Archives for category: Wild Instinctual Woman
The Face of Femininity

The Face of Femininity

“With the manipulation of abstract symbols, an artist can send you information without sound, change your feelings and,
sometimes, even beliefs. Artists convey the unspeakable.”
― Jonathan Culver

REFLECTIONS

All night long the seals barked outside my window. By clicking on the words Seal Barking you will be able to listen to what I heard…for 10 hours though.

Seal Barking

It was a full moon and the sky was clear. Magical by anyone’s standards, but I was trying to shut nature out. So now it’s Tuesday and my  post is late. I am arguing with myself. I vacillate between being a thinking person who talks about Spirit, and being a Spiritual person who thinks before talking. As I wrestle with this, my vision deteriorates…literally. I last went blind when my younger daughter left home for University, in 2009, leaving me lost and without a vision for my new life. I hang so steadfastly to my stances and beliefs on life, that my body gives me very real, unignorable symptoms…until my will breaks and I allow the transformation to occur.

This post jumps all over the place, reflecting my experience.

FEAR

I sat bolt upright in bed last Wednesday night, gripped by fear. It was 1:38 am. Breaking out in a cold sweat, with butterflies in my stomach, I held my breath, afraid of my own shadow.  Was I standing on the edge of a precipice? Or adrift in white water rapids approaching a waterfall? Was I being smothered by a boa? Or leeched of blood by a parasitic worm? Or was I just a crocus, braving a chilly spring day?

2 truths are apparent to me. I have periods of terror in my new life and the use of idioms and hackneyed cliches are inadequate and sound idiotic.

On Saturday, as I was getting ready to meet a new man whom I hoped might be emotionally available, I glanced outside at the tiny flowers in my garden, bravely pushing through the cold, damp earth to view the blue sky and feel the warmth of the day. This may seem odd, but I’ve taken to talking to my plants. I asked them if they felt fear when blossoming in February, when tomorrow might bring snow? Did they contemplate waiting for a month, when warmer weather would be a certainty? Wouldn’t it be more prudent, I suggested, to wait until all conditions for survival were perfect? And there it is! Nature as metaphor! Obviously, neither the tiny yellow flowers nor the purple, can think or feel or have a say in when they bloom. Some inner ‘knowing’ alerts these plants to begin their transformation from seed pod to bloom, intuiting conditions are ‘good enough’. This inner knowing must exist within me, but I forget to listen to this intuitive, spiritual guide, and get stuck in my mind that says “Better the devil you know…” 

NEW LIFE IN MY GARDEN

NEW MEN IN MY LIFE

My first encounter with this new man took place at a local coffee shop. I felt fairly confident in going to meet him as I had intuited from the previous 2 weeks of conversation on POF, that he was respectful and attentive. During our 3 hour date, C. remained alert and interested in me, even when I deliberately put him to the test, by acting like an Emotionally Unavailable Man…you know, talking on and on in a  self-centered monologue! His eyes did not glaze over once, nor did he interrupt or yawn. And in answer to those of you who suggested only homosexual men are Emotionally Available, I hope you are wrong! I thought C. was attractive, but not confident. Every day language works well in describing C.’s stylish shirt and jeans, but falls short when trying to describe his essence. Metaphors from nature might lend themselves more easily to concepts like vulnerability and fear by creating images that bypass the concretizing mind. I could describe him using sea-faring terms. ..he seemed recently set adrift from an ancient mooring. Although awakened by this sudden plunge into icy water, he feared he would sink into the depths of  the unknown and would much prefer a jaunty sail in a light wind. Hackneyed yes, but the imagery says more than a simple explanation could. For illustration purposes… C.’s long term relationship ended recently when his wife wanted a divorce… 

Below are some photos of my new garden. It is being built by Anthony, with assistance from Jane! 20 eagles were flying around the cottage as a seal had washed up on shore, a tantalizing, but tough skinned treat for the wildlife.

COUGAR MARY-  I am trying to understand her

Sightings of cougars are extremely rare, even when your back yard borders a cougar corridor as mine did in Bragg Creek. So having a cougar walk onto my deck(2008) AND tap on my window to get my attention is beyond explanation in our material world. Enter the world of Spirit, Myth or Fairy Tale and the significance of this event becomes more apparent. This cougar encounter was meant to remind me that I am a mammal, capable of discernment through intuition, instinct, touch, taste, smell and sight…not just my mind.

