Women Who Thrive, Change The World!

Just this last week I finished a very powerful and important book for women.   Rachael Jayne Groover, Founder of The Yin Project has just launched Powerful and Feminine: How to Increase Your Magnetic Presence & Attract the Attention You Want.  In my second reading of it I decided that it should be a handbook for all women at this particular time on our planet.

On the back of this book there is a sentence that struck me as something that “independent” women should consider.  Yes, it has taken us a long time to prove to the world that we can “do it all”, but – do we really want to??  Do it all in a masculine energy sort of way that is.

The sentence reads, “A forced sense of masculine power is nothing compared to the ecstasy, empowerment, and effortless magnetism that are released when a woman activates her feminine essence“.

What is feminine essence?  It essentially is a state of being that we already have inside of us.  Rachael Jayne states that “The feminine essence is the power of unity, connection and relationship, which weaves all of creation together rather than just focusing on the individual.”  We as women essentially wish to connect with others in a deep and soulful way.

In the past, I have learned along the way to protect myself – those sensual, fluid, feminine, gentle and expansive parts – from the world, especially with men.  Wearing my masculine set of energies clothed in “I can do it and don’t need your help” I unconsciously pushed men and women away.  Yielding was something that I did not trust. I had no idea how to be powerful in a feminine essence sort of way with two exceptions – on the dance floor, and in teaching  fluid, breath filled, exploratory yoga classes.

In essence what I really wanted was to surrender into all of me and bring that out into the world and in relationship.  It is my belief that we as women can assist and support each other to do this inner work, birthing into being a much more balanced and empowered woman – and subsequently releasing our men to embody their deep masculine in healthy and loving relationship with us.

Recently I was introduced to the art of another one of the artists that I had lunch with a week ago here in Austin.  I bring Debra’s art work, for I believe that it represents what this post is discussing.   Below is a brief statement from her (a revealing in depth bio is available on her website) and a few of her art expressions, which to me embody the Powerful and Feminine path that Rachael speaks of.

My life has been a pursuit to learn, develop and explore as though on a quest to discover my authentic self.  The major life changes I have been willing to make to be true to what I feel has been a calling within my soul. I graduated in 2008, at age 50, with a BFA in studio art and painting from TCU.  Being relatively new to my creative endeavors I daily questioned – what is it I am trying to say with my work and what is my style?

How did this form of expression unfold?  I journal, collage, write and have been blessed with a number of wonderful teachers that have been instrumental in my growth.  Today, I finally feel I am right where I am supposed to be in my journey.

Today my canvases are filled with past experiences and interests, resulting in an exploration and exclamation much like my personal journey, all infused with a strong sense of whimsy. Explore my work and see the result of undying tenacity and perseverance, all culminating…to quench the thirst in and of my soul!”

Debra Benditz

Butterflies have been used throughout time and cultures to represent transition, resurrection, celebration, grace and airy lightness.  The Japanese make the butterfly an emblem of womanhood.  Just as a pupae evolves into the butterfly, a woman experiences endless shifts, turns and conditions as she evolves.  This continuous process of maturity allows us to reach full bloom.  Do you see the small eye that is looking back at you wondering where you are in your journey?

All names have meaning and Debra is bee.  In the ancient world bees were seen as harbingers of order and the muses, goddesses of creativity, referred to them as birds.  Roses are ancient symbols of love and beauty.  The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with their goddesses of love, Aphrodite and Venus.  The ultimate symbol of romantic love and enduring passion, the red rose also conveys respect and the romantic notion of love.  The title is a play on words of my name and the muses from whom I seek inspiration.

A woman’s lips are also a visible expression of her fertility.  Collage is used in developing many of the images I paint.  Here a set of lips from a make-up ad were turned vertically and a garden statue was placed in the parting of the lips.  This was then placed within the folds of the rose petals to resemble the center of creativity and pleasure shared by women.  In many cultures of the world, a woman’s mouth and lips are veiled because of their association with the vulva, and because of their role as a woman’s secondary sexual organ.

I believe it is the women in the family that pass on traditions.
Named after my paternal grandmother, the name A’Eola is the feminine form of the ancient Greek god of the winds.  Fluid graceful lines are used to show the forms of the two women embraced.  The older on the left looks down simultaneously while the younger on the right with the red head scarf looks up, her life ahead of her.  As women we share a similar journey. This notion is captured in the painting as a symbolic configuration of elements so unified as a whole that its properties can not be derived from a simple summation of its parts.

Throughout time the peacock has been used for healing.  In ancient  Greece, the peacock was the patron bird of the goddess Hera.  According to myth, she placed “eyes” on its feathers, symbolizing all-seeing knowledge and the wisdom of the heavens.    It is shown on the elders skirt to represent not only the nurturing nature of women but also the wisdom gained through life experiences.

Deep gratitude to both Rachael Jayne and Debra for being wonderful examples of bringing powerful feminine presence out into the world….  may we be inspired to do the same!



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