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

 

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‘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

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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 The Dangerous Reality That is ‘Tantra’

I’ve reached a boiling point with the ‘Tantric’ discussion. It’s time for a conversation of awareness and self care to awaken in society. Somehow we’ve come to idolize Porn Stars as the epitome of what it is to be a human being. Porn Stars as human beings are people and their choice is theirs I don’t shame them for it. What I’m speaking to is the sex addiction in our society that we have come to praise the sex industry as if it is a symbol of freedom and sexual empowerment or even the ultimate way to be. It is neither, nor is it even original. The sex industry in my experience is a black hole of pain that hurts people yet exists as a bandaid in society for what I believe we all contribute to in our own unconsciousness.

So called ‘Tantra’ which is not actually Tantra it is the bastardization of an ancient tradition that I myself am not schooled in. Listening to those who have actually been schooled in Tantra and are pure in knowledge and coming from my own experience in the sex industry, what I see being paraded as ‘Tantra’ is nothing more than very sneaky porn.

What’s even a bit more twisted is the flowery language and gaslighting that is being used in the name of ‘spirituality’ in the ‘Tantric’ conversation. Often in the name of the ‘goddess’. Primarily men are spoken to as if they are not good enough for women and they must be fixed to serve women. The sacred masculine is hardly if ever addressed and when he is, it is only to shame him for ‘patriarchy’ and somehow he must atone for his seemingly original sin of being born male. It is done with much bravado and in the guise of ‘helping men’ to be ‘better lovers’ while completely dismissing the hearts of men and that men are full beings beyond their bodies. These ‘Tantric’ conversations feign caring about men and making men happy when actually they treat men as a tool to make women happy and disregard their own happiness. It doesn’t ’empower’ male sexuality, it dominates male sexuality. Only men can say what feels right for them sexually and not just sexually, from their hearts. Enough of the conversations that objectify men for their sex while ignoring their hearts. It’s a violation of their boundaries and a man’s ‘No’ matters. His boundaries matter. Men are not here to ‘serve the goddess’, which is a paraphrased way of saying to ‘serve women’ as if men’s needs do not also matter. A man’s needs matter, he matters, his heart matters. His ‘No’ matters. Men your sexuality is not lacking for being a male, your sexuality is important and beautiful as is your heart, mind and soul. I honor all that you are. You are not just a body to be objectified and I am sorry that as a society we have fallen behind on honoring you in all of your glory. I see a change on the horizon, however.

As for the ‘Tantric’ approach towards woman, it relies heavily on shaming women for not wanting to have their sexual boundaries violated. These ‘Tantric’ retreats shame women who do not want to be naked in front of people or groups or have their bodies touched or filmed for the sake of ‘education’. These ‘Tantric teachers’ use the word ‘wounding’ to refer to women who do not wish to be naked, touched, or have group sex. As if they must ‘graduate’ to their sexual freedom by having sex with or performing sexually in front of a crowd. The amount of pressure and shame that is placed on these women for not getting naked and the wounding that leaves on them is abusive. There is nothing wrong with a woman saying ‘No’ to taking her clothes off. No one can measure a woman’s sexual empowerment. That is the woman’s choice and hers alone. Her boundaries matter. It is completely healthy to not want to get naked in front of a group of strangers. That’s healthy and very normal and yet we in our society treat it as if it’s the opposite. Women, you are not ‘wounded’ for saying ‘No’. You are not ‘wounded’ for trusting your boundaries including your sexual boundaries. You are not less than sexually or otherwise for keeping your clothes on and I am so sorry as a society we have told you otherwise. I include myself and the part I’ve played in leaving women questioning their sexual wholeness for not choosing to divulge their bodies to strangers. You are beautiful just as you are right now in this moment and I honor you in your entirety.

These ‘Tantric retreats’ are on the rise.

Men and women who have returned from said retreats after the high dies down often are left feeling violated for doing things in the ‘tantric retreat’ environment they would not have done otherwise. Such is the disregard for the individual outside of the ‘Tantric Guru’s desire to fulfill their own personal fantasies. There are those who have committed suicide after these retreats. This is a very serious matter.

