The Moment, Expectant With Life and Love

Share

CakeYesterday was one of those satisfying days, a day filled with sunshine, family and celebration. It was a day to celebrate the upcoming wedding of my sister Katie’s son Chris and his fiance Melodi. My other sister Molly and I hosted a bridal shower for Melodi. I love showers…both bridal and baby showers. Yesterday was a blending of both brides and babies, because my daughter Jenny is expecting in September, while my niece Liza is expecting twins in October. There we were, twelve women ranging in age from 22 to 82, spending the afternoon celebrating love and life. Love between Melodi and Chris. Love of the company of women and family. Love of the new life coming into our lives through Jenny and Liza.

As I recollect the day, I realize how important these traditions and rituals are. Marking these moments allows us to spend unhurried time in each other’s company, allows us to slow down and appreciate the life we are blessed to live, and appreciate the presence of life in each other and in our coming together.

Being in the company of 11 other women…daughters, mothers, sisters, nieces and friends…is soul-satisfying. My mother Joan who has been living with cancer, and moving toward healing of heart and soul through the experience, was there, obviously buoyed by the presence of so many women she loves. My mother-in-law, the mother of my late husband Gary, was there as well. These two mothers have been such strong influences in my life. I watched them yesterday, sitting together sharing the latest news, and more importantly, sharing moments of reflection of years past, of moments such as this one with Melodi. They came together through the love that Gary and I found. They came to know each other through the same ritual and tradition that we experienced yesterday, through two people coming together in marriage.

I was taken back thirty-some years, back to my youth when I was the one expectant with love and expectant with life. I was witnessing my mothers and their mothers spend time together. And now, I have moved up a generation. My niece Melodi is expectant with love, expectant with hopes and dreams for the future with Chris. My daughter and niece are expecting babies, expectant with all life will bring in the fall when they hold their babies for the first time.

In the midst of all this expectancy was the beauty of the present moment, the beauty of life and love blossoming, and the beauty of wise women who have lived full years.

flowersI think what captivated me was the simplicity of it all: sharing food, enjoying the beauty of flowers, giving gifts and engaging conversation. Youth and Wisdom. Life and Love. Giving and sharing. We live such busy lives, yet time slowed down with our coming together. I could see that thirty years later, life was still just doing what life does. We were older. Some women have passed, while others were born and had grown into womanhood. But held within it all was a deep thread of continuity. The tradition and ritual brought us together and marked a moment that we could share. As in the way of transition, this ritual moment brought us to the present, allowing us to catch up to and acknowledge where we are in the place of things.

As one of my teachers says, when you forget who and what you are, just stop and be still. Yesterday was a day to do just that. Another way to stop and be still…and be grateful for the life and love that awaits us when we do stop and we are still.

It is one thing to have expectations that life will turn out a certain way. With regard to creativity, expectations can be the death of all things creative. But this is expectancy in a different form. To feel life coming into being, to be so present with all that is here that you feel it pulsing from within, you feel the vibrancy of spirit manifesting in each moment is to savor the nature of all that is. To savor the pregnancy inherent in every moment is to be one with your own creativity, that force of creation that is within all of life. To savor that feminine creativity that resides within your womb, and the womb of creation is to be filled with the wisdom of Sophia, the wisdom of the feminine aspect of life.

So take a moment to feel the immediacy of this moment, the birth that is imminent, that aspect of self that is the Creator creating the moment. Revel in this aspect of the Feminine, and in your own creative capacity as a woman. Yes, we can give birth to babies, and we can give birth to so much more…

Share

Innocence, Wonder & Creativity

Share

Cherry BlossomsSpring is here in the Bay Area in all its beauty. The other day, a friend and I were sitting outside on her balcony that overlooks her garden. We were enjoying one of the first warm days of the season. With the sun’s warmth heating up the landscape, the fragrance of spring was in the air. There was something else in the air as well…Innocence. As we looked out at the tender shoots of green making their first appearance and the myriad of blossoms peeking out into the light, we were swimming in a sea of Innocence.

On Sunday, I noticed Innocence again as I meandered through the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Cherry blossoms, California PoppiesCalifornia Poppies and many others all were making their debut in Spring, 2008’s show. When I feel innocence in the air, and in myself, I feel a fresh awareness in the moment.

No matter how old we get, we still have this fresh awareness available at any moment. It’s this fresh awareness that allows us to experience the vibrancy of life, quivering with aliveness. And, when we tap into this vibrancy of life, we can feel our own vibrancy, our own innocence, which can also be felt as wonder, discovery and a simple joy inherent in life itself.

When I realize this natural sense of wonder within, I awaken to the fluidity of the Now. Wonder invites me to participate with life, allowing me to remember that I am no different than that cherry blossom peeking out for the first time. I, too, am life blossoming into wholeness.

