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I started this blog because I wanted to talk about sex. I had no idea I’d soon be single and that sex would be the farthest thing from my mind. Or, that I’d be getting so naked with myself, literally and figuratively, than I’ve ever been in a sexual relationship. And at the risk of sounding like a yogic hippie, which I suppose I am, the getting naked has been possible because of meditation, safe spaces, a funky new brand of yoga and a life changing book.

This is the incidental story of how my intuition led me to uncover an infection that’s been going on for months, without my really being aware of it.

On Sunday, I decided to take therapy into my own hands, and in 9 emphatic pages, I unleashed my fury and pain toward my Ex.

Then, I burned it.

Along with pictures, cards, ‘love’ coupons, and a shirt that just would not die.

Then, I needed a mood brightener, so I danced the dance of the gods and followed up with some yoga nidra and crazy intense breathing. It had been a long time since I’d experienced the buzz of serious meditation, and damn, it was nice.

Because my massage therapist swears by the cleansing power of apple cider vinegar baths, I indulged for probably the 3rd time this week. My whole plan was to let out the emotions over my once-lover, then wash it all away and be done with it. Once the thrill of the warm water wore off and my mind started to wander, I decided to use a meditation from Wild Feminine.

And this is when the pain became tangible.

I think you’d need to read Wild Feminine to understand what I mean, but I used a pelvic bowl clearing exercise, and I uncovered a lot of tension in the front quadrant of my root. As in, I felt overwhelmed with crazy sad emotion, and I wanted to cry and be hugged and yet I just needed myself, all at once. And I wanted my book so badly to read over certain parts and understand more about this area of pain, and yet all I could really do was breathe. And just feel the tension, and breathe, and breathe, and ride it out. To let go of the emotion and find calm again, even though when I’m in that moment, it’s hard not to wonder if I’ll ever see calm again.

I had this urge to dunk my head under the water, and I know I have sensitive ears, but I decided I was going listen to my intuition. So I dunked, twice, and nothing alarming happened. Then for good measure, I showered off after my bath, to make sure all the bullshit went down the drain.

And, let’s be honest: so I wouldn’t smell like apple cider vinegar.

The rest of the night, I felt like I had water in my ears. Watching TV was painful because everything sounded so fucking loud. So I kept laying on my right side, thinking I needed to let the water drain out.

It didn’t get better.

I slept on my right side, woke up, and again, no change.

Actually, it was worse.

I remembered using alcohol to get water out of my ears from swimming when I was younger, so I grabbed some en route to work.

Then, the lovely google people confessed that alcohol: not the best idea for your ears. And I started to realize that the water wasn’t sloshing around, like a normal swimmer sort of feeling . . . it felt much deeper. As in, the shit’s not going to come out.

EXCELLENT.

It’s at this point that I started to question my intuition.

Dammit, I KNOW I have sensitive ears, yet there I go, just obeying the little voice. Well, fuck that, I’ll just shower next time. No dunking for me. Etc.

By the time I saw my doctor, I found out that I have a hardcore ear infection that has nothing to do with bath water.

And so, my intuition saved me, because the dunking shook up the fluid in my ears so I’d notice that I’ve got quite the problem going on here.

Cheesy {but true} yogic moral: It’s amazing what’s revealed when you allow yourself a safe space to listen.

And yeah, it could all be coincidence, etc., but I think that’s the thing about your intuition. You have to trust in that little voice, and you may not have real proof, ever, but I’ve found that more often than not, trusting the voice pays off.

Especially when it makes no sense at all.

Well hello, Friday. So nice to see you.

I read a life-changing book that I want to tell you about, and yet it’s difficult when it’s a book I needed so badly, so explaining why I love it may be convoluted and excessively personal. Even still, it’s a personal sort of book and I think if every woman were raised to think about their bodies like this book inspires me to, the entire world would change dramatically.

Wild Feminine by Tami Kent offers women a new way to love themselves and their bodies. And it has to be the most holistic, powerful and practical approach I’ve ever seen.

But that doesn’t mean it isn’t challenging – – because it requires women to take responsibility for their wellbeing and their bodies and their own healing.

Essentially, Ms. Kent translates how life affects women’s bodies and how women can affect their lives through taking care of their bodies. And this is her mission: she is a physical therapist with training in massage, energy and other areas related to moms & babies, and she has a woman-centered practise in Oregon addressing imbalance in the pelvic floor. She does this by noticing the energy patterns in the body, assessing the health of the organs, and using massage to release tension.

In her book, she explores how the body tells women’s stories, and their relationship to their power, to femininity, to creativity and its cycles, to relationships, to emotions, and to stress. As she goes through the major reproductive organs, she offers stories from her practise and tools for the individual to start on for their own personal healing.

I came away wondering this:

What if women treated their bodies as the doctors administering prescriptions (a hot bath, a girl’s night out, an artist’s playdate, no sex tonight, much sex tonight, just time alone for me, rest rest rest) and knew how to interpret and release tenderness, pain, and/or tension in their body?

What if relying on one’s intuition and what felt right in the body was the default position for women? How would that change our choices, relationships, hobbies, careers and bodies?

What if women were taught to love and listen to their feminine body’s needs, rather than view the body as something to control, starve, and stuff into shapes and ideas of superficial beauty?

It’s a seductive idea: women owning and nurturing their bodies and taking on the world from a place of groundedness. It’s a bit radical. It feels overwhelming to me right now, at the beginning of this journey. And yet, I’m inspired by the hope I found in this book, of the amazing resource that is my relationship with my body.

Actually, I’m inspired that this book even exists, let alone that Tami Kent has a practise wherein she sees and soothes women on a daily basis. I realized that all those self-esteem books I’ve eyed before have little meaning if I could find the power within my body and live from the wisdom of what’s right for me.

It’s so simple and so difficult, all at once.

My wanderlust is high high high right now, and I want to stash several flowy dresses and comfy shoes in my bag and hail a flight to Oregon, stat.

Thank you, Tami Kent, for the most gorgeous book about femininity I’ve ever read.

4th of July 2009 was going to be difficult to top: skinnydipping in the Berkshires under a bright, full moon with 5 other ladies, and chai tea to warm us up afterward. Niiiice.

And perhaps I didn’t exactly top that, but I came damn close, if only because of this lingering memory I have of a shirtless stud breaking up wood for the bonfire I was sitting by. I’m pretty sure cougars are much older than my 29 years, and I’d bet this particular hunk was barely, if even, 20, and so maybe that isn’t enough of an age difference, but Samantha Jones: I GET IT.

A day of baseball, a night of drinking, and a morning after of shopping was exactly what I needed to feel like I’d been on vacation, when really I was just livin’ large 2 hours from home.

Now that I’ve had a night to recover, I’m back to reading my mind-blowing, body-loving book and this quote has been replaying in my mind all day:

“Your root conveys your relationship with expression, whether you tend to hold yourself back or let yourself go.”

I know where I fall between those two extremes.

I also know that I’m capable of breaking open and letting go. I’ve held myself and let myself be held for two months now, through grieving and sadness and relief, and it’s no small victory that I feel so intact right now. Stronger than ever, in fact.

And as I’m taking a look at my root, at the story my body is telling me about how my life affects me, I realize softening and letting go is a must for me. It’s scary to trust in how you feel vs. what you think you want in the moment, but I’m learning that I Always Know.

Truth? I fantasize about the Cougar, too.

I wanted to be the Cougar, because I thought those women had the experience and wisdom to Know What’s Best. As though their knowledge could make decisions for me, and in essence, save me. From mistakes, from a broken heart, from a potential divorce, from making the wrong decision. And yes, I’m sure they do, and I’m sure they could give advice that would ‘save’ me. But I realized that no one else can know for me. I love the cougar idea, but I don’t need to wait til then to make decisions or feel safe knowing what I know.

And if I’m mentally unsure, my body isn’t.

So yes, the hunk was handsome, the beer was . . . cold, and the different city brightened my spirits, but the more amazing discovery was my creativity. I let go of my old lady bedtime, my punctual meal times, and my own bed, and realized I felt more like myself than I have in a long time.

Shiva Nata arrived in my hands around Christmastime.

I just started practicing.

The hype? It is so true. I had the most subtle a-ha just reading some of the articles and then practicing this morning . . . I don’t like the hard. I avoid the hard. This whole Shiva Nata thing was a lot cooler before I realized I had to make it hard for it to work.

And within these thoughts lies this killer one: I avoid saying the hard thing that would make my life easier.

Then, I realized I sort of said that in yesterday’s post – – if my life were easy, because I could just say how I wanted and needed things to be, I would be getting away with something, right? That would just be too easy, why should I have it so easy?, life is supposed to be hard: everyone knows that.

I feel guilty getting what I want. Having an ‘easy’ life is really ‘not cool’ don’tchaknow?

Oh, so if that’s true, then I must create drama to foul things up and bring back the hard, yes? And have drama like all the cool kids. So when someone asks how I’m doing, I can roll my eyes and have ‘something’ to talk about.

Otherwise, I might sleep well at night, do lots of yoga and meditation, and listen to my heart’s desire and follow it . . . to more hard, like going back to school for that risky, sexy something that whispers in ear, but that I fear won’t support me in the long run.

Oh.

Divine Winks
Divine whimsy and fantastic music. I heart Sera Beak.

The Bloggess
Oh, how she cracks me the fuck up.

Yummy dinner
I improvised with tomato slices instead of bread, topped with fresh basil. Mmm.

Susan Sarandon! Bull Durham! Goddesses!

Loving the Female Body in the most holistic, beautiful way
A bright star in my life right now. Also: I have a crush on Portland, Oregon.

xoxoxo

A peek at my bookshelf as we blast into 2010:

Something More by Sarah Ban Breathnach, using a fancy sketchbook from Papaya Art

Princesses and Porn Stars: Sex, Power, Identity by Emily Maguire, my favorite author

Nonviolent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg

Dance of the Dissident Daughter by Sue Monk Kidd

The Lost Diary of Don Juan by Douglas Carlton Abrams

Intuitive Advisor by Mona Lisa Schulz

To Bed or Not to Bed by Steve and Vera Bodanksy, famous for the hour long orgasm workshops..

Healing Wise by Susun Weed

New Menopausal Years the Wise Woman Way also by the amazing Susun Weed

Vortex: Law of Attraction Assembles Cooperative Relationships by the Hicks and Abraham. My first Hicks/Abraham book, and I’m quite intrigued.

and

Meditation Secrets of Women Discovering Your Passion, Pleasure and Inner Peace by Camille Maurine. This is an ongoing, delicious read that is transforming my meditation practice and the way I relate to all of my life.

The Bonus Round:

Your Spacious Self: Clear Your Clutter & Discover Who You Are by Stephanie Bennett Vogt. This is a biggie for me. Clutter: Booooo! My soul loves space.

Women’s Anatomy of Arousal by Sheri Winston

and a fun DVD adventure from Annie Sprinkle: Sluts and Goddesses. 😉

I’ve had this epiphany, over and over again, until finally it sunk in: calm is the foundation for my happy life. And when I say happy, I mean healthy, sexy, grounded, logical, balanced, successful, present, patient, bright. Because really, when one is un-calm, happy becomes stressed, snippy, bitchy, spacey, frayed, angry, ungrounded, nervous, anxious, controlling, blah.

Of course, accessing calm is easier epiphanized than done.

I do know this: I am addicted to taking breathing breaks during the day to just feel my body, all the crazy, vibrating sensation that’s whispering underneath the rest of my day. Sometimes, it’s just ten deep breaths, and I find my calm again. And then, there are times when it takes 15 minutes. And sometimes, goddamnit, it takes a glass or three of wine before I can remember that calm lives in the same world I do.

Crazy thing is, the more I take mini breaks, steal wedges of time for myself to refresh, I can’t fathom how the Frenzied Anti-Calm folks make it through the day. I’m so over pushing myself despite feeling tired. I’m over the eye-bleary of weariness. But then again, I’ve never been a fan of the ‘work hard, play harder’ mentality. I’m learning that I’m much more the hippie, yogini type who would like to follow her breath, see how her body feels, and then decide what to do. Preferably with some meditation and hot tea involved. And believe me, I never thought that would be me: I bought my first yoga DVD because the ladies reviewing it said that the teacher was a hottie. And oh yes, he is, even if he did shave his gorgeous curls.

But I think once you taste that afterglow of meditation, that shift of consciousness, the jello bliss of post-yoga calm, your whole experience of life changes. I’m not even sure how to describe the feeling I mean, other than it’s like being intoxicated, only better. (In a different way, since you’re sober. Or maybe you’re not. But it’s still good, either way.) Early on in my yoga practice, I thought my body was craving the stretch. Then, it was the buzzing bliss of a warm, pliable body. One day, I finally got it. I told my man: I think it’s the breathing. And it is – the breathing and the focus, and being in your body, not in your mind. When I’m too much in my mind, the calm tends to disappear.

I suppose the whole point is that frenzy (un-calm) can get shit done, can come in handy over long days, or shitty stretches of life, and then just become a habit. A state of being that’s no longer even considered, just default. That’s what happened to me. Yoga, meditation, and breathing all helped to unwind me. I didn’t even realize that calm was so lacking in my life until I’d found it again. In fact, I didn’t even know how to relax until meditation. Then all of these health issues that drove me to yoga in the first place began to make sense, and heal. Because I stepped out of the mind-fury and yes, cliche as it sounds, into the moment.

The trick is keeping that moment full of relaxed aliveness.

And that’s where I’m at now.