I walked last night in the wild wintry air. I had earlier that day walked with my pup to the park and met a girl who was in the park without a dog but was there to take in the energy and greetings of the dogs there. “I remember when I didn't have a dog and I did that,” I told the girl. In our exchange she told me that she did have a dog but that she was staying at a recovery house for alcohol addiction. She wasn't even allowed to have a plant, let alone the company of her dog. I found something cloying about her energy as she kept talking and talking to me and I gracefully as possible extricated myself from the conversation and she continued on her way as did I.
In that cool air, I walked to a local cafe and took in a moment of self-care in the form of vegetable soup. As I returned home with a full belly I saw these three women (the three fates) standing in the sidewalk taking swigs from a bottle that looked like Crown Royal. As I got closer I could see the girl who had just taken a swig was the same girl from the park. She looked at me with a look of shame and weakness and I looked at her as if to say “What are you doing? You are better than this. You know better than this.”
At the same time I was struggling with the idea of driving 7 hours to go see a man who had been dishonest with me. It had been a pattern that I had subconsciously allowed to repeat in my life over and over again to instigate healing. This was the pinnacle moment where I was making a decision to set myself up again in the position where I would be allowing someone to interact with me in a way that didn't feel good, to allow someone to be close to me in a way where I actually felt pretty bad about it, like I was cheating on myself. In a way I felt this girl was cheating on herself with the bottle of alcohol, allowing herself to be drawn into to something that wasn't good for her, that she was trying to heal from but was not committing to that healing. I knew she was a reflection of me and my situation with that man. Her alcohol abuse was mirroring my pattern of emotional abuse. I think of myself as a strong person in many ways and that that would never happen to me but it had been happening to me.
After the girl left the group of three, two ladies were left and they were both First Nations women. I saw one of the woman’s face and she looked like she had been badly beaten at one point in her life; it looked like her eye may be missing or that part of her face structurally damaged. It was hard to see in the darkness of the night but I saw it. I saw the other lady try to kiss her but she stood there, standing straight and still but almost frozen, wanting to pull away but not doing it, not speaking for herself, just kind of allowing but not allowing in this frozen way. That’s what I have been doing, too. I have been allowing through just standing there, not asserting myself, not really engaging but sometimes no action is action, too. I saw the mess that alcohol had created in the moment, and the drama that was being played out. It was all so desperate, confused, in the shadows.
A few minutes later I took my dog out for his evening walk and we were again enjoying the snowy coolness of the evening. My phone rang and it was the man I was maybe going to drive many hours to go visit the next day. I picked up the phone and we were chatting as I walked. I wasn't expecting to hear from him but there he was. Suddenly those same two women appeared and as they walked by one of them said “This is women’s empowerment?” And I could see oh so clearly that this was a direct mirror for me courtesy of the Universe of what was happening in my Life at this time. I could see the Universe was saying to me via these women “Really? This is how you are going to treat yourself as someone who is working on their personal Empowerment and teaching others to step into their Power?” The addiction to things, people, substances that hurt us, numb us, allowing abuse to be present in our lives, not taking a stand for ourselves, for what we truly want and need.
The Universe gave me a choice. It set everything up for me quite perfectly- a car, a perfect place to stay on my travels, time off- everything was set. Except for one thing: my dog. My dog became sick and I had spent the previous evening with him at the Emergency Animal Hospital. His body was shaking and he wasn't well. Even though he was on the rebound to health I had to look at the situation and say “hang on, this little guy needs me now. He’s better but just barely and I can not throw him into the hands of a caretaker and say ‘You’ll be fine. See you in a few days,’ and shirk my responsibility to make sure he really returns to 100% health. I would have been doing that to myself if I had gone on that long drive to see the man who didn't really nourish me the way that I need to be nourished. I would have been saying to myself ‘You’ll be fine. I know you don't really want to do this drive and aren't even sure about whether you even want to do this trip, but if you do you'll get some temporary love (a swig from the bottle) and see what happens.” Well, I don't want to ‘see what happens’ because I know what will happen. I don't trust this guy and even though he has his own great qualities, it is probably not a good choice for me. Yes sure, I’ll get some external attention but at what cost? Well, the cost is huge actually- very expensive, very taxing, depleting in many ways.
As I ended my walk I saw this young girl, probably about 7 years old sitting in the window of her home, with sparkly Christmas decorations around her and immersed in what she was working on, a christmas wish list or some homework perhaps. I could see myself in her, my younger self. And I stood there and looked at her for a moment and put myself at her age and what she would think is good and right and what she would do for herself. Would she go visit that guy? I don't think so. Would I have her go visit that guy? Absolutely not. So why would I ever do that to myself? So I didn’t.
