Category Archives: Divine Feminine/Masculine

For Whom I am Grateful

justme.jpgI am just me, and what makes me more is you. My cup runneth over from the blessings of all of those present in my life.

The Daughter

I am grateful for my daughter and her beauty—inside and out. Her humor, strength and grace astound me. Her intelligence humbles me; that she is rocking graduate school is like a dream-come-true for this momma. I love her compassion and sweetness, her healthy boundaries, the way she is strong and soft all at once.

I love the way, a few weeks ago, when I suddenly went into a shame spiral while we were talking and told her so, she knew, instinctively, that the thing to say was not something like, “Oh, it’s okay. Don’t go there. You shouldn’t feel that way.”

She knew just to sit with me; she knew the thing to do was just actually join me and let me vent. She didn’t try to fix it, and she didn’t try and shame me into not feeling shame. She has earned the right to hear my shameful stories.

The Man

I am grateful for my man, who constantly amazes me with his kindness, his willingness to go to vulnerable, scary places with me, his courage. I love how he lives from his faith, from his heart, from that vulnerability, how he walks his talk, how he doesn’t take my BS and let me pull him out of his clarity, his integrity.

He is, all at once, the most masculine and the most available, vulnerable man I have ever known.

I love how he accepts me and doesn’t try and change me, how he lets me cry when I need to, knowing it’s just a way I clear myself out. His dry, intelligent humor cracks me up and keeps me surprised and laughing.

I am grateful for how he remembers important things about me and my life. I love his thoughtfulness, how driven, focused and trustworthy he is. I love the way he lets me need him and how he allows himself to need me too.

I am grateful for his support, how he held me for hours and let me cry (sob) when my sweet kittle boy died. I love the way he takes care of things—including me.

I love the way he takes responsibility for his self-growth and his life, letting me do the same. I love how we gently pull each other up to the next highest level of ourselves when we’re together.

I love the respect and adoration he shows me. I love that he lets me adore him. And I am so grateful for his kisses—they are epic.

The Guyfriend

I am grateful for my friend who when I emailed him, venting, telling him I was angry at someone, replied, “Sorry about you feeling jerked around. Let me know if you want me to beat him up. In the meantime, just lean into him and take no shit. I’m happy to talk about it if you want.”

I love the way he supports and champions me in my self-growth and in my life—professionally and personally. I appreciate the way he answers my man questions so easily and quickly. I love how he lets me help him out too with his woman questions.

I love the sweet, brotherly love I feel from him, letting me know that he’s got my back. I love how he makes me laugh—at life, at him, at myself. I am grateful for how he is always giving me “gifts” from the Cosmos—in the form of synchronicities and great timing; I am grateful for his relationship advice. I call him my relationship guardian angel.

I appreciate that he is such a role model for me in my professional life. I love how he allows himself to be real and vulnerable—while still strong and masculine.

The Girlfriend

I am grateful for my girlfriend who makes me laugh so hard I about pee myself. I love the belly laughs and guffaws that happen when we are together. I am grateful that she allows me to be my crazy, wild-ass, multidimensional self when we’re together.

I am so grateful that she trades hypnotherapy sessions with me, allowing me to process my shit with her fine, strong support.

I love the way she allows me to talk to her and rant and how she gently leads me back to myself each time, leads me to aha moments that are blinding in their simplicity, as we laugh some more at their realization.

I am thankful for her grace, and at the same time, her bawdiness—allowing us to meet there in that powerful, vulnerable, soft center. I am so grateful and honored that she trusts me with her hypnotherapy sessions in our trades.

The Church Ladies

I am grateful for my “Church Ladies” group of women. We get together about once a month for movie night and to laugh and drink wine/tea. I love that they allow me to be my vulnerable, silly, sometimes sad, self at our gatherings and at church when I see them there too.

I appreciate how one of them, to my statement of “I’m scared,” just took my hand, looked into my eyes and said, “I know you can do this. I know who you are. You can do this.”

I’m grateful for the movies that uplift and inspire us. I am grateful for the soulful, insightful discussions that come from our movies and time together.

The Supplement Angel

I am grateful for my friend who is also my supplement angel, who in her wisdom and knowledge is helping me heal my gut issues. I love her gentle, kind way of being so strong.

I love that she is unafraid to be real. I so appreciate all she has been through that assists her in assisting me and others to wellness.

My Angel Sister

I am grateful for my sweet, Angel sister who trades Reiki sessions with me. I love the way she gently slaps me back to my senses with her wisdom and humor. I love that we have found so many past lives together.

I appreciate that I can trust her with anything and everything, even when I don’t want to. I love hearing her sweet, soft voice in her lovely accent calling me “my dear” with that lilting rolled “r.”

The Weenie Dogs

I am grateful for my weenie dogs. I love the way they are always happy to see me—even when I’ve been gone most of the day and into the night. They keep my feet warm in bed at night, keep me company, amuse me with their antics and comfort me in my bad times.

The Work~Play

I am grateful to my clients—both volunteers and otherwise—because I am always learning from them. I love all the ladies who take my Feminine Essence classes; we always bond and grow together. Those moments are priceless to me.

The Divine

I am grateful to the Divine One—all forms thereof—for holding me sweetly, patiently—even when I think I don’t want to be held. For the Goddess, for taking me into your soft, strong arms and rocking me gently to sleep and comfort and then back awake again, to myself and to the beauty that is now my life.

The Dance

I am grateful to everyone who has ever danced with me. I love dancing, and if you have ever joined me in that joyfulness, I thank you. Thank you for asking me to dance, and thank you for saying yes when I asked you to dance.

The Past to the Present

I am grateful for all that has gone before—people, circumstances, friends, lovers, challenges, lessons, gifts—because they have made me who I am, and who I am is good enough. For all those I didn’t mention specifically: Thank you. I am grateful for you.

The Blessing

Your presence in my life blesses me. My cup runneth over. I have an amazingly happy, wonderful life—because I have done lots of work to make it that way, but mostly because of you. Thank you.

Who and what are you grateful for?

I hope the answer is varied and abundant and fills you right up to the brim and over.

Why I May Have to Break up With Santa.

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As a child, it was almost too painful to bear when I realized that no one was coming to rescue me.

I think in all the attention given to the Divine Masculine and Feminine these days, we often overlook the paternal/maternal aspects of these archetypes.

I like what Sunyata Satchitananda has to say about the King (Father) aspect of the Divine Masculine:

“His wisdom carries a transpersonal selflessness—like a kind father. He is an agent of the divine having reverence for all life. He is benevolent, evenhanded, calm, caring and thoughtfully present…”

The same aching anxiety woke me this morning. It made my chest hurt. It has been waking me earlier and earlier every morning now—it’s the same pattern every year as we approach the holidays.

As an adult, Christmas has always been a time of dread for me.

This morning when I looked at the clock, with my hand over my heart hoping to calm the frantic, heavy beat and ease the pain, it showed 3:52 a.m., and I quickly rounded up to 4:00 a.m., so as not to make the panic worse.

That’s only one hour before the alarm would go off anyway, I reassured myself.

Instead of adding more fuel to that tight, painful fire, I have learned that when I wake up like this, I do better if instead of trying to force myself back to sleep, I make a decision on how best to see it as a gift of more time.

So I sat up, adjusted the pillows and attempted to meditate. I attempted to explore, once again, and find the source of this yearly, seasonal panic. I know it is connected to the holidays—mainly to Christmas.

Being a hypnotherapist, I have traveled to and opened so many Christmas-related recesses of my own psyche that even I roll my eyes when I begin this process all over again, when I think of even more spelunking through those twisted, dark, mind caves.

In the past and in hopes of healing this issue, I have dredged up gut wrenching, Christmastime past lifetimes of being so poor that I can’t afford anything for my children—so poor that I watch my children die of starvation while I hold them close, already grieving.

The good news about all those lights turned on in all those formerly dark caves, is that I’ve done a lot of healing around the holidays. The bad news? I’m apparently not done.

santa5As I sat in bed in the dark, I tried to distract myself with good Christmas thoughts—the magic, the lights, the hope, Santa…

And that is when I suddenly understood the problem. I opened that mental door and Santa stepped through it in all of his kind, gentle, paternal energy, and I felt absolute rage and betrayal at his smiling, normally benign presence.

I felt betrayed by him. How dare he look so innocent, so loving, so fatherly?

In meditation mode already, I took my foot off the ranting throttle and attempted to coast, to simply let myself feel the pain, the loss, the rage—just observing, on some level, to see where it would take me, what it would present to me for healing. I felt, again, the devastating despair of learning he was not real.santa4

Because you see, as a child, Santa was my last hope.

Growing up an abused and neglected child, Santa represented the hope that I would one day be saved. Even as a child, I had already given up on God. All that praying had not reaped one bit of difference in my life that I could see.

