Archive for the ‘sacred feminine’ Category

Born Again: A Journey From Daughter of the Kingdom to Sacred Feminine Goddess, Part 3

Read Part 2 here.

When I was ten years old, something inside of me shifted. I had heard the sermons warning that I was not promised another day, another hour, another minute in this world, and that failure to have my sins washed away in the watery grave of baptism would certainly doom me to an eternity in the fires of hell.

I had experienced the weeks and months of Bible classes talking about the plan of salvation: Hear, Believe, Repent, Confess, Be Baptized, then Live the Life.

I made my decision. It was time to be “born again”.

I didn’t accept “The Invitation”, but rather cried through it. After services, my parents and I met with the preacher. I was, after all, a bit young as compared to most. A few questions later, he had determined I did in fact know what I was doing. I was prepped in the white stuff and led to the baptistry. It was warm. While others had gotten away with a simple “yes” or “I do” as an affirmation of their faith, he asked me to state my faith, resulting in a twenty word dissertation (for a ten year old), and probably the first (and last?) time EVER a female had “testified” in the presence of males at the front of THAT church. Looking back, it seems almost prophetic.

Then the dunking. Then the hugs and congratulations. My soul was saved.

I was a “win” for Christ.

Twenty eight years later, there I was having delivered my first real “sermon”, having been both congratulated and chastised for it, and having been assigned to read the “book of non-existent doctrine”. The elder had asked for a meeting once I had read the designated parts of the book.

That book. The one intended to show me the error of my ways. That book might as well have been kindling for my already smoldering fire of rebellion. Rather than correct my wrongs, it simply added fuel to the fire. I saw it as further proof that I was in the midst of a double-talking, arrogant, rule-driven religious group. To me, it resonated with everything Jesus had despised about the Pharisees.

Something inside of me was gestating. Growing. Taking shape. Begging to be born. That something was me. It was my sacred feminine  spirit that had been locked away and held in check almost since leaving my mother’s womb. Though officially “born again” at the age of ten, I had been born again into a church full of tradition, rules, and female oppression. This was not the spiritual freedom we had been promised in “Christ Jesus”. Now my sacred feminine spirit was itching to be set free–to experience its own birth, and the labor pains had already reached the transition stage.

I dreaded the meeting Mr. Elder had requested. He seemed to suck the life force right out of me, and I didn’t want to be in a confrontation with him. The years of Bible class had been witness to many head to head encounters with him over differences of opinion about what scripture was communicating and its application in our lives. We were both passionate about our beliefs and perceptions. It was seldom very pretty.

Yet some how, some way, I called upon whatever it is that lives deep down inside a person that delivers the previously unknown reserves of strength and courage. It’s that energy reserve which enables a human to lift a car thus saving the life of a loved one.

With the nerves of a cat in a dog pound, I scheduled the “meeting” with him. To this day, I am not sure what either of us thought would be accomplished. Nevertheless, it was done. The meeting was set. The showdown was inevitable.

I requested my dad be present as a witness to the meeting. I knew I couldn’t trust my own memory to recall the events correctly. I wanted someone there to validate for me everything that happened. His presence also seemed necessary to me as a source of strength….my guardian and protector, as always, in case things got out of hand.

In hindsight, that was the most cruel and unfair thing I could have ever done to my dad.

As another of the church elders, he was unofficially sworn to stand by the rest of the elders in times of conflict. They could disagree in private, but where others were concerned, the “front” would always be united. It was his obligation to have the other elders’ backs.  It never occurred to me that this pact would or even should somehow trump the father-daughter bond that I believed unbreakable.

As evidence of my father’s wisdom, he in turn requested a third elder be present for the meeting. I don’t know exactly why, but I suspect it was for similar reasons as my own. He wanted someone else to be a witness since this was HIS daughter. He couldn’t be JUST a witness. He shouldn’t be the ONLY witness. That role would have to fall to someone else.

As time for my appointment with fate approached, my stomach churned. I really had no idea what to expect or how things would go down. Nothing would surprise me, but that didn’t mean I was prepared for the experience.

