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

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My wild woman in Joshua Tree, California

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 marriage 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 unpredictable, 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 imprisoned 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 surfaces 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 unpredictable.  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 make 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 sexuality.  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 imprisoning 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.

If you’d like to take the first step to awakening your wild W.O.M.A.N., please join me for a 2-hour interactive webinar that will change your relationship to how you feel in your body, ELEVEN TOOLS TO HELP YOU LOVE THE BODY YOU LIVE IN.

And please share this post if it moved you…or made you feel like getting on all fours…

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With fierce, wild love,

Gina Cloud

 

 

Ladies, Wake Up YOUR Sleeping Beauty and Stop Exploiting Yourselves

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Ladies, it’s time to wake up YOUR Sleeping Beauty.  There is an unconscious part of us as women that actually engages in our own exploitation.  It is a form of mindlessness that we have absorbed since we were little girls. We take part in the commodification of our bodies and our sexuality with very little awareness, and I’ve reached a point in observing this that I cannot stand by without sharing my perspective MORE FIERCELY than usual. I hope that the words in this post will be your Print Charming– Ok, bad pun– but the idea is that these  words serve to awaken you from your coma, dear Sleeping Beauty.  This is another long post, so get cozy…

We teach people how to treat us by how we treat ourselves.  What we believe about ourselves we broadcast out into the Universe and that signal comes back in the form of the people and circumstances we attract into our lives. From the time we are young girls we get messages from all around us that we MUST change our physical appearance in a variety of ways.  The first place seems to be our weight, and I see little girls as young as 10 already obsessing about it and dieting.   Without questioning why, we just start doing things because everyone else does; like messing around with our eyebrows as a simple example.  Now lest I appear judgmental about what women choose to do as their beauty rituals, let me say this.  I have no objection to WHAT you do so much as I ask WHY do you do what you do?  Do you know?  Have you ever stopped to ask yourself or have you just always done so?   So many women spend crazy amounts of time, money and mental energy on a multitude of appearance changing/enhancing products and services, chasing that “ideal” beauty standard and the perfection of our outsides.  Those products and services can alter your appearance so much that in some cases you just don’t look like you.    I saw a recent report that said women will spend an average of $15,000 in their lifetime on makeup alone! Not to mention all the other services and products.   The list is endless really because the industry keeps finding ways to tell you that you’re so flawed and unattractive and will never find a man unless you invest in the latest way to become perfect. So again, I ask you, have you ever actually stopped to ask yourself why? If your first thoughts are things like, “well, I would look like hell otherwise,” or “I hate my ___” fill in the blank, then I  suggest that you’ve been asleep and manipulated most of your life.  If you are doing these things because you don’t feel good enough, then I invite you to revisit doing them at all.  If you do them consciously and you do them FOR YOURSELF, that’s a different story.

I want to ask you, what are you really saying about yourself and what do you really expect to gain when you promote yourself from the outside?  What is the payoff? When it’s all about what you look like and you keep shape shifting to conform to someone else’s idea of beauty and sexiness,  you live in terror of being seen as you really are.  BUT IT’S NOT YOU FAULT, LADIES.  Your self-esteem and self-worth have been systematically and brutally hijacked from your being, so that you have no choice, from that paralyzed, numb place, to adopt the media-driven ideas of what makes a woman desirable and wanted.  It is from this place that our bodies and our sexuality become commodities.

Now let’s turn to how we exploit our own sexuality. I live in Los Angeles and move through the world and see this obsession with manipulating our appearances and pandering the “come fuck me” mindset.  I see women walking in heels so high that they could literally fall off of them and hurt themselves — in the supermarket!  I hear women’s conversations as an outsider and with friends. There is such a focus on sexiness. And so much of the conversation revolves around men and how to “get” them, and sex seems to be the bait, based on how we are focused on our outsides. I see this bartering happening energetically in an unspoken way between men and women. Yes, women’s bodies have been exploited throughout history, but when WE take part in this desecration, we are basically saying, “this is all I’m worth.  The way I look IS my value. If I’m not fuckable, I’m worthless.”  What we don’t understand is that if you actually held your sexuality at such a high value within you, you would attract a man who would have to step up to a place of integrity within himself in order to be with you.  From that place you wouldn’t attract someone interested in the shiny outsides, or who just wanted to fuck you.  The use-you kind of  fuck, not the really good kind. When we live focused on our bodies and our sexuality as our value, we set ourselves up to be used.

When we think so little of ourselves, our bodies, our sexuality, when we give our souls away to look good and use that looking good to seduce a man, what caliber of man could that possibly be?  We aren’t asking much of that man, so he shows up in the smallest version of himself and the most unworthy version of himself to match the unworthiness we feel about ourselves.  And we complain about HIM, but we are creating that reality. I hope this post will cause an awakening within you that will allow you to see things from a perspective that will honor you, ALL of you. When you do, you will discover your true value, worth and inherent power, which has nothing to do with your appearance.  If every woman in the world took this stance, I believe there would be an amazing caliber of men on this planet.  We want better quality men but we are teaching them to expect so little, so they don’t have to step up and deliver with integrity.    I see the responsibility on both sides of the equation, with both genders, but ladies, the real power is within us to change all this. But are we too busy looking in the mirror to even see our power and all that we are capable of being?

Are you willing to take an honest look at how you may be unconsciously exploiting your body and your sexuality?  I’m asking you to look at YOUR MOTIVES underneath it all; to make what’s been unconscious and robotic, conscious.    We have to stop complaining about being used for sex, when we mindlessly walk around grooming ourselves to promote the message that that’s all we are good for. If you want love AND sex, are you really sending out the right signals?

I’m not saying don’t dress the way you want to or to cover yourself up. I love being a woman and I dress the way I want to express my beauty, but my sexuality is not an advertisement that precedes my entrance into the room. Nor is it the primary form of communication I use.  I am sick and tired– yes angry– at seeing young girls taken advantage of because the world we live in sexualizes them so much that they now joke about rape.   I am sick and tired of seeing young girls unable to say no to advances, because at an early age they, too, fall into this deep slumber and believe that’s what they’re here on Earth for, and that being wanted this way makes them special or validates them.  I’m sick and tired of seeing grown women aging and believing that they have no worth, spending even more of their hard-earned money to try to chase youth and get rid of the wrinkles so they can reclaim their desirability and “value.” Doesn’t this piss you off, too?