I woke up the next morning and knew in my Heart and my Self that I needed to stay home and care for my little Angel dog. I knew that I needed to stay home and Be Here for myself. And as I took my morning walk with my dog, who was feeling even better, I felt in my Heart and in my Whole Soul that I had done the right thing. I had put the bottle down. I had said Yes to me, to my Power, to my own true deep Self, to my own True needs, wishes and wants, which is really to take care, nurture and Love that little girl who is becoming a Goddess. I feel like I created a Space, an upgrade, a Healing, a Love and a Rightness or perhaps a Right Action within me. Dear One, choose You. All is Well.
What the Trees told me...
for years and years,
decades or longer.
They spoke to me
Come sit with us.
We know you can hear us.
I leaned against one
and she cradled me,
Where I long to be Vulnerable
she embraced me wholly.
We have been you
and we will be you
They asked me:
Come sit with us.
We know you can Hear us."
This is the beginning of the continuation.
Welcome, World. Welcome.
Trees aren't Green.
Where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say?
I spoke these words aloud as I drove down the backroad on my way to teach a Yoga lesson this morning.
Where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say?
As I repeated this chant again and again I started to connect with it, like a rope tethered to my Spirit Heart and felt the pulse of the words within me. They anchored and I asked…
Where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say?
And I let go…
And after the lesson, heading back to my car, where was my dog… He was just here, he is always here… I stepped out of my car and went to look and there, this red headed boy in a red t-shirt and blue shorts standing there saying something about something I could really barely understand… Something about "Tambo," the Trampoline that was behind him?? Was he asking me to trampoline? Follow me, he said… And so when you have asked the Universe to show you where to go and what to do and a little boy arrives in his full power asking you to please follow, you hardly hesitate at all, you just go. And so we did, over a hand made wooden bridge to a nearby island… paths were there for us to walk and a beautiful yurt with fairy lights that would light up and we looked inside for “Tambo” but noooo… And around the side of the cottage on the point, oh and he had me run, run like a child over that bridge and along that path and my pup running beside us… Enchanting… And of course people came out and I said hello and the boy ran inside and told me he had arrived with “the girl with the blue pants.” That was me, indigo yoga pants and i actually wore my running shoes that morning, which was perfect. Perfect for running across bridges and stopping to peer into yurts on new islands with a red headed boy, no more than 5 years old, with his red shirt. And my blue pants. It was perfect. The hilarious thing was staying Open while explaining to the ‘Adults’ who I was, how I got here … Yes, I told one of them about the prayer, the chant…
Where would you have me go?
What would you have me do?
What would you have me say?
“This is what I asked today, in my Prayer. And so when a child shows up and says you are going, you listen.”
And the rest of the day was much like this. Free passes to a Yoga festival, and synchronistic events. Especially meeting the mermaid like girl on the dock with her tattoo written in Italian saying ‘don’t eat my butterflies.’ “What does it mean,” I said? She said it means, like don’t destroy my excitement, my joie de vivre, the things that make me feel alive. And we sat on the dock, having had just met and yet feeling perfectly in the pocket and perfectly met.
THANK YOU, SPIRIT.
p.s. The adults told me that "Tambo" was how the young boy pronounced "Campbell," one of the sons who cottaged there.
My teacher's words
are those I share with my students.
Those words handed to me deliberately,
I now offer them.
And when received,
I see the electric glint in their Eye.
Breasts like cresting waves
Despite attempts to manicure and shave
dirt under my nails and stray hairs
reveal my Wildness.
As within, so without.
And so I look to my Environment
to Heal and Soothe
as I look inwards to Heal and Soothe
The mirror ...
Sun-diamonds glimmer on a Lake.
I am Awake.
I now have the feeling in my Solar Plexus
of what it is to Be.
I feel the urge, almost like a purge,
This voice, not mine, never was,
comes through and I am Happy,
to be Home.
What words will you speak through me
in Letting Go, I find you.
In surrendering, I fill.
Been waiting for you, yet here you are
- have been here all along.
I am reminded of 'my' True Nature.
No 'I', just Being.
A vessel for Spirit, a Presence within.
Letting go, I have heard the Call.
Now I am present again to Manifest
to hold dear Angelic Breath, Guidance.
Oh to Listen!
Denying parts of our bodies...
not swinging our hips,
not moving our bodies
we become stagnant.
Movement is Health. Health is Wealth. Get Moving.
