Are Paradoxes Conflict for You?

certificate(1)Most of the women that I know are intelligent, independent, conscious women. We believe in equality of all people and we highly value our sovereignty, that is, our own personal authority over ourselves.⠀

At the same time, I know many of us are deeply longing for love and a relationship. For many of us in relationship, we are not quite finding the fulfillment and juiciness we yearn to have with a partner.⠀

While we fiercely guard our independence and sovereignty, we may also deep down just want someone who will take care of us. Someone, I daresay, who will cherish and even worship us. These needs and values can appear to run counter to one another and create unresolved conflict for a lot of women.⠀

How can I value myself as an independent and sovereign woman and still have this incredible yearning to be taken care of and cherished? ⠀

It isn’t the paradox that needs to be resolved. It won’t be resolved because it’s not supposed to be. It can’t be.⠀

What we can do is find that place of tension in the paradox and dance in it. Breathe with it. Allow it. And discover what becomes available in that space.⠀

How do we do this, dance within the paradoxes?

My life has led me to seek out, explore, and work with Feminine energies. This is where I have found I can return to, to dance in the tension of the paradox. There, I can allow all aspects of my experience and my feelings to exist at the same time. They no longer battle one another. I can honour and begin to love it all. I can find a space of freedom and possibility.⠀

The Feminine is a space that allows for it all.⠀

You can be a successful, independent, intelligent, and powerful woman.⠀
AND your heart can yearn for deep love and fulfillment.⠀
Also, you deserve to be worshipped by the one you love. You should have someone who lights that beautiful heart on fire -if these are things you want, it is holy and perfect that you want them.⠀

If you are stirred by any of what you just read, I invite you to consider joining me in exploring more.

And if it isn’t the yearning to be cherished and worshiped by a partner, I would guess there may be something else of a conflicting, paradoxical nature showing up. Our lives are full of them. To be continued…


Formed in Womb…it is still Home

Art: Bridget Nielsen

Art: Bridget Nielsen

One woman spoke at a workshop I was participating in last week about the importance of breath and breathing. Getting into the sweet spot, the zone of bliss.

She described for her this happened when her breath was able to reach deep into her abdomen but actually…below that…into her…lower belly.

She paused as she spoke as though searching for the words and the right location in her body.
My mind, naturally, went to ‘womb.’ You get there by breathing deeply into your womb. That’s what I saw her attempting to describe.

To me it was an illustration of how we collectively lack the language, understanding or appreciation of womb and womb wisdom.

Often when I tell someone I perform ‘womb healing’ what they hear is ‘wound healing.’ Well, there may be some truth to that too but no, it is ‘womb’.

Womb… it’s kind of quaint isn’t it? Poetic to my ears. We could say ‘uterus’ but it doesn’t hold the same energetic quality and does, after all, share an etymology with hysteria. Uterus is a word one might hear in a hospital (never womb) as a hysterectomy is recommended (one of the most common, elective surgeries for women in the USA, Australia and Canada and likely more).

Given that, it isn’t much of a surprise that many women aren’t keen to take ownership much less a level of pride in their womb. It is useful to us if we want to have some babies; a nuisance, or worse, if it pains us during menstruation. Potentially deadly if it holds a threatening dis-ease or dis-function. Let’s just get rid of the fucking thing.

It’s also embarrassing and shameful to many of us, in ways small and large. Having a womb, speaking of it. To many women, having worked hard to ‘make it’ in this world, it is a diminishment of them to speak of something so very feminine, and intimate, in its nature. There’s so much about it we don’t know…

What if before, in spite and through all of the above, we got to connect, understand, commune with ‘Womb.’ (Because I’ll let you in on a little secret too; removing the physical organ doesn’t diminish its energetic presence and power.) We know it’s powerful right? It grows a human being!

And given that we all grew and formed in a ‘womb,’ in a very literal sense, womb is home for us.

What might it be able to do for you, right now, in your life? I mean, aren’t you even curious to know?

