Tuesday on my way to work I found a crisp $100 bill on the ground. Today I got fingerprinted for my adoption. The cost: $99.
I’m often asked what my spiritual practice is. My answer: Saying, “Yes”. When I feel something come alive inside of me, I simply say, “Yes”. When I’m given a vivid dream, I say “Yes”. When I see a vision of something that is not yet earthside, I say “Yes”. When I begin to doubt I choose to say “Yes”. I might not understand it, but I know what I know. This is the best part about it. We don’t have to understand it for it to come into being.
I often carry things inside of me for years before I live them in the earthly plane. Nurturing them, seeking them out, embracing them, aching with them as I wait and hope for them to come into their fullness, into their being. During the life of these inklings I am often afraid, uncomfortable, mystified, sometimes overwhelmed, but I know that what we see on the physical plane is only a small part of what is really going on. Just because something is not yet earthside doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Perhaps its existence is even more real than what we can see with our human eyes or touch with our physical hands.
I purposed long ago to live openly my journey towards understanding the other realms. To live transparently as an example for others to see how this really works and how it is walked out humanly, with all of our limitations.
This year I will adopt a baby. Many years ago I was given a very vivid dream of a child who was to be mine. Over time the spirit realm has shown me many things about this child. The child itself has also visited me. There is so much of it that I don’t understand, yet it all makes perfect sense. That is the tension between the human mind that wants things to make sense and the spirit who already knows.
My journey to adoption is a perfect example of what it looks like to say, “Yes” and just how unearthly it all really is. I’ve known for a long time that I had the capacity to adopt. I started to get the feeling over the last few years that that time was drawing near. At the turn of the new year, the tides also turned and I just knew that it was time.
It’s a really big deal in more ways than one. There are a lot of practical elements to figure out. Adoption is a pricey endeavor. I’m adopting by myself. I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. It doesn’t add up. What I have learned through walking out my spiritual practice of saying yes is that it doesn’t have add up. My part is to make myself available, not to figure out the how. The spirit realm has already decided that what it has shown me is to be. This means that it already knows exactly how it will make it happen.
If we waited for everything to be perfect, we likely wouldn’t do many things. The spiritual realm responds to action. Say “Yes”, take one practical step at a time and the way will unfold, what is needed will be provided for.
If it’s hard to believe, watch me. I’ll share with you my journey so that at no cost to yourself you can see how this works.
To saying “Yes” and resting in never having to do it alone,
According to the dictionary, a woman is: 1) The female human being. 2) An adult female person. 3) A female attendant to a lady of rank. 4) A wife. 5) The nature, characteristics, or feeling often attributed to women; womanliness. 6) A sweetheart or paramour; mistress. 7) A female employee or representative.
Entirely inadequate definitions in my opinion.
So then, what is a woman? I believe a woman is inherently beautiful and powerful. Strong and knowing.
Inherently Beautiful. The mere fact that you are a woman (a female human being), makes you beautiful. Anyone who has told you otherwise has lied to you.
Look at your body. How exquisite it is. We tend to focus on size, shape, texture, color, dimples, marks, etc. as if they somehow define who we are or how much we are worth. Sometimes these things can hinder our beauty but it isn’t because we aren’t beautiful. Anything that becomes a hindrance to our beauty is often an outward expression of an imbalance. It may be of the mind. It may be of the body. It may be of the spirit. It may be of the people and the energy around us. You may have experienced a trauma that has altered the expression of your beauty. Regardless of its origin, it is not you. Did you hear me? It is not you.
There are a lot of things that can make us “feel” less beautiful but they can’t actually take our beauty from us. You see, because beauty is intrinsic to being a woman. It belongs to us by our very nature.
Powerful. The first thing that comes to my mind when I think of how powerful we are is that we bleed. Because we bleed we can bring forth life.
My blood is my companion and constant reminder that I carry within me the ability to create new life and to bring it forth into the world around me. This is powerful.
Whether I am actively bleeding or not, each day I have this power at work within me. It is not only for the procreation of another human being. It is an energy and a power that is available to us to bring new life into every moment of every day.
