For most of my 30s I would wake in the morning with this underlying anxiety that would hit me with a subtle waive of nausea. The thoughts that accompanied this feeling would all be centered around this theme of “running out of time to prove my feminine worthiness”. In my mind I was racing against time, I was racing against myself and I also felt as though as I was racing against other women- which is a perpetuating factor, I believe, in our current imbalances. Above all, I felt alone. When we don’t connect and learn from one another we also perpetuate a shame around our bodies not working, not being loved, not loving ourselves and so on. This separation just compounds the feelings of unworthiness and embarrassment at being (insert age here) without a man and a baby- a perfect picture of balanced family-career-love.
The article below I wrote about 4 years ago for a class I was taking. It is NOT about what you think it is but I am sure I will generate extra curiosity and traffic from the title. And, I am open to discussing what you think it is about as I do hold space for sexual and sensual healing, but that is for another time…
It was a vulnerable moment a few years back as I started to share with others about my story. So vulnerable that it never made it to my blog page at the time. I am quite open now about my journey through trauma and the manifestation of my eating disorder but am also cautious that I do not share from a desperate emotional place (which my mind can slip into- I am sure I am alone in this ;)). I hold this belief that I can only really share my healing gifts and my journey once I am “healed” and see the other side of this affliction- addiction. This belief is damaging and dimming of my light. This belief tells me that I am “not worthy or good enough” now. This belief prevents me from putting my original medicine and service into the world and from sharing a lot of my story. And I know first hand that stories when shared in the right context do heal.
Maybe another one of the main reasons I did not publish the brief article is that I was unsure I wanted to directly work with others who suffer with ED. I already naturally attract many women AND men who struggle with this anyhow but I did not want to open the gates. I wanted to really understand my own process in healing and give myself enough space to see it for what it is before inviting it into my life through my work. The article is very “uncharged” emotionally and not even that personal- which is quite unlike me. It is informative and true and brief. But to claim that the Maya Abdominal and Clinical Visceral work I do could help someone’s recovery process from an eating disorder felt forced and unstable until I knew, I felt and lived the truth of the work I put into the world. Someone the other day quoted “there is no complete psychology without body work”. The body is a record keeper of our lives and therefore an amazing ally in recovery from trauma and addictions when it is approached in a therapeutic way.
My truth is the same as when I wrote the article about the healing effects of touch on eating disorders, but I know it on a cellular level now. I am full of gratitude that the Maya Abdominal work called me into service. And the more I dive under my own stories the more I realize why I am called to the many facets of work I do with others. I know that I will always be diving deeper into myself but I don’t have to reach some mountain peak of light and perfect love in order to heal others. In fact, the compassion, intuition and healing gifts I carry come from walking through the fire and the storms.
I practice the return to my body each day. This is not easy as I have spent most of my life outside of my body. I place my hands on my womb and my belly and thank the guides that led me down this path. I come home to myself and I still have to give “ED a rubdown” from time to time to bring myself back into a relationship based in compassion instead of trauma.
Giving ED a Rubdown (written in 2012)
Everything we believe about ourselves, our emotions and the majority of our physiological functions comes from our core center. This is why maintaining healthy belly (gut) function is critical to overall wellbeing. Unfortunately, the belly is susceptible to so much damage from physical and emotional trauma. Some of these traumas have an obvious cause and effect relationship while others are so intertwined in the mind-body-spirit connection that most allopathic doctors unfortunately misguide, or simply miss, as they are not trained to address the body as a whole. This holds especially true with the damage that is caused from Eating Disorders (ED), of any type, especially Bulimia Nervosa (BN) and Binge Eating (BE).
Briefly, both BN and BE are characterized by dissociative episodes of excessive (binge) eating to the point of stomach dissention, dizziness and illness. BN is different in that the binge is followed by a purge of induced vomiting, laxative abuse and excessive exercise which put an enormous amount of stress and pressure on various parts of the belly. The side effects of both, and all forms of ED, are numerous and life threatening:
- Digestive impairment
- Esophageal tearing, burning and impairment
- Peristalsis impairment
- Autoimmune disorders due to leaky gut
- Severe hormone and chemical imbalances
- Malabsorption of nutrients
- Intestinal blockages
- Chronic constipation
- Emotional blockages
- SIBO- this is a new discovery for me and a journey I have much knowledge around (new addition to article)
- Chronic Pain (new addition)
The abdomen holds most of our vital organs and, according to TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine), each organ corresponds to a different emotion and energy channel. When we are shut down or damaged in one area the other organs can become stagnant and blocked.
Intervention and therapy are critical but unfortunately the integrative function of the body and the modalities that can begin to repair the deep physical and emotional trauma on a physiological level are missed. This is where the application of the healing effects of Maya Abdominal Massage, and other abdominal massage techniques, can begin to repair the body from the inside out.
~Maya abdominal massage techniques have been used for centuries to address dysfunction and imbalance in the pelvic bowl and belly. Maya abdominal massage therapies are founded on ancient Mayan healing techniques using external, noninvasive manipulation that repositions internal organs that have shifted, thereby restricting the flow of blood, lymph, nerve and chi. These techniques address position and health of the pelvic and abdominal organs. The work is best known for the correction of the prolapsed, fallen, or tilted uterus and for the prevention and treatment of benign prostate enlargement in men, and for relief of many common digestive disorders.~
This modality is incredible, intuitive, spiritual and nurturing. And, even more it addresses and heals a whole resume of symptoms that can correct some very emotional and debilitating conditions in women and men. Traditionally the issues targeted have been around fertility and digestive function with emotional clearing being a positive byproduct of this work. Now, however, a few Maya abdominal practitioners are working in the realm of eating disorder treatment and the positive outcomes have had a dramatically positive impact on the recovery process of the individual. The most interesting to me is the re-establishment of the natural serotonin process.
