Woman Rise and Shine
A simple path for women who want to be themselves
© 2015, Ruth Bleakley-Thiessen
All rights reserved. Without limiting the rights under the copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in, or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without express, prior written permission. For permission requests, please contact: BleakleyThiessen@online.de
More books by Ruth Bleakley-Thiessen can be found at www.ruth-bleakley-thiessen.de
This book is dedicated to my mother
1 Introducing the New Feminine Paradigm 4
2 Compassion and Awareness 17
3 Creativity 28
4 Letting go 36
5 Freedom 46
6 Health 62
7 Creating Peace 77
8 Nature 86
9 Desires 91
10 Personal Transformation 101
I'd like you to take a moment to imagine something.
Inspired by a poem from Patricia Lynn Reilly, imagine just for a moment
a woman who believes it is right and good to be the woman she is,
a woman full of self-trust and respect for herself,
a woman who pays attention to her needs and desires, and who meets them with tenderness and grace,
a woman who honours her experience and tells her stories, who refuses to carry the sins of others within her body and life,
a woman who acknowledges the past's influence on the present, who has walked through her past and has healed into the present,
a woman who authors her life, who exerts, initiates and moves on her own behalf and who refuses to surrender except to her truest self and wisest voice,
a woman who names her own gods, who sees the divine feminine in herself and who designs a personal spirituality for her daily life,
a woman in love with her own body, who believes that her body is enough, just as it is and who celebrates its rhythms and cycles as an exquisite resource,
a woman who celebrates the accumulation of her years and her wisdom, who refuses to use her life-energy disguising the changes in her body and her life,
a woman who values the women in her life,
a woman who sits in circles of women and who is reminded of the truth about herself when she happens to forget,
a woman who allows her innate creativity to flow naturally and freely through her.
Imagine also a world where everyone feels welcome and wanted,
a world where everyone knows, deep in their hearts, that they belong.
This world is one big human family.
This is not just a dream, not even a far off vision or possibility. This is reality covered over with layer upon layer of disguise. We haven't lost access to all of this, we just have to break open a lot of shells and dust off to allow the real women to emerge.
For millennia, we have felt the discord and destruction that comes from the polarizations we have created between men and women, between nations, between religions, and between those who have and have not. These artificial divisions have led to struggle and strife, violence and war.
What if, instead, we choose to create a society based on our deep interconnectedness... based on the truth and wisdom of who we are?
What if we started to create and live a new feminine paradigm?
Times are changing. An energetic tsunami is breaking over us, in us and through us. There is an energy in the air about feeling, creating and being the freedom of spirit we embody as women.
This book is going to make you question a lot about being a woman up until now.
It's time to sink into the woman you truly are and be strong together. We are one Woman.
If not now, when?
If not you, who?
Let's do this together!
Introducing the New Feminine Paradigm
The most powerful thing I have seen are women who, no matter what age they are, make use of their wisdom, the kind of wisdom that resides in their heart and in their bones, are courageous beings and grow intensely with it.
The most painful thing I have felt is the emotional pain of women in different phases of their lives
- the pain of collective fear, illness, the physical and emotional pain of genital mutilation, and the shame and pain of verbal, emotional or physical abusiveness. Women have been suffering, been put down and used for multiple generations.
I know this sounds harsh. I myself, and I assume most of humankind, long for an end of violence, hatred and suffering.
I grew up in a male dominated world. I was born as a daughter between two sons. As a girl, I played with boys, mainly because there were no girls in the street we lived in, so they used me as a goalie when we played football, really just to make up numbers in the teams. The boys, and there were a lot of them, fired the ball hard at me. I did my best to be good at stopping it, which wasn't always easy. My mother left her body when she was much too young, she never lived to see my own children. I had three boys. So I lived surrounded with males of many generations, having had mostly male cats and a male horse too.
I have no problem whatsoever with men, I don't just like them, I love them. I also adore the company of women just as much.
I'm a person who likes questioning things. Perhaps I just have some resistance to being conventional. What hit me like a thunderbolt around eight years ago was that I harboured my own concept of how men should be, which was loving, supportive, strong, caring, always there for a shoulder on which I could lean upon, the hero, superman, my knight in shining armour who comes along to rescue me. Needless to say, holding this concept resulted in a lot of expectations on the men in my life, not to mention disappointment and anger which resulted when my expectations weren't fulfilled. Although I worked hard trying to keep this illusion up, it was shattered. Thank goodness for that! Men are human beings, they have a weak and needy side to them, just as women do.