What do innocence and wonder have to do with creativity? Everything. Engaging with the flow of life is creativity, the life that you are and the life that you are swimming in in each moment. If you are not seeing with fresh eyes, you miss all that is right here now. You can’t tap into everything that is available for your new creation, your new vision, if you have your mind made up and your expectations set. When you feel a vision wanting to be born from within, allow it to move as it chooses. You are the vehicle of this creation. Feed it. Nurture it. Love it as it finds its way. And, feed, nurture and love yourself as you carry it into being.

Every day you are creating…but not by yourself. You are creating with the world around you. Innocence and wonder bring you back to the freshness of what is here in each moment, a freshness that knocks at your door, ready to teach you what it has to offer.

Share

Living like we ain’t got no mama

Share

One of my favorite songs is the BLACK EYED PEAS’ “Where Is The Love?”

It’s a great song to dance to, run to and simply to listen to. The lyrics are powerful.

As I listen to the song, the two lines that keep grabbing my awareness are:

“What’s wrong with the world, mama
People livin’ like they ain’t got no mamas”

I love this description of people’s behavior today. There is so much violence, greed, pettiness, fear, distrust, lack of love…you name it, it seems as though the collective Ego is fighting for dear life to hang on in this time and sea of change. While there is much to smile about in this world, the line

“People livin’ like they ain’t got no mamas”

keeps ringing in my ears. What does it mean to live like we ain’t got no mama? What popped into my head is the stark clarity of what has happened as a result of the suppression of the Sacred Feminine.

In his very-popular current book, A New Earth, Eckhart Tolle speaks of the shunning of the Sacred Feminine that began centuries ago, and that has been internalized by humans to a degree, some lesser, some more. The Sacred Feminine was ‘rendered powerless’ through the developing male ego, and in time, became internalized in all humans to some degree.

What we see now is a world gone mad because it is out of balance. The Big Mama, the Sacred Feminine, has been silenced and put into darkness. The world has run amuck without a mama to keep balance with the Sacred Masculine.

When I hear this line, I realized it’s like we all know Mama is missing, but we don’t know where to find her.

But she is here…right here. She never left. We simply put her away into the dark recesses of our psyches so that we could stay alive.

We, as women, are more of the body and the earth, and less identified with our minds. As Tolle says, “Because the ego was never as deeply rooted in woman, it is losing its hold on women more quickly than on men.” (pg 157)

What would our world be like if we let the Mama, and our own Sacred Feminine mama within, out again? How might we be different? How might the world be different? How might men change? How might our children grow up to see gender and love differently?

What if you were to begin to trust your own Sacred Feminine nature and the body in which She lives and breathes?

image by aussiegall on Flickr
Share

Truth, the Body & the Sacred Feminine

Share

Truth is an interesting word. It has all sorts of baggage with it. My truth, their truth, his truth, her truth, THE TRUTH. We have been taught from a young age that there is a truth, but that it lies outside of ourselves. But in the most simple way, the Truth is just what it is. As Eckhart Tolle says in his book, A New Earth, “The Truth is inseparable from who you are. Yes, you are the Truth. If you look elsewhere, you will be deceived every time.”

We are accustomed to looking outside of ourselves for the Truth. The truth of how to be, who to be, how to act, what to do, etc. etc. I have heard from many, many women the question (or one in a similar vein), how can I bring my whole self, my sensuality, my loving side and my intelligence and wisdom to everything I do? To my home, my relationships, and (the place that causes the most distress) to work.

The Truth is that you are already the Truth. The Truth of your Being is what you are. This Truth is alive within your female body. Bringing all of you to all that you do is a matter of realizing what you are and seeing the ways in which your Voice of Judgment (VOJ or ego as some call it) keeps you from expressing the Truth of the wholeness of what you are.

“What is your truth? Ask your heart, your back, your bones, and your dreams. Listen to that truth with your whole body. Understand that this truth will destroy no one and that you’re too old to be sent to your room.” John Lee from Writing from the Body

As John Lee writes, listen to the Truth of what you are with your WHOLE BODY. Learning to be in the body, to feel the aliveness that moves within it frees up this Truth and its expression. Feeling all parts of the body helps to awaken this Truth within, helps to awaken a true authenticity that is You. Then, all actions flow from within.

The stretch for women is to feel the body without judgment. We have learned, in one way or another, to judge ourselves by the way we look. But allow the body to be what it is…a sensing device for the Truth of what you are.

So, as John Lee writes, ask your whole Being, “What is my Truth?” And when you ask, Listen. Then, live it, speak it, express it. Be it. This is creativity. This is the source of true leadership. This is how we will once again discover the Truth of the Feminine.

