Being Woman. Supple. Unified. Amplified.

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Anjali, by Ramona Klee on Flickr

She is here.

If you sit, quietly listening with heart ears, feeling with heart touch, you will know Her. She has been on her way. A few years ago, the author, Arundhati Roy, wrote,

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”

And, now… She is no longer on her way… She is here.

With the turn of this solstice, She is here.

She is here. In all beings. In all of life. 

A new way of being

I’ve been working with two beautiful women to birth something new in business. We don’t really yet know what it is or how it will come to be, but we know we are to be doing this together. We are feeling our way, trusting our intuition, following the petals as they are scattered upon our path, trusting in the intelligence inherent in life.

This is the new way. This is the creative way, the way of trusting in life to guide us as we work together in unity. I remember telling a friend a few years back how much women needed to find solidarity, find a way to realize our wholeness as women, both individually and collectively. At the time, the current paradigm separated women rather than joined them. At the time, there was still so much competition between women, and beliefs that we had to compete with each other for love. But that was then, and this is now.

She is here.

Rainer Marie Rilke wrote of this over 100 years ago when he wrote Letters to a Young Poet. Rilke wrote,

“Women, in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully and more confidently, must surely have become fundamentally riper people, more human people, than easygoing man, who is not pulled down below the surface of life by the weight of any fruit of his body, and who, presumptuous and hasty, under-values who he thinks he loves. This humanity of woman, borne its full time in suffering and humiliation, will come to light when she will have stripped off the conventions of mere femininity in the mutations of her outward status, and those men who do not yet feel it approaching today will be surprised and struck by it. Some day… some day there will be girls and women whose name no longer signify merely the opposite of masculine, but something in itself, something that makes one think, not of any complement and limit, but only of life and existence: the female human being.”

Unity: This Humanity of Woman

Over the last period of time, a time that ended with the solstice and the birth of a new way of being, women were taught to not trust each other. We were conditioned to believe that it was in our best interest to compete with each other. I feel we were all, men and women, taught this, yet for women the distrust went deeper for in the old way, under the patriarchy, men were offered a kind of belonging within the structure that women were not.

Healing this distrust of women has been a beautiful journey for me. And, I hear it has been the same for other women. Now, in this new time, there is more ease and more support for this healing.

Shannon Port of The Art of the Feminine writes,

“Women are uniting in the Heart. We are remembering that we are One Woman. We could never really compete with each other for anything. The illusion taught us that we could be threatened by another woman. It taught us a false belief that we had to compete for love. This has never been so.  …  The old paradigm divided women and caused them to work against each other keeping them from UNITY. The support for this paradigm has left the planet. Anyone who chooses to stay in it will be shaken quite dramatically. We are moving into the knowing of our Oneness. When we align with Oneness willingly, we will be supported by the Universe in ways we never even imagined. The Feminine is being restored to its auspicious place in the World. Those who hold this Vibration of Love in their Heart will be the Teachers, Healers and Leaders of the New Era.”

Amplify

This humanity of woman, this One Woman, is here.

Can you feel Her? Can you feel this burgeoning unity? Can you feel it both within yourself, and within the collective as well? Notice the shift in coming together.

One of my new partners, Jennifer Kenny, speaks of amplification – just how important it is for women to amplify each other’s work in the world. Jennifer sees amplification as the opposite of competition. We can amplify with joy and with love, for not only is there more than enough love in the world, by amplifying we bring ourselves together and aligning ourselves with Oneness. When we follow the thread of Oneness, we amplify not only women’s voices, but also women’s creations into the world.

I used to feel solidarity was so important because it felt as if we were fighting the nature of the patriarchal paradigm and how the paradigm itself made it so difficult for us to know this humanity of woman. Perhaps I was feeling the different energy that was here at the time. Now, with this new shift, we are actively supported in this amplification. Whether we work together through collaboration, spend time in circles sharing, or share each other’s work into the world, the new way is of amplification, of celebrating, of flowing and aligning with Oneness.