Every few weeks our blood purges the old, that which didn’t yield new life during the past cycle, and prepares the way for another life-giving opportunity. In the next post I will go into detail about the mental and emotional components of ourselves and how they too can be purged and renewed while we bleed.
Even if you don’t bleed yet or anymore, you can still find the cycle and rhythm of your body for whatever season of life you are in and utilize it for cleansing and renewing, purging and creating new life.
Strong. These arguments that women are the weaker sex or on the flip side that we are the stronger sex is so very destructive to the nature and capacity of both men and women. We are different from each other and each is made for different things. Our strengths generally reside in different areas and are meant to compliment each other, not compete with each other.
I don’t want to be stronger than my man, but I also certainly don’t want to be weaker than him. I want each of us to inhabit the strengths that are inherent to us as man/woman and those which we possess that are unique to us as the deliberately fashioned individuals that we are.
Finding our strengths can be tricky. Especially in the midst of everything we are trying to keep up with in the day-to-day of life. Also tricky is embracing them once we find them and having the courage and the freedom to live them in a society that tells us we are either a Bitch or too emotional. This is also a whole other post in itself that I will definitely be talking about in the future.
Knowing. We know, perceive, and understand so much more than we are given credit for and that we give ourselves credit for. This knowing and intuition is already housed within us. Locating it, activating it, and nurturing it are key to living in it and letting it be our guide, our encouragement, and a source of strength and comfort for us.
In the coming weeks I will be going much more into depth about each of these attributes. Together I would like to expand our list of what defines us as women. I will also be sharing the many natural remedies I’ve come up with or found for the challenges that we deal with as women.
Ladies, this blog is your space. Let it be your community. Feel free to comment, to reach out, to express yourself and to explore yourself here. Men, you are also welcome here. We need your strength, too. Your words of admiration for us and encouragement to us matter. All I ask is that everyone who participates takes care of each other as well as themselves.
Let me know if there are certain topics pertaining to being women that you would like to hear about. There is no taboo topic with me.
You are Beautiful.
You are Powerful.
You are Strong.
You are Knowing.
© 2016 Emily Tavis. All Rights Reserved.
Photo © Emily Tavis 2016
I once saw it written that a woman living out her true design will be valiant, vulnerable and scandalous. Upon reading this, I felt a certain sense of release as if somehow by just seeing it in words, the life I have always innately been compelled to live had been validated. This was all too quickly followed by a pang deep in my heart as I know the reality of how painfully difficult it is as a woman, even with all of my “freedom”, to live valiantly in a way that most interpret as scandalous while fighting the urge to squelch my vulnerability as it seems to possess the power to hinder living a fully realized life.
Embracing these three corresponding elements while living out our unique design invites a few admirers and many criticizers, as are too prominent the beliefs that bold and tender together do not belong.
I am not a feminist. I am a woman who knows how hard it is to live what comes alive inside of her because of the way the world views us, the expectations that are put on us and the ideas formed about us by those who have never meandered through the inside of us.
Woman. Valiant: Boldly courageous. Vulnerable: Capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt. Scandalous: Displaying shocking behavior (and not necessarily sexual). If these things are part of the design of a woman then they don’t need to be attained, rather simply allowed to exist and cultivated.
I believe that how these attributes manifest in each woman is going to be different because no two people are entirely alike, but the essence remains the same. A woman living out her true design will be boldly courageous. She will be capable of or susceptible to being wounded or hurt and she will display shocking behavior.
So, live boldly and courageously without succumbing to the urge to squelch your vulnerability and pay them no mind when they call this scandalous.
©2015 Emily Francis Tavis
Photo ©Emily Francis Tavis
I could talk about beauty, what it is in reality versus what the media and society say it is. I or anyone else could tell you a thousand times you are beautiful and you may come to believe this, know this, and understand it, but the truth is that unless you know your value, you will never truly inhabit and embrace your beauty, your real beauty.
We are human beings who generally call beautiful that which we find pleasing to the eye. There is nothing wrong with this. There is nothing wrong with preferring one aesthetic over another. There is nothing wrong with identifying what we are uncomfortable with and wanting to improve upon it. There is nothing wrong with wanting to be desired. The problem arises when we believe that apart from these things we have a lesser or no value at all.
