Entries Tagged 'sacred feminine' ↓
April 2nd, 2012 — early puberty, Girl Culture, Hairy Issues (fashion, hair, clothes), Mother-Daughter Emotional Osmosis, sacred feminine, TGR Body
Very Public Exposure
Ainsley and I were in the New York Times Magazine on Friday. It was risky and scary, though important, because the topic was early puberty. TGR Body, our craptastic-ingredient-free skincare line (many skincare products are thought to have toxins that interfere with hormones), and The Girl Revolution were both highlighted.
You know I’ve researched the issue and shared the information here, but I’ve not discussed our personal experience. We considered the decision carefully — Ainsley, myself and her dad — and we felt that discussing it in public would be useful for other parents and girls. And it has been. The writer, Elizabeth Weil, has two girls of similar age to Ainsley and vowed to present us in a positive light, unembarassing, not humiliating. I thank her for keeping her word. I’ve received several emails of support, other parents and girls sharing their own experiences; thank you notes for being brave and helping them understand what’s happening with their daughters; making them feel less alone.
We chose not to have Ainsley’s face appear in the photographs because we couldn’t really determine the consequences of that.
Shame & Causes
I also felt that choosing not to talk about it added some sort of shame to early puberty, as if we had done something wrong to, as you hear constantly “allow girls to grow up too fast.” Well, we’re not ashamed and we shouldn’t be. We didn’t do anything to cause it. We didn’t neglect to do anything that caused it. We didn’t do a damn thing to “make our girls grow up too fast.”
It might be the hormones in meat and milk, it might be pesticides, it might be flame retardants, it might be the plastic Playtex insert baby bottles we microwaved when she was a baby, it might be eating more protein than our ancestors, it could be anything. Or it’s possible that it is none of these things.
It might even be evolution in action right before our very eyes. The world is on fast forward with our explosion of technology, maybe evolutionarily there is a very important reason for developing faster as a species that we simply don’t understand yet. Everything is happening faster for them, we expect more of them. Ainsley is already doing math that we weren’t expected to know until the 7th grade. They blog and learn PowerPoint in elementary school. These girls have not become adults and while we may be afraid of the consequences of early puberty, we don’t know the outcome yet. It’s not only happening to girls, it’s happening to boys as well. It’s not happening only in the United States where many of the suspected causes are more prevalent, it’s happening all over the world (Hindustan Times article). It’s at least possible that it is not harmful, but helpful in some way.
Either way, it is what it is, we’re not likely to stop it, at least not before this crop of girls develop into teenagers. The only thing to do is accept it, and dare I say, even embrace it.
Since last year Ainsley has continued to mature. But, it hasn’t been as emotionally or developmentally disastrous as I had feared. In fact, the girls in her class discuss their “stages of development” very openly. They trust The Care and Keeping of You by American Girl as the Bible of Puberty. As it turns out Ainsley is #7 out of 10, not # 1, in getting a bra in her 4th grade class. It was one of the best days of her life. Getting a bra is a badge of honor with the girls debating the best colors to get (tan) and the best places to buy them (Target). Girls appear to be discussing their developmental stages openly with their parents (someone had to buy them a bra). They shave their armpits, and sometimes legs, as a matter of course and are even excited about it.
Juxtapose this to the many stories you hear from women about their first menses: no one told me it was coming and I thought I was dying; I didn’t tell my mom for three days; she saw the laundry and finally explained it to me; it felt shameful to me and no one ever talked about it; my mother called it a curse and told me it would be horrible; etc. You’ve heard the stories and maybe it’s your story. Things feel different now. Parents who went through those experiences and didn’t enjoy them are communicating with their daughters about the experience of development and puberty. Girls, in general, know about and don’t fear their periods or getting breasts. Rather than weird clinical books with bizarre diagrams, they are given fun books like The Care and Keeping of You, replacing Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret (we must, we must, we must increase our bust!).
Sacred & Powerful Gift
If you’ve ever read The Red Tent, (and if you haven’t you should) you know that once upon a time, for thousands of years, a woman’s first menses was a celebratory and sacred, holy, exciting event. Women held rituals to initiate a woman in her various stages of development — from menses to birth to menopause — Girl, Maiden, Mother, Crone. I’d like to see that tradition resurrected. As I mentioned in New York Times Magazine I do intend to throw a party. Even if it’s just a party of her and I — a nice dinner and the Chocolate Cafe and maybe a piece of commemorative jewelry. Or a women’s circle ritual with our girlfriends at my friend Anna’s Women’s Sacred Way studio. I’m all prepared for her first period with a Red Goddess Celebration Box, filled with essential oils, eye pillows, letters from her grandmothers, etc. I have panty liners stashed away, just in case. I’d like to share an experience different from a tampon or douche commercial. I’d love to share an experience of menstruation as a sacred gift able to produce life, a source of power. (For more on the power of our cycles read Red Moon and The Optimized Woman: If You Want to Get Ahead Get a Cycle.) When I go to the bathroom to cry, it will likely be bitter-sweet, a mixture of joy and of saying good-bye to the baby stages of my little girl — knowing that precious, tender time will vanish from our lives forever. I imagine that’s what mothers have done for eons.
Puberty, whenever it comes, is not tragic. It’s a life-giving, sacred and exciting gift. Women have been having periods and growing breasts since the dawn of time, and we’ll keep on doing it until the end of time. We’ve lived, flourished and nurtured ourselves at varying degrees during different phases of history. Now is the time for a rebirth of our own sacred traditions. It’s time to heal the Sacred Feminine.
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March 25th, 2012 — sacred feminine
I’m experimenting with something so simple, but so revolutionary.
I’m treating myself the way I want to be treated.
I’ve been kinder to myself lately. I’m going through a major transition in most areas of my life and it has caused me to reflect on why I’ve allowed myself to be treated in ways that I don’t like.
Perhaps it’s because I treat myself in ways I don’t like.
- I’m not very gentle with myself.
- I withhold things – even medication – from myself.
- I don’t treat myself to many things, whether it’s food I enjoy or the lotion that eases my rosatea (until it’s so painful that I finally break down). I “treat” myself to a basic haircut like it’s a serious extravagance.
- I don’t take much time for myself doing the things that make me feel good.
- If I do the tiniest little thing that isn’t in alignment with perfection, I’m very harsh about it.
- I withhold love and approval from myself to manipulate myself into eating right or not engaging in bad habits.
- I am always willing to take the blame for other people’s behavior, believing that I am choosing peace over conflict, when I’m likely just teaching them that I’m okay with being disrespected.
- I short myself on hours in my business, afraid that my client won’t appreciate how much work I’ve done or how much energy I put into it. I undercharge them.
How does this manifest in my life?
- Others are sometimes disrespectful towards me.
- People are harsh or angry with me over the tiniest little things.
- Some withhold love from me, to manipulate me into doing things they want me to do or feel I should do.
- My children sense my allowance for disrespect and they take advantage of it.
- Some clients fail to pay their bills, believing that I don’t value my time or services, so why should they?
I’m over it. I’m completely over allowing disrespect, withholding, manipulation, devaluation and everything else that doesn’t feel good to me.
I’ve always been confused about what forgiveness means, believing that if I forgive someone that means I should continue being in relationship with them.
I don’t believe that anymore. Taking people’s shit is really just disrespecting myself and allowing others to join in the party. I can forgive them and simultaneously kick them out of my experience. I can stand up for myself and demand payment. I can walk away from people and situations without grief or guilt.
So, I’m going to treat myself the way I want to be treated.
My bet is that the world will respond to me in like matter. Because that’s how the Universe works. I can’t wait.
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March 2nd, 2012 — Feminine Heritage, Girl Culture, sacred feminine
The New York Times has an article, They’re, Like, Way Ahead of the Linguistic Currrrve, about how new studies have found that girls and women direct language for the rest of the population.
The article is slightly condescending in tone, in that, well just look at the title yourself. Then look at this little cartoon. They cite Valley Girls and the Kardashians as the evidence of girls’ influence on language. The rest of the article is about how girls are using language to create bonding relationships and to convey emotion. You know, girl stuff, acting cute and being cute. Even though it makes them appear stupid and not to be taken seriously.
I’d like to point at that just because researchers just started studying female influence on language does not make it a “new” phenomenon. Nor is it limited to trendy teenage girls with reality shows. Have you read a Mommy Blog or Friended a woman or two on Facebook? Women are inventing new words, new syntax, new inflections and sounds, adding new meaning to existing words every second of the day.
Nor do women use language simply to create bonds and convey their feelings. They use language to get what they want. They use language to make political points. They use language to draw boundaries — in the home, in the workplace, in politics. In every arena in which they participate and women and girls participate in every arena.
You should meet my friend Jenny. She appears to have invented a new word or phrase that conveys complex meaning for things that, as yet, have no known definition every time I talk to her. Just yesterday I learned the word Suck-tastic when a woman described the month of February on my Facebook page. I intend to use it frequently now.
Women have superpowers when it comes to listening to language. From the moment their babies are born they can distinguish their cries for hunger, tired and overstimulated; they can tell their baby’s cry from another, they can hear complex levels of emotion in their children; they can hear a lie.
From the earliest of ages girls can distinguish between a truth and a lie. Young girls will tattle on other girls for saying something cruel and hurtful like “I love your hair” or “that dress is so pretty.”
In other words, this condescending theory is craptastic and straight from Crazytown.
Words are the most powerful thing in the entire Universe. In fact, we know from the Bible and many other faith and folklore traditions, that whole entire Universe was created with “The Word.” The pen IS more powerful than the sword. While men point out statistical evidence for this or that legislation, women bring the power to it by evoking emotion and personalizing the political by means of Story. I promise you that Story is one of the most powerful means of changing people’s understanding and changing their minds. Statistics evoke nothing in us, they don’t touch our humanity and they don’t invoke change. But if someone perceives the Story behind the statistics — that a child is going hungry, that people are left suffering for lack of healthcare, that women die from breast cancer leaving their beloved children without a mother, that gay teenagers are in such pain for lack of acceptance that they often consider suicide — only then do they consider changing their original beliefs and taking action. Story is feminine domain.
Women make language their Bitch, bitch is the new black (Tina Fey). We direct the entire culture with it. We add layers of meaning where there is none. When called for, we can reduce the strongest biggest man to a cowering wuss, using language as a vicious sword to emasculate him. We seduce with language. We reframe perceptions with language. We expose truths with language. We create definitions and invent new concepts with language. Words are our playground. Language is feminine domain. We conquer entire nations with it. There’s no stopping a girl or woman with something to say.
Women invented language.
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January 1st, 2012 — sacred feminine
It’s a brand new baby 2012.
What I wish for you I wish for myself. My wishes come from the Sermon on the Mount. It is the Law, as delivered by Jesus, retold by Matthew.
What you ask for you will get.
Ask for better and more, expecting the abundance of the entire Universe.
Be more clever in your questioning.
Be wise enough to accept the answers.
Release that which no longer serves you to make room to recieve that which does.
What you seek you will find.
Be very selective about what you seek and where you seek it.
Remember you can only find snakes in a snake’s den. You won’t find a cuddly bunny there.
Look within. You won’t find self-worth in someone else. You won’t find your body image in advertising.
When you find what you seek, may you be brave enough to face it with a core of strength and boldness of action.
Knock and the door will be opened to you.
Though you tremble when you knock, may you dare walk through only the right doors with your head held high.
You don’t want to knock on every door you come to. Focus is the key to success. “For straight is the gate and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life and few there be that find it.” (Matt.7:14)
You don’t have to walk through every door you knock on. You can just peek and let your inner wisdom change your mind.
Some Holy Warnings
Do not settle.
When someone tells you he’s a dog or swine, believe him and then collect your holy pearls and move on.
If you’re sitting under a tree that keeps bearing rotten fruit, ask better questions, then go find one that bears nutritious and delicious fruit.
If someone looks like a sheep, but you feel like you’re about to be eaten by a wolf — believe yourself — you are about to be eaten by a wolf. Run away.
You are wiser in 2012 than you were in 2011. Your life will be richer and more abundant because of it.
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December 7th, 2011 — Life Coach, Life Coaching, sacred feminine
2011 is quickly becoming a wisp of the past . . . time to pull out your 2011 Dream Board and see what miracles major and minor happened for you and celebrate them. There’s still a few weeks to knock out a few goals if you hurry!
Last year I did something different. As 2010 closed, I noticed I had accomplished a lot of goals, but it didn’t leave me feeling as validated as I thought it would. So, I did an experiment in 2011. I made a Feelings Dream Board. Rather than goals, I put feelings I wanted to experience.
Unexpectedly, I got the feelings in the end — but, the road to them was rough and jagged. I had to deal with a whole bunch of bottled up, gnarled, rotten, curdled, stinky anger and fear from my past and figure out how to let go of them. I had to confront stuff in my present that I was sweeping under the rug because I didn’t want to see what I saw because then I would have to do something about it. Then I had to figure out what to do about it. There was no way around it. At times I didn’t think I was going to make it through. Of course I did. I always do. Only then did I feel the feelings I had set out to feel: happy, carefree, validated, etc.
This year I’m bridging 2011 and 2012 with a Prosperity Consciousness course at Whole Life Center for Spiritual Living and I’m adding new principals to my practice of Dream Boarding.
Namely I’m writing a Vision Statement. I will then create a Dream Board as a visual representation of my Vision Statement.
I’m also choosing a word to focus on or represent my year. I’ve chosen “Release.” This was the word that was crucial to my 2011 year, but it felt so good that I’ve decided to continue with it. See, after the release of all the anger, the extreme purge of all the excess in my house, the purge of all my psychic clutter came a gift unexpected — room to Receive. So maybe I have two words – Release and Receive. Release that which no longer serves me and be open to Receive that which does. This practice came recommended by my Anasara Yoga Instructor, Staci. Your word will come to you and then it will come back to you over and over throughout the year, not without some challenges, so be prepared. It will peel itself for you like an onion sometimes and bloom for you like a flower by the end.
Vision Statement Rules
- Write in the present tense only. “I am so happy and grateful that my body is healthy and functions perfectly and is at it’s optimal weight of 125 pounds.”
- Write very specifically. Tell the Universe exactly what you want, don’t leave it guessing. “I am so happy and grateful that in 2012 I make $50,000.” If you want to travel say where and with whom. “I love our trip to Mexico with my husband, it is so bonding and wonderful.”
- Cover all the basics: Mind, Body, Spirit; Money; Relationships (marriage, kids, family, friends, coworkers, mentors); Creativity; Career.
- Ask for what you want not what you think you can get.
- There has to be at least “the faith of a mustard seed.” If you say you’re going to make $3 million in 2012 and you currently make $30,000 you probably don’t even have the faith of a mustard seed that you’re going to get it. But, if you say you’re going to make $60,000 and you don’t know how you’re going to get it, but you probably know people who make that much and you probably can believe that it’s at least possible to make that much – that’s at least the faith of a mustard seed.
- Edit. Your Vision Statement is not set in stone like the Ten Commandments. Even God changed his mind and narrowed down what he wanted down to “Love One Another.” Once you reach your goal you’re free – obligated even – to expand your goal. You make the $50,000 then it’s time to up the ante to $100,000 or $300,000.
- Leave room for God to do better. At the end of your statement write “Or Better!” Remember God can dream a bigger dream for you than you can dream for yourself.
- Write only in the positive. You don’t want to write “Get out of debt,” because then you are focused on debt and what you focus on expands. You want to write “I am so happy and grateful that we are able to pay our bills in full as soon as they arrive.” Don’t write “Lose 30 pounds.” Write “I love to put on my size 6 Lucky Jeans, it makes me feel so hot and sexy!”
- Read your statement out loud morning and night. Memorize it. When you catch yourself repeating in your head, “God, I need to stop eating this, I’ll gain 20 pounds” Tell your self, “I love putting on my size 6 Lucky Jeans, it makes me feel sexy and hot.”
- Get clear about what you want. Sometimes you think you want something, but it’s not resonating with you. You’ve always wanted to live in New York, but you have kids and every time you think about selling the house and dealing with the NYC school system you feel anxiety. Time to reconsider and go inside and ask yourself: is this something I want or something I thought I wanted?
- God’s not going to make you give up your value system to get what you want. Make sure what you’re asking for is in alignment with your value system.
- Get a witness. Show it to someone you trust. Not someone who will scoff and say, “yeah right, like anyone will hire you without a degree in this economy.” Don’t show it to that cynical dickhead. Show it to someone who will say, “That sounds freaking awesome! I can’t wait to see you do it!” A five-year-old is the perfect witness, cause they know you can do anything. A ten-year-old will make your dream even bigger and show you where you’re still thinking small.
Reread it. If you asked for what you think you can get instead of what you really want – you did it wrong. Edit. Be bold.
Now you’re ready to make a visual representation of your Vision Statement in the form of your Dream Board. Have fun with it. It doesn’t have to be literal. It can be representational and subjective.
Do this with your kids. Faith is learned and takes practices. As does achieving goals and focusing on what you want. These skills take practice and the sooner they learn them the better. They will serve them for their entire lives. Believingis the essence of life.
There is something out there greater than ourselves, put stuff on your statement and your dream board that can’t happen without help from the Divine, from the Universe, from forces greater than yourself. Ask for miracles. Teach your kids to ask for miracles. Because is there anything more profoundly beautiful than the opportunity to witness them?
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