I remember being in Kerala in South India, on a wooden block being slathered with sesame oil by two smiling sari clad women. I distinctly remember the precise moment that, in perfect synchronicity, they slid smoothly over my breasts, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. I contracted in shock, embarrassment, shame…..
I remember too the first time I massaged my naked breasts in a circle of women all massaging their breasts and how acutely inwardly embarrassed I was at my ‘imperfect’ breasts. Simultaneously I felt the wonder of baring them to a loving, non-judgmental circle of women, all celebrating our breasts together. I remember the giggles, the sisterhood, the liberation. I remember the total fascination in finding everyone else’s breasts so totally different and yet so exquisitely beautiful. I remember that feeling of heart opening wellness and sensuality that arose after only a few minutes of caressing my breasts with coconut oil and smiling my hearts love into them.
It was at that time that I realised how much of the energy of disdain I’d been projecting into them all my life. A lot of the time, I’d pretend they didn’t exist, and if ever I caught myself naked in the mirror, I’d stare at my body in horror, with a special YUK reserved for what I considered to be my small, flaccid, strangely shaped breasts with not much of a nipple. I’d cover them up quickly and move on! Nor was it til my early forties that I finally realised I wasn’t acting like a ‘whore’ if my top revealed a part of my cleavage.
Of course, I now understand that I wasn’t alone. So many of us were conditioned through media, family, ‘friends’ etc to have some kind or weird or unhealthy relationship with our breasts.
We absorbed the message that:
a) breasts are meant to look a certain way, and
b) breasts are shameful, to be ignored and kept under wraps as much as physically possible,
c) breasts are simply inconvenient scary things that have the potential to become cancerous – just look at the media examples of celebrities having their breasts removed ‘just in case’ – what kind of message is that giving to the young women of today?
These old beliefs about our breasts can separate us from our natural feminine sensual energy, keep us in shame and /or fear, as well as keep them unhealthy, untoned, lack luster, or worse, forming life threatening lumps and bumps.
And the good news is…. we CAN ring the bells of change for our ‘BELLS of LOVE’, as they are affectionately known in the taoist tradition.
HERE’S WHY WE WANT TO LOVE & CARE FOR OUR BREASTS!
1) An integral part of investing in your BESTself love, is investing in your BREAST love. This is because our breasts are the outer visible manifestation of a woman’s heart. Just as our hearts want to radiate love, compassion, happiness, so too our breasts want to offer love, nourishment and joy. In the taoist tradition our hearts and breasts are known as the Yang expression of our sexuality and our wombs and yonis are the Yin expressions of our sexuality. As with any yin/yang polarity, there is no one pole more important than the other. ‘As above, so below, as below, so above’. Our breasts are therefore a vital treasure in the balance of our feminine nature.
2) Our breasts of course also play a vital role in our hormonal and sexual health and well-being. Our nipples are an integral part of our endocrine system and activating them harmonises our hormonal health and also stimulates healthy lubrication in our yoni’s (vaginas).
3) Our thoughts are energy or qi, and our bodies respond to our thoughts. If we’re constantly subconsciously saying, You are ugly, you’re too saggy, you’re weird, you’re unhealthy, then our bodies will very happily oblige and continue to be saggy, weird, ugly etc, in fact they will only get uglier the longer we persist with these thought patterns!
4) If we’re constantly in fear, our breasts will hear, – they will literally contract in fear, and contracted energy is stuck energy and stuck energy is just a whisper away from what chinese medicine calls Stagnation which can lead to lumps, bumps, cysts or cancer.
5) Our breasts are close to some essential Yin organs and so can take on the stuck, non-serving energies of these organs (as well as the serving ones, of course!). For example our Liver’s sit just underneath our breasts. The emotions of anger and frustration can hang out in our Liver and can easily be taken on by our breasts. The same goes for sadness from the Heart, grief from the Lungs or worry from the Spleen.
6) Several key meridians (energy pathways) pass through our breasts, eg the Liver, Kidney and Stomach (as well as the Chong Mai, an extraordinary channel that flows from our Uterus into our breasts). So, keeping our breasts healthy will have a positive effect on the physical and emotional health of these organ systems.
7) Our breasts are not only susceptible to energy from within us, but also from outside ourselves too. If we don’t have breast awareness, our breasts, with their absorbent breast tissue and as extensions of our heart, can take on chaotic energies of the environment around them. This vulnerable breast tissue can also be susceptible to electro magnetic stress and other pollutants, not to mention absorbing sometimes subconscious, subtle and maybe unwanted attention! (of course if your partner is loving, devotional and totally honouring of your breasts, then they will enthusiastically lap up this energy too!)
