So these words really came front and center as I was working my most recent coach for a six month time period. She was strong in her beliefs and convictions as well as being razor sharp, kind and compassionate. But every time I heard her speak of patriarchy and misogyny I kind of cringed. I didn't really understand, "I thought, sheesh this woman is really a man hater."
This triggered me, because my very clientele were men. To say I love men would be an understatement. I absolutely adore the masculine and all they bring to the table. So this seemed in direct conflict of how I felt. Afterall most of my massage clients were men, I coached men in dating and relationships and I felt well, that I was pretty damn good at it. I thought, I "understood" men, I felt I could see them often in a way I felt other woman were unable to. And ultimately I felt adored by the masculine certainly not hated. I didn't view the masculine as something to fight against but rather something to be in reverence too. And if I'm really honest, I didn't much care for working with most woman, I found them to be much more high maintenance and difficult.
Over the months of working with my coach and embarking on discovering what my true Dharmic purpose is it finally hit, like a lightning bolt to the brain. Here's where I was confused, well for starters patriarchy and whether we think men are shits or saints is not what she was getting at. As I continued working with her in attempt to fully reveal my Dharmic or Soul's purpose I began to recognize more and more where I hadn't been fully showing up in life and why. This was not an overnight journey it took about six months for this to fully reveal. I began to understand patriarchy for the first time.
As a result, I began to realize all the ways I made myself "small" in the world and put my own burning desires under a big rock. For what I came to realize was exactly what my coach was saying. She wasn't at all saying "hate men" but rather she was inviting me to look to discover my own voice, my own why, my own gifts and where were they hiding. And what I came to discover is that they were hidden deep down below a sign of what it means to be a woman. You see, I had to two versions of the feminine, one was successful, she wore suits and she was fierce, had a lot of energy and could "take it like a man." She was the woman I thought was the very definition of successful. I on the other hand was not that woman, I'm sensitive, I have an incredible intuition, I love talking about relationships, spirituality and God. But my kind of woman I didn't believe in, I thought she was silly and really that was not of value in modern corporate world. In fact my first real nervous breakdown was in 2010 when I was working for an advertising agency, I got the job because the lady owner (talk about a real ball buster) said she saw I was a "shark." To which when I shared this with my friends they laughed and said, "more like a dolphin maybe."
After this nervous breakdown which I now can see what my very first real initiation to the dark night of the soul, I came closer to discovering my true gifts. I left my egoic dream of working in politics and wearing a suit and went back to my home of the healing arts and I finally began to flourish again.
But here is where it took another turn, I went back to massage and I again began to feel afraid of my gifts. So I went back to the old rhythm of working "hard" on the muscles. I suppressed my energetic and intuitive skills so I could be a damn good body worker. And as the years went on my body went in and out of tremendous pain. I'm a small woman and I was working with men twice and even sometimes three times my size. But still I was afraid to step in to my gifts so I kept working hard on them muscles, while silencing my intuitive gifts.
You see, I realized what I hadn't realized before. I was afraid to be laughed at for being a woman with our inherent feminine gifts. And by gifts I don't mean just our "tits and ass" I mean our intellect, our intuition, our sensitivity, our voice and yes our emotions. I began to be reminded of of the times that yes indeed, woman and the feminine truly are seen as less like in phrases such as, "man up", "don't be a pussy" "grow a pair" and so on and so forth. These phrases were not just for men but for woman. Or for example, when I was told "don't say anything, just look pretty." or when I cut my hair as a little girl my father said, "I believe women should wear their hair long to be a true feminine woman. My father also was very physically and emotionally abusive while he believed he could have many woman but my mother must remain true to only him. Fortunately, I did not grow up with my father after the age of three.
The story of my femince silence continued when I married and devoted my life to my husband, HIS friends, HIS life, HIS interests. And I would often practice my rituals and ceremonies in private. I was afraid he would laugh at my "non-sense." I could show up to every sporting event with proper attire, cook for his friends and make jokes and drink with all the boys and yet I always kept my interests and gifts to myself because somewhere I learned, "Men don't want to hear about that." Over time, the urge returned for me to call forth my gifts again and have them be shared. I started inviting my husband to church, to retreats, to other things that held my interest and time and time again I got a resounding "no." I felt betrayed, it seemed so unfair, how could I listen, share and do everything he ever wanted while the most precious part of me what to be left unseen and un-acknowledged.
So here I come full circle, what the fuck is patriarchy? What I have come to discover it has nothing to do with the masculine in and of itself but rather the importance we have put on patriarchal domination globally for millennia. You see the masculine is naturally consciousness and the feminine is life, mind/body. They must inextricably work together. But what happened over the millennia is that the onus was put on the mind while the body (aka the feminine) was essentially removed from it's equally important role. Thus we literally put all the attention to what the mind can do and leave little respect for the wisdom of the body. Our cultures valued dominion, control and lack versus trust, surrender and intuition. This my friends is patriarchy, a dismemberment of head from body and because we women are naturally more in tune biologically to the body and our intuition, we stopped trusting ourselves, negating ourselves and we have tried vigorously to be come alive in a man's world. It was never about "hating men." Join me in embodying the qualities of the feminine again and help lead men back to Eden.