The Voice of Intuition and Your Pelvis

Recently a friend linked to a fantastic blog post by another local woman in the healing arts: Rachel Warrington. She articulates with such rawness and beauty the connection between our intuition and our pelvis.  "Intuition comes from the same place in your energetic system where feelings and desire sit, which in the way I have learned to see it is the sacral chakra."

When I work with women during a Mayan Abdominal Therapy session or Holistic Pelvic Care, I know that part of what is happening is that the woman is finding more connection with her intuition. Often we come to a clinic in search of physical healing (organ prolapse, fertility struggles, painful sex) but when it comes to addressing physical complaints of the female pelvis, we return to the magnificent depths of our very own intuition, passion, and wisdom. So many of my patients come in after having seen a physio or another mechanically-oriented pelvic floor therapist, but they still feel out of balance. That is because there is a piece missing: the energetic and emotional patterns that affect the muscles and fascia.

After studying the human energy system in a 2 year intensive (and ongoing studies thereafter), and then learning these physico-energetic techniques to take care of our pelvises, I fully agree with Rachel's words and could not have articulated it better. Please enjoy her blog post here: 

https://www.yarrowhealingarts.com/single-post/2017/07/20/A-Ramble-on-Intuition

 

Artwork by Andrew Trimmer

Artwork by Andrew Trimmer

Women, Boundaries, and Autoimmune Disease

In the last few years my practice has taken a turn toward women's pelvic health. Specifically, I practice something called Holistic Pelvic Care (a la Tami Kent, who wrote "Wild Feminine", among other fantastic books), which is a form of pelvic floor physiotherapy that takes into account the energetic and emotional components of pelvic floor dysfunction, menstrual complaints, infertility, and more. In doing this work, I spend an awful lot of time hanging out with women's second chakras. Guess what happens at the level of the second chakra? BOUNDARIES! 

From a physiologic standpoint the area of the second chakra, which is essentially the pelvic region, our body is dealing on a very functional level with boundaries. We have the intestines running through the pelvis, where our body is determining whether the substances in the intestines are worthy of being absorbed, or need to be kept out of the bloodstream. Are there microorganisms that need to be kept out of the bloodstream? What needs to be made "mine" and what needs to remain "not mine?" Here we have the epicenter of "Me/ Not Me." 

One concept I bring to women's attention during our pelvic sessions is that we also have, here in the pelvis, a tremendous capacity for receiving (the uterus receives sperm and potentially an embryo, the bladder receives urine, the descending colon and rectum receive waste). We have a capacity for holding all of these things, and then we have an inherent wisdom to know the right timing for letting go. In all of these processes is, once again, the discernment of "Me/ Not Me." Beyond the very physical, this also happens on an energetic level, which is quite significant in the female system. Because we are built to grow and birth babies, our immune system must have the flexibility to accept a "foreign" body and support that little being until it is ready for the outside world. We are built to allow the presence of "not me". But we are also, sadly, trained by our culture to allow for the energetic presence/ burdens of "not me" and we carry a lot of "stuff" for other people. 

This morning a very old, dear friend sent this blog post to me: https://drfloriewild.com/2017/06/15/your-beautiful-sexy-boundaries/ , which thrilled me because this conversation needs to be spread like wildfire through our communities of women. I could fully relate to this author's experience of my complete and total inability to honour my own boundaries in my first marriage. My ex-husband would push and push and push and, for someone who had very weak boundaries to begin with, it didn't take long before I relented. Granted, I learned to fight being married to (and divorcing!) him, which helped me to gain a sense of what it felt like to really establish, hold, and honour my own boundaries. But at the end of it all, I think I could have learned to set my own boundaries in a far less dramatic way had I been exposed to this conversation 10 years ago. And what would our marriage have been like if I were able to stand up for myself in a more clear manner? 

In any case, our marriage hit the skids and things were nuts. I had completely lost myself and I remember standing in our kitchen, talking with my brilliant ND, Dr Dick Thom, and saying "if I stay I am going to become very sick with an autoimmune disease." I just knew that there was trouble brewing in my system. While I had no lab analysis to confirm this, I knew the voice of my intuition booming through, and she was not to be ignored. 

In the following months I continued to struggle to find my voice, to stand up for myself, to honour that wisdom within that was telling me to hold steady, to persist in the separation that we had both agreed to, and slowly, slowly I felt my system stabilize. However, it was not until almost a year later that I entered into my 2 year training in human energy systems when I was actually able to cement this understanding of just how hugely significant boundaries truly are for a woman's health physiology. My teacher, Lynda Caesara, helped our class through various exercises in "me/ not me" so many times that I finally gained a felt sense of where I end and other people's energies begin, and I started to actively heal. 

In these very difficult years of marriage, childbearing, divorce, and running a women's health natural medicine practice, I have gained tremendous appreciation for all that women take on, all that they endure, and the profound ways in which our bodies say "Enough!". For the lucky ones, something clicks early enough that they seek help before they develop full blown disease or dysfunction. But most of us are not that keen, not that lucky, or just don't know that we have healing to do. My guess, based on the experiences of my friends, colleagues, and most of all hundreds of patients, is that nearly every woman has some work to do around "me/ not me". 

