Masculine/Feminine

On how your story shows your projection....

IF YOU ARE IN A RELATIONSHIP BECAUSE OF A STORY, YOUR PROJECTION IS AT PLAY.

If you have constructed a story around your soul mate relationship meaning one thing or another...

If you see their story as one of having overcome something, and you want to honor it....

If you have a story about how this partner is different than all your other partners....

If you feel like you have unfinished business with one another and so you stay....

If you think one of you can't live without the other...

Your projection is at play.

Projection is when we have something within us that is unresolved, such as a hope or a fear, and we place it onto/into someone else instead of resolving it inside of us.

All relationships have projection going on. The question is really how much, and are you conscious of it?

I've done all of the above. The stories I can come up with are amazing. The meaning I can make about why two souls need to be together is fantastic. And here's what I truly now think: when we're telling a story about why we need to be together, our projection is at play.

Fine. Tell your story. Just know what's up.

However, when you use the relationship not as a place to unconsciously satiate the places in you that are unpleasant, the places of unresolved hope or fear, and instead, consciously use the relationship as a mirror, or feedback tool, to heal what is unresolved within you, now we're getting somewhere.

That's a MAJOR element of evolutionary love, of next level commitments - where you commit to relationship not because you're willing to tolerate or expound on the stories to rationalize your actions and your relationship, but instead, to evolve the two of you, consciously, together.

Are you in a relationship that is consciously evolving together? 
Or are you stagnating?

I have a twelve week program for couples that is based in conscious presencing, attunement to self and other, and relating in ways that brings your relating into present time. Trust me. You are "in it" every day. When you bring me in, I see where you're projecting and together, we do something really unique. And effective.

Old looping patterns stop, because we heal the energetics of the projection patterns. This is an alternative or compliment to traditional talk therapy - because this is not that! This is presence-based, action-oriented, and connection is the ultimate result. You are welcome to PM me for more info. I am scheduling now for the fall.

To evolutionary love. To your Union,

Sarah

❤️

Embodied Breath: Conscious Relating Within & Between #evolutionarylove#consciousunion #soulunion

Men, Advocacy, & Doing What's Right

It happens pretty frequently that I hear from a caring man, as my friend, “When that man said that to you, I wanted to do something to him!” 


“When that guy posted that on your Facebook feed, boy I really wanted to say something back to him!”


“When I see how he treated you at the end of that relationship, I really wanted to punch him.” 


And today I want to talk about that sentiment; to bring some food for thought to the surface for all of us. I’ve been working on trying to write something about this for weeks, and today, I’m just jumping in, perhaps slightly messier in approach than I intended to be. Because I still have more questions than answers. 


How do men hold one another accountable?

How do men advocate for women when they see another man out of integrity?


What is it that is both appealing and frustrating about the above questions, to me, personally? 


When I make a post about the dance between men and women, or masculine and feminine, sometimes it’s personal story, and sometimes it’s not directly personal, but if I’m writing about it, it’s because I’ve either lived it or observed it. Everything that I write about at this point is based on observation and contemplation - rather than just regurgitating book smarts. As a former school employee, I regurgitated book smarts for a living, and now I write from observation. 


So, in that way, because I’m living a life of observation and advocacy on the part of our human collective, it’s always a little bit personal. And, I know that it’s my responsibility to monitor my emotional response to anything that anyone says or does in response to my writing or how I live my life. I am, quite honestly, pretty used to being someone that stokes a fire, because of what I am willing to say and how honestly I live my life. I’m a little raw. A lot honest. And if you’re averse to this, there may be some defensiveness. I’ve actually learned not to directly provoke, and to be very careful to instead invite. And yet, people have various ways of reacting when the fire is stoked within them. Reactivity is real. 


The reactivity of men, when they feel poked or confronted, can honestly be very scary. The tendency to want to control or tamp down what makes a man uneasy can lead to behaviors of domination or outrage. I’m not saying it’s always true, but it can be, and I’m not going to elaborate on this further because I expect that we all know this to be true. These are the behaviors that we are all here on the Good Men Project to support in shifting. 


And this past year, personally, a man became incredibly dominating at what turned out to be the end of a deep love relationship. It was unexpected and I was losing not only a love relationship, but a good friend, and I feared the repression of a good man’s soul. He had become fearful of circumstances, and in response, he attempted to control every aspect of the situation. And it sounded very violent and scared the hell out of me. 


After that, good friends that knew about it, and sat with him in men’s circle, didn’t say anything to him about it. Everyone knew he was going through a hard time, but no one said, “Hey, I’m not okay with the way you yelled at her, at the way you dishonored what you’d previously told us was the love of your life.” No one, to my knowledge, called him out or held him accountable. And, he even served as staff on a men’s initiation weekend shortly after, appointed by some of the same men that knew that he’d done this. 


They didn’t have my back. It took me a few months to even know how to approach these friends with this question. “Hey, why didn’t you ever bring up what you knew had happened? What is the rule of thumb in the men’s group for holding brothers accountable to what you know has happened outside of the men’s circle?” 


This particular men’s circle is part of an international name. Apparently it is pretty common for men inside the circle to know that a brother is living in shadow - by which I mean, they are coming into the circle presenting as one thing, and they are living a life that is not in alignment with how they are presenting in circle. And it’s also common for men to know this about one another and not say anything. 


And I have a problem with this. 


If you see a brother, another man, out of integrity with a woman, whether this is a man you sit in circle with or not, do something. Don’t punch him. But do something. 


I don’t need men fighting over me. I do, actually, need to live in a world where men who see an injustice speak up for those that have been affected by the injustice. 


Please think now: Do I know a man who is out of integrity where a woman is concerned? Am I prompted to respond in a way that might be advocating, loving, or helpful, and when and why have I decided to stay quiet about this? 


I don’t need men to do my emotional work, nor do I need to displace responsibility. I’m not trying to displace any part of my personal process onto someone else. I am in deep contemplation about what would happen if men began to hold one another accountable more often. 


As a woman, I actually don’t get any comfort from a man telling me, “When I saw this, boy oh boy I wanted to do something about it.” I do, however, feel a restored faith in man/woman relating when I see someone actually take a step to start a new conversation or say, “Hey, brother, I’m concerned about how I just saw you treat her. Want support?” 


This week on my Facebook feed, a man was triggered by a post I’d written, and he told me directly to “F*ck off.” I told him he may not speak to me that way. Sometimes, I pause to see what happens. When a man makes such a comment, it is actually really powerful when another man comes in to explain to him why he may have gotten triggered and to start a dialogue. In those cases, it becomes a community conversation, and toward the goal of healing and understanding. 


When behaviors of domination and aggression live in the dark, in the shadow, they perpetuate. We know that these behaviors are due to fear, to shame, to attempts to control unpleasant emotions. However, we also don’t want to live in a world where this is the norm any longer. This requires each of us to name what we see living in the shadow. 


We all know too well that too many men have lost too damn much while existing in the shadow. And I’ll say that the women who love them have also lost. And I really believe that all of this is preventable. But not if we allow one another to hide behind unhealthy behaviors. 


I know how to manage as an independent woman. And sometimes, I don’t want to have to always be the one sticking up for myself or educating why it isn’t okay to treat me a certain way. Because I’m the one willing to say the things difficult to hear, I’m also the one that takes a lot of the projection. Brothers, I can’t even tell you how nice it is when you decide to step in and advocate for the point that I’m trying to make. In solidarity. In connection. 


I know that women have asked you to not speak for us for a long time. I’m not asking you to speak for me. I’m asking you to name, out loud, the injustices you see. Speak from your own observation, your own level of concern, and your own heart. 


Don’t say to me, “I really wanted to do something when I saw that.” Because then I think, “Well, why didn’t you?” 


If something doesn’t feel right - do something. I dream of a world where men are advocating for what’s right, for women, for the integrity of right relating. 


Thank you, every time you decide to advocate for what’s right.


Also on The Good Men Project, where I write weekly.

Creation & Receptivity - A Divine Exchange

I recently said the words, somewhat strongly, “I am birthing my creation.” I said it and then I felt it - it was one of those eruptions that comes out like you mean it. And because I felt it so strongly, I began to think about this: my creations, I give birth to. 


It got me thinking about the relationship between receptivity and creativity, specifically in three contexts: 

  1. As an entrepreneur

  2. As a woman and a mother

  3. As an energetic exchange


Creations are powerful. I created and birthed two beautiful humans. And something has to SEED a creation. And something has to be received. Something divine has to be received. 


A true creation is divine. It’s unique. It hasn’t been done before. It arises up and out of you, and a true creation can not be stopped, nor should it be. 


I was thinking about this in terms of my son a few days ago and I had one of those moments as a mother of the deepest love you can ever feel in your life and I cried hard for a few minutes, in awe of the creation of him. I could have never, ever planned him in all his glory - he is a divine creation. 


We are all walking creations. 


And so often, we walk around do-ers, not creators. We are in the habit of doing, achieving, completing tasks, and not creating. If there is an expected outcome and we set about to achieve it, we will be in “do” energy, which will squash creativity. Or, we want to be creating, and we’re stuck, because maybe we are in the energy of do-ing, which has no receptivity and so therefore can’t lead to a true creation. Or, we don’t know how to receive. Or, rather, we struggle to receive. Which often leads to more doing. 


If I am making something for my business, and I do this from doer energy, my audience will feel it. If I make something because it wants to be made, because I’ve received the divine seed of inspiration for it, and I’m creating from that divine flow, my audience will feel that and be much more jazzed. 


Think about the creation of children through women. We must receive in order to birth creation, and in this case, it is the divine seed of a man. We must take in this literal seed and receive it. We are the vessel in which life is created. 


We create life. 


Only, only, only in the interplay of receptivity and creativity is life created. 


But very often, it’s not been safe to receive. As women, we are the embodied expressions of the feminine receptive vessel. In other words: we have vaginas. When there has been sexual trauma or abuse as a woman, she will close down these centers, either literally (closed sign) or energetically. As we have a culture of traumatized women, we also have a lot of women walking around with an altered capacity to receive. 


This could mean they are less able to receive love, or less able to receive a man/partner, or, they could just be less able to receive in general. This is so, so common. And because we all have both feminine and masculine energetic expressions in each of us, and the feminine has been repressed systemically, all-gendered people, men included, could have trouble receiving. The feminine receives, unless “she” can’t, because something has blocked her from receiving. 


In a culture of independence, we have a trauma of separation. There is an impetus to do, achieve, succeed, and we are competitive. We carry traumas and fear of not receiving what we need from others, or from the divine, and so there is more individual doing. To create requires receptivity. To receive requires healing and trust. 


If you are looking to heal your traumas of abuse and separation so that you are better able to receive and create, I can help. It’s what I do. You can schedule a consult on my website. 


Your creations are divine, and depend on your capacity to receive. I hope you allow it, and I hope you invite it from one another. 


Love, 

s

No achievement without self love

There is to be no achieving without self love!!

Last night in our men's group, we were talking about the different ways of "doing," and something revelatory (revolutionary) came out of it.

No task is worth achieving if it is done without self love.

There are all different kinds of reasons to "do" something: 
sense of obligation
necessity
desire to change
desire to achieve
you think you'll feel better
desire to please
...and so on.

Men have a unique relationship, in my opinion, with task completion. As the masculine is most often "provider," task completion can be so much about obligation that a sense of self or fulfillment in the task completion can get lost.

In this way, the relationship with taking action even in a positive direction, like if you want to change your life, can carry an implied burden. The distinction between obligation and something such as authentic desire is harder and harder to find.

Men become "do-ers" and wonder why they are unfulfilled. It's because your sense of what you actually desire has been abandoned, and habitually. And it's okay for you to carry desire. In fact, it's feeling to me like it's critical in order to keep this world turning that you act out of heart's desire and not blind obligation.

So, men, it's time you gave yourself permission to "do" out of love, and specifically, self love. No task completion without self love.

None.

If you abandon yourself, and the love for yourself, you can not expect any task completed to fill that hole. Period. You can not please another with emotional or physical labor and expect their reaction to fill that hole. You can not work enough to fill that hole.

Self love comes first, as priority. And from there, you will absolutely know what to do.

If you are a man that has perpetually sought to please others and have abandoned yourself, if you complete tasks out of obligation so much that you don't even know what you want anymore, and want to put yourself healthily at the core of your life, I have space for one-on-one support in my practice. Reach out.

Self love. Try it. It's radical and it's required.

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The perpetrator doesn't get to decide

The perpetrator doesn’t get to decide how long the victim should grieve. The process of grieving is inside each individual. Everyone will be affected differently.


The perpetrator doesn’t get to decide how quickly they should be forgiven, as if when they are finished thinking about their action everyone else should forgive them too. No. They do not dictate when they should be forgiven. They do not control another person’s forgiving process.


The perpetrator doesn’t get to decide the short term or long term actions or reactions to a victim’s healing process. This is where we see an increase of manipulative behaviors or outright threats when the victim begins to realize that they have inherent power to do something for themselves. The perpetrator’s power relies on stealing power from others, complacency, and silence.


The perpetrator doesn’t get to have a say over their victim’s psychological process. They do not get to dictate where the trauma gets stuck or how long it takes to work it out. Often in relationships when this happens, mention of the trauma is uncomfortable to the perpetrator, and therefore the mention of it or symptoms thereafter is often met with more attempts to control or suppress.


The perpetrator doesn’t get to go on being the perpetrator. Each and every one of us has at times been perpetrator as well as victim. And each and every one of us has the responsibility to own our own behavior. We need to do the mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual, physical processes. We need to attone. We need to understand that healing does not come through more demand or through a means of escape (religion included).


We live in a dominator culture, and thankfully the awareness of that is on the rise now, but we still have a long way to go. Men have historically been more violent, but it is the repression of authentic masculinity and femininity, and the emphasis on domination and control in the patriarchal system that has lead to this, and women are not exempt as we have learned to adopt dominator methods to attempt to gain control and power in this model.


This is so pervasive that unless one truly wills himself to change, and does the work to become aware of their patterns of domination, they will by default perpetuate. In my experience, it is uncomfortable to admit that you have been the perpetrator, but only while you are clinging to the dominator model as the only way.


bell hooks says in her book, The Will To Change: Men, Masculinity, & Love, “No man who does not actively choose to work to change and challenge the patriarchy escapes its impact. The most passive, kind, quiet man can come to violence if the seeds of patriarchal thinking have been embedded in his psyche.” I will add: the most loving man, the father, the man who is aware of his shadow, the man who goes to the men’s groups, the man who is aware of his mother wound - even these men will come to violence. It will happen, because this is the dominator culture we are rewriting now. It is default. Let’s make this conscious.


It also is important to note that over-identification as a victim will not help to rewrite the cultural narrative. This is where we get “all men” and “all women” finger pointing. Each person is responsible for how they have behaved and how they have moved through it. Each person is responsible for unpacking both the trauma that came before an event of perpetration and the event itself.


This past week, I co-hosted an event where the men in the circle were asked to write held judgements of women down on little slips of paper, and women were asked to write down judgements of men on little slips of paper. Then we put all the slips of paper into one basket. As we read each one aloud, we asked every person in the standing circle to take a step forward if they had ever been the perpetrator of what was on the slip of paper, and nearly every single time, nearly all of the men and women all stepped forward. Both. All. Taking accountability and meeting together to find a new way.


We are here in a new time, where personal responsibility is allowed, where your healing is welcome. If your shame of your perpetration is clouding your behavior, change it. Own it. If not, you will, by default, continue domination regardless of any attempts to subdue, avoid, or deny.


If you are not happy with how you’ve behaved or the feedback people are giving you about how you’ve behaved, you can, and need to, take action. When you do, you break the dominator model in your own life. Thank you for doing that. It benefits the whole.


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Masculinity & Soul

I had the pleasure of going to hear Michael Meade speak a few nights ago when he visited Asheville, NC. Mr. Meade speaks on the topic of the human soul like no other, in my opinion, and if you haven’t listened to it, his weekly podcast called Living Myth is exceptional.


While sitting in the audience, listening to him talk about the need for us to be willing to acknowledge our emotions in order to access our soul, my curiosities wandered to how this impacts men and masculinity in the current cultural context.  


The language of soul is not especially mainstream, though Meade and others - I’d count myself among them - do our best to bring this concept and language to the forefront in our work. Carl Jung was of course the pioneer of this inquiry of soul.


What the soul is is not easily defined. James Hillman said, “soul is a deliberately ambiguous concept.” It is a mysteries realm that, to me, involves the depth of a human, the psychological history and what is both conscious and unconscious. The soul is what makes us ourselves, what beckons us forward, what allows us to deeply feel and interact with life.


The intellect alone can’t touch the soul. Living solely in the body can’t touch the soul. The soul is accessed only through the conscious interaction of mind, body, emotions and spirit, as I see it. When we don’t integrate all of these aspects into our lives, as many people do not, there can be what is called “soul loss.”

The soul wants us to reach our potential - not the kind of potential we reach when we get an MBA, but the kind of potential to be who we really are as an integrated person. What do you care about? What wakes you up at night? What is the deeper calling that you’ve always had but didn’t follow? What kind of love do you really want to experience? These questions point to what the soul is really wanting from us. Too many people simply ignore that inner voice and persist forward in intellectual or career pursuits, hoping for fulfillment but likely not authentically finding it. Ignoring that voice can have significant effects.


Symptoms of soul loss include feeling lost, feeling disconnected, isolating yourself from others, feeling as though you don’t have a purpose on earth or wanting a purpose but unable to define it, you have difficulty identifying what is positive, you have low self esteem, you picked up defensive behaviors after a traumatic event, you check out with mind-numbing behaviors, you feel unworthy and unappreciated, and daily life is task-driven and mundane.


Is anyone else reading that list and also making the connection to common conditions in modern men? If you didn’t get that on the first take, go back and reread that last paragraph and ask yourself if these are also common difficulties of modern men. In no way am I making a case that this is a problem unique only to men, but I am saying that there are almost certainly correlations between soul loss and the pressures, problems, and stigmas associated with modern masculinity and men.


Perhaps it is a bold claim, but it’s one I’m willing to make. As a woman, I have been studying men through the soul lens for a long time. I am a deep soul searcher, and in my close relationships with men, both professional and personal, there inevitably comes a time when there is a question of soul. A deeper opportunity, if you will, to step into the more vulnerable sphere of the soul and to claim hidden aspects of self. And time and time again, I have witnessed men denying this invitation, even if they so desperately want what their soul is showing them. A man can want to be a more connected leader, for example, but when the opportunity is before him will require him to lead with greater vulnerability, does he take it?


When I see a man deny the invitation to go vulnerably in the direction of his own soul, I see it as having abandoned himself, and I feel absolutely heartbroken. Every man that I have ever seen falter, in my judgement, it was due to a denial of his own soul. And when this happens, we can not feel him - the authentic him. He goes on upholding his ideas of how he must behave in order to maintain his authority, for example, and personal connection is often lost.


On the other hand, when I see a man accept this invitation, that is where I actually have increased hope for humanity and masculinity. It is that important. This is the space in which we can connect, problem solve together, lead with compassion, and understand one another authentically.

To come to know the soul is a process that requires a continual acknowledgement of one’s own vulnerability, and of the shadow, or the unconscious. Men’s groups like The ManKind Project incorporate shadow work into their initiatory experiences for men which bring glimpses into the wide world of the unconscious, and this is so important in order that modern men have the opportunity to acknowledge the masks they’ve been wearing and that they engage in ongoing personal inquiry of this inner realm.


Accessing the soul requires an acknowledgement that imperfections exist, that all the bravado in the world will not, in the end, save you. The Hero’s Journey itself is an invitation into the soul, into the inner realm through facing challenge and overcoming obstacles. If the obstacles are always on the outside and a man learns to succeed and function in the world by conquering them externally, his Warrior essence is essentially false as he has not met the obstacles within. He will defeat under any challenge that tests his soul strength.


Meeting those obstacles internally is essential for our authentic existence - each of us individually but also collectively. I wholeheartedly believe this, and I would encourage all of us, regardless of gender, to get a little closer to the nudging, authentic voice of our soul today. When we do, we have access to our own inner truth, and we can lay down a lot of the facade that most people carry.


