Somewhere between today’s total solar eclipse and new moon, International Women’s Day and mother’s day last Sunday – celebrating the divine feminine and the mothers, planet and life force that sustain our existence – it feels right to share what I have learned about keeping connected to the divine femininity within us all amid the bustle of modern living and all its energetic demands.
Because although we may know we are women, girls, feminine, female in form, yin in energy, however your gender presents itself to you, sometimes – and increasingly more easily in my experience – we forget. We forget that there is magic within us, we forget that we are sacred, we forget the unique powers and potential we contain as womb-en and the distinctly female treasures that mainstream society has in many ways encouraged us to keep hidden for so long.
When we tap in to this divine female energy, things start to shift. A loving gentleness, a sisterhood and a fertile creative power all shine through us as both individuals and as a collective and we start to respect ourselves more as we make space to honour our innate capacity for love and creation. Our relationships shift as well as our men feel this light, and we step into a new sort of power that is gentle and self-aware yet as strong as any warrior.
Living in the world I do, this fierce female mindset is not active and available all day every day, but learning to tap into it and uncover the truth of feminine existence is what this space, and a big part of my journey, are all about. And when we come together as sisters and share our knowldge, ideas and experiences, the ground can only grow more fertile. And so I wanted to share five small practices that help us to honour the sacred within each of us and connect us a little deeper to our goddess nature. They may spark and inspire you or they may not resonate at all… but the more we open to ourselves and our potential the more authentic our relationships become with ourselves, our men and mother earth. So it’s worth exploring, right?
It’s easy sometimes to forget that we all come from, and return to, planet earth. Living in the age we do, mainstream society has become so disconnected from this mother planet that we often think of ourselves as apart from nature and the vast web of life which she sustains. Connecting to force of gaia, pachamama, mother earth, which is so undeniably female in its nature, allows us to tap into the life force within each of us and our innate potential as mothers, carers and healers. In the city, taking yourself in search of some natural green space, or barefoot earthing in the warmer seasons, is such a beneficial experience for the female side of our beings as well as the human one. Meditate on nature’s capacity for beauty and nourishment of all shapes, sizes and colours and invite those qualities into your own daily life. When we really tune into nature we find so much beauty, celebration and abundance there – qualities which we often believe to be lacking in our everyday lives – and tuning into them is a gentle way to awaken our own such capacities. Ask yourself, what can I learn from this supreme female energy, from the plants, from the way they grow and survive and interact? The lessons are never ending.
Water is the feminine element and connects us with our yin or female energy. It is not for sheer pleasure that we are so drawn to swim in oceans, rivers and lakes: we come from water, are made of water, cleansed and purified by it, and we cannot live without it. Its currents force us to surrender, stop resisting the flow of life and connect us to our own fluid powers of transformation: being in water is so healing. Whether it’s swimming in a pool, in nature or immersing yourself in a relaxing epsom salt or aromatherapy bath, allow some H2O time to reconnect you to your flowing female form.
Breath is such a powerful means of altering our consciousness and an important tool for anyone on the path of wellness and self-inquiry. There are also specific exercises that help us open up our female centres and these can be really helpful when you have lost your way and any sense of your goddess potential. (I think we all know these days well…) In those monents when you feel powerless, inadequate, not particularly magical, a quick pranayama exercise can re-centre and rebalance our energy. Alternate nostril breathing is a great way to do this; you will notice that throughout the day our nostrils change so that one is usually more dominant – this happens around every 90 minutes. The left nostril pathway is traditionally associated with relaxation, yin, female energy, (the tadasic guna in Ayurveda) while the right relates to activity, yang, masculine energy (the rajasic guna). Sitting cross legged in a quiet space and holding one nostril closed with your thumb and third and fourth fingers and breathing in, releasing the other one and breathing out, and repeating for a few rounds, helps to balance these energies and bring us to a harmonious middle point where masculine and feminine are balanced – the sattvic guna. If you feel drawn to go deeper, you can search for more information on alternate nostril breathing or the gunas, there is a wealth of information on the internet – they are very useful in helping understand our subtle energies on a deeper level.
Another breathing exercise that we can do, particularly when we feel de-sensitised and disconnected from our sensuality and sexual force, is a breathing meditation on the root chakra, located between the anus and the yoni, our genitals. This is the seat of much of our sexual energy and identification and bringing a little awareness to its centre can be really helpful when we feel frozen or too much up in our minds. Sit cross legged and as you breathe in, visualise bringing a golden thread of light through the nostrils, down the spine and all the way to the root chakra. As you breathe out, visualise the area relaxing and opening, releasing any tension and any darkness with the breath. If your mind wanders, just observe the thoughts and bring them back when you can; if you do this for about five minutes you should notice a gentle opening and a soft energetic shift. As with all practices, the more you do it, the deeper you will go.
As I sit and type in jeans and an old Harley sweatshirt I know my inner goddess is not being dressed as she would like. And sure, it’s hard in winter, but the ritual and ceremony of adorning ourselves is a powerful and ancient one and should not be overlooked. In choosing to wear soft, feminine textures and fabrics and jewels and talismans that express a feminine force, we are honouring our womanhood and communicating to the world that we are not afraid to show it. In my experience, dressing like a man is not a liberation of my feminine self: it is the opposite, and when I remember to step into my dresses, jewels or adornments that channel my fluidity and sparkle, my inner goddess and her joyous, sensual side always come out to play. It can be enlightening to bring awareness to how you feel when you wear certain things and ask yourself what mood or energy they are reflecting. It’s not superficial, it’s not sexualisation of the self: we all need to get dressed and sometimes how we do can change the way we navigate ourselves and our days.
No man is an island, and no woman either. Connecting to our sisters in our cities, countries, and around the world via social media is so important if we are to step into our individual and collective power with support, confidence and friendship. Something magical happens when women get together and share where they are at in this moment: an intimacy, honesty and mutual loving kindness opens up and we feel safe to speak openly and share whatever needs to be shared. It is not to say there is no space for our men – there is plenty, but the connection to our collective sisterhood is powerful medicine for every modern goddess. Whether it’s a local women’s circle, an online moon ceremony via social media, a chat with your best friend or mother and sister, entering into a space where female wisdom and caring can be exchanged is the key to embracing ourselves more fully, in all our potential and magic.