I have a memory of my feminine spirit being silenced (not protected) very early: at five years old, I was a flower girl at my aunt and uncle's wedding. I felt so pretty: my flower crown gently rested on my blonde curls, I wore a navy blue velvet dress with a hot pink sash, I felt the importance of walking down that long church aisle before the bride. During the reception, me and my little girl cousins started dancing on the dance floor because wasn't this a celebration of love and beauty and everything that can be right in this world?
We were told to stop by several adults around us.
Some of the older adults present at the wedding came from a religious tradition that viewed dancing as "sinful."
And so, in a state of confused shame, those little girls, including me, stopped dancing and sat down. Sheila Kelley in her famous TED talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lrdn4lazVBc ) talks about "first offenses," to the feminine body--that was mine. I learned that day that my feminine sparkle was bad. Sinful. Offensive. No one wanted to see it.
This and many other events like it throughout my life had disastrous consequences. At every turn I was told, "be less, cover up more, don't be so smart, stop asking so many questions, don't be so pretty, stop dancing like that, are you going to wear that? You look like a slut. You're acting like a slut. Why aren't you married? Why are you divorced? Are you going to get married? When are you going to have babies? Are you going to work?"
We joke about men getting in touch with their "feminine side," but as a woman, are you in touch with your feminine side? Most women I know have locked up their feminine spirit under tough armor, or worse, their femininity is completely frozen. They have a myriad of offenses like mine that caused their deliciousness to go underground. They have no idea what softness, joy, or even healthy fierce lady-wolf rage looks like (we are so used to unhealthy destructive female rage, we we can't even imagine a female warrior).
But here's the thing: your feminine essence will radically change your life if you get to know Her and release her to breathe into you. Joseph Campbell, the great mythologist, states that, "Woman is Life and Man is the Servant of Life. The Male's Job is to Protect the Women."
It's true. The essence of femininity is Life itself. Connection. Emotionality. Sensuality. Nourishment. Pleasure. Love. Fierce loyalty. Warrior strength.
When men and women are in right relationship, men honor and protect women because they are the bearers of Life itself. But no matter what the men around you do, you must first begin to recognize that you are Life. Reclaim your birthright and restore the world. Find a community of women that will support you as you find your Light.
Heal yourself woman. Find your heart and dance towards your bliss. As you heal your feminine spirit, men around you will change: you will no longer have ANY tolerance for abuse, mis-treatment or boundary crossings--but the men who are craving a healthy relationship with the feminine will be drawn to you like honey.