The Great Pause of Menopause

sex

by Oceana LaBlanc

Many of us who are in menopause now were mothered by women who didn’t talk about or understand it, and were often at the effect of a masculine paradigm and medical system. Most were not wild women, who questioned authority or celebrating their menses.

I was especially clueless. It started with peri-menopause, which I hadn’t even heard of before. I just knew I needed help because suddenly my emotions were riding a tornado without a seat belt. In fact, I almost hospitalized myself, mistaking it for bipolar. Look up the symptoms of both side by side. Identical, uncanny, and misunderstood.

Luckily, a sister shared her journey and discoveries with me. She shared nutritional tips and much information I had never heard. This was my entry into learning, and I was vested with ways to cope, wisdom to carry me through, and knowledge that what I was experiencing was perfectly normal.

Peri-menopause can be a ten year journey with changing symptomology. As wise women, we can dive deeper into the layers of energetics sourcing the symptoms, read the signs, utilize all manner of feminine alchemy to shape shift and shine. We have choices, herbs, holistic awareness, abdominal massage, shamanic support, and the allopathic medical system to choose from.

We might face:

  • grieving the end of fertility
  • loss of libido
  • body is changing dramatically
  • night sweats
  • anxiety attacks
  • sleeplessness
  • moontime totally off schedule
  • extreme uncertainty
  • grieving unmet life desires, lost opportunities
  • loss of energy for what used to come easily

Menopause leaves no patience or tolerance for wasted time or energy. A friend said to me she couldn’t understand why she was so short with everyone lately. The mention of menopause was a complete surprise and relief. We really aren’t taught what to expect!

The fragility of it is stunning. We forget the simplest things and our younger sisters cannot fathom what seems like an intended slight. The truth is we have no recollection.

As a sex educator, it’s difficult to find oneself utterly shut down and going within. But this is what one does and it’s important work, much like labor in birthing.

Many women just don’t want sex and are afraid they never will again. The good news is that menopause is a Great Pause. There are ways to encourage libido, stay juicy, continue to glow. Orgasms are pretty much the best remedy and proactive nutrition, as they keep us expanded in pleasure, keep the blood flowing, reduce stress, encourage circulation, and activate the life force energy. Orgasms keep us glowing. One a day, just like the multivitamin.

Sexuality is alive and well throughout our lifetimes, regardless of what mass media would have us believe. Once you have passed the gateway of menopause, you can let go of the idealized version of sex appeal and welcome a confident, deliciously vulnerable, grace-filled queen who is comfortable in her skin. She exudes warm, calm acceptance and her wisdom is seductively attractive. A Crone is a Confident, Radiant, Orgasmic, Natural Empress.

barAre you longing to deepen your femininity, 

show up in your own blend of Goddess Confidence

and ooze your sensuality inside and out?

 

Oceana Lablanc will nurture you into the sexy, beautiful,

powerful woman you are ready to step into. 

are-you-ready

bar

About the Author

Oceana Lablanc

Oceana Lablanc

Oceana Leblanc is a healer, tantric yogini, medium, shaman, and empowerment facilitator. A dynamic facilitator and writer gifted with wisdom, compassion, humor, and keen intuition, she holds frequent workshops and retreats.

She’s led acclaimed trainings at venues such as the Women’s Belly and Womb Conference, Daughters of the Earth Conference, Zestfest, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Earthcircle Gathering. She is one of the original pioneers building a uniquely grassroots community that supports women’s empowerment globally.

Goddess Oceana defines her mission as being a catalyst for unconditional love and the integration of balance in feminine and masculine energies on the planet in our times. She is passionate about helping people express their highest potential.

Currently she is writing her first book, which is a compilation of her online quotes that have been inspiring readers for years. When she’s not travelling and teaching, her most rewarding time is spent with her gorgeous 13 year old son and beloved husband of 21 years.

“Oceana is one of the most dynamic presenters I have known. She comes from her heart, her passion, and her wisdom. A unique fantastic blend that all will benefit from.” ~Char Tosi, founder of Woman Within

1 Comment

Filed under Guest Blogger, Menopause, sex

Let’s Talk About Sex in the Red Tent

 

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Are you longing to deepen your femininity, 

show up in your own blend of Goddess Confidence

and ooze your sensuality inside and out?

