Writing from the darkness of domesticity…again

 

 

As some of you know, I have been taking a break from work since September. Three months in, I find myself grateful for the extra time and space and also bristling against my now (even) more domestic mode. (Since there is nothing else to take my focus.)

I hate domesticity. I rail against it. All the time. Almost every day.

I hate everything to do with housework and domestic duties. It is something that I have an ongoing battle with. I struggle, I rage, I despair. I accept, I flow, I enjoy. I struggle, I rage, I despair. This is the rhythm of it for me.

I hate the schedule. The monotony. The uselessness of it all. What does it mean for me to wash dishes, cook food, buy groceries, run errands, pick up toys, change summer to winter clothes? I honestly don’t give a shit. I find it useless, stupid and a waste of everything else I am good at.

I love my children and I honestly don’t give a shit.

I feel like a wolf that has been trapped in the wild and caged. Every day, her wildness dims a  bit. And she forgets what snow on the air smells like.

Dramatic? Maybe.

This place where I am is not where I expected to be. In high school, I did a project with my two best friends and we wrote down what we wanted to be when we grew up. One wanted to be a fashion designer. One wanted to be married with children. I wanted to travel around the world and have “lovers in every port”.

Being the main housekeeper and childcare provider feels like having a job I hate and not getting paid for it.

Maybe, some would say, your healthy and happy children are payment enough.

Nope. No, they are not. Not for me.

And yet, YET, occasionally, there is joy in this role. Occasionally, nothing brings me greater pleasure than being a mother, a mama bear, a goddess of the hearth, a keeper of all things cozy and nutritious and delightful and wonderfully loving.

Occasionally.

And then, there are many times where my rage and feeling of unfairness threatens to rip my brain from my head and light my house on fire.

So what does a woman do, a wild woman do, a woman who dreamed of travelling and having lovers in every port, what does this woman do with her domestic rage?

I allow myself to become untamed. I shed the skin of domesticity and become animal. True to my nature. Wild. Free.

I light candles and they represent the burn of every woman who feels like me.

I put on a black dress. I like where it is tight and pulls against me. I like how it caresses my bare skin. How it will expose me as I move. It connects me to my darkness, my vitality, my angst, my vibrant push against it all.

I know I have a choice in this moment. To dive into the darkness I feel or to pretend it isn’t there. To stuff some part of me down, down, down. To suffocate my soul. To stitch myself up on one side only to have myself spill out on another. To cover my shadow with sparkly glitter which burns like poison on my skin.

So I dive into the darkness I feel. I move and sway and let the music take me away.

I begin to shed, cracking open what I mistakenly thought was me. I am reminded of myself. How much life there is inside of me. How much joy. How slowly I can move; like I am leading the world by the tip of my finger.

I touch my skin and feel where it is velvet soft, where it is warmer, where it curves in and out.

And then, aaahhhhh, there I am. My creature. My animal of all the shades, this breath of life in and out. My curves, my opening wider and wider.

I find the hard parts and soften them with curves. My cells open and breath for the first time today.

Yes, here I am. I become exquisite, mysteries, untouchable, magical again.

I leave with no plan, no solution. Nothing has changed. But I have stood firmly inside of myself and tasted my greatness. I belong to myself once again. And I have reminded myself of how much I am, how deep I go, how wide I am capable of opening.

I have celebrated my truth and made poetry from it.

 

 

What my grief feels like

 

I am beginning to offer grief and rage workshops and I want to share some of my experience with grief with you. To let you know that you are not alone. That you are not wrong for feeling deep sadness. I am right there with you.

There are so many reasons for us to grieve. Death. Of a person or of a dream. Struggle. Being stuck. A change that we didn’t ask for. A door closed. Something we want that we can’t have. The goodbye that we never had.

For most of us, we grew up being told – more by example than by words – that intense emotions were unsafe, dangerous and to be dealt with behind closed doors.

We need to change the way we move through intense emotions and the way we accept and honour our feelings. They are a strength, not a weakness.

This is what it feels like for me to be in my darkness. What does it feel like being in yours?

I know I can reach out but I still feel completely alone. Alone in my house. Alone in my thoughts. I have people around me but I am completely and utterly alone. In my confusion. In my pain. In my crying.

In this darkness, I am alone.

I have been crying on and off all day. I have gone from moments of feeling completely right to sheer panic carving out a ditch in my chest.

I am talking to my children in a calm voice while I hold my hands over my chest in case my heart decides to launch itself forward into the abyss.

They call to me. I don’t have the energy to answer back. I want to disappear into a cave and never come out but instead I have to go upstairs and put a movie in.

I am so defeated. I am so lost. I don’t know what is right, what to do, what I want. I feel utterly incapable of helping myself because I don’t feel like I have the energy to do anything at all. I am tired. So tired. The thought of planning dinner feels so exhausting that I don’t give a shit and everyone can go hungry.

The skin on my arms tingles and my chest is so tight and crying feels like too much energy yet the tears break my face every few minutes.

Is this grief? Is this defeat? Is this giving up? Is this growth?

It is painful and makes me feel helpless. I am a shattered, paper thin version of my warrior now.

I don’t want to move, I don’t want to think, I don’t want to feel, I want to have a hot bath and disappear.

My heart, even, is tired. She feels like she has dropped into a coma. My shoulders can’t lift, they can’t hold the weight of all that needs to be held.

Is this a fight? Is this my glory moment? Is this growth? Is this where I charge ahead or is this where I hide my wide open crying wound under a blanket?

How do I do this? Alone. Tired. Small. Defeated.

It is painful to move. To let this move. It feels better to freeze. It hurts.

I am a shell of myself.

I rock back and forth, I stroke my hair, I am a neurotic disturbing rhythm.

I want a mother. To hold me and tell me that it’s all okay.

I can feel my mind stopping me from falling. It is judging me. What, it wants to know, what the fuck is wrong with you?

I hold my original heart in my hand. She is so open and joyful and ready to belong. Then she has first irreparable hurt. And then, another. And she hardens as, somehow, her underside grows even more tender.

There is no running through it, moving away from it. There is only being in it.

It hurts. It is messy and painful and ugly and too much.

Every door opens closer to that most wounded wound. Being alone. Not being held. Being apart. There is no balm for this one.

And so I move. I move what I can. How I can. I keep breathing. And moving. And let it flow.

And in the movement, in the allowing, there is no fixing. No “over”. No done. There is only having been heard. Having talked without words. Having shown, having been so inside of it. There is only a feeling of having walked through the fog instead of around it. There is a release and relief in not having to carry all of it anymore. Smaller bits I carry only.

Every time I sink into my darkness, I build up my ability to be with other’s darkness. It no longer terrifies me. I also know the gifts it brings. The incredible bigness of the heart in darkness.

I am finding my power and my clarity in my sadness. This sadness is carving away at so much armour, so much of what will lead me in the wrong direction. She is also my courage because once I have gone so far down into her depths, I am unafraid.

There is a sweetness, a delicious relaxation to drop my head back into my grief and stop fighting it. It is the water after the deep thirst.

In my depth, I am absolutely fearless. Because I own my darkness, there is no threat of darkness that anyone can hold over me. I become sovereign.

It took time for me to learn how to feel. Every time I feel, fully and in my body, I learn something new and expand myself in new shapes and areas.

What I have learned is how to give myself full permission to feel what I feel, deeply and without apology. Unbridled. Primal. Embodied. I have learned how to move emotion through my body so I can write my poetry with it.

I am learning, always, how to have grief open me up instead of shut me down. 
 
I know there is a different way to move through our stories of rage, of grief and struggle. There IS another way to do this. Yes, in darkness and also in tribe. In joy. In connection. In gorgeously alive, breathing and expanding beauty.

The indecency of pleasure…and a wading pool

 

I was at a wading pool. The water was so so cold and the weather was so so hot. I sat beside two little girls as they played in the pool. One of them dribbled some cold water on my hot leg and it felt delicious.

They were delighted at my delight.  They spent a long time filling up their buckets with cold water and pouring it on my feet. My knees. My legs. I oohed and aahed. They loved it. And then I asked one of the girls if she wanted to feel what it felt like. We switched positions; I filled the bucket and poured cold water on her skin.

