Arts, Activism, Awakening in Mind, Body, & Spirit

guided visualization

Health: The Human Energy Field, by Valerie V. Hunt, Ph.D.


Chakra-aura-orgasm-energy-systemThe Human Energy Field: An Interview with Valerie V. Hunt, Ph.D. via The Human Energy Field: An Interview with Valerie V. Hunt, Ph.D.

When the pattern of the electromagnetism is disturbed in the body, you will get disease and malfunction. And this electromagnetic pattern can be disturbed in a number of ways: genetically, due to the nature of the tissue, although I don’t think that’s a major factor; experientially, due to lifestyle patterns; or emotionally, which I think is the primary factor. What happens is there is a disturbance that occurs in the electromagnetism of the tissue, which will eventually alter the chemistry. And actually this goes clear to the DNA. I predict we will learn before long that the DNA is reprogrammed by the emotional organization of the energy field. I am not saying this simply. I have had experiences here.

What you are saying, then, is that the primary cause of all disease occurs first and foremost in the field. Correct?

Absolutely. Many people are coming to that conclusion theoretically. I’m coming to it through my research.

Conversely, then, for healing to truly occur, it has to occur in the field, as well.

All healing that takes place in alternative medicine is electromagnetic. Whether it’s the laying on of hands, Tai Chi, meditation — everything that takes place, even the thought process, or the person’s intent or spiritual state, changes the electromagnetic field and changes it almost instantaneously. Now if it stays changed and improved, the body heals itself, and the chemistry reorganizes. This biochemical reorganization is the effect that medicine is working upon. Medicine has never, ever cured anything. The body cures itself. Sometimes, in emergency situations, we need the offset of biochemistry, but not as a cure of disease. It never has cured disease, and it never will cure disease. Only if the field changes will there be a true cure.

Read more: The Human Energy Field: An Interview with Valerie V. Hunt, Ph.D.


Mind, Body, Spirit: Breathing ~ the Importance of Being Inspired Repeatedly


phoenix-gold-fire-blaze1I can think of no better place to begin discussing Mind, Body, and Spirit topics than with breathing.  Considering that the act of breathing is something most of us take for granted, the role of breathwork and mindful breathing can be truly transformative to your mind, your body, and your spirit.

The process of breathing is a complex coordinated effort that involves the whole torso, not just the lungs.  If you follow a yogic or body awareness path, then breathing can be a full-body sport.  As a voice teacher, I start all my students on ujjayi breathing, the belly breathing technique from yoga, before we sing any scales or attempt any songs.  The student must begin to incorporate ujjayi breathing into their everyday life and subsequently into their singing.  Phonation (sound production) is based on airflow.  While vocal science research has shown that the vocal folds are responsible for controlling airflow across the vocal folds when we speak or sing, breathing is a coordinated dance of the abdominal muscles, the thoracic and pelvic diaphragms, as well as the internal and external intercostal muscles of the ribcage (to say nothing of the bronchi and alveoli inside the lungs responsible for the gas exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide).

Deep, calm breathing has many relaxing and healthful benefits mentally and somatically.

Mind:

When we are under stress, nervous, or anxious, the body releases stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol.  An adrenal response evolved from the human body’s early days, adrenaline is great if you’re chasing a mammoth or running from a saber-tooth tiger.  It’s not so great if you’re about to go on stage to recite your lines or enter a restaurant on a first date.  Adrenaline floods the brain, sort of shutting down the frontal lobes, which are responsible for things like language.  (Another reason being nervous before an audition or a date can leave you stumbling for words like a blithering idiot.)  With the frontal cortex on coffee break, the primal brain takes over and straddles the fence in fight-or-flight mode.  Deep, slow breathing can counter all of this, calming the mind and allowing the stress to be manageable so you can deal with it like a rational human and not a caveman.  Breathwork allows you to focus on the task at hand or ease your pesky thoughts away if you’re trying to meditate.

Try sitting alone, with all noisy electronic devices turned OFF, and just breath deeply for 10 or 15 minutes.

Body:

Breathing is the action by which we replenish that chemical that is pertinent to our existence:  oxygen.  Breathing high in the chest — upper chest breathing — is a style of breathing in early English and French singing, but it is not recommended for any singing, speaking, or breathwork, in my opinion, because upper chest breathing also triggers the release of adrenaline.  Breathe low in the belly, breathing down into the pelvic diaphragm.  In voice, this style of breathing is called appoggio, but it is basically ujjayi breathing.  I’ve been known to have students lie on the floor or sit against the wall in chair pose to feel the expansion of the back while breathing and singing.  While on the floor, I have them place their binder or sheet music on their stomach so they can see when the book rises and falls and learn to associate that feeling with proper, deep abdominal expansion and contraction.  A mirror is crucial to see the ribs moving outward away from the torso.

When we focus on breathing, we tend to focus on our body and our alignment, taking an inventory of how we’re doing physically.  Tantra and Kundalini paths use different breathing exercises like kapala bhati and bhastrika that really, really work the body — these are powerful breath practices that require guidance from a teacher, especially if you’re engaging the body by applying “locks” at certain chakras.  And in case you’re wondering, oxygen feeds orgasms!

A basic Sun Salutation is a great way to combine deep breath and body work to get the blood and oxygen flowing.

Spirit:

The word spirit comes from the Latin spiritus meaning “soul, vigor, breath,” derived from the word spirare which means “to breathe,” the root of both of these being spir.  When we are born, the first thing we do once the umbilical cord is cut is breathe — we take in breath, we are in-spir-ed, or inspired.  The last thing we do before we shake off this mortal coil is to exhale our last breath — ex-spire, or expire.  In between that first inspiration and our final expiration, we take in and release breath repeatedly, or as we call it re-spir-ation, the act of respiration.

It is no coincidence to me that the lungs are located right there at the heart chakra.  Whenever we are touched emotionally — in a good way or unpleasant way, we tend to either gasp, inhale quickly, or exhale in sadness or disbelief.  I feel our emotions and breath are connected.  Mindful breathing helps us stay rooted, grounded to the earth, when circumstances leave our mind — or our heart — reeling.  Deep breathing can also lower blood pressure and slow a racing pulse.

Breathwork is absolutely fundamental to being healthy.  The art of being inspired repeatedly throughout our life is as simple as breathing.  When we’re overwhelmed, overly excited, can’t focus, or can’t think, deep breathing can help keep us centered and better prepared to relax into our task at hand or meditation session.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh,

trish

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Me, My Breasts, and I


Copyright 2012 by Trish Causey.

I always hated my breasts.

For most of my life that was all I was good for. Having breasts. And thick hair. Breasts and hair.  That was me in a nutshell.  Nevermind that I was intelligent, talented in the performing and literary arts, a Girl Scout, an honor student, an activist, a nice person.  None of that mattered.  I had thick, red hair and large, lust-inducing breasts.

I woke up one morning at the age of 10, and POOF! There they were.  Size C practically overnight.  I went from being the wallflower nerd in 5th grade to getting weird looks from the boys who glanced at me from lowered eyelids but no longer talked to me.

At age 11, my ballet teacher measured me for my recital costume and announced (in front of my class much to my horror) that my measurements were 37-26-37.  She then had the nerve to tell me if I gained an inch in my waist, I’d have perfect measurements.  I’d just started my period and was about to get braces.  Having perfect measurements was nowhere on my radar.  And neither were boyfriends.

I was 13, working backstage at an international ballet competition, when a German photographer wanted to take “pictures” of me.  At age 15, I had my first experience with being mauled by a guy — a fellow cast member of a show, who was my ride home after a rehearsal.  With no other way to get home, I felt like I had to let him do what he wanted so he wouldn’t leave me there at the deserted library at 10 o’clock at night.  (This was well before cell phones were commonplace).  Luckily my leotard didn’t have snaps at the crotch.

While working on a local show, I was standing backstage when one of the actors, whose face was covered in heavy character make-up, paused as he was pacing before going on.  He stopped in front of me, looked at my breasts, and said, “If I didn’t have all this make-up on, I’d put my face in there and- He shook his head vigorously back and forth.  I had no idea what to say to that.  He was married with kids.  I was 16.

I graduated high school a D-cup and quickly moved into a DD.

While volunteering with a ballet company at age 18, the ballet master of a troupe visiting from Russia, cornered me in the Green Room after everyone had left.  Before I knew what was happening, he’d maneuvered both of my arms behind me and held my wrists in one of his hands while the other went to my blouse, untucking it from my skirt.  He grabbed my breasts and squeezed roughly.  His knee was between my legs which were trapped in a pencil skirt.  The more I fought, the stronger he became.  My only recourse when he kissed me was to bite his tongue as hard as I could.  He backed off immediately, blood pouring from his mouth.  I tucked in my shirt and told him he was never to do that again.  Even in this situation, my Southern upbringing would not allow me to be rude.

At 20, I traveled with a theatre company to South Korea for an international theatre competition.  I was friendly with the troupe from Tblisi, in the Republic of Georgia.  Just friends.  Nothing happened.  It was brought to my attention on the plane ride home that almost everyone in the competition — people from 16 countries — thought I’d fucked the entire acting company from Tblisi… and some of the Germans and a French guy.

Swell.

At 21, working the ballet competition again, I was more fully aware of my seeming powers over men, and I was ready to be slightly more proactive.  An Adonis of a male dancer from Cuba lusted after me, but his partner didn’t make it to Round 2, so I couldn’t take that opportunity to the next step.  A ballet master from Spain wanted me.  One night while making out with him, he, of course, went for my breasts first.  The intensity of the situation was too much, and while he wiped off his fogged up glasses, I made an excuse about needing to do something and left.

I didn’t understand what the big fuss was about.  When I was 9, my molestor used to admire the beginnings of my breasts, and she was greatly thrilled when they came in at age 10.  This coupled with all the other events made me leery of sex.  I was still a virgin at 21 until I was raped.  The guy repeatedly ran his fingernails up and down my breasts, commenting that he’d dreamt of the day he’d get his hands on them.  I knew him and we were in my bedroom, and at the time, the concept of date-rape was still new and not considered “real” rape.  I bled for four days, but I still felt his nails on my skin.

I was so embarrassed that I was still a virgin at 21, I did not report the rape for fear the policemen would laugh at me.  Or worse. It was too much to fathom sitting in a courtroom having to explain why I had never had sex, when everyone around me thought I was a slut.

For years, everyone thought I was a “loose girl” because I had large breasts.  Everyone just assumed I was a “certain way” because my Irish anatomy was genetically predisposed to being full-figured.  Finally, I’d been penetrated.  At least now, I wouldn’t have to pretend a reaction when people smirked in my direction.  The look of shame was real.

My breasts were never pin-up fabulous — not high or perky or uber firm — but they were large.  At theatre orgies, when I was 22 to 24, my breasts were all the rage.  And I was proud of them — but only because I knew they gave me power over men.  One guy wanted time with them, so I laid back on the bed, purring, until he said — out loud where everyone heard, “They went to the sides.”  I responded, “Yes, that’s what they do.”  He replied, “Nevermind. They’re just sacks of skin.”  I was humiliated.  He was used to breasts that didn’t move, defied gravity, and were perfect(ly fake).  As large as mine were, my breasts didn’t measure up.

Aged 25 and working as a leasing consultant at an apartment property, I’d forgotten the cardinal rule of being big-busted — never wear form-fitting sweaters.  Sure enough, as I sat there, one of the paint contractors walks in — I’d never seen him before.  He took one look at me, and exclaimed, “Damn, but don’t you put Dolly Parton to shame!”

Lovely.  From a complete stranger, no less.

I hated my breasts, and I wanted them gone.  I thoroughly researched breast reduction.  I watched every nerd channel show on plastic surgery, scrutinizing the process and the results.  I even worked for a plastic surgeon and felt I could practically do a breast redux consult and procedure myself by that point.

Frequently, I would have to ask my husband to massage my back to help release the knots.  These massages were never spa- or romance-novel-worthy.  They were painful — horribly-hot, sharp, stabbing, searing pain, painful.

From the nape of my neck to my bottom ribs, from one shoulder across to the other, my back was one, huge knotted mass of contracted muscle and pinched nerves, for years.  Constant back pain affected how I walked and how I slept — when I could sleep.  Permanent red grooves still scar my shoulders from their weight.

External and environmental projections of cultural myths and stereotypes compelled self-loathing within me I never would have imagined possible.  Having large breasts made my body acceptable for repeated sexual abuse, and society assumed I “wanted” it or “deserved” it just because of the way my body developed.

In 2004, I thought my marriage might work out after all. Things had looked up for a while, and I had surprised myself thinking that I might actually grow to love him again.  I was in the kitchen, and remarked, quite off the cuff, that I’d decided to go ahead and have the breast reduction surgery.  He shook his head, getting angry, and actually pouted.

After inquiring what was wrong, he said, “If you go through with it, I’ll never be able to make love to you again.  I would take one look at those hideous purple scars and be too disgusted to be aroused.”  That cut me to my soul.  And it solidified for me that he’d never truly loved me.  No man ever had or would.  I was nothing but breasts and hair to men.

I’ve had a child, whom I breastfed.  I purposely gained weight so my husband wouldn’t want me, which wrecked my thyroid.  Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the subsequent PTSD didn’t help.  In 2010, I escaped my hellhole marriage and began a path of reclaiming my dreams and my identity.

Last fall, a friend suggested I try sensual massage as part of my orgasm awakening regimen.  I thought it was hokey, but I tried it anyway.  At the same time, I read Tantric Orgasm for Women, that included a breast meditation, which I also thought was hokey.  But I tried it anyway.

The sensual self-massage put me in touch with my body in a gentle, caressing way that I’d not thought possible.  I realized then that I had never been touched gently.  Ever.  By anyone.  Tingles rippled up and down my body.  Energy zinged up my spine, across my scalp, and tickled my face.

The breast meditation involved gently holding my breasts from the outside while mentally entering my breasts from the inside.  From my center.  From my heart.  This was the first time I experienced my breasts in relationship to my body and how they come from me.  Since I was 9, the attention my breasts received has been from the external world passing judgment, men (and females) groping, clawing, and lusting after them, while society applied the scarlet letter of shame.

My breasts had been the victim, not my enemy.  For the first time, I experienced my breasts as a part of me, and I cried uncontrollably.  Holding my breasts, I wanted to apologize for ever hating them and sending the negativity to them.

I’m now a single mom, 43 pounds lighter, and infinitely happier.  I’m a few months away from turning 40.

While laying in bed one night, I noticed a woman on my laptop’s screen.  I thought, “Wow, those breasts look good.”  I then realized the screen was dark due to the screen saver, and the breasts I saw were mine.  I looked good laying down — with my breasts to the sides as real breasts are wont to do.

It was at that moment that I knew without a doubt that I will never have breast reduction.  After years of wanting them gone, I cannot imagine having them cut now.  Knowing that the surgeon will cut every nerve around the nipple-areola complex which is wired directly to the clitoris and remove a huge triangle of nerve-rich skin from the underside of the breast, simply hurts my heart — not to mention what it might do to my orgasms.  After making peace with my breasts and experiencing such wonderful sensations and orgasms directly because of them, I can’t fathom not having them exactly as they are.

My breasts will never grace a magazine’s centerfold, and they’d never withstand the scrutiny of men accustomed to ogling implants and the perfect breasts of 20-somethings in skin mags or porn.  I’ll never look good bra-less, and swimsuits will always be my arch-nemesis.  I can live with that.  And however society chooses to judge my old, not-perfect breasts is society’s waste of time and energy.  I have other things to do than worry about what other people think — which I can’t control anyway.

