Uncategorized

How Illness Can be an Opportunity for Soul Work.

attractive-beautiful-beautiful-woman-3048715

Hi Friends

I want to share a powerful healing journey with you I’ve been going through.  I recognize we won’t have exact experiences but I hope somehow it resonates for you in your own life, with your own particulars.

I have been struggling with my chronic illness lately, having to do a lot of blood infusions  and dealing with a lot of inflammation, particularly in my large intestine this time around.  I am a believer and student of mind/body medicine and ways of the Sacred Feminine, meaning I know my body has something to tell me.  Illness and inflammation are always messengers from my deepest Self and health challenges are an opportunity for healing if we choose to explore it as such.

So after five days of struggle, I finally sit down and listen.  After some podcasts and reflections these questions have emerged.

  1.    How am I showing up for myself in my life?
  2.    What are ways I can show up for myself in my life more often and what does                 that look like?
  3.    How do I need to show up for myself and my soul more regularly?

 

Here we go…

I have not been showing up for myself in my life at all lately.  I hear my grumbling, tired soul and body and instead of tending to it, I’ve been zoning out, watching tv, going to sleep, keep busy busy busy.  My mind has been swirling with ideas, and new goals but I’m spinning in stuckness not putting pen to paper, just living in the land of busy mom and not showing up for myself.  That is step one, recognizing the problem.

I can show up for myself more often perhaps in little segments or tidbits.  I need to schedule it in during kid naps and block off at least one evening a week to do some deep soul pouring and get my course written/created.  In the meantime I can light candles, listen to podcasts as I clean or hang with baby, and keep moving my body in loving ways.

How do I need to  show up for my soul more often?  I think and feel I really need to commit to taking 10-20 minutes each evening, writing, journaling, reflecting, pondering, whatever that may be and check-on.  I just need to create me soul space in my life.  Writing is part of that for me and helps me move out my stuck thoughts.  And I need to commit like my health depended on it, cause my body is telling me it is!

 

In mind-body medicine and energy healing irritations with the LARGE INTESTINE have to do with, “crying spells, confusion, irritation, frustration, stagnation, and anger.  Thinking that you can’t do any thing right.  Wanting to run away and hide form the world.  Feeling that you are too different and that no one understand you.  Difficulty seeing other people’s point of view. Dogmatically defending your position in arguments. Extremely sensitive, thin-skinned.”  (The Secret Language of Your Body by Inna Segal pg.64)

I resonate with all of this.  I’ve been spinning, stuck, overwhelmed, lost, scattered and thus frustrated.  I have had crying meltdowns in my overwhelm, feeling like I keep trying to swim to shore but can’t find the shore.  I realize now I just needed to stop swimming, take a look and make a plan.  Take one step at a time and cut some things out that I’m not quite ready for.  Visualize where I’m going and focus on each pearl on the thread one by one.  I’ve been trying to hold three or four chains of pearls and I’m spinning in stickiness not knowing which one to focus on.

 

So on this lovely October day, I invite you go through the questions listed above and just free flow your pen to page.  Set a timer for 5 minutes and don’t lift that pen up til the timer goes off.  Invite yourself back into your life.  Please share your findings in comments.

 

If you’d like to receive free self and soul connecting activities and rituals, please FOLLOW MY BLOG (hit the button) and I’d love for you to join the Women’s Tribe Facebook Page as well.

With warmth

Crystal

 

 

 

Uncategorized

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!

If you feel called, I’d be honored if you Followed The Blog 🙂   Also feel free to like the Women’s Tribe Facebook Page.  

Uncategorized

Celebrating The Beauty of Your Ordinary – Today’s Sacred Task

ordinary“I ask for the wisdom to appreciate the sparkle of my child’s ordinariness… I ask for a reminder of my own ordinariness and the ability to bask in its beauty.” Shefali Tsabary – The Conscious Parent.

Reading this shot an arrow into my heart.  I struggled with eating disorders and an addiction to perfectionism for many years.  I was obsessed with being the best at everything I did like it were a drug that kept my sense of worth and value out of withdrawal.  I didn’t believe who I was was enough or quite frankly even important.  It’s not because I had bad parents its’ because we live in a culture that only celebrates success, achievement and accomplishment and when you are solely seen for your actions and endeavors you get a complex.  We all want recognition and validation.  We all want to be seen and heard and appreciated.  Why does it need to come in the form of a success?

Let’s change this for ourselves and for our children.  Let’s “bask in the beauty” of ordinary.  I love that!

