Female State of Mind

“So not every female human being is necessarily a woman; she must take part in this mysterious and endangered reality known as femininity. Is femininity secreted by the ovaries? Is it enshrined in a Platonic heaven? Is a frilly petticoat enough to bring it down to earth? Although some women zealously strive to embody it, the model has never been patented.” Simone de Beauvoir.

This seems like a good place to start. It may not be where we end because this is a big subject. One that has been studied and debated by many scholars and will continue to evolve as we evolve as humans and our society evolves as the collective of we humans. This discussion is not meant to reinvent the wheel or suggest that I have the answer that someone else hasn’t already shared. It’s not meant to suggest that this is the one and only definition of female, and that there can be no others. No, it’s really about establishing where my head is at so that you know where I’m coming from, so that we’re working from the same foundation in how we define the words that shape the work and the thoughts here.

Let’s start with some of the easier points. For our purposes, female is essentially the embodiment of the feminine. We’re using it as an adverb, not a noun. It does not mean gender although many women tend to embody female “characteristics” well, not always, but often.  However, we all have the potential for embodying both feminine and masculine qualities and many of us already do. Yes, let’s look for opportunities to recognize and honor the embodiment of the feminine in a male body hoping that one day, there will be no need to distinguish between the two. So for the purposes of this work, this philosophy, this opinion, female is the feminine regardless of what it looks like or what shape it comes in.

But what does it look like? How do we know it when we see it? This is the real work. This is where things get difficult and confusing, gender lines get blurred and challenged and emotions get triggered when identity is challenged or perceived to be judged. So let’s start with something less personal, the female in nature. From a Chinese perspective, the female is yin, and yin is described as earth, passive, docile, slow, dark, cold, soft, moist, and consuming while the male is Yang and represents the opposite. In Chinese mythology, it is believed that the world went from being formless chaos to what it is today because Yin and Yang at one point became balanced with one another allowing for creation to take form. Today, Yin is always dancing with Yang, sometimes they are balanced and in equilibrium while at other times there is more of one than the other.

Image by disoniador on Pixabay

While women and men may embody many of their respective Yin or Yang qualities, it’s more complex than that because of this dance between Yin and Yang within everything, even ourselves and how that interacts with our actions and interactions as humans. When we think of the feminine as embodied in human form it is receptive, it welcomes with open arms, it is inclusive, it is nurturing and it is love. It is community, it is the great Mother, it is the greater good over the individual, it is peace. When we see the feminine in action, we see a bountiful existence for all. We see equality for all. We see life.

Being feminine means being gentle but not necessarily weak. Being feminine means taking care of oneself in order to best serve her needs and not just the needs of others or the corporation. Being feminine means tuning into all wisdom not just that of the analytical thinking brain. Being feminine means living in harmony with our surroundings recognizing that we are all one sharing in this planet and not extracting from these surroundings in an imbalanced way. Being feminine means being capable of empathizing in order to prevent the mutual damage of otherizing. Being feminine is creating, tapping into that creative flow, in all it’s many forms.

As the Tao suggests, it’s not Yin or Yang, black or white, feminine or masculine? It’s questionable that we should even be using the words feminine and masculine because of their origin. They grew out of a need to describe the traits that were generally observed to be embodied by each respective gender or even imposed on each gender. As the world changes and the concepts of gender are becoming challenged and possibly even obsolete, we may serve ourselves better if we understand the characteristics that were once assumed to be gender specific to be gender neutral and therefore requiring of new terminology. Maybe that’s the best way forward after all. Until that time, I’ll still be talking femininity.

224 “BLOOM” with Circle Creative Collective

Today I am joined by Melissa Hewitt, Mirabai Trent, and Jenny Wonderling from Circle Creative Collective to talk about their upcoming happening, BLOOM, and their ongoing work to build on their commitment of connecting and inspiring diverse communities by sharing and preserving traditional crafts and skills.

BLOOM: the Rebirth invites you to rediscover your dreams and your most joyous and authentic you. Step upon candlelit paths through interactive dreamscapes celebrating wonder and the fullness of spring. Join our visceral journey through the woods and be both witness and player on an exuberant full sensory experience where performance meets the sacred and celebration. This is avant-garde ceremony, breaking the bounds and touching pure magic as creativity emerges from the trees and forest floor, falls from the sky, and is illuminated all around you. It’s a spectacle, an inspiration, an awakening and an offering to the earth and our collective future. This May, meet magical creatures who will share wisdom, music, dance, and even bring healing. BLOOM is living theater wrapped in a prayer.

We also talked about their offerings Sankofa, Chrysalis for teens program, and their Craft Preservation workshops. It was a lively and loving conversation about their relationships to rebirth, joy, conscious living and connecting in community.

