More Water on the Fire

Photo by Aquariann.com Raphell Fountain Sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens
Photo by Aquariann.com
Raphell Fountain Sculpture at Brookgreen Gardens, Myrtle Beach, SC

The below blog originally was posted in February 2013, partially as a reaction to a hot topic of conversation at the time — a song Seth MacFarlane sang while hosting the Oscars that year. In recent days, another controversial story is again on many lips. Ray Rice, the NFL and Janay Rice all have reminded us of the continuing resistance to the feminine and the resulting oppression of women on an individual and institutional level. So did the recent reports of sexist remarks made toward congresswomen and female congressional staffers. 

On some level, it warms my heart to see all the indignation and anger from women and men alike as these stories continue to unfold and these behaviors and ingrained beliefs are revealed even more fully. Last night I watched Jon Stewart and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand talk on The Daily Show with such passion about the NFL scandal, the struggle many women still experience in the workplace, rape culture, and the antiquated attitudes still demonstrated by some in Congress and the military. I empathized with their anger and their desire to do something to “fix it.” But anger isn’t how it gets done. The answer isn’t in any new policies or organizations created from their desire for justice and a forced attitude shift. It’s not in viewing women as victims or in feeling like one yourself.

The answer is in embracing and embodying the feminine energy our society needs so desperately to balance the playing field. That can’t be forced or even compelled; that’s the masculine way of doing it. It needs to be demonstrated, lived and loved. That is where strength can be found. Show folks how to be comfortably feminine and supportive of feminine energy in their daily life. Talk with everyone about it, even those who can’t see it yet, with compassion. Embrace your own open, vulnerable heart and don’t be afraid to bare it for your own good or for the greater good. Love freely. Listen without judgment or a desire to fix things. It will continue to catch on, and the changes we’ll see for the better will come from a true embracing of women and shift toward feminine energy.

In the meantime, enjoy the below…

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From Laugh at the Sky, Kid in February 2013:

It’s taken me most of my life to understand. I’m a woman. That’s a remarkable, beautiful thing. My femininity and the strong and divine life force that comes from embracing it are important and inescapable parts of me.

We could get into why it took me until recently to appreciate this, but that would require “a very special” series of blogs and a trip to the store for tissues and it isn’t really important to what I have to say. What’s more noteworthy today is that my struggle to embrace both my feminine and masculine sides, a struggle that may sound familiar to you, is merely a microcosm of what’s going on in the world.

Our collective feminine energy – receptive, open, creative, supportive, unconditionally loving – has been challenged for millennia. You can track patriarchal domination, and consequential oppression of women, from as far back as 4,000 BC all the way up to Seth MacFarlane’s boob song at this year’s Oscars. Don’t get me wrong, I have enjoyed Mr. MacFarlane’s edgy humor many times over the years, as I did that night. When I tune into Family Guy I expect misogynistic jokes — often ripe with satire and provocative social commentary — just as I expected to see them on Sunday. That’s what the Academy bought, right? But I couldn’t deny my disappointment as it illustrated yet again our world’s decidedly masculine bent.

As many writers and historians and ordinary folks like you and me have observed: Look where this has gotten us. As liberal as most first-world cultures are compared to many places in the world, we are still a society more interested in power and ego than the greater good. In economic strength more than feeding the hungry or caring for the planet. In controlling more than teaching and supporting. In doing-doing-doing more than just being and receiving what’s already there. In getting an easy laugh at a bright, talented woman’s expense simply because she has breasts and was brave enough to reveal them to tell an important story…more than saying something funny that also tickles the brains of that 40 million-person audience.

As wise teachers and indigenous cultures have told us for as long as we’ve been able to hear them, we need something different. We need a world filled with people who see creative, nurturing energy as strength. Individually and collectively, we need to offer support and love to everyone in pain, especially ourselves, so we can heal, find our purpose and contribute. We need to love the dark and the light, the yin and the yang, knowing they are both sacred and necessary to creation. We need to celebrate everyone just as they are. We need to embrace our feminine energy.

This is the new paradigm and that scares the bejeesus out of a lot of men and women alike. Hence the continuous attempts to repress it occurring every day in every corner of our world – and these are only the stories being told.

This is not new or news to most of us and many are very, very angry. You can read about it all day long online or in a stack full of books. You likely can feel it in many of the women – and men – in and out of your life. The anger is justified.

Confession: I am no longer angry…well, mostly. As I fully embrace my feminine energy, it dissipates. I can see what’s going on. It disappoints me. I am moved to speak out and shift my own energy in an effort to help. But over time it makes me less and less angry.

That’s the nature, the immense strength, of the feminine. It allows. It embraces. It supports. It holds the energy we all need to grow and thrive. It loves. It doesn’t know anger or resistance.

It’s a masculine society that taught us that anger is a fabulous motivator. That fiery rage moves us to impose change by doing something. Feminine energy offers water to the fire and welcomes the peace and change that comes from simply being different.

Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee, Sufi teacher and author of The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul wrote:

If women can come to know the sacred dimension of their own and the earth’s suffering, if they can see that it is part of the mysterious destiny of the soul of our world, if they can look beyond their own personal pain and anger to accept their larger destiny, then the forces of life can flow in a new way. The imprint of the divine face can become visible in this world and the glory of oneness be known, and once again life can become sacred.

While I’ve made some grand declarations above, I’m the first to admit I don’t know exactly what that looks like in our daily lives here on Mother Earth, and I’m certain it is easier said than done. What I do know is there are countless wise souls I can turn to for example, guidance and perspective. Some are magnificent women with boundless love in their hearts and laughter in their bones, many of whom already have guided me through hard lessons and shown me how to be both feminine and strong. Some are beautiful, strong men – two of whom I share my home with – who embrace their own feminine energy and know their unconditional support is just as valuable as their ability to do amazing things. Some are teachers like Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee with the guidance of goddesses in their hearts and on their tongues.

Because of them, I have hope, and perhaps I do know what it looks like. It’s already here. It just needs a little loving care.