Serotonin is mainly produced in our gut. When our gut is damaged, or leaky, we are not able to produce the serotonin we need for proper mood support and digestion. Then, doctors prescribe serotonin reuptake drugs that pull any serotonin from the gut into the brain to stay there. Now, we have a condition where the body’s natural negative feedback process, or homeostasis, is broken and the gut is further impaired because it needs all that serotonin to function and on and on…
Individuals with eating disorders typically all have digestive dysfunction and depressed serotonin levels (notice I did not say depression). As the whole gut is slowly restored through gentle manipulation techniques like Maya abdominal massage, blockages and adhesions will release and the body will kick start itself back into a regular negative feedback cycle. Of course there are many layers and factors involved in this process. But as the energy flow between all of the organs is repaired and emotions are released, the individual will, hopefully, start to feel whole enough to tackle some of the deeper layers of recovery.
In my many years of research and self-discovery with such a debilitating and misunderstood disease I know that repair of the physiological body is a major catalyst to recovery. And, being able to bring somebody back to their internal light through hands on care is beautiful, emotionally healing and synergistic with our body’s natural state of balance.
“Learn to Listen to Your Gut”
Let me begin with a story…
I met my client Susie (fake name) a few months ago to address her fibroids. She is a grounded woman who does her inner work and has a rich relationship with spirit. She had thrown almost every natural intervention she knew of at her condition but was still feeling like she was missing a connection in how to address her healing. Her symptoms were not as severe as some but energetically she felt blocked and distracted by the presence of these benign growths. And, yes, there was some pain and discomfort. Above all, she did not want surgery.
We are all guided every moment of every day-
Whispers from spirit that contain the answers to our prayers….
… but we cannot hear
as fear has bound our programmed ear.
Then one day your angels look down and say- “we need her gifts, her light and her love”
but she moves too fast to even notice her guiding star trailing above
Well, we will do what must be done and we will break her leg so she can no longer run
Stay in your sweet body dear one
as your magic and your work that is needed in this world has just begun.
I just came through a major surgery. A left hip replacement to be exact. Many of you reading this who know me may be shocked. But those of you who know me on deeper levels also know that this surgery is about more than just an OA (Osteo Arthritis) diagnosis. This surgery is a milestone in my interpersonal healing journey. It represents thought forms, beliefs and ways of living that do not serve my path in this life any longer. I knew this day was coming. Well, I did not foresee the hip deterioration but deep down I knew that the next layer of letting go of my demons, of facing my fears around love and stepping into my gifts was going to be through some physical manifestation in my body.
To be honest, I feel very blessed to be given this lesson in healing. To be given this gift at a new way to walk, to dance, to honor and love my sweet self and the miracles this amazing body I was given can perform. It loves, it creates, it follows the moon, it sings… But, the single most miraculous thing I have found the human body to do is to be a guide pointing us in the direction of optimal vitality physically, emotionally and spiritually.
We are all blessed with pure guidance each and every moment of each and every day, but do we have the strength of will to listen to the guidance- to call our spirit back when it bolts due to fear’s many frightening faces? I talk often about the miraculous mechanism of the body’s ability to self-regulate, adapt to our constant demands and to protect itself. Everything the body does is truly out of love if we can begin to see the signals as such and decipher them in a way that promotes healing.
What do I mean by guidance?
In her book Spiritual Madness, Carolyn Myss talks about the guidance we receive every moment of every day as the subtle voices that help us guide our will and maintain our center. But the majority of us want guidance as something that comes through sea splitting, lightning bolt visions. The simple guidance is “too hard”. You know, the inner voice that knows exactly how to nourish, rest and take care of your body. The voice that says “you know if you did xyz you would feel, live, love in a way that aligns with your highest self.” But doing xyz requires us to dive into our hearts. It requires that we look deep into how we may have caused some of the damage done. It requires that we may have to forgive people that have harmed us AND that we have to forgive ourselves. It is NOT the easy way. The easy way is living in a delusion that if you pad your life with spiritual self-help books and “play the role” that God/Goddess is just going to blast you with miracle juice one day and you will then be “one of the chosen and special”- because dammit your life has been so hard and you deserve it!!!!
I have a spiritual library and I sit in ceremonies and I light the candles and I pray my beautiful heart out. But, I have learned that until you are willing to hear the daily guidance- really the answers to those prayers you cast out- and act on them, then all the woolandia (it’s a place I promise) magic in the world is in vain. Now, I say that the path of avoidance is the easy way, and it is because it keeps you safe and numb and in a box where nothing can get in. It is easy until your guides and angels that you cast your prayers to give up and leave you fishing your way out of a situation that may possibly cost you parts of your life- or your body…
…“Rest your sweet body, let go, slow down, love yourself, you know you don’t have to eat that, you can stop anytime, trust your body, you know how to do this”. These were the messages from my angels and from my own inner wisdom self that have played in the background of fear’s louder, stronger chorus of self- defeating chatter. The chatter born out of abuse from parents and peers and the voices you create yourself to shut down your light and your love so that it can no longer be attacked.