We all entered the room. We seated ourselves around a long table. The elder who requested the meeting sat at the head of the table. I sat next to him on his right. My dad occupied the seat opposite him, and the third elder sat to the right of my dad.

The dual began.

Part 4

Born Again: A Journey From Daughter of the Kingdom to Sacred Feminine Goddess, Part 2

Read Part 1 here.

Someone once said that every single person is doing the very best they can do in any given moment. That goes for the President of the United States all the way down to the kid who just robbed a bank. It’s a rather sobering way to look at life, especially the pivotal moments.

A shepherd is expected to care for his sheep to the best of his ability, giving his life in their defense if necessary. It is not a responsibility to be taken lightly. There is a story in 1 Samuel 17 in which David, the boy shepherd, tells King Saul that he killed a lion and a bear while protecting his sheep. Modern day “shepherds” who lead churches also believe it is their duty to protect the sheep (members). If they perceive a lion prowling in their “flock”, it is not only appropriate but expected that they grab a sling shot and take aim. Whether the threat is real or only perceived is irrelevant.

That October evening, a loving and passionate shepherd sensed a threat to his flock of sheep, especially the weak ones. He took aim. The words of his warning to me were his slingshot. The book of “doctrine-that-doesn’t-exist” was his stone. He fired. It was the best decision he could make at that moment.

I was hit, and seriously wounded.

Limping off, I licked my wounds by bitterly sharing with a few others the details of the encounter. At that moment, it was the best I could do.

I made my way home with his book in hand. The irony of someone from THIS church handing me a book that wasn’t the Bible as a means of reprimanding and re-educating me was both fascinating and a bit confusing. It added fuel to my already smoldering campfire of contradictions. After all, this was the faith group who bragged about not having any “how-to” worship book other than the Bible itself.

I read the sections he had marked for me, mostly on the Holy Spirit. It grieved me to think there were people who had so little understanding of this “entity” that I had known about most of my life, yet had just begun to experience. The book described Spirit as something we were promised, yet it really didn’t or couldn’t do anything. Everyone just knew it was there. It didn’t do miracles. It didn’t enable people to speak in tongues (at least not in this day and age). It couldn’t even be credited with Divine coincidence. It was merely a comforter and the only way a person could know of Spirit’s presence was by just accepting that it was there. Somewhere. Because they said so. Doing. Nothing?

Then….what’s the point in having “it”?

Next, I flipped over a chapter or two and found the section on raising hands in worship. Yep. That book had an entire chapter devoted to why it was totally inappropriate and even sinful to raise hands in worship and praise to God. The primary reason, it said, was that doing so would draw attention to oneself like the Pharisee who prayed loudly on the corner with his arms raised. Better instead to be seen humbly as the head-bowed unworthy sinner shrinking meekly into a puddle on the sidewalk.

There was of course the section on instrumental music in worship and how that was sure to be displeasing to God since Galations specifically mentions that we should sing and make melody in our hearts and not in our guitars and pianos. The chapter on the importance of having communion weekly was also in there.

Unbelievable. Someone really had authored a book containing all of the previously unwritten but well known shoulds and should nots that had become the defining characteristics of this group of believers. It really existed. We had a doctrine, and it wasn’t leather bound with a red satin ribbon and gold block letters inscribing HOLY BIBLE.

Book of non-existent-doctrine read.

Detention assignment completed.

Besides feeling arrogantly resentful about “the book”, I had become almost obsessed with 1st Corinthians, especially chapters 11-15. There are some very specific instructions on worship and spiritual gifts in those chapters, and I wanted to know why we could insist that we were to worship EXACTLY like the first century church worshipped….except for these passages. And a few others. And some more over there.

I wanted to know why Paul’s instruction that women should learn in silence was applicable but his instruction to pray in tongues was not.

I wanted to know why some of the spiritual gifts still applied today, yet the “cool” ones had “passed away” and how we knew they had passed away.

I wanted to know why Peter’s commandment to “Repent and be baptized…” was the only way to heaven, yet Jesus’ promise that “…your children will do greater things than these…” could be ignored.

I wanted to understand why instrumental worship music was a cardinal sin, but air conditioning and sound systems were critical components of that same worship.

If things were so plainly black and white, right and wrong, yes and no, heaven and hell, first century or not first century, then why on earth were there so many things that had conveniently “passed away” with the first century church? Why were the most fascinating parts of first century Christianity not available to us? Or did we conveniently choose to ignore them? I was no longer buying the explanations I had always been given and had regurgitated onto others.

The contradictions had become too great. My narrow-minded brain had begun to expand. My vision had begun seeing a much bigger picture than that which had been painted for me by the religious teachers in my life.  My faith was becoming my own, and it didn’t fit inside the old paradigm.

A showdown with my faith heritage was eminent.

Part 3

Born Again: A Journey From Daughter of the Kingdom to Sacred Feminine Goddess, Part 1

It was a mild October evening four years ago. The Church was hosting a Halloween trunk-or-treat, if memory serves me correctly. The kids were adorned in the cutest costumes and the adults were exercising the inner child with their tailgate and trunk decorations.

A week had passed since my debut as a women’s retreat speaker. I had always pushed the legalistic edges of my faith heritage through carefully worded questions and responses in Bible class, but that women’s retreat had seen me blow a few holes through the walls that marked the ultimate line in the sand for those with whom I had worshiped since a toddler.

The presentation had been well received, or so it seemed. Women I had long held in high esteem stood at the conclusion of my words and thanked me for having the courage to speak boldly and thoroughly about aspects of Christianity for which they had not had the courage to speak. Cards of encouragement arrived during the week thanking me and acknowledging my contribution to the event. Even my parents received cards of congratulations and appreciation for having done a good job of raising me.

I knew the words spoken weren’t really mine. They had come from somewhere both within and beyond me. They had risen up from the depths of a place or an energy  that wanted–no, needed–them spoken. I knew without a moment’s doubt I had truly spoken God’s message. It was a good feeling to be used by God, and the acknowledgment of others was a little bit of an ego trip. It was after all, my debut as a “preacher”.

But that night, the reality of why those women had never had the courage to speak as I had spoken walked right up to me in the shadowy, late evening air that hung over the church parking lot. He was an elder, not just older, but an officially-dubbed, ceremonially-installed elder of The Church. This man had watched me grow from a small child into a married woman who had birthed four children. I graduated from high school with his youngest son. He had been co-teacher in the Bible class my husband and I attended for several years. He had witnessed years of my sarcastic questions challenging church “law” and its abundance of contradictions.

Even though he had not been a witness to my women’s retreat presentation, word had gotten back to him of its message. Apparently all the negative feedback that didn’t find its way to my mailbox had instead found its way to his ear. He pulled me aside, looked me squarely in the eye, and said, “You really need to be careful what you say to others, particularly when there are those present whose faith isn’t as strong as yours.”

I’m sure there were some other words, but those are the words that have stuck with me, literally, as though a knife had been thrust straight into my heart. Didn’t he understand that it wasn’t really me? Could he not see that I had been a messenger speaking exactly what God wanted me to speak? God was awakening things inside of me that needed to be shared, and this message was of great importance. After all, I had been struggling with a nasty cough during the retreat, complete with the most inopportune of coughing fits, yet during the entire time I spoke to those ladies, I never so much as cleared my throat. By late afternoon I had complete and total laryngitis. It was as if God said, “You spoke what I asked of you, now shut up so you don’t screw it up.”

Adding insult to injury, the elder handed me a book with chapters marked explaining exactly what the Holy Spirit, my women’s retreat topic, is and how members of The Church are supposed to experience “him”. He indicated he wanted me to read the marked chapters and then he’d like to meet with me to discuss things.

I curtly accepted his “challenge” taking his book into my possession, yet the entire time feeling an incredible urge to vomit in hopes of somehow untying the knots that had taken up residence throughout my body between my throat and my womb. The ego trip of the previous week had suddenly experienced the ultimate smack down.

I could hardly wait to read his little book, for I had always been told The Church had no book of doctrine except the Bible. Yet there in my hands that night, I held what appeared to be the rights and wrongs of how a good Christian should conduct themselves in worship and beyond. I held the previously believed non-existent doctrine of The Church.

Go to Part 2.

