I am beautiful when I sing

Its-her-soul-singing-by-sonja-ljubicic

‘It’s her soul singing’ by Sonja Ljubicic

I walk along the seaside on a beautiful fall day. It feels great to be out by the water and in the bright sun but I’m also not quite feeling full-on sparkly. Nothing really wrong but a few too many little things nagging at me.

But I’m walking, still admiring and appreciating all the blessings being bestowed on me on this day.

Then I catch a glimpse of my reflection. Full body. And what my attention is drawn to is the shape and size of my thighs in the tights I’m wearing.

Oh no.

This image reflected back to me is not at all what I had in my mind. I didn’t look like this before I left the house when I did a final check, did I? What happened in the meantime? How did my thighs now end up looking so chunky and stocky? And God, my skirt is too short.

Not on solid footing as it was, my mood dives despite my ‘knowing’ better.

Look, I have tools and I use them. Probably it is over the next hour that I deal with this. Because though my thighs are the catalyst, it’s not about my thighs. It just opens the floodgates to all of this other stuff. Questions about my purpose, judgment about not knowing, about not being further ahead than I am (whatever that means), and so on.

I have so many tools so I begin to pull them out one at a time. I sit with my feelings. I notice what’s whirling around in my body. I breathe. I appreciate my surroundings. I appreciate things about myself. I let the warm sun bathe me. I take my time. I allow myself to be moved.

And I continue on my path. I acknowledge. I accept. I forgive. I breathe some more. And I allow myself to be engulfed in the beauty of my surroundings. Why would I lose that because of a reflection of my body. My body is what she is and she is magnificent in fact. All of these strong, working parts.

I am nourished by the waves and the sun and the trees and warmth.

I release and surrender and just enjoy myself there, where I am

I walk into the park washroom to pee. As I’m washing my hands I look up at my face’s reflection in the mirror and gasp. Because again the mind’s image and the one now being presented to me don’t match. Only this time I had been convinced I was unattractive and now the image being reflected to me was so beautiful – tanned, glowing, framed by sweet soft curls.

What the fuck, right?

But what’s very apparently so in that moment is already ‘known’ but now cemented a bit more in my being and it is:

The work we do inside shows will bloom externally. There need to be no struggle about it actually. We need to find the path to love ourselves, freely, deeply and unconditionally. That sweetness shines forth.

Outside external images are so utterly illusory. There is no solid happiness to be found looking there.

Affirm. Forget. Repeat.
And, of course…
Love Love Love


Romancing Self

Photographer: Carl Warner

Photographer: Carl Warner

I’ve been in somewhat of a swoon these days. And last night, I had an insight that allowed me to name it.

I’m in a romance with myself.

(I just giggled writing that, like in the most delightful way.)

I’m in pursuit of romancing myself.

And this realization came about in particular the other night as I was walking a beautiful tree-lined street near my current home in downtown Toronto. How beautiful are trees at night in the summer time? The slight rustling of the leaves, the wide canopy overhead, the gracious and tremendous presence they hold.

It thrills me every time. And reminded me in an instant of many years before being thrilled by the same thing but also somehow negating the joy and the pleasure of the experience because I was alone. I felt lacking in romance because nobody was there with me to enjoy it with and so the setting (which is also ultimately my life) was lacking. I was missing what I didn’t have and consequently missing all that I DID have.

So it was a sweet moment of embodied realization to come to; that I was deep in romance with myself. What better person could there be for me? Who else is so uniquely equipped with the key to what turns me on? Who but me can be the ultimate authority on my wants and needs?

So why not give it and appreciate it, fully and completely.

And, don’t get me wrong.

I love sharing moments with other people.

(And I love being swept off my feet by a lover, and swooning over loving, generous gestures.

I love long, hot, deep kisses.)

And…

I still come back to and take responsibility as being the ultimate source of romance and ‘swoonness’ for myself. I swoon at the beauty of the moon, in savouring the feel of warm breezes on my skin, on creating beauty in my life in all sorts of different ways (from tending to my altar on a daily basis to changing all my passwords to phrases that bedazzle me!).

I cultivate romance through womb space practice and meditation (which I’ve shared about in other pieces here) and continually bringing myself back to a grateful state. Continually appreciating and growing gratitude for my life and all that features in it, allows me to look for the diamonds, allows me to see with different eyes, allows me the openness and curiosity and receptivity for new things to arise as well.

Look, I get that these are challenging times. (Myself, I’m typically overcome with some intense despair or grief and cry at least once a day. But even that is a kind of romance, holding myself and allowing emotions to move through me without judgment.)

But what I have been coming to understand is that the way we take care of ourselves, the way we fill our cup, the way we ensure we are lit up and nourished with enough pleasure is the only way that we will collectively find the healing needed for our families, communities and our planet.

I’m not kidding.

If we as women aren’t nourished, pleasured, happy in as much capacity as we can be, no one else around us will thrive. So I’m calling on you (and we’re all depending on you) to make your own joy, make your own romancing of yourself your priority.

What does that mean to you? What special gifts can you begin to give yourself today?

PLEASE. Start now.

Image: Carl Warner


Checking In

Underlay in red by Andrius Kovelinas

‘Underlay in Red’ by Andrius Kovelinas

How often do you drop into your lower belly, your pelvis, your womb space?

Just to check in and see what emotions, what energy you might be holding there?

Often when I’m menstruating and it’s uncomfortable or painful, I’m avoiding it. Can you relate?

I don’t want to feel the pain so I check out in whatever way I can: distractions, groaning & complaining, medicating, and so on.

Often this makes the situation worse. If I can bring my awareness to my womb even and especially when it’s hurting, my experience can change. Have you ever tried to feel the pain and discomfort of something? It’s not usually our approach because it feels awful to feel pain. It can be debilitating. Yet, until we can be in the pain, we can’t actually transform it. We can medicate and numb and this may work in the short-term to have us feel better but it merely masks the root of the problem.

