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ARE YOU SETTLING IN YOUR LIFE, EVEN ON THE SMALL STUFF?

 ARE YOU SETTLING IN YOUR LIFE, EVEN ON THE SMALL STUFF?There’s a tenet which says, “The way you do anything is the way you do everything.”  I was reflecting on the notion of where am I settling in my life and it occurred to me that if I settle even on the small things, well, that contributes to my settling on the big ones. I’ll share a recent example.

My dad gave me a cool case for my iPhone 4s for Christmas, but when it arrived, it wasn’t the one that I had asked for, nor was it the one that he ordered.  In other words, a glitch at the Apple store.  Rather than the red one, they sent me an orange one.  Now orange is one of my very favorite colors, but I wanted the red one.  I thought, maybe I would just keep it, no big deal.  But this voice inside me said loudly and clearly, “But you really liked the red one.  Why don’t you exchange it.”  Makes sense, but then I realized it would take EFFORT to make that exchange happen.  I called the Apple Store to see if they had a red one and they said they did, but when I made the EFFORT to drive to the Apple Store to exchange it, it was a different style and not the one I wanted.  So once again, I could have chosen a different one from the stock they had in the store, but I was really feeling how much I wanted what I wanted and didn’t want to settle.  And it became like a mantra in my head, “don’t settle for less than what you truly want.”  At this point it wasn’t about the case, but about living true to myself, as if this experience was a spiritual teaching in and of itself.  (And it was!)  So ultimately they refunded the money in the form of a gift card, and I then went home and made the further EFFORT to reorder it from the online store, and then I had to wait for it to arrive.

So what’s the theme here, really, is it getting what we TRULY want?  On the material level, yes, but it’s the journey that it represents through the EFFORT and some waiting that is the wisdom.  Most of us would rather settle for instant gratification, or to take whatever lands in our lap, even after we have made some EFFORT to get what we truly want.  But when you silence the voice of clarity within you, you begin to live a life of mediocrity, and you will settle all over the place.  In the job you choose to take, the relationship you choose to be in, what you wear, eat and think.  Because it’s true, the way you do anything is the way you do everything.

So why do we do this?  I’m finding that the questions are more important than the answers in life, and the questions will lead you on a journey of self-discovery.  Every time we say, “it’s too much trouble (AKA EFFORT!), I’ll just…” we are setting up a life that is less than what we truly envision for ourselves.  Over time, all that settling morphs into an entirely different life than the one we set out to acquire initially. Every time we say it’s okay when it’s not, we are in the process of changing the frequency of our ENTIRE life.

Now, I”m not talking about compromise here.  All relationships are give and take, and sometimes we need to compromise with another, but I”m inviting you not to compromise with YOURSELF.  Hold out for what you want.  You are worth it.  As I move through my own life, these subtle moments become epiphanies.  No, it’s not about me wanting the red one and not the orange case.  It’s about having what I truly want and being  willing to make the EFFORT to get it. It’s about staying on course with my vision for myself, for my life.  There’s an honesty and integrity in that.  Settling is a form of self-betrayal.  If you’ll betray yourself, you’ll allow others to do it, too.  It’s all connected.

So look at how you do things in your life.  I’m only exploring the aspect of settling in this post, and using a seemingly irrelevant situation as the example, but you can look at other aspects of your life.  For instance,  are you aggressive or passive about how you take action in your life?  Are you conservative or a risk-taker?  Are you a leader of a follower?  Do you like coffee or tea (Okay that was a joke)?   If you start to ask these questions and to examine all the little moments in your life and how you do them, you’ll discover a pattern that is consistent  throughout.  Know thyself.  The relationship you have with yourself is the most important one you’ll ever have.  I mean, you can’t get a divorce from yourself, or move away from yourself,  or ignore yourself.  So you’re stuck with you.  Be the YOU that’s true.  You’re worth the EFFORT.  So don’t settle for less!

Love & Blessings,

Gina

P,S. check out the archive posts and please share them on your social media and with anyone you feel would enjoy them!

Gina Cloud’s Segment of The Ricki Lake Show

Many of you asked me how you could see my appearance on The Ricki Lake Show, as you had missed it live.  I finally have access to the footage.  Click Here To Watch.

By the way, you won’t be able to view this on an iPhone or iPad for some reason I don’t understand.

