let it wash over and then surrender.

Feminine Power.

Feminine Power is delicious and subtle. In my earlier years, I thought feminine power was something loud, dictatorial, powerful. As years went by and I was introduced to the pervasive patriarchy and to the truth of sexual abuse and misogyny, I understood unbalanced masculine power to be the loud, overbearing power in the world. Because of this, I thought feminine power needed to be absolutely fierce and very “take no prisoners” in its response.

Now, I am no longer sure of any one thing feminine power is because it is tremendous in scope and so infinite. But a few images do come to mind...

Serpents... We recoil to warn, we broaden when threatened, we curl up when we are worn or resting. The serpent also symbolizes the kundalini energy we all have coiled at the base of our spine, which- if activated- makes its way onward and upward through our chakras, bathing each with life force, wisdom and energy. Within that energy, we find our intuition, our spiritual identity and the transcendence of these and all other things- our otherness. Like serpents, we shed our skin, become unrecognizable even to ourselves and then grow new skin. We have the capacity to be mothers and nurture our growing offspring but the power of death is always imminent in deadly venom inside our bodies.

We just left behind the year of the snake. We’ve shed that skin and are now in the year of the horse. We will take on the traits of the horse: energetic, open, loving, motivating, seductive. Feminine power has huge roots in shapeshifting. We are always this then that. This or that. This AND that. And we are formless. And we are soft. Our boundaries are definite but we are infinitely open to give and receive. All of this makes us master shapeshifters.

Today’s world is embracing feminine power more and more- whether it knows it or not. One of the biggest Hollywood movie trilogies of all time has a young girl as its heroine- Katniss Everdeen. Even the Anastasia Steele character from 50 Shades of Grey is an example of feminine power. For all the arguments and reasons she was the one who compromised herself, the real story lies in that she saves Christian Grey.

I will admit that with all the atrocities happening around the world, it seems amiss to say that feminine power is rising. There is so much darkness in the world. But one of the laws of the universe is BALANCE so if you take notice of all the deep darkness, you know that simultaneously there are huge waves of love happening. Everything rooted in love releases feminine power into the world. Pulses of this power will change our whole existence.

With everything feminine power is, I think it is simple and so powerful in its simplicity. I think the picture below is a beautiful display of true feminine power. It is in the traditions of Nature where we can learn the most from feminine power. Feminine power will always take us to Her breast and nurture the whole world. If we let it.

And now a few words on spiritual bypassing.

Spiritual bypassing—the use of spiritual beliefs to avoid dealing with painful feelings, unresolved wounds, and developmental needs—is so pervasive that it goes largely unnoticed. The spiritual ideals of any tradition, whether Christian commandments or Buddhist precepts, can provide easy justification for practitioners to duck uncomfortable feelings in favor of more seemingly enlightened activity. When split off from fundamental psychological needs, such actions often do much more harm than good. -from "Spiritual Bypassing" by Robert Masters

I get really angry sometimes. Like seething, bubbling cauldron of fire within angry. And I'm okay with it. However for some reason, I expect others to be okay with it too and that's where I run into trouble.

I don't mind feeling everything I'm feeling with my whole entire body. When I am happy I am blissfully ecstatic. When I am sad, I spiral down and settle into Hades' nook. When I feel nurturing I am Mrs. Butterworth. And when I'm angry, I pretty much feel like this:

(Oh, divine Kali. Your lessons are many.)

This is the goddess Kali- goddess of death and destruction who removes the ego and liberates the soul from the cycle of birth and death. She's not pretty which is why I think a lot of people forget that she is just as real and valid an aspect of the goddess as any other. I thought I was down with the Divine Mother until I started understanding Kali and her wisdom and when I didit was like a whole other door to life was available to me. But I didn't start understanding her until I could finally spend time with her- looking at her, pondering about her, wondering what her message was ("what is it with the skulls, dude?")

Then one day it hit me. She's like "Join the bloody party, Pema!" Letting me know it was okay to express full anger or joy or gratitude or confusion or whatever the wind was blowing that day. She also let me know it is okay to chop off the head of anything that doesn't serve me because a. people or things like that are like a hydra- you chop off one head and two grow back in its place, but the good news is you let someone else deal with that because you did what you needed to do and b. you are in your right to make your life YOURS, no guilt or explanations necessary.