There are other times when I find I’m not in my womb. Being nervous or anxious is always a tip-off that I’m disconnected. And if I clue in and drop into my pelvis, I will typically note what I would describe as a crunchy feeling. Something has been brewing and I haven’t been listening.

And therein is the other thing I notice. If there is some guidance, some wisdom I am avoiding because it means that something in my life has to change. Like I know this but I don’t know this and the frightened part of me wants to keep it that way.

And again, all there is really to do is bring my compassionate awareness to it; remind myself to drop my awareness and my attention inside, be quiet and be with it. Just be.

Because the truth is, it is our space, our wisdom, our intuition. Sometimes having to act on it is scary but it’s actually far, far worse to keep ignoring it.

I’d love to hear from you, what keeps you from accessing your womb space wisdom regularly?

Art: “Underlay in Red” by Andrius Kovelinas


Our Bodies Are Not Pathology

thevoyage by Terje Adler Mork

“The voyage” by Terje Adler Mork

In the news today is Angelina Jolie’s announcement of having had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed in order to prevent possibly,maybe, perhaps experiencing cancer in these parts (as was the fate of her mother and her mother before her). This is a couple of years post double mastectomy for the same reason. (She shares here)

I can’t imagine being faced with a scenario such as hers and opting to do these radical surgeries. I am fully supportive of every one making the choice they deem right for themselves.

At the same time, I am deeply troubled by a society and a medical system that takes the approach that our feminine parts are a ticking time bomb and continually instills a panic about the inevitability of disease, like of the worst kind.

I appreciate the courage it requires to speak so openly about her life and her choices especially as an icon of femininity in this present time. But I also kind of resent it because I know many will emulate her in this choice even if it may not the best one for them. They likely will not even be aware of other possibilities. They may not be aware of the risks of such a choice.

I mean, what would it be like to truly love and honour and worship these parts of ourselves and our femininity as a whole? How many of us reach a place of that kind of experience of reverence? For our breasts, our ovaries, our ovarian tubes, our wombs, our intuition, our wisdom, our strength, our power, our vulnerability… all that we ARE.

In this life we have the opportunity to cultivate a relationship with our Selves, to develop an intimacy with our Selves, AND to share fully and completely. Sometimes, it is fraught with pain and fear. We are not helped by denying or suppressing our feelings (or cutting them out) but by going deeply into it. We are often actually so afraid of these parts. (I have been. I can feel so vulnerable about this mass of tissues sometimes…And it doesn’t serve. It merely brings that which is feared so much.) What, though, might be available on the other side of this?

Both of my parents have passed on. Both had cancer.

This isn’t something I don’t consider, this legacy of cancer. Especially at this tender time, when their loss is still so fresh and I’m forging a new path for myself.

In times like these, I am so very grateful for all that is available to us and to be able to share with the world. Because I know that another experience is possible. A world of reverence, love and peace. Of learning to love and appreciate all of ourselves and of others.

A world of experiencing and knowing wholeness and completeness….

I want that for Us.

~~ At any rate, this is how it all occurred to me on this day ~~

Art: ‘The voyage’ by Terje Adler Mork


Blessing Everything

 

Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago

Today a friend sent me a text that read:

“hey, are you blessing everything?”

I laughed, not sure what he meant. Because I do actually bless wombs and this has meant that I work with women in this capacity as they are the ones with wombs. Those of who have been trained and attuned to do this work are referred to as Moon Mothers.

In conversation with a fellow Moon Mother a few months ago, we shared some of the challenges we were experiencing with promoting our work. It contained a lot of different elements of difficulty for both of us.

One of the things she brought up was the exclusivity of it and she mused at how she would feel about her husband going off to do penis blessings. That made me laugh too.

As a young adult I didn’t give my womb much thought. I largely disregarded it after I decided I wasn’t going to have children unless I was cursing it for monthly blood pain. I also grew up very intent on proving I was as smart and capable as a man. There wasn’t any interest or place for my womb in my life. There was simply no love and no respect.

It’s a radical shift for me to have come to this place where I now declare that I bless wombs for a living (amongst a few other things, yes)!

Beyond the whole womb thing, who has a right to bestow a blessing?

{A blessing (also used to refer to bestowing of such) is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, divine will, or one’s hope or approval.}

In my culture and upbringing, this was done by priests. And on another level by father who could give his blessing to something such as his daughter’s hand.

So, yes again, it’s a radical shift for me to have come to this place where I now declare that I bless wombs for a living.
The womb is the source of creation. It is a place of mystery to us and consider this: it has its own consciousness. It creates babies and it is the place where we connect to inner guidance and intuition. It is where we connect to feminine energies.

From a Toronto Star article earlier this year: “hysterectomy — one of the five most-performed but least talked-about surgeries in Canada. More than 40,000 Canadian women lost their uteruses to the invasive procedure in 2012-2013, according to data released by the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

The society of obstetricians and gynecologists is starting to question how many of these procedures are being performed unnecessarily. And it is urging physicians to stop using the surgery as a cure-all for pelvic health problems.”

We are willing to allow ‘experts’ to cut us open and remove body parts if we aren’t connected and don’t fully feel and comprehend their value and their gifts to us.

That’s why a womb blessing. Even without the physical organ, the energetic consciousness remains.

So, back to my friend and his question. I think that when we bless the life giver, we bless all that springs forth from this well. And more than anything, it is about intention.

When we set intention for love and compassion… when we choose this in our thoughts, our word, our deed…when we bring ourselves back to this vibration again and again…we offer ourselves as blessing.

So, yes. I am blessing everything. And so can you. Are you?

Art by Judy Chicago