PUSHING YOUR MAN TO BE WHO YOU WANT HIM TO BE WON’T CHANGE WHO HE IS


Originally posted on GinaCology Blog:

Ok, so this is a LONG one.  You may want to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee, or maybe a glass of wine or, my favorite, a shot of top-shelf tequila.  Ready?

How often, ladies,  do you end up looking at the man that you are in a relationship with or married to and thinking that you wish he could be a certain way, or that he would do something that you’ve always longed for him to do or the big one,  things he used to do?   I was reflecting on something in a conversation I was having with a friend of mine about the reality that as women, in our current modern world, we have a tendency at the beginning of our relationship to try to lead the man that we are getting involved with and who we are attracted to in the direction that we…

View original 2,349 more words

How Much Self-Sabotaging Do You Do Through People Pleasing?


Originally posted on GinaCology Blog:

GINALAUGHING MYRA_MG_7949

People pleasing, we all do it. Mostly women in my experience, but men do as well, mostly in the area of their relationships.  The “yes dear” syndrome Every time you are dishonest in order to appease someone else or avoid dealing with an issue, what is the real cost to your soul?

What price do you pay to take the road well-paved and most traveled, instead of the one with very few footprints or maybe a few breadcrumbs, or better still, the one that you must forge completely on your own?

In this video I share my thoughts on this subject.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO

With Love & Blessings,

Gina Cloud

View original

Game of Thrones and Those Masculine Men


the-kingsroad-1024I’m not a big TV watcher, but my daughter has gotten me hooked on Game of Thrones. Until three weeks ago, I had never seen an episode, and now I’m all caught up and eagerly awaiting the Sunday night return for season 4.  So I had to ask myself what in the world is it about this show that’s just got a hold of me and won’t let go.  I mean, it’s brutally violent.  Back in those days, you literally lived and died by the sword and heads are graphically chopped off and severed and people, including women and children, are run through and beheaded as well.  It’s REALLY gory.   But it dawned on me just today what it is about the show that has captured me and IT’S THOSE MEN!

The men are so damned masculine.  That word gets thrown about a lot and it’s very of the moment for both men and women to describe and define it, and I suppose like beauty, masculinity is in the eye of the beholder.  Yet I do find a VERY consistent agreement among us women about this and any woman I’ve talked to who watches Game of Thrones agrees these men are an all-but-dead breed in terms of their character. If you are one of those men who is reading this, please invite other men to join you.

Now let me say first, there are many, many layers to this show and these men, and there are elements that are very disturbing, particularly the “right to rape” by the more brutal and savage men on the show, but for the purposes of this post, I’m only focusing on the masculine element of the men who are of an honorable ilk.

These men are strong, literally physically.  Wielding a sword and riding on horseback and walking everywhere makes the body strong and so muscular.  oooh-la-la.  A man’s musculature is just a sexy thing.  Period.  I know men have equivalent analogies about women’s bodies, but ladies, you KNOW what I’m saying!  They have to effort, and strive, and they bond with each other.  Their HONOR and their WORD, and KEEPING it, literally define them as men.  And that piece for me, is so seductive.

Often over the years in my coaching work with men and in their emails to me, the dominant question to me is: “How do I connect with women?”  And my answer to all of them, regardless of their situation is distilled into one basic concept:  Be who you are, true to yourself first.  Don’t change to accommodate her if it causes you to go against who you are, have something you stand for and never give that up.  Have integrity and honor.  Have a community of men that you never abandon, and live by your word.  A man like that will have women all around him. But more importantly, he will have men all around him.

The characters on the show have all of those qualities I realized.  And not all of them are good-looking (for those of you saying, “but those guys are hot, because they’re actors”.)  There’s a dwarf, who is sexy as hell because he’s powerful in his presence.  There’s a fat boy who calls himself a coward but when the opportunity to defend a woman and her child arose, he found it within him.  In fact, there’s as large a band of uglies on the show as there are hotties

So as I pondered why I’d fallen into Thrones and can’t get out, I realized that those kind of men are very rare these days.  Speaking not only for myself, as I know other women feel the same, I long to see the return of that kind of man.  When I watch the show, it’s a turn on to watch them, even if it’s on a screen.  And the turn on is from the inside out; mental, physical, spiritual.  It’s DEEP.  These men are willing to fight for their causes and their beliefs and their loves and their families and their kingdoms.  We may not have kingdoms anymore, but we do have all the rest.