Art: Bridget Nielsen


Making Sparks

Art by Autumn Skye Morrison

Art by Autumn Skye Morrison

I had made all sorts of judgments about this man based on his clothes, his stance, his manner of speaking. I discerned in my mind his intelligence, his interests, essentially his value. I had him pegged pretty early and quickly. I didn’t give much thought to whether it was true or not. He was kind of amusing to me from afar and didn’t have much to offer me.

Then on this night when the community was having a party, he came over to stand beside me.

He put his hand on my shoulder and asked me a question.

In those few seconds a lot could have taken hold of my attention but what was most palpable to me were not his actions or his words but rather his energy.

And my response to it

Which was fully

Pulled in and

Drawn to his.

He *felt* fantastic to me. Cat nip. Like if we were to picture or imagine energy as the field around me, every part of it suddenly felt amazing, buzzing and tingling with his. No gaps, no icky feelings, no lack of clarity, no doubts. I just wanted to stand in this and drink it in for as long as it existed. I felt so much pleasure with our energy mixing just standing there.

Given the manner in which my eyes and ears had perceived and discounted him, I was so utterly surprised.

The night before had another man approach me.  Different dude, different energy. He came on to me gently but undeniably. Again, I didn’t expect it but I was curious about the energy thing so I spent some time with him, let him tell me about his life philosophy and ways.

And while we had some laughs and some fun moments, the energy wasn’t quite matching up. He wasn’t quite hitting the mark, I wasn’t losing myself in these moments. Things were coming up a bit short and I was distracted and feeling disappointed that.

It’s all about energy.

If the energy is a match between two people, it creates an unpredictable, delightful magic. And I’ve found it often won’t correspond to what the eyes find pretty and delicious. Maybe this is why so many of us end up unfulfilled. Allowing the eyes to determine the criteria and taking our cues from there, we’ve already potentially cut off our best, most feel-sensational matches.

And it goes the other way too. If we spend significantly more time and effort on our external appearance rather than cultivating, exploring and enjoying our energy then we aren’t going to be attracting our highest matches (whether it’s for pleasure, knowledge, marriage or business)

Like I did with the first dude when I determined I knew exactly what he was all about. Because ultimately what I then was able to discover was how layered, nuanced and interesting he actually is. And moreover, what he had to teach me about myself.

So the moral of the story? If you want to find happiness, delight, knowing, sexual satisfaction work on your energy and presence. It’s a dynamic, ever-flowing, shifting experience of life.

This is what we do here #livingfemininepresence


Welcoming Autumn & Enchantress

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‘Autumn Reflection’ by Gaia Orion

I write this on a train rolling through Alberta. We are a day past the fall equinox; it’s officially autumn and here it is quite apparent. The sky is overcast on this morning, the leaves of many of the trees have changed their colour (yellows predominantly) and it’s cool.

A far cry from what I left in Toronto a few days ago, where, though it’s technically fall there as well, the weather was very warm, unseasonably so.

I can’t help but thinking that I’ve been dropped into this fall or Enchantress season rather abruptly. I have to confront the part of me that wants to cling to (and perhaps even mourn the passing of) the warm weather. And I can’t help but wonder what it does to us, experiencing the characteristics of one season as the earth moves into another.

I mentioned autumn as the Enchantress phase. Enchantress is said by some to be one of the 4 archetypal energies we work with in our menstrual cycle; we also see it in the phases of the moon and even in the cycle of our lives. These are cycles nested within cycles with cycles.

It looks something like this:

Maiden – springtime, first part of our lives, waxing moon, post bleeding time

Mother – summer, womanhood & time of fertility, full moon, ovulation

Enchantress – autumn, post-menopause, waning moon, pre-menstrual

Crone – winter, late stages of life, dark/new moon, menstrual

Getting familiar with and understanding the manner in which these energies operate in the world and our lives can offer us tools and guidance to live in greater harmony, health and ease.

