Friday, March 30, 2007

Simple Exercise for Grounding

Root to Crown:

your root is mother earth, your crown is father sky

sit on the ground and breathe in
receive energy coming up the spine from the earth at your root,
feel your sit bones grounding

breathe out - let your belly rise and fall (put your hands there if it helps)

breathe in- let the energy enter through the top of your head
and fill your belly with light

breathe out - I am connected to the life force moving through me

Hands on Belly: I fill myself with breath. I allow life to fill me with inner calm, peace.

feel at peace with earth and sky, sit here and breathe in this way for as long as you like



ps this exercise is taken/adapted from A Woman's Belly Book

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Where is your Sacred Feminine?

Ok - I just googled the Sacred Feminine and came across all kinds of debates about whether Mary Magdalene should be seen as Jesus' wife, a sacred harlot, inferior to the Virgin Mother Mary, and lots of Christian sites that react to Brown's book DaVinci Code, etc for even bringing up the subject of a divine feminine who is other than Mary the Mother of God.

I have read a lot of the literature recently, and have come up with my own idea of what is sacred - and what is feminine. (The question of whether we have a sacred masculine has never even crossed my mind, probably because we are all supposedly made in "god's image" and he was a Father. But Marion Woodman has called it the creative masculine or imagination.)

Here's my take: women have something divinely natural about their bodies that makes them co-creators with the Universe - they have a reproductive cycle that brings forth new life (yes, sperm is part of it too). But women have a monthly cycle that follows the moon in its waxing and waning - two weeks of building creative energy, two weeks slowing down towards the period of rest or bleeding time. Lots of people have written about how intuitive we are at this time, so I won't go on about it here. But that is the female body's link with the Universal Energy, through getting to know our bodies. And if we could link the sexual, creative aspects of our bodies with the divine aspects of universal energy....voila, Sacred Feminine. (Many other cultures have already imagined this by the way: Isis, Ishtar, Shakti, Demeter, Cybele).

To my early Christianized child's mind, it was comforting to hear stories about a Divine Father - but the Divine Mother was a virgin who had never had sex! So for all the people who resist the idea of making Mary Magdalene a spouse or consort of the son of God, just imagine for a moment that the sexual and the spiritual have been divided for so long, it is refreshing and liberating to imagine a beloved in the arms of God (and by her own choice, not as a child sold/given away to a temple to service men sexually, as someone suggested was part of the ancient rituals).

Perhaps the Sufi's have it right (Rumi) when they say we are all the beloved of god. But I like the idea of seeing breastfeeding, menstruating, childbirth and other aspects of physical humanity manifest in the female form having a Divine function as well. And thank god/ss for birth control and freedom of choice so that modern women do not feel enslaved by pregnancy and childbirth, at least in my part of the world.

What I do to balance out my 'language' problem with using the term God or Lord, is that if a prayer bubbles up inside me, I address it to Our Lord and Lady. It's not perfect, I know the universal energy of life has no gender, but I do this to balance the programming I received as a Catholic. It links me to the ancient mythology of the Sacred Marriage, that perfect balance found in the union of opposites, of male and female (see The Hebrew Goddess for a discussion of how the holy of holies in Yahweh's sacred tabernacle relates to the sacred marriage ritual).

Sacred feminine - is the yin as opposed to the yang, the receptive, moist, creative, inward, intuitive side that is in both males and females, and seemingly since it's less active, it's seen as less essential in our busy world. Yet millions of Chinese are dying this year due to overwork (they call it the mattress culture - they sleep under their desks not to miss a minute!). Connection? We are so outward focused, so work and success oriented, so Yang and masculine in our culture of work, that there is little value placed on the yin, the receptive center, the place where we rest.

Sabbath has been lost, the sabbatu or heart's rest, the sacred day off of Ishtar, Queen of Heaven at the full moon, when she was menstruating.

Anyway, getting off topic a bit - Kundalini energy is inside of all of us too, men and women, and it's not yin, although it could be visualized as the fiery hot flashes that menopausal women experience, and therefore connected to the sacred feminine.

Just thought I'd add to the mish-mash of ideas on the topic of Sacred Feminine, a topic close to my feminine (yet father's daughter) heart.

originally posted on musemother in 2006

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Women are lunar

To the moon mom’s wisdom
She waxes
She waneth.

She is not full on 100% bright
All month.
She has a dark period
She hides for a while
She rests up for the month of fullness
Coming ahead.

So slow down
Your pain will grow less
You may want to “bully” your way
Through these few days
But bulls are not

Give yourself flaxseed oil, fatty fish
and magnesium for cramps, or
squat in Frog position,
put a castor oil packs 60 minutes on your belly
for heavy bleeding (is someone
or something
draining your life blood away)?

Grab time alone
To sit on earth
Listen to your belly.
Ask for guidance
And a boost of

Trust your mom
She’s got wisdom.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Seven tools for Gaining essential Wisdom

Tools for Gaining Essential Wisdom: tuning into body guidance.
(with thanks to all the women who have inspired me: Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Joan Borysenko, Jean Shinoda Bolen, Marion Woodman and special thanks to Maharaji for showing me the well of peace within).

I believe our wisdom is close at hand, right within us, and very doable. You don't need a book to tell you how to tune in. You need to learn how to live close to the body/belly/heart.

If we can listen to our need for rest, food, inner peace, we can give ourselves the healing we need. In my experience, this involves trusting myself, and knowing that I am enough. I have enough. I do enough - stop the worrying and the rushing and let the Universe take care of things.

This is my challenge, and I share it with you because it is simple, if not easy, to start following your body's guidance right now. The motto is, keep it simple.

(For example, the first rule is so simple, you'll laugh. But it has been trained out of us since childhood.)

l. Eat when you are hungry. Enjoy your food sitting down and notice when you feel satisfied. If you are really adventurous, let yourself be served once a week.

2. Sleep when you are tired. Take naps whenever possible. Set your body clock by going to bed at a reasonable hour. Can you find your own need for rest?

3. Strike two items off your to-do list every day and be happy with that. Do not be a slave to ‘getting it all done’.

4. Take time to sit in silence once a day to center yourself in the breath. Make inner peace a priority.

5. Stretch, shake your body, dance, do yoga, walk, or move a new muscle. Wake up your body every day.

6. Go pee when you have to – respond to the first call. This is harder than it sounds.

7. When you have your monthly period, give yourself what you need – either rest or exercise. PMS is the result of not listening to your body guidance. Sit with your center and find time to relax. Hot water bottle or pilates? Your gut will guide you. This is your time to be alone; your intuition is stronger now. Pay attention.

I have found, that when I learn to take care of myself, and treat my body less harshly, more lovingly, I naturally become less harsh and more loving to others.

Above all, be kind to yourself. Balance effort with relaxation. Learn compassion for yourself. And remember, whatever I bless flourishes, whatever I criticize falters. (from the Woman's Belly Book)

ps I am trying to put these into practice, one day at a time. As a confirmed 'woman who does too much' and chronic worrier, this is also my antidote to stress.

bless you,