Many men would argue that they’re not appreciated when they try to lead or take charge, that many women find that to be controlling.  And there are men that are controlling and women who are equally as controlling.  I wrote a blog about the masculine and feminine energies of leading and following in Tango, and it is that type of energy I’m speaking of here. (read it HERE) 

For men though I think it’s much deeper than just an ability to take control or lead in a way that makes women swoon.  And trust me ALL women  swoon in the presence of a certain kind of man.(and there are MANY variations of this man, not one model).   I think that men, from boyhood, no longer have male models that teach them honor, integrity and the value of their word.  It’s a lost way of life for the most part and I for one would love to see it revived.  I believe the loss of connection to men’s traditions (whatever they may be for where you are in the world) and that missing brotherhood is a part of it.  I also believe that when men make so much of their lives about chasing and finding and capturing women, they innately lose themselves, and a man who has no connection to himself is unattractive to a woman of worth.  When you are self-centered you are magnetic, male or female.  Note that self-centered here means centered in yourself and not selfish, as it’s commonly used.  To be centered in who you are as a man, is THE MOST ATTRACTIVE quality you can possess.  It has nothing to do with your looks, your money, your breeding, the stuff you own.

Our culture is truly and outside-in one.  We think if we decorate the outside we can attract that man or woman.  But it’s just subterfuge which falls away quickly when there is no substance within to sustain it.  Men, you’ve been in the presence of men who you admire and wish to emulate.  You’ve been in the presence of men who are magnetic to women.  Think about the qualities those men had.  And please note I’m not talking about those men who have learned to manipulate women via psychology or “techniques” learned by gurus on how to get laid.  Those men are not worth a woman of worth’s time.

Another beautiful quality these men of honor have is the ability to bring forth the feminine in a woman. There’s a lot of sexuality on the show which is very different from what I’ve seen on other shows.  There’s a simplicity and rawness to desire that feels so natural.  The women are sexually comfortable and very feminine yet strong, too.  The time of the show was an era of great hardship and the women were VERY hardy and independent.  But the men are so potent and self-centered that the women, despite their own fierceness, surrender with pleasure. Literally!

There’s one character that was on the show that was an incredible embodiment of the wilder, fierce element of honorable men and he was my favorite.  There’s a wildness in my own soul that loves that kind of man,  But I also love the more refined version, too.  We have many shades as women.  More than 50 shades of grey.  :)  I realized as I felt stirred by his presence on screen that the stronger the wild force in a man, the deeper the heart has been in my own personal experience. And a man’s heart is the really juicy part.   I believe this is true of women, too.  That shade isn’t for the faint of heart and it’s not everyone’s flavor.  But it’s my favorite.

So ponder, men, what masculine is to you.   And ladies, if you love this kind of man, you can inspire him to bring these qualities forth.  It’s in all men, closer to the surface in some than others.  And while a woman can evoke some of this from a man, it has to live within him for himself first.    Some of us are waiting, watching and hoping…and in the meantime, I’ll get my fix from Game of Thrones.

Game-of-Thrones-Khal-Drogo-HD-Wallpaper

Love & Blessings,

Gina

 

Why It Takes Two To Tango…


tango embrace beautiful   WHY IT TAKES TWO TO TANGO

We all know the expression, “It takes two to tango,” and we have probably all used it at some time.  I didn’t realize the profound meaning of this statement until I started to study tango in October 2013.  So in this post, I’d like to share the teachings I have been receiving about relationships through this art form.    Many of you know that I’m a dancer and believe that dance is an integral part of how we should live our lives as women.  It’s a sacred place for expression from our souls.  I’ve studied and danced many styles: ballet, jazz, tap, African, Brazilian, belly dancing, salsa.  But in tango, I was not prepared for the hold it would have on me and why.    All of us strive to understand and often struggle with relationships and the maddening and wonderful dynamics between men and women. Little did I know that tango would hit me between the eyes with some MAJOR relationship aha’s!!!  I’d like to share some with you here…

There are so many elements to tango, most of which I can’t cover in this post due to sheer volume, so I want to share what I’ve been learning from the two most fundamental aspects of tango:  the embrace and the connection.   The embrace is the way men and women hold each other in the dance.  It’s fraught with intensity, passion, promise, heartache, intimacy, sensuality.  Ahhhhhhhh, it’s just so good.   It’s the container for the connection.   And the connection is about FEELING your partner.  In fact when I dance tango, I cannot dance it with my eyes open.  They are always closed so that it becomes a moving meditation with the man guiding me, leading me and my trusting him.   Are you catching the relationships metaphors already?!