 I have had countless cougar dreams, in which I behave exactly as I did in my real life meeting. Enraged, I rant and wave my arms maniacally trying to frighten this intruding cougar, so that it will run away…like the cowardly cat I think it must be. Importantly though, on my deck and in all of my cougar dreams, the cougar is neither aggressive towards me nor frightened of me. Whether in real life or in my dreams, the cougar’s gaze towards me was the same. With her eyes never leaving my face, she beseeched me to settle within myself in order to hear her lessons. She is my wise teacher, attempting to bestow wisdom on a foolishly naive, and bewildered me …having faith that one day, I will open up to her and willingly see the beauty in her presence.

Aspirations for Week 34 of 52

Cougar Mary – Is She Between the 2 Marys?

Like a young cougar cub, learning through trial and error, I am beginning to claim my personal power, walking a solitary path into the heart of all that matters. I will trust my instinctual self knowing that when the weather changes, I can close my petals and find shelter behind a granite rock.

Taking Shelter in Inclement Weather

Taking Shelter in Inclement Weather

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A Spiritual Encounter

A Spiritual Encounte 

I felt once more how simple and frugal a thing is happiness: a glass of wine, a roast chestnut, a wretched little brazier, the sound of the sea. Nothing else.

Nikos Kazantzakis

REFLECTIONS

Last week’s revelations have altered me forever. I had a cataclysmic shift in perspective, when I finally saw that I, as an Emotionally Eager Woman(EEW) contorted myself in futile attempts to elicit heartfelt reactions from Emotionally Unavailable Men(EUM). Now that’s a sentence! It describes a reality that NO LONGER EXISTS! I am free of this self-destructive, soul-destroying pattern of behaviour. This past week has been delightful and different. Gone is my need to be told I am loveable. Gone is my desire of wanting to be wanted. This lifelong, unconscious, beguiling determiner of my behaviour with men, finally broke through to consciousness! The sonic boom it created seemed as loud as the meteor in Russia. The pain in my heart, broke into tiny pieces, just like the shattered panes of glass in Chelyabinsk. And in time, these shards will be washed away!

I’ve had experiences during the last 7 days that were entirely new to me. I flirted with emotionally available men, rather than waiting to be noticed by EUMs! I taught drama to a delightful Grade 7 class. I committed to visit Vienna(without a man) in celebration of finishing Week 52 of 52 for The Other Woman Blog! I planned a communal food garden with a young couple I befriended in my neighborhood. I smiled at my reflection. 

THE TRANSFORMATIVE POWER OF EXPERIENCING LIGHT IN THE DARK

The purpose of The Other Woman Blog has been to unravel my contained and confined femininity. As I celebrate the sensation of freedom today, I have the strength to examine some of the forces behind the formation of my behaviour with men. I was an obedient daughter, and never openly provoked my father, that is, until I brought home my first serious boyfriend. Up until this obvious act of defiance, I employed passive aggressive tactics to express my rage. With his penchant for violence, I felt I had no other choice. For example, as a teen, I would stack the drying dishes from the evening meal, so precariously, that inevitably, the next morning as my father put them away, they would CRASH BANG to the floor. Hearing him swear from the safety of my bedroom I would laugh to myself, delighting in my ability to enrage him. Every day, I systematically burned the potatoes for the supper meal, knowing how much dad hated the pervasive taste of charcoal. And when I set the table, I gave him the chipped glass, the fork with the bent tine and the plate that swirled when he tried to cut his food. My father remained unaware of the lengths I had gone to elicit a positive, unequivocally joyful response from him…I got great marks, I was polite, and I said ‘no’ to sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll. So by 20, I had given up on him and transferred this desperate plea for male attention to my ‘father replacement’.

My Old Boyfriend

My Old Boyfriend

Nothing says you’re a failure as a father more eloquently than when your daughter chooses a much older boyfriend, who bears a striking resemblance to the patriarch! At 20, I chose B as my boyfriend in a misguided belief that a facsimile of father would give me the attention and emotional support I craved. The side ‘benefit’ was the anger and humiliation my father felt over my choice. B was 20 years older than I, which made him 13 years younger than my father. They could trade WW11 stories and gloat over the fact that they still had their hair in middle age. I was incapable of discerning B’s motivations for being with me, as my need for male approval, superseded any logic or good sense. I failed to see how I was hurting myself in this odd relationship. My unfulfilled emotional needs dictated my choices. I’ve come to see that any behaviour that defies logic and common sense, is driven by unconscious need.

