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dark moon

Posted on 2006.01.25 at 18:16
The waning moon teaches us strength. I fel it dropping away: the sensation that everything will be OK, that every interaction will fit harmoniously, from food and drug to work and friendship. It feels at first likea failure. Why is this not working, you wonder. Have you lost strength? You have lost the strength of the moon, the ocean, and of love. The salty swoon of connection, which works its own wonders through you.

But now it is time for your own strength to take over the work of taking care. As the moon wanes, so does the inebriation of connection, and you feel alone. What nourishes you? Now is the opportunity to identify and pursue that. You come to realize you are separate in some way from everything else: people, food, your own actions, the panorama of the day.

Loneliness is replaced by an awareness of the choice to interact with the world, depending on whether it is healthy for you. Consciousness of interaction and action. In the dark moon, in winter, and during women's moon-time, we recognize the wisdom of non-doing. This makes our future actions more pure.

Refresher

Posted on 2005.11.13 at 14:25
On a Sunday, I’m thinking

Rest is important, but even more important is where you redevote your energy afterward. These times allow me to think about whether the fatigue I feel is worthwhile, whether the things that I gave my energy to satisfied me. Of course, right now the answer is no.

But a window arises. From working 5 full days a week, I go down to 3 for the upcoming week. A jarring shift, but it leaves me time to fill with other things, and an opportunity to pick up a cooking shift should it arise.

Next weekend I have plans to teach a yoga class at the Orchard. I had a conversation with April, the owner of the studio, last night. She was in Spokane about to receive her certificate in hypnotherapy. We talked about ways of directing energy, structures of yoga and movement series, and classes led by the spirit. It was challenging to hear her different views about asana sequenes—-her approach is the “kitchen sink method”, ie, giving her body a chance to move in every direction, whereas mine focuses on the things that balance me. Although our views were different, she was open to mine and even related them to the school of Vinniyoga, which I’ll have to research.

I’m also thinking today, along the same lines, women’s liberation is not complete without a spiritual freedom and the freedom to create. We must be free to connect with our source of life and vitality and to manifest it in the way that we see fit. No amount of activism or feminist pop culture can substitute for that.

what is women's studies?

Posted on 2005.11.03 at 19:58
I've been flirting with feminism a bit lately. Reading a book called "NO Turning Back", a history of feminism; as well as "Nine Parts of Desire", about Muslim women. I stopped in the Women's Center at the University of Idaho and spoke to the program person about my menstruation workshop. She didn't have room on the calendar until spring, but she hopped on the computer and told me a slew of things I could get involved in, and then assumed that I was interested in coordinating a group called Voices for Planned Parenthood (or VOX). I had to correct her, saying that while I considered reproductive rights important, I was trying to focus on "my own" ideas/interests in the body-mind connection. I tried to explain to her, without insulting PP, that while the work they do is important they rarely address the deeper, more personal issues.

Feminism's motto used to be "the personal is political". But I hardly see anything personal in feminism anymore. The Women's Centers at UI and WSU seem to focus mainly on countering sexual assault and violence, and reproductive rights. Not that I don't think this is important, but I feel like my actions could not be sustained by fighting against something. My feminist action has to be positive, it has to create something, it has to feel good for my mind, body and spirit. Does feminism miss this just because women are so diverse, or because politics just doesn't accomodate the personal anymore?

The most personal kind of feminism I see would be Paganism/Goddess spirituality. But I don't feel like I fit into that either... perhaps when a movement gets to be that big, it has to take on some kind of simple summarization of many smaller, more diverse viewpoints. Maybe I just have to work within the system.

quick update

Posted on 2005.10.27 at 19:46
menstruation hapens t be a great topic to break down inhibitions and create a sense of intimacy among women, while leading them into the question of what makes us similar as women, of what makes us happy/healthy, and of how we feel towards our bodies and femaleness in general.

i have been trying to set a date for a holistic menstruation workshop, but it didn't seem to be happening. so i decided to do it at a cafe. then i decided tod o it at my home. then i threw out the requirement that it had to be about menstruation, because i realized that what i was looking for was much broader. i was talking to a friend on the phone last friday, after a draining work week, and we were both bummed about different things, but before we hung up she called me sweetie. it kind of set off a happy mushroom cloud in my brain; i realized how much we women are socialized to depend on men for validation, and how refreshing it is to be valued by another woman. this is also a personal issue for me because my mother has never been too affectionate and i've always been wary of women. my attraction to the divine feminine, to its force in the menstruatl cycle, could be requited more simply by simply valuing and being valued by other women. as gina used to say, being "a woman who sits in circles of women." so this sunday i'm going to have my female friends over for food and talk.

an interesting development: the program coordinator of the WOmen's Center at UI finally emailed me back, saying she thinks a menstrual "brown bag" discussion is a great idea, and wondering what dates and times I'm available.
another development i'm more excited about: i talked to a woman who owns a dance/yoga/spirituality studio on the outskirts of town and she welcomed me to set up a Women's Yoga class, which would address feminine spirituality.
ironically enough, i've been picking up extra shifts at work to make money. i'm exhausted tonight and can barely think about planning a yoga class. it's an escape from my creative work, but it's also showing me how to not take myself too seriously, which i tend to do when i focus on it more.

succulence from within

Posted on 2005.10.15 at 20:40
Current Mood: contentcontent
I've been complaining a lot. I realized in the last 24 hours that most of my dissatisfaction comes from looking outside myself and not being grounded in the present moment. In the Indian system of ayurveda, I fall into the vata category: slight of body and abundant of mind, with a mean tendency toward worrying and ungroundedness and living in my head. The cool dryness of autumn here in Eastern Washington, and all the change, has aggravated my vata aplenty. My romantic relationship has felt drained of life and passion, as my thoughts and energies have been wandering off into new territories and new friendships. Let's just say that last night was very grounding, and I made a return to my body and to the present moment for the first time probably since we've moved out here. This has rippled throughout my consciousness and I'm no longer so worried about getting into grad school or making huge changes to accomodate my intellectual desires. Another thing I was worrying about, sad to say, was my wardrobe, which has not been overhauled in years because I've been too poor. But I realized that if you believe your body is beautiful, you don't need fancy clothes. And if you believe your mind is beautiful and take pleasure in it, it will naturally gravitate toward places where its talents can be fulfilled.


thoughts on succulence

Posted on 2005.10.10 at 15:43
Today is my first free day following five days of work. my body feels weak, and i'm nauseous... i almost think i might be sick. but this sickness is not an invasion from the outside; i'm not a victim. it's a symptom of a weakness on the inside, caused by fragmentation and poor allocation of resources.

Succulence is what we lose when we work our bodies to the bone against the flow of the spirit. Succulence comes from the spirit, and is a sign of good health.

Succulence is the word i will use to describe the feeling of living in the body, where this life force exists. when i rent my body out to things that don't nourish me, like serving, my body and mind retreat from each other. my body ceases to belong to me, it becomes a thing which i use to make money. that is why in the middle of a work week i am never interested in sex. pleasure of any kind seems remote, impossible. it's only when i feel freed, when i have a few days or more off, that i can return to my body.

It is the feeling of living within the body, fully inhabitig it, being in tune iwth its rhythms and instincts, and following them. In a sense we have to own our bodies before we can inhabit them-- we must have sovereignty (as the Wife of Bath said). Without this, I can no longer give of myself through my body. THe soul recedes further in, to protect itself. THe body then is merely a shell.

Without succulence we are always looking for a quick fix to give us zest again. That is why fast food, sugar and caffeine, and consumerism in general are so popular in our culture (think of the mall or any restaurant on a Friday night). The fact that people have no energy to cook healthy meals for themselves after a week (or even a day) of work suggests a massive energy loss as a result of working. What we are doing is exchanging real energy for fake energy (money). We are selling our native resources, which for each of us are tailored to feed our unique souls, and buying imported resources which may or may not nourish us.

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