Archive for the 'Air' Category

The Heart of Breast Cancer

Friday, March 27th, 2009

“The greatest mistake in the treatment of diseases is that there are physicians for the body and physicians for the soul, although the two cannot be separated.” – Plato

Our breasts cover our heart. If you have ever nursed a baby, it is clear that our breasts are not there for adornment, they are a primary organ of nurturance and sustaining life. They are enervated directly to our sexual center, one of our primary sensory organs to awakening libido. Their attraction, often confused with size or shape, is truly about how they connect us to our heart and the pieces of life that are most life affirming.

The rate of illness in this region of our body is mind boggling. Breast cancer affects one in eight women everyday. Heart disease kills one in four women. Just last spring, when I was called back to re-image a lump in my own breast, waiting in the hospital gown for a “better view” of what was happening in my breast, the truth of these numbers hit home. Any of us can become part of these statistics at any moment. And I knew, sitting there, that for the one woman out of eight who gets the unfortunate response of cancer, everything in her world and relationships shifts at that moment.

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Culture of Love

Friday, March 27th, 2009

‘Who we are and who we become depends, in part, on whom we love.’

Aristotle once wrote, ‘What a society honors will be cultivated.’ How fortunate we all are to finally have the value of love and commitment raised into the embodiment of our leadership. The photos of the new president and his wife sweeping the dance floor at the inaugural ball with only eyes for each other sent a message into the hearts of all of us. Love matters, and in fact was probably one of the single most significant factors in the success of our most unlikely of presidents. Certainly President Obama is brilliant, but he has also been brilliantly loved.

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Core Vitality of the Heart

Friday, March 27th, 2009

The heart is perhaps the only muscle in our body that is stronger when it is soft. Firmness, strength and the ability to harden are key to core vitality throughout most of the body including our sexual organs. Hardening our heart whether it is in response to a political reality or a difficult relationship turns us into our own personal brand of fundamentalist. It is a slippery slope from the tightening in the chest to a self righteous stance about how the world should be. It happens even before we see it happening.

If our language is an extension of our soul, then how we talk about things reflects our ability to feel and know them. Rigid positions accommodate a narrowing of our language and support a limited view of the other side. It can be painful to let in the depth and nuance that allows other people act irrationally, even seemingly against their own self interest. This is another disadvantage of relating to the world with a hardened heart, it is hard to tell when you are winning, because both sides lose something when the relationship is stuck in polar positions.

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Tender and Brief

Friday, February 20th, 2009

It seems incredulous to me that I am grieving a goldfish. My past experiences of gold fish were always short lived and I warned my young daughter that her new fish probably wouldn’t last a week. But as week after week and month after month went by, she loved to tease me about Bubble’s longevity. A year into his tenure on the kitchen counter, we gave him some little frog friends, who he never took to and who didn’t nearly match his longevity. Watching him circle his little world, I often contemplated life in a fishbowl, but as he would always come to the side of the bowl I was standing near with his fish pouting looks, I often wondered who was watching who. Bubbles’ life was a long one in fish time; I was informed by pet store experts as I searched for a cure to his life ending illness. It was his time.

Animal friends live on a different time line than we humans. They teach us about the pureness of presence and their love for us is immediate and unconditional. We need them at least as much as they need us and not just for their companionship, but for the chance they give us, in their brief intervals on earth to let go. Their departures whether premature or timely given their size and breed are some of the most gut wrenching good byes that we have the opportunity to grieve. It is easy to love animals; they see the best in us and are devoted in their distinct and primitive ways. If you are lucky, you get to keep your own animal heaven in your heart which can call forth smiles and tears easily.

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The Story Conforms to the Outcome

Monday, November 3rd, 2008

“Misdirected life force is the activity in the disease process.” -Kabbalah

My husband is a man of very few words but this is what he said to me when I told him that sometimes I don’t know what I am fighting for in my life. Often when I return home from time away, the reentry is full of rebellion. The multiple demands of a complex family life feels like an intrusion rather than the life that I chose. Sometimes I can slide so deep into the rejection of these demands of marriage and children that the outcome of the story I am envisioning becomes unrecognizable. Spinning an internal story that blames your relationship repeatedly for some personal unresolved issue, or even for the frustrations and transitions that arise from aging will create a failed relationship.

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Conversation or Sex

Thursday, November 2nd, 2006

I read this survey that was included in the Ladies Home Journal the other day asking a wide variety of questions about intimacy and relationships. I was in the doctor’s office with my two teenagers and was sharing the results of the survey with them. The question that still stays with me and shocked them as much as me was. If you had to choose between conversation and sex with your guy for a month what would you give up? Can you believe a whopping 80% would give up sex?

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Sexuality and Censorship

Saturday, October 14th, 2006

Life behind the fenceCensorship is defined in the dictionary as an official with the power to examine movies, books, television programming and to remove or prohibit anything considered obscene, politically objectionable, etc.  There is some general agreement about what constitutes sexual obscenity and objectionable sexual content.  I have in the course of my work been faced with situations and people who have very different views of appropriate sexuality. I have had conversations about issues like censorship with these same people and listened openly to their fight to have their content not be banned or even made illegal, which the government has threatened.

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Sex Therapy in Yemen

Wednesday, October 11th, 2006

The cover of the Wall St. Journal today had a fascinating article about an Arab sex therapist who is gaining quite a bit of attention (both negative and positive) by combining a correspondence class in Sex Therapy with teachings from the Koran.  As an Islamic woman, Mrs Heba Kotb is taking on the gigantic task of “lifting the veil on a touchy subject.”  If that is not the understatement of the year…

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