Okay, I know this journey of embracing the unknown is making huge changes in my life… Because even a month ago, the very thought of including the word “femininity” in a TITLE OF A BLOG POST would have made me cringe and scrunch my face.
I went to the Dirty South Yoga Festival today. It was a day filled with kirtan music, ohm-chanting, and a variety of yoga classes-each challenging in their own way-which deeply stretched my body, opened my heart, and energetically and emotionally released all sorts of stuff.
In the first class of the day, there was a guided meditation. We were told to visualize ourselves leaving our head, climbing down the back of our body, and into the heart, entering in between the shoulder blades.
Once I got there, I (in my mind’s eye) walked around my heart center, noticing that the entire left side looked like an abandoned (and mostly cleared out) attic. Like when you’ve just moved into an older house and go into the attic for the first time… That sort of thing. There were chairs, cobwebs, and everything was dusty and dull.
I immediately went into fix-it mode, thinking: “OH! I AM BEING SHOWN THIS BECAUSE IT’S TIME TO CLEAN THIS UP AND REORGANIZE IT.”
And then the teacher was like, “Don’t do anything or change anything; just observe.”
Well shit. Fine.
I noticed I had only seen the left side of my heart, so I traveled to the right side, which was completely different.
It was lush, green, and overgrown with beautiful wildflowers.
The juxtaposition between both sides made immediate sense to me. The right side of the body is the masculine (and giving) side, and the left side is the feminine (and receptive) side.
I’ve spent my entire life working so hard to be “one of the guys.” I cussed like they did, burped like they did, said the same dirty jokes they did, and even dressed like a boy* until middle school.
*I am not saying there is ONE way for a boy to dress or act, nor am I attempting to further any sort of stereotype. I’m just EFFING TIRED because I aggressively stretched my body for four hours today, so I don’t have the energy to word this in a way that best encompasses what I mean.
I worked in management and in sales, and have spent seven years in the aviation industry, which mostly consists of men. I’ve been bossy, cut-throat, and successful.
I’ve loved giving. In relationships, I would surprise guys with romantic nights. Candles and music and dinner made. I would go way out of my way for birthdays and events… And I wanted to be the one who massaged and who cleaned and remembered little details and who did ALL THE THINGS.
And yet… I was numb to the concept (and implementation) of receptivity.
I also LOVED to give my unsolicited opinion… and advice… and yet had zero listening power when it came to receiving what others said to me.
I didn’t admit to liking romantic comedies until about two years ago. Now I want to scream it from a rooftop. In the past, I was ashamed of liking “chick flicks,” as if it made me a stereotypical girl.
I so badly wanted to be special. To be different. To be the escape for the men I was with.
And so… I neglected all things I considered “girly” or “typical.” Getting my nails done, wearing pink, wearing ruffles or floral print, listening to poppy music, etc.
I embraced my masculinity and ignored/repressed my femininity.
This past Friday I hung out with three beautiful women, all dressed like they’re right out of Sex in the City (or whatever well-dressed lady show there is. I don’t know. I never let myself watch them.)… All with sexy shoes and outfits and beautiful makeup and hair.
And I’m not saying I didn’t look beautiful; I did. It was just… A clear difference (in my mind). I was wearing clothes that were too big, tied to the side with a hair tie in order to keep them on my body… And was wearing scrunchy comfy sandals.
I shared this with the ladies, who all excitedly embraced the possibility of taking me shopping and doing a makeover sort of thing. Which I look forward to.
Then they had me try on lipstick, and I felt like I was going to have a panic attack.
IF I WEAR THIS THEN BOYS WILL KNOW I’M WEARING LIPSTICK.
Um. What? So?
THAT IS WHAT GIRLS DO.
I. WELL. UH.
Right. So. Now that I’ve given a frame of reference / back story, let’s dive into the fun gooey part of today’s meditation.
I invited the lush greenery and bright, vibrant colors of the right side over to the left side. What happened next was… Pretty fuckin’ rad. To say the least.
I saw and felt the entire left side of my body LIGHT UP. As if… You know when you replace a lightbulb, and it flickers for a bit, and then gets brighter?
I felt it. I saw it.
Next, I was shown (from my Inner Wisdom) the necessity to love on myself in the way I’ve loved on others. I saw an image of me tenderly kissing my dog Floyd’s head… That special spot right between his eyes where there’s an indentation that beckons my lips.
When I give him smooches, I look at him with pure, uninhibited love. Forgiveness. Adoration.
If you have a pet, you know this look.
My Inner Wisdom guided me to do that same thing… to myself.
So, while deep in this visualization, I imagined looking at myself that way, gently petting my heart the way I pet Floyd, with that same, deep adoration.
And suddenly, I cried.
CRYING IN PUBLIC IS A BIG DEAL FOR ME, Y’ALL. I spent years hiding the fact that I had emotions and, even though I’ve spent the last three years retraining myself to embrace their true power, I’ve still been challenged with this whole… SHOWING my emotions.
I can talk about them all damn day. I can write you a pretty poem with fabulous imagery… All about my heart feels. People often tell me that I’m great at expressing what I feel.
And yes, I am. Verbally. Physically, though, there’s this tenseness I’ve carried with me for so long. This fear of letting go. Fear of being truly, physically vulnerable. Fear of receiving love from myself and, therefore, from others.
So there I was… In public… Weeping… All the while visualizing another Me gently stroking my face and holding me the way I so desire to be touched and held (yet have never dared ask anyone to do so for me)… With pure, uninhibited, true love.
And… I RECEIVED IT.
My heart awakened this morning, and femininity came along for the ride.
I don’t know what this next chapter will look like… And I’m remaining open-minded, and now open-hearted.
I have never felt more alive, or more in love with life. <3
I don’t know where you are in your individual journey. I don’t know if this does or doesn’t resonate. If it causes a constriction in your chest or opens up a flow of energy as your heart begs you to do the same.
Perhaps you’ve already mastered receptivity.
I challenge you to ask yourself what it is that you so deeply yearn for from another… What you need to hear and feel from another…
And then give it to yourself.
With so much love I can physically feel it emanating from my entire being,