We don’t celebrate the ordinary, simple, beautiful aspects of being.  Nobody celebrates your messy cooking process (which I call my creativity in the kitchen) or your sweet gentle soul rubbing the backs of your children before they go to sleep each night.  Let’s do that!  Let’s celebrate our ordinary ways of being.  Let’s even celebrate our mediocre skills.  It’s uniquely, wonderfully you.  I suck at laundry, and I can own it, laugh at it and just enjoy that fun, quirky fact.

When I was doing some intense healing work on myself I forced myself to step out of perfectionism box by having a goal to not try and be the best and I forced myself to not try my best because my best was full tilt, way past my limits and a give all to get all kind of approach. I’d lose my balance, my well-being, my marbles…just to end up on top and feel like I was enough.  I was foaming at the mouth for a sense of worth and esteem.  So I set my sights on a new target….I wanted to be middle of the pack.  I didn’t want to be the best, instead be average. It was freeing, I actually starting enjoying what I was doing.  I could take a run with no time limits or distance markers to accomplish, I could just move my body and run freely.  It brought me back in my body, in the moment, in the experience and not the outcome.  I could play baseball and drop the ball without feel ashamed or embarrassed, I could be gentler and laugh.  My success was no longer my lifeline and it allowed fun to move in.

But hoowahhhh! It was also tough.  It allowed my true wounds and holes to emerge so I could heal them, not soothe them with a medal or academic achievement.  That’s when true and lasting change happened.

So today, let’s celebrate our ordinariness, our average skills or aspects of the self. Let’s celebrate the ordinary things we do each day that perhaps are not celebrated or recognized and shift the idea that who we are is what we do.  Our beingness, our intimate connections, our soul connections are just as, if not more important, in the world than what we do.  People will remember who you were, how you made them feel, your qualities, not what you did in this life.

Today’s Sacred Task:

Celebrate your ordinary.  Own it like a beautiful new scarf and flaunt it for us.  Share what you’ve got. Find at least 8 wonderfully, beautiful ordinary things about yourself and shine the light on it:  Your beingness is just as important in the word, the unseen, unnoticed things that make the world go round.  Start celebrating for yourself and see what happens 🙂

Here’s a few aspects of my beautiful ordinary:

1) I try and paint beautiful pictures but truthfully, I’m not that great at it.  It’s fun trying!

2) I’m messy in the kitchen when I cook and have learned to call it my creative process and taught my husband to call it the same 😉

3) I thrive in organized chaos, my work desk is always this way.

4) I love going for walks in the woods with my son, it’s simple and ordinary and awesome.

5) I let my son beat me more often than not at Trouble or card games.

6) I’m romantic, I buy flowers and write notes to my husband on rainy days and Mondays.

7) I hate cleaning, I’d way rather cut the grass or shovel the driveway, heck even take out the garbage.

8) I pretend I’m a world famous singer and lip sync like a bat out of hell while I cook supper.  Pink has because my alter ego.

It’s your turn…

If you feel called to do so, add your email and follow the blog to get notifications on tools, rituals and sacred art tasks to feed your Divine Feminine soul 🙂

Share your thoughts, journal entries, reflections on the Women’s Tribe Facebook Page or Feed Your Feminine Soul Group Page.

This is Day 17 of the 30 Day Challenge 🙂

Crystal

xo

Uncategorized

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

love

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.

I’d be so Honored if You FOLLOWED MY BLOG Check out https://womenshealingandspirituality.com/about/ for soul nourishing practices or for individual sessions on how to Nourish Your Soul.

sacred body 2

Join the Women’s Tribe Facebook Page to stay posted on upcoming events and info as well.

XO Crystal

Uncategorized

HOW A PAIR OF MUKLUKS HELPED ME CHANGE THE WORLD.

photo (4)Might as well face it, I’m addicted to… putting myself last.  Ugh!  It’s true. I have an automatic response pattern that causes  me to feel like I have to make sure everyone is taken care of  before I can take care of myself.  As much as I hate to admit it, I feel guilt when I tend to my own needs and wants.  It doesn’t mean it stops me from doing what I want and need, it just means I’m aware of the saddle bag of guilt that I lug around when I go and do what I want to do.  And I’m tired of it.

Things came to a head for me this past weekend.  For my birthday my husband bought me some luxurious Manitobah Mukluks.  You know the kind Prince William and Princess Kate were given for their son Prince George.  I loved them instantly.  They had the essence of me written all over them.  And then…I said, “I think we should return them.”  As soon as the words popped out of my mouth I regretted it.  Why would I say that?!

Well, I started thinking that I should (that damn word) return them and spend more money on others for Christmas.  It felt more natural to spoil others instead of myself.  I know, I know…yuck!  But I am just playing witness to this automatic response to take less for myself and leave more for others.  And as I observed it and poked it, I started wondering where this response pattern originated.  I wondered too if men have the same automatic response.  When you boil it right down, I wondered if it was because I’m culturally programmed to be more comfortable giving than to receive as a woman.   And yet biologically and traditionally it is women who are meant to receive and men who are meant to give.   Isn’t that a pickle!

