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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love & Blessings,

Gina

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

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

Gina Cloud’s Segment of The Ricki Lake Show

pin it button Gina Clouds Segment of The Ricki Lake Show

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

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

Love & Blessings,

Gina

pin it button Gina Clouds Segment of The Ricki Lake Show

PUSHING YOUR MAN TO BE WHO YOU WANT HIM TO BE WON’T CHANGE WHO HE IS

pin it button PUSHING YOUR MAN TO BE WHO YOU WANT HIM TO BE WONT CHANGE WHO HE IS

Ok, so this is a LONG one.  You may want to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe a glass of wine or, my favorite, a shot of top-shelf tequila.  Ready?

How often, ladies,  do you end up looking at the man that you are in a relationship with or married to and thinking that you wish he could be a certain way, or that he would do something that you’ve always longed for him to do or the big one,  things he used to do?   I was reflecting on something in a conversation I was having with a friend of mine about the reality that as women, in our current modern world, we have a tendency at the beginning of our relationship to try to lead the man that we are getting involved with and who we are attracted to in the direction that we want to go.  It feels natural, because we all want  what we want, especially in relationship,  but this is our fatal mistake.  Because you can lead a horse to water, but as the adage goes,  you can’t make him drink.

Now when he is very thirsty, he will drink. Using that as a metaphor for early on in relationship where men are inclined to give us what we want in order for them to bed us.   This is true, ladies, even of men who care about us or love us or who will love us.  That’s BIG motivation for them to deliver all the goods we want.  So let me give you some examples of what I’m speaking to so that I can make what’s clear in my mind, clear to you as well.

Let’s say early on in a relationship, we want the man in our life to know that we love to be spoiled.   Now that means different things to different women, but let’s just say for the sake of this piece( and for simplicity’s sake) that we want our guy to know that we love to be taken out to dinner three or four times a week, (ok, so it’s a shallow example but that’s the way it’s coming through!)  and we want to be able to spend a certain amount of time together each week.    But when we start booking the reservations for the restaurant, or saying to him, “why don’t we go out to dinner tonight,”  rather than allowing him to suggest what he would like to do, we just go ahead and take charge and make it happen. and this is leading the horse to water, or in this case to the restaurant table.   So in those early stages you end up thinking all this is so romantic and he takes me out to dinner. But the reality is you set it up.
For the sake of keeping this simple and illustrating the point, if you want someone who wants to go out to dinner three times a week and you are with the man who never suggests taking you out to dinner, and when I say never suggests,  I’m speaking to that brand-new place in relationship where people really reveal who they are. Let’s say he suggests hey, let’s go for a picnic out in the woods. Not your flavor? A lot of women would say yes anyway, because they like this guy and they want him to like her, so what we are basically doing is setting up our new relationship lies and facades.  You’ll go for a picnic in the woods and hate every bit of it because you don’t like bugs or sitting on the ground, and he will go out to dinner with you even though restaurants aren’t his thing. As time goes on, you will continue the farce,  but most guys won’t.  Sorry ladies, but this is one of those places where I have to give it to men for being  more simple and honest. And it’s not that we are being dishonest consciously, it’s that there is a subtle form of manipulation going on when we keep trying to get him to do what we want.  And it’s born of a fear that either we will never have what we want, or that we don’t deserve to have what we want, or a combination of these feelings.  Or perhaps you just don’t want to end up alone, so you settle for what comes along.
What to do? In those early days, if you are clear about  what is important to you in relationship, you must adopt the feminine principle of BEING  and leave the masculine one of DOING to him. Witness how he shows up organically, because this is who he really is. Is he a guy that brings you flowers and takes you out to dinner and fancy places if that’s who you are? Or is he the kind of guy that wants to sit and talk for hours and know who you are from the inside out? You won’t find this out if you continue to lead with your doing. You’re trying to get what you want and need from a relationship which you are absolutely entitled to have, but you can’t get it by trying to change the man who is in front of you.  When we do this, we dishonor ourselves and the man before us.
Are you following me on this? Why do we do this? I believe because inherent in most women is a sense or belief that if we are just being who we are, that won’t be enough to be offered the things that we genuinely want to be offered by a man in a relationship, so we work at it. We set up our own romantic scenarios and all the other ones that are important to us. But here’s the thing, is it because we’re afraid of being alone? If we just were truly who we were and allowed the man that is the object of our interest to just be who he is and we both were to witness how we each show up for the other we would very early on know the truth of whether we will be a good fit in relationship. Instead we create a habit of getting what we want by taking the masculine role and then one day we realize “he never does XYZ if I don’t initiate.”   You’re right, because it’s not in his nature and  you probably should never have been with him if this is one of the things on your list of needs in a relationship. And then when you get angry, your guy is scratching his head because he genuinely, honestly doesn’t understand.  You see, ladies,  the simplicity of man is the gift and the confounding confoundment that they bring to us, just as our innate complexity levies the same effect on them.

