Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Are You Over It ... I Certainly Am

Why will millions of women be dancing all over the world on February 14th ... because someone has sent them a bunch of red roses or taking them out for dinner in an expression of undying love? No, although some may dance for that too, but because they love themselves and each other, and stand in support of the one in three women that will be raped and beaten in her lifetime. They are standing up for themselves and saying enough is enough. These dancing women are over it ... they are the revolution.

Will you dance too? Are you over it?

Over It
By Eve Ensler

I am over rape.

I am over rape culture, rape mentality, rape pages on Facebook.

I am over the thousands of people who signed those pages with their real names without shame.

I am over people demanding their right to rape pages, and calling it freedom of speech or justifying it as a joke.

I am over people not understanding that rape is not a joke and I am over being told I don't have a sense of humor, and women don't have a sense of humor, when most women I know (and I know a lot) are really fucking funny. We just don't think that uninvited penises up our anus, or our vagina is a laugh riot.

I am over how long it seems to take anyone to ever respond to rape.

I am over Facebook taking weeks to take down rape pages.

I am over the hundreds of thousands of women in Congo still waiting for the rapes to end and the rapists to be held accountable.

I am over the thousands of women in Bosnia, Burma, Pakistan, South Africa, Guatemala, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Afghanistan, Libya, you name a place, still waiting for justice.

I am over rape happening in broad daylight.

I am over the 207 clinics in Ecuador supported by the government that are capturing, raping, and torturing lesbians to make them straight.

I am over one in three women in the U.S military (Happy Veterans Day!) getting raped by their so-called "comrades."

I am over the forces that deny women who have been raped the right to have an abortion.

I am over the fact that after four women came forward with allegations that Herman Cain groped them and grabbed them and humiliated them, he is still running for the President of the United States.

And I'm over CNBC debate host Maria Bartiromo getting booed when she asked him about it. She was booed, not Herman Cain.

Which reminds me, I am so over the students at Penn State who protested the justice system instead of the rapist pedophile of at least 8 boys, or his boss Joe Paterno, who did nothing to protect those children after knowing what was happening to them.

I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.

I am over starving Somali women being raped at the Dadaab in Kenya, and I am over women getting raped at Occupy Wall Street and being quiet about it because they were protecting a movement which is fighting to end the pillaging and raping of the economy and the earth, as if the rape of their bodies was something separate.

I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it's their fault or they did something to make it happen.

I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime - the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself.

No women, no future, duh.

I am over this rape culture where the privileged with political and physical and economic might, take what and who they want, when they want it, as much as they want, any time they want it.

I am over the endless resurrection of the careers of rapists and sexual exploiters - film directors, world leaders, corporate executives, movie stars, athletes - while the lives of the women they violated are permanently destroyed, often forcing them to live in social and emotional exile.

I am over the passivity of good men. Where the hell are you?

You live with us, make love with us, father us, befriend us, brother us, get nurtured and mothered and eternally supported by us, so why aren't you standing with us? Why aren't you driven to the point of madness and action by the rape and humiliation of us?

I am over years and years of being over rape.

And thinking about rape every day of my life since I was 5 years old.

And getting sick from rape, and depressed from rape, and enraged by rape.

And reading my insanely crowded inbox of rape horror stories every hour of every single day.

I am over being polite about rape. It's been too long now, we have been too understanding.

We need to OCCUPYRAPE in every school, park, radio, TV station, household, office, factory, refugee camp, military base, back room, night club, alleyway, courtroom, UN office. We need people to truly try and imagine - once and for all - what it feels like to have your body invaded, your mind splintered, your soul shattered. We need you to let our rage and our compassion connect us together so we can change the paradigm of global rape.

There are approximately one billion women on the planet who have been violated.


The time is now. Prepare for the escalation.

Today it begins, moving toward 14 February 2013, when one billion women will rise to end rape.

Because we are over it.

Me? ... I am well and truly over it. No doubt you are too, so watch Break The Chain and be inspired to dance and sing and rise.

The Dreadess xx

Monday, 21 January 2013

Goddess Gifts Of The Menstrual Cycle

I'm really looking forward to running this workshop soon. I know that for me, this information revolutionised the way I lived month to month, giving me greater depth and understanding of my goddess nature. I also feel honoured to be able to pass on this ancient wisdom, especially because so many women tell me after these workshops that it truly changes their life. It is so enlightening to discover how the feminine cycles affect our energy levels, creativity, sensuality, sexuality and spirituality.

I would love to see some of you there.

The Dreadess xx

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The Real Woman Creed

Beautiful, wise words by Jan Phillips ...