I’ve watched my husband receive some pretty spectacular presents and his response…gratitude.  Not guilt, not an internal struggle to accept the gift of love but a simple acceptance and joy in receiving a beautiful gift.  So, what’s the difference here?  Is it a gender issue?  Is it a mother thing?  An image plays itself over and over in my mind of an exhausted, self-sacrificing woman who’s given everything to her family.  She cooks, she cleans, she nurtures and she tends to their every need.  She takes little to no time for herself or for her own pleasure.   She’s usually too exhausted.

If she’s cooking breakfast and one of the egg’s flops, she takes the dud and serves her family the “good ones”.  My question is why?  Why is motherhood or womanhood equated with chronic selflessness?  And better yet, why the heck is this celebrated?  Shouldn’t we have boundaries and limits for ourselves?  Shouldn’t we be on equal playing ground as our own family members?  Aren’t we worthy enough for a good egg?

I struggle in the fact that we celebrate and appreciate a woman who has given down to the bone and left little or nothing for herself.  Sometimes when I read obituaries and they tote about a woman’s selflessness, I feel a sharp pang in my gut.  I don’t consider that a good thing.  I don’t want to celebrate a way of being that I believe is self-harming and perpetuating a behaviour that basically speaks that she deserves less.

I think we must be both selfless and selfish as women.  But selfish is a tough word to swallow. There’s some negativity associated with that word.  And I don’t agree that having boundaries, limits, needs, wants and a voice is selfish.  It is simply a human right.  When I was exploring synonyms for the word selfish, I found the term self-interested.  Say it with me…self-interested.  Don’t you love it?

So, I’m proposing that in order for the guilt bag to empty itself out, we must adopt a new mantra as women.  We must be both selfless and self-interested.  And we must regularly be self-interested as though it were a life line to our sense of worth and self-esteem.  The reality is that when we tend to our own interests and desires, we feel more fulfilled and more confident and when we feel more confident we feel more able to use our voices and ask for what we need.  We are more able to set limits for what we can’t tend to when we feel fulfilled so we do not need to get a dash of “value” in the role of supreme giver.

And guess what, you can teach your daughter to love herself simply by setting your own limits, and being the receiver of your own energy.  In taking that time for you or taking the good egg or accepting a pair of beautiful mukluks, you are saying to the world I believe I am worthy of love and greatness equally to everyone else.  We teach them how to love themselves by loving ourselves.  We have an inherent right to be self-interested.  It is a necessity not only for ourselves but for the self-esteem of our young sisters, daughters and nieces.  We are their role models.

Being self-interested is a sacred spiral of fire, it ignites healing that starts within us and floats out into our family circle and then out into our communities and eventually the entire globe.  As the inner fires spread we build a repertoire for our young women who will also assert their needs, wants and voices into the world and they will have learned it simply by osmosis.  Imagine a world where women feel just as worthy to receive as any other being on the planet…a world where women feel confident enough to stand up for themselves and use their glorious voices no matter what the circumstance.  It’s starting…and the world is beginning to change and operate in a new manner because of it.  Changes, they are happenin’ and the bar is being raised.  We are not only waking up, we are standing up.   Can you feel it?

Imagine that, you are helping to change the world simply by being self-interested.   So, allow yourself to receive…receive help, receive love, receive gifts, receive time off and take it all in unapologetically.  Allow your own best interests to come to the forefront at least half the time.  Allow yourself to remember that as you receive, self-indulge and become more self-interested you are helping change the planet.  You are helping women restore balance simply by receiving energy, it is your birth right.  It is your biology.  And the more you receive, the more you’ll give so it’s a win- win and we all like win-win.

We are awakening as a women’s tribe and returning home into our feminine, fiery and receptive roots.    So go on, I dare ya’!  Indulge yourself with what you want.  Put on your “mukluks” and indulge proudly as a woman who is equally selfless and self-interested, giver and receiver.   You deserve it.  I deserve it.  The world needs it.  We are creating a new phenomenon for women.  My new mukluks are like a statement to the world saying that I am worthy of a wonderful, beautiful life.  So own it, be self-interested and change this planet.

women

You go girl!

