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


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…


Rumbling, Eruption, Disruption

'Madame Pele' by Rachael Ray

‘Madame Pele’ by Rachael Ray

The lava flowing, the eruptions…the pictures and the knowledge of what is happening in this place I love from deep within my soul…is stirring. up. so. much.

This Big Island, and my experience living in lower Puna, reflects both the most beautiful and the most fierce aspects of the Feminine. There is so much richness and wisdom to be gleaned there – not from the head, purely soul, womb, heart (on offer to ALL, who are open).

Last week as I mourned the terrorist act carried out in my city targeting women, I let a lot of sounds out. At one point, without intending or planning to, my held note in a song became a scream. A really loud, wild scream, amplified quite a bit as I had been singing into a mic.

It was loud and, also, I held back.

I mean, what if the neighbours heard and called the police because they thought someone was being attacked?

Fair. And also not fair because sometimes I need to scream.

How much are you holding inside? Where are you feeling the rumbling?

What I’ve noticed today has been a strong and recurring desire to let sound out but EVERYWHERE I find myself. To sing wildly and loudly. To make noise, to stir up. A quick and easy way to get one’s self tucked away in an asylum, isn’t it.

This is Pele for me right now. Letting it all out.

She rules. She’s erupting the boiling hot from within. She is paving over what we’ve built. Detached.

It isn’t a new thing at all but given all that’s been happening in our collective reality, I offer that it would benefit us to pay attention. Truly, to see with vision, to see symbolically, to see deeper and farther. What’s on the horizon?

To the beautiful people of Puna, please stay safe. You are in my heart.

Art: ‘Madame Pele’ by Rachael Ray


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


A New Earth

“The path into the New Earth
is simple.

No guilt.

No shame.

No regrets.

So be it.” *

 

Who would you be if you shed all shame, all guilt, all regret?

What would our world be like if all of us did this… or even attempted such a task?

~ It is worth taking some time to really sit with this and consider and imagine this. ~

I want us to do this, clear away the shame, the guilt, the regret. I can think of no better task, at heart, than this.

Let’s start with shame. Perhaps it is the foundational piece and the toughest one. So much internalized, especially as women. So much conditioning here, stories and belief and shit tossed upon by other people in an effort to manipulate and control. Like there is something wrong with you in the eyes of another.

It is easy to shame another. It is something else entirely to stand up and be good and clear with all you are. Accepting warts and all because none of us is perfect. And we are perfect in this imperfection.

No hiding.

If stopped by shame or anything towards the action we know we should take, we have regret. What does regret feel like to you? For me, it feels like a huge hole, a vacuum that sucks hard from within my spinal channel, like it wants to suck my soul in. It’s a tightening of my heart; a knowledge of opportunity lost that maybe only I know about. And that’s enough.

Regret leads to guilt. I should have stepped up, said something, done something and ….didn’t. Head hangs low. Sick feeling stomach.

This is a vicious circle perpetuated to have kept us prisoner for a long time. And as far as I can see, we don’t have the luxury of being in this gross and unnecessary place any longer.

I filmed the video below this past summer as I began to drop some of the shame I had been carrying for so long. For me, much of it was around my sexuality. I didn’t have any healthy messages around it growing  up. In my house, it was a punishable offense to say the word and I’m not kidding. Spoken and unspoken messages, deeply felt, have a way of worming their way in and settling in places far out of sight and out of awareness. In truth, it’s a deep and ancient conditioning. Parts of me would like to blame my parents but actually they were victims in the same way I was without the means or aptitude to break the pattern.

I won’t be a victim so the choice and time is mine.

No shame.

No regrets.

No guilt.

Speak, shout, declare it all. Stand naked. Be seen. Spill your secrets. Shame can’t exist where there is truth and the strength to stand your ground. If this seems impossible, find the support that will get you there. Every step counts.

Are you with me?

I spoke to a dear friend about this the other day and what she said was she was literally fucking the shame away. That sounds about right.

What will it take for you?

 

*This quote is attributed to a channeling of Mary Magdalen via Tom Kenyon in the book ‘The Magdalen Manuscript.’

Whether you are someone who puts their trust in channels or not, it doesn’t matter. I want you to consider deeply the message itself which has a lot of merit.


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


A Gratitude Ritual

'Giving Thanks' Frank Polson

‘Giving Thanks’ Frank Polson

In the year I did my first Reiki training, I began a routine of gifting this healing energy to myself as I lay in bed, drifting into sleep.

Somewhere in the practice of laying my hands on my body with this loving intention of providing myself with Reiki energy, my gratitude practice was born. My thoughts would drift to the day’s events and I naturally found myself pausing to express and feel gratitude for them deeply in my body because it felt joyful and blissful to do this.

Some days were filled with so many wonderful things and it was easy to summon so much to be thankful for. Other days weren’t so spectacular and yet, it was still easy. I start there where I am. Because I am grateful every night for having a warm bed to sleep in. I’m grateful for the body that allows me the experience of this life. I am grateful for this breath.

And what happens always is that one grateful expression will lead me to the remembrance of another. And then another. And another.

Most nights, I am filled with tremendous awe and humility at how beautiful life is, how wonderful people are, how many gifts are so freely and generously given. (Of course, this isn’t to suggest that there aren’t difficult people and painful moments in my life; it just isn’t where I put my attention especially before sleep.)

My nightly ritual has become this. I no longer intentionally giving myself Reiki though it’s all kind of become the same thing. I place one hand on my belly above womb (about 3 inches below belly betton) and one on my heart centre. For me, this creates an important circuit and connection between hands, breath, body, and awareness. A way for the energy to flow through me.

Continuously connecting with the experience and energy of gratitude in my body allows me to find my way back to it quickly and easily when things go awry and when it would otherwise be hard to come to be in a thankful state. Like any place I’ve often travelled to, I know the terrain and how to find it without thinking about it, without worrying and without a map.

So as I run through my day and feel the deep gratitude for the special moments throughout, I float off to sleep feeling happy, relaxed and as a result, I sleep soundly and restfully. I never have a nightmare. I wake up in the morning in a grateful, excited and humble place. Ready to start and experience another miraculous day.

Do you have a gratitude practice? What is it?

What are you grateful for?

Or perhaps you are looking to experience reiki, contact me for an in-person or remote session.

Art is “Giving Thanks” by Frank Polson