8) Loving our breasts can help with breast tenderness, mastitis, all manner of lumps, bumps and cysts (and of course if you find a new bump, always get it checked out. Often it is just fibrous stagnated tissue that can be moved through with massage, exercise and a change in diet, but always get them checked out by a medical professional as well.
So, are you ready to invest in your best breasts EVER?
HERE’S HOW TO LOVE AND CARE FOR OUR BREASTS!
1) DEVOTION – from today, set that intention to love and honour your breasts back into wholeness! Accept your breasts exactly as they are, ie as the unique and beautiful extensions of your very own heart. Smiling into them, especially using techniques such as the Inner Smile (see my article http://taotreasures.com/the-smile/ ) will counteract any ‘fear or critical thoughts that you may have previously been projecting onto them and will light them up from the inside out!
2) EMOTIONS – get in touch with your inner emotional landscape, embracing and taking responsibility for all that arises within you and allow it to flow smoothly through.
Just as you can use the Taoist Six Healing sounds to transform emotional energy stuck in your organs, so too you can use this technique to shift any stuck emotional energy in your breasts. Remember to finish by absorbing the virtue emotions (eg joy, confidence, benevolence, trust and peace) deep into your breasts. Or simply sing or chant from your heart into your breasts. Minke de Vos recommends chanting the sound “Shaaaaaaaang’ into the breasts as it has an effective Liver moving vibration. And remember, there is no sound in the Universe more powerfully healing than our own voice when sounded with our highest intention and devotional love. So get creative and sing your breasts into harmony!
3) MASSAGE – One of the most important practices you can offer your female body is breast massage. Massaging our breasts daily helps to activate our heart energy and clears stagnant energy helping to avoid lumps.
Before you touch your body, rub your palms together to create warmth and smile into them.
A simple taoist practice involves breathing in earth energy from beneath your feet, drawing it up through your womb to your heart centre and and circling this alchemy of earth, womb and heart energy around the top of your breasts and down the outsides. Continue to circle around your breasts in this direction flowering your hearts energy into them each time your hands pass through your centre. Massaging in this direction is thought to disperse any lumps and bumps as well as tone your breast tissue. (Earth energy is dispersing as well as nourishing).
Massaging lightly around your nipples stimulates and activates your whole endocrine system and so will regulate the hormones in your adrenals, helping you to relax, as well as the hormones in your ovaries, helping to adjust any irregularities in your menstrual health.
Its good to take time at least once a week to treat yourself to a longer breast massage. Tune into your breasts and see how they would love to be touched. Maybe some days they’re feeling tender and don’t want to be massaged at all. If this is the case you can circle your palms around the energetic field of your breasts, which moves the qi in a gentle way and helps you connect to your subtle energy body. Alternatively, some days they may like firmer touch such as kneading or want to shake or vibrate, so get creative with your massage styles.
Remember of course to only use oils that you would actually eat as they are being absorbed into your soft tissues, blood and lymph. This goes for deodorants too – natural all the way!
Have fun with your breast massage! Your breasts will respond to your joyful practice by waking up, perking up and toning up. They’ll become more open and sensitive to touch, allowing in more vibrant health energy as well as more sensual pleasure to your life.
4) LIBERATE yourself from ‘the big bra myth’. Contrary to popular belief, going ‘bra less’ doesn’t make our breasts droop. Tight bra’s actually hinder circulation and prevent the smooth flow of qi through our breasts and so ultimately render them less toned and more flacid. Do whatever you can to liberate your life from tight or underwired bras. If this feels too uncomfortable for you at first then treat yourself to a breast massage as soon as you take off your bra. Your breast energy will really revel in their new freedom.
5) TO NOURISH YOURSELF IS TO NOURISH YOUR BREASTS Foods that support the smooth flow of Liver Qi are helpful to our breast health. Heat can slow down this flow, so its best to avoid hot, spicy, peppery or fatty foods or excessive amounts of red meat, alcohol and caffeine. Dampness from sluggish Spleen or Stomach energy can also stagnate and form into lumps and bumps. It can be helpful, therefore, to avoid excess cold or raw foods as well as decreasing consumption of dairy, greasy foods and refined sugar. Eat your way back to your best breast health with Liver loving dark greens and Spleen supporting root veggie soups.
So, if you’ve somehow along the way forgotten to embrace your breasts as the magnificent, powerful expressions of your feminine Being that they are, then NOW is the time to love yourself back to wholeness, NOW is the time to reclaim the sacred sensual art of breast love and literally take your breast health and pleasure into your own hands!