Re-Anointing the Body by Eline Kieft

How ‘at one’ are you with your body, and what reasons might there be if your body-sense got separate(d) from your soul-sense?

This piece starts with the difference between feminine and masculine spirituality, and introduces a few reasons why living in a physical body isn’t always easy.

It then invites a shift to the beloved body and how we can start to re-instate our body as a sacred place and love it from within.

Continue reading “Re-Anointing the Body by Eline Kieft”

Untangling the Triad of Life Force, Spirit and Soul by Eline Kieft

Calling Home at the Sealskin Soulskin Workshop 2018. Image Credit Justyna Skowronek

Most cultures recognize an animating ‘life force energy’, such as chi, qi, ki, kundalini, n/um, ruach, prana and mana. Life force is very closely related to ‘soul’, and often indicates vitality, original nature, instinct, intuition or inner compass. Another term is ‘spirit’, and I must say, it confused me for a long time how they are related, and how they are different. In this article I explain how I understand the nuances between these terms.

Shamanic paradigms consider ‘spirit’ as the animating life force both in our bodies and in the animist world around us. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, this concept is called ‘Qi’, or life force energy. This can be affected by ongoing stress or other health concerns that sap our vitality, but while we live it’s always there.

‘Soul’, in shamanic views, refers to an original essence that makes us who we are. This metaphysical part of us is in direct relationship with the sublime. The soul “continues beyond death and into eternity and into infinity. We could literally say that our soul has a body, much more than saying that our body has a soul” (Villoldo, 2018). This soul essence can be damaged: parts of it can ‘leave’ following traumatic events.

Continue reading “Untangling the Triad of Life Force, Spirit and Soul by Eline Kieft”

Scars Of The Body by Mary Gelfand

Despite the distances involved, throughout my adulthood, I regularly visited my parents.  As their home was small, I often found myself seated at the kitchen table with my mother while my father watched TV in the adjacent living room. During those visits, it was not unusual for my mother to come and stand behind me and begin working her fingers into my thick dark hair. 

I knew why she did this—she was looking for my scars, hidden under the abundance of my hair but still visible to those with patience. Two scars are hidden by my hair.  When I was three, I received a glancing blow from a horse’s hoof which cut my scalp causing it to bleed profusely. When I was six, I fell out of a tree in our back yard and cut my scalp again. Maternal fingers remembered where those scars should be, and Mom would weave her fingers through my hair until she found each scar.  Then she would lovingly stroke each spot several times and return to her seat.  Even at the time it seemed like she was offering a blessings to my wounds.

Continue reading “Scars Of The Body by Mary Gelfand”

Seeing Through My Nipples by Karen Moon

Karen 2006

This article is inspired from my Facebook group’s book study of Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, specifically Chapter 11: Retrieving a Sacred Sexuality.

I confess that I had never before heard of the term ‘seeing through your nipples.’ I continue to think on that. But I tell you what though; I do know the power of a nipple. And I can definitely say that it made me take one definitive path in life that has led me right here.

I’m going to take a moment and also ‘speak through my vulva’. I get that, too. It’s raw, and it’s honest. And I hope I don’t offend as it’s always so ‘touchy’ this talk of breastfeeding. But I am not meaning any of this in a judgmental way. I just wanted to speak of my experience personally. I wish I had had these stories before I became a mother so I could try them out, test them on my tongue and make a decision that worked for me without some of the trials I went through.

When I had my first child, way back in 2000, we were living in an apartment east of San Francisco in the rolling green hills. My mother-in-law came for the birth as my mom was on vacation somewhere in South America with my stepfather.

I had planned on breastfeeding, and my mother-in-law decided to ‘humor’ me. She is one of those tough New Jersey, Brooklyn born and raised women who have no idea how something like breastfeeding could actually work. She doubted the value of it. She wanted to see the can, the formula inside it, a nicely sanitized bottle and a chart with three hour intervals. And she was quite the persuasive lady. Continue reading “Seeing Through My Nipples by Karen Moon”

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