I spent the first part of my life mired in the lives of men. As their muse, their play thing, their drinking partner, their fixer (whether they felt they needed it or not). For sure, the early part of my life was spent with males. And I will throw out there that I have suffered mightily at the hands of men. Repeatedly.
Now this is not to say that it is men’s fault, all my stuff. But they played a central and recurring role in my own demise for a long time. But it was not their fault. No, I hitched my wagon to their burning stars every time, well except maybe a couple, who took things from me that were not theirs to take, from anyone, ever. Them I hold accountable. The rest, the rest I feel almost sorry for and to. I, this wrecking ball force that crowbarred my way into their lives, used them up and then was gone.
I gave away a lot of myself in the process. A lot. Sometimes because they asked, often because it was all I knew how to do.
The older I have gotten, the more the men have receded in my life, and the more present women became. It started with sobriety. I was forced to endure female friendships. And yes, that is exactly what it felt like...something to be survived. But over the years, the women have really won me over. Today I have way more women friends than men. Way more. And that feels right, in balance, in harmony. I feel supported and lifted up when I am surrounded by the female energy. In ways that I have never felt in the presence of male energy.
I appreciate both, to be clear. And my choices of the men that I allow to be in my life, selective, picky even. There is no time to be wasted on the men that are aloof, unkind, abusive, or just plain too fucked up. Not as companions, not as lovers, and certainly not as friends.
While the community of male friends has dwindled down, the female one has been flooded with new life. And I have to say, we women, wow, do we really bring forward that life force. It is powerful. And I think that is why it was always so scary to me. You can’t really bullshit another woman. We know. We see it. All the angling and conniving, we can spot it at fifty paces...and most of us, elect to get away from that.
I went to an event last night hosted by a woman that has had this amazing transformation. I have watched mostly from the sideline of her life as she has found her calling, her community and her people. The event was perfect. Really. The people. The place. The overarching goals of the evening. It was a beautiful, warm, loving place. The entire night felt like a hug. Really.
Men were there too, but only a few. Outnumbered by about 27 to 3. Brave men that showed up in a sea of femaleness and seemed comfortable and ok. Pretty fucking cool men in my book. They seem unfazed by all the women and our energy. They meandered through us and about us, completely present but a little standoffish too. I never realized until middle age how intimidating female energy is and can be. I saw it last night at its best, more of an awestruckness than intimidation.
I met such amazing women and reconnected with some that I once knew better but lost touch with over the stormy seas of bad marriages and hard parenting. It was wonderful to reconnect and to make the new connections I did. And what I came away from the night with was this:
Women are fucking amazing. The lives we lead, the things we do, the stuff we handle, the way that so many of us do it alone. With no one to lean on. Just ourselves. Just our own bodies and minds, leaning only on each other for support, and often times, afraid to do that because we know our sister’s paths are often harder than our own.
But I met this amazing energetic pilates instructor. I loved her. I loved her energy, her vibe, her friendliness. She was amazing and I look forward to getting to know her more. And take a Pilates class from her.
I met a women who just moved back to Ojai and is opening a new store. Newly married and a powerhouse. She seems like someone with an amazing backstory that I didn’t get a chance to learn, but I hope to, one day.
I got to spend time with a young woman who I am getting to know slowly over time who I adore. Her energy so pure and true and light. Just a lovely peaceful loving soul who was lost for a long time. Any time spent with her is wonderful and amazing.
I got to reconnect with an old friend who has been through the wringer. She the hub in her family that has endured divorce, betrayal, relapse, financial ruin, relocation, death, grief and recovery. She looked amazing and it was good to see her on a new path that seems much more positive and life affirming than the one she just survived. She is beautiful and it was so good to see her smile and be happy.
I got to watch my friend do her thing with Watsu. And was amazed at how much passion and healing and life force she puts into her passions, and her passions are people. And community. She pulled this event together and joined all these random forces into something synthesized and beautiful. She is an artist. And I was so grateful to be included in her community.
I got to participate in a sound bath and yoga Nidra under a calm sky that gracefully allowed night to come and blanket us in this beautiful valley that is the only home that I have ever really known. I laid on a pool deck, emerged in sound, love, community and summer air. Ojai summer air, and really there is no place else that can deliver that. I found myself floating, mentally suspended between waking life and dreaming life and I was transported to this place within myself that I seldom get to visit. A quiet tranquility that my wakeful mind just doesn’t seem to allow.
As the evening drew to a close, I watched the full buck moon rise in the Eastern sky. And it struck me how fitting that I have the experience I did in the presence of the rising buck moon. That there has been this great shedding of maleness in my life, making room for the women. All the women, in all their shapes, and forms, and being. The women who have saved my life, been examples for me, loved me, even from a distance when I was too prickly to reach or hug or really even talk to.
And I left the evening in awe of the lives of women. What we create, what we bring, what we survive. We are fucking warriors of spirit and light. And I am so grateful that I have been eroded down to this place in myself where I am no longer threatened by the women. And I feel no need to saddled myself to a man. Men becoming something else to me now, of which I am not sure. But feeling like men are entering a new chapter for me. Leaving behind all the stuff that I thought about them before, and having some new thoughts and ideas instead.
And whatever those will be, they will come. Mostly, right now, I am grateful for the community of femaleness. For our strength, for our love, for our understanding tenacity that seems to envelope all we do and say. I was awestruck last night at the peaceful way we glided in and out of conversation, relating, touching, taking nothing while adding so much then moving on.
And this whole experience came because I said yes and committed to something that I was reluctant to commit to. I was challenged by forces that I do not understand to reach out of myself and my comfort zone and push myself to go join this gathering to see what I could add, and learn.
And I am not sure what I added, but I learned a lot. I learned one more time that women, are amazingly tough and delicate at the same time. And we can bring about change and a feeling of community when we lead with our hearts and souls and minds and bodies. And that is fucking amazing.