Love & Blessings,

Gina

Sisterhood – Getting High Off Of Our Connections With Other Women

The other day I was working out at my gym just doing my usual cardio routine when I was fortunate enough to have an accidental connection with a woman who got onto the elliptical next to me. She had accidentally clunked one of the rollers off of the groove and was trying to figure out what happened and in a collective problem solving moment, we figured out what was wrong.  She said thank you, and we started to chat. First it was politics, then the awful new decor at the gym.  And then, as almost any conversation I am  having with a stranger goes, it turned to just life. We opened up to each other about spiritual things, political beliefs, challenged childhoods and how they affect your life, and we just began to have this very animated, connected, instantaneous bond. We literally talked for an hour.    When we both got off of the equipment and were lying on the floor doing some abdominals, she looked at me and said, “God you can get high off of people!” And I smiled, because this made me realize how much I do love connecting with other human beings, but then I said to her,  “You know. this is really a woman thing.”    I said I had lots of men friends that I have great conversations with, but this kind of bonding, sisterhood, truly exposed kind of connection only happens between women, women who are willing to share and to open to each other.

I realized when she said that we can get high off people, that I did feel very alive in that moment from the connection we had forged over the past hour of bonding while working out.  We had also been talking about how devoid of female energy our world is and how it’s becoming more and more masculine in its pace, energy, frequency and ideas.  So of course that’s venturing into my very favorite topic, which just made us even more animated in our dialogue .  I love it when I can engage with another woman or women on the topic of why the world needs women to be women, not men.  It inspires me to talk about it and inspires the women I’m talking to.  That’s when we get high off each other!  When women find an inspiring topic, something that we feel passionate about and we share it with other women, especially with the intention to be of service, we can truly heal each other I believe, and change the world!  When we ban together for a cause, women are UNSTOPPABLE!

We even had discussion at one point in our mutual disgust at “how things are,” (read my post about the way things are!) and she expressed her feeling of “What can I do?  It’s hard to make a difference.”  There was such inspiration going back and forth between each other.  I truly believe there were endorphins being generated in our exchange, which is why she made the comment about getting high off of people.

All it takes is being open and willing and real and authentic.   All it takes is putting down your phone and looking into the eyes of a fellow woman, smiling and saying hello.  All it takes is a genuine caring connection with another human being. It is effortless. But we as women do this in a way that men don’t. And we do it with each other in such a beautiful way.  I live in Los Angeles and there a lot of fake “I love you people, let’s get together, ” seeming caring, that is just superficial. I’m not talking about any of that, and we all know the difference. This woman and I had genuine connection that we both availed ourselves of, shared with each other and because of this, we inspired each other, and literally got high off of connecting.

As women, we are such communal creatures. But this world that we live in, this ultra masculine frequency, energy, and pace, does not allow us to remember this, to experience this, to explore it, without being extremely conscious of the fact that it is nowhere to be found and if we want to experience it, we must generate it ourselves.  How? Just the way it happens organically, speaking to a woman that is next to you. Not sizing her up for her appearance or her attire or comparing yourself to her, but opening to the genuine sisterhood that is all around us, available to us, if we would only open ourselves to it.  It is truly easy to start a conversation about almost anything. And one thing does lead to another with us women. And quickly. LOL If I see a woman who is sad, or looks like they’ve had a bad day. I might compliment her on something, or I might honestly say something like, “Has your day been that bad?” It opens up a genuine door of compassion and connection that we can choose to step through with each other, and if nothing else, you’ve simply done a kindness by acknowledging that woman.  And ladies, we all know that acknowledgment is something we just don’t get enough of in our lives.

We are powerful, beauty-filled forces of feminine nature, and when we ban together to share ANYTHING, we open the door to EVERYTHING.  Talk to as many women in your day as you can.  Smile at those you can’t speak to, and offer your heart to your sisters through your words and smiles.  I have made so many wonderful women friends just by living my life this way.  We are all yearning to feel the feminine all around us, enfolding us, embracing us, sustaining us.  We long for it because it’s been almost completely removed from our world.  But where two or three, or more women gather in their feminine energy, there is an exponential increase in that energy in our world.  One by one, joining hands and hearts with our sisters, we can heal this planet.  This, I believe with all my heart.

So try it.  See where it leads you.  And take the time DAILY to tune into your feminine self.  Without constant access to this part of yourself, your life will be joyless, stressful and empty eventually. Women can’t live in a masculine world devoid of the feminine.   And if you need reminders, read my book.  It’s a quick read, but it will inspire you in your feminine essence.

For those of you in Los Angeles, I am starting a dance class focused on my acronym. W.O.M.A.N.  It will be a 5-week series, 2 hours a week, both lecture and dance so that you can experience the W.ild, O.pen, M.agical A.uthentically-empowered N.ectar you are.  Please contact me if you’re interested and I will put you on the mailing list for the class!  You’ll meet amazing women and unearth the Goddess lying within. We are exquisite!

Love and Blessings,

Gina Cloud

JUST BECAUSE THAT’S THE WAY IT IS…DOESN’T MEAN THAT’S THE WAY IT HAS TO BE

There are six words that make my blood boil whenever I hear them.  Those six words are: “That’s just the way it is.”  Those words signify to me resignation, acceptance, powerlessness over the way things are in our society, our world, our personal lives.  They reek of a militant, “march, march, march,” chant, inciting us to all be the same, to get in line and do as we are told by “them.”  Those six words ooze the frequency of “I can’t change it, so I have to accept it,” about circumstances that control our lives or make us feel hostage to them.  Those six words are prelude to a feeling of imprisonment and victimhood.  And they become an excuse for why we don’t take action in our lives to make things the way we want them to be, rather than the way they are currently, collectively.  They become the excuse for why we are not living true to ourselves.