 

Oceana Lablanc will nurture you into the sexy, beautiful,

powerful woman you are ready to step into. 

are-you-ready

bar

About the Author

Oceana Lablanc

Oceana Lablanc

Oceana Leblanc is a healer, tantric yogini, medium, shaman, and empowerment facilitator. A dynamic facilitator and writer gifted with wisdom, compassion, humor, and keen intuition, she holds frequent workshops and retreats.

She’s led acclaimed trainings at venues such as the Women’s Belly and Womb Conference, Daughters of the Earth Conference, Zestfest, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Earthcircle Gathering. She is one of the original pioneers building a uniquely grassroots community that supports women’s empowerment globally.

Goddess Oceana defines her mission as being a catalyst for unconditional love and the integration of balance in feminine and masculine energies on the planet in our times. She is passionate about helping people express their highest potential.

Currently she is writing her first book, which is a compilation of her online quotes that have been inspiring readers for years. When she’s not travelling and teaching, her most rewarding time is spent with her gorgeous 13 year old son and beloved husband of 21 years.

“Oceana is one of the most dynamic presenters I have known. She comes from her heart, her passion, and her wisdom. A unique fantastic blend that all will benefit from.” ~Char Tosi, founder of Woman Within

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Filed under From the filmmaker, Red Tent TV

Sensuality, Pleasure, and A Woman’s Spiritual Fire

sexby Oceana LeBlanc

We don’t hear that much about sensuality or pleasure in the Red Tent Temple. Much of what is spoken is about suffering that women are processing as they heal past wounds and deal with what it is to be a woman in this world. In my work I’ve learned that pleasure is crucial for women, that it’s the gateway to good, gratitude, abundance, love, joy and full self-expression.

Releasing our full radiance and power isn’t possible when we stuff down our passion and fire, and sit on the life force energy that lives in our bellies. When we allow pleasure to infuse us, we unleash the fullness of all that we are, and we’re capable of infinite possibilities, and immeasurable magic!

The top questions I hear are about sex over fifty, lack of desire, and how to attract a lover. Women tell me they either want more sex or less sex than their partners. They fear the loss of libido, or wonder what happened to theirs or if they will ever get it back. Some are just beside themselves trying to find the right partner. Sensuality, intimacy and pleasure are absolutely crucial in the response to all of these queries, but they’re glaringly absent in most people’s vocabulary. Why is this?

Our culture gives pleasure a very bad rap. We’re taught it’s frivolous, to deny it, that it can wait until the work is done. We’ve erased pleasure from our landscape and diminished it to the realm of indulgence, which inherently means unnecessary. The truth is that it’s so crucial to a woman’s life essence and fulfillment that it’s no wonder it was relegated to the back seat. What is necessary for women hasn’t been on the forefront of our radar for 5,000 years! It’s time to change this. Pleasure requires a vulnerable intimacy with life, as does sensuality. They are inextricably interwoven, and our engagement with them is what’s missing for most of us.

So how do we begin? Start by relieving stress so that you feel sexier, or have more sex to relax. Really, you can find pleasure everywhere if you’re looking for it. A gentle breeze, the feel of ice cream on your tongue, a flower in bloom…millions of opportunities for pleasure present themselves every day. Self-pleasure is the surest way to immediate pleasure, and it makes one a much better lover, too.

Intimacy is rooted in vulnerability, which is what we all secretly desire. It’s what cradles us in community, gives us a deep feeling of belonging, and nurtures our spirits. Learning to truly meet someone’s eyes, we begin to allow others in and release judgment. Replacing self-recrimination with self-love, we heal our connections from the inside out, learning to connect on deeper levels. We’re opened up to a more relaxed sensuality where our inhibitions fall away and we’re more fully present, open to pleasure and deeply connected with others.

When we embrace sensual pleasure, our life force is unbound and our power to create the magic we desire is limitless. This is the secret about women that has been hidden and squashed for so long. We are absolutely divinely embodied creatures whose time to shine has finally come.

 

bar

Are you longing to deepen your femininity, 

show up in your own blend of Goddess Confidence

and ooze your sensuality inside and out?

 

Oceana Lablanc will nurture you into the sexy, beautiful,

powerful woman you are ready to step into. 

are-you-ready

bar

About the Author

Oceana Lablanc

Oceana Lablanc

Oceana Leblanc is a healer, tantric yogini, medium, shaman, and empowerment facilitator. A dynamic facilitator and writer gifted with wisdom, compassion, humor, and keen intuition, she holds frequent workshops and retreats.

