This summer, I stayed with my youngest son for fourteen days in the hospital after a ruptured appendix. We celebrated his fifth birthday there on the summer solstice. As a healer, I knew that his body mind and spirit would also require extended healing beyond the urgent care period. The busyness of life tends to move on, but I have always viewed illnesses with my children as times of retreat. And so we deepened into the experience with extra rest, consultations with our naturopath, and daily power berry smoothies that we created specifically for his healing (see the recipe in my upcoming book: Mothering from Your Center). He and I traveled to Seattle by train several times to see a bodywork specialist trained in the Barral method of Visceral Manipulation (to restore full vitality to the organs). We found an amazing Thai restaurant, stepped into the sense of adventure that train travel invites, and relished our time spent together in this intimate way. This is the way of mothering with the feminine.
For the past decade, I’ve been witnessing the future of women’s health in my office. The combination of physical medicine, from my background as a women’s health physical therapist, with the energy tools I’ve developed by working closely with the female body is a potent combination. I’ve had women travel from across the country to receive care with extraordinary results in addressing chronic issues and restoring vitality. The absence of holistic tools in mainstream medicine is most evident in women’s health where the true needs of the pelvic bowl are hardly addressed. This is illustrated by new reports of the pitfalls of pelvic surgery and the inadequacy of PaP exams for preventing or addressing pelvic issues.
What the pelvic bowl needs is good alignment in the organs and muscles, vibrant chi–or energy–and blood flow (which enhances cellular health and hormonal circulation), and a woman who is in touch with this powerful core energy to guide her life and give expression to her creative dreams. I am blessed to sit with women every week, assisting them in vibrant pelvic health and a relationship with the potential in their bodies. I am delighted to share this potential with other healers as I teach Holistic Pelvic Care to a growing list of dynamic providers. In France, women receive 10-20 state-sponsored sessions of pelvic physical therapy for basic postpartum care (see article). I look forward to the day when women around the globe have access to physical & energetic medicine for cultivating a radiant pelvic bowl as routine care. Now that will be a sign of progress for the wild feminine!
At the lunar new year, I make a list of my five to seven creative goals for the year. I’ve been doing this for twelve years, and the practice of committing focus and attention to my creative energy has produced a wealth of creative abundance. When we begin taking the power of our own energy seriously, meaning that we recognize the ability we have to energize and co-create our lives, the magic begins. Setting intentions for our creativity is not the same as rigidly controlling the events or situations we encounter, rather it is opening to the energy potential in every moment of each day. One gem has emerged from my ritual of deliberating cultivating my creative essence: to have joy means to energize the joy in our lives. Where is your joy? What do you love about your life and this very moment? Focus on joy, seek joy, raise the energy vibration of joy in every day and you will find yourself living a joy-filled life.
When I experience a deep loss, such as I did this summer with the death of our family German Shepherd, Kiva, I open my being to spirit. In pain, there is a natural tendency to close ourselves in protection. But it is in these times that we most need the lightness of spirit to lift us and hold us. I step outside and feel the breeze on my skin. I rest my eyes on the gnarled tree bark that has calmly weathered many a storm. I watch the clouds pass overhead, changing the light around me. Breathing in the beauty of the moment, I invite spirit to do the work while I rest. Energy moves and the heaviness lifts. I follow the next movement from spirit towards new life. Here the life comes in the form of another shepherd puppy; another dance with spirit named Moka.
I am an energy reader: I know how to sense the deeper layers of connection between you and me and the ancestors or the spirits of the land. It was something I think we all could do when we were living in the wild, on the earth, bare feet treading on soil. When our breath was shared daily with the cedars and we birthed babies onto beds of moss, we certainly knew, even though we likely never pondered, that we were part of a wholeness–a whole continuum of breath, and being, vibrating with this life energy and then the quiet repose of death, an exhale that was meant to occur lying on the soft earth.
This is why, I began to circle round–from the fires ignited in buildings rising so far from the earth that people had to fall to find their way down. I saw the reaction in the pain of remembering and the reflection of the separation that took us too far from what we were meant to know in the bodies of women who came to see me. I started there, in my own body, in the body of writing, in my young sons, in the women who came–all of us finding our way back to the center, to the pulse that invites a gathering together of cells, of people, of prayers, of the fire of spirit that ignites our passions and the body which is meant to walk upon the earth.
And this is why, as I found myself in the August sun, near the lavender buzzing with bees, and the grape vines heavy with leaves, I placed my hands onto my 14 year old dying German shepherd. Though the grief lifted me away, I remembered the earth and placed both hands around the thick red fur of her neck. Her last breath came and went, her body heavy on my lap. And then the energy moved like water, from her body beneath my hands into the air around us. Her spirit moved across the quiet grass, brushing over my skin, shining on in the gold light.
9/11 ripped a hole in the fabric of our world, but perhaps one that we can use to see where we lost touch and to remember the way our energy moves like shared breath, along rivers, over fields, like spirits touching down to earth.
