Copy

The Moon Times

January 2018

a monthly letter released with the full moon
sharing thematic teachings, news & affirmations to
cultivate psychospiritual wellness, creativity & community

The theme of this moon cycle is

Self-Sovereignty (of a woman)


sov·er·eign·ty / noun
supreme power or authority.
the authority of a state to govern itself or another state.
a self-governing state.

"How [does] the soul, the true self, set out to find new life for the first time or once again, but comes up against an impenetrable wall, a restriction, an abuse, a land of bones,
and thence, in whichever ways learns to create, devise, outwit, resist, build,
prevail, propel oneself back into the wild self again,
the wild self becoming again, the one and only true sovereign in a woman’s life."

-Clarissa Pinkola Estes
Dear reader,
 
Self-sovereignty to me means freedom of expression and acceptance of self; it's allowing myself to be however I am, without trying to control, suppress or deny parts of me. It's owning responsibility for my life, my humanness, and my divine power.

This theme was inspired by the medieval story of Arthur & the Loathly lady as told by Tara Brach, where the answer to the question, "what do women most desire?" was "sovereignty." When I heard this in my headphones while on a walk one morning (the same day I was to begin this newsletter on a previously unknown topic), it struck a chord that has since been resonant...

 Self-sovereignty is a humbling journey; an unlearning of personal, interpersonal and systemic boundaries, and an unfolding of hidden and reborn selves. I intend to cultivate more sovereignty over my life, and honor the micro and macro times I've stood strong in my own authority (i.e. like in this portrait captured by my friend with an eye for color, Karen Santos.)

With the waxing gibbous, I, in collaboration with some other wonderful women seeking, finding and sharing sovereignty, explore this topic in relation to mind, body/sexuality, and spirit. May these reflections and resources contribute to deepening the pathways of your own freedom.
Sovereignty of (from) the Mind

“Most people are so completely identified with the voice in the head—the incessant stream of involuntary and compulsive thinking and the emotions that accompany it—that we may describe them as being possessed by their mind. As long as you are completely unaware of this, you take the thinker to be who you are. This is the egoic mind. We call it egoic because there is a sense of self, of I (ego), in every thought—every memory, every interpretation, opinion, viewpoint, reaction, emotion."
-Eckhart Tolle

Minds are infinite, creating stories out of nothing, painting hallucinations and projections from it's conscious and subconscious recesses- making anything, person or situation a canvas; using incessant brushstrokes of analysis and judgment to make sense of the self and the world. The mind is silenced only when we're dead, (or when we transcend thought and observe it in present awareness). It controls our bodies and the systems that make us breathe and poop; on top of it, it has internalized biases on how our bodies should or ought to be.

The mind is also home to the ego, the falsely-identifying, comparing and isolating part of our psyches. My ego takes me out of my body, and acts up when I'm uncertain about something. There's been a lot of transition in my life lately; from moving to a new city, beginning a new phase of life with a beloved, starting a career as my own damn boss, and ebbing with the flows of being an intimate part of other's worlds and challenges. With transition (and life in general) comes a whole lot of uncertainty; and with uncertainty comes my thinking mind, inserting narratives that are seeped in negativity bias and fear. It makes sense that this bias is part of the mind's evolution, and that generations ago, it served to keep my ancestors alive. Today though, the safety of my life is not as easily compromised (what a privilege), and any hyper-insertion of stories for my alertness isn't as urgently necessary. I'm seeing from a bird's eye view more now that my mind tends to do this, and that I don't have to respond to it.

What's contributed to more ease in transition for me is a structured morning ritual inspired by Danielle Lyles Barton on the Black Girl in Om podcast. I'll break it down for you: I wake up at 6am (an entirely new realm of voluntary awakening for me), meditate for 10 minutes to notice how I'm feeling, and allow it all to be there however it is. Then I pray for some time, and by pray I mean speak to the Force that is greater than me, give thanks for how It influences my life, ask questions of what I need to do and how to go about doing it, and then I give more thanks even if some mornings it's hard and I'm tired, groggy and the gratitude feels thin.  I meditate either in sitting or yoga/stretching for another 20 minutes to listen, breathe, observe and give attention to whatever comes. I finish with my journal to note the visions and thoughts that stood out, the seeds I want to sow and my chosen points of guidance. I've committed to doing this each morning for 70 days, and writing this here gives me more accountability.

