Tag Archive for 'mindfulness'

an all-gender friendly post about periods, & a moon ritual recipe

since i got my moon phase tattoo down my spine a year ago, my period has come on the full moon. this is totally awesome and very different for me.

i have been blessed in terms of the level of pain i face during my period, i don’t have the monthly internal torture sessions of some folks i love. i do have a day or two of heightened emotions and some groaning discomfort. but i generally take the opportunity to rest and disconnect.

i have noticed that regardless of the gender of my loved ones, there tends to be a need at least once a month for humans to turn inward, to focus on restoring the self. and if we don’t listen for that time and try to power through with life, we can be awful to ourselves and others.

i read the red tent and got into the idea of making my period a monthly time for ritual and self-care. separately, i learned a beautiful full moon bath ritual and started learning about the relationship between moons and periods.

as far back as i can remember i’ve always loved the moon, which led to my tattoo. the alignment of my cycle with the moon for this whole past year makes that love feel reciprocal, however unlikely it may be. i feel like i soak up the reflective power of the moon, the power to orbit, to stay, to be simple, to be imperfect, to always be full but rarely be fully seen.

this past week, i decided to approach my period and the full moon with total celebration. and, unsurprisingly, i had one of the best week’s of my life.

i realized that with or without my period, the combination of things i did last week, which i am about to share with you, would make anyone’s life incredible. when i reflect i can see i have been increasing all of this good stuff in my life since before my sabbatical, and it’s working.

doing this sort of ritual once a month, even once a quarter, is deeply restorative and rebalancing without having to go away on a vacation. and it wasn’t a financially expensive week – i went for the most affordable options and lots of the activities i was able to do in my home or with my community.

i notice that when i share stuff with y’all, it contributes to the echo chamber of good behavior, self-care and transformation in my life, because y’all share back, and when we see each other in person we check in on all this self-loving, which reminds me to do it more often.

so in that spirit, here’s a recipe for an incredible restoration week (a moon ritual):

1 dose mindfulness. have a sense of when this period of restoration is coming. this is an area where surprises are no fun.

1 session community acupuncture early in the week.

7 days yoga (a minimum of 5 sun salutations, including warrior, triangle and tree poses. you can do an immense amount for the body and spirit in even 10 minutes of yoga and or stretching.)

1 pelvic balancing massage (if no one in your community currently offers this, i recommend getting a group together and taking a class to offer to each other – some places now offer variations on this ancient practice which has health benefits for reproductive processes as well as digestion and overall system cleansing.)

7 days meditation, including but not limited to:
– solo meditation as often as possible (start small, follow your breath – you really can’t overdose here).
– community meditation to taste. ‘community’ just means meditating with one or more other people.
– and orgasmic meditation of course! this method helps with cramps…and everything else :)

2 sessions dancing as freely as possible, ideally becoming one with the music.

1 spa day with a friend (if you are going to splurge anytime during the week, this is the place. check out my page on spas and feel free to alert me to places you know of that are affordable and delicious for all kinds of bodies).

7 days of healthy food, with local organic vegetables for at least half of every meal (and ideally protein the other half).

and water. i recently read that to calculate the ideal water intake, drink half your weight in ounces of water. i have rarely been able to drink that much but aiming for it is having delightful impact on my whole system, skin and health.

so i am lit up and rested…and i found myself immensely productive throughout the week. i am already looking forward to my next period.

do you have rituals around your moon? what would you add?

the human right to home

recently i have been experiencing the unique joy of home, when my home is in order, has the right amount of things in it and no more, has capacity for holding friends, family, laughter. when the lighting is just right and the sun filters in just so and i have to pause and revel in the clean spare beautiful lines of my home. home for me means the place where i feel safe, surrounded by beauty, the place in which i receive the world.

i think it’s no mistake that one of the oldest sounds we know of, om, is in the word home – i feel it when i am in it.

my sister and her husband recently bought a home around the corner from his parents in rural minnesota. it is beautiful, it is possible because of loans and incentives and friendship with the previous owners. it is the place my nephew and niece and the baby coming in january will grow up. home here means the house itself and the five acres of land around it, the path through the woods to their grandparents’ house.

