Thursday, 10 January 2013

Finding The Feminine


There are malignant forces that claw and trap and rebel. Forces that disturb a primary necessity to flourish and protect and flow.

I am sat in the rotting boughs of an old sycamore tree in the back garden of my family home. The branches bend like the brittle arms of old men, imprisoning me in a cell of flaking bark. I wrestle, kicking myself free from the strangle hold of taut wooden knots. Outside, nature wages tyrannical war on the people. Many fall into a waking sleep, aligned with the dark side, united by a physical mark on the right wrist - a black, etched symbol of a sagging web that faintly resembles a shuttle cock resting on its side.

Over the fence, there are a handful of chosen women - a small army of Macbeth witches, of which I am one - our quest to unite and liberate the earth from this unnatural invasion. I am able to fly possessing a strength that enables me to save an untouched rabble who hold onto each others limbs as I head our misfit squadron through claret soaked skies. When we land some are seduced, physically taken and branded by the zombie army. A wise woman instructs on the whereabouts of the last remaining openings unsullied by the enveloping darkness - these are sacred pit stops hidden beneath the soil and clay where I must refuel, bathing in restorative golden energy, before joining the other witches in a final bid to rescue the planet.....

And this, would you believe it, was a vivid dream I had two days before the New Year, a culmination of days and days of sleeping and resting and sleeping and eating. The fact that I was also reading Caitlin Moran's HOW TO BE A WOMAN may have filtered into my unconscious, influencing the nocturnal landscape. But this dream has set the tone for this year.... and my personal quest is a search for, nay recovery, of the feminine. Two years after battling with birth trauma, I still haven't become fully re-acquainted with my physical self, a large part of my psyche remains floating in thought. With the sharp force of a revolutionary guillotine, Little A's birth severed any meaningful connection between my mind and body.

So 2013 is the year of the feminine.

But what do I mean by that? Well for one, ripping up the to-do lists, letting myself off the hook, being more in-the-moment, resisting the urge to put myself through the mincer of achievement, allowing vulnerability a voice, treating my still-in-shock body with a lot more reverence - which can only mean plenty of bubble infused baths; I think I'll save the downward dogs and detox for a later date.  

I really want this year to be as ungoaled as it can be, although I do have two aims up my sleeve which are an extension of 2013's big theme...

THE NOVEL. I would really love to complete a first draft of my adventure into lengthy fiction this year but if this doesn't happen, so be it. Life should be about contentment not pressure. FOUR GIGS - that's the novel - will swim in the dynamics of female relationships and sexuality. Anyway, as writing it will surely be a fascinating process, I've begun a new blog, FOUR GIGS, to track my progress - I felt I needed a separate space, one where I can really vent my frustrations - I don't really swear on this blog - I need a place for expressing a lexicon of words like gosh, crumbs, oh bother, drat and double drat!

BREATHING. Yes, that simple act of inhaling and exhaling. Re-learning to breathe properly is a sure fire way to fully inhabiting my limbs again, and effectively managing in-the-red stress levels - I am moving this year after all. I have always been by default a shallow breather - made worse by Little A's birth - plus I'm mildly asthmatic, so becoming very aware of my breath should help lay a solid foundation for building the rest of my well being on. In fact, it was Older Single Mum's fabulous new blog The Healer which gave me the nudge, the impetus to befriend oxygen again.

Let 2013 be lazy and full of cake!

Interpretations on my dream are most welcome....  

28 comments:

  1. I got HOW TO BE A WOMAN from Father Christmas and am now wondering if it's going to give me strange dreams...

    Like your philosophy for 2013 OM. I'm all for ungoaling and not applying too much pressure to oneself - especially if it is accompanied by lots of cake :0)

    I'm really looking forward to following your writing journey. Good luck with it. x

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    1. I'm sure it won't give you weird dreams! It's a good read though, and well written, and funny. Pressure is no good which is why this year is all about kicking back a lot more and cake! Thank you for your good wishes! X.

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  2. Crikey, that's some dream! Was the tree your safe place?
    I like the idea of embracing the feminine. Will have to check out your new site too!

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    1. You're not kidding! The tree actually wasn't very nice in this dream - and I seemed to be running away from a lot - best bit was the sacred pit stops. And thank you for looking at my new blog!

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  3. Beautifully written as usual! I for one will read your first novel! Keep it up!

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    1. Thank you - glad to see you back !!!

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  4. Wow, that was a bit of an involved dream! No wonder it's stayed with you. I love your approach to the new year, I think there is way too much hectoring of ourselves at this time of the year so it's good to hear about more gentle approaches, especially those involving cake, of which I am also a big fan. Will have a look at the new blog over the weekend, it sounds very exciting and a great new project. Looking forward to seeing how it develops. Ooh, and love your candle picture. I'm a big fan of the shadows that candles cast. Polly x

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    1. You're not kidding! Yes - I have enough on my plate at the moment - and that must involve cake :o). I have to say, I am excited too - still tuning some fine detail before I crack on. Candles are lovely and peaceful. X.

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  5. wow what a dream. Incredible x

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    1. Thank you - it was very intense! X.

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  6. Two FANTASTIC new year aims!

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  7. Happy New Year! Belated, sorry. Good luck with Four Gigs. Can we expect some Older Mum uncut on the new blog. Looking forward to it. xxx

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    1. No worries, and to you too my dear! Thank you - yes, Older Mum after the watershed. Happy New Year to you too! X.

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  8. Wowee! At the start of this post, I thought you'd gone all new-age and bohemian on us! Sounds like a very good and worthwhile set of 'goals' of 2013. Loving the sound of your new novel and fb page (have 'liked' btw). Looking forward to hearing on progress. PS Pilates is great for helping with the breathing, can't recommend highly enough.

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    1. Ha ha ha ha ..... Yes, want to keep it simple this year. Thank you for liking the fb page! I know I need to get back to exercise.... time, time, time - there just isn't enough!

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  9. Awesome start to the post, though I did wonder if you had gone a little beyond my realms of comprehension - they are increasingly limited it feels!! I read Older Single Mum's fab post too, breathing really is a big key to keeping stress levels down and literally giving yourself time to, well, breathe. Like you I am a naturally shallow breather, increasingly so when I am stressed. I have to catch myself at it and make sure I breathe. I'd also add I finally managed to do 25 mins of yoga this morning, just some simple poses, but with a focus on deep breathing throughout and I felt so much better after I had done it. Yoga at home doesn't have to be much more than lying in Shivasana and focusing on your breathing if that's what you need, save the human origami for another time! xx

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    1. Oh no - sorry to have confused you!!!!!! :o(. Yes, my breathing gets worse when I am stressed - maybe - as you suggest - balance is the order of the day - I don't have to do hour long yoga sessions - but a half hour set of poses could be really beneficial. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and good suggestions! X.

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  10. I was griped by your dream but did wonder where we were going to end up. Very relieved that we have culminated in a year of writing and breathing with the odd bubble bath thrown in.
    One of my own mantras is "be kind to yourself". I find it is important to read yourself, understand what you need and to give yourself the freedom to make those choices. This means not wrapping yourself in expectations and standards to live by. It does not mean that you don't achieve because by being good to yourself you will create more opportunity for yourself and strength in yourself. You go girl and allow yourself to be.x


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    1. Thank you for that lovely, thoughtful comment. And you are so very right - that by being good to yourself, opens up far more opportunity.... gonna have a nice lazy Sunday today. X.

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  11. I got her book Moranthology in my goodie bag at Mumsnet Blogfest. In the post event excitement I read the first 3 chapters but have not picked it up since. This is a great reminder to do so, followed by reading her other book.

    I wonder if it will have as deep an effect on me as you.

    Wow the beginning of this post made me think I had stumbled into the belly of a book, not a blog. You write VERY well - you definitely have a book inside you.

    No surprise you want to get feminine - THIS is the year for exactly that. 13 is the most feminine number there is and we are in the year of the 13, so go with the flow and see where it takes you.

    Lots of love,
    Liska xx

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    1. I can highly recommend How To be A Woman - it's a very good read. Thank you for your vote of confidence :o). How interesting about the number 13!!! Thank you lovely lady. X.

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  12. I've come to this late - unusually for me - but better late than never. Your dream is v spooky - like you're really being held back. I had no idea you had linked to my new blog, thank you so much. Breathing is such a potent force - glad it is helping you. And I agree with the other comment. You're going to be a new woman, but still you. Perhaps more you? XX

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    1. Very interesting interpretation of the dream - that resonates with me. I like the idea of being a more-put-back-together woman - and A LOT more me :0) X.

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  13. What a dream!
    Good luck with the novel AND the breathing...
    Personally, I have a very good feeling about 2013! :) xx

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    1. Thank you! Glad you have a good feeling about 2013. Thanks for the reminder on breathing X.

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  14. A search for the feminine, I love it. It's my continual quest too. I also struggle with it as I play mum and dad. I've put my foot down on the fishing request from my daughter. I can surf and fix something with wood glue but I can't do fishing. Breathe, and voice - two vital areas that are neglected in the realms of healing. May you celebrate both xx

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    1. Thank you! You can surf? Impressed - I could never get to grips with balancing on the board. And so, so true about breathe and voice. X.

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