It felt like a sacred act – pleasure being given and received from woman to girl and back again. I thought about how little we do this for each other. Moms and daughters. Girlfriends. Women to each other.

Asking for, allowing and receiving pleasure has been so tainted by porn and a puritanical distrust of anything that feels good that most of us have a rock-hard resistance to surrendering to pleasure.  We women learn our lessons well, don’t we? And in a culture where we are yearning to be touched but everything encourages us to keep a respectful distance from each other, giving and receiving pleasure seems like an indecently intimate act.

This moment with myself and these two girls was exquisite. It felt like the most beautiful and natural thing to do and utterly unnatural and forbidden at the same time.

The way we deprive ourselves daily, of pleasure, is such a deep shame. I believe that our skin is yearning to be touched gently. Our senses are designed to moan over that first gorgeous bite of food. Our backs want to arch in ecstasy when that perfectly breathtaking warm breeze finds it’s way through our hair and down our neck. We are built to ooh and aah over a smell, close our eyes over the exact right tickle. What ecstasy the world can offer us when we lose our minds in the pleasure of being adored, gifted, opened, relaxed, seduced, satiated and overcome by smells and touch and food and sound.

Have you ever found yourself holding back that sigh of pleasure, that moan of ecstasy? Have you ever wanted to shift your body during a tickle to receive it in even more of a delicious way, but stopped yourself?  Have you ever found someone’s full sensual enjoyment of something, uncomfortable?

In the comments below, I’d love to hear what your experience is with pleasure. How you think about it in your life. Whether it has a place there or whether it doesn’t. What you were taught about the place of pleasure in your life.

 

I ask myself, what would a masochist do?

 

First of all, I had to look up this word because you know when you think you know what a word means but there is a bit of fuzziness around it and you definitely would not go on a game show and raise your hand? I just knew that one of those words does the spanking and the other word gets spanked.

Masochist. A person who derives sexual gratification from their own pain or humiliation.

Also, a person who enjoys an activity that appears to be painful or tedious. Bingo.

Whenever I am in a situation that feels shitty (and when I can remember to do this) – stuck, hurt, ashamed, doubting, hopeless – I ask myself the question, what would be the hardest thing to do right now?

I started doing this because it became obvious that I was already doing the easiest thing. That just happened naturally.

When I felt stuck, I just let my negative programming have at it and it would race away and convince me that nothing would ever change and that this was my life forever.

When I was emotional bruised, I would close down physically and emotionally so nothing could get in to hurt me again. I fed my wounds.

When I felt shame, I isolated so no-one would ever know.

When I doubted myself and my work, I just sat in that pile of shit and let those waves of self-diminishing wash over me and get into every cell of my body.

Actually, all of that was really easy to do. It fit with all of my human training thus far and I didn’t even need to think about it. Those responses happened just like breathing.

The thing is, doing what was easy also felt like shit because there was something about my reactions that kept me there. They protected me from everything including being able to move through and out of where I was.

Hence the question, what would be the hardest thing for me to do right now? Perhaps if the easiest thing didn’t do shit, then the hardest thing would be the answer.

When feeling stuck in our bodies or mindsets, the fucking hardest thing to do is to move and let go.

When feeling heartbroken and bruised, the hardest thing to do is to stay in the room and stay open.

When feeling shame, the hardest thing to do is to tell someone else about it.

When feeling self-doubt and self-hatred, the hardest thing to do is loving self-care.

When overwhelmed and panicked, the hardest thing to do is to slow down and take a break.

When hating our bodies, the hardest thing to do is to touch them with love and treat them well.

When rejected, the hardest thing to do is to not take it personally and to stay turned on to our amazingness.

I have found that this technique usually points me in the right direction of GETTING THE FUCK OUT OF HERE. It also always reminds me that I have a choice, even though everything in my body might be clinging on for dear life to the victim.

In the comments below, I want to know what you think. Have you ever tried this? Do you have a question you ask yourself to try to move out of where you are and towards where you want to be?

Monks, Crowns and Menstruation

 

FYI, there is NO class on Friday, August 3rd and Monday, August 6th for the long weekend.