I believe that within me lies an extraordinary radiance, and I commit to letting my light loose in the world.

I believe that the source of my power and wisdom is in the center of my being, and I commit to acting from this place of strength.

I believe that I possess an abundance of passion and creative potential, and I commit to the expression of this gift.

I believe that the time has come to let go of old notions and unhealthy attitudes, and I commit to re-examine what I have been told about beauty and dismiss what insults my soul.

I believe that negative thoughts and words compromise my well-being, and I commit to thinking and speaking positively about myself and others.

I believe that young women are in need of positive role models, and I commit to being an example of authenticity and self-love.

I believe in the relationship between my well-being and the well-being of the planet, And I commit to a life of mindfulness that regards all living things as holy and worthy of my love.

I believe it is my spiritual responsibility to care for my body with respect, kindness and compassion. I commit to balancing my life in such a way that my physical being is fully expressed and nurtured.

I believe that joy is an essential part of wellness, and I commit to removing obstacles to joy and creating a life of exuberance.

I believe that a woman who loves herself is a powerful, passionate, attractive force, and I commit, from this day forward, to loving myself deeply and extravagantly.

... I believe ...

I have talked these words to my heart, I will try to walk with them in my life and take them out into the world. And you, you wonderful, real woman, will you carry the flame too? Will you live by the creed?

The Dreadess xx

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

The Art Of Ritual

Ritual is a way that humans, since we became conscious, have always made sense of the things that happen in life. To create a sacred acknowledgement through a deliberate action or word honours these life changing moments and somehow helps us to accept these changes in an empowered way. Marking these times in life not only enables us to move forward into the new and let go of the old, but helps us take in or transmute the energy created by these things.

"Ritual is the way you carry the presence of the sacred. Ritual is the spark that must not go out" - Christina Baldwin

I'm rather fond of ritual because it focuses my intent and affects the outcome of things I choose, but I'm not talking about elaborate affairs with reams of fancy words and a whole costume department in tow. I'm not against those particularly, they have there place within mine and many lives, except that they cannot be part of your everydayness. I mean the little daily rituals that make my whole life sacred. What about you have you discovered the power of ritual yet?

By honouring the things we do daily, by bringing sacred time in to our life regularly and creating sacred space in our homes, it melds our spiritual path with ourselves and our spirituality becomes our being, not our doing.

The secret to all this is mindfulness ... Having an awareness of the habits we choose is one part of this ... the being careful to take part in uplifting food or activities that energise, honour or heal us. Just one of my simple rituals for this is to clean my teeth, scrape my tongue and drink a pint of lemon water on waking up in the morning. Not overly virtuous or amazing, but it does leave me feeling fresh and whole, and I do it with the intent, real awareness of what I'm doing, of preparing my body and mind for the day. Having started with this intent it is far easier for other things to follow, sacred or seemingly not.

The other part is to add to our life actions, doings or creations, that we intend to bring a certain energy to us or has a certain meaning. The lighting of a simple candle with a specific purpose could be the whole of that one, or drawing a mandala, writing a word or arranging a feather on a stone.

The secret is intent ... Intent is the precursor to thought and is a tricky little bugger to catch hold of or even observe. It is the stuff of magick and well worth pursuing beyond the film of tension that is thought. The energy behind every thought is intent and the energy behind every action and word is thought. So be aware of your intentions. Be honest and true to yourself.

The secret is awareness ... Be aware of the habits and little rituals that do not serve you well. One of mine that I have to keep an eye on is drinking coffee. After a few weeks of a daily cuppa it's starts to deplete my energy. That's just me. Love the cappuccinos, but too often and it becomes a ritual, a habit that becomes no good for me, eating at both my physical and my subtle anatomy. Such a small thing, but for me personally it doesn't work, as soon as it becomes a habit I'm done for. Other little things you may not notice are words we tell ourselves, little habits of negativity when we look in the mirror or rituals of belittlement in some way. They are powerful and not in the good way.

The secret is energy ... Energy flows always and where the mind pays attention the energy will flow to that place. Become more attuned to the way your energy levels rise and fall, to what enhances, what depletes. Your feelings are a good indicator. Find rituals that make you feel more connected to spirit. Cultivate habits that make you feel whole. It takes 21 days to form a new habit. Contemplate deeply upon what feeling, what energy you would like to bring to your life and meditate upon it. Allow your intuition to tell you the little thing that you could do each day, or each week that will bring this to you. Take time for that habit to take root, let the ritual come into being and watch the changes within that it brings.