As a woman, I do not want a false bravado or mask presented to me when I talk with a man. I want to see his soul, and I want to know that he knows himself in that space. So many men are afraid of their own soul as they focus their attention outward to pleasing others. It is my goal to offer, both personally and professionally, opportunities for accessing the soul as a point of strength.


Michael Meade is a storyteller and collects ancient myths from around the world and then tells them while he also plays a drum. He told a story from China on the stage, and he asked us when he was finished, “What was the part that was the most significant to you?” He said that the part of the story that impacted us the most was the most important part to our own soul and how we live in the world.


The line that stood out to me, without question, was, “I will not let you abandon your own self.”


Dear men, that is how I feel about you. I will not let you, whenever possible, abandon your soul. The world needs you, and your soul-infused masculinity, now. I believe in you, but more importantly than what you can accomplish or prove, I believe in your soul.  

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You can heal the Mother Wound in your relationship

Every boy wants to be held by the mother.

Every man with an UNresolved mother wound wants to be held by the mother, and projects this onto women, often angry for what they can not give him.

Every man who has Resolved his mother wound knows what it truly is to be held by the Feminine, The Divine Mother, and realizes that this is what he truly yearned for all along.

The feminine, giving freely, as she was always meant to.

Every woman wants to hold her child.

Every woman not initiated into her femininity will perpetuate, willingly or scornfully, the attempted nurturing of adult boys into men, but she can not. This arrangement will hold both hostage. If you make snide comments about having to raise your husband, you are both in this pattern.

Every woman has the responsibility to reclaim her own true feminine such that she recognizes the honor of the Divine Mother within her, and then she can stand beside a man, she can watch him crumble and hold him nonetheless, she can invite him into the space of her nurturing when necessary, and this is a man who knows the unmistakable force of the feminine which he is blessed to reside beside.

I can take your relationship through a mother wound pattern and together we heal it. If you are in therapy talking about issues of responsibility and emotional compatibility, it may be time to say "fuck this" and get to the heart of the issue, which is likely an imbalance in the archetypal energies in the relationship. This can and must be healed for healthy actualization of your relationship potential.

This is the result of thousands of years of mistaken understanding of what femininity and masculinity truly are, their potential, and in turn, your potential.

In relationship, in Conscious Union, your partner and you have the unique potential to help one another rebalance polarities. It's an inside job, which is why we work with all three of you - each partner (2, & gender matters not here) and the relationship (1).

Schedule a consult to see if this is right for you. Couples link here to read more.

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Woman, it wasn't you.

We were networking and immediately dropping in like some women do, and she revealed she’d just lost love. “As soon as I signed up for my yoga teacher training, he was gone. I have no explanation.”


Her eyes searching. I recognize a woman having to pick herself back up.


Oh, my sister, it wasn’t you.

You did nothing wrong.

You are on your path and for a moment, he matched it. Your energy.

You called to him, he was enticed to think that he was the man for you.

He may have even convinced you he was.

He wanted to be.

He wanted to see himself this way, believe it could be him walking beside you.

He wanted to see himself as worthy of that.


And this could have been.

You both saw it.

But when he declined the invitation, sister, it was between him and his own soul.


Between him and his own soul, my love.


What he’s called to do and what he will do may not match.


We see his soul, we see his intent, we believe his Yes, and we never see it coming.


The declining of the invitation.

The declining of what you didn’t even see coming as the offered initiation.


And you, my queen, in your rising, you heat a fire.

One he desires and yet does not know how to stand in when it starts to ignite.

You just thought you wanted a yoga teacher training.

What you want, my love, is your whole life.


You did nothing wrong, you beauty, you kind-eyed mystic of a woman,

Here to claim yourself,

In this moment,

And in this therapy session

And in this training

And in this meditation

And in this relationship

And in this stand you take

And in every moment down the line.


Your responsibility is to shine.


Shine anyway.

Shine without him.

Shine your forgiveness that you will find, shine it forward and woman do not guard your heart.


This is the work.

To rise anyway, to shine, to forgive, to grieve, and to come out unguarded.


It is impossible work and you will do it.


He couldn’t do it. Ache, and then recognize, that this is all the more reason for you to no longer remain small.


You will grieve his choice for what it means for you but also for him, for love, for the world, for this lifetime, for sadness, for women, for men.


And then to love again.


Woman, I see you,

Recovering while rising

Healing your trauma after you were just reminded of it

Because you have to

Because you won’t not.

Choosing forgiveness again because you’ve learned that this is your freedom

Choosing to go ahead and shine not for him,

Not ever because of him (though it’s shitty he had to remind you this way)

But for you.

Because you know it’s your time.


Women are rising.

Women are telling me over and over again that the choice they feel is often grow and lose him, or stay and stay smaller than they want to be.

It does not have to be this way.

Men, if her growth is a threat to you, reach out and I will help you. You don’t want to deny this. She is rising. She is going to thrive. Don’t deny the opportunity to do this by her side.

I help couples survive the uplevel. You love one another. Your souls are in this Union in order to ignite the fires of initiation. The answer may not be to bail. If you are in this tension and want help and guidance, PM me.


In love and for conscious union,

Sarah


Operation Tribe Formation.

Embodied Breath Tribe

WHOA, THAT WAS CRAZY. 
Please read for important updates. Thank you. ❤️

Hello dear one, 
As we close out the week, the first quarter of 2019, and a mercury retrograde, it is clear to me that my life and how I run it is changing. For the better. It affects you if you want increased opportunities to access to my content, work, and what's next. #nextlevel

Back story....

Here's what I know: If you follow your Soul, you are in consistent initiation. We can call these "invitations to grow" in nice-speak. It can be like that or it can be an ass kicking.

I have a pact with my Soul that I honor it. I had no idea what this would truly mean in terms of some hard learning! I was always willing to do the deep thing. The speed at which I learned about what was unresolved in me in 2018 was like a firehose to the face.

2018 was a RIDE and my first year of full time entrepreneurialship outside of my education career. The launching of Embodied Breath was so sacred, and my soul lead me here, but now looking back, I see that I was in fear so much of that first year. It began with massive falling away of the old with some difficult lessons.

I was leaving behind a career that I'd built an incredible resume in. I was running a school with some of the most innovative approaches to Autism and Education integrated in a therapeutic model. I was giving that all up and had to consciously and consistently allow myself to own more and more parts of me that I had kept hidden and kept out of my work as an educator. For example, all reiki and Priestess craft! Integration of my whole self and my whole Soul mission was necessary. This was a wild and necessary process of honoring my whole Truth, as I understand it to this point.

Universe was like: Get ALL of you on board!!! My ego was like: But what does that safely look like??? (Because egos like safety.)

A good friend says, "There's no courage without fear." He also says, "Scared and Sacred are only two letters swapped." I take this to mean that right on the other side of our courage when we are scared is the Sacred. Our Sacred Mission.

And if you don't have fear, actually, you're either bullshitting yourself or you're hiding. Because authentic living is fucking scary.

You might have a heart's desire, and you might have a business idea, but if this is your true and actual calling and you dare to answer it, initiation is the name of the game. Because I can not offer what I'm meant to offer if I haven't touched it, or been willing to touch it. Courage is required.

It's like the Universe asking, "Are you sure? Let's see if you're for real."

On the last day of 2018, I spoke a truth that resulted in the end of a soul-level relationship that had required incredible risk in the first place, resulting in incredible trial. I don't really want to talk about it anymore because I don't want to stay in that energy anymore (choice), but this is to say, that's where I've been the last three months. Inside the examination of the Core Wound that that tapped.

Soul Searching. Diving those depths. Thankfully, I've authentically resurfaced, and not without some real self-examination, I promise you. (See blog for more examination of the depths if you want to take the time to read about my life. And bless you if you want to spend your time that way.)

I was pissed that I was learning about relationship and men one more time in the examination of the rubble. Sad for the loss and sad for how we all struggle collectively with what I was experiencing. I'm still standing before God and asking to integrate what has happened here, for the greater good. I was so mad at this man for doing what I judged as walking away and he said, "Use this, use any of this." I took that to mean, use it for my work. Honestly - I didn't want to have to! I was having a hissy fit in response to the non-preferred conditions. My resilient woman self was tired in deep ways. I didn't want to study men from the standpoint of disconnection anymore. But then I realized with a foot-stomping humility that I am also saying to God, "Use me." So integrate it I must. Right now, I have the willingness to examine it all through love and to move on allowing for integration of even all that is hard, but I don't have answers. And that's maybe all I need. I trust it's all happening according to a bigger plan.

An open and loving heart. Asking the deep questions. Willing to come back to the heart of the mystery.

I'm in.

And the way this all broke me open in everything it touched, combined with where I am on my Soul's journey, really has resulted in something quite beautiful.

A courageous heart, a boundaried life, and embodied Soulful woman. I'm smiling, I'm connecting, I'm shaking the fear and inviting the sensual back into my body. I am so grateful for where I am, the depth of the exploration I've touched, and the soulful encounters I've had on this leg of the journey. Life is rich. In the intimacy of the space we touch when we are willing to be real and vulnerable with one another, we touch what is most real. And, to be very clear, it's hard as fuck, this path. (Enter that is why I coach for a living - to offer this depth of support to YOU!)

In the rubble, we are given the opportunity to see ourselves laid bare and decide if we like ourselves there. We stop pretending. We sit with the ego. We have little else to prove. We have the choice to pretend or commit fully to an authentic life. I've chosen the latter.

This was life inside the uplevel. Inside the initiation.

And here are the changes on the other side:

❤️ I am diversifying my offerings to make some of them more affordable but also simultaneously strengthening the core of my work. (See below.)

❤️ I am sick of Facebook feeds, lost time & energy spent on distraction, and bullshit comments. I want real conversations. I want solution-finding. I want raw and real and gritty.

❤️ I want to pull together this tribe of people saying to me often: "I know the time is now to balance the feminine and masculine. How do we do it?"

❤️ I have SO much to say but I am not satisfied with doing that here anymore. I am NOT currently motivated to put that on FB because it gets lost, trolls are real energy sucks, and the engagement is inconsistent.

❤️ I value my abilities and content, and I am now simultaneously more generous and more willing to expect reciprocity for my contributions. This is self-worth. There is a distinct and important difference between generosity and giving oneself away energetically.

