vrijdag 30 april 2010

Eve Ensler: Embrace your inner girl

 would like to share a post that really touched me.  It was written by my friend Lisa on her blog 'In the Presence of the Lady'

Eve Ensler: Embrace your inner girl

I received the link to this talk by Eve Ensler from a Goddess list - thanks, Kathy! - and have to share it. Eve Ensler, author of the Vagina Monologues, and many other works, talks about the girl cell. A grouping of cells in women as well as men, that we have all learned to suppress; that patriarchy has done its best to suppress and eradicate.

I want you to imagine that the girl is a chip in the huge macrocosm of our collective consciousness, and it is essential to balance, to wisdom and to, actually, the future of all of us.

And then I want you to imagine that this girl cell is compassion, and it's empathy, and it's passion itself, and it's vulnerability, and it's openness, and it's intensity, and it's association, and it's relationship, and it is intuitive.

And then, next thing, how compassion informs wisdom, and that vulnerability is our greatest strength, and that emotions have inherent logic which lead to radical appropriate saving action.

And then let's remember that we've been taught the exact opposite by the powers that be:
That compassion clouds your thinking. That it gets in the way.
That vulnerability is weakness.
That emotions are not to be trusted and you're not supposed to take things personally.
Which is one of my favourites.

I think the whole world has essentially been brought up not to be a girl. How do we bring up boys? What does it mean to be a boy?
To be a boy really means not to be a girl.
To be a man means not to be a girl.
To be a woman means not to be a girl.
To be strong means not to be a girl.
To be a leader means not to be a girl.
I actually think that being a girl is so powerful that we've had to train everyone not to be that.
[T]he verb that's been enforced on girl is the verb "to please." Girls are trained to please. I want to change the verb. I want us all to change the verb. I want the verb to be "educate" or "activate" or "engage" or "confront" or "defy" or "create." If we teach girls to change the verb we will actually enforce the girl inside us and the girl inside them.

Yes. Many of us have been raised, trained and educated to deny and suppress the girl inside. I spent decades trying to do just that; thinking that it was the right way to go about life. No-one ever taught me any other way. I literally tried to annihilate myself in the hope that I might fit in, never knowing that I'm not meant to fit it. I break stereotypes, I defy the norm, and trying to be anything or anyone else will only mean that I diminish myself and my glow. And I'm not better off for it, am I? Are you better off for denying your inner girls? It's time we embrace her, embrace our inner girls and be who we were born to be.

Let's stop pleasing, and instead create, defy, break down barriers and just be the glorious emotional beings that we are.

dinsdag 27 april 2010

Fertility Deities of Beltane

Article by , About.com Guide


Beltane is a time of great fertility -- for the earth itself, for animals, and of course for people as well. This season has been celebrated by cultures going back thousands of years, in a variety of ways, but nearly all shared the fertility aspect. Typically, this is a Sabbat to celebrate gods of the hunt or of the forest, and goddesses of passion and motherhood, as well as agricultural deities. Here are a list of gods and goddesses that can be honored as part of your tradition's Beltane rituals.
  • Artemis (Greek): The moon goddess Artemis was associated with the hunt, and was seen as a goddess of forests and hillsides. This pastoral connection made her a part of spring celebrations in later periods.  
  • Bes (Egyptian): Worshipped in later dynasties, Bes was a household protection god, and watched over mothers and young children. He and his wife, Beset, were paired up in rituals to cure problems with infertility.
  • Bacchus (Roman): Considered the equivalent of Greek god Dionysus, Bacchus was the party god -- grapes, wine, and general debauchery were his domain. In March each year, Roman women could attend secret ceremonies called the bacchanalia, and he is associated with sexual free-for-alls and fertility.
  • Flora (Roman): This goddess of spring and flowers had her own festival, Floralia, which was celebrated every year between April 28 to May 3. Romans dressed in bright robes and floral wreaths, and attended theater performances and outdoor shows. Offerings of milk and honey were made to the goddess.
  • Hera (Greek): This goddess of marriage was the equivalent of the Roman Juno, and took it upon herself to bestow good tidings to new brides. A maiden about to marry could make offerings to Hera, in the hopes that she would bless the marriage with fertility. In her earliest forms, she appears to have been a nature goddess, who presides over wildlife and nurses the young animals which she holds in her arms.
  • Kokopelli (Hopi): This flute-playing, dancing spring god carries unborn children upon his own back, and then passes them out to fertile women. In the Hopi culture, he is part of rites that relate to marriage and childbearing, as well as the reproductive abilities of animals. Often portrayed with rams and stags, symbolic of his fertility, Kokopelli occasionally is seen with his consort, Kokopelmana.
  • Pan (Greek): This agricultural god watched over shepherds and their flocks. He was a rustic sort of god, spending lots of time roaming the woods and pastures, hunting and playing music on his flute. Pan is typically portrayed as having the hindquarters and horns of a goat, similar to a faun. Because of his connection to fields and the forest, he is often honored as a spring fertility god.
  • Priapus (Greek): This fairly minor rural god has one giant claim to fame -- his permanently erect and enormous phallus. The son of Aphrodite by Dionysus (or possibly Zeus, depending on the source), Priapus was mostly worshipped in homes rather than in an organized cult. Despite his constant lust, most stories portray him as sexually frustrated, or even impotent. However, in agricultural areas he was still regarded as a god of fertility, and at one point he was considered a protective god, who threatened sexual violence against anyone -- male or female -- who transgressed the boundaries he guarded.
  • Sheila-na-Gig (Celtic): Although the Sheela-na-Gig is technically the name applied to the carvings of women with exaggerated vulvas that have been found in Ireland and England, there's a theory that the carvings are representative of a lost pre-Christian goddess. Typically, the Sheela-na-Gig adorns buildings in areas of Ireland that were part of the Anglo-Norman conquests in the 12th century. She is shown as a homely woman with a giant yoni, which is spread wide to accept the seed of the male. Folkloric evidence indicates that the figures are theory that the figures were part of a fertility rite, similar to "birthing stones", which were used to bring on conception.
  • Xochiquetzal (Aztec): This fertility goddess was associated with spring, and represented not only flowers but the fruits of life and abundance. She was also the patron goddess of prostitutes and craftsmen 

