I have always enjoyed motor bikes, well sitting on the back of them anyway. I travelled across Australia on one, I recently did the Mae Hong Son loop in Thailand on one and my husband and I often go for Sunday rides. I know it’s not for everyone but I go into a ‘space’ on the back of a bike and enjoy the proximity of it – to my husband, the road and the environs. Well one day I just happened to mention to said husband, “I wonder what it would be like to actually ride the bike on my own”. Before you know it he had purchased a cheap (so if I damaged it, it wouldn’t matter) bike and I was off to the Big Pineapple car park for lessons with him. I can tell you it has been quite a journey and although I haven’t got my license yet, I am learning quite a lot about myself. The top 5 things I have learned while learning to ride a motor bike. Continue reading “The Zen of Motorbike Lessons” »
I’ll never forget a scene of Nicole Kidman in the movie Portrait of a Lady where she is fully clothed in period costume and sensually, sensuously runs her forehead across tassles hanging from a bed. Her eyes were closed, her mouth gently opened. You could almost feel her breath as her whole body was engaged in this act of pure sensuality.
What is it to be sensual?
I was recently staying in a friend’s cabin in Sydney set in the bush and I awoke with the distinct feeling of snake energy within and around me. It moved me to express it through my physical form and all the while an image kept flashing in my mind of two snakes making love – like a dance, no one starting or stopping but one continuous sensual moving embrace of love. Interesting that it is also the Chinese Year of the Snake!
Women are innately, instinctively, intuitively, intelligently sensing and sensual. It is in our blood. It is in our bones. It is in our psyche.
For thousands of years, when we lived off the Earth, our bodies moved with the rhythm of the land. Gathering food, we were close to the land. You probably notice in more indigenous communities, there is a much slower pace of life. You don’t see many running around stressed about where they put their Iphone! There is a sway in their hips that if you could put music to it, it would sound like the heartbeat of the Earth itself.
Every culture has its unique expression and yet modern Western culture has become so stifled in so many ways by religion, social and familial norms. Include in the mix how we are unconsciously dictated to by media, magazines, the internet, into a narrow thin vision of what men want, what we think men want and what we expect of ourselves.
Many may have noticed the boom of practitioners bursting on the scene to help women release their inner goddess in the last few years. As a society, we’ve lost our connection to this rhythm of the Earth – this slow, relaxed, sensing sensuality.
It’s not that there is anything to be fixed. It’s just that there has been so much suppression to fit these norms of society, It helps to reawaken what is already there in the ancient cell memory of the body and psyche.
And this does not mean to swing the pendulum the other way, buy the leathers and the whip and become the sex kitten of the month. It just means to be truly, innocently, deeply, honestly yourself in whatever expression that is. It’s more a resting back in the essence of who you really are as a woman, rather than a going out to seek some version or your concept of what a woman is or should be.
Add love to the mix and you have a woman really living in her own skin.
So whenever you feel like you have lost touch with your own sensuality, think of snake and her silent mesmerizing sensuality … make it a daily practice. You could start right now, as you sit in front of your computer, feel her entering your body and your body will know how to move and how to be.
Recently I added this in response to a beautiful image/words I had posted on the Spirited Women’s Movement Facebook page – “One of the many shifts that occurred while away in Sedona was a beautiful acceptance and gratitude for my ‘dark’ side – those things I wanted to keep hidden. How liberating it was to unpack that trunk and look at what was inside with compassion and detachment. I am who I am today, doing what I am doing, helping others to love themselves because of those memories and experiences stored there. And it is true, when you unpack that space joy comes rushing in to fill it. Forgiveness.”
I have been thinking over that for the last couple of days and decided once and for all to lay the ‘darkness’ to rest. So what did I find in the dark from my life so far that I had so vehemently hidden? Where once before I would have created this list with guilt, shame and sadness looking over my shoulder, now it is with acceptance, forgiveness and yes appreciation. For this darkness has, I realized, meant that my light can shine brighter.
Packed in the trunk folded between the memories and various past ‘misdemeanors’, I found –
* Lies, hurtful words, stealing, promiscuity, laziness, cheating, blame, making a fool of myself, drink, manipulation, self-loathing, jealousy, pride, sexual desires and power play, diminishing my values, pandering to my ego, anger and hate, ill wishes. I think I have just about covered the 7 deadly sins! No wonder I felt like a ‘sinner’. I have worn and abused these ‘sins’ in an array of circumstances, each with an accompanying cringe and shame factor. I have encountered death, mis-carriage, sickness, divorce and depression. At times I have despised myself.
So here was my deepest, darkest deeds, laid out like old clothes, smelly and musty and in need of throwing out. I look at them, pick one up at a time and remember where I was at in my life then, how I felt, what was happening. They don’t look so threatening now, just worn out. Worn out from all the years I used them to beat myself up. But I can take them, unravel them and use the threads to weave new learnings, new truths, new resources. Perhaps a patch work quilt that I could now use to cover me gently, keep me warm, remind me of my ‘human-ness’ and the journey that I have been on.
What new patterns will I weave into my blanket? What understandings will be the thread that hold it together?
