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Sisterhood – Getting High Off Of Our Connections With Other Women

pin it button 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

pin it button Sisterhood   Getting High Off Of Our Connections With Other Women

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

pin it button JUST BECAUSE THATS THE WAY IT IS...DOESNT MEAN THATS 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

pin it button JUST BECAUSE THATS THE WAY IT IS...DOESNT MEAN THATS THE WAY IT HAS TO BE

ARE YOU PROJECTING SEXUALITY OR FEMININITY?

pin it button 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.

pin it button ARE YOU PROJECTING SEXUALITY OR FEMININITY?

Where’s your Wild W.O.M.A.N.? When was the last time you let her out?

pin it button Wheres your Wild W.O.M.A.N.? When was the last time you let her out?

20120822 215850 Wheres your Wild W.O.M.A.N.? When was the last time you let her out?

  I’ve promised to explore each of the letters in W.O.M.A.N, and so I want to begin with the “W,” wild.  When I speak of wild in all that I write, I am not speaking of the Girls Gone Wild, MTV version or the kind that emulates male promiscuity.  I speak of a primal wildness borne of the soul and rooted in our bodies.  It is a most crucial aspect of who we are as women, and sadly a place most never visit within themselves or share with another.  That other is the truly wild man (speaking as a heterosexual woman), and I’ll get to him a little bit later, but let’s focus on the Wild Woman for now.
As I often share from my life, I can speak about the Wild Woman from a place of deep personal knowing.  She is the creature that feeds and renews my soul, and always has been, even before I knew her name.  So often in my life people refer to me as a “creature,” and it always makes me smile, because it means that they can “see” that wildness in me, front and center.  There is a duality in us as women – a tenderness of heart and this wild creature.  We are socialized to love and treasure that heart, and burned at the stake when we celebrate the wildness.  As you read this, see if you can call up a memory, a time in your life that you felt truly free, alive and instinctual.  If you can, then you have known your Wild Woman.  But don’t despair if you haven’t.  She is and always has been with you.
Of late, I’ve found myself ruminating on past relationships and realized that I have almost always let my heart, and not my Wild Woman choose my partners.  With the exception of one man, who was truly wild, they were not.  What I also realized is that because my Wild Woman was not part of that decision making process, but such a huge part of who Gina is, she ultimately was the one who made me move on.  I had not integrated her in my relationships, but she was fully present in my aloneness.  And so after what was usually several years, she would whisper or yell loudly, depending on my level of disconnect from her at the time, that she was bored and unfulfilled and would ultimately lead me out of every relationship of which she had not been a part from the beginning.  And then I would languish with her for a very long time in my aloneness.  This is part of the duality of which I speak.  Somehow we end up needing to be alone to feed her, and she will not go hungry, let me tell you!!!!!!  But having known one wild man, I know there are more.
Some women are afraid of their Wild Woman.  Many women experience her for the first time in dancing or in their sexuality.  Since society has tended to label us as promiscuous for enjoying our bodies and our sexuality (or witches!), most women subscribe to that in large or small part, and just send her packing.  But she will not be silenced for long.  For some reason in my own life, she has always been the voice I hear most clearly, and is the reason I crave freedom beyond all else.  I was never a woman who daydreamed about a wedding, and in actuality saw marraige as a prison for women.  I feel my wildness in my very core, and would rather be alone than to be with a man who is not truly wild.
So what is true wildness versus the idea that wildness equals naked bodies acting crazy?  We have all seen nature programs on TV.  When you watch wild cats or wolves stalk, hunt and devour their prey, you don’t judge them or call them bad.  You recognize that this is nature; natural, wild and pure,.  That those animals are acting instinctually.  They don’t judge themselves or their actions.  They are simply free and true to what they are.  They live as their nature instructs them, through all of their senses.  They eat when hungry, sleep when moved to, have sex when it feels natural to.  They are naked and wild.  To live in harmony with our instincts and our senses, animated by our souls is what I speak of as wildness.
Does it make your heart race to see wild animals hunting one another?  Yes, but it is survival and it is part of being wild.
I love not knowing what I’m going to do next.  That might sound peculiar, but it’s the truth.  Living in total harmony with my Wild Woman means I don’t know what’s next.  I am a slave to the drives and hungers of my body most of the time, and what those are vary from day to day. Needless to say, being this way can scare people – men specifically.  My daughter also tells me that I scare her sometimes because I am unpredictible, though  not in a bad way.  What I have learned is that in honoring her, my Wild Woman, I can live, really live free.  Whenever I feel imprisioned in my life, it is because I have not fed and cared for Her.  And when I do, I am electric, fearless and attract-ive.
One of my favorite books is “Women Who Run With the Wolves,” by Clarissa Pinkola Estes.  It is filled with stories about the various aspects of our instinctual natures as women.  She speaks of the duality of woman in this way: “Anyone close to a wildish woman is in fact in the presence of two women; an outer being and an interior criatura(creature), one who lives in the topside world, one who lives in the world not so easily seeable.  The outer being lives by the light of day and is easily observed.  She is often pragmatic, acculturated, and very human.  The criatura, however often travels to the surfacee from far away, often appearing and then as quickly disappearing, yet always leaving behind a feeling: something surprising, original, and knowing.”
