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Emasculation and Objectification

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about some of the challenging ways men and women relate to each other, particularly in the context of intimate relationships. The biggest themes that have leapt out for me involve emasculation and objectification.

It’s fairly self evident that emasculation refers to the masculine energy (often embodied by a biological male) and that objectification effects the feminine energy (often embodied by a biological female). Masculine energy can reside strongly within a biological female and vice versa, but for the purpose of ease in this article, I will be referring to men and women.

Some of the biggest challenges couples face are not feeling respected, valued, heard or needed by their partner. As we all know, these are the fundamental elements needed to sustained a healthy relationship. While we all just want to feel loved regardless of our sex or gender, men and women tend to have different needs when it comes to giving and receiving love.

Women tend to need to feel valued, and to feel seen. They also want the freedom to show their nurturing side, to feel sexually desired, and to feel appreciated. Men tend to need respect, trust, space and praise or approval from their partner. They also need emotional connection and physical touch.

Both parties need a sense of security in order to feel safe to open up fully and trust the other. When each partner can give the other what they need the majority of the time, a divine partnership based on mutual understanding and unconditional love can start to blossom and unfold.

It can all go pear shaped when a woman automatically assumes that a man is untrustworthy, that he doesn’t value her, and doesn’t understand her. This can cause a man to react and behave in certain ways that serve to confirm her underlying beliefs about men, thus perpetuating a vicious cycle.

Now, I’m certainly not trying to blame women for bad behaviour in men, that is the least of my intentions. There are also some men (and women) who behave in dysfunctional, disrespectful or even downright abusive ways regardless of what a woman (or anyone for that matter) says or does. We only have to look at the statistics around domestic and family violence to see this.

What I am more so pointing to, is that the divine feminine energy is very powerful. It has the capacity to truly inspire, uplift, transform and heal. The divine masculine energy is also very powerful, but that is a whole other article. When a woman embodies and truly lives from her divine feminine energy, it has a transformative effect on intimate partnerships.

In her book The Queen’s Code, Alison Armstrong explores this very concept. She refers to the problematic behaviours that women display towards men, and their consequent reactions as ‘frog farming,’ . This can be summed up in the answer a man gives a woman about why her partner stopped paying her attention and showing her that he cared:


You’re a Frog Farmer.
Some women turn frogs into princes. You, my dear, turn princes into frogs.

Alison Armstrong, the Queen’s Code

Armstrong further notes that it is this very ‘frog farming’ that can ultimately result in a man feeling emasculated in his relationship. Contrary to the view that men don’t really care about what their partner thinks or feels, a lot of men can actually be deeply sensitive and vulnerable to how they are perceived and responded to in a relationship, as one of his core needs is to feel needed.

When a man feels emasculated by his partner, over time he will start to ignore and distance himself emotionally from her, become defensive, compete rather than collaborate with her, take her for granted and objectify her. It is this very objectification in particular that can make a women feel resentful and angry, leading her to emasculate him further, and thus perpetuating the aforementioned vicious cycle in intimate partnerships.

Objectification can occur when a man feels overwhelmed by a woman’s beauty, sexuality, intellect, humour, anger or demands. In the context of this article, it can often occur in response to the ‘frog farming’ behaviour of a woman towards her partner. Objectification is defined as stripping someone of their human status, and reducing them to an object purely for the gratification and service of the other. There is nothing like turning a woman into an object to make her feel insignificant!

In contrast, a divine partnership is based on both parties building each other up and fulfilling each other’s needs whilst also maintaining independence and a solid healthy sense of self. Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? This kind of sacred relationship is achievable and is embodied by many different couples on this physical plane.

At the end of the day, we are all mirrors of each other, and we are always going to attract to us externally what we hold deep down inside. So whilst a divine partnership is certainly achievable, it can’t be sustained without first completing the necessary internal work in order to shed ourselves of our fears, wounds, illusions, and conditioning. It is only once we have achieved this that we can truly embody the divine masculine, divine feminine and divine partnerships right here on planet Earth.

