Connecting With the Divine Masculine

Originally published on Medium Nov. 7, 2017

The divine feminine doesn’t make any sense without the divine masculine. The balance between the two isn’t exactly about men and women, or about gender of any sort, although it is at the same time.

Because biological females bring souls through our bodies into the world. Sacred? Yes. Esoteric? No. It may sound crazy, but that’s only because of how divorced we are from our own reality.

Let’s get one thing clear. Sex is about so much more than our bodies. It’s about the creative life force of the universe. Every. Time.

We get to honor and protect that space. With integrity. With consistency. With rigor. Sometimes with sacrifice. We don’t get to be small, or play small, or pretend we don’t know what’s been given to us and where our responsibilities lie.

Everything we need to know about everything is already in our bodies. That’s why yoga. That’s why movement. That’s why breath and feeling in and healing work. That’s why sexual healing and trauma therapy. That’s why nature.

The responsibility is monumental and the work is real. When we treat sex and intimacy like a game, we all pay. When we treat women like anything other than the sacred, the masculine distorts itself into a world of entitlement and a mentality of objectification and property.

Here we’ve lost the true connection to land, our bodies, and ourselves.

The divine masculine honors the space. Of transformation, of cycles, of child bearing and child rearing. Of intimacy, sex, birth, life, death, and grief.

We all have both masculine and feminine in our bodies, but in suppressing and disrespecting and harming and denying the feminine, the true masculine in us all has become confused and lost. We’re all off center.

Let’s make one more thing clear. The masculine is not the Patriarchy. The Patriarchy is a lie, long told and currently on full display for all to see, in all its gore and bluster. Understand what is and what is not.

This discussion is about power, but not in the way we normally think of it. Remembering our inherent power, power derived from being in flow, draws it back from these illusionary systems into our bodies and our awareness, where it belongs.

The Patriarchy would have us believe that the way things currently are is the way they always have been and ever will be. So we must be practical and work within the existing systems. Work at the edges. Save for retirement.

But actually, we must remember the most obvious truth, that there’s nothing impractical about the interconnectedness of all things, including ourselves. There’s nothing impractical about fighting for the survival of our species. There’s nothing impractical about eating and shitting and making love and making babies and knowing what that means.

Looking at the world today, the only practical, rational thing to do right now is to remember who the fuck we are and what we are all about.

Going to work every day and saving for “your child’s future” when we have sixty harvests left, and the oceans will be 70 percent more acidic in 35 years, is not exactly practical. Coolness, social climbing, retirement funds, and image may seem as important as ever right now, but we’re hanging on to outdated notions of normalcy as systems built on lies crumble around us.

Charlottesville. Vegas. Texas. Harvey. Irma. Puerto Rico. Northern California. Health care. Taxes. Sexual assault, repression and oppression. Everything is not fine and nothing is normal.

The infinite truth is staring us directly in the face, all day, every day.

So what do we do? As always, we start where we are.

Start a practice. Start a conversation. Start your book. Talk to your partner. Meditate, for a moment, on the creative life force of the universe and all that means. Breathe in. Breathe out. Own your spirituality. Own your voice. Take a step. Take a stand. Hold space for the masculine. Hold space for the feminine. Stop playing around the edges.

Every bit of power we take back matters.

How to Work With Moon Phases

As published on Medium November 3, 2017

You don’t have to believe in magic to believe in the moon. Friday, November 3 we have a full moon! Look up at the big, glowing orb in the sky. Here’s a beginner’s guide to working with phases of the moon.

FULLMOON NOV 2017.jpg

Image source: https://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/4537

Before we worry about all the moon phases, let’s get the basics down around the full moon and the new moon.

The ancients saw a giant seed metaphor in the moon: the new moon is the undeveloped seedling under the dark earth (we can’t see the new moon), and the full moon is the plant at its fullest expression. In between are the birth and the death/decomposition cycles.

Birth, growth, full expression, death and waning, decomposition, emptying out, returning to dark, nourishing the soil and beginning again. Round and round and round.

On the new moon, the moon is at its greatest potential, and this is when we set our intentions. The best way to do this is to write a list of intentions on the new moon, and keep it during the lunation cycle.

On the full moon, the moon is at its greatest expression, and is ready to empty. This is the best time to let go of things that do not serve. A great way to do this is to write a list of things you want to let go of on the full moon, and then burn it. The full moon is also a great day to clean, get rid of physical things you don’t need, and even reset intentions in relationships that may not serve.

To review:

  1. Set intentions on the new moon.
  2. Release things you want to let go of on the full moon.

See, not so scary! Setting intentions and letting go with the moon is also a great way to hold yourself accountable. The moon doesn’t lie, it’s always there, and it’s always on time.

How to Connect With the Divine Feminine

As published on Medium, Oct. 25, 2017

I thought I was writing a book about the relationship between soil health and climate change. It turned into a spiritual memoir. Now I realize that my work is primarily about connecting with the divine feminine.

 Photo Credit: Katie Doner Photography

Photo Credit: Katie Doner Photography

I had no idea my work would take me all the way here. I started out studying Urban Planning, made my way to climate change, found the soil, and it brought me to the feet of the divine metaphor: the fertile soil is female. Compost is transformation through the life/death/life cycle. The harvest, and the cycles of menstruation, move with the moon. Regeneration is about life, death, transformation, and rebirth.

For the last several years, I’ve been writing about how healing the soil could save humanity by combating climate change. But actually, it goes much, much deeper than that. We’ll only reverse climate change and save humanity by bringing natural cycles back into balance. The science is clear: the carbon cycle and the water cycle are way off balance and it’s killing us. We have sixty harvests left in our world’s soil.

And I believe that our efforts at policy and systems change to correct these problems will only stick if we actually do the inner work necessary to transform and reconnect with ourselves, each other, and the planet.

Yes, we broke the system when we invented industrial agriculture very recently. But we broke another, deeper system, all the way back around 500AD. Goddess worship, the Earth Mother, and agriculture went together for tens of thousands of years, honoring the cycles of fertility, childbirth, menstruation, the harvest, and the birth-life-death cycle.

Ancient cultures all over the world for hundreds of thousands of years have stared at the sky and moved with the cycles of nature to honor the passage of time, grow food, mark life rites of passage, bring children into the world, and honor the passage of death out of this world.

I’m embarking on a personal journey that involves the super woo all the way to the mundane. It all matters. I’m embracing my inner hippie witch, embracing the fact that I fail all the time at living a more sustainable life, embracing my learning process, and summoning the courage to share it. I’m good. I’m alive. I’m ready.

Where do we start? We start where we are.

Here are three primary steps forward in connecting with the divine Her, and a number of places to start within each:

  1. Connect with nature :: Food. The outdoors. Cycles of nature: moon, seasons, day/night. Cycles of the body: breath, menstruation, life/death.
  2. Connect with the self :: Therapy. Spiritual practice: yoga, meditation, rituals. Physical practice/exercise. Creativity and creative practice. Intention setting and letting go.
  3. Connect with others :: Community. Public policy. Activism. Personal spending and behavior choices. Art.

I’ll be writing more about all these things, in an effort to walk the walk and help others to do the same. And to unveil some of the beauty that I’ve encountered along this way.

The answer is in balance.

I’ve found that now that I know her I can’t unsee her. She’s everywhere, all the time, finding her way back from the subconscious to the conscious. She speaks through symbolism, metaphor, dreams, images, colors, music, shapes. She’s always in the pulsations of the body and the drumbeat of the heart. She’s the gentle teacher in our deepest grief. She’s walking with us, drawing us on our paths, inspiring our creative work, and she’s always, ever, guiding us home.

Boots.jpg

Where to Start When it Hurts

It's not always easy. Devastating hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, neo-Nazis, threats of nuclear war. The outer reflecting the inner. Our fraught history, and all the decisions we've ever made, collectively bubbling up. 

 

Trauma, grief, love, and healing are up right now. 

 

Yesterday I came across one of the best and most clarifying podcasts I've ever heard. (It's worth the entire 2 hours. Please be aware that it starts with a trigger alert. To hear the whole thing click here). It's about spiritual trauma - what happens when harm is done at the most fundamental place in our soul, the place that is supposed to be our way home to ourselves. But it goes deeper - it's about everything in a way - about healing and hurt and holding space and authenticity and alignment. 