It could be as small as lighting a candle when coming in from work every evening and having a moment in silence. It could be a simple as writing down the first thing that pops in to your head upon waking. It could be creating a piece of land art on your weekend walk an leaving it as an offering to nature and for others to enjoy. It will grow into a whole practice that infuses your whole day, your whole life, your whole being.

That is the art of daily ritual. This is when ritual is useful and becomes a tool. Not a rigid framework that constricts our natural flow. Allow your rituals to grow and change ... just intend it so. Don't get hung up on holding fast to them. You are changing and growing too. So everything changes.

To mark those more important times in life then let your self be guided by your own impetus to create ceremonies, big or small, to honour these moments. Find out about the connections between herbs or flowers and meanings, colours and energy, and use these to enhance your magick moments. Make life sacred. Make all of it connected to spirit. Have sacred spaces in your home. This means that what ever you do you do in a blessed place. I have sacred spaces in every room. Little shrines for different things. Yep ... even the bathroom. And no it's not a holy loo roll holder. Sometimes just a simple candle place with intent and a picture or three. It changes.

Here is a picture of one of the little spaces in my kitchen ... this was created to maintain my awareness of the cycles of the seasons and has evolved to keep me connected to sacred places in the land that I have previously made contact with, whilst I walk alongside a particular archetype and teacher.

“This is what rituals are for. We do spiritual ceremonies as human beings in order to create a safe resting place for our most complicated feelings of joy or trauma, so that we don't have to haul those feelings around with us forever, weighing us down. We all need such places of ritual safekeeping. And I do believe that if your culture or tradition doesn't have the specific ritual you are craving, then you are absolutely permitted to make up a ceremony of your own devising, fixing your own broken-down emotional systems with all the do-it-yourself resourcefulness of a generous plumber/poet.” ― Elizabeth Gilbert

Be practical, be resourceful, be intuitive, be creative and just remember it's not the display that counts it's the intent with which it is carried out, it's not long winded words necessarily it's the awareness with which words are spoken and the it not the grand gesture, but the mindfulness that comes with every action ... (spi)ritual. That is the art of ritual.

Heidi x

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Present

Let him who would enjoy a good future waste none of his present - Roger Babson

So today I woke up and unwrapped my present with much joy and anticipation. Did you? ... 2013 all done up with a big bow. All shiny and sparkly straight from the box. That whole brand new year just waiting to be lived and loved. 365 days, a blank canvas each of them, for you to paint, dance and write on.

Here the sun is glorious and as I sip my green smoothie I feel very, very blessed. Full of so much positivity and hope. 2012 was toughie, for me and for so many I know. It seemed like a break or make year. A year that made us look at what we really wanted from life, what our heart's yearning was for and then stripped away all the unnecessaries, in what was for some of us a painful process. I feel I've learned so much about me and about my priorities. I've gained clarity, focus and drive. The revelations came though through events that didn't feel so great, to be honest.

At the beginning of the year there was the minor, but ongoing foot injury which began a process of letting go ... letting go of things I thought I was and things I thought I needed to be. The letting go just didn't stop. I had to let go of yet more past stuff and hurts, let go of the thought of a full recovery and adapt to new limitations, let go of my idea of the perfect family and accept what is, let go of an old name and find a new one, and then finally in the last days of the last month of 2012 let go of a burning and long held dream, which even as I write this brings me to tears.

And the letting go has made me ... lighter, freer and more energised. I'm ready to do 2013 like you wouldn't believe. I intend to suck the juice out of every second. I intend to be present with my present.

A friend and I were in the woods the other day, gathering leaves and twigs for some land art and we had this conversation about how it was an activity that keeps you totally in the present. Nose to the ground like dogs on a scent trail, you just wander eyes to the ground from leaf to leaf, tree to tree. Completely engrossed. No awareness of yesterday, no planning the evening meal, no feeling the hurt done to you and no fantasising about what might be. Totally in the present, like a child at play. And for me the secret of being in the present seems to be in the act of creation. When I'm creating something I'm fully in that process.

We are born creators, it is what we are here to be. We manifest every single moment for ourselves as we choose, either to be one of joy and full of light or one tinged with sadness, fear or envy. 2013 is yours to do as you wish, to live as you will. The secret to not wasting one jot of it is to live consciously in the act of creation, not with reaction or inaction. Awareness with every breath, every thought and every deed. To live in your present. To be your gift to your self. And as the Buddha says "Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."

Just think what world we could co create if we all lived with this awareness. Imagine how different our interactions with each other would be if we had no pre judgement of any situation, because we had no reaction to the past. To live heart to heart, moment to moment, like a world full of wise children at play.

So go, have a blissed right now, enjoy your present ... that wonderful, all is possible, glitzy New Year.

The Dreadess xx