All this being said, I have very little patience for spiritual bypassing. In case you are still unsure of what spiritual bypassing is, it looks like this:

Me: I'm so freaking angry at _______.

Person: You shouldn't be angry. You should take a deep breath and find your center. All is God and all is love.

or

Person: Jesus loves you.

or

Person: You need to do yoga to rid yourself of all anger.

I'm not saying all is not God or all is not love, but I'm angry. And I'm going to probably be more angry if I don't allow myself to be angry. Spiritual bypassers come disguised in many forms but usually they come with a false sense of calm with buried denial and explosives just below the surface making them much more dangerous than the people that actually buck up and are honest with themselves and others about exactly what they are feeling and why. For this reason when I encounter one, I try not to engage because I know that I have no patience for people who do this. I cannot stand for people who do not allow me to be me at my most ME. Those who go around saying "The most important thing is to just BE" are often notorious bypassers whose message could actually more accurately be interpreted as "Just be more like me". Maybe this is all a bit dualistic of me since I am complaining about certain kinds of people and not letting them "just be" but I surely am not going around chanting "just be" in peoples faces and shoving mantras down their throats at my own behest.

I just wish people weren't so afraid of emotions and -more specifically- of anger. It's ok! Yes, it's scarier than feeling happy but it's a real emotion and one that deserves just as much attention as any other. Change comes from there. Growth is simply discomfort cloaked in fear and anger. There is so much good that can come from it when it's not left to fester inside (or to run wild either). Now that I think about it, in a way, I thank my bypassers for being teachers- showing me another level of anger to dig up and take a look at and then discard when the juice has run dry. But I would never be able to allow that to run its natural course if not left to really feel.

I feel like I am constantly telling the world who I am. So here's another declaration of me-ness: let me be angry. It doesn't last because everything is passing. But I must be allowed to feel my anger in a safe and supportive container and if you cannot provide that, it's all good but just BE somewhere else where I am not.

Dripping blood; not holding cupcakes.

Wisdom whoppers have mostly always come from the most unexpected places. Yesterday one came at me like a speeding truck by way of Anand Mehrotra, a spiritual teacher from Rishikesh, who did a workshop on freeing your mind at 305 yoga. In the past few years, I haven't really been keen on going to hear people talk. The universe is so expansive and there are many truths. I don't buy into any ONE anymore. It just doesn't wasn't doing anything for me. But something called me to this workshop. And I've been out of the yoga scene long enough to really miss it. I even feel like I could use a physical and spiritual refresher. So, despite- and BECAUSE OF- my resistence, I left the little ones with their poppa and drove to have a few hours to myself on the mat.

I've somewhat recently embarked on a journey of serious Goddess work.

What does that mean... "Goddess work"?

It means, I have come to meet my lovely and powerful womb. It means I'm clearing out the cobwebs that have formed around my third eye. It means I am recalibrating my center. It means I seek out the company of women. It means I'm reading books about our Moon. It means I have begun to put some serious trust in my intuition. It means I have begun to follow and flow with cycles. Simply put, I am beginning to finally understand my femininity and the sacred within me.

So, here I am, divine Goddess back on the mat. Everything he said was wise and wonderful and funny. I really enjoyed that I was able to laugh because there is sometimes an air of austerity and caution around yoga workshops or classes. He dropped a few F-bombs and had us all belly laughing so I could really identify with this person and connect- as opposed to some guru who was coming to tell me some bullshit the true ways of the universe. He was well received.

The first thing he said that really caught my attention was this:

Any great master will make you feel uncomfortable. Anyone can make you feel good. But a master, a teacher, will make you uncomfortable and even upset.

I immediately thought of all the things that had pissed me off recently and said a quick "thank you" to all of them. Being that they were all behind me, I realized they had taught me something valuable about myself and definitely something valuable about others and about relationships.

He also threw a few others out there:

Depending on your state of consciousness, so is your relationship to time.

Transcend your complications to arrive to truth- simply.

The term "tapas" is really a fierceness of existence. (which helped me relate to it in a real way- not just some yoga term I read with only slight interest during teacher training in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali)

Then he went back to whole "true teachers make you uncomfortable" thing. He said:

That is why Kali is dripping blood... not holding a cupcake.

And I just had to stop for a moment because what he had opened up for me had come not just in huge waves but in tsunamis.

V0045118 Kali trampling Shiva. Chromolithograph by R. Varma.