❤️ I want to hone the quality of what I contribute so that it is always worth your time.

❤️ I want you to benefit from my actual work more easily. #soulmission

❤️ I want to get gritty with real people who want to hold the inquiry about how to build the bridge between masculine & feminine. How to heal our bodies through our traumas and into the connection humans crave. How to heal gender-associated cultural ills. How to love ourselves in body & spirit.

Therefore! Structurally and energetically:

🌙 I am launching a membership program next week! This is where the BULK of my content will go. I am going to LOAD YOU UP with quality content, interviews, conversation starters about ALL THINGS Embodied Breath, bimonthly coaching calls, instructional videos, meditations, masculine/feminine, and more. It will be affordable, and you will be seriously compensated for your investment there, and you will also be contributing toward this woman's valuable work in the world. 😉 Thank you.

🌙 This is also where my energy will go first. No longer to FB feed. No longer writing for free for others' groups.

🌙 You need to be on my email list, too, for juicy stuff. Again, less on the FB feed. #tribe Go to my website and sign up.

🌙 More group options, because holy alchemy happens there. (Women's Truth group forming to begin 4/4.)

🌙 And... allowing myself to step more fully, with more dedication than ever, into my soul mission of serving relationships and conscious union. I needed to step away for a bit because projection is a real risk as humans and I was working out my shit! I needed to allow for integration, and now I can come back to this service, knowing ever-more deeply the necessity of this work, being divinely guided to do it. We need to be able to connect even through our fear and do the work of evolving into greater Union through conscious relating. Through evolutionary love. It's the only way.

Questions? Suggestions? Recommendations? Pop a comment below. Thank you for reading this far and thank you for supporting. Any comment below is welcome. If you want membership site info, comment "I'm In!" Below.

Onward. Into big things. ✨🔥🙏

I love you, 
Sarah

#embodiedbreath #uplevel #consciousevolution #consciousunion#soulfamily 
Photo credit Nicole McConville Photography

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A Life Purpose Reminder. For you. For me.

it’s good to remind ourselves of life purpose & our WHY

I believe in a world where men are kings and women queens. 
I believe in a world where we are not sacrificing our authentic nature to be in partnership. 
I believe in a world where the feminine and masculine are valued in all people. 
I believe in a world where men can stand in a healthy power. 
I believe in a world where women can flow in a healthy feminine. 
I believe in a world that recognizes the beauty in polarity but at the same time holds the tension and exists in Union. 
I believe in authentic connection that heals. 
I believe in bridging divides. 
I believe in alchemizing trauma. 
I believe in living as true to ourselves as possible, and writing the end of our own stories. 
I believe in a world where touch heals our traumatized bodies. 
I believe in recognizing the body as holy, the breath as holy. 
I believe in love relationships that heal and grow through divine alchemy. 
I believe in relationship upgrades on this planet. 
I believe in a world where we live with a courageous heart inside of each of us. 
I believe in inherent wholeness and our ability to regain it. 
I believe that humans can upgrade consciousness on the planet by creating divine union both within and among one another. 
I believe in a world that values edge walkers as leaders and rises above excuses that prevent change. 
I believe that we do not have to learn through loss and overcoming adversity, that we can also elect to learn through love, connection, and vulnerability. 
I believe in soul union. 
I believe in love. 
I believe in love. 
I believe in love. 
I believe in you.

❤️

Coming undone

I recently read, and then reread twice, an excellent article in Buddhadarma by Angel Kyoto Williams that had this powerful line: “You are not doing the work of liberation if you have not come completely undone. That’s where it begins. I have no idea where it ends.”



I know something about that. I recently came undone.



It wasn’t intentional or in pursuit of liberation. It was accidental and caused by a few things, among them a pursuit of shiny ideals, my own tendency to put pressure on myself when I’m afraid to fail, and a messy death of a soul-level love relationship.



It was the messiest I’ve ever been in my life. In certain moments, I still am. I cried yesterday on the way to the Courageous Heart church service, and cried there, and cried on the way home. After all that crying, I decided that what I needed was some soup and so went to the grocery store for the ingredients. While in there, a sweet stranger said, “Excuse me, are you Sarah Poet? Thank you for your contributions and vulnerability.” Why, yes I am. And to affirm your sentiment, look into my puffy eyes, kind man.



I have no idea how I’m being perceived. I have little idea what I managed to hold together over the last three months while coming undone and getting used to it. I said to a friend last week, “I’m back,” and he said, “Well, sister, then you bring quite an away-game.”



I sometimes wait for this to be the best thing that ever happened to me. By which I mean that I find myself anticipating some damn merit for doing this work of liberation. Oops. I watch myself in old habits expecting the big reveal of why things happen the way they happen, the meaning that makes it all worthwhile. The story with the beautiful ending.



I think that’s what got me into this mess and I hope now I’m wise enough to know better. I was thinking that if I worked hard, that if I behaved with integrity according to my soul’s purpose, that if I took big risk, I would be somehow rewarded. It would all work out. Love would win (you know, in just the way I thought it would and of course God would agree with my plan). Isn’t that what hard work and manifestation is all about? Wink.



I believe that the Soul does align us with the circumstances and partnerships that we need in order to learn and grow. At one moment it can look like one thing (bright, shiny, alluring) and the next moment it can look like the greatest challenge of your life. And then we have all those added personality and traumatic histories to add to the cocktail.



In this case, at one moment my life looked like my life partner and I had discovered one another and were both soul-level aware that we had come to do the stuff of soul-union together, complete with past and future life visions and affirmations from a shaman on our mutual soul purpose, and the next minute it looked like massive triggering and poor choices and loss. This as I was still in my not-yet-sustainable first year of business and stress was pretty high.



His voice that I loved so much started to yell, threaten, block. His care turned to power-over, betrayal, dismissal. He abandoned his Yes and then he was gone. It threatened my core, my core wounding. My body. Even my assets.



This is not a post about a man. This is a post about my coming undone. That was just part of the cocktail.



Soul-level relationships will challenge you, because your Soul came to grow and evolve. You might meet under the most incomprehensible conditions, you might see the potential way your life is going, and then, you might see that something else was in store. Or someone makes a choice that changes everything. When you want a romance, have a romance. When you want something real, be with a soul mate. And I will warn you now, get ready. It’s an initiation.



He had asked me one time, as friends, how I knew what I knew about men. From studying them, and studying my interactions with them, I had replied. And then I told him the stories of the men who had come before, who had touched something deep inside themselves in my reflection, and what happens as a woman when men are confronted with themselves, even in non-threatening ways. So over the years, I learned about how to tiptoe around men, how to listen and how to love, and I called it coming into my divine feminine. But that wasn’t how I described it to him. Back when I told him that, I didn’t realize how much I had been tiptoeing.



So I tiptoed, tripped, and fell right into this relationship with him. I was counting on him, in part, to hold me up.



I realized so many things in my coming undone. I realized that I actually had thought subconsciously that if I showed up as best I knew in front of a man, that I wouldn’t get hurt anymore. I actually thought that I if I said yes to following the Soul as it calls to two people in the same way, that it would inevitably mean we could work through anything. I thought that because he saw it too, and actually saw it first, that I could trust him fully, that he would be a safe man. I knew and trusted his Soul, and so I opened myself fully.



What a body does in a coming undone, a traumatic one, is worth noting. As a woman in a body, in MY body, I froze. I have done the fight, and the flight (though I’m mostly a fighter), and this time, there was no more fight. My nervous system didn’t have it. My feminine didn’t have it. I collapsed under the betrayal I felt. Under the loss, the grief, all the things it brought up in my life.



You want to know how I know what I know about men? I’m a woman in a body and I know what happens when a man begins to see you as a threat. From my father forward. I know what it is to trust and to open and to then find yourself susceptible to misdirected male anger, fear, and shame. It can be scary as fuck.



You want to know how else I know what I know about men? Because over and over again, I’ve chosen to forgive them. I grow because I transmute, heal, and learn. That’s the only reason this healing could happen as quickly as it did. Not my first rodeo.



The freeze response took hold in my head, neck, face, and shoulders. It took hold in stillness, confining me to bed and staying inside to process, process, process. In this trauma response, something I thought I’d healed, back came all the feelings of lack of safety. I didn’t keep moving like I probably knew to, because I was inside a trauma response. I wanted to be in water all the time, sometimes two or three hot showers a day. My hips clenched up, this sacred center confused by the sudden mistrust.



Today I danced in the shower, finally. Finally. It’s late March and bees are back to pollinating the flowers and my sexuality just came back online.



I went for orthobionomy and cried on the table. The invitation to unwind in safety is so important. A friend hugged me last week and I just asked him to stand for extra moments while my system took in the touch. Wondering, how did I become this woman again?



My body understands lack of safety. Inherently. It understands the work of unwinding trauma. I didn’t know what lived in the memory of my nervous system would be woken like this again.



All the understanding in the world, all the skills in relating or all the intentions won’t override the nervous system that feels the threat. I know what I know and bring it to Embodied Breath because I am a woman in a body. As a woman in a body, a woman who has lost a child and lost lovers and also found myself in the touch of others, I know that the body is really what’s in charge.



My coming undone was a pile, a mix, of body and emotion and loss and resolve. Of wonder and mystery and sorrow and shame and forgiveness. An identity crisis. A shame shit show. An initiation and karmic unfolding. Another opportunity to explore my own fear of speaking my truth. A humbling. Sometimes all at the same time.



We were told, he and I, that our mutual soul mission was to live in the courageous heart. (And yes, there happened to be a local spiritual movement with the same name at the same time, as I mentioned above.) For six weeks, I was in complete trauma & fear and couldn’t access my heart, let alone be courageous. In that fear, I watched some fo the constructs I’d built to protect myself and build up my world fall down. Because they were weaker than I’d thought. I stood in the rubble. I recognized that I’d asked for all of it, in one way or another.



And then I found my way back to my heart. Through deciding, receiving support, clawing for my own liberation, pounding the floor, wailing when needed, and doing what needs to be done. The trauma needs to be set free, healed, and then we can breathe again. But moving past the resiliency of trauma, and coming into our wholeness, we also access our hearts. A heart broken wide open, who loved another soul purely and has no more space for resentment or futility, is a beautiful space to witness.



It is the most beautiful space I’ve ever experienced, perhaps. I like myself better Undone, at this depth. I like myself better now, with so much less to prove, with such a humbled understanding of how we all try to get it right and how we don’t always win.



I am not blaming a man. I am saying that there was a catalyst in the form of a man I actually miss very much. A situation I chose, my Soul chose, and I participated in, and was designed for my evolution. I hope his as well. Brandi Carlile sings so damn beautifully in the song Every Time I Hear That Song: “By the way, I forgive you. After all, maybe I should thank you, for giving me what I’ve found.” That’s a little of how I feel. He would love that song.



I was still trying to hold up too much, to prove too much, to prove successful in ways that I didn’t even realize I was striving to prove, until I came undone. You’ve heard the phrase “a beautiful mess.” That’s this. I remember what I knew, why I came, what I’m doing. I believe in my mission and I’m regrouping to deliver something I couldn’t have delivered before. Something stronger and more real than ever. My client relationships have benefited from this. My heart serves my relationships now more than ever.



Liberation. It’s not a word that was on my mind before reading this article I mentioned above. But I think that’s this liberation of the heart. A liberation into truer and truer love. And freedom from expectation or condition. Freedom to live into an opening.



I used to have judgements about people who gave up. Now I know what it feels like to consider it. I used to have subconscious judgements about people who couldn’t pick themselves up out of their sorrow. Now I know what it feels like to stay there longer than you expect you might. I actually bought a book on sorrow in December thinking, “I need to better understand this in order to serve my clients who have trouble pulling themselves out.” And… queue life.



I’m sorry if you’ve come undone. Please ask for support if and when you do. The cracking open could be the opportunity for liberation. The way that my community wrapped around me in these months is nothing short of divine. Each of you is a divine gift. Thank you. The blessings that each of you provided are enough to bolster me for a lifetime (but keep them coming, because I want us exchanging our gifts for the rest of this lifetime). I came undone alongside some of you and our conversations have deepened. Our love expanded. I want to live this way.



I will also say that I love to look around right now and see that publically, I saw so many women owning their undone-ness. So many female public figures owning the mess. Right on time. Queue life. I don’t want a one of us to think that we’ve got it more together than another, or that another woman doesn’t suffer like we suffer. One woman said to me last week, “You owning your mess allows me to own mine.”



I always thought that I did this, owning my mess, as a person, as a woman. Then life served up one big ol’ mess to see what I was made of. The thing is, I still don’t know sometimes. It’s an investigation, a witnessing of Self. Sometimes I know I’m here and worthy and ready, and other times I hide because I’m still scared to bring my all. Sometimes I know how much I have to offer and I put it out there, and sometimes I still wait out of fear. Sometimes I remember my courageous heart, and other times I have to be reminded of it. I will continue to share the walk, the mess, the liberation.



I am now somewhere comfortably undone. I feel the fresh breeze of liberation. Freedom. As my body begins to release the tension, as the nervous system lets down and begins to heal, I feel a space again. A space to move my hips, a space to remember to do neck rotations, a space to breathe into what’s next. This is the space that allows for connection. I look forward to opportunities to share my heart, and again in time, my body. I am preparing to shift my living arrangements to allow for more space to come more fully, more willingly, more beautifully undone. The future is wide open. Liberation, freedom, is our invitation. As Angel Kyoto Williams said, “I have no idea where it ends.” Maybe that’s the point, to ever-more willingly release our grip on life.



Thank you for reading. Thank you for stopping me in the grocery store and reminding me to keep writing. Thank you for your hands on my back in warm embrace. Thank you for loving me even when I mess up or am a mess. Thank you for your humanity. Please, let’s keep extending it outwards to all. It’s the stuff of living, of doing the hard, good work of living and having a place to land. May I be such a space for you when you need it.

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fallow woman poem

Fallow woman

On Sunday she cooked chicken for the family,

and while cleaning up,

the smell of the fat in the pan filled her nose and when no one was looking,

she poured it into a glass and drank it back.


It could easily have been described as a gulp. Or a guzzle.


And then she recognized how truly hungry she had once again become.


The fat sliding in her throat and into the body not nearly enough to fill or truly nurture her feminine soul.


She steps back to look at herself, touching her fingers to her lips, her craving having just surprised her, to wonder how she found herself here again.


How she allowed herself to have been drunk from, and to be then again laid fallow, by a man.

A mother of two boys says to me, “You know, they just crawl all over your body, take from it, like it belongs to them.”


And I wonder, is she really referencing the young boys, or adult men?


She is the body of the mother, after all, and while we hope to wean them, babies turn to boys turn to grown men.

Is it not their right? They assume.


Ah, my woman, I am so sorry you have to turn to the kitchen, swallow the fat, and keep nursing the majority of them.

A wife in session alone with me turned on the imaginary waters above her head to cleanse her energy body, and gulped it instead.

“I was just so thirsty!” she said.


The water, the light of god, the body so hungry to be satisfied.


Replenished.


That is the potential of fallow land, after all, if not further depleted.


That is the potential IF the woman’s body is recognized by all as sacred ground.

A woman stood facing her husband in the connection exercises I provide, and in the safe distance between them, her body began quaking slightly.

She was unable to walk forward.

And he saw,

he saw how he had been taking.

And in her, every day, a fear of having to give over what was not meant for him. And finally she did not have to.

He had been taking from depleted ground.

And he stood, seeing his part in this responsibility, stood with his guilt and shame as it turned to care and concern. He saw, and he would not do it again.

The woman, the mother, each woman’s body, is the source of life.

How do we replenish a collective of women?

Thirsty, nursing, depleted, hungry queens.

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HOW YOU INTERACT IN PARTNERSHIP IS HOW YOU INTERACT WITH ALL OF LIFE.

HOW YOU INTERACT IN PARTNERSHIP IS HOW YOU INTERACT WITH ALL OF LIFE.

Life is one divine opportunity, one right after another.

How open you are in love relationship is how open you are in the world.

How receptive you are in your most intimate partnership will reflect in how you relate in the world: do you take, do you defend, or are you able to receive?

Where you resist in your love relationship is where you resist with the entire world.

Where you learn to open in your love relationship is then how you learn to interact openly and lovingly with the entire world.

How you balance your heart and your head in love relationship, you will do throughout your life.

How you hold on to blame and struggle in your intimate relationships, you will do throughout all relationships - it will be how you interact with the entire world.

How you rest in the heart of divine love in your intimate relationship, you will take to the rest of the world.

Blessings. I love serving union - helping you take your relationship from old, co-dependent, and blaming - to new, inter-dependent, and alive. This is how I serve your Union when you are devoted to embracing this potential.

When we invest at home, in our most intimate relationship, the quality of our entire lives improves exponentially. This is why I do this work - because love relationships, in true divine union, can be the basis for all the change we desire in the world.

We Rise Together

Dear men,



On the day of the Women’s March, I am writing to you.



Because I trust that women who leave home today to march know why they are doing it. But it’s on my heart to talk to you. There are many questions in the air. My intention is to speak into this space in between us.



Admittedly, I am writing this as a woman who is currently tired. A woman who loves you and can’t see right now truly how to help you. I am writing this as a woman who has tried, in every way I know, to be what men have needed. A woman who now realizes, it is not my job.



I am resilient, I am feminine, I am independent, and I love men. I have walked for years as a conscious woman reclaiming my femininity, and I am well aware that to fight and be in opposition of men in this movement of the feminine rising is not the way to do it. I am a woman who loves and believes in men.



I have shown this to you. But as I’ve studied how I have been received, my efforts to lift men up, in fact my efforts to specifically stand as an ally to men at this time, have been met repeatedly with gratitude that I would speak solidarity, and yet when it comes down to it, you often want me to work for free, or you give a last minute power-over maneuver and say you don’t actually need to hire me, or you question what it is I truly know. Or you walk away. Most of you.



I realize now that this is in large part my own doing. Because in a system that has given men default power, I have continuously, in many varying forms, with many different disguises, given my power away. And I have asked you for yours. We have been fighting for power in an old power game.



We are all losing so long as this is the game.



Whether or not you know it or women know it, the women’s movement is a feminine rising movement. That is what we desire at the core. All of us - even you. This is not a women’s march. This is a feminine march. But we haven’t caught up in the collective consciousness to realize this, so we call it a women’s march. But “feminine” and “woman” are two different things.



Two thousand years ago, at the advent of Patriarchy, the feminine was decided to be a threat. Mary Magdalene herself held the magic of the feminine consciousness, held Christ consciousness, held a power so deep and inherent, held something in her very being that threatened the power of the church and how the church wanted to portray the Christ. The reason that the Christ was the Christ was not because of a man and his masculine father god, but because the masculine Christ was activated by the power of the feminine Sophia. One must have the other. This, understandably, is incredibly fucking threatening to a Patriarchal agenda. But Christ himself knew the necessity of the Sophia consciousness and invited it.



There is more power in the feminine than any masculine intelligence can ever understand with the cognitive mind. Because they are different, and complimentary, powers. And so, throughout history men attempted to control it, denying the feminine, which looks most obviously on the outside like repressing women. But the effect is that the feminine has been repressed in every human, including within men, and therefore a massive rebalancing is required. That is, I believe, what we are seeing now - the cry for this. It begins inside each human.



No one being is whole and complete until their healthy masculine and feminine have been integrated internally, into true Sovereignty. I will call this masculinity and femininity “sacred,” because we certainly have unhealthy examples at play as well.



Mostly, men and women are at odds with one another because of these unhealthy aspects in each of us. Most women are most often in an unhealthy masculine energy and most men are more affiliated with an unhealthy feminine aspect. We’ve taken what is glorious about both feminine and masculine and have sabotaged it. Both are grasping for power from these places. Of course this is oversimplified. See if you can stay with me.



We have a term now, “toxic masculinity” that points to “masculinity” as a problem, but true masculinity is never a problem. If each of us humans were to be fully integrated, we would not have gender wars, which I would say we certainly have, because we would not have to worry about anyone else taking our power. We would know that our sovereign union between the Christ and the Sophia within us, the masculine and the feminine, is divine and complete.



This sounds foreign because it is uncommon to discuss it, but it is not untrue. You will see more of this language.



