Healing The Feminine and Restoring Yin Yang Balance With Self Awareness.

All around us, we are seeing the unveiling of secrets and the exposure of what has been suppressed or denied for years. How women have been treated was rather obvious, but is perhaps being questioned far more than it has been for decades.

Whether it be the fallout of the American political drama, the rape victims all over the world, the housewife subjugated to domestic violence/more subtle but persistent domination/humiliation, the career woman facing the glass ceiling/sexual harassment, or the sadly common threat/disrespect that every female deals with on a daily basis – it is all boiling out into the open.

While the restoration of balance between the Yang(masculine) and Yin(feminine) energies is clearly needed, how we go about trying to arrive at that also needs some thought.  In the pendulum swinging away from one extreme, we often swing far too much in the opposite direction.

Hurt is best healed when it is acknowledged in our self, and witnessed in the other.  Too often, it lies buried under rage, resignation, indifference or blame. Consequently, attention and aggression is directed outwards while the pain itself may remain unaddressed.

Before we try to direct a change in the outer world, it serves us to first arrive at peace within ourselves.  For then, we are able to engage mindfully and appropriately with the manifest.

Women need the compassionate space to reveal and heal their ancient, individual and collective wounds. They have to learn to love, forgive and accept themselves for all they have endured, and knowingly or unknowingly invited or inflicted – on each other as well as on men.
Similarly, men too, have to be allowed a similar space to introspect, forgive themselves and allow their own gentler aspects of vulnerability, empathy, and compassion to emerge.

Those who agree that owning and addressing our inner turbulence is necessary may be struggling with the how of it.  In support of them, I offer below a selection of articles that can serve in the process. Most of these are directly addressed to women, but for those who are interested, searching the blog will provide you with very many other healing scripts/poems and practices.

Additionally, meditating upon the energetically charged Yin Balancing Art and/or Mandala image below has been found impactful by many women.
The first (a digital painting) was channeled during a powerful lunar eclipse.  It is intended to help with the restoration of balance between male and female energies, within us as also in the world at large.  Use this image to own, strengthen, balance and express the feminine energies.
The second was an Ojo I spun chanting Ho’oponopono after a particularly brutal attack on a woman had rocked our nation. It’s soothing energies bring back a gentle strength.

Lastly, the poem below is intended to help one remember that true freedom – wherein we need not judge/suppress feminine qualities, but own them and be ourselves fearlessly. (Try tapping it in with EFT and see how you feel.)

Relevant Articles(in no particular order):

Once there has been some honest inner clearing, you may feel ready to go beyond the confines of labels, archetypes, and genders.  (I feel that is necessary before we can transcend our identification with a personality(male or female)). At which point, you could use this clearing: What Meaning Having You Given This One Thing?

 

yin-energies_numbered

The genie is out of the bottle.
Do not attempt to fit Her back in.
No more bargaining over favors:

Her freedom no longer dependent on your whims
Or her ability to meet your needs,
Blend, constrict and fit in.

You may be surprised to find
That her generosity now flows unabated
Instead of drying up.

Now that She does not have to pay
Her being as a price
She only becomes what She always was.

Like the elephant tied down by a simple peg
Amnesia and conditioning
Had had Her caged.

But just as once water remembers itself
It remains not confined, nor stagnant, nor afraid:
All limiting forms eventually fade.

Continually transforming,
Finding ways
To revisit Home, the higher skies

Yet She returns from there, again and again,
As does nurturing rain when the earth turns dry…
With the love that had always been hidden within – more clarified.

divine-feminine-mandala

If you find any of this useful, please share the post widely with others. Let us support each other in whatever ways we can.

What do you need to unlearn today?

What do you need to unlearn today?

“If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint’, then by all means paint and that voice will be silenced.” ~ Vincent Van Gogh.

Have you ever heard such a voice in your head? You may remember your kindergarten teacher holding your painting, sadly shaking her head and saying ‘You cannot paint’, while the rest of the class laughed and the scene stuck in your head ever since. Or perhaps, the memory of such an event has faded, but the voice lingers on, because the lesson you learned was “I am not meant to be an artist”. Consequently, from that day on, you continue to have a stubborn resistance to all art forms.

