Mindfulness & The Garden

Even in anger I can find expression if I choose mindfulness. If I choose to not be mindful then I truly miss out my bravado is then a show simply for myself as it is clear to everyone else what I have chosen. Which yes is fine too and I’m the one who misses out on the vibrant gardens waiting in my blindspots asking me to come play, breathe and bathe in my own aliveness. Treasure waiting for me will then have to wait until next time when the call brings me to its precipice again. I challenge myself each time in hopes I get to choose the garden. I like gardens, especially when gardens are being shared with me. What a beautiful invitation.

Photo by unknown

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The Art of Femininity: Relating to Menses

I was reading this article this morning by TIME-  Meghan Markle: How Periods Affect Potential about the conversation which is well known that there are girls in countries such as India, Iran, Africa [and other countriess] who girls drop out of school because of their period. They do not have the resources to take care of their periods and there is also the conversation of shame around them having a period as if there is something broken about them. This is such an mportanti conversation to support girls being able to stay in school and have access to a better chance at success in life. And while we are far better off in the USA we are still lacking a loving conversation with and about our menses, in my experience anyway. It wasn’t until my adult life that I found a healthy relationship to this time of month. I don’t mean worshipping it and calling myself a ‘goddess’ over it as I am very much a human woman not a deity. I don’t need the pressure nor pedestal of being a ‘goddess’. That’s a long way to fall if I show up as the human I am. Just as my period doesn’t make me inferior having a period also doesn’t make me superior. As a female it’s something my body does biologically that I realized I wanted to have a healthy and loving relationship with as part of my self love and self care. By loving I mean loving this monthly time as a part of my life and body. Giving space for this in my life rather than try to pretend it doesn’t exist or relate to it begrudgingly. Being able to experience my period as a beautiful cycle. I honor this really is such a private conversation and yet even among women there seems to be shame about this conversation. Looking at it purely as purpose the period is a cleansing.

And there are emotional elements to it too of course. Emotional elements I had myself shamed until conversations with women and even with men. I interviewed men for my book ‘100 Days Of Loving Men: A Woman’s Journey Into Recovery’ and one of the men shared a beautiful insight, that the period brings about a way for women to have a natural release. Really opened me up to looking at this monthly time in another way. For me during this time of month I have to slow down, I am called very deeply into my body and self care. It’s become a part of my self reflection. I’ve learned to love it as a part of me rather than resist it and feel frustrated by it as I used to.

What would be great to see is conversations for girls here in the US to feel related to their periods, to know what is happening with their bodies or will be happening and cultivate a loving relationship with their bodies through this. I think this could alleviate a lot of body shame and can support self love conversations for girls and women.

What is your relationship to your monthly?

As strong as I am in my conversations of men, I am also strong in my conversations of women. You can follow me in both conversations on my Facebook pages, click on the titles to visit:

The Art of Femininity

Loving & Celebrating Men

 

‘Respect My Pain’: When Trauma Becomes Domination

There have been times in my life where I came from this space, albeit unconsciously, where I was using my pain as a form of hiding and domination. Rather than going into my pain to listen, learn and heal, I wrapped myself up in a cloak of pain to be ‘right’ about it. What I mean by being ‘right’ about my pain was that because it was my pain it was something that I could be a self declared authority over. In this, no matter how someone came forward and tried to support me seeing a path out of my pain and into self care, self love and joy, I could always shut them down because ‘How could you know what I have gone through?’. I could then prostrate and demand respect for my position of pain and feel completely justified in shutting down the voices of healthy people coming to me with love and reminding me of my innate power and joy. I could then stand atop my victim mentality mountain and slay whoever came to me trying to show me a path to freedom from the suffering and turmoil I was cycling. For, how dare they not respect my pain? With that mentality anyone who came to me with love was a villain and I the hero.

This was an addiction. Painful things happen in life, no one is alone in this, no one is extraordinary in this. I certainly was not extraordinary for feeling pain, though I seemed to be telling myself I was. I was using my trauma as a way to feel extraordinary- this is backwards. It was the trauma that was calling me as an alarm clock to remember my innate being, the trauma itself was not my innate being. To confuse the alarm as ‘the way’, was stunting for me. To wear my trauma as a medal did not work. Pain is not wrong or bad, it is a call for self care. It is a necessesary emotion and when felt can even be a beautiful experience of self care. When wallowed in, it can become an addictive cycle. For me when I felt the pain but could not move on from it nor find actions rooted in self care, I had become addicted. Feeling pain, truly feeling it with intent to move through, transmutes into a deep body connect and connection with innate joy and love that is always present and easily accessed when allowed. If I’m not allowing myself to move through and into the love and joy, I have become addicted to the cycle of pain and whatever I’m getting out of it. I saw that I had become addicted to the attention I got when I played victim- victim currency. I had become obsessed with receiving the ‘poor you’ and ‘look how strong you are!’ when I played victim.