In our society now we have the #metoo movement and women’s marches and we have a white male suicide rate that is the highest on record and I’m standing here as a woman waving the white flag and yet, I’m seeing we all still have a lot of fear ruling our daily actions. I’m feeling this in my own life and I want to be done with it.



A few years ago, I was working as a school principal, and my father visited our town while coming through on a business trip and took my son and I out for dinner. He had helped me to buy my house after my divorce, so of course, I thought, he was welcome to take over my son’s bed while in town. So while my son was asleep in mine, after we had enjoyed dinner, my father and I sat talking at my kitchen table. The conversation went south when he took it in the direction of religion, where we disagree. He’s a methodist. We’ve gone rounds about this before, though there was no yelling, and he knows I do not inherently agree with his views. And when we stood up to go to sleep, I found myself with my back nearly up against the front door while the familiar look of hatred took over his face, while his voice raised and he came at me, threatening me that I would burn in hell for eternity. Threatening me in the dark while no one else was looking.



His grandchild’s mother. His first born. A school principal. A caring woman who spent her days working for the benefit of children. But refusing, as I did forever, to subdue to his exact beliefs, he felt the need to threaten me to my core. Not only was I worthless, surely God would deem me the same, and I would burn for eternity. When I would not give over my power to him, our lifelong (forever-long) karma, he went for a drastic way to attempt to get it from me.



I’ve been told this, my prescribed fate in hell, by him in similar moments of threatening solitude my entire life. Especially since I became a sensual teenager. Then I got pregnant at eighteen, and I realize looking back that I gave most all my power away at that point because he largely determined what would happen, how the child’s father would not be involved, and that I could not possibly be successful on my own. I believed it. I birthed my child naturally and took care of her and my bodies, but the external choices did not feel like my own.



These things are engrained. I’ve been unpacking them, whether consciously or not, my whole life. I have lived a woman in the Patriarchy, and I’ve come to encourage a new way that is less hurtful for us all. I see that this is not a matter of who has power over the other.



I want you to see: my father is a decent man. He would place his three daughters at the center of his life, under God the Father, if pressed to order his priorities. And yet, he does not understand that at the route of his attempts to repeatedly overpower me is his own deep despisal of the feminine.



Many men, I would say most all, both crave and despise the feminine on some level. You’ve been hurt by the feminine, this force, and so you want to overpower it, either violently or by asking women inadvertently for their power. You do this repeatedly.



You have been hurt by women who themselves have repressed their own divinity, and have therefore been hurtful, operating out of a weak or unhealthy masculine or feminine energy. So while you crave the Divine Mother, your cravings are unmet by women in the flesh. Your mother your first inherent disappointment - often either too smothering or too unloving. You become monsters toward women under the surface and have no cognitive idea why. So much so that you will do anything to conquer the feminine, and then you transfer that to women.  You both love and fear women. You want us and you don’t want to have to. You are conflicted. You want to control the entirety of a situation of which you are only half the equation.



We feel it. We have felt it for two thousand years.



We fear it. As I write this I feel fear. Because to expose a man is to threaten a man, and bad things happen when men feel threatened.



Reclaim the feminine in yourself, my loves. You must. The internal balance is the unity that brings you your most authentic power. And do men’s work. But the trouble I see with men’s work is that most are ignoring the role of the feminine altogether. A lot of men’s work is not actually correcting the problem of power-over. THAT is the internal struggle. That is the beast, the addiction, the tyrant, the killer. The addiction to power is what we’re playing with, here.



And when women march, or women say “me too,” those are attempts to get power back. And ultimately, it’s ineffective because we don’t understand the internal nature of this that I am describing here. And ultimately, it threatens men and we’re in an incessant loop.



If I am a woman who is fighting men for my power, or trying in any way to please men for my power, then I am not sovereign. I have been living this as a woman. I see that now. I have been giving aspects of myself away in service to men and hoping for some return, whether it be honor or love or respect or an equal opportunity. I have been hoping that somehow I would find a way to show up with men that eases the power-over game. But this is not an effective recipe and I am left feeling unmet. My service is incomplete if it is not done from a place of sovereign love.



We all want sovereign love and union, but we are playing a power game. We are calling it empowerment and romantic love and #metoo and even now the men’s movements. We won’t find it there.



I consciously walked myself in the direction of reclaiming my lost feminine starting about seven or eight years ago. My son was a toddler and I realized the ways I’d lost myself after my daughter’s adoption a decade earlier. I realized I was largely operating from an unhealthy aspect of masculine energy, always driving myself and others forward.



At that time, I was one of those bitches who dominated men, blamed men for my state, my then-husband included. One of the women with daddy issues who begged men to prove to me all I needed to see from the masculine. I have shamed men. I have been the perpetrator of oppressive energy over men. I have been associated with a masculine, driving force that attempted to gain power-over. Sometimes I still am.



And I’ve done so much self-work, often in self-reflection of relationships with men gone wrong, and so I’ve asked myself what kind of woman I’d have to be to be what men needed me to be. Go ahead and judge that, but I ensure you that this walk was a conscious one all along. I understand masculine and feminine. I work in this arena because it calls me from a place deeper inside of me than any other aspect of my life. I study this because I know it in my bones, to my core. I watch how the energies of the collective are the same energies in me, and vise versa. We are given many opportunities to see this if we are willing to look.



All the while, I have been giving myself to men in one way or another for twenty years. I have been trying to “get it right.” I have tried to please and heal the father. I have worked primarily in school populations of male adolescents. I have attempted to bolster masculinity in places where male mentors themselves didn’t know to do it. I have stood in the energy of the Priestess willing to hold space for men to heal. I have been the woman that men have yearned for and then turned on, projecting their deep confusion and hatred onto me. I have helped to build their empires only to be dismissed. And I have been the place they called Home and then left again, without care, when love gave way to fear. When the uncontrollable became too much to bear.



And I know what you men do in the dark. I know how you crave Her. I know how you yearn to simultaneously conquer and succumb to Her. With your hand around my throat and the deep yearning in your thrust. I know you. I know what it is that you yearn for. You almost find it in those moments. The only barrier is you, my love. Yourself. She is there for you. You must also surrender.



I have been the Magdelena inviting you forward. I have been the Priestess willing to help heal your wounded Soul. You see yourself here in this space of me. And it is a vulnerable place. And then I am the woman left to do what women do when the fear of men betrays us.



I am the mother, the daughter, the sister. I am the woman you despise, the woman you love, the woman you hope to raise to be different (but how will you, if this goes unaddressed?). I am every woman.



Her.



When you are in your fear, when I am in my fear, we want to prove our worth through one another, to gain our power through one another. This is not a winning game. It’s not just you. We both have to look at this and keep coming to this table. I want to own my part more than I have ever wanted to own my part. I have no proving left in me. I can not pretend to know the way all on my own.



I could be spinning this. Maybe I am. And maybe I’m observant and you’ve given me many opportunities. It’s both. But I tell you these things differently now. Rather than diagnosing, I am calling you. And I will not sacrifice myself to meet you there. We, women, need you to meet us. We will need you at times to lead us where we can’t see. We will need your trust.



I am a woman and see it through this lens, and I am also wise. I have been abused and hurt by men, and decided consciously to show up in front of you anyway. I hope I have gained your trust this way. I am not the victim and I want to be your sovereign sister, lover, mother. And I need you to live in this space with me of checking and assessing your own drive to maintain power. We need a new way.



When you are in your fear, you do not want me to hold the mirror as the woman. You do not want my sovereignty if you do not know your own. You find my help a threat, even though you crave it, because you see it as loss of power. I have seen this with many potential coaching clients, students, partners, bosses. You want to prove all the ways that you are good enough and this prevents your own growth. Sooner or later in relationship, you will realize that you’ve fallen into vulnerability, and you will assert your power over. It will not be pretty how you take your power back when you recognize you’ve given it away.  You will not lose your power to a woman, even when I am not actually threatening it. Your power maneuvers are consistent, insidious. The perpetuation of an old paradigm that we need to be done with.



Repeatedly, you depend on my resiliency as a woman, but you hate me for it.



You want my softness, until it requires yours.



You want to lose yourself in me, but you want to determine which direction we head into abandon.



Nayyirah Waheed wrote “All of the women. In me. Are tired.” I feel this, in my woman body, I feel this. I will stand with women in this march because I know what women know just by being born a woman, because the feminine is in my bones. I know the reality of being wanted and silently despised, of constantly giving with failed return. Of life being a power game and knowing what it feels like to be losing. Knowing that we all lose so long as this is about anyone having any other part of any of our power.



I want a different game. The time is now. We are noticing the breakdown of an old paradigm. Now we create together, anew. We create what is currently unimaginable, because it is beyond our constructs. We create by honoring personal sovereignty and the space for vulnerability. We create by honoring all of the fear generated as a result of this old system, and we look one another in the eye as we move forward together.



I do not want to be a woman in charge. I don't even want equal rights. I do not want to try to match power. That is all old, power-over paradigm.



I know a handful of men right now who are putting their hearts on the line and doing their personal work to look at how they assert power-over. One sat before me this week and delivered me a reflection that I can’t remember verbatim because it was a divine transmission out of the mouth of a man, and I cried, to be seen and offered respectful reflection to my core.



I know a man who is heartbroken and standing in his mission now, vulnerable and not giving up inside this space of incredible risk.



I know another man who honorably said to me, “When you are in your rawness, I am inspired to keep going, to keep choosing this.”



I know another who has recently been humbled by loss of a woman taking back her power and sat before me and this woman and said, “I was the Patriarchy. I tried every way to assert power over and I was willing to go to any length to ensure it.”



Create with me. Break down with me. Get vulnerable with me. Look at our collective fears with me.



There is a We that is emerging that I want to believe in. To my temporarily shattered core, I want to believe in Us.



Together, we let old paradigm crumble at our feet. So many of us are aware of this crumble right now, experiencing it first hand. I am saying, beloveds, that I believe it feels this way because we are being called to be new, to create anew, to imagine the New. To live it. Courageously and from our Hearts.



I have edited this for more time than I ever spend on any piece. All of the old and the new are still colliding within me. My recent loss is here, and I see that it is the catalyst for this wide open, vulnerable gain. I pray that we all see our own shattering as invitation, the invitation we’ve been asking for, actually. If we wanted a New, why did we not think we would have to experience a death of the Old?



