When I was thinking about writing this blog, my first task seemed to be to establish how many of my readers are familiar with the terms 'divine' and 'distorted' feminine. This pondering took me on quite a journey as I considered exactly who my blog audience consists of. Given that I have clients from every conceivable background, with every possible variation of life circumstances, it is a tough one to tie down. So my next task was to revisit what I consider to be my main purpose in life - what caused me in the first place to think about writing The GAIA Way programme? What I can say is that as I have grown and evolved, so too has my mission and purpose. However, the essence of GAIA remains unchanged. I originally set out to birth a coaching programme for other women, to help them to better know and understand themselves; so that they could come into their full glory. So that they could be proud to own all of their traits and attributes. So that they are equipped with the bravery and skills required to leave their unique mark on the world, wherever they go, whatever they are doing.
When considering who would be my most attentive audience, I realised that this would not necessarily be as straight forward as I had hoped. Given that I am not one to 'preach to the converted', I really desire to work with people who, although they know they have more to offer life (maybe they have been feeling frustrated and dissatisfied for most of their lives as they experience a sense of unexplored or unexpressed potential), haven't had the opportunity, energy, focus or self-belief to do much about it so far. I am aware then, that much of the language that has, over a period of many years, become part of my everyday vocabulary, may not necessarily be the 'native tongue' of some of the women for whom GAIA would be a perfect fit. Given that, as stated above, I would ideally love to coach women who are often bursting with so much untapped potential and who are harbouring so many rich gifts, ripe for the picking, but who, due to circumstances, environments and programming beyond their control, may not have the first clue as to how amazing they are, the chances of us speaking the same language when it comes to their divinity and greatness may not be high. So, with all of this in mind, I decided that it may be wise to assume that at least some of my readers are not particularly familiar with the terms 'divine feminine/masculine' or 'distorted feminine/masculine'.
I am therefore going to offer a brief description of both (or at least my own version of the two). Before I go any further however, I feel that it is important for me to point out that the Divine Feminine (DF) is not solely confined to those in a female body, just as the Divine Masculine (DM) is not confined to men. In actual fact, we are all made up of both aspects. Those of us at our best have merely mastered the balancing of the two. The feminine aspects at their healthiest are creativity, nurturing, feeling and receiving amongst other things, while the masculine attributes include thinking, taking action and giving. Remember that I am not talking about male and female here but rather masculine and feminine (I wouldn't want any women out there shouting at the screen about how great they are at taking action and making things happen, or men being offended by the notion that I am suggesting that they are incapable of feeling or nurturing.) This is a hugely complex topic however and I am only going to touch lightly upon it in this blog - enough to hopefully explain to some degree where I am going with the divine and distorted feminine concept. For the purpose of this post, I am going to refer to the divine and distorted feminine in terms of women, as we show up in our society.
Personally, when I think about the Divine Feminine, what springs to mind for me is a woman who knows herself intimately and really loves and likes herself. The DF has taken the time to explore those parts of herself that are all too often hidden in the shadows due to guilt, shame and a plethora of other emotions. She has risen above society's controlling beliefs of how she 'should' behave, think or feel. She is confident when making decisions that honour her own growth and self expression. In other words, she does not require approval from any outside influence. You just KNOW when you are in the presence of this woman. She quietly emits self assurance and a sense of calm. You trust this woman automatically and instantly as she has no agenda to alter your reality in any way. She is on her own path of truth and therefore does not need to interrupt your path for any reason. She respects that you have your own truth to express and won't interfere with that unless you ask for her input. This doesn't mean she is a pushover; in fact the opposite is true. She is strong to the core and more able to stand her ground than most people you will meet. That quiet strength is what makes her so trustworthy and likeable. You know the DF because as she stands in her grace, she poses no threat whatsoever. She owns her shit and she walks her talk. Sometimes with sass, sometimes with humour and sometimes with grace, vulnerability and softness. But you don't want to mess with her! I mean literally. For some reason that you can't quite put your finger on, you know this is a person for whom you wish only great things. Unless........unless you are in your distorted feminine!
So now, lets meet the polar opposite. The distorted feminine believes that she has to work harder, be prettier, have and do more to hold any significance in the world. She might vacillate between aggression and passivity. She spends time in victimhood, which means she makes choices and exhibits behaviours (consciously or unconsciously) based on this mentality. She comes from a place of lack and doesn't know how to ask for what she wants. She will use manipulation and emotional tactics to get her needs met by others. She believes her power lies outside of herself. But here is the thing - we have all (or most of us) been there! Maybe we still spend time there, to varying degrees, depending on how much we have healed the wounds that kept us believing we were inadequate or just bad humans. I have the utmost compassion for this version of the feminine (trust me, I have spent more than enough time in my own distorted version of what I believed it meant to be feminine!).
As I was writing this blog, I was thinking of examples of the Divine and the Distorted Feminine. As I am also a singer, my mind wandered to fellow vocalists. For me, an absolutely beautiful example of the DF has to be India Arie. As well as having the kind of beauty that radiates outwards- beauty that is much deeper than aesthetics, as it springs from grace and truth - she is also deeply spiritual. Her music has such a profound message which is delivered in rich, soulful tunes that can have you dancing around the room one minute and in a quietly contemplative state the next. She is smart and she takes ownership of her mind, body and spirit. Here she is building up other women and encouraging them to believe in their worth.
To want others to know their greatness is a definite trait of the DF.
And here she is talking about spiritual love. She owns her sexuality and sensuality with a gentle power.
By contrast, I thought about a female vocalist who is more aggressive in her self expression and displays more of the traits of the distorted feminine. Before I do this, I must say that it is not my intention to degrade, belittle or pull down anybody. I am all about women empowering other women and to insult or criticise a fellow female is most definitely a trait of the distorted feminine. I am merely wanting to illustrate the traits by citing somebody whom I believe displays said traits! The first person that came to mind was Nicki Minaj (sorry to her fans - I'm sure she is a lovely person, if a little misguided!) She seems to still have both feet firmly planted in the old world beliefs that, to be taken seriously, us women must be hard and unfuckwithable! She may be right about the latter but the two states are not dependent upon each other. It's not surprising that many, many women still believe that to be taken seriously it is imperative that we must go in fighting. History proved this to be correct time and time again! However, the women who stand out in my mind as the most memorable and impactful in my own journey to self empowerment, were the ones who didn't need to raise their voices to be heard, or act outrageously to be seen. Yes they expressed themselves, unapologetically, in their entirety but not aggressively. Ms Minaj, from what I can see, is still using her sexuality to feel more empowered. There is a subtle but profound difference between OWNING your sexuality and USING it! Remember I said that the distorted feminine is about manipulation? If we are using an aspect of our self to gain in some way, this is manipulation. If we are owning an aspect of our self, we are showing up in the world in all of our truthful glory.
In the second part of this blog, I will explore how the distorted feminine may be affecting coaching and how to ensure that your coach is coming from a place of authenticity and owning her power whilst honouring your personal needs.