What Does it Take to Be a Woman?

There’s a quote which reads, “People can only meet you as deeply as they have met themselves.” And going into depths of your own being perhaps is the most important thing in life. After all, how do you know who you are if you haven’t met yourself yet? How often do you question your beliefs, perception, ideas, decisions? Do they serve you? Do you even know where they come from? How often do you sit alone in silence and listen to your own inner voice?

See, there was a time when I lived my life pretty blindly – just went along with it thinking that this is how it is. I had pretty fixed definitions of myself, people in my life and the world. I felt stuck and yet I never dared to doubt what I saw around me. It was reality, right? Well, of course it was. My perceived reality.

Having come across some powerful metaphysical teachings I changed, thankfully. I am no longer stuck in the same paradigm, no longer so strongly held in a prison created by my own limited thinking. I question myself every day – and the more questions I ask the more answers seem to emerge. They don’t always please me. In fact, it can be the exact opposite – quite often I’m taken aback by what’s stored in my mind. Yet, you see, it’s important to ask myself. Because if I don’t, then how do I know what I think? It sounds pretty obvious but it’s not.

You can even try this for yourself by asking questions such as, ‘What do I really think about myself? Who am I? What do I really think about men/women/having children/money?’ And the key, then, is to go with the first answer you get instinctively from your unconscious mind.  You’ll be surprised but very often it is not what you consciously think. And those answers can be used to explore what caused such thinking in the first place.

As I changed, the world around me shifted, moved, changed its form. Long gone are fixed definitions – they’ve become dynamic. I no longer identify with the girl I used to be. I have grown to be a woman. It’s been a tough journey – quite challenging, yet so liberating and rewarding at the same time.

One of the most important lessons on this journey was allowing myself to feel – like truly feel and not need to suppress my emotions and desires anymore. Some emotions and feelings still scare me – it’s forceful and powerful, and so, I’m not sure if I can control it when I let it loose. Yet I know, if held in, it will cause a lot more trouble in the form of depression, illness and chaos around me so I don’t listen to that fear anymore.

I’ve learnt to express myself and state what I want. Not because I should or should not want something based on where I am in life, not even because I need it, but purely because I would love to have it. There’s no other reason –  it is that simple. If you truly want something in your heart, why not say it out loud? There will always be those who object no matter what you say, yet there will be those who will listen, resonate with it and will see the world as you see it.

So what does it actually mean to be a woman?  To me it’s not about becoming someone I’m not, not about having a perfect body, not about being an ideal mum and many more of so perceived should be’s. It’s actually about unbecoming everything I have become so that I can be my true self. It’s about letting go of everything I know and learning to see the magic in the world again.

To me, to be a woman is to be free. To free myself of so long held perception of what I’m expected to do or how I should act. Freeing myself of stuck beliefs made up in childhood, accepting and loving myself for who I am. Being a woman is about rawness and wilderness, passion, sensuality, vulnerability, immense power seeking to erupt and a vast understanding of life and people around me.

So long I was trying to be perfect, did what I thought I should do if I wanted to ‘make it’ in life. But the veil of illusion has come down. I don’t want to be perfect anymore – all I want to do now is just be myself.

Is it always easy? Hell no. Standing up for myself in every situation, owning my voice, saying no to what no longer serves me and sometimes walking away from people I love. Not because I stop loving them, no. But because they fail to see the woman I have become. And because staying sometimes doesn’t serve my truth. Perhaps the girl I used to be would stay. And why? Because she strongly identified with her feelings and didn’t know any better. Because she thought that what she was told by someone else somehow defined her. Because she thought that she couldn’t make it on her own.

But the woman in me is a powerful creature. She’s knowledgeable. She knows that feelings are not always real. She knows that thoughts are often recollections of her past experiences and have little to do with what’s going on in each given moment. Because she’s learnt how to rely on her intuition and be true to herself. Because she accepted the fact that following her heart will involve a lot of tension which often won’t feel comfortable yet she’s okay with that.

See, she’s not looking for comfort, perfect life or peace either. Because she just wants to be herself. She wants to create. She wants to express her passion, her desires and her truth. Because she has found her power when she connected to her heart. Perhaps some will never understand it, and maybe she won’t even bother explaining anymore. And men, when you meet a woman you will recognise her.  And to truly get to know and handle her, sometimes the boy in you will have to die.

Advertisements

From The Short Ramblings Series: Communication in Relationships

Communication by far is one of the most important things in a relationship. Needless to say, it goes hand in hand with vulnerability. Contrary to popular belief, vulnerability is power, not a form of weakness. Why? Because it takes a lot of strength to overcome your ego and not only admit to yourself, but also to another person that perhaps you are afraid, have insecurities, feel lost or somehow incomplete.