The season of Enchantress, in all of it’s guises, can be one of the most frustrating for many of us (alongside Crone) so I see value in taking extra time with her in particular to get to understand and honour her. Maybe especially in these times of transition when her influence may not be so present and it’s easier (and tempting) to deny her.

What are some useful ways to support and honour Enchantress?

  • take some extra time to nourish yourself and really tune into what YOU need. It could be wise to take some extra rest time which could mean more sleep or it could mean more daydream time
  • begin to adapt your routine to account for the transition. For a lot of us, autumn comes with new responsibilities and new routines (could be back-to-school for you or kids, could be work projects). Provide yourself with what you need at this time without clinging to what has just passed.
  • practice both being present and being forward-looking. The Crone follows Enchantress. This is the direction the tide takes; it is like swimming against the flow of the river to be looking back to the Mother or Maiden. They will come around again when it’s their time. We must honour the needs of Enchantress and Crone first at this time.
  • Look for ways to incorporate the Enchantress energies into your life. The Enchantress is very powerful and she can be very temperamental (which occurs when she isn’t being listened to or looked after) and her preoccupation is with creative and authentic expression of self. Know your truth and don’t sell yourself out.

How does this look in this autumn season?

Well, the fall brings colder weather and shorter days and longer nights leading us to the depth of winter. There are gifts here and it helps us to look for these and appreciate them.

What are some ways to do this?

Again, get more rest.

Eat well. Seasonal bounty is best; root vegetable and hot soups.

Find the gifts of the season. Do the things you enjoy. It could be reading in front of a fireplace. It could family gatherings. It could be a brisk hike.

Dress warmly.

Meditate. And allow for some hibernation.  The (upcoming) winter is an actively passive time. While things may look dead or dying, they have just slowed down. I love this Rumi quote that speaks to this: “And don’t think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It’s quiet, but the roots are down there riotous.”

The snow prepares the ground for what grows come the next spring/summer season. So too, through our choices and our actions we prepare ourselves and our bodies/minds/spirits for the next season.

We need this all. None of it is a mistake.

With Enchantress blessings…

Art is ‘Autumn Reflection’ by Gaia Orion


On Making Good Choices

Art by Pam Hawkes

Art by Pam Hawkes

I’ve experienced a recent breakthrough in how to make good decisions.

I could (and would) spend a LOT of time agonizing over what choice to make. I’m talking about the big and sometimes not-so-big choices: Should I take this course? Should I move? Should I find another job? Should I end this relationship? Should I call this person? Should I invest in this?

And on and on. Daily we make thousands of choices; some have stated that it is upwards of 35,000 per day. This may seem absurd but when you think about it, we’re making a choice every second of our life. Every breath is kind of a choice…

Fortunately, most are easy or unconscious even so it needn’t all be stressful.

But, what about those big ones? The ones that have ramifications for us for a long time?

I tended to fall back on a rational approach to decision making by weighing the pros and cons of the options. And all too often, this was not that helpful. I would be in the midst, the pros and cons of each path fairly equally weighted and just feel stuck. And stay there, with all  the benefits and risks rolling around in my head, unable to feel good or confident about choosing one over the other.

Can you relate at all?

A recurring pattern for me would be to wait until the last possible moment, or deadline if one existed, and have my hand forced. Choose because I had to now, time’s up. And then bemoan and hold so much doubt over whether it was the right way to go.

Urgh. It’s just not fun (and I want lots of fun and ease in my life).

So, what’s changed?

Well, I’ve reassigned who’s in charge from the mind to the body. See, the body and its cells and its energy has a particular wisdom and knowing. Over many, many years, humans have disconnected from this but it’s still available to us. (as a sidenote, I would point anyone to read the most amazing book ‘Power vs. Force’ by Dr. David Hawkens)

With the big decisions in my life, I have taken to putting them into my body, that is into my lower belly and into my womb space.

I do this by taking the thought, the decision point, all the feelings and energies around it and bring it or imagine it going down into my belly.

