Tuesday, June 26, 2012

The Power of the Feminine

150 year Oak Tree, Galilee Center

My mind is being blown by a new book - The Wild Feminine by Tami Kent This is a ground-breaking book in so many ways. If you have ever felt your energy scattered, or wanted to complete a creative project - book, quilt, painting, drawing - and were unable to get back to it, if you ever have felt blocked or had stories to tell but no confidence to write them - you need to read this book.

Tami is a physical therapist, but she also works with energy exercises and visualizations to help women get in touch with and unlock the creative energy in their pelvic bowl. Yup, the container of our female parts, our invisible round as an orange uterus, our bulbous ovaries (she says they hold our creative sparks), our curving fallopian tubes, and all the apparatus inbetween. This center of the universe, this core of a woman, is where we hold our sadness and grief, our joy and our desire to create - not just babies, but books and art and goodness knows how many creative juicy projects.

I have read many books, been to many workshops, visited umpteen blogs about creativity and also about the power of the feminine cycle, but the exercises in this book made a difference in my body, and in how I feel energy circulating - this morning I was reading and doing some of the visualizations, and feeling rather scattered, drained, tired. She was suggesting my uterus needed completion after the end of a project, clearing out, and as I followed her suggestion to visualize energy like water flowing out of me into the ground,  releasing and breathing and letting go of what was still inside me, I began to feel calm, centered and at peace.

The power of ritual is a relatively new discovery for me. Coming from a heavily Catholic tradition with Church and incense every Sunday, I kind of didn't want to go there. But lighting a candle or taking a bath to clarify my thoughts and help me focus has become a ritual I love to do. Anything that honours the feminine qualities of rest and receiving feels very healing to me right now. Probably because I am so type A productivity minded that it's a challenge for me to slow down and rest up. Right now I'm exhausted - at the tail end of a cycle (and yes, women after menopause still have a cycle, and women who have had hysterectomies still have their energy center where the uterus was), and it felt good to let go, let down, and be at that end part. One must honour all the creative work, all the grunt work that comes with manifesting, labouring through a book publication, or a fundraising project, and just let one's field lie fallow for a while.

So that's what The Wild Feminine taught me today - I'm headed off on vacation and a fallow time of resting, music, wild grass and trees, the ocean's saltiness nearby and 'time off' of all my projects. (Well, I know I'll be reading and thinking and reflecting on my next retreat the Inner Garden, and some SoulCollage(r) cards, but that's not really work....)

Consider this, any of you who are women reading this blog, you have untold energy and creative potential inside of you - and you can contact it, stir it up, calm it down, renew it and find healing through it. Check out this book if I have made you curious.

ps a new Relaxation CD will soon be available for sale through my website - link on upper right hand corner of this blog. or send me an email.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Peace in the Heart

A discovery

Slow down, turn down the volume.
Begin to hear a sweet immortal sound,
played in the heart of every human being
on the face of the earth.

It is the most divine
of all meditations,
sweeter and more fulfilling
than any yoga.

Listen to that sweet sound.
It is the ultimate mantra
you don’t have to speak or remember.
the one mantra going on for every single being.

Listen. Within you.
It is the single-most profound poetry.
It is a song more rhythmic
than you can imagine.
Listen to you.

Listen to this beautiful, sweet sound.
Listen to that request.

Within you lies a poetry,
a song that is being sung every single day
in a language understood by every person
on the face of this earth.

It does not distinguish between rich or poor.
It does not distinguish between holy and sinner.
It does not distinguish between weak and strong.
It is the same for every single person.

Listen to that song that is in your heart.
Listen to that request that is in your heart,
like a little bee comes to the flower,
like the flower turns towards the sun, 

come with your thirst,
all you need is you. 

The above poem is from a collection of poems found in the words of Prem Rawat, that I am working on right now. It's been a pleasure to work with these words, excerpted from his live addresses, and barely shaped, just a little, by me. 

Listening to Prem in person is even better. He speaks in poems. He touches the heart. He speaks unscripted, from the heart, from his own experience.

I am very excited to let you know that he is touring North America this summer (in Europe right now, Denmark on Sunday), and that you can request an invitation to hear him, at no cost. He'll be in Canada in July : Toronto, Roy Thomson Hall, July 8, and Montreal, Palais de congres Wed July 11, 7:30 pm.

Please watch this short, inspiring video and at the bottom of the youtube screen is an address to click for the invitation request.

May your thirst lead you on!


Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Mid-life crisis or transition?

It's funny that often we hear about men having a mid-life crisis - going out to buy a little red sports car, or leaving their wife of 25 years for a buxom 25 year old, but when it's a woman, we often use the term mid-life transition.

I'm sure there are women buying up little sporty convertibles and racing around looking to pick up younger men, (and more power to them), but the transition from ages 40 to 50 is really an opportunity for figuring out what we want to do with the rest of our life, and gaining more self-knowledge. Like any transition, it can be fraught with difficulties - especially if the hormonal picture is unbalanced. Not everybody experiences hot flashes, night sweats and feels like they're going crazy; some women breeze right through with nary a symptom, but enough women are blogging, writing and talking about these symptoms, that we immediately think of the physical hormonal upset when we think about mid-life and menopause.

For myself, in writing the book The Tao of Turning Fifty, I discovered that the biggest thing women had on their minds was not so much the physical discomforts, although insomnia can drive you around the bend, but more about finding themselves in a place without any markers or road maps.  It doesn't say anywhere that turning fifty will make you question your whole life, or send you on a quest to find your passion, but it does seem to play out that way.  It's like one phase of your life (the fertile, child-bearing, nest-building, career building part) has finished, but the next phase isn't immediately clear. You're in the hallway, having come out of one door, and the next door hasn't materialized yet. It is called The Change.....

My greatest need in my late forties, was the need to get away, to redefine myself aside from the roles of wife, mother, poet, volunteer organizer, etc. To look at what I'd been doing for the past twenty years, and reassess. Some women want to go back to school, some have enough degrees, they just want to learn how to do cranio-sacral massage, reiki or to throw pots on a wheel. The creative or right-brain side often comes to the fore. We rediscover our love of creative play - painting, photography, writing, weaving. It's as if the uterine and ovarian energies need to be channeled into creation of a different sort. Many women want to give back, and this time has also been called The Guardian years (Joan Borysenko).

So welcome this challenge, this change, this period of transition. There are hidden gifts, much growth and learning, if we can allow ourselves some down time, some interior reflecting time, some away time alone, some time to share heart to heart with other women. I urge you to pay attention to this inner calling and find out what more is on the other side of 50.

New Release: If it's all too much for you, listen to some soothing music and centering exercises on the new Musemother Relaxation CD, $12.00 available from me by email,, and soon to be available for purchase through paypal on my website

ps Best article on confusion surrounding Menopause; offers sound advice about choices in healthcare for menopausal symptoms: