Monday, June 14, 2010

What do I do besides run?

So Friday, I got together a bunch of my friends, and we did a Blessingway ceremony. What is a Blessingway? It is really a stolen Navajo tradition of the major diety, Changing Woman, who represents change and the ceremony is done to honor a families new hogan, a mother as she prepares for birth, or other major life changing events.

However, to not disrespect a culture that I do not have permission to practice their ceremonies, I will say that in the midwife tradition, a Blessingway is done to honor women. Many times we do it for new mothers, but in my little circle of friends we started doing it a few years ago and every once in a while revisit the ceremony to honor ourselves as woman, and the work that we do in promoting social justice and change. It actually started on my 30th birthday, when I held a burning for my eating disordered clothing and persona. After the burning, I held a Blessingway to honor the changing woman in myself and my friends.

So when my friend Becky opened her new birth center last month, Cheryl and I got the ball rolling for our new program, and various other friends of mine whom I saw as being in the role of Changing Woman at this time all came to my attention, I decided it was time for another Blessingway. It was good timing too. I had spent the week at a summer institute class on systems of sexual abuse. A very good class, that presented a balance look at offender and victim treatment, but also somewhat of a triggering class, that left me angry a couple of days, and I will admit struggling a bit with my own distorted thoughts. But I got through it. I was pissed on the way home Friday, the stupid downpour of rain combined with traffic made me late to get back to Utah county to pick up my friends who were coming up with me.

Cheryl, my friend Kat, and my new apprentice, Kendra, plus Kendra's 7 year old, Raven, and myself, all piled into my car, and we drove up to the birth center to meet Becky, Adriana, Marcie, and Marcie's daughter. We told our usual hilarious, and somewhat grusome birth stories, had some good laughs, and then had a good ceremony that I had written the day before while trying to tune out some of the stories that a therapist was telling of different offenders accounts. I have heard worse stories, but lets face it, abuse is just not fun to listen to , and I will listen to it if it is people i am working with, but I don't need to keep random stories in my head of bad things I don't need to hear more often then I already do.

We started by smudging the whole birthcenter with some white sage I had bought at the Native American Trading Post in West Valley the day before. Then we stated our intentions as we little red candles around the room. After stating and supporting our intentions we closed the circle, and then we wrote down what we wished to release in our lives and put the paper in the burning bowl. After that we bound our wrists with a red cord to honor our sisterhood, and remember to take our bond and empower other women through our work in our lives, and then we all shared beads we had brought to represent ourselves. We cut the cord, which then became the string to make bracelets with our shared beads, and went out and burned the contents of the burning bowl, which was actually a turtle shell because Becky's bowl had broken.

After the ceremony we had a feast, and talked and laughed and decorated ourselves with henna. The common theme I kept hearing was that we are all a few misfits who don't fit into the Utah culture, and it seemed that everyone really needed that community connection of unconditional acceptance and openmindedness to hear different beliefs and points of view in the world. I think it was a healing night for everyone, and I feel like it was great timing for me. I needed that connection.

I went outside to collect my turtle shell I had left out to cool down, and caught a guy throwing it in a trash can. I politely asked him why the hell he was moving my turtle shell, to which he replied he thought it was trash. I found out he was the building manager and he gave me a line about any fire at all being against building code, and a bunch of crap. (Like burning scraps of paper, in a turtle shell, in a downpour, on concrete is going to burn down a building? And what was he doing there at 10pm on a Friday?)

At any rate, I rescued my turtle shell, and we had a great night, and I was happy to connect with some friends I hadn't seen in a while who share common views in life, and to introduce some people to each other who had never met. It is great to have things like this to connect with other women, and what a great way to welcome the new center and wish success on it, and for the metaphor it offers to Changing life, and Changing Woman! We could all use a little Changing Woman.

I have had a lot of things going on, including having to change my practicum for next year, and now I am probably looking at holding all of our meetings for our new treatment groups in Salt Lake, which I am fine with. More the reason to give me hope that after graduation, I might have a reason to move outside of Utah County! I really would rather live in Salt Lake County.

I did a random thing last week, and decided I need to reign in my thoughts and anxiety issues, and connected with a therapist I haven't seen in like 14 years. I really am pretty much a stable person, but feel like i have to maintain my anxiety level, and having an outside person that I am doing nothing else with professionally, would be helpful. I specifically decided to start working with her again because I don't want to work with someone that has anything to do with EDs, I want to only work on meditative and mindfullness things that I know how to do, but it is easier to do when I am accountable to someone. So we will see how this goes. It is kind of a strange feeling actually, I was a way different person at 17-19 years of age. But I guess we will see how it goes. I am really pretty stable in life, but I have to keep my anxiety in check, or my thoughts get out of control.

Now I am off for the summer, and waiting on 2 more June babies, and then I am going to do a desert hike in July, pace/crew at Badwater, and get ready for some fall races. Wasatch 100, getting closer all the time!

Goodnight, I am turning into a pumpkin.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you were able to spend time with your friends and reconnect. That is so important!