Unworking

Unworking. It seems intimately related to unraveling, or raveling, as these 2 words mean the same thing. Unwinding all of the coils and kinks in the body and working on those in the mind and soul.

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unwork in British

(ʌnˈwɜːk)

verb (transitive)

to destroy or undo (previous work)

This seems appropriate. According to Yogi Bhajan and others, we have 3 minds: Positive or creative mind, which is the generating principle; Neutral or ‘being’ mind, where we can be in a state of non-attachment; and Negative or destructive mind, which is where we rid ourselves of what no longer serves.

All 3 Minds serve us and our higher good by providing a mental place to come to life, problem solving and creating balance. Even though we’ve been trained to try and not acknowledge the Negative mind, or even the word ‘negative’, which can be triggering for some of us (me!), Negative mind is what helps us clear out the old, unusable things in our lives. Think about cleaning house, getting rid of dust bunnies, trash and those old socks without mates–*that* is Negative mind working for you.

So I’m unworking, unwinding years of trauma to my body and psyche, unraveling the knots in my soul. Last fall I spent weeks with Andrew Harvey’s 7-part body prayer, doing it daily, releasing, letting go, surrendering my ego. That period of time was one of the clearer points in my life and it is, I think, time to get back to that place of neutral mind as I continue unraveling, letting the kinks work themselves out.

There’s another aspect to this, though. That of giving myself permission to rest, to not work or try to create income flow for right now. Time to enjoy a new hobby, painting soul art, and to let go of agendas, schedules and commitments. Unworking doesn’t mean ‘not working’. There’s still plenty of laundry to do and the family still expects to be fed! Hah. It means more of a non-agenda, a time to surrender into no-time, no-thing-ness, to move bath and forth from dream time to wakefulness seamlessly.

It sounds very blurry and without definition. It is. I fully recommend that you try it if you can.

The Call for Retreat

IMG_7173Retreat: an act of moving back or withdrawing.

This year began with a strong message from spirit to stay home, rest, to BE. My guidance was to sink into my own work and to limit information inflow from others. I felt strongly pulled to work in my yard and garden, to thoroughly organize our home and to declutter with a heavy hand. As this peace began to roll through my life, I also began to see what I need to be doing, teaching, offering to my community in order to create a bit of an income stream but also to help create and sustain that community.

It is not time for that yet. My life is in the dark moon phase, a time to neither plant nor harvest but to rest. Everything is done, fertile, ready to grow but not yet. This is the cave time and I know I must take advantage of that.

In other terms, this is the time of death that immediately precedes rebirth and it really feels that way to me. I am so strongly pulled to completely withdraw from the world that even grocery shopping or lunch with the family seems like too much.

I am in cauldron of change, that much is certain, and the cauldron is a pause, is the inbreath, is the cave of hibernation and regeneration and I am here, sleepily staring out at the world with glowing green eyes, not yet prepared to rejoin you.

The fact that my life provides the liberty to do this, to take this time, is a blessing that I firmly recognize. Many of you would have been back at work long before now–a month post-surgery–and carrying on with life, unable to examine your exhaustion too deeply for fear it might get the best of you and tear down what you’ve so carefully constructed. Life has a way of doing that to us and I simply have the liberty to surrender to it without fear that the electricity will be turned off and so I offer prayers of gratitude for this, for all of it.

It has been a rough few years with summers fraught with medical intensity. On July 13, 2015, my mom was hospitalized. She was under-treated and abused, I was often traveling and none of us took the time or care of her that we really should have. Especially the staff members of the facilities where she starved and thirsted, was carried by the seat of her pants and treated like she was intentionally misbehaving to get the best of the staff.

I didn’t realize how much bitterness I still carry about this until just now. Bitterness and disgust and judgment. But there it is, welling up, making my heart squeeze.

Mom died on August 22, 2015 in a hospice with a wonderful staff. Kind, loving, tender. I was with her, as were my husband and youngest child.

In July of last year (2016), my appendix ruptured. By the time they got me into surgery I had gangrene in my abdominal cavity. It took several months of drain tubes and recovery to get back to anything close to normal.