One night, after meeting B, my father offered me his first bit of advice…”A man doesn’t have to buy the cow, if he gets the milk for free.”  His comment infuriated me. It was rude on so many levels, that I blurted out “F*** YOU.” Shocked that I would say this to him,  he slapped me with incredible force, across the face. Broken-hearted, I ran from the house, out into the blackness of the summer night, weeping and suicidal. I sat on a swing in a nearby playground, planning my death, when an overwhelming energy pulled my gaze upwards, into the splendour of the sky. Transfixed by what I saw, my pain subsided. The beauty unfolding above my head, was the counterpoint to the strife I had been experiencing with my father. In that moment, in my soul, I found hope and enough strength to walk back into the house, knowing that life’s hardships would always be balanced by its beauty. SORRY, YOUTUBE IS NO LONGER ALLOWING ME TO USE ANY OF THE FOOTAGE FROM THIS AMAZING EXPLOSION! 

40 years ago, this cosmic extravaganza kept me out of the morgue. Its unparalleled magnificence gave me a reason to live, a philosophy of life and a sense of hope. Although Alister Chapman’s YouTube clip is not exactly what I saw, as my event had more pinks and purples, the majesty of the music, echoed my feelings!

WEEK 33 OF 52

SLOGGING AND BLOGGING THROUGH THE MIRE ON MY WAY TO JOY

THE POWER OF 8

Last week’s Blog Post, Week 32 of 52, Ending My Search for Emotionally Unavailable Men, marked the 8 month point in my 12 month journey towards finding The Other Woman within myself.

8 is symbolic of completion to Buddhists and celestial order to the Hindi where  the 8th Chakra is the Chakra of the Soul. To the Christians, 8 is symbolic of rebirth and regeneration. To the Pythagoreans, the number 8 is the symbol of love and friendship and to the Chinese and other Asian cultures, 8 represents the whole, the totality of the Universe. And for the kinaesthetic learners in the group, you will not be able to fold a piece of paper more than 8 times. 8 is infinity – Paradise regained. 8 is a universally recognized power number.

After 8 months of slogging and blogging through the mire of my psyche, my unconscious drives, my memories and my habits I declare a success! For the first time in my conscious life, I feel free of my need to ‘work’ on myself, in hopes of receiving a declaration of sincere, unreserved, unfettered love from the man of my dreams.

Cosmic Infinity

Cosmic Infinity

 

CONFESSIONS…

OF AN EMOTIONALLY EAGER WOMAN…

For the past weeks I have been trying to make a list of qualities that I would want to see in a man with whom I might have a relationship. Nada Niets Nihil Null Nichts…the page remained blank! Pathetic…I chastised myself… how have you chosen your men in the past? How are you choosing men now? Based on what? Obviously, nothing conscious. And so my confession unfolds.

I Don't Know What I Love in a Man!

I Don’t Know What I Love in a Man!

3 months ago I went out with a man called K. Supposedly, I said, within minutes of sitting down, “I am emotionally available, but not physically.” I say supposedly because I cannot imagine ME saying anything so clear and honest. K told me the other day, that these words are akin to hearing 2 other ‘kiss of death’ expressions from women. ‘I really like you but’ … or ‘You remind me of my brother!’  He then said that after nursing his bruised ego for some weeks, he realized that he too wanted to be friends, and so asked me out in pursuit of friendship. Now, as mutually proclaimed BFFs, we can talk to each other about our forays into the dating world. When K asked me to identify the dominant characteristics of men I have loved, I did some Freudian ‘free association’, feeling K’s non-judgmental curiosity and acceptance of anything I would say.

I blurted out, “Men I love are good looking, intelligent and emotionally unavailable.” A little flummoxed by this list, I tried to recant it. But K laughed out loud and said this described him perfectly…making the point that nothing had really changed for me…I was still attracted to the same type. I replied that I could see his good looks and intelligence, but needed him to explain the typical behaviours of an emotionally unavailable man. He guffawed with incredulity,

K: “Don’t you read Cosmo or Chatelaine? Women are always complaining about emotionally unavailable men!  When you told me you were emotionally available, but not physically, what went through my mind was that most guys, including me, are the opposite…present in body, absent in heart!”