Lots of people scared to move
from jobs they hate...
Your desk job paralyzes you into non-movement
but it's you who submits and chooses
to wait and weight and weight...
and stuff yourself with food
then sit and wait and weight
and get heavier
(physically, mentally, emotionally, and the Spirit cries)
and over sadder layers Anger
and anger you express out
at others which makes it worse
and we all start to crumble inwards
because we are mad at ourselves
and our world we have created
and aside from the anger we express outwardly
we are crying inside,
scared, angry, mad
that what we want we are not living
because we subscribe to
the shackles of our own
Maybe you heard it from a mother, father, teacher, boss
that you should be a certain way or
turn a certain part off
like your hips, like the movement you naturally feel...
shamed into darkness,
your Brilliant Truth lies there
waiting, calling you during
your insomnia, your sleepless night...
Haunting you, Haunting the World.
It's time to Wake up now and Awaken
Your Inner Truth.
We need you. You need You.
The World needs you.
Get out of your Head (it caused this mess)
and into your Heart (you Know it's right).
Plant a Garden.
Make a Decision to Water Your Truth.
Watch the doors Open.
Collectively and Consciously...
Let's Create with Love.
Mmmm baby I got this feeling...
it's not in me..
it's God piercing through me...
My base through my Heart,
my bleeding third eye
and the Crown
of the Queen
who was literally itching
to get out of her
that became a bondage
and well i followed my Heart,
walked towards my Promised
land and found
this Deep Calm
in the Ocean
with the Taj Mahal
I surrendered to the Inside yearning
and once i did,
my body started burning,
immolated in the Fire
as my Fears were Faced
and my Breath
on the Beach..
in out in out
i see Fear. i love you Fear.
Let's Walk. We got this.
and so Love was Born.
In the foot step, the tea totaler,
the Magic Man who
set my Queen
Kundalini now you Rise.
I had just finished teaching a private yoga class to a fabulous group of students and found myself hungry, in their kitchen, being offered a smoothie. I gratefully accepted the smoothie and sat down with two of the yoga students to enjoy it. One of the yoga students, let’s call her Jane, was 7 months pregnant. The other yoga student, let’s call her Erica, was desperately trying to conceive her first child.
Jane, a radiant, willowy, vegan chef and yoga teacher from California conceived easily and naturally 7 months prior. Her particularly calm yet energized demeanour and air of contentment was relaxing to be around. Erica, on the other hand, was in a less relaxed state. Her stressful job makes her cry and sleepless, too as she walks on eggshells around her negative and incredibly demanding boss. Erica emanated the energy of overwhelm, fear and stress.
Having gone through many ups and downs of trying to conceive for a couple of years, Erica, now part of the Intravenous Fertilization (IVF) medical process was told by her doctors that she was ‘old.’ The fact is that she is a youthful 43 year of age and had plenty of eggs left in her ovaries when the invasive treatment to harvest and remove them for fertilization purposes gathered a whopping 16 eggs from their first retrieval. This is a staggering amount which says that Erica has plenty of eggs to conceive. Despite this huge win and positive finding, Erica’s doctor implanted in her, not a fertilized embryo, but the fear that her eggs may not be healthy, that they may not ‘take’ once they were fertilized and planted inside her once again. Imagine going through the retrieval and then being told you may not conceive? Imagine what happens to the energetic frequency of a woman who is already depleted from her daily life and work environment and then is told she may not have the ability to conceive. On top of that she is paying the medical system many thousands of dollars for their expertise and these procedures.
The hopeful mother-to-be sat searching, stressing and teary eyed in the kitchen while Jane and I listened to her real life tales of being under the counsel of doctors that clearly lack emotion, heart and empathy for this young woman who simply wants to give life. The reason that Erica had initially found conceiving difficult in the first place was something that had since been resolved- a simple surgery that had fixed a dip in her uterus. It was a simple, routine surgery that had been fixed with ease and yet somewhere along the way the idea that Erica was somehow broken or not able to have children had been adopted. Despite this successful routine surgery, somehow she had been told by the medical system that she was ‘old with the risk of having an unhealthy child.’
Nonetheless, the doctors were just about to plant a healthy embryo in Erica when they pulled the plug telling her that she was too stressed to go ahead with the procedure. Imagine that. After her routine surgery to fix the dip in her uterus, after the harvesting of her eggs and fertilization of those eggs into ovaries (and the messaging about whether the eggs would even take the sperm or whether the embryos would be healthy), and messages about how she was too old but that her husband has ‘super-sperm,’ and her eggs were dysfunctional and thus she was unfit to bear children, her job causing her stress and anxiety, paired with the underlying internalized feeling that something was wrong with her as a woman, she was stressed.