Hope to see some of you at BLOOM on May 28th or June 4th at the Stone Ridge Orchard! Remember to reach out to them if you want to help out or would like to request a sliding scale ticket discount.

Oh, and here’s the information on this Saturday’s Together for Mental Health Community Walk.

Today’s show was engineered by Ian Seda of Radio Kingston.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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205 Nancy Graham and Louisa Finn “Love and Mohonk Consultations”

Nancy Graham serves on the board of Mohonk Consultations and the arts council of The Lace Mill, where they live in Midtown Kingston. They have worked or volunteered for numerous nonprofits related to social justice, alternative media, theatre, film, and writing. Poet/writer/visual artist under the name Nancy O. Graham; actor under the name Noa Graham. Her most recent theatre project was Orchid Receipt Service, starring Asia Kate Dillon, at Theater MITU580 in Brooklyn, pre-pandemic. Most recent film project is a short called Elegy for a Glacier, about an environmental activist and her glaciologist daughter forced to face off about the construction of a ski resort in the Rockies.

Louisa Finn is a  Hudson Valley native, whose mother was a member of the Quaker Smiley family of Mohonk Mountain House, and father a Russian Jewish pianist from the Bronx.  She has spent her life thus far actively engaged in learning what it is to be human and to be herself.  She works as a Speech/Language Pathologist and Reading Tutor, and clinical instructor at SUNY New Paltz.  She is on the Board of Mohonk Consultations, where she serves as Administrative Coordinator, and Sky Lake Shambhala Center Buddhist Retreat.  She writes poetry, and is creating a forest garden in her front yard.

Today we’re talking about Love and a myriad of related and thought provoking subjects. Nancy and Louisa share about their first memories of love and how they relate to the word which takes us into the realm of spiritual materialism, caring for others, and being a mother.  The show is inspired by bell hooks and her writings on love and self love/self worth so we dive into self-love as Louisa and Nancy share their own process to love themselves better as well as how self-love relates to caring for others and being a woman. We then leave the personal towards the end of the show to talk about the public and how the work of Mohonk Consultations is cultivating love in its own way, bringing folks together to collaborate, lifting voices, and caring for land and others. We leave you with a call for your own definition or thoughts on Love.  bell hooks herself seemed to have a few, “love is the action we take on behalf of our own or another’s spiritual growth…” “love is a combination of trust, commitment, care, respect, knowledge and responsibility…” So, what say you?

Thanks to Ian Seda from Radio Kingston for engineering today’s show!

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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#185 Elizabeth Gross “The Myth of the Selkie”

Today I speak with Elizabeth Gross, an herbalist, bodyworker, meditation and yoga instructor, and end-of-life doula based in the Mid Hudson Valley of NY.  Her mission through Selkie Medicinals is to provide optimal comfort and care to people experiencing major life transitions related to birth, sex or dying. Her services include prenatal Thai Yoga herbal bodywork, sexual health focused herbal consultations with a specialty in hpv and cervical dysplasia, and end-of-life doula care focused on abortion and miscarriage support.

Some of what we get to chat about today is the myth of the Selkie, masculine and feminine in the tantric tradition, the patriarchy, healing the patriarchy, slowing down, pelvic health and vulva gazing. Note, we do talk about men’s and women’s reproductive body parts!

The Secret of Roan Inish: Film. Link Here

Sensing, Feeling, and Action: The Experiential Anatomy of Body-Mind Centering by Bonnie Bainbridge Cohen Link Here

For The Wild Podcast Episode: Tricia Hersey on Rest as Resistance Link Here

Embodiment Matters Podcast: Embodiment and Social Justice: A Conversation With Reverend angel Kyodo Williams and Dr. Scott Lyons Link Here

Also: Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés Link Here

ALSO, as mentioned with respect to the current state of affairs for women and children in Afghanistan, here is a link to my past interview with Sonita Alizadeh, and here’s a direct link to donate to her ongoing work with children and also her recent fundraiser for the people displaced in Kabul.

Today’s show was engineered by Ian Seda of Radio Kingston.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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#181 Juliet Rania “The Dark Goddess”

Juliet Rania is the founder of The Source, a wellness community in Woodstock, New York. She has been an apprentice of Alessandra Belloni for the past two decades in the Southern Italian Black Virgin tradition and the shamanic healing path of the Tarantella. She is a spiritual representative of Shaykha Fariha Fatima of the Jerrahi Sufi lineage and has taught on Sufism at various venues throughout New York at venues including the U.N. General Assembly, Barnard College, Cathedral St. John the Divine, New York Open Center, Omega Institute, Sacred Arts Research, Deepak Chopra Homebase, and more. She teaches Sufi whirling, chanting and frame drumming both privately and in groups in NYC. She performs as a vocalist and percussionist in several ensembles including Persian Music Ensemble, American Sufi Project, and The New York Arabic Orchestra. She is also a writer with a Bachelor of Arts from the New School University and a Master’s Degree from Sarah Lawrence College.

