The Goddess in Your Vagina.

Via on Apr 11, 2011

The Power of the Yin Principle is Already Inside You, Literally.

As I walk out of Planned Parenthood, I think that I must be the only woman in the world who can see an IUD insertion as a spiritual experience. But then I question that, because the feeling of communion with women throughout time is no small part of the strange, connected feeling coursing through me.

I am literally stopped by the hydrangeas blooming in front of me as I walk out the door. I can’t take my eyes off them. Mesmerized, I reach out to touch them the way I would stroke the curve of my lover’s jaw and feel tears rising to meet my touch.

There could be a lot of reasons to cry walking out of Planned Parenthood including pain, loss, or unwelcome news, but for me it is gratitude. In part, I am grateful for the women I have just encountered who join scientific precision with social activism and basic, human nurturance. I feel safe here. And yet what is filling me is far deeper than this more ordinary gratitude.

As I lie on the examination table, draped knees bent with feet in stirrups, I flash on the countless times that I and other women have been in this same, somewhat compromised state. I think of the midwife who examined me during my first pregnancy, simply and straightforwardly on her living room couch. I think of my psychotherapy client relating to me her frozen terror at being examined like this after a long history of sexual abuse.

My musings are interrupted by the practitioner down by my feet. “How are you doing?” she asks kindly between every pause in the procedure, and I notice how she meets my eyes when she asks just as the receptionist did at the front desk.

Mostly, though, as I return my stare to the ceiling, I think of giving birth to my two daughters, at home on all fours, my cervix opening wide to become that sacred gateway between the divine, unmanifested world and this one.

In my meditation practice, I work with breathing into the lower Dan Tien, a term borrowed from Chinese healing to reference the area that must be just about where the womb sits. As I open and soften in my meditation, I discover a gateway inside me to another world that is size-less and utterly ungraspable. My awareness drops deep into the earth, beyond all boundaries until I find that the essence of earth is actually space—warm, nurturing space.

Experiencing this directly, viscerally, I find that it is no mystery where life comes from; it comes from here, from “Her.” In this meditation I bring my attention to a spot equidistant between my navel and my pubic bone and then travel back, toward the spine, until suddenly there is no “there” there, and I drop down and back and out into the fathomlessness. I surrender back into where I came from, and into what I am.

To me, it feels like satin—seamless and whole and beautiful. Finally, I experience it as a deep out-breath of relief to finally be home again, back in my Mother’s lap.

Now, lying in this office in Planned Parenthood and splayed into unnatural openness, I listen to the practitioner’s explanations. In order to insert the IUD, the cervix must yield. She tells me that this can take time, that it’s a dance between herself and the cervix as she gently prods, waiting for it to relax and open. As she explains, images dance before me—a flower yielding to sunlight, a pod of seeds bursting with the gentle touch of a child’s finger. She says that one can’t force it; she has to take her time; and that sometimes it just isn’t possible and she has to try again on another day.

I reflect on how her surgical know-how softens into a gentle dialogue with my body in order to accomplish this task. As I lie here, bared and feeling vulnerable, I am glad that I trust this woman whose hands are inside me. I don’t think that my cervix is likely to yield to someone whom I do not trust, and it strikes me that the power of the feminine is paradoxical. You cannot force a flower to open; it requires “not doing” rather than a “doing.” I notice how my attendant’s calm demeanor and years of experience convey a sense of safety. This is her real instrument for this procedure.

I feel vulnerable being held opened by the metal speculum, feeling the sting of the anesthesia injected into my cervix and cramping from the pressure of being prodded. But it is a vulnerability entirely unlike what I felt in giving birth. While in labor my openness was contained inside of me, away from the sight and cool air of the outside world.

In giving birth my attention was pulled inside forcibly by something naturally wild, hot, raw and primitive—something so powerful that my only choice was to surrender.

Here I feel almost flayed.

The sensations and fear are sharp around the edges. I am being touched and pierced by cold, metal instruments, seen and felt and pushed on. Relaxing into this kind of surrender is a conscious act of will. Then with a long, slow out-breath I imagine dropping through the lower Dan Tien and deep into the fathomless. Consciously, I yield.

Unlike menstruation and childbirth, this dilation of the cervix is not natural, yet still I find that the opening becomes a gateway to the world behind this world. Maybe it is because the cervix has deigned to open, or because I have given myself over to this woman’s capable, kind hands, maybe it is because the very nature of my woman’s body is itself a portal, but I notice that my mind widens as my cervix does. I feel floaty, wide and yet very present. I hear her say how copper IUD’s have been used since ancient times, the copper being a natural spermicide. The IUD does nothing but sit there in the mouth of the uterus, its natural ions interfering with the sperm’s motility. She informs me that studies show that typically with this simple “T” shaped piece of copper in place, no sperm can be found in the fallopian tubes where fertilization typically takes place.

My thoughts wander to images of women in ancient Egypt fashioning early, copper IUD’s, then passing themselves into each other’s soft, strong hands for insertion in order to procure a sexual freedom that they could not otherwise enjoy. I feel so touched by female sexuality and the fortitude that women have exercised to keep it.

