I was born a woman. But, I had no clue about what it meant to truly be a woman. Instead, I learned from the well-meaning women in my life that being a woman meant:
• Sucking it up and working hard because the man in your life wasn't going to be around to help.
• Either crying on the floor in a corner of self-defeat or being so tough nothing could affect you.
• Being available for sex whenever your man wanted it. And then hating and resenting him for it, and telling your girlfriends all about it.
None of this was on purpose of course. No one taught my mother or her mother or her mother before her how to be a woman. They had been generations upon generations focused solely on survival. They were merely trying to keep food on the table, a roof over their heads and clothes on their backs. They didn't know that there was a deeper calling within them, a part of them that could manifest all of the above with greater ease than slogging through it.
The women featured on television or in the movies were of no help to me either. Stepford housewives with no interest in sex, hot, sexy messes or tough cookie man-eaters -- were all I had to choose from. I took a look at all of that nonsense and figured it was safer to be a masculinized woman than it was to be truly feminine. It seemed like those women just got beat to shreds.
So instead, I beat myself to shreds. I worked incredibly hard, I choked back my tears, I pretended I didn't care. I talked trash about men and women unlike me because that was what I had seen growing up and all that I knew to do. And I did all of this until my body, 7 years ago, had enough and gifted me with a large cystic tumor on my left ovary.
For those that know holistic medicine, you know that the left side represents the feminine. And that ovaries represent a woman's connection to her sexuality and sensuality (among other things). Talk about a message from my body and a call to action to connect to my feminine.
Fortunately, I was too exhausted to argue and it was then that I began the journey of reclaiming my divine feminine self -- a self I did not know and had never seen demonstrated but knew I had to find buried deep within myself.
So, when I read Bryan Reeves recent article "No One Ever Taught Me How to be a Man," and after years immersing myself in my own reclamation of my feminine and then sharing with other women what I learned, I realized that:
No one had ever taught me how to be a woman. Seeing that men also faced this same conundrum and call to reclaim their sacred masculine inspired me.
What would the world look like if each of us went within and reclaimed our core essence of either masculine or feminine?
What would happen if we nurtured that divinity within our self and brought it to our relationship with ourselves, with friends and with our romantic partner?
Can you imagine the possibilities?!
And while what being a woman (or for Bryan's readers what being a man) looks like is different for every one -- one thing is the same -- you can only know this truth through deep connection with who you really are. By going within and asking the big questions, the questions that can inevitably lead you to a reclaiming of the woman that you are deep within.
If you feel called to reclaim your core, divine feminine essence, below are some simple steps you can take right now, today to begin or deepen this journey to know Her.
• Ask to know Her. It's simple. Say it out loud -- in your car, walking down the street, when you get out of bed in the morning. Ask to be connected to that core divinely feminine part of you. Ask to feel Her aliveness within you.
• Move out of action and into attraction. The feminine knows how to call forth and attract all that she desires (from her deep connection to who-she-really-is) into her life experience.
• Meditate. Meditate silently or guided. It doesn't matter. Connect to your divine feminine energy by placing both of your hands on your pelvis as you meditate. See a glowing red orange ball of light that gets bigger and brighter with every inhale.
• Be soft in your movement. Drop the hard core workouts for those that bring you into your body in the soft, deeply feminine way that only a woman can. Dance, stretch, walk, play, have sex. Feel yourself in your body fully during these movements.
• Cook a meal. Not because you have to but because you want to create something. Try a new recipe; play with what you're making.
• Work less. Block out time in your schedule to rest, connect with those you love, be in nature and nurture your body.
• Let go of taking in media -- television, movies, Internet -- that promote masculinized or helpless female archetypes. Release any consumption of violence. Choose media that showcases empowered divine feminine women with sacred masculine men. (And please post these movies or shows in the comments below so we can all benefit from watching them.)
• Talk to your body. Place one hand on your heart and one on your pelvis. Breathe into both, ask your body what it wants you to know about your feminine self. Listen until a thought, a knowing or a sensation arises in your body. Breathe deep and let the messages come in.
So, no one taught me how to be a woman and if you're reading this article, maybe no one taught you either. But we can teach one another, we can teach ourselves through the wisdom that lies in our body and we can transform the way women are in this world -- and therefore transform the world.
For more from Heather Strang, click here.