Meditations for Queer Femmes – Day In, Day Out

We just got back from a week in Provincetown, staying in our friends’ beautiful rental, on a quiet street in the East End. Despite everything that’s going on, we had such a lovely time. We were able to rest and renew, thanks to the queerness, the gorgeous light, the bountiful ocean, the presence of friends. I realized I’d been nurturing a bit of agoraphobia, and was able to address that, becoming more comfortable operating out and about within parameters that feel comfortable to me. It was a gorgeous week, and I’m not talking about the weather (for me, all weather in Ptown is gorgeous!).

I have a vitamin container that comes with me whenever we travel. Before leaving home, I load up each section with my C and D and the rest of them. In the past, I’ve hated to see the empty sections, signaling the end of vacation. Last week, however, to my surprise, I found myself contemplating the empty sections with gratitude: each one meant another lovely day in Provincetown, another day resting, going to the beach, seeing friends, allowing for down time in a place that is intensely healing to me. Those days were piling up, not being lost.

Beautitious ones, your every day contains moments of joy and lovely surprises, whether on vacation or not. What have you gained today, what has made you smile and will remain in your memory as a balm? A happy pet moment? A delicious fruit incident? A sweet text; a caress; a child in the park singing at the top of their lungs? How nutritious to the soul it is to notice these joy infusions, to let them fill you and fulfill you, to let them pass through you leaving stardust behind! Dearest darlings, there is so much that is beautiful! Let’s connect there today.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes, in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

 

Published in: on August 31, 2020 at 11:05 AM  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , ,

Queer Femmes Respond – Queer Femme Artist, Janine Evers

All through the dog days of chemo, I could look up and feel calmer, feel loved, when I saw Janine’s painting on the wall. I am so thrilled to hostess my dear Janine, with her wisdom and her beautiful art!

Deep gratitude to Janine for her big heart and her beautiful art and her all-round absolutely wonderful Queer Femme self!

Since the Corona virus has forced us to slow down, pare down, be cautious, pay attention, and simplify, I’ve found that this has affected my art as well. When we all first went into quarantine back in March, I thought that I’d definitely take the opportunity to make lots of art. But as I tried to jump full steam ahead, I became aware that it wasn’t comfortable to make art in the way I had before. I’ve learned to slow way down, and not force the muse. I’ve become conscientious of not making more “stuff” to take up more room in my small home, and in this overcrowded and polluted world. I’ve been making these little mixed media works on paper, just 5 ¾” x 8 ½”. I’ve been keeping them simple and thoughtful; careful not to overwork them, and finding my way back to making art simply for the joy it brings me. Back before art school, galleries, and the pressure to “succeed” as an artist.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2212UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2211UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2210UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_2213.jpg

Janine Evers is a Queer Femme Artist who lives and works in Provincetown. Her colorful, abstract paintings are influenced by the land and seascapes of the Outer Cape, and, particularly by the marine life that is found along the bay on walks during low tide. You can see more of her work at Four Eleven Gallery, Provincetown, Mass.

Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

 New Femme Friday feature starting spring 2020: Queer Femmes Respond. Are you reading more poetry? Are you navigating various technologies in order to see your folx and not be so isolated? Are you still going out to work? Are you able to get out for walks? Who’s home with you? We queer femmes are meeting these unsettling times with queer femme panache, and I want to hear about it! Along the lines of the Corona Letters over at the Sewanee Review, please send in what you’re doing, how you’re staying centered and sane! Write me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com with questions or ideas or a full-on post (with bio, if possible)!

 At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

 

 

 

Published in: on August 21, 2020 at 3:51 PM  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , ,

Meditations for Queer Femmes – Normal

Today I went into the liquor store and picked up a 4-pack of hard cider, a cold and refreshing beverage I normally indulge in a few times a summer. Not last summer, when I was full-on doing chemo. Not earlier this summer because of being in quarantine and then later, not quite knowing how safe it was to head out given my still-compromised immune system. Lately, I’ve been venturing out a bit, though. And today, despite all the changes at the packy with the lines on the floor and the masks on the employees and the hand sanitizer at the door, going in there to buy cider felt normal. Indeed, that’s what a sign on the door said: Thank you for your patience as we adjust to the new normal.

All kinds of different things may constitute the new normal for you, my sparkling darlings. You may be taking care of an elderly family member, drawing on strengths and a gracious and creative patience you never knew you possessed. You may be connecting with your work in ways you never dreamed of. You may have lost work and found something else, moving through shifting emotions with awkwardness or cluelessness but coming through nonetheless. Your art may have morphed into something delightfully obtuse or huge or teeny weeny. You may have taken up an old hobby or delved into obscure corners of your psyche or reached out and found long-lost friends and relations. The new normal has so many directions for us.

We live in times where so much is becoming more visible. It used to be normal to have racist American Indian mascots, for instance. Normal for the majority of white people to dismiss white supremacy – to not even know what that was or how it serves and benefits white people and what kinds of destruction it wages in its rage and hatred. Normal to consume without thought of the effects of consumption; normal to take our life on earth for granted. But normal is not ignorance and ignoring and wanting everything to be ok. I think normal is less about what we got used to, often thoughtlessly, and more about finding a true and enduring connection to yourself, to reality, to how to live in love and faith and respect.

Every day is a new normal.

Luscious cupcakes, take a deep breath and breathe in the world. Feel your own precious essence. Think about how and when and why you feel your own best most grounded queer femme self. Think about when you feel the most normal. Promise me that you’ll find your way there every day. Close your eyes.

Find your way there now.

Every Monday, I offer a Meditation for Queer Femmes in the spirit of my maternal grandmother, Mimi, who was fabulous, kind, and wise and from whom I inherited her Meditations for Women.

At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.

 

Published in: on August 10, 2020 at 4:48 PM  Comments (2)  
Tags: ,

Queer Femmes Respond – Opening to Uncertainty, a One-Minute Practice with Constance Clare-Newman

How lovely to be hostessing Constance this Friday, my femme co-conspirator in bringing more butch/femme and femme community to Provincetown, and so much more!

Deep Gratitude to Constance for her wisdom, love, and generosity in caring for our precious femme bodies and souls.  

One-Minute Practice: Opening to Uncertainty

Our brains are wired to perceive ambiguity as a threat, and when we are threatened, we tense up. Tightening and contracting and trying to “figure it out” we try to create certainty where there is little. It may be instinctive, but it doesn’t actually work, it feels bad and it doesn’t have to be our destiny.

Even when things are out of control, we can still decide what we pay attention to, and how we respond. When we pay attention to our breath, our feet on the ground, and what matters to us, we can make the best of whatever situation we are in.

But first, shake it out. Stand up and shake a leg, shake the other leg. Shake an arm, then the other. Shake your hips, your shoulders, gently shake your head. Do a little shake and jump. Then feel your feet on the floor as you come to stillness. One more shake and exhale the tightness out and then gently let your breath in while feeling your aliveness.

Now simply notice your length, your width and your depth (front to back.) Notice the room you are in and the air around you, above you, below you. Let yourself take up space in your room.

As you think about how you can move forward amidst all the uncertainty, can you imagine doing it with a relaxed jaw, easy breath, not tightening inwards? Can you imagine an outcome different from a worst case scenario, can you imagine a previous un-thought of way to help with what really matters to you?

Maybe you are already doing a lot in service to what is most important. Can you do it while not-tightening, not contracting, but continuing to release into openness? It’s not easy, but it sure feels better when you practice this way. And you’re probably more effective too.

Wishing you less contraction and more openness this summer.

Over the last 30+ years of teaching embodiment, Constance Clare-Newman has developed a trauma- sensitive, neuroscience-informed approach to embodiment practices that focus on wholeness of being.

Grounded in her own deep study of embodiment practices, dance, improvisation, meditation, breathwork, trauma work, contemplative traditions, deep ecology, social justice work and addiction recovery, Constance facilitates a path to wholeness.

Constance currently works extensively with on-line lessons and classes. You can sign up for quarterly “One-Minute Practices” and/or find more about working with her here: https://www.constanceclare.com/

As a movement artist, Constance has explored many forms of dance, including serious study of Hawkins, Cunningham, Corvino techniques. She danced with Westwind, an international folk-dance ensemble, and spent time with Irish step and ceili dance. More recently improvisation has been a focus and she has collaborated with other improvisors in a WhatsApp project inspired by Remy Charlip’s AirMail Dances. Find her moving on Instagram at @constanceclare.

 Embody Wholeness 
with the Alexander Technique
and Constance Clare-Newman

www.constanceclare.com
constance@constanceclare.com
Every Friday, I showcase a queer femme goddess. I want to feature you! Write to me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com and let me shine a spotlight on your beautiful, unique, femme story! If you’ve written a femme story or poem or song, oh, please let me post it!

 New Femme Friday feature starting spring 2020: Queer Femmes Respond. Are you reading more poetry? Are you navigating various technologies in order to see your folx and not be so isolated? Are you still going out to work? Are you able to get out for walks? Who’s home with you? We queer femmes are meeting these unsettling times with queer femme panache, and I want to hear about it! Along the lines of the Corona Letters over at the Sewanee Review, please send in what you’re doing, how you’re staying centered and sane! Write me at thetotalfemme@gmail.com with questions or ideas or a full-on post (with bio, if possible)!

 At the Total Femme, my intention is to post three times a week: Meditations for Queer Femmes on Monday, Pingy-Dingy Wednesday on Wednesday and Femme Friday on Friday. Rather than play catch-up in a stressful fashion on those weeks when life prevents posting, I have decided to just move gaily forward: if I miss a Monday, the next post will be on Wednesday, and so on. Thank you, little bottle of antibiotics for inspiring me in this! (“…if it’s almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Don’t take a double dose to make up for a missed one.”) As I recover from treatment for breast cancer, however, I’m just going to post whenever I can manage.