March 5, 2009

Our Stories, Ourselves

My own transition into womanhood was painfully lacking in warmth or empowerment. How was the day of your first period?

Was it an inspiring experience?

Or is there a knot at the pit of your stomach when you think about it?

Our Inner Maiden, the coming-of-age girl we once were, is left inside us hanging, often shamed, embarrasses, or afraid. Her story never told, her beauty never seen, she grew up considering her periods “nuisance,” “bother,” or “the curse.”

The story of Menarche, our first menstrual blood, is rarely told.

It is interesting to note that women, who tend to share everything with one another, (from first sexual encounters to stories of survival and recovery from abuse) are silent about this one… Adhering to the cultural taboo around menstruation, we silence not only the story of our first blood, but also all conversations around our relationship to our blood. Somehow we adopted the notion that “linear is good” and we often live our lives as if cyclicity is not at the heart of our beings. Yes, we reclaimed ourselves as strong women. We break through ‘glass ceilings’, we combine careers with motherhood, we choose not to become mothers, we can do it all… but do we honor our blood?

Breaking silence is only possible in the company of others.

The healing power of storytelling lies in being heard and witnessed…

Make time with one or more of your close women friends to tell the story of your first menstrual period. It is astounding to find the similarities we share. The details of our stories may differ, yet the feelings are almost identical. In a room full of women there is always a sense of being able to relate to every single story as if it were our own.

In conflicting regions, such as the Middle East, I was moved to tears when Palestinian and Jewish women transcended religious and political divide by telling their first blood stories. The bond this created among them far exceeded the rip they felt for years.

I traveled a long way from seeing my period as a nuisance, to reclaiming my Moon Flow as sacred, my Moon Time as a spiritual wellspring. Telling my first blood story, and holding space for women around the world to tell theirs, is an essential component in healing one of the last missing pieces of our inner puzzles.

We can tell blood stories in our living rooms, in cafes, on park benches, or anywhere women get together to support one other through conversation. Sharing our stories we embark on a long overdue journey: that of quenching our Inner Maiden’s thirst, and of integrating cyclicity as a conscious part of our womanhood. At the same time we create the necessary steppingstone to authentically welcome our daughters, or other girls in our lives, into womanhood.

February 10, 2009

Our Daughters, Ourselves...

How would our world be different if adolescent girls were witnessed, cherished, and celebrated as they transition into womanhood?

Most of us were never welcomed as teens. Our Inner Maiden is left inside hanging, often shamed, embarrasses, or afraid. As mothers we vow to create a different experience for our daughters only to find them rolling their eyes up and running away. What's wrong with this picture?

Reclaiming our Inner Maiden is a necessary stepping-stone to welcoming our daughters into womanhood.

Once our Inner Maiden is seen, validated, and embraced, our daughters, or other girls in our lives, respond to us with newfound receptivity and interest.

Below are a few events where you will:

  • Learn about menstruation as a spiritual journey
  • Find out about indigenous traditions that revered menstruation around the world
  • Be invited to embrace your cyclicity to enhance physical, emotional and spiritual well-being
  • Be inspired to welcome your daughter into womanhood with ease and authenticity.


1) Red Tent training, Sebastopol, CA, starting April '09
2) Goddess is Alive! Series, Palo Alto, CA, Feb. 23
3) Summerfield Waldorf School talk, SAnta Rosa, CA, Feb. 24
4) Healing & Nurturing the Maiden Within workshop, Sacramento, CA, April 3-4
5) Waldorf Parenting Conference, Keynote address, Sacramento, CA, April 25-26


1) Red Tent training
For women, who wish to develop a spiritual connection to their cycle, grow their ability to facilitate women & girls' circles, and spread the RED TENT vision.

Training includes:

  • Spiritual, emotional and physical aspects of menstruation
  • Healing the Maiden Within
  • Elements of ceremony
  • Planning and leading ceremonies
  • Shamanic work
  • Guiding women and girls
  • Group facilitation
  • Apprenticeship and mentoring
Trained women will be able to facilitate Red Tent events, plan and lead Coming of Age ceremonies

Duration- 13 lunar cycles: one Sunday per month, for 13 months

Starts: April 19, in Sebastopol, CA

To receive a Registration Package:
please send an email to

2) Goddess is Alive! Series

February 23 - 7:00pm until 9:30pm
Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Great Sophia Room

1069 E. Meadow Circle, Palo Alto, CA

650- 493-4430 ~

Most of us were not welcomed into womanhood. Our Inner Maiden, the coming-of-age girl we once were, is left inside hanging, often shamed, embarrasses, or afraid. As a result, many women consider their periods “nuisance,” “bother,” or “the curse.” It’s time to re-think and let go of such negative emotions trapped in our body! In this informative and experiential evening you will learn about menstruation as a spiritual journey, find out about indigenous traditions that revered menstruation around the world, and be invited to embrace your own cyclicity to enhance physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

$20 general admission, $15 students and seniors. No one turned away for lack of funds.

3) Summerfield Waldorf School

Tuesday, February 24th, 7:00 PM, at Sophia Hall,

655 Willowside Rd, Santa Rosa ~ (707) 575-7194

The talk will focus on welcoming our children into adulthood as a community, with a particular emphasis on girls' rites of passage. Especially pertinent to parents of 5th-8th grade students, though all parents are welcome! Suggested donation: $5-$10

4) Healing & Nurturing the Maiden Within

Friday, April 3, 7-9 PM & Saturday, April 4, 10am-4 PM

Sacramento, CA

An opportunity for women to come together to re-member and re-story their own coming of age years. Mothers of young girls will benefit immensely and be ready when their daughters come of age. Mothers of older girls will find an opening to new depths in their relationship to their daughters. All women will find solace in this work, which may contain the last missing pieces of their inner puzzles.

To register, please contact Katie Baptist at:

916-996-5851 or

5) Waldorf Parenting Conference

“Educating Our Children—Changing the Future” will be the theme of the regional parenting conference April 25-26 at Sacramento Waldorf School. In response to the tremendous changes and challenges facing us today, there will be more than three dozen workshops on social change, sustainability, parenting and Waldorf education, which was founded out of an impulse for social change and cultural renewal.

The conference will bring together keynote speakers from various social impulses. DeAnna L'am will focus on “How our world would be different if adolescent children were witnessed, cherished and celebrated as they transitioned into adulthood.”

Join more than 250 like-minded parents for a weekend of inspiration and renewal.

A complete brochure and secure online registration are available at or by calling (303) 546-0070.

The conference is organized by Rahima Baldwin Dancy at Informed Family Life.