What I want to know is who says that’s just the way it is, is the way it has to be?  In my world, those six words are a call to action, a call to rebellion, a call, literally,  to friends to vent about how angry it makes me that we just tend to settle for and accept what’s put before us in society as the norm, what’s popular, what’s happening du jour.  And almost always they are a call for me to move in the direction 180 degrees of whatever that thing is.

Let’s take the example of the media and its effect/control over our lives here in the West, and literally all over the world, but we’ve got it the worst here, I believe.  We absorb what’s put before us as the way it is, but why don’t we question it and ask that question:  who says it has to be that way?  If we stop and ask ourselves this question every step of the way, we become more independent, free-thinking people (yes, subversive to those who want us to stay in THEIR box), people who make choices based on having considered what’s right for you personally, for your family, for your health.  There’s almost no area of our lives that the media doesn’t touch/manipulate with its multi-armed monsters.  There’s TV, Internet, music, ads, magazines, radio, mainstream health information, especially as it relates to women’s health and prescription drugs.  We are bombarded with signals via all our senses, inviting us to get on the train bound for the destination known as mediocrity.
So ask yourself, do you really want to live a life proscribed by the dictates of others, no matter what their form takes?  Do you daily stop and ask yourself if what you are about to purchase/do/experience is something you REALLY choose, or is it just part of life’s treadmill that you’ve become accustomed to?  How would your life look if you turned off all the input from the outside and simply LISTENED to the output from within?

We are marching through our lives like automatons, being fed a modicum of metaphoric “foods” to keep us from feeling starvation, but our souls are so malnourished for that which would bring us true joy, vitality, connection to ourselves and others, a sense of purpose and peace.  What lives inside you that is TRUE to who you are regardless of whether society, or your family, or your friends, or your boss, or the whole damned world would find it acceptable?  Where are you compromising self to sustain the facade of being accepted by others?

When we are willing to simply question things, hell, EVERYTHING, our lives become ours again.  We reclaim them and begin the journey back to self.  So the next time you hear those six words, challenge the idea that it’s being said about.  And if you hear yourself saying them, then challenge yourself.  The only way it has to be is the way YOU choose it to be.

love & blessings,

Gina Cloud

JOY: THE KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS

 JOY:  THE KEY TO WEIGHT LOSSDiets don’t work.  They don’t work because being overweight is not the problem.  Being overweight is a SYMPTOM of the problem.  The real problem is lack of happiness, discontent with our lives,  a lack of connection to our true selves; and in a nutshell, living a joyless life.

Here in the West, we treat symptoms.  We have a drug or a diet for every symptom, but few cures for the cause of the symptoms.  When we are willing to look deeper, to find what is causing these symptoms in ANY health issue, and then to treat the CAUSE, this is when true healing can take place.  Without pulling up the root, the weeds, like symptoms, simply reappear over and over and over, weakening the life force of the plant.  The extra weight on your body is a weed, not the root.   And even when we use natural alternatives, unless they are intended to uproot the cause, there can be no cure.

Our obsession with weight loss in this country is an epidemic.  We have weight loss pills, diets up the wazoo, new diet innovations from people; like the blood type diet,  Atkins, Paleo, and the list goes on and on and on and on and on.  I’ve noticed lately, too, that talk shows seem to be turning into weight loss shows.  Lose weight fast, is the common theme, and everyone with a few extra pounds is all over it.  Let me try this one, let me try that one.  For those of you who have tried any of these, have they worked for you?  I’m willing to gamble 100% that they haven’t.  You may have lost some weight while on them, but did it come back?  Of course it did.  Health, of which your weight is a part, is about lifestyle, commitment, discipline, and SELF LOVE.  This is where the lack of joy comes into play.

I was recently a guest on the Ricki Lake Show on the topic of body image and self-esteem.  There was a woman on the show who had lost a lot of weight (about 150 pounds!), but found herself unable to stop feeling like a fat person.  She said she was still identifying with being overweight.  We spoke a bit backstage and I asked her if she had dealt with the underlying cause of the weight, the root, which had been sexual abuse, and she said that she hadn’t.  So while she managed to get the weight off (through bypass surgery), the root of the body weight, the sexual abuse, was still unhealed.  The goal she thought would make her happy, didn’t.