It is Simple

Hilary Hart, author and wise woman, shares this about women and power on her Facebook page, Women’s Power Wheel:

“It is simple. It is simple like breathing. It is simple like gathering with friends. It is simple as standing in nature and knowing you are not alone. The trick is trusting how simple real power is… sensing it… knowing it… and not doubting it…”

When I read these words, I feel a softening and a suppleness to my body and breath that have been absent for most of my life. With these words comes an ease in the moment, when I relax into the simplicity of real power.

It may take time to know this more and more. I’ve been well conditioned to believe power not only looks different, but comes from doing. Yet, it is simple. This is being, coming together, and receiving, then offering up, what has always been so generously given – this life.

When I woke up this morning, these words were in my heart: It is so, so easy to take this all for granted, to expect this breath, this sun, this day to come just like it has each morning of our lives, to expect to receive without ever a thought of what is being given.

May today mark a change in how I receive these things…with conscious awareness of the love being so freely given and the opportunity in each breath to offer it back out in love.

The Feminine. She is here. She is you. She is me. She is women. She is men. She is us. She is all beings. She is life.

She is the Goddess.

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Something Different for Earth Day

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The task for women is to consciously live their unique connection with the earth. The earth needs to stay connected with consciousness. Matter is so dense, and consciousness vibrates at a much finer frequency, and matter needs consciousness. You can look at it as women providing a way for the earth to be conscious. ~ Angela Fischer, shared by Hilary Hart in The Unknown She

Softly Imbued with Life

Last year, the United Nations designated April 22 International Mother Earth Day. I didn’t know they had inserted the word Mother…nice.

I’ve spent a fair number of hours in these past weeks taking walks in the park across the street, a park filled with redwoods, creeks, a lake, all sorts of furry, scaly and winged creatures, and even a merry-go-round.

On my walks, I’ve been noticing how the earth is so alive, so available, so nourishing. As I walk, I feel the same aliveness is me, in the body, and I notice how deeply connected I am to her. I notice that as I am acutely aware of my own consciousness in the body, my awareness of her deepens. and vice versa.

Something Different for Earth Day

What is this deep connection women have with the earth?

Friends left some beautiful comments on my last post, Earth’s Embrace:

Colette: This is the most important thing we can do for Gaia today…simply engage with her.

Marjory: The Earth comes even more alive when we truly see and feel Her.

She comes alive, and we come more alive. There is a deep relatedness between women and the earth.

I’m feeling something different for earth day could truly bring us all more vibrantly alive.

Coming to know the earth in this manner, woman to earth to woman, can help us all to awaken.

Rainer Marie Rilke wrote:

“Women, in whom life lingers and dwells more immediately, more fruitfully, and more confidently, must surely have become riper and more human in their depths than light, easygoing man, who is not pulled down beneath the surface of life by the weight of any bodily fruit and who, arrogant and hasty, undervalues what he thinks he loves.”

earthy mystique

Immediate.

Fruitful

Riper.

Pulled down beneath the surface.

In our depths.

In our bodies.

Open and receptive to life.

Surrendered to life entering.

Creating and birthing new life.

As of the earth,

so as of women.

::

The old Irish saying, “May the road rise up to meet you” is a wonderful experience when you can really feel the earth meeting your foot.

When I consciously walk on the earth (in the happiest moments, I am barefoot), it’s as if the earth is meeting each footstep, meeting the foot, coming into relationship with each step. The earth is not just a lump of dirt…it is alive. It meets us, especially if we meet her, giving her our love with each step. I’m not sure the Irish meant that, but then perhaps they did.

One practice I give my coaching clients is that of ‘Lotioning’. I want to share it here, because it is such a lovely way to awaken the cells of the body with awareness and love.

