Sacred Femininity: What It Is & 3 Ways To Embrace It
Femininity is sacred; it is one half of our innate wholeness. Whether male or female, each of us carries the feminine thread that allows us to be conscious receptors, intuitive self-healers, and thoughtful contributors. As a collective, we are beginning the journey of waking up to the necessity of this integral half of ourselves, but something holds us back. Something about the values of the modern world makes it challenging for us to embrace these feminine aspects of life and of ourselves.
In a fragmented world, there exists an inclination to view events, behaviors, and feelings from a mindset of judgment; as right or wrong, worthy or unworthy, valuable or invaluable. Overarching beliefs about what constitutes the right, the worthy, and the valuable stem from the very nature of the system that encompasses it all — from a Western culture that values assertion, wealth, and progress.
This dualistic lens can lead us to imbalance; that is if we do not understand the nature of seemingly opposing qualities. Within a goal-oriented, profit-driven society, we tend to favor logical, active, and outwardly-oriented behaviors. We, as a collective, look up to those who are rational, those who are quick to make decisions, and those who are ambitious. These are our leaders and they ensure that things get done. These are the inherently masculine – both men and women – who shape our world from the outside. Masculinity in this way has nothing to do with being male or female.
When the intent and mission of these external actions stem from a place of inner wisdom, intuition, and guidance, these qualities shape up to be admirable and valuable contributors to a healthy society; but, when out of tune with the feminine half of this valuable equation, we are at a loss. Given the societal drive for clear, measurable actions and results, the feminine struggles to find its footing and make its mark. Because of this drive for progress and goal achievement, we have a much harder time embracing traits of femininity – both within our selves and within others.
Sufi mystic Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee makes note of this observation when he writes, “…we live primarily masculine values; we are goal-oriented, competitive, driven. Masculine values even dominate our spiritual quest; we seek to be better, to improve ourselves, to get somewhere. We have forgotten the feminine qualities of waiting, listening, being empty. ”
These feminine qualities – this ability to wait, to listen, to be empty – are not owned by women; they are ownerless and genderless. Each of us holds the capacity to become fully awakened to our sacred femininity. This side of us is what allows us to flow, to receive intuitive messages, and to surrender. We can consider it sacred because it is through this surrender, through this full embrace, that we really become in touch with ourselves – that we really open up to the invaluable wealth of knowledge that lives within.
Embracing femininity is an opening of our selves in order to see what exists just a little bit deeper; to look within and to be fully present with the wisdom, flow, and mystery of our bodies, hearts, and spirits. Practicing it is simple; all it requires is a setting aside of space and time and an open heart. These three practices are welcoming the first steps.
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1. Mind the body and your emotions.
Mindfulness meditation simply asks us to pay attention. All it asks is for us to feel – to notice what is happening within and around us. It does not require analysis or decision-making. It holds space for us to be exactly as we are – no goals, no gains, and no vision.
How does mindfulness allow us to embrace our femininity? Over time, it helps us break the habit of needing to fix, achieve, or mend things. In the space it then opens up, we become more attuned to what is happening within us. This quiet practice allows us to better understand our body and our emotions – not from a mental place but from an intuitive perspective.
To practice, take a minimum of five minutes to sit or lie down quietly. You can set a timer to help allow the anxious mind to settle down for this time. Ensure, to the extent of your human capacity, that you will not be disturbed for whatever length of time you wish to tune into the body. Grab any desired cushions or blankets and make any final adjustments necessary to help the body relax.
Once you are in a quiet and comfortable position, draw your awareness to your breath. Simply observe it without trying to manipulate its depth or its flow. Allow its innate wisdom to nourish you. After a few breath cycles, bring your awareness down to your belly as you breathe. Notice if the breath changes with your shift in attention. Take three more full breaths here.
