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Your Body is a Sacred She Not an It.

sacred body 2Loving your body is an inside job.  It actually has nothing to do with your weight or size.  It is recognizing that your body is a Sacred She, not an “it”.  That’s a She with a capital “S”.  She is your soul in form, an extension of the deepest part of you.  This can be a bit of a foreign concept for some of us who were taught that Spirit is outside of our bodies and the body is just a place of sin and weakness. I challenge this assumption.

Hogwash, I say!

Your body is a sacred keeper and the physical form of the deepest part of you. This is called Embodied Spirituality, where connecting to your body is really connecting to the Divine.  Imagine living a life centered around your relationship to your body, knowing that the integrity of this relationship was central to every other aspect of your life.  How you felt about yourself , your relationships and your life was mirrored by your relationship to your Sacred body.  She is guiding you and signalling your emotions, needs, wants and beliefs, directing you like the lead of a marching band.  And, rather than fighting against, ignoring or denying the trumpets and drums, you can listen and follow them because you are being led by the Divine.

What if you trusted your body to lead you to your dreams- your soul path, simply by honoring your body’s innate wisdom and amazing abilities of bodily sensations, emotions and gut feelings?  You have no need to shut these wondrous messengers off because they are from your soul, transmuting messages to you by the form and emotional/physical functions of your body.  Your body is the computer of your soul.  You are being led towards what feels right for you, if it lights you up like a fire cracker, then it is for you.  The body will not guide you to what you think you should be doing or to be perceived as successful, that’s your mind.  The body will guide you to fire and passion, it is not worried about becoming a role or title, it wants soul expression and release into your world.

Can you open up a space to begin the process of uniting your mind and body in a sacred union, a true and loving kinship? Can you allow your body and mind to bond into a sacred marriage and away from sacred battle?

This means approaching your body as an equal, even as captain of the team. This is a much different way than treating your body like a “thing” to dominate and a “thing” to push past its limits.  It is letting go of mind- over- body mantra and instead following the body’s lead.  It is opposite of everything we have learned and it will take some unlearning, unwinding and at times collapsing of every construct you once operated upon.

I too lived with the debilitating mantra of mind over body.  I played competitive sports and we trained until we puked.  This led to a life addicted to superwoman powers. I learned to push myself to the limits and beyond and called that success. My body had no choice but to rebel as I continued to live a life of overdoing and over-extending. She said, “No more, that’s too much.  No, no NO!  You will not overdo, over-extend, over push, over carry, over burden us anymore!”

She has put Her foot down with the manifestation of an autoimmune disorder that I believe has evolved out of refusal to hear Her and slow down.  Now, I have no choice but to pay attention.  I’ve had to find another pace, another gear and slow down, way down, in order to do life.  If I don’t an autoimmune attack shows up and I typically end up in hospital.

Marion Woodman, a Jungian Analyst who specialized in the Lost Goddess and the Sacred Feminine said in a speech for Conscious Femininity,

“You know, you must wander in a culture where autoimmune break down is the most prevalent of diseases — lupus, AIDS, cancer, chronic fatigue syndrome — these are all illnesses in which the body refuses to play host to the soul.”

Boo-yah! That kind of hits you in the gut don’t it?!

In mind-body therapy, we look for the metaphorical message in the illness. Underneath an illness is often unresolved emotional trauma, wounds or belief patterns that continue to perpetuate the dis-ease.  In the book The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal, autoimmune illness is associated with “…an inability to stand up for yourself…feeling weighed down by responsibility. Always putting others first.  Anger, resentment, blame and guilt…”

I regularly pushed past my limits, over committed, over did things, held everything on my shoulders and did not ask for help. I didn’t know how to draw a line in the sand.  In fact in didn’t know where I’d place the line because my head thought it should be way over here when my body was barely making it way back there.  I felt like a failure, weak and lacking for not being able to do more.  I didn’t recognize it as wisdom at the time.  My ego wanted more!  My body knew that the superwoman pace was a bullshit facade.  It was an empty crusty shell trying to get validation of being enough by doing too much.  I was addicted to the drug of over-doing.

I didn’t stand up for my body’s needs or my souls’ wants.  I put other’s needs ahead of my own, and I sacrificed me time, down time or rest time in the name of getting more things done or to squeeze in an extra workout so my perfection addicted mind would shut up.