But Santa was God to me—only a much more jolly, happy version.

So Santa, in his all-knowing capacity would hear me asking for rescue. I knew he would save me. I mean it was right there in the song, wasn’t it? “He sees you when you’re sleeping; he knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake.”

If he knew all that, then he knew I was in big trouble. He knew that I really needed his help. He knew I deserved a better life. And he delivered goodness and gifts. Surely he could deliver me from this.

As for the requisite “goodness” needed: I was good—as good as a very intelligent, quiet and creative girl-child could figure out how to be in a perverse world where the definition of that word was constantly being twisted to fit the dysfunction du jour.

“Being good” was part of the sick, crazy-making game played by the abusers. “If you’d just be good, then I wouldn’t have to do this.”

So if Santa always knew what I was thinking, then he knew I needed his help. For me he represented all that was good and normal and magical and possible.

He was Father Christmas.

I could easily slide right down into the magical, cinnamon-y, shiny, red-velvet-with-white-fuzzy-trim happiness of Christmas, the hope. I longed for a life like I imagined he could provide—firm but loving, gentle and kind.

And then came that dark, devastating, crushing time when I learned that not only would Santa not help me, he was not even real.

As I lay in the dark, trying to ignore the bright clock display across the room, I let the sense of betrayal and sadness and despair walk all over and through me again, trampling me.

It was hopeless then, final; there would be no one coming to help me.

That same crushing hopelessness I felt upon learning the truth as a child mixed with this new sense of betrayal. I had been betrayed by the archetypical Divine Masculine father figure.

You could very easily think that my problem is not with Santa/Father Christmas. And years ago I would have agreed with you. But I have done the work on my childhood and have even forgiven the abusers, have seen and grasped the bigger, cosmic design of this sad but very informative plan.

I don’t want to be around such dysfunctional people and haven’t spoken to them for years, but I am a survivor, not a victim. I have a damned good, and normally happy, life—except at Christmas time.

Later That Same Day

So now it is almost noon, and I have been awake and aware of this issue for eight hours. And I am switching tense, which as any real writer knows, is verboten. This morning I have let the emotions wash through and over me, wanting them to come up and out.

They’ve been fermenting in there for over 40 years; I don’t feel the need to hang on to them anymore.

Indeed, I’d like them to go away—not just away as in still stuck in here somewhere bumping around and bruising but buried where they can still yank me around by the proverbial nose ring, but away as in healed—done.

I’ve been through anger, sadness, loss of hope, betrayal, rage, despair—all because I feel I have lost my trust, not in men, but rather in maleness itself. And I am having particular issues with the protective, paternal type of energy.

And am I deluding myself? Have I ever had trust in maleness? Will I ever be able to look Christmas in the eye again? Will I ever be able to trust the father aspect of maleness? Or any aspect thereof?

These are the questions I am dealing with right now, as I sit and type.

I am searching for a passage inside me that leads to the place where I forgive Santa for not being real. I want to be able to forgive him for not rescuing me, a helpless child in such dire need.

Some of my favorite people are men—many of them fathers.

A Few Days Later

It’s been several days since I began writing this. I walk the talk of alternative healing in my life. I have spent those days meditating, praying, processing and ended up doing some EMDR and then also some EFT on the issue.

I have found that these tools work wonders for me.

In my quest to heal this, I have also watched several classic Christmas movies—many of them deal with father issues, I’ve noticed. I never made that connection before now.

I want to be comfortable with maleness. I want to be comfortable with the paternal aspect of maleness. More to my heart, I want to be able to love and trust maleness—of all types. I want to let go of this anger, this sense of betrayal. santa1

I will continue to do the work, the digging, which will finally, at some point, release me from this annual, holiday-induced panic. I know I can heal this, because this is what I do.

I am the bulldog in my own life, holding onto to each process, each false belief that comes up until I have shaken it to death—until it no longer holds power over me, and I can spit it out, always surprised to see it laying there so small and limp in its benign shapelessness.

I really want to believe in the magic of Christmas again, the magic and power of fathers. I don’t want to be that cynical, bitter adult who gives up on magic and trust.

I don’t want to be Scrooge.

Not for Women Only—Finding the Feminine Essence.

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A few years ago, when I began my Divine Feminine journey, I could not have told you what a feminine gift might be.

I had only just discovered I was living in and was nearly always coming from a place of habitual, self-protected (usually, angry) masculine energy.

I could not have told you how to get from that masculine stance into one of feminine energy. I did not understand the Divine Feminine at all, nor what was meant by the term “feminine essence.”

David Deida pissed me the bloody hell off; I thought he was misogynistic. I tried reading some of his books and would always end up throwing them across the room in disgust and anger at some point.

They’d bounce off the wall or furniture, and I’d let them lay there and kick them in passing for a few hours—or days.

Then I’d pick up the current, offending volume and try and read some more of it. Over all, and at the least, I found him annoying and wrong.

To get into feminine energy, he prescribed breathing into it, but what the fuck did that mean?!

So there I was, desperately wanting to connect with and breathe into the Divine Feminine, but in my ignorance, had no idea about how to do that.

The World as we Know it

The world basically functions as masculine. It values masculinity over femininity in nearly all things. Masculinity is sought-after and praised more often in our society.

Probably any business plan you know about is masculine. Meditation practice is taught as masculine. For a woman, “dress for success” means dress like a man—or dress like a slightly feminized version of how men dress.

A strong, powerful woman is defined as a woman who acts like a man.

Do we even know what the definition of “a strong woman” is without masculinizing it? It’s a good, valid question, I think.

The Feminine Aspects

The Feminine can show up in many forms/aspects as it exists within all of us. There is the girl-child, the lover, the queen/mother, the priestess, the warrioress, the crone, among other manifestations.

All these facets are within each of us—male and female. I like what Sunyata Satchitananda has to say about these.

Everyone has both masculine and feminine aspects and there is no right or wrong in how these energies are made manifest in anyone’s life.

Some folks, whether male or female anatomy-wise, feel more comfortable living in masculine energy most of the time, and some are more comfortable in the feminine most of the time.

The deciding question about masculine and feminine energy is, I have discovered, simply this: Are you happy with your relationships (of all kinds)? Are you happy with the people you are attracting into your life?

For me, I found the answer was not good when I looked at the type of man I was continuing to attract. I wanted to attract masculine men, but I was only attracting passive/feminine men.

When this continues to happen, you can bet the first thing that needs to be looked at is your own energy.

This can also manifest as the woman already in a relationship who is in a reactive, no-one-seems-to-be-stepping-up-to-take-care-of-this-so-I-better-do-it position. She has taken over “driving” the relationship—and he has allowed her to do that. Both of them need to start paying attention to their energy.

And believe me (because unfortunately I know this from direct, personal, embarrassing experience), it does no good to stand in masculine energy, look at a feminine man and demand he be more masculine.

That only calls up more passive energy in him and more masculine energy in me.

There are reasons the Masculine and Feminine are constantly balancing, gifting and polarizing each other. Each needs the other. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract.

A feminine “gift” is defined as anything done in feminine energy that calls up the masculine in anyone else. And to call forth the Divine Feminine energy is to embody the feminine as Divine—the Goddess—in all its many forms.

Giving and receiving masculine and feminine gifts to one another is not about being disrespectful and manipulating. It is about appreciation, about consciously and unconsciously fostering the connection and polarization between masculine and feminine energy to establish and maintain the attraction, the “spark” between two people.

If you don’t have polarization, you will not have that spark of attraction. Instead, for instance, in long-term relationships, you may feel more like good friends and roommates who seldom, if ever, have sex—because that attraction/polarization is missing.

About Feminine Energy

The feminine is about the body, emotions and sensations—the senses. That is why there are so many references to “breathing into” the feminine. The feminine is about allowing, flowing, receiving—and paying attention to and trusting the intuition.

Feminine energy is usually soft—but do not mistake softness for weakness. Think of water—soft and powerful at the same time. Think of the Grand Canyon, carved wide and deep by water, over the years.

Think about Mother Nature—natural, flowing and beautiful—and extremely powerful (earthquakes, tidal waves, hurricanes).

Unfortunately, many people equate femininity with weakness. To them, to call someone feminine is a put-down. I truly believe it is time we take back the definition of “femininity” to mean what it really does: Powerful and soft all at the same time, allowing—more like The Tao.

When I gave an example of how I could stay in my soft, feminine energy, but at the same time effect a powerful change in direction to my man’s attention and thoughts, he said very soberly—and kind of surprised, “You have power.”

I answered, “yes.” “And you know how to wield it.” Again, “yes.”

And as with all power, it is important to remember: “with great power comes great responsibility.” ~ Voltaire

Meaning, it is never okay to use any type of power to hurt or manipulate anyone. It is never acceptable to use someone’s vulnerabilities against them.

Getting into Feminine Energy

Afraid to be feminine, afraid of what will happen if you “let down your guard?” Yeah, I was too.

Remember what Alison Armstrong says (paraphrasing here):  All men come with a built in “protect women” program. Sure, there are a few men out there who want to hurt women, but they are the minority. So when you think of all the men out there, even complete strangers, who would come to help and protect you if you called upon them, you realize the world is, all of the sudden, a much safer place.

It might be important to activate your own masculine energy before beginning to evoke your feminine energy. It may seem counterintuitive, but when you think about it, it makes a lot of sense.

In order to feel safe enough to relax into my feminine energy, I had to first call upon and activate the Divine Masculine aspect inside me.

The Divine Masculine

So close your eyes and focus your attention inside. Ask your Divine Masculine lover to come to you and make himself known. Take your time.

Imagine him standing belly-to-belly with you and breathe. Feel your body responding to him. He is your perfect lover. Keep breathing. Ask him if he is willing to put his arms around you and protect you. He will always agree.

Ask him if he will protect you and be strong for you so that you can feel safe enough to soften and relax into your feminine energy. He will always agree. Allow yourself to feel his strong, protective energy.

Allow yourself to soften into his arms, his strength. Ask him if he will always have your back, always protect you. He will agree (it’s part of his job, as the masculine—it is his pleasure to do so).

At any time, anywhere, when you want to get into your feminine energy, just imagine standing belly-to-belly with your perfect, inner lover and let your body respond to his energy.

Imagine him looking over your shoulder, protecting your back as he holds you. Let yourself soften into him and your breath change into what it naturally does—full, deep, powerful, sexy. You will absolutely and instantly go into your feminine energy.

Once you activate your inner, masculine lover so that you feel safe enough to be feminine, another great way to get into your feminine energy is to focus your attention on your own body.

Tune into the body—especially the womb space. And as Rachel Jayne Groover reminds us in her book, Powerful and Feminine, everyone has a womb “space” even if you don’t have a physical womb. Focus your attention on your womb space and breathe into and from deep in your belly.

Dance, move, enjoy the movements of your body. Listen to music and let the music inform your body about how it should move. Stretch like a cat, slowly—have fun with the body.

Focus on your emotions—call them up to be identified; feel them—let them out. A strong, powerful woman does not shy away from emotions. She knows they are essential. She knows an important part of being feminine is being emotional.

She learns to honor those emotions, to be proud of them. She begins to know that she need never be ashamed of them—even the so-called “dark” emotions:  anger, fear, pain, anxiety, etc.

She never lets anyone shame her for her emotions. How? Simply state, with your own calm, and even kind, conviction, “I refuse to let you shame me for my emotions. I feel things. If you are not comfortable with that, then you might want to leave.”

She knows emotions come and go. She knows that to let them out doesn’t mean she will build a house in the land of sadness, for instance, and dwell there forever. She knows rather that calling those emotions up and out allows them to be heard, seen and felt, so that they can then leave.

It is only when we don’t allow them to come out that they become stuck in us, causing all sorts of problems on many levels.

Meditate Like a Woman

Focus on the womb space and stay in the body while meditating. Most meditation traditions focus on a very masculine way of meditating. They talk about watching the emotions come and go from a disassociated place, from an outside sort of place. They instruct you not to actually emote/feel them.

The goal of many types of masculine meditations is to take you up and out of the body to some “spiritual place.”

Try staying in the body instead. That is the feminine way. Focus on the womb; incorporate movement or dance too if it feels correct for you. Focus on the womb and breathe and luxuriate in the soft but heavy and full feeling of breath inside your body, of energy moving throughout the body and concentrating in the womb.

Let the energy/breath make love to you—have its way with you. Some women even report orgasms from meditating in this fashion—not because they are thinking sexy thoughts necessarily, but because the body itself is enjoying and celebrating the breath and energy and the energy becomes too much to continue to hold—it is released by orgasm.

This is very different than kundalini energy/rising, although both can be very powerful.

Practice Appreciation of all things Masculine

Another very quick way to get into your feminine energy is simply to notice and appreciate anything, all things, masculine. And the quickest way to call up the masculine energy in a man is to genuinely ask for his help. In fact, use the word “help” to get his attention and his assistance.

The next most powerful word to remember is “love.” Speak in feminine. Use your own, even flowery, words to live your life. The men around you will appreciate it and respond beautifully.

Yes, this can be accomplished even in the board/conference room—speak from your power, your belly, your womb.

Appreciating the masculine is for all ages. Thank an elderly man for holding the door for you. Ask a young boy you know if he would be so kind as to help you in some way—perhaps carry something for you.

The age does not matter; the type of relationship does not matter.

Making these feminine-centered changes can seem very foreign and forced at first, but soon it becomes a lovely way of life. I can’t imagine living my life now without being a fountain of praise for the masculine.

And until you get used to the new way of being, just remember, you can practice on anyone. In fact, practicing on strangers gives you more leeway to “fail.” Give yourself permission to fail and to make mistakes.

Start small:  Appreciate the arm muscles on the 7-year old with his mom in front of you in the grocery checkout line. Comment on the nice manners of the teenage boy who makes way for you to go first through the door. Make eye contact and say, “thank you, sir,” to him sincerely.

Don’t be pressured by our very masculine world into giving up your femininity. Use your own feminine words, gestures, clothes, energy. A powerfully feminine woman leans into the fear and vulnerability it takes to make these changes in herself.

Then she not only leans in, she walks right into the emotions, the fear, the vulnerability, knowing that emotions make her a stronger woman, knowing that vulnerability is not a weakness but pure courage, knowing that she is balancing herself and the world.

She becomes her own force.

Not for Men Only—How to “Take” Your Woman.

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“Some men know that a light touch of the tongue, running from a woman’s toes to her ears, lingering in the softest way possible in various places in between, given often enough and sincerely enough, would add immeasurably to world peace.”
~ Marianne Williamson

Your woman wants to be taken by you—ravished.

The two most important things to remember are:

1. Ravishing a woman comes from inside you—your heart, your belly. It really has nothing to do with being naked together. You must be strong in your masculine energy. So ravishing a woman starts way before you get to the sexy bits. It starts by you being a man of integrity that she can count on.

2. You must be fully present and focused on your woman, on loving her open to herself and to the Divine. Don’t let your concentration waver while ravishing her. When ravishing her, remember: Sex is just one more route to the Divine, the sacred. Or it could just be a quick, hot fuck up against the wall. Whichever it is—or somewhere in between—just stay completely focused on her.

“The truth is a woman cannot help but honor a man who first honors himself by having the integrity to stand for and live by his values. By “honor,” I am talking about a woman’s feelings of safety/security, respect, and attraction. She desires to be in his company. She wants to feel safety in the strength of his conviction and the adventure in his unalterable passions.”
~ Steve Horsmon, Good Guys 2 Great Men

When you show your masculine energy by being assertive and tender but forceful, it tells her that you want her and that she can trust you to ravish her. If she has to initiate everything (sex, kisses, conversations, who’s picking up the kids from soccer practice, etc.), it is so very unflattering to her and she feels she can’t trust you to take care of these things.

It makes her feel like you don’t want to be with her, like you don’t desire her—like you aren’t interested—like you can’t be bothered to put any effort into showing your care and affection for her.

Patient is good; we women like patience, but if patience actually turns out to be never, that is not patience. That is procrastination, ignorance, resistance, passiveness and/or laziness.

For instance, I once dated a man who was so passive that when we kissed, he never put his tongue in my mouth. If I wanted our tongues to touch, I had to make that happen.

Then I began thinking that I was just being too impatient, that if I waited, he would get around to it at some point. Maybe he was just really patient and really good at foreplay, right?

So I waited—for several years. He never did put his tongue in my mouth. He never initiated sex. He seemed afraid to touch me. It was so unflattering to me. It translated to me as him not wanting me, not desiring me.

I constantly questioned my desirability. Did he not find me loveable, desirable? And if not, why was I with him, exactly? (You notice this is in the past tense; I am not with him anymore, primarily for this reason.)

I know now that I played a really big part in this problem by not knowing how to live from my own feminine energy and thereby call him up to be his best, assertive masculine self.

This was also the man that when I told him I loved to be taken/ravished/fucked sometimes too, simply thrusted harder and faster.

Gentlemen, that in and of itself, is not what “ravishing” means. Ravishing comes from your heart and belly, expressed as forceful tenderness, playful strength; it is a way of life, not just something you decide to do in bed once every few months.

Establishing Trust

If she loves and trusts you, she wants to be ravished by you.