Introverting with Intent

I have just come back from a prolific three week trip to Egypt with seventeen other like minded souls striving to reach higher states of consciousness. It was an amazing experience with many profound moments, challenges, triggers and genuine moments of authentic human connection.

The Egyptian landscape is magical, amassed with stark contrasts- baron desert and fertile oasis laying side by side within metres of each other. There is an energy surrounding the sacred sites which is almost palpable, and can trigger deep seated feelings, traumas and past life events buried within the subconscious layers of our human tissue.

Just checking out the Great Pyramids of Egypt!

Our tour guides were the most generous, hospitable and knowledgeable souls who protected and nurtured us on every elaborate twist and turn of our journey. The length and depth of genuine care they displayed towards us filled me with a deep sense of appreciation and gratitude.

I learnt that I am quite introspective and treasure my own introvert space much more than I realised! This became extremely evident when I started to feel very overwhelmed with the constant chatter and non stop social interaction on the tour. I began withdrawing into myself every time it started to feel too much, and my soul felt pained from the lack of introspective space.

The problem was that not only was I having these feelings of intense overwhelm, but I was also judging and condemning myself for it. In a society where extroversion is seen to be the socially acceptable norm, I felt like a leper committing social suicide. This whole experience only served to trigger thoughts and feelings I have been subjecting myself to for many years.

As a result of this intense self criticism, I began withdrawing from the group even more to the point of isolating myself in the corner, carrying a guarded air of hostility and resistance. This only served to reinforce my own illusion that I am a bit weird and do not play well with others. This was dutifully mirrored back to me by my fellow travellers in perfect divine order. The law of attraction takes no prisoners.

In the spirit of raw authenticity, I decided to get real with myself and face this issue head on. After an immensely helpful chat with a trusted fellow traveller, I began putting myself out there, connecting with genuine interest, curiosity and depth. This increased my social confidence ten fold, and served to create a positive feedback loop which began reversing the the aforementioned self deprecation and negativity.

As I opened up, I discovered that there were others on the tour who had dealt with or were also dealing with similar issues. Sitting next to a fellow introvert on the bus one day saw the beginning of a convenient and helpful term for quiet reflection when feeling overwhelmed: ‘introverting with intent.’

It quickly became a phrase used readily on the tour and we saw great humour in purposefully seeing how long we could ‘introvert’ during bus rides and down time between activities. I was delighted to discover that I did not offend anyone by stating my need to ‘introvert with intent’. In fact, I was met with reassurance and acceptance.

So next time you feel like you feel overwhelmed and in dire need of introvert space, try ‘introverting with intent.’ More often than not, I believe it will be met with genuine respect and acceptance. You may even end up feeling a little bit like this..

P.S If you are interested in booking a guided tour in Egypt, I highly recommend going with Sacred Tours of Egypt. They are extremely knowledgeable, experienced and loads of fun!

Narcissist versus Empath

A big theme that has re-emerged for me recently is that of narcissist versus empath. In true Groundhog Day fashion, I have been presented with this dynamic within different relationships throughout my life in order to finally release this karmic pattern and learn some valuable soul lessons.

I want to acknowledge that the term narcissist gets tossed around quite a lot in relationships. It’s important to note that while some people may exhibit narcissistic traits, they may not fit all of the diagnostic criteria for a diagnosis of NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder). According to the latest version of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders), the presence of five out of nine specific criteria needs to be met in order for a person to receive an NPD diagnosis.

For the purposes of this article, I am just focussing on narcissistic behaviour and using the term ‘narcissist’ for convenience. In my previous article, ‘Not An Empath’s World,’ I spoke a bit about my own journey as an empath, especially my sensitivity to the energy of others. Historically I have been quite susceptible to manipulation, and have easily fallen prey to the negative projections of narcissistic types. Unfortunately this has often lead me to react which can feed straight into the narcissist’s trap, and ultimately make me look like the bad guy.