This year, June 9th, I again had surgery and my left ovary and tube, along with masses of cysts and fluid were removed from my abdominal cavity.

I am tired. Exhausted in fact. And so, until summer’s end I commit to being with this need for solitude, sanctuary and retreat. Life will still make it’s demands and I will respond but only as necessary. The rest–communication, socializing, etc–will have to wait. I find, for the first time ever, that I often do not even have the ability to respond to prayer requests. There is simply no well to draw from.

The well will refill in time. My body will heal. The classes or telecourses will be created. For now I offer this to you in hopes that there is medicine here for you, permission perhaps, to also withdraw and honor yourself.

Blessings. Be.

 

A surgeon once told me, “The only minor surgery is one that someone else has.” I could not agree more.

Last summer my appendix ruptured. Apparently it was let go too long and I developed gangrene in my abdominal cavity. The surgeon said it was one of the worst cases he had ever seen. The resident was extremely excited about how disgusting everything in there was. The recovery, despite well-meaning folks telling me I’d be up and at ’em forthwith, took months.

First, there was a drain tube coming out of my belly. The was tape, something like you’d see sending bubbles into a fish tank and something else that looked like a transparent, soft, plastic grenade that had to been emptied and then compressed to create suction. How often this happened really depended on the amount of fluid evacuating from my body. It was a do-it-yourself operation, the drain tube thing.

Secondly, the pain pills made me hallucinate. This might sound kind of cool, if, like me you were (or are) a naughty person who used to enjoy hallucinating…but it wasn’t cool, it was freaky and interrupted any sort of restful sleep I may have gotten during the times when the pain had pharmaceutically abated.

Third, when, after 2 weeks the drain tube was removed, I was joyous! Alas, I was also firmly warned that the severity of the rupture and infection made me a prime candidate for an abdominal abscess. It felt like they were telling me that I would have one and that I should get used to the idea of seeing the ER and SICU one more time. At a minimum. This was right and true, and so we come to

Fourth, the abscess. Oh fun times. Just when I was ready to party down, having lost that first tube, my husband had to drive me to the hospital, avoiding any bumps he could–not an easy task in Norfolk, Virginia–because bumps=bad when you have a huge mass of jiggling liquid and pus collecting inside of you. Lucky me, this tube came out of my right butt cheek and yes, I had still had to do the measuring and emptying myself. By the time this came out, we were at week number five.

Fifth, the well wishers, the lovely friends who came and told me how great I looked and how well I was healing from my minor surgery! My upbringing would not allow me to simply say, “I feel like hell, can barely move and want a nap now.” So, like an idiot, I would sit and chat until they felt that they could leave. Once, my entire family came and sat in the room in an effort to create enough discomfort that the visitor would take the hint. Alas, no. I crashed and burned pretty hard after that one.

Now it is a year later, almost, and I just had another surgery to remove some cysts my body grew as a result of that gangrenous appendix. My left ovary and fallopian tube were consumed by the cysts and so, I lost those, too. I think it is finally over.

All of this by way of saying, that surgeon was right, there is no minor surgery unless someone else had it.

When my husband had something similar happen to him, people didn’t come by. I took care of him, cooked nourishing foods, changed the tv station or turned it off or on as he wished, diffused healing oils, gave him his medication, clean blankets and pillow cases and clothes and warm socks. He slept where and when he wanted and I honestly don’t think he lacked for anything.

I did not receive that same care. I suspect that women often don’t. My most recent surgery was on a Friday afternoon. Sunday around 6pm I realize that if I didn’t cook supper, I wasn’t going to eat and I was hungry. So I cooked supper. When I think about this it makes me angry, but mostly I feel it in my heart–the lack of care, the lack of loving kindness, the absolute lack of anything except expectation that I move on from my little surgery and get back with it and I sincerely doubt that I am alone in this experience.

Women experience longer ER wait times, and our pain is not taken as seriously. While the linked articles are about doctors and emergency rooms, the same is true at home, of our husbands and children. And I’m not leaving out same-sex couples for any reason other than I suspect that *women* take their female partner’s pain and illness seriously and offer better post-surgical care than male partners.

