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Good Goddess! Del Hughes looks for divine inspiration in 2024

04 Feb 2024 12 minute read
Becoming a Goddess

Del Hughes

When your body has the contours and consistency of an uncooked cottage loaf, scrutinising your – completely starkers – self in a full-length mirror, was never going to be the most enjoyable experience.

Okay, so technically I’m not totally in the buff – though my new pair of specs, whilst endowing me with a welcome façade of wisdom and gravitas, also bring my numerous knots of cellulite into startling, crêpey clarity. Sigh.

But this sharp-eyed evaluation of my pudgy physique isn’t the worst of it. Not by a long shot. Because the next step, as advised by Bex – ‘healing guide’ and facilitator of the 7 Days to Release Your Inner Goddess plan – is to ‘touch yourself!’

Oo-er missus! Bet you didn’t think you’d be spiralling down that raunchy rabbit hole, but in fairness, neither did I. And it’s only Day 2!

Cottage Loaf aka Current Body, CC BY-SA 2.0

Swaddled

No, what I’d scheduled for January was a marvellous month of llamas, spell bottles, seated tai chi, and getting my first ever tattoo. But those delights had to be bumped because, for the last six weeks, I’ve not moved from the house, and I won’t be first-footing it anywhere for the foreseeable.

Instead, due to a stupid spinal flare-up, I’ve spent the whole festive season (and still counting), swaddled in dressing gown, slippers, and a serious heft of self-pity – whilst doing hourly rotations of two TENS machines, a spongy neck collar, and various hot water bottles.

As a ‘glass half full’ kinda gal, the upside of being housebound means I don’t need to faff with hair, make-up, bra, or pants (and thus making Bex’s Day 2 call to action that much quicker to achieve).

But the downside is that Christmas was a washout and, as my days drift by in a drug-fuelled, nerve-blocked fog of pain, tears, and irrational arguments, I’m starting to go stir crazy.

I can’t even go to Uke Club because my left arm doesn’t work and I can’t make chords – though, as Tim helpfully pointed out, ‘Bet no one would notice’. Eye-roll.

Unleash the divine

However, despite this enforced health hiatus, I still wanted to do something to officially mark the start of a shiny new year, so I signed up for this Goddess online workshop.

Advertised on my go-to site for the weird and/or wonderful (Eventbrite), this was guaranteed to unleash the ‘divine’ me in only one week. Terrific, eh?

And, though I wasn’t entirely convinced it would achieve all, or any, of the promised outcomes, it was free. So, with nothing to lose, and possibly everything to gain, I registered and waited impatiently for the link to land in my inbox.

I could envisage myself, reborn as a more beautiful, confident, and hopefully, slimmer Del, emerging from the chaotic waters of my past like Charlize Theron in that perfume ad.

When I mentioned it to Tim, he tutted, shook his head, and said, ‘More muckment, and it can’t work miracles’. (He’s very lucky that I find his straight-talking and Yorkshire common sense amusing, most of the time. Lol.)

Goddess Goals

Ancient soul

Six hours later, I was good to go, diving straight in to Bex’s introduction, and . . . Damn it! It didn’t engender confidence. Much was made of her being an ‘ancient soul’, who has had many ‘forms in alternate universes’. Hmm?

Should probably have left reading about Bex until after I’d done the course.

Still, the fact that her lifetimes on Earth had been, ‘as shaman, medicine woman and witch’, gave me a smidge of hope that I might be in the right (healing?) hands.

She’d also added – in a random though laudable aside – that, ‘over the centuries I led slaves to freedom’ – so I guess if anyone could liberate my sacred feminine, it would be her.

Righto, let’s go girl.

Pleasure

Day 1 gave an overview of the week ahead, with the overarching focus being to, ‘access energy that brings out the confident you, the you that experiences pleasure on a daily basis’. Wow!

Strong start, because I can’t recall the last time I felt proper pleasure – apart from Uke Club, which is totally jolly and uplifting, and I’m missing it dreadfully. Sob.

But Bex did warn that the process, ‘can bring up painful emotions, troubled thoughts, and new fears’. Uh-oh! However, with the carrot being a, ‘100% assurance that, on the other side, is the divine feminine you deserve’. Bugger it! It was worth the risk.