You see, a narcissist will do anything to avoid taking responsibility for their actions. This is because underneath the self centred bravado, they are likely very insecure. A narcissist’s entire identity is build around a false sense of self that is actually very fragile. A narcissist sees any challenge or disagreement with their views, opinions and behaviours as a personal attack and will do anything to protect their false sense of self from crumbling including blaming the victim.

A recent situation I faced at work was a prime example of this. A close colleague began indirectly criticising my work, inferring that I wasn’t as informed or capable as herself. The behaviour escalated over time despite my efforts to better the situation by taking responsibility for my part, speaking with my manager, speaking directly to my colleague and attending informal mediation. None of it made a difference to her behaviour or the overall outcome.

Things came to a head when I reacted negatively to an underhanded comment. My colleague retaliated by emphasising how adversely my reaction had affected her. She did not acknowledge her own behaviour at all, and placed the blame entirely on me whilst maintaining her victim status. In that moment of frustration and disbelief, I fell into the classic empath trap of buying into the blame game and apologising for the whole situation. Classic narcissist versus empath standoff.

Despite this incident, I duly learnt my lesson and ultimately came out with a much more desirable outcome than anticipated. I did everything I could to maintain my integrity. I approached myself and others with an attitude of compassion, and placed healthy boundaries down to protect everyone involved. When none of these things made a difference to the behaviour of the other, I walked away, head held high.

The empath versus narcissist dynamic can be a difficult one to manage and break. It will test you to the absolute brink of your tender empath soul. It will make you doubt yourself and your own motives. But please know that if you can find the strength within yourself to see it for what it is and bow out with integrity when all else fails, you have won the battle, and your light will shine that much brighter in the end.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of compassion, truth, determination and integrity.

I Don’t Want to Adult Anymore

There are some days where I really just don’t want to adult. Sometimes the seemingly endless battle towards emotional, mental and spiritual mastery just seems exhausting. It can feel like there is just one challenge after another. I totally get that this is what I’m here on this big old round ball to do. I’m here to master the hero’s journey, but sometimes I just want out. I want to give up and numb myself with crap food and Netflix.

Lately I’ve been faced with some challenging people in both my personal and professional life. I’m really starting to understand that the more you work on yourself, the more you start to become an energetic mismatch to people around you. The more light we become, the more we shine a spotlight on the hidden darkness in others. Unfortunately this means that we can be subject to psychological projection at the hands of those who simply are not ready to face their own issues, so they project them onto us in order to avoid facing themselves.

This can be a very painful position to be in, and one that I am very familiar with. For a long time, I have faced this kind of situation over and over, and it’s getting old. I’m not making myself out to be a hapless victim. I am well aware that it goes both ways, and that we are all mirrors of each other. If I am triggered by someone’s behaviour, then it means that they are mirroring my shadow back to me, and it’s up to me to take responsibility for it by having the courage to examine it and heal the core wound.

Having said that, I’ve done a shit tonne of examining, healing and releasing over the last three years, and I’m really ready for a smoother ride. I’m hopeful that the challenges and obstacles I’m currently facing close this chapter of debilitating karmic cycles that I’m ready to move on from.

I feel like I have done everything in my control to improve the situation, and have come from a place of compassion and respect for myself and the other, yet it has not made a difference to their behaviour. In fact, voicing my truth only served to exacerbate their negative projections. The only thing left to do in this situation is walk away like Lilith did when Adam would not respect her.

And when I fall into the trap of feeling sorry for myself and shaking my fist at the universe for how damn unjust and unfair it all is, I need to remember the universal law of attraction and balance. Everybody is subject to the wheel of karma, nobody escapes it. This means that whatever you put out there into the stratosphere will come back to you in some form. So if you are repeatedly projecting all your unresolved subconscious bullshit on those around you and refusing to own it, you will have it reflected back to you in some way sooner or later. You can run but you can’t hide forever. Everything has a way of balancing out in the end.

