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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