maandag 26 april 2010

Water CAN make you fat

Water CAN make you fat: How chemicals in drink can trigger weight gain and fertility problems

vrijdag 23 april 2010


I am sending you a soft message today, after all, it is the weekend :-)

Sharing a Blog Post by Blag Hag - Jen Mc Creight

"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," Hojatoleslam Kazem Sedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader.

I have a modest proposal.

Sedighi claims that not dressing modestly causes earthquakes. If so, we should be able to test this claim scientifically. You all remember the homeopathy overdose?

Time for a Boobqauke.

On Monday, April 26th, I will wear the most cleavage-showing shirt I own. Yes, the one usually reserved for a night on the town. I encourage other female skeptics to join me and embrace the supposed supernatural power of their breasts. Or short shorts, if that's your preferred form of immodesty. With the power of our scandalous bodies combined, we should surely produce an earthquake. If not, I'm sure Sedighi can come up with a rational explanation for why the ground didn't rumble. And if we really get through to him, maybe it'll be one involving plate tectonics.

So, who's with me? I may be a D cup, but that will probably only produce a slight tremor on its own. If you'll be joining me on twitter, use the tag #boobquake!

NOTE: There is no official Boobquake shirt (at least, not yet - I may be able to be convinced if there is a demand, as I am an artist). If you see some saying that proceeds will be donated to charity, buy at your own risk, since I can't guarantee where that money is going. Here are some real charities you can donate directly to:

Dressing modestly won't end earthquakes, so help out the victims of inevitable natural disasters at the Red Cross: http://www.redcross.org/

Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation: http://www.theahafoundation.org/

A quick clarification about Boobquake

Holy crap.

So what started as a joke and somewhat sarcastic reply to the ludicrous notion that women's immodesty causes earthquakes has now exploded. Seriously, internet, you scare and amaze me sometimes. The Facebook event already has almost 14,000 attendees (and 60,000 invited) in just over 24 hours. The wall is getting comments so quickly that I had to disable Facebook email notifications because my inbox was getting flooded. The twitter stream for #boobquake is updating so quickly that I can't keep up. To top that off, I just got interviewed by the largest newspaper in Canada and some radio station in Ireland wants to interview me.

Because I made a boob joke.

Since this is probably only going to get crazier in the next couple of days, I want to make a quick clarification. This post is going to be far shorter than it should be since I am a student and I'm trying to finish homework and such, but I wanted to at least acknowledge what people are saying.

I just want to apologize if this comes off as demeaning toward women. To be honest, it started as silly joke that I hurriedly fired off since I was about to miss the beginning of House. I never thought it would get the attention it did. If I would have known, I would have spent more time being careful about my wording.

That being said, I don't think the event is completely contrary to feminist ideals. I'm asking women to wear their most "immodest" outfit that they already would wear, but to coordinate it all on the same day for the sake of the experiment. Heck, just showing an ankle would be considered immodest by some people. I don't want to force people out of their comfort zones, because I believe women have the right to choose how they want to dress. Please don't pressure women to participate if they don't want to. If men ogle, that's the fault of the men, not me for dressing how I like. If I want to a show a little cleavage or joke about my boobs, that's my prerogative.

I also hate the ideal of "big boobs are always better!" The cleavage joke was just a result of me personally having cleavage, and that being my choice of immodesty. And I thought "boobquake" just sounded funny. Really, it's not supposed to be serious activism that is going to revolutionize women's rights, but just a bit of fun juvenile humor. I'm a firm believer that when someone says something so stupid and hateful, serious discourse isn't going to accomplish anything - sometimes light-hearted mockery is worthwhile.

Anyway, I'm not forcing anyone to agree with me. Maybe I am failing at Feminism 101, or maybe I'm just taking a different approach.

And to the scientists who are concerned with my methods - don't worry, I fully plan on doing some statistics after the event. I know many earthquakes happen on a daily basis, so we're looking to see if Boobquake significantly increases the number or severity of earthquakes. Or if an earthquake strikes West Lafayette, IN and only kills me, that may be good evidence of God's wrath as well (I'm not too concerned). And yes, I know I need a larger sample size to make this good science. Maybe I'll include Mardi gras in my calculations.

dinsdag 13 april 2010

This is still our land


This is still our land
and your arrogance won’t break her.
Her trees grow green and wild
and your power games will not make her
into a barren land where life is not for living,
into a well of souls with eyes staring, unforgiving.

Our ancestors have sung this land
and she has her own spirit.
Other songs have joined with hers,
her boundaries have no limit.
Tolerance is in her blood and sings in her blue rivers
Suspicion has no home in her so don’t try to begin it.

Her serpent currents run,
despite your machinations
Her dragon lines flow on,
have no room for your intentions
And those of us who love her can feel her deep heart beating
We’ll sing her on with open hearts, our voices raised in greeting.

Her warrior soul protects us all,
does not seek to turn on others
Our mother land embraces all,
Joy and freedom are our lovers
And when you think you’ve had your way
and our hearts are torn and burning
We’ll shout with voices of true power
Our land is not for turning!

(Jacqui Woodward-Smith, Election Day, 5th May 2005)

maandag 12 april 2010

Love is not Love ...


As my dad is still in the intenstive care unit in hospital we are only allowed short visits.  So in between seeing dad we sit and sip thee or coffee and talk.

I know my dad is a man of action instead of many words.  But I must say I was quite astounded when my mum told me that in all the time they have known each other (over 60 years) he has never once told her he loves her!  We all know he does because we can see it by the way he behaves, by the way he treats her and looks after her.  And even though they have been married well over 50 years not once did she hear him say ... I love you.

Are you a man or woman of action?  Do you tell people you love them?  Or do they have to guess you do by your behaviour?

Life is so short, don't waste it by pride, or fear, or bashfulness or whatever reason that is stopping you.

Let me share with you one of my all time Shakespeare sonnets - nr 116

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
If this be error and upon me proved,
I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

William Shakespeare  
(1564 - 1616)

zaterdag 10 april 2010

That's impossible

Whenever I hear a client of mine say: "But that can't be done in such a short time. You know that's impossible!!" I think of my friend John.

Let me introduce you to him: 
My name is John Richardson – I’m a 39 year old golfer who lives in Northern Ireland. In May 2004 I set myself a challenge. I was a hacker golfer who couldn’t break 100 and I decided I wanted to break par at my local course at Blackwood Golf Centre. And I was going to do it in a year or less. During the year the great and the good told me that it wasn’t possible. Sam Torrance told me to “dream on”, Darren Clarke told me that three years would be the minimum time I would expect to be able to do it in and countless experienced golfers scoffed at my chances.

But 363 days later, I completed a one under par round of 70 at Blackwood. It was a year of madness and mayhem. I hit more than 35,000 golf balls hit, read at least 60 books and watched dozens of instructional videos late into the night. I encountered some amazingly helpful characters along the way and even managed to stay married during the process!
The challenge was recorded in a monthly column in Golf Digest Ireland and nearly all the UK magazines carried articles on me with a full page spread in Today’s Golfer."

So please ... NEVER EVER say you can't!!

here's the book John wrote about his queeste.

vrijdag 9 april 2010

dinsdag 6 april 2010

Be Real

Always remember, no matter what you are doing, observe whether your center is involved in it or not, because if it is not involved it is better not to do a thing. Don't do it! No one is forcing you to do anything.

Preserve your energy for the moment when something real happens to you; then do it. Don't smile, preserve the energy. The smile will come, and then it will change you completely. Then it will be total. Then every cell of your body will smile. Then it will be an explosion ― nothing painted.

Remember this: from the very morning, when you open your eyes, try to be real and authentic. Don't do anything that is false. Only for seven days, go on remembering. Don't do anything that is false. Whatsoever is lost, let it be lost. Whatsoever you lose, lose it. But remain real, and within seven days a new life will be felt within you. The dead layers will be broken and a new living current will come to you. You will feel alive again for the first time ― a resurrection.

Do whatsoever you like to do, but think ― really, are you doing it, or is your mother doing it through you or your father doing it through you? Because dead men, dead parents, societies, old generations gone long ago are still functioning within you. They have created such conditionings that you go on fulfilling them ― and they were fulfilling their dead fathers and mothers, and you are fulfilling your dead fathers and mothers, and no one is fulfilled.

Always observe when you do something, whether your father is doing it through you or you are doing it. When you get angry, is it your anger or is it the way your father used to be angry? You are just imitating. I have seen patterns going on, being repeated. If you marry, your marriage is going to be just approximately the same as your father's and your mother's. You will act like your father, your wife will act like her mother, and you will create the same mess again. When you get angry, observe: are you there or someone else? When you love, remember, are you there or someone else? When you speak, remember, are you speaking or your teacher?

Leave all falsities. You may feel a certain dullness for a time being, because all your falsities will drop and the real will take time to come and assert itself. There will be a period of a gap. Allow that period, and don't be afraid and don't become scared. Sooner or later your false selves will drop, masks will drop, and your real face will come into being.

Text from Osho with thanks to Jacqui