The Goddess Beyond The Pussy

Why do people say, “Grow some balls?” Balls are weak and sensitive.  If you really want to get tough, grow a vagina.  Those things take a pounding!

-Betty White

 

I love pink.  It’s been my favorite color since I was 5 or 6, or whenever it was when Mom first let me pick out my own jacket.  I chose the soft pink one, not only because that’s what little girls in the seventies wore, but because it felt safe, unthreatening.  I realize that many women dislike this color because in this patriarchy, pink has been associated with a condescending attitude towards femininity. 

However, pink is having a renaissance, especially the deep, vibrant version of the color.  This color is emblematic (though not technically the actual shade) of the place that’s the most female thing about us.  Pink is the female.  The pink part of us makes us women both vulnerable and strong.  Wearing pink guarantees that the wearer is seen, and we women are ready to be seen.  

Off to the Women's March!  (True, no one's labia are this color.) 

Off to the Women's March!  (True, no one's labia are this color.) 

So I can see why people got into wearing pink pussy hats for the Women’s Marches this past weekend.  It made for a brilliant visual, the sea of pink representing the people protesting for equal rights for women and all humans.  I confess, though, that despite my extra-pink outfit, I skipped the pussy ears.  At the end of the day, I do not want to be identified simply by my pussy, strong and lovely though She is.  If you haven’t been invited there, you do not need to be thinking about my vagina.  You’re welcome to daydream about my smile or my tits – they’re standouts! – but my vagina is off-limits.  

And now I say to my fellow women in pink: instead of pussies, let’s get even more daring.  Let’s inaugurate ourselves as Goddesses.  I know the word “Goddess” has its odd connotations; perhaps it makes you think of your old hippie aunt with her long hair and her homemade paleo banana bread.  But what if The Goddess - the feminine embodiment of omnipotence and love – is our destiny?  Creation is the main function of the Goddess, so you can style your Goddess Self any way you want.  You can look to dozens of Goddess archetypes besides your Earth Mother Hippie Aunt- there’s the Warrior, The Feminine, The Seductress, The Mother, The Wise Crone, The Healer, and on and on.

Maa Lakshmi: The Hindu Goddess of Prosperity.  Unafraid to wear pink!

Maa Lakshmi: The Hindu Goddess of Prosperity.  Unafraid to wear pink!

If you’re with me on this, read on.  The first step in becoming any archetype of the Goddess is to take care of yourself.  Respect and love yourself enough to eat sensibly, exercise, drink lots of water.  Do what works for your body, soul and mind to keep them running smoothly. 

Notice if you resist this advice.  Have you been brought up to believe that spending time to care for yourself is selfish, that it will make you self-indulgent and unfeminine?  Consider this: how can a sick Mother serve her children?  How can a tired Warrior fight?  Your duty as a Goddess is to love and care for yourself enough to take the next step.  

At base, every Goddess is Love, and love is the act of releasing the ego.  By “ego,” I mean the part of one’s self that strives to be separate from others.  We tend to think of ego as something that inflates us, tells us that we’re better than others, but ego can also be something that deflates us, tells us that we’re worse.  Either way, The Goddess moves beyond those thoughts.  Yes, we all have strengths and weaknesses, but on the level of Spirit, these are meaningless.  Love means that we are the same.  So loving ourselves is not an end, but the means to generating love for others and the stamina to demonstrate that love to others.      

Maybe this is why we cringe at the idea of being a Goddess – because She is unselfish.  Releasing our obsession with our self, our ego, is extremely hard, especially since we Americans live in a culture which worships the self.  Capitalism thrives on desire, and desire is borne from the ego.  Ego can make us into puppets, swaying towards one desire after another, all day long, and also bobbing away from things that we don’t like.  It happens to all of us, but the more we can be aware of this process, we discover our true power.   

Fortunately, we now have Mr. Trump in office to remind us, daily, of how ugly ego can be. 

