Where freedom is found

IMG_0997Some days send me a gift. Like this vision of the water at the end of the street around the corner from my home. I turned the corner and, here, suddenly it feels like I’m in California.

I gaze at the water on the horizon… I pretend it’s the ocean and I’m walking westward.

I drop myself fully in the feeling of being in California walking toward the Pacific Ocean a short distance away. I feel myself melting, relaxing.
I consider why the flavour and the feel of the west coast soothes me in ways that Toronto seems to fall short. It comes down to a feeling of freedom and so the gift of today is to show me, freedom is a state of being, internally, either available wherever I am or, in fact, not at all.

This isn’t easy for me to fully embody at most times. I need to build this muscle of knowing and feeling myself to be free.

I walk down the street, amplifying California in my cells, and make my way to the water. This was not the original plan but I didn’t know setting out of my house today that I would be visiting the west coast.

This body of water is not the ocean, we call it a great lake but with the wind being what it is today on this vividly bright, beautiful fall day, it feels like the ocean. Waves crash onto the shore. To my ears the sound is music. The mist travels on the wind and gently sprays my face. I sit on the beach for a while and I watch the seagulls too, and they are a trip.

This is what they do.

In the air, wings spread, they are carried by the wind. It is all allowing.
A slight tuck, here and there, a slight re-angling, a slight withdrawing of the wings has them slip through the wind, drop down to a landing if they would like or be carried a little differently in the sky. All of them offer this allowing and surrender to the wind.
There is not a single one attempting to fly against the wind. They don’t do it. There is no imposing of will on the direction of the wind. There is no struggle.
Just a simple allowing of being carried by the wind. I consider how I’m witnessing intelligence and wisdom here.
And also, the most free of all creatures.


Nana’s Kitchen

gerald-a.-frank-crone-in-the-kitchen

Crone in the Kitchen by Gerald Frank

My grandmother stands
at the large wood stove
in her kitchen built of stone
at a time before the luxury of pipes and running water.
(do you remember to stop for her and see such as luxury?)

Actually, her kitchen sits unchanged
maybe for centuries
still not knowing such luxury.
Maybe just more broken open,
overgrowing, overrun.

9 years old
on the first visit here to her farm
Old enough to be aware
of where I am
Old enough to save a memory

the rural hillsides, a village called
Boljkovci

Her kitchen is always dark,
this little freestanding hut
built away from the main house (of 2 rooms)

It is ancient. It is cold. I have to get dressed and wear shoes to walk here, to sit here. Its smell all smoky, damp and barn-like all at once.

It is so strange to me, this kitchen.
Not what I have known a kitchen to be.
Their entire home not what I have understood a home to be….
like
something yanked out of a different era
that evolution had overlooked and bypassed just about entirely.

like
a place we could be visiting on a school trip to see how people used to live…
staged, stove & furniture roped off.

only it’s not.

I don’t entirely understand this…
I am uncomfortable.
I feel sad.
I feel anxious.
(I would like to leave now but know I can’t)

I am quiet.

Grandmother prepares some eggs for me.
I don’t know if I can eat it
but then
the plate is set down before me and
something in their presentation reminds me of my mother
As does her endearment spoken to me, my mom’s ‘peeleh’
eat, my little chick

Ah….my grandma called my mom peeleh
my mom calls me peeleh
how far back does it go, I wonder…
peeleh…
who started this endearment
and when?

Her eyes are kind
I feel I can trust her
though
so much of what I’m seeing kind of
scares me…
the harsh black widow’s garb…
this hunched back…the
profile of her head reminding me of the illustrations
in fairy tales of witches….

this is where i come from

her eyes are kind, yes,
and don’t mask the suffering beneath

is this mine too?

the deeply etched lines on her face
her inflamed and scabbed legs
the gnarling hands

I eat what I can of the eggs and the cheese
but they too
taste strange to me
and tough to swallow
as though
I’m ingesting this place with each bite

I go outside into the summer day
just beyond the yard
the green rolling hills beckon me
Warm and bright outside.

I run down a hill

out of breath
I collapse on the grass
looking up at the blue skies
and rolling puffy clouds

despite all,
elated in this place

there is so much beauty

Art by Gerald Frank


how my anxiety dissipated

Special Half-Day August Retreat Click hereIn these past few weeks, I’ve experienced an unusual amount of anxiety sometimes bordering on despair.

I think it’s been the consumption of too much of the news and current events in our world.

Of course, we’re in some astrologically turbulent times as well (if you follow the stars maybe you can relate) and I’ve certainly been visited by lingering fragments from my past seeking some resolution and integration.

