What was the hardest lesson I had to learn in life? It’s gonna have to be coming to terms with the fact that in the final end – I was born a woman. And it’s got nothing to do with feeling resentful towards growing up “in a man’s world” – for I have never had any hatred towards mankind. I was raised by an amazing father, together with a loving brother, surrounded by giving uncles and caring cousins, both male and female. I had great boyfriends that really looked after me and male friends that helped me progress in life, so I could never hate that which I always felt a part of – mankind. Actually, my source of resentment has always been quite of the opposite nature – for some strange reason I always felt resentful towards myself for the fact that I was born a female…
It wasn’t up until the recent years that I have started noticing that whenever I set to work on the things that bring me no tangible profit, but would help me keep up my heart-drive, somehow – I always ended up in the company of women. So, whether I volunteered with people who’d help patients with cancer; joined movement and dance practices; travelled to God-knows where to do kite-surfing, the people I would encounter at the places I’ve gone to were always predominantly female.
I’m not even gonna lie – at first, it really made me feel uncomfortable. And I’m not sure where is this deep sense of ‘shame’ coming from, but somehow the first thought that would occur in my head whenever I would look around and see only women, was – I just hope nobody sees me in this company. There was a sense of fear as if ‘being caught’ talking period pains, men and sexuality (‘coz that’s all that women ever speak about, obviously). But the truth is that, the women I met on my adventures were all doing amazing things to better the world and their relationship to men or sex, was the least of their worries, but there was one thing that connected us all, really, and that thing was – spirituality.
Now, when I say spirituality, I don’t necessarily mean Buddah, Jesus or Mohamed. What I mean is spirituality as in a thing that tries to make sense of whatever it is that gives us life-force, or, in other words – energy. Now, religion is one of the approaches that can help you get your head around those ideas to do with energy and the way it works in life. Increasingly so, people start finding more and more ways to look at these matters through different lenses. So, whether I was chasing the wind with a kite and a board, moving around on that dance floor or helping people who are ill (though, I’m not sure if it was me helping them or them helping me, really), the questions I was trying to answer in my head always had to do with energy flow and how it manifests in our day to day reality.
But going back to female-hood. Don’t get me wrong, I am not writing this to say that every female is a deeply spiritual person, but I guess there is a tendency that women are drawn to look into the matters of the spirit more often than men do. And that’s still a very large generalisation, ‘coz, if it was up to me – I would dismiss the categories of ‘male’ and ‘female’ altogether for spirit really has no gender. But that’s not the world how I found it and, as a matter of fact, this world, even today, still strongly doubts the notion of the spirit. So for those of you who are still critical about ‘the spirit’, I’d say – don’t be so allergic and when you hear ‘spirit’, just think ‘breath’, ‘coz spirit is nothing more than the airflow in your physical body and it is right about time to de-mystify it. With the hope that this world will have different notions of ‘spirit’ and ‘gender’ when I leave, the best I can do today, I guess, is to come to terms with the fact that yes, I was born a woman, and a deeply spiritual woman too, and there is nothing shameful about it.
Why did it feel shameful before? Well, I guess, you could go into a feminist explanation that we were very much raised in the world built on male-kind-of-values: competition, effectiveness, logic, rigid norms – they could all be placed in that category. But for me what works better is to explain this value-system we’ve got in terms of energy and matter. I would say that we weren’t necessarily born in the world of “male values”, but rather in the world which was built on the notions of material reality, because, since the appearance on Newtonian physics, the matter appears to be what matters. But now we’ve got new notions that help us understand our reality. And I don’t wanna say it’s all got to do with quantum physics for people (including myself) still know very little about it, but it sure has something to do with the fact that Western World turned their attention towards looking into how energy works (and I emphasise Western World, ‘coz I’m in no position to speak about Eastern World – they have been looking into energy-flow far longer than we have). And so, as a result of this shift in focus from the notions of ‘matter’ to ‘energy’ – movement, e-motion, spirit and all those intangible things, that are so hard to grasp, came into being.
So this is a very shrewd explanation how the global shift in focus, has helped me shift my personal focus from hatred addressed towards my female-hood and spirituality, to acceptance and a bit more appreciation for it. There are certainly more personal things that have happened, but I feel there’s been a world-wide shift in thought which I wanted to focus on today. You have no idea what a relief it is to even be able to say that I’m a woman and not feel even a bit ashamed about it.
Thank you, world, for shifting your focus.