republished from Brazilian Yoga Journal, August 2011.
“You do not have to be good. You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles repenting. You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.” ~ Mary Oliver
We live in a world where the feminine has aspect has been ignored, if not deliberately squelched for thousands of years. What we live today, in our modern world of industrialized mechanization and man-made progress at the expense of native cultures, the animal kingdom and natural resources, is a product of a hyper-active masculine principle.
As natural disasters like those in Haiti, Japan, and Chile, not to mention closer to home in Angra dos Reis and Novo Friburgo, seem to be occurring in rapid succession and our world economy drastically shifts, we are being called to unearth our connection to the feminine principle. On a large scale the resurrection of the divine feminine as a guiding principle requires an inclusion of collaboration, sensitivity and a consideration of the effects of our actions on future generations. On an individual level, the result of the overactive masculine principle has been an onslaught on female reproductive health.
In our caffeine-drive, traffic-ridden, multi-faceted daily lives, the divine feminine is often forgotten and untended- left to slowly wilt. Our lives are fast, and they seem to only get faster.
To deliberately court the feminine, we have to put on the brakes. Our mind convinces us that it is anything other than reasonable to take a break from the push forward- that we will lose momentum, lack discipline and fall behind. Pausing can be uncomfortable because it usually shows us our habits. Our habits we have either inherited or developed and probably both. When we remain on the running wheel, we remain in habitual action- unable to imagine possibilities outside of the rut. When we interrupt momentum, we have an opportunity to see and feel the effects of how we live.
Most of us know that the pace and demands of our lives are fairly stressful, yet we make choices all the time that dampen our ability to hear our inner voice, which is the necessary compass to living a life that increases our sense of intimacy with ourselves, and everyone and everything around us.
Both men and women can invite the divine feminine in through the act of pausing and listening.
One of the marvels of the feminine is that she is always close, like the spark of a flame waiting for the wind to come and augment the fire. She must be courted. And, like with all women, there are intricacies. The more you listen, the more she will speak. Her voice will become louder and clearer. However the opposite is also true, if you ignore or affront her, she will also speak loudly and sometimes unpredictably to shake you and beg your attention.
She will use her wiles to make you listen. Listen to her and you won’t regret it. That doesn’t mean your life will get easier. But it will get more satisfying- deeper and richer. She will lead you to connection where doubt has no hold. Stay close and lean in. She awakens your senses and tantalizes through them. She will show you the sensuous and sacred existence. She may ask you to do things that make no sense. Later you might understand.
She is that closest wisp of your spirit calling you to hear the lilt of your heart, to feel the tenderness, to hold all of life- in its excruciating pain and unequivocal joy. She reminds us that it is indeed possible to hold it all. The births and the deaths. The star-crossed romance and the heartbreak. Success and failures. She grows the heart, when we think it is not possible. To wait so that we can act.
She comes in on the breeze, along the stream in the current, with the dance. We have to pause, insert a comma, or several in our daily rhythms. She needs to be tended and lured. She lives in those pauses and in that silence- the place where the heart speaks. She lives in the dance, in the rhythm- the place where the heart sings.
If she seems elusive in the poetry, here are three things that you can do right now to connect to the divine feminine.
• Take a warm bath or shower. When you get out, massage yourself with oil, feeling each part of yourself as you make contact.
• Fill your space with beauty. Buy flowers. Make an offering with a candle.
• Close your eyes. Deepen your breath and send it all the way down into your pelvis. Take three full body breaths.