Make yourself a cup of tea or coffee and sit down in a cozy, comfortable place for this one….
In my exploration of the journey of the Soul, I have been fond of (well, kind of) digging into the areas that one would usually like to leave alone; the shadow, the dark recesses of my psyche that I would have a hard time admitting, even to myself (let alone have an awareness of their existence – more later on the illusion of projection….). The Soul fascinates me because it admits all things into its broad umbrella of “Journey”. Our limited vision as humans gives us the tendency to label things as good or bad, pleasant or disagreeable, worthy or not, but it has been through my personal work in life coaching that I’ve had a physical/emotional experience of surrender and peace when those “dark” things have come up and when I have admitted them as valuable pieces of myself. Misguided in their expression at times, their admission into my awareness has born fruit and ultimately brought freedom to my being.
Let’s take the emotion of anger, which, in many instances, has been one of the most difficult to embrace. I personally agree with the common belief that this is largely the case for women (traditionally, people-pleasers, care takers, good girls…amongst other potentially repressive roles). This was brought to my attention most recently in a heated argument with my ex-husband which, in theory, was a disagreement regarding the kids. Admittedly, I already came into the “disagreement” with a general air of irritation that I had been carrying all day. I may have even been coming in “spoiling for a fight”. I voiced the subject of the disagreement and…GO! The conversation devolved into character defamation, whose flames were fanned by old resentments. The vitriol that came out of my mouth felt bitter and yet enormously satisfying – all those things I had stuffed down and never voiced in their un-watered version. The rage I felt had me physically shaking and needing to remove myself from his presence (by the side of the local swimming pool where the kids were taking their swimming lessons).
I noticed for a couple of days afterwards the residue in my psyche for allowing such unaccustomed rage to course freely through my body (the physical symptoms were powerful: adrenaline, a rapid heart rate, classic fight-or-flight). As has often happened with experiencing anger, it moved into depression, probably a safer and more acceptable bi-product of anger (at least in my case).
I own the fact that I came into the argument with a build up of some sort: an old anger towards men and this is what the un-reigned voices sound like: “Mother-fuckers! Because of their weenie fears of something they don’t understand (mysterious, flowing feminine energy), they repress, deny and denigrate what is soft, lovely and nurturing about women. They continue to put striving, pushing and achieving on the collective pedestal. And they use women for their own gain. Do they ever stop to think whether they have the ‘time in their family schedule’ to pursue their desires? No! It is not the first question they ask themselves…Posturing, controlling, selfish ego-maniacs!”
OK, so you get the picture – a very skewed picture that I am even embarrassed to admit to, whose feelings hit me with disproportionate rage. For the record, and to the best of my knowledge, I have never been sexually abused or raped and have generally been treated very well by the male population. It has been suggested to me by my coach that I may be carrying a collective rage of the ages for all the injustices and violence perpetuated over time towards women by a predominantly patriarchal society. (And there has been sexual abuse in previous generations of my family).
As I mulled (and occasionally stewed) over the event with my ex-husband, it occurred to me that this rage and struggle has been occurring within myself. As I try and find my voice as a woman, an artist, a mother, a lover, I have been in constant conflict over when to “push”, “make it happen” and “do” (masculine), when to “let go”, “receive” and “be” (feminine), how to create the life I want on my terms and yet in ways that are connected with others and, ultimately, with something larger than myself. THAT was my big “Aha!” and here’s where the idea of projection comes in: those icky disowned parts in ourselves are CLEARLY more visible in others. So, if elements of my ex-husband reside within myself, I have dishonored, repressed and denigrated myself because I didn’t believe that a softer approach was valid. I have abused myself for not fitting into what I felt was the acceptable way of being. I have called myself lazy, unworthy and unlovable because somewhere I took on the belief that “producing” is what creates value and love-worthiness in a person. So, operating from this tenet, it’s no wonder that I have experienced emotional burnout when pursuing my goals and living my day-to-day life.
One day I sat down in front of my art journal, a healing exercise when I allow myself to show up to the sketchbook page with no goal except to explore, experiment with techniques, color and to express. I chose a prompt from an artist called Effy Wild:
(Click HERE for more on her posts)
The prompt word was: LEANING
Inclining, as in a particular direction. Inclining in feeling or opinion. Depending or relying upon someone or something.
Inclination, predilection, propensity, bent, disposition, favour, taste, “cup of tea”.
Something softened in me. Leaning into something felt like a gentler version of having to be firmly entrenched in one camp or another. It could be a graceful bending into a particular tendency, the way a tree leans in the direction of sunshine or has the flexibility to bend due to the force of the wind in order to not snap. Again, in healing the masculine and the feminine, I had judged one better than the other. Now, in my opinion, each energy has two-sided coin tendencies of its own that can be more or less life-enhancing (remember, these are my connotations):
Masculine: action, decisiveness, expression, protectiveness, intellectual OR pushing, controlling (as in the rigid kind), being overbearing or repressive, excessively mental
Feminine: surrender, yielding, nurturing, flowing OR weak, vulnerable and care-taking (to the point of putting others’ needs before one’s own), excessively in one’s emotions.
I don’t believe that masculine and feminine traits are exclusive to men and women respectively. What if I were to explore the idea of leaning into these energies lovingly, with the flexibility of the tree. And “leaning away from” (instead of outright “rejecting”) something.
And how about the masculine and feminine leaning into and supporting each other?
Whether or not you believe in astrology, the ideas expressed in this article by my favorite astrological website, www.mysticmamma.com, encapsulates the current movement to heal our polarized way of being that creates separation and dis-ease within ourselves and in the world collective.
This speaks to a huge shift in leadership from masculine/yang to feminine/yin.
“From being a leader for prestige and power to being a leader to serve the people and to serve Mother Earth.
To read the rest of the article, click HERE:
I would like to end this rather long post with a poem that was read to me at a dance class by the teacher, who is also a long-time friend:
Lean Back (Author Unknown)
Stop pushing the future into being with
the force of your mind.
Into the arms of the world
The blessed lover
You have been waiting for
Let the world love you
Through all of its many parts
Following the joy in your heart
Letting the breath of the trees fill
Let go of making it happen
The world has more resources
And will respond
In a thousand ways
You didn’t know existed
Let go of the form
The world has so many arms to hold you
The ride has just begun
Titina van Hoorn is an artist, jeweler, life coach, dancer, mother and soul-seeker, who feels passionate about exploring the journey of the soul with all of its twists, turns and mysteries and supporting others who have chosen this rich path.
For more information on Soul Piece Jewelry go to www.soulpiecejewelry.com
or visit the Soul Piece Jewelry page on
JOIN SOUL PIECE JEWELRY THIS FALL FOR ANOTHER
“SEED OF POTENTIAL” WORKSHOP
As we approach the fall in the northern hemisphere, what are those seeds you want to plant, nourish and grow this fall? This workshop, held in a safe, small group-setting, will take you through a fun process of discovery so that you may design and craft your own unique “Soul Piece” of jewelry in fine silver to wear as a talisman and reminder of your intentions or dreams.
When: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Time: 10 am – 3 pm
Where: Sandpoint, ID – address to be determined closer to the workshop date.
Cost: $65 + $25 in materials.
For more information or to register, contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
or call 208-946-7495