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My Return To My Own Feminine Power

My life experiences have shaped me to believe that feminine power is shameful. That trusting my intuition/gut/instinct is somehow less valuable than allowing my family, loved ones, or peers to make the decision for me. This assumes of course that there is safety in numbers. That the safety of procuring another’s love is somehow more valuable than the freedom of unleashing my own power.

Ready Or Not, Here I Come

My entry into this world was a pivotal moment that would tip the scale of yin/yang balance to feel just out of reach for the next four decades. Mind you I am a Libra and Libras crave balance, harmony, and symmetry in all areas of their lives. What I know of my birth was that I was a planned cesarean baby. My older brother had been born nearly four years prior and he required a cesarean birth because his head was too big. (as a child I can verify that this felt true to me) In 1979 when I was born, mothers were not offered the opportunity to do a vaginal birth after cesarean (at least my mother was not) Doctors at the time apparently didn’t trust in a woman’s body to do what it was in fact designed to do, birth a baby.

In the healing work I have done in the past around my birth, I remember pleading with my mother from her womb to trust her body, to trust me, to trust the process. My birthdate was scheduled, but when the morning arrived. I was not ready. I desperately wanted to hear my mother say “it’s ok child take all the time you need.” I remember processing this memory in a Somato-emotional release session and when the skilled practitioner echoed back to me these words I curled up in the fetal position on the table and just bathed in pure bliss as I allowed my body to complete the process of energetically aligning itself. I felt my first and second chakras one by one flow open which completed the alignment of all my chakras and in that moment I knew I was ready. Yes, now I am equipped with what I will need in order to leave my mark on the world.

But the reality of my birth was a different story. I was torn from the safety and protection of my mother’s womb when man determined I was ready ‘enough.’ I remember when I was pregnant with my first child, my doctor remarking that she would be out of town one week near my due date. She casually implied we could always plan to induce you before my trip if you want to make sure I am here for it. What?! You are planning the birth of my child around YOUR vacation! My entire body viscerally reacted to her comment in disgust and anger. I politely explained that that would not be necessary as I planned to have my baby naturally without drugs if possible and then I raced home and started searching for a doula that I could trust to “manage” my child’s entry into the world in the most natural way possible.

Afterward, I wondered, was that the way my birth was planned? I imagined my mother’s doctor giving her a few options for possible birthing dates working around his neatly arranged schedule, coffee breaks, meals, vacations, maybe his kids soccer games. I realized my invitation to join this world was contingent on the convenience of man and that this experience would color and shape my life for years to come.

The Rules Of Masculine Superiority

I was born into a family where it was clear that what the man said was law. When my brother and I got into trouble, we were threatened with the words “don’t make me tell your father when he gets home.” It was always enough to stop us in whatever misbehavior we were engaging in, because we knew if dad found out, that meant a whooping. Dad was the breadwinner, his job was to financially provide for his family and that was all. My memories of my dad were of him leaving for work, coming home from work, going to bed, waking up and preparing to go to work. My mother’s feelings were obvious to me, she needed and wanted more from him, but she was content to settle for what she got.

Money was hard to come by in my family. It seemed we never had enough. We lived paycheck to paycheck and the message was clear. Get good grades, go to college, get a good job and if I wanted to be wealthy marry a man who could provide that for me. Beauty, wisdom, and dreams may grow on trees, but it was clear that money did not. It seemed to me that the source of happiness was money and money can only be derived through hard work, responsibility, and suffering.

I am told that I was a very curious child always asking deep probing questions about the world that none of my caretakers had answers for. I don’t remember the questions and neither do they, but I became good at what I do by asking questions. Why is that muscle tight? Why when I release the cervical spine does the pain in the ankle go away? Why did her blood sugar stabilize after I treated her nervous system? There has always been this deep hunger inside of me to know the laws that the human body abides by.

