Sunday, January 31, 2010

Honouring the Feminine

"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way! On a quiet day, if you listen carefully, you can hear her breathing." ~Arundhati Roy

"Today, the reason we haven't found our grail, the key to who we are as women, is because we look for it in worlds of false power, the very worlds that took it away from us in the first place. Neither men nor work can restore our lost scepter. Nothing in this world can take us home. Only the radar in our hearts can do that, and when it does,... 'We will light up like lamps, and the world will never be the same again.' " ~Marianne Williamson

The sacred feminine I feel, embodies the qualities of wisdom, beauty, and compassion.  Within each of us, she also embodies softness, trusting, allowing, and connecting with our intuition, feelings, heart.  She is the creative power that destroys old forms and brings new ones into being. Whether we are women or men, I feel the honouring and balancing of this feminine within us, and on this lovely planet, is what is being called for at this time.  In my own life, learning to honour my feminine has been a healing and sacred journey over these past 10 years that continues today...

It began with a wake up call in 1998, that I was seriously ill with a tumour in my second chakra area. The centre of creativity and female reproduction... oh, how the body never lies! This news, and the awareness that this tumour was literally bleeding the life force out of me, was shattering.  Thankfully so.  In spite of feeling afraid and weak, in that moment I also felt great relief... as in, I wasn't imagining things, and that I was struggling.  Soon after this, I had a lightning bolt of fierce clarity - that denying my feminine was literally killing me.  I knew this with a calm certainty, that resonates from that place of deep cellular knowing.  I also knew that I needed to reclaim my feminine in order to live and beyond that, to be truly happy in this life. To create the life that I'd always imagined as a little girl.

Up to that point, as an adult, I'd denied her, denied her truth. In fact I had the thinking that what I liked and where I felt good, didn't really matter... that life essentially was about "working hard' and "being good"... obviously reflective of the work ethic of a struggling, newly immigrant family. But my illness, was an opening for me, and an opportunity to see that life really was about 'more', IF we chose it... it provided an opening to learn that life is indeed about feeling good and doing what brings us joy, in the highest, most empowered sense.

Up to that point, I'd lived a typically "masculine" career... I became a professional engineer, with a graduate degree. I'd sloggd it through engineering 'skule' with "the boys" (with honours) and had worked for about 7 years in the field at that point. I remember my first job after graduation and distinctly telling myself to suck it up, even though I felt a profound sadness at the context I found myself in... the context felt like a blow to my artistic and sensitive nature.  The engineering profession I must add, is a very noble profession, with high standards of integrity and ingenuity that I've rarely seen matched elsewhere.  However without a doubt, this choice for me, represented a denial of my feminine soul, and skewed my path towards the masculine, in a choice to be 'secure' in a professional career.  The little girl inside me, although strong, commanding, bold, had also always been someone who loved to move, to express with colour, paint, draw, to arrange and design her rooms, and sketch fashions endlessly.

I knew my new self-awareness in '98 was going to be a BIG upheaval of the life I'd created up to that point... typical of all paths to increased self-awareness and balance : ).  Luckily I chose blind faith and courage in that moment, knowing full well that my life was literally hanging in the balance.  I remember even telling a good friend at the time,  that seeing my ascending career path laid out before me, felt like I was living my life as a masculine expression.  I knew I was missing the softness, artistry and joy I felt expressing my feminine. And my body was sending me a very loud, clear message. Luckily I heeded the call. 

So I began to extricate myself from the life I'd created, moving at times with the trusting, intuitive openess of a child, and at other times with great doubt and fear.  Not a straight line path, but a back and forth, zig-zagging one... smile.  Each time I doubted and made resultant fear-based choices, I experienced energetically expensive 'lessons'.  What I learned through this is that once we change or become aware of a truth, we can no longer go back, the river has moved on.... there is no fitting back into the box. Thankfully : ) no matter how hard we might try.

So this journey over ten years led me to become a yoga teacher, begin to paint pots and furniture (that were featured on a Canadian television program and sold at a few stores), join a weekly spiritual development circle (where I felt so naturally comfortable the first class, sharing spiritual messages with others), begin painting on canvas and participate in some art shows, create a business I spontaneously named Bliss healing and creative arts, and follow my heart happily to a surf camp in southern California (to fulfill a vision of being a surfer girl : ), and then to Hawaii 8 times in 10 years.  Hawaii, herself, was a gentle and nurturing guide on the journey to my feminine.  To me the culture and natural beauty of the islands so easily embodies the trust and grace of the divine feminine.  And most recently, I gave my feminine the gift of dancing, playing, exploring in Hawaii for 6 months in an "unaimed arrow" sort of way. This gift was a very healing journey on many levels... and it grew and strengthened my feminine.  And so I came back to North America with a "filled well".  One of the last messages I received at a final Lomi workshop in Hawaii that trip, was from a lovely local lady, who said "Irena when you go back, remember "TT", totally trust, and you will be fine". This message still echoes inside of me, as a reminder to trust and cultivate my feminine.

I've learned on my path, that nurturing and honouring the feminine takes constant and gentle care...  and that my feminine needs my masculine and all masculine to be strong, to take care of her and provide a safe, strong container for her in the world.  And I need to honour my feminine by giving her the space to open, feel, express, let go, and simply be. The hardness in our western culture can be draining to the feminine over time, for men and women alike.  And I've felt intuitively, that the incidence of breast and other female organ cancers in our culture, are due in part to the denied or repressed feminine.  This denial and resultant blocked, unexpressed energy and resentment, build up in the body... as I had experienced.  The feminine needs to be lovingly and gently tended, like a flower.  Listened to and supported by the strong masculine, so that she feels safe to relax and open.

My message to women... please take the time to really feel your feminine, to give her space to let go, express, soften, and feel.  And my message to men... it is time to truly respect and honour the feminine within and around you.  It is important for all of us to take responsibility and shift behaviours that dishonour and control, that are ageist, and that objectify,  and compartmentalize her.  Men... really begin to nurture a connection to your own feminine, to the women around you, and to mother earth.  Love the feminine in as unconditional a way as possible... hold her best interests in your heart.  As a strong masculine, support her flowering and empowerment with full presence and with the fierce knowing that her full empowerment will also support your highest good.  Time for all of us to release old models of fear and control.  Become the strong, responsible and nurturing masculine, providing a safe container for the feminine to relax and open into, in trust.

It is time to fully honour the sacred feminine on this planet and within each of us, and to receive the grace and healing of that.  And going forward, let's create together in new, healthier ways, within relationship and in the natural world around us.  Balancing the masculine and feminine within ourselves, through heart, is what is being called for on this planet now. Will you join me in heeding this call, friends?

My feminine thanks you for listening : )