"Time – it’s the greatest democracy in the world. We all have the exact same amount of it.” That is something my dear friend and mentor Jim “Taz” Taszarek used to say. We are all trying to juggle a whole lotta stuff, all the time.
It may not seem like it, yet that juggling act is a choice. Sometimes we juggle and hustle to prove our worthiness, or it could be that we don’t want to slow down long enough to feel our feelings, or maybe we are just trying to be as busy as everyone else, it’s the new status symbol perhaps!
I have two main current missions for my personal growth: to keep my heart open and to access my feminine energy. I’ve been reading lately on this topic and I’m finding a theme. It’s PRESENCE. Being fully present leads to openness and feminine energy.
David Deida is pretty much a genius on the topic of masculine and feminine energies. I became aware of David when I attended a five day Tony Robbins event called Date With Destiny last December. There is a chapter in one of his books “Dear Lover” that I recently found called Spiritual Sexiness. He said this about what makes a man sexy in a spiritual sense… his presence. “Even without touching you, a man can open you to God if he is totally present with you. What a woman trusts about a man is the strength of his presence. In response to his lack of presence, your body will tense and you heart pulls back to protect itself.”
When I think of men who have been fully present with me, I would have to agree, it opens me in a bigger way than I seem to be able to do it on my own, which is a big reason for a relationship to exist in the first place, to open you more than you could open on your own. I think of foreign men as having this ability a bit more readily available. They often seem to be fully present when they talk to you and radiate passion about what they talks about. Maybe that’s just me!
So what makes a woman spiritually sexy? Here’s what David says… “The light of your love. Love Energy shining radiantly through you.” He goes on to say that “Unsurrendred women, attract unpresent men. You and your man are either evoking in each other openness or closure, worship or distance. The depth of your openness invites the depth of presence you likely get.” So he says that the men you attract are equally as committed to opening as you are. They are like a barometer for you! A clue.
When he says unsurrendered – I believe he means to surrender to being the light and the love that we are as the feminine. Being willing to dare to step OUT of our masculine a bit more and embrace the feminine in ourselves.
So what makes us spiritually sexy as the feminine, according to David, is letting our love shine, being open, surrendering to the love that we ARE at our core, in our essence.
So back to what he said about masculine being spiritually sexy – we ALL have both masculine and feminine aspects in us. So for me, I think if I can tap into both the presence and the openness that is my best self, no matter which aspect of myself I am accessing in a given moment – I will feel more true to myself and connect more deeply with myself and with others. Some days we allow ourselves to tap into our feminine more than others. Some days we feel compelled that we must be more masculine, because no one else in our life is stepping into their own masculine.
Let me clarify that staying open is not about feeling “good”. You can be angry, sad, or afraid and still remain open. Openness is a TRUST of what you’re feeling – this trust is LOVE. Love is openness. Love is what we ALL are.
We often close to being what we are by focusing on fear, people pleasing, control, when we are in these states of fear – we are NOT present. And we sure as hell aren’t OPEN! So David talks about body language. Opening your body posture as if it were a big heart, surrendering.
He suggests a lot of breathing and yoga exercises – breathing open so your energy can flow freely. Relaxing your lips tongue, belly, heart, genitals! Move, sit, as if a man of amazing presence were in front of you. One quote I read was: “Breathe love, trust open, settle for nothing less.”
So it’s interesting that David Deida talks about things like masculine, feminine, deep consciousness, and also talks extensively about presence and your own body language.
Amy Cuddy is best known for her amazing Ted Talk. She discusses extensive research on body language and something she calls “Power Poses”. A Harvard Business School professor and social psychologist, she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments influence people. And THIS is the name of her book… Presence. Are you sensing the theme now?
She says we all know it when we see it and when we feel it from others, yet it’s hard to define. While we’re really good at describing the lack of presence, we aren’t exactly sure how to describe it.
