Reflections From My True Self

Remembering Who I Really Am



Oma, my grandmother, married my grandfather by proxy and followed him to Colombia from her home in Austria. When she told her friends that she was leaving, one of them advised her to have all her teeth removed, in case she couldn’t get adequate dental care there. That is how remote Colombia was from her world.

A generation later, my mother, after much demurring and postponement, accepted my father’s marriage proposal, which implied a move from Mexico, across the continent on a couple of flights, crossing latitudes and longitudes, to live in Colombia. She did this in spite of the fact that, not too long before, she had decided the six hour drive to Tucson was too great a distance from her family to stay in school there.

I am in awe of the inner resources that empowered either of them to take such a great, courageous leap.  I did not have that kind of faith. Regardless of my feelings, for years, I chose to remain a cautious observer in my relationship with Brujo. That way, I didn’t have to invest myself fully, I could keep one foot out, ready to flee, should that be called for.

Until one day it dawned on me that no relationship with a real, living human being (or, for that matter, the single life into old age) could feel perfect for me all of the time. That’s how I found the fortitude to finally decide to gather enough courage to commit fully to the relationship I was already (so happy that I was) in.

Yet even then, I feared losing myself. The evening before our wedding, I held a private commitment ceremony for my Self, vowing always to stay true to it, my Self, above all else.

As it turns out, all these years later, there have been times when I forgot that vow for a moment, and times when I wasn’t quite sure what staying true to my Self looked like. There have certainly been times when it would apparently have been easier to go along to get along.

But today I feel profound gratitude, for that vow has been a seed that helps me (and sometimes forces me) to know my Self more fully, it fuels my growth, and, magically, beautifully, deepens the connection between my Brujo and me.

Photo credit: Zela (Marja Flick-Buijs)at

Photo credit: Zela (Marja Flick-Buijs)at


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A Sense of Loss

When my Bleeding Days end, I feel a disquieting sense of loss.

 Without having full consciousness of it, I hold a fear that I may find myself suddenly disconnected from my oneness with the Earth, disconnected from the comforting knowing that I am soil and loam and humus.

 I fear that I will be unable to experience simultaneously my wholeness and my fragmentation.

I feel a disquieting sense of loss.

 And it is true that my body eases me into awareness of my oneness and my individuation, that the veil thins for me in this time. But it is also true that, at this time, I stop to notice, that I allow awareness to become humility.

 And that, that, I can do on any day.

A fern unfurls in the forest

©Andrea Friedmann

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A Lump of Clay

In the spirit of Birthing from Within, I once shaped a palm-sized lump of clay in the form of the Venus of Willendorf. As my daughter was forming in my body, I shaped the clay with longing, and made the figurine rounded and generous.

I held it tucked against my palm, my fingers curled around it, sometimes relaxed, sometimes gripping, while I labored with Chiqui to bring her into the world.

It was a time out of time, when the little room I labored in was all the world that existed for me, and our energy ebbed and flowed, opening my body, making way.

It was a sacred time. Of power and strength. Of intense, tight focus, and simultaneous connection to Immensity.  I was fully in my body, and infinitely larger than any body.

I have held this little lump of clay many times since my daughter’s birth, and when I take it into my palm, its curves fit perfectly alongside my fingers, and I feel an instant recognition in my body of the energy of pure power, of animal strength, of standing in alignment at my center. When I hold it, I am grounded to the Earth and anchoring to stars, aware of the energy that is me, and the Oneness of which I am a part. It is but a little lump of clay, stained black and hard, and yet, it reminds me of what is within me that I so easily lose sight of.

A lump of clay in the form of the Venus of Willendorf


A Circle of Women

A circle of women, present to themselves, to each other, safe in one another’s presence… I find a powerful energy there. For a long time now, I have wanted to foster this energy, pull it together. I have fed myself stories of calling up power, of building energy. But when I am sitting there, facing the center, and meeting the eyes of my companions, I recognize they have been stories… the energy is intrinsic to the circle, where each woman is a spoke connected to the center, where, together, we create the shape. The energy, it is ours, for us and from us.

In this space, we can open our hearts, allowing their energies to radiate outward, to merge and weave together into a brilliant tapestry. We find courage to hear our own voices, speaking, sometimes, what we have never brought ourselves to say. We offer nourishment, and receive sustenance. We recognize our strengths, and grow stronger. We find our clarity, and become clearer. We remember what we know at our core, and grow wiser.

This circle of women offers more gifts than my consciousness can hold. I open myself to receive them, and I offer myself, as well, to transmit them.

Photo credit: Sanja Gjenero at

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Many decades ago, I learned to identify my Self primarily through my body and the physical plane, and nothing else existed for me. Then I became enamored with my mind, and I was taught to deliver myself fully to it. And I almost forgot my body. Later still, my soul demanded recognition, and I was tempted to divide myself again.

But every month my body reminds me that I am more than my thoughts, my feelings, my subtle energies. It reminds me, too, in it’s cycling, that I am more than flesh and blood. Every month, when I bleed, gravity pulls within me, my thoughts turn inward, my emotions protective, the veil thins between the planes, and my awareness expands again, to my wholeness.

I am body and mind, heart and soul. I am seed and stalk. I am energy cycling, part of the seasons. I am a cell on the body of the Earth, who sustains me. I am in flow, rising and ebbing, with the tide, and the moon, and All That Is.


Woman reflecting by water

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Celebrating International Women’s Day

Today I am celebrating International Woman’s Day. I am a woman. When I think this, a thrill of energy pulses through me, a massive power. Since I have had the ability to articulate my thoughts, I have been a feminist, which is someone who believes that everyone (man or woman, human or otherwise) should have the freedom to express their Self as they choose, to be Whole and honored for their Beingness.

It pains me to recognize that this freedom is far from the experience of a great majority of our world. And it pains me especially to live in a country that is proud to call itself the land of the free, the home of equality, but in which we can’t legislate on equal pay, a woman is raped every three minutes, and homelessness is a very real part of millions of lives (the vast majority of our homeless are women and children) and in which we continue to fight wars that lay the brunt of their deadly effects at women’s feet.

I have tried to make this blog a place for celebration and gratitude, a place to which we, you and I, can come to be uplifted and inspired. But it is also a place to speak my Truth, and sometimes my Truth is hard. Today I am full of the fire of the Divine Feminine (it is in all of us, male or female),  this fire that compels me to continue to find my own ways, concrete, effective ways, to bring to whomever I can the freedom, the meaningful freedom, to be Whole and express their Self however they choose to.