Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Valley Spirit Never Dies

The Valley Spirit never dies,
It is named the Mysterious Female.
And the doorway of the Mysterious Female
Is the base from which Heaven and Earth sprang.
It is there within us all the while.
Draw upon it as you will, it never runs dry.

-Lao-Tzu (translated by Arthur Waley)

Shame

"Often those in abusive relationships feel that they have attracted a batterer or they may have developed a "pattern" of getting into relationships with partners who hurt, degrade, humiliate, hit or otherwise abuse them. Over time the repeated insults, threats, put downs and verbal trashing from their partners wears away at the mental energy to fight back or to keep up a positive image of oneself. Shame traps many victims, having a pervasive influence on the self, relationships with others, and emotional experiences"

- aardvarc.org

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A LITANY FOR SURVIVAL

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
futures
like bread in our children's mouths
so their dreams will not reflectthe death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother's milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of usthis instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid

So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive

- Audre Lorde, The Black Unicorn

Monday, November 28, 2011

"At some point, you have to realize that some people can stay in your heart but not in your life" - Flourishing Life Society ♥

Sunday, November 27, 2011

"Life shrinks or expands according to one's courage."

- Anais Nin

Saturday, November 26, 2011

If I am not for myself, then who will be for me?
If I am only for myself, then who am I?
If not now, then when?

- Hillel

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Charge of the Goddess

I who am the beauty of the green earth and the white moon among the stars and the mysteries of the waters, I call upon your soul to arise and come unto me. For I am the soul of nature that gives life to the universe. From Me all things proceed and unto Me they must return. Let my worship be in the heart that rejoices, for behold- all acts of love and pleasure are My rituals. Let there be beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence within you. And you who seek to know Me, know that your seeking and yearning will avail you not, unless you know the Mystery: for if that which you seek, you find not within yourself, you will never find it without. For behold, I have been with you from the beginning, and I am that which is attained at the end of desire.

-Doreen Valiente (adapted by Starhawk)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Scorpian and the Frog



There once lived a scorpion and a frog.

The scorpion wanted to cross the pond, but being a scorpion, he couldn't swim. So he scuttled up to the frog and asked: "Please, Mr Frog, can you carry me across the pond on your back?"

"I would," replied the frog, "but, under the circumstances, I must refuse. You might sting me as I swim across."

"But why would I do that?" asked the scorpion. "It is not not in my interests to sting you, because you will die and then I will drown."

Although the frog knew how lethal scorpions were, the logic proved quite persuasive. Perhaps, felt the frog, in this one instance the scorpion would keep his tail in check.

So the frog agreed. The scorpion climbed on his back, and together they set off across the pond. Just as they reached the middle of the pond, the scorpion twitched his tail and stung the frog.

Mortally wounded, the frog cried out: "Why did you sting me? It is not in your interests to sting me, because now I will die and you will drown."

"I know," replied the scorpion as he sank into the pond. "But I am a scorpion. I have to sting you. It's in my nature."

The wisdom behind this story is: People don't change that much. So don't waste time trying to put in what was left out. Try to draw out what was left in. That is hard enough.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

“Strength and courage aren't always measured in medals and victories. They are measured in the struggles they overcome. The strongest people aren't always the people who win, but the people who don't give up when they lose.”
- Ashley Hodgeson

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

From Rosh Chodesh Tishrei

Ha-Borei
You who create
Hold me as I struggle
To birth myself
I am red with blood
Wrestling to come free
Hard painful work to be born
Twisting, turning, being pushed
Wriggling to come out
From the warmth, from the shadows of what we know
To light, to air, to a new world
Coming into my own
My birthright

There are many births
Each resembles the first
And each is different
In each we struggle
To become more free
From that which binds us in
That we might become more of who our soul is
Sing our unique song that only we can sing

- Vicki Hollander

Monday, November 21, 2011

Love Poem to Myself

Completeness

"I swear the earth shall surely be complete to him or
her who shall be complete,
the earth remains jagged and broken only to him
or her who remains jagged and broken."

- Walt Whitman

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Quadesha (Sacred Whore)

My lips are sweet. Life is in my mouth.
Beneath my robes – I am Glorious.

When I dance, the sun sails safely through the night.
When I dance, the future is formed by my feet.
When I dance, the stars move through the heavens.
When I dance, women perfume their thighs, drape gold upon their breasts.
When I dance, the maiden laughs and tosses her hair.
When I dance, the youth writes poetry, waits under the moon.
When I dance, the matron teases her husband – the husband becomes generous.

When I dance, Venus shimmers the desert.
When I dance, dust becomes silver, stones are made of gold.

- Cosi Fabian

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The deepest healing is the healing of the deepest wound. The deepest wound is the frustration of the deepest need. The deepest need is the need for meaning, purpose, and hope.”

