Just look at how this Gerber daisy makes herself known! She is bright beauty.
Only here for a very short time, her bright beauty enriches us all.
Today is Friday, and it’s almost the end of March…so hard to believe. This month was women’s history month and I know there have been some great posts about women and women’s history by friends and colleagues all around the blog sphere.
I have a couple of those to share with you!
Garrett Eastman’s blog is Quit Taking It Personally. This month, Garrett has written a series of posts about Inspiring Women. I’ve read quite a few of them. Garrett has obviously taken a great deal of time to write each post about a woman who has inspired him. I am touched by this. I yearn to know men who honor women out loud. Garrett is one of those men. I am honored to call this man my friend.
Angela Kelsey, a beautiful writer and dear friend, has collected a series of posts by women and has titled her collection, the Nest-Making Series. These posts are written by other writers, and Angela has done an exquisite job of collating, introducing and bringing this together in a tangible way. I’m looking forward to hear wrap-up post tomorrow!
I’m the featured writer at Angela’s place, today. Here are the first bits of this post that is very dear to my heart:
“The connections between and among women are the most feared, the most problematic,
and the most potentially transforming force on the planet.” ~ Adrienne Rich
My mother taught me many things: independence, tenacity, artistry, the joy of finding one’s passion and embracing it. She also taught me to fear: intimacy, being abandoned, being alone in the world with huge responsibilities. And, she taught me to keep going even though the fear was here. She taught me both to not trust myself and to deeply trust myself. Of course, she wasn’t the only one who taught me these things. But, as women, what we learn from our mothers is deeply meaningful because of the nature of relationship and connection between mother and daughter; it also holds deep transformational possibilities, for the same reasons.
How might we take this deep appreciation of women and our history into the days, months and year to come? What have we learned about the nature of women? What have we learned about ourselves?
I know women are resilient. I know women love fiercely. And, I know women are learning to not only trust their own voices but to also speak them out loudly into a world that is hungering for our true nature, not the nature we were conditioned to believe is female nature.
I know we embody both the light and the dark, and that reclaiming the dark parts is essential to knowing our wholeness. I’ve shied away from the dark parts, yet talk about transforming force? This is where our riches lie.
This Gerber had to make her way up through the dark soil in order to blossom, as do we.
What if we were all to live our lives out loud, exclaiming our beauty simply because it is and we are, just like this bright and vivid Gerber?
What have you discovered? What is transforming in you? How might your ‘history’ be transformed into awareness of what you really are and what you are here to live?
I’ve been wanting to include some examples of the feminine in real life here on the blog, so you can have a sense of what I am talking about when I speak of the sacred feminine. She is revealed, more and more, each day.
I’ve created a new category, The Feminine in Real Life, that will include some great examples of how She is rising in the everyday world.
The first post is this absolutely gorgeous lullaby in the video below. It cuts right to my heart. Her voice, the words, and what is unseen all come together to create such beauty. It brings me to tears, and to a feeling of deep relatedness to life.
Before you watch,
I want to share these words that I saw just yesterday from Marion Woodman:
“…when we’re talking about that feminine that’s missing, we’re talking about the heart energy. That can fill a room. Certainly in a relationship it’s the energy that holds presence. By which I mean the child comes in or the person comes in, has something to tell you or they have prepared a little bouquet. Have you got the time to see it? Have you got the time to see the love that went into it? Can you hear the anguish in the voice that is talking to you?”
The feminine principle would attempt to relate. Instead of breaking things off into parts, it would say, where are we alike? How can we connect? Where is the love? Can you listen to me? Can you really hear what I am saying? Can you see me? Do you care whether you see me or not?
…it is so difficult… to talk about the feminine because so few people have experienced it. What I’m talking about here is presence, and relatedness.”
I Have Never Loved Someone, by My Brightest Diamond
I have never loved someone the way I love you I have never seen a smile like yours And if you grow up to be king, or clown, or pauper I will say you are my favorite one in town I have never held a hand so soft and sacred When I see you laugh, I know heaven’s key And when I grow to be a poppy in the graveyard I will send you all my love upon the breeze And if the breeze won’t blow your way, I will be the sun And if the sun won’t shine your way, I will be the rain And if the rain won’t wash away all your aches and pains I will find some other way to tell you you’re okay
The presence of the feminine, receptive, tender, and powerful: “I have never held a hand so soft and sacred.” “When I see you laugh, I know heaven’s key.”
You can feel the presence as she sings the song. You can see its effect on the people in the restaurant. Tears. They have been touched. She, the singer, is touched by the presence moving through her.
In fact, in the description below the video, the person filming writes of the effect:
“After the concert I finally dared to ask her what I wanted to ask her that morning, to sing us this lullaby that struck me down. It’s Sunday morning, a morning of hangovers. The whole hotel seems suspended in the air. We ask her to get to the bar, to make it sing for her, to sing for her son (for whom she had written this song). We erase ourselves. She, she doesn’t. After we’re done filming, I cry. She cries too.”
Struck me down. Powerful words on the effect of this presence. It is clear that this presence touches everyone. How did it touch you? How does this radiance affect you?
What would our world be like if we embodied this feminine receptivity more deeply? Would we come to know, as experience, that the hands we hold are ‘soft and sacred’, that when we hear laughter from those we love, that we are knowing ‘heaven’s key’? Would we listen, deeply listen?
To embody the feminine in life is to come to know it as experience, not just as an idea in our heads but as real life experience. We haven’t experienced it much, for it has denigrated, called weak.
This is the receptive radiance of the feminine in us all, women and men, that aspect of self that can simply receive and bear witness.
It’s a beingness, and it calls for a not-doing, a letting go of doing so you can be with.
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength
that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing
in the repeated refrains of nature — the assurance that dawn comes
after night, and spring after winter.” ~Rachel Carson
Happy first day of Spring.
As I write these words, the birdsong is especially loud outside my living room windows. Sometimes, I write seated on my living room sofa, so I can see look out onto the church garden directly across the street. There are at least a dozen three or four-year olds running around the garden shrieking with delight. So much joy!
Spring has its own particular feeling. It is a time of coming out, blossoming, and growing. We begin to come out into the world, out from our hibernation and into connection and growth.
The natural world calls to me. It soothes me. It enlivens me. It reminds me of what I am.
We are living in a time of deep transformation and the chaos and turbulence that transformation holds. I feel this in my body.
And, as I’ve learned from dancing chaos, if we surrender to it, if we receive what it offers, we are transformed and we release that which no longer serves. The old dies and the new is born.
Our healing lies in our remembrance of our relationship with nature. We are nature. We are not separate from it. And in this remembrance, our relationship with the earth is reawakened and enlivened.
I have become much, much more aware of how much I am given and how little I appreciate it. I can see how much I want, and how little I offer in return.
What does it mean to really live with gratitude for this life? How do we live when we live gratitude?
Look closely at the earth – she is teeming with life. Smell her fragrance. Walk with conscious feet. Maybe even go barefoot! Notice how when your feet kiss the earth, the earth kisses your feet. Touch her in many places, with wonder. Taste the succulence she offers.
Remember the wonder for the earth that you knew when you were a child. If you can’t remember, ask a child to reacquaint you.
It is through her, the earth, that we can finally come to know we belong here, that we are a part of her, a part of each other. Every choice we make impacts the well being of all of life on this precious planet.
My footprint has an impact, has consequences. How awake can my feet be? How much love can they show?
How will my feet dance on the earth’s skin when they offer, to her, what words cannot say?
When someone deeply listens to you,
your bare feet are on the earth and
a beloved land that seemed distant
is now at home within you.
~ John Fox
Sometimes, we tell our stories to hear ourselves say what we need to say. And, sometimes we tell our stories in order to be heard. When we are heard, deeply heard, healing can happen.
Just the other day, this happened to me. I shared a story from my life with someone I love and trust. It was a very painful experience. This person ‘heard’ me – she really heard me. You know how you know when someone hears you? Something clicks. They get it. You’ve connected.
Something happened inside me when she connected with me. I could feel it happen. I could feel the healing. It was as if I let go of something that had been hanging around for a long, long time.
Thoughts can become deeply entrenched within us, intertwined with our identity. The stories we make up out of these thoughts want to be heard, they want to be believed, they want to be listened to and understood. And when they finally are, they release.
When this happened for me, it was as if I relaxed back into this beloved land, this home within me. I settled in. I sighed. Whatever had been yearning to be heard was liberated, and I felt my bare feet on the earth, once again.
Is there something within you that is yearning to be heard? Is there a story that needs to be voiced to someone you trust, someone you know will honor your words with rapt attention and reverence?
Find this someone. Tell this story. Ask to be deeply listened to.
Looking for a deep, rich, evocative experience? Explore the Sacred Feminine within you by way of this digital journey. It will stir up your senses, invite you deep into your body, and celebrate the gift that is you as a woman.
Maia: My secret for long life is simplicity, work and enjoyment.
I love this video.
It’s breathtakingly beautiful. She is beautiful. Graceful. Embodied.
This speaks to me on so many levels, in so many ways. At the core, it is the simplicity of life, the green of the trees, the breeze and sunshine, cooking good food, wise women, friendship…the clear beauty of the human soul.
“Shot in Fire Island, New York, this film (4min. 23 sec) captures the secrets of eternal youth as Maia Helles, a Russian ballet dancer turns 95 but still remains resolutely independent, healthy and as fit as a forty year old. Made by Julia Warr, artist and film maker met Maia on a plane 4 years ago and became utterly convinced by the benefits of her daily exercise routine, which Maia perfected, together with her Mother, over 60 years ago, long before exercise classes were ever invented.” (2011)
Looking for a deep, rich, evocative experience? Explore the Sacred Feminine within you by way of this digital journey. It will stir up your senses, invite you deep into your body, and celebrate the gift that is you as a woman.
I’ve been not quite sure what to write. I have mixed feelings about this day.
On one hand, so many women need to know, in a real and grounded everyday way, that being a woman is a beautiful thing, and that they gifts we women offer to the world are worthy and sorely needed – gifts that we offer when we are being wholly who we are as women.
On the other hand, around the world, women still are far from sharing equal rights with men. Here in the United States, we’re seeing how much fear and distrust of women still lurks in the shadows, and sometimes stands in broad daylight. Having a day where we celebrate women can feel so shallow in the light of the atrocities happening each and every day around the world. Sometimes, it feels like we’ve been thrown a bone when in reality those who hold the strings of power have no intention of really offering women equal rights.
Speaking of strings of power,
have you ever noticed that women will most likely never have equal rights in this cultural paradigm? I mean, let’s look at the present day situation. In a cultural construct based on heirerarchy and patriarchy, with a system set up to keep this heirarchy in place, maybe it’s only possible if the actual structures crumble…
Everything eventually dies, including structures and cultural constructs. I see the structure of patriarchy most certainly is dying.
The structures that we currently see in the world as we know it, at least most of the world, are structures that were created with a mindset that the feminine is something to be feared and distrusted…the feminine in women, the feminine in men, and the feminine in the world – basically all of nature. So much of what we see in our human constructs were built on this.
And, if you’ve ever given birth, been witness to earthquakes and tornadoes, the feminine is most certainly powerful. I have birthed two babies, and watched each of my daughters give birth, and the power of the feminine is something to behold, something that brings forth complete awe in me.
The feminine is powerful and awe-inducing.
These structures based on fear of the feminine don’t just exist out there, they also exist within each of us. We’ve internalized them. And, we’ve probably internalized some kind of fear and distrust of the masculine as well, the masculine in us all. And, these internal structures are dying, too. Can you feel this inside you?
Can you feel a new feminine consciousness within yourself?
Why is this important today, on International Women’s Day?
A few months back, I met Marianne Williamson at an intimate gathering. She asked what I do, and I told her the varied things that fill my workday. She seemed to take interest in the course I teach on Creativity and Leadership in Business, and asked me what I would say to women about what they need to know around business.
My response? Two things:
“We are not men.” & “There is a different way to do business than what we see operating in our world today.”
We are not men.
We are not men. Even though most everything in the culture looks at the world through men’s eyes, we are not men. Thank goodness there are men, and thank goodness there are women. We all are here to be what we really are.
I am interested in you knowing this, not because I’ve written it, nor because it seems to be an obvious physiological conclusion. I’m interested in it because the new world coming depends on you knowing it.
Let me say that again…
The new world coming into being depends on you knowing who you are and expressing it through the female body you live in.
What I am interested in today is you knowing you, knowing who you are, knowing what delights your heart, knowing what it is to be fully alive in this world in your female body. Alive and erotic just like the cherry tree, just like the ocean, just like Mother Earth.
All of life is this wild eros, including you.
And, we could most certainly all use a shot of wild eros, don’t you think?
In our personal lives, our relationships, and even in our businesses.
Business budding with blossoms, business giving birth, business erupting and shaking and crashing its waves upon the shores. Business that neither fears the feminine nor the masculine, but works in tandem with all of life…including the earth.
So many times I see women thinking they have to make a mark on the world that is big and audacious. Nothing wrong with that, and that may be how your mark shows up…and, in reality, we affect the world in many small beautiful ways each day. And, sometimes what happens is those many small ways eventually move into big changes along the way.
In a day-to-day, personal way, my friend, Renae Cobb, sees International Women’s Day from her personal vantage point as a mother to two daughters. She writes of not really knowing what this day is about, yet going on to share just how important an impact she has.
Women are changing the world, everyday. There are many ways to do womanhood. And many ways to do manhood.
What if we found the courage to put down the project of who we believe we are supposed to be, so we can be who we really are, fully alive, powerfully real, wildly erotic in the fullest sense of the word…unabashedly female.
Part of this being truly you is discovering the rich love women have for each other. I’ve just written about it here.
I’d love to know what ways you are living womanhood. Consider sharing in the comments. We feast on each other’s wisdom.
I’ve recently released my new collection of posts, poetry and audio into a sensual immersive experience, The Best of Unabashedly Female. I’d love for you to take a look to see if it might be of interest to you.
Learning to trust and love women has been a long journey for me. I’ve fought it and I’ve longed for it. Along the way, I have been a lot of things…sometimes kind, sometimes not; sometimes forgiving and deeply caring, sometimes jealous, undermining and a whole host of things part of me would rather not acknowledge, but nonetheless are true.
Learning to really love means meeting ourselves in places we’ve hidden away. I am grateful for the friends who’ve been straight with me about my behavior, both light and dark.
Through all of these experiences, I have come to know this:
There is a unique love that women have for each other. Opening to and embodying this love will change your world, which in turn will heal our world.
When I speak of this love to the women in my life, they acknowledge this love. They know this love, yet it’s seldom spoken about in the culture. It’s a powerful force. When women come together in love, we recognize our power together. When women come together in love, life heals. When women come together in love, we are no longer so easily shamed and or see ourselves as powerless.
It is high time we come together in love. Life beckons us to this love, to heal that which keep us from knowing it.
Leap Day call
The other day, just last week, I hosted a leap day call. On the call, I spoke of how each of us is sacred…every cell, every atom is sacred. And, I spoke of really seeing each other, how doing this is so healing for us all.
When I, a woman, truly and deeply see you, another woman, this love pours forth; love for ourselves and our womanhood, and love for each other. This love then flows out to all of life.
I held the call on Wednesday afternoon. When it was done, I was elated. I felt like I had shared something that really wanted to move through me. I reflected on the comments of the women on the call. They shared both pain and joy, fear and inspiration.
Something healed right then and there on the call. I could feel a healing within myself from participating in the call, from sharing my wisdom. I could feel a healing within myself from taking in the wisdom of other women, and from taking in the collective field that formed because we came together with open hearts.
The next day, I felt grief rise up, a grief of both fearing and desiring to open my heart fully in relationship. When I was with my late husband, I wasn’t as aware and conscious. I opened my heart at the level I could, and he was deeply respectful and loving.
As I’ve become more conscious, and now know the love that is inherent in a woman, I long to be partnered with someone I can open to in this way; someone whose touch is reverent; someone who wants to love the fullness and power of womanhood, not a muted form of it.