But the thing about light and love is that they want to manifest and multiply and self-actualize in every living organism on Earth- it is the essence of creation. (hang with me here) The more you shut down your/this divine essence and the more you let fear do the driving, the more difficult it is for the creationary forces of divine love to get in and help you. But, they will find a way even if they have to break you open with disease and dysfunction so that you can slow down enough to pay attention. Unfortunately, our society does not look at spiritual/emotional imbalance as a root cause of most disease and dysfunction- but that is a discussion for another day.
I have always heard my angels but the destructive thought forms that drove me deep into self-abuse and addictions controlled my daily life. I was buried in a battle with food and self-love for more than 2 decades that almost took my physical life. I lost jobs, friends, opportunities and time kept slipping by.
The most despairing part of the darkest moments is that I could sense my divine essence crying out trying to save me. I knew that the Universe needed my light, love and unique gift (that we all have) but I still could not find the strength to call my will back and shine through. Instead I buried myself in exercise despite my exhausted and depleted body. I spent my every day managing my thought forms so I would not spiral into sabotage and end up with my head in a toilet bowl even though I most always would. And then…
…It was 2011. I lost my job of 14 years 3 months after moving to NYC for my company. Shocked and stripped bare of the only stability I had known I felt a great force rise up in me- my angel screaming in my ear “if you don’t pull yourself out of this darkness you will die”. I made a commitment then- no matter how much money or time it took I was going to get help and find my way back to LOVE.
Immediately it seemed I just stopped the addictive and abusive behaviors with food. But, I knew that was just the surface projection of the deeper issues. I knew that the real work was in allowing my body, my spirit and my heart to dance together in trust. I still had HA, I was still exhausted and I was still exercising to quiet the dark thought forms that still were ruling my days. I knew that it would be my actual body that would be taken through some transformation if I didn’t listen and address this next layer of healing.
So here I currently sit one week out of a major hip surgery. As I said, I knew this day was coming. I sit here in complete awe at how guided I am and a heart bursting with gratitude. I know to my bones- especially my sweet left femur- that there is no accident in how I arrived at a hip replacement at 38 years old. I know that my angels needed to slow me down so that my light could shine, so that my gifts could unfurl into the Universe and so that I could truly learn self-love and patience. I know that this part of me sacrificed itself so that all of those thought forms and ways of being that were killing my spirit could be taken with it as it was removed from my body. I know that this is a gift- maybe even a sea splitting miracle. But it came from some deep inner work and listening to the faint song of my angels over the chatter of fear- as true miracles only can.
The inner work of self-love is not for the faint of heart but it is the only work worth doing- I truly believe this is the ultimate human test and why we are here- to unravel the programmed voices of trauma and society and find our way back into ourselves and our divine light. My only words of wisdom are that if your perfectly constructed and brilliant body cries out in pain, dis-ease and dysfunction do not fight yourself. Listen close because I know you know what it is trying to say. Don’t follow the voice of fear too long or your angels just might break your leg so that you have to walk a new way.
Thank you for reading and letting me share a personal journey. Please reach out if you have a story to share or just want to connect. I am here.
Learn to Listen to Your Gut
What just happened? Where did my summer go? My body and my emotions are scrambling to catch up to the shift with a bit more challenge this year. I find this to be so with most of my peers and my clients.
Autumn is a time of returning back to the elements of the body and our emotions as we literally fall back into ourselves. The fall season embodies the element of water. With it’s fluid grace water gently starts to soften the soil of our body so that come winter we can dive into the depths of our internal Earth/body journey. Water washes away what no longer serves and we are left feeling a little bare- a little cold and a little exposed after the warm celebrations of summer’s bounties. Water reflects our light but only if we can slow down the emotional ripples within to really see their and our true image. It can soften the rough edges of our soul and carry us out into the great Universal tides of TRUST.
But therein lies the secret to the process of change and transition. The trees don’t question why they are being stripped of their leaves, they know they must let go of the old and allow it to compost into the cycle of life in order to grow again. Letting go means standing bare and exposed and vulnerable to change and embracing the storms. Letting go is very very emotional. Letting go means you have to be able to discern your emotions and trust their guidance. This can be quite a challenge in a society that discourages being “too emotional”. This can be difficult in a culture that is built on treating your emotions as some sort of dis-ease to be quickly cured and covered. When we block the flow of our emotions, when the tears back up into our eyes and disappear, the cleansing watery ways of our inner life stand stagnant and we can no longer see our reflection- or any reflection.
Like nature, we are cyclic. Our bodies obey the same rules of balance that Mother Nature governs. Nature out of balance will do everything in her power to restore balance and self actualize. A soul out of balance will do the same and the vehicle for that transformation and law is our body. Our emotions are our first sweet signal that this dynamic is in need of reflection. When we trust our emotional body, when we can walk with our every part and piece and spastic thought forms we can maintain a certain level of balance, grace and fluidity. I say a certain level as we don’t really have control of the outcome- sorry to say, yes, you have to let go of that too.
If we ignore this process and allow this stagnant emotional well to build and fester without flow, eventually cracks will form and flood our bodies with poison. I feel deeply and I see in myself and others every day that most of our modern diseases are the by-product of a life in opposition to its natural process of balance, of letting go and trusting Mother Nature herself. The seasonal transitions are by design supportive of our highest self-actualization. Water (fall) washes away what doesn’t serve any longer so we can carry the gifts and bounties that burst in summer’s (fire) flame. Our emotional bodies are softened so that the journey further into our flesh, the dirt of our body (Earth/winter) can show us truly what gifts must be brought to light again so that new parts of us can grow come Spring (air). The new spring breezes carry those seeds into the places of light to grow so our creative spark of summer can again be seen and celebrated…. Cyclic, beautiful, Universal and inside of you.
I write these words sounding as though I flow right through my life with ease and learning and great revelation. I am here to say that I write these words from a place of personal struggle with letting go and seeing my beauty and rhythmic connection to all of life. I write from a place where I know how difficult trust is especially when your emotions are dark and your body disobeys your every command- which isn’t possible but tell that to your ego. I write to say that just taking one step into the direction of self- reflection will bring fluidity and grace back- even if it is just a trickle. And, I write, as always to help guide you in simple ways to “learn to listen to your gut” your heart, your soul and your- YOU.
Falling With Grace…
Slow down: Yes, only for 5 minutes. You can do 5 minutes. I know your feet hit the floor and you’re off. But take just 5 minutes in the morning to sit without distraction and observe your thoughts, your emotions and your breath. Yes, some may call this meditation, and- yes I suppose that it is. But meditation brings up too many conditions for people so let’s just call it slowing down.
Cleanse: Getting in touch with our true emotions can be difficult when our physical body is sluggish and imbalanced. Doing a 1-2 week cleanse can really connect you back to this watery emotional side- you may even find creative inspiration- watch out. You don’t have to become a slave to starvation. Simply eat lighter, eat in accordance with the season, drink more water and cut out those things you “know don’t make you feel good”. A little guidance around what type of cleanse is good for you is very helpful- email me.
Eat Seasonal: Eating seasonally will quickly align you with the rhythms of nature and the season. Root vegetables are energetically grounding for you. More cooked foods warm and soothe our bellies. When we feel grounded, comforted and nourished in our bodies we can listen to the emotions and messages that flow through.
Write a story: Stories are meant to flow from beginning to end- maybe with a heroin, some great drama and love. Unfortunately, our real life stories of pain, fear, imbalance and suffering often stay stagnant. This is mostly due to the fact that we are not asking what is below the surface? If you are jealous- what is below the jealousy? If you hold anger- what flows below it? Write a story about it- maybe you tell the real story or maybe you allow your imagination to drift. Looking below these surface emotions can unblock them. Acknowledging them and letting them move through with our words can give them and you a new perspective on your life.
GET SUPPORT: Body work is one of the most beautiful journeys into yourself. You physically feel your body- you allow someone to care for you and you are in a space to let go. Especially abdominal massage therapies which very specifically address the emotional body as your belly houses the gateways of emotional balance. If you don’t know where to begin to look for a practitioner of abdominal massage I can help guide you.
For further support please reach out with questions. Emotional imbalance can feel very lonely and be debilitating. Life- threatening emotions are real and if you EVER feel unsafe please reach out to a professional who can assist you.
As always, in a beauty way… Learn to listen to your gut
Happy Fall Equinox- here is a little poem about letting go…
She falls in trust through the darkest night towards dawn-
Landing cradled in a silver crescent to lay her dreamy head upon-
Shedding the layers of dreams past-lovers-lessons and strife-
She is born once again- swelling with light and new life-
(A new moon is here dancing again with the sun. What a day, what a time to reflect on what the dance within you expresses…)
I have not had regular menses since menarche. From heavy and painful periods, a journey through birth control pills -that wreaked havoc to my system for years- into hypothalamic amenorrhea, my path to connecting with the sacred moon rhythms has unearthed the most ancient beauty within me as well as some very dark nights. I have had to face some truths about my health, my beliefs around my body and relationship to the world around me.
My own personal journey into the magic moon time took me through a month long “womb blood awakening” course with the Fountain of Life Foundation (FOL). Through meditations, devotional womb practices and shamanic menstruation my dream world began to open in vivid color and landscapes full of messages. This altered state began to flow into my waking life and my relationship with myself and the world around me shifted. It wasn’t until I really studied the sacredness of my own flow that I was able to not only balance my cycle and live without pain, but also heal a deeply wounded sense of self love and of not belonging to divine creation herself. I have a richer relationship with my emotions and can navigate my dreams in dark and day and discern what they are trying to say.
Each month women are blessed with a time of shedding, renewal, reflection and emotional cues that can guide our lives. A woman’s moon time is the most distinctive and inescapable physical difference from her male counterpart. We as women are blessed with an internal compass that can guide our fertile life, our creative life and our dream world. The relationship with your moon is, in my opinion a direct reflection of your relationship with self, your personal relationships and loverships. Your moon can tell you stories about your health and sing songs of your journey in love. As a woman you embody the grand Universal cycle of life- death and rebirth each month. Tapping into the ancient part of you that holds ceremonial truth about your magic moon can invoke great insight into your life in the waking and dream states.
“Her capacity to mate and bare children is a potential which the individual may or may not fulfil, but lover or virgin, mother or nun, from puberty to menopause she menstruates. And the point to realize is that she menstruates on all her levels- physical, etheric, astral, mental and spiritual. It is the ultimate expression of her (Goddess- like) cyclical nature.”- Janet and Stewart Farrar
These insights and dreams hold stories about your deepest truths and you start to see your life, and in some cases the lives of those you love, more clearly. In fact ancient civilizations all over the world honored this sacred time in women and would seek the guidance from the visions that came to them in their dreams during menstruation. Women were given respite from the daily duties and, in many cases, were physically relocated into what was known as the “red tent” so that they could connect to their process and deepest womb wisdom. In many ancient texts and myths it was written that womb blood was considered an elixir of life full of healing and consciousness altering properties. Womb blood carries all of the elements of life and properties unique only to divine creation.
