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...
- 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.