People generally believe that they can’t be truthful and need to manipulate or impress others, or that being themselves is somehow not viable or even dangerous. Yet there’s nothing more powerful than being real, expressing yourself and owning your heart.

See, I was one of those people who were afraid to be open up and liked to stay in control. Yet it never led me anywhere nice, or worth being, for that matter. Only when, with a trembling voice and shaking hands at times, I got deep, really deep… only then I witnessed magic.

I find it so beautiful and humble when a person can truly open up and talk about their feelings, fears and desires. When we communicate from that space, connection deepens, falseness falls off and miracles happen. I love what Gay Hendricks wrote in is his book ‘The Big Leap’:

‘There are several ways we limit positive energy in relationships. One is by starting arguments, out of fear of intimacy, at times when we could be exchanging intimacy. Another is by withholding significant communications. We get scared of being close, for example, and instead of telling the microscopic truth about it (“My belly felt tight and my skin contracted when I heard you say…”), we withdraw and swallow the communication. Another way we limit positive energy is by needing to control or dominate the other person (or needing to be controlled or dominated). If we always have to be right, for example, there is no room in the relationship to be happy.’

Happy communication folks. Stay true to yourselves. Stay powerful.

 

A Fellow Londoner

Have you ever looked at a stranger and felt like you really want to talk to them? Have you? And how often has fear taken over?

It makes me think of the many times I’ve spotted people (especially on the tube) that I would have liked to connect with, but did’t dare to open my mouth. Why? Because of fear, of course. You know, just in case they don’t respond, laugh at me or look at me like I’m a complete nutter. And just think of all those masses of people in the same carriage who will get to see it! That’s pretty scary, right?

There have been, however, some other times when I did overcome the resistance and said hello, which led to some interesting conversations, laughs, book recommendations, feeling that we all are connected and some pleasant memories. So in light of these recollections here’s my latest poem.

Oh fellow Londoner, who are you?
Where are you going this misty morning?
I see your face so very often, on central line,
Ah, that mundane London underground commuter’s journey.

As you looked down at your phone on Monday, I saw you smile.
Was it a message from your loved one?
Or did you see a funny joke on Facebook
posted by one of your five hundred friends?

On Tuesday you seemed stressed.
Was it how you really felt?
Or was your face just a reflection

of what’s going on in my own life?

On Friday you looked up at me and smiled;
I thought you’d say hello but we both, I guess, were shy.
I often wonder why? I’d sensed we would have enjoyed a chat, yet
we avoided connection and gave in to fear.

Fear speaks to me – it has a voice.
That haunting voice, in my head, it often tells me things.
‘Stay quiet, as you may get rejected. What will people say?
They will judge. Don’t you know your place?’

Ah, but hold on. I’ve heard it all before.
Sounds just like my dad and mama teaching me to how to be in life.
There’s being good and bad, doing what you’re expected, and not talking back.

We grow up, but are we ever told that we’re not children anymore?
So when do we stop identifying with what we’re not allowed?
Oh fellow Londoner, next time we meet I hope we’ll speak.
Perhaps a brief exchange, a polite hello or maybe this encounter will lead to something more?

To find out we’ll have to overcome that gripping fear,
Risk to be ridiculed and open our hearts.
Possibilities in life are truly limitless – I know, letting go is tough, yet
vulnerability offers rewards far beyond what you and I could ever grasp.

An Affair with the Sea

coast_sea_waves_moon_fire_art_46083_2560x1024

You are what I love – I always have, I always will.
Oh precious sea, I wonder why my soul craves your presence so much.
I hear you call my name, at night, under the starlit sky;
my heart answers and in a heartbeat see you yet again I rush.

Your waves invite me – you say, “Let’s play.”
A seductive voice ignites fire within me,
and I oblige, failing to resist a burning urge.

You touched my heart and have always fed my soul.
A spell was cast on me and the mind was transformed.
You caress my body and entangle me – I can’t escape you
for your alluring power holds the key to magic and mystery.

I watch from a shore how you play with your power,
the wind is your friend and skies are your allies.
When angry – you scare me, my body trembles,
I resist – 
yet you still pull me so strongly.

Peace and storms – how did you master it all?
You crash waves on the shore and enjoy hurricanes.
Your essence is wild and emotions disturbed…
Regardless, you follow your truth,
 offer love and embrace.

When I’m near you I want to run, jump and twirl.
I feel so alive, yet so lost when you’re not by my side.
What we share I can’t explain, but I feel one with you – I’m your child.

“Oh you are mine, my darling”,
I hear you whisper when I gaze at the horizon.
“You’re a part of me and I’m a part of you.
We’re connected deeper than you imagine;
you love me and I’m loving you too.”

New Relationship. Should I Stay or Should I Go?

A new relationship. Nice beginning, first few months of smooth sailing and boom – you have an argument. Things were said, a door was slammed, someone stormed out, someone fired an insult. As the relationship is fairly new you have no idea where you stand. In fact, you still might be questioning yourself if you were ready for that relationship in the first place. So what do you do now? You’re scared to lose them, but you’re equally scared to feel like you’re messing up again. And what on earth will you tell your friends, especially after posting that loved up shot on Instagram last week.

A battle of injured egoic perception of self against the battle of your true essence. You know who you are and you know your partner is a good person. You know that on a deeper level we are all connected and, as souls, everyone is equally beautiful. But you have also lived with your personality traits, beliefs and habits for so long that it’s damn hard to separate the made up identity, aka ‘the saboteur monkey’, from the real you.

And if you ask yourself, ‘Who am I really?’ and start de-constructing those false beliefs you will find dark bits, sadness, deep wounds, pain, lack of self worth, anger and rage which all stem from past experiences. It doesn’t matter how well you cover it up – we all have darkness inside. It’s just a part of being human. Even in nature – as night follows day; the rain follows sunshine.

Wounded? That can’t be you, right? Things are going wrong so maybe the person you’re with is the one who has issues and cannot understand you. Let me ask you something; can you understand yourself? Are you willing to work on yourself, to transform your character, to be more accepting and forgiving towards yourself and others? Are you ready to really get to know and love all aspects of you? As Carl Jung (a Swiss psychiatrist often called one of the most controversial psychological theorists) so rightly put, “Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

Looking inside your shadow and fully accepting yourself for who you are will  be one of the most difficult things you ever do. An old idea of self, expired beliefs and past experiences will often haunt you and threaten to take away sanity and pieces of happiness you still possess. It is easy to advise someone else what to do; how to raise kids, how to solve problems with their partner and how to live, really. Yet when it comes to ourselves we are often clueless, confused and can’t seem to find the way forward. 

When faced with choice, especially around relationships, it’s so easy to act childlike and throw a tantrum so just you don’t have to admit to yourself that you are scared and would rather sabotage the relationship. So you find excuses: long hours at work, crazy training regime, time consuming hobbies and no way you could commit to someone, as you do not have the time, right?

And then you look for supporting evidence: your partner said something you didn’t like, they didn’t call you when promised, and the colour of their shirt is just hideous. Congrats. You convinced yourself again – just look at the evidence you’ve gathered. Oh, and in case you still have any doubts, don’t forget to call your friends – especially the ones who always agree with you no matter what you say. 

But what if you’re missing out on something wonderful? What if your vision is so clouded by made up logic that you’re ultimately pushing away your soulmate? Will you find that closeness and intimacy, that only opening up to someone can bring? True – to fully open up requires to peel off layers of self and become vulnerable. Again. But guess what? You can’t buy a fulfilling relationship in a market stall nor can you store it on a shelf like a book you don’t fancy reading today. Because ‘when I am ready’ may never come so why choose to postpone love?

Or perhaps the relationship itself is wrong. And even if you know it is, why do you try so hard to hold onto someone who’s not for you? What really scares you about closing the door? Surely it can’t be that Instagram photo. 

Don’t fear failed relationships; fear those that you learnt nothing from and kept repeating same patterns over and over again. Because sometimes it’s just about the lesson of truly standing up for yourself, listening to your deepest heart’s desires and saying no. Because sometimes it’s just about learning to love you first.

I am not here to tell you what to do or who to follow, for there’s only one voice you should follow – yours. Because the only way to happiness is to be true to yourself. After all it’s easy to lie to a parent or work colleague and tell them you’re fine, but there is only so long you can lie to yourself. You know the truth – admitting it is the hard part.

Your life will only change when you commit to being true to yourself no matter what. Forget everyone around you. Forget their advice, their opinions and all the good they ever wish for you to experience. Ask yourself – rely on your intuition. Only you, in the depths of your being, know what’s right for you, but you have to choose to live your own truth. This choice is never easy to begin with, but as with everything in life the more you practise the easier it gets.

So stop for a moment and glance back; you’ve been trying to run away from yourself and it hasn’t been easy. How much worse can it be to live with yourself instead? And if you really feel like you don’t know yourself and what you want, then just ask this question: ‘what would someone who loves themselves do?’ Ideally, keep asking this question daily – as many times as is needed: when it comes to food choices (what a wonderful diet advice), how to spend a Sunday afternoon or when you can’t decide whether to say ‘yes’ or ‘no’.

Teal Swan wrote a powerful blogpost titled ‘365 Days of Self Love’ in which she advises to live by this question for an entire year to learn the true power of self love. This, of course,  requires commitment on your part, but as everything in life worth having – it all starts with saying yes. And remember, magic hides outside your comfort zone.

Later – When I Have More Time

Today my nephew would have been 18. If he did not end his own life almost two years ago.

Emilis came to me in a dream the night it happened and seemed to be really sad and depressed. We went for a walk in the early hours of the morning near a huge lake surrounded by thick fog. He wanted to cross a bridge over the lake even though all we could see in the distance was even more grey heavy fog. I was reassuring him that things will work out, that everything will change and that there’s so much I’d like to teach him about life and asked him to skype me so we would talk when I had more time.

Despite my efforts to convince the boy not to cross the bridge words seemed to escape him as he had already made up his mind. He briefly glanced at me and walked into the fog while keeping his gaze down. I don’t remember the rest of the dream, but I remember the sound of an early morning text message. It was from my mum and read something like this, ‘Sad news – Emilis killed himself at night’. In flood of tears I instantly recalled the dream which now held so much meaning – he came to say goodbye.

It was his choice – he could not handle life on earth anymore and decided to cross over. Who am I to question, blame others, the environment or even wonder what could have been? He’s gone. While I’m sure that if anyone had suspected what was about to happen we would have done our best to save him, this makes me question: how much control do we really have over someone else’s life?

What struck me though was the fact that when he came to me so visibly distressed, after uttering a few words of comfort I asked him to skype me LATER when I have MORE TIME. Even though it happened in the dream state, the reality is that a lot of us can relate to this at some point in time. And I am not even talking here about not doing something here and now for our loved ones, but the fact that we postpone what really matters to us until ‘LATER, WHEN I HAVE MORE TIME’.

The truth is that life may pass you by and there will be no time left to do what truly counts. So if you’re waiting for when you’re ready, just know that every single second of your time on earth is precious. Also know that someone who’s alive today may not be here tomorrow. Ask yourself, ‘if such and such died tomorrow what would I want them to know?’ and you will have some pretty good guidance to do what needs to be done. More often than not, things left unsaid carry heavy weight and when expressed they will set you free. Having said that, remember that words have energy and they can equally lift someone up or destroy them so choose what you say wisely, from the heart, and most importantly – be true to yourself.

 

What is Love?

‘What is love?’ I quietly ask myself
When I sit on a window ledge in my bedroom at night.
The older I get the more answers seem to emerge;
Full moon has mesmerized me and I feel its mysterious pull yet again.

When I was a young child I learned to love my family, my dog and my friends;
Most of all I loved my imagination which seemed to be wild, pure and hardly contained.
Laying down on my back in a meadow I would gaze at clouds with ever growing wonder;
I built castles in the sky and jumped from one cloud onto another.

I used to see creatures: a dragon, a rabbit, a prince and his lover,
Fairies and birds chasing each other.
My heart would be filled with joy and innocent laughter
Until grandma would call me for lunch, oh how could she be so distracting?

As everything passes and changes in nature
And so I grew into someone more responsible and older.
I kept my natural curiosity though, childishness and wonder
And roamed free in a forest with animals so close to my nature.

School and teenage years taught me silly romance:
Daydreaming, wanting to connect and hold hands.
Did I really love a boy when I was so young?
Or was it just a concept picked up from mum’s books and TV programmes?

And when I got older I thought I knew what real love was:
Meeting someone, getting infatuated and question if that was enough.
There would be something missing so deep inside
Yet I didn’t know how to fill it so let romance take care of that.

I wasn’t aware of consciousness, of us all being one yet
So I kept looking outside of myself for happiness.
I wondered why this love thing didn’t last, didn’t give what I craved
And I heard in the night silent whisper, ‘it’s because you have to find it within’.

So self-love then became an alien concept;
Why is it so easy to love others even when they make mistakes?
Why am I so hard on myself and feel lost in constant self-criticism and blame?
And what does it mean that people, I am close with, are mirror aspects of me?

And then years of learning, reflection, growth and self-discovery took place;
I and self-love have finally made it – we are now friends.
I want to hold hands with all aspects of me: my ego, my sadness and my destiny.
And as I reflect back on my life I realise that I’ve had it all along:
My soul – it’s pure love and it’s never been lost.

Simplicity is often the key – calm down the mind, look around and make peace with yourself.
Accept where you are yet keep dreaming, trust your intuition and follow its wisdom.
Take necessary steps and remember – the force is with you;
As long as you have enough courage to face inner shadows it will take you where you belong.