Monks

Sorry, monks. Try tending to your soul, carrying and releasing your suffering and actively practicing compassion while your two kids demand three meals a day plus snacks, leave endless messes as they move from craft to craft, bring insects, mud and sand into the house, scream and cry, don’t eat anything  you made for them and require your energy for 14-hour days. Sitting on top of a mountain all alone, living in a cave for decades? Having time to think? Meh.

Crowns

I got a crown recently and I wore it everywhere. To school. In the airplane. All around two cities. I wore it when I felt shiny and gorgeous, like a diamond. Easy. I put it on when I felt stuck, like a failure, deep in struggle and totally not shiny and gorgeous. When I felt like I hadn’t earned it. Harder.

It also takes a lot to put on your own crown. Bah, Elizabeth. You had no choice. This was something that you inherited because of your family. But what does it take for a woman to crown herself? 

So many people called me princess. I corrected them. I am not a princess. I am a Queen. One woman said, what are you Queen of? And I said, myself. Another woman said you know too much to be a princess. Right on, sister.

Menstruation

After decades on wearing disposable pads and tampons filled with chemicals, I recently switched to washable pads. And big gray flannel granny underwear specifically designed for my pads. For the first time in my life (besides being thank god, I got my period), I look forward to my period. To my bleed, as they say. I have beautiful things to wear against my skin. They all sit there, waiting for me, in a special place in my drawer. And that has shifted how I honour myself during that time. I try to really rest on that first day because I’m tired and slow and want to be left alone. I’ve been reading books on what women are learning and experiencing as they go through the phases of their cycle. It’s very cool shit.

It makes me think of how menstruation was treated when I was a teenager. (And likely is still now.) There was nothing honoured or sacred about it. No sense that, hey y’all, we are freaking powerful and beautiful and important and we are bleeding because, you know, no big deal but we have the ability to continue the human race. It was embarrassing and secret. Whispered about. Hoping you didn’t get it when you were wearing white pants. Getting it while you were wearing white pants. The mortification of leaking at school. The shame of buying tampons and then trying to figure out how to shove them up there.

What has been the effect on us of a culture that doesn’t want to know about, talk about or see something that happens once a month in our female bodies? How has growing up in a culture that doesn’t honour or treat sacred this very powerful ritual affected the way in which we view our sacredness and our right to be here?

I met a father who’s daughters recently had their first menstrual cycle and had been on a strawberry fast in order to celebrate and honour this important stage in their lives. This is what I hope for, for all of our girls.

If you have any ideas or experiences with approaching a young girl’s first menstruation cycle with sacredness and honour, I would so love to hear from you. Let’s start changing this now.

WHAT IF. What If. What if. what if. what if. what if…

 

I look around and I see so much of our strength. Our wisdom. Our fucking gigantic hearts and our deep deep wisdom that instinctively is drawn to heal and love. Our beauty…oh my, so much beauty. Our warrior courage. Our magnetic sensuality and our naughty, mysterious, breathtaking, joyful sexuality. And over that, I see the veil. The veil of self-doubt. Comparison. Overwhelm. Bitterness. Guilt. Staying quiet, small and good. Expectations. Shoulds. Numbness. Fear. Shame. Trauma. Feeling like there is a limit to how big we can get, how loud we can talk, how much we can ask for, how much of our real selves we can show and how much space we are allowed to take up in the world.

That veil makes me fucking mad. I want to run down the street and pull it off every woman and then run to the park and dance in the sun for hours and hours until we drop into delicious, ecstatic exhaustion. Feeling so perfectly and absolutely right.

Sometimes we don’t even know that we are asleep. Sometimes we don’t even know there is another way. Sometimes our fear keeps us tuned to the one channel we have learned about what a woman is. It’s not our fault. We are such fucking overachievers than when lessons come our way, we learn them, but good. Even when those lessons about what it is to be a woman come from outside ourselves. Maybe especially then.

But what if…..?

What if.

What if all of our bodies were perfect and totally deserving of every test, every doctors appointment, every healer, every morsel of food, every hour of sleep, every touch and caress and tickle just because.

What if there was nothing wrong with us when we struggled. Got crusty. Got angry. Felt stuck. Failed. Couldn’t decide. What if our symptoms were mostly because we have forgotten how perfect, how beautiful and how absolutely right we are. In every way. In every stage. In every struggle.

