Speaking from the Same Mouth

I have visions. They come in the form of dreams, pictures in my mind, feelings in my body. Sometimes these visions are for me, sometimes I am receiving them for someone else and I am meant to share the message. I do not call myself psychic, that does not feel like my truth. I feel I am deeply connected to my inner knowing and I listen to her well, I also think that my connection to the place I am from, the place of souls, was never severed.

This year the visions have been coming and I believe what I am seeing, hearing, and feeling.

Yesterday my Yoda and I were discussing the place of souls and suddenly it was as if we shared one mind, one consciousness for a moment; in that moment we were speaking with the same mouth. We were discussing a place unhuman, a place both of our souls remember, and we were sharing the same stream of consciousness. Our words were the same words, our sentences overlapped. Human words fail me in describing what happened.

This is what I know: Yoda is my Yoda for a reason. We found each other again after this all time. Most of all: I have to listen to this voice, these visions; I have to follow this pull.

I am not used to being this spiritually naked. This is part of my truth took a long time for me to come home to. I could not tell this truth until I was ALL IN on my faith in myself and what I know to be my Sacred Truth. I am ALL IN.

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The summer of my 16th year was a blackout that only in recent years has begun to resurface for me.

Three things happened that summer:

I lost my virginity and became pregnant
I was confirmed into the Catholic Church
I had my first abortion

In that order.

These things did not belong together. I cannot be Catholic AND be a teen mom. I cannot be Catholic AND be a girl who had an abortion.

I do not get to be both, and I HAD to be Catholic to belong to my family, and I HAD to belong to my family.

There was no other way, so half of me was left behind. 16 and pregnant. 16 and a childless mother.

I disconnected from myself so hard that I lost my memories. This is a skill I learned in childhood. I have talked before about our magnificent minds and the lengths they will go to in order to protect us from painful, frightening, devastating realities.

I told myself; This is not part of my story. This never happened. The level of disconnection I experienced was severe, complete-loss-of-self severe. I was lost for a long time, and I only became more lost in my twenties.

I remember sitting in the gymnasium of my church the summer of my 16th year, unaware of the change likely already taking place in my body. I was sitting on a metal folding chair between two girlfriends from my CCD class, we were listening to a guest speaker. This speaker was warning us of the danger of premarital sex. This speaker was impressing upon us the importance of abstinence.

This speaker was not telling us about consent, or affirming our rights to our bodies, or empowering us to make choices with our bodies from a place of being informed and connected. Our bodies did not belong to us, they belonged to God or the Church or our parents or our future husband’s or something?

It was clear that sex was dangerous. I remember the speaker recited a statistic meant to scare us, something about 1 in 3 of you girls will end up pregnant out of wedlock or something. The statistic is not what stands out, what I really remember was looking to my right at my friend Megan, then to my left at my friend LeeAnn, and thinking Well I know it won’t be me.

It already was.

My patron saint was Mary Magdalene. It was my way of thumbing my nose at the church. I had always felt other-than, their rules had always chafed me, felt like nonsense. I had questions that could not be answered. I had questions no one appreciated me asking. I always felt wrong.

I chose Mary Magdalene because my Catholic brain saw her as the persecuted whore, I felt sisterhood with her. I was struggling with the fact that only weeks before I had lost my virginity, I needed someone in my corner and she seemed like a good someone to me. I liked that no matter what society said about Mary Magdalene, she and Jesus knew she was inherently worthy; that she was part of the divine, that we all are. On some level, even in my darkest corners, I have always known too.

This truth is why I did not stay lost. In my Found place I know I am worthy, I am whole, I am enough. I know this because of my connection to the divine.

This part of my long walk home is not just about picking up that mother and her babies and welcoming them all back in love; it is about the repair of my connection with my own sacred holiness.

I have to unravel from the untruths I learned about belonging and worthiness. The Church does not get to define these things for me just as they do not get to withhold them.

 

Cry Cycle

Every 28 days or so, with the shift of my body’s tide, I have a major cry.

Before birthing little bubby I experienced the intense emotional upheaval that comes with shifting hormones most women experience during their body’s monthly cycle. Back then, I did so with complete disconnection from myself.

For most of my life this experience, that is actually very natural, has felt anything but to me. It has felt scary, unnatural, and wrong. As a result,  I have spent most of my life either in a wild spiral or fighting against being sucked into that spiral. Either way I have not allowed myself to experience the healing release that my body and female spirit need.

Last month my moon cycle started flowing again for the first time since becoming pregnant November 2017. Once again my emotions swelled, and once again I fought against the wave. I was reluctant to give in and allow myself to experience the ecstasy and relief of the release.

I cried and fought and resisted one whole night until the wee hours of the morning at which point my husband, unsure how else to support me, encouraged me to show up for myself however I needed to and then rest. He agreed to take care of little bubby and go into work late the next morning so I could sleep to recover.

I stopped fighting and allowed myself to cry. I allowed myself to flow through my emotional state freely, without fear or judgement. The next morning I slept and that day, after waking slowly and quietly, I was gentle with myself.

This was a different experience, and it felt better.

I had allowed myself to surrender to the release and much like menstruation itself, I was able to shed all the emotional debris that I had collected over the course of that month (and truthfully the 16 months prior).

Last week I felt the familiar build up as the wave of emotions started to peak. I knew I was scheduled to begin my next moon cycle and all of me was crying out for release.

Last month’s cry cycle was dedicated to my mother. This month’s cry is dedicated to my body and everything she has held; life, pain, lies, physical and sexual abuse, joy, love, all of it.

I have decided I am done fighting against my divine feminine nature. Each moon cycle I will allow myself to flow with the changing tide. As I begin to flow so will as many tears as are needed to release what my body, heart, mind, and soul have been holding from that cycle that are ready to be released. I will not fear this flow, I will not fight it. I will allow myself to be held, I will float. I will not sink, I will not drown. This is natural, this is sacred, and I am safe.

Each month I will be gentle with myself. I will rest. I will honor this sacred time and hold myself sacred and worthy.

Love is so different on the other side of healing. Love is so expansive when everything is allowed to exist as it is meant to; together, in connection and love.

Jasmine Tea and The Silver Witch

This last week I added two new favorites to my ever growing list of favorite things:

Jasmine Tea and The Silver Witch by Paula Brackston.

silver witch

I was at a women’s group last weekend and was perusing the tea selection when I found a sensuality tea that boasted being equivalent to romance in a cup. It was. It was INCREDIBLE. It was a green tea that had strong jasmine notes along with other flavors. Every time I lifted my cup to my lips to take a sip I was overwhelmed (in the best possible way) by the seductive smell of jasmine. It did kind of make me want to go home and make out with my husband I am not going to lie. Strong stuff.

Monday I met a former social work colleague turned friend for tea and found a jasmine white tea on the massive tea list. It was rather expensive compared to many of the other teas, I was curious to see how it compared to the other jasmine green tea. It was phenomenal as well! Jasmine tea is a top three tea for me now.

My plan is to go back to the tea shop near our home where I met my friend last Monday and buy a bag of the loose leaf jasmine tea. It is close to 35.00 a bag though and I am broke social worker. To be conservative I looked for jasmine tea while at the grocery today with my husband. I found one for 3.50 a box and decided I would give it a try. If I liked it I just saved myself 30.00, if I don’t I am only out 3.50.

Verdict: it is just okay. The other two were fragrant and smooth. This one has only the slightest hint of jasmine present and is rather bitter. A disappointment that was honestly half expected.

Moving on to the novel. I loved it. More so than The Sparrow Sisters by Ellen Herrick which I read first thinking I would like it better. I liked that one too, Silver Witch was special though. I really identified with the main characters in the book, as I so often do in my witchy novels, and with good reason! I think maybe I have said this before so at the risk of redundancy; these books are about women who have a deep connection to themselves, the earth/nature, and the greater unknown. They are introverts and highly sensitive/intuitive and embrace their shadows in love without being consumed by their own darkness. Of course I relate to the women/witches of these books.

Where I struggled with Silver Witch was in the editing. I feel like too much was missed. With that said, there may be another answer for this other than poor editing, the writer is not American so it may just be a matter of me not understanding the slight differences in dialect. I loved the character development so much the errors did not bother me. The ending was a bit weak in my opinion as well, yet again, I loved the women so much little else mattered much to me.

I don’t know my next move, in terms of what to read. I have plenty here and none of it is speaking to me. I could pick Red Tent back up and maybe I will. OR I could get a new book at the bookstore by way of the tea shop to pick up the sensational tea I cannot stop thinking about.

Self-Love Can Survive Any Drought

self-love can survive any drought

Over the weekend I spent a lot of time in quiet meditation creating. From that came the inspiration for a piece I painted this afternoon.

Cactus came up during my creating over the weekend and when I started thinking on what symbolism I see, this is what I came up with.

Cacti are like all other plants in that they need water to survive, that need looks different for them compared to many other species of plant however. Cacti are able to survive barren conditions and drought thanks to their ability to self-sustain by storing water inside. Cactus are not only able to survive these harsh conditions, they grow. They grow in conditions that would cause most plants to wither and die.