This is why I choose to continue on this journey despite the multitude of difficulties and challenges. At the end of the day, I know that I am a manifestor and co-creator of good things and that I will find my happiness and bliss. It’s already happening in a myriad of different ways. Having my work published in major online journals and receiving admiration, encouragement and praise for this is just one example. Of course, I’m not doing it for the praise, I genuinely want to inspire and help people as much as I can by sharing my own journey.

As much as I may complain about the tumultuous nature of this crazy ass ascension ride, I wouldn’t trade it for a life without meaning, purpose and illumination for a single second.

The Manifestation Malfunction

It’s recently come to my attention that there is a flip side to this whole positive manifestation business. In one of my early articles, ‘Is the Law of Attraction Even Real?, I spoke about the basic premise behind this universal rule.

Essentially it boils down to the notion that whatever beliefs, fears, wounds or illusions we carry around within our emotional pain body are reflected back to us in our physical everyday reality, or as the famous Hermes Trismegistus quote states: “As above, so below, as within, so without, as the universe, so the soul…”

I very much subscribe to this notion, and have been able to see it in action as I have progressed on my own awakening journey. However, I’ve noticed that the whole thing can take somewhat of a sour turn, resulting in undesirable circumstances, especially the very circumstances you were hoping to avoid. I’ve learnt that it really does depend on what your core intentions were when you sent your wishes out to the universe.

Let’s say for example that you have a pattern of working jobs that leave you feeling unappreciated and unvalued, and you decide that enough is enough: “I want respect and validation god dammit!” Or you repeatedly attract unavailable partners who leave you feeling like you are unloveable, so you bend over backwards trying to be the ‘perfect’ partner to prove that you are worthy of a mate who will stick around for more than a hot minute.

What transpires is that you end up attracting a job that seems to provide you with the respect and validation you crave, or you finally attract a partner who says and does all the right things to indicate that they’re in it for the long haul. However, this is where things can start to go haywire.. a colleague at your new ‘perfect’ job undermines you, and your ‘reliable’ new partner suddenly ghosts you with little or no explanation, leaving you feeling a little like this..

This is where the manifestation malfunction kicks in. Despite the fact that you initially seemed to attract the perfect job and a devoted partner, it has all fallen to shit in the most spectacular fashion, leaving you feeling even more depleted and cynical than before.

This is because you haven’t addressed the core issues that have kept you stuck in negative cycles, attracting the same circumstances over and over in different packaging.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m certainly not pointing the hand of judgement. I’ve experienced many manifestation malfunctions on my own journey that have left me in states of frustration, exasperation and utter hopelessness. I’m certainly not immune to shaking my fist in anger at the universe for ‘punishing’ me. I mean, haven’t I been through enough already? Give me a freaking break for just a damn minute!

However, when the dust settled and I returned to a state of relative normalcy, I could reflect on the lessons that were being presented to me through these challenges. I realised that these experiences are all part of my soul’s plan to get me to wake up, smell the coffee and heal those wounds that I wanted to avoid like Jehovah’s Witnesses at your door on a Sunday morning.

The real learning and growth lies in one’s willingness to face the core issues that are being highlighted through these manifestation malfunctions. Everyone’s journey is different and we are faced with obstacles that are unique to our soul’s growth and evolution. However, there are three main fears embedded in the collective human psyche: fear of not being good enough, fear not not being loved and fear of not belonging.

If we are able to identify which one of these fears are being highlighted through our manifestation malfunctions, we can trace them back to those painful past experiences which have lead to those fears. Then we can work on releasing and healing our repressed pain. Although it can be a difficult exercise, it can also be empowering to take control in this way and leave us with a strong sense of, ‘I got this!’

And yes indeed, you do.

50 Shades of Relationships

Okay so maybe there’s not exactly fifty shades of relationships, but there definitely is a variety of different types, both from a traditional psychological standpoint, and from a spiritual standpoint. I will be looking more at soul based connections in this article, as I believe that that these kind of templates can provide us with valuable learning, and add significantly to our personal growth.

KARMIC RELATIONSHIPS

The first type of connection that many people may be familiar with are referred to as karmic relationships. The majority of people have found themselves in a karmic relationship at least once in this lifetime. These kinds of connections aren’t exclusively romantic either, they can develop or exist with family members, friends, colleagues or aquaintances.

Generally speaking, we engage in karmic relationships in our lives in order to teach us important life lessons, or to make us realise dysfunctional and/or unhealthy things about ourselves that need to be addressed. These kinds of relationships can assist us by providing a platform for us to play out these shadow or rejected sides of ourselves in order for us to recognise the underlying issues and heal them at the source. These kinds of issues often stem back from childhood or earlier on in our lives.

Examples of these kinds of problems include emotional unavailability, co-dependency, addiction or control. The kinds of associated behaviours with these issues may include things like stonewalling, chasing, avoiding intimacy, hot and cold behaviour, neediness or self medicating with substances and/or compulsive behaviours.. . Yeah, you guessed it.. karmic relationships can often be quite toxic.

Karmic relationships can play a major part in the lives of many people, and they can find themselves in these kind of situations repeatedly, replaying the same dynamics over and over with different people like Groundhog Day . This happens when someone is unable or unwilling to look at the issues that have arisen within their partnership, learn the lessons, heal the wounds and choose a healthier pattern of behaviour in the next relationship.

SOULMATE RELATIONSHIPS

In contrast to karmic relationships, soulmate relationships can be harmonious, may be accompanied by a feeling of ease, and a sense of being ‘at home’ when in the presence of the other. Unlike karmic relationships, this kind of connection is not toxic, but may involve some triggering between the two parties. The primary function of the triggering within soulmate connections is to shine a mirror on our shadow side, so we can first recognise it within ourselves and get to the source of the wound to clear it out.

However, unlike karmic relationships, the mirroring and consequent triggering that can occur within soulmate relationships comes from a place of unconditional love and respect for the other, rather than a place of co-dependency or control. Similar to karmic relationships, soulmate relationships are not always romantic in nature, and can come in many forms such as friendships or mentor/student relationships. Soulmate connections can be as brief as a conversation between two like minded souls, or a relationship that spans for decades.

TWIN FLAME RELATIONSHIPS

Now, twin flame relationships can be extremely passionate, loving, tender and extremely painful all at the same time. There are multiple theories about twin flames.. some say that they are two people who share the same soul, whilst others disregard this notion, claiming that twin flames (or twin souls) are two people with the exact same vibrational blueprint, which essentially means that they are intimately connected, often through telepathy which enables them to pick up on each other’s thoughts and feelings, even when physically separated and not in any kind of communication.

I know you might be thinking that this is just some kind of make believe gobblety goop, and a connection like this couldn’t possibly exist between two human beings living on planet Earth. And I would completely and undeniably agree with you if I hadn’t experienced it for myself.. but that’s a whole other article which I will unleash at a later stage…

Despite the difference of opinions around whether twin flames share the same soul, one thing is clear; twin flames relationships can be intense in every way. There are generally several different stages of a twin flame relationship which vary in degree and length for every twin flame couple. Similar to karmic and soulmate relationships, twin flame relationships are not always romantic in nature, although they do tend to be more often than not due to the intensity of the connection between the pair.

Not long after the initial meeting, they enter what is typically referred to as the ‘bubble love stage’ which basically feels like heaven on Earth, the ultimate meeting of mind, body and soul between two people. This is often short lived due to a major disruption between the pair which leads one or both parties to run from the connection and often deny its existence.