Usually, and especially if it’s something that’s been causing me some stress which I haven’t allowed myself to fully feel, it will at first kind of want to bounce out of there. Kind of like holding a buoy under water.

Gently, I will notice this and affirm it’s ok. I’m putting this in here, in my womb to hold. I notice and acknowledge what this feels like in bodily sensations or emotions that may arise. If I go back into my head about it (which is thoughts, anxiety and worry) I gently ease it back into my body and back into my womb space. Staying with my feelings and bodily sensations allows it to stay there in womb.

I don’t expect an answer. This can and often will take some time. I offer gentleness and space. I go about whatever business needs tending to. When I come around to the decision point again, I feel it in my belly and notice how I’m feeling about it now. I notice if anything has opened up or shifted.

It can be quite quick or it can take a bit of time but usually something shifts. There is a kind of fertilizing or marinating or alchemizing that happens – choose your metaphor! The surface calculations and concerns are stripped away and we get closer to the essence of: what is the right thing for me at this time?

And, what wants to happen?

Clarity arises or next action steps to take show up. The vital thing to do is act on the guidance given, and, of course, offer gratitude.

This isn’t easy. Some decisions I’ve had to sit with and nurture for some time and the sensation of holding it in my belly left me quivering and melting. On some occasions, I’ve had to do things that were somewhat intimidating and scary (and absolutely the right thing to do).

Essentially, that’s all I can tell you. Each experience of this is going to be unique. There is no formula but there is a lot of magic, if you allow for it. And if you surrender to trust the body wisdom.

If this sounds strange to you, it is. I get it. And it will take a leap of faith to give it a go (and likely a lot of persistence and patience). Go for it, why not?

And if it makes sense to you, wonderful! Explore all the ways there are to connect to your intuition and guidance – it is always there for you.

And if you’re intrigued but not quite sure what I’m talking about, please be in touch with me. This my life’s work and my passion. I want to help you find your clarity and your joy.

Art: Pam Hawkes


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


30 Years of Blood

Final Entry by Freydoon Rassouli

“Final Entry” by Freydoon Rassouli

This month marked a full 30 years as a menstruating woman for me. I This works out to something like 400 periods (having never been pregnant), totaling close to four and a half years of my life…bleeding.

That’s a lot of time to spend ‘cursed’. And for most of my life, it was just that.

I’ve been a bleeding woman for more time than some of my younger friends have been around.

I am clear that I’m fully in the latter half of my procreative life and that brings up a lot of questions and feelings.

Am I sure I don’t want to have children? Could I have one now even if I tried? What is the next phase of life going to be like for me? What was it like for mom…? (I remember only bits and pieces and she isn’t around for me to ask anymore) How many more bleeding years are available to me and how do I make the most out of them?

I remember the first time it came; I was 11 year old exuberance, running, when all of a sudden, I felt something strange happening and I just knew that I had gotten my first period.

I remember the awe quickly turning to a kind of dread when I began feeling pain and getting present to how uncomfortable it was (and this was going to be a monthly reality for decades). I remember feeling so awkward with the thick pads I had to use and being certain that everyone at school could see their bulge.

I remember the first time the blood stained my pants and the overwhelming embarrassment. I remember subsequent ones too.

I remember some horrid periods, profuse sweating, being doubled over in agony, nauseated. I remember being sent home from school and waiting for the bus, not sure how I was going to make it home. I remember near fainting from the pain. I remember sleepless night, hollering and moaning.

I remember how I began to notice the changes in my openness and tolerance to life’s circumstances and situations as I approached my cycle. And I began to see through PMS. I was not in the wrong at this time; I wasn’t crazy. I just couldn’t tolerate any BS; I couldn’t and wouldn’t play nice and polite when it wasn’t warranted. And I began to see how conditioned I was to tolerating and accepting things that didn’t work for me. I began to see this pre-bleeding time as such a gift of insight! I began to listen for, acknowledge, appreciate and ask for what I needed. I took the time when I needed it. I said ‘no’ when it was the right thing to do even when it was scary. And somewhere along the lines, the pain ceased.

