Archive for June, 2012

Contraction and Expansion

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

The metal element governs the continuum of expansion and contraction. Its organs are the lung (inspiration/expiration) and large intestine (fills/expels). It gives meaning, order, and structure to life, and thus pertains more to the left brain and autonomic nervous system functioning. Its emotion is sorrow, which takes us into loss, letting go, and the ultimate grief, death. Spiritually, it pertains to the Po – the corporeal or embodied soul which is associated with the flesh, comes into being with the first breath, and dies with the last. It is not our greatest reality, but a phantom of our true self.

When we do not resist that which needs to be relinquished, we move into our deepest energetic state, that of the mysterious pass, where death ultimately results in rebirth. Something new can emerge when we let go of the old.

Many people misunderstand this element. I know I did. I used to think that life was expansion and death was contraction. My present understanding is that it is actually the opposite. After working with fertility for so many years, the subtle energy of embodiment was felt as a contraction of new energy in the depths of a woman’s body. Years ago, I started working with Hospice, and noticed that when somebody was leaving this embodiment, there was a great expansion of energy as the spirit was no longer held by the limitation of the physical body.

While this may not be an awe inspiring realization, it has some elements that many of us overlook. According to the Tao, all of life’s expressions operate via opposing forces. Openness or expansion begets the ability to hold. Being closed or contracted requires relinquishment, so emergence can take place. In other words, death begets life.

Spirit becomes trapped by the Po as it experiences this existence. At retreat we focus on breath work and letting go exercises to open up to this energetic. We expand so contraction can occur. We let go, so something can take hold.

In the words of the Tao te Ching:
Those who try to control…
Go against the direction of the Tao
If you want fullness, empty yourself.
If you want birth, let yourself die.
If you want everything, give everything up.

Free Conference Call with Dr. Lewis – Sunday, June 24 @ 7pm EST

Thursday, June 21st, 2012

Free Conference Call with Dr. Randine Lewis – Sunday, June 24 @ 7 PM EST

Protection: A Barrier to Conception?

To Join in dial 605-475-4000 then access code 794774#

(Those calling from Canada should call 805-360-1075 and then you will be prompted to enter the original number and access code)

Call-In Instructions:

1. Please DON’T announce your name when you dial in – there will be many callers on the line and the conference call may have already begun.

2. Immediately press *5 to MUTE your phone line (or use the Mute button on your phone) – this will prevent any unnecessary background noise and static on the line. You can press *5 to unmute your line once the call is opened up for discussion.

3. There are only 100 callers allowed on the call – make sure to call-in early to reserve your space.

4. Please keep topics and questions during the discussion related to the specific call.

Protection – A Barrier to Conception?

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Our primary physical directive in life is survival, or self-preservation. All other physiological functions come after the primary directive has been met. If we can survive, we can potentially thrive, become productive members of society, and reproduce. If our sense of safety and security are perceived to be in jeopardy, however, the body/mind diverts attention away from growth, until the threat passes. The reproductive function is the first to be sacrificed, as your body does not want you pregnant if your life is in danger. We don’t question this directive in nature – animals in the wild don’t reproduce well when their survival is jeopardized. They don’t go into heat when resources are scarce or they are in captivity. Yet, when this happens in us, we panic and think there is something wrong. In actuality, our bodies are doing exactly what they have been conditioned to do, from our own life responses to the deepest messages carried within our DNA.

I recently worked with a woman whose entire fertility pursuit threatened her very sense of well-being. She constantly felt like her life was in jeopardy. Almost as soon as she decided to try to have a baby, her hormones started to fluctuate and her cycles became erratic; eventually her periods quit altogether. Her body/mind went into panic and survival mode. She experienced severe anxiety and mild panic attacks every time she thought about not being able to have a child. The harder she worked to overcome this feeling of threat, the more threatened she felt.  Throughout her healing process, every practitioner she went to for help (acupuncturists, nutritionists, and therapists) seemed to further perpetuate this feeling of panic. The more she was given to do, the more overwhelmed she felt.

Deep inside there was a feeling that her very survival needed protecting. No doctor or therapist could talk her body out of this deeply held unconscious belief. Yet, her heart could. Chinese medicine views the heart as the only true healer, as it houses the spirit, or life giving force of all of existence. The healing had to begin in her own heart.

While we teach individuals how to calmly harmonize themselves with their environments, the real work we do on retreat is to put individuals in touch with the healing power of their own hearts. When they no longer have to protect themselves, the invisible shield that I call “infertility,” naturally falls.

All My Children

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

Of all of my children, the one I treasure most lives in my heart.
She is simple and sweet, and not as grand as the ones I have carried before.

There have been strong and handsome sons, for whom I’ve held visions of Ivy League schools. Each had a hidden talent, an exquisite beauty that only I could see.

They have lived in my heart, but carried in memory of what was to be.
Their births were projected in May, June, and September, not to mention those whose arrival I could no longer count.

Oh, if the sum of my children could be manifest now,
I could fill a small town with dancers, chefs, and artists.

My refrigerator carries no crayon art to Mom.
My home echoes of solitude; no demands from without.

Yet I live with an image carried closer than my breath,
Coming alive through dreams, but never enough to satiate; only intensifying the longing from within.

The one who lives yet in my heart wears only the wings of an angel.
She is a spark of potential yet to be realized.

Will I bring her into being, pulling spirit into flesh;
or will she bring me into being, pulling flesh into spirit?

Will her image transform into the wrinkles and gray hair of the wise woman I am becoming?
Oh, I am a mother. Perhaps not filling a town, a house, or even my own vision.

But I am giving birth, every moment I stand naked in my truth, denying neither myself nor the hope of the one yet to come.

Yes, of all my children, the one I cherish the most, I have never been without.