So what are you carrying around as emotional weight that has literally become body weight?  And how long have you been carrying it?  Weeks, months, years, your whole life?  Joy is our birthright.  Look at children at play.  They know joy.  Listen to the sound of their laughter.  It’s pure, unadulterated joy and elevates anyone around to hear it.  Where in your life did your joy start to diminish?  Can you find it now, or is it a distant memory?  Is it a memory at all?

When you are willing to examine your life, all its pieces and parts, the people in it, your work life, home life, your sexuality, your relationship to your body, and to take off the rose-colored glasses, then you can begin to heal the joylessness that you inhabit, perhaps without awareness.  Perhaps these words are making you realize that you’ve had no relationship to joy for as long as you can remember, and maybe they will stir a longing in you to find out why.  Where in your life did you become unplugged, literally?

So if you are struggling with your weight, be it pounds, or a heavy heart/mind, seek to restore the joy in your life.  When you do, those pounds will come off, the heaviness in your heart/mind will lift and you will find the childlike laughter that is STILL within you.  It is never lost.

If you’re asking, but HOW do I do this, Gina?  Makes sense, but how?  The answer is the road less traveled.  The road that takes you directly into your healing, but probably more slowly than you want to go.  Pills don’t work,  whether natural or allopathic pharmaceuticals.  They are bandaids on deep, gaping wounds that left uncared for, will fester and become infected.  What have you been treating this way in your life?  You already know the answer.

So back to how.  My dad used to say, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”  And it’ true.  Most people need help in this process, at least until they can find the courage and commitment to stay the course.  This is a big part of the work I do, mostly with women, is to help you heal so you can lose the weight, both physically and symbolically.  Get support, in some form.  Books tend to open the mind to ideas, but rarely give you the motivation to actually take the action required for the journey.  You can start by making a list of all the things/activities that have made you feel joyful in your life.  Go back as far as you can into your memories to make a thorough list.  Once you have the list, make a commitment to begin doing some of those things again.  This will bring more joy back into your present, but the past still requires healing.  For those of you who could find nothing to put on the list of things/activities that have brought you joy in your life, you are just more shut down from your heart and your joy, but I assure you, it’s there.

I love the work that I do and  love helping people reconnect with their true selves, with the joy that is your birthright.  If you’d like to work with me, it would be my honor to assist you.  You can contact me and see what I do at www.redefiningwoman.com.  Some people feel they can’t afford help, but how much have you already spent on the useless products or diets trying to mask the symptom of extra weight?  I find that people who are really ready to surrender to this journey find me to work with them.  I’m tough, but loving in my approach and my goal for women is to help you live a life of natural beauty, born from the inside out.  When you accomplish this, your body finds its natural weight, because you are in true alignment with your own life, and because of this, your life becomes joyful.

If working with someone doesn’t feel right to you, then find a way. All you have to do is commit to a life of joy and all the tools you need will literally appear.  But you have to TRULY commit.  Do it.  You are absolutely worth it.

Please free to contact me with questions, suggestions, comments.  The link above (or on the sidebar) will get you to me.

Love who you are.  You are truly magnificent.  And remember that beauty is not skin deep.  It’s soul deep and spirit fed. Live this way and joy will be your constant companion.

Love & blessings,

Gina

The Ricki Lake Show and Me

Hello to all of you who follow my work.  I appreciate your devotion and support.  It drives me onward, truly.  This is just a quick post to let you all know that I will be a guest on The Ricki Lake Show on Monday, September 10, 2012 at 3:00 on Fox, Channel 11 (on the West Coast at least.)  We taped in July and it will be her debut show after a hiatus of many years.  Ricki is a friend of mine and I have great respect for her, and much of what is close to her heart is also close to mine.  She endorsed my book, W.O.M.A.N.: A New Definition in 2009 and invited me to be an expert on the show for an episode speaking to body image and self-esteem.  It was a powerful episode and I hope you’ll tune in.  Go to The Ricki Lake Show website to see where you can view it on TV, and it can always be viewed on the internet at a time of your convenience.  Ricki is going to be bringing many woman-focused topics to her audience in a very authentic way and I’m looking forward to the journey with her, as a repeat guest.

The producers at the show  have also asked me to start a monthly Teen Meetup Group, and we will be starting in October.  I suggested that we alternate one month for girls and the next month for moms, so if you’re interested or know someone who might be(it’s free), look for it on the website and sign up when it is available.

And please, peruse my other posts here on the blog.  I think it’s good stuff, all from my heart and the rantings of my crazy mind. I think you’ll like it, too.  Enjoy! icon smile The Ricki Lake Show and Me

 

Love and Blessings,

Gina

ARE YOU PROJECTING SEXUALITY OR FEMININITY?

Ladies, ask yourself the question am I projecting sexuality or femininity into my world? What’s the difference? It’s energy and intent and it’s a powerful attractor even if you’re clueless to its existence. It’s your vibration which brings EVERYTHING in your life right to your front door. It’s energy Fed Ex.

