balance

My initiation and rediscovery of Feminine Wisdom

The first time I read about Feminine Wisdom was well over a decade ago. At the time I just transferred from a clinical resident job to a research position in psychiatry. It was a very hierarchic and linear environment, which I didn't notice because I was so used to it. My background - my parents were elementary school teachers - had been infused with linearity. Work hard, study, achieve goals and you will gradually grow and climb the social ladder. 

Anyway, there I was, 26 years old, a young doctor, trying to do the best I could for my patients. What I didn't notice was that I totally forgot to care for myself. I was dedicated and meticulous, and I would never fail anyone, although sometimes, I was exhausted. That's why I got a research job, to take a break from the never-ending responsibility and pressure, the night shifts and the ongoing administrative burden of the hospital. 

A few months in, I was invited to go on an educational retreat program in epidemiology with my research mentor. She was a very ambitious woman and I looked up to her, although I could also feel her pain because she missed out on motherhood because of her demanding job. She always seemed to hide behind a mask of performing and being 'equal' to her male colleagues.

I traveled abroad for the program where we stayed for a week to dive into the subject of clinical research and study design with a promising group of researchers. I had some spare time in a railway station where I had to wait to change trains. I came across a bookshop. I wasn't really looking for something to read because I figured that it would be a busy week anyway. But there she was. This small book with a black cover and small calligraphed letters in burgundy... Although the cover could be easily overlooked, this book seemed to call me. I couldn't see anything else and I was so drawn to it that I bought it without reading the back cover.

This book, 'Book of Shadows' by Phyllis Currott, took me on a journey that forever changed my life. This autobiography described the discovery and initiation into the Divine Feminine of the author, an NYC lawyer, her initial hesitation and skepticism, and the wisdom and connections she found through ritual and women's circles. 

For me, it uncovered a world that I didn't know existed. With every word I read, I felt like I was coming home to myself. I was completely captivated by it and I used every break during the week-long program that I was attending, to go to my hotel room and read. 

I remember feeling torn between this totally new magical world of the Divine Feminine and the masculinity of the statistical theories and assignments I had to go over. 

I have felt torn between those energies many times after that, but I never had the courage to dive right into what felt more aligned, so I tried to mix some of the practices I learned from the book into my busy life. I read many more books on this subject; women's circles, the elements, energy, rituals, mystical practices, meditation, esoterics, the Moon and the cosmos, herbalism and so on. I performed small rituals in my bedroom, I drew oracle cards to gain more insight, I watched the Moon and recorded my own cycle for years. I began to feel that attuning to the Cycles was nurturing me. But I also felt that every piece of wisdom I gathered created a bigger schism in my Soul. 

Over the next 10 years, life happened. I changed careers trying to find a solution away from the overachieving, overpressuring world of hospitals and research. I became a mother and my time and energy were flowing towards my children and my job solely. I went through a divorce and became a single mom. There was no time to follow my own cycle, the Moon or the seasons. Life was overwhelming and everything I had worked so hard for, came crashing down on me. 

I was so exhausted, navigating burnout and depletion that I decided to quit my job as an MD, not knowing what would be next. One night, when I couldn't sleep, I scanned my books to see what I medical books I could let go of. Suddenly my eyes came across the 'Book of Shadows' again.

It was like a flash lightning struck me. I immediately realized that life would continue to happen to me in this devastating way if I didn't embrace the Divine Feminine. The only thing that I felt certain about on that night, was the presence of the Moon, the Sun, the Universe. I knew that They were my medicine. And indeed, over time, I healed by following the Moon, and my own Moon cycle. I started to connect with nature again, walking outside, feeling the breeze, touching the trees and the leaves, digging into the garden, smelling the flowers, looking at the sunset and listening to the birds. My Soul was so tired of living in a linear, masculine way. She yearned to be balanced with the Sacred Feminine energy of receiving, nurturing, loving, connecting to my body and the body of Earth.

Finally, I began to heal. 

Today, I am so acutely aware of the importance of our natural Cycles and how we can learn about ourselves through these cyclical motions. Our lives are seasonal, women cycle with the Moon, all hormonal processes in our bodies are flowing in a circular way. Like ebb and flow, rising, expanding, falling and diminishing. From Dark to Light to Dark. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. Death and Rebirth.

We go through an array of cycles in so many ways. Personally, collectively, on a small level and on a cosmic scale. 

My mission now is to make people aware of these cycles, of the importance of cyclical living in order for them to feel supported and connected to Nature and to their own nature. 

 

Remove these 4 energy leaks to decrease stress

To feel energized and to prevent stress-related illnesses like burnout, it's important to be critical of which energies you give access to in your life, and what of who you give your energy to. To feel radiant, strong and centered, it is important to be aware of energy leaks and to remove them. Here are 4 types of energy leaks to be aware of, and to take action on, to kickstart your healing process. 