It took many, many years but finally a curse became a blessing and a miracle.

And it’s actually an ongoing process. Being a woman is wildly beautiful; the gifts keeps unfolding. Do you know what I mean…?

Sometimes, I’m sad it took so long to get here. But really, there is no expiry date on healing. When I began bleeding 30 years ago, I couldn’t have conceived of where and who I would be right now.

When I look at it, it’s pretty amazing and I’m so curious and excited about what’s still to come…

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

Art: ‘Final Entry’ by Freydoon Rassouli


Lineage of Wombs

Womb Wisdom ,Art of Feminine Presence

‘Spiral’ by Neela Haleem

In my first meditation, after my mother passed, I could feel her energy in my body. It was very palpable, this moving…this swirling…the DNA, the lineage alive in every cell.

I thought of how my body had been created in hers. And it made sense to me that I would feel her now in this way. And it brought me such reassurance and peace to have within me, to know (by way of knowing in my body) that she was never going to actually be lost to me.
~~~~~~
Consider these words from Tammy Lynn Kent in her book ‘Wild Feminine’:

“With five small bowls that fit neatly together, one inside the other, I am teaching women about the power of the uterus. The largest bowl fits in the palm of my hand, and the smallest is the size of a pencil eraser. These bowls represent the way that the uterus holds energy and passes information from one generation to another. The women watch my hands as I align the bowls, one by one, according to their size.

I point to the smallest bowl, saying, ‘This is you.’ Slipping this tiny bowl into the next one I say, ‘You were held in your mother’s womb.’ Placing the two bowls together into the next bowl I say, ‘Your mother’s eggs were fully formed while she was held in her mother’s body. In this way, you were also held in your grandmother’s womb.’ I continue to join the bowls together, until the five are sitting in my palm, one inside the other. ‘Because your grandmother carries the energy of her mother’s and grandmother’s wombs, so you are linked to them as well.’ The bowls rest neatly in my hand. The women sit squarely in front of me. I see each of them wrapped in layers of female energy from the women ancestors who came before them.”
~~~~~~
In my culture and many others, the lineage is considered to pass down through the males. The males carry on the family name and were frequently the ones who inherited property or title. This passage from ‘Wild Feminine’ and my own experience of my mother illustrate to me what’s more accurate. The lineage is clearly carried forth through the Womb.

The Womb is a portal.

Have you ever considered your relationship and your connection to your ancestors in this way? Consider also your position and legacy towards all who will come after you.

~~~What messages and wisdom await you in your Womb?~~~

Start by setting aside some private, uninterrupted time for yourself. Light a candle and get settled into a comfortable position. Set an intention and allow any attachments to any particular result or answer to dissipate. Commit to keeping an open and curious mind.

Breathe deeply into your body, grounding and anchoring yourself. Breathe into your pelvis. Allow your breath to become deeper and deeper. Allow yourself time to explore this space with your awareness. Bring your thoughts back when they wander.

Connect to the centre point of your pelvis. Breathe into it and notice what sensations, visions, sounds, ideas, words may come to mind. Keep your mind open to perceive what shows itself but don’t veer into analysis, evaluation or judgment. You may even have a question to ask your Womb. Be patient and be open as you await an answer.

When you feel ready to return, record your impressions in a journal either through words or pictures. Express gratitude for what you were given even if it was ‘nothing’. The feeling of nothing can actually be a great deal of peace. (Be grateful ~ this can’t be overstated)

Make a point to return to this space and this consciousness.* This is a relationship and it needs time and lots of love to cultivate. Return reverently and return often. It may be only after some time and commitment that we make valuable connections and find the magical insights.*

Love & blessings to you on your journey ~ Lana

*It is so powerful to co-create sacred space to explore Womb Wisdom with sisters. If you are feeling called to join in circle, please check out the Art of Feminine Presence. I am in Toronto and offer a weekly meet in the downtown area. For teachers around the globe, click here.