She says presence emerges when we feel personally empowered. “It’s when you’re not fighting yourself. It’s when you’re BEING yourself. Connecting with yourself. When you find your true presence it’s the strength to BE there because you’re NOT trying to PROTECT yourself. It’s you in your true state.” When we are worrying about what others think of us, assuming what they think about us, feeling powerless and clinging to outcomes and the processes – we are NOT present.
Presence isn’t about carefully managing the impression we’re making on other people. It’s about the honest, powerful connection that we create INTERNALLY with ourselves. Cuddy says that in order for you to feel truly present, the various elements of the self must be in harmony–
Cuddy says that when something feels off when we deal with someone – like the words and the actions don’t match up, we can’t completely invest our confidence in that person. They are not present with us in some way. Walt Whitman said we convince by our presence, and to convince others, we need to convince OURSELVES. When we feel safe with ourselves, we become significantly less defensive and more open. Making us better problem solvers as well as more present when challenges arise. Knowing who we are and what is important to us can help us feel that our life has a lot more meaning as well.
So if we can open our hearts to OURSELVES, lovingly accept ourselves and RELAX into who we are,
this will cause our emotions, thoughts, physical and facial expressions, behaviors – to be in harmony.
Tying back into David Deida – when we shine the love that we ARE, we become present and our bodies will be open – congruence. And the cool thing is when YOU become present, you allow OTHERS to be present. The thing is, when we feel powerless – we get self-absorbed. When you’re self-absorbed, it's pretty hard to be fully present with our heart open. We feel powerless as a result of FEAR. – when we are fearful, it's difficult to be fully present with our heart open.
As I wrote about in a previous post, releasing your attempt to control how others think about you (since you have no such control any way) will make you much truer to yourself and being true to yourself, opens your heart and brings you fully present. You can see being true to yourself as selfish I suppose if you want to work that angle. Yet it is the most loving way to liberate ourselves and others and connect you more deeply.
Glennon Doyle Milton said this about Mother Theresa – “and when she wanted to see the face of God, she didn’t look up and away; she looked into the eyes of the person sitting next to her. Which is way harder. Better.” I think this is presence in the description she uses.
Glennon's first book was an instant New York’s Times best seller. It was all about her own incredibly messy personal story. She was vulnerable and wrote about being assumed to have it all together, a mom, a wife, skinny, and wearing great jeans so of course, everyone assumed she was all that. While the reality was that she was an alcoholic, bulimic, drug user, a shop-a-holic and a big time people pleaser. She started to wake up to her life and said this: “It hit me that maybe the battles of life are best fought without armor and without weapons. That maybe life gets real, and good and interesting when we remove all of the layers of protection we’ve built around our hearts and walk out into the battlefield of life NAKED.” She said she didn’t want to carry around anything that she didn’t have to – she wanted to travel light so she could open.
So when we run from our feelings – we are not open and we are not present. We are in fear mode. Imagine putting a meaning on having your heart broken as a GREAT thing! Most all we humans have had our hearts broken, some more times than we care to count. What if you thought about it like this… you have what you seek, it’s inside you. In order to tap into it – you must break open – to get the thing you most desire. A broken heart can be an open heart, if you are willing to feel your feelings and stay present with them.
Back to femininity... femininity isn’t a role. Its in your walk, your gestures, the light in your eyes, and those all stem from how OPEN you are and how in touch you are with the love that IS you. To love and be open we must be PRESENT. Present with ourselves, feeling our feelings. Present with others, present in the moment. When we are present, we open. Showing up, fully. And yes, it’s being vulnerable – not protecting yourself. It means trusting. Trusting others and most of all trusting yourself.
At the root of being open and loving, we must love ourselves, love others, and everyone, just as we are – right now, in this present moment. You’ll have to practice, because as David Deida says, to open fully, you will have to actively do so because the rubber bands that want to snap us back to closure are ingrained deeply in us after years of practice in closing ourselves. Being PRESENT with yourself is what you must do to stay open when you want to shut down and close. If you don’t choose to open, know that you are actively choosing less for yourself and your life.
Some simple ways to be more present…
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Sandy Edie Hansen
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