An Awakened Feminine approach to Radical Aloneness
Radical Aloneness was brought to me by my teacher last year sometime when I began a journey of being alone, for the first time, in my sober and awakening life. I was honestly never ready. And was really not into the idea of being alone, at all. But RADICAL ALONENESS?! Now that's something that I can get into. As much as I have hated the idea of being alone, I am always up for a challenge- especially when it has to do with getting free. Being on a path of yoga has moved me closer to my truth, and this happens to be a part of it. Since then, I have been exploring and sharing my insights around what Radical Aloneness means for us as women. This is some of what I found!
Radical Aloneness can be about choosing to not be in a relationship for the purpose of healing and transformation, and shifting your vibe into one that is able to receive or attract a different, bigger kind of love and respect. It can also be about maintaining a strong sense of freedom while still being available and vulnerable as a woman in the context of a relationship. EIther way, it is about independence, and a recognition of the bigness of of souls, and our deep purpose here in this lifetime. And either way it requires practice and work, and isn't supposed to always be easy.
For a lot of us, being alone just isn't easy. There are moments of intense pain and longing for partnership, and lots of things come up when we are alone. For many of us it feels very true to be in partnership with someone, partially because we are used to it and partially because we desire that in our hearts. Fear, insecurity, feelings of abandonment and grief come up in moments of aloneness. Plus we have hormones that for some of us, create a strong pull in our attention and bodies for partnership and family. Not to mention make it more challenging to be in our wisdom and courage all the time. One of my favorite spiritual teachers Ram Dass talks about the deep purpose of allowing space for these more intense emotions to come up. And how not to let them paralyze us in our lives. I love how he calls it "wise-woman training"...
"While the crisis stage of grief does pass in its own time – and each person’s grief has its own timetable - deep feelings don’t disappear completely. But ultimately you come to the truth of the adage that “love is stronger than death.” I once met with a girl whose boyfriend was killed in Central America. She was grieving and it was paralyzing her life. I characterized it for her this way. “Let’s say you’re in ‘wise-woman training.'” If she’s in wise-woman training, everything in her life must be grist for the mill. Her relationship with this man would become part of the wisdom in her. But first she had to see that her relationship with him is between Souls. They no longer have two incarnated bodies to share, so she had to find the Soul connection. Two Souls can access each other without an incarnation."
As women in "wise-woman training", we also all crave a strong connection to independence from deep in our core. It's something that we can desire even more when we're in a romantic relationship. Independence is about our sense of true Self, practicing feeling secure, and connecting to our joyous, free souls. It's a beautiful part of us that needs to be tended to and honored.
Independence doesn't just mean physically being alone (although oftentimes it does), it's also an inner thing. It's rebellious because when you embark on a journey of radical aloneness, you will be going against your conditioning and what you were taught about love, and into a place of deeper intimacy and vulnerability. Independence calls us to step up and not check out or be unavailable, but to know who we are and what we need.
Tapping into our independence means we can be even more present with our ability to give and receive love. And to even know what it feels like to be healthy attached. Not saying that is all a piece of cake! But when we make our inner life and love a priority, we open up the possibility of transformation and expansion. It's a going against the limitations and beliefs that we were raised with. Independence is a sacred and primal thing that lives within us as women and lovers on the earth.
Radical aloneness is about knowing who you are and what you stand for, what you are all about. What you need and how you want to be seen in the world. It's about creating a sense of certainty within yourself and your connection to spirit, so you can fearlessly love. It's a beautiful and sometimes painful process with a lot of learning curves. But the reward is the ability to live and love without holding back, without shame or guilt and with your whole heart. We learn how to tend to, and take care of our own hearts - so they are full to give and soften to receive when in need.
Here are some tips for us women to come back into an empowered sense of self and sweet independence...
1. Love the little girl in you.
A relationship to your inner child for most women is super important. Oftentimes if I find myself in a hard moment or time, it is her who is crying for attention. She is the one that wants to be held and wants space to freak out if she needs to. She wants to be loved unconditionally and told that she won't be left or forgotten. You can take time in a meditative space and connect with her and see what she may need from you. Or sometimes she won't need anything and can give you a reality check ;). You an write her a letter expressing your love and care for her. Take some time to just know that she's there and breathe love into that part of yourself. Our ability to mother ourselves is a huge and ever evolving And expanding practice of self-care.
2. Allow and deal with your anger.
When you get angry or rageful - ask yourself "what do I need right now?" My teacher David H Wagner teaches about how anger arises when a desire is being thwarted. And that has been my experience many times. Not that knowing that just ends it (perhaps), or that it even should, but it brings us back to the light of our awareness in those moments. From there David suggests that we either renounce the desire being thwarted, or fulfill it. Once we know what we need we are one step closer to getting it. Many women are afraid to ask for what they need. Whether it be from ourselves or someone else. LAUGHING is great medicine for releasing emotions like anger. Also exercise like kickboxing I definitely use during different seasons of my sadhana- and practices like meditation, kirtan and breath work can be great places to connect to and release stuck emotions. Really intense emotional blocks in the body I feel should be released with the guidance of a professional who has experience helping people through deep stuff.
3. Don't wait, hold space.
When you choose to practice radical aloneness, whatever that looks like for you, there is an opportunity to open up a whole new part of yourself. If you are single this part of you may be fiercely driven with purpose and nourishing your relationship to God, and if your in a relationship this part of you may be playful and new to not only you but also your partner. Don't wait for someone else to do anything for you. That is a main crutch we use inside to stay small. You get big and hold a bigger space for yourself and your world, and everything that comes will match that bigness. Patience is also a part of this one for sure.
4. Get what you need from your women!!
OMFG!!! Best piece of advice I've ever gotten. Treat your girlfriend out on a date for no reason. Take yourself on a date! It feels amazing to treat yourself to dinner and practice nurturing and loving yourself in this way. Get into the flow and habit of reaching out to your women, instead of turning inward or to a man. Not that those aren't necessary and good sometimes too, but many times we hold back a certain part of ourselves from our girlfriends. Because it feels intimate and vulnerable. But that part of you LOVES to be seen and heard and felt by another woman. It's actually very natural for us. Practice taking care, supporting or even mentoring a woman in your life. It will satisfy your deep feminine radical aloneness like no other.
5. Let Go and Let God!
When it comes down to it, our connection to God is the safest and most transformative way to fill the hole (pun intended). So when it is time to re-enter a relationship or step back into the one you're in new again, you are whole. And passionate and excitable. There is nothing more exciting than connecting with the power and possibilities God has to offer. If your in a relationship it will help you to take care of the part of yourself that is only between you and God anyway. Find a community of women to meditate and connect with, resources and teachers that really turn your connection to Spirit on. And don't forget your connection to spirit can be not only sacred, but also pleasurable! Get to know the part of you that can get off by connecting to the sky and deeply connect when in nature. It's a beautiful love affair and a pretty bad ass way to be. A lot of women Mystics took God as their ultimate lover and write ecstatic poetry about it. They were revolutionary, rebellious, and can be used by you for inspiration and strength.
Oh and don't for to DANCE, jump, play, and have fun. You don't have to be serious or committed to your sadness! You got this beautiful women. I see you and I admire your beauty and your courage all the way from here.
*Join me on an Awakened Feminine Yoga women's heart retreat and learn how to cOn ect to and care for your own heart- May 30th at Ananda Ashram in NY- Go to http://www.anandaashram.org for details and call them to sign up! Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an Awakened Feminine Yoga tea session with me for tools and support getting clear on your intentions for your practice, healing and connecting your power to love and create! Visit us at Awakened Feminine for tons of free writings for women's empowerment and support, and an international online community of women on a path of transformation. <3