What is special and powerful about being a woman? How have I honored that? How have I not?

 In Being A Woman, Power

Being Wise… taking in the wisdom across generations
by Christine, age 37

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I have to admit that up until the age of 30 I had no idea that there was anything specifically powerful about being a woman. No one had told me that there was anything special about being a woman other than I got a period, could have babies and had boobs. The notion of “feminine” anything, other than maybe feminine hygiene, never crossed my mind until I went on my first “retreat”, all women, all weekend, six months after the devastating experience of getting dumped on the way to my engagement party. Before that blow, the last thing I wanted to do was spend a weekend with all girls getting all intimate and woman like. I liked being around men. I was a driven, goal-oriented woman focused on climbing the ladder, and amassing everything I thought I needed to be successful. But that weekend with those 25 women changed it all. It became the catalyst for a seven-year journey into meeting, embracing and learning to love the feminine in me.Today, I know that what’s powerful about being a woman is infinite, and one of the powers I love most is our ability to receive. To open up and invite things in, to open up and let things happen. Before my introduction to this “feminine” power within me, I didn’t let anything happen, I MADE it happen. I drove myself, I drove projects and I drove my life to where I wanted it to be. I didn’t trust that I could allow for things to happen naturally. If something wasn’t working, I pushed harder, and worked harder to make it happen. It was thrilling but exhausting. Today, I’m smarter, and I know that if something isn’t working, I stop and listen (also a very feminine power) and adjust. Now, it’s not like I sit under a bodhi tree, meditating all day waiting for things to happen, although wouldn’t that be nice! What I’ve learned is that I have to put my intention out there and move towards it while holding myself open for whatever comes. I am convinced that learning how to trust the power of receiving has saved me millions of headaches, dollars and wasted hours. And I’m still learning.

I love my relationship with the woman inside me, because it’s really caused me to honor things in my life that I didn’t always make time for – my creativity, my body, creating and seeing beauty all around me. It’s also the place that is the most compassionate and loving with me. In the moments when my driven, over-achieving masculine self is berating me for not doing enough or telling me there’s no time to slow down, it’s my feminine side that comes in, holds me, shows me compassion and allows me to relax, be kind to myself, and reminds me that I can trust that it will all happen if I just trust, let go and give myself some much needed love.

Olive, age 13, says:

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Women are definitely special but we are also super powerful. Did you know that women can make babies? Hopefully you did! When there are men who are ungrateful towards women, you can just think, a women made you! A women suffered 9 months, gained weight, and probably got some stretch marks all for you! Men can’t even have babies. Sure they contribute to the process but I don’t think men have wombs where they carry babies.Women are also very creative. People tend to have either more of a right brain or left brain. Women tend to have more a right brain and this is so powerful. This means that we can be super duper creative. Of course everyone is creative but us women express so much. Even makeup is like painting on your face. Every one of us has a way of being expressive. My way of being super expressive is the way I dress. My favorite outfit is:

•    blue and pink chunky knit jumper
•    bright orange American Apparel dress underneath
•    bright blue ankle length leggings
•    bright red pumps from some thrift store

I hate it when I’m at a party and someone says, “Oh that’s a great outfit! I just can’t pull that off!” What? You can’t pull it off? Yeah right. I just dress how I want to dress. You shouldn’t spend time worrying about what people are going to think. Is it going to kill you if someone doesn’t like it? I’ll tell you one thing, I certainly don’t like your “mom-waisted” jeans and your wolf sweater but it’s not killing you, is it?

What you DO wear =  some people might not like it

What you WANT TO wear = some people might not like it

They’re both the same effect only one is what you really want. I encourage you to do something you like and not care what other people think. Even if I don’t like it, I’ll still be giving you a pat on the back and a great job sticker 🙂 !!!

Christin, age 25, says:

christin.jpgThere are two aspects of being a woman that feel powerful and special to me; our bodies and our ability to hold.

Our bodies are so beautiful! The physical form is holy ground. A sacred temple.  A shrine to the Creator. I used to be afraid to spend time on, with and for my body. We had a very unhealthy relationship – the kind of friendship where I would demand unrealistic contributions from it. Sleep Less! Get Skinnier! Do More, More, More! If my body were another person she would have broken off our friendship a long time ago. It has been challenging, but over time, I have learned to give more to my body in the form of meditation, yoga, lavender baths, pretty underwear, lotions and other gifts I offer to the divinity housed in this Temple. I try to say nice things to it, even if they come out awkward. It’s kind of like the beginnings of a romantic relationship. I say things like, ‘Body, you’re so pretty.’ Or ‘Body, you are getting so healthy.’ I blush a little, but she responds SO much better to those words.