The kind of ravishing I am talking about applies to women with whom you are intimate and who know and trust you.

Yes, we all know about sex where we don’t really know our partner—about the urgent, fierce (sometimes desperate) connection that is like “ravishing” someone. That discussion is for another time, perhaps.

“…if you don’t trust your man because he is undirected, scattered, ambiguous or otherwise weak in his masculine energy, this will undercut your relationship, reducing your passion, your sexual attraction and your trust of each other.”
~ David Deida

When a woman is embodying her Feminine essence, she will be fully in her body and she will be emotional. To be truly feminine is to be fully emotional—for better or worse. Get used to it, with the ultimate goal of being able to embrace and even welcome it.

How to do that?

“Keep your breath full. Keep your body strong. Keep your attention present. No matter what your woman says or does, give her love. Press your belly into her. Smile. Scream and then lick her face. Do whatever is takes to crack the shell of her closure, get your love inside that crack, and touch her heart. Learn to enjoy her anger, her tears, her silent hardness. The world will give you the same at times. The way you react to your woman’s chaos reflects the way you react to the chaos in the world.”
~David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

To be truly masculine is to be firm and certain even in the face of uncertain feminine emotions. This is how to establish trust with your woman (remember, trust = sex). Not to just appear certain, but to be truly certain. When a man lets the emotions of the feminine pull him out of his certainty and center, the woman will not feel safe with him, and she will lose respect for, and trust in, him.

The wildness of the feminine needs the strength, stillness and calm of the masculine. If you get upset every time she gets upset and just because she does, she will start to lose confidence and trust in you, she will begin to feel unsafe.

If she doesn’t trust you, being ravished is too scary for her. And this fear will most often look like anger, cynicism, sarcasm and withdrawal from you and your touch.

There’s a reason the Masculine and Feminine polarize each other.

The Masculine

He is in his head and is directed, goal-oriented and grounding for her, he is the immovable cliff against which she can throw her waves of emotion; she needs that cliff, that strength. She needs to know that he not only tolerates her wildness, but that he loves, welcomes and cherishes it, because it makes her female, woman—different from him.

“One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present, and unreactive in the midst of his woman’s emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax.”
~ David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

He does not try to change her, does not try and make her think or act like a man, does not defeminize her by calling her “hysterical” or tell her, “You’re upset. I’ll be back to talk when you have settled down and are rational.” This is subtle de-feminization at its worst.

The Feminine

She is in her heart and womb and is love incarnate for him; she inspires him into his heart, into love, simply by being fully, emotionally feminine. She is the well of love, into which he fears he will fall and never return. Yet he must master this fear and be strong for her anyway. It is the only way to insure her trust.

“We have to let go of justifying emasculating men.” ~ Alison Armstrong

She does not expect him to live by his intuition and emotions like she does. She does not belittle him because he can’t always find and express his emotions readily—that would emasculate him. She does not call him too harsh, too cold, too distracted away from her by life/business.

She respects his “otherness” exactly because it is the polar opposite of her, because it calls up her femininity when he is strongly masculine, and she needs that from him. She knows how to get him back into his heart, his belly—how to inspire him from his “distractions” by simply being her true feminine self.

Get Ready

Gentlemen, here are some ravishing things to try—with a warning: These things will only work if you do them with complete love and confidence and if you begin and stay totally present for your woman during these sessions. Your focus and directed attention are part of your gift to your woman. Fill her up emotionally with your appreciation, attention, support, love. If you waver, she will feel that and will lose confidence and trust in you (remember: no trust = no sex).

Focus is key. And honestly, don’t you want to show her how much you love and cherish her?

I know it takes a big pair to initiate and pull off some of these. It puts you on vulnerable, shaky ground, doesn’t it? I can appreciate that.

Remember, vulnerability is not a weakness; it is pure courage.

Ladies:  If your man even tries this type of thing, you damned well better show your appreciation to him!

That doesn’t mean having sex with him when you are not willing and able, by any means, but it does mean you don’t roll your eyes, you don’t push him away, you don’t assume that all men ever want is sex (and by the way, why are you doing those things to someone you say you love and respect?).

At the very least, tell him how impressed you are by his courage, how much you love the fact that he wants to express his love for you by being close to you, and his willingness to go to such lengths to please you—and ask for a rain check.

Why must you show appreciation?

Remember that man I talked about that was so passive? I once drove to his house in a trench coat and very little else underneath (okay, a few strategic classics like sexy, over the knee boots, etc.), obeying the traffic rules very, very carefully because the thought of getting pulled over by a police officer while I was dressed like a prostitute was laughably horrible, came into his house and was soon thereafter almost completely humiliated because he would not join me in this fun/sexiness.

For whatever reason (did it embarrass him?), he was not happy with me and the “gift” I tried to give him. He could not allow himself to be that vulnerable, perhaps?

I have never tried that again, even though he did, at some point, apologize for not “helping me out with that,” as he put it. I am, in fact, quite hesitant to ever try it again because of his reaction—or lack thereof.

Do not do this to your man when he takes the initiative and gives you this gift!

And Ladies, when your man stays focused on you and ravishes you, let his attention and focus call up your feminine energy. Let your fears go and your heart and body open to him; allow him to fill you up emotionally and physically. Meet him right there by allowing and expressing your emotions—whatever they turn out to be.

Your emotions are a gift to your man. Trust him. He can handle it.

To cue your man you are open to this sort of thing, stay in your feminine energy (think Marilyn Monroe and breathe from your belly), and consider a phrase something like,

“Oh my god baby, I really need you to fuck me right now—hard.”

Now wait and let him come to you. Don’t go to him—stay in your receiving, allowing feminine energy. Physically lean back, even, if you must, to stay in your receiving mode.

The Sexy Bits

~Before you kiss your woman, keep your mouth close to hers but don’t kiss her yet, keep eye contact, press your belly into hers then let your body forcefully, while still protecting her, push her backwards into the wall behind her. Move her backwards against the wall with your body tension and hold her there with your entire body, keep eye contact, breathe with her—and only then do you kiss her—forcefully. Bend your knees slightly and press up, and against her, pushing her up and into the wall. If sizes/heights/etc. make it possible, lift her up against the wall, so she can wrap her legs around your waist.

~If possible, lift and move your woman to reposition you both during sex. Women love to be lifted and repositioned during sex.

~Emotional Ravishment: When your woman is upset (sad, angry, etc.), just walk up to her calmly (even if she’s upset at you) and take her in your arms—firmly. Don’t wait for her to ask you to hold her. Just do it. Press your belly against hers and stand firm and strong—in your heart and mind, as well as in your physical stance. Breathe from your belly. Imagine that you are the cliffs against which her waves (anger, sadness, etc.) are crashing. If she struggles, yells, or expresses more emotions, hold her anyway until she softens and relaxes.

This can lead to sexual ravishment.

Hint: This may take a while the first time you do it. If you do this often, it will take less and less time for her to soften into you each time. This is an invaluable gift to give your woman, and she may be very shy to ask for this from you, because she feels it is a big thing to ask for. If you can give your woman this gift on a regular basis, you will absolutely win her heart. We women need a “release” for all these emotions that are a constant way of life for us.

These emotions can be overwhelming. If your woman trusts you and is able to be her vulnerable, feminine, open self, this emotional release may happen at orgasm too (this is often why she cries/sobs during/after orgasm sometimes. It’s good crying, even though it may not look that way. It is her way of releasing. And it shows she trusts you if she does this. Don’t be upset by this. Do ask her if she’s okay and how you can help. Do NOT belittle her for this! Remember, the feminine IS the emotions).

~During sex, take her hands, move her hands away from her body and hold her arms out from her body—either above her head or out to the sides against the bed/wall. Use some weight; don’t let her move her own hands until you let them move.

~From David Deida:  Start out slowly and gently, then at some point, “pounce” and pin her beneath you. Open her legs with yours before she opens them for you. Hold her wrists with your hands. Keep your focus. Don’t get distracted by her lovely body parts, even as you caress them—love her deeper than just the body. Stay focused. Breathe with her. Make eye contact. Tease her. Be tender but forceful.

~In the middle of sex, just stop. Hold her down with your weight, your presence. Press into her. Don’t let her move under you. Keep eye contact. Breathe together. Only begin moving again when you decide to.

~Initiate Middle-of-the-Night Sex “If you know how to do this right (slooowly, softly, gently), it is one of the sexiest things in the world. We love the feeling of being touched between states of consciousness, of arousal before awareness.” Am I awake? Dreaming? This gentle ravishing is one of my faves—to have an orgasm bring me up out of sleep? Delicious.

~Remember, there is a difference between making love and fucking. We women know the difference and we love a good mixture of both.

