Thursday, April 2, 2009

Phases and Cycles

It's still grey and rainy here. Yesterday afternoon we had a brief reprieve with sunny skies. It's not that I don't love the rain; I do. It just makes me feel like curling up with a good book (or a honey who's read one!). And I don't feel like I have time to do that.

Hmmm... is that a hidden "should" in there? Does that translate into "I SHOULD be doing something else"? Probably. Yes, I'm sure it is. I found myself "shoulding" about my teens yesterday. Next to myself, I'm probably most judgemental of them. Heavy burden for all of us!

So today is Day 6 in the 37Day challenge to change just one thing in your life. I thought I was doing well... (I'm not going to say I should be doing well...). But we sure have a lot of ways to disguise a word and the sentiment behind it.

A few times, I've wrestled with "should" and had to stop and wonder why I couldn't say, "I want to do this" or "I don't want to do this" instead of "I should...". This is usually when I need to run errands, run kids to appointments, etc. "Should" is really easy with kids: I should be a better mother, I should have more fun with my kids, I should be more patient with my kids. I've been reading Christiane Northrup's "Wisdom of Menopause", which is a great resource for both scientific and intuitive insights into "the change"... and change it is! Northrup states that when a woman enters menopause (I'm 55 and still -- occasionally -- having my cycle), her brain literally rewires itself from primarily nurturing others (the Mother mode) to focusing on herself and her desires. So even though I still have teens at home (I was 40 when we adopted our kids), my rewiring has shifted already.

Most of my artwork is about the Feminine. Mother Nature. The three stages of Woman (Maiden, Mother, Crone). The Goddess. The Moon.
From a cycle standpoint, I know I am on the cusp between Mother and Crone. If I look at the Moon Phases as a symbol, I am at the gibbous waning moon phase. Gibbous means convex on both sides. Full, but not completely full. The Full moon represents the Mother in all her pregnant and nurturing glory. This is typically during the 2os and 30s and 40s. And while we have many more women choosing to begin motherhood in their 40s, I have learned that when you have a daughter at 40, then she and you end up going through hormonal changes at the same time: her going into her menses, the mother finishing it. That can make for some intense times (especially when you're both Fire signs)!

I treasure the Feminine. I have learned how strong the Feminine is. I feel outraged whenever I hear anyone put down the strength of women. I read a great quote the other day: "We have a secret in our culture, and it’s not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong." (Laura Stavoe Harm). Whether it is observing women of courage, whether it's canning tomatoes, whether it's reading about women in history, I am a full-fledged fan of the Feminine.

And sometimes I want to celebrate the Feminine all by myself.

I just sneaked a peek at Patti's 37Day blog, and today is Day 7 (which day did I miss?!? What else am I missing?) and she writes about being selfish, doing things for ourselves. Interesting that I just flipped to that as I was going on about "shoulding" myself about the kids.

So now, I am going to curl up and read a good book. Maybe even take a nap. After I pick up Paige from school. Because I really want to.

I hope you indulge in some "self" time today of celebrating the Feminine!