Sunday, August 7, 2011

Dancing as the Divine: workshop helps balance masculine and feminine energies

Posted By on Sun, Aug 7, 2011 at 11:31 PM

I'm still feeling high off of a workshop I participated in Saturday with Katrina Rivers, called Dancing AS the Divine. The primary focus was exploring the divine masculine and feminine within each of us, and what's been out of sync with these two energies for so long. It was such a moving experience that I am inspired to write about it. But before I share my realizations, I want to clarify: masculine energy does not mean "men," nor does feminine energy mean "women." These are energies within each of us, as the yin and the yang. And in most of us, they aren't very well integrated. The masculine is the yang, outward moving, expansive energy. It is the sun, Shiva, consciousness, and space. For a long time it has been predominant in our society, as evidenced by the massive expansion and technology boom we've seen in the last several centuries. Feminine energy is the yin. It is receptive, the moon, Shakti, the energy of creation and the manifest world. And it is evident that, for a long time, this energy has been suppressed. Just look at the way our society views (and values) sex and creativity (feminine) versus science and technology (masculine). And again, this isn't about women being suppressed by men, although this is a symptom of the suppression of feminine energy.

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But one thing this workshop brought to light is that the feminine is actually incredibly suppressed within men. I mean, how acceptable is it in our society for men to show their emotions and vulnerability? Men are encouraged to be stoic, and if they show emotion they are generally called any number of disparaging "female" names. Emotion is feminine energy. And even as women, we suppress this feminine energy within ourselves. We just generally don't do it as well as men, because our female anatomy keeps us more connected to our bodies. That's why these repressed emotions tend to surface around the time of our menstrual cycles—a monthly rhythm that deepens our connection to our bodies. How many of us know how to honor our true feelings, and allow ourselves to honestly and vulnerably express our emotions? In most of us, our emotions are not only suppressed, but feared, because most of us were never taught how to handle them. We've become afraid of emotions because they don't always feel comfortable. So we either a.) stuff it down and pretend it's not there (only to have it surface more strongly when we least want it to), or b.) avoid the feeling by projecting blame onto someone else for how we feel. But what if we could just be with the feeling, and breathe into it instead of holding our breath to numb our bodies? What if we could embrace the sensation of feeling, and love that movement of energy? What if we could be grateful, even if it's not completely comfortable, to experience feeling because it means we're alive? After all, embracing discomfort is how we grow... If we could learn to do this, maybe, just maybe, our hearts might open a little and we would realize it's not so scary to feel. Maybe we would realize it's a huge energy drain to resist our emotions. Maybe we wouldn't have to numb ourselves through cigarettes, alcohol, pharmaceuticals, excessive consumerism, and an over-reliance on our intellect. Maybe we would actually have the courage to be vulnerable, to connect more deeply and intimately with others. Perhaps we would create a world with a little less fear, and a little more compassion...from the inside out. Debby Andersen is a Yoga Teacher/Healer in San Antonio. Sign up for Debby’s newsletter here to stay up to date on her current offerings.

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