For men, often a duck is just a duck. To us, we see a potential Christmas dinner (sorry to my vegetarian readers) and a down pillow, and wonder why in the world they only see a duck.   I think part of the problem stems from the idea that most women, including myself for large portion of my life, never really examined what is truly important to me in a relationship. What do I want from a man mentally, emotionally, spiritually,  physically,  sexually, financially, and how do I want to feel in his presence?   So many of us just take what we are offered, afraid
to have nothing offered at all. But for those of us who assumed a masculine role and do the doing, not only will you never have what you desire from a man, but you will also emasculate the man that you are in relationship with and he will never have what he wants from a woman, which in part is to be able to offer himself to her, not to be forced to give her what she wants.
There is a huge difference between being offered something by a man and asking for it from him.
In my book, I write about the difference between being a W.O.M.A.N.  And feminism. I believe that feminism attempted to bring socioeconomic parity two women,  which we certainly deserve, but somewhere along the way we stopped being in our feminine qualities.  We stopped experiencing them in ourselves and we stopped offering them to the world, and of course the men we come in contact with.

Men are longing to experience a part of us that knows how to just be, how to subtly suggest what we need from them, without so much blah, blah, blah. Men don’t want to be talked at, they want to be talked to.
But back to us. If you’re in a relationship, think about how the scenarios I am putting forth in this piece may relate to you and how your relationship began.  If your guy is someone who you complain about who is always sitting on the couch drinking beer, watching sports and porn, well, he should probably be in a relationship with a woman who likes to do those things as well. But if in beginning you chose to overlook qualities that were clearly present in him to go along with it to try to sway him into doing all the things you love, this relationship is and was doomed from the beginning.   The feminine art of asking from the place of the heart, the womb, is wordless and has more power than all the talking we could ever do.

A large part of my work speaks to the need for us to return to the true feminine essence, and by implication how that will redirect the masculine. The masculine has become more feminine as the feminine has become more masculine. Look around the world just in your immediate environment and notice how many couples have an inversion of those male/female polarities, where the women wear the pants so to speak.   And I’m not saying AT ALL that we should let men dominate us. That’s NOT what this is about.  It’s about balance, polarity, harmony, synergy, and most of all, love.  Not dominion.

So if you just show up as who you are and don’t feel that you have to effort, or do anything at all in order to receive, eventually the right guy will show up. He will offer you those things that are most important to you. You won’t get everything in one person but if you hold out and value yourself, you will attract the most important things on your list.
Now speaking of  lists, I highly recommend this as a practice that I have used in my life repeatedly to continue to attract the type of relationship I desire.  You do need to make those lists, as they will bring you copious amounts of clarity about all kinds of things you want and don’t want in a relationship. You must get in touch with what you desire and deserve and then you can call it in

So go back a few paragraphs — I know this is a really long post, LOL — but go back a few paragraphs and take some time to write down the answers to those questions. And I don’t mean five minutes, I mean take a week.  Write the answers down one day at a time.  Refine them, delete some, change them.   Until you are clear about what you truly want, you are gambling with the Universe, which will give you whatever you are asking for, consciously or unconsciously.  So become clear and create consciously, as you are otherwise creating unconsciously.   In the meantime you need to show up with the fervent belief and knowledge that you deserve just because you’re you. Stop trying to tell your man who to be or what to do and how to do it. Let him be.  And don’t use your love and affection as leverage or reward.  Love is given freely, or it isn’t love.

If he is truly not a match for you, do the right thing and let both of you out of the relationship. And the next time you meet a guy, if you are a food and wine aficionado and he’s asking you what you like to do and you tell him and then he never takes you to a winery or a great gourmet restaurant, then you know what to do. I’m cracking myself up that I keep picking the food analogies because anyone who knows me personally knows  food is not on my list!
So learn to surrender, it’s the most beautiful aspect of our feminine nature. Not surrendering for someone to have dominion over us, but surrendering to the power within us that has the power to attract all that we could ever need or want.

And yes, a duck is just a duck AND Christmas dinner (apologies again) and a feather pillow.  All potential is there.  What we or someone else sees doesn’t limit or define that duck.  Gina is just Gina.  AND  mother and a lover and a writer and a women’s health advocate.  If someone only sees some parts of me doesn’t mean the others don’t exist.  Bu I have to ask myself which on that list matter most for me to share with a man in my life.  If I choose a man who doesn’t see those parts that matter most, he’s probably not right for me.  Or if he realizes it matters to me and OF HIS OWN VOLITION AND NOT MY FORCING, decides to embrace or explore that with me, it can work.  That’s called growth in a relationship.

If you are a more masculine woman, you will attract a more feminine man.  Polarity is what creates chemistry in a relationship.  People without chemistry are just friends.  So examine your life, are the men you attract more feminine or more masculine?  What do you want?  And the more masculine a man is, the less likely he will love the wordiness that we women are so prone to, but he will give you other yummy things that we long for.  Most of us have a combination of masculine and feminine, with one usually dominant.
Which are you and why?

So I think I’ll leave you hanging there, to ponder yourself and all of the above.  If you chose to have a glass of wine or that shot of tequila before sitting down to read this, it may have turned into more than one, so I apologize if you’re now a little tipsy.

Remember, YOU are exquisite and deserve all that you desire.  Believe this with all your heart, go into your feminine essence, and allow it all to come to you.

Love & blessings,

Gina

PS. If you need help in unraveling this part of yourself, it’s one of the things I do best, so feel free to contact me here or at g.cloud@verizon.net.

pin it button PUSHING YOUR MAN TO BE WHO YOU WANT HIM TO BE WONT CHANGE WHO HE IS

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

JOY: THE KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS

pin it button JOY:  THE KEY TO WEIGHT LOSS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love & blessings,

Gina

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The Ricki Lake Show and Me

pin it button The Ricki Lake Show and Me

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

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

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

 

Love and Blessings,

Gina

pin it button The Ricki Lake Show and Me

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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