Your sexuality is a gift and a force.   Explore it, get to know and understand it, and do not allow it to be pillaged or to take part in the ways of our world that promote you as a valueless shell for someone to use and never know YOU; your heart, your soul, your real face.   When you come from a place of honoring your sexuality, it can feed you in ways that you cannot imagine because we live in a sexually shallow society.    One which, by the way, still fears the true depth, intensity and hunger of female sexuality.  When you live in integrity with this part of you, you will attract a higher caliber of man, one who values your sexuality as well, one who has great respect and integrity within himself and for himself, and one with whom you can have mind-blowing otherworldly sex.  So ladies, stop complaining about the man. Part of my inspiration to write this piece was hearing so many women complaining about them.

Know this, too. It’s a lonelier place when you live this way, in the sense that until all women live this way, it will take a while for the world of men to understand the old rules no longer apply, but you will TRULY feel better about yourself and from a place of deep self-love you will know a new kind of joy. I learned this personally the hard way, but it is the absolute truth.

This deep slumber that we are in also keeps women from bonding with each other.  When you are living this superficial life chasing the perfect body and working the best seduction tools,  when a beautiful woman walks into the room, you go into comparison. competition, insecurity and bitchiness.  You look her over and try to pick her apart in order to elevate yourself because your yardstick for value is your appearance.   When you are living in integrity with your body/sexuality,  when a beautiful woman walks into the room, you can admire her.  You want to know her.  You are drawn to her.  You recognize her as your sister.

As I wrap this up, (because clearly I could go on and on and on :)) let me leave you with some questions to ponder.  What if you could wake up naked lying alone or next to your man/lover/partner, no makeup, hair however it chooses to be, and feel so comfortable in your skin?  What if being that way was the most sensuous feeling?  What if you threw away your scale and just didn’t give a fuck? What if you stopped trying to change your appearance via whatever tools you use, no longer spending money and time obsessing about them?   What if you chose nurturing and beautifying rituals instead of appearance altering ones? Why do you do what you do?  Is it because everyone else does?  Is it because you feel unattractive?  Do you use your sexuality to “get” attention and men?  What do you really feel about your value and your worth as a person?  As a woman?  Are you doing all those self-modifications and still alone, if getting that man is what drives you? Are you part of the Victorias Sheepret parade, following the herd?  (okay, that was a weird one, I admit, but you get my point.)

If you have a daughter or wish to one day, would you want her to think so little of herself that she would follow this life path?

Enough said?  This is a lot, and I hope my words will open some doors to exploration that will lead you more fully into the depth and fullness of who you really are.    Think of this post as the kiss that woke up Sleeping Beauty…yes,that would be you. But this is no fairy tale, it’s your life.

Men reading this, I hope you will take the time to reflect on what value you place on women unconsciously, and share this post with the women you know. Try to put yourself in our shoes — The high-heeled ones that are hard to walk in, and see if you can find a place where you can show up differently in how you relate with women.

If all of this begs the question how do you get out of this maze and live authentically, I am teaching a two-hour interactive webinar with live Q&A at the end.   Click on the link for details about the webinar, HOW TO LOVE THE BODY YOU LIVE IN, with real tools to achieve liberation from this prison.   And please, if this moved you, touched you, stirred you, please share it…And take the time to reflect on the questions I’ve posed here.

I am DEEPLY committed to each one of you and taking a stand for all that you can be and helping to liberate you from all of the boxes we live in, so that you can just shine your bright, authentic beauty and radiance into this world which so needs who YOU are.

And finally, I would love to have you join my e-mail list.  There’s an opt-in box on the bottom of this page, just below you. And visit my website for more to inspire you…

sleeping beautyMuch love and  A BIG WAKE UP KISS!

Gina

The Vulnerability and Wisdom of The Vagina

yoni as portalAs I begin this post, I can feel that it will be raw, visceral and deep. So grab your beverage of choice and sit with me in a place of no distraction.  This topic is important, for both women and men.

The primary focus of my work, as many of you know, is teaching women the powerful and unique language of their bodies as a path for transformation.  Women’s bodies speak a particular language, via our reproductive experiences; namely the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause, and also via our sexuality.

After a recent conversation with a woman about her sexuality and these body messages, I began to think about the vagina (often I will refer to as yoni) and its profound wisdom and vulnerability in our lives.  There are a range of experiences women have which involve this portal, both literally and spiritually.  In the normal spectrum,  there is giving birth, to our monthly cycles, to sex, to the undesirable experiences of rape and sexual violence in all forms, as well as female genital mutilation.  Our vaginas are messengers and teachers, yet many women have shame, fear, ignorance, and numbness, to name just a few, around this area of their bodies.

Vulnerability is defined most simply as capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt.  For most men, and many women, the word vulnerability provokes discomfort.  Why would anyone want to be vulnerable?  Because without vulnerability, we are closed.  When we are closed, we cannot receive love and the many other blessings which are possible within the range of our human experience.  The key is to be vulnerable and to have discernment.  This is a gift of the vagina.  Whether women realize it or not, your vagina speaks to you via body messages even when you are not tuned in to your truths.  It is a vulnerable space and yet it is capable of stretching to birth a child.  It has a profound physical resilience.  Its vulnerability lies in its connection to our hearts.  Its discernment is mind-blowingly clear through the messages it delivers to a woman’s body as feedback.

In teachings on tantra and other sacred texts, there is a known connection and polarity between a woman’s heart and her vagina/yoni, and a man’s heart and his penis.  In a woman, the positive pole is her heart/breasts and the negative is the vagina.  In a man, his heart is the negative pole and his penis is the positive.  When a man and a woman embrace in a normal hug and/or sexually, these poles are activated in the same way that battery cables work.  For women, the vulnerability of our hearts is tied to our vaginas.  Any woman knows, and men should, that when a woman opens her heart, her legs are powerless to remain closed.  When a woman surrenders her heart, her sexuality comes alive.  And this is where the vulnerability of the vagina begins.  In entering a woman sexually, her heart is also entered, even if she feels closed, as in casual sex.