Naturally I’ve been remembering to drop into my womb space in these times. When I feel unsafe, this is what I do. However this – in womb space – is actually where I’ve noticed quite a bit of this anxiety. The place where I’m accustomed to feeling safe and flowing and peaceful, had become just the opposite.

The sensations I encountered in womb felt like a painful stretching of the tendons and muscle to the point of physical pain. At other times it has felt like sharp boulders knocking around in there – weighty, sharp, dangerous.

It’s been a terrible feeling, made worse because I was experiencing it in my ‘safe’ space. Where was there to go then? When and how would it shift?

Well, it did shift and release and it happened in group, while facilitating two Art of Feminine Presence circles on back-to-back evenings. The safe space was still a safe space (!) but in this instance, with this depth of emotion, I couldn’t access the safety by myself. I needed the presence of others doing the same thing with me.

This is a real thing for most women – the need to tend and befriend. When stressed, we need other people – though, the right people for sure! We need community, we need to be safely held and witnessed.

(It’s humbling to have to learn this again and again but I am so grateful)

How much are you holding in?

How much are you dealing with on your own hoping it will go away, just pass, or that you’ll just figure it out?

Are you stuck feeling like you should be feeling happier with all the (on the surface) good things going on in life when underneath it all something just doesn’t feel right?

And when I think about the big issues in the world right now and what the antidote is, I think it starts exactly with this: women coming together to dig deep within, listen to, and support, each other. We need spaces where an authentic expression of ourselves, new and miraculous, can open up, be cheered and supported. So that we can live this authentic expression out in the world, no matter where we are. So that something new can be born.

This type of space and community doesn’t typically just happen on its own. It needs to be created, crafted, curated, cherished. In other words, it takes something!

It takes something for me too.

I’m holding a special 1/2 day Art of Feminine Presence Intensive in Toronto on August 10th, 2019. The early-bird special is on offer until the end of July at a very affordable $67. You may register here
(or send an e-transfer to lkevic@gmail.com and save on the eventbrite fees)

Whether you’ve participated before or whether this is your first time, this is for you. Together, in a small group setting, we will explore what it feels like to beginning tapping into, and living from, the Feminine Essence. Together, we are able to harness this energy and leave with a very special infusion of the rightness and holiness of the Feminine.

This happens every time. I hope you can join us and begin to relieve some of the discomfort, pain, anxiety of our turbulent times.


The first time, I didn’t want to…

Lana, 2012

Lana, 2012

Some of you have heard me say this… my first experience with the Art of Feminine Presence was somewhat … underwhelming.

The experience was via an introduction night which I attended out of curiosity, and because I was going to be around anyway. I had no idea what to expect and likely some guard up going in.

In the evening I did have moments of thinking ‘hmm, interesting’ and also ‘oh, weird!’

And while I didn’t sign up at that time to do any further work with the presenting instructor, I did receive an important insight into myself. Which was that I had no idea really of what the Feminine meant to me. The Feminine as I personally related to her was rather foreign; any inkling that I did harbour somewhere was flimsy, diminutive to the extreme. I was a bit stunned.

(And, I see now years later, rather ashamed about it… to be so confronted with my own ignorance and prejudice even after all the work I’d done up to that point.)

The next day, unexpectedly, I had a chance to talk to the same instructor, the teacher from the night before. That was when we had met, we didn’t know each other at all. During our conversation she said something to me so random and out of the blue, that I knew it was the Universe speaking to me directly. Indicating that, despite my resistance, this was something I should do.  (Indeed, when I asked her about this later, she said she had no idea why she had said this thing)

Somewhat reluctantly, I agreed to attend these classes of hers once my prior commitment ended and once she had space in the circle.

Have you ever had that experience of resisting something (perhaps even a person!) only to have it (them) persist in showing up in your face? I can find it somewhat reassuring – like, even if my ego stands in the way of what is good for me, the Universe will not give up on showing me the path of my own highest good. But… I also find it annoying. It’s uncomfortable too, isn’t it?

This is also what has me feel very understanding of some of the women I encounter who feel this resistance in the face of strong indications that it should be a ‘yes.’

There is no need to force anything and, also, comfort is not always our friend. Sometimes we need a nudge, sometimes a push. And better to surrender at that point until it becomes something along the lines of a shove (such as pain, illness, loss).

It worked out to 4 months  after that introduction that I made it to my first, real Art of Feminine Presence circle. Again, I had no idea what to expect and perhaps had I known, I would have made some effort to participate sooner…  more on that soon.


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

autumn-reflection-gaia-orion-jpg-nggid0269-ngg0dyn-180x180x100-00f0w010c011r110f110r010t010

‘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