She’s led acclaimed trainings at venues such as the Women’s Belly and Womb Conference, Daughters of the Earth Conference, Zestfest, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Earthcircle Gathering. She is one of the original pioneers building a uniquely grassroots community that supports women’s empowerment globally.

Goddess Oceana defines her mission as being a catalyst for unconditional love and the integration of balance in feminine and masculine energies on the planet in our times. She is passionate about helping people express their highest potential.

Currently she is writing her first book, which is a compilation of her online quotes that have been inspiring readers for years. When she’s not travelling and teaching, her most rewarding time is spent with her gorgeous 13 year old son and beloved husband of 21 years.

“Oceana is one of the most dynamic presenters I have known. She comes from her heart, her passion, and her wisdom. A unique fantastic blend that all will benefit from.” ~Char Tosi, founder of Woman Within

Leave a comment

Filed under Guest Blogger, red tent temple, sex

A Woman’s Immense Power

sexby Oceana Leblanc

When you invite pleasure into your daily life, it’s a game changer. The feminine requires it, is opened to a greater alchemy, and begins to align with the synchronicity of creation in surprising ways. All of life celebrates the unfoldment of a woman’s pleasure. We were built for it as reflections of a great feminine force whose ignition is our pleasure as the ritual of our erotic essence.

I know this is a mouthful! Allow me to break it down for you. We have an organ whose sole purpose is pleasure, our clitoris. We reflect the aspect of Divinity (Life Force Energy) that is feminine, called Shakti. We’re awakening to our liberation after 5,000 years of oppression on this planet because our power was so deeply feared. The connection of women to their ignition switch, pleasure, is so down-played and disdained in the collective psyche that we’ve been missing it completely.

What you might notice on the path of pleasure is that most major patriarchal religions teach that pleasure is a no-no. Remember that men wrote the scripts on these religions. We’re warned that pleasure is a base, lower energy, superfluous engagement that will steer us away from our high spiritual aspirations. I imagine that a culture that has experienced the sweet, erotic power of a woman’s pleasure and been hypnotized thoroughly by it would have no other choice in overcoming it than forbidding it’s existence. How else would it aspire to overpower or control such a colossal force?

Men have fought wars over it, climbed mountains because of it, given their lives for it, cut off their own ears about it. It seduces them into all manner of compliance, regardless of their initial intentions. It is a power so magnificent, so breathtakingly divine, that it had to be oppressed to be controlled. This, women, is my take on why women have been so utterly crushed into submission for thousands of years.

I urge women to fall in love with themselves and their bodies. The feminine form is a gorgeous manifestation of the feminine life force, and when we can truly appreciate this and love ourselves fully and deeply, we elicit the same response from others. We also begin to tap into our pleasure, uncorking waves of energetic gratitude, and once that is pulsating in orgasmic ecstasy, we have a wide open channel upon which to place our desires in the universal take out window.

We are the embodiment, the living Goddess, walking the earth, and when we realize the tremendous power and gravity of our potential, we will no longer have to fight for our liberation. We’ll see with clear eyes and pure hearts the path that lay before us, one of equanimity, peace, joy, and yes, pleasure.

bar

Are you longing to deepen your femininity, 

show up in your own blend of Goddess Confidence

and ooze your sensuality inside and out?

 

Oceana Lablanc will nurture you into the sexy, beautiful,

powerful woman you are ready to step into. 

are-you-ready

bar

About the Author

Oceana Lablanc

Oceana Lablanc

Oceana Leblanc is a healer, tantric yogini, medium, shaman, and empowerment facilitator. A dynamic facilitator and writer gifted with wisdom, compassion, humor, and keen intuition, she holds frequent workshops and retreats.

She’s led acclaimed trainings at venues such as the Women’s Belly and Womb Conference, Daughters of the Earth Conference, Zestfest, University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Earthcircle Gathering. She is one of the original pioneers building a uniquely grassroots community that supports women’s empowerment globally.

Goddess Oceana defines her mission as being a catalyst for unconditional love and the integration of balance in feminine and masculine energies on the planet in our times. She is passionate about helping people express their highest potential.

Currently she is writing her first book, which is a compilation of her online quotes that have been inspiring readers for years. When she’s not travelling and teaching, her most rewarding time is spent with her gorgeous 13 year old son and beloved husband of 21 years.