Many women today are engaging in sex without an awareness of this aspect of themselves.  But the vagina knows, even if you are completely oblivious.  When a woman allows a man to fuck her without a heart connection, or respect at a minimum, penetration becomes denigration.   A woman KNOWS when his has happened because she feels used, empty, sad, depressed.    There are many, many shades and flavors to sexuality.  When the vagina is accessed without connection, women suffer on various levels.  And your body WILL tell you when a man has no business being inside you.  And this doesn’t apply just to casual sex, but also to any relationship or marriage.  We all choose unwisely at times in our lives, myself included.  But your vagina invariably knows the truth.

How?  For starters, immediately after being with a man, if it’s a situation where you’ve been used, or a relationship that has never honored you, you just feel empty.  Many, many women know this place as not wanting to have sex, but doing it anyway.    Some women may be unaware of this emptiness if it’s been the way you’ve done sex your whole life or for a protracted period of time, but there is an emptiness, and often there are tears, if not immediately in his presence, later when you are alone.  When you’ve chosen wisely, you feel CONNECTED, more connected to that man after being penetrated by him.  And penetration by him is beyond his penis.  When a man truly penetrates a woman, the WHOLE woman and not just the hole of a woman, he finds his own heart and all of the polarities come alive.  There is vulnerability and trust.  A woman may cry after this kind of sex as well, but the tears will be very different because they will be from a place of being embraced rather than used,  a place of connection rather than disconnection, a place that reached into her heart – and his.

I’ve worked with women who were sleeping with men that they knew were wrong for them, yet they continued to have sex with them.  Often, your body will create physical dis-ease as a message to you about your choice.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve encountered this phenomenon in my work with women.  I remember one client would get a yeast infection every time after sleeping with this man she was attached to.  Her vagina’s wisdom was literally speaking to her, telling her this man was wrong for her.   I’ve seen women get bladder infections as well after sexual encounters with men who were bad choices for them.  Cervical issues as well are often body wisdom messengers speaking to a woman about how she is not honoring herself. Many women will have an intensification of menstrual pain, if they are prone to it normally, and women who normally don’t experience PMS will while in a relationship, sexual or otherwise, that does not honor them.  Ladies, you KNOW.   You may be choosing to ignore that you know, but in that deepest part of you,  there is wisdom.

Someone shared with me recently that they read an article saying that it’s impossible to have a vaginal orgasm, that there’s no such thing.  That’s utterly ridiculous.  When a woman’s body is shut down emotionally or indulging in fast food sex, which is the cultural norm, there is a lack of vulnerabilty IN HER HEART.    Remember the vagina and heart are connected.  If your heart is closed and you have sex with someone without connection, orgasm is not possible vaginally for most women.  Vaginal orgasms are the deepest, most profound form of orgasm.  Many women are getting off on jackhammer vibrators, using only clitoral stimulation, which only promotes more desensitization, resulting in more of an inability to feel the subtleties within the vagina.  It’s aggressive,  surface stimulation, and I know that many men feel with penetration they can’t compete with those quickie surface orgasms.      It  deprives them of an ability to become great lovers if women seem to only want to get off clitorally.   Deep, vulnerable, heart and soul-stirring orgasms come with a willingness to choose openness of your heart and the wisdom to discern whether you should open your legs to this man.  That is why women are finding it difficult to have vaginal orgasms, not because they don’t exist, but because our relationship to our vaginas and our hearts is so fragile.

When a woman allows a man to f.u.c.k. (my definition: f.ree u.nrestrained c.onnection to k.undalini) her from a place of heart connection, both can let their freak flags fly.  All those shades of our sexuality, when done from a place of real connection and trust, can be incredible to experience, and promote the deepest of intimacy.  But when we allow men into this vulnerable place, using that definition of vulnerable I mentioned earlier, our bodies know immediately if we can trust him.  If a woman is tuned in to herself and the subtle energies that we have access to through our vaginas, that knowing is unmistakable.  If you are tuned in to your body in general, you know before you ever get to the point of penetration.  But we often ignore that voice that tells us not to go there.  And then when we do, it’s like we have broken our own hearts.  If we can’t say the word vagina, if we can’t look at it, touch it and have pleasure through it, then we are disconnected from its wisdom consciously, but it will speak to you via the body messages I’ve mentioned above, and more.  Even if you don’t physical issues related to your vagina,  depression will often be the messenger.

There is another layer of vulnerability to the vaginas of women who have been victims of sexual abuse or rape.  In my work with women in this area, I see that women cope with this painful violation — which is of the soul, and not just the body — in different ways.  Some avoid sex.  Some indulge in lots of disconnected sex.  Some eat their unprocessed feelings, and put on weight as a way of protecting themselves, with the idea that if they are overweight, they won’t become victims of sexual violation again.  These are but a few shades, as each woman deals with this trauma in different ways.  Even for those that go through some form of healing, their vulnerability in this area is even greater than women who have not suffered this abuse.  Men need to understand this, and women need to honor this piece if it is part of their life’s truth.  I don’t think that men truly understand what it means to be penetrated.  To have a man enter into this vulnerable place.  The only analogy I could possibly offer is for a straight man to experience anal penetration.  For most straight men, it provokes vulnerability.  Here we are in a society where we are barely able to look each other in the eyes, to penetrate each other in our gaze.  Yet often women allow themselves to be penetrated vaginally without an awareness of the sacredness of their bodies.  When was the last time you were with a man sexually and you were able to hold each other’s gaze?  Do you allow him to penetrate you without being seen?  The eyes are the window to your soul.  If you’re unwilling to allow access to being penetrated through your eyes, how can you possibly allow vaginal penetration.  It’s an act of disrespect.  And men, how can you not see the woman, the human being, the soul that you desire?  How can you fuck a woman without caring who she is?  Women, if you value yourself more, you wouldn’t find yourself with a man who would do this to you, and if you did, you’d walk away.  The more you learn to honor what you carry between your legs, the more you will understand its connection to your heart.  The more you honor your heart, the more you will be unable to allow sexual penetration of this vulnerable, sacred space.

