Alpha/Omega

For I am the first and the last

I am the venerated and the despised

I am the prostitute and the saint

I am the wife and the virgin

I am the mother and the daughter

I am the arms of my mother

I am barren and my children are many

I am the married woman and the spinster

I am the woman who gives birth and she

who never procreated

I am the consolation for the pain of birth

I am the wife and the husband

And it was my man who created me

I am the mother of my father

I am the sister of my husband

And he is my rejected son

Always respect me

For I am the shameful and the magnificent one

Hymn to Isis, Great Mother of All

Third or Fourth Century B.C.

Discovered in Nag Hammadi

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Receiving Without Fear

Receiving Without Fear: Some of us find it easier to give than receive. Since receiving really is a critical part of our first experience (none of us would have survived infancy unless we’d received some care) I’m curious about why this can be such a challenge for many of us.

There’s the obvious culprit: a dominator culture that values power-over tends to see the person who is giving as stronger and, by inference, the one who is receiving as weaker. The implication is that if you have something (time, energy, money, advice, insight, support, compassion etc.) to give, you must be doing something right, and if you need something you cannot provide for yourself, you must be doing something wrong. In part, this goes along with the cultural premium that is placed on independence- a fallacy if there ever was one in an inter-dependent world.

I recently heard a news story about a ninety year old woman who committed suicide because she knew that sometime in the next few years she would not be able to live independently. Now, this is the kind of decision re:quality of life I want to leave up to individuals. Still, I could not help but wonder if the collective value we put on so-called independence might not make it difficult for those of us living in affluent parts of the world to see receiving assistance as we age not only as loss, but also as a way to learn something together. I have gone through periods when illness has necessitated relying heavily on friends and family for care. My delusion of self-sufficiency was shattered, and nothing has softened my heart more to myself and others than needing and receiving help.

Of course receiving, depending on the situation, can sometimes feel unsafe. As discussed in last week’s blog, “Giving Without Resentment,” (http://oriahsinvitation.blogspot.ca/2013/05/giving-without-resentment.html) giving is sometimes (consciously or not) done in a bid to gain power over another or as a way to make a bargain- goods or consideration for later unspecified favours. If these deals are vague and unspoken we can end up feeling we owe another, unsure of what exactly is expected.

But the truth is, as adults, another’s expectations are only our problem if we buy into them. If someone gives me something, my role is to receive it as graciously and as freely as possible. If that person comes back later expecting or pulling for something in exchange that was not agreed to, I need to sit with whether or not I can or want to give what is requested, and to be clear that there was no agreed-to exchange. If this happens repeatedly with another, I will ask that implicit deals be made explicit before receiving. (If you cook me dinner are you expecting something in return?) If this still leaves the other expecting something unspecified in return for giving I may reconsider receiving from this particular person

Honestly, if we stay conscious about and aren’t drawn into obligations we never agreed to, the other will stop trying to create unspoken bargains simply because it’s not working for them.

But what if someone wants to give us something we don’t need or want? Well, the first option is to simply say, “No, thank you,” particularly if what is offered is going to create any suffering (Eg.- a visit, even with someone we love, can be draining when we are ill.) We can receive and appreciate the caring intent but let the other know this is not something we can or want to receive right now. Of course, if we know what we need, the next step is to ask for it- post-graduate work for many of us leery of receiving.

“We accept the love we feel we deserve,” is a line from the movie The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Perhaps, if we are reluctant receivers, it is because we have been taught to believe that we are not deserving- a belief worth challenging as we learn to cherish ourselves.

The sad thing about not trusting our boundaries and our right to say “Yes please,” or “No thank you,” is that we may develop the habit of being non-receptive, of not really taking in what is offered and allowing it to replenish us each day. This can leave anyone who is giving feeling unreceived and the receiver strangely hungry for what is offered but not really received.

We cannot help but be both givers and receivers every day. And the world we co-create is largely shaped and coloured by how we are with ourselves and each other in our giving and receiving. Both can create knots of obligation and resentment or cultivate open-hearted joy and gratitude.

Today, may we take in with gratitude and without fear that which we choose to receive, and may we give without resentment that which we can offered in a sustainable way.

Oriah (c) 2013

Receiving Without Fear: Some of us find it… – Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

Shedding

“Although shedding is difficult for all of us, for a woman to shed what has falsely hidden her more authentic experience is a great liberation. The freedom felt after the loss of persona is spiritually nourishing, and the creativity released from within can be enormous, allowing her to create herself in a more ‘true’ form. This is the process I am calling female shamanism—an ongoing shedding of false selves in favor of the active development of more authentic forms of expression.”
“The snake is the ancient totem of women all over the world and speaks to the lunar nature of feminine biological evolution. A woman’s natural timing is cyclical, circular, spiral, nonlinear, and nonrational. Women need to replace their crystllized identities, as these shatter or dissolve through the shamanic process, with a deliberately fluid ego-identity. If a woman can begin to appreciate and cultivate the value of an identity that is always changing, continually in flux, never completely solid, she begins to align with what shamans and Buddhists describe as ‘reality.’ Those with the sight to see into the world of energy, see that everythong is made of energy, and energy is always in motion. The rest of the world is practicing to become able to accept and tolerate this vision of reality, which is in conflict with the one we were originally taught to believe.”
~ Vicki Noble from Shakti Woman: Feeling Our Fire, Healing Our World – The New Female Shamanism

Shed skins in favor of more authentic forms~ | MYSTICMAMMA.COM : consciousness, spirituality, wisdom, inspiration.

Vows of the Priestess

I choose to walk my path fearlessly

To live with my Heart wide open

To be Grateful for my experiences

Which led me straight into the arms of the Goddess

And taught me compassion for all things

To forgive and forgive and forgive again

While maintaining the boundaries of my own Sacredness

Not resisting life, but allowing it to be

To accept and embrace it

And transmute my fear and suffering into Joy

And just by Being,

give others permission to do the same.

To know that everyone is a mirror

Reflecting the light of the Goddess

All with Truth at the core of their being

All unique, all beautiful, all different aspects of Her.

Source: Ariadnes Temple

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Imagine A Woman

Imagine a woman who believes it is right and good she is a woman.
A woman who honors her experience and tells her stories.
Who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life.

Imagine a woman who trusts and respects herself.
A woman who listens to her needs and desires.
Who meets them with tenderness and grace.

Imagine a woman who acknowledges the past’s influence on the present.
A woman who has walked through her past.
Who has healed into the present.

Imagine a woman who authors her own life.
A woman who exerts, initiates, and moves on her own behalf.
Who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice.

Imagine a woman who names her own gods.
A woman who imagines the divine in her image and likeness.
Who designs a personal spirituality to inform her daily life.

Imagine a woman in love with her own body.
A woman who believes her body is enough, just as it is.
Who celebrates its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource.

Imagine a woman who honors the body of the Goddess in her changing body.
A woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom.
Who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and life.

Imagine a woman who values the women in her life.
A woman who sits in circles of women.
Who is reminded of the truth about herself when she forgets.

Imagine yourself as this woman.
– Patricia Lynn Reilly Cosmic Birther copy small                                    ::::::Image by Kati Astraeir:::::http://katiastraeir.com/

 

The feminine is undressing now

Quote

IMG_0072. She is stripping off her too tight attire. Too long she has worn ill fitting and borrowed clothes, that did not allow her to move and dance freely, or accommodate her wildness. She’s emptying her wardrobe.

She’s reclaiming her inner stylist and designer. No matter how vulnerable she feels now she is choosing to stand naked till she styles her own new clothes. She is deciding on the fabric, the feel, the color, and all the things that go into creating regalia that does her justice. She’s ensuring it feels juicy for her body & soul. She is dreaming up her original trousseau. But first she is choosing to wear her skin more comfortably.

– Akaija Woodwomon

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