Emotionally Unavailable

Emotionally Unavailable

Between2Marys: “Wait a minute, are you saying that this is a ‘thing’, a documented Character Flaw?”

K:  “I’ll use my very Smart Phone and show you! AHA! 267 578 sites on topic in 0.1 seconds. I’ll read a few descriptions of Emotionally Unavailable Men(EUM) and Emotionally Eager Women(EEW) to see if you recognize your men and yourself, okay?”

K: An EUM will do any one(or a combination of)the following, rather than explore the emotional side of an issue:

K: He will give his woman the silent treatment or pretend to agree with her so she’ll leave him alone or constantly forget to do an agreed upon task or do it poorly or procrastinate on an infinite number of things or feign fatigue as soon as his woman sits down to ‘have a chat’ or he’ll have a temper outburst or become a workaholic or give undue attention to a hobby or a sport or hide in an addiction or the real kicker, talk endlessly about other women…his friends of course…

As K droned on, every word bombarding my heart, I began to retreat into my martini addled consciousness. I didn’t need to hear the characteristics of the EEW, because I have just spent the last 6 months on The Other Woman Blog, dissecting her every thought and behaviour, past and present.

I went home that night feeling disoriented and stupid. I have spent my entire life trying to ‘turn’ emotionally evasive men into emotionally available men…I never accepted I was interacting with emoticons …you know, when the man you are talking to lifts the corners of his mouth upwards to simulate a smile or widens his eyes to convince you he is listening.

My Men!

My Men!

Emotionally Eager Women attract Emotionally Unavailable Men…ARGHHHHHHHH And just as an aside, look at those acronyms. Could they be better? In response to my signature query, “How are you feeling, dear husband, boyfriend, lover, father…I would hear, “eh…um”(EUM). And, after discovering that I am known to psychologists around the world as an Emotionally Eager Woman, makes me say…eew(EEW).

After this revelation with K, I spent the next week dancing to wild music, while maniacally playing ‘air guitar’, as I screamed a barrage of expletives…doing a good imitation of an angry teen. For those of you who do not know, below is aYouTube video which you can watch by clicking the triangle in the middle of the picture!

All of this dancing released a surge of energy from the core of my body…a seismic event, a cataclysmic, life altering shift in perspective. The pressure between Something’s Gotta Give and As Good as it Gets finally burst.

The men in my life ‘gotta give’ and this is ‘as good as I’m gonna get’!

 WEEK 32 OF 52

ENDING MY SEARCH FOR EMOTIONALLY UNAVAILABLE MEN

Here is my deepest confession, although it may be perfectly apparent to all of you. I have spent the last 6 months, ‘working on myself’, so that I MIGHT GET MY MAN…FINALLY…

But never again will I believe that desiring emotional involvement from my partner is wrong. Never again will I believe that if I improve just a bit more, he will turn to me and say with conviction, “I LOVE YOU!”

I will remember that he owns this problem! He has a character defect!

February is the month of love.  So if I can’t be with someone who loves me, I’ll love the one I’m with. And as I am alone, I will start by loving me! I’m going to buy chocolates and flowers for myself on Valentine’s Day!

I will never accept emotional ambiguity, from a man, again!

MY NEW THEME SONG!

This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn’t turn out to be like Literature. (or People Magazine)

Julian Barnes-Sense of an Ending

REFLECTIONS

No doubt, I am more comfortable being zaftig

Last week’s post…debunking the myth of thin…created such anxiety that I did something I have not done in years. I bought a People Magazine and 2 of my favourite chocolate bars…simultaneously..never a good sign. In my attempt to dislodge the internalized belief that being thin solves all problems, I fell back into the illusory comfort of old habits. I found myself at the checkout stand, transfixed by air-brushed faces and bodies, fantasizing about movie sets, kisses from handsome leading men and living the ‘perfect’ life as a thin person…this soothing Utopian reverie begged to be continued, so I grabbed Jennifer Lopez’s latest cover spread, and plunked it down, right on top of my kale and swiss chard. Upon noticing an unacceptable gap in my grocery items, I asked the man behind me to ‘hang on’ while I frenziedly raced down the aisles on a quest for Green and Black’s 100 gram Almond Bars. Spiritual quest long forgotten, I was headed into regression…Thin IS in…stop trying to burst my long held belief system Between2Marys…