What if every struggle we are in, has been felt by other women and even though our pain is our own, it is also pain known and held by our sisters all over the world and what if, we really are never alone.

What if every effort we make to love and nourish ourselves heals not only our wounds but the wounds of our mothers and their mothers and every one who came before us and will come after us.

What if every time we met another woman who was glowing, we didn’t criticize or judge or try to diminish her light but let her light fill us up and lift us up and help us remember where WE WANT TO GO TOO.

What if we are fucking geniuses.

What if we trusted our bodies (instead of the doctor/teacher/trainer/magazine/guru) to know what they need to eat, how much they need to sleep, how they want to move and what makes them purr.

What if we DO know exactly what we want. What if we DO know what we want to say yes or no to. What if we really DO KNOW.

What if we trusted ourselves so deeply that we followed our own voice, our own intuition, our own “gut feeling” without hesitation.

What if we believed that we had every right in the world to ask for everything we wanted in the bedroom. What if we were able to not receive everything we asked for and MORE.

What if we are not broken or flawed or fucked up or failing but just women on a never-ending journey of which every part is to be honoured and celebrated because we are fucking alive and human and divine.

What if every time we went to the gym, we didn’t have to push our bodies into pain, stretch further than was comfortable, crunched until we ached. What if we stopped punishing our bodies and believed that we were desired and loved and worthy, just because.

What if we could just put down the burdens, the pushing, the going, the doing, the constant racing, the running, the go go go go go go go and just rest and rejuvenate and relax and totally approve of that.

What if we all wore bikinis on the beach and looked around and saw thin bodies and big bodies and bodacious breasts and more-nipple-than-breast breasts and juicy jiggly butts and sexily square butts and overflowing with love tummies and tight tummies and short tall fat small dark light old young and thought…“Wow. Look at how beautiful we are.”

What if we didn’t feel guilty about taking a break in the middle of the day because we stopped believing that we needed to “earn our keep” at our jobs, in our relationships and inside our families.

What if, instead of isolating ourselves during our dark times, we reached out and grabbed our sisters hands and pulled them into the dark with us, where they sat, just holding us. What if we didn’t hide our darkness but shared it so NO WOMAN EVER felt like she was the only one again?

What if our girls never lost the natural love of their bodies, seeing the way their flesh and curves grew and expanded and shrunk and stretched as beautiful and worthy stages of the miracle of their story.

What if we unlearned our habit of complaining and became, instead of victims to the boss, the partner, the kids, the husband, other people, the heat, the snow, the news, decided to stand in the full joy of living that we were born with.

What if we overflowed with enthusiasm, joy, bliss, laughter, glow, light, fun and play.

What if we asked for everything we wanted.

I don’t know much. But I know I love you.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear what this makes you think of. What are your “what if’s” in your life now? What are you doing in your life to change the way you feel and move and live, as a woman?

I’m really good at self-care and here’s what I’ve learned about it

 

I am really good at self-care. It has been and is the work of my lifetime.

Here’s what I have learned:

Self-care has many levels. There is surface self-care and there is deep self-care. We have our own versions of all the levels. For me, a hot bath is surface. A movement session where I burst into tears and crack somewhere is deep. I need both.

Self-care is always changing. Ha! What used to soothe, re-fill and re-fuel might not work anymore. We are always changing. We are never ever static in how we feel and what we want and need. Yoga might have done it for you before but it might not anymore.

Self-care is a call-and-response. The body (or heart or soul) calls for something. The mind decides whether or not to fulfill the request. For example, body tells mind I am tired and want to sleep. Mind tells body, push through, I can’t stop to give you what you need. Conversation over. Self-care dead.

Self-care bangs up against everything. Self-care hits walls everywhere it goes. It bangs up against what your partner wants you to do. What your kids want you to do. What your work wants you to do. Anyone who expects self-care not to bang up against anything will never do it well.

Doing self-care in spite of what it bangs up against builds our warrior. When we are not building our warrior, we are building our victim.