If you’re projecting (or vibrating to) sexuality, you’re in essence saying ” come do me.”  From this place you will attract men looking to get laid. So if you’re looking for an emotionally intimate relationship, you won’t find it with this energy as your bait, as this vibe will bring men who want you in a sexual way, plain and simple. Projecting from sexuality means DOING something to get attention, generally via your appearance, and a lack of belief in your inner wealth as a woman.  For the most part a projection of sexuality is shallow, acknowledging only one small part of your beauty, your gifts, your magnificent energy as a woman.  It’s the part the media and the  marketing world can’t live without, your sexiness, but it robs you of a deeper experience in your life when you pander to this idea that your true value resides here.  It’s like saying, my value as a woman is in my appearance and as a sex object.  The word object itself refers to something OUTSIDE of you.   And understand projecting sexuality has NOTHING to do with how you dress and more with how you express.  A man recently told me that when he was in Italy that the women there dress in these very short dresses and high heels, that here in Hollywood would make a woman be perceived as a hooker, but there, because of their internal energy, they are so beautiful and alluring.  That energy is femininity.

Femininity is an exquisite quality that ALL women possess.  Some feel it and dismiss it as weakness.  Some feel it and are afraid of its power. Some choose Feminism instead .  Some simply don’t feel it at all, because it makes them feel too vulnerable.  And I’m not surprised, because our modern world does not support the very things that would allow a woman to tap deeply into her feminine essence and to offer that to everyone she meets and engages.  Our world in all its masculine ways doesn’t create a space for women to feel SAFE enough to allow that vibration to flourish.  And we as women have slowly but surely abandoned what keeps us connected to our core.  Those of you who follow my work know that a key one is our menstrual cycle.  Disconnection from this alone is responsible for more women living like men and projecting only sexuality without connection to the depth of our feminine.

Femininity is pure power in its essence.  It’s magnetic.  It’s in our BEING as women, not our doing.  A woman projecting femininity can wear baggy overalls and no makeup and yet her radiance will be felt a mile away by both men and women, and she will be desired on MANY levels.  Sexuality is part of femininity.  But femininity is not necessarily part of sexuality. Why do I say this?  Because the projection of sexuality is truly about using our external appearance to create lust in an attempt to bring a man to you.  It creates an energy whereby in essence we allow ourselves to be used.  It is one-dimensional, whereas true femininity is endlessly dimensional.  It’s like seeing one piece of a puzzle, instead of the whole puzzle.  Just think about those Victoria’s Secret catalogues that men love to look at.  I don’t think they’re wondering what it would be like to get to know those women in a relationship.  They’re probably sitting by a tissue box and some lotion.  When men want you for the way you look or for the sexual energy you project, and ONLY for this, you will never feel seen, acknowledged or valued.  And you will feel insecure.  So why go out there projecting this energy in the first place?

If you are longing to be in a relationship but you are projecting sexuality when you go out into the world, your longing won’t be met.  The men that will “relate” to you will want sexual relationships because you are overtly offering this to them through your energetic expression.  And the energy driving our expression is more powerful than the expression itself.  Do you believe you have to seduce with your appearance and your body to get a man?  If you do, then you will attract a man who wants your body and is drawn to your appearance.  You will be projecting sexuality.  If you are projecting femininity, a man will want to relate to ALL of you, as your mystery as a woman will draw him into YOU, not just your body.   Your sexuality expressed THROUGH your feminine energy will take you both to places of pure ecstasy. This is the whole puzzle.

So ask yourself what you believe about your value, your worth as a woman and what will draw a man to you.  Is it YOU, your feminine essence, or is it your sexuality?  Take time to examine this question and to observe what you believe and feel as you move through the world.  And if you’re in a relationship already, these questions are still important.  Did you attract from sexual projection or from being in your feminine essence?  What have you manifested and is it working for you? And remember, projecting your feminine energy whether you are seeking relationship or not, will bring you into more harmony with YOURSELF, and that is truly most important.  So be deliberate and intentional in how you use your energy and what you choose to create in your life, and in your world as a W.O.M.A.N.

Just some things to ponder…let me know your thoughts..

Love and Blessings,

Gina

Want to explore more of your feminine energy?  Check out my book, W.O.M.A.N. -A New Definition.

Redefining Our Menstrual Cycle and PMS

Men shed blood on the battlefield in the destruction of life.  Women bleed monthly for the creation of life. War is celebrated, menstruation is denigrated. Why have these two things become so transposed, and why is the denigration of woman so profuse?  Why is it that the mention of a woman’s monthly bleeding provokes fear and discomfort?  Menstruation, which I have redefined and renamed The Sacred Cycle, is a natural, normal and healthy process.

Chinese medicine teaches that the body’s life force is contained within the seed.  For men, the seed is sperm, lost through ejaculation, and for women our seed is the egg, found within the ovaries, and lost through our monthly cycle.  Ejaculation is downright celebrated.  Menstruation however is still considered a curse and an inconvenience.