Sneaking my cache of mind numbing, soul destroying items past my nephew, and into my bedroom/writer’s haven/den of iniquity, turned me into James Bond. Crouched low, items tucked under my arm, I slunk out of the kitchen, swivelling my neck quickly to the left and then to the right being certain the coast was clear. Once a clear path was ascertained, I skulked down the hall and quietly shut my door. Chocolate and wine on my bedside table… JLo smiling up at me… I was set. I sighed with the knowledge that the next hour would be full of the magic of escapism at its finest.

Post Escapism Reckonings

Fresh off my sugar high and a little bit tipsy, but fully informed on JLo, I wondered why  I was afraid to debunk the ‘thin is power’ myth. Perhaps it was the rising fear I felt, knowing I would have to weather the discomfort of the void that is always created between letting go of a decades held cultural ‘truism’ and the formation of a new belief system…one that arises from within me, the newly awakening zaftig woman! Just like the anxiety that engulfs one’s stomach, when stepping from a train, over the emptiness of the dark rails beneath the platform, to solid, new ground, we all fear this gap. What if I loose my step and slip into the void, never to see the light of day!(translation: end up in an all white padded room receiving shock therapy)

The Void between the Known and Unknown

The Void between the Known and Unknown

 I’ve been here before. Most recently in letting go of my marriage. I felt intense fear when I walked away. What I had was not fulfilling, but it was better than absolute nothing…my fear of being alone was so palpable that I vacillated on making the decision for years. Personal growth never stops, and facing the void between the old and the new is still scary, but I have done this enough times now to have absolute faith that there ALWAYS is a safe platform on which to land. 

Confessions of a Nag Hag 

I wanted to believe that in being thin I would be in control. Controlling my body guaranteed control of my life. In being thin, the epitome of society’s muse, I would be so alluring to men, that I would be in control in the relationship, ensuring I would not be hurt. I think people attempt control of everyone and everything, not out of evil, but due to fear…fear of the unexpected…the unknown. In the rigidity that ensues from attempts at control, I assumed I would avoid being hurt, disappointed or betrayed. Intellectually I know this is not true…control of anything and anyone is an illusion…I can work towards fulfilling an intention, but outcome is determined by a myriad of variables. Trying to control people, including a man who may find me attractive, would be against his natural need to be self-determining, thus creating a dispirited man who responds by:

a)working very long hours

b)never loading the dishwasher adhering to the prescribed(by me)protocol

c)developing intermittent hearing loss ie. whenever I speak

d)surreptitiously glancing at EVERY attractive female…an action known to be my achilles heel

My Theory on Creating a Nag Hag

1.Obsessively, I attempt to elicit attention from my husband, by trying to be what I THINK he desires in a woman. I compulsively ask him how he is feeling…meaning how is he feeling about ME. Under my intense scrutiny of his every movement and emotion, he withdraws in near imperceptible increments(hoping I won’t notice and ‘start up’ my tirade) until our communication is reduced to 4 word texts.

2.His perceptible withdrawal makes me even more bitter and indignant. After all I’ve given him, contorting my mind, body and soul in an effort to please him…he has the nerve to withdraw…making me even more angry, yet determined to try harder to please him.    TaDAH!!  The Uber Nag Hag is born!

My NagHag antics and his withdrawal left us both dispirited. Not only did my body and personality contortions fail to elicit the desired attention from my husband, in the process of being someone externally defined, I undermined my self-confidence, my self-direction, and my self-determination. I will never feel fulfilled until I have the courage to give voice to my own desires, and then allow a man to choose to fulfill them.

ASPIRATIONS FOR WEEK 30 OF 52

CHANGING FROM NAGHAG TO SELF-DETERMINING

I have had fun writing this week’s post. I feel clearer on my part in the dissolution of my marriage. It is so easy to blame the person who ‘acts out’, who breaks the marriage vows, as my husband did, but a marriage is a dynamic, and true healing, for both of us, can only occur when I recognize and acknowledge the part I played. So for Week 30 of 52, I will continue to give voice to my desires, having faith that in this world of abundance, I will find fulfillment!

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