The runner twin (often the male) is often hotly pursued by the chaser (often the female). This results in a push pull dynamic playing out between the pair in which all of their fears wounds, illusions and conditioning are triggered to the surface through the actions of each twin towards the other. In this way, twin flames are each other’s perfect mirror and will reflect each other their biggest underlying fears back to them, usually around rejection and abandonment.

The whole point to the twin flame relationship is for the pair to help each other ascend to higher states of consciousness through the mirroring and triggering, so that everything that is out of alignment with unconditional love is brought to the surface to be purged, healed and released through a rather intense and fast paced purification process.

This dance can persist for years, and often does take a signifiant amount of time to play out between the pair to its logical conclusion. Twins may become extremely frustrated, angry, resentful and hurt by each other throughout the journey. Despite this, they always seem to find their way back to one another in a state of forgiveness and gratitude because of the enduring unconditional love they hold for each other in their hearts.

If the twins can see the process through, they are ultimately able to reunite and resume the relationship as it was in the ‘bubble love phase,’ but this time around as healed, whole and awakened individuals with nothing but unconditional love tying them together.

So there you have it, a basic outline of the three most significant soul based connections that exist on our incredible planet. Stay tuned for further articles which will go into even greater depth about these amazing, catalytic and life transformative connections.

Love of a Good Woman

Recently I’ve really become acutely aware of the effects of the dominant patriarchal structures in society on both women and men. Now before you decide that this is an angry feminist rant touting all men as the enemy, please hear me out.

My intention is to highlight the effects of toxic masculinity so that people can become aware of how it may play out in their own lives, and how this may be remedied. I am a firm believer that awareness is key, and an essential stepping stone to real sustainable positive change. As we all contain both masculine and feminine energy regardless of our biological gender, this applies to both men and women. A woman is capable of embodying toxic masculine energy as much as a man and vice versa.

As I mentioned in my previous article, Transform the Distorted, the wounded masculine plays out in a plethora of ways. (Please note that I only use “he” purely for convenience. As noted above, this can apply to both a biological man or woman).

The wounded masculine has a distinct air of righteousness. He constructs emotional walls and withdraws when feeling threatened or challenged. He is stoic, uncommunicative, overpowering, physically aggressive and avoidant. He feels a deep inner sense of insecurity and unworthiness. The wounded masculine is emotionally vacant and refrains from expressing vulnerability.

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Unfortunately the wounded masculine archetype is still at large in our modern world, the embodiment of which is particularly evident in the dating scene, the workplace and male/female relationships. This dynamic appears to be reflected in TV shows, particularly over the last twenty years.

The infamous Showtime series Dexter is a prime example of this. He is undoubtedly secretive in most of his relationships, frequently uncommunicative and refrains from expressing vulnerability for the most part. We see that he’s basically a cold hearted killer who revels in luring his victims to a plastic wrapped bloody demise. Despite all of this, he’s also a massive softie, and has a great fondness for the women in his life, most notably his beloved sister Deb.

It is through his relationship with her, the feminine energy, that his softer and more compassionate side seeps through despite his frequent bloodlust. Some may argue that his relationship with Deb is codependent and therefore unhealthy. While this may be true, it may also be his saving grace, keeping him connected to his divine feminine energy of kindness and compassion.

Another more recent example of the embodied wounded masculine is the recent Netflix original series You, which explores a book shop owner’s obsession with Beck, a young aspiring writer, and the lengths he is willing to go to in order to win her affections, including murder. In this example, the protagonist Joe embodies distorted masculine qualities like control where he attempts to exert his own will over Beck by feverishly stalking her every move both physically and online in order to become the ‘perfect boyfriend,’ and fulfil some kind of distorted rescue fantasy.