She is the part of you that is inspired and unpredictible.  She is the part that draws people to you in an inexplicable and compulsive way.  They don’t know what it is about you, but they can’t take their eyes off of you.  She is the part that makes you feel comfortable in your own skin, especially when you are naked.  If you feel at all afraid of this part of yourself, please don’t!!  You must simply remember that she is YOU.  You can begin to get to know her at any time.  How?  It’s really very simple, as she requires little to feel fed.  Sensuality is a very big part of the Wild Woman, as it is in the animal kingdom.  Pay attention to how you move through space, what you smell, what you see, how things taste and feel, what you hear, and what you sense.  That sixth sense is so present in animals, and it is in woman as well.  Simply begin to explore it.  I suggest picking one sense a day and zeroing in on it as much as you can throughout the day, until you can begin to integrate all of them at once.  Eat with your hands.  There is something very sensual and primal about using your hands to put food into the mouth – yours or someone else’s. Let your hair down!  Seriously, if you tend to wear it up or control it with clips and bands, let it be free.  Try to stay as close to your natural state of beauty as possible.  For example, I have very curly hair, thanks to my ancestral gumbo.  When I have occasionally decided to wear my hair straight, I’ve found that I can’t take it.  It makes me feel contained and restrained!  I end up washing it by day’s end to get back my curls.  They are how I was born and they are a part of my integral wildness.  Find yours!  This may sound cliched, but take off your clothes and walk around naked.  Love your body as a woman’s shape, and let go of self-judgment about that size and shape.  Find some music that is dripping in percussion and dance to it until you are dripping in sweat. Move your hips, move your hips, move your hips!!!  They are the seat of a woman’s soul.   There is nothing like drums to bring you to your wildness and your primal truth.  And make sounds from your throat, especially when you are having sex, but when you are dancing, too.  When your hips are moving, let the sound move from your throat and past your lips.  Hips and lips are intimately connected.  A woman’s whose hips are free, can also express herself freely verbally.  There is an esoteric connection between the throat and the vagina.  To open them both is to achieve ecstacy – and to share it with your partner.  Estes offers this in her book: “The way to maintain one’s connection to the wild is to ask yourself what is it that YOU want.  This is the sorting of the seed from the dirt.  One of the most important discriminations we can mke in this matter is the difference between things that beckon to us and things that call from our souls.”
There could not be a discussion about wildness in its true, primal sense, without sex being part of that.  To really express it, we must free ourselves in our sexual expression.  That means that we need to have a partner that respects and understands our sexualtiy.  If you are wild and free and he is not, then you will not be able to go where you would like to.  If your partner doesn’t respect your boundaries, or where you are  with your current sexual expression, it will not work.  Respect and trust in bed is primordial.  Be sure that you enforce your own boundaries, so that you can attempt to arrive at a place of no boundaries together.  Love and sex are unquestionably the best of all, as long as both lovers are free.  I really believe that love is a free spirit, and one must be free to embrace it, for the spirit of love dies in captivity.
And finally a few words about the Wild Man.  Not the promiscuous dog we all hear about.  Not the man addicted to pornography.  He is the Wild Woman’s mate, truly, and a very rare find.  I believe that men are looking for and long for him as much as we long to love and connect with our Wild Woman.  I just think they are lost and confused for the most part, as they are trapped in society’s imprisioning ideas of masculinity.  Here is what Clarissa Pinkola Estes says about the Wild Man: “We know that the creature, Wild Man, is seeking his own earthy woman.  Afeared or not, it is an act of deepest love to allow oneself to be stirred by the wildish soul of another.  In a world where humans are so afraid of “losing,” there are far too many protective walls against being dissolved in the numinosity of another human soul.  The mate for the wildish woman is the one who has a soulful tenacity and endurance, one who can send his own instinctual nature to peek under the tent of a woman’s soul-life and comprehend what he sees and hears there… so, the wildish task of the man is to find her true names, and not to misuse that knowledge to seize power over her, but rather to apprehend and comprehend the numinous substance from which she is made, to let it wash over him, amaze him, shock him, even spook him.  And to stay with it.  It will make her eyes shine.  It will make his eyes shine.”
We all know the expression that men are dogs.  Well, they are, but on a soul level, it’s a compliment.  Wild Man’s dog nature is his instinctual nature, that which allows him access to the Wild Woman.  Estes says, “It is the dog-self that learns to overcome superficial seductions and retain the most important knowings…the dog is one entire side of man’s dualistic nature.  He is the woods nature, the one who can track, who knows by sensing what is what”    (about Wild Woman.)
I’ve had these dreams lately about dogs.  I’m not much of a dreamer by night.  I think Carlos Casteneda would call me a stalker.  Usually I just crash.  My mind is so active by day, and so when I dream, I pay attention.  I’ve seen the dog nature of man in these dreams, and it’s not the colloquial slur.  They represented a deep love from the heart, a love that flows easily and long, forgives effortlessly and can fight to the death to protect you.  These are qualities that, to me, are very appealing in a man.
So find your Wild Woman.  Make regular dates with her.  Integrate her into the fullness of your life.  Let her scare you, but don’t walk away from her.   You can’t.  When we choose not to know Her, our lives fall apart and we lose touch with what it means to be a W.O.M.A.N.  Love her and let her love you.  She is pure, wild beauty.
 