Juliet has studied with one of my heroes, Marion Woodman, and recommended her book, Dancing in the Flames, The Dark Goddess in the Transformation of Consciousness. Today I get to learn more about the magic that happens in Juliet’s life, and she indulges my questions and thoughts about the book which has been a tremendous gift in my life. We meander through thoughts about the dark goddess, death, destruction, the feminine, the masculine, the patriarchy, and creating something new outside of the broken systems that currently exist.

Today’s show was engineered by Ian Seda of Radio Kingston.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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#174 Memorial Day Musings with the Words of Marion Woodman

Hello and Happy Memorial Day! Today I spend some time honoring those who’ve served and set the stage for thinking of a better way of resolving conflict. First part is really stepping into the Chrysalis so that we can re-emerge as something new, a society with a greater balance between the feminine and the masculine, but first I offer some thoughts on the patriarchal nature of war and the military including an analysis of the language used that is unsurprisingly phallic in nature. In honor of the Chrysalis and the feminine, I read from Marion Woodman’s The Pregnant Virgin and also little snippets from Dancing in the Flames. I’d love to hear your thoughts about all of this!

Today’s show was engineered by Ian Seda of Radio Kingston.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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#166 IONE and Lisa Kelley “Ministry of Maåt”

Spring Rebirthing time over here at i want what SHE has. With the shift to Moon-Daze comes a rebirthing of sorts that has slowly been unfolding since the beginning of the year. Stepping into our role as the antidote to the patriarchy, celebrating the feminine as embodied by women identifying, those who honor their intuition, feeling, creativity, community and take good care of themselves and others. I couldn’t have wished for better guests to begin this new unfolding, the ones and only…

IONE, is a dedicated educator, psycho-spiritual therapist and pastoral counselor who specializes in dreams and the creative process. She conducts seminars and retreats throughout the world. She is the Founding Director and Prime Mother of the Ministry of Maåt, Inc. (MoM, Inc.), a spiritual organization specializing in women and community with goals of world harmony and balance. She is a graduate of the Helix Training Program and a Certified Qi Healer. IONE is a noted author, playwright/director and poet and the former Artistic Director of Deep Listening Institute, Ltd.  Both DLI and MoM act to foster harmonious world community.
 
Lisa Barnard Kelley is a vocalist, performance artist, actor, priestess of Maåt and student of Tao. Lisa has performed music and performance art in the Hudson Valley for the last ten years, collaborating with local musicians, actors, puppeteers and visual artists. She has honed her skills over the years in acting, movement, stage direction/design, puppetry, jazz/free improvisation and sound production which she experiments with in original performances including elements of spoken word, vocalization, masks, music and movement. She dedicates her craft to exploring the open field of vocal expression from within and through the guidance of her mentors. She is a Deep Listening Certificate Holder and the Director of Perla Productions. She received her B.A. in Performance Studies at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
Of course we chat about dreaming, dream awareness, dreaming together, deep listening and so much more. Thanks to Ione and Lisa for being such divine humans doing amazing work to harmonize and balance our beautiful world. You can find The Big Dream Festival goodness here! And their Facebook page here!

Today’s show was engineered by Jaguar Mary X, host of the Midnight Medicine Journey, AND produced, hosted, and edited by me, Theresa, so please forgive any hiccups.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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#162 “Caliban and the Witch” Part 2 Book Discussion

Happy Women’s History Month! In collaboration with Women’s History Month Kingston, we continue the discussion of Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch. This week we’re discussion Chapter 2, “The Accumulation of Labor and the Degradation of Women: Constructing ‘Difference’ in the ‘Transition to Capitalism'” and it’s myriad of topics including: Capitalist Accumulation and the Accumulation of Labor in Europe; Land Privatization in Europe, the Production of Scarcity and the Separation of Productions from Reproduction; The Price Revolution and the Pauperization of the European Working Class; The State Intervention in the Reproduction of Labor: Poor Relief, and the Criminalization of the Working Class; Population Decline, Economic Crisis, and the Disciplining of Women; The Devaluation of Women’s Labor; Women: The New Commons and the Substitute for the Lost Land; The Patriarchy of Wage; The Taming of Women and the Redefinition of Femininity and Masculinity: Women the Savages of Europe; Colonization, Globalization, and Women; Sex, Race and Class in the Colonies; Capitalism and the Sexual Division of Labor. Next week, we dive into Chapter 3, “The Great Caliban: The Struggle Against the Rebel Body.” Let us know your thoughts and questions!

Who’s in this conversation?

