“The history of civilization could actually be written in terms of the level of its women When a man loves a woman, he has to become worthy of her. The higher her virtue, the more noble her character, the more devoted she is to truth, justice, goodness, the more a man has to aspire to be worthy of her."
- Fulton J. Sheen.
Our world is the world of uprooted and confused individuals, perhaps that is true for every part of the world except those rare spots where full modernisation, consumerism and mass media have not reached (and how many of those will be left in years to come, if any, we are yet to see). The old, defined structures which in many ways did halt individualisation and individual's development, provided humans with clear paths and expectations. However, with an ever greater individual's freedom from any structure came another problem - that of alienation, uprootedness and isolation. Human then defines himself or herself on the basis on many micro-identities which do not need to have any ground in anything outside of individual's mind and subjective perception. While many would, with reason say that there were many improvements, and some would even say that we live in a very feminised world - the fact is that our world still operates on masculine ethos - ethos of activity, hard work, achievement, goals, rules and movement forward. Many women who believe themselves well-rounded and established individuals opperate within these norms, This ethos on its own is not negative or bad, actually, it is much needed on every level of existence but each of the ethos or principles, be it masculine or feminine, ying or yang, can become imbalanced, lonely and confused. Today, I bring some practical and easy tips and ways to embrace and reclaim womanhood. These are based on my own experience of reading, growing up, contemplating and meditiating.
1. Be Genuine, Kind and Courteous A simple rule but yet the one that should always be mentioned, no matter how many times it had been mentioned before. Being genuine and sincere does not mean being naive or a pushover, the same way being kind and curteous does not mean that. It simply means that you always strive to be genuine, posed, respectful and curteous and even if someone is rude and nasty, not to allow yourself to speak to them in the same manner. Treat people respectfully even if you do not respect them as individuals. Sincere and genuine kindness and courtesy does not only tell of your own character but you will also be able to maintain peace within yourself by not allowing someone or something to control you or enrage you. 2. Be Self-Sufficient But Do Not Fear Relationships
Find joy within your own being. Find your true interests and allow them to bring you joy and nourishment to your soul. Do not be desperate for relationships but also do not fear them. Welcome and recognise your need for other human beings - be it in form of friendship or romance. Do not fear intimacy and closeness with other people. Be careful and guard your heart but stay away from any narcissistic, self-indulgent narrative about not caring, not needing people. Fellow human beings are the most valuable treasure of our lives, many of us only realise it too late. 3. Avoid Bitterness Almost each of us has been hurt by someone of the opposite gender, in case of women, it may be a father, a boyfriend, a husband or somebody else. Do not allow this experience to lead you to bitterness Avoid mindsets that speak: "All men are X". Even if you knew five or even ten men that fit the "X" it would still not mean anything. Even if you desire to discuss, explore and debate ideas of patriarchal or matriarchal societies in a purely anthropological context, do not consume every individual in what happens to be an abstract metanarrative. Also, be aware that all of us have cognitive shortcuts and schemes that we use in order to interpret our surroundings easier and to adapt accordingly, it is human and normal, but by being aware you will not be governed by these impulses. Our cognitive shortcuts are based on the schemes we create based on experiences, values and many other things and very often our minds are very selective and are capable of ignoring anything that may prove our scheme wrong and seeing only that which will prove it right. Bitterness is unhealthy and emotionally immature, avoid it. 4. Do Not Chase Men Who are Indifferent and Egocentric It is closely related to the the earlier tip - do not be desperate and chase an indifferent, egocentric, truly mean, rude men with no sense of ethics or virtue. Just like you should not fear relationships, do not fear aloneness. Anyone who is not interested in what makes your soul spark, what your heart yearns for and what your mind is engaged by does not deserve your attention or energy, revert it back at you. Stay away from flashy and narcissistic playboys. 5. Do Not Fear Showing You Care Just like you should not chase a person who is indifferent, once you truly care and are interested in someone, you should not fear showing it. Be glad for them, show interest in their hobbies, in things their enjoy, be mindful of things they casually mention they like (it is always useful for buying gifts, preparing meals, playing music), be attentive and caring listener. Do not fear to show how much you appreciate their presence in your life. 6. Bring Negative Social Media Interactions to Minimum All of us have sometimes engaged in a heated argument on some social media platform or on an online forum. It does not have to be exclusively bad as exchanging ideas with other humans, some of them coming from very different backgrounds can be intelectually beneficial. However, avoid constant arguments, many subtweets, engaging on an almost regular basis in these, very often, meaningless arguments. Find a healthier, better way to invest your energy. 