An addict never wants to know they are an addict. So when people came to me and were a stand for me to be free from my own suffering and addicted cycles of pain, I lashed out at them from my victim mountain. And self righteously shamed them with ‘you have no idea what this feels like how dare you question my victimhood!’, in so many words. Think about that, I lashed out at the people who came to me with love, who were standing for me to be free from my self abusive pain cycling. I was so addicted to my pain cycles it was gluttonous. I was abusing pain. Pain is not meant to be lassoed like that and harnessed, it is meant to be free to move through and move on until it’s next visit. It was like I was holding pain hostage against it’s will and purpose. And since the pain was my own feeling, a part of my own experience, I was holding myself hostage against my own true will and purpose. Fighting to stay away from my heart and my own love in the process. For, if I were to meet my own heart, I would have to let the pain process go. I would have to allow myself to be free and present to my innate joy. I would be able to see those who loved me who were inviting me out into the sun to enjoy the world with them, to enjoy the world with myself. If I were to meet my own heart, I would have to be present to the real beauty of life and place down my addictive shackles. And so I did. Because I’m worth it.

I don’t have to respect a persons pain, that is not compassion that is enabling. I respect the person themselves as I respect myself. To me respect means seeing each human being as powerful and capable of choosing. Even if it is the addiction they choose. I’m not here to enable, I am here to stand in knowing love. From my own self care, I trust each persons journey and trust myself to not enable

Pulsing notes

Little ship of love

Strum across the bow

Cascade in vibrating waves

Leaving hiccups of polished touch

Dusted motion snows across form

Sailing tones across wooden spine

Imprecise

Merging skin to pulse, touch to sound

Little boat of love

Becoming easing echo of soul

Painting by unknown

The Truth About The Suffragettes

I’ve been told that if it weren’t for suffragettes I would be ‘barefoot in the kitchen’. Nothing like how quick people jump to remind me of my ‘place’ and ‘use’ as a woman than those irate over me using my own individual voice and speaking facts about the suffragettes.. I have human rights thanks to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, without him I would still be at risk for being hung, not the luxury of barefoot in the kitchen. The suffragettes appealed to the KKK for support as, again, their basis for existence was not ‘equality for all’ but outrage that black men were going to be able to vote even though black men earned it. Men, black and white, were dying for their privilege to vote. The suffragettes were made up of an elite group of rich white women and lived better than most men and women. They supported the KKK and the KKK supported the suffragettes. They did not want the black community empowered and empowering black men would be a step in that direction. The suffragettes, used black women and white women of poverty to get their numbers up during what they called ‘woman’s suffrage’. As soon as the white elitist suffragettes got the privilege to vote, they joined together to ensure black women and white women of poverty could not vote as they raised the education and literacy requirements that most of these women could not afford. Asian women and Native American women were not in the conversation. Native American men and women would not have the privilege to vote until the 1940’s. So I find it disrespectful all of the continued outrage of these rich elite women not being able to vote, while ignoring we took the lands from Native American’s who were then forced to apply for citizenship in the very lands they originated so they could have any rights or privileges. To me the suffragette praising is one of the biggest smokescreens. The outrage of these rich elite women while black women were their house slaves and black men went to war to keep them safe and risk their lives for freedom, along with the white men who had been doing going to war as well and did not have the privilege of living like the suffragettes and forget white women of poverty. Ida B. Wells- my heroine- Black woman called the suffragettes out and prominent suffragette and her colleague did everything in their power to try and shut down her voice. Ida B. Wells did not subscribe to the mainstream mentality and through persistence, Ida was finally heard by parliament in Europe in her please for support.

There were women pre-woman’s suffrage with property who were already in higher positions of power than most men who did not have the wealth to own property. Women were indeed able to have say in property and vote and were already voting in the 1700s. Women have been in the medical profession, including surgeons as far back as the 11th-12th Century. Trotula is said to be the first woman professor of these earliest times in Europe. It’s time we stop keeping women from their actual history and speaking to women as if women had no idea how to think before the suffragettes arrived. Women have been powerful since the first woman existed and I’m not basing that simply on academics. I do not owe my strength as a woman to suffragettes, my strength as a woman is innate & mine. I’m a sovereign being as all women are, as are men. I know the history of the suffragettes and I’m not interested in praising them. Ida B. Wells, that’s my heroine. She stood strong in the face of the illusion of the suffragettes and stood for the black community getting support during the time of lynching’s. Ida B. Wells is a powerful woman I will always hold dear to me. When speaking on the privilege of voting we must also remember that many men died for their country and were unable to vote, even up until 1971 where men of every ethnicity were not able to vote due to the voting age requirement of 21. These men died to keep the war from our doors and to allow us to live a privileged life.If after reading this you still want to praise the suffragettes, by all means, that’s your choice. For those who hold the suffragettes as an icon close to the heart, I hear you, I get that it’s important for you. Whatever icon works, great. People are entitled to have whatever icon they wish. Go for it. I’m not here to demonize you for your choice in icons. It’s called individuality we will all never all think the same. I’m not here to pretend I have the power to strip people of choice, nor would I want to. Not my interest. I’m sharing some well needed unknown facts about the suffragettes and my curiosity as to why these facts are not common place.