Much like how healthy boundaries make us good neighbors and create more freedom within ourselves and in relationship, a morning ritual with intentional and thoughtful structure has offered me, even within a few weeks of this practice, deeper levels of observance, awareness and inner support. I feel some sovereignty from my mind and it's stream of sometimes absurd, genius, scary and insensible thought; in doing so, I am gaining sovereignty of my mind, such that when I'm less grasping of any one thought, judgment or story, I can devote energy to the infinite, expansive flow of imagination and manifestation. This practice has been deepening my faith in what I do have control and sovereignty over; I can choose to the sow the seeds of thought that I want to grow, and gracefully observe the rest, allowing it to pass. I'm relearning that feelings like overwhelm, doubt and fear all have their right to exist, and that they're best addressed with spaciousness, non-attachment and curiosity. When I ask the right questions and listen with determination, without reacting or over-analyzing, I am empowered; and when I'm simultaneously breathing deeply into my body, a portal to my most expansive sovereignty is opened up.
Laya is a friend and colleague from graduate school who is filled with impassioned wisdom on plant medicine, ancestral healing, and goddess cultures. Here, she shares courageously the necessary journey and challenge of coming home to our sovereign bodies.
 
Power to the Portal
 Laya Greyson
 
I’m going to tell you something that I wish wasn’t true. I wish it wasn’t true because it challenges me in a way that I have been cunningly avoiding my whole life. What I have come to believe is true is that the seat of our power, of our sovereignty as women lies in being fully, passionately embodied. More to the point, it lies in our connection to the wisdom and power of our womb space. And sometimes that means feeling the pain we have long denied. I have not wanted to know this. I learned to survive in my family and in society by being Patriarchy’s Daughter, which meant, among other things, overemphasizing the value of my intellect, and ignoring the messages of my body. But something has been shifting and I can no longer stay in my head. My body, my womb space, has been screaming for my attention in one of the most painful ways possible.
 
I have had seven ovarian cyst ruptures over the past three years. The last one happened the same week I started a new job, my first one out of grad school. It was the worst, hemorrhaging for a week, causing constant nausea and vomiting, and sending me to the ER twice. My breasts swelled and ached for a solid month from the rush of hormones in my body. I was miserable and crying all the time. It threw me into what my clinical training would call a depression, but what my spiritual training can identify as an initiation - an underworld journey to meet the Dark Goddess and reclaim my power.
 
Part of this story is the larger story of women in the world speaking our truth and feeling our feelings in a new way. Unlike all the other cyst ruptures this one happened during #metoo and #timesup. This one happened at a time in which I, like so many others, was going back over what has happened to my body over the course of my life, and seeing that the unprocessed pain of too many experiences has been buried there in my body, in my womb. It felt like I had two choices, I could turn and face it, or I could continue to repress it until it erupted again.
 
Facing it has meant taking a journey inward, clearing my calendar to devote extra time to feeling. To grieving. To walking the often confusing inner labyrinth of feminine discovery.
 
There are many intellectual aspects of this journey, about reclaiming menstruation as a sacred act, about our wombs as portals through which new life and new energy enters the world, about disrupting patriarchy and capitalism by tuning into the natural rhythms of our cycles. I would love to tell you about those things, and several first drafts of this did just that.  Then I realized that doing so was coming from that same intellectual, unembodied place where I am more comfortable.
 
So instead, I will take a leap and get yet more vulnerable. Instead, I will tell you that this work of deep embodiment is really hard, that I still try to avoid it. Because in the moments where I actually feel, actually breathe into my body, my heart, my womb, and listen to what she wants to tell me, I sometimes get overwhelmed. I will tell you that I am scared of the power I feel in there. Scared of what it means.
 
I’m scared that I’ll be faced with actually feeling all the pain and grief and rage I’ve been avoiding through intellectualization. Scared that to really connect will mean connecting to the body of the Earth and feeling all we’ve done to her body, to my body, to all our bodies. I’m scared I don’t know how to hold it. Yet somehow, despite all this fear, I keep stepping forward. I can’t really tell you how, just that something inside me keeps leading me, step by step.  

In an effort to create a community of support for others on the journey to connect to their bodies, their wombs and their cycles, a friend of mine and I have created a secret facebook group. If this calls to you feel free to email me at layagreyson@me.com and I will add you.

Deep bows to everyone doing their own work of healing in their own ways.


 -Nayyirah Waheed
I met Irene at an art exhibit of a mutual friend and was enraptured by her work. She specializes in couching women and couples around sex, intimacy and desire. From the perspective of a sex and intimacy coach, she shares more about what sexual sovereignty looks like.
 
Sovereignty of our Sexuality
Irene Fehr

At the heart of sexual sovereignty lies the answer to the question "what do I want?”.
 
As the world is continuously telling us what we should want, it is tempting to ignore our intuition, our bodies, and our needs. Sexual sovereignty tells us to look within and answer to what we want. It is calling us to trust ourselves. To discern what is in our best interests and to stand by it. 
 
Sexual sovereignty is about rightness of our desire. Rightness of our emotions. Rightness of our pleasure. Rightness of our "yes" and equally of our "no". 
 
As a sexual sovereign, you have the ultimate power/authority/authorship to decide what you want, what feels right to you, what your body is ready for and what it is not. You are the source of your sexual desires, pleasure and boundaries — as well as the final judge of them. 
 