Then I begin to touch this strength in myself, the strength to open, utterly vulnerable, into another person’s hands.

To yield honestly and wholeheartedly, present and fearless, for the sheer love of freedom, in this case the freedom to commune with my beloved in every possible way without holding back in fear of pregnancy. The dignity of yielding, the power of the Yin principle, pervades me.

The delicate act is finished so quickly. “It was very straightforward this time,” she says, adding, “Now, I don’t want anything in your vagina for 24 hours.” I notice an intimacy here that belies her professionalism and have a moment of wanting to cry with gratitude. Not gratitude for her performing this service, or even because I am now miraculously protected against pregnancy. That is secondary. No, I feel gratitude because in this moment I am open to her and to the divine feminine. I can see, can feel, how women are conduits for what is real and open and raw—how we offer ourselves as gateways to men through our love making, to children through giving birth, and perhaps most beautifully to each other through our trust and intimacy. I see how we unwittingly invite the breeze of stillness to pass through us every time we open.

As I get up to dress, I want to pour love all over her. I thank her, and as I walk out of the building I am stopped dead by the incomprehensible white and purple hydrangeas that greet me with far more depth and silence than they ought to. And in their presence I feel the winds of stillness from beyond blow across my own face, thanking me back.

(Kristin Luce)

About Kristin Luce

Kristin Luce is slowly going sane by using her actual life and relationships to wake up. Her quest for truth has led her through a B.A. in Philosophy, an M.A. in Buddhist Psychology, intensive retreat practice, certification as a Meditation Instructor, two life-changing relationships and two life-changing kids. She now provides in-depth coaching for individuals and couples who want profound and dramatic transformation. An avid writer, she has been featured in such publications as Mothering Magazine and The Buddhadharma, and is a regular contributor to elephant journal. Friend her on Facebook, Twitter, her website or contact her at info@kristinluce.com.

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77 Responses to “The Goddess in Your Vagina.”

  1. Julia says:

    thanks, …this is oddly relevant for me right now.

  2. Brian says:

    Great article Kristin! You're 3 for 3!

  3. Skip says:

    You should write an article about putting on a condom!

  4. Michael says:

    I am SO reposting!

  5. Matthew says:

    Another fantastic read!

  6. Julian Walker yogijulian says:

    this is gorgeous and potent. thank you.

  7. Christophe says:

    You are a great writer Kristen. I like how you go "there" and bring sex back into the sacred and discussable. Brave and important!

  8. Carson says:

    I posted it on my page. Love it.

  9. Carol says:

    Lovely piece, thank you

  10. Tari says:

    I bow to your openness and creativity.

  11. Becca says:

    Thanks Kristin. Beautiful.

  12. Marty says:

    Your utter courage and openness cut through me right to my heart. The naked intimacy of your story brings me to that exhilirating knife edge where one walks a tightrope of possibility over an abyss of fear.

    While the general tenor of the article is one of empowerment of women, as a very straight man in a cherished relationship I also find it extremely empowering. I think most relationships that fail do not do so out of malicious intent, but out of lack of understanding. By allowing me into your very private experience, you shed more light onto what it really means to be a woman. And that knowledge feels helpful to me in my ongoing efforts to be a better man.

    Thanks for sharing your gifts.

    • JarrodHomer says:

      "By allowing me into your very private experience, you shed more light onto what it really means to be a woman. And that knowledge feels helpful to me in my ongoing efforts to be a better man."

      I couldn't have said it any better myself Marty!
      Thank you very much for this Kristin.

  13. Ken says:

    Awesome!

  14. guest says:

    Nice, rich, sensorial article. Thank you. I don't know if you have control over the photos used but I found the picture of the pre-pubescent (seemingly) hairless woman to be incongruous with the maturity of the reflections in the essay. Would have liked to see illustrations to match the fearless experience-as-felt prose, rather than ones that pander to contemporary pornographic moves towards sexualizing pre-pubescent girls. Having never experienced an IUD insertion, this was interesting stuff to know!

    • KristinSLuce says:

      Thanks for your feedback about the article and the photo!

      • guestnow says:

        yes, I find it interesting that the photo which is likely not pre-pubescent but a (mostly) hairless female a little contrary to the embracing of the Divine Feminine with it's representation of a very sanitized view of women and the photos is also a sexualization of a woman….. which adds a bit of sensationalism to the article unfortunately …but EJ seems to do that in general….

  15. *K* says:

    wow wow wow. beautiful!! thank you for sharing, that was so moving and inspiring. I don't even have words to describe. thank you.

  16. yodywdva says:

    Kristin, your article has in my mind at less revealed a very spiritual side to an otherwise personal and private situation for young ladies and women. So, as a man I found the article to be interesting and very relevant. Keep up the good work.

  17. What a great piece of writing… it gives me a glimpse, as a man, into the sacred power of the feminine within my own being. Too bad that I feel a bit corny even saying that… but, its true… thanks for this insight!

  18. Sharon says:

    Brilliant!

  19. Izcandé says:

    Inspiring!

  20. Pamela says:

    A beautiful truth Kristin! Keep it going lady!!

  21. Melinda Reichenbach says:

    Thank you for this wonderful post–especially important considering the budget cuts Planned Parenting is facing. Women need a safe place. http://articles.latimes.com/2011/apr/08/news/la-h

  22. Beth says:

    I loved this! As a woman who has given birth and as a woman who has chosen contraception as freedom to love, I embrace your lovely writing and your openess. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  23. Rudra says:

    Beautiful! Jai Ma!

  24. Natasha says:

    This was so beautiful, Thank you!

  25. Sharon says:

    Refreshing, and beautifully written. Thank you for the many sweet insights….

  26. guest says:

    This is magnificent. Thanks.

  27. john says:

    Well written, however I just wonder how folks would respond/react if there was an article titled " The God is in your Penis"
    Feels like it is ok to go one way, but not the other.

    • KristinSLuce says:

      If it were posted on Elephant, I don't think it would phase me actually :-) And, I hear what you are saying. My thought is that there has been an inequity between the male and female (Yin and Yang, God and Goddess) in terms of recognizing the power, strength and healing power of these different energies. Using "vagina" here, for me, balances this somewhat, whereas "The God is in your Penis," doesn't. Interesting post, thanks!

  28. Laura says:

    Wow, Kristin. I am touched by both the strength and vulnerability expressed through your beautiful writing.

  29. Karen says:

    Wow. Thank you so much.
    Beautiful.

  30. [...] Read the full article on Elephant Journal This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. ← All I Really Need is a Good F*ck & Someone to Pick Me Up at the Airport. [...]

  31. [...] is deep. Opening to the fullness of acceptance is a multilayered process. Think of one thing you wish was different [...]

  32. Martha says:

    What extraordinary writing, I am truly touched… Thank you

  33. Carolyn says:

    wow thanks kristin. i'm feelin' it in the dan tien

  34. guest says:

    Deeply touched by the beauty and intimacy of your writing, Kristin. Thank you for sharing your articles and your heart.

  35. Diana says:

    This is wonderful–and very relevant to me at the moment. Thank you for shedding a little more light on this subject, especially that of non-hormonal birth control as well as the modern and historical power women can have over their physical selves. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Truly beautiful to read.

  36. Eva says:

    Kristin is a bad ass! thank you for your words lovely lady :)

  37. Sue says:

    This ROCKS! Loving your Elephant articles. Sharing them with my Women's Spirituality class. Thank you for speaking the sometimes rendered unspeakable.

  38. Guest says:

    Your volunerability so exquisitely stated through your writing is incredibly awe inspiring and impressive and brave. amazing :)

  39. beachlovinyogi says:

    I certainly did not have the same experience getting my IUD, but was beautiful to read!!

  40. Hillary says:

    What a beautifully written, truly vulnerable work of prose! How courageous and well done.

  41. fxgeorges says:

    Clitorius was a mystical goddess of the vagina .Men loved her,women wanted to be her.

  42. Suzanne says:

    Thank you, Kristin, for another piece that dances between the worlds: the human, the divine, the sexual, the profound. Indeed, its dance makes clear that these worlds are all one, and I am ever grateful to be a woman, in touch with this oneness through my own experiences giving birth–both to myself and to my daughters. The art I am stunned by and grateful to in your writing is the ability to put this vastness into words, contained in the lovely vase of the page.

  43. Melissa K says:

    So beautiful Kristen!! love all of your work it is very healing to hear your RAW faith…. you go girl '@;—"– even some men are getting it!! spread the LOVE!

  44. Edward says:

    Insightful!

  45. Amy says:

    Stunning writing. Got yourself a new fan!

  46. [...] to mat. Knees spread wide. I fully embraced the release and comfort of child’s [...]

  47. Cindy says:

    This is absolutely beautiful, I am so grateful for your intimate and private sharing of something we women have all experienced, or if we haven't, we will now become more aware.

  48. Guest says:

    Your tapping into the Divine Feminine through your procedure was so tenderly beautiful. Thank you.

  49. [...] deepergoddessshopThe Goddess in Your VaginaShareWe came across this article by Kristin Luce at elephantjournal.com, an important and brilliant read about how a pelvic exam can be a spiritual practice. Here is an [...]

  50. As much as I appreciated the beautiful language telling of connectedness of all of them joined in the rites of womenkind, I feel a reluctance at the whole idea of an IUD. Having had an experience with an IUD induced infection (which is not uncommon), I prefer other alternatives to preventing conception — preferably vasectomies by partners. Once a man has fathered his children, there is not functional reason not to have that very simple and very reliable procedure. Certainly the complications of vasectomy are much much much lower than those of an IUD.

    • KristinSLuce says:

      I agree completely. My (now) ex-husband and I agreed on this point, and a vasectomy worked great after we had children and before our divorce. My own experience with an IUD has been very positive, and, for me, has the fewest down-sides. There are of, course, down-sounds to every female contraceptive. My article isn't particularly a "pro-IUD" piece, just literally my experience of the insertion. Thanks for your post!

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