“…over the last few years… what science now shows is that menstrual fluid contains over 1000 proteins that are biologically active, and 385 are unique proteins found only in menstrual fluid. The proteins and peptides found in menstrual blood and yoni fluids include many growth factors and cell stimulators, as well as a portion that are neurologically active or alter sensory perception” -FOL
Stories of the red tent have trickled down through the generations and we are now seeing a revival in “womb blood magic” and ceremonies that teach women how to connect to their ancient rhythms and change how they view this sacred monthly passage. And it couldn’t come sooner- the voice of divine creation (the Goddess) has fallen deaf on our modern ears and her song that lives in every woman is craving to be heard. I see this craving in the female clients I work with- in my sisters- in the men who are awakening to their own emotional lives and I feel it deep in myself. It is expressed through suppressed grief around self-love in the form of pelvic pain, fibroids, cysts, PMS, miscarriages and disconnected partnerships… I see it in sisters all around who cannot connect to one another and long for deep feminine relationships. I see it in anger, erratic emotions and confusion around operating in a way that has shut down their sacred connection to creative flow.
Shifting the current paradigm of shame around menstruation will take lots of healing circles, time, and a Universal shift in both men and women in how we treat this sacred cycle of life. It is quite daunting to most women to even consider not using tampons during their bleed. So, how do we begin? We start slow. We evoke the beauty of the subconscious to train the conscious mind. We look to the sky and begin to observe the bigger picture. We begin to dream again and simply ask our dreams to show us what we need to know to connect, to heal and to love deeply this sacred flow of life through our wombs.
Dark Moon Dream Time Tools
BE emotional: We as women have been conditioned to suppress our emotions so we can hang with the boys. Emotions are of the water element- they need to flow in order to carve new paths, soften rough edges and nurture all life. Trusting your emotions during menstruation may seem counterintuitive to current practices but your moon time emotions contain your MOST true insights. It takes practice and vulnerability to allow your rawness to reveal truths you may not want to address. You may be afraid of losing control. So, again, start slow. Feel and breath into it. Be curious rather than casting judgement. Just observe them. It is very helpful to journal and name them as naming a thing will disarm the charge around it and bring insight. As you become more aware you will begin to see patterns in your emotions and find your voice to express them clearly. But above all- BE emotional.
Make a dream pillow: This is magic at its most whimsical when we can whisper to our angels again like we did as children. A dream pillow simply holds the intention of opening you up to allow your subconscious dream state to guide you. Plants, herbs, flowers, crystals and stones have been used in dream pillows through many ancient cultures to evoke lucid dream states. My favorite plant to work with is Mugwort. Simply find a little pouch- I prefer leather or black to deflect any unwanted incoming energy- and fill it with Mugwort and a little crystal. You will want to whisper your intentions and prayers during your menses each night and slip it under your pillow or hang it over your bed. I have known some to actually fill a whole pillow- it’s your journey.
Follow the moon: Simply beginning to tune into the actual phases and cycles of the moon will create a deeper connection to your own divine cycles. You can simply honor her every night with a short prayer of gratitude. I personally build a devotional altar at each new and full moon phase while taking extra time to honor the quarter moon times in meditation. But, awareness of her and asking for her guidance is a simple and beautiful step in your path.
Have a lunar water prayer vessel: Ok, so this is by far one of my most favorite rituals, and one that I learned in the FOL course that I took. For one entire lunar cycle (new moon through new moon) you fill a clear chalice, cup or vessel of your choosing with water. You whisper prayers of gratitude into the water and ask the moon to fill the water with her healing properties. You leave the water outside to collect moonbeams overnight. When you wake in the morning you drink the water. I swear the water will wash over your womb and you will be filled with a deep ancient feeling of connection- I did anyway. This is also a beautiful ritual to do with little ones who may be afraid to sleep. They can feel like they whispered prayers to the moon to protect them in the night- again, magic in its whimsy.
I love you to the moon… thanks for reading.
I am here for guidance and questions.
Learn to Listen to Your Gut
“Even after all of this time the Sun has never once turned to the Earth and said “you owe me”. Look what happens with a love like that- it lights the whole sky.”- Hafiz
In my practice I lead clients through a balancing meditation for the divine feminine and divine masculine archetypes that live in every one of us. As we journey into what each of these represent in their lives I am finding that there is great confusion and emotion around the divine masculine energy within; at times even more so than the societally broken divine feminine energy.
I have been going over in my heart for months on how to express what I experience with this imbalance and misunderstood masculine. But, I first had to understand it more for myself and how it has impacted my entire life. As we approach the height of summer I decided it is only appropriate that now is the time to approach this topic as the Sun is the full embodiment of the masculine essence. I know in my life I have always been more fire and a devout sun worshipper. My masculine side was always in overdrive, on the move and burning hot. As I write this my body is going through a major transition through injury and recovery from illness and exhaustion. I am beginning to sense a softness calling me, begging me to slow down, rest, create and flow a bit more like water than burn hot like a flame. I know that what burns so hot and bright can also burn right out if not tended to.
Well in order to understand the divine masculine energy we must also have knowledge of the divine feminine. Simply put and to directly quote Janet and Stewart Farrar..
“The male essence is linear, analytical, with concentrated and logical awareness; it takes things to pieces to see what things are made of; it is fertilizing energy, force rather than form. The female essence is cyclical, synthesizing, with diffuse intuitive awareness; it puts things together to see how they relate; it receives the male energy and gives it form….. Either without the other is incomplete, distorted and vulnerable”
I find that my male clients crave the cradling force of the Earth Mother- the divine feminine. As they begin to tap into the passionate, emotional and wild masculine creatures they are- they feel their primal instincts stir from dormancy and from under this shroud of modern numbing. A spark of something ancient begins to burn and spread through their bones but the fear, shame and confusion of where to direct it and how to harness these feelings rises just as strong. They have been faced with the conflicting messages of “be tough” and “boys don’t cry” along with being told that the “big macho tough guy act” is too aggressive. The feelings and emotions they do have are buried under a mound of anger and disconnect from their passions and creative desires.
In my female clients their masculine sense has been on overdrive with balancing career, family and social calendars. They have been warriors in their lives and crave to be seen as the soft and fertile creative force they truly are. Being “too emotional” is something to be ashamed of and so often as women we burry and discount our true feelings. This shows up in hormone imbalances and PMS among many other symptoms. When I feel their right ovary (the right side of the body and right ovary hold the masculine energy) it’s in a spin as the left side and ovary (feminine) feels sad and uninspired and so thankful to have the attention.
Our most primal instincts are to survive and create. In ancient civilizations the masculine warrior would go out to hunt for and protect the women and children only to return to the softness and nurturing of ceremony, gathering and the womb of a woman. As well, the women would gather and create medicine, art and tend to the children and home and welcome back into their sacred circle the heat of their warrior at the end of the day. There was a an honor of the rhythms and natural roles of each gender in balance with their archetypal counterpart. Although men were the warriors and protectors they also gathered together in embrace and healing, often in the arms of another brother; emotion was celebrated and held.
Now of course we do not live in such defined roles any longer and have advanced in so many ways with equality in gender rights and opportunities- thank goodness. But, in these advancements we have lost the essence of our divine nature and rhythms. We have become broken inside so that we can produce and “succeed” outside. The masculine has been used up and burned out in almost all. The re- awakening in the last few years of the divine feminine archetype is no accident and why the terms Goddess, priestess and womb wisdom are becoming commonplace. We need her watery, emotional and creative ways because as we emerge into the rise of the feminine archetype, her wisdom and energy our internal warrior is needing some serious rest and regeneration.
So, as the Sun rises to his highest point and you feel your fire burn bright remember that at the end of every warm sunny day is a cool, restorative and dreamy dark night…
Nourish and Balance
Tune in: Honoring the elements that embody the divine feminine and masculine archetypes is a beautiful and simple way to bring balance. Upon rising each morning look east and give thanks to the vibrant masculine Sun for warming you and the Earth and to be there to greet you each day. As night falls, look to the Moon to bring you into the mystery of the feminine as you fall into deep sweet sleep.
Receive Maya Abdominal Massage: Scheduling bodywork in general will help you to land in your body to better understand where your blockages are. But, specific work in the seat of your emotional body will open, teach and transform your understanding of your imbalances and where you are storing trauma and stress. Maya Abdominal Massage (specifically ATMAT®) addresses stagnation physically, emotionally and energetically in our pelvic and abdominal organs to allow optimal flow of energy, nourishing blood, lymph, oxygen and chi.
Journal your experience: Ask yourself what divine masculine and divine feminine mean to you in your life. And for one lunar cycle (from new moon through full moon to new moon) tune into what force drives your decisions, your communications, relations, emotions and your creativity. Feel where you need to explore and heal.
Create-Create- Create: Your masculine side will thrive when your creative juices are flowing and being expressed. The feminine creates and the masculine brings the creation to life. When what you are putting out to the world (masculine) reflects what is in your heart and creative soul (feminine) you will find balance and grace.
Healthy Emotional Release: As one of my dance teachers always says “you gotta feel it to heal it”. Allowing your bound up emotions to go opens up space for healing in your entire life. Emotions are of the water element and they temper the fire. They soften the edges like a stream over rough stone. Emotions inspire creativity and the fire puts the passion and ideas into action. I don’t know of any songs, art or dance that don’t come from a place of deep creative inspiration. Every human- every spirit needs this balance and this includes our men.
I know that when I allow myself a good cry my digestion seems to automatically improve in the moment and I feel empty and ready to rest and refuel. Release can come in many ways: cry, sing, dance, om, orgasm, sit in your car and scream (I can attest that they all are quite effective). The caveat is this, healthy emotion release. If you are constantly crying and in despair please seek support…
Explore These Balances in Your Relationship: The dynamic of connection, love and relation between man and woman is the truest expression of the divine balance. When we lose our sense of these within ourselves we can get entangled into imbalanced relationships. I feel the lack of divine masculine and feminine teachings is the main reason we cannot deeply connect and stay connected. Divorce rates are incredible and there are too many creative, passionate, amazing and very single individuals in the world seeking connection. There are many books and sites that can help you dive into these dynamics within yourself and your relationship- be curious and seek what calls you.
I desired to truly meet the feminine in all her wild and beautiful elements, and to remember how the masculine was an integral part of this vast, dynamic beauty. For it is this communion with the feminine that births the wild masculine. – Dr Azra Bertrand
Happy Summer Solstice!
I love fresh made lemonade. And, I have been practically dosing myself on this amazing herbal lemonade recipe I created that will love up your lady parts. It is full of nourishing herbs, spicy ginger and lots of fresh lemon. Oh- and it’s PINK!
The base of this nourishing summertime beverage is an herbal infusion. Infusions are similar to simple teas but they steep for at least 4 hours in order to draw out the maximum benefit of the herbs being used.
You will need a large jar or large French press cleaned of all coffee grounds. I use sprouting jars for all of my infusions as they are the perfect size and come equipped with an easy strain mesh top- and they are cheap. I have quite a few so I can do a couple infusions at a time.
Lemonade for Your Lady Parts
I don’t typically measure anything as I like to go on feel. Some days I want more ginger so I add more. Or, I don’t want any sweetener so I skip the bit of stevia leaf. If I am coming close to my menses I may boost the red raspberry a pinch. Play with what you feel but here is a rough guideline…
- Raspberry leaf– one small handful (1/2 cup): Raspberry leaf is simply food for your uterus. It also adds a slight raspberry flavor to the lemonade.
- Hibiscus Flowers– I use about 8-10 of the dried whole flowers. Hibiscus is full of vitamin C which is necessary for healthy ovulation and, of course immunity. It also has wonderful astringent properties so it is very good consumed before and during your moon. This is what makes everything pink-in the lemonade that is.
- Oatstraw- One small handful (1/2 cup): Oats are an incredible nervine and have been used to ease anxiety, depression, irritability and low sexual vitality. In fact oatstraw has been used for addressing low libido in men and women for centuries. It has a very mild taste.
- Fresh Ginger– 1/4 cup thinly sliced: Ginger is an incredible anti- inflammatory and digestive aid. Adjust to your taste.
- Stevia– one tiny pinch of raw leaf: A little goes a long way. You could use a tiny amount of raw honey.
- Lemons– about 3 medium organic lemons.
Bring adequate amount of water to a boil in a pot, enough to fill, or almost fill the jar. Add the ginger and simmer for 10 minutes. Put all of the herbs in the jar and pour the water over. Give thanks to the herbs for their potent healing and you can whisper intentions into your infusion as you work. If your water doesn’t fill the jar all the way- no worries. You can always add more. Let the infusion sit (in the sun if you can) for at least 4 hours, but no more than 8 as you don’t want things to get funky. Refrigerate until cold. Add as much lemon as you want- strain and drink up.
The sun is rising to its highest point and everything and everyone is bursting with life and possibility. Your body warms and your skin begins to glow making you want to dance naked in open fields and dash off to late night skinny dip adventures- are you with me?! No?
Summer is fire, summer is passion- summer is the brightest light coming to life inside of you. Your body was created to be in sync with the changing seasons and reflect nature’s rhythms. Unfortunately so many of us are disconnected and distracted from the natural world. I see this often reflected in one’s lack of drive to create- with another human being- in a blaze of beauty and passion (aka low libido).
In my opinion a strong libido is one of the top signs of vitality. There are many reasons our drive drops and thus I always suggest seeking a little insight. Of course stress plays the biggest role so addressing where you can manage your stress better is always the first step to healing an imbalance. Other contributors to low libido…
- Poor Diet
- Lack of exercise
- Hormone imbalance
- Adrenal Fatigue
- You sit all day on your precious creative organs
- You don’t use your “libido” enough
Summer time will illuminate your lack luster libido more than any other time of year as your body will crave to turn over the love crank. So, tuning into your body’s deep intuitive response to be in sync with this season can greatly assist you in igniting your spark. Use the energy that the summer sun provides to begin to heal. Get outside and feel the sun on your face and bare a little of that skin that has been suffocating under clothes for the last 9 months. Sun gazing and sun mediation will draw in the light and help you begin to feel your body, sense its blockages and awaken your desires.
Vitamin D deficiency can cause low estrogen in women, which means low sex drive. It also causes low testosterone in men. So if you tend to feel more frisky during the summer than the winter, there’s a very good reason for it – increased vitamin D causes your hormones, and your libido, to peak during summer months. -Sara Gottfried MD
Summer is also the growing time so the foods that the season provides will be bursting with that expansive bright energy keeping the body light and energized- berries, berries and more juicy berries. Poor diet and bad digestion will bind up your libido as your sex hormones will most likely be awry. Our digestion naturally desires quick burning foods in the heat so eating accordingly can help ease digestive sluggishness opening up our hormone communication pathways.
Attuning yourself to the season is a powerful first step but most likely won’t be enough to really fuel your fire if you’re a soggy log. There are many practices, foods and herbs that can help- here are a few that I know work, I have used and are easy to incorporate.
Maca: Maca is a powerful and nourishing adaptogen that grows in arid ground in the Peruvian highlands. It has been termed “Peruvian Ginseng” and is very well known for increasing sexual stamina in men and women. What recent research has found is that the adaptogenic properties seem to act directly on the hypothalamus and pituitary helping support proper hormone balance which is where the basis for increased libido comes from. It is stimulating and, although considered a food and quite safe, I always take maca in the morning and monitor my energy. You can adjust the dosage to your body and decide which form (powder, tincture, pill) works best for you.
One small study looked at the effect of 4 months of treatment with maca tablets on semen quality in nine adult men. Treatment with maca resulted in increased semen volume, sperm count, and sperm motility. Serum levels of testosterone and estradiol were not affected.
Damiana: This plant has been used as an aphrodisiac for thousands of years throughout Latin America, specifically Mexico, for increasing libido and overall sexual health. Its properties help to stimulate oxygen supply to the pelvic and abdominal organs. I love the potent aroma of damiana tea especially with a bit of honey.