7. Avoid Anger I have no research to prove my assertion with but I truly believe that anger is one of the most damaging feeling for a woman's health. If you are naturally angry, find a way to let it out - exercise, movement or anything else. Internalised anger is toxic for your mind and body. 8. Have Hobbies Most people who are bored when they are alone are those who have no hobbies - binge watching Netflix is barely a hobby. Find something that truly requires you to focus, invest time and attention in - learn and study about a subject, learn a new skill, read truly engaging and quality books, bake, cook, learn how to blend teas, knit, write, play an instrument, sing ,exercise and be good at it, master it. 9. Be Dilligent Pay attention to things and people, honestly and truly commit. If you are at school, try to get good grades and study hard. If you do anything try to do it with attentiveness and precision. Do not slack and do not try to make it fast. Approach it with patience and calm. 10. Be Well Rounded and Cultured Be someone who truly enjoys learning and exploring. Try to watch really quality films, try something different from Hollywood, read good literature, philosophy, know capital cities, basic history, have a good grasp of "basic knowledge". Do not consume news mindlessly but do not be ignorant of what is going on in the world. Be a good conversationalist who can talk about any topic. 11. Respond to / Return Calls, E-Mails, Text Messages If you get a call or a message from a friend, coworker or simply someone you care about, do try to respond or return their call or a message. That does not mean you have to answer immediately, maybe you need some alone time or are busy at the given moment - however make sure to eventually do it and always be mindful if you are late, apologise without too much explaining - you did nothing wrong, but simply to show consideration of other people's time. Of course, you should not do this with people you do not care about or random people who text you online. 12. Take Care of the Things You Have Be it a dress or a set of wine glasses, always take care of your things - do not treat things you have in life as something disposable that can be replaced with another shinier, better thing. Invest in quality and beautiful items and take care of them. 13. Allow Your Space to Speak for You Take care of your home and space - try to have fresh flowers and plants inside, have a candle or incense, fill it with personal items, create a personal library, have that one signature wine or dish you have mastered that you can always offer your guests. Be a good hostess, make sure people leave your space energised. 14. Be Mindful of What you Consume Ours is the time of overindulgence - with information, content, food, drink, people, it comes in many forms. Even if you are not aware, everything you take in stays within you at least for certain amount of time. Be mindful and careful about what you consume - be it media, books, food or drink. 15. Make Peace With Your Past, Be Self-Aware Humans make mistakes, especially when young. Our values may change due to experience or maturing .No matter what happened, you should not run away from your past self. Rather own her and embrace her, admit her mistakes and errors and then finally move on. Find strength to forgive yourself for what you did not know. 16. Heal Your Mother / Father Wound Mother-daughter relationships are very complex and even if when they were not conflictive, they may cause some inner issues and disarrangement. If there was something about your relationship with your mother that affected you negatively, you may spend the rest of your life having troubles with womanhood in general - I have seen it manifest in women as a very emotionally chraged resentment towards pregnancy, towards romance, gentleness, sensitivity and in general everything that is traditionally associated with women. Part of heroine's journey is rediscovery of mother (I shall write about that on another occassion). The father wound or the famously called "daddy issues" are better known and more spoken of. If you seek a father figure in a partner, become aware of it because if not you are exposed for potential exploitation and abuse. 17. Guard Your Womanhood This one is not to be understood in a certain puritanical or oppressive way, but rather it should be something that comes from woman's self-understanding and confidence. A truly blossomed womanhood is a deep inner richnessand as such it is often very magnetic for other people as it can have a very healing, very calming effect on others. However, do guard this and do not allow everyone or anyone access to this. If you desire to share it with the world, do it in a way it is not draining and after which you will not feel used. 18. Be Receptive Very often women, overdo, overgive, overtry. It is almost a manic need to prove that their existence has a value. Metaphysically, feminine principle is a receptive principle, and while both principles exist within us (just like we all have both feminine and masculine sex hormones), most women are not comfortable being in the receptive mode. Learn to sit back and rest in your being, allow people to do things for you and show gratitude for it, accept help, accept gifts, material or emotional and create space, allow people to reach out for you. 19. Ritualise Your Life Rituals, since times ancient have been part of human experience. Rituals were especially a big part of female microcosm - the practice of magic, healing arts, crafts, food preparing, childbirth were all part of it. Modern world has taken away many rituals, they have been replaced by "routines". Modern women do not have "beauty rituals" like Cleopatra or Empress Catherine the Great, they rather have "beauty routines". Ritualise your life in a way it suits your soul - make music, scents, tastes, senses in general part of your daily activities, pray, meditiate, make every moment sacred and full by being in it. Take time, do not rush, do not look for a "quick fix". 20. Pursue Wisdom Your appearance and outer beauty should be taken care of but do not entirely identify with it. Knowledge and linear analysis are wonderful and they are one of the many ways for humans to acquire knowledge, however do not ignore the other side of knowing, the one that comes from interacting with people, from listening, connecting, learning from the force of life itself. Aspire to be so rooted, so connected with the rhythm of life that as you age you gracefully age into a wise matriarch who holds the community together.