8 Ways to Take Care of Yourself while the Patriarchy Loses Its Shit

It was Vania who brought what was happening at Standing Rock into focus for me just a few weeks ago, and now I feel like I can’t look away.  As you may already know, Vania and her family will be leaving for North Dakota tonight to stand in prayer and solidarity with the Protectors.  

Now, I know it’s November and I’m supposed to talk to you about gratitude and stuff like that, but here’s the thing: we’re in a shit storm right now.  I am weeping every day from the pain in the world that starts my own heart’s pain humming.  There’s a LOT happening in our cosmos right now, and even those with mild sensitivities to such things are feeling it.  

Tell me if you can relate to any of the following:

  • You’re anxious, ungrounded, irritable.
  • You’re experiencing inexplicable bouts of rage.  
  • You’re experiencing major loss of some kind—either to a sudden change of circumstances, a betrayal or disappointment, or actual death.
  • You’re having memories or recurring experiences that bring to mind old traumas.  
  • You have the urge to find a comfortable cave to hide in until 2020 (or later).

You aren’t crazy.  

Stay with me for a minute while I get a little big picture here.  There is a tidal wave moving through our planet right now.  I, and many others, are calling this wave the Emergent Feminine Divine.  She is a massive and unstoppable force of searing, aching, enflaming, fierce, revolutionary LOVE that’s bringing to task the shadow elements of, namely, the Patriarchy (which is alive in all of us), and birthing something radically new.  

Sound big?  It is.  Massively big.

Here are some common themes I am hearing and sensing:

  • This is a time of massive overhaul of our shadow aspects—those parts of ourselves that have been effective in the world to a point, but at costs that are now becoming too high.
  • This is a time of massive awakening.
  • This is a time ripe for re-triggering of traumas, especially those inflicted by/within the patriarchy.
  • This is a time when fear will have a strong magnetism, but love and healing takes a righteous stand.
  • This is a time when it will be harder and harder for people who have benefited from the brutality of patriarchy, white supremacy, and indigenous erasure (like myself) to deny or look away from the impact we have had.  
  • This is a time where it is a great gift and a great responsibility to be alive, in the words of my colleague Brenda Salgado (more from her a little later).
  • This is a time when the Divine Feminine, and the ways she calls us into being, are of vital importance.

The Divine Feminine takes various forms and faces worldwide.  In the cosmovision where the practices of yoga emerged, all of creation was said to have arisen out of the great cosmic ocean of Being, called Paramshiva.  Paramshiva has two aspects: Shiva—the masculine aspect; and Shakti—the feminine aspect. In this view of the cosmos, creation arises as the intimate and playful dance of Shiva and Shakti.  Shiva is the ground or essence of being and Shakti is that which animates or gives life to that essence.  Without Shakti, Shiva is inert matter.  Without Shiva, Shakti is formless energy.  Shiva is the grounding presence of the river bank that holds shape and form; Shakti is the river: powerful, dynamic flow.

To be clear, the fact that these characteristics of the Divine are gendered is not to be confused with gender as we have culturally designated it.  They are simply ways of naming a type of energy that exists in the universe, and within all of us—wherever we identify on the gender spectrum.

What’s important about this now is that, after several millennia of the masculine principle taking disproportionate positionality through systematic domination, we are in a time of great disruption of the status quo.  The old paradigm is breaking down cleared by and for the re-emergence of the Sacred Feminine values of the Earth and the Collective.  The patriarchy is in its dying throws of resistance, which is causing a lot of pain.  AND something incredible is going to be birthed in the space that is cleared from that dying.

So…what does that mean then for us, alive right now?  How we gonna make it through?

My aforementioned spirit-sister Brenda Salgado recently reminded me of the critical importance of self-care during these times, and inspired me to make the following list.  Brenda was especially influential with regards to numbers 2, 3 and 6--thank you Brenda!  Check out her work here.  I hope you find them resonant and relevant:

8 Ways to Care for Yourself while the Masculine Shadow (i.e. the Patriarchy) loses its Shit.

  1. Take care of your Littles.  If you have a history of trauma, particularly trauma connected to gender or sexuality, it is likely getting triggered right now.  All the younger versions of ourselves that we carry within us—the Littles—will likely be piping up with their various needs and insisting on solutions from their perspectives.  It’s important to listen, while reassuring our Littles that we (Adult You) are taking care of things now.  Take time for psychological self-care—whether that’s working with an actual therapist, creating intuitive art, journaling, or some other form of deep listening to the layers of yourself.  
  2. Rest and nourish your body more.  Any time a child goes through a growth spurt, she’ll start needing a lot more food and sleep.  We’re in a consciousness growth spurt—and need a reserve of energy to make the leap to the next plane of consciousness.  Don’t feel bad about clearing your schedule for sleep.  Take salt baths to energetically detox and reset the nervous system.  Do Yin Yoga.  Eat simply.
  3. Lovingly take space from anything/anyone that isn’t actively nourishing you.  Don’t feel bad about this one either.  You may be resonating at a frequency that others just might not be able to jive with—and vice versa.  Commit to raising your vibration and your consciousness.  Practicing non-judgement for both yourself and the other, allow yourself to release ties where your mutual work is not resonant with each others’.  You can always revisit at a later date.
  4. Spend time with the Mother.  Mother nature, that is, particularly bodies of water.  Water is an important symbol of the Feminine Divine—that powerful presence of flow and resiliency.  Be also attentive to the patterns of death and renewal in the natural world as a template for our own spiritual journey.  
  5. Attend to the Shadow Feminine, who is also losing her shit.  The wounded feminine is just as freaked out right now as the wounded masculine.  Consider, though, that our shadow aspects are simply disenfranchised parts of our power—so where the feminine has been wounded, her powers of righteous anger and interdependence can easily devolve into self-righteous rage and co-dependence.  Be mindful of that delicate line. Creatively express and move the energy of righteous rage through body-work, dance, and sound.  Keep an eye on co-dependent tendencies by being vigilant to the agenda behind your words and actions, asking questions like: Is this really what I want?  Or am I just trying to please or keep the peace?  
  6. Affirm the healing presence of the Sacred Masculine.    As it feels safe to do so, consider recognizing and inviting in Sacred Masculine presence—either physically in the form of people with a more pronounced masculinity, energetically through clear boundaries and a consistent daily schedule, or spiritually through prayer and meditation.  My recent experience with the Divine Masculine presence has been deeply spiritual—a felt sense of a tender, steady, holding presence, one that I can rest into and be held.  
  7. Be audacious.  Vania just tonight described the choice to go to Standing Rock as something she couldn’t not do.  It wasn’t a choice so much as a calling.  The Emergent Feminine Divine is, I feel, present in this power of unwavering conviction for what is just and true.  Be tenacious in standing in your sacred self.  
  8. Trust the unseen work of Dreamspace.  Much is being done that we cannot see.  Just as the baby continues to grow in the womb while the mother waits and wonders what’s going on inside, there are unseen forces present, supporting and nurturing us.  Consider that even as you dream at night, when your “doing” comes to rest, your Being is working and being worked in the quiet subtle language of the Sacred Feminine.  

From my fierce heart to yours,