Couples who have love and trust can explore 50 shades of gray, and every other color under the sun.  Sexual exploration is vital to our understanding of who we are, but for a woman, opening to allow those experiences with a man who doesn’t value her, honor her, will make her feel used, violated.   Without intimacy and trust between two people, we are violating ourselves repeatedly.  I believe that the kind of sexual experiences people are longing to have can only happen in a SATISFYING way if the people involved have that heart connection, that trust, that intimacy.  Women, you know.  And you must listen in order to take care of your own heart.

In our culture today, so many men are using women’s bodies as receptacles for their pleasure, dismissing and discarding the heart and soul of women.  And many believe that women are okay with it.  Many women falsely believe they have to comply with “men’s needs” in order to have a man, so they make themselves okay with it.  I’m offering a different perspective.  Men reading this, I ask you to dig deep within you and try to imagine the vulnerabilty of penetration for a woman, and the pain and hurt you can cause by just not giving a damn about her, using her only to get off on.   Even if you think she’s okay with it, even if she says she is, many women are so wounded and blocked here, from so much pain, that they are numb.  The harm you do by using a woman at any time is beyond my ability to convey to you with words.  I am not asking you to read a woman’s mind.  I am simply asking you to examine your motives.  If you know you’re only using her for sex, perhaps you could make a different choice.    You know what your intention is.  Be mindful of that.  Find a place inside you that honors women, our bodies, our hearts, and that vulnerable portable you are all so fond of inhabiting.  It’s not yours to take ownership of or to use as you wish.  Women, you MUST stop allowing this to happen.  We have the power through honoring ourselves to put an end to this.  We have the power to educate men with love and grace by simply standing in our own self-love and self-respect.  We don’t have to make men wrong in order to change this.   I also believe that when women honor men and stop vilifying them, men in turn will honor women.  When we understand this simple truth, our relationship to each other will be transformed, and we will learn to truly serve each other.

 

With love & blessings,

Gina

A WEBINAR FOR MY LADIES: Your Menstrual Cycle as Teacher, Mentor and GPS Of Your Life

big hair8L1V1343         As some of you know, I’ve been WAY slow on catching up with technology and social media.   I’m an in-person kind of gal. Many of you have been asking me to do this for years, and finally I’ve surrendered (something I actually love to do :)) and put together a series of webinars.  The first one is:

Your Menstrual Cycle as Teacher, Mentor and GPS Of Your Life

I know, those of you who may be new to my world and my work are ready to move on from this page, thinking WTF?? That’s a response I’m used to.    But don’t.  I have never failed to bring great clarity and inspiration to ALL women who have been exposed to this particular aspect of my work.  It’s truly life-altering.  So click on the link above or HERE and see what I have in store for you.  Spots are limited, and I will have Q&A to answer your specific questions.

And guys, you’re more than welcome to join in, too.  This information will only make your relationships with women better; whether they are wives, girlfriends, friends, sisters, daughters.  If you’re a guy reading this, please share it with the women in your life.

And please hit share if you feel this would be great for someone you know.  Join me on January 24…let’s get in the flow together.  Okay, horrible pun.  :)

 

With love & gratitude,

Gina

 

 

The Vulnerability and Wisdom of The Vagina

yoni as portalAs I begin this post, I can feel that it will be raw, visceral and deep. So grab your beverage of choice and sit with me in a place of no distraction.  This topic is important, for both women and men.

The primary focus of my work, as many of you know, is teaching women the powerful and unique language of their bodies as a path for transformation.  Women’s bodies speak a particular language, via our reproductive experiences; namely the menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause, and also via our sexuality.

After a recent conversation with a woman about her sexuality and these body messages, I began to think about the vagina (often I will refer to as yoni) and its profound wisdom and vulnerability in our lives.  There are a range of experiences women have which involve this portal, both literally and spiritually.  In the normal spectrum,  there is giving birth, to our monthly cycles, to sex, to the undesirable experiences of rape and sexual violence in all forms, as well as female genital mutilation.  Our vaginas are messengers and teachers, yet many women have shame, fear, ignorance, and numbness, to name just a few, around this area of their bodies.

Vulnerability is defined most simply as capable of being physically or emotionally wounded or hurt.  For most men, and many women, the word vulnerability provokes discomfort.  Why would anyone want to be vulnerable?  Because without vulnerability, we are closed.  When we are closed, we cannot receive love and the many other blessings which are possible within the range of our human experience.  The key is to be vulnerable and to have discernment.  This is a gift of the vagina.  Whether women realize it or not, your vagina speaks to you via body messages even when you are not tuned in to your truths.  It is a vulnerable space and yet it is capable of stretching to birth a child.  It has a profound physical resilience.  Its vulnerability lies in its connection to our hearts.  Its discernment is mind-blowingly clear through the messages it delivers to a woman’s body as feedback.

In teachings on tantra and other sacred texts, there is a known connection and polarity between a woman’s heart and her vagina/yoni, and a man’s heart and his penis.  In a woman, the positive pole is her heart/breasts and the negative is the vagina.  In a man, his heart is the negative pole and his penis is the positive.  When a man and a woman embrace in a normal hug and/or sexually, these poles are activated in the same way that battery cables work.  For women, the vulnerability of our hearts is tied to our vaginas.  Any woman knows, and men should, that when a woman opens her heart, her legs are powerless to remain closed.  When a woman surrenders her heart, her sexuality comes alive.  And this is where the vulnerability of the vagina begins.  In entering a woman sexually, her heart is also entered, even if she feels closed, as in casual sex.

Many women today are engaging in sex without an awareness of this aspect of themselves.  But the vagina knows, even if you are completely oblivious.  When a woman allows a man to fuck her without a heart connection, or respect at a minimum, penetration becomes denigration.   A woman KNOWS when his has happened because she feels used, empty, sad, depressed.    There are many, many shades and flavors to sexuality.  When the vagina is accessed without connection, women suffer on various levels.  And your body WILL tell you when a man has no business being inside you.  And this doesn’t apply just to casual sex, but also to any relationship or marriage.  We all choose unwisely at times in our lives, myself included.  But your vagina invariably knows the truth.

How?  For starters, immediately after being with a man, if it’s a situation where you’ve been used, or a relationship that has never honored you, you just feel empty.  Many, many women know this place as not wanting to have sex, but doing it anyway.    Some women may be unaware of this emptiness if it’s been the way you’ve done sex your whole life or for a protracted period of time, but there is an emptiness, and often there are tears, if not immediately in his presence, later when you are alone.  When you’ve chosen wisely, you feel CONNECTED, more connected to that man after being penetrated by him.  And penetration by him is beyond his penis.  When a man truly penetrates a woman, the WHOLE woman and not just the hole of a woman, he finds his own heart and all of the polarities come alive.  There is vulnerability and trust.  A woman may cry after this kind of sex as well, but the tears will be very different because they will be from a place of being embraced rather than used,  a place of connection rather than disconnection, a place that reached into her heart – and his.

I’ve worked with women who were sleeping with men that they knew were wrong for them, yet they continued to have sex with them.  Often, your body will create physical dis-ease as a message to you about your choice.  I cannot tell you how many times I’ve encountered this phenomenon in my work with women.  I remember one client would get a yeast infection every time after sleeping with this man she was attached to.  Her vagina’s wisdom was literally speaking to her, telling her this man was wrong for her.   I’ve seen women get bladder infections as well after sexual encounters with men who were bad choices for them.  Cervical issues as well are often body wisdom messengers speaking to a woman about how she is not honoring herself. Many women will have an intensification of menstrual pain, if they are prone to it normally, and women who normally don’t experience PMS will while in a relationship, sexual or otherwise, that does not honor them.  Ladies, you KNOW.   You may be choosing to ignore that you know, but in that deepest part of you,  there is wisdom.

Someone shared with me recently that they read an article saying that it’s impossible to have a vaginal orgasm, that there’s no such thing.  That’s utterly ridiculous.  When a woman’s body is shut down emotionally or indulging in fast food sex, which is the cultural norm, there is a lack of vulnerabilty IN HER HEART.    Remember the vagina and heart are connected.  If your heart is closed and you have sex with someone without connection, orgasm is not possible vaginally for most women.  Vaginal orgasms are the deepest, most profound form of orgasm.  Many women are getting off on jackhammer vibrators, using only clitoral stimulation, which only promotes more desensitization, resulting in more of an inability to feel the subtleties within the vagina.  It’s aggressive,  surface stimulation, and I know that many men feel with penetration they can’t compete with those quickie surface orgasms.      It  deprives them of an ability to become great lovers if women seem to only want to get off clitorally.   Deep, vulnerable, heart and soul-stirring orgasms come with a willingness to choose openness of your heart and the wisdom to discern whether you should open your legs to this man.  That is why women are finding it difficult to have vaginal orgasms, not because they don’t exist, but because our relationship to our vaginas and our hearts is so fragile.

When a woman allows a man to f.u.c.k. (my definition: f.ree u.nrestrained c.onnection to k.undalini) her from a place of heart connection, both can let their freak flags fly.  All those shades of our sexuality, when done from a place of real connection and trust, can be incredible to experience, and promote the deepest of intimacy.  But when we allow men into this vulnerable place, using that definition of vulnerable I mentioned earlier, our bodies know immediately if we can trust him.  If a woman is tuned in to herself and the subtle energies that we have access to through our vaginas, that knowing is unmistakable.  If you are tuned in to your body in general, you know before you ever get to the point of penetration.  But we often ignore that voice that tells us not to go there.  And then when we do, it’s like we have broken our own hearts.  If we can’t say the word vagina, if we can’t look at it, touch it and have pleasure through it, then we are disconnected from its wisdom consciously, but it will speak to you via the body messages I’ve mentioned above, and more.  Even if you don’t physical issues related to your vagina,  depression will often be the messenger.

There is another layer of vulnerability to the vaginas of women who have been victims of sexual abuse or rape.  In my work with women in this area, I see that women cope with this painful violation — which is of the soul, and not just the body — in different ways.  Some avoid sex.  Some indulge in lots of disconnected sex.  Some eat their unprocessed feelings, and put on weight as a way of protecting themselves, with the idea that if they are overweight, they won’t become victims of sexual violation again.  These are but a few shades, as each woman deals with this trauma in different ways.  Even for those that go through some form of healing, their vulnerability in this area is even greater than women who have not suffered this abuse.  Men need to understand this, and women need to honor this piece if it is part of their life’s truth.  I don’t think that men truly understand what it means to be penetrated.  To have a man enter into this vulnerable place.  The only analogy I could possibly offer is for a straight man to experience anal penetration.  For most straight men, it provokes vulnerability.  Here we are in a society where we are barely able to look each other in the eyes, to penetrate each other in our gaze.  Yet often women allow themselves to be penetrated vaginally without an awareness of the sacredness of their bodies.  When was the last time you were with a man sexually and you were able to hold each other’s gaze?  Do you allow him to penetrate you without being seen?  The eyes are the window to your soul.  If you’re unwilling to allow access to being penetrated through your eyes, how can you possibly allow vaginal penetration.  It’s an act of disrespect.  And men, how can you not see the woman, the human being, the soul that you desire?  How can you fuck a woman without caring who she is?  Women, if you value yourself more, you wouldn’t find yourself with a man who would do this to you, and if you did, you’d walk away.  The more you learn to honor what you carry between your legs, the more you will understand its connection to your heart.  The more you honor your heart, the more you will be unable to allow sexual penetration of this vulnerable, sacred space.

Couples who have love and trust can explore 50 shades of gray, and every other color under the sun.  Sexual exploration is vital to our understanding of who we are, but for a woman, opening to allow those experiences with a man who doesn’t value her, honor her, will make her feel used, violated.   Without intimacy and trust between two people, we are violating ourselves repeatedly.  I believe that the kind of sexual experiences people are longing to have can only happen in a SATISFYING way if the people involved have that heart connection, that trust, that intimacy.  Women, you know.  And you must listen in order to take care of your own heart.

