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
I met Jillian through my journey in studying Mayan abdominal massage and spiritual healing with Dr. Rosita Arvigo. In February 2013 we both travelled to Belize for a 7 day spiritual healing training with Dr. Arvigo at her home on San Ignacio. Immersed in the jungle with women from all around the globe we learned of spiritual illness and ways to invoke plant spirits and prayer to address the afflictions. We connected deeply to the plants that swirled around us clearing, igniting vision, sparking insight and illuminating our highest self and our own divine capacity to heal. Tune in, listen to your heart, sit with nature, whisper your intentions and let go- this was the deeper learning to carry away.
The week flowed into some further travels for me through Central America. I was blessed to have Jillian join me for a bit of my Guatemala adventures. We first visited the incredible site of Tikal and then headed toward Lago de Atitlan. Before even arriving we knew that the lake held a lot of ancient mystery and power. It was a vortex of energy and “healers” flocked from all corners. As we walked the narrow dirt alleys there were signs everywhere for ceremonies, healing rituals and the promise of transformation. Jillian felt a pull toward a sign of Ix Chel (the Mayan Goddess of Fertility). We walked through a gate to meet a very wound up British woman who was the wife of the Shaman who performed the healing services advertised. She explained his deep connection to the Maya spirits and how he is part of long line of indigenous Mayan Shamans. Jillian decided she wanted to experience his work and I decided I was going to have him guide me up the volcano (his side job) a few days later.
He then appeared as we were about to depart and it was as if the air stilled. Something in me felt uneasy and a bit dark. I brushed it off as, after all, he is this “all mighty healer”- not another thought. The next afternoon Jillian went to her session and I explored. As I walked through the gate later to pick her up something ill spiraled through my gut and I looked into the treatment room as he raised his head- something was wrong. Moments later Jillian appeared- out of body and silent. I took her to a private sweat hut to relax and as she sat naked in my arms she began to cry and tremble. He had violated her beautiful, sweet body as he filled her head with lies about how she carries darkness in her deep private places and he was there to heal them; that she must let him in if she wants to let go. She told me that she tried so hard to stop him but there was a dark energy that stole her voice and held her down. She was upset with herself and revealed that before her session something told her not to go but she, like me, also allowed her true wisdom self to be silenced.
Deep down in both of us we knew there was a lesson and a great healing to be foraged from this dark plague that affects so many women- and men. We called on the beauty and strength of the teachings and ceremonies we had just been initiated into with Dr. Rosita. Jillian in her fierce Earth mama beauty went back through that gate and harvested some plants from his land- she then did a healing ritual on herself to release the pain and overshadowing energy. As well, she had to reclaim her voice and thus we reported him to the community. We prayed, we sang and we cried- we healed with the very tools that no one can ever grant us- our own divine light and connection to spirit.
There are many layers to this story to peel back and examine that can dive deep into patriarchy, injustice and the disease of sexual abuse. But I want to illuminate the stigma of (mostly women) giving away our power and our light. We are in a critical time- and a very transformative time of so many being called into service to spirit; so many in the search for a cure to the internal struggles on the conscious path. And, as the light demands to shine there will be those who walk the dark path waiting prey in the shadows to feed on yours and take advantage of the eager and open soul.
The lesson was so clear, especially after our week in Belize, in listening to self and connecting to our own spirit guides. Jillian knew- and I knew- and we were in some way comforted with the aspect of the deeper learning for all. There is not a Shaman, Priestess, Elder or plant spirit that can “fix you”. They can only hold a candle to reflect the light you already possess. They can only help unlock your internal compass and open the channel of divine guidance that is woven into your bones. I feel we are sometimes in such a hurry to fill our “spiritual resume” that in haste we override what serves our greatest good and therefore the greatest good of all. No one should fall victim to abuse. And, learning to hear and honor your own inner healer can begin to punch holes in the dark to see through to the truth.
