Women's Wisdom

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.

 

 

The Empowered Masculine.

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On Saturday, a powerful priestess friend that recently moved here from Colorado and I held a circle called "Healing the Motherwound and Releasing the Patriarchy." It was gooooood stuff.

During the circle, we spoke about the Motherwound (the body of pain and limitation that is activated in a woman due to the passing down of unconscious beliefs, emotions, memories established from patriarchal rules. It is remaining 'small' so that we do not risk losing the love of our mothers or others) and hand in hand with that came talk of empowering our wombs and about the empowered masculine. This has been a lot on my mind since Saturday.

The Empowered Masculine... what is that?

Let me start by explaining what it is NOT.

Somewhereabouts 2000 B.C, the penis became THE sacred object of worship. Then enter all the repercussions of penis worship and vagina subjugation. The problem here was that there was not a balance of power. Men and women did not take on their powerful roles to work together. What happened was that unconscious masculine forces overthrew and destroyed everything that was nurturing and had anything to do with softness and the womb and declared ownership and dominion of everything under the sun. Many women took to the underground to practice shamanism, herbalism, midwifery, divination, and other practices that had been revered and sacred until then.

What came of this swift and complete shift of power? War, pestilence, death, famine, things like the Inquisition, the witch hunts, and the massive, greedy usurping of our Earth Mother's vital resources. Why do we blame the unconscious masculine energy on this? Because this happened at the hands of unconscious males- religious leaders, politicians, businessmen- who mentally and physically raped and manipulated every system and institution until it was all under their control. Think about it... what does a forceful phallus do? It enters without invitation. Without a welcoming wetness and warmth, it takes without asking and leaves people and places in ruins.

At the present day, we live in an very comfortably established patriarchy. If you disagree with that statement, let me challenge you with a few things:

  • only this year is there even a possibility of the first woman president
  • the over-sexualization of women in the media
  • the realms of children and homemaking belong to women
  • women still make .75 to every dollar men make in the workplace
  • women are often told "you can't have your cake and eat it too" as far as families and careers and the world proves it by not offering support for women who strive for both yet men are told they can "have it all!"and are very supported in doing so.
  • shamanism, herbalism, and other healing arts are labeled "whackadoodle" (I literally JUST saw this on a mommy blog posted two days ago) and "fringe"
  • men who show sensitivity, emotional awareness, and a deep regard for women are labeled "weak" and "girly men"
  • men who are employed in any career that has been labeled "a woman's job" is seen as a "pansy" or weak
  • unspoken, established "rules" for what a woman is supposed to look like and how she is supposed to act

Still think the patriarchy doesn't exist?

Remember that line in "As Good As It Gets" where the airhead receptionist at the publishing house (a woman of course), asks Jack Nicholson how he writes women so well and he responds: "I think of a man, then I take away  reason and accountability."

And none of this is about feminism. I consider myself a feminist but only insofar as I define feminism: equality for everyone, male, female, and everyone in between and beyond. So, this isn't about wanting to bring men down or male-bashing. This is about simply bringing awareness to how women's gifts need to be resurrected and how unconscious men need to work their stuff out. This will create a balance that would change the face of the world.

Ever hear that saying about how fish don't know they're in water? This explains that the effect of something does not necessarily mean you have an awareness of its existence. Believe me, the patriarchy is affecting the entire world very much. The oceans, the environment, the world's banks, the housing market, health care systems, the price of your groceries, the way you cut your hair, the shade of your lipstick, your bad back. It has permeated all.

So, what does the empowered masculine look like?

An empowered man is not afraid to let women be powerful. They do things to empower women and their wombs. They support them so that their gifts may flourish. A great example of an empowered/awakened male action and thought is my beloved who has often made me Nettle tea when my period is kicking my butt. Why is this empowering and awakened? Because he knows that Nettle herb remineralizes women during their period because we lose lots of minerals in this time. And because he's not afraid to acknowledge my period and my emotions during that time. And because he's not afraid to say the word "period". And he doesn't whisper or laugh when he says it. He also knows my life is mine to live it as I see fit. He trusts my decisions. He looks to me for advice. Sometimes he draws on my strength when he is tired or low, as I do with him. We parent in equal amounts, as we do almost everything else. And he knows and is even friends with a few of my exes (whoa, right. the acknowledgement that I was not a chaste virgin before him is a big one, especially in males from the Latin culture). He knows God did not assign me to him. He does not in any way own me. And he knows that I am free. All of these things support women in their rise to reclaim their rightful place. May seem simple to some, but if you look at most of the world, it's damn near revolutionary.

