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Later I could not help but attain a girl crush on Lara Croft of the Tomb Raider movies... Talk about serious stunt skills, fearlessness in the face of huge obstacles, non-stop gorgeousness, faultless femininity, and the ability to model 'doing the right thing'- for a cause larger than herself... Her actions were performed in light of serving the higher good, you know? The Lara Croft character did not do things for fame, money or glory. She saved the world and did the right thing just because. Okay, maybe there was a lil' revenge mixed in there, but that was not her driving force. In Tomb Raider 2, she 'had to' cut the guy who cut her earlier in the film just to get even- but still, she could have killed him, but didn't.... What am I getting to?
Well, about a year ago I began seeking a female role model in a real life person. Someone who could be an inspiration to me and 'model' what being a powerful woman in the world might look like. I certainly did not feel like a woman, what ever that was, and was far away from feeling femininity from within. I sought someone who exuded qualities I could 'try on' for myself. Sure, sometimes I felt attractive, or intelligent, or powerful, or nurturing, but what would it feel like to combine all of these qualities and not only exemplify them , but actually truly feel them at the same time- as an ongoing reality?
Deep inside I felt a urning to expand into more of my feminine power, but I just did not know what that meant, or how to go about it. I went on a search for females that had it together, and that I could learn from. In the early Summer of 2013 I had over a year left of working on my book 'Confessions of a Spiritual Apprentice', which is now released (hooray!). In it, I confess to a plethora of childhood incidents that shaped my inner most fears of being a woman in the world. In writing my book, I realized despite being a woman, I spent a lifetime trying not to exhibit female qualities for fear of attracting inappropriate attention from men. I became aware that I was truly scared shitless of relaxing into any kind of feelings of being beautiful, sexual or feminine. How did Princess Leia rock that bikini outfit with such confidence and still demand respect from her peers? What was her secret?
Could I 'trust' my femininity and relax into loving myself enough to begin feeling beautiful? Now that would be hard. What about feeling sexy or assuming my inner femininity and displaying it outright... Wouldn't that get me into trouble- or draw trouble to me??? Could I unfurl my personal beauty and sexuality in the world without protective shields and expectations of things going awry, or of me being betrayed or hurt AGAIN like in the past? What If someone tries to hurt me again? Then what? Having experienced abuse, betrayal, manipulation and bullying as a youth, the last thing I wanted to do was reproduce those same experiences.
Years of healing mind, body and emotions culminated in me finally being ready (at the age of forty) to feel safe enough to explore being a beautiful woman in the world. I had never before defined what that meant to me. Simply put, what I mean by being a beautiful woman in the world, is stepping into loving myself more, and letting that self love shine. It means making peace with my looks, exploring ways to love my body as it is, and even exploring ways to improve parts of it, while allowing my natural self to be. For example I have gotten into a dry brush/clay mask and castor/shea butter routine that I swear has decreased cellulite, tightened loose skin, and given a glow to my body that I didn't have before. Haven't seen my vid on that? Here it is for you- but come back to reading this after :) Love the Skin Your'e In. In the past I would simply roll around on the floor, squeezing my flab and cursing my cellulite in the mirror. Moaning for a better life, I would pretend there was nothing I could do to help... And I hated my body, over and over, I hated it ... Until I started treating it differently, like with a routine outlined in my vid. We forget, our body is a living organism; it responds equally to our loving attention, and to hateful rejection.
What would it be like to own my beauty and femininity? Could I allow myself a new experience that is not thwarted by my past experiences or hurt? Yes I can, and You can too.
As my search for female role models began, I noticed a specific type of 'femme' that appeared to dominate. At first I was drawn to the very beautiful 'on fire' type of women that spoke their minds and did things their way. They burned a path for themselves, where there was no path before. I appreciated that quality. They are beautiful and powerful. I found a handful of females all offering tools and healing and empowerment along the road I felt I had to take- aligning with my divine femininity and sexuality. I was super excited! Yes, I had found my people... Or so I thought. Upon 'following' a handful of these potential female role models via social media, I got to 'try on' their posts, pictures and attitudes, of which some appeared to be inspiring at first, and some- not so much. A big part of these women's power seemed to be in aligning with one's sexual power. That, to me, seemed to be the most scariest part of it all. How could I unfurl into my feminine and sexual power, when I was terrified of it? I didn't trust it. I really didn't have a touchstone of what that power could feel like, because I had never truly felt it inside.
