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Ecstatic Ovulation Awareness

I was asked to write a “spunky & sassy article about ovulation” for a French student midwifery journal.  Here’s what I delivered:

Ecstatic Ovulation Awareness

I was 20 years old when I first experienced Ecstatic Ovulation Awareness. For over a month I took daily notes of the movement and softness of my cervix and the properties of my cervical secretions. Every morning I took my temperature and entered the data on a line graph I drew in my boyfriend’s gridded notebook. He affectionately called me his “little scientist” and marveled that none of his other lovers had ever had the incredibly practical yet radical skill of knowing when they were fertile.

Late one night, after a month of daily tracking, I felt an immense rush of energy while riding my bike down a tree-lined avenue with my boyfriend and some friends.  

The moon was full.

 

“I’m OVULATING!!!” I shouted.

 

I felt electric and alive.

 

I felt pleasure and power.

Read more →

Mother Earth Embodied

I wrote the following post as a guest blogger for Mother Earth News this month:

 

 

While we live our bodies are moving particles of the earth, joined inextricably both to the soil and to the bodies of other living creatures. It is hardly surprising, then, that there should be some profound resemblances between our treatment of our bodies and our treatment of the earth” ~ Wendell Berry

There is immense power in the integrity of my fertility whether or not I desire to create a baby. Being aware of the nuanced phases of my fertility not only helps me avoid,or achieve, conception, it connects me to the rhythmic nature of divine creative energy and the opportunity to thrive in harmony with it.

I experience and respect my cycle as a micro of the macrocosm of all creation.

I know myself to be Mother Earth embodied. The forces of nature whisper Pablo Neruda’s poetry to my ovaries:

“I want to do with you what spring does to the cherry trees.”

Read more →

DIY Ritual

Ritual is something that creates separation from daily life,

sacred space,

connects with

&

honors Spirit.

The physical tangibility

&

clarity of  intention

inherent to ritual & ceremony can benefit us in many phases of our sexual health.  First menarche, childbirth, abortion, miscarriage, menopause, celebration, & grieving are all occasions for ritual throughout history & in traditional cultures.

Through creating our own rituals we embrace traditions imbued with personal meaning & choice.

The personal meaning is of utmost importance.  Ritual does not have to follow a formula.  The following is simply an outline full of suggestions to inspire or guide you in creating a meaningful DIY ritual. Themes in this guide are commonly used throughout history & presently in Reclaiming Traditions as well as many earth based lineages.

Consult your intuition.

Read more →

The Self Evident Cervix

People like to post vagina themed things on my facebook page.

They mean well, but unwittingly these posts often provoke a tirade of dissent from me. What can I say?  I have very strong feelings about vagina themed things. One of these strong feelings is the desire for us to collectively learn what exactly anatomically a vagina is, & is not.

It appears that most people don’t know the difference between a vulva & a vagina.

They are in fact, distinctly different parts of our anatomy. One is readily visible from the outside, & one is decidedly not.

Even body-positive activists who are trying to educate & empower the public are confused about this difference. Here are two prime examples:

1.) This video of women looking at their vulvas for the first time was shared with me more than once by folks who hoped it would make me happy because it seems to promote women’s self knowledge.  While it’s spectacular that the women in the video are overcoming feelings of insecurity & apprehension about their bodies this video doesn’t make me happy.

It makes me angry. Read more →

“A pregnancy is a pregnancy is a pregnancy, & you fucking deserve to be supported”

The title of this post is a quote from a client, colleague, & inspiration of mine, therapist Gillian Callaghan.

She’s describing full spectrum doula care during her interview on the podcast “Mental Illness Happy Hour”. The interview includes discussion of her own miscarriage experience, the value of full spectrum doula care, as well as details of how the healing that came about through our relationship unfolded. There is mention of an abortion she had years prior to her miscarriage as well.  Gillian speaks brilliantly to the fact that our authentic emotional experiences are valid & valuable regardless of how a pregnancy ends, through empowered choice or tragedy,

“…you fucking deserve to be supported.”

I adore this courageous redhead, & am so blessed to have connected with her.

In an interview of my own just a few weeks later on KBOO’s “Bread & Roses” I got to give voice to this radical notion that Read more →

Placenta Love

I just had to tell you….

I love placenta preparation.  placenta love

 

 

Each organ I have handled is a universe of beauty & wonder.

 

Of all the diverse services that I offer to nurture & empower women…

I love how literally & essentially placenta preparation service embodies my mission to give women’s bodies back to themselves as medicine.

I love serving women who recognize the healing power of what their bodies create.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Slippery When Wet at Reed College

Before this afternoon, the last time I was on the campus of Reed College was six years ago. I was invited there to enjoy the grand spectacle of Renn Fayre with two alumni, literary lasses Daphne Stanford & Leah Hieber. I was told costumes are encouraged at Renn Fayre so I dressed Daphne up, & enjoyed a layering of multiple tutus myself.  Here’s a picture of me & some mayo from a cart on the sidewalk on Reed’s campus.  One side of the sign said “FREE” & the other “LUBE”.  The bottom sign says “STAY MOIST”: Read more →

Thank you, mama

The other night I sat down to write my blog post discussing “The Womb as a Spirit Door: A Healing Workshop & Ritual for Miscarriage & Abortion”, & uncovered an even deeper story than I had expected.

I was contemplating the ways & the years that I have been sending my voice & love out into the epic void of healing around pregnancy loss & termination. How long have I been wanting to participate in or create something like this upcoming gathering?

O so many years.

Looking back at the road that has led me here, I first see a series of my own actions.  I delight in the memory of my badass initiation into reproductive justice activism: lobbying with the Idaho legislature as a junior high school student on a parental consent bill. Read more →

The Womb as Spirit Door: A Healing Workshop & Ritual for Miscarriage & Abortion

Miscarriage & abortion are universal sexual passages. 1 out of 3 women will have an abortion, & nearly 1 out of 4 pregnancies end in miscarriage. These experiences need respect, community, support, & dialogue.  Access to care in these experiences is a basic human right & needs to be viewed as an integral part of healthcare for women as individuals & society as a whole.

When I say “care” I don’t just mean for the body through clinical means.

The body is a temple for divine creative energy.

The body is a temple for divine creative energy, & the womb is a spirit door.

Read more →

RESTRICTED AREA: ALL PERSONS MUST HAVE PERMISSION FROM AREA SUPERVISOR

I was sitting in my birth doula client’s living room & discussing the mother’s preferences regarding cervical checks during labor.  I asked her about her experiences with previous exams, both during the pregnancy & prior. “Have your exams generally been consensual positive experiences?” I asked.  “Wow.  Nobody has ever asked me that before.” she said.  “I guess not.”

I stated my philosophy that “No Thing & No One Should Enter the Vagina or Womb Without Informed Consent.” The father furrowed his brow, shook his head, & said, “Shouldn’t that go without saying?”  His wife & I replied in chorus, “Yes, but it’s not the way it is.”


Why isn’t that the way it is?  images

Why do I have to say it (& devote my career to it)?

How do we create a world where it goes without saying? Read more →