The first time I started finding interest in blogging was right after officially becoming asingle mom. Granted I had felt like one for years but it became official in December of 2010 when my son’s father moved out of our home. I can clearly remember a deep sense of relief, empowerment, liberation.....as a woman. Although there was so much that was unknown to me and much to actually be quite scared of, I felt empowered as a woman. I felt my spine for the first time since meeting this man at the ripe age of 30. I was in a transition while turning 30, attempting to really find myself and to be at peace in my skin, in my body and in my life. I attracted him in on the actual day of my 30th birthday and my life turned upside down. Instead of what I had intended to be a liberation from my painful and challenging 20s I instead began spinning my wheels in the grasp of this man, whom I believed to be my soul mate. I lost myself. I lost any sense of my feminity - at least in any peaceful sense of the word. I found myself in an abusive and debhilitating addictive cycle with him. A true love/hate relationship, with a whole lot of passion and sexual energy as the cherry on the top. That is what kept us going for many years...the sex. Although it was never as good as it was at the beginning before the extreme amount of dis-ease made its way between us, but it was apparently enough to keep us cycling and even making two huge rites of passage with each other: marriage and baby-making. It was the classic story of hoping and praying that the next thing would “fix us” - would make ME feel better about myself; with him and, more importantly, as a woman. I started to resent other women whom, to me, were happy, healthy, and embodied. My addictive patterns of food abuse raged throughout the relationship and marriage and I became more dysfunctional than ever; except that I had this man to enable me. It was fucked up and I could not see my way out. Fast forward 3 years: I am now on the cusp of turning 39 and I am feeling stronger, more empowered and alive than ever before. I feel integration. I feel a deep sense of who I am....as a woman, and now as a mother of a 4 and 1/2 year old. Of course, I am in constant recognition that I actually do not know much about what it is to be a woman - that I am only learning and that there are so many of my elders who are paving the way and teaching in their everyday actions and BEING of how to really be a woman. The kind of woman that I constantly strive to be. It is the kind of woman who is raw, vulnerable, strong, capable, empowered in herself, kind in heart and mind, loving, deeply compassionate for those in her life as well as for the planet as a whole. She does not feel herself as ONE alone, but rather she knows herself to be CONNECTED to the whole in a profound and healing way. A way that does not need to be questioned; it is so obviously who she is. A woman who is so in tune with her body that she takes exquisite care of its needs and understands that she does not need to be following societal rules and regulations; rather can tune into her own intuition and enjoy all of the flavors and richness of life. A woman who embraces her feminine curves and does not try to carve herself into the masculine body of a male. She knows in her bones that this is the way women were born to be on this planet. I recognize in myself this cellular change that I am undergoing around myself as a woman, my body, my ability to be secure and open in intimacy, and the genuineness of my everyday life as fuel to my spiritual life. They are one in the same. I intend and desire to continue this process of cultivation; including a deep peacemaking process with my femininity and all its shapes and colors, surrender to the mundane yet richness of everyday life, and bringing more gratitude into my awareness of it all - especially in the funky, exhausted aspects where there is absolutely nothing glamorous about being.....a woman.