Ginseng: Hands down one of the best herbs for building long term stamina and vitality. Although all ginsengs have highly beneficial adoptogenic properties it seems that American ginseng works best with the feminine constitution and Asian ginseng with the male.
Rose: If you want to open your heart- and you do. You can eat, drink, bathe in it and roll around in it. It will infuse your life with love.
Oatstraw: Susan Weed says to drink 3 quarts of oatstraw infusion per week for your libido- enough said.
Have more sex: If you don’t use it you will lose it.
Exercise: How great do you feel in your body when you are physically active, moving your bones and sweating it out?! Exercise is a must. You don’t have to pound the pavement or hit the gym for an hour. But do move your body in way that gets your heart going and spills a trickle of sweat down your back. Best choices- dance and anything outside.
Abdominal/ Pelvic Massage: Accessing the areas directly responsible for your libido can bring you back into relationship with your sexual energy. By releasing any congestion, adhesions, tightness and stored emotions you can begin to bring in nourishment and open up space for blood flow, proper nerve function, chi, oxygen and lymph to move. If you feel any blockage and disconnect at all from your pelvic bowl this treatment is a must. And- I even know a wonderful practitioner who can help guide you.
Drink more water: Ok so more water doesn’t directly affect your libido but it’s hot. And you are about to get a bit hotter so you will need it because I know you don’t drink enough and it is very good for you.
As always, be tuned into your body when you begin to incorporate new practices, foods, herbs and supplements. You have to feel it to heal it. And believe me- you want to feel it. Let your inner sun shine!
Questions? I would love to help….
There is nothing like the Spring season to really illuminate where we need to lighten our load and where we have imbalance. Imbalances this time of year surface quickly- like a Spring shoot (haha). With all things awakening, our spirit and libido also begin to surge with the buzz of new life all around and you right? And, yes, your spirit. You are feeling inspired at least some of the time- right?) This is why everyone writes about “cleaning up” and “clearing out” and why cleansing the body is the trending wellness pitch. But before jumping on some trendy food, or no food, cleanse program I strongly encourage you to look at your hormonal health to help guide you.
In my opinion, your hormones are the best indicator of how balanced and healthy you are. However, when most of us think of cleansing, hormone health doesn’t even come into consideration. The signs of hormone imbalance are either overlooked or completely ignored because most of us, women especially, are told that hormones are imbalanced and erratic by nature. (Nature doesn’t work that way).
Furthermore, when these signals are ignored you may choose a cleanse program that does more harm than good. True you may lose weight and feel a sudden burst of energy, but what is the long term effect and- how are your hormones? If they do not balance with your cleanse then the cleanse is NOT for you. For instance let’s say you choose to do the all popular juice cleanse but you tend to mismanage blood sugar. A juice cleanse could throw your hormones into a fit. Your “cleanse” will backfire and you may spiral into deeper issues.
There are some very clear signals that your hormones should be what drive determining which type of cleanse may serve you best. These signals may also determine that a typical cleanse is not what you need and what you need is a different kind of reset for your body.
You need to “cleanse” your hormones if you have…
- Painful periods (heavy flow, cramping, migraines)
- Dark and clotty periods
- Cysts and fibroids
- Excess weight and “puffiness” that does not respond to exercise
- You are excessively moody and erratic
You need a reset if:
- You have amenorrhea
- Your periods are very short and very light (1-3 days)
- Your sex drive is in reverse
- You have no lust for life
- You get dizzy often and have brain fog
- You have difficulty maintaining a healthy weight (underweight)
If you experience some or all of the symptoms above I advise seeking some guidance around choosing a program that will support your body and its needs. You need to take into consideration that your hormones will point to other issues in your body so by addressing your hormones you may end up healing and “cleansing” other systems in your body like your digestion, your adrenals and your metabolism.
Regardless of symptoms, or if you are generally healthy. I usually recommend that once a year women (and men) tune in to their hormones and see where cleansing, clearing, nourishment and support may enhance and deepen their sacred connection to the rhythms of nature. The journey into cleansing and resetting the body should also be approached from all angles of self- mind/body/spirit. When you are able to truly tune into yourself and tune out the trends and the noise you can choose what is right for you- naturally. Your yearly “cleanse” will become a time of deep reflection and honor to the most sacred thing you will ever possess- your body.
How to start:
Be clear with your intention to cleanse: This is vital before beginning any program. What do you truly seek to change and are you really willing to do the work, make a shift and make it sustainable. Do you have the time? The resources? This is difficult because I have met very few women who, deep down, don’t love to lose weight and that may not be what you really need.
Get some guidance: No one-not even myself who knows a thing or two about the functions of the body- should set out on a plan alone. This is also a good time to schedule some bodywork that can help support you whether it be massage (especially abdominal), acupuncture, cranio-sacral or hydrotherapy.
Track you cycle for one month: How do you bleed? When do you ovulate? Do you have cravings and PMS? This will help you determine where your imbalances are and how to cleanse, eat, drink, sleep and exercise accordingly.
Food journal: for one week track what you eat, how you feel and your cravings. Again, this will greatly help determine nutrient deficiencies, food sensitivities and what is emotional vs physiological.
If you have any questions I would love to hear from you.
I believe strongly in support and it doesn’t take a lot. To help Spring you into action with what is right for you I am offering a series of 3 sessions at $30 off (this does not include the first session rate)! These sessions will combine coaching, abdominal massage and supportive bodywork.- Not in Seattle? I do phone coaching and one call can change a lot.