. 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.