So I just returned to this post after following a google rabbit trail. Turns out that the few articles out there for how to care for one’s wife post-op are about cosmetic surgery (would he love me more if I had breast implants put in, rather than a huge, cystic mass taken out?) and then it’s mostly ‘why doesn’t my husband care for me when I’m ill?’. There are tons of articles and blogs about how to care for one’s husband after an operation of any sort, appendectomy included.

Obviously this sort of thing is systemic and there’s a lot of, “Oh honey, he’s just worried about you,” going around out there. Let me tell you that that approach is not helpful. Excusing and poopooing and giving these men the excuse that it’s okay because they’re scared is not the answer. It’s time for them to step up and learn how to take care of partners who are ill. We no longer have a village, or the village has become the nuclear family alone. We have to help each other and it has to go both ways.

“Sit, be still, and listen,
because you’re drunk
and we’re at
the edge of the roof.” Rumi

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For years I’ve traveled, taken trainings and courses, truly leaned into this time of spiritual attunement and growth. The momentum behind all of it is substantial, possibly the travel and learning and connection with others on a similar path has been a bit addictive. This year, however, the message I received was, ‘Be still. Listen.” and so I have been trying, sometimes successfully to do those two things.

Technology is not easily overlooked or left behind and yes, I am wired in far more than necessary. The endorphin hit from seeing a new Snap Chat or getting to ‘like’ a FB post are pretty cool but I have managed to make a lot of time to grow things, to watch the birds, to nap with a kitten tucked between my chin and chest. Being still has been the easier of these two things.

‘Listen.’ This really was about stopping the running about and learning other people’s stuff and simply sitting with my own abilities, wisdom and allowing what is truly mine to flow through as an offering to the world. Allowing my own teachings to flow through, uninformed by new information from outside sources. This has been the real challenge! There are so many cool offerings, classes and trainings out there that it is hard to say no to those and to sit and be and to *listen* to spirit as I am informed as to how to deepen into my own work. But I think I’ve done that, too, and we are only half-way through the year.

Stopping all of the forward momentum created by traveling to circles and courses has been difficult. It was hard to catch my balance for several months. Even being still felt like movement and there was always an invitation or message for another course that sounded amazing! So maybe I am a little drunk. Possibly the spirits that move me don’t come from a bottle of booze but are no less intoxicating!

And so, I sit, am still, am listening. The edge of the roof is just there and I am surrounded by the lush garden I’ve grown and lured by what lingers there, the voices of the devas and fairies, the songs of the birds who bring messages from places our human bodies cannot inhabit. There is such wondrous beauty — being drunken, overflowing with spirit, and on the edge. Would you care to join me? Are you already here, feet swinging as you perch on the ledge, pondering what lies beyond?

winter_kaleidoscope_by_dr_wolf0014-d366p2rJune 13, 2017           Chesapeake

I didn’t sleep well last night and fought with myself for a good long while before finally getting up and writing the skeleton of this blog post. Many of us do this, I think, lie in bed and think we will remember a dream or a really good poem or idea in the morning and so talk ourselves back into sleep where we forget the wonder of what we accessed in that liminal space. Certainly I do it and so I try to get up and sneak into the next room, where I can turn on a light and write out my thoughts, or the bones of them, before they vanish in the wee hours.

The thing that kept me awake, *those* who kept me awake really, are those who people my dreams with incredible frequency. These are not always the same people. Sometimes there are women and children seeking sanctuary, a place to rest, heal, sleep and retreat from a world that has not nurtured them, has in fact beaten them nearly to death. Sometimes there are women and children picnicking on my lawn waiting for me to *do* something. What I am not certain. My friend and teacher, Anyaa, used to come frequently and I was always madly preparing the space for her but would forget about her on the day she was to arrive, or not remember she had been here visiting until she had already left–as if I’d slept through it all. (Think there’s a metaphor at work here?) When Anyaa finally did come in actual real life, those dreams ceased. Turns out she slept well, ate well and enjoyed her stay and I remembered that she was here and we spent a few interesting, fun and joyful days in each other’s company. I believe that other friends have also hovered on the periphery of these dreams in which they visit and I forget, Melody, EveLynn, Flo, Shoes…

