In the 60’s, Ina Gaskin significantly influenced the reclamation of the birth process. Many were fed up with hospitals and doctors taking the birth process away from mothers, and it was time to bring back the midwives, the personal, the intimate nature of something as profound as bringing new life into the world.
The same is happening now with the death process. The funeral industry is just that…an industry. Huge. Corporate. And although many independently owned funeral homes and funeral directors intend a sense of intimacy, ultimately, a corporate agenda is a corporate agenda.
There’s no need to give your loved one, grieving process and confusion over to those who charge big bucks and produce ‘canned’ funerals. There is a movement afoot that is changing all that, domestically as well as internationally.
“Stories set the inner life into motion, and this is particularly important where the inner life is frightened, wedged, or cornered. Story greases the hoists and pulleys, it causes adrenaline to surge, shows us the way out, down, or up, and for our trouble, cuts for us fine wide doors in previously blank walls, openings that lead to the dreamland, that lead to love and learning, that lead us back to our own real lives as knowing wildish women.”~ Clarissa Pinkola Estes
I don’t know many people these days whose inner life isn’t fraught with anxiety of some sort. This quote really reminded me that I have the freedom…indeed the response-ability…to tell myself a different story when I find myself responding fiercely to a story I’ve stumbled into while not paying attention. If it’s not of my creation, it’s not my story.
“This we can all bear witness to, living as we do plagued by unremitting anxiety. It becomes more and more imperative that the life of the spirit be avowed as the only firm basis upon which to establish happiness and peace.” Dalai Lama
Thought for the day from my friend Nancy……“Somewhere along the line of development we discover what we really are, and then we make our real decision for which we are responsible. Make that decision primarily for yourself because you can never really live anyone else’s life.” Eleanor Roosevelt
I love this quote because it talks about taking responsbility for decisions,which means claiming power to change my life, realizing that what’s happened in the past is a result of my own decision making however flawed it may have been.
Living in the margins or on the edge of conventional life has a way of causing me to distill down to what’s essentially me, and like leaves on a tree, all the excuses, the blaming of externals, the noise of life in the king’s world…all falls away. I stand here like that tree with, in the words of a song I once heard, ‘my roots dug down, my branches wide and open.’
Women living lives that they’ve made up themselves, on their own terms, don’t have it easy but there’s a huge satisfaction in knowing that they’re living into a self designed life.
“The unknown is what it is. And to be frightened of it is what sends everybody scurrying around chasing dreams, illusions, wars, peace, love, hate, all that . . Accept that it’s unknown, and it’s plain sailing.” John Lennon
OMG, I went to see Avatar with Hannah yesterday and it is truly a story for our time! To say it was amazing is an understatement. It jarred some kind of primeval memory, cellular. It is a masterpiece of enchantment while being profoundly relevant. Whatever else can be said about it, the communion the Na’vi with the soul source of their environment hearkened back to something that resonated in my bones. The metaphorical Tree of Life, the transference of spirit…all of it…just amazing.
Don’t miss it. Here’s a link: http://www.avatarmovie.com/index.html
This Tuesday, December 21st, is our longest night. In the Pacific Northwest, we now have 16 hours of darkness.I arrive at my office and it is dark.I leave my office and it is dark.
My animals curl into balls and rarely wake.
It has been a steady move to this darkest day, since the longest at the Summer Solstice.
Then my tomatoes were growing.Now I am using the canned sauce in stews, breathing in summer scents in the dark, cold afternoons.
Time moves and things shift.We still call this furthest hour of earth tilt the Tropic of Capricorn, but it isn’t anymore.Precession has shifted us into the constellation Sagittarius.Things change.The Mother turns and leans this way now, turns and leans that way later.She dances with the Sun and the Moon and with herself.
We will gather and celebrate the end of the dark, the tilt of the Earth, the Emergence of the light.
To celebrate, we will make a circle, call in the directions, and be with the dark.We will welcome our shadows and bravely visit with them.We can do this because we know the darkness creates the light, and that there is a time for everything.We say goodbye to the time that is gone.
We will invite the light, and breathe life into our possibilities.We will have faith that the light will come again.We will pray for the healing and grace for All That Is, all beings, all life and all death, all that was and will be.
How will we celebrate?
By dancing.We will dance on the back of our Mother, pound our prayers and love onto her back, so that she will know we are here, and that we work to heal her and ourselves.We dance in our bare feet, or in our handmade moccasins, so that our love and faith move out the soles of our feet into her back.We dance with intention, sending our love and awareness into the Earth.
We are here.We know you are a living being, our Mother, and you are being harmed the world over.We are here, and we are helping to bring in the light so that others know you are a living being, and our Mother.