It can be so much more than a desire for something on the menu. I felt it the other day. I feel it now.
I thought I’d not felt this deep, deep appetite before…deep and raw. No, that’s not quite right. I’ve felt it, but I wasn’t so conscious of what it was. But the other day, I did…and I was…conscious and aware of the experience of profound appetite.
It wasn’t an appetite for food. It had nothing to do with hunger in the traditional way we use that word. It was an appetite to feast on life, to be smack dab in the middle of life, alive and awake and aware.
[This is not to be confused with hunger in someone who is starving…literally starving. That I do not know. I’ve never known that. This is about appetite, something deeply instinctive.]
When I felt this energy coursing through my body, it reminded me of giving birth – open and available for life to move through. Both times I gave birth, I felt myself begin the surrender that happens. It happens before labor begins. It happens when you understand there is life growing within and that this life will grow and move in its own way. And, once labor begins and that baby is coming, something takes over and the body moves through the process of birthing. I remember how raw and alive I felt as I worked with my body instead of against it. I remember the felt wisdom of labor. I remember the power and love at the heart of that process.
In birth, I worked with the appetite for life and birth and becoming. And this raw appetite is exactly the same…it is life pulsing and prodding to live and breath in its own way.
Just the other day…
as I felt this appetite, I was open, deep in my body, to the level of soul, not only my own, but also what felt like the soul of life. What I mean is open to the raw material of life itself…the chaos of becoming.
It was appetite, appetite not for food but for life, life that is rich, raw, and even voracious; a profoundly powerful appetite to experience life wholly. Appetite is the best word I could find to describe it. It was ravenous, yet not insatiable, like I was really, really hungry for something, yet I had no words for what I was hungry for.
The appetite wasn’t of words. It didn’t need to understand anything. It knew.
How do I know it was soul? I know it because what was communicated was in images, feelings, sensations, and inklings. What was communicated was feral and fecund, pulsing with life and creation. And it was clear that there is deep wisdom in appetite. It is very clear and it knows what it wants. It’s a different ‘want’ than what I’ve felt in the past, a want that felt like it could never be satiated.
This appetite isn’t to fill a hole that cannot be filled. Rather, this appetite is a relationship – a relationship between soul and life.
As I fet it, I just kept saying the word, Appetite. Appetite. Appetite. I could feel it rolling off my tongue and it felt right.
Like giving birth, it follows the pull of something wildly intelligent that flows through DNA, through the cells, through the inherent wise movement of life.
I sense how it moves through me, how it knows what it wants without any sense of hesitation or apology. I’ve thought of all the times I’ve not known what I really wanted, yet all the time this instinctual appetite was just under the skin, emanating from deep in the core of the body. It’s primal, sexual, creative power. It is impulse. It knows what it knows. It senses and tracks, and follows what it’s hungry for. It feels joyous, yet not like the lightness I usually associate with joy. It’s joy that comes from deep in the belly, like a good kind of belly laugh, a kind of lip-licking joy felt when appetite is sated.
This deep and raw appetite moves through women. It is part of our powerful sacred creativity as beings who bring forth life. Many women choose not to have children, or cannot have children. Yet, their appetite still pulses with pregnant possibility. There are infinite ways to bring forth life.
We all have this appetite right under our skin, simply waiting to be acknowledged and trusted. I know, boy do I know, it is not easy to trust this. We’ve been directly and indirectly taught to distrust this. We’ve been taught to not allow ourselves to see that it is our life force, our sacredness, our sacred sexuality and creativity, and that it is first and foremost a part of our own soul and our own life expression.
When we honor that it is within us, a part of our soul and a part of the joy of being a woman, we come to know it for ourselves, and in doing so, we then are more able to share it consciously with the people we love. This appetite is not something we are to give to others, it is something that is intrinsic to our own expression, and when we honor that, its expression can be received and enjoyed by others.
I’m going to be exploring what it feels like to live life from this deep appetite, allowing it to guide me in what I write, what I create, and how I express myself. I’ve been known to rely heavily on my rational mind when I get nervous or fearful, so this practice will helpfully go to the core of my learned coping mechanisms.
It was appetite that drew me so deeply to the dance.
It was appetite that moved me out of a career in technology and into the work I do now.
It was appetite that called me to dive directly into living the question of what it means to be unabashedly female, even when so many internal voices feared that dive.
For me, this goes straight to the heart of women’s creativity, sexuality, and power. It takes us out of the oh-so-well trained mind and into the heart of the feminine.
And, I’d love to know how you’ve experienced this. What have you come to see? To know? To feel? And if you haven’t, what you’re curious about.
And, my good friend and colleague, Rachel Cole, writes beautifully about hunger and being well-fed…perhaps another way to look at appetite…