Life Choices is taking me on quite a journey. Ideas I’ve been living with for most of my life are now out there in the world making their way into the wider conversation. It’s exciting and gratifying to say the least.
My talk and signing in Denver at the Tattered Cover bookstore went well. What an honor to have been invited to that famous place! I loved the conversation with the people who came. Someone asked me about the “pinching of the leaves to let the mother plant grow,” which is the defining statement of Life Choices and was the impetus for me to write the book in the first place. Someone else asked about how spiritual healing happens around abortion experiences. Another person asked me to discuss the connection between nature and consciousness, in other words, why it’s important to spend time in the woods! Finally, another big piece was a question about how to stop the meanest most violent attacks against women’s health services and needs. We talked about all these and more. Heady stuff I know, but it’s all good.
I’ll start with the last one first. The main way I know to deal with the virulence of the movement against women’s health needs is to remain active, educated and strong ourselves and never forget how complicated and deep the issues are. Reproductive and sexual freedom goes against the power of patriarchy. The whole idea of women’s freedom is new from a historical point of view. The idea that a woman is an individual apart from her relationship with a man or men is still completely unacceptable in many parts of the world. Narrow religious views that limit the freedom of individuals are still dominant in certain circles. I think it’s best to cultivate compassion in relation to the ignorance and fear that drives the thinking of many anti-choice people. Because the politics is absurd and baffling as well as dangerous and infuriating, we have to remember what is true and real about women’s lives. In other words, stay true to real life. Lastly, each of us has to take good care of ourselves.
Moving on to nature and consciousness. A huge subject. The person who asked the question was asking me to explain the value of spending time alone in wild nature; basically, what happens out there? I responded that when you set an intention to spend time in the company of more-than-human nature and to be outnumbered by non-human life forms—animals, plants, and other earth bodies—you will find as you open to their way of being and relax yours, that there is a flow of life force through everything and a natural communication that mirrors your essence and helps you to know yourself better and understand what you are doing here on the planet. There is much more I could say of course, but that’s it in a nutshell. If you are grappling with an unresolved issue in your life such as a crisis pregnancy, you will find a level of support there that you can’t find anywhere else.
My approach to spiritual healing after an abortion depends on the person seeking the healing. If someone has a religious affiliation, I encourage her to go talk with someone in her group. If that is not possible, or even if it is, I proceed in counseling by asking a lot of questions to help the person explore her belief system and conflicts she might be experiencing about having decided to have an abortion. For anyone, whether she has a religious affiliation or is independent of religion, or someone who is just beginning to ask questions about spirituality, I suggest practices like meditation, journal writing, and time in natural settings because these support the process of self-clarification.
And lastly, about pinching the leaves. The phrase still takes my breath away because it captures the essence of creativity and self-creation—the dying into the living that is the essence of life on Earth. Abortion both as a social issue and a personal experience is a teacher about this fundamental way of things. The stories of women tell it all. There are many in the book.
MORE NEWS: I am thrilled with the way my FIRST BLOG INTERVIEW came out. Huge thanks to writer Carol Turner for her very thoughtful questions. Stay tuned for a full blown BLOG TOUR coming soon.