Additionally, the connection is through the heart, literally.  In the tango embrace, the man and the woman are connected at the chest, and the lower body actually does not touch in most aspects of the dance. The man leads the woman with his chest, right through the heart. Unlike salsa where you are literally sometimes being man handled as the salsa lead is through the hands.  As I am still in the early stages, so much is learned as you dance with your partner.   I have had a couple of breathtakingly beautiful male leads demonstrate to me with only one hand and just chest to chest what that feels like. And let me say that to be led by the male heart, as a woman, well need I say more? But what I am learning as a woman dancing tango is which man can you trust? I close my eyes and feel his heart, his arms around me, and the connection with the music.  It’s like the music and the man are my lover.  You can feel so much in the embrace, in the connection or lack thereof.   And the same is true of course for the man; they are looking for a woman that can surrender to their lead.  A woman who respects their power and who can feel him.

An interesting and unique aspect of the tango is that the woman is almost always moving backwards. She cannot see where she is going. It’s why tango clothes always have such sexy open backs.   Since we are walking backwards, trusting that man to lead is crucial. Especially because tango has a very unique set of protocols around how the couples move around the room. There is a pattern and a shape to it, and the men have to navigate that while deciding which improvisational moves to use in leading you.  I find it mesmerizing to close my eyes and to feel this man’s chest next to mine and to feel whether we are connected or not; to the music and to each other.  When we are, it is a spectacular and very present moment experience.  When we are not, you just can’t wait for it to be over, which is probably a lot like some of the relationships we’ve all experienced; we don’t feel connected so we just go through the motions, waiting for it to end.

I recently read an article on tango that was really fascinating. It spoke about the idea that when we hug anyone for 20 seconds or longer, this causes a release of oxytocin, the love chemical the feel-good chemical that our brains release. It’s also the post orgasm chemical as well. When you dance tango, it is done in what is called a tanda, a series of four songs hooked together, and the etiquette is that you dance with that person for the entire duration of the tanda. It is bad manners to step away in the middle of one.  Each song is approximately three minutes, so if you dance a tanda with someone, that is 12 minutes of a hug! That’s a lot of oxytocin and a lot of good energy. I recently went to a Milonga, which are the social gatherings where people go to dance tango, and danced about 14 tandas in one night. I was literally hungover the next day, in a good way.  Kind of the way you feel when you’ve been making love with someone that you are really into. It completely blew my mind!

There are also some other powerful relationship metaphors like interdependence. The woman has to lean pretty far forward into the man and at the same time, she has to keep her balance, not lean on him.  So tango teaches you not to be codependent!  If the balance is off and the woman is leaning ON the man instead of INTO him, she can lose her center (or herself in relationship speak)

Tango is 100% improvisational, and it’s not Dancing With the Stars ballroom dancing. This tango is social dancing, the way it was created and still done in the streets of Argentina.    So it’s real and gritty and raw and takes you so deep.  Just like  a real relationship.

Don’t get me wrong,  It is clearly not true intimacy, but it gives you an amazing platform to learn the tools because they are built so nicely into this amazing dance.   As one guy explained tango to me, he said, “This song is three minutes and in this song, for those three minutes, we are in love.”  He said, “you have to trust me to lead you.”

Ladies, I know how that makes your toes curl and your heart beat faster. But guys reading this, I’m sure that you would love the idea, the chance to feel that way in your own masculine energy, for a woman to submit to you and allow you to lead her wherever you choose.   You can see all the control freak women in the room, which is rampant in our society of course, with their eyes open and leading the guys. This is a powerful place to learn to surrender as a woman. I’m not saying you have to surrender to every guy you dance with, because trust me, some of them are not worth your trust, just as many men you encounter in your life are not deserving or trustable.  And guys, you can change pronouns here because certainly these things apply to you as well. But speaking as a woman, we must learn discernment about who we give our surrender to, under what circumstances and how far.  In the tango, when that man shows you that you can trust him to lead, it’s like you fall in love!

Some people may think that the way tango is set up is sexist.  As a woman who knows my own power and strength and is an advocate for equality, I find it so liberating to acknowledge that I want to be lead.  How many ladies reading this are embarrassed to admit this to themselves, let alone to allow it expresssion?  Surrender is a beautiful gift when done in the safety of trust.

As in life,  you also encounter in the tango room the guy who blames you when you can’t follow his lead. There is a major rule of thumb in tango, that if the woman doesn’t get it, it’s not her fault, it’s yours, the man. It’s your job. One of the most amazing guys I danced with yet said to me so beautifully, as I apologized for having missed something he was doing in his lead,  and he said “never apologize, if you don’t get it, it’s my fault and then it’s my job to meet you where you are!”  Wow! That just blew me away, because it all was relationship metaphor.

Ladies can you trust a man to lead you? Are you too busy trying to control and dominate everything around you, including the man in your life?. If you do that, he will never be able to be a real man in your life and he will seek that in a woman who is willing to provide that. Men, are you strong enough, clear enough and trustable enough for a woman to be willing to surrender in your embrace? Can you and do you lead with your heart instead of pushing her around, metaphorically or physically?

In tango also exists the expression “the two become one.”  When we embrace our partner, united at our hearts, feeling connected, interdependent, the surrender of the woman, the lead of the man is all there, and we merge with the music, we truly move as one. That is what we are all seeking in relationship. Yet we cannot receive what we are not willing to offer.  In this dance you can experience the microcosm of that perfect union we yearn for.

Tango is a fantastic place to learn about yourself in relationship to the opposite sex and in relationship to the energies of the masculine and feminine.   I find it to be an extraordinary place for me to fully unleash my feminine energy and to have it so well received by the men in the room that I perceive it to be food that nourishes them.  I have heard many of them express how masculine they feel in tango, where they are given permission to lead.

If you’re in a relationship, this is a great thing to do together.  It will deepen your trust in each other and reveal where you are lacking connection.   If you’re single, it is a great way to hone your feminine or masculine energy, to become  more self-aware and to learn to give and receive.  Ladies, learn to surrender to that trustable man, and men, become that trustable man so that she will melt in your embrace and let you lead her anywhere…

Now I KNOW that turns us all on, inside and out…

tango pic 3Love & blessings,

Gina

For The New Year…Let’s All Put Our Bleeping Devices Down and Connect With Each Other!


Dining in Tuscany with FriendsI’ve been MIA for a bit, as many of you know.  I try to “play the game” and use the social media to “grow my business,” or to “help people find me,” but truth be told, I despise our methods of “connecting” as they exist in our modern world.  I hit these walls and just unplug, frustrated at what I perceive as a lack of integrity in how we are living our lives.  And yes, that’s my perception and may not be yours, but this is my blog, so I’m sharing mine. :)  I see the beauty in what all this technology has to offer, but I also see the devastation it wields and that bothers my soul and my spirit.

I’m old enough to remember land lines, where we had to sit by the phone and just focus on the conversation.  Or answering machines that we checked once or twice a day and returned calls then. I remember making plans to see my friends and dedicating time to real time together, instead of the constant texting that replaces so much of that.   I can remember going to my computer and only accessing e-mails once a day as there weren’t portable devices like our iPhones and iPads and all the variations on that theme that turn us into Pavlovian dogs salivating as the various ring tones and alerts hit our ears,summoning us to look, touch, read, reply, surf, watch….all for what really?  We are missing our own lives spending so much time paying attention to others,or so busy preparing to share our personal moments with so many “friends” that the quality of those life moments is so diluted and one-dimensional that we are robbing ourselves of truly living our lives and having an organic experience of not only others, but of OURSELVES.  And isn’t it narcissistic to run around preparing to share our lives for others to view?   Doesn’t  that take away from our actual experience in the moment if we had it purely, with no one there watching? Wouldn’t it be based in a deeper, more personal experiential quality than the peeping Tom quality I find so prevalent in social sharing?