What it brought up for me is the fact that this kind of break happens across the spiritual spectrum, from organized religion all the way over to new age gurus and cults. Wherever the authentically spiritual becomes co-opted by people to control others, harm is done in the most fundamental part of our human psyche. And we pass that along, generation to generation. The expert on the show argues that, in fact, all trauma is spiritual trauma, because it manifests in the body and is recognized and stored at the most primal physiological level.

 

And it can only be healed at that level, starting with the breath, and working with the body. 

 

It points directly at the mind-body-spirit connection and the power of having a spiritual practice that affirms our personal power, boundaries, and innate wholeness, independent from anything external. 

It also brings up the shadow. Because we can only heal by facing our own darkness. We can only end cycles of violence and oppression and denial by bringing the subconscious into the conscious. By bringing light to the dark. Individually and collectively.

 

We change the patterns of damage in front of us by ending the patterns of damage within us.

 

There are two paths here: 1) avoid and deny the pain, and repeat it, or 2) face the pain, heal and resolve it. Only from path 2 can we truly move forward. And, real talk: here on earth, we don't have a lot of time left to keep denying and repeating our pain. It will just get louder and crazier until we face it, heal it, assimilate it, and move forward in peace. As a dear friend said the other day, "grief wants her voice." Grief is a profound teacher. She touches us all and she won't be denied in the long run. Our hearts are built to take in all the pain, feel it, alchemize it and expand with love. We are big enough to meet our pain with compassion.

 

In the coming year, I'll be sharing more about my personal spiritual journey and sharing the tools and resources that I've learned along the way.

 

Today, I'm sharing three things. The first two are the books handed to me when I first walked into therapy in 2010. For those who believe therapy is for the weak, I can tell you, it became my very first practice in telling the truth to myself. My practice before I had a practice. I realize it's a luxury - I have happened to have wonderful health insurance and have been blessed to be able to sustain it all this time. I wish the same for everyone. These books changed my life forever for the better. They are:

 

1) Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzberg

2) Waking the Tiger by Stephen Levine

 

And finally, this forgiveness ceremony is one of the most powerful I've ever encountered. Think of it less as forgiveness and more as clearing a space, releasing ties, and freeing yourself and others of negative baggage. It is unabashedly spiritual and incredibly practical. You can find it here: 

 

Ho'oponopono: A Powerful Way To Forgive

 

Breathe. Go in. Breathe.

"The cure for pain is in the pain." - Rumi

 

GOin.png

 

If this has been helpful and illuminating for you, please pass it along.

If my work supports you, please feel free to support it here:

 

The Number One Thing We Need to Start Doing to Stop Fucking Up the World

Say no. That's the message arising from my depths.

I've learned something in the last few months: I can have compassion, feel empathy, see the divine light within someone, and still tell them no. I can even tell them fuck no.

 

No that is not acceptable in my space.

No I will not tolerate being treated that way.

No I do not accept your shit.

 

Making excuses for other people's shit is not our responsibility, and making excuses for other people's shit is not empathy. It's not being a "bigger person." It's being an enabler. It's bleeding of boundaries. Us highly empathetic hippie lovers of all things big and small are the worst offenders. We see the other person's pain. Or even when we don't, our friends rally around us to remind us of how much pain they must be in to be acting that way. They don't know better. They are insecure. They are hurt.

Fair enough. We can deeply, authentically empathize, and at the same time say no. Because saying no cleans up our own space. Which is our own responsibility. Saying no upholds our value and honors our healthy boundaries. 

If you come into my space and act a fool, I will not tear you down. I will not retaliate and lie or undermine you otherwise. I will not even wish you ill, in fact I will (genuinely) wish for your highest good. I will forgive you. I will take responsibility for what I called in and I will forgive myself. I will do a whole damn Hawaiian forgiveness ceremony to free us both.

 

But I will tell the truth and I will tell you no.

Still.

More than once if necessary.

 

Because I don't accept bullshit. Period. I can't control whether or not it lands with you or anybody else. I can't control your past, present, or future behavior. I can't control whether or not some other person rewards your shit behavior. But I can take a stand in my own space and I can tell you no. Because my space is sacred.

And if the truth reflects poorly on someone, that's on them. This is not about people getting theirs, it's about us defining our own space. Stating to the universe and for all to hear what is and is not acceptable in our space. I say no because I am not a victim and I am not here to absorb anyone's bullshit.