We are the creators. We are the movement. It is not the movement you will see today on the news, as the collective takes some time to catch up to what is really happening. We are the catalysts. We are the ones we have been waiting for. The divine in me sees the divine in you. The masculine in me sees the masculine in you. The feminine in me sees the feminine in you. I want your sacred sovereignty. I want my own. I want it for our sons and daughters. We are the movement. We are the ones we have been waiting for.

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Not hiding. Nope.

When you’re an early entrepreneur following your soul, and life takes you down….

You process it. Because it’s what we do. We go through.

I go through with you, I go through with me.

The turners of the tide

On being a woman and rising

Woman do not make excuses for him.

He is showing you what he can do.



Woman do not make assumptions of him.

You are sure to underestimate.



Woman do not heal for him.

You have been waiting on you your whole life.



Woman do not wait for him.

He knows where you are going and he’ll go with you if he chooses.



Woman do not carry him.

Not when the weight is disproportionate.



Woman do not threaten him.

He carries the fear of mothers’ threats forever as it is.  



Woman do not chase him.

It only leaves you further from yourself.



Woman do not betray him.

When you do you betray half of yourself.



Woman do not shame him.

Surely we do not need any more fear between us.



Woman do not give up on him.

If you do, your sons will feel it.



Woman do not lay down for him.

Not anymore. Not like this.



Woman do not stop loving him.

The heart of the world needs your love and he is in it.



Woman do not stereotype him.

You know better than to be unfair.



Woman do not hide your eyes.

Meet his. Meet mine.



Woman do not give up on love.

Your bitterness serves nothing.



Woman do not forget your divinity.

You know how to heal and nurture and forgive and rise again.



Woman do not stop. Do not stop.

Do not worry and do not stop.

Surely, surely, we know we are the turners of the tide.

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Conscious Women's Rage

What does it look like when women take back their power in conscious ways?

We have rage pulsing in us. We have been overpowered. For damn sure. And we have repressed our own rage.

Dangerously, we may end up seeing our male partners as the perpetrator. And to some extent, if they are not consciously awakening to the fact that they have been the perpetrator, they still are and will be. But this is shifting. Give it room to shift.

We’ve watched generations of women depend on men while slandering them. Screaming “I don’t need a man!” meanwhile lonely. Speaking ill of the very men that fathered their children.

I’ve done all of the above in my life.

Sister, we need to stop these patterns. But we don’t surrender to remnants of the Patriarchy at the same time. No. We do take our power back, consciously.

We take it back while loving our men. While teaching our men. While holding high standards of our men and believing that they will reach it. (And men, you need to recognize your own role and meet her here rather than assuming that I am saying this is all her work to do. If you assume that, you’ll be left behind.)

We walk a line of tolerance and ferocity, woman. We own our rage and we love with a fierce and unapologetic heart. We admit what we don’t know and we simultaneously stand in our knowing. We learn our masculinity beside our femininity, appreciating that neither have been actualized in any of us, so there is no one to blame and there is now our own investigation to pursue.

We practice our power. We know ourselves as women. We find ways to cultivate our power from within, among sisters, and among our brothers too. We find ways to lovingly take our power back. We find ways to alchemize the old rage.

We play with power with our men. We play with what it looks like to explore penetration of power in both directions. We know what it is like to hold space and have it held for us. We do not manipulate or abandon, self or other. We love and we dance the dance of masculine and feminine, between and within us.

We work the rage out of our bodies in embodied practice, in dance, in safe vocal, somatic, and emotional release. We proactively create the safe spaces we need. We learn to unburden our body’s trauma patterns and we learn to take back the seat of our power - our physical, feminine selves. We move our bodies and we move our emotions that have been repressed for so long. We teach our men how to bare witness to this. Where to touch or not touch and where to hold the space or move aside.

We rage consciously, and we meet our own rage. We teach the world to meet women’s rage without creating further wounding. We investigate our own shadow, our own repression, so that we can unleash, heal, and transmute it.

There are also men who know how to hold this. In fact, we need to radically heal among our brothers in safe space so they can see and honor the feminine wounding. We all need this release. We heal as a collective, as these burdens have been all of ours. It does no good for us to rage against men now, because these men are our brothers, our sons, our lovers.

It does no good to teach our daughters, another generation, our passive rage. Reclaim yourself righteously, and all her to witness your strength. Teach her fierce love, for self and other.

We take back our power because power is Sovereignty. It’s what no one could actually ever take from you, so it is yours to reclaim, and you don’t need to fight anyone to get it. It is yours. It is right there, beside your hurt, your rage, your anger, woman. Look within. Consciously bring back what you yearn for.


To the father whose child I denied you

Eighteen years ago, our daughter was born. She was large, nine pounds three ounces and round, so round, and so beautiful. So wise. As a child in my womb, as a new born, she was already wise. Of course she was. She came through us.

You never got to place your hands on my stomach or witness the pregnancy. You wanted to come close and yet, my family and I pushed you away. Everyone was terrified that I was pregnant at eighteen, and you, dear man, were made to be a monster. Truths were falsified against you. Your child was being denied you, you were panicking, but you didn’t receive acknowledgment for that.

Not until I sat in front of you seventeen years later and began my apology.

We were young when we met, and I remember you first on the back porch of a cabin, in an oversized sweatshirt, jumpy in a nervous and athletic body, but your tenderness certainly apparent and your dimples deep. You were a speech pathology major in college. I believe I was fifteen and immediately had a crush on you. A few times a year, we volunteered at the same camp for kids with disabilities, and when I got to be there with you, something ignited inside of me. I finally confessed how I felt about you my senior year in high school, and you, already twenty three, took me up on it. We traveled the summer before I moved away to college. I remember feeling both loved and smothered by you - it was too intense in some ways for a young girl, and yet part of me loved the intensity. I know it was real love.

When I went to college, nine hours away from home, you wanted me to call nightly. I was missing out on college life. I remember I was opening in brave new ways, like moving my body for the first time, uninhibited, to the drums in the African Dance class. But I’d have to pull myself away to make sure to catch your phone call. I started to feel conflicted.

When we got pregnant over fall break of my freshman year, unplanned, I knew by Thanksgiving. I remember I started puking early in the pregnancy, and in the dorm toilets, gagging daily at the site of shared showers and clogged drains. I subsisted on plain bagels and orange juice. My first thought upon hearing I was pregnant was, “No one can know.” I went to the college counselor and cried and cried that my mother was going to hate me. She gave me the information on abortion. I knew somewhere deep inside that there was no way this child was not meant to come into the world. One way or another, for everything it meant, this pregnancy was happening.

As I write this, I call you to ask you to tell me the details, because my brain only begins to remember my pregnancy and my experience with my pregnancy and not many details of our relationship from the moment I found out. It was as if my head went down and stayed down, with a mix of protection and shame. You remind me that yes, you drove nine hours the day after you heard, and we spent the weekend together. You urged me to connect with you, to make a plan. When you left to go home, you said I called my parents, and after that, our relationship became disconnected.

I moved back home to Pennsylvania, into my parents’ house, at the end of my first semester of college to have this baby the following July. You wanted to help. You wanted to be a family. It terrified me. My parents were so angry. I allowed myself to ignore you. I allowed the distance to be enforced, and heavily. My father took over. Law enforcement was involved.

You were losing your child.

My family brought home information about adoption, and yes, I’ll say that they pushed it, though, ultimately, all responsibly is of course my own. It’s why I have to write this letter.

I didn’t speak to you for at least the last half of the pregnancy. The social worker from the adoption agency was your point of contact. We chose a family in New Jersey, a state with a “once and done” signing of surrender seventy two hours after the birth. After her birth, still in the hospital, the social worker told me that three weeks prior, your house had burned to the ground while you were working the night shift. Your two best friends, animals, and all of your belongings were lost in the fire.

My mind couldn’t grasp the depth of this loss then. I knew it was devastating and I still didn’t reach out. There was so much confusion. By this time, I believed you were dangerous. How did my heart turn so ambivalent to your condition? To this suffering? I called you when our daughter was two, for the first time. You told me later that you actually answered the phone high as a kite, you were so lost in drug use by that point.

You had been working the night shift to make extra money to support your child, should I change my mind. I never really knew how badly you wanted to show up for us, how prepared you actually were to make it work. My parents told me that I could not depend on you, and I believed them. I spent my entire life believing that no man really did want to show up for me. You sat across from me seventeen years later and explained how you so, so deeply had wanted to.

This is a letter of apology. I know that I was young, that I was far too impressionable, and yet, I denied you your child.

Women can do that. And they often do. And, it’s wrong. You are one man in a sea of men who have been denied their rights, openly shamed, and forcibly pushed out of their child’s lives.

I denied you participation in conversations about her fate. I denied you connection that our bond actually deserved, as our love had been real. I denied you meeting your daughter in the womb, or in the hospital, and the way you were framed has lead to you not yet meeting your daughter, now eighteen. I denied you your place in her childhood.

I allowed myself to believe that you were a monster that I needed to protect my child from, where for the life of me, in the last five years as I look back now, I can not find any evidence that this was ever true.

How do I ever apologize? I have tried. You have said that I am forgiven. I know this is true, and I am blessed by your graciousness. Your genuine nature. Your love. We know that life shapes us. We know that this is all for reasons far bigger than you or I alone.

How many men are called monsters and denied their own children? You and I both know a few. And that is why I write this now. To all the men, on behalf of all the women who also find themselves with a relatable truth through my story. We live in a world of women’s liberation, and yet, it is not healthy if women are using their status as Mother to overpower the decisions of Father. We need to invite men to the table. Mothers will always have that special protective role, and yet, you wanted to help. You wanted to be there. What we believe is protection of our children is sometimes harmful, harmful denial and projection.

Our daughter, therefore, was also denied access to you. When she went with her family at birth, I sent written letters, stories, and pictures. I know I sent the one of you in the tree on the hill at Warren Wilson College. I don’t think she ever saw it and I don’t know why her parents would not have shared that with her. As I share an open adoption with her family, when she was sixteen, her family and mine were on the beach together. My son, then, six, playing with her in the waves, her mother said, “She has some questions about Jeremy.”

