Recently we had a women’s circle where we talked about our changing bodies and our feelings around them.
Not surprisingly, even the younger women, with seemingly perfect forms and few lines on their faces, had body shame, which affected everything from their self esteem to their sense of sexiness, desirability and beauty.
But what was more disturbing (and comical I suppose in a tragic way) was that because we are a group of conscious, empowered women, who seek to transcend the distorted media images of women, we even had shame around having body shame.
As one by one each woman outed herself, I realized two things:
Beauty is important to us – it’s important to our sense of self and well being. Whether we admit it or not, we love feeling beautiful. We love being seen as beautiful. We love surrounding ourselves with beauty.
In this media-driven culture women will continue to have body shame until we take our beauty back from those who have made a business out of it, who continue to package it, sell it and profit from it. We need to make beauty our own again.
I think this begins by redefining our concepts of beauty and finding ways to cultivate on the inside that which we’ve sought on the outside, becoming generators rather than consumers of beauty.
“Beauty is the harvest of presence,” says David Whyte.
I like this definition of beauty that doesn’t have ideals or compare itself to others – that is state of being and way of relating – that isn’t constricted to appearances – that is something that’s felt on the inside before it’s seen on the outside – that doesn’t diminish with age – that grows alongside of our loving – that is always accessible when we are willing to pay attention.
If this is true, when I’m feeling less than beautiful, might it also be true that I’m not being fully present with myself and my life?
One of the ways I nourish my beauty and the beauty of the world on a daily basis is through my senses. Every day I give myself little sensory treats. I do micro meditations with everything from the morning birds to essential oils to fresh raspberries to the clouds in the sky.
Contrary to the old school quote, “It’s better to give than to receive,” the greatest gift you can give to another is to fully receive it. Think about how you feel when someone really gets you.
When I give life my full attention and forget myself for a moment and give my eyes and ears , nose, lips and tongue, hands and skin to the world around me, I take in its beauty and lessen the separation between myself and others.
Through beauty, I shift from ordinary to non-ordinary awareness, from perceiving objects on the surface to receiving their underlying essence.
The more present I am to my experience, the more my sensory awareness deepens into finer and finer versions of seeing, feeling and listening.
When I take in the truth of another – whether it’s a pair of eyes or the bark of a tree or the fragrance of a flower or the cry of a child or the quenching coolness of water – my empathy or my sense of connectedness with the phenomenal world expands.
In this way, every sensory encounter becomes a kind of holy communion between the self I think I am and my bigger self that is yet to be known, that is being discovered in that moment.
My senses don’t just connect me to my outer experience and world, they connect me to my inner experience and deeper senses, like awe and wonder.
There are many different kinds of intelligence.
Beyond logic, for example, there is sensual intelligence, emotional intelligence, artistic and imaginal intelligence, just to name a few.
We also have many more senses than just the five we know.
These inner senses that range from empathy to intuition are a part of these finer, more feminine intelligent systems, which humanity is still awakening to.
The inner senses are accessed through the outer senses, which means you can actually expand your intelligence through pleasure – through consciously enjoying a sunset or holding a loved one’s hand or listening to a piece of soulful music or savoring a piece of chocolate or fruit. Try it and see!
If you’re ready to tap more into your deeper feminine mystery, knowledge and resource and live more in ease and flow and take your life to the next level of fulfillment and abundance, the next Awaken Your Feminine Fire, online self mastery series for women, begins October 2019.
For more information about this powerful virtual priestess training and to get on the waiting list, go to: www.AwakenYourFeminineFire.com.