Jane, having listened to Erica’s story, chimed in. Jane said that her own pregnancy was going well; she felt healthy, active and in touch with her body, mind and spirit. She saw a doctor in NYC who suddenly put her through all these tests and had her missing important parts of her fulfilling life to make herself available to medical testing that had no need or real cause to take place. Jane felt that she had been thrust into a system that did not look out for her needs or the needs of her child— in fact one of the tests she did could have jeopardized the life of her child. Observing her stress levels rise under the ‘care’ of this doctor, Jane switched doctors and found a one who she felt safe and confident with, a doctor who questioned why she had been tested for these various things when there was no apparent medical reason to suggest she needed any of it.
Jane suggested to Erica that she start to bring the Love back into her life and start to conceive naturally and not worry about temperatures and times and all that, but just start to live her life and take care of herself. What could she do to counter-act the stressfulness of her job? What beliefs was she holding onto about herself as a woman and her ability to conceive? Did she need to put so much of her own power into the hands of the medical system, especially when the main surgery that needed to happen to fix the dip in her uterus was done and successful?
The truth remained that Erica was not even trying to conceive naturally anymore. When asked ‘why not?’ there was no substantive answer except that the doctors said that she was perhaps too old to conceive a healthy child. Erica had been stripped of her Goddess Power to pro-create under the a system that shoves the elderly into homes and denies society their wisdom, under the system that wants to keep women young, boyish in frame and without any wrinkles or laugh lines, under the system that tells you where you are at without much explanation and does not ask you about one’s own Wisdom and one’s own Inner Knowing.
I revealed to Erica that underlying her experiences with the medical system, I kept hearing her say “I am not good enough to conceive and there is something wrong with me as a woman.” When I reflected this to her tears streamed down Erica’s face. I felt that there was space and opportunity here for her to work with her underlying or core beliefs about herself as a woman.
If she were my client I would have asked her about her mother and her mother’s mother and the messaging behind being a woman. I would have asked her what beliefs she may have internalized from her father or her past boyfriends or even her peer group. I would have asked her what experiences in her life made her feel less than. I would have asked her eventually to reclaim these parts of her and to release these beliefs and replace them with healthy beliefs that would start to allow her to think of herself is an Empowered Goddess, one with needs that need to be listened to, acknowledged and respected.
Another approach that may have potentially worked for Erica is Body Psychotherapy. By working with the body, we are able to distil the essential message the body is trying to tell us by listening to the Wisdom behind its dis-eases. The book: The Body Speaks The Mind by Deb Shapiro comes to mind as this book speaks volumes, saying that the body expresses what the mind (especially the subconscious mind) thinks. Louise Hay, an expert in the field of MindBody and affirmations that heal, in her book All is Well, writes that the underlying core beliefs of infertility are ‘Fear. Worry about not being good enough. Resistance to the process of life.’ Hay’s affirmations to counteract and heal these core beliefs are ‘I love and cherish my inner child. I love and adore myself. I am the most important person in my life. All is well.’
I am not suggesting here that there is no place for the medical system or that only alternative or complementary forms of health care should be pursued. Indeed there is a great value in the advances of the conventional medical system. What I am suggesting, however, is that there is also a tremendous need for human beings to tune into their own bodies and intuition so that we may become aware of how we are feeling and the stories that are essentially running our bodies.
The body is made of water and as such is like a magnet for picking up on vibrations such as our thoughts. Whatever we tell ourselves, especially at the subconscious level, is what water hears and what the cells take command from. I am suggesting that we reclaim our power like Jane did when she listened to her BodyMind about how stressed out her doctor was making her feel.
I am suggesting that people such as Erica start to tune in deeply to their own inner guidance and ask questions like what can she do to create ease to bring the Love-making back into her life; what can she change in order to better navigate the demands of work and what can she do to lower the stress in her life and create more ease.
I am asking us to take our innate power back into our own hands, our own bodies and to start making Love again. This is my Prayer.
This is my Prayer.
Saturday morning I woke up with that familiar feeling, that things were abuzz below my navel and the red river soon would flow. It was ‘that time of the month,’ the ripening of my Moon Cycle. Often times my menstruation begins on the day of the full Moon. I feel honoured and empowered by our synchronistic cycling, by this round, luminescent satellite who mirrors the fullness inside my own womb. As she begins to wane, so does my own river begin to empty. My swollen belly wanes as my release runs and the red river flows. I am renewed by her cleansing waters.
