I co-wrote this article with my soul sister and colleague Bland Tyree.
We all have patterns or issues that keep surfacing despite our best efforts to transform them. They are often most noticeable during times of stress, transition, or when we want to step out in new directions. When they arise it can stir up a lot of self- blame, anxiety, and frustration, all of which keep us in a tight knot of tension and contraction.
It is important to know that these places are more difficult to shift because they usually exist in a matrix that is much larger than our individual self, such as our family, our culture, the collective unconscious, and often our soul patterns.
As we, as women collectively inhabit our power and leadership in groundbreaking, new ways one matrix we frequently encounter is the energetic complex of the “Disempowered Feminine.”
The Disempowered Feminine holds the frozen energy of generations of women silenced, banished or destroyed for daring to own their power, wisdom and light. She holds the cultural and institutional limits that forbid women from holding property or positions of authority. She holds the trauma of “the burning times” when as many as a million women were tortured and burned at the stake for being healers or wise women.
You may personally experience her when you can’t speak up and use your voice, or doubt yourself and your ability. She’s there when you give your power away or you feel stuck and can’t take positive action on your behalf. She is present when you feel unworthy, can’t see your strengths or believe you don’t measure up.
Bland here, recently I came face to face with an issue that I have tried to unwind many times and yet I struggled with. I had the familiar feelings of shame, self-blame and powerlessness.
This time however, as I sat with my feelings and observed them with compassion, something new arose. I realized that I had been relating to my struggle as if I was flawed, a really “slow learner.” I intuited that my struggle is sourced in my mother line. I allowed my awareness to tune into my maternal matrix, and I could see the roots of my struggle in the generations who came before me. I also sensed how each woman did the best she could with the circumstances of her life, including the larger cultural and spiritual forces that impacted her.
My heart opened, and I felt tenderness and appreciation for all of these women. I understood that my struggle is not my personal failing, but part of a much bigger pattern, extending back in time for centuries. I sensed my maternal ancestors circling me and lovingly cheering me on, to take the next steps they could not take.
Even as we have more options and freedoms available to us than ever before many of us find as we step into our fullness we are also called to heal collective stuck and frozen places on behalf of womankind. One of the ways we do this is to recognize and dismantle structures of the Disempowered Feminine when we find her in ourselves.
As long as there are women living without personal freedom or power in our world, She will continue to be a potent collective presence, affecting many of us personally.
We are here in part to bring Her healing and wholeness. We do this woman by woman as we each claim our personal power and express our full nature as Sacred.
So how do we heal Her?
When you encounter those deep places, embedded in your own psyche and held in a larger matrix holding you back we have found it helpful for ourselves and women we work with to begin with:
Release your self judgments and recognize the roots of this issue go beyond you personally
Find a supportive relationship to hold you as you face your issue (a Mentor, Friend, Women’s circle)
Use your breath to open to emotions in your body
Reconnect with your Inner Wisdom and connection to Source
Remember these deep issues are healed and released gradually, layer by layer
Above all, be gentle with yourself
Those of us on a conscious journey of healing do so for our selves and the collective. Each time we meet the Disempowered Feminine within us with tender presence and inner wisdom we can release another layer. This brings greater freedom not only to our selves but to the generations that came before us and to those yet to come. This deep healing is our Sacred service to humanity and it is what will ultimately bring peace and healing to our world.
Bland and I have taught together on healing the Disempowered Feminine for over 15 years. For more information visit www.wholeheartedliving.org.