I am no less because of my mastectomy. Perhaps I am more…

What It Means to Be a Woman

September 3, 2011

Hi Marta [energy teacher],

Thank you so much for your email [pasted below] Your suggestions and feedback were so helpful and added so much to my experience.

In particular, I wanted to respond to your last comment about me—the “Goddess” comment.* It brings me a bit to tears as I write this because, as I think you may be able to imagine, with the loss of my right breast, there has been a grieving and deep questioning about what it means to be a woman. For me, my breasts have always been such a strong energy center—to both give and receive. They have been an expression of femininity, warmth, and a source of great pleasure. There is the more surface issue of the loss of beauty, and then the deeper energetic issue of the loss of sensation, and how that affects my sense of body and sense of self.

Really this is hard to put into language, so I will cease my efforts at this point, but I just wanted to say thank you for viewing me in this way and reminding me that much of what I define as “woman” emanates from within.

blessings . . . and I look forward to further exploration in your classes,


* From Marta’s email to me:

It is difficult for me to talk about this on the computer but as I told you last week I did see the goddess in you fully expressing through your movement. I am not sure how familiar you are with the main 10 Hindu Goddesses but I have done some work with them and the one that came to mind when I saw you in class is called Chinnamasta . . . She cuts her head off and offers and drinks of her own blood with infinite pleasure.

I am going to paste in a quote from a book I have [Kali’s Odiyya: A Shaman’s True Story of Initiation, by Amarananda Bhairavan] so you get a sense of who she is:

“The pleasure the body can bring us is much less than the pain, sorrow and disease. In her ecstasy as the Eternal, Chinnamasta can drink all the blood, all the joy and all the sorrows of the embodied life. She can absorb all the experiences of time, including disappointment and suffering, without forgetting her true nature.”

That is what I saw in you . . . your true Goddess nature . . . .

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