The time is long overdue for us to reclaim our menstrual cycle and to celebrate our lives as women.  Blood is a sacred fluid, without which none of us would exist.  Menstrual blood is the blood of life.  It is what nourished us, in the womb via the placenta (which is why we don’t get periods during pregnancy) It is our first breath, our first taste, our first experience.  And one of the last true taboos.

How is it possible to degrade so consistently and constantly the beauty and magnificence we are as women?  Our Sacred Cycle is one half of our biological creativity as women. In pregnancy it feeds and sustains the life of another. In menstruation, it feeds the creative life and soul of the woman. It is an experience that belongs only to her.  The Sacred Cycle is rich in wisdom and power.  It is looked upon with disdain by our society and it is sadly rejected by women, the repositories of this treasure.  We must change this perception.

I have renamed our menstrual cycle The Sacred Cycle, because it is sacred.  It is one cycle within the profound and rich life cycle of women.  It ritually and cyclically leads us to ourselves and our truths – truth which we often repress all month long.  But then we are hit with truth serum in its most potent form, PMS, which I have redefined and renamed as Powerful Monthly Sight. The week (approximately) before we begin to bleed is when and how we get clear with ourselves, with our lives, and with our relationships to others, if we know how to use it as a tool. It is, in my opinion, the most unused resource we have as women, due to the negative attitudes surrounding our cycle which have been created within us by the media, menstrual myths and the western medical community.

We have been convinced that EVERYTHING we experience through our biology as women needs to be medically managed via hormones, surgery and drugs.  The worst part is that we have subscribed to the myth.  The medical profession and the media have ingrained in us that we are defective as women BECAUSE of our biology; that being a woman implies great distress and suffering because we menstruate, give birth and go through menopause.  In fact, an entire branch of medicine exists around these three events in our lives, known as obstetrics and gynecology.  This triad; however, of menstruation, pregnancy and menopause, provides the doorway into our most magical and empowering experiences – all through the vehicle of our bodies.

We have been negatively programmed through the messages we receive constantly via media, advertising, doctors, and the world in general.  Our perception about ourselves as women determines what we actually experience.  If we change our perception about what we experience, we can then change the actual experience.

For example, let’s look at a common “symptom” of mainstream PMS, irritability, which supposedly accounts for one of the reasons we become “bitchy” raving lunatics at this time.  During the week (roughly) before our Sacred Cycle, all of our senses are heightened: sight, touch, taste, smell, and hearing, some more intensely than others.  Now I don’t know about you, but I think having all my senses more alive and more awake is a blessing, a gift.  But being in a heightened state while in an irritating environment would aggravate anyone.  I choose to refer to this “symptom” as a gift by calling it heightened sensitivity instead of irritability, and not as a symptom (which is a term that usually relates to disease or imbalance in the body).  Doing so causes a perceptual shift, which brings about, by definition, a different experience.  I could go on down the list of “symptoms,” but my space is limited in this article.  In my workshops, we cover them all and learn to see them differently.

So still working with the irritability vs. heightened sensitivity model, how can we respect and use what is available to us during this wise time of Powerful Monthly Sight?  We create, for starters, the seclusion ritual.  “The Red Tent” was  a very popular book, and those of you who have read it are familiar with the concept.  For those who haven’t, women used to sequester themselves during their menstrual cycles.  Due to the absence of artificial light (light impacts the pituitary gland which triggers hormone production), most women menstruated together by virtue of something known as entrainment, or synchronicity with the moon(light).  Contrary to most of the negative religious and cultural taboos around why women were “banished,” historical and anthropological accounts report in some cases it was a time of communal celebration and rest for women.  Think about it, being “banished” meant time away from husbands, unwanted sexual advances, children and chores.  Sounds like a vacation to me!!  The sending away of women was also an acknowledgment of the “dangerous” power that bleeding women had, and was a method of preventing accidents and natural disasters of all sorts. (The history of menstrual taboos is fascinating, but a subject for a different article.) Women bled together in synchronicity, nurtured each other, shared and rested.  It was a time of spiritual renewal as well as physical cleansing.

I am a strong advocate of reviving this practice by tailoring it to our individual and modern lives.  Taking time for ourselves is usually the last thing most women do.  There is no more important time during the ongoing cycle of our lives to do this than in that Powerful Monthly Sight window and during our Sacred Cycle.

Sounds good, but you’ve got to work, you can’t afford to take time off, you’re a single mom, and an endless list of reasons why that’s just not possible; right?  Where there is a will, there is a way, and when there is a deep commitment to self, you find that way.  These rituals need not be elaborate or expensive, but they need to be focused around an intention to take time out for you, and that will vary from woman to woman.  Single moms, who generally have the least amount of time, can do something as simple as taking a ritual bath, with oils and aromatherapy, mineral salts, etc, while reading a book they have been longing to read.  This can be done after the kid(s) go to bed.  It’s simple, and you would be surprised at how effective it is at helping you connect with you, as well as taking the time to nurture yourself.  For some women it’s a walk on the beach, a hike, you name it.  But you should do it monthly at this time.  Make it a priority, put it on your to-do list, but invoke it for yourself.  Those who are willing to be bold about taking this time may choose to take one sick day a month from work.  If they’re paid days, or vacation days, go for it!  And who cares if your boss notices your absence each month.  I cannot emphasize enough that if you don’t schedule the time and plan for it, it won’t happen.  Creating a beautiful ritual for and around your cycle will enrich your life immensely.

Journaling at this time I find to be particularly powerful. For some reason, all my “solutions” to problems in my life come in the days before my bleeding.  I’ve learned to show up for the answers.  The insight and clarity that pours forth at this time of the month never ceases to amaze me.  If you see this time as a resource and wise time and create the space to receive the wisdom, the blessings and gifts are endless and you will grow to value, look forward to and embrace this beautiful aspect of our womanhood.

I also can’t emphasize strongly enough that this is a time of the month for hearing (your inner voice) and feeling (your honest feelings about your life and all its parts).  I firmly believe the primary reasons I experience no physical PMS “symptoms” are diet and the fact that I check in with me regularly and EXPRESS, EXPRESS, EXPRESS my feelings clearly and habitually.  Emphasis on habitually.  Speaking out, speaking our truths is like using a muscle – the more you use it, the stronger it becomes.  For women verbal expression is the most frequent avenue of repression.  Holding back these forms of expression result in explosions premenstrually.  That dam or facade known as “my life is fine” is let down at this time, and those waters of our emotions flood into our lives.  If we consistently, daily are true to ourselves and our feelings about all we experience, then that flood doesn’t happen premenstrually.  We are then more able to focus our energy on receiving answers, intuitive guidance, heightened creativity, and pure magic at this time.

Ordinary PMS is when your body blows up at you, trying to get your attention, imploring you to make changes, so that you can feel you, without the illusory padding which keeps you from taking action.  The rose-colored glasses are removed forcibly at this time and all of your relationships, your job, your lack of commitment to self lies before you raw and uncensored, without the fluff.  Because culturally we aren’t raised to be okay feeling or expressing anger, it sits at the base of the volcano of our emotions, and when we erupt, it is more than we can handle comfortably or feel others can handle comfortably, so we try to keep the lid on.  PMS is the repression of expression, turned inward on the body, resulting in headaches, bloating, depression, cramps, etc.  There are of course hormones which contribute, but with the right diet, exercise, and a new way of viewing your cycle, you can mitigate and even eliminate these negative experiences.

What fascinates me about PMS is that Western medicine only looks at the biological component.  There is almost no research on emotional or spiritual experiences related to our cycles.  And every woman knows these exist.  The denial of the existence of these aspects contributes further to our self-doubt.  We think it’s just that we are “hormonal,” rather than embracing the entire process and loving ourselves in it.  There is so much more to what we experience and can experience during our cycles than what has been documented so far.  The lens modern medicine is using is far too myopic

Think back to any time in your life when you felt happy and things were going as you wished, that there was a flow (no pun!).  Perhaps you were in a creative phase or happily alone, without a relationship.  If you think hard enough, you will probably realize you had no PMS at the time, but instead experienced creative surges of insight, and felt incredibly empowered.

In indigenous cultures, women are considered wise or shamanic during their bleeding, and after menopause may become shamans or medicine women, as they are considered to retain their “wise blood.” Instead of having the wise time premenstrually, they stay in that state.  In fact, hot flashes should be viewed as power surges.  That’s what they really are.

I also believe that PMS is an untapped resource in healing our relationships.  I have created a workshop for men which enlightens them about my more positive perspective and talks about PMS as Powerful Monthly Sight.  If the same issues come up about your relationship monthly premenstrually, why not use it as a time to heal, to talk and to be open and make changes.  If men can learn to respect our cycles, it will serve them as well.  The current negative model of dismissing the women in their lives as temporarily insane, simply creates more distance and maligns women and the wisdom inherent at this time.  Powerful Monthly Sight is a window for change if acknowledged and used in this way.

We must teach and live the honoring of women and our bodies by first doing so ourselves.  If we cannot love, accept, and respect ourselves, how then can we expect anyone else to?  WE must reclaim and remember the sacred power of our female bodies and the wisdom imparted through our biological cycles.  Simone de Beauvoir said:  “to lose confidence in one’s body is to lose confidence in one’s self.”   We as women must take back control over our bodies.  Our bodies are the beautiful temples of our souls.  The ability to create, sustain and nurture life from these female temples is nothing short of magic.