The purpose of my schooling in Physical Therapy was to tell me all about what man had discovered about the mechanics of the human body. I learned that to be a good Physical Therapist required me to see as many patients as possible and to focus on objective means of improvement. Their joint range of motion and ability to lift a satisfactory quantity of weight mattered more than their quality of life. I felt like a machine cranking out care like it was an assembly line and hiding the shame of not being able to keep up with my therapy peers. I would return home and collapse in an angry, exhausted heap believing that I was somehow insufficient.

Slowly my practice and exploration of the body revealed a different truth to me. The truth that the body carries its own innate wisdom that governs the structures of the body and that when therapist and patient abide by these laws we become healed. As I experience the significance of this truth over and over again, I am returned to my essence. To that part of me that is alive, confident, beautiful, flowing, full of wonder, love, awe, and presence.

Yes I realize….my essence is wisdom and wisdom is the expression of the divine feminine. Why then, I ask myself have I been willing myself through life, believing that responsibility and hard work, drive and determination, planning and organizing would provide the foundation of my eventual happiness. The truth is obvious to me now. When I strip away the rules, I am left with a blank slate and the blank slate terrifies me because it is a representation of the unknown.

When The Rules Stop Working

I remember a moment a few years ago lying in bed next to my husband. I had been praying for several days for God to give me guidance on why I felt so disconnected and out of love with this man that I had vowed to love for my entire life. Two days prior I had invited him to a couple’s yoga class on Valentine’s day. I thought if he can just experience yoga and the connection I feel when I engage with the practice and the people, he will get it, he will know what I long for. At that moment, he turned to me and said “if you want to do yoga that’s fine, it’s just not for me and never will be.” He went on to describe his dislike for the “hippie” kids back when he was in college. “You know the ones who just flowed through life with no apparent purpose and talked about world peace and free love.”

My heart broke into a thousand pieces in that moment because I realized we were not on the same journey. My journey back to myself was to move toward flow and peace and love. And this journey was in complete opposition to his journey for his own life. I had my answer.

Maternal Mother Versus Mother Earth

I came into this world resenting my mother. I was angry at her for not listening to her truth or my own. For not being strong enough to resist her doctor’s orders. I have been angry at her my whole life because she plays by these rules of masculine superiority and unconsciously nudging me to follow suit. Just once I wanted her to give me permission to break the rules, to disobey, to live by my own rules. To tell me I didn’t have to have perfectly manicured hair with matching hair bows, that people would love me anyway. That I didn’t have to have straight A’s, that just doing what I love could bring me wealth, success, and most importantly love. That it was ok if the American dream was not my dream. That it was possible to be a good mother and a successful business woman at the same time.

The Moon Speaks

There was a full moon last night and I am learning the power that the natural rhythms of the Earth have over my life. So in my morning meditation and I sit down to write my intentions for this full moon. As I often do, I ask my inner wisdom if there is an essential oil that vibrationally matches the intentions of the moon for me. “Myrrh,” it says to me. When I go to my reference guide I read this about Myrrh:

“Myrrh oil nurtures the soul’s relationship with its maternal mother and with the earth. This oil supports individuals who have had disturbances with the mother-child bond. Whether it’s a division between the child and the biological mother or Mother Earth herself, Myrrh can help bridge the gap and heal the disturbance…… When the mother-child bond has been disrupted, the soul may lose its childlike ability to trust. Feelings of trust are replaced with feelings of fear and a belief that the world is unsafe….. Through reestablishing a healthy connection to the earth and to one’s own mother, Myrrh rekindles trust within the soul. As the individual learns to once again live in trust, confidence in the goodness of life returns and the soul feels safe and more at home.”

I feel awe and beauty and gratitude welling up inside me as I read these words. I know that Mother Earth herself has wrapped me in her arms and is holding me and telling me “it’s ok, take all the time you need.” I recognize the armor that I have built up around my feminine power and I feel it dissolve away in this embrace. Yes, there I am, there is the essence of who I am. This is what I have been searching for. All those things I didn’t think I was (beautiful, confidant, alive) and I didn’t know how to feel (presence, flow, wonder, awe, love), I feel it all wash over me and suddenly I am whole. I am one. I am loved.

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