It has been an expansive summer, where the days stretched out wide before us. In that expanse, my sons did not always know what to do with themselves. Though we all eagerly anticipated the lazy days of summer, when it arrived the transition from the scheduled days of school, music lessons, and soccer was a little bumpy. It was tempting to fill the summer days with activities to keep the energy highly organized, but what we needed was a break from routine. The only way to fully make a transition is to move through the discomfort zone. I know this from working in the body, but here it was in the body of my family. The more I met the complaints and struggle with the calm of the cedar tree outside my window, the more these waves dissipated. Until, about three weeks into summer, an organic rhythm began to arise. The boys found their pocket knives, and began to carve wood. They made music, took pictures, made their own movie. We incorporated the hilarious lines of Portlandia into our daily adventures and embarked on a few road trips. But mostly we settled in to the wide open days of summer and the expanse of unplanned time.
Today, as I walked my son home from preschool, a man caught my eye. He was likely in his eighties, stooped over and shaped by the effects of time on the body. Yet his energy was full and robust. His eyes glowed, a gentle smile spread across his lips. I couldn’t help but notice his radiance, emanating from the energy of his center. “We are so blessed,” he said to me as my son raced by on his bike. Yes, we are. May we always have eyes that can see this.
When a woman comes to me for help in balancing her creative center, I see the radiance of her potential that goes beyond the visual field. Each person is a unique imprint of beauty. With our increasing access to computers and visual media, we must remember that “seeing” is more than what we can sense with our eyes. Remembering this deeper sight will ensure that stereotypical modes of beauty will take less hold instead of more, and we’ll be able to strengthen our core beauty no matter our age or means.
With my sons, I invite them to close their eyes and feel or sense the energy within. I want them to have just as strong a connection with this internal place as they do with the external realm. I want them to know their own beauty and potential so fully that the outer world becomes a place to give expression to this beauty rather than an attempt at validation. We are sacred. We are beautiful. Each one of us. And the more we know and love this beauty, the more it grows into something we can share with the world.
Wild Feminine blessing: May you know and love your beauty.
In our mother’s womb we transform from spirit to body; we embody our sacred energy. I discovered this potential while pregnant with my second son, after a very mystical experience with miscarriage. I felt the energy of this new pregnancy coming to me from a far away place. If it weren’t for my miscarriage, which had taught me that the female body is the doorway where we come in, I might have missed this miracle occurring in my center. And still it was my body that helped me tune in.
I was busy rushing about my daily activities, and the early pregnancy nausea increased. Instead of pushing through the discomfort, I felt guided to lay down and open myself to receive the energy of my baby. As I relaxed my body and focused on receiving, my energy field softened and I could feel his spirit energy beaming in from a distant star. Though nausea often accompanies the early pregnancy period, it is also a sign to clear the tension in the body and the energy field that might block the transmission of spirit energy.
In the same way, we are preparing for a transmission of energy into our world as we complete the last phase of a 26,000 year cycle recorded by the Maya calendar. This last phase began this spring and will finish on December 21, 2012. The cosmic bodies will align at this time, opening a portal to transmit new energy potentials and initiate a rebirth of consciousness. Some of the present day challenges represent the work that is required to transform ourselves. To receive this new energy in your life, begin now to tune into your center and realign from there. Clear the tension patterns on all levels and open to receive the blessings of this cosmic conception and rebirth.
Wild Feminine blessing: May we all remember our sacred beginnings and bring this light in to transform our lives.
I went to a reading by beloved author Anne Lamott and was moved by her honesty and raw wisdom. She spoke about teenagers and how much risk they are taking these days. An audience member asked if there was anything we could do to reclaim our influence in their lives. Anne paused and suggested that perhaps we need to become the adults who they might want to some day be instead of the busy and harried ones that we are. Poems are prayers for me. Walking home in the rain, I wrote this poem/prayer for myself and my sons.
Be Where You Are
Whether sunlight streams through the window
or the rain drops down,
be where you are.
At times you will be weary
confounded by mixed signals or crossed signs.
Reaching and striving
will produce only dead ends.
So be where you are
back in your center
where there is always
air and light
time and peace
Leave the phone calls
and the work load
worries, conflicts, and expectations
lying where they may
and be where you are.
There with the crying child
or the laundry pile
and the nascent hopes and dreams.
Whether lonely and afraid
or simply noticing the spaces
in between thoughts and words and actions.
Just be where you are
with your breath in and out
and the beauty in front of eyes that see.
With potential in your hands reaching out
and your heart open again to this mystery.
Wild Feminine blessing: May the light shine wherever you are.
“Prayer is a sound vibration that goes out to the spirit realm”, says one of my teachers, Rosita Arvigo. A prayer can be as simple as an intention spoken from the heart. I have used blessings as a way to smooth the energy of each day and attune with the bounty of my life. I use it to calm a child in the midst of an emotional storm and to calm my own energy when I am distressed. I say a blessing in my work, when I’m sitting with a woman who is registering a deep loss. I take my sons to the beach, make a fire and drum, teaching them that attending to the spirit realm is as necessary for the soul as breath for the body.
Wild Feminine blessing: One prayer is worth more than a thousand worries. What will your prayer be?