Help me awaken the goddess within where she’s slumbered too many years away,
Until the lightning strikes within my chest again and thunder rolls within the words I say. I call upon the water rushing in my veins and I raise the winds within my soul. Help me wean wisdom from my past pains to help those in pieces again become whole.
Trying to write this isn’t easy- will people see me as fragile and broken? Will men perceive this as unfair? Will I be called bitter and resentful? The truth is about 8 years ago I learned the meaning of my name which means “little and womanly” in German and also “small champion” in Gaelic. I couldn’t get behind “little and womanly”, basically I took that as weak and pathetic and as I rolled my eyes explaining the meaning, my spiritual teacher told me, “There is so much strength in being a woman”. It was from that day on I began healing my relationship to my own feminine nature. It’s been through that healing and ultimate empowerment I can access a state of vulnerability and openness that allows me to share freely, unapologetically and in a way that I hope holds space for others to do the same.
I want every girl to know that her voice can change the world.
There isn’t one woman I have spoken to that has not felt the inevitable plight of being a woman. The double standards, the constant sexual harassment, the normal worries about safety, losing out on job promotions, getting less pay and the ingrained brainwashing of societal expectations we as women have, even when we know we don’t have to comply to these standards any longer, we still sometimes act on them.
Maybe it’s just my experience of growing up in a small rural Canadian town that breeds a certain amount of acceptable misogyny- I myself grew up trying to stand out amongst the other girls for being tough, athletic but not “butch”, yet still beautiful and feminine enough to receive the coveted, “you’re not like those other girls” compliment from my male counterparts. The truth is I was always like those other girls, just my way to gain respect was to be a sporty “tough” girl…. and how I wish I stood with up for all the girls, banishing any divide between our sisterhood. Just like every other woman, over the years I have faced a lot of misogyny and the fear/shame/ickiness that comes with it.
My journey hasn’t been about wallowing in the past, it’s been about deeply looking into how these experiences had kept me so closed off from my feminine energy and how stuffing it away created such a disconnect to untapped creativity, love and potential within me.
The interesting thing is that I didn’t even realize it had happened because it was a natural process of adjusting myself in a predominantly masculine society. I thought that feminism and true “girl power” meant being just as strong, tough and assertive as men are. The way I modeled that was by being “tough, in-control, confident” (defensive, anxious, overcompensating) not realizing that all of these were really just side effects of all the heart-armour I put up over the years to fit in, not get hurt, and survive as a naturally super-sensitive young woman.
We live in a society where there is so much emphasis on power and control, gaining resources, getting ahead and establishing yourself on so many different levels. This masculine energy is the energy of action, ambition and getting the job done. It is necessary and needed but it often results in overambition, energy depletion and illness. We need balance. We need to heal the feminine within all of us.
I always thought humanity has two wings, the male and the female, and these wings need to be equivalent in strength in order to fly.
Men and women both have equal parts masculine energy and feminine energy. Both sexes feel the strong effects of living with excess masculine energy. Often it makes men feel supressed, much in the same way I felt and in some ways probably even more so. I've talked to a lot of men who were told not to cry, and to "act like a man" when very much needed the support to be able to express through real and raw emotion. Somehow getting into bar fights and aggressive acts are deemed appropriate, while crying or venting through self-expression is not. Women’s voices feel stifled, their natural gifts of intuition, receptivity and soft qualities are devalued. Both sexes ability to express becomes compromised.
Masculine Energy vs Feminine Energy
doing vs being
active vs surrender
analytical vs intuitive
left brain vs right brain
assertive vs receptive
striving vs becoming
logical vs creative
thrusting vs receiving
hard vs soft
controlling vs allowing
In any given action we can be pulling from either energies. We need both in a balanced way to be productive members of society. If it’s all work and no play life seems bitter and hard. If it’s all play and no work we don’t feel stable and established. Both are a beautiful play of what yoga calls Shiva (masculine) and Shakti (feminine) energy. When these two energies come together we get unity, co-creation, connection and divine union. (This can be a whole other blog!)
My own healing started out by questioning my own biases I had towards femininity. As I began practicing yoga as a mental-physical-spiritual practice I began opening up to a whole new way of looking at being a woman. I took advantage of my natural emotional nature to the benefit of developing deep trust and devotion. Having yoga as a practice gave me a form of ritual to honour my femininityàthe grace and intentional flow of movement and breath, the discipline to conquer my restless mind, the courage to ask myself the deep questions, the patience to find the answers, the wisdom to listen to the needs of my body and my heart and trust to be able to let go of the need to be in control all of the time. I began to accept this soft side of mine then I began to honour it, love it and nourish it.
Change was among the stars
the moment she began to love
As this love grew inside of myself, so did my confidence to drop the heart armour that served me in the past. I started recognizing the power in the pause, in non-doing, in reflection in simply being. I started enjoying long walks instead of intense runs, I found a joy in learning to play music, painting, dancing, writing and meditating. All things I used to feel as value-less, and even if I did try any of these things I felt so awkward, embarrassed and insecure. I went from choking up and unable to express my feelings because they were so suppressed inside of me, to opening up and expressing from a place that was so true and powerful, a place of deep love and full trust I felt no shame in being vulnerable. I grew a tribe of the most incredible women around me, a sisterhood where there is no judgement and competition, instead boundless love, support and empowerment.
Now, I feel so at peace and grounded in this energy—I learned what my teacher told me, “there’s so much power in being a woman” and I do feel like a little, womanly, small champion!