What Is It To Be Female?


Why is it that sometimes the words don’t come?

I can’t tell if they really aren’t there, or if I am straining too much to find them, causing me to miss them entirely.

Sometimes, when I sit to write, my fingers can’t wait to share what they know is coming.

Sometimes, when I sit to write, fingers on the keyboard, poised to go, I feel into what’s here. I sit with the silence that hovers between the key and my finger ready to strike. I wait. I notice the emptiness, the stillness from which all comes. Then a smile seems to form on this face, and something moves within me. The keys begin to tap and words are formed. I don’t know why, or what or even how. I just know it’s time to write, because I am writing. I am writing from my body, from that which knows.

I do know there is much that wants to be said in words, by way of these hands and this blog. There is much to be discovered and shared about being female; what it’s like to consciously live in a female body within a culture that doesn’t really celebrate, respect or honor female bodies or the feminine, even though it likes to think it does.

I do know the power of living a question, especially the one I offer up here, “What is it to be Female?” With so many images bombarding us, notions filling our brains, judgments piercing our hearts, how do we discover our own experience of being a woman in this culture at this time?

We live the question, as Rilke suggested.

We become aware of the unfolding of our own lived wisdom.

We ask our bodies to share what they experience as robes of feminine flesh, which provide the spirit a home in this world.

We offer our ears and hearts to other women when they yearn to speak of their experiences and can no longer hold them within.

We open to holding each woman as sacred, even when we see eye-to-eye on absolutely nothing, knowing that the sacred feminine within her is the same within me.

We learn to honor what longs to be known through this body, this spirit, this expression of the sacred feminine in female form.

Many ask me why I focus on being female, since the feminine is within men, too, and within all of life.

Firstly, it’s what I am compelled to do. Somewhere there is no reason for it, other than the question compels me.

Secondly, I know, absolutely know, from lived experience, that there is something divinely important about women coming to know the sacred creativity they are imbued with.

Thirdly, while I believe we are still a long way from equality for both genders, equality doesn’t mean sameness. There is richness in discovering the diverse natures that women and men have – discovery that leads to embodiment and expression rather than that which becomes rigid roles to act out of.

How might what we discover, as women, in our own unfolding be brought to a world that is yearning for truth, for love, and for balance of the feminine and masculine within and without?

What do women have to offer that is uniquely female? I will be exploring more of this in the days to come. As the Dalai Lama recently said,

“The world will be saved by the western woman.”

If we are to bring our gifts to this world that is crying out for balance, we must know in our hearts what this gift is.

And, you?

I’d love to know what you’ve discovered about being female. Yes, you were taught what it is supposed to mean, but if you toss that out, what is your direct lived experience of being a woman?

Please share what you come to see here. I am listening with both ears and an open heart.

This post is part of Bindu Wiles 2.15.800 Blog Challenge.


Feminism – A Whole New Look

image source: memphis connect.com
image source: memphis connect.com

After receiving the National Civil Rights Museum’s “International Freedom Award,” His Holiness the Dalai Lama said to the audience:

“I call myself a feminist,” … “Isn’t that what you call someone who fights for women’s rights?”

“Whether you believe this religion or that religion, we are all the same human beings,” …“We all come from the same mother. That creates the basis for compassion.”

via: MemphisFlyer.com and FeministLawProfessors

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