This one. Me, 23, in Rockhampton in 1984.
A few months later my whole life was about to be turned upside down. I was having a heap of fun, had the best job ever. Art teacher at Rocky Girls Grammar. So good. Never really had any aspirations. Was just like a leaf floating along the river of life.
There's an acceleration of consciousness sweeping the planet right now. Can you feel that?
Things that were 'fringe' 30 years ago are now mainstream.
Conversations that were behind closed doors are now open and in the nightly news - abuse, depression, anxiety, sex offenders and narcissistic leaders being called out etc etc.
The world is now wanting authenticity. Not a glossed version of 'I have it all together' - it's about realness.
There's one real conversation that I am glad is being had now too and it's about another change - 'the' change - yes the change women go through anywhere from their late 30's, 40's, 50's. Menopause, peri-menopause.
There's nothing more real than your body changing unexpectedly or even gradually - looking down at it and seeing what once was up is now down!
Back in 1971, when I was in Grade 7, all I wanted was to become a ‘Sister of Mary’. They were the high school girls, who glided like angels into church every Saturday morning wearing these soft blue capes over their dresses. Like an apparition, they appeared so pure, so beautiful, so mysterious. Oh, I so wanted that!
You can imagine how disappointed I was when they abolished the practice just as I came into Grade 8!
Even though I have not been a practicing catholic since the age of 16, I am profoundly aware that those early years formed a deep impression on me and an appreciation of the sacred, of devotion, of dedication, of kindness and of love.
And it also left its mark...
Ok call me 'lame', but I have been watching MAFS, yes Marriage at First Sight. There. I admitted it... Embarassing.
Not the usual thing for me to watch these reality TV shows. I'm usually an ABC, SBS girl but I have to say this one had me hooked.... just a bit.
Not because I thought it was great or that I wanted to find out who would find true love... Because I was astounded at the dynamics of the relationships - the betrayals, the dramas and most of all, the way the women behaved.
In fact, I was APPALLED! ....
How I Wish
Back in 1998, life was changing for me. I was 37. My son was going into high school. We'd sold our business of 13 years, I was embarking on a new career in counselling, psychotherapy and creative arts therapy, and had pretty deep depression.
They say that counsellors go into this work, because they need it the most! Yep, that was me. But I also loved the creative process of the work.
Little did I know that the symptoms of depression, mood swings, disinterest in sex and general malaise were a few significant signposts that heralded peri-menopause. At 37! I remember when one doctor pronounced, 'yes you are peri-menopausal'. Peri what? What does that mean?
Women so often are in a cloud when it comes to changes in the body, symptoms that don't make sense and feelings that we wish we didn't have. That's why it is SO important to know our bodies, so we can be informed and possibly bypass some of the symptoms and also so we can feel like we are not going crazy.
We live in interesting times ...
I remember the early 90's, sitting in the Lyric Theatre in Brisbane, when the evocative Canadian Celtic singer, Loreena McKennit walked on stage. She had two sets of gigantuan candelabras either side of the stage, topped with huge thick candles, alighting the space with dramatic overtones. She walked in with her long golden hair and sat at her massive sculptural masterpiece of a harp. I felt transported to a heavenly realm and moved to tears by her mesmerising music and haunting vocals, and then... she began to speak.
"Tomorrow is a big day," she said. "The World Wide Web will open. It's the day that is going to change the world." She seemed to know what it would mean.
A reading from Tantric Sex and Menopause.
EMBODIMENT: From Womb Wilderness to Womb Wildness
Many women have little to no awareness of the womb, this miraculous life giving uterus with its capactiy to hold space for an embryo. It is said for it's size, it is pound for pound the strongest muscle in the female body. A small facinating organ tucked up safetly in the pelvis.
As I've grown older and going through the changes as a post-menopausal woman, I can't say that I have escaped body image issues through my years or that I was that artful at not passing this on as a young Mum. I'm sad about this. Yet it's so common. Even with the best of intentions, somehow our children absorb it, if not from the overculture around us.
Resonating with this?
Join me for event updates, news and musings: