The healing powers of women

PepeBeachWe spent the last weekend in the south of Spain on one of our favourite beaches. This place has become very special to us over the last year because it is close to where we got married, and it guards some lovely memories. Last September I slept there right under the stars and ate unlimited amounts of fresh pomegranates with a very close friend of mine. It was also there that we celebrated my husband’s birthday and decided that we wanted to have a baby. On top of that it’s wild, spacious and beautiful, as well as allows any degree of nakedness and dogs – which is just how our Basset Hound Pepe likes it.

As we live in Spain, sunshine is not exactly a rare commodity, so we did not mind it too much that the weekend was a little cloudy and not as hot as in Madrid. It was wonderful to just be immersed in the sound of the sea and enjoy the sand. We got back to our little cottage in the evening soaked with warmth and blissfully tired from being outdoors most of the day.

At night my husband and I were woken up by the sound of Pepe scratching and flopping his enormous ears. As he kept walking around the dark room and shaking his head it became obvious that this was not just a random scratch that happens to all of us. He appeared to be in a lot of discomfort and was not about to go back to sleep. I left the room with him to have a look at his ears in the bathroom. One of his ears was pink and hot inside, and he seemed to be experiencing something between itchiness and pain, because he wanted me to scratch it gently but would wince if I pressed on the skin. Given the size of Basset Hounds’ ears and their unique capacity to collect dust and dirt, this breed is prone to ear infections. However, as I had cleaned Pepe’s ears a day earlier, it just didn’t seem like the right diagnosis. An image came to my mind of Pepe having a really long nap on the beach on his back with his ear flopped outwards, and it hit me that it was sunburn. Despite the occasional clouds, we had all been soaked by the sun a little too much. So I looked through the magic potions and oils that I take with me to all trips, and found some lavender infused organic olive oil I had made this spring with lavender from our nearby mountains. I gently rubbed it inside his ear and we returned back to the dark bedroom.

Pepe got into his bed and I stooped beside it to make sure he settled in. I was gently stroking his fur while he licked his paws to comfort himself, and I imagined him falling asleep and all of us spending a peaceful night to wake up rested. As I was doing it, I remembered an interview with Eckhart Tolle that I had listened to earlier during the week in which he suggested a practice of mini meditations of 15 – 30 seconds. The key idea was to spend those few seconds being really and truly present in the moment, no matter what it was, experiencing it as if it was the ultimate goal in and of itself rather than just some temporary activity to get us to a desired outcome (for example, while washing the dishes to experience the washing of the dishes rather than just to get through it for the final result of a clean kitchen, or as in my case – getting the dog to calm down so that we could all sleep).

And here I was in the present moment. The room was filled with pitch black darkness. I became aware of the smell of lavender and the sounds of my husband’s and Pepe’s breathing as well as some strange nocturnal bird outside. I could feel Pepe’s short fur and the warmth of his paw in my hand, the temperature of my own body and how naked I was (pajamas in our household are reserved to a few cold winter nights each year). I sensed the weight of my big pregnant belly, and how nicely I could still squat in my favourite position. I felt the intention of my present actions – to be there for this floppy-eared creature wanting to be cared for.

Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with a profound feeling of connection with every woman out there who at any point in time and space had sat there next to someone in need of comfort. All of us – my mom who appeared as a blurry image on feverish nights in my childhood, a nurse from an old war film caring for soldiers, and even some cave woman attending her man’s wounds inflicted by a saber-tooth tiger thousands of years ago – leaning over with faces full of loving concern. Here we were all connected to this primal source of the universe’s feminine energy, the very essence and raw embodiment of nurturing and healing, rooted in the core of the earth. The sensation was a throbbing mixture of intense power and the most serene trust in myself, my body, and all the women as a collective. Trust that we can have the awareness and intuition to discern what is needed in each moment without resistance or declaring wars against dis-comforts, dis-eases or bacteria, and that we have the force to just hold the space needed for the healing to take place. Just when I reached the peak of this ecstatic moment of realizing how incredible is the power that the women have to nurture life and to be the very gate through which it enters this planet, I heard a small snore escape from Pepe’s nose. And like all superwomen, I knew that it was a sign to smugly get back to bed.

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