Let’s say I take a moment to step into the world of those who perceive suffragettes as ‘heroines’. Let’s say I completely live that viewpoint for a moment. I would still say, if the point is to praise these suffragettes, these women who in your perception stood for ‘all women’ then why are you using them as a weapon against women who have a different narrative than you?  Be you man or woman, if you’re perception is the suffragettes ‘stood for all women’ then why aren’t you? So what if these women coming forward and speaking up about the suffragettes don’t think like you? That’s a reason to be vicious towards them? If you support suffragettes under your perception that they stood for ‘all women’ and ‘equality’ then why not live from this perception? Equality is not just for those we agree with. I could personally care less if someone is a feminist, MRA, liberal, conservative, Hilary supporter, Trump supporter, atheist or religious. I could care less. My concern is not how you choose to identify, have at it. My concern is not who you choose to praise, or not. I care about human rights for all people, absolute agreement not required. I don’t need you to agree with me for me to see you as a human being who does not deserve to be dehumanized. When these self chosen icons, such as these suffragettes are used as a weapon, that’s when I take issue. And even then, by take issue I mean share awareness. Take the awareness or not, I’m not attached to it and I will speak it. If a woman, or man, choose to not support the suffragettes based on their history, that’s their choice as much as those who choose to support the suffragettes. To use anyone idea as a weapon is simply taking a banner, any banner, and using it to shame another human being. A way to justify being vicious to a human being and falsely claim that’s for a good cause. No. We are who we choose to be. We are who we excuse ourselves to be. No matter what the banner, we ultimately are responsible for how we view men and women. Most important, above absolute agreement, is laying down destructive narratives in how we see each other as human beings and joining in supporting human rights for all.

Martin-Luther-King-Jr-I-have-decided-to-stick-with-love.-Hate-is-too-great-a-burden-to-bear-720x340

 

As per all of my articles, don’t ever take my word for it, research for yourself.

My Resources:

http://www.history.com/news/the-state-where-women-voted-long-before-the-19th-amendment

http://www.wondersandmarvels.com/2012/08/medieval-women-as-physicians.html

http://www.upenn.edu/pennpress/book/13496.html

http://www.nytimes.com/2002/01/26/books/the-women-behind-the-masks-of-hate.html

https://www.npr.org/2011/03/25/134849480/the-root-how-racism-tainted-womens-suffrage

 

 

 

 

 

Impermanence

Disappointment & praise are impermanent. To tie myself to impermanence can be my only hindrance to experiencing the innate joy, love, desire for life that I have right now in this moment. Always in this moment. Impermanence is not the place to seek sustainable joy. Expectations are fine and they are not to be expected lol There is no sustenance in expectation. Nor in resignation. The fruit of life is in me. The delicious relaxation of my own being is my delicacy.
 
Being is my favorite flavor. I am the adventure I seek.
imageskjh
Artwork by Unknown

Happy International Men’s Day- You Are Loved

Happy International Men’s Day ❤
 
Dear men,
 
You are so loved and deeply appreciated. Your wisdom is beautiful and welcome. Your masculinity is beautiful, as your maleness is beautiful. I honor your heart, soul, mind, and body in recognizing you as a source of life, from a space of humility and respect.
 
I am grateful for all you have done and do directly or indirectly to keep me safe in my daily life. I’m grateful for who you have been historically as men are centuries of love. I recognize the sacredness of the protector you are which has been the root of much innovation, the reason we have a roof above our heads, electricity to keep us warm to survive the elements and live in luxury. I see the sacrifices you have made and make so I can live a life where I have the luxury of not even being aware of what you have given for my safety.
 
Beyond what you do, thank you for your being. Thank you for the nurturing tenderness you are. The beautiful groundedness clarity and playfulness. Thank you simply for being. Uniquely as you are. Thank you for the heart of you that shows up every day. Thank you for the warmth of your being. Honored to be in this world alongside you my brothers.
 
I love and celebrate you. I am honored to.
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