If a thought or emotion begins to wander wildly, begin to develop the practice of observing its path. Notice the nature of its flow – the way it moves and the places to which it goes. Simply observe with curiosity, compassion, and non-judgment. This is part of our innate feminine ability – to surrender to all of our experience. Practice this surrender by repeating the words, “I surrender to all that I do not understand.”
Explore this practice any time the mind or emotions take over. By opening ourselves to this awareness without judgment, we come to better understand what moves us. We make space for intuition and deep knowledge to rise to the surface.
2. Move, dance, and play.
The rational nature of any human being is not what we would call his or her feminine side; rather, the feminine side has a unique flow to it that moves like the wind (and remember, this way of using the terms ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ have nothing to do with gender; they are pointers towards different ways of being and relating to the world). Sacred femininity does not stick to one direction and it follows the guidance of its heart rather than its logical mind.
To help embody this flow in a way that is safe and exploratory, we can start to feel it within the body. Through movement, dance, and playfulness, it is possible to immerse ourselves in the side of us that wishes to create, simply for the joy of it. There are no set rules when it comes to this type of practice; in fact, any attempt to give guidelines seems contrary to what the practice claims to offer. However, if the concept is new and the body feels stuck, some initial guidance can help to get things flowing.
One way to get into the body is with the assistance of music. Find some piece of instrumental music, or lyrical if that feels more welcoming at this point, and a quiet space to enjoy it in. If it feels comfortable and you are in a safe space to go sightless, place an eye mask over your eyes to deeply enter the body. As the music plays, allow your body to move to its own rhythm and flow. Move both rhythmically and contrarily to what comes naturally, witnessing how different movements feel to the mind and body. You might choose to introduce some intuitive affirmation, such as, “It is safe to be free. It is safe to be me.” Experiment with whatever might assist you in letting the body and mind go.
This type of practice can be done with painting, drawing, writing, or any other mode of expressing yourself. Come into your chosen activity with childlike openness and wonder. If it feels awkward or unnatural at first, simply allow that to be the case without running from it. Bring a sense of mindful awareness to this practice, just as you would to meditation.
3. Connect with your sacral chakra.
The sacral chakra, Svadhisthana, is our second chakra. It is known as the energy point for creative and sexual energies. It can be considered feminine and passive and is associated with the element of water. Like water, we each carry the ability to flow. We have an innate ability to create, to procreate, and to embrace the juiciness of life. By reconnecting to the sacral, we strengthen these potentially hindered abilities. Through the sacral, we can enhance and honor our divine femininity.
Reconnecting with Svadhisthana can be done in a variety of ways, but one simple way to become reacquainted with it is through a seated meditation with focused sacral awareness. To practice this, make your way into a seated or lying down position. Any position is fine so long as the hands can rest comfortably on the pelvis. Bring your hands to rest flat on the pelvis. Allow the thumbs to touch one another and the index fingers to do the same, creating a downward-pointing triangle. The formed triangle, now nurturing Svadhisthana, helps to draw attention and energy to this chakra.
Take a few normal breaths in and out before deepening your breath to reach the space between and beneath your hands. Visualize healing light or energy flowing into this space. Allow this to be the focus of your meditation, sitting with this awareness for at least five minutes. As with the mindfulness meditation, you may set a timer to facilitate the mind’s release. Whenever the mind attempts to wander, simply draw it back to your energy visualization, to your breath, to your hands, and then to your sacral chakra. Allow this energy center to become deeply nourished and valued.
Femininity and masculinity are present within each human and both halves hold unique transformative and healing capabilities. To help find our balance and way through this life, it is important that we find space to honor and nurture all aspects of us. In a dualistic world, it is usually the stronger voice that wins; however, through reawakening and embracing the feminine aspect of ourselves, we begin to understand that the outward voice cannot be compared to the inward voice.
Beneath the surface, our feminine nature is building softly. Through our conscious attention to an embodiment of this flow, we begin to unravel a new side of ourselves; we begin to value parts of ourselves the world had taught us to question.
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