Assorted Saturdays: Honouring the Blood

7 08 2010

We bleed.  Womyn, that is.  Every month, our beautiful genitals issue forth blood from a life that never became manifest.

(Photo credit:

When expressed that way, I understand why there is so much fear around menstruating.

In our society where death is terrifying, definitely NOT acceptable, the monthly cycle of little death can conjure up some pretty intense reactions in people.

I remember when I got it my mother said something like “welcome to womanhood and the Curse.”  yup, the Curse.

Because womyn, in traditional Christian mythologies have done something horribly wrong and so they must bleed every month.

I believed that, for about 10 years of my bleeding life.  I had cysts on my ovaries, big balls of pain that rose and fell with my cycle, and so my first moon was in a hospital.  The following cycles were equally traumatic, though not with hospital visits, as I knew that the incredible pain was from inside my body and would not be going away.  The pain was monitored with slimy ultrasound sticks over bloated bladder and kept in check, at age 14, by the birth control pill.

Because I really didn’t receive much education about my body as a child, like most of my generation, and those previous, I figured that all of this was just good and normal and that I would be condemned to suffer, excruciatingly, every month, at the hands of my procreative system.  My mother and I coalesced into an ooze of sympathy for each other’s plight, as womyn, and that was it.

When I was 22, I was off the birth control pill for a couple years, based on discovering that it was actually a horrible thing to do to one’s body for prolonged periods of time.  I had been experiencing pain so intense, every month, that I was drugging myself with codeine just so I could function, even nominally.

That was around the time I met Elsa.  She was an empowered woman, studying Women’s Studies in University and was a wellspring of feminine empowerment.  She asked me if I would let her throw me a menarche party.

“A menarche party?” I asked.

And she went on to explain to me that in many cultures, a female bleeding was celebrated.  It meant fertility for the tribe, another person able to carry on the traditions and customs through childbirth.  It meant fertility for the land, as the blood would nourish the Earth and help the crops grow.  It meant, in some cultures, gained wisdom and insight.  A menarche party, then, was a celebration of all things bloody and menstrual, feminine and powerful.

My mind, as they say, was blown.

(not so much a mind being blown, but isn’t this a cute photo?  photo credit:

So, at age 22, I attended my menarche party.  We wore red, ate red food, talked about blood and bleeding while sitting inside a glorious womb that Elsa had create from deep red fabrics in her attic.

My perspective, thereafter, surrounding my body’s necessary expulsion of uterine lining every month shifted.  I remembered to celebrate my body, instead of curse it.  I remembered to focus on what this blood gave me, and my life, instead of what it took away.

Since then, I have come a long way. I still have cramps, but they aren’t nearly as bad; they haven’t been since that party.  I still get grumpy and tired and all the other things, but now I recognize it as part of a miraculous cycle. I still get anti-social and “bitchy”, but realize this is the urge to go inwards and learn from the little death that comes every month.

I love bleeding now. I am grateful every month that my moon blood greets me.  I gather it in my diva cup and feed it to my plants.  I sleep with a moon blanket to gather my blood off my bed.  I eat delicious chocolates and make love to myself to thank myself for the wonders of what my body does.

My friend Sarah says “Thank you.” every time she knows a womyn is bleeding.  Why? Because she knows that we all go, for those few days, to a place of darkness, where death is ever-present.  She knows that we walk, with our blood, through intense lessons, to bring them back an offer them to those willing to hear.  Because we offer our blood to the Earth.  Because we are moving through cycles so that human life can continue.

So, to all womyn, I say “thank you” for your blood.  May you all find ways that allow you to honour it, as the glorious gift it is.



Thrilling Thursdays, or, why I love my family

5 08 2010

So, what is thrilling for me right now is this: FAMILY!

Yup, they are great.  My family is my dad and step mom and my mom and step dad.  My brother too, but he is all the way out in Victoria, so I rarely see him, unfortunately.  And, of course, my daughter.

This is pic of the Top Know Crew, my dad, step mom, little A and I sporting our top knots this spring

The reason they are thrilling is this: when I am with them, I am a better parent in many ways.  When I am with them, they, without asking, take initiative on helping me with parenting.  Instead of shying away with my screaming child, they come in and scoop her up into a thousand giggles.  They teach her things that I don’t, like how to play frisbee or how to play the piano.  Especially my birth parents, reflect to me so much of where I came from, how I can evolve our family and help me along in that evolutionary process.

They do some of the dishes, without ever being asked.  They cook nutritious meals, without ever being asked.

Now, this might not seem like a lot, but it’s the kind of support that I yearn for in a community.  Community has been my Holy Grail.  I have searched for a community that I could run away to the land with and raise our children together for as long as I can remember having independent adult thought.  I have searched all over this great Turtle Rock and have met so many amazing people.

All the galaxies shine with the beauty of the people that I have met, each an infinite star exploding its glorious light into the Universe.  I have learned so much from all of them.  Yet, when it came time for the vision to really ground, ie: when I had a baby, they were as distant as those star systems, only pinpoints of light in my vision, instead of the brilliant and nurturing suns I hoped they would be.

And that is where they were all at.  And I honour that.

And, I realize what a blessing my family truly is, because though they aren’t necessarily the most spiritually nourishing or socially conscious folks I know, they are ready, willing and HAPPY to assist me in the raising of my daughter.  And really, they have wonderful lessons too.

And while I know I can’t live with just them, I want to find some sort of middle ground, where I can be near them and also be with community, of some sort, as I still, naively or not, believe that solid people will actually be able to become a part of my community one day.

So that feels pretty monumentous, because I always thought I wouldn’t want to be near my family, that integrating them into my life would be like oil and water.  I feel like I am coming to a place where I believe that I can integrate family and community like a nice, smooth vinaigrette.

mmmmm creamy!


on tiredness

2 06 2010

I read a book recently called “momma zen” which talked about the challenge of being tired, as a mother.  I would say that I have never been so tired in my life, as when I was mothering an infant.  Though it has gotten better, now, after almost two and a half years, I still get very, very tired.

Little A has never been a “sleeper”.  Some babies, in mythical lands, I hear, sleep more than two hours at a time, even with cosleeping and breastfeeding.  Little A slept about two hours maximum, at a time, every night, more often than not waking once every 20 minutes or so.  So, I got to experience tired.

I would say that being tired has been the greatest challenge of motherhood.  All the other things, I am able to deal with, if only I have some sleep under my belt.  With little sleep, for years on end, it can become quite a challenge to find the patience and problem solving skills necessary to parent.

In the book “Momma Zen” the zen approach to tiredness is discussed.  And this is what it says (paraphrased of course) “if you are tired, be tired.”  Don’t try to be awake, don’t try to be anything other than really tired, defenses down and surrendering to the world around you much more than if you were fully rested.

So, now, I am, again, tired.  And I am learning how to just be tired.  Not to try to do more than I really need to.  I am learning to accept that, when I am tired, drinking coffee is not the best solution to find more patience and problem solving skills. In fact, it gives me less patience.  It just makes me feel like I should be “getting more done”.  I am learning to lie down in the afternoons, instead of staying awake being mindlessly unproductive, because I am too tired to do anything but feel like I should be doing something.

It is very freeing.  And difficult.

We live in a society that says that our worth is dictated by how much we do/make/create/perform etc.  There is very little respect for the process of Being, especially centered around mothering.  So, to say to someone “yup, I lay down all afternoon so that I could find more patience and compassion with which to raise my child,” can be much harder than “I organized my desktop and did a few dishes.”   (which, is about all I can get up to when I am tired anyways).

Allowing myself to “be tired” also provides a good example to little A.  It shows her that, when she feels tired, it is OK to rest.  She doesn’t have to keep playing until she screams herself into a frenzy.  She can just take a rest.  Like mama does.

It shows her that she, too, can be in balance with her physical and mental needs.

Tonight, I am going to allow myself to be tired and go to bed now, at 8:30.

Good night!

And now back to our scheduled program

1 06 2010

The last month has been pretty full on:  a new home, a separation, applying for jobs, starting businesses and seeing lots of family.  So, after a month of sketchy postings, I will be resuming my normal schedule of everyday, or at least, most days.  YAY!

Something I did over the last month, which was really a surprise to me, was apply for a “Job”.  Yup, a real job, with a boss and a pay cheque and clients and all that jazz.  For those of you who don’t know, I haven’t worked for the last 5ish years and haven’t worked for someone else for about the last eight.

When I realized that I was going to be financially independent, I decided that I would start a massage business, as that is something that I am good at and could start up easily and cheaply.  And I have.  I am open for business now, three days a week (Friday, Saturday and Sunday) and would LOVE to rub you, if you are in the Guelph area.

But that’s beside the point of this post, which is the Job.  I had thought that I would be self-employed again, that I would always be self-employed from here on in.  I never thought I would be writing a resume, cover letter, digging up letters of reference or any number of other things involved in applying for a Job.

I thought: I have no interest in working for other people.  I want to be with my daughter as much as possible and live a simple life, sewing and rubbing people.

Then I met a fellow who reminded me that sometimes, jobs aren’t working “for” someone, they are working “with” someone.  He introduced me to the concept of people paying money for things like networking, community building, collaborating and other things that I just do naturally.  He told me there was a job opening up like this in Guelph.

Now, at first, I made up excuses as to why I couldn’t apply for this job:  it’s not “exactly” what I want to be doing, maybe the organization isn’t organized enough, maybe I would have to put little A in daycare, maybe I would have to dress in clean business clothes (something which seems impossible for me at this point, as “clean” clothes are often ones that are less covered in toddler goop than other), I don’t have enough time to get a resume together… blah blah blah.  The mind can certainly be creative and convincing.

Luckily, the Universe is equally so, and communicated to me, quite loudly, that applying for this job is really a great thing.

So, I did.  In the process, I realized that the last five years have been incredibly productive.  I have done a lot of volunteering, learned a lot mothering and gained some pretty wonderful professional skills.  It was a very empowering process for me to write a resume and translate all my mothering experience into “saleable experience”.

Now, as well, I have a resume, so should other community building jobs come available, I can apply easily for them.  It seems like the Universe is conspiring with me too, as I’ve had two more job possibilities put before me since applying for the other job, both in community building/organizing.  Which would be amazing!

My perspective on work has drastically shifted and my confidence has been boosted.  It’s a wonder to me that applying for a job did all this, but it has.  I feel like Life can surprise all the time and just when you think you know what’s up, it shifts and you learn more than you thought possible.

Whether I get the job or not, I am still going to massage people and work on sewing neat things.  I would love to get the job, and at the same time, am OK with not getting it.  I feel the job that is right for me, I am now open to receiving, and will be able to receive it when it comes.

It’s really a wonderful feeling.

the “problem” with infinite possibilities

16 05 2010

Could there really be a problem living in a world of infinite possibilities? Anything is possible.  How could that possibly be an issue?

My “problem” with infinite possibilities is that there are just too many possibilities to choose from.  How’s that for a post-modern conundrum?  LOL!

It seems that I have so many things I like doing.  I have skills in many things (as I was, wonderfully, raised to believe that I could do anything) and have interest in many things.  There are so many places I love, people I cherish and things to explore.  How do I choose?

All of this comes up for me because in the last two days, two possibilities have come to the forefront and I am wondering whether to choose either of them.  One is a job/career path, the other is a long-term living situation.

Both are things that I want.  Both are things that I am super interested in.  Both involve skills that I currently have.

Both also involve a COMPLETELY different direction than I have thinking I would take and both have me questioning whether I would be able to nurture other important aspects of my life simultaneously.

So, I get to the conundrum of infinite possibility: choice.

Don’t get me wrong, I think choice is one the most wonderful things we are gifted in this existence.  But, I am no longer just choosing for myself.  Anything I choose, now, involves not just me, but my child, and, by association, my child’s father.

I want to make decisions that give little A the best I have to offer.  I want to give her an amazing life, in the ways that I feel I can offer that to her.

Sometimes, I wish the Universe would be more blunt about things, like a big, flashing neon sign saying: “YO! Meme! this is the choice that is for the highest good of all!”  But then, life just wouldn’t be so interesting.

The Wind and The Rain

8 05 2010

(this post turned into a rainy afternoon musing, so I hope you enjoy it with that in mind)

I love the rain.  I am so glad that it is here now.  Pouring down on the Earth, gifting the soils with the abundance of Life.

I love the cleansing nature of rain.  I love feeling the rain streaming down my face, clearing any tears, emotions or thoughts that might need a good washing off.  I have been finding that this particular rainstorm is so cleansing, with its incredibly powerful winds.  Blowing all the old out, washing all the old away.  Bringing in the new over and over again.

I feel this in my emotions too.  As I am now in my new house, away from Chris, I have a lot to shed.  Layers and layers of emotions, thoughts, patterns and conditionings that have piled up over the last three years.  I let the wind blow them away; I let the rain wash them off.

One thing that has been coming up, that I offer to the rain, is judgment.  I have a lot of judgment towards Chris and the way that he lives, and specifically, the way he interacts with little A.  Of course, I want the absolute best for little A, and have a pretty good idea of what that is.  And it’s not necessarily what Chris offers.