Second, the ability to hold is a pure feminine power. Not to be confused with Female homosapien power, but sacred feminine. To hold space. To hold others. To hold intention and hope. To hold the highest good of all. I think people are mostly on their own paths, figuring out their own reasons for why they are here. When I jump in and try to fix it (which only happened once before I became totally enlightened…, I swear!) there are things the other person simply cannot hear because they aren’t ready. Holding someone in love is actually faster and more efficient than ‘doing’ anything. Counter intuitive, eh?

But so is being a woman. Women are powerful AND soft. We are special AND we are one. We are sacred and holy AND vivacious leather-wearing tigresses. We are feminine; we should embrace and enjoy every moment of what that means!

Katie, age 34, says:
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Every woman is powerful. By expressing our authentic selves, women can effect positive transformation in any encounter – sometimes, without anyone knowing to attribute the changes to us. These shifts can happen within us, with our intimate partners, with strangers, or with anyone… and the ripples can reach across continents.

A male friend once wrote me a note on an index card. We were in a personal growth workshop, and I had just finished a truth-telling exercise, which entailed sitting in the middle of a large circle and speaking my heart for ten minutes. I’d broken into tears during my disclosure, and my friend wrote to me, “You regain your innocence every time you cry.” I felt touched, that he could see my goodness come alive as I shed my layers. Now, whenever I cry, I remember my friend’s wisdom and feel grateful to the tears, for moving me beyond my game face and into life.

I honor my authenticity every time I reveal my heart. When I voice my needs to a girlfriend, or tell her I’m hurt by her actions, I’m often terrified that she’ll say I’ve asked too much of our friendship or that I’m wrong to feel unhappy with her. I almost always speak up, though, mostly because I can’t pretend away an elephant in any room… even if it’s stomping around in one of my internal, private rooms. But I also do it because my friendships are everything to me, and I don’t think a relationship where either person hides can work.

In the past, I’ve handed my power over to my intimate partners. In each case, I held the man up on a pedestal and believed myself unworthy of him, placing my own interests last. Because of the choices I made in men, I was always with someone who liked this deal. Even when my heart pleaded that I would know my unique worth and inherent sacredness, my head argued and always won. My inner critic’s verdict was the same every time: “Katie, he’s too good for you.” Yeah. I know. What a deceptive game face I had.

With my girlfriend relationships thriving on the power of authenticity, my intention for 2009 is to meet a special man. And when I do, I’ll hold on to my power. He’ll have his own to spare, anyway. And tears or no tears, he’ll always see my innocence.

Janet, age 52, says:

janet.jpgThe very things I was criticized for (i.e. ‘You are too emotional.’…’You are too trusting!’) are the very powers within mySelf that I have always intended to honor. Not to say that I didn’t make attempts (at best feeble) at conforming (which felt more like selling out) over the years. I learned at an early age it is much easier to ‘join them if you can’t beat them’…fake it ’til you make it…don’t let them see you cry…all very masculine characteristics.  I found mySelf to be in constant conflict and dilemma when making the feeble attempts to be balanced.

As I matured it became increasingly difficult to embrace and honor both the masculine and feminine. I found mySelf playing a pre-defined role of a Girl-Woman. My inexperience and ignorance of my own sensuality and sexuality became glaringly clear…and the internal conflict was now layered with a level of complexity that I am to this day continuing to unravel.

As I sit here writing I am thinking how very sad it is that I had no teachers, no one to talk with other than my friends who were just as conflicted as mySelf. And mind you, I spent 12 years in Catholic School which in itself is a dishonor and disservice to All Women! At the young age of 8 I was asking the priest why I was not ‘Holy enough’ to be an alter-server (it was a boy’s only job, he exclaimed!)…I was a virgin at the time so I felt I was more than qualified for the job, who could possibly be holier than the Virgin Mary or Virgin Janet in this case!! This makes me laugh today, but back in the 60’s it was shaping my beliefs and thought processes that would take me into adulthood and years of therapy and healing to resolve!

My career, climbing the corporate ladder and operating in an all male environment for 25 years was more than I could handle. Any time I showed my feminine nurturing Self I would be counseled that I was not towing the Company line…that I could not have a ‘bleeding heart’ and expect to be good manager. In closing…This is a life-time Journey…and today I feel I Am Walking in Beauty and Light…in All the Sacredness of the Feminine…reflecting the Beauty and Brilliant Light of those around me…

 

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