“If you fuck your man more often, he will make love to you more often.”
~Barbara DeAngelis

~This is a perfect 45-second example of ravishment:

And from sharing this type of info with clients and friends and collecting feedback, I have received lots of opinions and ideas about ravishing your woman.

From a man:
“This is one of the hardest things for “nice guys” to do, as they are trapped between respect, being nurturing, sensitive, and loving on one hand, but full of desire and natural needs on the other (if they haven’t suppressed that into submission as many men feel they have to).

One of the most powerful things a partner ever said to me was, “That was really nice, but sometimes, I just want you to fuck me. That makes me feel desired and beautiful, too.”

So many relationships end because of this…

So once in a while, guys, look at your woman, focus on your desire and the complete emotional and physical awesomeness of her, let your desire come, and go after it. If your focus is on her and not a shallow selfish need, you will communicate your “want” of her in the right way. Make love to her as if the physical is a metaphor for the spiritual/emotional. Be completely focused on her and let nothing sway you from your purpose to open her heart as you open her body. (Even if you don’t have sex, the intension alone can save your relationship if your focus is on her and not getting your little man wet—just don’t take any denial personally, and be consistent in showing her your desire for her—all of her).”

From the women:
“Love me into submission! And I will love you into conquering the world. This just makes my heart sing.”

“I do (want to be ravished). Very much. Feeling a partner’s desire and passion so tangibly is a huge turn on. I express mine and I want the same.”

If you need more info about how to find and stay in your masculine energy or ravish a woman, find a relationship coach, read David Deida’s books, Steve Horsmons’ website, or Wayne Levine’s.

Find out how your woman wants to be ravished—and happy ravishing!
*********

A version also published at elephant journal.

A Past Life Regression – Finding a Soul Mate.

 tombstone2

I entered the lifetime behind a donkey sliding down a narrow, steep winding pathway on the side of a hill. It was hot, dusty and dry and daytime.

Dry, white, chalky rocks and pebbles of all sizes were clicking and rolling downhill all around and under us as I attempted to push the donkey down the hill.

My dear sweet friend Sikh (pronounced “Seek”) was pulling the donkey. He had hold of the rope that was tied around the donkey’s neck.

The donkey was sitting in the path, refusing to move. I was bent over, my body shaking with laughter, my hands under the donkey’s butt, my face necessarily pressed into his shaggy fur to get a better grip underneath him, lifting, heaving, pushing and cussing—but mostly laughing.

I was laughing so hard that I wasn’t having much effect on the donkey.

Sikh was looking at me over his right shoulder with his usual, disgusted look reserved for my antics, and that was what I was laughing at. His dark eyebrows were drawn up and together in his characteristic scowl of disapproval. He was angry with me for laughing, but I couldn’t help it. It was just too funny.

It became even funnier when I suddenly remembered the donkey’s name. It was a word that literally meant “stubborn,” but was also used figuratively as a particularly nasty expletive.

Sikh’s sweaty, dirty face was so dear to me as I looked at it over the donkey’s back for what seemed like the first time in a very long time. A part of me wanted to sit down right there on the rocky path and cry with relief and gratitude at getting to see him again. I felt a sad longing for him, like we had been apart for forever.

A part of me, though, was laughing at our donkey predicament on the narrow path—and the look on his face.

Hypnotherapy can be like that. One part of the brain is processing the inner events that seem to be in the present but that are actually the past lifetime.

Another part of the brain is kind of watching from a distance, processing information from the vantage point of the modern, true present lifetime, where we are sitting in a hypnotherapist’s office doing a past life regression.

Sikh always had that amusing effect on me. He was the serious, cautious one most of the time. I was the crazy, funny one—always the person to think up some daredevil, dangerous stunt that was likely to get us killed—or at least in trouble.

I loved Sikh like a brother—or even more so. How to describe the love I felt for him? I trusted him completely. I felt so much affection for him in his seriousness. I felt somehow responsible for him—for his happiness.

We were friends—young boys, dark skin, dark eyes and dark hair. My name seemed to be something like Anand. This was all happening in some vaguely hot, dry, “foreign” place.

We were taking some sort of drink (wine?) back to his house where there was a gathering of some sort. We were late because of this stupid, stubborn donkey, and we both knew Sikh’s father would not be happy at our lateness.

The Hypnotherapy Session

I had readily agreed to be a volunteer for a friend who was training to be a hypnotherapist. She was a novice at that point, and we started the session with the intention of doing some committee work.

So she began by doing a standard progressive relaxation induction. At some point, however, my brain jumped suddenly into this lifetime with me laughing and pushing a donkey down a hill behind Sikh.

I tried to ignore the donkey and Sikh and follow her instructions, and somewhere along this mind path I had picked up my Inner Advisor (IA) too, so when my friend asked me if I was standing at the committee room door and was ready to go in, I turned to my IA and asked, “Should we tell her or should we go into the committee room?”

My IA smiled, feeling like an accomplice in some crazy conspiracy, and told me to tell her where I really was.

“Uhm…that’s not where we are…”

I felt some anxiety come off her as she calmly asked, “Okay…where are you?” I could tell she was just trying to kind of roll with it even though I could also still feel her anxiety.

I began laughing then and told her where I was and what was happening.

She began to ask more questions to ascertain the reason for the sudden jump into this lifetime. A part of me was curious about that too. Mostly though, another part of me was just so happy to be with Sikh again that I simply wanted to stay with him and experience the joy of getting to see him again.

We finally, with much sweat, cussing and laughing (on my part), got the donkey and its cargo to his house. There were happy people everywhere—inside and outside the house.

His father was nowhere to be seen, but his mother acknowledged our arrival and thanked us, sending us off to have fun there too. No one seemed to care that we were late.

Indeed, a part of my brain realized, there had been no actual time limitation. This same part of my brain went on to analyze this lifetime the way my young boy self, actually in that lifetime, never had.

Sikh was a worrier—sometimes even creating dark drama where there was none. He was analytical and logical—pessimistic most of the time, contrasting starkly to my love of fun, frolic, mayhem and laughter.

I loved him anyway—maybe even more so because of all of this; he was my best friend.

When Sikh’s mother sent us off with a smile and head tousles, I began to feel a profound sadness, because this gathering was reminding me of another gathering at this same house—a gathering in that lifetime’s future.

My friend was continuing to ask pinpointing questions, and as she did, I began to know why I had come to this lifetime. I suddenly wanted to not be there anymore.

“I got him killed,” I began to cry. “It was my fault he died.”

“No, no, no, no, no; it can’t be true—no.” I was sobbing, heart-broken, guilty, inconsolable.

It seems in that lifetime that I was always the one breaking the rules in the name of creating fun. I was the one who had come up with our usual MO, something we had been doing all of our young lives.

We had this understanding, Sikh and I, that whenever we were sent on an errand, we knew we would dash about the errand as breakneck as possible, because that would give us more time, away from our families and homes, for goofing off—for finding interesting things to amuse us. If we got the errand done quickly enough, no one would know we also had time for a detour or two.

This is how I got Sikh killed.

My mind fast-forwarded to the evening when Sikh’s father sent us on an errand that would take us past a small lake we liked to swim in. When we heard the directive, we looked at each other and knew the drill.

Laughing, we took off running, already turning a deaf ear to the, “be careful” and “go straight there and come straight back”—the usual send-offs from our mothers.

To our credit, we nearly always accomplished our errands before detouring. It was no different this time. We accomplished the delivery of Sikh’s father’s message, then we raced to the lake on our way back to Sikh’s house.

We stripped down to skin and jumped in—couldn’t have wet clothes convicting us upon our return home.

And after one of his dives, Sikh did not surface.

It was beginning to get dark; the sun had already set some time ago and the light was fading. I dove time after time—frantically, crying—snot and tears mixing with the lake water.

I screamed his name; I cursed him for not appearing; I begged him to show himself; I bargained with god; I prayed; I ranted at him, the gods, myself, almost drowning myself I was so exhausted.

I finally gave up diving and ran to his house, bursting in upon the group, naked, wild and crying.

We were searching in the black water, candles and lanterns of some sort on the banks and held high by family members and friends—many more had joined us.

Finally, one of Sikh’s older brothers brought his naked body up and out of the dark lake.

The women set to wailing at this sight and their mother fell to her knees when presented with this affront, this horror. His limp, blue body was so small and deflated in his brother’s arms.

The contrast between the two bodies, one small, blue and still, the other so large and vibrant and colorful, was obscene and shocking.

I felt a weird, sick anger at his older brother for being so alive while Sikh was so still.

I also felt the guilt settle squarely on my young shoulders in that lifetime with me standing on the bank of that black lake. I felt it sink in and grow roots. I had caused this. It was my fault.