Our life experiences lead us to certain conclusions and we use these learnings to navigate our present. But as you grow in age and capability, many of these learnings have outlived the purpose they served at one time and may in fact be limiting you. The world has changed, others have changed, and most importantly, you would have changed. So coping or thriving strategies learned in the past could be counterproductive today.

Just as the cup has to be emptied before it can be filled, we need to unlearn some of our more deeply rooted learnings, in order to make room for more empowering possibilities. Neuroscience now informs us that up to the age of two and six, our brain waves predominantly demonstrate delta and then theta frequencies. This is the same neural state used in hypnosis. The implication of this is that until the age of six, we are at our most suggestible. Hence, it is neither surprising, nor unusual, to find that many of our adult challenges, limiting beliefs and feelings about self and others can be traced back to childhood episodes. Discovering and releasing these inhibitors opens doorways to new possibilities and can be a transformative experience. The suggestion is to examine your own learnings and consciously re-evaluate which ones you would be better off without.

Do remember that this is not an exercise in fault finding or blaming those who influenced you in your childhood. They were only doing the best they could. This is an exercise in understanding what left an impact on you, how it is driving you and whether you need to hold this lesson as your undisputed truth anymore.

Clues for recognizing those learnings that are fear based, unconscious drivers which are disempowering in some way:

I. A strong emotional reaction to the belief being challenged.

II. Stubborn refusal or inability to hold the point of view lightly.

III. Repetitive thought or emotional pattern.

IV. A regimented response that makes no allowances for the current scenario.

The following list describes some of the more common lessons that one may have anchored from childhood and why you may want to unlearn them now. Some of these influence how we relate to our self and others, while some impact our academic and work performance.

1. “You are a helpless victim. Seek punishment of the perpetrator to feel better.”

The blame game is well illustrated by the example of an adult comforting a fallen, crying child by admonishing the floor and giving it a ‘slap’ for having hurt the child. Inadvertently, what has been communicated is that you are a helpless victim and in order for you to feel better, you should find a ‘perpetrator’ to blame and seek his/her punishment. Perhaps that made you feel better as a child. However, as an adult, you would certainly be better off taking responsibility for your own actions and welfare and using the experience to improve your own actions. If you continue to blame others and await their punishment to feel better, you are the one who is going to continue suffering.

2. “Don’t ask questions. Obey without questioning.”

Children display a natural curiosity and wonder as they explore the world. But it would be rare to be constantly around patient adults with the time to address all their insistent queries. A stern reprimand may have left a lifelong scar. Stifling inquisitiveness can bring exploration and growth to a halt. As an adult, blindly succumbing to authority can lead you astray and give undue power to those who remain unquestioned. Despite having doubts, we hesitate to question educationists, health care providers, CEOs, politicians and others in authority and hence allow a great degree of abuse of power. Use common sense and be unafraid to ask. Either you will get a satisfactory answer or you will set some improvements in motion.

3. “I am unworthy of love. People leave me.”

It is not uncommon to have lost a loved family member or friend. The reasons may be varied and diverse, including death, divorce, differences, or just a change of location. However, the interpretation of these ‘losses’ may lead to an irrational guilt or feeling that the fault somehow lies within you. Operating from this space of insecurity, unworthiness, and negative expectations, you are more than likely to attract break-ups in your relationships. This reinforces the lesson and if you don’t clear this internal history, you will just find someone else to repeat the same story with. Emotional Freedom Techniques(EFT) can be very useful in clearing the pain and limiting beliefs and also to help in improving self worth and confidence.

4. “Don’t cry, don’t express your feelings.”

Fear and helplessness drives the adult to shush the crying or screaming child. You are taught not to express your emotions as it may lead to embarrassment, shame or some other reaction in those around you. Males probably had the additional pressure of ‘men don’t cry’. But suppressed emotions accumulate and eventually lead to emotional and physical challenges. On the other hand, if you allow yourself to fully process the emotion in the moment, it will pass. Instead of hiding the pink elephant in the room and pretending it is not there, call it out. And see how it liberates you as it leaves the room.

5. “Girls are less ___ than boys”. The blank can include a variety of factors including valuable, important, intelligent, powerful and so on.

It can be easy to buy into this in a society that discriminates against the female gender. For the girls, the lack of love, approval or importance from family members can instil a sense of low self worth and the habit of placing her own welfare second to every male member in the house. Unobtrusive practises such as keeping the leftovers for women, while the best and most expensive foods are given to the boys, or expecting the girl to help with cooking, washing and other chores, while the son is treated like a pampered superior are not uncommon. While you may not have a dramatic case of female infanticide in your family, such experiences can lead to the above conclusions. In adult women, this creates an internal glass ceiling to combat, while in the men it can lead to an unjustified sense of supremacy or arrogance. This can show up as verbal and physical abuse by the males, or as insensitivity and a careless, disrespectful attitude towards women. As a woman, you may become overly submissive, allow yourself to be dominated and stress yourself out in trying to be the modern superwoman who is supposed to look after home, family and career in an exceptional fashion. Because this workload is usually overbearing, you may further develop guilt and feelings of not being good enough. Though not widely discussed, it is not unusual for successful career women to adopt a wholly different, humiliated role at home. As a man, you would tend to take the lady of the house for granted, assuming that ‘it is her job’. So whether man or woman, one needs to check and update the internalized understanding of the man-woman equation and find a balanced togetherness in relationships.

6. “You have to work hard to succeed.”

There is a good possibility that at some point, you were scolded for your non-activity or playfulness and heard “You are lazy”, “Get serious” or “You will never get anywhere without hard work”. So now one associates success with ‘hard’ work, and non-activity or enjoyable activity with guilt, self-reproach and fear of judgement. In reality, efficiency lies in achieving more through less effort. Exhausted, fear driven efforts arising from stress are unlikely to match the outcomes of minimal, effective action that arises from a balanced state of being. The energy of joy and enthusiasm has been eliminated from what we do, and in its place we have guilt, control and compulsion. There is no space given in our life to allow creativity and inspiration, as we are committed to busyness.

7. “I am not good enough.”

Comparisons with siblings, neighbours and others can lead to this conclusion. Our culture teaches us all about rank, grades and competition with others. Little attention is paid to understanding and nurturing the unique talents that each one of us possesses. As Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” You can set aside what you learned as a child and allow yourself to recognize your true worth. You can change how you live the rest of your life.

8. “That’s a pipe dream. It’s impossible. You cannot do it.”

Statements that were probably intended to save you from pain and disappointment can be the most damaging for you. What holds true for one person, or at one time, may not be the same in another moment. Growth comes from stretching your comfort zone, which means that you must be willing to test whether your vision is truly impossible. This one differentiator can separate the successful entrepreneur from the dreamer and the one who disproves an insensitive doctor’s death pronouncement from the one who succumbs to believing it is pointless to put up a fight.

9. “I am insignificant. One person cannot make a difference.”

Were you one in a large family, a soft voice in a large household, or a tiny tot that was often brushed aside by the elders? A child can easily be misled into believing he or she does not matter. Any form of physical or verbal abuse could drown out any attempts at being counted. But as an adult, you need to reclaim your own power and understand that you do make a difference. Without this, you are likely to be a passive witness of events in your immediate world. You may allow others to make your life decisions without protest and could end up feeling stifled, hopeless, angry, resentful or depressed. You will find it challenging to demonstrate the courage required to speak up for yourself and to make any changes or improvements in your circumstances without addressing such an ingrained belief of insignificance. The world needs people to step up and take personal responsibility today. All change begins with a single individual. And that could very well be you.

You are likely to find many more learnings that are specific to you and your life. You need not be intimidated by any persistent ones you discover, as tools like EFT, TAT, Emotion Code and The Work can all help in clearing them. I hope that this article stimulates your interest in unlearning what no longer serves you and helps you to live a more conscious life.

All my good wishes!

Related Post

From the IntentionalWorkplace.com – The Voice in Your Head~ What’s your workplace narrative?