Similar to Dexter, Joe is very secretive and lives a double life – devoted and loving boyfriend by day, murderous vigilante by night. He goes to great lengths to keep this shadow aspect from his beloved feminine by means of hiding the belongings or ‘trophies’ of his victims in a shoebox in the ceiling above the toilet in his apartment. He also uses the locked glass enclosure which houses rare books in the basement of his book store to imprison his prey before killing them.

You explores spiritual concepts such as the law of attraction and the dark night of the soul. This is evident when Joe recieves a beating from his alcoholic wife beating neighbour Ron as karma for murdering Beck’s best friend Peach, whom he deemed to be standing in the way of his beloved. We also see how Beck is pushed to her limit which forces her to shed the false sense of self she has been operating under, and stand strong in her own truth. This is expressed through the writing and publication of her first novel.

Beck uses her distorted feminine wiles to convince Joe to let her free with the false promise of her unconditional love. We can see clearly through this example that the distorted masculine energy erodes away at the feminine until she becomes so angry and enraged at his control and deception that she fights back and becomes vile and manipulative in retaliation. We see that the patriarchy keeps the masculine and feminine in separation, locked in a toxic dance of illusion. Ultimately, the patriarchy completely destroys the feminine, and we see this in a very literal example where Joe kills his beloved in order to protect himself.

You is about real genuine unconditional love versus codependent love based on patriarchal control. Both Joe and Beck approach their relationship from a place of scarcity and poor self esteem. In their own ways, they try to get what they want from the other rather than loving them for exactly who they are. In the end, it is the patriarchal structure that interferes with the core of unconditional love that exists between the masculine and the feminine.

There are various schools of thought which address the problem of the patriarchy and how to overcome the negativity that arises from it. While some of these approaches are inherently unbalanced, there are others that just seem to make a lot of sense. In my opinion, the work of Regena Thomashauser in her book, Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts holds the key.

Thomashauser or ‘Mama Gena’ as she affectionately calls herself argues that women are the greatest untapped resource in the world, and that if everyone can embrace the essence of the feminine in it’s greatest form, then we can obliterate patriarchy and the world will be a much better place.

She further notes that when a woman is happy, joyful and content, she radiates this energy out to the world affecting everyone around her in a myriad of positive ways. Mama Gena’s School of Womanly Arts teaches women to find the joy and passion in their lives regardless of their external circumstances and live from a place of pleasure rather than lack and misery.

This is certainly not to say that the feminine is superior to the masculine or anything like that. It is just highlighting that feminine energy can be intensely powerful and positive when utilised, valued and respected. In our current patriarchal system, we do not value the feminine in this way which has lead a host of issues, some of which have been highlighted in this article.

When it is truly embraced, the love of a good woman, the feminine goddess has the capacity to uplift humanity and create a safe space of healing for us all.

Terrifyingly Amazing

If I were asked to describe my awakening journey in two words I would say terrifyingly amazing. It’s been an incredible journey filled with peaks and valleys, highs and lows, wondrous epiphanies, painful dark nights and everything else in between. There have been times where I have wanted to do away with it all and step back into a ‘simpler’ version of reality. I wanted to forget about this whole darn thing. But I can’t. I have taken the blue pill and there is no takesies backsies.

This journey has taught me that there is no right or wrong, and that everything has an upside no matter how hopeless or shitty it may seem on the surface. Our society is built upon ‘either or’ thinking. It thrives on competition, a dog eat dog mentality, conflict, resentment and a separation consciousness.  It is this type of mindset that is keeping a lot of us stuck going around in circles, attempting to control the outcome rather than accepting the duality,  seeing the blessings and allowing things to unfold naturally.

 

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It’s hard for the human ego to hold this duality in mind and accept it without experiencing a lot of discomfort. The ego wants to streamline everything, make it simple, black and white. My own ego has certainly struggled with this concept.   A recent situation at work had me baffled. I landed a job in an organisation that I love and have wanted to work at for years. I had hoped it would run smoothly, but instead I experienced challenge after challenge. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why this was happening despite all the work I had done to heal my own inner demons.

Then the penny dropped. I realised that the tension of opposites was at play here, and that I had a choice. I could drive myself nuts flip flopping from seeing the ‘good’ to seeing the ‘bad’ and wanting to place blame on someone or something. Alternatively I could accept that this tension of opposites could happily co-exist and that it was there to teach me this very lesson. In layman’s terms, swings and roundabouts – take the good with the bad, the bad with the good, accept it all without judgement and see the lesson.

 

There is no consciousness without discrimination of opposites.

-Carl Jung

 

What a relief it is to put down one’s combat sword and just allow things to happen without ending up with a severe case of analysis paralysis from over thinking.  I’ve realised that when you come from a place of accepting the tension of opposites and learning the lesson, you simply can’t fail. The notion of failure itself is a black and white concept that has no place in this higher realm of understanding. There is always something to be learnt from everything we encounter despite it’s outward appearance.

I encourage you to re-examine those areas of your life that you may have deemed as purely negative, and really take an honest look at where the tension of opposites might lie. Has there been some valuable learning or opportunity in the situation that you may have overlooked due to being triggered by past events? Despite hardship and struggles, beauty really does lie in the tension of opposites, and it provides an opportunity to embrace all that life has to offer from a place of soul growth, gratitude and unconditional acceptance.

 

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Would I Do That?

Recently my beautiful new red bike was stolen from where I had chained it to the  stairwell of my apartment building. My immediate reaction was shock which quickly dissolved into distress, and then transformed into anger. I felt violated. Who could do such a thing? I started to question my security. If this could happen from right underneath my nose, was I safe sleeping in my own bed at night?

I discovered that this not an unusual occurrence. I heard from  friends, family members and acquaintances who had also had bikes and other items stolen. It got me thinking.. if this kind of thing is so common, is it just part of human nature? Could I be capable of such behaviour under the right set of circumstances?

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In her book, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers , Debbie Ford suggests that every single person holds elements of every human characteristic that exists, including the darker traits.

We are taught by society to suppress our ‘undesirable’  or shadow traits and show only the  qualities that we deem as ‘acceptable’ to the outside world. However, when we see our hidden qualities reflected back to us in another, we tend to react with disgust, hurt, frustration or anger.

It made me wonder, is this what happened for me when my bike was stolen? I was so sure that this was something I would never do, and was therefore outraged that anyone could do it to me. Then I remembered that there have been times when, in moments of frustration, I have entertained thoughts around stealing something from a colleague who had done me wrong, or sending hate mail to an ex-boyfriend that had hurt me.

I realised that maybe I could understand why someone might steal a bike. Maybe the person who stole my bike has had a really crappy time of it, and has never felt loved and supported throughout their whole life.. Maybe stealing things was a way to exact revenge on a society that often fails to support the people who need it the most. This may not have been their conscious thinking, but it could have been the underlying reasons behind their actions.

imagesYour life will be transformed when you make peace with your shadow. The caterpillar will become a breathtakingly beautiful butterfly. You will no longer have to pretend to be someone you’re not. You will no longer have to prove you’re good enough. When you embrace your shadow you will no longer have to live in fear. Find the gifts of your shadow and you will finally revel in all the glory of your true self. Then you will have the freedom to create the life you have always desired.

-Debbie Ford

This experience also reminded me of just how connected we all are, and that the universe always evenly distributes karma, both positive and negative. A good example of this occurred to me when a friend stood me up, leaving me waiting alone at a cafe until I gave up and went home. This was only a few days after I neglected to show up to a day course I had booked due to my own fear and disorganisation.

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This was my karma being reflected back to me, a stark reminder that I too have engaged in actions which had unintentionally caused frustration, anger and annoyance.

In order to rise up and embrace our wholeness, we need to truly accept and embrace our shadow as much as we do our light. It is with full integration of our darkness that we can be truly be free.

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