pin it button Wheres your Wild W.O.M.A.N.? When was the last time you let her out?

Redefining Our Menstrual Cycle and PMS

pin it button 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

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My interview on The Larry Love Show

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 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

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WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE A TRULY BEAUTIFUL W.O.M.A.N?

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Gina Cloud’ Definition of Beauty: The life force of a person reflected from their inner soul/spirit place onto the canvas of the physical body, creating radiance and magnetism which is utterly irresistible to all who are in your presence. BEAUTY IS NOT SKIN DEEP! IT’S SOUL DEEP AND SPIRIT FED!

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AGAIN, FORGET ANTI-AGING! IT’S A STRESS-INDUCING CONCEPT. WE ALL AGE. THE IDEA IS TO AGE GRACEFULLY!

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In this audio tutorial, you will also learn about:
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Uncovered throughout her own personal journey, Gina Cloud is now sharing with you the habits, tips and tools that you will need to move forward in your own magnificent voyage, whether you are just embarking or already on your way.

“Beauty is not skin deep. It’s soul deep and spirit-fed. It is something that we cultivate from within…” – Gina Cloud

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To get this information from me one on one would cost $1,500.00 OR MORE for my time; however I am offering my knowledge, my experience and my heart’s desire to help women heal from the devastating effects of the mainstream media and the medical community‘s campaigns to make women feel that we need pills and products to be beautiful. I am offering Natural Beauty: Aging Gracefully vs. Anti-Aging to you for $79.00

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With love and blessings,
Gina Cloud

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