April 11, 2010

“The Cervix is The Seat of The Goddess”

Whatever your stance on goddesses is, as a woman, you can’t deny the power of that statement.

“The cervix is the seat of the goddess.”

I’ve been practicing what is known as The Tantric Dance of Feminine Power with my teacher, Nita Rubio, for 5 years and I’ve had more than a handful of powerful moments in the sacred, female-centered space she facilitates (one of the few spaces in which the “male gaze” is not present). Revisiting my battle with my body after giving birth has been rough to say the least. Instead of basking in my body’s ability to create, sustain and give life, I’ve resorted to full blown body bashing and self-loathing. To hear Nita state, “the cervix is the seat of the goddess,” as I moved into a full body meditation immediately shifted my perspective on my body and my relationship to my body (at least for a few moments) and gave me something to ponder long after class was over that Tuesday night.

In that moment and for several following, my anger, disappointment and frustration was mixed with a sense of gratitude, reverence and respect. Too often we view our bodies as an object to manipulate and control. When our body doesn’t live up to some of our wildly unrealistic expectations, we engage in negative self-talk and equally destructive body practices. The internal critical dialouge and punishing rituals we engage in to force our body to do as it is told is nothing short of an abusive relationship with ourselves.

How would we and how can we treat our bodies differently by shifting our perspective on, our image of, and our relationship to our bodies, bodies that carry us through the world, allowing us to experience life in all its good and bad?

Whether or not you abide with goddess worship, or have a clear understanding of feminist spirituality and the place of the goddess in that tradition, the idea that the cervix is the seat of the goddess, establishes (or re-establishes) a sense of wonder about our physical forms. Instead of seeing our bodies as taken-for-granted physical vehicles, our bodies become a source of magic and beauty.

When I look at my son’s body, see it work, watch it develop, I am in awe. It is pure perfection, beauty, a miracle. I don’t remember the last time I felt that way about on my body. Is my body any less miraculous because of my scar and the extra pounds I’m currently carrying? According to images and messages in the dominant culture the answer is an unequivocal, yes.

Listen, I haven’t reached total body enlightenment. I’m still grappling with the negative fat talk in my head. But, Nita and my son reminded me of the beauty that is me and when I believe it again whole-heatedly, I will truly be whole, truly at peace.


16 Comments »

  1. This made me cry. Really needed to read it right now. Thank you for the reminder.

    Comment by Krista — April 11, 2010 @ 11:49 pm

  2. This is beautiful, thank you.

    Comment by Marley — April 12, 2010 @ 9:42 am

  3. What an excellent post! I’ve always had a hard time with the idea of “god” as it is taught to us, mainly because I never wanted to think of that power as being outside of myself. When I read Eat Pray Love, this quote allowed me to finally “get” god/goddess: “God dwells within you as you yourself, just the way you are.” Also, if you haven’t already done this, please check out http://daleallenproductions.com/iorm_index.htm She has written a fantastic play about this very subject!

    Comment by KCLAnderson (Karen) — April 12, 2010 @ 2:42 pm

  4. Excellent quote, Karen. As the quote states, for many, the goddess is a way to view oneself as divine and perfect. It’s a way to shift the paradigm on the self and the divine, not separate but one. I’ll check out the site. Thanks.

    Comment by Melanie — April 12, 2010 @ 2:44 pm

  5. So powerful!

    Comment by Morrighan — April 13, 2010 @ 10:51 am

  6. Wonderful post. I truly believe that we are each the goddess in human form, and I love the idea of her seated on or within our cervixes. Just lovely. Thank you for tweeting this to me.

    Comment by Golda Poretsky, H.H.C. — April 13, 2010 @ 10:57 am

  7. Western marketing places so much value on the externals: clothes, make up etc., that women become totally unaware, essentially, that THAT STUFF is not them. They are vulnerable to this form of marketing, increasingly so. They are no more THAT STUFF than they are their clothes. Women are the beauty within and when they become aware of that and develop their natural talents, they transcend these trappings of marketers. Look around at ‘plain’ women and stop to admire their beauty. Can you think of Mother Theresa, Helen Keller, wife of Gandhi, Jackie Kennedy.

    Work on the inside to offer it to the world. I believe, truly, that every woman is beautiful. Sadly, many have not learnt to offer up the true beauty residing within and most men are not gifted to look within the woman.

    This is the perspective of a senior male Indian residing in the west

    Comment by a — April 14, 2010 @ 1:05 am

  8. what a beautiful piece. I needed to read that and needed to be reminded of the warrior nature of our bodies and their ability to create life. I forget, more often than I care to admit, and thus the internal and sometimes external fat bashing begins. thank you, truly. you are beautiful inside and out

    Comment by Sarit — April 14, 2010 @ 4:48 pm

  9. Wow…a beautiful post. I am in the midst of a battle with my body, have been for some time. It is time to feel it and look at it less critically and with more compassion and reverence.

    This post sincerely drives that home.

    I often feel so separate from my body, not sure if the separation is good or bad…something to really ponder. The detachment helps, to know that I am more than this physical shell, and to help me cope with the pain of chronic illness. But also, to step back into my skin and feel the divine beauty and power of it, regardless of how it “looks”, that is important too.

    Rambling now, thank you for inspiring these thoughts.

    Comment by Amy Kiel — April 14, 2010 @ 8:43 pm

  10. Melanie, Thank you for sharing all your issues regarding your body – many of us can relate.
    Also, congratulations on the birth of your son – my last child (of four) was born 26yrs ago – but I still remember the wonderous newborn time.

    I didn’t see any information describing your son’s birth or your experience of it – did I miss this posting? I’m guessing he was born by cesarean section (as was my second child), but in case I’m wrong, I won’t mention my many thoughts about this vast female issue. I’m available to speak about all aspects of c/s – at any time. I have compassion, empathy, frustration and anger – still . . . . after all these years!

    All the best, hold him close.
    Laurie

    Comment by Laurel — April 20, 2010 @ 4:52 pm

  11. @Laurel No, I did not post on that experience but plan on doing that in the near future. Yes, I had an unexpected emergency c-section which added stress and anxiety on many levels. Thanks for your comment and support. I’d love to hear more about your talks on these issues.

    Comment by Melanie — April 20, 2010 @ 9:54 pm

  12. I like the idea of appreciating and respecting your body instead of forcing into doing what you want. It’s a bit like how to be with life and people in general. Easy to forget, a good thing to remember.

    Comment by Dominique — April 21, 2010 @ 6:41 pm

  13. [...] opposed to deepening my disdain and disappointment. The greatest personal shift occurred with the birth of my son and the understanding that my body was the vehicle for creating, carrying and birthing this [...]

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  14. [...] I looked forward to the day that I would become pregnant and join this league of life-giving, glowing, goddess women. Within moments of receiving the results of my home pregnancy test, one of the first things [...]

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  15. [...] inside. I looked forward to the day I would become pregnant and join this league of life-giving, glowing goddess women. I took the home test, it confirmed my pregnancy and one of the first things that went off in [...]

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    Comment by Deane Eisenzimmer — January 17, 2013 @ 9:03 am

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