Self-care is the hardest when it is needed the most. This still boggles my mind. When we need it the most, we do it the least. Most times, when we are in crisis, instead of increasing our self-care (more massage, more physical activity, more meditation, more good food, more sleep, more orgasms), we decide to just make it through as best as we can. And we survive it all. We survive the crisis because we are so good at surviving. But we might arrive at the end of it in a total physical or mental breakdown, depleted and depressed or just numb.

Self-care is work. It requires an iron will and tons of discipline. It is where a woman must stand in her own power and for her own worth. This is where the battle is fought, day in and day out.

Part of what is essential to me is my feminine soulful movement practice. For those who live in Toronto, you can join me every Monday night.

In the comments below, I would love love to hear what you have learned (or are learning) about self-care.

 

In love with men

 

There are so many reasons that women have to be angry and disappointed by men. I don’t need to talk about that here but I a few days ago, I listened to the “Cross Country Checkup” program on CBC radio regarding the Humboldt Broncos bus crash tragedy. Most of the callers happened to be men so I got to listen for about an hour to them talking about their feelings. It felt so nourishing and beautiful to me that I wanted to share it with you.

I heard a man talk about how, in the early hours of the morning, instead of putting his three-and-a-half month old son in the crib after getting him back to sleep, he holds him for a few more hours just because he realizes how precious his life is.

I heard bus drivers and coaches and writers and hockey players talk about love. Community. Bonding. Teammates. The importance of family; birth family, billet family and the family of the community. The forever bond between players.

I heard their voices break. And crack. And their silence when it became too much.

They talked about the feeling of being kicked in the stomach. The agony and pain of parents. What it felt like to feel the fear of putting your kid on a bus for a long trip.

They talked about their hearts breaking. Their deep deep pain.

And they talked a lot about their love and appreciation for how the community was coming together. They had deep wisdom about the importance of it. They knew that this is something not to be lived through alone. But in community. In family. In friendship. Together.

They spoke with deep knowing about the intense level of trauma touching so many people left behind. And the importance of healing.

And even in all the pain, they talked about love. Hope. Courage. Their belief in the power of community, friendship and family to heal from tragedy.

Emotional. Real. Authentic. Loving. As a woman, I sometimes think that I have the upper hand when it comes to being able to feel. I pride my gender on holding emotional wisdom. I can get superior about it. And perhaps some of that is true. But these men. Our men. Men all over the world. They feel so deeply. They love, they notice, they care, they feel.

I was melted and filled with love for men.

Before I leave this subject, I want to mention a caller from Nunavut who talked about the devastation she felt for the Humboldt community as well as the frustration she felt about the lack of similar response her community receives when indigenous youth are facing a suicide crisis. She is so right.  And while I am writing this, we are hearing news of another chemical attack on people in Syria, including children. I know for myself that it is easier for me to relate to tragedies affecting people like me; in how they look, what language they speak, where they live and how they live. But I was reminded that I want to take on the responsibility of recognizing pain and tragedy in all communities. Especially the ones that don’t feel like mine.

Update from the tender place

 

If you didn’t read my last blog post, here it is. It is called “Writing from inside a tender place” because I felt so compelled to share a bit of what it’s like for me to be in a dark and hard place.

I was so moved by all of the comments and personal emails I got back from everyone. Hands reaching out to me. It was a beautiful call-and-response; as ancient as the ocean.

Here is what I know about emotions:

  1. In their natural state, emotions are like water. Not ice. They move freely, they shift easily, they go from this emotion to that, no contradiction considered. If you have a chance to watch a child, that is what she does. She moves from anger to glee to bliss to sadness to anger to exhaustion. Easily and fluidly. Perhaps she has not been taught yet that she must turn her emotions into ice by not feeling them. Stop that crying. Go upstairs to your room until you are in a better mood. That is not acceptable in this house. Why are you making such a big deal about this? Come back when you are in a better mood. Inside voice!

But she gets no tools for how to deal with her strong emotions. How does she “deal with” her rage? How does she release this uncontainable joy bubbling up inside of her? What does she do with her heartbreak, all of her tears that seem endless? No-one teaches her how to feel and release. How to move them out of her body. She is told to just stop feeling. To hide them. To pretend they are not there. And so the water stops moving and settles. And in that coldness, in that barren landscape, that water begins to freeze. And it turns to ice.