Sexual sovereignty is about moving away from sex and sexuality as a commodity to truly understanding, owning and cultivating this powerful life force. And this is especially relevant for women today as we shift out of how we use sexuality and our bodies to please our partners to enjoying and saying yes to sex for our pleasure.
 
Sexual sovereignty is not merely a philosophical or ethical position; it is a natural unfolding that occurs when we begin to excavate the riches of our desires, our bodies, our gifts and our erotic energy. 

By fully claiming our bodies, pleasure and the rightness of our being, we free our sexuality from external influences — making it self-validated, self-actualizing, sustainable and powerful. So powerful as to truly change the world!

Sexual sovereignty is a prerequisite for our ability as women to open our bodies and hearts to our partners without pain, resentment or regret for what we're giving away. It is key to our generosity as lovers. It is the spark in our libido. And it is the essential ingredient in sex and sexuality as nourishment for our bodies, hearts and souls. 

Sexual sovereignty is the natural unfolding of our own erotic power, across all aspects of our being — emotional, physical and spiritual — as we free ourselves from...
  • Victimhood (we are not damaged goods)
  • Obligation and trade (we're not service providers)
  • Expectations (we are our own beings, not objects for others)
  • Shame and guilt (we are bad for wanting for ourselves)
And move towards granting ourselves...
  • Permission to enjoy the pleasure of our bodies 
  • Permission to ask for what we want
  • Permission to do things for our pleasure
  • Permission to say no to things that we do not want
Whether in our personal life or on the global scale, as we face some of biggest challenges — and opportunities — that are destined to determine whether we continue to thrive and prosper, our own sexual sovereignty as women is the foundation of our ability to stand up for ourselves and those around us. As I like to say: "well-fucked women will change the world!"

If the concept of sexual sovereignty is something you want in your personal life, I invite you to join the next round of Pleasure-based Sex Ed for Women: How to Have Sex for Our Pleasure, a virtual women's group program that starts May 23rd. 10 women meeting for 10 weeks to claim our sexual sovereignty and sex for our pleasure. 
 
You can also contact me at irene@irenefehr.com or apply on the website.
Sovereignty of Spirit

Voice and music are some of the clearest ways to reveal sovereignty of soul, and it's a beautiful practice to free the spirit. This curated Spotify playlist has evoked so much inspiration, emotion and release as I've unfolded in creating this issue of The Moon Times.


 

Teachings
Some teachings related to self-sovereignty

READ:
LISTEN:
EXPLORE:

News

Updates from mosaiceye's community

Upcoming local events for our sovereignty:



How can we distill the commonly-used term "self-love" and how does it relate to our sexual energy and our creativity? How do we cultivate this energy to vibrate out positive change within ourselves and in the world?

Join Seher and I in NYC to explore self-love through our feminine sexual energy and reflect on how it manifests as creative force with Qi-Gong, a series of ancient Chinese moving meditations, and expressive arts via illustration and embodied expression.



 A jam is a creative, live gathering of musicians who together spontaneously create a new sound, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Like that, the Wellness and Healing Justice Jam is a place where diverse leaders and visionaries bring together their passions, openness, and unique perspectives in wellness and healing justice. In this 5-day retreat, we'll be exploring personal, interpersonal and systemic questions like:
  • How did I come to be a practitioner in this field? What does healing mean to me?
  • How do we work with and/or through existing institutions, especially if they don’t align with our values all the time?
  • How are we to be sustainable and valued in the field?
  • How do we collaborate and create flexible co-learning communities as healers/practitioners across mediums, modalities, and issue focuses?
  • How do we create an enduring support network of people using their healing passions for social change?
  • How do we manage burnout and vicarious trauma -, individually, collectively, and intergenerationally?
  • How can we co-create different and visionary systems of care, locally and beyond?
Find more details here regarding application, tuition, facilitators and more. 
"At first, in most tales, the true self, is sometimes buried, forgotten, becomes lost, overshadowed-- perhaps by blind ambition; or too much good-girlness’; having been seduced into taking care of everyone minus self; or falling into know-it-allness that turns to a deadly form of daily failed perfectionism; or via not having a guide to a deeper way of life that teaches meaningful connections to self, others and one’s world that hold. In tales, we see all manner of such losses, sufferings, travails, agonistas, challenges, seeming dead ends… 

Yet in most tales, the wild self, most ever holding a fine and great heart like a torch afire, finds her way back to her true and wild homeplace, the motherground of her greatest strength, greatest creativity, greatest visionary way of life."
Thank you for subscribing to The Moon Times.

I'd love to hear from you.
Any comments, questions, additions or feedback?
Email me <3 chetna@mosaiceyeunfolding.com


Stay tuned after the next full moon on April 29th for
The Moon Times - Issue 7
Copyright © 2017 mosaiceye, all rights reserved.






This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
mosaiceye · Ashby Ave · Berkeley, Ca 94705 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp