Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hear Her Roar: Leonna

Even though we’ve coexisted for decades now, I don’t know my vulva the way I wish I did. We have seemingly walked through life side-by-side but rarely hand-in-hand. My vulva and I have always been on the same journey but I was never courageous enough until now to lift my eyes from the ground and truly see her, strong and beautiful. My passion in life is Women’s Health and I have come to realize that I cannot truly serve other women, including my own daughter, until I open myself up to the true wonder that is my vulva. The raw power that flows from me when I am connected to my vulva is breathtaking. When I feel in sync with my vulva, I am totally inebriated by the intensity and the intimacy that is created from our union. I was always taught to fear my own strength and cage it up like a wild animal. Now, it feels like there is a rhinoceros running towards me and I am asking myself to not only stand my ground but to embrace the rhinoceros and take it into myself. I have to become and birth the rhino at the same time.

As one part of journey towards vulva love and acceptance, I want to honor her for everything she has been and done for me. She has literally been at the center of the most emotional experiences in my life and I have very rarely, if ever, allowed myself to be present with her during these times. My vulva was the final destination of my daughter’s passage into this world - the portal that brought her earthside. Silent and strong, my vulva’s lips stretched to envelop my daughter in the first kiss a mother can give a child and she did so without hesitation or complaint. My vulva was the ferrywoman, my own version of Charon, who delivered to this side my miscarried babies amidst rivers of blood and clots. She did so unapologetically but with empathy for my heart. On a lighter note, my vulva is a fan of Gerber Daisies and, in my mind, she wears one in her hair every day. She is a wise shaman, insightful and loving, and fully capable of standing in her power and enforcing her boundaries. Recently, I discovered that my vulva’s name is Leonna, which means “my strength” in Hebrew. The name emerged from the depths of myself one evening while journaling about my vulva and I’m taking it as a sign that I am on the right path to cultivating a loving, sacred relationship with her. I figure that before you fall madly in love with someone, it is usually a good idea to know her name. I am ready and excited and willing. Let the courtship begin!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Hear Her Roar: Ann

My whole life, I always compared myself to the "popular" girls. They were always thin, beautiful (on the outside), great bodies, clear skin, perfect hair, stylish clothes, and tons of friends. I was overweight, had a body that was put together all wrong, acne for days, hair that would never cooperate, regular, non stylish clothes, and only a few friends. It wasn't fair. Obviously there was something wrong with me. Loving myself was not at the top of my list. When I reached my mid twenties, something started to change. I knew I was always going to be different, but now I was starting to be okay with it. I started figuring out who I was and where exactly I fit in. It took a while, but I don't fit in, I am always going to be different and I think that's awesome! I still have hair that rarely cooperates, I am still put together wrong, have zero fashion sense, the occasional pimple, and a small handful of friends, but I am beautiful inside and out, compassionate, passionate, unique, smart, I have drive, determination, and I know what I want out of life, but most of all, I love myself.

Hear Her Roar: Dee

As with so many others the early life of my vulva was not a happy one. As a teen I suffered from confidence issues. I longed to be accepted and loved. I thought that the sure way to gain that acceptance and love was through sex. This resulted in what I now realize was bad attention rather than the positive experience that I was hoping for. I know looking back that I was simply used. I had self worth issues that were tacked onto this. My mother had twisted sex and masturbation into a dirty and embarrassing thing.

Part of my journey to empowerment was becoming an exotic dancer. (sure this seems to continue down the road of poor judgment) I started to gain confidence and acceptance of my body this way. At one point a group of the kids that always looked down on me in school came into the club I worked at. One actually asked me to marry him. This was a moment of realizing "hey I am good enough!"

Here we are years later, I can see a lot of poor judgment on my part. I can also see how these things made me who I am. I'm able to be a sexually open woman who is accepting of others sexuality. I am in my first and only positive long term relationship (10 years in August) I have learned to love my body and not be so concerned about what others feel about it. I have learned that if I am not good enough as I am for someone then they do not deserve to be a part of my life, It's their loss not mine.

I am empowered by my sexuality now. I have made an active effort in my local community to offer support, safety information and lend positive advice to women to help them gain confidence in themselves and their sexuality.

Years ago I would not of felt comfortable with taking part in a project like this. It has taken a long time to feel totally comfortable with my sexuality and my body as a whole. I understand that my degree of openness about my body and sexuality is not for everyone and some will consider doing something like this to be in poor taste. I have learned to not mind what others think though. I think that this project is a wonderful thing. I truly appreciate what Vulva Love Lovely stands for and what each woman stands to gain by starting down their road to self acceptance and sexual empowerment. I am proud to offer you my support and story.