After some time of researching these women to see if perhaps I would be guided to spend time with them by partaking in a workshop they shared to empower my femininity or sexual energy etc... I realized these particular women I was at first drawn to were actually, pretty darn righteous- not in a good way, and... down right rude. I kept pushing those qualities I did not like about them under the rug and tried not to notice them, instead watching for their next post/video/blog to set things straight again, and make me like them. But time after time, I became annoyed and less impressed by the kind of offerings these women emulated before me. They offered many different opportunities to emulate them in my minds eye. Did I want to post numerous pictures of myself with my legs spread WIDE apart all over facebook, in an attempt to announce my sacred feminine had arrived, or could I continually put down other women, toting ".. I am the one and only Queen Bee, bitch..". Oh, hell no. That is not my style. Will I be the type of woman to make men 'wrong', in an attempt for me to be 'right'??? Was I about to take on history and be swayed by polarized beliefs of presiding patriarchy or the need for matriarchy in the past/present or possible future?
After months of filtering through these female potential role models' social media offerings, I eventually 'unfollowed' all of them, noticing I was actually getting stressed every time I would see a post by them. That was a sign that took me a while 'to get'. Even though I had some tough interactions and a lot of pain in my youth, I didn't need to be a bitch in the now, just to make up for it- nor did I feel the need to open my legs as a means to get 'likes' on social media, or be better than other women, or blame the world's 'past' for my innate fears and pain in the now. Phew.... Now sifting through all of that was a good exercise. Unbenonced to me, my research had actually allowed me to know for sure what I DID NOT WISH TO BE as I entered upon the path of my divine feminine.
I sought to;
-own my personal power as a woman. I realized this was something I could only do for myself by listening to my body like a tuning rod. I ask myself often; What feels right to me now? And listen to my body's feeling. As I practice this, I can easier sense what is not serving me too, and shift gears accordingly.
-get over fearing (my) sexual energy, and in fact- learn to align with it in healthy ways. This can be a tough one when you have reasons from the past that tell you not to trust sexual energy, or that 'feeling' sexy will get you into trouble if you display your sexiness outwardly. Learn that it's okay to be playful with your sexuality in appropriate environments. Explore and use those playful experiences to trust into even more of your sexual energy in life. For example; I go through spells of taking a handful of Bellydance classes where ever I can find them, when I know my sexual/feminine energy needs to be shaken up. It is in a safe environment where I can jiggle and shimmy and 'get my sexy on'. From here my sexual energy has a base line to work from, out in the world. Can't make a class? Get your dance on at home. Read my Blogpost 'Dance Dance Dance!'
-experience being beautiful. Write down what being beautiful means to you... And try on some of your propositions. Maybe its doing your make up every day- even if you do not leave the house. Mary Kay of the cosmetics company said she would get dressed, and do her hair and make up every day just to work around the house. It helped her to feel beautiful and feminine, and she took that baseline feeling into the world with her. And sure, the experience of being beautiful may mean having your hair or make up done just so, or wearing your fav sweater that hugs your curves. But it can also be in how you speak with others or handle situations with softness, attentiveness and kindness. Being beautiful begins with having beautiful thoughts about yourself and others. Who do you know that brings the energy of beauty wherever they go? Who are the nicest, kindest women you know? Can you emulate some of their qualities?- The ones that speak to your inner femme?
-relax into my divine feminine by invoking a softer means of being in the world. This meant (to me) I had to stop expecting the world to treat me inappropriately, just because I am a woman. This meant I got to lay down my shields of armor from past hurts, little by little- and allow men to treat me with respect and honor in every day life, such as allowing a man to open a door, or accept a 'respectful' compliment from a stranger (not a wolf whistle). I had to meet the world half way, with the energy of positive trust. And while not all instances are perfect, there is greater harmony in life when I am allowing and relaxing into my divine feminine than when I am trying to push it down out of fear and hide it with my more masculine air. Relaxing into my divine feminine means I get to rewire my thinking and emotional responses to men, and women for that matter- in the world. What does it mean to you? Watch my vid Divine Feminine, the Invitation. Here I offer affirmations to help coach one's self into trusting and allowing that power to gently and appropriately activate from deep within , while healing wounds of the past.
There is so much more, but these basics helped me find my truth in the face of so much glaring and tempting paths to attain a new sense of feminine empowerment. The path is different for each of us, but until we dare venture it, we shall never know what is the path for our own divine growth.
This (part of the) story ends with me being introduced to a yoga instructor- who, is one of my favorite teachers in the world... and not just for yoga. She is an amazing role model of what being a beautiful, intelligent, sassy (defined in the urban dictionary as: possessing the attitude of someone endowed with an ungodly amount of cool.), empowered and sexually attuned female IS! She is a bad ass in her own right. She has an Olympian's discipline when it comes to maintaining a positive attitude and does not abuse her looks or abilities to get what she wants. She doesn't have to manipulate anything to manifest what she desires. She is so clear and kind, and gives beauty and grace to everyone and everything, that the universe seems to give her back- everything she needs.
Maybe she has mastered being in her divine feminine. All I know, is when the student is ready, the teacher appears. ©TuesdayMayThomas