Who is Kali?

She is the goddess of death but interestingly enough is associated with EMPOWERMENT.

Here's where it gets really juicy and wonderful for me...

From all my goddess work, I have really learned the power of our menses- our moon period. I have learned not to plug it up. I have learned to love it. Beyond all of that and beyond most people's comfort, I have learned of its subtle yet absolutely incredible power. And any and all cycles for that matter, which is why it's so interesting that Spirit Science recently released this little ditty about cycles.

Anyhoo, as we closed our eyes and did some meditative Sufi movement, I thought of Kali and thought of her face. The ferocity in her eyes, the anger, her resolve. And the blood. The image of Kali began to speak to me like never before. It was as if his words had helped me answer a riddle that gained access to the wisdom of her message.

Kali is a master teacher to all women of this day and age. She is there shouting in her fierce voice, "Your blood is your gold and your glory!" She is the goddess of death and what is death but just extreme change and transformation. And with transformation comes empowerment. "Dare to dive into the wisdom of your blood and you will be a strong and fierce goddess alongside all other women brave enough to dismember fear and conditioning!" Yes, blood makes people uncomfortable, but the very discomfort is the harbinger of the teachings and the deep wisdom. And the magical gifts of your blood are endless.

Allowing ourselves to take Sabbath on your Moon in honor of your divine feminine cycle has been lost. In lieu of that, ultra absorbent (and ultra toxic) pads and tampons have been created so that we skip over even thinking about our cycle. What's more, we are to pretend nothing is happening and continue with life as if nothing is occurring. Lost are the stillness and reverence that permeated the restful days we used to take together because we used to bleed together. Finding power in that togetherness has sadly been lost, too.

Allowing ourselves to contemplate and understand the mystery of what it is to be a woman and share it with other women has been lost as well. We need cycles to ebb and flow to feel complete- not only as women but as human beings. We need to move and dance in celebration of all that we are... not hide, shame, destroy or ignore it. Kali shows us to fiercely chop off the heads of that which does not serve us. No mercy. So that we can step into our true emotions. Into greatness.

Kali is showing us that which we don't want to see. Look at her. She will no doubt bring up some feelings and they are usually ones we don't want to deal with. But what I want the women to see is the dripping blood. She's teaching us something so powerful with that...

Let it flow.

Tell the world you are a woman.

Be fierce.

Namaste, sisters.

The Black Garter.

It's a sometimes confusing and difficult pill to swallow that all the darkness in the world is a mirror of the darkness in our inner space. So, today I ask myself, "What is inside of me that makes injustice the order of the day?"

I don't really have the answer to that but I'll ask it until I understand both the question and the answer more.

A dear friend once told me to put on a mythical black garter and never, ever take it off. What she meant by that is to always expect the POSSIBILITY of running into someone's unchecked dark side. To always stay on my toes. To know that darkness is out there.

My life journey took a really juicy twist once I began to face my shadow. It was then that I began to accept myself completely, thereby beginning to accept others more fully as well. An unchecked shadow running rampant and without having met the light it co-exists with is dangerous and a menace to its owner and to the world at large (Read: Colombine, Sandy Hook, Trayvon). I will forever be grateful to have begun to dance with my inner darkness (THANK YOU Debbie Ford for your amazing book).

Whenever something shocking and soul jarring happens, I have the tendency to spiral into a cavern of sorrow that snowballs into a big ball of "how will we ever repair all of this insanity in the world?!?" Today, I went into that cavern and pictured myself in there, on my knees looking up to the heavens asking "What is it that the world needs to heal? PLEASE guide me so I can do my part!"

I don't have an answer to that yet either but stay tuned.

However, marching and chanting for Trayvon and for peace and justice with others today comforted my soul. It was the rainbow that the universe sent me to remind me all is not lost. HOPE is always worthwhile. Light comes together to cast out darkness.

Comfort to all those who feel sorrow in their hearts today and any day. A long embrace to his momma. Peace to all. <3

Beltane Bellydance.

