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Embracing Your Feminine Energy
By Paula Harris
EMOTIONAL AND MENTAL HEALTH FOR WIDOWS
Losing a spouse is an incredibly challenging experience. The process of grief and healing can be long and difficult. It can also be an opportunity to tap into one’s inner strength and resilience and connect with others who are going through similar struggles. Embracing feminine energy, as a widow, can mean tapping into your intuition and empathy, being compassionate by nurturing yourself, and learning to receive from others. When we do all this, we can bring about positive change and transformation in ourselves and our communities.
It is likely you’ve had to draw on a lot of masculine energy just to survive the weeks, months, and even years after your spouse’s death. So many tasks need to be accomplished and decisions need to be made. Staying goal-focused might have been the only way to survive and move forward. You may have had to figure out your day-to-day finances and/or investments, retitle assets, and update your own estate plan. You may have been doing all this while working and raising your children. The demands on you physically and emotionally are draining. Wearing your cloak of bravery and staying purpose-driven was what you needed to do. You had to be self-reliant to figure it all out and just keep your head above water.
Thank goodness for harnessing that masculine energy to help you achieve so many important tasks. Being independent, living in that energy all the time, can be exhausting and lonely. Losing your partner can be a traumatic and isolating experience, yet it can also be a catalyst for personal transformation and spiritual growth. Through your journey of grief and healing, you can develop a deep sense of compassion and empathy for others who are going through similar experiences. Being in a community, like Modern Widows Club, with other widows and widow supporters who understand your struggles, will support and encourage your growth and healing.
As you move forward, you can use your experiences as a catalyst for personal transformation and spiritual growth. Finding ways to get in touch with your feminine side will help you slow down so you can enjoy your life and get connected to who you are now. Eleanor Roosevelt said, “With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts.”
Here are three areas of focus to awaken your feminine energy.
Connect and Express
One way to get in touch with your feminine energy is to use your experiences and emotions to connect with other Wisters (widow + sisters) who are going through similar struggles. Every day will not be easy to express how you are feeling so you can consider coming up with a daily “weather report” to explain how you are feeling today. Some days will be sunny, others will be partly cloudy, and others might be an all-out stormy day.
By sharing your own vulnerabilities and emotions, you can create a safe and supportive space for healing and growth for both you and others. Also, by being of service to others, you benefit from the “hand up” and you can be the “hand back” to the next Wister in need.
Meditate and Reflect
The benefits of meditation are well documented. It’s about pausing for a few moments to slow down your mind rather than eliminating all thoughts. Some people do it in silence, others will use a guided meditation, chant, or music, others will use a mantra word or phrase to focus their mind. Some people will sit while others may do a walking meditation. No one way is right. Apps and tools exist to assist you such as Insight Timer, Calm, or Headspace. Find what works for you and commit to trying it for 30 days — one day at a time.
The other part is journaling. Many people prefer writing out their thoughts, feelings, and emotions on paper. Some prefer typing it out. The process of emptying your head and heart from what is weighing you down onto “paper” can lift and lighten your mood. Consider keeping a gratitude journal which may consist of capturing three to five things you are grateful for each day — trying to not to repeat the same items daily. This is sure to lift your outlook.
If you can combine meditating and journaling by being in nature, you will surely feel the effects of your feminine energy rise!
Create and Play
After the traumatic event of losing your life partner, there is often little time to do things that you want. You just are stuck in doing what you need to do. Giving yourself permission to explore new recipes or skills, take a creative writing or painting class, or learn pickle ball or belly dancing can ignite your creativity.
You may have kept yourself to a tight schedule just to survive and now it’s time for play and spontaneity. Read Shonda Rhimes book “Year of Yes” for inspiration, and next time you get an invitation to anything, say yes and see where it leads you. Call a friend at the last minute to take a walk and then do it even if she can’t. Pack your bag and take an overnight trip — anywhere. Go to that concert, sign up for the speaker series, try a “Meetup” on a subject you enjoy or want to learn more about, or take a yoga class. Give yourself permission to have fun.
Remember that you are a beautiful woman going through a major life transition. Just as the caterpillar who morphs into a butterfly — it must wrap itself tightly into a chrysalis to allow the energy to form to emerge as a butterfly that captures the world by her beauty.
And, just as the wings of butterfly flap in one corner of the world, the effect of you embracing your feminine energy can help those around you to live with more compassion, empathy, and joy. Transformation happens when you show up authentically, as your divine self, therefore giving permission for others to do the same.
Paula Harris, co-founder at WH Cornerstone Investments, is part financial advisor, part dream architect and widow supporter. Creator of Rise Up Retreats, she is passionate about building a community of support and empowering widows to navigate their path forward. An engaging speaker, she’s author of “Rise Up: A Widow’s Journal.”