Rakel Stammer is an artist and teacher who primarily works in painting and drawing, but also dabbles in sound, installation, collage, writing, photography, printmaking and performance. Her work has been published in several magazines, anthologies and journals across the world and she has exhibited in Denmark, Sweden and the U.S. She was on the show before, pre-COVID in October 2019, talking about her series “The C%#& (C-word) Drawings” completed during a residency at Deer Creek Collective. Rakel speaks publicly and writes about capitalism, art, trauma, dominance and violence, seen through an anti-capitalist, intersectional feminist lens!

Carolita Johnson is a cartoonist (The New Yorker magazine) and illustrator from NYC. She spent 13 years in Paris, France, after graduating from Parson’s School of Design with a degree in Fashion Design. In Paris, she earned a masters degree in Modern Letters and Linguistics, and got some (admittedly very idiosyncratic) chops in pre-doctoral Medieval Anthropology, which turned out to be her gateway drug to cartoons and illustration. She is also a writer, has appeared on HBO and NPR, performed in various esteemed settings, is an alumnus of the O+ Festival, and most recently added teaching via SUNY New Paltz to her list of accomplishments.

FEMINIST ACTION! Support NY Caring Majority’s efforts to increase the wages for home care workers. Call Senate and Assembly leadership and let them know that #FairPay4HomeCare is a win-win for all New Yorkers! Let us know once you make the call here: https://docs.google.com/…/1FAIpQLSfxBCAC…/viewform…

Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins, (518) 455-2585

Speaker of the Assembly Carl Heastie, (518) 455-3791

SCRIPT: Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME]. I’m calling to urge [THEIR NAME] to include Fair Pay 4 Home Care in this year’s one-house budget and ensure that home care workers receive a wage of at least 150% of the minimum wage. Because of the current low pay, New York is the center of a workforce shortage in this sector, with even more home care workers leaving the workforce in droves right when we need them most. This is forcing many seniors and people with disabilities to live in nursing homes instead of receiving their services at home. Assemblymember Dick Gottfried and Senator Rachel May are sponsoring this budget priority, and the bill number is S5374. Will you include Fair Pay 4 Home Care in the one-house budget?

Theresa and Ana’s New Moon Virtual Circle “Triple Goddess: Maiden, Mother Crone” – Saturday, March 13th 7-9pm

Today’s show was engineered by Nick Panken, host of Freedom Highway, AND produced, hosted, and edited by ME, Theresa, so please forgive any hiccups.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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#153 Deep Thoughts for the New Year with Theresa

Slipping into the New Year with some deep thoughts about the things I think about. Like… revisiting my last year’s resolution to practice non-judgment and how I failed at it because of things like Kundalini Yoga and QAnon (the irony is not lost on me that as I was doing my show they were storming the capitol), my adjustment and recommitment to non-judgment inspired by Charles Eisenstein, vibration, serendipity, signs from the Universe, devotion, self-care and starting a book club! Who’s in? Seriously, let’s pick a book that inspires that we can talk about on the show. Plus, I marry everyone to themselves and share the words of David Foster Wallace that resonate deeply with me. Here’s my Youtube Channel if you want to join in the daily 15-17 minute practice. Hope everyone’s year is a good one!

Today we heard TedxTalks by Joanna McEwen and Ulla Suokko.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

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#133 Anna Hafner “Artist in the New World Pandemic”

Anna Hafner is a multi-disciplinary artist, working in the areas of costume, painting, performance art, illustration, lo-fi installation and DIY puppetry. She is a creator of occasional rituals and happenings.

Anna’s performance art manifests in two ways: first, as a colorful pantheon of costumed creatures, who live amongst hand painted backdrops filled with verdant textures; second, darker solo performances, using waste to question human excess and societal control of the feminine. She uses tactics of mime, Butoh and improv to lead performance rituals.  Anna’s costume and mask work are made with recycled mixed media and trash is often incorporated within each performance, through set, prop or costume.  Imagery of her performances are echoed within her illustrations, paintings, prints and backdrops; they are expressive and mystical, honoring nature through symbol and landscape.

Drawing on esoteric ideas, mythic symbolism and nature, Anna’s work aims to speak abstractly and emotionally about the greater struggle of excessive waste within society, the destruction of nature, uncontrolled human greed, and our lost connection with the Earth.

Today we talk about lots of important stuff like… identity, being a performance artist during a time when there are no performances, shifting her studio and work during COVID, teaching art, the healing power of creating, hope, mental health, self love, her creative process, self care, taking care of the earth and bunches more.

You can join Anna’s Patreon HERE and get access to all goodies she so generously births into this world and follow her on IG here! Oh and Anna recommends checking out Taraka Larson’s “The Now Age.”

Today’s show was engineered by Manuel Blas of La Dosis Perfecta.

Our show music is from Shana Falana !!!

Feel free to email me, say hello: she@iwantwhatshehas.org

Leave me a voicemail with your thoughts or a few words about who has what you want and why! (845) 481-3429

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