(photo found on pinterest)
We all have seen this. Women who look the part of being female yet who simply aren’t exuding actual feminine energy. Walking through a city I see hundreds of women who are projecting a ‘here’s my middle finger’ type of look on their faces. I’ve done it before and if you are a woman reading this, odds are you have too. And when a woman is living in this way, she often aspires to be ‘hard as nails’, someone ‘who doesn’t take any shit’. Many women believe this to be essential for success. These are often the same women who wonder why sexual desire is lacking in their relationship or why they can’t attract a man.
If I asked you to see in your mind the image of an empowered female, what image do you see?
I once had a male client who said to me about his gorgeous, sophisticated wife who worked in a corporate job, “I just don’t understand. She looks so stunning and presents herself as so feminine but I just can’t connect with her sexually. She’s a good person and I don’t want to leave this marriage but it’s driving me crazy that I can’t figure out how to get her to open up.”
The truth is, many of us are terrified of resting into our femininity. Secretly we crave it but it’s SO receptive that we are frightened of what might happen to us if we let go of our false strength.
Very frequently these themes come up with my clients, whether she’s in corporate world or whether she’s a hippy from way back. Recently one of these women was crying on the phone with me. “I’m not getting it. I tried to do the practises you said last time but all I could do was cry.”
You are doing it beautiful! Do you remember how we say in Tigress Yoga that the first stage is deep emotional detoxification? This is it. It’s happening.
“But I feel so messed up. I don’t feel like a Tigress.”
You know all that suppression behind the anxiety you feel every day that you’ve been telling me about, this is you letting it go. This is meant to be happening, it’s a very good sign. It seems you are right where you are meant to be, well done!
“I want to get rid of this before my next relationship.”
What do you mean? (I know what she means but I ask anyway)
“I don’t want anyone to see me like this. I hate feeling so vulnerable. I can get to a point where I can be in a relationship without being vulnerable, can’t I? That’s what I want to work on. I want to be that kind of woman. I want to be empowered. I don’t want to be vulnerable anymore.”
That’s a shame. Intimacy can’t happen without vulnerability, not for women or men. Without vulnerability there’s no connection. What you can do is resolve a lot of the distance between the child in you and the woman in you. Then you will be able to feel and share vulnerability as a woman. This is your power.
“But I always thought vulnerability is such weakness. I don’t like it. It’s pathetic. It makes me feel so powerless. I don’t think I can do this.”
We continued on for the hour session. I wasn’t telling her anything new to her mind. Yet her mental understanding hadn’t been translating into her deeper heart or in her behaviour. This situation is incredibly common for women, even amongst those who identify with being on a spiritual path. I highlighted how vulnerability and collapse are not the same thing. We covered some more ground into essential places of feminine development that paved the way for true integration, deep in her inner world. She let her tears flow and gained confidence in herself, the kind that’s born from the inside. I talked about the impression she had taken in of being strong in a tough way, and how it’s a false strength when there’s no space there for her deeper feelings. That mostly external kind of strength, it’s just a front because it’s hollow inside. It creates the collapse.
I understand. We feel so much and have been through so much suffering because of it. It’s as though life taught us it’s not safe to be vulnerable. We thought that by being ‘strong’, we wouldn’t need to suffer anymore. We empowered ourselves with knowledge. We learnt about the Goddess and the patriarchy. We learnt that we are not willing to ever feel so hurt again. Ever. We learnt how to be ‘strong’ and how to never be co-dependent again. We unearthed that ‘you can’t fuck with me because I’ll devour you’ attitude. We talked the talk and identified as switched on spiritual women. We know about the difference of masculine and feminine and can tell you all about it, for hours. We became incredibly articulate about our feelings until we could no longer really feel them. We aren’t satisfied with the situation and yet the terror of melting that sense of authority through operating in such a controlled manner keeps us safe in our fortress & it can feel like too much to let that guard down. It’s not safe to let go.
And there she stands. In all of her false glory. With her intellect masquerading as her spirituality.
Any woman who understands what Tigress Yoga is all about knows that it helps us gain access to our full range of feelings and expressions. It’s about being both soft and fierce. The Feminine has many faces. It’s vital we know how to access a wide variety of expressions. It’s also worthwhile to consider whether we are operating with a limited range of options, due to past pain and identifying through concepts that need review. Even if this is confronting, it also usually comes as a relief because it moves us closer to fulfilling the desire to live from our full feminine potential.
If I mentioned the image of an empowered woman, what comes to mind? An image of the confident, take-no-shit, feisty, powerful, almost warrior woman is the most common kind of answer. The true strength of the Feminine is not the initial sense for most women when answering that question. In a reaction to our past we have trained ourselves to override our own Yin nature in our efforts to be respected. And in doing so we have unknowingly been participating in our own oppression. When not coming from a place of fear or trauma because we can say “no” from a calm place of self respect rather than overcompensating for our past, people can hear it. When we respect our own boundaries and can express them properly, we can let go of the fight.
Over time I’ve come to see that much of our ongoing sense of exhaustion is due to not living from the full power of our Yin nature. Particularly when it comes to giving that quality of nurturing presence to ourselves. And when there’s nowhere to deeply rest inside of ourselves, we lack the spaciousness which creates the rejuvenation we need to generate real female vitality.
What if it were possible to not live full time in our directive masculine mode as our default setting? Because truthfully, we are going against the grain of nature when we aren’t aligned with our feminine energy on the inside.
What else is possible? True strength from our softness, in our certainty that it’s safe to be fully female. When we make peace with our own deeper feminine nature, our healthy instincts come alive – the part of us that knows when to protect ourselves and when we don’t need to live behind a mask that dims our radiance and leaves us with an antagonistic relationship with the world and with other people.
If I asked you again to see in your mind’s eye the image of an empowered woman, what if the first thing you saw was a woman who has fully harnessed her receptive, magnetic powers of Yin?
What would need to shift so that YOU had this kind of feminine power as the FIRST image you saw?
This is the inner revolution that Tigress Yoga brings – permission to be fully female – a safe place to melt your mask & discover what else is possible when you feel strong in your relationship with your womanly powers. When I walk through city streets, those are the kind of faces I’d love to see more of. Are you with me?
For tips on how to transform your relationship & get into your feminine flow
Note: This image was chosen because of the energy she emits – softness, vulnerability, feminine sensuality. To learn more about how Tigress Yoga celebrates women of all shapes & sizes, read this.