with the state of the world right now, i have been thinking about the human right of home. in the universal declaration for human rights, the closest right is a right to property in article 17. but i am thinking of this deeper right, which may or may not come from ownership. i think it is the right that so many people around the world are trying to attain or hold onto, which i feel in the privilege and harmony of my home.

here in detroit, we are currently pressed once again to hold onto home as a vicious and quick land grab escalates. a couple years ago our mayor was rebuked for talking about ‘right sizing’ the city, because it would have meant displacing people from their homes. (the effort continues, though the words are different.) it showed that in this city people don’t think of their homes just as the buildings in which they live, but their blocks, neighborhoods, their particular part of the city with it’s histories and fertile grounds. in detroit, as in many cities, home includes sitting on the front porch or stoop, the community gardens, the neighbors who care for each other – home includes the people who fill the world around your building.

it is getting cold again in detroit, and the homeless folk i interact with most are becoming more scarce as they spend less and less time moving about the work of their lives – hustling, hunting, gathering same as anyone else. a friend recently noted that we have more vacant houses in the u.s. than we do homeless people, which i feel acutely aware of in detroit in the winter. it makes me think the rights of owning property should not trump the right to have home. home here means shelter from the elements, a safe place to sleep, to store one’s things.

there are many conflicted nations around the world, most of them with some link back to u.s. foreign policy, few as distinctly supported and funded as our ‘friend’ israel. in gaza, in palestine, there is an old struggle for home happening…palestinians holding onto home, as many have been displaced from the houses that were home and herded into ghettoized sections of land which they cannot leave without permits, in which they are brutally attacked regularly with u.s.-funded weapons. many palestinians hold home in their hands, literal keys to the homes they were moved out of, to which they long to return. home here means land and legacy.

and who is attacking them, but other people? not machines, not alien invaders, but human beings traumatized after centuries of not being able to find safe home on this planet.

when i look at israel i see that we as humans have so much to learn about addressing collective trauma. to be without home is dehumanizing – it is a violence unto itself, and increases the vulnerability to other violence. i’ve been learning that with patterns of bullying and abuse, most people who use violence to move through life learn that behavior by receiving and witnessing violence at a formative age. and that the bullies, underneath the bravado and actions of violence, still feel like victims, powerless.

in the same way it is clear that continual displacement mixed with violence has created the conditions by which the primarily european descended israeli population can feel justified in displacing and murdering the people of palestine, and still call themselves the victims. as with the violent child, steps must be taken to disarm, deescalate, resolve conflict and redirect the positive desire for safety towards a viable option. because home has to be a place where violence is abnormal, free from the tension of potential attack, where none of the children are seen as soldiers, or collateral damage.

in fact, nothing alive, including the planet, should be seen as collateral damage. i love the recognition coming out of Bolivia that home is this planet, that there can be no human rights without earth rights, because fundamentally we have this one small home in all the universe, to share, to care for, to find safety and abundance in. home here meaning source of all life, existence, the only planet capable of sustaining human life that we know of.

to me all of these things are connected – the right to home, the joy of home, the significance of safety, the insignificance of boundaries when we see how small and perfect our home truly is, and how much it relies on the homefulness of all others.

this is how i move through my home with mindfulness:

i compost, reuse and recycle in my home and wherever i find myself,
i use energy and heat sparingly,
i make and display art in my home,
i am constantly learning to simplify – which feels like post-capitalist deprogramming, finding more beauty in space than in materials,
i cook,
and i am intentional about bringing into my kitchen and into the home of my body the most local healthy food possible,
i support the boycott called for by palestinians by not having products from starbucks, sabra hummus, and other zionist companies in my home,
i don’t keep anything i don’t need and love, and i don’t allow toxic energy to build up in my home,
i sweep the floors and make the bed and fold the laundry…

all the while aware that what i have is not guaranteed to anyone yet, and is what i want for all people, is not to be taken for granted, is under attack, and is worth fighting for, is worth living for.

home mehta meditation:

may you find home
may you feel home
may you always be home

may i find home
may i feel home
may i always be home

may we find home
may we feel home
may we always be home.