Autoimmune illness is literally the manifestation of the mind attacking the body or for argument’s sake, the mind over body mantra in a physical form.  For me, it is the manifestation of my mind pushing my body past Her limits continually, never checking into see how things feel or where the body’s energy levels are at.  It’s not even knowing the body’s limits or refusing to believe the body is entitled to having limits.  It is keeping it up too late, feeding it too little, forcing it to exercise extraneously, stressing it with life, having a thousand and one commitments to tend to and pretending that everything is under control and I’m doing great.  It’s a high to be busy all the time, accomplishing, getting things done at lightning speed.  It’s a high until you crash and burn and the exhaustion, the tears, all the emotional messages and physical needs the body was saying comes crashing into you all at one time.

I was living with an “I am fine” illusion when I wanted to cry at every stop sign I sat at.  I wanted the false pride that came with the super-strong-independent-I-don’t-need-anyone woman disguise because I thought it meant I was succeeding, coping, keeping afloat.  I didn’t want to give up my shiny cape.

I rarely rested or fed my soul through creativity or stillness.  I only collapsed in exhaustion or used alcohol to disconnect from the exploding reality trying to burst out of my insides screaming of depletion.  I was empty and hollow and I didn’t want to own it.  I thought that it would mean I was failing.  Then one fine day my body did it for me. I collapsed at work and life was never the same because an autoimmune disorder was born out of my denial to accept the Truth.

So here’s what I learned in my break-down.  We must balance DOING with BEING!  Being is experiencing life with a pure intention of peace, joy, fun and play. Being is the gear that the body likes.  It is not checking off the “to-do” list or creating things for the purpose of getting accolades. It is refilling the energy tank, the love tank, the self-esteem tank, and the feel good-to-be alive tank just because we need to, not for the shiny cape and applause.

It is experienced through stillness…conscious stillness, reflection, journaling, even when you really don’t want to or would rather watch TV and zone out.  It’s doing restorative yoga rather than Vinyasa yoga.  It is creative expression or any kind, knitting, kite flying, even button collecting.  It’s furniture re-purposing, writing, painting or puzzle making.

It is a dumping out of the emotional tub filling up inside because you know the body is guiding you through the messengers of emotions.  They are the compass on your soul journey.

It is walking outside and feeling the wind caress your face or it is sticking your tongue out and tasting a snow flake.  It is life lived at a slower pace, in the moment, focused on the beauty and wonder around us.

It is connecting to the Universe, the Divine, to God & the Goddess, the Creator, the stars, the moon, the wind, the water, and fire just because  our soul calls for it. We need magic and wonder in our lives.  We need meaning, spiritual connection, and emotional release.  We need to do less more often. Did you hear me?

Do LESS more often!abundance 4

We need to have way more fun and play in life and accomplish less. Yeah, I said it, accomplish less and connect to each other a lot more.  At the end of your days you won’t be counting the things you accomplished, you’ll be remembering the special moments with your people.

When we are so busy, over doing, over extended, over exhausted, there is no room for the soul.  And when there’s no room for the soul, we don’t take presence in our own body.  We don’t step foot in our own two feet, we just float around in our minds going through our life tasks spiritually vacant.   Maybe we find ourselves wanting to cry out of nowhere and we aren’t sure why, this my friends is the soul’s tears.  They will leak out in the moments of stillness right before bed or when things just keep getting compounded and challenging that we can’t keep it together, we burst at the seams.  That moment is a gift, a call home to your Essence!

So take five minutes and write 5 things you are grateful for about your wise, soul speaking body. Thank your legs for carrying you from place to place and the ability to move. Thank your hands for doing such amazing work tending to the children or cooking meals.  Thank your gut for digesting food and helping you have life force energy to go about your day.  Thank your ears for the ability to hear a beautiful song or your child’s laugh.  Even thank your swirling stomach for the anxiety signalling to you that your soul is not content.

Let’s appreciate our life giving, soul holding bodies today and everyday!  Let’s take things a little slower, a little gentler, and a lot more focused on fun and less on outcome.

And so it is!

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8 Sacred Feminine Teachings That Your Thirteen Year-Old Self Craves.

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What if upon our transition into our teen years, we were supposed to learn really important teachings about our body, heart and soul?  What if these teachings could dramatically change the way you feel about your self…your body…your heart?

Sign me up – right?! The trouble is these teachings have been lost, buried, waiting to be reborn into our lives and into the world.  And so I hope to share some of the Sacred Feminine teachings I learned on my healing road, in hopes your soul remembers and your own self love grows.

In mind-body therapy, our behaviours and our struggles are really symbolic to our deeper issues and needs.  So…let’s take world’s obsession with our weight, body hatred even body altering and let’s explore that for a second.  Is it possible we are acting our our soul starvation on the physical level?  Is it possible we are expressing how truly disconnected we are from our bodies as a nation by trying to become physically perfect and thin?

This was true for me…I was acting out a deep feeling and longing without having the words.  I was showing how frail and weak I felt on the inside by becoming it on the outside.  So let’s meet the issue at the root : we are emotionally and spiritually starving and we don’t know what to do with that.

I know as an emotional, intuitive, creative, feminine soul, I craved these teachings at the threshold of adolescence and perhaps if I had them, I would have discovered how to love myself sooner.  I would have lived my life in union with my feminine, primal, wild, emotional soul instead of feeling like I had to separate from her.  Perhaps, I would have saved myself from the battle wounds of an eating disorder because for me, it was merely an expression of my dying, starving soul.  I didn’t know that then, I felt it, but I know it now.  The healing journey brought me home, back to these teachings and practices and in presence of my own body, heart and soul.

So here are 8 Sacred Feminine Teachings that your feminine soul might still be craving and that that teen girl in you deserves to know:

  • 1) You are a soul on a journey. You are a soul with a body and you’ve come here to learn, grow, expand and heal.   That is your purpose, to evolve, to love, to enjoy this moment, to find your passions, enjoy food, movement, and your sensual body.  It’s not to build up a pile of things or have the biggest this or that.  It’s about love…connection and growth.  Have fun, lighten up.  Take life a little less seriously.  Get creative, express yourself with words or art or pictures or music or by making something whether it is food, clothes, wood pieces, buttons, whatever…just feed your soul and create, create, create!
  • 2) Your connection to your body is your life line in this world.  She is the place of your soul, your emotions, your physical sensations and your gut instinct.  She is your compass and guide in this lifetime, never separate from her.  Honor your relationship to Her above all else as your connection to her will show up in every aspect and relationship in your life.  She communicates what you feel, want, need and desire, your job is to listen to her and honor her as best you can.  You will navigate yourself and your soul in the world only by knowing her and her emotions, sensations and symbolic images that she gives you to guide you on your life path.  She will tell you what feels right and what does not.  She will tell you if you like something or you don’t.  She will tell you if this direction is right or wrong for your soul.   Make friends with her, because she is the keeper of your destiny.  How you feel about yourself is a reflection of your relationship to Her.
  • 3) Feeding off of life lesson #2, learn your sacred body’s language so you can steer the ship of your life. Your body will guide you through emotions, through aches, pains, restlessness, irritations, anxiety, even depression.  She will also express to you through radiant joy and peace.  Explore your emotions and physical sensations as literal symbolic messengers.  If you’re neck hurts or your throat, ask yourself is there something you are not saying or need to say?  If you’re anxious or restless, your soul has something to tell you and is getting your attention to tune inward that something is off or she has a need.  Your emotions are sacred communications from your soul…listen to them, don’t ignore them.  Addictions are born when we don’t know how to be in our bodies and present to our precious emotions so we use something to distract away from what’s inside.
  • 4) Stillness is a must! We live in a fast paced world where everybody is concerned with doing more…quicker, better, stronger, faster.  I’m exhausted just thinking about it. I honor that accomplishments and goals are important but not in the name of betraying yourself and your body’s limits.  We must find balance between doing and being or there is really not any success.  If you must betray yourself and your body to succeed,  you have not really succeeded.  So get still…often…daily…reflect…journal…listen. ..feel.  Notice what comes up like it were a message from an angel.  Write about it, draw pictures, symbols, colors, doodles, whatever comes and express it.  Release it out of you for there is a message and reason for your feelings.  Honor them as sacred messengers from your soul.  And most importantly…just breathe…in and out..in and out.
  • 5) If you “feel fat” or start obsessing about your weight, that’s a sign that you’ve lost connection to your wild, feminine, tribal soul and that she is starving for your attention and for some nourishment. She desires connection to the Divine, the universe, the stars, the moon.   So plug back in and feed your luscious spirit through creativity, writing, lighting a candle and getting still or dancing like a silly goose.  Stare at the moon and remember our tribal, wild, primal ancestors who followed the moon cycle each month.  Life is about your soul’s journey, about magic and the mystery, not the size of your thighs.  So indulge in some fun rituals that re-ignite the magic and sacred in your life.  (Check out www.womenshealingandspirituality.com for some ritual ideas)
  • 6) Enjoy luscious food. Learn to cook!  It’s an art, an expression, its’ soul food and life force energy on a plate.  Think of all the farmers, grocers, animals, gardens, makers and bakers who conspired to bring this wonderful meal together.  Your hands can unite all that human love and energy into a meal on a plate, what alchemy!   Use whole foods when you can and indulge in luscious chocolates and homemade dessert creations alongside your wholesome, homemade, nourishing supper.  Feed your taste buds, it’s part of feeling alive, part of the human experience.  Watch Rachel Ray connect with her food, that is how we are meant to relate to our food like it were a being.  Get passionate about food.   Make those meals colorful and nourish yourself mind, body and soul!
  • 7) Move your body. Here’s a secret…I hate gyms.  They are soul sucking spaces that to me feed the ego with all those mirrors.  So go old school and get outside to move.  Pile some wood, cut the lawn with a push mower, take a run outside, walk down the road, pull weeds, play tag outside.  Go to the park, ride your bike to school or work.  Exercise should be about moving the energy and lymphatic fluid in your body…period.  It should be fun and playful, not dreadful.  I used to hate working out, I’d literally be swearing as ran, angry as ole’ pie.  I was doing it for the wrong reasons, for calorie burning and weight loss.  It felt like a chore, now it feels like a gift.  I think of all the stagnant energy that wants to dance alive in my body.  Today I move with no time goals or distances to reach or calories to burn, I just move to move.  Make it about energy and play, not calories.  Turn up the tunes and dance!  Return to our primal, natural roots and move authentically, and naturally, not on a machine indoors.
  • 8) Last but not least. Honor your menstrual cycle as something ancient, sacred and holy.  The human nation has carried on for thousands and thousands of years because of our menstrual cycles.  It connects us as women. Historically women used to gather and bleed together during their moon time.  They’d bleed right onto the Earth and sit together in circle gathering emotional and spiritual wisdom found in their silence.  With this guidance they’d lead and guide their tribes towards the animals for food or towards protection from surrounding tribes and clans.   So, remember that your cycle generally follows the 28 moon cycle give or take a few days and that as women we have followed the moon’s cycle for thousands of years.  It is common for us to ovulate or menstruate on the new moon or full moon.  When menstruating, your body is naturally cleansing itself, releasing out old energy, emotions and physical debris from last month and moon cycle.  So honor this amazing process and turn the energy dial down during this time. Make sure to get still and sit with yourself, your body and Grandmother Moon as you are most intuitive and emotional during this time…meaning your body and soul has much to say and guide you with.  Create a moon time ritual with your friends or mom.  Do something special like a meditative foot soak or where a special moon time robe and journal in your decorated moon time diary.  Bake some luscious cookies and drink fine tea with your mom and sister and have a mini sharing circle.  Honor your ancient, tribal roots by celebrating your sacred body and soul during this special time each month.  It need not be elaborate but do something special.

Simply by regularly connecting to our bodies and her inner realm and making this a conscious practice, we naturally nourish our souls.  And when our souls are nourished, we feel confident, fulfilled, full of life, joy and energy.   We don’t need to try and express our pain or fill up our soul starvation through body bashing or dieting, because we are already nourished from the inside out.  Your cravings for bingeing or alcohol or shopping will automatically disappear with this practice if you struggle with disordered eating symptoms or weight pre-occupation yourself. So I ask you to remember that your body is a Sacred Messenger of the your Divine Self.  Please, please, please treat her with the reverence She deserves.

I honor you and your Sacred body…the Sacred Home of your unique soul!

Aho! And so it is.

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XO Crystal