This week marks the two year anniversary of the UN’s HeForShe Solidarity Movement for Gender Equality. HeForShe invites men to join and support women in the fight for women’s equality and strives to reframe feminism from its man-hating stigma to a movement that seeks to benefit men and women alike by embracing the feminine side of our humanity.
My soul responds to this initiative and its mandate with a big yes! In the many seasons of my life — from my academic studies of feminism, gender issues and Goddess theology, my work as a gender equity consultant, my perilous healing journey with my own woman’s story in a misogynist world, my travels with the Goddess into the mysteries of the sacred feminine, and my Path of She writings — I’ve been on the trail of the lost powers and ways of the feminine elements of our humanity.
In my journey, one thing has become abundantly clear to me: what ails humanity, men and women alike, is the degradation and repression of the feminine half our nature that holds not only our nurturing and emotive capacities, but also our anchor in Mother/matter: our bodies, the natural world and the mysteries of the Divine feminine.
I would add that we women have to reach back, SheForHe, so we can heal our world together.Walking in the Other’s Shoes
The saying goes that we can’t understand another person until we walk a mile in his/her shoes. This most definitely holds true in the case of men and women. Only by actively increasing our awareness of the other gender can we begin to understand the world through their eyes and experiences.
Some people are more proficient daytime dreamers than nighttime dreamers. A case in point:
A friend of mine was in deep distress, questioning her personal choices around lifestyle and career. I suggested she ask for a nighttime dream, just like this week’s inner pathwork activity. We were having lunch a week later and she said the dream exercise didn’t work, and then proceeded to recount an animated tale of interpersonal strife with another woman her age, in a similar career situation. Lo and behold, there was her dream, written in the flesh and bones of waking reality, that perfectly addressed her questions and angst. My friend was a skilled daytime dreamer, she just didn’t know it.
Daytime dreams, built of the concrete blocks of the sunlit world, can be just as potent and useful as nighttime dreams in guiding our personal pathwork and supporting our magical physiotherapy.
If you asked for a nighttime dream this week, but haven’t had any results, maybe you are having a daytime dream. Think again about the situation or question that inspired your dream request. Then look to your waking life. Has anything new or unusual happened this week? What stories have you been telling others that have strong emotions and energy attached to them? Maybe this is a daytime dream providing you with insights and answers.
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Regaining magical power and strength is analogous to physiotherapy after loss of function in our physical body. We activate and work our magical muscles through focused effort and dedication.
Through this process we not only regain our spiritual vitality but we also naturally rewire our conscious engagement of the world, and widen our eyes beyond the perceptual blinders of our encultured and personal worldview.
Dreams are a great place to activate and strengthen our magical powers, with their ready access to our inner landscape and the archetypal, mythic realms of our collective humanity.
This week ask for a dream about something important going on in your life, perhaps a situation that has been bothering you that you can’t resolve, or that you are profoundly curious about. Make sure this is something deep, not trivial. Before you go to sleep, take a few moments to settle into your breath and relax your body, and then ask for a dream to help you with the situation.
If you’re new to working with your dreams, be patient with yourself. Anything that comes to you, be it a dream, a brief image, a body sensation or a strong emotion, acknowledge it, write it down, and stay open to additional insights and information coming your way. Remember, like physiotherapy, it’s important to work slowly and steadily, gaining strength and ability through your quality of focus and consistency of effort.
Keystone moments and spiritual epiphanies often appear out of nowhere, seemingly a synchronistic event orchestrated by the Mysteries on our behalf. But this is not entirely true, something has also shifted in us; we have become more open, porous and welcoming to the light of new understandings.
Curiosity is a state of being that is conducive to transformative insights and breakthrough moments. We wonder and ask open-ended questions, rather than closing the door on what else may be true through our habitual adherence to our existing understanding of things. This week try being more curious; practice approaching your life from a state of not knowing. Start with everyday things, like a friend’s annoying behavior that never fails to irk you, or a food or activity that gives you an unexpected burst of pleasure. Open to these moments, explore them, journal them, and discover something new about yourself.
Curiosity begets more curiosity, and can unfold into a lifelong spiritual practice of widening your eyes to the mysteries and transformative potential hidden in plain view.