Most of my ‘behaviours’ that constitute my dark deeds, came from a place where self -love and self-worth were figments of my imagination. I lashed out at others when I felt hurt, taken advantage of or scared. I now know that when you are not coming from worth and love then you don’t set healthy boundaries – physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and certainly in relationships. This means you are giving permission for others to ‘do what they want’ as you sink into resentment, blame and anger. When you are not coming from a place of knowing yourself with joy and acceptance then others will treat you as you see and treat yourself. When you doubt your beauty, intelligence and divinity then you don’t make choice that honour or support you. It is like walking around with a ‘kick me’ sign on your back that you had hand written and stuck there, but forgotten about. So you wonder ‘why’. My dark side was created because I had forgotten my light.
Finding it again has evolved me. I have a new appreciation of my choice to do it the hard way. My journey has gifted me with resilience, compassion, non-judgement, acceptance, heart wisdom, listening. All amazing traits to bring to my coaching, teaching, parenting and relationships. I have found within me simple pleasure, a well of joy, strong boundaries and a loving being. When someone comes to me and they are sitting in their darkness I can say with integrity “I know how you feel, let me share some tools that will lighten it for you”. Now I understand that my dark side is an integral and necessary part of my wholeness. I could not know the light without the dark, would not appreciate the stunning place I have created for myself now. I would not know how to guide the way for others.
There is an amazing freedom when you empty the trunk with loving hands and a forgiving heart. Who knows what may find it’s way back there in the future. What I do know is that it won’t happen without conscious choice. My wish is that your dark places are illuminated and you can be kind to yourself in the discovery.
Recently I had a birthday gathering and before all the festivities commenced I wanted to create an atmosphere and space of safety, support and intimacy. I did this by having all the women sit in circle, participating in a couple of activities that assisted everyone to melt away the barriers between strangers and to join as sisters. For some this was the first time they had been involved in something like this and for others it had been a very long time between. The magic that was generated and created by this simple exercise was palatable and really set the energy for the whole day. Needless to say it was a fabulously fun, open, bonding celebration.
What is it about ‘circle’ that can craft such powerful connections and why do we respond in the way we do? I believe it is because when we sit in circle, on many levels, we are ‘remembering’. To begin with it is symbolic of the cyclic nature of our existence – Wheel of life, the day and night, seasons, menstruation cycles, growth, the moon and sun. It is that inter-connectedness and inter -dependence; we are all one. Nothing exists without the other.The circle is sacred geometry found within and throughout our very existence so without our even having to be aware the essence of circle influences us.
Secondly it represents ‘space’ and boundaries. By stepping into and out of circle we are entering and exiting sacred space. It provides a container for spiritual practice to unfold. When embraced in the circle there is a sense of belonging, security, potential. This is unity, protection, wholeness.
Thirdly as women we also respond to circle from ancestral knowing. In circle is how we cooked, attended children, crafted, mended, worshiped, discussed, danced and surrendered. We ‘know’ this energy. We know the power of facing/mirroring the others in front, beside and around us. So when we are invited to do so now, in this modern world, there is a part of us that says ‘I am home’.
And as modern women we need more opportunity to be in circle whether they are magic circles for sacred practice or fairy rings for fun and frivolity. Perhaps in our time poor culture it is a combination of both, a complimentary joining that takes two circles and forms the infinity sign. For are we not infinite beings?
Creating circle for family, friends and colleagues takes very little effort and the effects can be transformational. Once a month circle for what ever reason you choose could bring enchanting and divine experience into your life. Go on be a circle sister.
A friend sent me a link that I read with equal parts horror and hope. It got me thinking of how many friends I have that are victims of childhood sexual abuse. In fact one day while having lunch with three of my friends it unfolded that I was the only one who had not had this happen. God forbid I was the minority. What does that say about how warped the world is for incest and abuse to be the ‘norm’.
I have recently made a fundraising calendar for the Free To Shine charity that provides ongoing education to young girls who have been rescued from or are at risk of being sold into child sex slavery. This is epidemic! This is the systematic rape of innocence, self-esteem, boundaries and love. Someone please tell me the why? Why is this such an attraction for men and women too! Is it the control or power? Is it a deluded sense of affection or love? Is it an attempt on these peoples’ behalf to recapture some essence of childhood within themselves? Or is it a complete lack of disregard and respect for our children and their souls?
What can we do about this? Stand up and voice our concerns about the sexualization of children in the media. Demand harsher penalties for the establishments and patrons of these places that exploit these children. Put more money and support into departments that are supposed to protect children who are at risk in their own homes. Love and listen to our children too. I don’t know what the answer is but if you look at the link you can feel the despair and at the same time the courage!
The women in the link and my friends are unbreakable but they are not without scars. I have watched these same friends ‘be’ in the world with them. In some the scars are barely visible and in others they are like gaping wounds. But all of them are affected and have had to adjust, accept, move past and assimilate in order to have healthy and deep relationships with themselves and others. They are like a record (now I am showing my age). Their individual melody is still complete and beautiful but with a scratch that distorts the flow.
I know that we are all like that to a degree just from our everyday journey, however having to deal with these traumatic experiences (and their stories are traumatic) is something that I feel very blessed to have not had as part of my own life. So I want to say to my friends and anyone else out there who have walked this path – you may be scarred but you are unbreakable. Like the bamboo or the willow your integrity, inner strength and core is untouched.