Photo: Quote added to ‘decoration with flower’
(Free photobank www.tOrange.us) / CC BY 4.0

“Don’t talk to Strangers!” – Really?

Image

I stepped out tired and disoriented from Manchester Airport.  The information desk helpfully directed me towards the railway station, but urged me to rush.  If I missed the train I wanted, the next one wouldn’t be for a couple of hours. It was already past 8 pm and I had been travelling for a day now. In the fading light, the deserted corridors were not a welcome sight at this point. As I raced with my luggage towards the platform, I noticed a middle aged man, in a long overcoat walking briskly behind me.  As I turned corners, he appeared to keep up with me.  I rushed into the elevator and emerged on an empty platform.  I confess a small part of me was relieved not to see the same person around.  I rushed towards the train and was informed that there were still a few minutes left.  I sat on a bench to catch my breath and adjust my time.

When I looked up, the same man was now standing before me.  I looked around once again at the empty station.  The train driver was nowhere in sight.  As I felt a pang of anxiety, I recalled my first time alone on a train.  It was at the age of 9.  Feeling small and insignificant, I had taken a local train from Santacruz to Churchgate.  Anyone who has been on a Mumbai  local, would understand the stark contrast here.  At that time, the hustle and bustle of a sea of humans had seemed intimidating.  Now, the stark desolation was equally disturbing. With the flash of this memory, I also remembered one of the instructions I had been given when I left home: “Don’t talk with strangers.”

Now as it happened, just before I embarked on this trip, I wrote an article on some of the lessons we need to unlearn from our childhood. Here was a fresh opportunity right before me.  Did I really need to be so wary at this point? As an adult, couldn’t I be more alert and discerning?   I looked at the gentleman with fresh eyes.  He looked tired and hesitant himself.  Sensing the change in my attitude, he cautiously asked me if this was the train to York.   Before long, we progressed to a polite conversation.  Within minutes, I learned that he was a neurologist from Dublin who visited a local hospital a few times a month.  We boarded a carriage and only one other passenger joined us.  With earplugs on, he paid us little attention.

When the neurologist heard about the kind of work I do, he was most intrigued.   He said he had a back pain for months and could I help him?  So I taught him Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT).  Can you imagine the scene?  The two of us tapping away as the youngster with the earplugs watched with mild curiosity.  Within minutes, both of us felt fresh and energized and his back pain was almost gone.  He was smiling and laughing and saying he should probably share this with his patients.  I was beaming at the possibility of EFT reaching more people and that too through a neurologist!

I referred him to websites as he left the train and I hope and believe that because he did feel a significant change, he will actually look it up and share it with others.

For my part, I was delighted with the rest of my journey.  As  passengers  got on and off, they were no longer strangers to be wary of, but individuals who held the potential of interesting conversation.  I could watch the tipsy revelry of young footballers without concern and converse with a senior gentleman about football and world economy.  Two young York University students shared their project presentation and by the time I got off the train late at night – I was delighted with my “talks with strangers”.

I do not intend to encourage carelessness by sharing this anecdote.  But I do hope to invite a more open mind set, a greater self –awareness.  If we are able to notice our conditioned response and instead choose what is more prudent in the present moment, we may bring down more walls than we can imagine.

Because the doctor and I got over our internal dialogues, we were able to exchange some valuable gifts.  The ripples of this stray incident may be far reaching.  It is not rare for me to learn how EFT has benefited people whom I have never met but have learned it from those whom I have taught.  Who knows how far this one doctor could take it?

Speaking at a broader scale, is it not dialogue that will open our hearts  to those we distrust or know little of?  The more we interact, the more we see our commonalities.  I remember reading that if you are attacked or held hostage, you should start telling the perpetrator about yourself.  Apparently, the more that he/she knows about you, the more difficult it becomes for them to cause you harm.  You are no longer a random statistic but a human being to them now.  I don’t know if this is true in all cases, but it certainly does make some sense.  Perhaps that is exactly what the world needs today.  Less silos, walls and isolation.  More open hearted dialogue.

So would you consider conversing with a stranger today?