Lotioning Practice

  1. Find a nice lotion, one you really love the fragrance and feel of.
  2. For a generous amount of time, at least 10 minutes, give yourself complete time and space to silently apply lotion to each part of your body, in this particular way. You can begin with any part of the body, but for example we’ll begin with the thigh.
  3. Apply the lotion with your hand to your thigh, with awareness in your hand as it touches the thigh. Be aware that you are the lotioner, applying lotion to the leg.
  4. Switch, and allow your awareness to be in your thigh, so you are the one being lotioned, aware there is a hand applying lotion to you. Feel the experience of being lotioned.
  5. Switch back and forth, from lotioner to lotionee. Feel each sensation of applying lotion, and each sensation of being lotioned.
  6. Repeat with your entire body, area by area.
  7. As you lotion, notice if there are areas of the body where it is more difficult to be aware. Be kind to yourself as you enter these areas. Lotion lightly, yet continue to invite awareness into the cells there. If emotions arise, feel them, and let them move through you.

Take this awareness outside

  1. You can take this same awareness outside to the earth.
  2. Find a soft place to walk barefoot.
  3. As you walk, become aware of your feet, each foot as you step on it. Feel the ground underneath each foot.
  4. As you become more aware of the earth beneath your foot, be curious about any awareness you experience in the earth beneath your foot. Allow yourself to be surprised.

::

While to many, these practices may not seem as important or practical as what we’ve been taught to do on Earth Day, and everyday, anything that brings women into closer communion with the earth may be some of the most important ways we pay reverence and respect to this beautiful home that provides for us day in and day out.

I’ve discovered a direct correlation between how awake I am in my own body and how aware I am of the earth’s aliveness. The more aware I am of how little respect and love I’ve had for this body, the more aware I am of how unconscious I have been of the earth and all she provides.

May the earth rise up to meet you and may you come to know her as vibrantly alive and awake, and may we all come to know, in the cells of all matter, how sacred life is.

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The Sacred Realm of a Woman’s Body

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I originally wrote this piece for Amy Oscar and her wisdom series – a series of thirteen posts by women whose writing she enjoys. Amy’s series wrapped up on Monday, and after the fact, I realized that you may not have read what I shared. So, I’m offering it here. Do go and check out Amy’s blog. Not only are there some fabulous posts in this series, but Amy’s blog is one I regularly read and thoroughly enjoy. I have a sense you will, too. I’d love to know what you think of this post, how it affects you, and what you feel about it.

::

I sit here poised to write.

My good friend Amy Oscar has asked me to contribute a post on wisdom to her spring collection of works by bloggers she loves to read.

I feel honored. I value and respect her work. I want to write something good, something fresh, and something alive.

So, I sit still and listen to my body. I close my eyes and ask my body what wants to be shared. This is where aliveness is, not in my thoughts about what I am feeling and desiring, but in the direct experience, in the cells of this body. Alive. Light. Numinous. Awake.

My body speaks of fertility, of abundance, of the rhythms of nature. My body knows these rhythms, even if my mind has forgotten.

I am aware of how much our culture fears the wildness of women, our wild nature. So much so, we have all but destroyed the home where we live, our beautiful Earth, in our quest to control and dominate this wild nature.

Feral and fertile, women’s creativity and sexuality are intertwined, like a long, long braid of gold. We know this deep in the center of our cells.

As Isadora Duncan wrote, “You were once wild here. Don’t let them tame you.”

The body knows this.  It knows we were once wild, and it knows we believe we’ve been tamed. Old traumas and unwelcome emotions are trapped in the body, trapped until we realize the soul’s longing to be free.

As I begin to write,

I can sense my strong sexual energy and a passion for creation. I feel deeply and I am happiest when my body is set free to express this passion through movement and dance, when I paint and the colors run freely on the paper, when words, whispered from someplace unseen, come to rest, together, in a way I could never have planned.

Women are different than men. Yes. We are different. It is not only okay to say that, it is imperative we see this. Why? Let me share a story with you.

A while ago,

perhaps six years or so, I took a class called mess-painting. Mess painting is a kind of process painting, where you use tempera paints, brushes and wall street journal pages to burn through layers that keep you from your deep creativity.

