Thoughts on the Feminine

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Thoughts on the Feminine

I attended a Birthing From Within workshop for doulas and mentors last weekend and, my word, was it glorious. The energy in a room filled with women passionate about motherhood and helping other women is so healing that I started this week with a renewed sense of self and capability. I am so grateful for this.

On the first day of the workshop we practiced an art exercise after discussing some of the issues we see with modern birth. The directions were to use pastels to draw an image, or images, that would tell someone from the future what the essence of birth was in 2017. It didn't have to be literal, nor did it have to look pretty. It simply had to come straight from our minds right onto the large piece of paper in front of us. Tasks like this are exactly what recovering perfectionists like myself need. I felt free to truly create, and it was invigorating. Plus there weren't any tiny hands around to "contribute" to my drawing. This was a first in a very long time!

My image was of a huge, beautiful flower in the middle of towering, crashing waves. In the corner was a golden crescent moon controlling the tide. I used my fingers to purposefully make the pastels spread all over the paper, leaving lines of imperfect color in their wake. To me, my image invoked a scene of the beauty of the feminine being threatened by the waves. The moon, too, was actually being threatened by the waves, and the wind created by the events at hand was dangerously close to ripping the flower apart.

As I created this piece of art, I could hear myself writing a passage in my mind. When I finished with the pastels, I moved a new medium - my pen. I wrote what I heard in my head, word for word, on my paper, and I loved it. I loved that I conveyed a message in two different ways at the same time. I loved that I had the time and space to do it. I loved that I was alone with my thoughts, furthuring my knowledge of working with women during the childbearing year. I loved every aspect of that moment and what I had created.

Below is the passage I wrote. It comes from a place of recent struggle, a struggle I will write about soon when I'm ready, and it reflects some of the darker aspects of my mindset as a woman. Yet, in spite of this, it maintains the sense of hope I hold for my children and their future as women, possibly mothers, but most definitely sisters. Maybe it rings true for you as well during this strange time in history that is greatly affecting the present.


Everything passes so quickly. A constant influx and overload that overpowers our deepest desires to connect to our center and epitomize goodness. Motherhood, and womanhood essentially, is an existence so tied to nature it is nearly unbearable. And yet, the more rooted we attempt to become, the stronger the tidal pull of all outside forces. Though the moon controls our being as much as it controls the vast and powerful ocean, it often appears to be no match for the speed and control of our daily physical life. It feels as though we are slowly being washed away, but within us remains a strength literally unknown to man, and it will always drive us to continue forward, and to one day overcome.

In remembering the sweetness of my daughters, and the abundance of tiny and beautiful moments they bring to me throughout the day, I stay grounded.

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Be The Village

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Be The Village

Originally published by TRIBE de MAMA in October of 2016

As our generation of women begins birthing children, we are collectively realizing that we crave a real in-person village. Having a village provides our families with lives that are less stressful and more livable. Tasks like going to the grocery store and doing laundry become much less overwhelming when a fellow sister is by our side, helping us maintain a comfortable home and happy children.

In order to bring about the village and make it a true reality, we must first BE the village. We must be the women who offer help to others. We must be the women who subtly educate the people in our lives about the benefits of living naturally and compassionately. We must be the women whose confidence inspires. We must be the women whose children stand tall with gratitude and befriend all - never desiring to bring down another.

Doing this is quite simple, and it will add countless incredible facets to your own life experience on this earth. The trick is to offer authentic help before the person in need finally builds up the courage to ask for it themselves. Fortunately, there are many ways to do this.

Offer a new mother a home cooked meal and a long shower, during which you will hold and comfort her baby. Surprise your grandmother with a lunch date. Call your own mother just to say hello, and ask if she needs anything from the store since you're going anyway. If you know a family that is struggling financially, send them an anonymous gift card to Whole Foods or a local store with similar offerings. The benefits of taking such action will be profound, for both the recipient and the giver.

The village is within us, lying in wait. Let us share it. Let us trust our innate intuitiveness to guide us as we navigate our personal relationships and the barriers in our communities that encourage us to remain quietly independent in our homes. Let us bring more goodness into our world for the benefit of our children and the children of others. It is important, and it is doable.

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