Monday, September 28, 2009

10 Best Things about Menopause

"The joy of menopause is the world's best-kept secret. Like venturing through the gateway to enter an ancient temple, in order to claim that joy a woman must be willing to pass beyond the monsters who guard its gate. As you stand at the brink of it, it can appear that only darkness, danger and decay lie beyond...but as thousands of woman from all cultures throughout history have whispered to each other, it is the most exciting passage a woman ever makes." Leslie Kenton, Passage to Power

The Ten Best Things about Menopause are:

1. Freedom to have sex without worry of getting pregnant, No more birth control.
2. Rediscovering my own interests, now that my children have grown older.
3. Rediscovering my life as a couple, more time for just the two of us (see #1).
4. Time alone: indulging in my need for time alone without guilt.
5. Finding my Voice: having a say, speaking my truth, speaking up.
6. Creativity Sparked: letting go of the old, making room for the new creative spirit.
7. Knowing my own body, getting comfortable with its shapes, quirks, needs
8. Growing my intuition, claiming my women's wisdom.
9. Healing time: allowing myself to rest, nap or do nothing; pampering myself without feeling guilty. Sometimes it's all about me
10. Inner Journey: looking deeply, listening, writing, reflecting on the inner life becomes a need.

What are your 10 best things?


Thursday, September 3, 2009

The way of the conscious feminine

(excerpt from A Woman's Way, the tao of turning fifty by Jennifer Boire)

"It is difficult in life to find the Feminine Realm. The drawing of the water, the gathering of the grains no longer are performed under an open sky. ...The sense of her task as consecrated and necessary to the cosmos is gone. And I fear for women yet to come. For under the pressures of modern life, time has become compressed. The feminine sense of time has all but disappeared.

Yet woman cannot exist with only a linear awareness of time, for her sense of sacred Kairos time is the precious essence of life. There must be time enough for her to experience the sacredness within each moment and within herself...."
I sit listening to the wind (Judith Duerk, author of Circle of Stones)

According to Duerk, we have modeled ourselves on the masculine way, but the heroic task and journey of the masculine cannot provide what a woman needs to complete the journey of the conscious and developed feminine...we need a Feminine way.

"When a woman uses her energy only to reinforce what is outside of herself, she becomes cut off from her depths. Her own feelings and life values become inaccessible to her. She molds herself to external standards and loses touch with her individuality. She is cut off from all that is uniquely her own that could nourish her and those around her, cut off from the creative new answers so badly needed in the world today.… And her depths become enraged!

The whole wellspring of womanly creativity within her is furious for not being tapped."
from I Sit Listening to the Wind

Have you experienced this battle inside? A part of you that judges yourself harshly, strives to compete, be prepared, be on time, get things done, and runs steamroller over your own feelings or tiredness, your need for quiet time? Makes you feel guilty for needing down-time, playtime or rest? A force that keeps you primed to perform even at the expense of your own health.

Reading Duerk’s book, I felt a tear trickle down my cheek; yes, my body was saying, you have been tricked into this harsh attitude of performance and perfectionism, and you whip yourself harder because you have no faith in your own feelings or emotions, the heart side.

Focused on doing instead of being, the body resists, and by way of a message, my neck acts up. Freezes, cramps and gets so sore, that I have to quit working and rest....Ah, rest. I allow myself 30 minutes to lie on the lounge chair outside, in the last few sunny days of summer. I put down the book I am reviewing, and let myself nap. Get back in touch with my fatigue, my body's wisdom, and dream my own thoughts.....a woman dreaming the conscious feminine way.

I invite you to find a short space for yourself to rest in today, even if for a brief 5-10 minutes of closing your eyes at your desk, resting your eyes in the palms of your hands. Or a short walk at lunchtime out in the sun. Don't try and do it all without rest. Your children, your co-workers and friends, your parents and students will all benefit from a rested, calm, replenished and present, you.



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