Sunday, February 21, 2010

the flow of life

Since I started blogging (wow, did I just say that?) I have had several flashes a day of stories I could tell, insights and knowledge I could pass on, ways I could intermix the personal with the political through shared words. But I am not in the habit of writing- but rather in the habit of letting it all stew up there, on a steady simmer, cooking slowly-and when it’s good and done, perhaps I’ll share. But lately something has really moved me-- I have really felt things more deeply than I have allowed in the past. I find myself walking around in near constant openness and excitement- and I keep having these incredible clear insights about my process and our process as humans and I surprise myself, by really wanting to share.

So, I am making the commitment to start writing some of it down- try my hand at doing some external processing. Writing has always been a longer process for me-- I don’t know if I’ve ever wrote a single rough draft in my life, but I’ve come to see that I am constantly drafting my thoughts, creating paragraphs and merging topics; it just happens internally. In some ways I am quite impressed by the amount of sorting and juxtaposition my brain can allow before letting it out in words or expression (and sometimes even better, I let my mind stay out of it and free those raw unprocessed messy feelings in their whole form).

So while all those stories are brewing and forming-- I’ll keep my head out of it and just share my day-to-day process, which feels easy with where I am at currently. I am wicked premenstrual- and I love the feelings that come around my moon time, at least when I am gentle with myself. I always feel so exposed, so open at this time- I am still figuring it out, after all these years as a person whose body has a designated monthly process and release (bless goddess). But only recently am I able to articulate, what has often made me feel so uncomfortable premenstrually: my body just wants to let things out, and I don’t fully embody that. It’s hard, it’s risky, and as womb-en we have had to rise up strong against so much negativity and lack of ritual and sacredness in regards to our cycles. But we move, like all things- the ocean, the waves and tides, the moon and the seasons of life-- and if we don’t allow that, we disturb that natural flow of life and create imbalances- in our bodies, in our worlds, in our culture.

So I am trying to dedicate myself with the tone of deepest self-respect, to letting myself have that emotional release that comes up every moon cycle, and also to not let anything too intense in. As a life long feeler and especially as an excelled crier, I have the personal experience to say that not letting things out, that need to come out, can be extremely painful and damaging. and I realized what was making me so goddamn uncomfortable right before bleeding every month, is that I didn’t feel I let myself truly allow that flow of release.

So, I’ve always been one to feel a little enraged, when well-meaning folks, tell their bleeding allies to not take those feelings that come up at “that time of the month” (grr!) too seriously…. “just let a few days pass and you’ll feel better.” While, I recognize some truth in this for myself, and know its not exactly the ideal time to make life altering decisions or get too lost in my emotions, I think those feelings are as valid as any other. What gets confusing is how we react to them.

My deepest wish is to simply HAVE feelings, SHARE them and feel SAFE in doing so. To me it’s just a process- and sometimes all we need to do is let them go, to give them the respect they deserve. Feelings aren’t static, their job is to ebb and flow, and make the most of themselves. But to express anger, does not make you angry, to express grief does not make you a sad person-- you’re just someone experiencing those particular feelings and doing your job to best play them out. And I have learned to hold back many feelings, based on those reactions (my own included) that are associated with them. This can be particularly challenging when I am about to bleed-- when all I wanna do is let my feelings out, be gentle with myself and move on. I don’t want those feelings to be held to me, or label me. So if that external processing can’t happen with a caring, trustworthy friend or lover-- well, it all goes back to what I am always trying to really get at --that I am trying so hard to be my own best friend, and all those things can happen within myself, with myself and for myself. and damn, it feels good.

Right now what I really want, is to be held and comforted and weep-- and let it all go in the presence of the sweetest love.

So, I do that in my own way. I journal. I give voice to my feelings. I give myself the most loving massages. I let things touch and move me and let myself pour those feelings out. I make myself nourishing herbal teas and soak in the tub next to warm candlelight, and cuddle up with my hot water bottle at night and let myself feel love. and most importantly I move through things. Its amazing what can come up every month-- it can be quite a surprise to find long “forgotten” feelings that have been hiding out deep in my blood and spirit, suddenly surfacing within the safety and sweetness I offer them. I fucking love having a womb!

It’s funny- this was actually going to be an entry about making herbal infusions :) as I was inspired by a sweet and simple blend I had made when I started to feel the first twinges of uneasiness under my skin and cramping in my body. As, I write I am sipping on oat top, mugwort and rose tea- and it has reached me on exactly the level where I wanted to be touched-- and let this gentle flow of words spill out. I think this is one of the immense beauties of plants and our relationships to them-- if we allow them to, they will really touch us and see us, and gently move us, where we need to be moved. I was going to share some of my favorite recipes and comfort measures for painful cycles, but I feel pretty released for now and we can get into that at another time. I've got some self-care to do. Trust yourself. and do yourself and all of us an incredible honor-- let yourself feel and be moved. You are safe. You are loved.

It’s bath time.

on a final note, I wanted to express my deepest gratitude for all my friends and family who have taken an interest in my online explorations and story telling. I am in complete awe of the amount of support, love and encouragement I have received in a few short days of this journey.


  1. hi can u read this? it's kathy!

  2. This totally made me smiley and teary eyed and whoah touched a really deep place. You have eloquently expressed feelings that I think we all feel. I LOVE YOU.

  3. this is soothing and nurturing reading even for a post menopausal woman. Thanks laurel

  4. oh sweet laurel,
    as i sit here, with my own womb blood trickling out, little tears spring into my eyes. thank you for the encouragement to feel my feelings. when I actually am truthful with myself, i realize that in holding in my feelings, i wear a little armor of irritability and dull anger. and that the real issue is that i'm not being gentle with myself, and i'm not letting my feelings come as they want to.
    thank you for your inspiration. i love you so so much. see you in boston :)