In our culture today, so many men are using women’s bodies as receptacles for their pleasure, dismissing and discarding the heart and soul of women.  And many believe that women are okay with it.  Many women falsely believe they have to comply with “men’s needs” in order to have a man, so they make themselves okay with it.  I’m offering a different perspective.  Men reading this, I ask you to dig deep within you and try to imagine the vulnerabilty of penetration for a woman, and the pain and hurt you can cause by just not giving a damn about her, using her only to get off on.   Even if you think she’s okay with it, even if she says she is, many women are so wounded and blocked here, from so much pain, that they are numb.  The harm you do by using a woman at any time is beyond my ability to convey to you with words.  I am not asking you to read a woman’s mind.  I am simply asking you to examine your motives.  If you know you’re only using her for sex, perhaps you could make a different choice.    You know what your intention is.  Be mindful of that.  Find a place inside you that honors women, our bodies, our hearts, and that vulnerable portable you are all so fond of inhabiting.  It’s not yours to take ownership of or to use as you wish.  Women, you MUST stop allowing this to happen.  We have the power through honoring ourselves to put an end to this.  We have the power to educate men with love and grace by simply standing in our own self-love and self-respect.  We don’t have to make men wrong in order to change this.   I also believe that when women honor men and stop vilifying them, men in turn will honor women.  When we understand this simple truth, our relationship to each other will be transformed, and we will learn to truly serve each other.

 

With love & blessings,

Gina

Is The Lack of Platonic Affection Among Men Contributing To Our Violent Culture?

Click to see a photographic history of male affection

Click to see a photographic history of male affection

I was recently asked by to comment on the popularity of the Bromance movies that dominate the comedy genre in our American films, and as usual, my mind kept on unwinding why it was so popular until I landed on a feeling I often get when I hit a genuine nerve, one we need to take a look at.  What dawned on me is that part of what is common in Bromances is male affection.  Guys hug each other (not the pat on the back sports kind), kiss each other, sleep in the same bed, openly discuss vulnerabilities.  Now, as a woman, this is all just normal, natural and non sexual behavior in this context.  I couldn’t imagine a life where I didn’t regularly experience these kinds of affection with other women, and with men who are my friends.  For purposes of this post, my use of the word “affection” here will be referring to the non sexual kind.

So as my mind is wont to do, it ran down that road paved by lack of affection among straight men in our culture.  Gay men have no problem with non sexual male-to-male affection, so for purposes of this post, I am also referring only to heterosexual men.

Touch is vital to human life.  Care and nurturing are not exclusively the domain of women.  Babies who are touched regularly in the neonatal units in hospitals thrive, grow and gain weight more quickly than those that aren’t.  Affection, primarily touch, is as essential to our lives as human beings as the air we breathe, yet men in our culture are almost entirely deprived of experiencing it with each other, for fear of being labeled gay.

Little boys naturally express affection towards everyone, just as little girls do.  They hug, they kiss, they cuddle.  It’s not a gender thing.  It’s a human being thing. It’s natural, normal and not judged.   At a certain age, usually around the time boys go to school, so as early as kindergarten or sooner, the social programming begins that tells boys to suck it up when they cry instead of being comforted by the same hug offered to little girls when they cry.  “Be a man,”  they’re often told, or “be tough,” teaches boys quickly that in order to be loved and accepted, and to be separated from the girls and considered a boy, that they should not express their feelings or desire to be comforted.  Anger of course is the only socially accepted emotion given to males.  All the rest belong to us.  I often say that women get all the emotions, except anger, and men get none but anger.  All of this containment of natural desires for affection is happening gradually over the development of a boy’s life into manhood.  There’s little conscious awareness for most, if any, that they are being forced to abandon a basic human need and desire, until one day that boy wakes up in what I call the Man Box.  I’ve often said that we women know we live in society’s box, but we are aware that we are in one.  Men, I feel live in one, and it’s invisible to most.

That box forces men to conform to false notions of what it means to be a man, as our society defines it, and forces men to exhibit behaviors, and not exhibit others, that also define what a man is.  It also determines whether other men in the box will respect you.   This box in my view deeply affects the emotional interiors of men.   So much of these societal dictates are borne of homophobia.  I’m sure most guys reading this can think of a time in their childhood, and all throughout, where if they cried, or sought comfort in affection, they were called any of the many homophobic names that little boys who are sensitive (or simply normal, in my view) often are.

Boys grow up, as do girls, as do all human beings, learning from what they see and hear.  I often speak to mothers about this in modeling the kind of woman they’d like to see their girls become, as what they see you do and how they hear you speak, ultimately informs who they become.  This is true for boys whose ideas around masculinity and how being a man is defined.  These modeling behaviors will ultimately determine this Man Box for him.  It will determine how he feels he needs to behave in order to be accepted by all the other men in the box.

So I followed the trail of my mind to the next thought, which was that women are far less violent than men as a generally accepted belief, and much is attributed of course to the prevalence of testosterone in men as the ultimate agitator of undesirable behavior, but I had another interesting thought.  What if the fact that men are deprived of normal affection causes a backlash inside them?  After all, it’s the repression of expression.  A withhold of care and nurturing that we all need. What if it’s a kind of male PMS?  I often describe mainstream PMS (I have my own definition) as the repression of expression, and right before our periods, before the actual bleeding, that repression backs up into rage if a woman hasn’t been allowing a natural expression of ALL her emotions throughout the month.  For most women, it’s anger.  Remember, that’s the one we don’t get.

What if all this repression of the need and desire for non sexual touch, affection, hugs, intimacy ultimately backs up and contributes to the kind of rage that we are seeing so prevalent in our men these days; played out in gun violence and sexual violence against women and children?  What if men were not chastised, criticized, belittled, judged for wanting and needing and expressing affection?  What if a simple thing like natural affection between men, and non sexual affection between men and women were a key to tempering the violence in our current culture?