“Oceana is one of the most dynamic presenters I have known. She comes from her heart, her passion, and her wisdom. A unique fantastic blend that all will benefit from.” ~Char Tosi, founder of Woman Within

 

1 Comment

Filed under Guest Blogger, sex

Red Tent Communities of Chicago: Tending to Home

by Jayleigh Lewis

Sometimes, you don’t have to travel far to find your tribe. Sometimes, a wealth of community, sisterhood, and inspiring conversation finds you right where you are. Dr. Isadora, filmmaker of the Red Tent movie, Things We Don’t Talk About, had this experience last month (July 2014) when she attended two Red Tent events in her current home city of Chicago.

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The first event was a combination film screening and Red Tent, co-facilitated by Dr. Isadora and local life coach and energy worker Andrea Friedmann. Andrea, a vibrant Colombian-American woman who strongly supports women’s community and owns a coaching business called Vibrations Coaching, met Dr. Isadora initially through Linda Conroy of the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference. It was at their first meeting that the idea to host an event together in the Chicago area was born. The vision became manifest on July 20, when an intimate, multi-generational group of women gathered at Grace Lutheran Church in Evanston, surrounded by the red fabric of Dr. Isadora’s traveling Red Tent.

After watching the film, the women participated in activities led by Andrea, including a talking circle and a “soul journey,” which Dr. Isadora described as an adventurous guided meditation, the purpose of which was to connect women with their souls and encourage them to make discoveries about the deepest parts of themselves. Dr. Isadora witnessed a rich diversity of personal stories emerging from the group as women spoke about their feelings and experiences.

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One woman, in response to a question posed in the talking circle—what story from the film did you relate to?—shared the resonance she felt with the woman who spoke onscreen about the complicated emotions that arise from knowing she won’t have children. She could relate, as she is coming to terms with knowing she won’t have grandchildren.

Many women in the room spoke about wanting local community and not having it. Dr. Isadora and her mother, who was in attendance at the gathering, echoed this theme. Dr. Isadora spoke about wanting to have more friends in the area who are “real”—people who can be honest and vulnerable about the experiences and challenges they are moving through and who won’t just tell her they’re “fine” when she asks how they are. Her mother, who is making plans to move her art studio to the Chicago area, said that she wants to spend more time around women like those who were in the room. All seemed to share a longing for community whose roots run deep, and when one woman proposed hosting a local Red Tent, everyone said they would come.

In another Chicago suburb (Berwyn), Dr. Isadora attended another local Red Tent gathering on July 27. Led by Celena Chavez, co-host of the Red Tent at the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference, this community is relatively new, having been started by Celena after she recently moved to the area. Dr. Isadora described the gathering as relaxing and peaceful; she really appreciated being able to attend a Red Tent that she didn’t have to create!

Many women present had young children with them. One woman who was seven months pregnant spoke with Dr. Isadora about how the latter overcame her fear of pregnancy but is still feeling into what it means to enter this life stage, in anticipation of eventually having her own children. Celena, a mother of young children herself, shared about her practice as a midwife who works with placentas. Some of the children present received astrology readings from Dr. Isadora, containing information about the unique challenges and life lessons each was born with—invaluable for their mothers’ understanding of how to support them.

In keeping with this Red Tent’s theme for July, “Moon in Leo,” women spoke about how they, like the archetypal lion, symbol of the sun, are shining in their lives, and how they want to shine even more brightly. Intuitive ways of knowing were honored as women shared card readings with each other, using angel cards and mother wisdom cards. The archangel card Dr. Isadora drew reminded her of the importance of bringing more humor into her life.

In the midst of her near-constant travel to attend Red Tent movie screenings and Red Tent-related events across the country, these two gatherings allowed Dr. Isadora to stay close to home and connect deeply with local women. She plans to continue this practice!

What stories, experiences, and gifts are you exchanging or do you want to exchange with the women in your geographical community? How are you growing relationships with deep roots?

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Filed under "things we don't talk about", From the filmmaker, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, Jayleigh Lewis, parenting, recent screenings, red tent, red tent film, red tent movie, women's stories

An Invitation into the Red Tent (sound meditation mp3)

by Delphine Demore, PhD

It is dark inside the tent, with the light muted by the enclosure. At this late afternoon hour, the entire dwelling is tinted red and pink and orange. Soon the sun will set and the glow of the fire and burning coals will be the only light. You sit in the Elder’s chair, near the doorway. The fire is burning brightly and there is water in the clay jars at the other side of the room, to keep it cool. There is food, cooked ahead and preserved, with fruit and cheese. A week of freedom from preparations, child care, household chores, marital responsibilities, a time all the women come to treasure. Tonight, there are a few newly bleeding girls joining the Red Tent. They have not been to the Women’s tent before and they are curious, eager but worried too. Like all fledglings, they anticipate and fear what is unfamiliar. You smile, remembering your first time in the tent. The tenderness you feel for the newly fertile girls was shown to you then. The tradition of women handing down their wisdom and teaching their daughters is ancient and honored here.

