Speaking and Listening

I have a 5 yr old boy. For the last 5 years I have put a significant amount of mental and emotional energy into exploring masculinity in our world. I have a tireless fascination with who boys and men are in our world, and how my son’s father and I can raise this little one to be a tender hearted man of deep integrity, sensitivity, and strength. This article came out this week, which, naturally, has my wheels turning again: Teaching Men To Be Emotionally Honest Of course, to raise balanced men, we need balanced women, and vice versa.

My son’s father attends a men’s group run by the Mankind Project and after one of his weekend retreats a few years ago, I enviously asked, “where is the women’s counterpart of this movement?” I am not one for naked dancing under the full moon, yet I have a gravitational pull toward exploring and celebrating the feminine with other people. “How do I do that?” I implored. I sat with this question and within a few hours I was struck: “I am already doing that work!”  

This morning I read a post penned by a woman from whom I have learned much about unearthing my own feminine voice and desires. She writes, “A woman’s deeply seated confidence cannot come from how many degrees she has, what kind of job she has landed, or how well she is conforming to society’s expectations of her. A… woman’s sense of confidence comes from how she feels in her body.” (Thanks Mama Gena). Some of the work I do in my naturopathic practice is based in two bodywork modalities: Holistic Pelvic Care and the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy, both assist women in locating their internal wisdom through the physical form (as well as offering physical healing from injury or imbalance). In this morning’s post, Mama Gena prompts us to place a hand over our hearts and our pelvises, to sink in, to breathe, to find that voice, that truth that is uniquely ours. This is precisely how I close my bodywork sessions with patients. Mama Gena knows this too: the wisdom of our femininity is here, in our bodies! Not only that, but the burdens we bear are also stored here, in our bodies, in our pelvises. In order to unleash the voice of our deepest desires, or to free ourselves from the burdens we carry, we must connect into our bodies, most importantly, this center of gravity: our pelvis .

Mama Gena’s blog post also touches on how women and men are trained to relate to one another, citing that adolescent girls are behaving according to the ways they think the boys want them to behave, particularly when it comes to sexuality. They didn’t learn this on their own: we grown women are also doing this. All. Day. Long. And not just in the sexual realm. The pattern starts young- young men come to expect that young women will do what they want them to do, with no deep sense of whether or not it is what a woman really wants… but how could he know? When we read articles like the one from the New York Times (linked above) and we see how we are training young boys to disconnect from what they are really feeling, how can we expect them to be sensitive to what someone else is feeling, let alone desiring?  

We all have work to do to improve men’s sensitivity and women’s confidence in finding and using their own voices. I have come to understand that my part in this movement is to reconnect women with their pelvis, with this magnificent and powerful part of our being: no human being has ever lived on this earth without inhabiting and being birthed from a woman’s body. The potency of our feminine anatomy is not to be underestimated: it has the power to facilitate the creation of, the gestation of, and the birthing of new life, and I am not just talking about human flesh. Feminine energy is the inspiration and creativity of this world, and as women, we host a particularly potent well of this energy. It is time we learned to use it powerfully, with clarity and with heart.

For another read on the subject: Bringing Forth The Emotional, The Feminine