My breasts will never be perfect.  But they will always be mine.  And I love my breasts.

trish

For more of my personal orgasm journey, read Trish’s Daily O.J.
Visit the AW site: Aroused Woman


REVIEW: Journey Through the Chakras CD


Journey Through the Chakras is a guided meditation CD by “intuitive counselor” and musician Colette Baron-Reid.

An author and creator of oracle cards, Baron-Reid is billed as having “facilitated hundreds of her popular seminars and workshops on developing intuition.”  She also wrote the books The Map: Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life and Remembering the Future: The Path to Recovering Intuition.

Baron-Reid is firmly entrenched in the 21st century New Age movement, so this CD may not resonate immediately for those who are more logically-minded.  However, without knowing much else about her and by listening to the CD, I can sense Baron-Reid is adept at helping clients attune to their inner selves.  After all, loosening the hold (and reliance) on the logical mind is part of the inner journey we all encounter as we grow spiritually and energetically.

“Chakra” is Sanskrit for “wheel” and refers to the philosophy of seven energy centers that correspond to seven body centers from the tailbone to the crown of the head.  As with Chakra or Kundalini training, Journey Through the Chakras begins with the first chakra and its correspondences, progressing through each energy center.  The vivid guided meditation is narrated by Baron-Reid herself, over original music by Mars Lasar.  The CD concludes with an original song written and sung by Baron-Reid.

Pros:
The CD has its flaws, but overall, I do think it has merit for those wanting an indirect lesson in learning about the chakras.  It is less than an hour long, and yet doesn’t feel that long.

The very aspects of the CD that some listeners find endearing, others will find annoying:  repetition of certain phrases, nature sounds, breathing “ahhhhhh” sounds at various intervals, and New Agey music underscore.  Oddly, the more I listen to the CD, the less some of these elements stand out, and therefore the less they annoy me.

Cons:
Baron-Reid is clearly not a voice over artist.  Her voice has a rasp to it that some find to be sultry, but I do not — I think she needs to be seen by a speech pathologist.  She also breathes in strange places, and her voice gives out at times, which are clear indications of weak breath support.  Her glottal stops on words beginning with vowels were truly annoying to me.

The audio engineer did not edit the voice over track to current industry standards — you can hear Baron-Reid’s mouth clicks, lip smacks, numerous plosives, and weird breathing.  **Note:  I am being extremely picky here. Some people find her voice to be “sultry” and “husky,” lending a sensual feel to the meditation.  But since this is an audio review, I have to lay it all on the table for the potential listener.  Your mileage may vary.**

Overall:
It’s too soon to tell if I will ever really love this CD, but I do think it has some valuable properties.  I have found myself plugging in to listen to it as I lay on my bed, wanting to let my mind wander a bit.  I do not focus on picturing the journey as she describes, but rather what I want to think about, and yet, I occasionally find myself suddenly visualizing the scene she is currently describing.

In the few days I’ve had the CD, I’ve listened to it perhaps 5 to 7 times.  Each night I’ve had a strange dream or series of dreams involving my current life circumstances (which I never dream about), people I know (I almost never dream about people I actually know), situations I know I need to resolve, getting help (from people I never thought would be willing to help me), and other “strange”/never-dreamt-that-before types of dreamscapes.  Interesting, indeed.

How to Use this CD:
Like most “pursuits” that are spiritual or energy based, you cannot actually pursue them.  Your subconscious self has to be open to receiving information which in turn allows you to experience and integrate needed information into your psyche and your subconscious.  Only half listening to this CD brought me dreams I don’t think I would have had otherwise.  I can only wonder “what dreams may come” if I actually did the meditation/visualization.

Perhaps I will revisit this review in a month’s time.  I am not sorry I bought the CD — I generally despise guided meditations and I’ve never bought one before now, so the fact that I actually bought this and keep listening to it must mean something positive for its effect on me.

Aroused and meditating,
trish

For more of my personal orgasm journey, read Trish’s Daily O.J.
Visit the AW site: Aroused Woman


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