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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.

I had a chat on Monday night that changed the way I see everything. It was one of those moments where my heart beat wayyy too quickly, I knew too much, and I felt disgusted because I thought I’d left these goddamn moments of panic behind.

I took a few more sips.

I finished the bottle.

I filled a tub.

I let myself thrash in the throes of fury, violent intentions, and painful hurt.

I took my time.

Finally, I laughed.

The more I listened to this song, the harder I laughed.

And somehow, with the burning of pictures and crazy wild yoga and sweaty hot walks, I’m actually feeling lighter than I had been, before I knew what had really been going on.

So while I’d like to say fuck you, I’d add a thank you as well.

Turns out, I’m one lucky bitch.

Crazy how that happens.

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.

I am well aware that single is the only way for me to be right now. In no way am I ready for a love interest, no matter how ravishing or ‘perfect’ for me. But in looking at love and relationship, and who I want to be, and who I’d like to be with, these are the questions and ideas that come to mind . . .

Dear future lover,

If these quotes intrigue you, then we’re off to a good start:

“The feminine belongs to boys AND girls, for men AND women. The feminine is not a gender but an essence, and whoever understands that, also understands the feminine.”
~ Tami Kent

“Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don’t know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of withering, of tarnishing.”
~ Anais Nin

Will you get lost with me in the space between sensuality and sexuality?

Will you reverence and worship my body as a body, not just a set of sexy curves that appeals to your eyes, but compels your hands to feel and explore, and causes your heart to swell when my skin and muscles and heat responds to you?

Will you listen? Even when it hurts you, and especially when you don’t understand?

Can you understand that loving me results in my loving you, and your being filled and loving me back, and my being filled and showering you with love? Can you see the cycle of intimacy that’s possible when you live without keeping score?

Will you show me your soft side, and let me hold you there? Can I show you my softer sides, my rough edges, and will you hold me and not flinch, judge or look away?

When I need space, will you realize it isn’t about you?

Do you have a healthy love and respect for The Beatles? Led Zeppelin? Janis Joplin, Weezer, Sublime, the Grateful Dead?

When I express myself, will you witness it?
Will you let me be wild without asking me to be calmer, quieter, smaller, more manageable?
Will you express yourself to me?
Will you whisper how I affect you, how you value me, why and how often I capture your attention?
Will you be honest about what you desire?
Will you tell me your secrets?

If I’m frustrated, can you inspire me to smile? Laugh? Surprise me with pleasure?

Do you understand that underneath the color of skin, outside of different cultures and religious beliefs and spiritual practises, and despite language barriers, we are all connected and worthy of love and respect?

Most of all, do you feel that you are responsible for your own happiness?
Do you believe that Guys Night Out is just as necessary as Girls Night Out, even when in the throes of early romance or the routine of long-term love?

And how, exactly, do you feel about cats?
(Answer this one carefully, dude.)

xoxox
xoxo
xox
xo

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.

I got my wish: he sent me two messages today. Short, simple, full of love and fully aware that this weekend would be our eighth anniversary.

Even though I wanted to hear from him, the words still weren’t enough. I’m not sure what I want to hear, or even if enough words could compensate for tangible action.

I’ve got plenty that I want to say to him, though, because well, he was my best friend.

But as a girlfriend, everything changes. I can’t just send him back a page long email about what’s happened in my life since I last saw him. I can’t just go hug him because the only hug my body craves is from him. But as a girlfriend, what I most want to tell him would be that my definition of love has transformed from this to this. And that’s part of why I hesitate to go back.

But I hesitate to seal the door shut because I realized this weekend that, essentially, I was hoping to find him plus the extra potential I’d hoped he would grow into.

And perhaps the ability to get this quote from Anais Nin:

“I do not want to be the leader. I refuse to be the leader. I want to live darkly and richly in my femaleness. I want a man lying over me, always over me. His will, his pleasure, his desire, his life, his work, his sexuality the touchstone, the command, my pivot. I don’t mind working, holding my ground intellectually, artistically;

but as a woman, oh, God, as a woman I want to be dominated.

I don’t mind being told to stand on my own feet, not to cling, be all that I am capable of doing, but I am going to be pursued, fucked, possessed by the will of a male at his time, his bidding.”

It’s been a while since I felt courageous enough to log in and write a post. I’m not even sure how to describe where I am in my life right now – grief is one hell of a ride. Some days I feel so sure of myself, so solid in my choices, so alive with freedom . . . and then it can all crash down and I can see the tearful reunion in my head. It’s the worst when I picture us hugging, because I can remember that so physically that I tear up.

I’m not sure why, but the longer I’m away from him, the worse I feel. I thought the opposite would happen. But the last two weeks have required intense strength and discipline to keep me from driving by, sending a message, gettin’ all reckless and giving in to the evil voices plotting in my thoughts.

Then, the date.

And being called ‘baby’ by someone else, and the tears that threatened to give me away to people I’d just met. And, damn you facebook, he updated his picture. After I’d updated mine.

I know what you’re trying to do.

And damn me, but it worked. He looked more handsome than even in my dirtiest memories and that evil voice thought it should be no problem to just mention it’s a nice picture.

Except, he sure as hell didn’t say that about mine.

And it’s a damn good picture, if I say so and took it myself.

So now I’m listening to Warren Haynes whom we both love, and it helps but it doesn’t. It makes me feel closer to him in ways that don’t cause tangible drama, but the music can’t hug me. The music doesn’t smell like him. The music doesn’t tell me what I want to know.

I keep telling myself: My wanting to see him is like wanting my favorite ice cream – it may be satisfying in the moment, but I know from past experience, it’s not the healthiest choice. Not for every day.

But maybe, if I check my email one more time, I’ll get some temporary relief in the form of an email.

Too bad that only happens on the days when I feel my happiest and his words don’t affect me.

Join *8Things

Magpie Girl inspired some loveliness today with a gratitude list, and this is my version:

1. Warm, sun-shining, flip flop weather
2. Mellow mushroom bought by The Bossman for lunch, YUM
3. My supportive and loving and twisted and crazy family
4. Winston, the fierce boy cat who’s stolen my heart, even though he’s serious when he scratches
5. The women in my life who tell the truth, love fiercely, and laugh much
6. The tiny, playful, gorgeous birds I see in the mornings
7. My healthy body
8. Eat Pray Love

Lovely soundtrack for this post, courtesy of Alanis Morisette:

spread the love –
xooxox

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.

Join *8Things

When I first read Magpie Girl’s 8*Things post, I felt some awe, some whoaaa, that’s a tough one. Could I really defy the logic of financial security? She says you can. It sounds so . . . rebellious. So powerful. So completely true, so really controversial. You see, my friends, I am unravelling the way I handle conflict, and what I know so far is that I like it, if I can throw a tantrum. Highly effective and original, yes? Perfect for relationship drama, salary negotiation, any situation where you actually want to leave feeling content. Except that the ‘content’ part has yet to kick in . . .

So yes, I have unconventional ideas and rather conventional parents . . . dare I speak up and risk ‘outing’ myself? But, but . . . they’re the adults, right? With all the experience and the money and the approval . . . can I really re-write the rules and end up ‘okay’ or will they end up with an ‘I told you so’ in the end?

This is another favorite: I feel something that scares me, do I really have to say it? And risk changing the climate of this moment, this relationship?

Exploring my relationship to power feels revolutionary to me. As in, if I make this easier on myself and therefore feel able to have my needs met, or at least heard, I’m getting away with something, right?

Must journal on this later . . . because I really did write a list, and I didn’t stop at eight. I’ve got much more to unravel on the topic of power.

– That’s not ladylike. I’ve always rebelled against this, which caused me to do everything non-ladylike until, like I’ve mentioned 70 times, I found myself sobbing over wanting to be ladylike and treated like a woman. You know, whatever that means.

– You shouldn’t feel that way. Well, I do. So, isn’t the wise thing to learn how to properly handle this feeling?

– That just doesn’t sound very adult. Just like with gender – – what exactly does ‘adult’ imply?

– It’s for your own good. My good, or yours? Or, your comfort zone, or my happiness?

– You’re wasting your time. He doesn’t want to marry you. He would’ve proposed by now. All I can say is that listening to other people’s opinions led me to stay hung up on an event rather than the health of my life. The more difficult part is that I see both sides, and feeling like I have to choose between both has made me feel insanely unhappy with anything.

– Diet, exercise & not smoking lead to a long, healthy life. What no one tells you: drama, especially self-created drama, and the physical highs and lows, have wreaked much more havoc on my body, not to mention giving me a ‘reason’ to not exercise – how can I, when I can’t sleep because my life is falling apart?

– Pain must be avoided at all costs. What if pain was just information? A sign to ease up on life, stay in bed, listen for an answer or need?

– A rich (handsome, well-connected, insert desired trait here) man/woman is the key to a happy life. Except, you have to live with him or her. And sometimes life requires more than money, looks & status.

Bonus: – Treat others as you would like to be treated. Except, maybe others feel loved or respected in a completely different way. Always better to ask.