Do you spit or do you swallow?
What! How dare you ask me that!
The question is relevant
Do you spit or do you swallow…
Some women seem to have a natural gift
To spit it out, to reject it
Or they simply refused to be dicked around
In the first place
I am in awe of these women because for years
I swallowed and
“Taking it like a woman” to
Keep the connection
To secure the attachment
To be a good girl
For the men I wanted to love me
To praise me
To adore me
To let me play on their field
Even though I was more talented
More flexible and
A hell of a lot stronger
By swallowing the shame
Internalizing the misogyny
Being the version of a lady
They wanted me to be
And even treating other women
Poorly in reaction
Denying them their rights,
Believing it would keep the man happy
When he could care less what I did
As long as he got off first
How would he react now if I spit it
Right back in his face?
Would that make me an unlady?
Will they take my good girl card away?
Better yet, what if I don’t show up for the game?
Make him take care of himself
Hell has no fury like a privileged man
Losing his power
While compassion has long been our power
I must no longer let the man use that against me
I almost died in both body and spirit
Caring too much
When we step back into the power we deserve
The world comes back into balance
Yes, the fight ahead is a long one
They will come after us
Or worse yet
They may even deny us the
Connection and love we desire
May the fire burning in our bellies
Lit from the kindling of that
Good Girl card they revoked
Light the way
Surround yourself with the good men, women, and people
Who will never make you be anything than who you are
Who will celebrate your spirit to the fullest
Who will never ask you—spit or swallow?
The Wisdom of the Body: Review of Christine Paintner's Newest Book with Link to Teleconference with Dr. Jamie Marich (3/10/17)
What an honor and privilege to interview Dr. Christine Valters Paintner, a graduate of our Dancing Mindfulness facilitator training program as she celebrates the release of her 10th book, The Wisdom of the Body: A Contemplative Journey to Wholeness for Women (Sorin Books, 2017). Christine is the abbess of Abbey of the Arts, a vibrant and active ministry. Although based in Galway, Ireland, the abbey is global in its outreach, especially through a variety of courses, retreats, and other offerings made online (including the popular Facebook group, Holy Disorder of Dancing Monks).
In Christine's latest book, built from decades of personal experience of her own journey with embodied healing, readers are led through a self-directed retreat experience. Various topics of struggle for women are covered, such as desire, emotional expression, and depletion from true nourishment. Each chapter invites readers into a series of exercises where they can explore, and if they so choose, embody the content inherent in this journey. Expressive arts practices (including conscious dance), yin yoga, and invitations to reflect on wisdom of the ages (presented through Christine's own vibrantly lived experience) make this content come alive. A special feature is that in each chapter, Christine offers a sacred feminine guide for the journey. Women like St. Hildegard of Bingen, Eve, Amma Syncletia, and many others are presented in refreshed light so that modern women may be inspired to draw on these guides, and their teachings, as sources of wisdom.
I had the distinct pleasure of offering Christine consultation on her manuscript (and am delighted to be included in the acknowledgments), specifically in the area of trauma-informed presentation. Although Christine writes from a Christian ministry perspective and as an expressive arts educator, I believe that her work should be required reading for therapists who work with women. There are so many solutions offered within The Wisdom of the Body that can help women in their healing, especially from legacies of trauma that wreak havoc on the body.
Listen to an interview that I conducted with Christine on 3/10/17 (a live teleconference) as we talked about her own experiences with learning to honor her body, her work with Abbey of the Arts, and of course the newest book. The interview wraps up with a dynamic discussion about why this work is so relevant for women in modern times. Learning to love and embraces one's body in the face of cultural messages suggesting otherwise is a supreme feminist action! -Jamie
Listen on Website (above) or Download (below)
Dr. Jamie Marich
Curator of the Dancing Mindfulness expressive arts blog: a celebration of mindfully-inspired, multi-modal creativity