 

"You show the world how to treat you  and the world will respond accordingly.

- Danielle LaPorte

 

Why does this matter in a world where democratic institutions are under threat, the Arctic is melting, and nobody knows what the hell is going to happen?

 

Because we have to say no.

The people at Standing Rock said no.

 

Saying no is often unpopular. It can be difficult. Calling bullshit out will often result in some kind of retaliation. People really do not like to have their shit exposed. It could come in the form of direct attack, or it could come in the more insidious form of lying to save face and pretending not to know what's going on. Or worse, pretending not to understand what the big deal is. The normalization of bullshit creates a culture of bullshit and it is not ok. Not at home, not at work, not in society. You can put a dress on it, and it will still be bullshit.

 

Accountability and responsibility are adult territory.

 

We are responsible for our own bullshit and our own emotions. We don't get to make excuses for expediency, or give up because we believe the system is rigged, or just try not to make waves. We don't get to hide our voices because we're afraid of admitting that we care. We don't get to pretend we don't know what's going on because we are afraid of what might happen if we call it like it is. And we don't get to shy away because exercising our healthy boundaries may inspire discomfort in someone else.

The truth exists, and it matters more than anything that we be our word and keep our intention to the light as best as we possibly can. And when we mess up we get to own it, apologize, take responsibility, and course correct. Each individual can only clean up our own space, and it's our own responsibility to do so. 

 

I hereby clean up mine.

 

If you encounter someone who wants to smile while they kick you, tell them no. Hold them at their highest. Because they're better than that. Because you're worthy of that.

There is no winning outside of our own integrity.

As above, so below. Send a clean message to the universe. Because it's listening and watching. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

30 days of abundance // day 28: the law of increments

my doctoral advisor gave me some of the best advice I've ever received about how to be productive. in facing what seems like a monumental task - like writing a dissertation - where it's impossible to know where or how to start, much less how to design a path forward, there's one way to get going: do something.

 

his advice was: do an hour of something related to the project/task every single day.

 

if something is important to you, you can find an hour each day, whatever else you have to do to make money, etc. at first, it might be just an hour of getting organized, brainstorming, creating physical files or files on your computer. then he said something like:

 

when you get to a place where you have 8 hours, you'll know what to do with them.

 

and it worked. it's the law of increments. that's how you write a dissertation over two years. bit by bit, day by day. it's how we get in shape, it's how we get out of shape. it's how books are written, and how we get good at anything. it's how we raise children, and generally how we get rich or go broke.

another time, I found myself in a sticky situation, and I pulled myself out of panic by realizing,

 

"I got here by making a series of decisions, and I'll get out by making a series of decisions."

 

reminds me of a quote from an article that just crossed my path: "change enough of the little pictures and you'll find you've changed the big picture."

 




30 days of abundance // day 27: 3 surprisingly effective ways to cut anxiety

everyone always tells us to breathe. that's a good one, but what about when we're so caught short that we can't actually breathe deeply yet. we're in the shit. stuck, frozen, paralyzed. these are a few somewhat oddball approaches that have worked to actually slice through anxiety in a way that leads me back to breath and movement.

 

1) laughter. 

 

my best recommendation is to have a stupid video or picture on hand as an emergency panic button. something that will make you laugh out loud no matter what is going on. something about hard laughter is a fail-safe shake-free from spiraling anxiety/panic. it works really, really well.

 

2) aromatherapy. 

 

surprisingly effective. I've heard about it, but it's always sounded kinda half-assed in the face of real anxiety. but I discovered there's a lavender mist spray that I get from whole foods that works like a charm. or add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to a glass spray bottle with water.  

 

3) sage.

 

if my anxiety is linked to someone else's life, using sage and clearing myself of their hooks and ties resets my center. even just the power of calling myself back in and letting go of other people's crap is enough to cut through layers of anxiety.

 

a few other tricks include Rescue Remedy (you can also buy it at Whole Foods), a shower, and of course breathing and movement once you can get to that phase. calling a friend can also work. remember that you're not alone, anxiety is normal and strikes all the time. even just having a few go-to tricks up your sleeve can help keep it at bay in the first place.