In the six-week process, I painted in my own apartment, in a tent of plastic sheets that I hung from the ceiling. This is a very messy process. I painted six days a week, at least twenty paintings in a session, where each painting was created in the span of two minutes.

In mess painting, the process is to cover one full sheet of Wall Street Journal paper (the ink used doesn’t run) with paint using brushes and any of eight specific colors. That’s it.

It’s a very physical process. You have to move quickly. There is no time to think about what colors you want or how they should go on the paper. There is only enough time to move the brush to the color then to the paper, allowing something more present than thought to choose which color and where to place it.

About four and a half weeks into the process, I suddenly felt a very different energy begin to move through me. It felt wild and untamed. It felt animal and soulful. I had the overwhelming urge to drop the brush and dive in with my body. I painted with my fingers, hands, and elbows. I couldn’t get enough of my body into the process.

I painted until the energy quieted. And then I wrote this:

When I mess-paint, I come alive. I can’t wait to pull out the colors and begin. When I am painting I am totally engrossed. I love to see the colors mix together on the paper, to see what transpires in a given session. I find I can’t get enough of me into the mess – hands, fingers, fingernails – I am so taken with the paintings that I keep watching them as they dry, dying to see what beauty is there. What are the qualities of my painting? There is an energetic pulse to it. I can feel my soul coming through me. Does it come charging through me like a tiger? Does it spread itself on the paper with love and softness, or even reckless abandon?

It is akin to intimacy – when there are no longer any barriers between another and me: when clothes are off, small talk is quieted, distractions are gone, and there are only the two of us in conversation. The language is intimacy. The “words” are infused with love and deep meaning. There is a direct channel open where truth and soul are shared without reservation, without holding back. Passion, desire, and love all come pouring forth into this conversation between two beings. That is the incredible connection and intimacy that I long for. That is the juice I find in painting. When I create art, it is an individual act. It feels like connecting with myself in a deeply intimate way.

As I read again what I wrote then, I can feel the joy I felt in the liberation of this fiery self. I can feel the love and aliveness, and my soul’s desire for connection and expression. The direct connection between creativity and sexuality is right there and so plain to see.

I’ve been taught

to fear this power, to fear my feral side, my passion, my fire, my ferocity and uncontrollability. I’ve been taught well to fear chaos, yet it is from chaos that anything new is born. And while I was taught this, it is me that keeps it under wraps.

Chaos was wildly singing during that painting session.

Chaos is here, right now. Chaos is ushering out the old and inviting in the new. The old way is dying. Something new is coming. And we have no idea at all what that is.

It is time.

It is time to open deeply to this wild nature as woman. It is time to know it, to invite it out, to welcome it to express. It is time that we see the feminine cannot be reawakened by only knowing the feminine principle in both men and women. We must also honor the spiritual nature of women, the nature that flows through women’s bodies in ways it simply does not in men.

I’ve struggled to articulate my deep knowing that we women have this precious opportunity to come to know the sacred within the cells of our own bodies, how our bodies serve spirit in ways men’s’ bodies cannot, and what this direct experience and realization might do for the evolution of human consciousness.

And in my struggle to write about this, I happened upon an article written last year, by one of my favorite authors on this topic, Hilary Hart.  Hilary writes,

“This spiritual insight into the created world inquires into the nature of women’s bodies, and asks if the receptivity of the vagina, the spirit/matter-integrating capacity of the womb, the nourishment of our breasts, reflect an esoteric dimension that receives energy, serves the infusion of spirit into the physical world, and feeds life in a way men cannot.

Do our bodies show that we offer different gifts and have distinct roles in our collective spiritual evolution, just as they have different roles in the material realm?

While answers to these questions are not easy to come by, asking them opens us to an intriguing and compelling line of inquiry into an entire new spiritual territory – the spiritual nature and power of the incarnated world.”

I know…

I know the spiritual nature and power of this physical world by direct experience.

I know it because I’ve experienced it by way of the body’s cycles, by way of menstruation, pregnancy, birth, and breastfeeding my daughters.

I know it when I remove myself from the places where I tend to be most in my head and go into the places that call to the wild succulence of my body.

I know it through the direct witnessing of the deaths of those people in my life I have profoundly loved and the births of those bright angels who are now vibrantly part of my life.

I know it because I have witnessed the cells of my own body come awake again, after a long, long sleep.

It is not mirrored in the collective consciousness, yet that does not negate it one damn bit.

It is neither valued nor protected in the linear, masculine-centric institutions of our culture, whether they be political, medical, legal or religious, yet we know this way down deep in our cells.

When I read Hilary’s words, clarity flows from the connection between my own knowing and her clear articulation. A gap that had been is now bridged.

It’s as if I have been hovering above my own knowing, not quite ready to drop down in all the way. It’s as if I’ve been held up by old beliefs that still infused my awareness, beliefs that kept telling me that the sacred is somewhere else, somewhere up there, and certainly not in this female body.

We don’t need to transcend our bodies to know the sacred realm. And we don’t need to look out there for our power as women. All we need to know is here, right here, within us. It’s already here.

My body has guided me through this writing. It has taken me on the journey of discovering something wholly new.

Our way is the way of the body. Our bodies are sacred and pure. Our creativity and sexuality are physical manifestations of the creative power of the sacred. Whether or not we ever physically give birth to a child, our bodies are vessels for new life. This is the “spiritual nature and power of the incarnated world.”

::

And, you?

I’d love to know of your experience of the “spiritual nature and power of the incarnated world.”

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Truth and Validation

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Myosho Virginia Matthews speaks of inner authority when she says, ‘Women, especially seem to have difficulty finding and trusting that inner authority.  I know very few women who trust their truth. I could count them on one hand. But I know hundreds of men who trust their truth because they’re validated from the beginning by their culture, at their schools, in their professions. So women are going to have to find their authority, their courage, their confidence in their perceptions and understanding.’
from The Unknown She, by Hilary Hart

Validated FROM THE BEGINNING.

When we’re young, we’re taught HOW to do things. We learn them, either directly or indirectly, from our parents, caregivers, teachers and others.

We watch people to learn how to do things.

We watch them to see what is right behavior.

We learn, very early on, how to ‘be’ in the world; whether we say ‘that thing’ or not, whether we trust our own feelings and express them or not, whether we trust ourselves…or not.

We learn that some ways of being are okay, and some are not. It’s really important to teach kids the difference between right and wrong. And yet, right and wrong can be a really long slippery slope. I know. I raised two daughters, and now have three grandchildren. I know I passed on things that don’t serve them. I know just how easy it is to pass on moral judgments that are much, much more than simply helping children to survive in the world.


This quote from Virginia Matthews points out something key that is so important in these times: in general, women are not taught to trust their truth. This truth is the internal compass one uses to navigate life. This is the ‘thing’ we check-in with when we choose. As we open to living our life from what really matters to us, from those things that bring us alive, from that which we love and brings us joy, this compass is critical to trusting that we do have authority, we do have wisdom, and we do have value.

At the core of this, though, is how we are taught to see our own nature, because if we’re taught we can’t trust our own perceptions, what follows is a deep distrust of the way we experience our own nature: instincts, feelings, thoughts, bodies and wisdom. And, if we see boys and men being validated, then somewhere we make up that it is being a woman that can’t be trusted.


If we are not validated from an early age that our truth is real, and that it is the foundation of our personal authority, then we grow up always looking to someone else for this authority.

This truth is the core ‘knowing’ so many of us are striving to find ‘out there’. This truth is our integrity. In the end it is all we really have, because it is at the core of the essence of our nature as sacred beings in sacred bodies.


I have struggled with this one all my life. Trust in my own perceptions; my own knowing; my own experience; my own understandings.  And when we’re asking ourselves the question, “What is it to be female?”, trust in our experience is imperative to recognizing truth as opposed to all we’ve been told it is to be female.