Peter Kreeft

Friday, November 18, 2011

You who want knowledge

You who want
Knowledge,
Seek the Oneness
Within

There you
will find
The clear mirror
Already waiting

- Hadewijch II

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Chakra Work

My sister encouraged me to do chakra work years ago, but I was not ready for it. It seemed to out there and new age to me. I purchased several meditation CD's but I could barely listen to them without laughing.

Luckily, I did not throw them away. I have worked into a place where I am ready to develop this part of myself. It perhaps started with the Kundalini Yoga I have been doing these last years. Both practices have been so helpful in grounding and healing my life.

I received a compliment last week from one of the mothers of my daughter's friends. She said, "Everything about you is just so joyful. You just exude happiness."

I think I will always treasure that remark. It has not always been so.


"Learning about the chakras gives you access to your programmed responses so you can minimize their negative effects and maximize the positive ones."

"A chakra is a spinning vortex of activity created by the presence of consciousness within the physical body. These vortices exist within what is called the subtle body - a hidden field of energy that carries your urges, emotions and habits, as well as the imprints of all that has happened to you...chakras are centers of organization for the reception, assimilation and expression of life force energy."

- Anodea Judith, Chakra Balancing

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Freedom

"Freedom is no longer living with the expectation that one day I will do just the right thing and magically, someone will notice me and believe I am worthy of interest. I am worthy. My worth does not come from someone else. My worth comes from somewhere deep inside me; the acceptance and acknowledgement of my self-worth grew out of the process and the work that I did." - Darlene Ouimet

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Gospel

I am Thou & Thou art I
And where Thou art I am
And in all things am I dispersed

And from wherever Thou willst
Thou gatherest Me

But in gathering Me
Thou gatherest Thyself

-Gospel of Eve

Monday, November 14, 2011

Sunday, November 13, 2011

I call my inner being Mother
For when She is released from within
She is like the Mother I loved
Within the mother I knew –
Larger and wiser, more loving and gentle
Than the voice of the world in my mind,
Which sometimes sound like the mother I knew
But is losing its power to rule me.

-Cassia Berman

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Credit

"It is important to give yourself credit for all your successes, no matter how small. If you wait to get to the end of the healing process, until you’re ‘finished,’ before you recognize your progress, you’ll wait forever. Each small step is a building block, and accomplishment in and of itself, and by acknowledging each step along the way you make room for further growth”

- Courage to Heal by Laura Davis

Friday, November 11, 2011

Natural Massage Oil

When I was pregnant with my son, my once lush skin turned flaky and red. Nothing that I did seemed to help.

I finally began to make my own natural and organic oils. Every morning for the last 8 years or so, I have started my day with a self-massage before my shower. I usually start at my neck and work my way down my breasts, arms, stomach, back-side and legs. It only takes 5 minutes, but it is so good for your immune system, circulation and overall energy. Not to mention that my skin feels like "butter", as several people have told me....

Making the oil is easy. I started making my own because so many oils and lotions are filled with CRAP. I like to know what I am putting into my body, just like I like knowing exactly what I am eating. Processed food makes you feel bad and put on extra weight. Same with the stuff you put on your body. If you are adding unnecessary chemicals and ingredients, don't expect good results.

You can buy everything you need for about $30, and it will last you about 6 months. It will take about 10 minutes to mix everything and put it back into bottles. Trader Joe's has great deals on Vitamin E Oil and Grapeseed Oil. The other oils I buy at a natural food store, like Whole Foods or New Seasons.

Here is my recipe:
1 Jar of Coconut Oil (you will need to soften this under hot tap water or on the stove in a pan filled with water as it is a soft solid like butter)
1 bottle of Vitamin E Oil (Trader Joe's! - about $3-4)
1 bottle of grapeseed Oil (Trader Joe's! - about $3-4)
1 bottle of avocado oil
1 bottle of almond or walnut oil

splash of essential oils if you want some extra fragrance. I think the coconut oil and Vitamin E have enough fragrance on their own though.

Mix everything together until you are happy with the scent (if you are adding essential oils.) Put the oil back into the bottles. You can use the Vitamin E Oil bottle for a travel-size to take with you if you go away.

You can use the oil every day for a self-massage before a shower.

In the winter, if my skin is more dry, I do another massage at night and leave it on while I sleep.

You can also use it to wash off your makeup at night. Just rub it on with your fingers and then put a hot wash clothe over your face for 2-5 minutes. Rub off any excess. This will take away any oil and dirt and also moisturize you.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Inexpensive Self-Care

I've been thinking a great deal lately about how little women are willing to invest in themselves.

Sure, they will buy any amount of clothing, makeup, jewelry, plastic surgery, exercise equipment, hair product, etc. to make themselves LOOK good, as their finances allow (or not).

But when it comes to women actually investing in themselves - i.e. doing things to make themselves FEEL good or get ahead in life financially, personally or professionally, there never seems to be enough time or money.