2.   Emotions demand to be felt. They will not make space for anything else until they have been heard. They do not need to be fixed. They do not need to be justified. Or solved. They need to be felt. And when they are truly felt and truly heard, through our body and our heart and our voice and our breath, then they melt and turn into water that then moves and shifts into something else. And where that ice was, now something new can move into. Growth. Freedom. Love. Joy. Surrender.

3.    Being emotional is a huge gift when we know how to use it as fuel. To feel it all. Our big hearts hold the world together. When we stop feeling, the world stops feeling. But if we weren’t taught to honour and hear and release our emotions, if no-one told us that we were strong enough to feel it all, if we haven’t learned yet that where our emotions become uncomfortable is the greatest place of growth for us, we believe that we can’t let ourselves feel because it might break us. Our great sadness. Our eternal rage. Our disappointment. And our ecstasy. Our limitless joy. So we shut it down.

We become ice.

In my last blog, I talked about how I move emotions through my body. I cry. I wail. I rage. I dance. I open my body. I step towards it. Moving emotions through our bodies is not a mind trip. This cannot be done through the brain. This is a body exercise. And it is what I teach in my feminine movement classes. So, the next time you feel something uncomfortable or strong, how will you let it move through you? Your breathe? Moving your body? Letting yourself moan or groan or scream?

Writing from inside a tender place

 

 

I don’t usually write about something that I am going through at the moment because it feels too tender, too exploitive.

But I feel called to do this so perhaps, one of you is calling this out of me.

I am struggling at the moment. Very much in the last few days. I was away for the weekend on a program and when I got back, I walked into a messy house, demanding children and all of my domestic duties dropped around me, clang, like a cage. The real world felt so tiring, so heavy, so strong, so much.

I am feeling grief, anger, resentment, confusion, fucked up, let down, caged, heartbroken, bodybroken, powerless, exhausted and like I have nothing left.

I can’t cook one more meal. I can’t wash one more dish. I can’t pick up one more toy from the floor. I can’t send one more email, or do anything on my “to do” list. It feels like prison.

What I want to do is to run away. Go to bed and stay there with the covers over my head and my door locked so no-one can ever come in. I want to burn everything around me, if I had the energy. But in my body, my shoulders are hunched and it feels like too much effort to walk. I am broken.

And on top of everything I feel, I put judgement. I have no right to feel like this. Shame. No-one else falls apart like this. Guilt. Do you think life should be all about you and what makes you feel good?

All of these emotions swim around until they have me in a whirlpool that pulls me down into hell.

The hardest thing for me to do, this morning, is to move and feel it all.

I can feel the pain as I open up my chest and drop my head back – it hurts, I whisper.

I howl. I sob. I make sounds that I have never heard before. Sounds that would break my heart if I heard them from another woman. I would think, that woman is breaking apart. I cry more loudly than I have in years. I don’t care who hears me.

I go from the floor to standing, which feels like too much work. I curl up against the wall and try to disappear. All the while, tears running down my face and I am moving between levels of grief and anguish. Like a rollercoaster, I go up and down, up and down.

And still I move. I try to tell my story of loss…what loss, I don’t know, but that is what it feels like.

I try not to fix. I try only to keep moving and to keep feeling it all. Every anguished moment, every painful opening, everything.

When my sobbing feels finished (for now), I breathe and let my body move. It is only the breath now, and my body moving. And an energy shifts somewhere…I become a woman’s body filled with not just grief but, now, hunger. Lust. I pull on my shirt so it is tight and hard on my skin. My movements get bigger. Faster. Thirstier.

I realize that I am fighting for my life.

I can feel the breath where I take back the wheel. I move from victim to creator. I will live this life of mine. I will feel it all and I will fall and struggle and howl with grief. And I will fight for my life.

I am not cured. I am not finished. I am not shiny and happy and back to face the world with a smile on my face.

But I am fully alive. Fully aware of what I am feeling. Fully released, for now. Fully myself. I am the captain of my ship.

In the comments below, I’d love to hear what this makes you feel or think about. We are not alone in fighting for our lives; for the lives we want to live. How are you fighting for yours?