An empowered male isn't afraid to see the world change because they know the Earth is bleeding. They are excited to share their power with women and know that together, amazing things can and do happen. They want to be in equal power with their consorts (male or female) and they want to see clean oceans, they want clean air and clean food, healthy Earthly inhabitants, freedom and respect for all living beings, to live by the constant guidance of integrity, to live their lives being fully masculine in whatever way they define that for themselves, and for Truth to always be spoken.

An empowered male is a HERO. Not a likely hero who beats villains and saves damsels in distress (for crying out loud). But a true hero, as the writer and mythologist Joseph Campbell defines a hero:

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself.”

And they don't need silly euphemisms like vag, vajayjay, bajingo, hooha, peepee, or downthere because they can say VAGINA.

Tell me... do you know anyone like this? Tell us about him!

And if you do know one or some, give them mad love and always, always keep them close!

 

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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.

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.

Wisdom from The Womb.

 

Ever heard of "shaking something out"? It's a concept very alive in animals when they want to release trauma. My friends over at Naam Yoga get it- they shake for 3 minutes at the beginning of most of their classes (which I incorporated into my vinyasa flow) because it releases impurities from the body, elevates the power of the immune system and just plain GETS IT ALL OUT.

So bellydancing and all dancing for that matter is a great way to release anything you wish to let go of and welcome that which you want more of. Bellydancing is, more than anything, a powerful womb dance thus it's a highly empowering dance for women. Today in class, Portia  acknowledged that and I was so happy I almost jumped out of my coin belt! The womb is a topic that needs to be talked about with women among women. She mentioned how not only do we dance with the front of our bodies and with and from our pelvis, but from deep inside our womb. She mentioned hearing this in a teaching with Hassan Kalil, a lifelong oriental dancer and teacher. I was so grateful for this teaching and for her wish to pass it on. She took a risk... because most of the time (esp in Miami) that kind of depth isn't well accepted. Most people just disregard it completely or get a glazed-over look in their eyes. So, I applaud her and him for bringing light and attention to the topic.

There is nothing esoteric about your womb. Every woman has one. Why not get in there... get to know it... make a sacred space for it? Revere it, love it, and care for it! And do some dancing or yoga to shake things out of there (energetically speaking) so you can keep clearing the space of things that don't serve you for more sacred things. New things. Keep the space open to connect your womb to Mother, to others, to Truth and to our mysterious and capricious moon that we cycle with.

As a woman, I have learned to do everything from my womb. My intelligence (emotional and otherwise), I draw from my womb. I don't just think with my brain. I don't only feel with my heart. My womb cradles my higher self which gifts me with intuition, creation, deep love, empowerment beyond imagination, magic, and offerings from the shadows as well as from the light. It is a place where you connect with eternity and oneness.

Yes, ladies. That's all "down there".

If this is all a new concept to you and it's intriguing you and making you feel like you're about to burst with fruit flavor, I so encourage you to take a belly dancing class. It's experiential knowledge straight from the womb. If you're less adventurous, you may want to pick up "Womb Wisdom" and "Wild Feminine" to start with. It's an adventure I can almost guarantee you will most gratuitously embark on and fortuitously continue for as long as you journey in this life.

Sleeping under one's star.

A number of people have asked me about this recently, so I'll just post this up so it can be referred to as needed. Chapter 12 of "Anastasia" by Vladimir Megre...

I have already mentioned how animated Anastasia becomes when talking about plants and people who communicate with them. I thought that, living in Nature as she did, she might have studied Nature alone, but she also possesses information about planetary relationships. She literally feels the celestial bodies. See for yourself what she has to say about sleeping under the stars:

    "Once plants have received information about a specific person, they embark upon an information exchange with cosmic forces, but here they are simple intermediaries, carrying out a narrowly focused task involving one's fleshly body and certain emotional planes. They never touch the complex processes which, out of all the animal and plant world on the planet, are inherent only in the human brain and on human planes of existence. Nevertheless, this information exchange they establish allows Man to do what he alone can do- namely, interact with the Intelligence of the Universe or, more precisely, to exchange information with this Intelligence. An altogether simple procedure permits his not only to do this, but also to feel the beneficial effect of such interaction."

