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Liberating Healthy Femininity

woman in white dress standing on brown grass field

Consciously moving away from women who are afraid of men and men who are afraid of women and the importance of healthy femininity for healthier societies.

I dedicate this letter to every strong and gentle woman I have met this past year and every year before. This also goes out to the healthy masculine(s) who truly love women. Female warriors from every part of this earth, each has her struggle and her touching triumphs. I honor the women in my own family who have suffered and continue to push against the walls of judgement and sometimes loveless lives. The problem however, is that not enough is being said, not enough is expressed. This is writing itself as I personally had to learn many things the harder way; despite my privilege. Women learn the hard way in our communities. I have wondered why that is, and I only recently realized this:

The Source of the Teachings Given to Women

Everything I have learned about my female nature has been curated, structured and bounded by an unyielding patriarchy, yet binged and purged onto me by women. Women afraid of men and men afraid of women. I realize that a male dominated society and religion that is terribly afraid of feminine liberation, taught me how to be a “good girl/woman”. This feels exceptionally flawed, why? Because coming back into this body, after years of denying her, hiding her and trying to not be judged because of her, I am baffled by the grace held within this female body. At this point, as a woman, you cannot but see life differently. If you trace your automatic thoughts and feelings back into their source what will you find there? Where do all those contradictions come from? Why is feminine energy so relentlessly constricted and/or judged? Surely one major factor is misunderstanding; which places a lot more responsibility on women to lead by example on what healthy femininity looks like to each one of them.

Nevertheless, every woman has her own challenge making her way back into her truest nature; and many of the conditions and implied values we learn tend to be etched in our psyches.

What woman has not dealt with this at some point?

Inadequacy/ Being NOT ENOUGH vs Being TOO MUCH

Being TOO sensual vs Being TOO Cold

Being TOO Smart vs Being TOO Beautiful vs being both or God forbid neither

The dilemma of Prude vs Slut

The list goes on and on… but we all know what lies underneath those extremities of judgement.

Women lose sight of their true inherent value, in all that makes them who they are. We risk becoming small minded, anxious and spiteful. We create life narratives that begin to disrupt emotional and sexual availability not just for others but ourselves too. Our relationships get affected, along with our career choices and so much more.

There is a process since childhood of allocating value to Girls/women based on those conditions. then Women carry that suggested value within their lives while being treated as commodities or stereotypes.

Your Healthy Feminine Nature

Female nature includes sensuality, sexuality, the physical body and her hormones, psyche, heart, emotion and everything that makes a woman divinity embodied.

There is no SINGLE way to be a woman. The energy is so fluid that when bounded by force she freezes like water, yet she always will have the capacity to melt back into her natural state. There is so much freedom in allowing yourself to be fully who you are. Liberating the feminine energy is not scary; bounding it is what is terrifying. However, it is every woman’s responsibility to learn how to manage her energy, her ability to give and receive. A healthy feminine is essential for the healthy masculine to thrive as well.

Healthy femininity begins with recognizing the grace and natural power present in the female body and spirit. Our differences make us all the more enticing and strong. In supporting yourself as a healthy female, you also learn to support other women and men too. Ascending into your liberated femininity empowers you. You find that you are finally managing your natural capacities beautifully all while creating and nurturing the environment that surrounds you.

Yet, In order to truly be free, each woman must check in with her own narrative of internal light and darkness. Healthy attitude towards self and others is a process. You must be careful of the spiritual ego as a dangerous deception of the mind to ascend without doing the necessary work of constant awareness.

Healthy Femininity Hand in Hand with Healthy Masculinity

silhouette of happy couple against picturesque mountains in sunset
Photo by Vanessa Garcia on Pexels.com

The idea is not to live in opposition with the masculine or other more liberated feminine(s), or even in spite. Ideally both energies work together and intertwine lending necessary support to each other. A traumatized woman cannot heal without facing that trauma, same with a traumatized man. Doing the work is an essential process for any human. Cutting through all the conditioning is a heavy task, one that is continuous across one’s life and generations to come.

Not every man must pay the price of the pain one woman suffered on the hands of 1 or 50 men. Not every woman must pay the price for the hurt one or 50 women inflicted on one man.

That is what relating to one another consciously means; hard as it may be or seem. If we are to progress as a human race, it is imperative for us to learn how to be better to ourselves and each other. At the heart of this progress is the power of free women and the healthy feminine; ones who can raise better generations and build more creative societies with healthier men.

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You Know What’s Sexy for 2021? Healthy Masculinity

silhouette of kissing couple

Let’s talk about GOOD MEN!

Drop the religious, socio-cultural and emotional concepts of what makes a man “good” first. Take away the money, his theism or atheism, his physical strength or charming character. What would remain then? What does he embody in his presence, in the way in which he lives his life? That which remains is his “healthy or unhealthy masculinity”.

Yet, for the purpose of this post, and in reflection of my own heterosexual orientation, I speak about the straight man and the healthy space he can hold for a woman to thrive.

I want to talk about men with a healthy masculinity in relation to the feminine woman. In other words, this is about the man who carries himself in a way where a woman is comfortable in her own feminine power around him. Where she does not need to act Dumb, Small or Scared to be liked/loved by him. This is the feminism that I believe in. I speak purely from my own experiences and cognition. Mind you, this has nothing to do with gender stereotypes, and if you cannot fathom the difference between gender stereotypes and masculine/feminine energies, then let me know and I can create a post on that later on.

What do I mean by Healthy Masculine?

A man with a healthy masculinity does NOT need to be perfect. He does not have to be the epitome of pop culture concepts of a strong man which look a lot like following:

  • The strong man doesn’t cry.
  • He shuts out his emotions.
  • He is never afraid and can never be vulnerable.
  • The strong man cannot be hurt, and he is always tough.

The list can go on and on surely, but the point is:

ALL OF THOSE ARE LIES & unhealthy conditions. Those normalized MALFUNCTIONED values ruin most men’s lives, and negatively affect the lives of those who come into their path.

Unfortunately many (most) women also have grown to perceive strong good men to have those qualities. So the flawed value system is propagated both by men and women.

Healthy masculinity is a harmony between strength and vulnerability. Beginning with accepting one’s humanness. In addition to acknowledging one’s ability to grow given the correct mindset and a lot of emotional accountability and maturity. Healthy masculinity, then, is a nod to the beauty, responsibility and power harnessed in the ability to hold seeds of human life.

The Healthy Masculine & The Skill to Embrace

It all begins with practicing self awareness. Healthy masculinity does not shake when contrasted with the healthy feminine, but it thrives. So, one is not intimidated by the self aware and accountable feminine, he does not seek to control or dominate her, neither does he want to destroy and erase her. He is not undermining of a man or woman’s strength or weakness no matter where he/she is on their journey; but he is actively supportive, understanding and enveloping of the other.

When countered with other men, the healthy masculine does not try to peacock, or overcompensate. That’s because the healthy masculine recognizes the shortcomings in himself and others, and tries to go inwards to heal and transform. He recognizes in himself the power and space he can uphold for other men to open up and reveal their true masculine.

The Skill to Walk Away

However, one of the major takeaways of a healthy masculine is recognizing when to walk away. Sometimes knowing when to stop a relationship (no matter its type), and create distance with a person who has unhealthy habits (who is unaware and unwilling to listen) is the best way to treat one’s self with honor and respect.

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The Way out of Struggle

Do you ever feel like nothing is working in your favor? As if the world is conspiring against you, forcing you to struggle, and the more you push forward, the harder everything pushes back?

This is a tricky situation that can usually leave us hopeless and in a state of fear and eminent defeat. The good news is that there is a way.

There is always a way to get through the tough phases in our lives!

Handling External Resistance and Struggle

It requires a step back first. Once we step back from the mess we think we are in, we must acknowledge things for what they are. AKA accountability.

young asian female looking at reflection
Photo by JESSICA TICOZZELLI on Pexels.com

Accountability helps us define the problem we are in, and sometimes we are the biggest culprits in said problem simply because we refuse to (breathe, calm down, say something to somebody, move, take action, cry, confront, walk away…) Choose your poison.

In other words it all goes down to this:

Repeat after the chorus:

I AM NOT A VICTIM. I AM NOT A VICTIM.

However, if I believe that I am one, then I will surely keep behaving like it and guess what? An oppressor will always find me even if I were trying to sleep at night. The oppressor will come in the form of insomnia.

The Alchemy Between Internal and External Release and Resistance

You see, life is an exchange of beliefs, actions, energies and space. Our beliefs determine our realities, and our limiting beliefs determine the limitations to our actions towards growth. The energies are not only positive and negative, light and dark but also, can be anything from confusion and clarity, chaos and order…so on. Space surrounds us all, and we live by function of the beliefs, actions and energies we feel define us. As a result, we are met with what we put out. And if my partial spiritual mumbo jumbo has lost you by now, tell your science brain to read on confirmation bias. We are constantly met with the things we believe to be true.

So if we believe that we cannot move, then we will not be in motion voluntarily. However, something external could move us, but it will only move us into a smaller corner, simply because that is what our belief system and our energies allow into our space; restraint.

What we believe about ourselves is usually echoed back to us. What we have to do is notice it and be vulnerable with ourselves. The words make it seem easy to do, but in all honesty this is a difficult thing. Embracing our struggle with compassion and assertiveness, allows us to be vulnerable and hopefully courageous enough to admit to ourselves what our limiting beliefs are. We can then see clearly where we engage in regressive actions and in self sabotage.

The Way Out of the Struggle

Everything is temporary; let’s get that out of the way first. So take it in and recognize the short time we all have on this glorious planet, with our loved ones. Presence is the first exit from the mental struggle. Presence and gratitude put everything in perspective no matter what. When we drop the victim state, or narrative or grand story line, and let presence and gratitude in, clarity becomes easier. Honesty becomes easier. The only way out of the mysterious struggle is to recognize that most of the times, we are in the center of it; and changing ourselves allows us to change perspective, treat it like fertilizer and grow gloriously and graciously out of it.

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Another COVID inspired Question: Who Are You?

Who are you really now that COVID has put you on time out from your old life?

Are you the job title, or that person who once won that thing? Maybe you feel represented by the brand you wear, better yet the one you created for yourself? Are you the person your parents expected you to be, when as a child you first started developing a personality? Are you your failures and the things you almost did?

Perhaps you don’t think about these things very often. But let’s give it a try.

  • What if the job disappears, and you no longer have a title next to your name? What would you write to express your power of contribution?
  • Imagine that your favorite brand goes out of business and you have to start dressing yourself differently? What would you wear to express yourself?
  • Here’s a good one: What if your parents were wrong? and your failures were actually core life lessons? How would you live your life and what kind of choices would you start making?

Shaky Identity 101

There are many ways for us to create a solid identity. I mentioned a few of them already, especially job, appearance, family and experiences. Our identities help us make day to day choices, small ones (like what to eat) and big ones (like where to live and who to make babies with) it allows our brains a break from constantly trying to solve existential problems. We usually don’t even have to think about these things if we function within a society. The most basic identifying factors are chosen on our behalf without our conscious approval. Thank your school, your local food store, the TV in your living room, the government, your unsuspecting parents…the list can go on and on. Essentially society tells you to say YES and move on to the next fake choice you think you are making.

Spirituality I have come to find, comes at crucial times for most of us. Many people seem to be exploring themselves now due to the significant loss of jobs from COVID, and/or the changing nature of our lifestyles. The first thing that happens once you delve into seeking higher truths is all those ego crushing questions come out to the surface. Essentially, if I am none of the things that I identified with before, then who really am I?

This is where it gets fun and juicy and terrible for our egos. At this point you welcome in that fantastic identity crisis that most of us lost souls out on spiritual journeys either are experiencing or have experienced before. Mindset comes in hard and heavy, and you get to really sit face to face with your insecurities, choices and triumphs equally.

I, in no way am claiming to know answers, all that I know, I write. I think we need to create space for questions like this not only in Sathsangs or philosophy lectures but over coffee with friends too. Normalizing self exploration is a great way forward to create a happier more authentic society.

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Musings on a Spiritual Journey

The list of lives I want to live keeps getting longer. The list of people I want to meet keeps expanding. There is so much that can be done, there are way too many moments to be lived that the mere thought about those paralyzes me. Does it paralyze you?

I find that writing does something for me, it helps me deal with it, it appeases my soul; and guards my mind against a sense of futility that cannot be escaped the older I get. See we entertain ourselves left and right, whether by going out and drinking our lights out or eating, or…the list goes on, to each his own. We distract our selves from a dryness, a bitterness that can only be uncovered in the stillness, that can only be tasted in the air when you are by yourself, captive to the lonesomeness of time you have no control over. All that we do helps us hush out the chaos that could easily unfold the second we let go. Except I dare ask, what if we let go?

What happens if you do let go of the wagon? might you fall off? might you remain at the forefront if you just stop doing it all? If you look away from the distractions, what will you find? Is it a life you want to live?

You see there are always two tracks at least, to how an event can unfold. Time will most definitely remain the same, the clock ticks away and you get one redeeming card that is ever renewed. You choose this or that, you decide on this activity or that, you weigh your options, you dive in, you stumble, whatever your usual method of living is, you just do it continuously and repetitively enough that it becomes your life.

We are not what we do, we are not what we eat, we are not who we see, we are not the dreams we have, we are not the time we waste. Or are we?

The fragility of our existence is astounding, and I know that we can feel invincible so easily. What do we make of a brilliant collision between fragility and invincibility, what lay in the very core of that? Maybe I have a dream somewhere in between those words, one that allows me to glide over the edges of those two conditions and live without deception, not just live, but document the atrocities of my mind and the frivolous buds of beauty that arise in the midst of that struggle.

The spiritual journey gets lonely, it also gets boundless, and limitless, so one must truly keep sight, and track the route; because it is surely not as simple as just closing one’s eyes and finding glory within. Within us are memories, truths, lies, pains, struggles, wonders, blessings and endless paths into a singular freedom.

Here I am, telling you and myself about it, just in case.

 

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Wonder disclaimer rant: The Lebanese edition

Welcome to the country of loss. We lose people, and honor here, we lose brilliant brains, and integrity. We lose sight and identify with a continuous fear of loss. We are terrified of the notion, yet we accept it taking over our lives and our country. If you were lucky enough, you know that the first thing we are taught here is how to pretend. Playing pretend is not problematic as long as you are able to identify your reality and its qualities. Pretend becomes problematic when you believe the act, your own act and everyone else’s.

Liberals

What does it mean to be a liberal here? Does it mean that you are agnostic? or does it mean that you have a less than harsh opinion about women? Does it include acceptance of sexual fluidity? or is it solely bound by your weekly practice of yoga at your local gym to blatantly identify as a seeker of inner and outer liberty and peace?

Conservatives

Are the practicing muslims the conservatives of this country? Don’t the latte drinkers, club goers, luis litton wearing gossip queens and kings not count here? Do you become a conservative person when you refuse to pull off that crop top, or body con dress? Or is it a political statement, one where you worship only one blood lord, and not the others? Are the liberals more convenient and generous in hosting leaders in their lives?

Where does money stand in this situation? Are the rich liberal or conservative? If they drive a brand new range rover, does it make them less conservative because they like cool and expensive cars?

Rant Alert

I attempt to excuse myself from this experience as often as possible. Advanced degrees in politics taught me one major lesson:

Don’t believe anyone in politics, and when you find yourself believing in them, know that whatever plan or policy they are preparing for is probably targeted at people like you. You are the audience. The labels don’t matter, those are audience selection tools. Those are summoning strategies and have been used for too long to swiftly gather the attention of “seemingly” like minded individuals.

Don’t believe them when they refer to “others”. Don’t believe them when they refer to “us”. It’s OK to live in the country of loss, just don’t believe the acts around you; but control one thing if you can: Your own reality.

The reality where you do not have good access to water and electricity, as any -liberal or conservative- does in any other state. You do not have a sustainable, consciensous plan for waste management, and soon enough this will affect you personally if it hasn’t yet. You do not have a working political system, a Democracy that has lasted since 2009 without elections. You do not have politicians or leaders looking out for your public good, depending where you stand on the spectrum, you are either a self hating Lebanese, who wishes you were French, American or anything else (western), or are living the life of a soldier ready to give your life at any given que.

It is quite dis-heartening to admit this, while I try to write stories to uplift you to your higher selves, seeking the innate good in myself and everyone else reading this. See, the essence of your goodness is there, but as long as you refuse to stop the act, there unfortunately will be little wonder for you to uncover in this world.

 

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High Diary of Footsteps in the Snow- the Amsterdam experience

The airplane sat on the runway for an hour in delay, and I was unsure whether it was the weather or my anxiety keeping it down. As soon the plane took off something snapped, my mind stopped; there it was: there I was, trapped by the moment. It happens so often it’s like an unconscious ritual by now. My tears start falling every time I leave a new destination, every time that the ground lets me go, my masks fall. All my heaviness is brought down by gravity and all that remains is a soul yearning to soar, and it does. It goes so far away, that I am a changed person the moment I touch down again.

So I keep on searching, and every time I think that I have arrived, I am weighed down by a trembling fear, a fear so tragic that time will not stop again, my eyes will not see the same wonder in the same way again. All the tricks I play on my mind become obsolete and I am left with myself, the self I have been getting to know slowly, and yet most of my light is still foreign, only to be found in the deepest quests inside, and the farthest trips shocking my senses out of a practiced sedation… And so I click my feet again and I leave the mud of familiar spaces.

Where do you go when you leave? What happens to your soul when you let it be? When you unburden yourself of all the excess weight? How do you fix the unnecessary glitches in your day to day conscious experience?

The search for wonder continues and I am nothing but a footstep in the snow. Almost never existed, melting into the bigger fluid experience. All i can do is dig my feet into the snow as violently as possibly and then just lift off lightly, as not to disturb the delicateness of the experience. But then again, nothing remains the same.