Here’s another thought that occurred to me as I kept meandering down this road, could lack of platonic affection also cause men to sexualize what is in reality not sexual?  When the need for affection is unconsciously  mixed with the need for sex,  can we distinguish which we are actually craving?  It’s not necessarily always both simultaneously.   Women can easily do this, because we express and receive platonic affection constantly in our lives.  We know what it is to just need a hug, or to cuddle for comfort.  We can separate affection from sex.  But for men in this culture, there is a Pavlovian response that has forced them to live with the equation that touch/affection = sex.  And it deprives men of this nurturing that is so essential to us all, a nurturing that began to decline from the first time a crying boy is told to be a man.  This tendency to equate touch with sex is also a concept that women have come to believe.  The idea that “if he’s touching me, he must want sex,” because we aren’t taught that men can JUST want the affection.  And the notion that men can only want sex from touching is one of the biggest societal mindfucks perpetrated on them.  Men in relationships understand this well.  They do know that there are times they want affection, to cuddle, and don’t want to have sex.  Sometimes they’re tired and don’t feel like “performing.”  And men who have children understand this as well.  The desire to love, touch, nurture your children is innate.  And that’s my point.  Men need and want affection, and not just from women.  Men need to feel comfortable wanting, giving and receiving platonic affection.

I haven’t done this research, and if anyone has and would like to share it with me, I would be grateful, but I wonder in cultures where men are “allowed” their affection with other men, if there is a lower rate of violence.  I have traveled the world and everywhere I have been, I see hugging, kissing, hand holding, and walking arm and arm between men.  But almost not at all here in America.  Doesn’t it make sense that this could be part of why men are imploding and exploding all around us?

As I often like to do, I will leave you with these questions to ponder.  I have discovered in my own life that the questions are often more important than the answers, as they lead us to take action, to understand, to learn, to grow and to share.  To all you men reading this, please let yourself out of the Man Box if you are in it.  Let yourself reclaim a powerful, beautiful part of your masculinity and your humanity.  Don’t let other men’s or society’s or women’s opinions of you dictate how you live your life, how you express yourself, how you love and share your heart.  And ladies, stop participating in shoving them into the Man Box.  When we endorse society’s beliefs about platonic affection from men to men or to us, we place a lock on that box and invite more violence into our own lives as a result of participating in their repression.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, especially from you men.

With love and Blessings,

Gina Cloud

 

 

GinaCology Principle No. 4 – A Woman is Responsible for her OWNgasm (aka orgasm)

              My GinaCology Principle No. 4 is that a woman is responsible for her own orgasm.  As many of you know, I love playing with language and reshaping it to my own ideas and concepts, so I call an orgasm that comes from a woman who is connected to her sexuality authentically, an OWNgasm.   Your own orgasm.  I wll be referring to the mainstream definition of orgasm as simply orgasm.

As many of you know, GinaCology is about empowering women FROM THE INSIDE OUT.  There is no place in our lives that this is more true than in our sexuality.  In our current world, we are primarily doing sex from the outside in, making orgasm a goal, whereas OWNgasm is a whole body/mind/spirit experience that brings you to a state of heightened ecstasy via a moment-by-sensual moment of full awareness and connection to that divine temple know as a woman’s body.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH MY VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC.

And please share if you feel it would help another woman (or man!)

Also, if you’d like to see me do a series on female sexuality, let me know via the poll below this blog post.

Love & Blessings,

Gina Cloud

HOW MY BARE SHOULDERS KEPT ME OUT OF ITALY’S CHURCHES

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20130901-172440.jpg
As I write this particular post, I am still in Rome, heading back to the U.S. soon. I find myself reflecting on the fact that each time I have attempted to enter a church here in Rome or Florence, or anywhere in Italy for that matter, my bare shoulders have been an issue. It’s still hot as hell here, so everyone is running around in tank tops and sleeveless attire. But the bare shoulders of a woman became a metaphor as I examined and refused to accommodate their request to cover them in order to enter the churches, including the Vatican.

Now first I need to say that I was raised very Catholic, with extremely Catholic parents. I went to Catholic schools all the way through high school, was baptized and had my First Holy Communion and my Confirmation. So I have a personal relationship with Catholicism and am willing to say that much of what I will say here is likely to offend those who embrace their religious faith.

I believe that because I was raised in an environment of religion, it is what led me to the spiritual path. Religion, in my view, is a form of mind control and manipulation of the masses by making us believe that our “redemption” is dependent upon us following the strictures of whatever religion we subscribe to. Spirituality, on the other hand, teaches us that God is within each and every one of us, and that we are each piece of God him or herself. Many that are faithful to their religion would already be offended that I would refer to an ambiGod, meaning either male or female. If that is the case, you may want to stop reading right now because I am likely to really piss you off.

Back to my bare shoulders. As I stood in the lines to enter some of what is absolutely the most beautiful and celebrated architecture on Earth, no question, I noticed that both men and women had bare shoulders. The problem that I had was that only the women were being asked to cover ourselves. And if you were in a tank top you could purchase for a mere €1.50, what I refer to with disdain as a shoulder tarp. On a matter of principle, I could not bring myself to do it. Had it been a request of both men and women I know that I would have.
The fact that this kind of Fear of the female form –which is ultimately what this comes down to, the fear of female sexuality– Is still promulgated in 2013, really does provoke my ire.

While I really wanted to see the architecture, Something innately within me could not condone, support or become part of this still repressive ideology that surrounds women and our bodies.

So what the hell is wrong with my bare shoulders? A woman’s shoulders literally shoulder great responsibility and burdens. How do my bare shoulders manage to be the reason that I cannot enter the church? Oh yes, and then there are my knees. You see your shoulders and your knees must be covered if you are a woman. The knees perhaps because moving up my thighs we get to that dark, forbidden seductive, and juicy place–the place that all life comes from. And we know what religion has done around a woman’s vagina. Yet the church doesn’t even recognize that in the sacred geometry that surrounds much of the art and architecture, the symbol, the very shape of the vagina is everywhere, the vesica piscis.