This grief was raw, not reasonable nor rational. It lasted through the evening and into the early morning hours. And then, as it moved through, I could see the innermost space of the heart is only for the divine. It is a place that is solely for the divine, a place that when I honor its sanctity, I feel more tenderness and love for myself. When I honor the inner sanctity of the heart, I open to myself with love, and in turn, open to another.
Knowing this sanctity, I have the full power and awareness to say, “No”, to any touch that is irreverent…including my own touch to myself.
I climbed out of bed and felt serenity and a kind of deep peace with everything as it was and is. I took a walk in the sun, a long walk. I was out longer than expected. As I headed toward home, knowing I would immediately hop on a two-hour call when I walked in the door, I checked my email by phone to check-in to anything I needed to respond to.
There in my email was this gift: a comment left on the blog about the leap day call and what followed from listening to it.
“I listened to your wonderful Leap Day call last night, and I wanted to share the beautiful spontaneous loving experience I had. Just shortly before starting the call, I had put warm grapeseed oil, on my hair. I’ve been using pure grapeseed oil as a body moisturizer, after the shower. It’s quite lovely. As I was listening to the call, I was massaging the oil into my hair and scalp, which then turned into massaging my neck, and my face. It felt so wonderful, that before long, I retreived the bottle of grapeseed oil, and was massaging oil onto all of my body. It was such a beautiful experience. Sitting here, in the candlelight, listening to your beautiful voice, and feeling energetically connected to all women, and loving my own body, so tenderly and compassionately. What a beautiful gift.
Something has been shifting in me lately. For a long long time, I have felt that it is unsafe to be female…to be a woman. And so I have been hiding my femininity…my beauty. I had become hard, because it felt like the only way to survive. But lately, after much hard work and soul-searching, I have been feeling a softening happening, along with the wisdom that I now know how to keep myself safe. I have been allowing my femininity to re-surface, and it is such a glorious feeling.
The loving self massage was yet, another turning point, in me accepting myself, and my feminine nature. And a powerful message revealed itself to me. I have been craving physical touch lately. Not just any physical touch, but the wondrous touch of another who adores me, and sees my inherent beauty. It has been a long time, since I felt the tender touch of a lover’s hand on my skin, and I’m quite certain that I’ve never felt it, in the way that I deserve to. This need has been an ever-present companion, in my thoughts, and yet, it felt like there was still a wall between me and receiving this loving touch. There was. It was me. I was not treating myself, and my body, in a way that expressed love and tenderness…and yet, I wanted another to do just that. I was expecting someone else to do what I wasn’t willing to do….to love myself, love my body, love all of me, just as I am. To adore and nurture, treasure and cherish me.”
I was struck by the synchronicity of our experiences. She was listening to the recording, which opened her to a powerful revelation about her own self worth and healing. She was learning to touch herself with love and reverence.
During that same evening, I was opening to the sanctity of my own heart, and of my connection to the divine, also desiring to be loved and touched again with reverence.
Women healing women healing women…all being healed by the flow of the divine creation that flows through women.
There is something powerfully healing in women that is needed in our world. It is this love. It is this creativity. It is this vulnerability and willingness to share with the world.
This is how we create.
When we offer ourselves and our creations to the world, trusting that each one is exactly what the wisdom of life is pulsing to share with the world, healing happens. Love happens. Connection happens. Relationship happens.
How powerful it is to align with this wise, sacred creative force.
So, I want to know.
What creation wants to be born through you?
What might it take to trust deeply enough in yourself and in the life moving through you to create it?
I know there are voices that tell you differently – both inside you and outside of you. I know this.
AND, the creation wants to be born anyway, does it not?
Can you feel it?
Can you give way to your creation and allow it to flow through you into a world that is so hungry for this sacred, wise love?
I know what flows through you has a direct effect on me, on the world, on life.
At the heart of it all, this power is creation itself.
Do whatever you need to do in your life to honor what wants to be born and give birth to it.
I am, right now, taking in a spoonful of this medicine. I have something very important that is dying to be born. I’ve allowed it to languish and I can no longer allow this.
I know the power of giving and receiving, and the power of knowing the sanctity of my own heart.
Never has there been a more important time than now to be what you are: a sacred creative being expressing through a woman’s body.