I have a lot of ideas about this, but one thing I wanted to write about tonight are ways you can take care of yourself without spending much (or anything at all!).

1. Give yourself a massage. (I will be putting up my special (cheap) recipe for natural massage oil soon!

2. Take a walk. (again, absolutely free!)

3. Have sex with a loving partner. Or, masturbate if you don't have one! (again, absolutely free!) Regular orgasms are so important. You will feel replenished and will glow!

4. Do yoga. If you don't know what to do, you probably have a CD lying around that you purchased but never (or rarely) use. If you have Netflix or cable, there are tons of great videos available. My favorite is Kundalini Yoga.

5. Read a book. (Again, how many books do you have lying around that you couldn't wait to buy, but never read?!)

6. Talk to a friend - on the phone or in person. How long has it been since you had a really great, laugh-inducing conversation with a long-time friend or sister?

7. Meditate. If you can't do it on your own, just try repeating one of these mantras:

I am healthy, I am happy, I am holy.

I love and approve of myself.

The universe supports me. I have all I need.

Or, if you are like me, you also probably have a million CD's lying around. Put them together in a sacred area (with your yoga CD's) so you have a place to go to replenish yourself.

8. Take a bath.

9. Give yourself a thorough scalp massage. Some peppermint essential oils works very nicely for this. Rub a few drops into the tips of your fingers and rub your entire head.

10. Have a dance party! Turn up your favorite music and have at it! If you have kids, include them. No one can not smile in the presence of a dancing child.

Here are some non-self-care items I try to avoid so that I can feel GOOD about myself.

- TV
- "Woman's" Magazines
- Watching, listening or reading "the news"

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Demeter’s Blessing

Save your light for utter darkness.
And be sure to leave a flame in
The jar when you light the lamp

Keep a reserve, daughter.
Always keep a reserve.

-Burleigh Muten

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mother Lakshmi’s Poem

If you would give as I do,
Give from the place where nothing can be taken away from you –
Give from the place of the spirit.
See everything as formed from that inexhaustible spirit
For the moment that it’s given, lasting as long as its purpose is.
Have faith that nothing is taken away from you
That has not outlived its purpose.
Relinquish the idea that you have anything to do with it
And in that you’re your clinging and self-doubt will fall away.

-Cassia Berman

Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Codependent"

"Most important is that we not identify ourselves with such labels as codependent or addict, or get stuck in chronic recovery as if we were constantly in need of fixing. The goal is to heal and move on, embrace life's ups and downs, and move from recovery to discovery. Then we can break through the limitation imposed by hierarchy, work together for a just society, and free our capacity for courage, joy, power, and love."

- Charlotte Davis Kasl

Friday, November 4, 2011

A prayer for the survivors

May your scars be washed in warm milk.
May your courage be carved on monuments.
May your tears grow into redwoods.
May your rage be a fierce wind.
May your sex be the open sky.
May your heart be a whole mountain.
May your stories become the logs
That dam the flood of violence
And the silence of wood
Become the voice of power.

- Leah Korican, Her Story

Thursday, November 3, 2011

from The Invocation to Kali

It is time for the invocation:

Kali, be with us.
Violence, destruction, receive our homage.
Hel us to bring darkness into the light,
To lift out the pain, the anger,
Where it can be seen for what it is-
The balance – wheel for our vulnerable, aching love.
Put the wild hunger where it belongs,
Within the act of creation,
Crude power that forges a balance
Between hate and love.

Help us to be always hopeful
Gardeners of the spirit
Who know that without darkness
Nothing comes to birth
As without light
Nothing flowers.

Bear the roots in mind,
You the dark one, Kali,
Awesome power.

- May Sarton

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


“The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb

The Star (for Helani)

A still picture cannot capture her essence
For she is fluid and
Defies containment

Quietly insisting that nothing is so rigid it
Cannot be dissolved
If it is hard it
Will yield to her
In due time and
So will the sharpest edges
At long last surrender to her
Softness

She holds the cup of transformation
Through her
Jagged little stones become
Smooth round pebbles

-Arika Escalona

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

And the Great Mother said:

Come my child and give me all that you are.
I am not afraid of your strength and darkness, of your fear and pain.
Give me your tears. They will be my rushing rivers and roaring oceans.
Give me your rage. It will erupt into my molten volcanoes and rolling thunder.
Give me your tired spirit. I will lay it to rest in my soft meadows.
Give me your hopes and dreams. I will plant a field of sunflowers and arch rainbows in the sky.
You are not too much for me. My arms and heart welcome your true fullness.
There is room in my world for all of you, all that you are.
I will cradle you in the boughs of my ancient redwoods and the valleys of my gentle rolling hills.
My soft winds will sing you lullabies and soothe your burdened heart.
Release your deep pain. You are not alone and you have never been alone.

- Linda Reuther, from Homecoming