I’m getting a little personal.

It’s not my usual style and feels a little vulnerable, but with vulnerability we can build stronger connections with each other. Plus, it’s real. This is about what I am doing so that my kids can have a strong home foundation, so they are less susceptible to the effects of toxic masculinity, patriarchy, rape-culture. This is about helping to build a new model for society, about my kids growing up and being even more capable at building a new model.

Like everyone else, I internalized messages growing up – from family, friends, media, society. In particular I grew up in a family that was dominated by toxic masculinity. There was a lot of abuse – physical, mental, emotional, sexual – and it was denied, dismissed, trivialized, and normalized. I came to believe that women were weak, expressing emotions was weak, that in order to not be dominated I had to be strong and dominate. I hated myself when I “failed” and cried. I hated myself when I could not stop abusive behavior directed toward myself or loved ones. The menstrual cycle I just considered a pain in the ass. And more. Much more.

I’ve been on a healing path for practically forever. But now things have changed. Thanks to two things I have gotten real serious about healing, about repairing my relationship with my body, about embracing femininity as a source of strength.

Thing 1: cancer.

Just two months ago I had lung surgery and found out that the bone cancer I had nine years ago had come back, having travelled from left tibia to right lung. Let me be clear, I don’t blame myself for having cancer but I do feel like healing from self-hatred is vital and foundational to recovering to complete physical health.

Thing 2: my two daughters.

Of course I want to stay alive for my kids. But besides that, there isn’t much I want more than for them to have strong self assuredness, the comfort and bravery in being who they are, the courage to follow dreams, the strength to follow what is right for them. And I can only teach that if I am that.

So here are some ways I am coming back to my body, to my feminine side…..

Embracing my menstrual cycle.

I felt unpredictable. Sometimes I had energy to do everything on my list, or most because it was always a long list. I’d feel capable in achieving my personal and professional goals. I could take on any project. My house would be clean. But then other times I’d lose my steam pretty fast. And then there were the times when I felt like a failure, worthless, incapable of achieving any goal, my house a disaster.

But I’ve learned that the menstrual cycle has four phases, each with their own gift, with each I have particular strengths. Using the myFLO app, I’ve begun tracking my cycle and am learning how best to take care of myself at each cycle so that I don’t have pms symptoms and instead can enjoy each phase. The app comes with a bonus guide on tonics for each phase. These tonics have become a sacred ritual for taking care of my body.

Developing a relationship with the moon.

Yes, you read that right. Everybody is affected by the moon.

Yeah, I see your eyes roll. I had dismissed this idea too, but something told me to look deeper. So I started tracking the moon phases and reading about the effects of each phase on our bodies, emotions, and social interactions. Currently I am finding Jennifer Racioppi to be informative and insightful. As I reflect on how I am feeling each day, I am definitely finding a pattern that coincides with the moon phases. Knowing this, I can prepare, have realistic expectations, and treat myself gently rather than expect to go full speed every single day. And at the same time, I am learning to tap into the full moon energy, when I can get an amazing amount done and feel great while doing it.

Doing business the Origin way.

My previous business approach: do more, always do more, have high goals, high expectations of myself, go full speed at all times, do several projects at once —- and also be fully present for my children and keep the house and yard clean.

And when things don’t go as planned – I didn’t do enough, I wasn’t enough, I failed.

So when I saw a Facebook ad promoted by Kate Northrup that was about achieving more by doing less, about running a business without taking from your family, about aligning your business with your natural strengths that come from each menstrual cycle phase…..you can say I was intrigued.

And so I signed on for her business community, Origin.

Looking at my menstrual cycle as a benefit to business, whoa! Having fertile, reflective, planning times rather than just hustle, hustle, hustle? Complete paradigm shift.

Body bliss rituals.

This is my newest exploration. It’s definitely taking me deeper into my healing, into self-love.

Rather than theoretical or informative, they are specific rituals that help you develop body appreciation, self-love, help release negative energy from the body, and feel the divine flow in the body. It’s called Awaken Your Female Essence. I’m lucky enough to be in the beta group, that has just started, but already I recommend keeping an eye out for her public launch.

So what about you? Do you have any rituals, authors you read, podcasts you listen to, people you follow that help you reclaim, embrace, love your body? I’d love to hear about it! Comment below or hit reply.

Reclaiming my body, undoing effects of toxic masculinity
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