Each day was structured in a similar fashion, with questions followed by action points. Seemed straightforward enough, but that soon changed. For example, ‘Do you enjoy being a woman?’ WTH! Couldn’t say I’d ever considered it. And what was the alternative? I suppose I could dabble with non-binary, but I find all that a bit of a minefield, and though I envy blokes for their low maintenance ablutions (Tim in particular – being bald’s a gift), I simply wouldn’t know how to embrace masculinity at my age.

Positive affirmation

Next, what did I love about being a woman? Blinking heck, I dunno. I’m starting to come round to grey hair, my eyes are okay, and I suppose my legs are alright – though my aunt once described them as, ‘excellent for rugby’, which didn’t help with the whole self-love schtick.

But I knew that Bex was expecting me to plumb emotional depths, and I felt thoroughly uncomfortable trying.

So, the ‘action point’ was a welcome distraction from my introspective and inadequate navel-gazing – though I hoped it wouldn’t be too active, given my current stasis state. It wasn’t.

In fact, all I had to do was shout a positive affirmation, ten times in quick succession, repeating the process hourly: ‘I love being a woman and goddess, each and every day’. Apparently, the greater the volume, the more beneficial the effects. Okey dokey. Here goes nothing . . .

Loud and proud, I did it. I felt a bit of a fool at first, but by my third iteration, I was roaring myself hoarse, and the dogs were onboard too.

On my fourth, Tim donned earbuds, and before I’d finished my tenth, he’d vacated the property in favour of the shed. Lol! Day 1 – done.

Pleasure dome

Day 2 and ‘Welcome to the Pleasure Dome’. Bex prompted us to consider if, reading that, we ‘immediately thought of physical pleasure?’ Yep, I sure did – banoffee pie, pizza, and banana milkshakes. Lush!

But, when Bex mentioned ‘coming together, physically, in a joyful union with your significant other’, I realised I’d misinterpreted the brief.

She asked us to think of times when ‘you shared juicy moments with a lover’. Steady the Buffs! I mean, Tim and I have been know to Netflix and Chill, more literally these days, but honestly, our juiciest moments are sharing a Sunday lunch at the Plough & Harrow in Murton. (Side note: Sod ambrosia, because their roasts are nothing short of divine!)

And it’s only Uke Club that leaves me with a satisfied glow. Anyway, moving swiftly on, the focus turned to the ‘body’, and that’s when we really got personal! Eek!

Pie and Pizza

Nude bonding

Initially, it was interesting. Bex supplied a potted history of the female body, how it was once worshipped, with ladies treated like idols.

But pesky patriarchal societies soon took over, feared the divine power of women, and were the reason today’s woman ‘struggles with disliking ourselves, and our vessels’.

She had a point, though I think social media and reality TV should take a chunk of blame too. But reclaiming ‘our magic’ was going to take work. So, saddle up ladies, we’ve got power to salvage.

Unbelievably, Bex did today’s action point with four of her friends, finding it ‘scary but completely freeing, as we cried, raged, and screamed away the pain of suppression’. What now?

Look, I’ve got some great mates, but if I invited them to pop over and share a nude bonding session, whilst shrieking about male dominance, they’d either ghost me, or ring to check I’m not midway through a psychotic break – and to be fair, I wouldn’t blame them.

But I did try it – alone, obvs – awkwardly checking myself out, whilst wishing I’d put the heating on. And I categorically didn’t catch the feels Bex had experienced when gazing at herself in the buff: ‘As I saw my true me, the more I wanted to touch myself. So bring your hands to your body, touch between your thighs, caress your hips, and waist. How do your breasts feel?’

Klaxon Alert! I’ll gloss over this, but suffice it to say, I certainly felt a tit – though definitely not in the way Bex had hoped.

The Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli

Soul-level pleasures

Next, Bex outlined her, ‘pathways to pleasure’, none of which particularly floated my boat: Take a bath (Meh), stretch in the morning (Obvs), buy your favourite flowers (Okay – tick), oils (?), face masks (Nah) etc. Yeah, I enjoy a bubble bath, and a hand-tied bouquet never goes amiss, but oils and face masks don’t cut it for me.

‘So,’ asks Bex, ‘what does?’ And I was mildly disturbed to discover that I honestly couldn’t say. We were seeking out, ‘soul-level pleasures’, and I was clueless. Hmm?

Though this whole course was, likely, absolute bunkum, Bex was undoubtedly making me probe my psyche.
And so the week continued.

I did affirmations each day, Haydn (next-door down), dropped in to ask what was up with the dogs (whose melodious howling now accompanied every affirmation sesh), Tim kept to himself, and his shed, and I happily followed Bex’s syllabus, glad that the discomfort of Day 2 was behind me . . .

Until Day 7 dawned, and we launched into ‘The Cycle and the Womb Space’. Sigh.

According to Bex, ‘our periods are a built in form of detoxification that men don’t have, hahahhhaha suckers, so let’s start healing it’.

And her top tips were to ‘switch to organic tampons/pads’ and to recognise that ‘bad periods are a sign that you are denying your female power, you’re not secure in your feminine essence, or there’s trauma that says it’s not safe to be a woman’. Hard eye roll!

Too Much Womb Space

Womb space

Twenty plus years back, when I suffered ‘bad’ periods, it wasn’t because of inorganic products, an uncertain essence, or the risk of potential anti-feminine peril. It was simply due to a couple of melon-sized tumours, down there (Honeydew and Galia).

So I thought that Bex’s action points were going to prove fruitless (teehee) for me, much as I’d lovingly embrace a miracle cure for the menopause.

‘Bring awareness to your womb space. Put your hands on it. Feel it. What’s in there . . . mystically?’ Aw, bollocks! My radical hysterectomy whisked womb (and all accessories), away, so there’s nothing at all lurking near my lady parts, physically, spiritually, or otherwise.

V steaming

But then she recommended ‘V-steaming’, which I hadn’t heard of, and was initially intrigued by – until she explained it involved, ‘squatting over a bowl of boiling water, infused with curative herbs; turmeric for healing, sage for cleansing, and cinnamon for its anti-fungal qualities’ . . .

. . . And I’m done. Yep, call me old-fashioned, but crouching over an odorous bain-marie and broiling my hoo-ha like a fillet of hake, is deffo not up my alley, and healing properties be damned.

V steaming

A week on, and I’m not any more divine, but I did learn from the process.

What I found interesting were the levels of discomfort I’d experienced throughout. Yes, some of the ‘action points’ were a little alarming, but it was actually the daily reflective questions that gave me pause.

Because now I’ve stopped to consider it, I rarely psychoanalyse myself, and actively avoid excavating my emotions – especially those of sadness, heartache, and grief.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some reserved robot, in fact quite the opposite, but I don’t like being forced into feeling . . . well, feelings. Like, I can’t watch Watership Down or ET, and steer clear of films classed as tear-jerkers, or feature a dog, because I don’t want to find myself a mess of snot and sorrow.

It’s the unsuppressed ferocity of misery and melancholy that bothers me, combined with an embarrassment to fully let myself go, and it was thanks to Bex’s bizarre programme, that I became self-aware enough to realise it.

Let loose

And though it’s been easier, and habitual, for me to incarcerate all sombre sensibilities in my personal prison, maybe the time has come for me to unfasten the fetters, ignore the inhibitions, and let loose the real me?

There’s certainly an insistent, deific voice shouting, ‘Do it Del!’ . . . and, good goddess, I think I bloody well will.

But first, I’ve got a date with a hot bath and pan scourer because, though Helen at Holland & Barrett said ‘don’t worry, it will fade’, you try not panicking when your bush is bright orange, and your mons pubis resembles an inverted Donald Trump – but with better hair. Knew I should’ve swerved the sodding V-steam. Sigh.

Inverted Trump – CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore

NB: And if, for some unfathomable reason, you decide to give your foof a facial and want turmeric in the mix, Helen suggests purchasing the ‘organic varieties, which don’t contain colourants and don’t stain skin, but avoid the supermarket stuff because they’re filled with dyes that do’. You have been warned!

If you’ve been inspired to try Bex’s Goddess programme, you can find it, and numerous others, on Eventbrite – check out the Spiritual, Mind & Body section.


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Mel Miller
Mel Miller
16 days ago

Another great read Del , and well done you considering how you have been feeling ! Already looking forward and trying to guess what your next article will be 😁😁

G S
G S
10 days ago

I couldn’t help but laugh, because we’re friends I can just see you doing this. As always, beautifully written, delicate use of words and an excellent use of imagery.

Ian
Ian
5 days ago

Very entertaining article. Couple of lines made me cry. Hope you feeling better.

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