In the words of my beloved teacher Dr. Rosita Arvigo~
“We do not cure disease, we simply remove the obstructions and deterrents to Nature’s healing force”
~Jillian is a wise sister, a fierce spirit and a brilliant healer. You can find her here and see her amazing work with the Yoni Jade Egg and her many gifts. (Love you Jillian).~
(*Disclaimer- the title is a play on words from a “Wolf in sheep’s clothing”. Wolf medicine is magic, revered and respected. I hold deep love for those who walk with that spirit and in no way meant disrespect to the beloved wolf.)
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!
What a magnificent and powerful day. We have emerged from the winter days and its dark mysteries to see new life grow once again. Spring is upon us and with her she brings a new moon and a solar eclipse. It isn’t very often that the forces of nature combine all together during a shift in season. I sit in awe at all of these forces and begin to relate them to my body- my Earth.
Of course, spring represents a time of renewal and hope of new life. But, more importantly it represents the death of the dark days of winter and- well- old life in a sense. It is a time to pay honor to those lessons that you have struggled to learn and those ideas that have been brewing inside of you these last few months and start shining a bright light on them. I don’t know about you, but this past winter was loud with her commands in the ways I need to heal, wake up and pay attention. Days were not easy but I dug in deep and knew that the dark was necessary in order to wake to a bright dawn.
What strikes me most about this spring equinox is that it falls on a dark, or new, moon in an eclipse! There is no greater symbol than the moon at representing the cycle of life from birth to death, dark to light, expansion to contraction. This cycle reverberates through every living thing. But for women it is a physical expression seen through her monthly bleed- the shedding of old and preparing for the possibility of new. For me and my past struggles with hypothalamic amenorrhea, connecting to the dark moon has been like coming home to a place you could always feel the importance and presence of but have never been. In order to wake to the rhythms of this power I had to, once again, look at what really needed to be addressed in my dark corners. I had to tune into my body and be brave enough to step into a relationship with something so ingrained in my being yet so distant- the rhythms and tides of Mother Earth. As I honored my dark, my flow and my rhythms it illuminated a deeper imbalance that I see in so many.
In nature we tend to see things from a more feminine point of view. And the current, necessary awakening and awareness around the feminine aspect within ourselves is strong at this time. Mother Earth and her rhythms embody all aspects of the feminine. But bring in this solar eclipse, the dance of Sun (masculine) and Moon (feminine), and we are reminded that the energies of feminine and masculine, light and dark, sun and moon, have to both be present for life to emerge- in perfect balance.
What does this all mean?
I work with many women with hormonal and emotional conflict in their lives. The dark moon has not been something to honor as important, like our monthly shedding of the old. I see men who are craving to be in tune with an aspect of themselves they have felt ashamed to connect with. They cannot express this fierce, sun warrior light they hold without ridicule or misunderstanding. Our ability to feel the rhythms of nature in tune with our own nature has been tampered out by so much societal noise. Our lack of self-awareness around the importance of journeying through light and dark times, within and without, has created emotional chaos in so many of us. We no longer honor the simple and the beautiful aspects of the miracle of life. We have been thrown off balance by not understanding how to nurture and honor both aspects of light and dark, masculine and feminine. All of this manifests in many ways in our lives but greatly impacts our sexual and hormonal health, our emotions and our creativity.
This Spring Equinox is here to deliver us a juicy serving of self-awareness- to shed, to light up with bright intention and to find the natural balance within and honor all aspects of ourselves so we can heal. Here are some reflections and actions you can take to honor this changing of the season within and without.
Ask yourself this… Take your time and be kind with your answers.
- What have you been holding onto that you need to let go of?
- What is your relationship with your beautiful bleed? (women)
- If you wanted to Spring 3 things to life what would they be?
- When you think of Mother Earth what emotions stir inside of you?- Do any?
- What do feminine and masculine energy mean to you? Where in your body do you feel these energies?
Honor the phases of the moon: As you now know the dark moon represents a time to shed and let go. Clearing space for new opportunities and clearing baggage each month will keep you focused and light so that when the Full moon rises you can set to action with bringing things to life. There are many simple rituals. You can write down those things you wish to shed at the new Moon, thank her and the Earth for hearing your heart, burn and bury. Light a candle on the full Moon with a clear and intentional prayer- sit in meditation and gratitude.