But that is a judgment on him, and on his actions.  By all measures, little A is perfectly happy with Chris and thrives in his care.  She gets experiences with him that she just wouldn’t get with me, because they are not what I would do with a child.  However, she thrives on these experiences, and finds much comfort and silliness in her daddy.

She still gets tons of Love.  She still gets good food.  She still gets a lot of space to explore, discover and create.

So, I release with this wind the judgment and allow Chris to be the shining father that he is, even if sometimes he does things that I would consider “not ideal”.

It is so clearing to just allow others to be.  It gives people space to exist and express themselves in ways that could otherwise be squashed in the face of judgment.  It breeds flexibility, as we move to allow others to exist and they move to allow us to do the same.

Trees in the wind are such a great reminder of flexibility.  To remember to move with the winds, instead of fighting against them, allows us to continue moving forward.  When we lose our flexibility, we lose our ability to change, and so, we break.

My dear friend Bloodbeard has a great email signature.  It says “sometimes change seems impossible, but it’s actually not. change is inevitable.”  So, if we forget that change is, in fact, inevitable, then we can become rigid.  I see this so much in Life.  They are so convinced that circumstances can’t change that they are almost holding the circumstances stable with their rigidity.

I’ve done this a bunch myself.

But, luckily for me (and us all) there is wind and rain to remind me of letting go, allowing, bending, moving and clearing with a good dose of abundance and nourishment.

The Gift of Motherhood

6 05 2010

What a gift it is.

The last week or so, though it has been one of the most challenging times, has been such a lesson and reminder of the Gift of Motherhood.  This path, that I’ve consciously chosen to walk, has brought me on such a journey.

Children are our spiritual masters.  Some people look for the guru, the right spiritual teaching that will bring us to new heights of spiritual awareness.  I find that children, these little, fresh-from-source creatures are the best teachers that I have found. And my own child, she is the best teacher for me.

One of the amazing gifts of motherhood is the ability to heal the family line.  I feel like the past few generations, seeing the introduction of many unhealthy parenting dynamics, is finally able to get healed by this new generation.  I feel like so much of what my mother healed, I have, and now can heal even further.

For example: cosleeping.  It has come to my attention that cosleeping is one of the single most important things to do with a baby/toddler.  Though my mother didn’t sleep with me, she slept in the same bedroom as me, which was closer than she was to her mother before her.  There are so many things about my personal psyche that I’ve tried to “work out” in my life and could never figure out where they came from: my totally irrational need to be accepted by my mother in all that I do (though I am completely OK with anyone else not accepting pretty much anything I do), being the first one that comes to mind.

I could never understand it, until I read about the psychological impacts of cosleeping.  Now, I am blessed with the ability to heal that wound and sleep with my child, giving her a sense of security and acceptance.

Another gift of motherhood is creating the future.  It is so amazingly exciting to shape the future of existence through mindful, and unconditionally loving, child rearing.

I feel sometimes like we forget about the responsibility we have, as parents, for the future.  We have children, not to better the future but to just have children.  Maybe I’m wrong about that.  I think that the realm of human development is something that ALL humans need to know, as it helps us make informed decisions about how to raise our children.  We’ve gone so far, it seems, from the intuitive nature of child-rearing that a good blast of knowledge seems to be the only thing leading us back.

The last gift that I am thinking about tonight (before my box-chair gives in, as i’m writing this, still in the middle of unpacking) is the gift of self-reflection.  Little A is such a blessing.  She takes life and reflects it back to me in such a way that I am SO able to learn from, as I see the issues I face playing out so overtly, yet subtly, in her.

This whole thing we’ve been experiencing, of little A getting super upset at me, has been such an amazing tool for me.  It has allowed me to reflect on my own “HUGE emotions”, how space is held for them and how I express them.  And it isn’t nearly as much as it needs to be.  I hide my emotions quite well and only allow huge freakouts to happen alone or with really, really trusted friends.  In the last week, I’ve been allowing myself to cry when I feel like it, as long as I feel like it, no matter where I am or what I am doing.

It is such a freeing process.

Allowing our emotions out, when they need to come, is so beautiful.  It keeps me much more relaxed and functional.  I am less irritable and more patient. Especially with little A.

I thank her so much for this gift she has given me, by choosing me as her mother in this incarnation.

My heart bursts with the love I feel for her, every moment more and more.  It seems impossible to love someone so much.

(I guess my last secret gift is the gift of learning how to Love more and more and more)

So grateful and so humbled.