Female Empowerment, self-care, Uncategorized

Yoga

“Allow that personal time to connect with yourself, to give some love to yourself, to apprectiate yourself, to give some space, time and energy to yourself. So that once you’ve given to yourself and you know what gentle loving care feels like, then you can share it with the others.” – Simon Borg-Oliver

Yoga and meditation are practices which have been interwoven with the threads of my life since I was a teenager. I would in no way describe myself as an advanced practicioner of either of the two, despite the many years they have been with me. For most of my adult life, I considered myself too busy to truly pay attention to a regular yoga & meditation practice. Despite this, the (yoga) mat and (mediation) cushion have been my reminders to come back to myself and take care of my mind and body in those moments, when I was ready to listen.

Twice in my life thus far I have come very close to what is these days known as a “burn-out”. Both times, it was through my old friends of yoga and meditation that I slowly began to heal the wounds that stress and anxiety had left in my body and mind. To this day, I still struggle with establishing a regular practice, often opting to skip my date with the mat in favor of staying an hour longer at work or lounging on the couch at home.

Especially since yoga has become this global trend which is increasingly shaped by notions of competitiveness (The world record for holding a plank pose was just set! Can you believe it?) and normative beauty standards (having the newest, “sexy” yoga bra… and goodness forbid you show up at a class with unshaven legs!), I’m struggling to stay on this path of mindful movement.

In those moments, however, when I am sitting on my mat, concentrated on nothing but my breath and the sensation of my breath in my body, I am happy to know such a tool for mindful body work. When my uterus is cramping the days before I bleed, I am grateful for the muscle memory in the interstitial muscles of my ribcage and lower abdomen, expanding as I inhale and taking some of the pain away as I exhale.

Yes, there are those who are choosing yoga as a tool for self-optimization and competition and even body shaming. But ultimately, that remains a choice. You can also choose, to look more deeply at all of the eight limbs of yoga – only one of which is asana (postures), and perhaps through this perspective find a connection to yourself. In this regard, I am thankful to the amazing Simon Borg Oliver, for his beautiful words on the yamas and niyamas.

 

If you’d like more information on yoga for self-empowerment, I recommend this article.

Advertisements
archetypes, Female Empowerment, Menstrual Cycle, Sexuality, Symbols

Symbolisms

Many of the processes in our body are cyclical. The circadian (circa= approximately, dies = day) rhythm underlies a whole host of physiological functions, including the release of certain hormones (e.g., testosterone) and our sleep cycle (which, of course, is also governed in part by hormones).

The menstrual cycle is just another one of these cyclical events in a human body. Curiously, this cycle is adapted to a monthly rhythm; a cycle that was modeled roughly around one full cycle of the moon. Though this may seem esoteric at first, the moon is actually responsible for a number of physical events, not least of all the ebb and flow of the ocean’s tides; a phenomenon which has been used variously as metaphor for menstruation.

Unsurprisingly then, the moon is an ancient symbol for the feminine and cultural traditions surrounding menstruation include the moon as symbol in many ways (moon time: time of bleeding; moon lodges: ; or, more recently, moon cups: reusable silicone cups used to collect menstrual blood). Interestingly, the different stages of the menstrual cycle and the fluctuations in energy associated with them can be mapped onto the different stages of the moon (new moon/ waxing moon/ full moon/ waning moon) quite well.

Over time, other symbols have joined the moon in describing the changes in a person’s physical and mental state as we move through our menstrual cycle.

Some examples of these are:

* The seasons (Winter/Spring/Summer/Autumn)
* The archetypes (The Wise Woman/ The Maiden/ The Mother/ The Enchantress)

I have decided to share with you, over the course of the next few weeks, the various embodiments or symbols of the stages of the menstrual cycle.

As always, not everything will resonate with everyone equally and that is perfectly fine! This is why it’s so wonderful and so important that there are many voices, offering different approaches and perspectives on the same knowledge.

I invite you to choose the symbols that work for you, and leave the other ones aside. Or, if you prefer, take the opportunity as you move through the stages of your cycle, too look deeply within yourself and discover your own personal symbols to support yourself through the ebb and flow of your hormonal changes.

If you find that you need inspiration or advice, do let me know.
I would be happy to work with you on this journey of discovery!

Female Empowerment, Poetry

Imagine a Creature…

Imagine a creature in LOVE with it*s own body.
A creature who believes it*s body is enough, just as it is.
Who celebrates its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a creature who honors the embodiment of the divine in it*s changing body. A creature who celebrates the accumulation of it*s years and wisdom. Who refuses to use it*s precious life-energy disguising the changes in it*s body and life.

Imagine a creature who embodies it*s spirituality.
A creature who honors it*s body as the Sacred Temple of the Spirit of Life. Who breathes deeply as a prayer of GRATITUDE for life itself.

Imagine a creature who loves it*s body
through the seasons of life…Regardless!

Imagine yourself as this creature.

This is my wish. For you. This Christmas ♡

 

[adapted & queer*ed from a post by @Wild Woman Sisterhood, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WildWomanSisterhood/posts/555300314619557:0 ]