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When I was about 13, I remember going to a Christmas or New Year’s barbecue and bonfire night at one of my parents’ friend’s house. I don’t remember anything about that night, except one thing that one of my Dad’s mates said to me. He said, “You’re so pretty, you should do modelling.” I can still remember the feeling of recoiling at firstly being noticed, but secondly being noticed by a man who was probably the same age that I am now. I’m sure he meant it as a compliment but when I look back on then, it was probably the first time that I was consciously aware that I wasn’t just invisibly drifting through life, observing, be-ing, following the drift of my family, but the first time that I was seen as more than just a little girl; of being a developing woman.
For whatever reason that moment made me afraid of getting attention from men. Then sometime about the same time my brother and I were chatting in his room and he had this poster of Colette on the wall (of “Ring My Bell”) fame and he said to me, “You would look like Colette if your hair was blonder, you were taller and if you were skinnier…” or that’s how I heard it. I think he was trying to compliment me, but I heard it as criticism. At 15 I worked at the rural show and my job was to wear skimpy clothes and bend over to pick up the coins off the ground, I think the guy did actually ask me to take my bra off! Me being naïve didn’t think much of any of this and I wore short shorts, a busty top and bent over to pick up the coins. Forty dollars well made, but it wasn’t until after that I realised what had happened.
Why do these three events come time to mind now? I imagine many of you readers would have experienced sexual abuse and worse and I cannot imagine how you can relate to my little incidents and in no way to I want to minimise your trauma. However my primary point is that we probably do share is a fear of men, a fear of the masculine, or possibly a fear of being seen, regardless of the details (FYI – I have experienced sexual assault, but that’s for another blog). For me that presented as shutting down my growing femininity and sexuality in adolescence, exactly when we are developing our sexual selves. I stopped allowing my beauty to blossom because of the attention that I got, I just didn’t know how to handle it.
I do now.
Today, I was walking down the main street and I felt beautiful, I felt free, I stopped and took photos of flowers and bark on the trees, I pulled out my notebook and wrote while walking and during this time, I received a number of cat-calls and second-looks from drivers on the road. At first I let my ego take their “compliments” about my physical appearance and then I let that go and realised that I have infinite power as a woman. I realised that the power of the feminine form; of feminine sexuality and it took me back to my adolescence, to that night, to my brother, to the show, to all the reasons that I remember that I shut down my divine sensuality, my beauty.
I allowed fear to shut my feminine, sensual self down, but I realised that there is nothing to be scared of because I have the power to say no or to walk away. I can choose my reactions to events. My power of the feminine is not built in the ego or the head, but in a deeper space – the womb space, the hara (and even if you no longer have a womb the energy is still in that space). It is in the womb space, the hara which resides your soul. It is a power that DOESN'T say f**k you to all men, it is a power that doesn’t elevate itself higher than men or destroying men or putting them down, it is not an ego arrogance, but a deep, love and respect for the self; for the I AM that resides within all of us, the vehicle that moves this body.
It is a power that hears what you are saying and I acknowledges your voice when you compliment my body, but the reality is, this power within me doesn’t care what you think and doesn’t affect my sense of self, my autonomy or my sovereignty of my gorgeous, powerful light that resides within me and all of us. My true power, my authenticity in being a woman lies in my invitation to men, to all people, to see into my heart, to allow myself to be vulnerable and to trust in the moments that life brings to me.
I am a Goddess, I am sovereign, I am powerful, I am light.
©Alyssa Curtayne 2015
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