I related this back to inside love versus outside love. We have no control over the love we receive from others, much like plants cannot control the weather and when it will rain. In times of emotional drought/disconnection those who depend on that outside love and validation may struggle while those who can self-validate and experience love from within/self-love will not only survive these times of solitude, they will continue to grow and bloom because of the love they are able to show themselves.

In this way self-love is this self-sustaining property that allows us to operate with little fear of outside disconnection for we know all we need to thrive and grow lies within us.

For a long time I was much like Gerbera Daisy, finicky in every way imaginable and very dependent on my environment to provide me with everything I need to feel love and connection/survive and grow.

Now I know I am evolving into my own breed of cactus. I still enjoy being showered with love AND when drought comes my way I am able to self-sustain with my own inner supply of love stored up just for me, my own special gift from within.

My prickly spiny exterior is equivalent to my boundaries and assertive attitude, protecting me against all who would mean to harm me.
My root system underground is my way to connect with others who are willing to go deep rather stay merely on the surface.

At the end of the day what keeps me going is me. I am the love that keeps my heart beating, I am the love that will help me grow. If water is the source for life to grow and love is equivalent to water, I am the source from which my biggest growth takes place.

Carrying My Brick

This morning I sat in a rocker in the sunroom of our home with a mug of decaf and my thoughts. I was thinking about some of the women that inspire me. The women whose books I have read and said to myself Me Too. Brene Brown, Glennon Doyle Melton, Cheryl Strayed. Women who were lost and found and hurt and loved and honest.

My husband and I listen to a podcast that is all about story telling. Week after week we listen to people across the nation, and sometimes across the world, tell their story on this radio show; and week after week I wait for a story like mine, a story that will allow me to say Me Too. This weekend while we were driving to my parents house we decided not to listen to the podcast and instead road in silence, each of us with our thoughts. It was in that 30 minute car ride that I had my epiphany, maybe I am the one who is supposed to tell the story. I am waiting in the sidelines for someone else to tell it, maybe I am that someone.

I don’t know what that will look like yet. Maybe it will be me sharing it here on my blog, maybe it will be me standing on a stage, maybe it will be me finally standing in my truth in front of my family, maybe it will be leading a support group for women like me. I don’t know.

I do know I am scared. The very thought of truly allowing myself to be seen is terrifying. That is what brought me back to these women, Brene, and Glennon, and Cheryl. These women paved a path by sharing their stories, a path for the next woman to walk down. Each woman who brings her brick to this path and allows herself to be seen in her truth and share her story extends the path one brick further for the next woman who will walk the path and bring her brick. I understand now that we are all connected, this path belongs to all of us and it is important that I bring my brick in love, without fear so the next woman will have the courage to bring hers. This is the path of women, the path of love and worthiness, the path of connection and infinite enoughness. This is the path we are called to walk and with courage I will pick up my brick and place it on the path in the spot that was created just for me knowing that one day my brick will support future generations of women bringing their bricks to claim their rightful place on this path of love.

brick1.jpg

Womanhood

tired

I painted this picture today that made me feel completely overwhelmed. It brings up all these emotions around sexuality, and passion, and this energy and power I am supposed to have as a woman. Standing in these energy spaces do not make me feel strong and empowered, they make me feel overwhelmed and exhausted.

Suddenly I felt that flash of passion rise in me, it was frustration and resentment.

I sit in these women’s circles and allow myself to wear certain social labels such as feminist, and the energy behind all of it is a celebration of womanhood. That is just not my experience though, not completely at least. There is an “AND” there.

I am proud to be a woman AND I believe women are powerful AND I feel overwhelmed by my experiences as a woman.

My truth is that womanhood is not something that I stepped into, there was no sacred, beautiful right-of-passage. For me it felt like womanhood/becoming a woman was something that happened to me.

Before I even had the opportunity to process the fact that my body was changing the boys around me were taking notice. I never got to experience these changes and try to understand my new self before I was being grabbed at and taken from verbally, physically, and energetically.

I think of the idea behind the Red Tent, it was a place of sanctuary where women could take counsel with one another and celebrate their magic and be free from the shackles of womanhood placed upon them by society during their sacred cycle.

I grieve for the time I was not given. I grieve for the space that was never there. I grieve for all the parts of myself who have never gotten to call my body home. I feel like a child that has been trying to play catch up in a land of women.

I am tired of running, I am tired of having no where to call home. I am tired of being tired. I am just so breathlessly exhausted.