Anyway, the most recent of these visitations have been 4 Shaman. I think that all 4 of them are Mayan and they definitely came home with me from Mexico, though I realized with all crazy clarity that one of them is a real person and lives in Gulf Coast Florida and another lives in Quintana Roo or Yucatan. The rest maybe on this plane or another, I’m not sure. It was at this pondering point where I came to realize something important about how I view things from this perspective of almost but not quite asleep. 

Fractally. That’s it, I thought, seeing in my mind’s eye the way I see all of these people. It’s like looking down the tube of a kaleidoscope and seeing not only what’s at the end but also the lenses that run down both sides and all of the lenses are filled with faces, rather than random, pretty colors.

I don’t know if these people are real, or if they are psychological archetypes or if they are simply my imagination but my leaning is toward real as these do not feel so much like dreams as they do visions, or precognitions…maybe even memories that cross all boundaries of time and could be from the past or from now or from the future or from some parallel timeline that we aren’t aware of.

This fractal view reminds me of the pre-migraine auras that used to plague me and which still show up sometimes, generally before a huge energetic shift. Sharp, angular puzzle pieces not yet in place.

So back to the Shaman who came home from Mexico. I’ve been remembering them in my sleep for weeks now and feeling an adrenaline surge when I recognize that I’ve brought them here and that they expect something of me and that I’ve forgotten them in my waking hours. This morning I grabbed my notes from last night and came to the computer to write and about halfway through this blog post, I decided to google Mayan Shaman Florida. One of the names on the list was a woman who I exchanged well-wishes with yesterday via Facebook. A woman who I have not met in real life, or don’t think I have, but with whom I have a connection–possibly one stronger than I realized until now. I don’t know why I’m preparing energetic space for her, but I am, I have been and I’m curious to see where this leads.

And as to the visitors, clearly they need to be remembered in the broad light of day, visited on this side of sleep and their wishes must be heard. Maybe then I can rest in my dreams, fly a little, and not worry so much about preparing their space.

Do you have dreams you’d like to share? I’d love to read about them in the comments.

The Bees

55d4c9e524d2f-imageToday I went outside, put down a mat and lay full-out on the ground. Sent my thoughts to the hive and they responded. I told them that I had been in surgery. That I loved them. I was afraid and told them that, too, that I knew they were far more powerful than I. That I knew they could kill me in an instant, should they so choose. Then I relaxed, as much as my sliced and mauled belly would allow, and I was still.

Shortly I felt furry feet, a sweet little treading on my collar bone, across my chest, (did she go down my dress?!), then over my right breast and onto my arm. My goodness how those tiny feet tickled but honestly, I felt no need to, no draw toward, slapping her off, toward demeaning the gift I had requested: a blessing. One bee, teaching me with her tiny feet that there is really nothing to fear.

I came inside soon after, lit a charcoal and placed upon its embers several drops of propolis in honor of the gift. Making sacred memory of this event, my initiation, my opening onto a path of which I know nothing except that sweetness and sting lie beyond.

I want to add that after sharing this I went to bed and found myself thinking on the bees. I’m reading The Shamanic Way of the Bee, by Simon Buxton and sometimes, before I read a new chapter, I’m called to do something–some ceremony of some sort–and the going out and lying with the bees was one of them. I then came inside read of his initiation onto the Path of Pollen via Sacramental Venom. I was revolted. Absolutely revolted by the idea of killing those sweet nurse or guard or other worker bees.

Then I went to bed and came into that inter-between place and really went into a space where I was connecting to the drones and did not care one bit that they would die after mating with me. And other queens? I wanted to kill them. All of them. And words are failing me now in explaining this because words aren’t feelings and maybe because bees don’t speak, but when I thought about someone killing one of the lady-bees as some initiatory rite *I was fucking pissed*. That’s all.

 

My family went to Tulum, Mexico for two weeks in May, 2107. We rented a condo, ate out most of the time and bicycled or took taxis around the area. We visited Chichen Itza, Coba’ and a few cenotes. We played with monkeys.

WHERE TO STAY:

Our condo, #104 located at Artia by Moskito, was nice. The interior was all neutral colors, the layout was good with a small courtyard off both of our ground floor bedrooms and one in front between the gated entry to our unit and the front door. There was lawn furniture and a Jacuzzi tub, unheated and without a filtration system.IMG_0856The Jacuzzi is pictured above. The white sediment in which you can see my footprints at the bottom is sunscreen washed off of former occupants who did not adequately shower. The tubs are not heated or filtered or cleaned between occupants. Vegetation is another problem as it falls constantly from above and into the pool.
The unit had 3 air conditioning units which worked really well, even in the intense heat. We often had to adjust the temp up in the middle of the night as it got chilly inside! Having traveled and slept in hotels without ac, I can tell you that this is an amazing bonus.
The kitchen was well supplied with cookware, dishes, glassware, utensils and appliances including a range, toaster oven, coffee maker, blender and other things. The unit has a washer and drier which were truly crucial because beaches and pools can create a lot of damp, sandy clothing to be laundered! They supplied a full shaker of salt, laundry detergent, cleaners, dish soap and dishwasher pods.
The beds were hard. If you’re looking for a good mattress this is not the place for you. There were plentiful pillows and the living room has a sleeper sofa.
The unit was very well stocked with linens and towels.
The floors are all tile with one small rug. The closets were probably my favorite thing about the condo. Incredibly well-designed with plenty of space for everyone’s stuff.
The property is managed by Mr Roger, who is the father of the owner, Mr Roger. I think I have this right but possibly am confused on some point. Definitely the men on top are father and son, both named Roger. Any time we had an issue, either I or my husband would contact Mr Roger Sr and help was immediate. The two of them did a lot to make our stay comfortable and to rectify any issues we had.
So, the issues, Housekeeping. I could make a really long list of my issues with housekeeping, there were many, none of which are about my inability to speak more than the smallest amount of Spanish. She moved all of our things around endlessly, as if her opinion of where things should go mattered more than us knowing where our things were; the floors were absolutely filthy, socks quickly turned bad colors when worn around the condo but we had to wear something because, yuck; there were 6 rolls on toilet paper on May 6 and these were not replenished until May 19th. 5 people, 3 bathrooms, 6 rolls of tp. You do the math. We bought our own. On May 19th we received 9 new rolls; the kitchen cabinets have insect bait in little piles on the shelves and I get it, Mexico is hot and damp (Tulum is damp, anyway), and insects are aggressive but I really don’t want the rim of my coffee cup or son’s breakfast bowl to have insecticide on it; the housekeeper seemed to clean everything with the same rag–dishes, countertops, the toilets and shower, spots on the floor, *everything*. When she left the rag neatly folded over the edge of the sink I picked it up and sniffed it. It smelled like insecticide and felt very greasy. After that it was difficult to trust anything in the condo as being safe to put near my mouth without having to disinfect it first; our king sized bed was made up fresh 2x per week, which is great, but the duvet cover that just barely covered the flat part of the mattress that was used as a bottom sheet was distressing. I didn’t want to sleep on the mattress pad like the last 40 tenants; I also didn’t care for the duvet cover that was put on the bed as a top sheet. Same issue.
Again, the management did try and rectify this situation but they were not successful. They even brought us wine and chocolate by way of apology. The intention is great but I would suggest hiring an environmental cleaning service to come in and take care of housekeeping, as what is in place is far below the standard set by the the rest of the facility.
There are security officers on duty 24/7. They were very sweet and helpful.
Al-in-all we enjoyed our stay at Artia but if we return to Tulum, we would be inclined to stay elsewhere.

Well then, where would I stay instead?
I did not see any rooms in person but did visit several other locations where rooms are available.