I have found a practice to be the best way to invite investigation of my Truth through my Body. My practice is dance, specifically Five Rhythms by Gabrielle Roth. The dance has taught me well how to love my body and how to be in it without feelings of self-loathing or denial of the depth of the sacredness of my Being. The dance has re-introduced me to the Sacred Feminine that is within me and within all of Life. The dance has taught me to trust myself, to trust Life and to trust womanhood and the humanity of woman.

What practice do you have to bring your Being back into wholeness?

The Sacred Feminine World, image by JoanLovesPaper on Flickr

Share

Connecting Women

Share

pacificgroveforblog.jpgThis weekend, my partner Jeff and I took a few days off and traveled down to Pacific Grove, a quaint town nestled between Monterey and Carmel. We needed some time to just be. We walked along the beach, slept, ate, walked, talked, read, and watched Harry Potter movies (a first for me!). We had a beautiful time together.

Whenever I take the time to simply slow down and rest, I find that playful place inside me that seems to get little time in my day-to-day life. It’s one of the things I want to bring more fully into the day-to-day, that playful side that.

Yesterday, after deliciously sleeping in, we stopped by a little coffee/book house on the main street of Pacific Grove, Lighthouse Avenue. I was wearing my Kali Yantra , a silver necklace Jeff gave me to wear on my trip to India last year. As we entered the coffee house, two women caught my eye. They were deep in conversation, but something about them spoke to me. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I could feel a connection with them.

I purchased my tea, and as I walked away from the coffee bar, one of the women and I caught a shared glance and we smiled. She then spoke first and mentioned my necklace, noting that she was wearing a pair of earrings that matched. I went over to them and we began a conversation. She asked me the name of the Goddess that the yantra represented, and I responded by telling her of Kali: that Kali is the Goddess of creation and destruction, and that in images she is shown with a necklace of skulls around her neck, and that she is misunderstood. She isn’t about death, but about the death of the ego, of the beauty of people finding who and what they are. “Her perpetual dance of cosmic bliss plays out through the eons as the creation and dissolution of worlds within worlds. Yet God, in the feminine form of the Mother – as the Absolute made Immanent – is ready to shower Her love and affection on any who care to turn their gaze toward Her fiery heart.” (source)

As I spoke of this divine symbol of love, the other woman said something about how important this was for her to remember. She then began to cry sweet, soft tears that ran down her cheeks. She was beautiful in this moment of recognition of something deeply important for her. The beauty was in the flash of truth that she felt. Something spoke to her deep within. What exactly we said didn’t really matter. What I witnessed, and treasure, is the flash of knowing that can come to us at any second if we are open to what might meet us.

I had just written the prior post about the amazingness of women, and I once again thought of this idea, that there is such beauty, strength and pure love in women that is ripe for us to once again reclaim. This flash of recognition came to the three of us because we were open to each other and to discovering what it was that drew us to each other.

We shared a few more words about women and how we need to acknowledge the tears of truth in ourselves and in each other. And then I said goodbye. I thought of these two beautiful women all day, and felt such gratitude for what they shared and what I witnessed.

Share

The Amazingness of Woman

Share

There is something amazing in women: beautiful, soft, gentle, strong, vibrant and powerful, the fullness of which is being kept hidden from the world. The world needs this beauty to be brought forward, to shine, to share and to engage with all of life.

Sometimes we catch glimpses of this amazingness of women: a look here, a touch there, words of wisdom spoken with eloquence, strength and grace.

I see this femaleness in my friends, my sisters, my daughters. I see it in strangers as they are with their children, or interact in business, or even simply walking down the street.

I feel this femaleness within my own self, deep within my body. It is my life force and the source of my creativity. When I don’t allow this truth of who I am to be seen, I can feel resentful, but it is only me that can allow it out.

When I coach my female clients to reclaim this femaleness, this vibrancy that is the source of the juice of life, I get to feel the exquisite expression of life dancing as woman. On some level, we are all, men and women, looking to reclaim this vibrancy, this life force that is ever present within. Perhaps we simply need to be the encourager to each other, to radiate another’s beauty so that they may see it themselves. The wonderful part of this assignment is that this is how we will truly come to know our own radiance.

Can you be the encouragement of Light that Hafiz speaks of for another woman? Find one very special woman and be the encouragement of light against her being. See what you find in doing so.

It Felt Love


How

Did the rose

Ever open its heart


And give to this world

All its

Beauty?


It felt the encouragement of light

Against its

Being,


Otherwise,

We all remain


Too


Frightened.