Sikh would never have done anything like this without my suggestion, or more to the facts, my persuasion, because I had nearly always had to talk him out of his doubts, out of his worry at detouring from the normal, sane plan.

So I had jumped into this lifetime to observe and disassemble this guilt.

As that lifetime progressed within my friend’s pointed questions, I began to learn that no one blamed me for Sikh’s death. I was able to feel his parent’s emotions, and I felt only sadness there—both for his death and for their loss—but also for my loss. They knew how close we had been.

As I processed, as she asked me questions, I began to feel guilt’s grip on my throat loosen and then finally fall away. I felt my breath settle lower in my belly; I asked for Sikh’s forgiveness, sending it out into the Universe. I felt only love and warm regard in answer.

I felt me forgive myself. I sent my love for Sikh up and out, hoping it would find him somewhere, in some lifetime, some timeline.

As my friend was finally counting me back up and into the present there in the office, my Inner Advisor turned to me and said with a smile, “He is returning to you this lifetime. Get ready.”

And my heart went into a wild, wiggly dance of joy, gratitude and anticipation at this unexpected and welcomed news.

Next Divine Essence Hypnotherapy Workshop Series

Ladies only, please – sorry Gentlemen – but thought you might know someone who would like to join us.
Thank you kindly.

Open to Love
Open to your Feminine Essence

godess blueNext 6-week Class Series Starts September 24, 2014 – Contact me to Reserve your Seat – Space is Limited

For Women Only—Single or Partnered

Open your heart, life and body to allow Real love. Connect with the juicy, sacred, powerful Divine Feminine Energy that you really are.

This is a 6-week class on Wednesday nights – in NW Ft. Collins, CO

We’ll explore the polarization between feminine and masculine energy, talk about how to activate your own feminine energy and stay in that space.

We’ll discuss specific issues you have (or have had) in your relationship(s) and how to resolve them from a powerful, respectful, feminine perspective.

This class is not about manipulating men or any other superficial issues. This class is about celebrating men and women and discovering your own true vulnerable self and being able to live from that place of power.

When we live from that place of authenticity, we can’t help but improve our entire life—including all of our relationships.

​Contact me to reserve your seat – space is limited. ​Details here.

***

Grace is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO, USA. She gracethanx2013.3sees clients and facilitates Divine Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women. She’s a flaming, Earth-loving, tree-hugging, save-the-bees, believes-in-faeries, bike-riding, card-carrying, spiritual but not religious, hippie cowgirl liberal poet—yep, they do exist. She writes for The Scarlet Orchid and elephant journal. You can find her blog here and her creations here. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

I’m Allowing Myself to Gain Weight.

flowervagina

Because everyone knows that no woman in her right mind wants to gain weight, right?

I’ve made some major shifts in my life in the past few years—always in the pursuit of happiness.

I maintained a rigorous “happiness” routine until June of 2013. At which time, I began to be drawn to connecting with the Divine Feminine (DF), and my life began to change again. I say “drawn to,” but it was really more like an insistence.

I felt like I didn’t really have a choice.

I had been warned, in the DF research I was doing, that the DF tends to turn lives upside down before the proverbial dust settles. I can testify to that.

The First Shift

In 2011, after taking a depressing and sobering look at my life (a ¾ life crisis?), I knew I had to do something—anything—to change my life into something more authentic, something happier. It was way too depressing to think that I had so little to show for my life up to that point.

So I got busy redecorating and redirecting my life. It was not easy, and I did not like the process. But after experimenting for several months, I finally—through trial and error—hit upon a routine in late 2011 that seemed to provide the right combination of all things to produce and sustain my happiness.

I worked out in some fashion, as well as riding my bike to work, every day. I did cardio three times a week for at least 30 minutes (usually longer) and yoga twice a week. I meditated every day.

Due to health issues, I was only able to eat a high protein, low carb/glycemic diet—no grains, no starchy carbs, very few fruits, no sweeteners of any kind—except for stevia. Plenty of fats and meat and low-carb veggies. Is that a paleo diet? I have no idea. It doesn’t matter. It was necessary.

I became physically fit.

I didn’t look like a body-builder or anything, but I was strong. I have the type of body that when I work out a lot, I don’t bulk up, I just get very wiry and essential. I weighed more than I have ever weighed at 148 lbs. (I’m 5’8”).

But I was also wearing the smallest clothing size I had ever worn as an adult.

The only reason I know the specific pounds of my weight, was because I ended up having to go to the doctor for a checkup. I very seldom see my doctor, so when he came in and looked at my chart, he instantly (and wisely) asked, “Have you been working out?” I said yes; he (again, wisely) didn’t say anything else.

When anyone called me “skinny,” thinking that was some kind of complement, I was offended. I would usually come back with something along the lines of, “I am not skinny. I am substantial. I may look skinny to you, but I am not; please don’t call me that. I’ve worked hard for this body, and to be this happy.”

I didn’t exercise to lose weight or even to gain muscle mass. I did it because the endorphins made me happy. It felt good.

It had been a long, winding road to figure it out, but I finally liked my life. I liked my body. I felt healthy. My body was not perfect by any standards, but it was the most fit and strong I had ever been.

Mostly, I was relieved to have finally figured out how to be happy.

And while it had not been a conscious decision to mold my body into anything specific, somewhere in me it registered that I had finally gained the body I had always wanted.

I had finally “mastered” my body. I had beaten back the flab, and along with that, the worry that my body wasn’t good enough. I felt victorious and strong—proud.

The Divine Feminine

But in June of 2013, as I began exploring the DF and how to embrace it and call it up in myself, I gradually became aware that I didn’t like rising at 5 AM every day to work out. I didn’t like having such a hard, masculine body.

Some mornings I woke and started crying when I heard the alarm. It felt like my inner drill sergeant was pushing me around, and I didn’t like it.

I did not welcome this new unhappiness into my life. It was doubly depressing because not only was I no longer happy, I didn’t know how to get back to happiness.

Desperately—and quite frantically, I began experimenting again; I didn’t know what else to do.

I began to sleep late on some days. I skipped exercising sometimes. I was still riding my bike everywhere, but I was not doing much other than that. I began to notice that my clothes were fitting tighter. I began to get rounder.

I began to worry.

Part of me desired to be softer, rounder and more feminine. I desired to let go of the strict, debilitating ideas about women’s bodies that I’d soaked up all of my life—beginning in childhood. I wanted to be able to gift myself with this allowing, this permission to just be a woman, to simply be soft if I wanted to be soft, round if that’s what I wanted.

I felt like it was the DF speaking to me, through me, inviting me to relax into my body just as I was allowing my mind and beliefs to relax. I liked that I was beginning to trust my own body, letting it settle at whatever weight, roundness, muscle-to-fat ratio it wanted to without trying to force it somewhere it maybe didn’t want to go—maybe had never wanted to go.

Another part of me was terrified at the roundness, the bulges. Every day, for several weeks, I would end up in front of the mirror with my hands on my growing ass, laughing or crying—usually both, asking myself, “Do you really want to do this?!”

The answer was always, “yes.”

Looking back, I think it was more the energy of my body that seemed hard and masculine. I now describe it as a type of “armor” I was wearing.

The Test

During that time, I was taking a women’s class on feminine manifestation. We met once a week for six weeks, and I have to say it was one of the more powerful things I have ever done for myself.

It was a sincere, sacred space every time we gathered. I looked forward to every class, and the women there were amazing.

I had made up my mind to give it my all, to show up ready to learn and grow. My plan was to remain as authentic and honest as possible even if it was painful, awkward and difficult—in fact, especially if those things happened.

At the beginning of each class, we always had check-in time, when we related how our last week had been, what changes we were noticing in our lives, what we were feeling.

Several of the women had, at some point in the progression of the classes, mentioned they wanted to lose weight. As the class advanced, I was getting rounder, softer.

I was doing the crazy mirror thing almost every day, noticing how my roundness seemed to be keeping pace with my new femininity.

It was a big part of my life, this new softness, this allowing that I was gifting to myself. It was something that I should have been sharing at check-in.

But I was afraid to share it, despite my beginning promise to myself to be all in.

I didn’t want to be the only one who was trying to gain weight. It felt wrong somehow, like I was betraying them, betraying women in general.

Because everyone knows that no woman in her right mind wants to gain weight, right?

And yet I really wanted to share what I was going through. I wanted to talk about that scared part of me—the part that was freaking out to allow myself this.

Finally one night I had to bring it up. It was just too prevalent in my life to ignore. I knew that in order to be true to myself, to honor my dear body, my DF journey and the major work I was doing on so many levels, I would have to speak of it.

I deliberately stayed in my heart as I spoke, treading slowly and gingerly. I told them what had been happening in my life with my body. I explained my mirrored confrontations.