DT is too scary to post on my blog.  Here's Alec Baldwin, who plays him on TV. Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50323029

DT is too scary to post on my blog.  Here's Alec Baldwin, who plays him on TV.

Photo by Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50323029

Yes, ego has its purpose; it allows us to establish healthy boundaries around our time, our energy, and our resources.  It is a tool – but not the main motivator – for the Goddess.  Acceptance is another important tool; when we can embrace things that we don’t like (such as our new President) as opportunities to release our ego through letting go of our attachments (such as to the other candidate, or the past President), we can free up energy to create change.  

Because a Goddess does not hold back when there’s a need for change – witness the Mama Bear strike when her cub is threatened – but it does mean letting go of the thousands of slights and bonuses that tend to trap us in a small prison of self-centeredness.  In short – cut the shit.  Let it go. 

The discipline needed to resist focusing on your self, to expand your outlook and be a Goddess, can be built through practice.  There are hundreds of practices to choose from, or you can create your own.  Proper practice has three components: 
•    It builds strength – mental, physical or emotional; 
•    It builds vitality – it is something you enjoy doing;
•    It builds stamina - you do it regularly. Ideally, “regularly” means every day, but intense physical practices such as running or yoga asana often require a weekly day off.

Here are some suggestions for very simple practices; please add your own ideas in the comments section. 

Inaugural Practices for the Goddess

1.)    Five Minutes Breathing: This lends itself to regular practice, since you can do it even when you’re sick in bed, stuck in your car, or waiting in line.  Set a timer for five minutes.  Breathe.  Watch your breath, not your thoughts.  When you catch yourself thinking, watch your breath again.  Don’t be discouraged by how many thoughts you have; all you need to do is breathe for five minutes. 
2.)    Beautiful Goddess:  If you’re resisting a Goddess identity, get feminine!  Start wearing makeup.  Apply it with care, as if you were painting the face of the Goddess Herself.  Or, in the shower, apply your soap, shampoo, and lotion slowly, with love for your body and your being.  
3.)    We are All Water: Above all else, we humans are mostly water.  Water connects us to each other and to the life force.  First thing in the morning, make a point to drink a large glass of water while reminding yourself that every creature you will come in contact with is also mostly water.  Water is a fluid force that removes toxins for the body and refreshes us to make change. 
4.)    Mindful Snack: An eating practice is particularly easy to commit to, since you likely snack every day.  For this practice, focus on your snack.  Do not read or talk or listen while you snack.  Observe the food through all five senses before eating it.  Smell the food, and feel it with your fingers.  Shake it and listen to the sound.  Notice the visual qualities of the food – shape and color. When you put it in the mouth, continue to observe its weight and texture, the sound of your chewing, and the subtleties of taste.  Swallow one bite before taking the next.  An advanced version of this practice is to eat one meal (or all meals!) this way.  
5.)    Ground Work: Every moment of every day, you receive the support of the earth through the food you eat and through the pull of gravity.  Taking the time to notice the ground is a powerful practice.  Ideally, stand or lie on the ground outside, but this also works on the ground floor of a building.  Feel your feet.  Bring your mind’s eye to the place where your body is touching the ground (or your shoes.)  Imagine any difficulties that hamper you draining out of the body and into the earth.  This is a restful practice; you don’t have to do anything other than to observe your connection with the ground and release mental discomfort.  

Easy as these practices may seem, know now that you will not want to do your practice every day; the ego loves to rebel against practice.  You gain discipline by doing the practice regardless of your daily preferences.   If you miss a day (or more) - don't get bent out of shape.  Just return to the practice.  And you will find that the positive energy that you generate will help you expand your reach in whatever realm you choose.  

Good luck!  Feel free to reach out to me personally if you have practice questions or difficulties. Because my Inaugural practice is daily writing, please stay tuned to this space for more thoughts on Goddess Life…..  

Goddess Pose. Photo by Mariana Rangel. 

Goddess Pose. Photo by Mariana Rangel.