**Make sure to follow the blog or add your email to the list so you get all the Feed Your Feminine Soul goodies.  You can follow the Women’s Tribe on Facebook here and Join our Feed Your Feminine Soul Group here.  Smiles and warmth. :)***

Uncategorized

“Have You Become the Woman You Want To Be?”

womaniwnat tobeI was up early this morning and got a chance to watch the 6 am Super Soul Sunday air on the OWN channel.  One of my favorite author’s Sue Monk Kidd was her guest, what a treat!  If you haven’t read any of her work I highly recommend you do.  My favorites are Dance of the Dissident Daughter and Traveling with Pomegranates.  Although, she is most known for her novel, The Secret Life of Bees, my favorites are still her more autobiographical work and reflections.

Anyhow, in the interview Oprah asks her, “Have you Become the Woman You Want to Be?”

Jolt!! That question stunned me into paralysis like a gun to the temple.

And so I share with you the question and encourage you to make a journal entry answering Oprah’s stun gun of a question.  Just let the pen ride and let her take you to where she needs to go…flow….just flow.  Follow the tide inward and let Her emerge…  Put your timers on for a glorious 8 minutes and go!

If you’d like to get more Feed Your Feminine Soul activities join the Group here and be sure to Follow The Blog to make sure you get all the soul food bundles.  🙂

Here’s my entry….

For me, this past year was quite something.  I have been off sick from work for a year now, low energy and with a blood disorder.  It literally forced me to sit in beingness not doingness.  I went from living a fast paced life as a single mother with a full-time job, a two-hour commute, and a to do list a mile long while running full speed on a quarter tank of gas, to stopped in my track stillness.  Stopped…almost dead… into sit and rest stillness.  I’ve been turned upside down, flipped around, turned inside out and it is there, in that place, upside down, dangling from the rope of my old life, feet up to the sky, swaying with uncertainty and the unknown that I came face to face with the woman I want to be.  She’s tribal, primal, naked, raw, alive, loud, vivacious, emotional, colorful, reflective, intuitive, in union with herself, with the Creator and with her tribe.  She’s fierce and soft, gentle and bold. She’s marked with tribal lines across her face and her hair is long and wild.  She’s confident and assured in herself and its beautiful.  She’s in union with her Feminine nature, allowing her tribal DNA to emerge and express itself in her life and she follows her tribal, primal instincts. As I hang upside from the overturn of my life, our eyes meet as we look to each other face to face, me upside down hanging and her looking up from the inward life of my inner cave.  I have reached my hand to her and she’s reached hers to me.

I have always got a sense of worth out of my doingness, that’s the culture we live in.  I’ve got ego strokes from my job titles or sport accomplishments, or my superwoman mask who has overdoing super powers and does life and a high pace velocity. But, this year, I can say in doing almost nothing because I couldn’t, in sitting and being, writing and creating emotional expressions, I am on my way to becoming the woman I want to be.  I was brought home to my own original nature, pure, and feminine, inward and reflective.  I am far more authentic, real, and honest to myself because I have nothing else to do but listen, learn, and experience what it is.  I feel like I have taken off the final mask and finally showed my real face.   As I removed it I felt vulnerable, even fearful, ready for rejection and humiliation.  And yet, I am just sitting here, mask removed not really caring about how another feels about but instead, how I can continue to create my life so I can live without it for good.

I can say I am less people-pleasing and more able to tend to myself and my own needs first while actually being okay with that.  I am in the nitty, gritty of my emotions and they are honest and real and I tend to them…usually.  I’ve been stripped down from all I have known, all titles, roles, activities and into my Feminine Core where my intuition, emotions and creative needs have been sitting and waiting for me and I have bravely and sometimes reluctantly tended to them.  I wouldn’t make the space for them in my life, so they made space for me in my life to tend to them.

So here I am meeting myself in the raw.  I watch as my heart’s needs and desires show up and I can choose to reflect or turn away from them.  I can choose to release them or deny them.  Have a wine or write.   I am a woman in process, a woman working hard to be authentic by being present to her inner world and daring to walk in union, not separation, with that world. It takes guts and it ain’t easy!  I have been trained to sell myself out, to flick the switch off to what is occurring within to get shit done or because it was easier to say yes when I really wanted to say no.  I instead want to live in honor to myself by honoring and expressing my needs and emotions, using my voice, saying no and doing what I want to do simply cause I want to do it.  I don’t want to reject and deny myself anymore because others are more comfortable when I do.  I want to make space for the whisper in my gut that says I want more.  I want to live more wildly, more freely in union with my tribal, primal roots and play way more often.  I want to be less serious and more silly.  I want to make and take my own sacred time for myself, my own inner union and not abandon that time because somebody else needs me.   I’m on my way to becoming that woman…still practicing to keep united and not abandon the inner sea just for the comforts of validation and acceptance from another. What a ride, what a process.  Here I am still wavering at sea, riding the tides and looking less at the shore.

Aho! And so it is.