The more alive and awake I become, the more embodied I am, the more I cannot hide: from myself, from life, from the truth. And even though part of me would like to hide, who I really am keeps bringing me closer to this place: awakening to the power of the Feminine, the power of Her, the power of the Mother.
This is where our power lies as women…in our bodies. Bodies tied to the Earth, alive like the Earth, and awake like the Earth.
Being in the Body…
is vulnerable. Very vulnerable.
Being alive is a vulnerable proposition.
Being wholly alive as a woman in a misogynistic culture can feel overwhelming when you’re tuned into the energy that is held in the shadow of the culture.
There is an implicit (and in some places explicit) physical threat to women who speak truth rather than follow the dictates of the culture that would ask us to keep silent. The level of obvious threat is relative to the level of freedom we have in the culture we live in. The level of not-so-obvious threat is not quite so relative to that freedom. Sometimes, in some cultures, even though things look pretty calm on the surface, underneath we feel the unspoken waves of hatred and anger that misogyny breeds.
In this female body, I know I am susceptible to harm, to hurt, to invasion. I know, because I’ve experienced it. I know because many of my friends and other women I’ve met have experienced it. I know, because women all over the world are experiencing it right now.
Many of us have learned to protect our vulnerability in this physical world with a tough exterior. Many of us have learned instead to find ways to be small, to take up little space. In so many ways, we’ve learned to hide this soft, soft place inside so it can’t be hurt, and to protect this body that can be the target of people who take their aggression out on the female form.
Men, too, have beautiful soft places of vulnerability, and this culture has taught them well how not to show them. And in a culture where it is part of the very foundation of the structure for men to hold power over women, how they experience vulnerability is different than how women experience it. Different.
finds a way to stay safe in a culture where she is not safe simply for being her full self. We cut away parts of ourselves. We become silent, stuffing down the words we would say in a heartbeat if we felt we could. We become like men. We even adopt attitudes and beliefs that keep other women down, and that take away our own sovereignty. We trade truth for being wanted. We give up hope of ever knowing ourselves for who we really are. We pretend we can’t hear our own selves crying out.
Even though there are many women who’ve adopted ways of being I don’t agree with, I can see why they’ve adopted them. I don’t have to agree with a woman to understand how vulnerable she feels in this world.
There is upheaval happening on so many levels, both internally and externally; individually and collectively. We’re experiencing destruction and creation, death and re-birth, together. The deeper I drop into my body, the more I feel the upheaval that’s here right now.
In the body,
we are in tune with what is here. In the body, we are fully connected to the Earth and each other.
In the body, we have access to the wild and feral self, the intuitive and instinctive realms where we know things our minds could never understand.
In the body, we come back in tune with our sacred creativity, the primal Yes of creation, the Mystery.
Anat Vaughan-Lee, in a closing reflection titled, “Making the Way for the Feminine” at the 2008 Conference “The Global Peace Initiative for Women” in Jaipur, India, shared these remarks:
The feminine, whether the feminine quality or women themselves, holds the secret of creation, which is the light hidden in matter. This is very important to understand; that if one is to do any real spiritual work at this time of global and ecological crisis, one has to realize that the feminine holds the unique understanding of the sacredness in matter and also how we need to reawaken this aspect in life.
The feminine is both the feminine principle or quality, and also women, all women. It is both important for men to reclaim the feminine within themselves, and for women to remember, and reclaim, who we really are. To quote Anat, again:
Woman has to remember, reclaim who she is and by doing so, reclaim, midwife, the reawakening of the spiritual understanding of life. And I am also reminded of what Mother Teresa said: “We serve life not because it is broken but because it is Holy.”
Just like life, our bodies are sacred.
Embodiment can be remembering, living and serving this sacredness that lies at the heart of womanhood.
It’s an invitation that awaits our reply…
If you missed them, part one and part two will offer more about this invitation.
I’d love to know how you experience this sacred creativity within you as a woman.
If you enjoyed this three-part series:
I’m in the process of putting these three posts, and more, into an ebook on embodiment. I invite you to send me stories of your experience, of how you see embodiment in your own life, for inclusion in the book. It is all completely confidential, of course.
Thank you, as always, for your willingness to participate here with me. I learn so much from what you share.