Understand the balance within: Every living thing has a feminine and a masculine side. In the human body the masculine resides in the right side of the body (right ovary for women) and the feminine in the left (left ovary). I guide clients through a meditation that connects these energies to various areas in their life. Simply tuning in and envisioning the sun/moon, fire/water balance can help you see where you may need to balance.
Seed cycle: This is a simple and nourishing way for women to balance their hormones with food. Seeds are the essence of life and Spring. By using certain seeds at certain phases of your cycle you can balance and connect. The quick version is consuming pumpkin and flax in your follicular phase and sesame and sunflower seeds in your luteal phase. Don’t know what follicular and luteal are? Want further guidance? Contact me…
Do a fertility cleanse: Cleansing is by far the most popular way to honor Spring and to let go of the old. Fertility cleansing to increase your awareness of your hormonal and emotional rhythms will also address stagnation in the whole body.
Plant some flowers: Physically getting your hands into the Earth is the most intimate way. Honor her and all of the elements that help us all grow.
In my recent acupuncture session it was mentioned to me that I could work on my “belly fire”. I consider myself quite a firey type already but something in me knew exactly what she was talking about. When I began to dissect my life (as anyone would after that) I realized that having strong fire in the belly is a constitutional state that bridges mind/body/emotion. It fuels your light, your creativity, your ability to be nourished fully and even express your sexuality with ease and confidence.
So, I dug a little deeper into my life and began to recall how it looks and feels when there is a strong fire in my core. I move through my life with confidence. My body is warm and limber. My digestion is strong, my eyes bright and my speech strong and clear. I want to connect with others (if you know what I mean) and I feel creative and unapologetic for my self expressions. What was I doing at those times to keep that fire going? More importantly what signals can I look for when I need to reignite my fire?
When your flame is a flicker
- You digest poorly and feel bloated or full even after small amounts of food
- Stuff stinks on its way out
- Your breath is shallow no matter how deeply you inhale
- Your hands and feet tend to be cold
- Your libido is low
- Your brain is slow
- You do not feel passion for much of anything
- You would rather isolate than socialate (it’s a word- I think)
- Your creativity is low
- You feel disconnected from your source of spirit and inspiration
- Your speech is messy and lacks confidence
Getting to a state of strong internal fire can take some work. The key is being able to tune into the signals that need the spark and then addressing those areas.
How to bring the fire back
Rest– Have you simply burned yourself out? Nourishing your adrenals and getting rest is your first step if you are fizzled out.
Breathe– Spend some time each day to sit and breathe- deeply. Most people do not have full access to their breath. Breath massages internal organs, fuels your brain, ignites your chakras and signals your parasympathetic system that life is good. I have been working with transformational breath work sessions and it has been a major catalyst in lighting my fire. Email me for practitioners and details!
Diet– If you are eating in a hurry and what you are eating consists of processed foods, coffee, sugar and cocktails well then… If you are eating what you consider balanced I would slow down and chew to start. You can then try adding in a digestive enzyme. Warming herbs like cumin, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric and fennel are amazing for natural fire and they soothe and digest. Always consult some guidance when working with supplementation.
Dance- This works every time. Move that belly and wiggle those hips
Have Sex– I know, “your tired tonight”. But, sex is a sure fire, fire starter. Plan it, practice it, do it. If want to keep the machine greased up and ready you have to start her, or him, up every once in awhile.
Eat some chocolate?! Well, only because I love you and it’s the month of love. Yes, it’s sugar. But, in the moment it can turn you up and turn you on- in moderation of course. Enjoy.
If you don’t know where to begin or if you can’t get your fire going- email me. As always, listening to the body’s cues for when your systems start to fizzle is the first step. They are there to guide you so you know how to tune in and reignite your own internal flame.
“Learn to Listen to Your Gut”