Welcome to Trust Your Sacred Feminine Flow. 

Each month on the podcast, I share my emerging wisdom about our feminine awakening journey through embodying our sovereignty, changing our world, and becoming the women we were born to be. In this episode, we explore the sumptuous side of self-love. Not the “have to” – add it to your to-do list kind of self love but the “get to”, this is great, kind of self love. It’s all about grounding in your sensual body and considering yourself in all equations. And this sumptuous form of self love is just the sacred medicine we need to flourish and lead in these challenging times.

Also mentioned:

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

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Read the Full Transcript Here:

Hello and welcome Beloved, it’s so good to be with you again. And if this is your first time tuning in an extra warm, welcome to you from my heart to yours. So I am so excited to talk with you today about this topic. This topic of self love that we hear so much about. But I want to deconstruct it a little bit and deep dive into it and get to the juicy bits about self-love. So I want to begin by sharing one of my favorite poems with you, actually a segment of the poem, and it is by Mary Oliver. It’s her Wild Geese poem. And here’s the way it goes. 

You do not have to be good. 

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. 

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

Let’s hear that again. 

You do not have to be good. 

You do not have to walk on your knees for a hundred miles through the desert repenting. 

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.

So what does this speak to Beloved? It speaks to the fact that we don’t have to keep punishing ourselves, that we don’t have to work so hard to get it right, to be good girls, that we get to come back to ourselves and what matters to us and what honors who we are and what we value. And we get to allow ourselves to love that. We get to engage with those things. We get to immerse ourselves in what the soft animal of our body loves.

So I am just back from my annual trip to Ocracoke Island, which is off the coast of the mid Atlantic in North Carolina. And I go there every year for my birthday, and I’ve been doing that for at least 25 years. And the reason that I do that, and I bring my family with me and I go with friends is because Ocracoke, while not just going to the beach. It’s like a return to the wild for me. And I didn’t realize it as clearly as I did this last week, that it really is this whole Mary Oliver idea. It is letting the soft animal of my body love what it loves. It brings me consistently into connection with myself through the elements. It is so powerful. So I’m going to see if I can express some of it because it’s a little bit, uh, as you can hear in my fumbling, difficult to put into words, but I am the kind of person who gets turned on by sitting there and staring at the waves.

Like I don’t even bring a book. I just sit there at the water’s edge, watching the waves come in, studying the water, walking in the water and looking at the way the light illuminates it in the way that there are the different layers of water as the tide’s coming in and the tide’s going out. And then the amazing clouds, like so crazy beautiful cloud formations, like looking at the heavens and then because Ocracoke is protected seashore. It’s a wild place. So it’s vast and it’s open and there are birds. And the night sky is just incredible. We were able to see the Milky way consistently for days and days and days, because we happened to be there for the new moon. And I’m telling you that I could sit there till my neck ached staring up and just absorbing and communing with the heavens and letting the star light awakened something in my body.

And it’s, it is at times like this, that I feel most alive. I used to feel well, that’s not really true. I was going to say self conscious about it. It’s not that I felt self conscious. It just, I would talk about going to the beach each year, and I’m sure you have your own conception of what it means to go to the beach, but it’s so much more than just going to the beach for me. And so what’s the point. What’s the point of my going into this? The point is, is that I love being immersed in the elements in that way. I love it. My body craves it. My body comes alive in a way it’s like the dry plant that gets watered. It just, it just comes alive. It brings me into my passion. I love it. It is the way I want to mark my birthday each year. And while I am not saying that, you need to love that.

You can hear I get on fire excited about this, but what matters is that you allow, what brings you that alive, that you allow, that you say yes to whatever the soft animal of your body loves. That that matters. That is important. It is so important. It’s we are not here to be about being good. We are not here to be about repenting and punishing ourselves. We are here to powerfully, nourish and love ourselves. And why is that? Because we’re also here to give and to serve and to be a part of life. We’re not here to just be consumers to just be receiving. And the only way we can do that, the only way we can powerfully give the only way we can be resourced for these times, because can we just talk about these times and just how ridiculous 2020 has turned out to be in terms of you can’t turn any in any direction without seeing crisis or trauma or some new level of things falling apart.

And we can’t meet that. We can’t overcome that. We can’t heal that. We can’t transcend or transform that from the place of the good girl, we can’t do it from a place of self punishing or self-criticism. We can only do it from the place where we are just amplified in our humanity and in our divinity and in our full on a liveliness, which comes from loving ourselves, cherishing ourselves, and in particular loving what the soft animal of our body loves. Because this beautiful body, and I want you to take your arms and just gently give yourself a hug right now and say, yes, you beautiful body in whatever form it happens to be in is the vehicle. It’s the vessel. It’s, it’s what you’re here on the ground to relate to life from. And I get it. It may not look like those airbrushed images of everything you’ve been fed about what you’re supposed to look like or what form it’s supposed to be in order to be desirable or lovable. But guess what, if you love yourself, it kind of doesn’t matter. It kinda doesn’t matter how many people are attracted to you. If you love yourself, not that you need to fall apart, or, but it doesn’t matter what you look like – if you love yourself. But I digress that that isn’t necessarily where I was heading with this, but it’s important. It’s important. We’re all yearning to be loved.

And so many times in my work with clients over the years, it’s like, yeah, yeah, yeah. I know. I have to love myself. I know I have to give it to myself. And there’s a way in which it implies, Oh, I would really like to get it from somewhere else. I don’t want to have to do it for myself. And it I’m going to say, it’s that distinction between the doing it’s like the over-giving, how many of us as women are just so, uh, sat on the set point of over-giving, over-giving and now I have to give it to myself. Oh, I don’t want to do that. I just want somebody else to love me and care for me. And here’s the thing. I totally get that. But sometimes the loving thing we need to do for ourselves is to give ourselves rest or to give ourselves a protective boundary that says, no, I’m, I’m not gonna do this over-giving in the same way anymore.

 I’m going to honor and be true to myself. I’m going to nourish and nurture those passions and those channels that feed me, that feed my soul, that feed my heart, that feed my body. And we got back to that soft animal of the body and what matters to her and what matters to you. So I want this to be your permission slip, and also your marching orders, your marching orders to value and prioritize, loving you by starting out with listening to your body and what she craves and not craves from the place of numbing out or tuning out, but craves to bring her more alive. And I don’t know what that is for you. It may be craving being in the forest. It might be craving creating, painting, dancing. It might be craving quiet or stillness or gentle movement, or being near the water.

It matters listening to her. And along with that, I want you to tune in and prioritize in your relationships – how can I love and honor myself in this relationship, particularly when there’s conflict or discord. Rather than quickly, rushing to make peace or settle things with the other, taking some time to be quiet and to just tune in what would be most loving for myself in this situation? What is it that I most need? What is it that I’m feeling? And giving yourself that space and letting that be your guide, letting that be your measuring stick. And it might be the question that you move through your day with what would be the most loving thing I could do for myself today. And again, this is not about self-indulgence or becoming just a consumer. It’s about what is it? What are the ways that I can resource myself?

What are the ways I can create my environment? That I can use my time and my energy? What is the most loving way that I can use my energy today? That I can use my time? What’s the most loving schedule for myself? What is the most loving way to work with my finances and using that as your guide. And as I said at the beginning, always coming back to the soft animal of your body, because she will never lie to you. She is trustworthy and she knows what supports you and what feels good to her. And she also knows what doesn’t. She knows when there’s self betrayal, it shows up. So tuning in and connecting with her. And as I said, just even with touch, whether it’s a gentle hug or some soft massage or patting, like gently patting the body, just remembering her, the soft animal of your body and honoring her and loving her.

And if there are places where it feels impossible to orient to yourself in a loving way, I recommend I just did a recording last month on self forgiveness. And sometimes before we can open to that sense of love, we do need to forgive ourselves for those things that we believe are unforgivable. And I just want to remind you that we are walking through life, maneuvering, outrageously, unrealistic beliefs, expectations, structures for how to conduct ourselves for how to be ourselves. And, and that is in part what we are here to dismantle, I believe, but because we are constantly making our way through that matrix, it can be so easy to get sucked into the lies and to forget the value of connecting and coming home to ourselves, to loving and honoring ourselves. You matter, your joy matters. Your happiness matters. When we are in that full place, we are so generous and have so much capacity to offer life. And again, that’s, that’s not what it’s completely about, but it’s part of what it’s about. We are here to dance and engage with life.

And as someone who spent so many years in self-loathing, and it really was the self-loathing of not appreciating my own true nature. I learned very early on that, who I was and how I was, was not okay in this world. And that may be true for you as well. And it took a number, it took decades to shed an unwind, the self- loathing, and to find a place of self acceptance, and now to truly be able to open to cherishing and self-love and celebration of who I am. And seeing the ways that I have something to contribute and to give that I never could have from a place of divorcing myself from my true essence or who I am or what I’m here to do. So if that’s something that you are struggling with, if everyone around you is saying that who you are or how you do it, or what you value is wrong, I’m here to tell you, or, or even if there’s just an old little vestige of that, that echoes through your mind from time to time and dogs, you, I’m here to say, that’s a lie. It’s not true. And that what matters to you and who you are and how you are, is valuable and important. And the world needs you Beloved. Need you to be fully alive and fully in love with yourself and with life. And when we are in love, then the world responds it’s magnetic. It’s powerful.

So I’m going to be sharing some of my photos from the beach, some of the crazy, crazy, crazy, beautiful images, some of which are taken by my husband, most of which are. Of the Milky way. Of clouds. Dramatic, crazy, beautiful clouds. If you’re interested, you can check out my Instagram feed, which is joni.advent.maher 

And I also want to share with you that at the end of the month, this is a new offering. The last Monday of every month, I am offering a Visionary Leadership Activation Circle, which is an opportunity to come back and to ground in the vibration of confidence, of trust in yourself, of opening to that source of brilliance and creative power of the Radiant Presence that exists within you, always within the soft animal of your body, that you are coming home to consistently. 

So you can check that out through the link in the show notes, I’ll have my Instagram link there as well. And beloved, I am sending you a great big virtual hug and a deep bow honoring the beauty of who you are. And again, reminding you to love, let your soft animal of your body love what it loves and as always to trust what your heart knows.

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