Anastasia described this procedure as follows:

    "Pick an evening when weather conditions are favourable and arrange to spend the night under the stars. You should situate your sleeping place close to raspberry or currant bushes, or to beds where cereal seeds have been planted. You should be there alone. As you lie with your face to the stars, do not close your eyes right away. Let your gaze, physically  and mentally, wander across the celestial bodies. Do not become tense while thinking about them. Your thought must be free and unencumbered.

    First, try to think about those celestial bodies which are visible to your eye, then you can dream about what you treasure in life, about the people closes to you, people for whom you wish only good. Do not attempt to even think at this point about seeking revenge or wishing evil upon anyone, for that might have a negative effect on you. This uncomplicated procedure will awaken some of the many little cells dormant in your brain, the vast majority of which never wake even once during a person's whole lifetime. The cosmic forces will be with you and help you attain the realisation of your brightest and most unimaginable dreams, will help you find peace in your heart, establish positive relationships with your loved ones, and increase- or call into being- their love for you.

    It is useful to try repeating this procedure a number of times. It is effective only when carried out at the location of your constant contact with the plant world. And you will feel it yourself as early as the next morning. It is especially important to go through this procedure on the eve of your birthday. To explain how all this works would take too long right now, and is not important. Parts of the explanation you would not believe, other parts you would not understand. It can be discussed much more quickly and easily with people who are already trying it and feeling its influence on themselves, since the information, once received and verified, will facilitate the reception of any information that follows."

Who are your soul doulas?

I think this is such an important question to ask ourselves at the beginning of the year, after setting important intentions and goals for each of our lives... Who are our soul doulas? For anyone who doesn't know what a doula is, it is a person who supports you in your birth journey. Some women have doulas just for the actual birth of the baby itself, but I personally think it is more helpful to have your doula alongside you through the whole process of pregnancy and birth.

This question was brought to my attention yesterday evening while reading a meditation. I immediately thought how helpful it would be to address this right now. Think about it... after making any major decisions in life or doing anything that calls for- no, requires- support from others, wouldn't it be nice to be clear about who truly cheers us on at the soul level? Who is willing to say what is difficult to say? Who holds us steady as we take footsteps down a new path?

Maybe a good question to also ask when trying to figure this out is "Who doesn't support me?" and not be afraid of the answers. They may surprise you. They may even create an inconvenience that needs to be dealt with. But nothing any of us can't handle, surely.

It's also not to say we're going to throw anyone away. I think everyone in our lives is there for our benefit. If we allow life to naturally flow and unfold, everyone is a teacher that has entered our "movie" (as I like to call it) to play a role. What I am saying however, is that upon deeper scrutiny, maybe some people need to take on smaller roles in your movie. And perhaps others need to be in closer supporting roles. And it's okay to feel those closest to you don't support you and don't bring out your best and your highest. As the meditation I was reading said: "Even the Buddha gave birth to his new 'I' far from the exalted place of his physical birth." It's more than okay to create a new environment for yourself and change your surroundings.

Another important point is to continue to ask this throughout the year. To make this a constant check-in point. Always revisit your emotional landscape and make the necessary moves to keep yourself surrounded by those that enhance your soul and hold it gently yet firmly in the palms of their hands.

Also, go beyond people to find your soul doulas. Look to books, music, art, hobbies, teas, oils, crystals, nature, the sun... whatever you find brings magic into your life and infuses your soul with love and support. When I need a soul massage, I take a hot bath with lavender; I listen to Sting (Symphonicities mostly, lately), Joni Mitchell (Best of) and Ani DiFranco; I write; I read passages from my favorite books; light candles; burn incense or oils; I drink Motherwort tea which is like getting a hug from Goddess; I go out and soak in the sun; I sit under a tree; I hold a rose quartz, close my eyes and breathe; I ask my love for a hug and melt there for a while. Whatever feels nurturing- do that.Let's keep in mind that the word Doula used to simply mean "one who serves." So, whether you've set intentions/goals/resolutions for this year or not, whether you are actively in the process of birthing a new self or not, make sure your surroundings are full of that which serves you where you are.

Find your soul doulas and keep them close!

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!