I only ever really offer information when she asks, which is hardly ever, but am always happy to do so. She wanted to know your last name that day, and I asked her if she was going to look you up. She was getting curious. I realized she hadn’t seen pictures. I asked her if she knew who you were or how we’d met, and she said no. I was shocked. She was a sixteen year old young woman at the time, and I said as my mind swirled to realize she didn’t know, “Oh my, oh my. You, my dear, were conceived in love.”

By that time, you and I had begun to talk again, to find healing. I knew that you were safe and that that old feeling of guardedness had largely subsided. I told her there on the beach that day everything I could in the moments that I knew would be too short. I told her how we met, of your good heart, why I had fallen in love with you, that you were an artist like her. I told her about your dimples and how handsome you are. I made connections to her athleticism and yours. I tried to begin to restore your honor. I said, “These are your stories. You can ask for them whenever you want.”

You and I both are still waiting for her to ask for more.

I know you love her. I know it broke you to lose her, and I carry your heart in my heart now, because that’s how I love you. We talk. We became friends again. You support me in my unabashedly risky endeavors to start a business aligned with my soul purpose, and you honor how this has all shaped me too. We text one another on her birthday, reaching across that heart space of two birth parents with our own version of the story of that day.

We sat across from one another last year in a conversation that was such a gift, it changed my life. And I would venture to say that it changed yours too.

You have land now, you build things with your hands. You escaped the early self-sabotaging behaviors in the years after her birth where addiction could have taken you down, thank God.

You pull yourself up. You do what you have to do. You find heart. You are beginning to create again. You are planting orchards and have dreams of opening your animal farm up to children with disabilities.

Every morning, I put a spoon into the honey that you send to me now from your hives. The sweetness is profound. That I am standing here, back for the last decade in the mountains where our daughter was first conceived, with your forgiveness blessing my heart and your honey in my mouth, is more a gift than I can say.

I am sorry.

I am sorry and I am grateful that we both understand that this imperfect and wounded life can also bring eventual healing. I am grateful that you allow me to tell our story such that it might also allow for others’ healing.  

She’s in college now. She doesn’t know it, but she picked your original major. I see in my mind a vision that I trust will come true. The house you are building is finished on your wide open acreage. Your orchard is producing. You are painting again, those incredibly talented portraits and landscapes; I imagine the final evidence of your heart’s liberation. And she and I drive up. We walk through the orchard, the three of us. The sweetness of truth and life and honey on our tongues.

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The Facebook Post with the Most.... reactions that is.

Posted Nov. 7


Women were never meant to be understood by men.

From the time Yeshua approached Mary Magdalene beyond the tomb after his death, the men were jealous.

How could this magnificent being, this man, approach a woman?

So they called her a whore.

And they wrote a story that called her a whore.

But do you know what really happened?

She sourced his strength. His ascension would have been impossible on his own. Union created this alchemical ascension.

❤️

Women were never meant to be understood by men.

Women are the life givers, the vast sea, the source of energy needed to sustain.

❤️

Women, depleted in your bodies now, this was a trap.

You've been set up.

Your bodies were not meant to house this much stress, to multitask, to combat adrenal fatigue and hormonal imbalance.

Ever since that story was written, we've been compensating for something that was lost - and it is such a deep and profound loss that it has caused the chasm that we all now feel.

The chasm between feminine and masculine. Between what we call Man and Woman but that which is not actualized feminine and masculine consciousness. Between effort and ease. Between power and submission. Between predator and victim.

The story gets to be rewritten now.

❤️

Women are not meant to be understood by men. When men began to seek to understand with only their minds, repressing the right brain, the sea of emotion, the wonder of the feminine - half of our potential was lost. Actually, more than half. Because to shut off the feminine resulted in a wounded masculine. It is the root of what you call "toxic masculinity."

Men are meant to cherish the feminine, protect and adore. They are meant to get lost there, to source strength there. HOWEVER. Most men do not yet know what this is about, because they are still looking to their women to source strength as a mother would source strength. This is not that. And truly, most women do not understand how to provide in this way, because they are depleted and tired.

You will not fully understand with your cognitive mind. It is impossible. You will have to be willing to lose yourself. You will have to bring your power and lay it down before her - if she herself is worthy of it.

We are at the precipice of a new paradigm. We do not cross over by fighting between men and women, by establishing who is dominant or not. That way is old. It is dead. It is fear of what is not understood, and it's ruling you - until it isn't.

❤️

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A paradigm shift or a culture war. We choose.

It’s not an either/or, masculine or feminine, man or woman.

As a culture war threatens, or maybe it’s already here, I urge us to consider another way.

When a women’s movement sprung up, and women rallied, “Me Too!”, men were whispering, “Well what about me? I’ve been abused too.”

At the time, I was one of those women that said, “Shh, not now. This time is for women.” And that felt really true, but that also perpetuates a polarity. Why wasn’t I allowing space for men to share their stories of abuse? Something inside me was saying, “This is not just about abuse, this is about evidence of a shifting paradigm. Let the women show they are rising.”

And I get that if we are looking through the eyes of a “men vs. women” scenario, that we would see most often “woman = victim” and “man = perpetrator.” And there are plenty of examples of this. But we are humans, and so not all men want to fall into the perpetrator category, and there’s a fear response within many men that they will be assigned this label. They don’t know if they will be called a perpetrator or if they deserve it, and there’s a surge in defensiveness as well as a massive quieting of men right now. I get that. And, yes, sometimes men are victims too.

What Ford/Kavanaugh symbolized to me was another step in the paradigm shift, and this time, about women’s voice. No matter what, Dr. Ford was going to tell her truth. In doing so, she reminded many, many women that this is a noble path, regardless of reception. In fact, we even saw less tolerance than ever before, historically, of a culture willing to defer to the judgement of men over a woman. We all knew what the GOP was really doing and we knew it was BS. And women know what Ford was doing. And a lot of us appreciate it and find some new resolve within ourselves as a result of her bravery.

Then, on the tales of this, inevitably, there are also attempts by men to say, “But wait, us too, our voices are suppressed to.” I’ve been involved in quite a few of these conversations, meanwhile navigating my own resurfacing of memories and lived experience, and my own stories that I’ve silenced or didn’t even know I could tell.

I hold space for men as well as women in my work, for all humans regardless of gender, and so I’m watching my own “stuff” come up meanwhile trying to stay open to what my male friends are saying. “We don’t feel like we can tell our truth either.”

I know. I know there is a repression of authentic male voice and that we are also collectively yelling about “toxic masculinity” at the same time we commonly don’t want to be holding space for men to do much about it. We want men to go do their work and yet we aren’t very tolerant of hearing about that work or creating space for it in our culture.

And so, when this conversation comes up, we question whether or not men are trying to steal women’s thunder if they also say, “Uh… I’m hurting too right now.” It’s messy. It’s especially messy when the focus is “winning” or proving that one gender has it better or worse.

Truly men, I think it’s actually indicative of a legitimate core problem with masculinity that men immediately want to go to women to “solve” their problems with masculinity. There’s nothing simple about this, right? But hear me out. Men often carry what Jung called The Mother Wound, and to ask the women in your life, in the middle of a women’s movement, to also hold your own victimhood, whether legitimate or not, is indicative of this wounding where men think that women are going to solve it for them, like Mommy would. The collective “Mommy” right now just might need a minute. And, go to a men’s group and talk about this. Please. We need men in this conversation checking their own shit and showing up having done some work. Because if you’re doing your personal work to heal your masculinity, we can have this conversation. I will have that conversation with you. But I’m not responsible for providing you with your reassurance right now, and I find it difficult to do so in the middle of a collective women’s movement when my own trauma responses are active.

When my trauma responses are active, and men attempt to prove that they’ve had it as bad as or worse than women, I feel tired.

That’s just real. I’m human. And! I don’t want to perpetuate a divide. So I keep showing up, questioning myself, talking to my male friends, and writing about this at 5:30 in the morning.

I don’t want to send or perpetuate a “You’re broken, go fix yourself, we’re having a women’s movement over here” message to men.

And at the same time when I’m “in it” as a woman, and a man says, “Yeah but we don’t feel we can speak our truth either,” the first thing I want to do as a woman is attempt to recount why I think I had it worse. (Stick with me here...)

So I start in with my automatic replies, “Yeah but you don’t know what it’s like to live feeling suppressed by the other gender your entire life.” And then I think - I don’t know that that is absolutely true. That’s not actually fair to say. I know plenty of men who were actually suppressed by women their entire lives.

So I try another route, “Yeah but I have stories that I couldn’t share and my tongue felt caught in my throat until I unstuck it with all my might.” And then I think - I know men who this is absolutely true for.

So then I try, “Yeah but my body. My body lived the horror of an over-taxed nervous system and I felt like I was in fight or flight for most of my life for living in fear.” And then I think - this is not female exclusive.

This week, as a woman, I reactively wanted to really prove the differences, in order to prove why it’s important that we really allow space for women. But I can’t prove the differences on a human soul to human soul level. And my focus, now that I’ve reflected, is that it is not my work or interest to do so - to prove differences, or to perpetuate a divide.

I don’t want to compare wounds. It is no longer my interest.

I don’t want us to prove who had it worse as a result of the repression of the feminine - because THAT’S WHERE ALL OF THIS COMES FROM. There are two main archetypal energies in all of us - masculine and feminine - and guess what: the feminine has been repressed in all of us. ALL of us. That’s what this movement is. A bringing back, a reclamation, a re-integration of the feminine, AS WELL AS rediscovering what healthy femininity and masculinity truly is. We need to rediscover and rebalance that within each of us, individually. And, we need to do it collectively in the culture. The only way we are going to do this is together.

It’s not triggering for me to hold space for men who also have pain right now. It’s triggering for me to compare stories, to attempt to one-up the pain. And reflexively, this is where we go.

Let’s stop it. Reroute.

Ask questions. Seek understanding. Assume positive intent. Forgive. See how the people you love are trying. Reach out. Apologize. Listen to a story. Lean in. Go to a place where this conversation is happening to bridge a divide, or start one.

This is how we shift this old paradigm. This is the work I want to do and the way I want to live - in masculine/feminine union.

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