~Hafiz

photo by dragonflysky on flickr

Share

The value of wisdom

Share

Wisdom within

“Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it.” ~Einstein

Over the last few weeks, I have been struck by the way in which our culture looks at knowledge versus wisdom. It seems to be that many in our culture value knowledge over wisdom. By wisdom, I mean the understanding that comes from life experiences and how we grow and change by what we experience. Wisdom comes as we respond to the world and our experiences in it. Reflection on these experiences, as well, can deepen our sense of who we are and the vehicle for change we wish to be.

As we shift out of the patriarchal culture and into something new (what seems to be a more masculine/feminine balanced worldview), the way in which we hold wisdom is shifting, too. Valuing our life experience, and the wisdom that comes from it, is another way in which living an important question can enhance discovery of what is true on a personal level.

Maria Shriver penned an article for Newsweek last Fall. I just came across it recently and found it to be insightful with regard to “What it means to be Female?”. In the article Maria states,

“I now have a new definition of power. It’s passing on what we have learned and creating meaningful change through these experiences. That’s the kind of power that truly matters.”

As a woman, how do you value your wisdom? What wisdom have you gained from the life you have lived? Do you share it with others? How does this wisdom empower you? What kind of meaningful change might you create through the experiences you have had and the wisdom you have gleaned?

Share your responses here. I look forward to reading them!

Share

The Mandala: the circle holding all

Share

Time spent with other women is such magical time. As I dive deeper into my experience of being female and explore my own feminine depths, I find this time with women so enriching, so fertile and so reflective of my own true nature, and the nature of the feminine.

Creation

Creation

I looked forward to my time today with a group we have named Creative Playground. My wonderful friend, and fellow coach, Jennifer Lee brought us all together a few months ago, sensing that magic might occur with us all in one room. Magic did, and continues to, happen.

The thread that runs through our group is one of delight in making art and exploring our creativity. Today we spent the afternoon at Laura’s house, where she introduced us to mandalas. While I use mandala creation in the courses I teach, Laura brought an entirely new way of looking at them by introducing us to them through a wonderful visualization. She taught us that the center of the mandala is the Bindu, the centerpoint of all of creation. In the visualization, we turned inward to experience our own center and all that it holds.

As I visualized, I sensed a pulsing energy, as if all of my life force radiated out from one center point deep in my hara, near the sacrum…the very center of my body. I could see an image emerge, one of a powerful cell that holds all of creation. As I explore the Sacred Feminine and my own experience of being female, I find myself continually brought back to the experience of bringing life forth and giving birth. Even though my own daughters are grown, I sense my connection to the Earth through something mysterious, that essence that is inherent in all women, that allows us to nurture life and bring it to term.

We then dove into creating our first mandala, and the result is the mandala above, titled ‘Creation’. I started with the outer layers, which felt like the lining of the womb as I drew them. Then, I created the center and followed it with the concentric circles radiating outward. Bringing more awareness to my own center core allowed me to put what I experienced out onto the paper. It was another way to sense into who and what I am.

Lucas’ Choice

The Earth held by Flowering Hands.

My next mandala was much more free form. I began with the leaves at the edge, and then moved in to the flowers. After we completed our work, I traveled to babysit my grandson Lucas for a bit, and Lucas decided he wanted this one for his art collection in his room. Standing back from it and looking at it one more time, I realized it looks like the Earth being held by loving, living flowering hands. It is an image that makes me smile.

Mandalas are an ancient form from the Hindu religion. The word mandala is Sanskrit and loosely translated means “circle”. But it is much more than simply the circle shape. It symbolizes wholeness and the infinite nature of life. The Bindu is the ‘infinite point’ within which everything is contained.

Gather a group of women together and enter into your own mandala mystery. Focus on your body, and on your interior experience. Allow your experience to guide your creation. Once created, you can then take a fresh look at your mandala and see within it an entirely new view into who and what you are. It is a representation of all that you are, and all that is.

Share

Kiss and Tell

Share

Patricia Martin, author of RenGen, a fantabulous book about the Renaissance that is taking place in our culture, has created a great contest for Valentine’s Day…a Kiss and Tell contest. Check it out at the Culture Scout blog. Post your own story about your greatest kiss. You know, the one you’ll remember the rest of your life. Post your kiss story. Who knows, you just might win a great new book, The Dictionary of Love by John Stark. And, yours truly is one of 5 judges selected to pick the winner. I look forward to reading the juiciest details you are willing to share. But read Patricia’s post to learn more.

Share

Be the Change

Share

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Ghandi’s words are quoted often, speaking to their powerful simplicity and simple power.

Amy Lenzo, on her Beauty Dialogues blog, shared a video from KarmaTube. Watch it and see the power one person has to create change.

How might you be the change you wish to see?

Blog Widget by LinkWithin
Share