Those waters speak and so the cramping starts; the familiar seizing of muscles, the tightening that makes me want to curl up into fetal position and cling to myself through the pain, waiting for it to pass. Indeed those cramps are like waves: an intense flow of sensation and then an ebbing away, followed by another wave. Instead of closing up, clamping up in subjection to the pain, I roll my Yoga mat onto a soft carpet and gently soften my body down onto this sacred space. I began to breathe, to open myself to the song of the body, to dialogue with her, to hear what she has to say. I tune into the real words behind the ‘pain’ and Listen to it’s deeper message. I took a firm ‘tune-up’ ball to the side of my lower back and began to gently roll and knead through the discomfort. I rolled and pressed, and breathed and felt. I ended up in a Yoga pose known as ‘fire-log’ pose, seated with my shins stacked on top of each other, my torso folded forward, and my head heavy. I ‘leaned in’ to the sensation.
The practice of Yoga has taught me to experience ‘sensation’ as opposed to automatically labelling it ‘pain.’ When we label something ‘pain’ then we recoil from it, generally. When we experience something as sensation, we inquire into it, we explore it, we are able to perceive it for what it is in all it’s various textures, and this allows for the experience of the sensation to change so something deeper is revealed. So that’s what I did; I sat in this fire-log pose and dove into that space, that sensation, and listened and breathed and watched it, and sat with it quietly and attentively like it was someone who was trying to tell me something. I didn’t force it; I didn’t try to finish it’s sentence or rush it along. I waited, listening, holding space and then… Something happened. I felt something… A sadness. But what was this sadness?… And then I heard, “I miss my friends in the countryside.” It made sense – I had made a move, a quick transition away from a beloved country home where I spent my summer, barely saying goodbye, in fact not at all, to my friends and community there. My subconscious had tried to explain this to me in a dream the night before, I remembered, but my conscious mind hadn’t picked up on the cues. So now my body was expressing my sadness to me. I picked up the phone and sent a message to say “I miss you and I am thinking about you.” The first clouds of pain were seen, heard and allowed to transform into the Wisdom that they are. The cramps subsided and I moved through the day connected to myself, to my body and to my natural Moon cycle.
Over the course of the next few days my senses became especially sensitive. The sounds of cars rushing against time down rainy city streets sent my head and being into a feeling of overload. I just needed to get home, inside, away from the chaos and this race that humans have subscribed to; for what, I am not sure, but seemingly to speed through the rest of our lives and miss the free gift of the present moment. I told a close female relative about my sensitivity to sound. The radio felt blaring even when it was at it’s normal volume; voices at their usual decibel now seemed to wail into my ears and the stimulation from all around me felt like too much. My relative said “maybe the family healer could help you with this.” I have moved on from the ideology that I can be ‘healed’ from these monthly sensitivities, and I’m now aware of my own truth and one that is cherished and shared by many other women: what I need is to go to my very own red tent, to plunge myself into the silent heat of a bath with a little lavender oil, to ease the tension built up in my muscle tissue with stretches, presence and breath. I replied to my relative and to myself: “I belong in the woods,” I said, “with Nature.”
“It is a day out of the month…to step out of a kind of world that keeps us occupied. Inside the Red Tent Temples we give ourselves time to remember who we are at our very core, honoring that to do that remembering we must turn from our identities and roles towards the innermost temple of our own hearts. Come into the Red Tent Temple and stop for a breath and to be in your body. In the quiet and sometimes celebratory company of wonderful women, feel. In what you feel, there is much that is waiting for you.” -The Red Tent Movement
Why do we medicate ourselves when it comes to our periods, our menstrual cycle, our moon cycle? The incredible thing is that if I take conventional medicine like ibuprofen for my cramps then sometimes I have to take it for up to three days, often over night as it is difficult to sleep with cramps. However, if I take time to do some stretching and listen in deeply to what my body is trying to tell me through my constricted muscles, then I do not have to take medication at all. I can simply take some moments to listen and the pent up tension- now being offered space and a place to say it’s invaluable piece- speaks and subsides. There is a book by Deb Shapiro that is called “The Body Speaks Your Mind.” I simply love the title of this book because it is so informative and succinct. The body is the mouth piece for your mind, for your truth, for what you are feeling on an emotional level. In this way ‘pain’ or that which is uncomfortable can be a gift. If we can dive into the pain with an open mind and a mindful breath then we can unlock the deeper messages that are our insights and our truth.