The way I daily went to the full-length mirror and ended up exclaiming in some form thereof, “Oh my gawd, this ass is huge compared to how it was just a few weeks ago!” Sometimes I would laugh, sometimes I would cry. But it still always felt like the right thing to do.

I told them all of this. I opened my heart. At one point, I noticed one of the women smirking and looking around at the other women, as if she wanted to say something funny and was, with that smirk, asking the other women to join her.

To their dear, sweet credit, and my great relief, none of the other women reciprocated her smirk and no one accepted her tacit invitation.

She finally became serious when she noticed no one was joining her. I was grateful. I finished my check-in, feeling relieved that I had been able to share such a big happening in my life with them.

I wonder now if I should have gently confronted her. Maybe I could have just asked her what was happening in her own body and heart while I spoke.

Perhaps it would have lead to even greater depth—for her and for me. I still don’t know the answer to that one.

So now I like the roundness, the softness—sometimes. Some days I don’t. I have more fat on my belly, a bigger butt and thighs. When I sit, I have some fat rolls on my stomach. It feels more feminine.

I don’t feel like I am wearing some kind of hard armor to protect myself anymore. I feel open and soft and more relaxed.

I can’t yet draw any wise (or even any funny—which is my usual MO) conclusions from this, my newest journey. I don’t know where I’m going to end up. I don’t know what to expect. I continue to vacillate between humor and fear about it.

I only know two important things: My body seems to be getting happier, and I seem to be getting ever more comfortable with the idea of being rounder, softer and more feminine.

***

Also published at Medium.com

I Tried Not to Love You—an Overdue Love Letter.

love warriorI really did try not to fall in love with you.

And at some point, when I realized I was already there, I stalwartly attempted to unlove you.

By that time, I had cycled through so many loops of attraction, attempted indifference, love, friendship, anger, acceptance, frustration, pretending indifference, attraction, etc. that it had begun to feel like my normal way of life.

At some level, I was growing numb to it in my attempts to adapt and save my heart.

Through all of those loops, those months, the cycles, I tried to trust my instincts about your feelings for me, tried to intuit through or behind those barriers you were so good at building, but I was never sure where you stood.

It seemed to bounce around too much to pin down. I always knew the barriers you created were necessary for you.

I never took them personally.

But after that incident of which we have spoken and for which I apologized, I took myself out of your circle. I didn’t want to see you, didn’t want to be around you. It was, finally, too painful. I felt stupid that after all my struggles to do so, I couldn’t seem to control my own heart.

I wanted to stay as respectful and distant as I could. I was trying to do the right thing—mostly for me, but also for you. I wanted to prove to the Universe and to myself that I was walking my talk. I wanted to take care of myself.

So I retreated into myself, into my own small, compact and safe world. I stopped going to church; I stopped dancing; I stopped going out with friends, stopped meeting girlfriends for tea.

I spent those months meditating, praying, inspecting myself for fissures—repairing what presented itself. Trying to be kind to myself, I attempted to not admonish myself for sadness and thinking “what if…” thoughts.

I was only partially successful on that count.

Mostly, I let myself feel the pain head-on without trying to hide it any longer. The pain itself was not fun, but it felt good to finally allow it, to sit shiva for my own heart, to honor its journey and the sadness—to cry into the cracks and to hopefully discover something like courage underneath—or maybe just endurance.

I also attempted to distract myself at times during those months and attracting an online dating scammer during that time certainly did the distraction trick. It turned out I learned so much about myself during and after that wild crazy ride, that I couldn’t feel bad about it.

It was a gift.

So I gradually began to see light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. My ferocious optimism gradually reasserted itself and life was looking better and better all the time. I began to feel strong and happy again.

Then came the day when I felt so done and over you that I didn’t care if I saw you again or not. I felt indifference settle comfortably in and grow roots.

I liked the familiarity of that indifference, because I had successfully navigated that feeling right into a safe, I’m-over-him, harbor more than once before in my lifetime.

Life was good again—and back to normal—only better.

I ventured out into some of my bigger circles, coming out of my compact world and back into a larger version that contained more people, sometimes even including you.

The first time I saw you I was strong and detached and ready. It was easy to remain detached. I felt the attraction still there and registered some disappointment that it had showed its old, worn face again.

But it seemed easy to talk around and over. It was simple to ignore that big white elephant in my heart’s small, tidy living room.

I felt triumphant at my own self-safekeeping victory.

But after the second encounter I knew I wasn’t faring so well. I knew I was in trouble. I felt a mad mayday alarm start in my head and spread out in all directions, racing to get to, and save, the heart as quickly as possible.

I could feel myself emotionally withdrawing to save myself, scrambling to recover lost ground, but at the same time, and with much self-disappointment at my “failure,” I noticed I was counting the days until the next time I could see you.

But something felt different this time—something that kept wiggling out from under my mind’s thumb; it wouldn’t hold still long enough for complete definition.

Then finally it seeped in. I didn’t feel those high, thick walls in you.

How was I supposed to know that you would somehow be waiting for me? That when I emerged from my retreat and from my healing that you would be standing right in front of me, shading my eyes from the sudden bright glare, there to meet me?

I didn’t expect that.

I was prepared for more distance from you—even avoidance. I was counting on you to emotionally withdraw from me, the way you had always done before. I was always able to feel those walls you built. I was counting on you to help me out by building them again.

You didn’t. You haven’t. heart rock zipper

It felt exactly like it did in Berlin when the wall came down. After only the first few days it was still obvious where the wall had once stood, dissecting.

But not long after that—after some cleanup—it was easy to start in West Berlin where I lived, be walking through where once the wall had dead-ended a street, to suddenly realize I was standing in East Berlin, without ever having noticed the transition. It just felt the way it was supposed to, streets flowing to their next, natural destination as originally planned, without obstruction.

So now I’m in a much-anticipated, foreign and yet achingly familiar land with my officially and freshly stamped passport clutched a bit nervously to my heart, standing looking at your welcoming “YOU ARE HERE” map, which fortunately and thankfully—and much to my relief—seems to be in the rough outline of your heart.

Learning to Identify and Accept Masculine Gifts.

crying man

I was in the feed store buying my usual large bag of dog food from the same nice man I had always bought it from.

As soon as the transaction was done, he politely asked the same question he always does at that point, “Do you want some help out with that?”

My body instantly stiffened and become taller—like a child trying to prove herself worthy. The habitual, tired, angry, ready refusal rose up in my throat to be spat at him as insincerely grateful as usual.

I used to instantly think that any offer of help from a man was him simply pointing out that he thought I was not capable of doing it myself—yikes! No wonder I could never accept help from anyone—especially from a man. It was a horrible habit I’d brought forward from a dysfunctional childhood.

I had asked the universe to show me good men and masculine gifts, and here they obviously were. Hoping to prove to the universe that I meant business, I wanted to accept his gift. So this time, instead of refusing his help, I squeezed out a difficult, “Yes, thank you,” between tight lips.

When I began researching the Divine Masculine and Feminine, I had no idea what a masculine or feminine “gift” was. All the books and websites talked about gifting men with your feminine gifts—and accepting his masculine gifts.

This idea of gifts mystified me. I found most of the information too vague for me to understand—until I read Rachel Jayne Groover’s book, Powerful and Feminine, and began taking her advice on paying attention and then to practice being a vessel of praise for the masculine.

When I began paying attention, I noticed that masculine gifts can be as obvious as an offer to help.

More masculine gifts (most of them from strangers) that I have recently accepted:

~ He taught me how to blues dance.

~ He offered me his seat.

~ He assertively, and without aggression, defended me against another man’s verbal attack.

~ He taught me all the fancy salsa moves.

~ He didn’t comment or even act like he noticed when I missed his cues and messed up dancing with him.

~ He is a good, strong dance lead.

~ He got up and closed the door in a public place because he saw I was cold.

~ He went and found me a chair to sit in and brought it back to the table.

~ He helped me lift my bike onto the bike rack on the bus.

~ He opened the door for me and let me go through first.

~ He asked me to dance.

~ He rode his bike into the grass to let me pass on the trail when it was too narrow for us both (more than one occasion by different men).

~ He asked me to lunch/coffee/dinner.

~ He showed me how to put my bike handlebar grip back on.

~ He gave me very specific, useful, heart-felt advice when I asked for it—in a lovely, non-condescending way.

~ He complimented my writing.

~ He backed up and scooted his truck over at a stoplight to make room for me and my bike beside him.

~ He offered me his hankie.

~ He told me how to repair my bike when I asked—then offered to help me.

~ He let me borrow his truck.

~ He held me as I cried on his literal shoulder and let me get snot and tears all over his nice, fancy shirt.

~ He came and picked me up when my car broke down.

~ He cooked me dinner.

~ He called me “feminine.”

~ He shoveled the snow on my walkway.

~ He showed me how to use Google Hangouts.

Could I have done most of these things myself? Yes. But that is not the point. It is a gift to someone when I accept what they offer. It is me telling them their gift is worthy, and therefore they are worthy.

It is also me telling myself that I deserve gifts/help. I now graciously accept every masculine gift I possibly can when it is offered to me.

Masculine gifts can also come in more subtle forms.

“One of the deepest feminine pleasures is when a man stands full, present and nonreactive in the midst of his woman’s emotional storms. When he stays present with her, and loves her through the layers of wildness and closure, then she feels his trustability, and she can relax.”

~ David Deida, The Way of the Superior Man

It is a gift from the masculine when a man stands firm in his decisions—when he does not change his mind just because I ask him to.

Other subtle masculine gifts:

~ His consistency—so I can feel safe with him.

~ When he has an obvious purpose in, and for, his life and is working toward that purpose.

~ When he defines and lives by his N.U.T.s.

~ Being impeccable with his word and the way he lives his life.

~ When he stands strong against the wildness of my feminine emotions, offering me that acceptance without trying to shame me.

~ When a man first honors himself by having the integrity to stand for and live by his own values.

~ Being assertive and tender—but forceful when showing his attraction (when he “takes” or “ravishes” me).

~ When he accepts my feminine gifts without trying to make me act like a man—when he just accepts the feminine for what it is.

~ When he shows he trusts me by allowing himself to be vulnerable with me.

~ When he matches my intensity with his own brand of intensity, and I can still feel safe with him.

There are reasons the Masculine and Feminine are constantly balancing, gifting and polarizing each other. Each needs the other. Like the poles on a magnet, like repels like and opposite poles attract.

The Masculine is in his head and is directed, trustworthy and grounded for her, he is the immovable cliff against which she can throw her waves of emotion; she needs that cliff, that strength. This is a masculine gift to the feminine and will assist a woman in getting into her feminine energy.

The Feminine is in her heart and womb and is love incarnate for him; she inspires him into his heart, into love, into life, simply by being fully, emotionally feminine. She is the well of love, into which he fears he will fall and never return. Yet he must master this fear and be strong anyway—for himself first. It is the only way to insure trust. This is how the feminine gifts the masculine—by calling him up into masculine polarization.

So I wish to extend my gratitude to you, the Masculine, for your patience, acceptance, assistance and strength—as I continue to learn to identify your gifts in all their forms, and as I learn to accept and appreciate you and those gifts. Your Masculine energy is an amazing, life-giving, loving, freeing gift.

Originally published at elephant journal as What is a Masculine Gift?

Grace is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO, USA. She gracethanx2013.3sees clients and facilitates Divine Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women. She’s a flaming, Earth-loving, tree-hugging, save-the-bees, believes-in-faeries, bike-riding, card-carrying, spiritual but not religious, hippie cowgirl liberal poet—yep, they do exist. She writes for The Scarlet Orchid and elephant journal. You can find her blog here and her creations here. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

(not) finding Mr. Right.

lovelocked

I’ve fallen in love with someone who is not available.

“Loving someone is not painful. It’s when we must stop loving someone and withdraw our affection that we feel pain.”  ~ Barbara DeAngelis

I just had lunch with a man from a dating website. Yes, I’m back on a dating website.

Please don’t judge me. Mostly I got back on a site because I need to be distracted—pleasantly and permanently.

Despite my best efforts (okay, so some of my efforts may have been half-assed. I am human. Because love is love, for fuck’s sake and it feels sublime even when it’s also total agony, right?) to not allow my heart that liberty, I have fallen in love with a man I can’t have.

I didn’t try to fall in love with him; in fact, I felt that instant attraction thing upon meeting him months ago and tried to avoid falling in love with him. But it happened.

This feeds back into the perpetual argument I have with myself: Can one control one’s own heart? One can control one’s thoughts, but the heart?

The jury’s still out.

And, I’m pretty sure it’s time to stop whining about it, put on my big girl pants, saddle up and ride respectfully right on past him and the enticing speculations of what that would be like, into the next town over—called Distraction—to hopefully be quickly followed by a day-trip into the small village of Love (with someone else).

This necessary plan depresses me in its contemplation and my heart grows heavy, gray and sluggish at the injury of the thought. If I think about it too much, I start to lose my resolve.

I desire, though, to be so very carefully respectful—to everyone involved—including me.

I have good days and bad days with this situation. Sometimes I know what I have to do; other days I think about it too much and get sucked down by the undertow of emotions.

Most days, I feel like an idiot that I’ve somehow allowed myself to be in this predicament.

I’m already suffering, but will remaining friends or cutting all contact cause less suffering? Mostly, as you probably notice, I can easily get on the proverbial fence about this.

I love him enough that I want him to be happy, even if it’s not with me. I love him enough that I feel it would be unfair and too disruptive of me to say anything to him about it. Does this make me brave or just a chickenshit? Perhaps just pathetic. I’m not sure—nor does it matter.

This distraction plan may or may not work. I have tried it more than once before, and it has only been marginally successful. Some of my past attempts have inversely highlighted what/who I genuinely wanted instead of distracting me.

After one such attempt, I ended up sad and crying to my friend Liz after a perfectly wonderful kiss goodnight from a really hot man, only because the kiss was not from the man I was wildly attracted to (read: soul mate material) and who said he was not ready for a relationship.

And then there was the big, costly (on all fronts) distraction of me getting married at 38 because I felt I was old and ugly and it might be my last chance for a relationship, to be happy and to not be alone.

Oh, I loved him—but I knew, on some level, that I was settling because I was afraid of being old and alone. I saw him and that marriage as my last chance for happiness. Which is a theory I have proven incorrect since our divorce years ago, but I truly did believe it at the time.

My lunch date was a nice man. He was masculine, directed and full of purpose—all of this was obvious to me, and I liked these things about him. He held the door for me, pulled out my chair; he was a gentleman. We had a very nice conversation.

I wasn’t attracted to him, but I didn’t let that stop me from appreciating him and our conversation.

So at the end of our lunch date, he asked if I would like to get together again sometime; I could tell he was thinking I would say no. But because I wanted to give him—a very decent, acceptable man—a chance, I quite honestly said yes.

And I meant it.

I said yes because I am tired of waiting for Mr. Right.

I am tired of my own ideas of who/what that should be (hint: some weird, interesting mix of Cullen Bohannon, Walt Longmire, David Deida and Tom Hanks, I think—like a good chocolate: hard and crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey and a little nutty on the inside once you bite ‘em).

I wanted to give a decent, nice man a try. I’m tired of being ruled by my heart, and/or my increasingly lonely lady parts. I want to make good decisions—with my head.

Which is in the exact opposite direction from the feminine energy I have been cultivating, by the way, too, seeing as feminine energy is all about the heart, body and emotions.

I noticed as I began to pedal away from the restaurant, that I felt extremely sad and kind of hopeless. So with a respectful nod in the direction of the Divine Feminine, my heart and all things emotional—and with no small amount of dread—I turned to face the emotions waiting their turn and told them to bring it.

I was on my bike, so I had plenty of time to suss it out, and the longer I pedaled, the sadder I became. But I stayed with it, sitting with myself the same way I would sit with a girlfriend in this state, and allowed each emotion to present its case.

After many layers had peeled off, I finally felt an intense, deep, aching loss at the thought of giving up what I really need and want in trade for a “safe bet” again.

Crying, pedaling down Mountain Avenue, I could feel the edge I need in a man to keep me interested and attracted, and the lunch man was just not close enough to that edge. He felt so far away from what I need and want.

I knew, though, that it had nothing to do with him. He was still a very nice man. However, it had everything to do with already being in love with someone who, if he’s not Mr. Right, is pretty gawd damned close.

How is it I can have that Mr. Right feeling with someone not available to me? Shouldn’t his lack of availability, recuse him on some big, cosmic level—take him out of consideration?

I’m thinking this should be, like, a law or something, right? A Federal Statute. Or fuck that; let’s make it a Universal Law.

I think it’d make life much easier.

 

Originally published at elephant journal as I’ve Fallen in Love with a Man I Can’t Have.

Grace is a Certified Hypnotherapist and Registered Psychotherapist in Ft. Collins, CO, USA. She sees clients and facilitates Divine gracethanx2013.3Feminine Hypnotherapy workshops for women. She’s a flaming, Earth-loving, tree-hugging, save-the-Planet, believes-in-faeries, bike-riding, card-carrying, spiritual but not religious, hippie cowgirl liberal poet—yep, they do exist. She writes for The Scarlet Orchid and elephant journal. You can find her blog here and her creations here. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.