Indeed, I had many illusions about how a woman is supposed to be as well. These concepts came from many different areas – from my conditional upbringing, my heritage, culture, beliefs I grew up with and from society. There is no blame to put on anyone or anything, just a lot of concepts I was thankfully able to question, in just the same way you can.
I have done a lot of personal transformation work on myself as a person, then as a woman, being in my woman's body. For years I have watched my brilliant female friends, colleagues and coaching clients struggle to be themselves, own their innate brilliance and share themselves fully in the world. I have come to realize that we are not alone in our struggles to be seen, heard and live in the freedom and truth of who we really are. So in this book I want to offer you something you can take and use.
In my everyday life, apart from being a writer, I work as an artist, a coach, an organiser, and a workshop facilitator, helping people who want to make changes in their life, be it with health issues, behavioural patterns or getting through blocks. It is wonderful to uncover and work on hidden problems which sabotage your life.
As an artist, I use creative tools to enable things to be seen in new ways. I explore feminine themes and the identity of being female. I love exploring everyday things -- household utensils, nylon tights and old bicycle tyres are my favourites. The occupation with everyday commodities is for me a search for the value which lies underneath commonness. It investigates our relationship to reality, the desire to escape and gain some distance from it, before allowing ourselves to go back into our everyday life. The search for meaning in the ordinary is also a search for identity. What we surround ourselves with defines our existence and shows us who and what we are and are to become. The same concept is taken into my coaching practice, as is used in my own life, looking at self-imposed limitations and challenging concepts and beliefs.
I'm passionate about people, both male and female, but in particular women, with the dilemmas and difficulties life brings to them in all variety and forms. I love to help women own their innate power and get through the issues which arise whilst they transform. I know from experience that whenever I step up for the next move, be it a job, a project, a relationship or whatever else, it can bring up a lot of issues.
An era has arrived in which we are entering into a new feminine paradigm. That's more than a beautiful magical word. It is feminine - intuitive, using the gut feeling, being holistic, seeing the larger picture, acting from the heart, using the right brain function, the yin, as in eastern tradition. It is inclusiveness, nurturing, connection, compassion and bringing up children in a loving way. It is the release of creativity on an ongoing basis, and being in touch with the moon cycles as well as being rooted in the natural world. It's the deep feminine side which lies within and connects with all of life, the energy of the divine female, which enables women to recognize their innate genius and love. It is the claiming of power and experiencing life the way you want to. It is being, instead of needing and wanting. It's letting go of the old ego structures and rising to new experiences. It's a whole new understanding of how women can support each other and create a world the way they would like it to be. It is the mystics of all traditions throughout the ages.
Right now, this idea of the new feminine paradigm is being reinforced by leading-edge women all over the world, who contribute to overcome apathy, who effectively collaborate with like-minded souls, convert fear into action, speak out directly and unstoppably, and apply their inner power to an active contribution in the world.
Scientists now tell us that we are connected in remarkable ways, from the genes we inherit to the air we breathe to the consciousness we share. The world view in which we are competing for survival and for the rights of women is giving way to one in which we are collaborating to thrive. Many wise people have shared about this.
Sri Bhagavan, the founder of the Oneness university, has implied that the role of women in the golden age is to sort out relationships and to create a new generation of human beings.”
In 2009 the Dalai Lama said that “The world will be saved by the Western woman”. His statement was prophetic and it sparked a revolution that’s occurring quietly in households, in offices, in yoga studios and within women one by one.
Sri Amma Bhagavan said:
“Women naturally have a sense of concern and care. When these qualities are awakened in her, she has the power to transform the world.”
It is said that when women worldwide spread their message, a culture of peace and prosperity, creativity and love can be created.
The new feminine paradigm is more than a concept, it's the true feminine nature. Returning to it and embracing it will create significant changes in the life of a woman. She will experience herself at a deeper level, she will recognize that she is a divine being, she will return to her true nature, she will feel a sense of coming home and belonging, and she will carry this with her into the rest of her life, bringing more awareness for the divine feminine into the world.
This isn't just about feeling good. It's about putting the new feminine paradigm into action in your personal life, within your family and communities and in the world at large. It celebrates your connection to all of life with the creative force that animates you. It creates a new culture for women. For when you see and celebrate your oneness with all of life, you are more likely to serve all of life. The feminine is in the process of emerging right now, it will bring a new level of consciousness into politics, science, business and advertising.
As the Hopi Elder said:
“The time for the lone wolf is over. Gather yourselves! Banish the word “struggle” from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now must be done in a sacred manner and in celebration.”
Meeting yourself, seeing yourself and giving yourself a voice is a process of growth. The past has only been a warm-up practice, it has given us all a chance to set a new stage for ourselves. Nelson Mandela put it well. He said:
“There is no passion to be found in playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”
All your attempts to be digestible, to fit in, to play the game, all the ways you have let blame drain the very life force out of you can be over. You should settle for nothing less than your innermost magnificence.
The time has come to soften. Soften your body, soften your heart, soften your energy, soften your mind. Soften your womb, there is a vast reservoir of untapped magic waiting.
It's time to acknowledge what you are ready to be, even if you think you haven't quite got to this stage just yet. Deep, deep inside you, you already know what you're ready for. Holding this book in your hands is a sign. The inner self waits patiently until you are ready to discover it. However, that may be covered over by layers of fear or inner criticism, the part of you who is sure to tell you that you're not yet ready – whether it's for the new job, taking a risk in a relationship, making the speech or whatever.
You're usually much more ready than you think you are. For example, I wanted to write this book and had the bright idea of asking several other women, who I really admire for what they have to contribute, to be co-authors. All of these women have been a huge inspiration to me in my life. This idea turned out to be a cover-up for not trusting myself that I could write it on my own, and I'm so glad that I was able to admit this to myself. I remember when I was stewing in my creative bubble at the start of this book project, I was sure that there were a lot more women who could write much better than I can, and could make a much better contribution that I would ever be able to make. Another little voice in my head told me that I was ready. This tiny voice was more aligned with my dreams and my aspirations.
Most of the time we don't realize our own brilliance. It seems to be so far out of reach. You may be waiting for someone to validate, promote or discover you. Is that so? We all get used to feeling comfortable in unacceptable and uncomfortable areas of our lives. It's often easier to stay in the sticky mud we recognize than it is to take the first step to get out of it. Clarity begins by being uncomfortable in the valley of uncertainty. In many ways we are guided through our difficulties in life and we are lifted when we fall. You know the saying that a breakdown always comes before a breakthrough happens. I guess we have all had experiences like this.
I would like to invite you to investigate how to know when you are ready for something.
I want you to try not to answer this exercise from your head. Let your heart guide you.
Start by asking yourself about all of the things you think you're not yet ready to do, but would one day like to do. Take a pen and write them all down, keep the pen moving, then you won't become frozen in your thinking.
Then ask yourself this question to each and every single thing you have written down: “Is this in alignment with my dreams and my aspirations?”
Forget about the things where the answer is no. Go for the things where the answer is yes, and do them. With these there will be an invitation for you to enter into the mystery of existence, where things will be created, nurtured and renewed. In your willingness to stay fully present and surrender yourself to what you have answered yes to, all may reveal itself in form. Allow the information you have received to show you where you need to grow. Life is full of change, you can't not change. The flow of the universe made you; go with this flow and live with it. The more of us who find the greatness in ourselves, the greater the world gets.
The feminine practice is to embrace life in a way that the grip of the mind is loosened, and emotional dramas fall to the wayside. The nature of the mind is fear, doubt and judgement. Our mind creates a stream of imagined words, sounds and pictures. The feminine practice is letting go of this and connecting deeper within.
The feminine longs to dive unreservedly into life with all of her being. She realizes that she cannot separate spirit from matter, the divine is residing within her and not elsewhere in some abstract place. She knows that it's not about images or societal norm. It's more about standing tall and breathing through her bones and her heart. Because when she breathes in that reality and that consciousness, she will walk with it, no matter what challenge she meets.
And of course there will be challenges. However, the feminine, the absolute truth and power within her, can always be felt in her bones and in her feet connected to the earth. Within her lives an innate genius guided by a deeply honest truth. There is courage in her wisdom. She can speak her truth in connection with it, she can listen and feel her power. She understands that there is no perfection necessary, wholeness is what she is. This is smart, sexy and completely trust-able.
Women's choices accessed from this place impact everyone around her. Wouldn't it be great if we could all experience this embodiment and trust our inner truth?
You know the answer. Feel into it for a few minutes.
What are the biggest challenges you are facing at present? What's frustrating you? What keeps you up at night? What do you care about most? Life shouldn't be a problem that needs to be solved. Life is a mysterious dance and we don't have to understanding what it's about.
No-one knows what will happen when things start shifting. Change happens all the time, with every breath we are changing. But maybe you have an idea of what could happen if things don't change?