What is it like to grow up with your perceptions validated? I turn this question over and it’s as if I can’t quite grasp what the experience would have been like, as a child, as a teenager, as a woman, to have validation mirrored to me in such a way that I so believe in my own authority that there’s no hiccup between perception and action.

It’s not that I feel a victim to this lack of validation. And, it’s not as if I never trust myself. Sometimes it’s clear. It’s that I wonder how it would be to not have it even be an issue.

Of course, nothing is that black and white. I don’t know if that is what it’s like for men. I’m curious if and how they feel validated, or if it is even a question for them.

I know that somewhere I almost always know my own perception. And yet, I don’t always trust it and stick with it, especially when others, whom I’ve been taught ‘know better’, try to convince me otherwise…or want something different…especially when my perceptions tell me my response is ‘No’.

Sometimes, my perception is so fleeting, as if it was simply a scent wafting on the wind.

Sometimes, my perception is right there, so obvious to me as it registers in my psyche. But then the ‘No’ seems to just slide away.

Sometimes, in that little hiccup, I can sense a quick questioning of myself, of what I heard or saw, of what I think about it, of what I feel I have the right to do with it.

That little hiccup is the re-playing, over and over again, of the ‘other’ making it very clear to me that I was wrong in my perception, that I shouldn’t really trust myself.

That little hiccup is a gap, a catching of my breath, a knotting of my heart, that causes me to question myself. And as soon as the question takes hold, I hesitate. And in my hesitation, I am no longer standing on a solid footing of inner-authority.

What I’ve come to see very clearly that the real question at hand is, “Am I willing to face my own fears of what will happen if I do claim my inner-authority? Of others’ perceptions of me? Of how I see myself in the world?

Maybe this last question is the most important one. I, for one, had a self-image of a nice girl, one who was easy-going, not too opinionated, not too strong, not too weak. Boy, has that image been shattered over the last few years…and, thankfully so.

It hasn’t been the easiest thing to really see my shadow, all the ways in which I am quick-tempered, opinionated, hard to get along with, manipulative, fearful, boastful, self-righteous…the list could go on and on.

I’ve discovered this seeing truth, and acting on it, takes courage. It has taken humility to own up to these aspects of personality I would rather avoid. But in the facing up to them, I’ve begun to find some freedom, freedom to trust myself and my own experience, and to speak out in the world of what I envision and the wisdom I’ve gained from a life richly lived.

This truth isn’t the universal truth; it is simply what I know in my own heart. There is no way anyone else could tell me whether or not this truth is true. I can only know it from how it feels. This is my compass.

I do have authority, authority from within. This isn’t authority over others. It is the authority to know that what I feel, and what I have to say, is just as important as any other human being.

It’s also the authority to realize there is a true need, right now in these times, for us to share our own perceptions about what is happening in the world and the wisdom we have that might make a dramatic difference in how things turn out as we try to heal all the damage that has been done.

It comes from trusting that at the heart of who and what we are is a basic goodness that is, at its root, sacred. It comes from knowing that this basic goodness is the goodness and sacredness of all of life.

Others can tell me I am wrong, but it is up to me to stand tall and firm, like a deeply-rooted tree, in what I know in my heart. This is easier for me when I feel called to say, “YES”. It has been much harder for me when I feel called to say, “NO”.  ‘No’ challenges. ‘No’ can be perceived as negative. Yet, sometimes ‘No’ is exactly what needs to be said, especially the ‘No’ that can change everything, that can lead to the sweetest ‘Yes’.

And, you?

How was your truth validated as a child and young woman?

Do you sense a similar hiccup between your own perceptions and your authority to act on them? If so, what have you found works to keep you honoring and living your truth?

Is there a ‘No’ in you waiting to be owned and spoken?

[This post is part 2 of a two-part series on Truth and Authenticity for Dian Reid’s blog challenge, as well as Bindu Wiles #215800 blog challenge.

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