In my practice I have found various homeopathic and herbal remedies, along with nutrient therapies, to help the physiologic process of re-establishing boundaries. And from a more energetic standpoint I find Holistic Pelvic Care to be tremendously helpful in helping women to gain a stronger connection to their pelvis and innate sense of connection to themselves and their own capacity to determine "me/not me". If you don't have access to these resources, my assignment for you is to practice the exercise that Dr. Florie Wild wrote about in her blog (linked above), check in with yourself, find your own voice, and spend some time clearing out the "stuff" you are carrying around (very likely in your pelvis) so that you can come back to a more distilled essence of who you came here to be. 

 

The Dark Goddess

There is a sound that a woman produces when she is birthing a child. The sound is not often heard outside of a birthing room. The word “deep” does not touch the profound richness and strength of this sound. The sound goes beyond the depths of the woman’s pelvis, beyond the expectant stillness in the air around her, beyond her lifetime and the lifetime of her mother and grandmothers. The sound, when it emerges, leaks a potency of feminine strength and wisdom that transcends time, space, and humanity, and reminds us of the power of life itself.

After I birthed my son- a birth that, in spite of training as a midwife and feeling deeply passionate about and connected to the birthing process, did not go as anticipated- I began to hear the roar of the feminine far off in the distance of my soul. My daily worries about earning a living and becoming a famous naturopathic doctor simply fell away. A call deeper than any economic or social structure I knew of began to tug at me, begging me to be different in the world. The word “feminism” came to mind, but it wasn’t feminism at all. I quickly realized that for me, the feminist political movement seemed to convey that I, too, can be a man. And that is not at all what this deep, dark call I was hearing was urging of me.

My son is now 5 ½. The years have been tumultuous as I found myself a single mother, efforting to make ends meet and cultivate the feminine energy within me while parenting a young boy. Eventually, my work pulled me back to the part of the human body I have so long felt fascinated with: the female pelvis. I finally answered the call to explicitly work with the female reproductive system, the pelvic bowl, and all that the organs and structures bring to light. And what has happened since then has been a watershed of information about, fascination with, and reformation from the Divine (or “dark”) Feminine.

This spring, when the news of the Brock Turner case broke in California, women all over North America became enraged. Our anger lashed out, our feminist publications screeched in dismay and disbelief and frustration. We yelled in the ways we knew how, with rage, with force, and with, what I experienced to be a very masculine energy. We screamed, quietly and not so quietly, at men, dying to be heard, dying to be seen.

This fall, I am feeling a change; the screech has become a low, potent roar. Here on the coast of British Columbia, on day 2 of severe winter storms, the skies are dark at 10am, the winds are ominously stirring the leaves outside my window promising to pummel us as we head into the weekend; the rains have been drenching us off and on for 36 hours: Mother Nature. The forces of nature are the forces of the feminine, of Mother Earth. They intimidate us, bringing about fear and questions of ‘just how much upheaval will she bring this time?’ The movement is happening, out there and within us.

This fall, Donald Trump’s true nature is being seen by all. With the revelations of this last week regarding his attitude towards women, I have felt that roar growing louder. The feminine is pissed, rightfully so. It is there, in all of us, especially women. But the power is deepening and it is calling on a timeless wisdom to help do the work. Sink into your chair for a moment, feel the weight of your own body held in your pelvis. If you have ever grown a baby or defended a child from a threat, you know how much power is in there. You know how deep that power is. Even if you have never let loose the guttural, eternal roar of moving a child from the womb, with enough patience, I am confident you will feel this energy moving.

The Dark Feminine is stirring, and the well of wisdom is cracking open. She will not move in haste., but will move slowly, deliberately, and with grace. The Dark Feminine is the Black Madonna. Is Tara. Is Kali, Lilith, Maria Lionza. As Chandra Alexandre wrote, “Darkness, indeed, is a metaphor for a deeper truth. Life, we know, is filled with beauty and pain, ecstasy and horror.” The Dark Feminine is the energy of transformation, of composting, of breaking down so that balance can return.

As we witness Donald Trump and all that he represents, it is tempting to fight against all that he is and the half-truths he espouses. In response to his rhetoric, lately I have felt that energy stirring deep within me once again, realizing that he is simply inviting, from all of us, a more powerful rising of the Dark Feminine. But, to transform one of us requires transformation within all of us. Trump's total disconnection from the feminine within himself is part of his pathology of womanizing. And I think that similar patterns might be true for many of us: disconnections from various parts of ourselves result in our own disregard or lack of vision for certain people/ situations in life. The energy of transformation calls to us from deep within and it can be scary, and it can be tempting to run the other way. 

As I sit with women and help them to release trauma, pain, and mystery from the tissues in their pelvises, I feel the stirring of the Dark Feminine. Space opens up inside of our bodies for the potency of this transformative energy, which goes far beyond the flailing, screaming behaviours of an angry person on a picket line. Another choice people make is to fully turn the other way and make the perpetrator bad/wrong/evil. While it is tempting to cast aside all the energies Trump so painfully and obnoxiously displays, I urge you to allow it to work on you and within you, allow yourself to transform that energy. Open yourself to the wisdom of The Dark Goddess and invite that roar to move through you. It is deeper and more powerful than anything we, in our modern world, can possibly conceive of. We all need to allow this energy to work in and through us. And our earth needs it now.