It’s been a long time since I went away on a retreat – one that was structured around nurturing, bonding, and sharing our heart’s desires. Last week I attended Jen Louden’s Taos Writing Retreat in beautiful Taos, New Mexico.
Taos is one of the most spiritual places to visit. We stayed at the Mabel Dodge Luhan historic home.
This retreat was a sanctuary where Jen asked us each day to think about what we wanted. It’s rare in my experience that we ask ourselves this question. As women, we are socialized to take care of others. So for six days I asked myself this question and then also wrote down and talked to my small group (only two other women) about what would be my conditions of enoughness each day. What did I really want and what would feel like enough. I lowered the bar by committing to what would felt like enough.
I began to feel calm and grounded after about three days. I started to notice the language of my body again, which speaks in physical sensations. When I thought about work or what I had set in motion in my work, I felt anxious and stressed. It was loud and clear. When I was present and in retreat mode and all my “conditions of enoughness” were met, I was calm.
I began to notice what my ego had set in motion was “driving and striving” – when I am living out the masculine tendencies because the feminine principal is suppressed. Yet I was happiest when I allowed the feminine to be lived through writing, yoga, meditating and relating to other women or sitting in nature.
When I talk about the feminine, I don’t mean gender. I mean the feminine principle that is living—or suppressed—in both men and women. The feminine principle attempts to relate. Instead of breaking things off into parts, it says, Where are we alike? How can we connect? Where is the love? Can you listen to me? Can you really hear what I am saying? Can you see me? Do you care whether you see me or not?
One of my Shero’s is Marion Woodman, Jungian analyst and the woman who started writing about the divine feminine consciousness. Marion says that the “feminine principal” attempts to relate. Instead of separation – we ask, “How are we alike?” “How can we connect and can you see me or really hear what I am saying?”
The feminine is presence, heart and relating to each other. When we are in a place or a retreat that was created with the intention of being a sacred container, the feminine is present.
I was able to see the patterns of the masculine and how even as a woman; I have been seduced by the patriarchy to be in the driving and striving mode. Too often we do what we think we “should” do.
I’ve noticed that this year I’ve been undoing programs, trips, or commitments I’ve made because what I really want is to be present and to be more of my authentic self. My real power and your real power is being present with yourself. When you act and speak from your authentic self – that is your real power. Marion Woodman was interviewed by O Magazine about the power of the feminine consciousness.
So I’d like you to ask yourself these questions as often as you can:
What do I really want today?
What is one thing I think I “should” do right now in my life? Do I really want to do it?
What are my dreams and desires? Take the time to write them down and put them on slips of paper where you can see them.
What would bring me joy today?
Notice your body compass. Practice going inside and noticing the physical sensations – especially when you want to make decisions. Your body never lies but your ego lies constantly. It makes up stories all day long and most are not facts on facts but your assumptions. I’ve written more about this in my blog Facing Fear is a Victory for Your Soul.
Listen deeply to your heart’s desires and be present today. We want to see the real you and witness your dreams.
Did you like this article? I’d love to hear from you about what you really want and desire. Leave me a comment or share this with people in your life that would benefit from these questions.