New Moon in Libra - 19th October 2017

The next New Moon will be in Libra on October 19th at 21:12 pm CEST. New Moon occurs when the Sun and the Moon are aligned and we don't see the Moon because there is no sunlight reflected towards the Earth. Therefore, at New Moon, the Sun is always in the same sign (in this case: Libra). New Moon is the phase where we have to look within, at the shadows. We can do this by immersing ourselves in silence and contemplation. It's dark and we can feel it.

Libra is all about relationships and balance. We need constructive connections in order to feel supported and loved. The reality is that we often settle for less than constructive relationships. The Libra New Moon invites you to take a closer look at the relationships that you're in. Are they nourishing you, giving you energy and support? Are you a nice person to be around in that particular relationship, or is your energy being sucked out, leaving you short-tempered and acting out? Is it serving everyone involved? Libra can help you make conscious decisions about unbalanced relationships. What are you going to do to bring back the balance?

The sign of Libra is depicted as a scale in the hands of a blindfolded female judge and is therefore associated with justice and fairness. When we look at our outside world, the news, events happening on a local and/or global scale, we can easily see the injustice done. Often it consumes us entirely and we may feel powerless and helpless by it the scale of the destruction. 

When you feel overwhelmed by the news, take a break from it. Although nowadays we have access to information from all over the globe, it's impossible to control everything that happens on the planet. The only thing we have power over is our own inner world and Libra invites us to take a closer look at our personal inner/outer balance

When we bring balance to our inner world, we will be more able to create things and make decisions from this place of inner peace. Our inner world will be reflected outwards and it will shape our reality.

You can compare it to this example of how inner and outer worlds are connected: 

When you are stressed, chaotic, unstructured, overwhelmed inside, there is a fairly good chance that your living room is also messy (and the other way around). By cleaning up your personal space, you will create a feeling of peace and order within yourself. This inner feeling of peace will influence how you show up in the world, the conversations you have, the people you will attract, the actions you will take. 

The world is your living room.

That is why it is so important to look within, fight your inner demons and bring a state of balance into your being. If we don't do this first, our messy inner world will project itself outward, contributing to the conflict, manipulation, neediness, greed, anger, destruction and so on we see around us. 

Although starting with the focus on yourself seems selfish, it really isn't. How can we do something about the state of the world when we are unbalanced, stressed, messy inside ourselves? It is important to honor your inner space and bring peace into it. Then we can shift our focus to the outside world and start cleaning up the mess we created collectively. 

So, again, start small, in your own life. You can set intentions around cleaning up and finding balance this New Moon. 

Clean up your house. Set boundaries, evaluate relationships. Finish projects, check the boxes. Love more, hug more. Find the balance in your life, do yoga, meditate, reduce stress. Turn off the news. I'm serious, turn it off. This will help you to feel less stressed, less helpless, less consumed with things you can't control. You will be able to focus more on your inner world and it will bring awareness to the things in your own life that need your attention, the things you can do to make a difference (like supporting good causes like TreeSisters). 

Doing small things will help you gain some traction. Remember that the ocean is made up of many individual drops. Start small and see where it gets you!

Go help someone in your neighborhood who can use it. Clean up your local park. Recycle plastic. Even better: don't use it at all. Use green energy sources whenever possible. Take the bicycle or public transport instead of your car. Buy a plane ticket with CO2 compensation. Donate (this can be a small amount) to causes that have your heart. There are many great causes that you can contribute to from your easy chair. It's a great way to start contributing while you are cleaning up your inner world.  

Please join me for the TreeSisters One Billion Trees Sacred Healing project. This project will be launched on October 19th with the Call to Dream Ceremony.

Find more information here.

Full Moon in Aries - 5th October 2017

The Full Moon in Aries will be on the 5th of October. Last month we were emerged in watery Pisces, diving inward, reaching for our deepest truths. Old stuff might have come up for you, and discoveries were made, and this was necessary in order to see what was real and what was an illusion. In the meantime, the new moon cycle started in Virgo and the season shifted to Fall, reminding us that the things we need to harvest were ready to reap.

When we look at the year through the eyes of nature, Fall is the true start of the new year. It's the time of death and decay. The leaves that fall now, are the fertile soil for the seeds that sprout in spring. That is why in nature-based spirituality, the Autumn Equinox is often considered to be the end of the past cycle and the start of a new year. This never-ending cyclical process is called the Wheel of the Year.

Looking back, we can see how the year comes to completion. What did you finish, what did the harvest bring you? 

It's a good idea to write down your reflections for future reference. We are now entering the dark side of the year. In winter, when you can feel submerged in darkness, looking back on a journal entry that states what was reached in a year will remind you of the process of sowing, hibernating, growing and harvesting. Being aware of this cyclical journey through the year, the process of life and death, growth, decay and rebirth, the ever continuing Wheel, provides hope when we most need it.

While you have gained clarity on the things that are most important for you, through the Eclipses and the wrap-up at the Autumn Equinox, it is now time for action. The Full Moon is in Aries, the youthful, determinedstrong and powerful warrior. Aries wants to DO something!! Just when we think things are a bit calmer, Aries gallops ahead, easily running 'head first' into war.