The honeyed words that are used by ‘Tantrics’ to really get into the persons head to manipulate them quickly shifts into gaslighting and pressure to be ‘sexually free’. This is the catch phrase used in our society to promote violation of one’s boundaries. Sexual freedom does not mean having sex with a group of people, or getting naked in front of people. It is extremely rare this is the case for a human being. Most of what is being shown in society as ‘sexual freedom’ is actual sexual repression and sexual addiction. I was a sex addict and there is nothing ‘sexually free’ about it, quite the opposite. It’s like a noose around the neck. It’s an addiction. In my sexual freedom right now I acknowledge my boundaries, tenderness, connect with my own energy, self love and self care regardless of the times I am sexually active or not. There is no self care in sexual addiction. Sexual addiction for me was also a body disconnect. I was so disconnected from my body that whatever I did sexually was ‘OK’. Sexual addiction was sexual repression as I was not being authentic in my sexuality, I was disconnected and not being present with myself or the person I was with. Having lots of sex does not equate to sexual freedom. I was repressed in that I could not be with my sexual energy and I was avoiding my sexual energy by acting out what I thought sexual freedom meant. But it was a painful act and I did not get to actually relate with my own sexual energy. In my sexual addiction I was actually running away from my sexual energy. The hyper sex drive also had fear infused in it. Fear of sex so hurry up, have it, run away and pretend all of that was ‘fun’ or ‘wild’ to try and prove to myself I was free. There is no freedom in sexual addiction. 

I’m not a therapist and I believe my sexual addiction was rooted from the sexual abuse I experienced as a child. With therapy and self care I now have healthy boundaries, self worth and self value and just would not get naked in front of strangers. Nor would I allow anyone to touch my body for even so called ‘sexual education’, nor would I go to one of these ‘Tantric retreats’ and watch other people do this. In the sex industry I violated a lot of relationships by giving space for the person to cheat, both men and women. I had to face that in myself and get honest with the space I created. In all of this I was unconsciously hurting myself and drank heavily to numb myself to the fact I was violating my own boundaries. I also left women questioning themselves for not doing what I did, as if they were not capable women or as if they were not sexy for not being nude in front of strangers. I supported men feeling like they had to pay for kindness and the appearance of intimacy. I left men in pain and addicted to coming back to see me for a temporary ‘fix’ from their pain. Ultimately after all the money they spent I just left men feeling lonely.

I healed my sex addiction and now feel whole and at peace within myself. I am the woman that would be called ‘wounded’ by one of these ‘Tantric gurus’ when in fact I have actually come to a place of healthy boundaries, self care and self love. I would be called ‘wounded’ for saying ‘No’ to showing my naked body, for saying ‘No’ to group sex, for saying ‘No’ to being filmed and touched. I would be shamed as ‘wounded’ for coming to a place of health within myself but I would have been heralded for staying a sex addict and hurting myself. I would have been praised for taking actions rooted in my sexual abuse as a child. Do you see? This is exactly the twisted fallacy I am speaking of that is used to shame women and men to see themselves as ‘broken’ when actually they are taking very good care of themselves and value themselves and their boundaries.
Please take care and trust your own wholeness and what feels right for you. I was in the sex industry for over a decade and I can share that these ‘Tantric’ retreats are just as dangerous and abusive. These ‘Tantrics’, are doing the opposite of what a good therapist could achieve. There are sexual therapists- and as in anything one needs to weed out those who shame or objectify male and female sexuality- who are actually equipped to support people in sexual discovery. Sexual therapists who are trained in their field to support a person as an individual and support their sexual boundaries in ways that are healthy for the individual. These ‘Tantric teachers’ do not take the time to be with each individuals needs, they have a cookie cutter way of approaching sexuality and dismiss all others as ‘wounded’. Which is a farce that I have just shined a light on here.

Men and women, you are sacred. Mind, body, heart and soul. Your boundaries are beautiful. Trust yourself. You are a treasure. Please be safe, I implore you.

I have slain dragons and touched on my own dragons bloodSurvived the troll bridges

Serpentine waters

Breathed fire across the burning lakes

Led wars in victory and defeat

Torn my armor to pieces with quivering hands

Drank poison and its remedy

Seen words on tender

Catapulted through shock

Flown with and became feather

Learned the songs of many tribes

Which season my accent to this day

I have bathed and watched the caked mud

Splatter to my toes

I have traveled many lands

All to just come back to my teddy bear

The darkness, so to speak, has its alchemy and for me, it is important to accept, love and acknowledge it while not getting caught in celebrating it as a way of being. I lived that already. I was not living fully self-expressed, I was not present to my freedom. Nor was I in harmony with life nor aliveness.

Light exposes the truth in me, the love I am, brings the ancient remembering that I have never been separate from the innocence of my being, the sweetness of my being that is love.

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