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


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


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


Healthy, Blessed Wombs

Bosmat Niron. Family Womb, 2005–2006

‘Family Womb’ by Bosmat Niron

I have had the incredible privilege, as a Moon Mother, of doing Womb Blessing & Womb Healing work with many women for well over a year now.

I didn’t know what to expect when I began. The women who come to see me have no idea what they are in for. It is unknowable. No two Womb Blessings or Healings are the same (even for the same woman).

The feedback I have received has been incredible, humbling, remarkable. I wanted to share some of this with you. After Womb Blessings & Healings, the women I have seen have experienced:

~ regular menstrual cycles (in one case, for the first time in her life).

~ a greater connectedness with their partners (also multiple reports of incredible sex right afterwards, and their partners noticing something ‘special’ and ‘different’ about them).

~ resolution & release of trauma that had been long forgotten (by the conscious mind) but was still residing in the womb.

~ post-abortion healing and peace

~ relief from menopausal symptoms.

~ (wanted) pregnancies!

This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means. Every woman’s experience is unique to Her and precisely what She needs (though not always the same as what She wants…)

There are no guarantees AND anything is possible… And the love and warm embrace of the Feminine is available to us all, at any time.

Some have become regular devotees, treating themselves to the wonderful energies and transformation of a Womb Blessing & Healing every Moon cycle.

We were all birthed from Womb. This is a sacred space. And our remembrance and honour of that is what holds the key to the future of life on this planet.

Do you want to know more about Womb Healings & Blessings? Feel free to contact me for more information or click here for a list of authorized Moon Mothers around the world.

Art: ‘Family Womb’ by Bosmat Niron.


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


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


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.