11-minute Guided Sound Meditation. Featuring the song “Dream Wisdom” by David R. Maracle

You hear the approach of the first woman. She is a young matron with 2 small children. She smiles at you and you anoint her forehead with the blessing oil. You embrace, kissing each other on each cheek. She takes a seat in the circle around the stones. Soon others join her, standing in line for their anointing, embracing you and each other with warmth and welcome. The first timers come together, finding courage in numbers. They are welcomed in kind.

When all have arrived, you begin the Women’s Chant, calling on the protection of the Divine Mother. The women join hands and chant, filling the tent with their sweet voices. You pour the first cup of water on the stones in the center, sending up a burst of steam into the hole above the circle. Your chant begins to quiet and your prayers are sent out into the sky.

The youngest women rise and address the new arrivals. They tell of their first time in the tent and their first menses. They honor and bless the girls, welcoming them into the circle of women. They are each handed a branch of lavender and rosemary, as a symbol of love, peacefulness, protection and healing. The other women come forward, one at a time, in age order, to bless the girls and tell a short story of their own blood time. Finally, you are left to speak. Though you have not bled for a long time, you often volunteer to anchor the Blood Times Tent. All the women come if they can. Many are needed to care for children and do the women’s chores while the bleeding women are sequestered.

The women again join hands and hum softly as another cup of water is thrown on the hot stones. When the steam dies away, there is a collective sigh and everyone relaxes.

As the women begin to talk to each other, in pairs or small groups, enjoying the leisure that their nomadic life prohibits during the rest of the month, your attention drifts and you remember other Blood times, other days, women who were friends and who are gone now. You remember…

You see yourself pressing your lavender and rosemary between stones after your first time. Like the young girls here tonight, you stored them in your amulet. Reaching for the amulet that hangs from your neck, you know that you have them still. You remember bringing your first babe with you, nursing her in the steamy air, content to drift in and out of the conversations, absorbed in the love affair of motherhood. Your other babies were also brought here, but the memory of that one is still sharp in your heart. Your daughter goes to another tent somewhere else, in her husband’s family, taking your granddaughter with her. You wish you saw them more often.

You recall the first time your daughter came to the tent, brave and strong. She was not timid, but walked in with her head high, expecting to be accepted, expecting to belong. As a mother, you had taught her well to honor herself and the sacred mystery that is fertility. You are proud of her. That tradition goes on, wherever your daughter and granddaughter go.

Today, your other daughter is present here, following the Shaman Way rather than the motherhood path. You are proud of her too.

In the tent, friendships are forged and confidences shared. All seek understanding, celebration and solace from each other. You remember your mother, taking her turn as elder in the tent, looking at you with that proud, fierce mother look. Even now, after so long, you miss her. Soon, you will travel that ancient river and be reunited with her. The cycle of life, like the blood flowing here, will go on…

We honor that ancient tradition here today. Taking a deep breath, bring yourself back here to the circle. When you are ready, open your eyes.

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Filed under blood, coming of age, daughter, growing up, Guest Blogger, healing, meditation, memory, menstruation, moon, Moon Lodge, moontime, mother, motherhood, place, Post Menopausal, red tent, red tent experience, ritual, space, transition, Uncategorized, women's stories

How to Meditate in a Red Tent

by Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, PhD

When was the last time you listened-really, really listened-to something deeper than the surface of your life? Meditation isn’t only for those with special training: it’s something anyone can do. It can even help you start a Red Tent. Renew your commitment to the courage and beauty within by making meditation part of your Red Tent practice, and watch this video to help you get started!

This is the topic today on Red Tent TV. To watch the new video:

After you’ve watched the episode, I’d love to know…

     Do you meditate? Why or why not? If you do, how to do you meditate?

I look forward to reading your comments below.

 

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Filed under From the filmmaker, Isadora Gabrielle Leidenfrost, red tent, Red Tent TV