How do we navigate Unknown Territory — without a map?
How does our navigation shift when we’re guiding others, knowing that our choices impact their well-being too?
How do other people’s fears impact our own ability to find a clear path?
On a recent beautiful day, my 6-year-old son and I found ourselves at the top of a ravine in the woods, without a map (having lost cell phone reception), looking at a cliff-like ridge that seemed to be obstructing our way home.
I pointed out to him that the main trail was likely over the top of that very steep ridge, and it was easier to find a way there than to try to go back the long, unmarked way we’d come. I was at peace with this, but my usually adventurous boy started to spiral down into all the Negative What Ifs:
“What if we can’t get there and never get back to our car?
What if we get lost and no one knows where we are?
What if you lose your phone and we can’t call for help?
What if we get bitten...
Within the limitations of quarantine, my partner and I have been asking these questions:
What can we experiment with in these uncertain times?
What IS working well?
If something isn’t working, what’s an alternative to try?
We've become all the more observant and appreciative of what IS working in these unusual circumstances — and, more curious and creative about how to meet various needs, individually, as a family, and as part of a larger community.
These are some things that continue to work well for us -- important before, but even more essential now:
Mindful Media Consumption
This is possibly the most important thing for me, without which I have to work twice as hard to recalibrate!
For me, mindful media consumption means:
~ Choosing to find sources of information that feel balanced, encouraging, thoughtful, compassionate, and not inflammatory… easier said than done these days!
~ Noticing how it feels...
Have you ever felt like you have an internal menagerie of parts of yourself -- with so many competing voices that it's hard to discern which part to listen to?
You're not alone -- and it actually makes sense, according to multiple psychological and spiritual traditions, including the Daoist practices that are the foundations of my work.
In a noisy world, it can be difficult to tune into which voices to listen to, both internally and externally. And the better acquainted we get with all of our inner voices — so we can clearly hear the voice of our True Essence — the easier it becomes to navigate external input, with that foundation of inner clarity and congruence.
But how to do that?
One of my students recently asked if my work is based on Internal Family Systems, or if IFS just has a natural overlap with the Daoist practices and Feminine Power principles I teach. (The latter!)
If you haven't heard of Internal Family Systems before, the below...
Full Moon Blessings, dear ones!
What seedling intentions that you planted at the New Moon are now ripening? Big or small, pause and appreciate them, and offer them some extra nourishment, if needed.
How is your body feeling, as you deepen your devotion to your intentions for this year?
I invite you to take a few minutes (or more) this weekend to tune into your body's Inner Wisdom, to feel what is alive in you, what's ripening, moving through, and/or ready to be released.
Just notice. Listen. Observe. Feel. Allow. Accept. Be Present, with Love.
If any new clarity or insights arise within, gently ask into what Inspired Action is ready to be taken, if any.
If there is one, commit to taking that Inspired Action and schedule it in as soon as possible -- following through provides positive feedback for your Inner Wisdom to continue to speak to you!
(Want a simple practice to tune in specifically to your Womb Wisdom? Try the Womb Presence...
Experiencing menstrual pain, irregularity, excessive bleeding, infertility, menopausal symptoms, or other mysterious gynecological and/or emotional challenges?
While hormones or other physical conditions can offer one level of explanation of the above symptoms, the Daoist medical paradigm can offer more depth, compassion, and understanding of the natural energy flow in our bodies. Acupuncture, Chinese herbal medicine, Qi Gong, body-centered meditation, and Daoist sacred sensual embodiment practices (all tailored to the individual's unique constitution and experiences) are not only incredibly effective at resolving physical symptoms, but they also provide a powerful framework to come into deeper healing, self-awareness, spiritual evolution, and physical vitality.
Time and again, my students and clients breathe a sigh of relief when we talk about how Chinese medicine makes sense of their constellation of symptoms and health history -- it's so powerful to feel understood, and...
Happy Chinese New Year and Blessed Imbolc, dear ones!
The Year of the Yang Metal Rat began at the New Moon last week, with celebrations lasting through the Full Moon Lantern Festival next week. Associated with fertility, wealth (of all resources, not necessarily money!), attention to detail, and collaborating with community to build and protect resources, this Rat Year offers a new beginning -- but a small one, including significant reflection on the past, more focused on analysis than on the emotional aspects.
For more detailed discussion of this Rat Year, check out this thoughtful astrological article here, wherein we're invited to ask: "Will we step up and unite to dismantle our systems of oppression? Or will fear get the better or us?" We get to choose, with awareness! (And, that choice is made much easier if we tend lovingly to our own inner and outer Resources in the process!)
In more Western terms, today, here we are at Imbolc (or Candlemas), the...
Six years ago today, I began the 3-day initiation rite that birthed my son into the world.
I naively felt reasonably well prepared at the time. I wasn’t.
Despite my amazing hands-on childbirth, birth-dancing and postpartum classes, Chinese medical training, and multitude of other resources -- none of those prepared me for how to work with the trauma held in my Womb that would be re-triggered during birth and postpartum.
On the contrary, I had mostly convinced myself that I'd already processed early sexual trauma, and didn't think it would come up again. But it did.
I had no idea how much I was still guarding my Womb Space, until it became clear in giving birth. Then, there was no way to avoid it; the only way out was Through.
I didn't know that rite of passage was also the beginning of several years of re-birthing myself -- not just into motherhood, but into my Wholeness, with deep healing of my own old traumas and ancestral patterns along the way.
What would happen if more of us allow ourselves to see how, within so-called “pathology,” we can also find and activate our greatest Potential?
I find this perspective offers so much more grace; it has certainly contributed to my Thriving, and I suspect it would contribute greatly to the health of the Collective too.
When we compassionately acknowledge trauma-related patterns (or any potentially challenging symptoms or states of being) as they are AND embrace the Wholeness of who we are, we allow those patterns to soften and gradually transform. Love is far more healing than judgment or resistance. Through that process of Being Present with ourselves, we let Source Energy flow more freely, which re-activates our potential to truly Thrive as the amazing humans we came here to Be. (And, we can then show up more fully in mutually supportive co-creation with other amazing humans too!)
In our culture, the acceptability of how we communicate about our personal...
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