I was having a conversation with a good girlfriend of mine recently and expressing how differently I experience men these days with all our ADD, obsessive/compulsive technology seducing us constantly to look, touch, feel, peek.  It’s like a seductress, really.  I haven’t seen HER yet, but I have a feeling it may be a testament to what I’m experiencing in the world.  Men (and women, too, I bet men would agree) are preoccupied with their devices.  Hmmmmm.. dare I touch that?  Maybe later. LOL.  Men used to roam the world, the streets, buildings, restaurants, garages, parking lots, you name it, anywhere in our normal travels, looking at and for women.  There would be eye contact, a smile, flirting, and maybe a conversation and a phone number.  Organic.  We would know instantly if there’s chemistry or not.  Unlike these dating sites where everyone is tethered to the screen and their inbox, seeing who winked, tickled, poked, WHATEVER them.  Then you write back, have a phone chat, meet eventually and maybe there’s a connection.  How much time, by the time that moment arrives, have you already spent trying to figure out if there’s a good old-fashioned connection?  How many days, hours, weeks?  When we have an organic interaction as I just described, we know in a few minutes and it’s a lot more interesting and far less wasteful of our time!!

What is this obsession we have with CONSTANTLY needing to know what’s happening with our “friends,” most of whom we’ve never met, and having to check e-mails as soon as they ding your inbox?  And texting, this is perhaps the most out of control obsessive thing we do.  Am I saying I’m a paragon of virtue and NEVER do any of this?  Hell no!  In fact, I’m writing this because I realize that even with my constant awareness of and disdain for this way of life, it still sucks me in, too!  I work hard at keeping it at bay, which just goes to show what an addiction it can become.  I’ve turned off my alert tones for e-mails and have text tone alerts for important people like my daughter.  I stay off FaceBook, except when these blog posts happen, and if I feel I have something really meaningful to say.  I only reply to e-mails once a day.  The level of stress reduction that act alone has produced is mind-blowing and revelatory.

Imagine if we all had focus, on one thing at a time?  Imagine if you could walk down the street and not feel compelled to have your device in your hand, typing on it, talking on it, even listening to music on it.  Every time you get an alert, it distracts you from real life and pulls you into a virtual reality, which may be part of your real life on some level; an important e-mail or reply to someone important, but we don’t distinguish for the most part.  We just keep looking at it, touching it, playing with it, keeping it close to us.  Sounds like a romance doesn’t it?  The scary thing is there are a lot of people out there who consider themselves in relationships with people they virtually never see and only connect with via these gadgets.  Skypeing isn’t being with your friend or lover.  It’s a cheap imitation, and I for one love the real thing.  I like to look into the people in my life’s eyes (they are windows to the soul!), to hear them laugh and to see the expressions on their faces.  To kiss hello and goodbye, and to HUG!  There’s no replacing real life hugs!  I like to share a meal, to eat off their plate or have them eat off mine, to share a dish or tapas, and a bottle of wine or whatever we are drinking and to toast to something we care about.  I like going to movies together, traveling together, cooking together, and if it’s a romantic relationship, well, clearly, there’s nothing like the real thing!  We have access to anything and everything in this virtual world we’ve created –except each other in the flesh and blood and bone.

Back to the concept of focus.  Before all this instant gratification and obsession with everyone else’s lives, there was more personal success I believe, due to our ability to concentrate, commit and focus.  Being more than a bit of a conspiracy theorist, I believe that the “powers that be” that want to make sure that your power doesn’t become, lest you change the world, they love the idea of all this ADD and addiction to technology.  As long as we are distracted by all the vastness of what’s on the internet, we will never be able to concentrate and do something really meaningful with our lives.  Or, if we do, it will take so much longer to get around to it because the video of some girl or some guy or some animal doing something really stupid was so compelling that we had to watch it and also the next one that popped up on the page, until hours have gone by and what have you done to move your life in a direction that is meaningful TO YOU?  As long as you keep on choosing virtual “entertainment” over commitment to your dreams, your gifts, your vision, you will continue to have an undercurrent of dissatisfaction about your life, a sense of depression or lethargy and confusion about where you’re headed.  Entertainment and fun is CRUCIAL in life.  It’s just better had in the real world rather than the virtual one, in my humble opinion.

There is no escaping technology and I’m not saying we have to be all or nothing.  I am realizing that balance, as in all things, is the key.   In trying to live more balanced with the gifts of technology, can you choose to be more present in your real life, to notice the people you interact with, even in an elevator, or standing in line?  Can you choose to sit still and not pull your device out to check for anything new in the last 5 minutes since you last checked it?  Can you sit outside and listen to life going by and not have your headphones on constantly?  Can you take an honest inventory of how much time, hours wise, you spend daily on your devices doing utterly meaningless things?  And I would include in utterly meaningless checking your “friends” status updates and cruising their pictures. By “friends” I mean people you don’t know personally.  How is that moving your life forward?  That’s the one that will rock your world when you find that number.

Another not often spoken about aspect of all this technology overload is the burden it puts on our health.  I read a study more than two years ago that spoke about adrenal fatigue being rampant among young people especially, but most Americans in general.  Why?  because the actual process, neurologically of using your eyes on a screen constantly causes all kinds of biological processes, and one of them is being in a constant state of alertness on these devices causes our bodies to make more adrenaline, and because it’s constant, this causes a form of adrenal fatigue.  There’s the literature also about the electromagnetic frequencies (EMF’s) and what they are doing to our bodies as well, just having these devices close to our bodies.  Our nervous systems and brains are on overload via overstimulation through the eyes as never before in our history as human beings.    All of this, because we are technology addicts.

Ask yourself as we go into a new year, not to make any resolutions, as most people, myself included, don’t find them truly useful or effectual, but ask yourself what you’re going to commit to this next year.  Can you commit to putting down your device and visiting it occasionally throughout your day instead of constantly?  Can you examine how your life may have moved forward more if you’d had focus and commitment and attention and intention this past year?  And don’t beat yourself up.  It serves nothing.  Just choose something different as we enter a new year.  Choose real life.  Choose to pay attention to and be present for your dreams and visions, and allow technology to serve you in that, but don’t be a slave to it.  Don’t let it take your soul, your life, the hours in your day, and don’t let it keep you from knowing the joy of experiencing the real world and all the people in it.  Even the assholes.  :)

Happy New Year to each and every one of you and thank you for your support of me and my work.  If you feel moved to share my words, please do.  I hope they have inspired you in some way, big or small…

Much love and blessings in 2014,

Gina

A Reminder That Pain is Your Friend…


20130828-184236.jpg

It seems like everywhere I turn of late, I notice that we are all suffering and being challenged on many deep levels.  I wrote a blog post a year ago that felt so relevant, that I’m sharing it again with you.    http://ginacology.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/the-next-time-pain-knocks-on-your-door-invite-him-in-for-tea/

Trust your life, even when you feel you can’t.  I live my life as expressed in this post and I know from deeply personal experience that the only way out is through, and the way through will lead to you…It’s a doorway.  Don’t be afraid to walk through.

Love & blessings,

Gina

GinaCology Principle No. 4 – A Woman is Responsible for her OWNgasm (aka orgasm)


              My GinaCology Principle No. 4 is that a woman is responsible for her own orgasm.  As many of you know, I love playing with language and reshaping it to my own ideas and concepts, so I call an orgasm that comes from a woman who is connected to her sexuality authentically, an OWNgasm.   Your own orgasm.  I wll be referring to the mainstream definition of orgasm as simply orgasm.

As many of you know, GinaCology is about empowering women FROM THE INSIDE OUT.  There is no place in our lives that this is more true than in our sexuality.  In our current world, we are primarily doing sex from the outside in, making orgasm a goal, whereas OWNgasm is a whole body/mind/spirit experience that brings you to a state of heightened ecstasy via a moment-by-sensual moment of full awareness and connection to that divine temple know as a woman’s body.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH MY VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC.

And please share if you feel it would help another woman (or man!)

Also, if you’d like to see me do a series on female sexuality, let me know via the poll below this blog post.

Love & Blessings,

Gina Cloud

GinaCology Principle No. 3- Resources For Your Life


photo (5)

 

Life is filled with ups and downs.  It’s all a rhythm.  ESPECIALLY when you are a woman.    When we live consciously, we invariably hit pockets of what feel like pain or resistance, but they are merely growing pains.  While not the kind of physical pain that can immobilize you, these growing pains can feel just as debilitating.

What to do?  My GinaCology Principle No. 3 is for women to have a solid resource base for ALL aspects of your life: body, mind and spirit, and to know where and how to find the answers FOR YOU PERSONALLY, so that you can become all that you are meant to be…

CLICK HERE TO WATCH MY NEW VIDEO ON THIS TOPIC. 

And PLEASE SHARE!

Love & Blessings,

Gina Cloud

HOW MY BARE SHOULDERS KEPT ME OUT OF ITALY’S CHURCHES


.

20130901-172440.jpg
As I write this particular post, I am still in Rome, heading back to the U.S. soon. I find myself reflecting on the fact that each time I have attempted to enter a church here in Rome or Florence, or anywhere in Italy for that matter, my bare shoulders have been an issue. It’s still hot as hell here, so everyone is running around in tank tops and sleeveless attire. But the bare shoulders of a woman became a metaphor as I examined and refused to accommodate their request to cover them in order to enter the churches, including the Vatican.

Now first I need to say that I was raised very Catholic, with extremely Catholic parents. I went to Catholic schools all the way through high school, was baptized and had my First Holy Communion and my Confirmation. So I have a personal relationship with Catholicism and am willing to say that much of what I will say here is likely to offend those who embrace their religious faith.

I believe that because I was raised in an environment of religion, it is what led me to the spiritual path. Religion, in my view, is a form of mind control and manipulation of the masses by making us believe that our “redemption” is dependent upon us following the strictures of whatever religion we subscribe to. Spirituality, on the other hand, teaches us that God is within each and every one of us, and that we are each piece of God him or herself. Many that are faithful to their religion would already be offended that I would refer to an ambiGod, meaning either male or female. If that is the case, you may want to stop reading right now because I am likely to really piss you off.

Back to my bare shoulders. As I stood in the lines to enter some of what is absolutely the most beautiful and celebrated architecture on Earth, no question, I noticed that both men and women had bare shoulders. The problem that I had was that only the women were being asked to cover ourselves. And if you were in a tank top you could purchase for a mere €1.50, what I refer to with disdain as a shoulder tarp. On a matter of principle, I could not bring myself to do it. Had it been a request of both men and women I know that I would have.
The fact that this kind of Fear of the female form –which is ultimately what this comes down to, the fear of female sexuality– Is still promulgated in 2013, really does provoke my ire.

While I really wanted to see the architecture, Something innately within me could not condone, support or become part of this still repressive ideology that surrounds women and our bodies.

So what the hell is wrong with my bare shoulders? A woman’s shoulders literally shoulder great responsibility and burdens. How do my bare shoulders manage to be the reason that I cannot enter the church? Oh yes, and then there are my knees. You see your shoulders and your knees must be covered if you are a woman. The knees perhaps because moving up my thighs we get to that dark, forbidden seductive, and juicy place–the place that all life comes from. And we know what religion has done around a woman’s vagina. Yet the church doesn’t even recognize that in the sacred geometry that surrounds much of the art and architecture, the symbol, the very shape of the vagina is everywhere, the vesica piscis.

And my bare shoulders perhaps invoke the thoughts of moving downward towards the slope of my breasts. Those breasts nurture life, and are not just for sexual titillation (pun intended). Though we know that historically the repression of sexuality in the Catholic Church has led to much pedophilia and depravity.

I know that some people will think how could you pass up seeing the architecture and the art in the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel, all the beautiful churches along the way? And my response from a place of absolutely standing firmly on the principles I believe in, fight for, would die for, is that I cannot stand in a place that considers my body and its parts offensive or illicit. If men can enter with bare shoulders and shorts, why can’t I?
And when will we collectively recognize the temple that is a woman’s body as the most sacred of all that we have in human form? This is part of why I do the work that I do.

It felt so right to me to refuse to enter these places based on this rule. I know that many would retort with, “but it is a sign of respect.” How is it respectful? What do my shoulders have to do with my ability to worship God, to feel reverence and sacredness around me? These are rules and laws promulgated by those that repressed and persecuted women in ancient times, and I for one will be damned if I will participate in the continuation of that today!

Does that make me a heathen? In the eyes of many, yes. In my own eyes, it makes me a woman, proud to be one, and unwilling to participate in any form of repression of my gender, Be it ancient or modern, religious or colloquial.

So until that time arrives, I’ll just keep on shimmying my shoulders with all the reverence and sacredness that my feminine form invokes and offer that to god, goddess and the universe Everywhere that I go…

Much love from Rome,
Gina

Lose your mind… And you’ll find your heart


20130828-184020.jpg
. As I write this post, I am in Italy. I know you all haven’t seen any pictures of my vacation on Facebook, primarily because I do believe in having a private life in a world that has become a giant fishbowl for all to see, 24/7. I am in Florence as I write this, heading to Rome tomorrow. All of last week I was in a beautiful villa in the hills of Tuscany doing a women’s healing dance and drumming retreat hosted by my dear friend and brilliant performance artist, Alessandra Belloni. For the last 10 years she has tried to get me to attend this annual event, but it just never worked out until this year.

It was truly a magical experience, and a magical place, with amazing women and a couple of really good men acting as supportive pillars. My beautiful daughter went with me, though dance and drumming is not her thing. Clearly Tuscan food and Tuscany itself were. LOL.

As we were sitting out under the canopy of what felt like guardian trees, the place where we danced and drummed every day, we were having a discussion about many, many things, and Alessandra asked me to speak. The topic at the moment revolved around our sexuality as women and as I began to speak about it and expound on the letters In the word W.O.M.A.N. as redefined in my book, W.O.M.A.N.: A New Definition, I found myself saying the following in regards to our wildness: “when we lose our minds, we find our hearts.”

There are many times when I am sharing and speaking to a group that things come through me that I did not intend from my mind. They tend to be pearls of wisdom from somewhere that are channeled through me. This was one of them and it had an impact on many of the women, so much so that I decided to write about it.

Living as we do now as modern day women, we travel via the world of the rational mind, day in and day out almost 24/7. We think things through, rather then feel them through or intuit them, or allow them to move through us by being in stillness. Rather than having those eureka moments, we process and over process through our minds. As often I like to remind us all, this is the masculine way, The rational channel. And there is nothing wrong with it, however, as women, the heart is the place where we should start. In fact, in my opinion, the heart is where all human beings should start. The mind is meant to serve the heart.

As women, much of the wisdom that we would gain through the heart comes through our bodies and because we tend to discount and ignore all of our unique biological processes, particularly the menstrual cycle, we function as if we have no rhythm.

When we let go of the mind, throw it away, lock it up for a while, or for good even, a wonderful process happens. We begin to feel. We feel everything. We sense everything through all of our organs; our eyes, nose, fingertips, skin, taste, hearing. We access the wild creatures within us and the heart begins to commune with us in all of these ways. When we see something, it is no longer just a description of what the eyes are seeing, there is a feeling that goes with the visual picture, sometimes having nothing to do with what the eyes are actually seeing.

For instance, lying on the platform where we danced, looking up at those trees, my eyes saw trees, but my heart saw and felt the guardians. When we let go of the mind, the sensations, images, feelings that come to us come through the heart first and then our mind helps us to process them into some form of language. When you hear a child laughing, it’s not just a sound, it becomes music, the language of happiness, joy, playfulness, and it evokes something from within you.

In order to have these kinds of experiences; however, we have to slow down and we have to be willing to lead with feeling and not with thinking. Thinking as the inroad is a one dimensional portal. Feeling as the inroad is multidimensional and infinite.

Yes, the primary language of the heart is feeling. The primary language of the mind is words. I invite you to speak from your heart, which has quite a different frequency than when one is simply talking.

So ladies, remember that there is rhythm in your body, rhythm to life, rhythm all around us. Rhythm is the Cure. This was the name of the week long workshop, and it was rooted in an ancient Italian Goddess tradition known as the spider dance, or the Tarantalla. If you’re thinking that word looks like tarantula, bingo.

In this ritual dance, the women were said to be bitten by the spider and the venom would make each woman go crazy, ergo lose her mind, and free her of all of the emotional baggage that was causing pain in her life on all levels. In essence, losing her mind would heal her. We danced this ritual dance to shamanic drum rhythms that induce trance. It was quite beautiful and powerful to see each woman really surrender her mind, her body, to let go of all control, and liberate her heart and soul.

So if you can’t make it to southern Italy in August of next year, find a way to lose your mind somewhere along the way. If you’re worried about being able to find it again, leave a trail of breadcrumbs. But I don’t think you’ll miss it. The heart is infinitely more wise, less chaotic, more peaceful, and filled with a kind of beauty that only the heart knows.

Love and blessings,
Gina

20130828-184236.jpg

Previous Older Entries

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,158 other followers

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,158 other followers

%d bloggers like this: