There are countless demands on the modern woman. We work, take care of children, seek or participate in romantic relationships, have friendships, contribute to our communities, take care of family members, try to get pregnant or not to get pregnant, and tend to our health. In the hustle of this life, it can be easy to loose connection with ourselves.
Add to these daily challenges the pressures of living in a society that sees women, especially women of color and trans women, as "less than." A culture that expects us to have perfect bodies, that tells us that our purpose on this planet is to be pleasing to those around us, especially men, and that our most important qualities are: thin, quiet, and nice. Then, when it comes to sexuality, women generally have two options presented to them through the media and cultural influences: good girl/virgin/nice girl or bad girl/whore/slut. Neither of these options honors the complexity of femme sexuality.
Since women are constantly given messages about who we should be, it is a rebellious and courageous act to claim what is true for us. Experiencing vitality on behalf of ourselves is a revolutionary act. Vitality, which I define as the experience of positive life force energy in your body, is powerfully nourishing. Without it, we wither, shrivel, and die inside. Without it, we become resentful, angry, anxious, and uninspired. Reclaiming and fiercely protecting our vitality can be challenging in a world that tells us we are here to be used by others: our families, bosses, partners, and children. That we have no right to exist for ourselves. This toxic message is incorrect.
You have the right to sacred and delicious experiences of joy, vitality, and power. To claim space and time for our own vitality, we must:
- unlearn messages and fear patterns given to us from our culture
- seek safe relationships and spaces in which to fully express and experience
- protect ourselves from those who seek to undermine our authentic joy
- set and keep boundaries that honor us
- determine what makes us feel alive and go and do more of that
This work can require unbinding traumas enacted by and inherited from our culture, family, society, and other influences. It means cultivating the courage to step into our own power, to determine what is and is not good for us, and to make clear our boundaries with others. The greater the external pressures that try to bind, control, and own us, the harder this path can be to walk upon. This can be big, bold work. Most simply, however, it is a gentle practice of allowing yourself experiences of joy, confidence, and pleasure.
Dedicate time to the things that make you come alive, inspire you, and feel good in your body. Here are some quick options for how to integrate this practice:
- go for a run/walk instead of calling your mother back
- take a movement class that makes you feel delicious in your body
- talk to a friend who makes you laugh and feel good
- sing along to your favorite music while driving to work
- draw or create art that you love
- make out with your partner instead of moving straight to sex
- focus on your nourishing inhale/exhale breath
Be an outlier in a world that seeks to make you perfect and good all the time. Find other women who want to be rebels, too, and support each other in navigating this challenging life that sometimes feels against us. Find the resources that embolden and support you to live the life that makes you feel good, joyful, and alive.
Contact me if you are interested in working through the tender, stuck places that stop you from stepping into your vitality if you feel we could be a good fit.