I love the looks I get when I'm walking to my car to go to belly dancing. I know it's because people are thinking how inappropriate I am and are inwardly gasping in horror while thinking "What is she wearing?!?" And it's really not horrible at all- just some low cut exercise pants and a vneck midriff so I can see and admire my waist/belly/pelvis. What is it about bearing flesh? That which we were born with. That which is natural. I wonder that often when my father gets all uncomfortable at the sight of my naked toddler scampering about the house naked after a bath. He insists she get dressed as quickly as possible. It really doesn't bother my bra-burning hippieness one bit but I see how awkward he gets so I tell her to go put something on. I however, refuse to cover up on my way to and from bellydancing. First, I love that I can still rock a bare midriff and look like I'm in my early twenties (from the neck down anyway). Second, the older I get the wiser I am about age. And by that I mean, I could care less about what I or anyone else is supposed to be doing/saying/wearing.

Today being Beltane (the day that marks the beginning of Summer), I had in my mind that long ago, rituals were performed to foster growth in people and crops. Special bonfires were lit whose flames, smoke, and ashes were known to have protective powers. People would dance and leap around the fires and celebrate the new season. I wanted to do something special today that would celebrate and light a bonfire within my soul so I went to my favorite belly dancing class. Portia seems to have been celebrating Beltane too because today we danced our butts off and sweat. A lot.

I can't begin to describe to you what introducing dance back in my life has done for me. It has reignited a fire in my soul and re-awakened ethereal and physical desires. It has made me feel timeless while actually being in a time in my life when I seem to be counting minutes and seconds around my children. It's the one place I completely leave my momma-ness at the door. While I dance, I feel like I shake everything out of every space in every cell of my body and realign and reawaken. I don't dance to burn calories (although I'm sure today I burned quite a few)... I dance to fan the flame of my life. I feel my formless spirit find form in hip drops and figure eights and it all feels so so blissful.

I left my celebratory dance class today on FIRE. Dancing was good. The day was good.

Make sure you light a fire- any fire- before the day is done today! Celebrate the heat.

The Cauldron.

When you see or hear the world "cauldron", what do you think of? Most people would probably picture a witch with warts on her nose, hovering over a large bubbling cauldron and mixing up a concoction made for black magic spells and wicked purposes.

Frankly for a long time this is what I thought about as well. Until I became pregnant and began to love and crave the company of women. From that day, the cauldron shifted from something wicked and perplexing to something very feminine, familiar and wholly benevolent.

The Cauldron has always been an ancient symbol of the cosmic womb- the place where life is created. Where creativity is created. It holds its unique place in history and mythology. It is not only the cosmic womb, but the womb inside every one of us- the divine vessel through which we bring new life into this world. The most popular myth about the Cauldron comes from paganism in which the Crone (keeper of the Cauldron) was a healer, seer, mystic and wise woman who was a natural herbalist and lived in harmony with nature. Unfortunately, the patriarchal church/state of the Middle Ages demonized paganism and transformed the power of the Goddess into something perverted. From then, the Crone became the ugly wicked witch stirring up trouble over a cauldron. Thus the burning of so many of its priestesses during the Inquisition and the witch hunts and so on.

None of this really meant anything to me until I read the book "The Witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coelho. This focused my thoughts on what it truly meant to be a powerful woman. Powerful in any respect- be it a spiritual power, a physical power, a communicative power, a healing power. I began to wonder how this narrow-minded patriarchy we currently live in came to be and how so many women were burned just for believing in Nature and fully understanding their divine connection to it. It opened up the can of worms that just kept letting out worm after worm after worm. From there, I went on to read "Women Who Run with the Wolves" by Dr. Clarisa Pinkola Estes and listening to her audiobooks- pretty much anything I could get my hands on authored by her. Dr. Estes tells beautiful stories that seem to remind women of their power just by being a witness to them. As if she chose the combination of words in her stories carefully to result in in the reader's transformation- as, I imagine, a Crone would choose the alchemical compositions of her mixtures. Then a psychic/seer friend and total Crone friend of mine recommended a book called "The Woman's Book of Dreams" by Connie Cockrell Kaplan which brought some new ideas to the table about our womb being our connection point to Nature- specifically to the Moon. Each of these books brought new experiences and women into my life that helped me on my journey to discovering the true Cauldron. It was dusty and long forgotten in the corner of a very remote cave...

For a long time I defined "woman" the way society did. Coiffed, thin, hairless in all the right places, voiceless, simple and fragile. When I began to open up the the universe of possibilities other than those placed upon me (and accepted by me) by society, I challenged every single one of them at one point or another. I have let the hair on my legs (and elsewhere) grow out, I have cut my hair as short as a man, I began to speak up about everything I stood for and as a consequence to this freedom of thought and action I allowed myself to no longer feel fragile. I was getting closer to the truth of what I now know to be fully a "woman".

I have always believe in the unseen things in life more than that which we can see. Those things are more easily felt by me than anything the 5 senses could perceive. And it is here where I truly began to understand the grandiosity of what it is to be a great Creatrix. When one studies Physics and one starts to delve into the space where the things one cannot see exist, one realizes they are in a much larger place. Break that down and the space gets even larger and larger as you break down whatever elements you are studying. This is what was occurring in my life. I could not see the immense universal forces working through me, but I could feel them as I was growing and changing within me. They can't be proven with an experiment or a microscope, but they are as real as the atom- an invisible minute particle with tremendous power.

Through all these experiences (in my dream and waking life) and women I met, I began to understand that I too was responsible for the cosmic womb (the Cauldron). Not only am I here to remember myself as a Goddess but to express it so much so as to remind other women of this truth we share as well. I believe every woman at this time carries that responsibility deep in their own cauldrons. There is a reason we are in the Kali Yuga. Kali (the Hindu goddess who removes the ego and liberates the soul from the cycle of birth and death) is known as the Gentle Mother and Fierce Warrior. The god Indra stole her power by drinking the elixir from her cauldron and shared it with the other gods. It's time to reclaim who we are and recognize our strength. What woman out of all of us does not yet know she is both gentle mother and fierce warrior? If there is still one out there, then we have some work to do.

And I'm not talking about the Cauldron so we can all aimlessly raise our fists to the air, ditch our men and our current responsibilities to go out bra-less and spell woman with a Y, wear flower garlands and sing along with the Indigo Girls at the Lilith Fair (although I have to say- my goodness, how I love those girls). None of that means anything if done for its own sake. And I am certainly not saying we have to take the world back from men. That is just a different side of the same problem. The purpose behind owning our womanhood and reconnecting with our own and the cosmic Cauldron is simply to remember. I'm not going to talk about what it is we all will remember or what we should remember because we will all have a different journey back to ourselves and then a different journey from that remembrance to who unfolds every day from that point on.

I am so in my cauldron right now. I am reconnecting to the she-wolf inside of me. To the alchemist that knows precisely what she needs every moment- be it an herbal remedy or the wisdom of a friend. I am fine tuning my intuition which is my most sacred wisdom and closest ally. I am feeling more graceful yet more fierce with every cell of my body that feels more free to be that which I was, AM and always will be.

The cauldron is bubbling, ladies... and it's a' callin!

Party in my Pants!

I'm sure the title of this entry has you all very intrigued.  But trust me, it's NOTHING you are expecting. Last week I spent the day with my amazing friends on the beach and we spent some time in their apartment before going down to get some sun.  My girlfriend walks in and says "I'm loving these party in my pants!  And my daughter is so fascinated by them!"

I had NO idea what she was talking about.  But, I definitely wanted to know more so I asked...

As it turns out, beautiful Luci who was there hanging out with us whom I had the pleasure of getting to know that day is the owner of Party in My Pants- a sister owned and operated mini business that makes cloth pads and etc "for the princess on her period."  The designs are fun and colorful but more importantly (as per my friend who was giving them a test run) they work great, are super absorbent and are extremely sanitary.  Clean up is a breeze.  The website (http://partypantspads.com) is packed with information and instructional videos and I for one am so happy to have bumped into Luci and her Party in My Pants products because the world is so full of waste.  She gave me a few of the menstrual pads (which I haven't tried yet because I am still nursing) and an adorable pair of nursing pads which are super absorbent.  Here is a screenshot of their most popular sizes below.  I highly recommend giving these a try!

The Aura and Sex.

So, one day my daughter is going to ask me about sex.  And I know it's a ways away- even the conversation about the most basic elements of it is a few years away at the very least. After watching Black Swan my husband and I jokingly left the theater saying "No ballet for her!"  What that really meant was, "How in the heck are we going to make sure we don't fail her and make her some wreck of a human being?!?"  That drug and sex scene was really hard to watch as a parent.  So, I asked the universe for some help with this scenario and some wise words to impart to her.

Even though the conversation is not going to happen any time soon, the universe already provided me with a wonderful resource.  I happened to be flipping through one of my books this morning called "The Alchemy of Love Relationships" and I came upon a page with the title "The Aura and Sex", which will help me explain to her the what and whys.

Here is what it says:

"The Aura plays a significant role in any love relationship.  When a man and a woman engage sexually, there is an automatic exchange of vital fluids.  This exchange is recorded in their respective auras.  When you have sex with someone, he or she shows in your aura for at least three years.  Incidentally, most trained mystics on the path of Light can see this imprint in your energy field.

It is extremely important, then, that you be fully aware when you open your energy field to another.  When you begin to get intimately involved with someone, do so within the boundaries of a protective aura and keen, self-protective intuition.  The bonding must be right.  Do not have sex just to check someone out.  Many have experienced wonderful platonic relationships with the opposite sex.  Engaging in sex alters the platonic nature of the relationship, however, and the friendship suffers because you are now in each other's auras.  What was once a wonderful relationship often becomes unpleasant.  Your friend now seems like a different person.

Just because a platonic relationship is wonderful does not necessarily mean that it will translate into a productive love relationship.  Indeed, many platonic relationships are best left platonic.  Don't spoil your friendships with a lack of awareness and sexual curiosity.  How do you know when to keep a relationship platonic and when to transform it into a love relationship?  Remember to engage in a love relationship with 100 percent awareness, guided by your intuition.

Sex without love depletes one's vitality and deranges the emotions.  Sexual contact with many partners transfers the toxins that are secreted.  These toxins can circumvent a person's immune system and lodge deep in the deep tissues.  Moreover, when we have several sexual partners, these partners show up in our electromagnetic field creating a clouded aura whose light has faded.  People with multiple partners always look older than they actually are.  If you have sex with such a person, one with a weakened immune system and shrunken aura, you too will be depleted of your vitality.

Women are especially sensitive to the blending of auras as the imprint of the male on the female is intense.  When a woman jumps from one partner to the next, blending her aura here and there, her aura weakens and her true identity is lost.  She feels the weight of guilt and shame.  She is weakened emotionally.

The mental frequency and auric strength of the woman are crucial in determining the potency, or impotency of her mate.  When a woman's aura is expanded to seven feet, it energizes her partner after intercourse, rather than depleting him.  Remember, women are sixteen times stronger, more intelligent and more sacred than men.  A woman should never have sex with her partner once she has mixed her aura with a second man.  Her first partner will suffer an auric injury that penetrates his behavior and temperament, causing him to go insane.  Men, while they do not experience the same negative effects detailed in the preceding paragraph, are very delicate in this way.  Indeed, the very sensitive male can even experience an auric shock when the indiscretion of his partner has been in thought rather than deed.  This reality explains why some men are more potent then others when it comes to women.  The man who has suffered multiple experiences of auric shock is rendered incapable of attracting and maintaining a woman.  A woman, then, must be particularly careful in her choice of a mate.  Moreover, she must encourage her partner to maintain his health.

Keep in mind that sexual freedom does not mean sexual exploitation.  It means sexual preservation, reverence and choice.  When there is love and respect between two people both partners are strengthened.  The woman feels creative, vital, expansive and secure.  The man feels uplifted, cared for, confident and potent."

This pretty much sums up everything I need to say.  I wish I had had this information growing up but at least I have it now to give.

Imagine a Woman...

My midwife read this to me at my Mother Blessing.  I came upon it again today and I'd like to share it: Imagine a woman who believes that it is right and good that she is a woman

A woman who honors hers experiences and tells her stories

Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life

Imagine a woman who believes she is good

A woman who trusts and respects herself

Who listens to her needs and desires and meets them with tenderness and grace

Imagine a woman who has acknowledged the past’s influence on the present

A woman who has walked through her past

Who has healed into the present

Imagine a woman who has authored her own life

A woman who exerts, initiates and moves on her own behalf

Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and to her wisest voice

Imagine a woman who names her own gods

A woman who imagines the divine in her own image and likeness

Who designs her own spirituality and allows it to inform her daily life

Imagine a woman in love with her own body

A woman who believes her body’s enough, just as it is

Who celebrates her body and its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource

Imagine a woman who honors the face of the god/goddess in her changing face

A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom

Who refuses to use precious energy disguising the changes in her body and life

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life

A woman who sits in circles of women

Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets

Imagine yourself this woman!