Divine Feminine on Fire
Why is divine feminine so important and popular in the yoga world right now, and what the heck does it really mean?! And how many of us are actually experiencing it? I have been feeling on fire with this for awhile now. The anarchist in me wants to burn down the phrase, but instead I'll just use that fire to shed some light.
If you are in the yoga scene or any spiritual scene, you may hear the words "divine feminine" from time to time. I am the co-founder of a support system for women called Awakened Feminine and awakening to my power as a woman, this divine femininity- is a HUGE part of my path. But mostly because I was very disconnected to it before. This is part of what I teach when I offer Awakened Feminine Yoga. Because as much as its talked about in the yoga world, it's not something I have experienced from other women a lot in the context of a yoga class.
What I have seen (from myself too), is a hardening, a rigidness masked as a dedication to a practice, but also a lack and an inability to be real or loving towards one another. It's almost like not the place for it, which seems crazy to me given yoga studios should be a safe place for people to feel like they can be themselves and get the support they need. Especially LOVE! Sometimes yoga studios feel like a workplace where everyone pretends like they are happy and free. Not all studios, but a lot of them function this way. And I believe it is because a lot of us don't know how to be intimate and truly there for each other, especially woman to woman. I sure know I didn't for a long time. Since this has been a big movement for me in my life and sadhana and what I offer as a teacher, I thought I would share a little bit about why it was so hard for me to relate and what 'divine feminine' means to me.
The words divine feminine to me, are a part of waking up to that power within that makes us able to be vulnerable, intimate, in tune with our hearts desires AND super connected to the power of it at the same time. Ultimately it's not a gender thing, but I am a woman and so I can only speak from it from that perspective. To me being connected to the divine feminine in my life means that I can support others deeply, not just by being open and nice, but open and true. Really seeing, truly supporting without feeling like I have to hold back my heart or my love. It's about being awake. It's about giving a shit about how we love each other and ourselves. It's about doing whatever it takes to relate to and recognize the beautiful and unlimited power INSIDE of us. It's about using your practice as something that helps you get more free and into your power as a woman.
As a yoga teacher I have evolved tremendously over the years, and would always change course or direction when something wasn't working for me anymore. This is a big important part I believe of any path, but especially walking the path of a goddess warrior in tune with the divine feminine. It's cultivating a sensitivity to what is working for us and what isn't. And then taking the necessary actions to make shifts where they are needed. That's is a whole post in itself that I'll save for a later time, but that kind of sensitivity is an important piece in stepping into your divine feminine self.
When I began practicing yoga there was a buildup of abuse and self hated in my body. In my life I related much more to men than I did to women, and I definitely did not feel comfortable around a woman in her power. It was mostly because I used sex as a way to feel validated, even alive- and really to connect. After about 5 years of a dedicated asana practice and still living a dissatisfied life, I realized I was longing to connect in a deeper, more fulfilling way- to others but also to myself. Being around another woman in her power somehow threatened this part of me that wanted to be seen but was too afraid to open up. Not just afraid but unconscious to how I would even do that or why. With men I could use my body as a way to get power and be in control. I could connect to a somewhat false sense of power. At that point I was never really in a situation where that safe space that is necesary for opening (at least at first), was available to me. It was all I ever knew at the time.
Consciously working on this part of myself, deepening the connection to my soul and to spirit and to loving people around me, allowing this part of myself to be seen and loved- is something that I have come into through the healing and transformation I've experienced from my practice. My practice includes yoga asana, but really shifted into a fierce dedication to meditation and inner healing work. I've been training with a teacher who has helped me see the habitual patterns and unhealthy addictions that lived in my body and in my life. And who has taught me how to it only own but heal the trauma that lived inside. To use it as fuel for a deeper connection to my power and to spirit. As a way to connect and be a way-shower for others to heal and connect. It's been a beautifully incredible, and unbelievably difficult road at times so far. And worth every minute of it.
To be able to "get in my power" and even know what that feels like inside is the greatest gift right now. From my place of power I can be steady and consistent in how I show up and serve in the world. It's how I can soften in the presence of a powerful woman, or at least know when I am holding back and what I can do about it. And on top of everything I have learned to be able to laugh at myself and my shit. It's so important when we do deep work on ourselves, and especially with yoga to not get too serious. Just like Freddy Mercury says...
Being connected to the divine feminine is also about having a backbone and taking a stand within yourself. Regardless of what others believe or feel. That's what I have found to be one of the most empowering aspects of yoga. Finding myslef and standing in it, regardless of what others think. In terms of my own sadhana and path of transformation, I am learning how to have a backbone and have learned to not take things so personally.
By no means do I ever want to be insensitive to others hearts, but what I've been realizing recently is that if we want to be really true and supportive to others- we can't make our decisions or base our actions on other peoples feelings, and definitely not on other people's triggers. We can only stay true to what we know in our own hearts, and be there for others to do the same.
The only thing that I have really found that has taught me to have the back of others, and what brings me into my divine feminine energy, is the work that I do on myself. For example, lately I have found the more layers of sadness and grief I let go of, the closer I can be with the loving people in my life. Loving other more seems to happen so naturally when we focus our attention towards our own liberation. The more I take down my own walls, the more beauty I can truly feel in the presence of others, in any situation.
But in interacting with others this can mean speaking up to what we see in someone we love even if they may not like it, sometimes it means holding loving space for someone through healthy detachment, and sometimes it means just letting go If some idea we have to give someone else space to grow. I have spent a very long time trying to get others to feel a certain way about me, partially out of my own validation BS, and partially because I really care about connection. But the truth is I care about a particular type of connection. Not just ANY connection. A true and loving, no bullshit kind of connection. It doesn't necessarily have to reciprocated, although that helps, but it's more about where I'm at. I don't know what your experience of the divine feminine is(I'd like to), but I can only really know what it is for me. And I can really only share that.
I try to not get stuck on any ideas I have about any of this stuff- but instead go to my experience of it. And practice through trial and error. My intention is to stay true, love hard- and continue to practice being the realest, wisest and loving woman I can be. And not just for me but for you. For the people in my life, and for the women that I will serve with this awakening feminine, this divine feminine energy that I have naturally fallen into trough the course of my spiritual path.
I will say the things I'm afraid to say because I might be "wrong". Because I never want to hold back my love from you. It's not about being right, it's about being true and trying to live in love. It's about being unafraid to take a stand for what you believe in, even if someone else disagrees. I respect others for taking almost any stand, especially in the yoga world because it can be so vague and lame in that way sometimes. Even if I don't agree with them- at least we are being real and giving it all the passion and oomph it deserves.
To me the words divine feminine represent something much larger than agreeing or even standing up for someone else just because she's a woman. It's about seeing past all of our bullshit and into the eyes of the love and power that see from beneath all of this. All of the dramas and ways we think we are, the funny things we do or say, the mistakes we make - all of it. It's all held in this Love. And that is where I want to live from. Not to be detached on some spiritual bypass trip, but to be fearless to feel more. Honestly, to be able to feel bad when I mess up has been one of the most humbling and beautiful experiences I've had in my awakening life. And feels deeply connected to the divine feminine. Because that's a part of it too.
When I can feel myself connect to another woman no matter how open or closed she is, or what she is going through - that's Awakened Feminine. When I can speak my truth with a softness in my eyes and heart, I feel connected to my divine feminine power. When I can stand fully in the strength and steadiness of my body in the presence of another powerful person, male or female- those are my steps towards more freedom and living more fully.
My teacher Harshada gave me amazing advice awhile back, that I didn't have to like everyone but I did have to love them. That may seem obvious but put into practice it's huge and had been a real game changer for someone who has always cared so much what others think. It has taken my need for approval from everyone (phew) out of the equation. What a relief!
So here is an end of year note to us loving and disagreeing and laughing at each other and ourselves. This is to us all living from this divine feminine, Awakened Feminine place of INTENSE love and fearlessly sharing our beauty and the truth of our hearts. To admitting when we are wrong, and most of all being open to the power of our own fire and growth.
Thank you for all of your support in 2014 and I just can't wait to see what beauty and openness and change manifests in this coming year for us all. Please let me know how I can support you and have a safe and blessed rest of your year!
All of my love,
Adriana and Awakened Feminine