A Solstice bath or maybe, try a little tree hug?

It’s that magical time of year when the day is long and the night short. The summer Solstice is the 21st June and we can do this bath in the few days before or after, in fact the full moon on the 23rd would be perfect too.

If you can’t have a bath then get out in to nature and hug a tree one evening this week. Its beautiful out there and we ALL have time to take a breath with nature, it doesn’t get dark until 10 at night and is light again at 4a.m You CAN find the time. If you can’t hug that tree then just a little lean on it, maybe brush your self down with a few oak leaves and feel the power of nature at this the centre of the year. Try it – you don’t even have to be a hippy!

A spiritual bath is any bath we do with intention, it could be as simple as lighting a few candles, using some essential oils and saying a prayer. Water has a profound ability to cleanse on many levels – not just the physical.

I learnt my bathing tradition from Maya healer Dr Rosita Arvigo, my teacher and mentor.

With her we were taught to pick our herbs and plants with a prayer that they would support us in our journeys, to give thanks to the plant and Mother earth for providing such beauty.

Right now in the gardens, hedgerow and municipal parks are roses, marigolds, lavender, ladies mantle, oak leaves, humble but perfect dandelions, plantain and so much more. Go out and find your plants, even simple herbs like rosemary or holy basil bought from the supermarket can do the job. Hum a little song, smile and chat to them and bring them home.

Place your plants in a large bucket or bowl of warm water and mash with your hands whilst praying to whoever you feel appropriate or asking for support from the universe. The water will turn a brackish colour and stop being quite as pretty.

If you can leave the water in the sun for a couple of hours then perfect but in my beautiful home in England this is not always possible.

When you are ready, take your bowl to the bath, top up with warm water if necessary, light a candle, burn some incense and meditate on what you would like at this mid point in the year.

KEEP IT SIMPLE. Not too many ‘if’s and ‘buts’ or caveats and clauses. The universe is indeed abundant but lets not clog it up with our own ‘deals’, ask out loud for what you want and let spirit take care of the details.

Start to pour the water over your self, starting with your head and feel the support of the plants and herbs. You could then soak in a nice warm bath, after, wrap up warm and stay out of drafts. Allow your self some time to rest and maybe write in that special book you’ve got hidden some where.

Do this for your self, a friend, your children, your loved ones. A spiritual bath is one done with love and summer is a great time for love.

Happy Solstice xxx

Playing the blame game

In response to the @everydaysexism campaign my mind went back to an incident a few years ago. I was well into my 40’s and at a wedding with my boyfriend when at the end of the night a ‘friend’ of his saw fit to shove his hand up my dress and grab my crotch.

My first feelings were paralysis, I slapped his hand and ran, unable to shout and immediately wanting to pretend it hadn’t happened. The same old questions – had I ‘asked’ for it, was it my fault? I was a 40 something year old woman but as unequipped to deal with the incident as I had been in my twenties.

I did share the experience with my boyfriend and he behaved as I should have, outraged, angry and dealt with the man in question. I received an apology but was too embarrassed to voice my feelings and just grateful that it was over.

Fast forward to today, I watched the Everyday sexism film and saw fit to send it to the man in question and tell him how I felt then and now about his assault.

His response was to deny it had ever happened; accuse me of being deluded and indeed for having behaved provocatively. In that split second once more I questioned myself. Had I flirted with him? Had I suggested I was open to his advances?

NO. Obviously the blame lies 100% with him but although educated, mature and a supporter of all other women and their rights I wavered, maybe it was my fault.

As a therapist and spiritual seeker we are taught to take responsibility for our own actions, not too blame, to surround the problem in ‘love and light’. ‘How do we invite events into our lives and what can we ‘learn’ from all our interventions both good and bad’

Well, IT WAS HIS FAULT!!!

Along side that, to the client that came to me feeling guilty that she had terminated pregnancies at 15 and 16, I’d like to say, it was the fault of the much older man that impregnated a minor and then did nothing to support her.

The stories are endless I do not need to list them here, the Everyday sexism campaign is doing a wonderful job of that but what I do want to say is sometimes the blame game is more than necessary.

If we as women are to heal from the harassment both major and minor that every one of us has suffered throughout our lives we need to know where to place the blame. The blame ALWAYS lies with the man who assaults us. We never ask for it or deserve it we do however, have chance for recourse. We can confront sexism wherever and whenever we see it.

We can stand up for ourselves and we can stand up for women around us when we see it. We can teach our sons, our men and our fathers that it is not harmless fun and it is not our fault.

To my boyfriend at the time who did the right thing and to all the wonderful men in my life who are far removed from blame, I am grateful.

But its time to play the blame game and point our fingers at the ones who need to be told, at the men who have no shame and the ones who should know better. It is their fault not ours and now is the time to come right out and say it. Maybe then we could get down to forgiveness and back into that love and light.

Follow @everydaysexism on twitter and if you haven’t seen it take a look at the short film

http://vimeo.com/67582923         http://ow.ly/lGyCP ,

Poor womb esteem and the baby quest

Do you suffer from poor womb esteem?

Ever felt like a failure because you can’t do something ‘simple’ like have a baby? That teenager with a pushchair, smoking a fag managed it and you with all your intelligence, organic lifestyle and acupuncture can’t even get a regular cycle together!

Another month, another period, another disappointment? What comes next? Loss of libido is often one of the first things to happen when trying for a baby becomes an all out strategic campaign and the healthiest of relationships can take a hammering.

Trying to put a brave face on it when yet another friend or colleague announces their pregnancy and a surfeit of well-meant advice may be making you want to do some quite nasty things. That obsessive merry-go-round of thoughts, hormones and appointments are likely to make the sanest woman a little deranged at times and childlessness can feel like the loneliest place on the planet.

In my clinic supporting women on their own particular fertility journey I often see a complete loss of trust in parts of the body, mostly their wombs. These ‘empty’ holes inside us, what do we really get taught about them and when we want to fill them with growing babies how does it feel when they let us down?

 I’d like you to think about a colleague or a friend – if every time you meet you criticise their size, shape or the quality of their work you are soon to create a pretty toxic relationship. The same goes for you. If after years of yet another period or worse a miscarriage you may not be feeling so positive about this remarkable organ housed in the belly of your body.

Learning to trust the innate wisdom of our wombs is the first step to healing the trauma that comes with this territory and understanding what a magnificent organ she really is. Whether you get to birth that baby or not you will be left with a womb when the story is done, you’d best make friends with her if you want to achieve any thing like a harmonious relationship.

She is doing the best she can, she is the repository of all our female wisdom, the throne of creativity, if you’re not creating a baby what else can you do with that energy? A failing womb can bring a whole heap of pain, what would you do if this was a friend? You might wrap her up in fluffy blankets, mummer words of encouragement and support, run her a bath, even take her out and get her drunk whilst she weeps into the vino and pushes chocolate mousse round her bowl.

Our work teaches you how to care for your womb, to love her and nurture her just as you want to love and care for a baby. When we start with our selves we send a powerful message to our body that we will support it no matter what the out come. As parents we would love our children through thick and thin and it’s important to do the same for our selves.

As part of the treatment you get taught a self-care massage which not only may help the womb to optimum health but will also keep that positive relationship between you and your womb. Just by putting your hands on your womb and sending love can be the first step of the healing process for many women.

Take the time to love your self and you may not feel less disappointed next time you see that period but you may be able to wrap your self up in that fluffy blanket and take care of your self a little better.

How do you really feel about your womb and do you need to give her a little boost? Healthy womb esteem is good for you, good for making babies and good for all those around you, take the time right now to tell her you love her, give her a rub and send a smile down there. I know, yet another bit of annoying advice but what have you got to lose? Its easier than doing hand stands after sex…

To learn more abut your womb or to receive a treatment drop me a line hilarylewin@gmail.com and I can help you find your nearest practitioner.

www.arvigotherapy.com