Our power is not in our ability to seduce or be sexy.  It is not in being physically “perfect.”  Our power is in being simply who we are and embracing the fullness of our life cycles as women.

We MUST question the current role models and rebel against the media images in all their forms, as we strive to create images of woman that are woman-made.  It is time to define ourselves through our own eyes and to honor what we see looking back at us.  Isn’t it time we celebrated, rather than denigrated our lives as women?  We are exquisite.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT GINA CLOUD AND HER WORK, GO TO WWW.REDEFININGWOMAN.COM or WWW.GINACLOUD.COM

Copyright Gina Cloud 2012

W.O.M.A.N. Returns as GinaCology

W.O.M.A.N. Returns As GinaCology

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Gina Cloud’s  GinaCology

   Dearest Friends and Supporters,

   
 W.O.M.A.N. Returns as GinaCology
Gina Cloud’s GinaCology video 1
     It has been a VERY long time since I’ve written to you, communicated with you, shared with you. About a year ago I sent you an e-mail announcing I was emerging from my cocoon. Well, the best laid plans…I think I was was too impatient to let those wings finish developing. My daughter keeps telling me I have to be more patient! Can any of you relate to that?! 
      I have always been someone who needs to keep evolving.  I feel stagnant when my life looks the same for too long.  When I ended my show, Redefining Woman, I had hoped to move forward with my work, but instead, I found myself feeling glued to my seat, standing still, stuck, or whatever metaphor you prefer.  Been there?  Yep, it’s an uncomfortable place.
This time was different from the other times that I’d felt stuck.  It scared me.  I thought, how do I do this work?  How do I serve others AND MYSELF (remember we have to include ourselves in the giving!) going forward?  What’s next?
Normally when I put those questions to the Universe, answers come rather quickly, and I’ve learned to wait for the next wave of inspiration to wash over me and set me in motion yet again.  But months went by, then a year, and then I was looking at more than a year and the fear that maybe I wasn’t going to be able to do what I envisioned gripped me.  I thought, well, maybe I’m just done with what I was supposed to do since I’m just not getting a signal on the dial.
But patience is truly a virtue.  Eventually I got the cues from the Universe, and finally, I felt the movement, the quickening that would set me into the labor of my own rebirth and FINALLY emergence from my cocoon.
So this time, this e-mail serves to tell you that I’m REALLY back, not just planning on being back.  My show is up and running again as GinaCologyWhat’s GinaCology?   It’s my unique perspective on being a W.O.M.A.N. blended with my philosophy and psychology about life.  The show still  explores all things woman-related as well as topics in the media, alternative health and wellness, intimacy, sexuality, men’s Issues, relationships, spirituality, mind/body issues…You name it, NOTHING is off topic.  The show airs every other Thursday at 7:00 P.M. PDT and is podcast as well.
My goal is to continue to bring news and information to you that will enrich and empower you.
The show is still in iTunes and if you’d like to resubscribe you can do so directly from iTunes or by clicking here: subscribe to the show.  For those of you who followed the show before, there are still more than 50 of the episodes there for enjoyment.
30 W.O.M.A.N. Returns as GinaCology And lastly, I have a new addition to the show:  Ray’s Corner.  Ray, who wants to be simply known as Ray, will be chiming in at the end of the hour with his perspectives on topics of his choosing, usually related to the show’s topic for the evening.  Consider him the mystery man.  He has no contact info, no website, no FaceBook.  He’s truly off the grid and likes it that way.
So whether you are familiar with me and my work or new to it all, here are some quick ways to connect with me:
 

 MY WEBSITES:  Flash Website  and  Non flash website. I love the flash site and I’m sure you will, too, but it can’t be viewed from portable devices like your iPhone or SmartPhone.
     I’m also going to be posting regular video clips on various topics near and dear to my heart, and yours, so that I can answer questions and just explore with you.  If you’d like to receive those, please subscribe to my blog.  I will be creating an “Ask Gina” section there and will answer via short videos.  These videos will be exclusive to my blog, so please subscribe.  I NEVER share your information with anyone.  If you’d like to contact me with a question or show suggestion, CLICK HERE.
Finally, I will be on The Larry Love Show on Monday, June 4 at 6:00 P.M., Pacific Daylight Time.  You can tune into the show HERE.  If you’d like to share this e-mail with a friend, please click the “forward email” link below.
     I’m well aware that we all receive just way too much junk e-mail.  And while I don’t consider my work to be junk, you just might, and I won’t hold it against you.  Just click on the unsubscribe button at the bottom of this e-mail if you no longer wish to hear from me. 
     I’m looking forward to our continued journey together…
Much, much love, blessings and gratitude,
Gina Cloud

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My interview on The Larry Love Show

 Larry Michel and I flowed on my definition of W.O.M.A.N. and relationships

Gina Cloud interviewed by Larry Michel of The Larry Love Show