This post marks the beginning of a short leave for me -- In Her Room will continue to launch new episodes each Thursday, but regular blogging will cease until late June. I'll be checking my email very sporadically, and will be returning in early July with a full range of new products and services. If you've not signed up already, enter your email in the box to the right to receive advance notification of this launch and all the other exciting things I have planned.
My creativity does not come exclusively from one part of my body.
I have two X chromosomes. I have internal genitalia resembling a uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries. I was assigned female at birth. I self-identify as "woman," and as part of that community.
But my creativity does not exist solely in my womb.
There was a time, not too long ago, that I prided myself on being part of a women's spiritual community that encouraged and supported women calling on their "creative cauldron" to fuel their magick and personal creativity. Using the energy of blood and birth, these women created ritual to fuel their work and life, and I supported it fully. I still support their choice to practice this way.
But I fell in love with one, and then another, and then another beautiful human being who didn't feel like they belonged in either gender. That their bodies were alien because of the social constructs placed on them. And too, I myself did not feel a sense of creative power from my uterus -- a body part that had known pain and fear and destruction most of my life. So I left this group, discovering ways to build my own magik.
And then I turned 30. In America, 30 is the wonderful age at which the medical establishment trusts women to make reproductive health decisions without a gamut of "second opinions." I made the appointments, I spoke with doctors. And in March, I was granted authorization by my insurance company to have a hysterectomy
My uterus does not create my art.
The day I scheduled my surgery, I cried. For the pure relief of having a date -- an end in sight to the years of painful menstruation, the decades of carrying physical trauma. And also, for the grieving. The years spent worrying about unplanned pregnancies, the three miscarriages before I turned 16, the unexpected abortion that left me puking for days. For the way that freedom suddenly felt like a thing I could know in my bones. In my blood.
Many other writers have written about* choosing to be childless. As women, we face the extra societal pressure and struggle of being those who actually bear children, and not just one half of an equation. As a woman who is under strict medical advice to not bear children, and who chooses to heed this advice entirely by having a hysterectomy, I have faced scrutiny I wouldn't have expected. I'm "giving up my womanhood," and have even been called a traitor to my gender.
My creative path comes from my essence, my energy, my soul.
My creativity is not born from the same place as a human. My creativity rides on red blood cells and launches itself into orbit around my heart. My creative fire is a passion that ripples in my very marrow. My commitment to art, to life, to breathing cannot be extracted from me. It cannot be surgically removed. It cannot die until my last breath is drawn.
My "creative cauldron" is a place I create, a fire I tend in the very belly of my beast. It cannot be removed, surgically or otherwise.
After years of carrying the burden of energy other people shoved into me and demanded I bear for them, it is finally time to birth my own expansion. When I return from this leave, it is with light and fire and the clarity of vision that will carry my business and my work into the next several months. Including new digital products, new opportunities to work with me, and even some small-group writing instruction.
I am ready to fuel my own creative unfurling.
I hope that you will join me.