“You don’t tell the Atlantic Ocean how to behave!” ~ Eve Ensler
Reclaiming an organic and instinctive sense of femininity hasn’t been easy.
I had to unlearn and undo absolutely everything the specific paradigm of my culture taught me about embodiment.
I had to detangle knots of understanding, uncover seeds of trauma and bring into question every aspect of bodily being: food, sex, appearance, survival, sensation, femininity, power, media and death. I had to sort out the influx of influences and discern where I authentically stand in my corporeality.
Who am I as a woman, a human being and an animal?
The women around me seem to have gone through a parallel process of wrestling with food choices, sensations and identities, images of self and body. Our changing relationship to our bodies invariably shows up as one of the key themes in our experience of our life.
Collectively and generationally the war with our bodies has drained our energy, wasted precious resources and taken up a lion’s share of time in the dark and lonely realm of self-judgment and reflective surfaces. It makes me angry, for myself, for all the sexy, cool, brilliant and capable women I know. It has caused me no small amount of despair over the years.
Gradually we are each navigating through and over it by tackling the developmental task of reclaiming personal freedom and the stand of kinder choices within a wounded and twisted culture.
We are maturing beyond subscribing to sick and dishonoring ideals, evolving beyond our particular story around it and willingly releasing the drama and the trauma we invested so many years in. We are shrugging off the neurosis and the long lived frustration, sorting the real from the unreal and emerging on the other side with a new kind of self-love—tried and tested, wiser and tougher, squarely in the center of our guts.
I’ve discovered a great freedom in unaplogetically defining my own terms of femininity.
The more genuine and embodied I feel, the more I approach the world from the inside out and not through the lens of my image of myself. I meet people from the core of my bones and not through the persuasive exterior of my appearance. Instead of glossy magazines I consult the sacred feminine within about choices regarding every aspect of my body.
The safer and more appreciated my body feels, the more it relaxes and loses the unnecessary tonus of effort about trying to fit in and look a certain way. The more my flesh softens, the easier it is for the light inside to shine through, radiating gently from the center of my being.
Embracing the goddess within means committing to honoring every aspect of my essential womanhood totally and unquestionably. I can be fierce and soft at the same time. I can nurture and defend whenever required. I can kick and caress according to the needs of the moment. I can be dynamic and powerful while staying reliable and approachable. I can choose to not support outdated stereotypes and commercial brainwashing with my attention and acquiescence. I can refuse to listen to the singsong of conditioning and take decisive and embodied action in my own life, representing a different possibility of femininity with my presence wherever I am.
I have begun appreciating this temple of God in a new way after turning thirty. My body is a house of spirit, not a bag of bones to drag and parade around. When the flesh is animated by my soul the proportions of my body feel aligned and appropriate. My feet are muscular and knowledgeable. The joints of my knees and elbows articulate with ease.
My solar plexus is soft but engaged, ready to respond.
My heart is quiet and tender, living in a wide and spacious room. My lungs inhale and exhale, content with the cycle of breath. My arms have the right length and strength, available for action. My spine is loose and flexible, made of moving parts and connected by a thread. My face is my face, easy and resourceful, without masks of tension.
The expression of my femininity in the world is organic and innovative, initiated in my root chakra and flowing out through my ovaries, my belly and my heart. It doesn’t have to look like anything in particular—just me at my wildest, freest, most instinctive and authentic.
I don’t project my femininity in an outward and assertive way but I feel sexier than I ever did in heels, lipstick and synthetic underwear. The pure energy of primal sensuality speaks for itself and adding nothing labored and extraneous to the corporeal shape of my soul allows the holy feminine to converse through my skin, gutsy and full of grace.
Here’s my prayer and my invitation: let’s wake up the wild woman sleeping within.
Let’s exhale unnecessary filters of behavior and emotion. Let’s go ahead, move on and stop selling ourselves short.
Let’s evolve beyond the paradigm of limitation and inhabit the full width and length of who we are.
Let’s reclaim our elemental power and the birth right of our radical freedom
Let’s release what no longer serves us and allow the sacred feminine to fill the vacuum with her bright, fierce and dynamic presence.
Author: Anna Seva
Apprentice Editor: Keeley Milne / Editor: Renee Picard
Photo: Dmitry Laudin at Pixoto