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Self-Care Sunday with Allison: Connecting with The Divine Feminine

A new series talking about topics and strategies for self-care through the lens of my personal experience–both the challenges and the triumphs and everything in between.

Self-Care Sunday with Allison: Connecting with The Divine Feminine

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Hello friends! Welcome back for this month's installment of Self-Care Sunday with me, Allison. I'm so grateful you're here. I hope that, however, wherever this finds you, you can take this moment to sink into your own heart and intuition to find what you need to do to take care of yourself–even if you can only spare a few minutes. I hope that I can support you in that with my offering today.

When I first encountered the concept of the Divine Feminine, it was an almost entirely foreign concept to me, but looking back, the breadcrumb trail of my life experiences had been leading me there for some time. First, it came with my introduction to Yin Yoga in 2022, which I immediately resonated with. It found me, or I found it, at the exact right time that I was ready for it–very much "the teacher will appear when the student is ready" kind of vibes–and once I embarked on my relationship with Yin Yoga, everything unfolded from there.

Yin Yoga was created around the Taoist concepts of yin and yang, or opposing and complementary aspects of everything. I learned in my teacher training and in my practice about life's truths and lessons contained and represented within the symbol of the yin-yang, the ​​Taijitu, and it all just made so much sense to me outside of any spiritual or religious affiliation that the idea of maintaining balance became a sort of beacon around which I began to orient my life.

woman doing yin yoga, leaning over n a yoga bolster iStock

Yin Yang is "a symbolic representation of the world's polarities, dualisms, and fundamental dichotomies: light and dark, male and female, life and death." Yang is the energy of the masculine (having nothing to do with gender) represented by the white part of the yin/yang symbol. Think of the sun: bright, high energy, productive, hot, intense, active, joyful, upward seeking, restless. Yin is the energy of the feminine, represented by the dark part of the symbol.

Think of the moon–calm, quiet, imaginative, receptive, slow, downward seeking, soft, intuitive, restful. And then, within each, there are aspects of the opposite, represented by the little dot of white within the black and the dot of black within the white. This means that everything is interconnected and balanced relative to each other, so when we are out of balance with these characteristics within ourselves, our environment, and our relationships, we experience challenges, sadness, pain, frustration, anger, and discontent.

I realized early on in my training that I had been living out of balance for a long time–too much yang, not enough yin–and it showed in almost every aspect of my life. My body was completely rigid and inflexible due to an overuse of muscles, high-energy exertion, insufficient rest, stretching, and stillness.

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My energy was very intense as well–I was always moving quickly, efficiently, and with almost military precision through my days as a mother, employee, and wife because that was the way I had figured out how to keep all the balls and plates in the air without dropping anything. It worked–the to-do list was always getting done–but the downside was that I had no space for play, spontaneity, or allowing. I would never consider just throwing the to-do list out the window and spending the afternoon playing Candyland or watching movies with my kids. Or–the luxury of all luxuries–taking a nap.

mother looks at finances with child sitting on lap athima tongloom / Getty Images

As with all things in life, once the door was opened to this new philosophy for living, my Yin yoga training led me to discover the more profound wisdom and mysteries held within the ancient traditions of The Divine Feminine found within The Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu (on which Taoism is based) as well as other texts and teachers along the way. The concept of the Divine Feminine is that there is an innate part of us all that holds these critical characteristics of the feminine (and masculine), but due to years and years of living in a predominantly patriarchal society, this reverence and respect for the softer, intuitive, feminine wisdom has been almost entirely lost.

Connecting with the feminine within all of us, especially women, is the most empowering and healing we can undertake right now, individually and collectively. In my own life, I noticed once again in recent months that I was feeling more angry, more frustrated, more hardened. I was resentful of how busy I was with tasks that I found unfulfilling or draining, whether at work or home.

It got to the point where I would catch myself not smiling for an entire day; my brow furrowed either in concentration or trying not to lose my temper when I had to vacuum the floor again due to the ubiquitous cracker crumbs from yet another after-school snack. And that's when I realized that I was, once again, out of balance, but this time, I had the awareness, tools, and wherewithal to help myself. I knew I needed to reconnect with my innate feminine side; I needed to stop, rest, receive, and be soft–with others and myself.

Parenting and family difficulties Vera Livchak/ Getty Images
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This crucial part of what I've learned from delving into the teachings of yin and yang and the idea of balancing the feminine and masculine is that it's never done. It's a constant dance of coming out of balance and back into it. Conversely, when I've felt myself to be almost too quiet or passive, bordering on stagnant, I know I need to call on my divine masculine energy to bring back some fire and motivation to keep things moving and flowing.

Working with cultivating and reconnecting with the feminine is so important for all of us, especially as mothers. It is the part of ourselves that is nurturing, wise, intuitive, fiercely loving and protective, but often, this gets derailed. We must reside in the space of "doing"--the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning, the homework, the chauffeuring, the bathing, the tucking in–and not enough in the space of "being"--allowing what is without trying to fix or change it, honouring our emotions, honouring our tiredness, honouring our need for someone else to step in because we can't do it all.

And as hard or as daunting as it might seem to do this for ourselves, it is crucial and much more accessible than you might think. It doesn't require hours of therapy outside of the home or going off on retreats or vacations (although that stuff is amazing, and do it if you can!).

Serene mature woman meditating with her eyes closed while practicing yoga on the floor of her living room at home Goodboy Picture Company/ Getty Images

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You can begin by incorporating small, daily or weekly practices that make space for this part of yourself to come through to help you remember that we came here to be more than just the do-ers of laundry or responders of emails; that there is an energy within all of us, men and women both, which can be tapped that is infinitely powerful and loving and wants us to care for ourselves first before our precious resources are drained from too much "doing" and not enough "being."

If you have been feeling out of balance and can't quite put your finger on it, you can start by asking yourself this simple question: Does my energy feel soft, or does it feel hard?

Suppose the answer is that you are feeling hardened, tense, drained, and bordering on burnout from too much work (of any kind). In that case, these are my favourite practices I use regularly when feeling out of balance to help me reconnect with my feminine energy. I encourage you to try them all and see what makes you feel aligned with that part of yourself that is soft, intuitive, wise, and powerful.

Therapeutic Writing

Writing is the best way that I have found to connect to my inner voice, my inner sense of knowing. It is particularly powerful in the practice of connecting with the feminine, as this energy is creative and expressive by nature. Try any and all of these prompts if you don't know where to start and see what comes through.

What aspect of myself is out of balance?

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What part of my feminine side is calling for my attention?

How can I cultivate more feminine wisdom and intuition now in my life?

Warrior Goddess Wisdom

Early on in my discovery of the feminine path, I found this book (or rather, it found me), and it was instrumental in helping me to connect, even for a brief moment each day, to the aspect of the feminine that needed healing or remembering.

I read one page each morning when I feel that I need to be pulled back to my feminine side, which only takes about 5 minutes and helps set me up for the day. The author also has a book called Warrior Goddess Training, a more in-depth guide to working with and reclaiming your inner goddess. It is one that I highly recommend.

Yin Yoga with Kassandra

This is my current go-to online yoga teacher. I found her when I was looking for specific classes in which I didn't have to lead myself so that I could surrender to another teacher. As I've recommended her so many times to so many people, I can attest that she is the real deal, both a teacher and a guide to empowering you in your healing and inner journey. She has many practices for yin and vinyasa and a combination of both.

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Still, for working with the feminine aspect, I highly recommend this one that works to balance and connect with the sacral chakra, which in yoga is associated with the womb space and our hips, where we can store suppressed emotion.

Oracle Card Reading: The Divine Feminine 

As I've written about before, oracle card reading might seem too woo-woo or esoteric, but it's just an excellent tool for meditation and writing. It's a vehicle for going inward. I use this card deck by Meggan Watterson on a weekly basis to prompt my writing and meditation time.

She's a feminist theologian and Harvard scholar. Each card is a powerful call to action to remember that the feminine experience and tradition is rich with lessons and examples of how you can be both gentle and fierce without sacrificing your true nature.

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If you are interested in oracle decks but aren't sure where to start, I am offering guided oracle deck readings as part of my way of showing up and being of service to my community. Feel free to visit my website and connect with me if this is of interest to you. And as always, you can find me on socials and my monthly newsletter, Subrosa, comes out the first week of each month for more self-care and self-love talk.

Until next time, be well, and keep balanced!

Allison

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