Soon, you may notice a new look to some of my printed and online materials. I’ve been working with designer/branding coach Virginia Mizuno to give everything I communicate a more professional and integrated look. This process has been quite surprising. In the SEED meditation training, we have a saying, “How you do one thing is how you do everything,” meaning the issues that come up during meditation or that keep you from meditating are the exact same issues that hold you back in your life. Well, that can also apply to what you think is going to be a simple, cut and dried business process such as redesigning your marketing materials…
Up until now, I’ve been doing most of the designing myself, and been pretty satisfied with my work. What Virginia brought to the equation is a lighter, airier look. When looking through her eyes, there is admittedly a certain “heaviness” or highly structured look to my designs. This reflects the way I approach most things in my life. I tend to be pretty serious, organized, persistent, and strucutred. Well, I thought, why not try a different look? What’s the harm?
After my first re-design session, I drove home in an energized and slightly agitated state. Hmmm…what’s this about? Thinking back, I realized that my earliest beliefs center around protecting and to some degree hiding my femininity. I used to think there were battle lines drawn in my family between the boys and the girls, and with four older brothers, my mother and I seemed grossly outnumbered, even after my little sister came along.
My father especially failed to cherish my femininity. Going back another generation, I can see that his childhood gender equation was the exact opposite of mine – many older sisters who were perhaps not the most respectful of his masculinity.
My father’s emotional attacks could come at any time, and I didn’t feel I could mount any defense or expect support from other family members. I depended on my own internal logic, stability and heavy freeze defenses to survive. Any lightness or unnecessary vulnerability on my part courted disaster, so I leaned to maximize the masculine qualities and leave the femnine to my girlfriends.
Lately, I have come to understand that every human being has both masculine and feminine qualities, and full integration requires the safety to express and accept both sides. We are slowly learning as a society that the actual physical gender assumed by our physical bodies is only one point on a continuum, and we have squandered generations of potential by trying to force each unique individual into rigid boxes of male or female, often with disastrous consequences. As more celebrities and others come “out of the closet” or are exposed by scandal, we learn to bring forth and accept these hidden parts of ourselves as well. We owe these individuals a great deal, whether their example has been conscious or not, as it serves as accelerators for the release of generations and lifetimes of toxic shame and limitation. If we choose to learn from these events and apply them to our own internal processes, that is.
As I delve into freeing up my feminine vulnerability and creativity, I find that a certain masculine decisiveness and action-ability are also coming into maturity. It’s an emotional mini-rollercoaster, but I find I’m enjoying the ride more and more!
This process of self-discovery and liberation is at the core of the work I do with clients as well. Most physical dysfunction can be seen as a result of trying to freeze or encapsulate “unacceptable” energies within our bodies. As a craniosacral therapist, yoga teacher, or meditation leader, I serve as a facilitator of the battle between the parts of the self that have been restrained and the part that has been critical and restraining. Just by getting a more loving dialogue going between these parts, true healing can begin. At times, the outcome is nothing short of miraculous. This is what keeps me going, at work with you and at home inside myself.
Just as I was posting this blog entry, I saw the poem above in my FaceBook news feed that seems appropriately related, and added a background to suit my new esthetic. Not specifically father-daughter or societal, but we know that ALL relationships attempt to fulfill the same needs, don’t we?