Meanwhile, the Sun is in Libra. Libra is all about balance. At Full Moon, the Sun and Moon are opposite each other, and the forces of Aries and Libra couldn't be more contradictory. Balance and harmony in our outer lives, conflict, and action in our inner lives

When this experience of inner tension and drive becomes the focus of attention and regarded as the truth, the outside world will be experienced through this filter as well. We tend to forget that the outside world is a projection of our inner world, as above, so below. Inner or outer conflict, in personal life and on the worldly, political stage, will find their way to us. This could play out in relationships, for example when you think that you are held back, or that your values and desires are not in agreement with those of others. Don't get carried away by it all, just notice the tension and try not to engage. Be mindful of your reactions and remain focused on yourself. It is much better to identify and battle your own demons and obstacles, this will propel you forward. Fighting with others will only slow you down. 

Aries is a sign of POWER, don't give it away!

A fish on land

Fish on land do not live a healthy and prosperous life. When out of the water they desperately try to crawl back into the stream. That's their nature, their reflex. A fish's body knows what to do when placed on land, although it has little brain to think about it extensively.

We humans have a problem. It is called 'the mind'. And we tend to overrate it immensely.

Humans consist of multiple energy layers, the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual body. The mental body (mind) is only one of them. We are usually not aware of this, discerning the layers one by one takes time, practice and awareness of the way the layers communicate.

In our hectic, modern, day-to-day lives, we don't have the time to be present and listen to the different layers. We only listen to our mind, our thoughts. Planning and orchestrating our daily activities, monthly plans and year-ahead-project schedules.

Being only one of the layers, the mind is trying to steal the show for the others layers. They don't get enough air time (it's funny that thoughts are associated with the element air...). Moreover, the layers are connected to each other. Our thoughts are connected to our emotions, we feel sad when we think sad thoughts and we think negative when we are feeling down. We decide to skip lunch because of a meeting we have and we completely ignore the signs of our physical layer that it needs to be nourished. The mind constantly tries to control our emotions and our bodies in order to survive and make rational decisions. This ability of the mind gives us tremendous power in structuring our lives and inspired humanity in achieving great technological advances. The downside is that we think our mind is superior. We let the fish think about its strategy to much.

Our mind is not superior to the other energy layers. It's just a tool to manifest direction. Just like the body is flesh and blood but also a tool to manifest hopes and dreams, plans and ideas.

Without our body we would be an idea that never happens. The idea of which we *think* that it originated from our thoughts, that we ourselves came up with it. Knowing that our minds are only a bunch of interconnected neurons, it's hard to understand why we consider those electric signals inside our brains to be our personal, private thoughts.

How does our brain cells know what we want from life? What we are here for? What makes us happy and what lights us up? That's where Spirit or Soul or Higher Self comes in. A force that just knows and is in all of us. The force that makes the fish crawl back to the water. It guides us towards our purpose. It's pure consciousness and we humans are trying to express that consciousness through energy, emotions and thoughts as signals in our brain, turned into matter through our physical body into action or creation.

When we are imbalanced, this conscious manifestation along the lines of purpose becomes impaired. We don't hear, feel, sense our Higher Self anymore. We don't notice the misalignment. We even do things that go against our alignment with our Higher Self, very often, persistently. We stay in situations that we should run away from. We are like a fish that lays still on the shore, thinking and re-thinking it's strategy and the reasons it should stay on the shore although it's dying. It's so easy to understand why we feel stagnation in your lives, why we are running around in circles, living and re-living the same patterns over and over. And why more imbalances and illness arise.

When we are not aligned, we are out of balance. We can be imbalanced in all layers, people like me, intellectually trained and used to analytical thinking, have the tendency to overthink and overuse the mental body. It becomes too important, we are not in touch with our emotions anymore and not aware of our bodies. Others have an overused emotional body. They tend to react emotionally to difficult situations and don't know how to change their lives for the better. This can lead to emotional instability, inability to make decisions or constantly feeling 'too emotional to think'. Overused physical bodies send us signals about constantly having to move, and exercise, and being in the present, being still can cause a person to feel very restless. Another example of an over expression of the bodily layer is the perception of all the bodily signals by the brain as equally important, leading to all kinds of physical complaints like sensory overstimulation, pain, overwhelming bodily sensations. The brain isn't able to filter the signals, because the body had to turn up the volume to max to reach the brain. Sometimes we only see the imbalance appear when one of the layers quits for a while. For example when we have a concussion and our mental function is distorted for a few weeks. Of when we are forced to stop exercising due to an injury of some sort.

In order to fulfill our highest potential, all layers, mind, emotion, body and spirit, must be aligned. You can't make a fish sit on land for a long time. If you do, it dies gasping. Likewise, if we humans don't listen and are refusing to crawl back towards the natural flow, stagnation happens, we falter, things are harder, we gasp for air and sometimes we are so persevering that we even become ill... or worse.

The different layers of our Being have a language of their own. They communicate whether we are the fish in the water, or the fish on land. Misalignment truly is communicated to us. Make sure you listen.