My very, very favorite was Be Tulum and not only because of the super cool name. The whole place is amazing, magical even, with wafts of copal smoke drifting over from the spa and Nag Champa from who knows where.
At night there are tiki torches blazing and deep urns filled with wood coals and something smoky and which mosquitoes hate. It is incredibly clean and offers amazing weekly events such as women’s circles and cacao ceremonies.
The only down note for me was a feeling of people there to see and be seen.
IMG_6919Mark and I having lunch at Be Tulum.

Posada Margherita would probably be my actual choice. The entry path, to me, felt like home.
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PM had a very soft, earthy vibe without the smell of money permeating everything. The beach is beautiful and the restaurant fab, more on that later.
IMG_6996Cabanas and tables at Posada Margherita.

 

There are stacks of amazing beach clubs that deserve exploration that we didn’t have time for. Papaya Playa if you’re young and into techno music and a very open, larger resort. More informal with great cabanas on the beach and more than 1 bar. The food wasn’t the best but someone recommended the ceviche.

Mezzanine. We went because someone suggested the restaurant and I had planned on booking here until I learned it’s an adults-only resort. Mezzanine has the added bonus of being beside the best beach in Mexico. There are stairs that lead right down onto it. The Thai restaurant is locally-famous but I was very sick after eating there, probably more me than the food. The rest of our crew loved it.

WHERE TO EAT:

Posada Margherita. linked above, was Mark’s favorite. Italian food, fresh pasta, great beach-front seating with wines and fresh juices. It’s hard to beat.

Be Tulum, best salad, hands down. Also great beachfront and the hotel is an experience of its own.

Mateo’s quickly became our go-to eatery. Solid, eatable food, decent (though sometimes slow) wait staff, smoothies, breakfast through supper to live music. The prices are great.

If you can have drinks and appetizers on the deck at Zama’s, do it. The views are to die for and pelicans zoom overhead. Service has to be hunted.

El Pez has great grilled fish, excellent service–probably the best we experienced, a roof (you might want this if it’s raining!) and a wonderful view. I think Mark had steak and loved it. No complaints here.

HOW TO GET AROUND:

Call Juan Santos. He and his son, Gerardo drive cabs, speak excellent English and, most importantly are really great guys. If you want to go to dinner at 6pm, call him and have him come pick you up. If you want to go to Chichen Itza, call Juan and book him to drive you. More than anything else I can recommend, these guys are it. They will take care of you, get you where you want to go safely, and if you want to take off for a day of touring, they’re happy to drive you wherever. I can’t recommend them highly enough.
Juan was a wealth of information on everything, really. He drove 5 of us to Coba, Mul Tun Ha cenote, then to Chichen Itza and Ik Kil cenote the next day. He found great places for lunch and souvenir shopping and helped us with language hurdles a couple of times. They are not tour guides, so will drop you off and be there when you’re ready to go. Tour guides are available for hire on location.

Bicycles are great from Tulum center to the little strip that ends at Zamas. A lot of cyclists get hit by cars and vice versa. Once the bike path runs out, it’s a tiny, 2 lane road with no shoulder. It’s doable but be careful! Leave your headphones in the basket.

WHAT TO DO:

Really, ‘what we did that was worth recommending’!

Chichen Itza was well worth it. We left at 7:30 am to get there early, before most of the buses and harsh heat arrived. The vendors, and the place is lousy with vendors, were just setting up their tables. The day long cry was, “Almost free!”

If you want souvenirs, you can find them here. Haggle.

We did not hire a guide. I would have loved to have one if it were going to be 80 degrees all day, but heat is not my BFF and so we read the signs, educated ourselves online and via reading beforehand, and tootled around the complex. It is huge and amazing. Iguanas were everywhere.

Cenote Ik Kil, which was our post-Chichen Itza stop off. So, so worth it! I will post pics to explain.

Coba’ is also worth visiting if you want to climb to the top of a Mayan pyramid. You cannot climb Chichen Itza. The complex is much more heavily treed which I think means it has not had the excavation attention that CI has. Still an amazing complex. The sketchy zip line was fun for the kids.

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Cenote Mul Tun Ha was our post-Coba’ stop off and damn! It was grand to descend into the cavern and to fall into the cool, blue water. I mean, it looks blue but who knows? Maybe the lights are blue. Either way, it’s a great way to cool off in the blasting heat of the jungle.

Akumal Monkey Sanctuary and Animal Rescue was awesome. Our guide’s English was pretty good and he was very sweet and helpful. We saw deer, goats, wild pigs, monkeys, birds and a cenote! This was worth it just for the pictures of all of us with monkeys sitting on our heads! We did this on the same day as Coba and Mul Tun Ha.
In spite of what the pictures may tell you, there were a lot of monkeys. I guess I left my camera outside so that they wouldn’t steal it but we have tons of pics on a thumb drive somewhere, with someone who doesn’t live in my house, with pics of each of us with a tiny capuchin on our head, a spider monkey on our lap and hanging out with LEMURS!
It was really a great place to visit.

Yaan Wellness is across the street from Be Tulum. I enjoyed a foot treatment and the Limpia Santiguada, a clearing treatment involving prayer, herbs, copal and a massage with aromatherapy. I enjoyed it, especially the copal and being scrubbed with fresh herbs.
My daughter was severely sunburnt and had the Soothing Sun Therapy but was too timid to tell the therapist to stop when she aggressively massaged those extremely sunburnt thighs.
We arrived an hour early and enjoyed the steam room, sauna, 2 frigid showers in between and the cold and warm pools.
By the time we sat down to enjoy ginger tea with honey, I was limp with luxury. I really loved this place though if you’ve been injudicious with the sunscreen, you might wait a few days.
We were all looking forward to a temazcal ceremony, however one of our party became extremely ill with a high fever and we decided to forego it. It is the one thing I wish I could have done and didn’t. Maybe someday, in another part of Mexico.

The beaches, you need to go to the beach, but that’s the whole reason for going to Tulum, right? (Pics here from Papaya Playa Project.)

 

Do you have a daughter or young woman in your life who you are hoping will become a woman who is able to care for her own needs?

I do. I do, and one of the most difficult things I run up against in the world and in my own brain, is the tendency to expect her to take care of everyone else before herself. It’s a tough row to hoe, being a girl, having needs, and dealing with the expectations of the world and of those directly associated with you.

Girls are taught to care for everyone else’s needs before their own. This isn’t the same as teaching young men that they are supposed to financially support the entire world, because boys are taught that their needs come first. Generally. Girls are taught to ignore their own needs until we become so numb that it can be difficult to even identify what we want, what our needs are, and even what our feelings are.

I want my daughter to experience life differently. I want her to know her own, vast importance in the scheme of things. I want her to know that she cannot possibly take care of anyone else if she is not first cared for.

This often results in powerful blowback from our community. Spiteful comments when she takes an action that directly reinforces her own ability to tend to her needs. Judgmental comments from those who think that she should care for others first and not worry about her own needs, desires, or feelings. The directness of the attacks, the amazing blindness of the adults, mostly women, who make the charges is stunning in a world where adults are supposed to model good behavior.

These women have no idea how deeply ingrained their training is. They have no idea that they are suggesting that a child completely negate her own humanity in order to shelter, protect, or otherwise care for another person. This is not an across-the-board situation. Often adults see her actions as an admirable ability to take personal authority and the comments are positive.

Adults in our community have also done weird things to try and manipulate me into punishing my child for saying or doing things that either bother them or are hearsay and not real. These folks have no idea. No clue. There is no way they could know, living as they do, the kind of dialogue I have with my children. The idea that I will bring their issues to my daughter, ask her if their words are true, and that she will say what she has to say, confirm, deny, define whatever it is and *that I will believe her, unquestioningly* is beyond the scope of experience for rumor mongering adults who want to lean into teen drama and mama drama.

It is fascinating to watch. And it is frustrating, too.

All I know is this: My daughter will understand and experience that caring for herself is good and right. I will lean into this with her and for her, and for the rest of you wo/men reading this, and for your daughters. Because we have to shift our world. *We* have to shift it through our intentions, actions and thoughts.