And my bare shoulders perhaps invoke the thoughts of moving downward towards the slope of my breasts. Those breasts nurture life, and are not just for sexual titillation (pun intended). Though we know that historically the repression of sexuality in the Catholic Church has led to much pedophilia and depravity.

I know that some people will think how could you pass up seeing the architecture and the art in the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, all the beautiful churches along the way? And my response from a place of absolutely standing firmly on the principles I believe in, fight for, would die for, is that I cannot stand in a place that considers my body and its parts offensive or illicit. If men can enter with bare shoulders and shorts, why can’t I?
And when will we collectively recognize the temple that is a woman’s body as the most sacred of all that we have in human form? This is part of why I do the work that I do.

It felt so right to me to refuse to enter these places based on this rule. I know that many would retort with, “but it is a sign of respect.” How is it respectful? What do my shoulders have to do with my ability to worship God, to feel reverence and sacredness around me? These are rules and laws promulgated by those that repressed and persecuted women in ancient times, and I for one will be damned if I will participate in the continuation of that today!

Does that make me a heathen? In the eyes of many, yes. In my own eyes, it makes me a woman, proud to be one, and unwilling to participate in any form of repression of my gender, Be it ancient or modern, religious or colloquial.

So until that time arrives, I’ll just keep on shimmying my shoulders with all the reverence and sacredness that my feminine form invokes and offer that to god, goddess and the universe Everywhere that I go…

Much love from Rome,
Gina

Lose your mind… And you’ll find your heart

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. As I write this post, I am in Italy. I know you all haven’t seen any pictures of my vacation on Facebook, primarily because I do believe in having a private life in a world that has become a giant fishbowl for all to see, 24/7. I am in Florence as I write this, heading to Rome tomorrow. All of last week I was in a beautiful villa in the hills of Tuscany doing a women’s healing dance and drumming retreat hosted by my dear friend and brilliant performance artist, Alessandra Belloni. For the last 10 years she has tried to get me to attend this annual event, but it just never worked out until this year.

It was truly a magical experience, and a magical place, with amazing women and a couple of really good men acting as supportive pillars. My beautiful daughter went with me, though dance and drumming is not her thing. Clearly Tuscan food and Tuscany itself were. LOL.

As we were sitting out under the canopy of what felt like guardian trees, the place where we danced and drummed every day, we were having a discussion about many, many things, and Alessandra asked me to speak. The topic at the moment revolved around our sexuality as women and as I began to speak about it and expound on the letters In the word W.O.M.A.N. as redefined in my book, W.O.M.A.N.: A New Definition, I found myself saying the following in regards to our wildness: “when we lose our minds, we find our hearts.”

There are many times when I am sharing and speaking to a group that things come through me that I did not intend from my mind. They tend to be pearls of wisdom from somewhere that are channeled through me. This was one of them and it had an impact on many of the women, so much so that I decided to write about it.

Living as we do now as modern day women, we travel via the world of the rational mind, day in and day out almost 24/7. We think things through, rather then feel them through or intuit them, or allow them to move through us by being in stillness. Rather than having those eureka moments, we process and over process through our minds. As often I like to remind us all, this is the masculine way, The rational channel. And there is nothing wrong with it, however, as women, the heart is the place where we should start. In fact, in my opinion, the heart is where all human beings should start. The mind is meant to serve the heart.

As women, much of the wisdom that we would gain through the heart comes through our bodies and because we tend to discount and ignore all of our unique biological processes, particularly the menstrual cycle, we function as if we have no rhythm.

When we let go of the mind, throw it away, lock it up for a while, or for good even, a wonderful process happens. We begin to feel. We feel everything. We sense everything through all of our organs; our eyes, nose, fingertips, skin, taste, hearing. We access the wild creatures within us and the heart begins to commune with us in all of these ways. When we see something, it is no longer just a description of what the eyes are seeing, there is a feeling that goes with the visual picture, sometimes having nothing to do with what the eyes are actually seeing.

For instance, lying on the platform where we danced, looking up at those trees, my eyes saw trees, but my heart saw and felt the guardians. When we let go of the mind, the sensations, images, feelings that come to us come through the heart first and then our mind helps us to process them into some form of language. When you hear a child laughing, it’s not just a sound, it becomes music, the language of happiness, joy, playfulness, and it evokes something from within you.

In order to have these kinds of experiences; however, we have to slow down and we have to be willing to lead with feeling and not with thinking. Thinking as the inroad is a one dimensional portal. Feeling as the inroad is multidimensional and infinite.

Yes, the primary language of the heart is feeling. The primary language of the mind is words. I invite you to speak from your heart, which has quite a different frequency than when one is simply talking.

So ladies, remember that there is rhythm in your body, rhythm to life, rhythm all around us. Rhythm is the Cure. This was the name of the week long workshop, and it was rooted in an ancient Italian Goddess tradition known as the spider dance, or the Tarantalla. If you’re thinking that word looks like tarantula, bingo.

In this ritual dance, the women were said to be bitten by the spider and the venom would make each woman go crazy, ergo lose her mind, and free her of all of the emotional baggage that was causing pain in her life on all levels. In essence, losing her mind would heal her. We danced this ritual dance to shamanic drum rhythms that induce trance. It was quite beautiful and powerful to see each woman really surrender her mind, her body, to let go of all control, and liberate her heart and soul.

So if you can’t make it to southern Italy in August of next year, find a way to lose your mind somewhere along the way. If you’re worried about being able to find it again, leave a trail of breadcrumbs. But I don’t think you’ll miss it. The heart is infinitely more wise, less chaotic, more peaceful, and filled with a kind of beauty that only the heart knows.

Love and blessings,
Gina

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How Much Self-Sabotaging Do You Do Through People Pleasing?

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People pleasing, we all do it. Mostly women in my experience, but men do as well, mostly in the area of their relationships.  The “yes dear” syndrome Every time you are dishonest in order to appease someone else or avoid dealing with an issue, what is the real cost to your soul?

What price do you pay to take the road well-paved and most traveled, instead of the one with very few footprints or maybe a few breadcrumbs, or better still, the one that you must forge completely on your own?

In this video I share my thoughts on this subject.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

With Love & Blessings,

Gina Cloud