Submission and Minotaurs

The divine feminine spirit remains first and foremost on my mind these days.

As I continue my trek through Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter, each page opens my eyes to a part of the journey of awakening that began in me about 5 years ago. With each new section, I recognize myself trudging through the jungle whacking a branch here and pushing something aside there, each representing a piece of my old belief system that no longer serves me.

She talks about the myth of Ariadne, and how the minotaur of King Minos’ labyrinth represented for her the dark side of patriarchy.

“In the female psyche the Minotaur represents negative, uncivilized (beastly), masculine power… In other words, the Minotaur is the bullish, bullying, bulldozing force of patriarchy internalized in the cellar of a woman’s psyche. It is a presence that works invisibily, hampering, limiting, driving, even destroying a woman’s inner and outer life.”

It is a belief system that we use to feed our own self-doubt, contributing to our feelings of inadequacy and the repeated action of handing over our feminine power to another.

This reading dove-tailed with a conversation I had yesterday. The person with whom I was conversing is a strong powerful feminine spirit who is struggling with more than one emotional load at this point in her life. One of the more irritating of these is the pervasiveness of the male authoritarian figures influencing and affecting her career.

And yet during the conversation, she remarked that she holds to the belief that as a Christian woman, her husband is the head of the household and she submits to him. Outwardly, I see a strong woman who is very much in partnership, rather than submission to her husband. Yet because of the influence of Christianity’s patriarchy (and the teachings of those other than Jesus Christ), I believe she has convinced her subconscious that in fact, she should submit to the male in a relationship, whatever that relationship should be. Though not afraid to confront a wrong, she fears the power held by the male to consume her life and livelihood if she stands up for her divine feminine wisdom.

I have been in that place. I have held fast to that belief. I have spoken that to other women. And like her, I have never truly lived it in my marriage, because my man and I are a team–both strong and independent, but willing to compromise to meet each other in harmony. He would never ask me to submit to him, and he would never stoop to guilting, manipulating, or threatening me into obeying him.

Ain’t gonna happen.

And yet I find that just like her, this concept of submitting to male authority has so parasitically attached itself to our souls and metastasized into the far reaches of our very essence, that we struggle to stand up for ourselves when male leadership oversteps its humanness and leaps headlong into the assholeness that is the Minotaur. (Sorry, Mom. It is what it is.)

That was never the intended message of Christ.

And so our wise woman divine feminine spirit shrinks back into a little girl and cows in obedience to whatever great man-god we choose to submit to in the moment. We become one of the many children sacrificed to feed the Minotaur so he can continue to feel strong and powerful. Our feminine spirit is crushed between the Minotaur’s jaws while he stands triumphantly over his prey.

Fear allowed this…fear of job loss, fear of approval loss, fear of angering the Minotaur.

I’m over it.

I choose to no longer feed the Minotaur.

I choose to no longer submit to a male (or female) simply because I fear what they might do to me if I disagree with them.

I choose not participate in (or submit my daughters to) a faith or belief system in which submission to a male is ingrained in my psyche as a condition for the salvation of my soul.

I choose not to be employed in a situation that requires any arrangement other than teamwork.

I choose to identify my Minotaurs and slay them.

I choose to live as a a wise woman full of the divine feminine spirit.

I am beginning to recognize the Minotaurs in my life. What are yours?

Dragon Slaying and Fox Trapping for My Goddesses

This morning finds my mind racing….again. It’s mulling over options.

In my head I have pretty much just slain a dragon with my bare mama hands…

…Ripped out a jugular vein and watched the blood spill on the cement floor.

…Consumed with ferocious atrocity the would-be predator threatening to steal the fire and thunder that feeds the Divine Feminine Spirit in my daughters.

I have played out a thousand scenarios. Some begin politely enough offering the perceived adversary a chance to help me understand these disturbing things I am hearing. Others rush fairly quickly straight to the feeding frenzy of the media.

Sidenote: This little town is no stranger to media scrutiny. My family endured that insanity. For better or worse, that media scrutiny and trial in the court of public opinion did more to invoke social change on this country than eons of legal wrangling and writing letters to elected officials could have done. It was not without casualties, and it was not a lesson wasted on me.

I have come to believe my adversary has two faces. One is a polite accommodating gentleman that seeks to be the savior of a small town. A reprieve from the agony of defeat that has plagued a portion of our lives for decades. A friendly smiling idealistic face with praise and accolades for the hardworking among us, both male and female.

Quite charming from what I can tell.

The second face of which I  have only seen glimpses in a somewhat distorted reflection is the one that disturbs me.

Intensely.

It reflects a self-serving, win-at-all-costs, male chauvinist, arrogant, sly fox who charmed his way into a role of power that has the potential to improve the lives of my daughters or destroy the things they have worked so hard to develop. The reflected images suggest destruction is encroaching like a wildfire. This is the dragon that has stolen peace and tranquility from my dreams.

Unfortunately I have no way to know which face is the true face. If I approach the beast, I will see the first face, for that is the only face he willingly shows where potential critics are concerned. I feel certain that all my fears will either be addressed with the smoothness only befitting an experienced fox, or will be dismissed as the warped reflections of a disgruntled few who are being moved out to make room for the new and improved.

I’m all for new and improved…

…So long as the  new and improved improves the lives and opportunities of my amazing women.

...and so long as the messages he sends to my daughters encourage their feminine strength and power.

…and so long as those who are moved out are treated with dignity and respect.

Yet I can’t help but wonder which face is true. The fox must be outfoxed into showing his true colors—the dragon’s face—if in fact it exists.

And that, my dear friends, requires a thoughtfully laid, thoroughly detailed, wise woman plan.

True (dragon) colors tend to show up when things get a little uncomfortable and tight-quartered for the fox.

Pardon me while I delicately corner a fox in the hen house.

Showing Shorty

All together now….What season is it?

Spring!!!!!!

WRONG!!!!!!

Silly people, everyone knows it’s horse show season.

April through June, and maybe a smidge into July. Saturdays are reserved first and foremost for showing Shorty.

And let’s be perfectly clear about something. Horse shows are the most boring event known to humanity. Except maybe golf. And except when Cowgirl is the one in the arena, then everyone needs to stop and watch in total awe of my kid.

Hey! You there! I said EVERYONE STOP AND STARE AT MY KID!!!!!!!!!!

Remember Shorty? He’s the 15 year old ropin’ horse that we acquired on a modest budget a couple of years ago so Cowgirl could go a little faster than her then 24 year old Buddy would take her.

Shorty is the equivalent of a standard transmission with a stiff clutch and no power steering. (Be patient. I gave you lots of lead in time on this one. She’s coming….in a minute.)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEj-0fIvHLw]

(Apparently the camera woman has some power steering issues of her own. Might have had something to do with the little kid saying, “Help. Someone grab my horse before he gets away!” Sorry kid. No can do. I’m videoing Cowgirl. Catch your own horse. Oh, alright. Here’s your horse.)

Cowgirl has taught Shorty so much in the less than two years we’ve owned him. He’s been good to her in return. They both get moody at times. Sometimes it happens to be on show day.

This year is proving to be a good one in the arena. Shorty is a beautiful gelding with a gorgeous main and tail. When we acquired Shorty, Cowgirl could not for the life of her get that four legged beast to put those legs in a nice perfect rectangle. Now she tugs on and rattles his halter chain a bit and he lines those feet up like Cyndie Crawford lines up her high-heel-elevated-million-dollar-insured legs.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lQqRRZKrbYE]

Yesterday Cowgirl made it more than perfectly clear that she had no intention of showing Shorty in Western Pleasure or Horsemanship. He just doesn’t have enough arena manners to play well with the others.

“I’ll walk, or I’ll lope, but don’t keep switching my gears and for heaven’s sake, don’t ask me to lope slow.” That’s what Shorty says.

Cowgirl says, “Don’t put me in an arena when I don’t have a snowballs chance in hell of even making the top 10.”

Fine. Saves me $12 and a lot of pouty-mooded Cowgirl.

Cowgirl would be perfectly happy if we’d just leave her alone to ride speed.

Then there’d be  no waking up at 6 AM to load and leave.

Then there’d be no need to sticky glue the hair down.

Then there’d be no need to see Mom wearing stupid flourescent rain pants to the wash rack.

“Mom, you look stupid.”

“Thank you. It’s my mission in life to totally embarrass my children. Besides, I have a condition called cold-and-wet-a-phobia.”

Okay. I might have been a smidge embarrassed. Even the adults were laughing at me. I think they were just jealous of my cool fluorescent yellow rain pants.

Yes, Cowgirl would be perfectly happy if we would just let her sleep late and then drag Shorty to the show in time for her to race in the speed events.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lik4aAr8a0s]

Of course, now she has decided she needs a newer model than Shorty. I guess she figures if she can trade up for one ten years younger every two years, she’s due for a four year old this time.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcfZFQ8IT4]

I’ve got a surprise for her.

It probably isn’t gonna happen.

Just like she probably won’t see that new F250 Double Cab pickup in our driveway this year, nor is she gonna see that fancy new living quarters trailer tied to the bumper anytime soon.

For now, it’s just me and her, Shorty, a 94 suburban, and a tiny two horse straight load trailer driving 60 down the interstate.

It’s a character-building experience….for both of us.

Messages to Our Daughters

Dear Jesus, Bless this post. This one could be a bit touchy.

Something is stirring in my head and my heart this morning. It is something of great importance. Something that could be met with an Aha! or with banishment by leadership. I will do my best to craft this post with wisdom and grace rather than finger pointing and accusation.

My daughters are weighing heavy on  my heart today. As I continue my read in Sue Monk Kidd’s Dance of the Dissident Daughter, I am realizing the many ways in which we continue to allow a subliminal message of less than to be delivered generation after generation to our daughters.

Even more disturbing is the realization that many a proud girl daddy is standing back approving the various practices that perpetuate this message delivery system. At the very least, we stand and watch in silence as it continues year after year after year.

We live in a society that elevates the status of men and their roles above that of women and those who work specifically with women and girls. Rural West Texas may be perpetuating that more than most.

Case in point: Education and Sports as it relates to leadership.

Look at the makeup of your school board. Ours is currently all male. At one time there were two of seven who happened to be female.

Look at the makeup of administration. How many superintendents are male? How many finance officers are male? How many curriculum/special programs personnel are male? How many principals are male? And finally, how many teachers, secretaries, and teaching assistants are male?

We are somewhat more progressive in this area than others. We do have a few females at the top. Yet it is still disturbing to me that so many of our teachers are female while such a significant part of our leadership is male. This perpetuates a stereotype that somehow males are more suited for leadership.

I had an opportunity to take a leadership role several years ago. I didn’t want it. I guess I helped perpetuate the patriarchal ideals. Maybe that’s why there is such an imbalance in leadership. Women just don’t want that level of responsibility and men do.

I’m not buying it.

I think it is more a case of how we stereotype people in those roles. Women in leadership are oftentimes seen as bitchy. Difficult. Emotional. Moody. Vindictive. Condescending.

Is this true?

Does being male somehow exclude a person from possessing these characteristics?

I would suggest that if two candidates were placed side by side with equal qualifications, similar personality traits, and everything else being absolutely the same, even a hiring committee made up entirely of women would choose the male. We are THAT conditioned to submit to male leadership. Unfortunately, I would probably be right there with the rest of that committee choosing a man.

So why is it that we are willing to submit to a man who is difficult, emotional, moody, vindictive, and condescending as acceptable leadership material, but those same perceived characteristics in a woman are grounds for running like hell?

Just ponder that for a bit, will you?

Think some more.

More.

Now take a breath.

Part two of my morning psychosis coming up next right after these words from my goddesses.

The Amazon Princess is about to shoot.

Cowgirl dominates the floor.

Teenage Goddess kicks some three-point butt.

The Tigress force-feeds her opponent a tasty snack.

These are the reasons I write.

These are the four amazing women who deserve so much more than a life in which men are seen as physically, intellectually, and spiritually superior simply because they were born with an external appendage.

Don’t get me wrong. I lOVE men. Men are awesome. I made these amazing beauties with one and I still like him alot. I like him in part because he empowers the women in his life. He is probably one of the best girl-daddy’s on this planet.

But he is a rare find.

Back to how education and sports condition girls and women into feeling like they are somehow less than boys and men.

We have a government mandate called Title IX. I haven’t read its fine print. Some people say it means there has to be equity between what is offered to boys and what is offered to girls when it comes to sports in an educational environment. Seems like everyone you talk to has a different take on it. Talk to a man and it means one thing. Talk to a woman and it means a heckuva lot more.

So yeah. We’ve got equity in sports. Because Uncle Sam says so.

Whatever.

How does equity exist when year after year the athletic program is run by someone whose primary job title involves creating a highly successful boys and mens sports program? I’m not suggesting that those men would consciously do something that would undermine the success of the girls’ program, but how is it humanly possible to avoid putting more energy and influence into the program for which YOU are held accountable to the public than you do towards a program that in some cases gets in the way of YOUR program?

Scheduling classes. Hiring staff. Content area teaching positions.

The eyes of the top dawg can’t help but be first and foremost on HIS boys’ program.

Seriously.

When was the last time a school sports program in rural West Texas was run by the head of girls’ athletics? I would love to have some examples. I’m sure they exist. I’m just not familiar with them.

When in history has the search for a head girls’ coach of any sport involved the intense committee search the likes of which are seen when searching for a football coach?

And why is it that we often see almost double the number of boys coaches than girls coaches?

Bottom line, consciously or unconsciously, we value men and boys more than we do women and girls.

Don’t give me that crap about how special our girls are and how we protect them and keep them safe. Cowgirl can body slam your boy to the ground and make him cry any day of the week. She wants to be treated with respect and given the same opportunities the boys get.

And now I find my blogging time is waning and my rant is calming a bit. My challenge to you is to think  long and hard about the subliminal  messages we send to our girls in all areas of life, especially our sports and education. If you are a girl mama reading this, I know you’ll have some thoughts. If you are a girl daddy, and especially if you are in a position of leadership, I trust you will give significant consideration to and reflect about your decisions and how they perpetuate the second class status we are assigning to our young ladies.

It’s not about religion (although I can hammer that wagon mercilessly). It’s about telling our girls they are somehow less than….not as important….not worth as much money or effort…..

Is that really what you want them to hear?

Divine Feminine Girl Daddy Hubby Dude

I’m taking some time this morning to dig further into Sue Monk Kidd’s book, Dance of the Dissident Daughter. It is some really good stuff. Lots to process.

One of the most important things I have gleaned so far is how blessed I am to be in a relationship with a man who is very a-typical of the human male species.

The author talks about the expected rolls of women and how we usually end up being this and that and everything else taking care of not only the children in our lives, but the men in our lives, too.

I am not sure whether to be proud or feel guilty, but this is not something I struggle with. I don’t know if we are just the weirdo family or if my man got a raw deal. He certainly didn’t get his Italian mother in the exchange of vows. I think he got someone a lot more like my mother with a huge dose of “if you want it done, you’d better get on that one yourself!” and a splash of “where’s the mountain? Let’s conquer it!”

Case in point. I loved having my babies. I just didn’t enjoy the lack of sleep (along with a few other things). As a result, from a very early age, my children were empowered to get it for themselves, whatever IT might be. Hence there were babies in bed with us for a very long time. They couldn’t exactly crawl to their food supply, so I made it readily available without a ton of effort on my part.

By age four, my oldest was introduced to Mr. Toaster, Mrs. Butter, and Uncle Jelly. She was already operating electrical appliances. If the kid was going to get out of bed THAT ridiculously early on my only day to sleep late, she simply had to learn to take care of herself.

I rarely ask permission to go on a trip of some kind. Of course, I am not gone that often, but if my man isn’t going with me, it is simply a matter of remembering to tell him that I will be gone. There is no great drama. No wailing and moaning about how will we survive while mom is gone. Quite honestly, things always seem to run smoother with me out of the house. Chaos returns with me.

Not exactly what is considered normal for a traditional household.

I can’t really decide whether I’m okay with that or if it makes me feel inadequate. Hmm….

Okay. I’m over it.

Yes, they fend for themselves.

And my man does A LOT! He is probably the only reason my children survived passed their third month of life. Someone had to nurture them. It obviously wasn’t going to be me beyond supplying liquid sustenance.  This man can salvage a dying plant. He can take care of small animals. When I found him at age 29, he had plants and fish and candles and cats. I figured he was either a good catch for raising a family or he wasn’t overly interested in females. It took all of about two seconds to figure out the latter was NOT the case.

He also cooks, washes dishes, does laundry, vacuums, shampoos carpets, cleans up animal poo and kid barf, mows, landscapes, repairs, builds, does stupid science and art projects with my kids, fixes our vehicles, and performs taxi duties. I don’t tell him he has to do those things. He just does them. Because I don’t. At all. Unless there’s a blue moon. So once every couple of years maybe. He’s on his own. I show up for dinner. Maybe. And I tell him what an awesome guy he is. A lot. A whole lot. Like mucho a lot.

Did I mention his only vice is an addiction to cigarettes?  I stopped harassing him about that a long time ago. You’d smoke, too, if you were him.

So yeah. I may be coping with the effects of a male empowered world, but the catch I landed 20 years ago hasn’t oppressed my divine feminine spirit in the least.

And single guys? There are four women about to conquer the world who are growing up with the ideal that their daddy is just about as perfect as a man can get and telling them to do the dishes is unacceptable. They’ll do them if and only if they want to.

And they are some gorgeous, talented, and amazing women.

If you want their attention, you might want to come apprentice under my man for awhile.

They won’t be an easy catch.

Perspective of a Goddess in Training

I can’t resist posting a link to my eldest daughter’s blog. The title alone was intriguing. Her story relates to the battle that exists between conforming and telling her truth. In this case she conforms in person and tells her truth to the world. Kind of ironic.

 I Didn’t Get Dumped and Nobody Died

Sacred Feminine Goddess Protector

It’s funny how certain people who crossed my path earlier in life have continued to influence me. Sometimes I look back and wonder why they didn’t just snuff my life out when they had the chance. Other times I am in awe of just how amazing they truly were.

One such person was my fourth grade teacher, and later my high school principal. They are/were one in the same.

Fourth grade was probably one of my favorite years in school. I don’t really know what it was about the lady who was running the show. Maybe it had more to do with the eclectic mix of kids in our classroom. Whatever it was, it was a fun year.

I wasn’t the perfect kid, but I was a rule follower….so long as the rules didn’t interfere with what I wanted or needed. On the rare occasion when I did something stupid enough to warrant being in trouble (or actually got caught at it), this lady who’s energy was simultaneously all business and all fun would find a way to correct me without breaking my spirit.

I couldn’t see it then, but for some reason this morning I am recognizing it in so many ways.

Later in high school, this woman who had become the first female principal (and high school at that) in our small old fashioned town, had my back in an incident where I have often thought she should have nailed me to the ground. I sometimes think if it had been anyone else, that’s exactly what would have happened. Others had very different experiences with her. She was quite controversial during her tenure.  My experience was my experience.

And yet, this morning, I realize that in her own imperfect way she was in fact protecting and maybe even feeding that fire of sacred feminine goddess that burned inside me.

I have been reading a lot of material lately on the feminine spirit and how it is so systematically shaped and molded to fit the expectations and purposes of a male-dominated society. I think of the many times I have had the courage to speak up about something I perceived to be an injustice or ignorant obliviousness. In the same moment, I think of all the times that speaking up was met with a strong resistance, admonition to keep quiet and mind my own business, a manipulative threat of financial or social harm, or other retaliation. It has certainly soured me towards male leadership, though women leaders are just as capable of such.

To this day, when I encounter this woman from my past, her strong protective and feisty goddess spirit permeates the fullness of whatever environment she occupies. I have found that I am almost uncomfortable with her “upfrontness”. It is not always polite and politically correct. I squirm a bit when she points out that which is less than it should be.

However, this morning I realize that her boldness is calling me to be myself. It has been calling me since fourth grade.

It’s time to wake up and step into the sacred feminine divinity that is my birthright and that of the four beautiful women I birthed.

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