It is possible to interrupt patterns in your life which are not nourishing you. It is possible to discover what's holding you back. It is possible to shift negative patterns that keep you stuck.
What do you want? Where do you want to go? What do you want to be? What do you want more of in your life? What do you want less of in your life?
It's possible to take the first step right now. Drop by drop the bucket gets filled. Change happens incrementally. It rarely happens spontaneously, although it can. You throw the seed out there into the ground, and maybe it sprouts, but it definitely can't sprout if you don't throw it into the ground.
Your life can move you in so many different directions, whether you believe it's random, calculated, by choice, or divine intelligence moving you. Whatever it is you want, you have to lean a little in that direction. And if you lean and give yourself permission to let go of the old ways, change can start showing up for you, maybe with a sign, a text, an opportunity or just by taking a step forward. We'll be looking into many ways to contribute to change later.
Today, how would it feel to take an intention, plant an intention, something you'd like to see unfold? Write it down on paper, on a Post-it note, bring it out into the world. Stick it on your bathroom mirror, on your refrigerator, on your lap-top screen. Move it from the subtle realm and imprint it on the manifest realm to see how it will unfold in your life. Give it room to expand.
In my experience, there are three phases we go through in manifesting anything. First of all it happens in your head, then in your heart and finally in your essence.
It takes time to get round your thoughts, to understand something. When you understand it, it can take up residence in your heart, then finally in your essence, the core of your being. It then belongs to you and is a part of you and your life.
This book is a great example. It started as an idea, which I embraced. It grew in my heart and unfolded in its own time. It became a part of me and it flowed through me. Now it's reality.
The Women's Circle
Another very important aspect of the new feminine paradigm is community, to which we are born. Our feminine community can be compared to an arch made out of stone. The arch would fall apart if the stones didn't hold each other up. Each stone is important, just as each member of the community is important to support each other. We're not alone in our struggles. We are greater together than apart.
When women gather, something else becomes possible. Women amongst themselves create a different kind of responsiveness, subtlety, receptivity and co-creativity than in a mixed group. It's the power of sisterhood, and the power of a circle, of the tribe. Women of all indigenous societies have gathered together for thousands of years to reflect upon their lives, for emotional support, to be creative together, to talk and support each other. This included the maiden, the mother and the crone.
Now that cultures have changed, this connection has been lost to a great extent. Women need to gather to encourage each other, because it's time for a different relationship with life and with each other again.
I have had many mentors in my life up to now. There has always been someone there when I needed to know an answer, or when I needed support, comfort or mothering. These have been women I have known and also not known in person. They have sometimes been unseen, from a higher realm, women whose subtle presence I have felt strongly. There have been many women I have admired along my journey who have inspired me and lifted me up along the way, where there has been a deep heart connection. We have had mutual desires to love, to be loved, to grow and share together, to have fun, to live meaningful lives and to have a bright and peaceful future.
Imagine a circle of wise women, where old ways can die, where new ways can be born, where something greater than peace can evolve from connection, stillness, peace and tranquillity. I would go as far as to say that when we honour our connection and community, we can accomplish anything, we can change anything, including everything that ails our planet.
Right now I would like to invite all mothers and grandmothers, all feminine mentors seen and unseen to support you whilst reading this book. Please feel free to do the same. From my experience, there is limitless support for you from your teachers, from their teachers, from all lineages, all cultures, known and unknown. Allow yourself to open to the power of the wise woman, allow her to connect with you, inspire you, and sow seeds of wisdom in you.
Remember, no matter what age you are, there is wisdom in your bones and in your heart, to be expressed in your own personal way. You can roar it from the mountain tops if you wish, or whisper it into your cat's ear. You can express it through the swagger in your hips, in a gentle touch on a tired neck, or in a hearty soup on a cold, rainy day. You may sing it, paint it, dance it or write it. No matter if you yearn for it or resist it, go for it or doubt it, wouldn't it be wonderful if you felt yourself vibrating with your unique gift, your voice, your truth and your very own essence.
It's your choice. If you choose to continue suffering, there is also support for you. There is no right or wrong. There is support on both sides. Which are you willing to be a part of? What do you say yes to? What do you say no to? What do you long to do differently? In placing your attention and your intention onto it, you will move in that direction. You do create your own game and you can change your own game. Why compromise in adding a little more oomph into your life?
Let's dive in and take a deeper look at what we can do to help us all to enter into this new paradigm. Journey with your heart, every step you take will be a step towards freedom!