This isn’t about ‘self-care’, it is about consent, personal authority and the idea that it is necessary for women to be firm, clear and decisive in their decisions.

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It is International Women’s Day and I’m cruising Facebook watching the Inner Patriarchs of so many women, *so many women*, say what amounts to, “Shut up and go make me a sandwich!” There’s so much dogwhistling going on that there are no dogs left.

It is a rude call to awareness to see intelligent, awakening women judging, insulting and insinuating that women who protest are women who do not work, are women whose value is less than those women who just shut it and went to work today.

My Inner Matriarch is on the prowl and be warned, she is fierce and gives very few fucks about who she activates, angers or enrages. She will question your motives, call out your projections, point out that your logic is deeply flawed and, possibly, that you are very strongly identified with something that does not serve you or your sex. Something so insidious within your psyche that you have not yet been able to identify it as ‘other’.

Today, rather than stalking female protesters, why not make a loan on Kiva? Donate to Tree Sisters or the Women of Standing Rock at End of the Line, if Kiva doesn’t appeal to your or if you want to keep your money in the USA. You might even want to bring things in closer to home in which case you could put together care packages for local homeless women. Grab a gallon sized, ziplock baggie and put travel sized soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, a small box of tampons or sanitary napkins, a deodorant and wash cloth into it and take it to your local NEST program or Food Bank. (If you live in or near Norfolk, Virginia, here’s a link to our local NEST program and another to the Food Bank of South Hampton Roads.)

My basic message here is that you be PROactive rather than REactive, and believe me when I tell you that I am struggling with that myself. When I see women making negative comments about and posting nasty statuses based on assumptions and coming from a place of judgment, I go there, into reaction and judgment and sometimes holding my tongue (or fingers!) requires more self-control than I am able to muster.

Today is a choice-point, a day when women can make a decision to fully support other women in the US and all across the world in any way we choose and are able, or to to lean into the Patriarchy and yell ‘get a job,’ to women who very likely already have jobs and, possibly, employers who support equality and empowerment for all women, even those who have never made anyone a sandwich.

 

Several weeks ago my husband was out of town. He loves to prospect. A strange hobby, you may think, but we are strange folk, prospecting is the least of it. Anyway, while he was gone, I decided to place an energetic barrier around our land. A barrier made of raw quartz and focused intention.

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So Baby Troll and I went around with rocks and thoughts of beneficial chi, solace, and safety. We placed stones at the ‘corners’ of our land then connected them to create a circle. Once the circle felt complete, we turned it into a sphere (as above, so below) of protection for this place.

As we set this into place both of us could feel the buzz of energy as the stones linked up and went to work. Stones are amazing allies.

These particular stones, come to find out, talk to my husband. He tosses those who may want to join us here to the side as he digs. At the end of the day, he picks up those who he feels most want to come here with him. The stones I used were gathered in this way without my knowing about it.

The day after he came home from prospecting he told me about a dream he had the night before. He said, “I dreamed that you put crystals all around the house and they lit up and created a cone, or a tipi of light that was protecting our home.”

Just this week I saw a website that is dedicated to linking Ascended Gaia portals all over the Earth by using crystal grids. They ask that you send in a photo of your grid so they can add it to their pics. Well…my grid is a bit large. Maybe it’s not even a grid at all. If it is a grid, is it an Ascended Gaia grid? I have no idea.

What I do know is this. Though I often can’t remember what type of stone I’m working with I can hear them and I know them. I hear them sing and tone and hum and chime. I feel the power as they link up and go to work with their pure, crystalline energy. (See what I did there?) And the stones volunteer for this! Daddy Troll digs all day, looking for gold like its the Yukon circa 1897. He listens to the stones. They’ve been dragged up out of the earth by generations of men and women looking for iron, sulphur and gold and these stones know that they want a job.

And so they come home and they do it. They charge up and run this ‘portal of peace’. They clear out of the land that is healing from centuries of assault and come here, to help hold the frequency of peace and harmony, to help me do my life’s work of healing this land, my lineage and of leaving something for the generations to come.

Later, Miss Slater

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Elemental Meridian

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