I was raped as a small child. I can remember being 8 or 9 years old and saying to myself, “I could be a prostitute and thoroughly enjoy it. I could do that easily.” I thought about it for a moment and replied to myself, “No. That’s not who I want to be. There is more for me than simply enjoying sex and using it to be powerful.”
There is a common misunderstanding that all people who have been taken advantage of sexually, at whatever age, are afraid of sex, have low self-esteem, become men/women haters, avoid intimate relationships, turn promiscuous, or are forever scarred by the abuse. Don’t get me wrong, such gross mistreatment does have its effects, but each person processes it in their own way.
For me, being thrust into an adult world at way too young of an age made me very aware of the pleasure my body was able to give me. I did not fear it. I actually fully embraced it, which is why I even contemplated how I could enjoy being a prostitute. However, my saving grace was that I somehow knew the “more for me” that there was involved being treasured, respected, and valued apart from and in spite of any physical characteristic or lack thereof.
Any form of abuse lacks being treasured, respected, and valued, and I knew I needed to know, and I mean deep to my core know, my value. My young self decided that very same day that before I willingly entered into sexual relationships that I had to find my value in who I was or else many things would have the power to be my ruin. Being robbed of my inherent right to being valued was simply not an option. I was made for more than that.
So while my peers ventured into and out of relationships and experimented sexually I went in search of my true self. This led me into a deep spiritual relationship with my Creator and in that I came to truly understand that I am enough–apart from anyone or anything.
I was shown how I was fashioned with not one mistake, and that that is what makes me valuable. There is great intention to every part of me. This makes me want to live to the fullest every part of myself. It makes me want to work hard at working out or overcoming the kinks that threaten to get in the way of this. It makes me want to take care of myself-mentally, physically, and emotionally. This is hard work. It requires constant self-evaluation, hard life choices to keep my space clear of things or people who eat away at my value, and a dedication to taking care of myself physically, whatever that means for me.
So what is my point in sharing that very personal detail of my life and how does it relate to my opening question of what beauty is?
Natural beauty, powerful beauty, doesn’t originate in having a certain form or feature. It comes from knowing who you are, who you were made to be, and that there is absolutely no mistake in the way you were crafted. You are enough. You are highly valued. You are beautiful.
© Emily Tavis 2015. All rights reserved.
Photo © Emily Tavis
Lately, all across social media there has been a lot of talk and illustrations of women’s periods. Pictures of women having bled through their clothing, demonstrations done by sticking winged pads to trees, etc. I understand why this is being done and I don’t disagree that it is due time that the taboos surrounding a woman’s bleeding become destigmatized. I also agree that it should not just be something that is viewed as normal but also something to be embraced by everyone, not just women. However, there is more to it than just this.
While it is a normal bodily process and I believe it should be treated as such, it is still personal. More than that, it is sacred. In my opinion, pads stuck to trees and bloody spots on pants diminish the sacredness of it.
Historically, while a woman was menstruating she was considered to be more sacred and powerful than when she wasn’t bleeding. She was believed to have increased psychic abilities, to be more intuitive and wise, even possessing the ability to heal the sick. During their bleeding, women were revered and accessed by others in the community or village for impartations of these increased abilities. They were given the space not only sit in these increased capabilities and receive what was being imparted them, but they were also allowed and encouraged to use them. They were also given the opportunity to rest during their time.
How very different this is from our culture now that tells everyone to stay away from a woman while she is bleeding. “Don’t talk to her. She’s PMSing.” A woman shows what someone else believes to be a heightened feeling or reaction and she’s asked if it is that time of the month. It’s angering.
Maybe you really actually pissed her off. Maybe her bleeding has her uncomfortable physically (because you know it can actually do that) so, yes, she’s a little more grouchy than usual, which by the way is totally normal when you don’t feel good. Maybe the arrival of her blood means she is not pregnant…again. How do you feel when you are heartbroken? Perhaps she carries deep within her heart and mind the lie that has been told to women for so long now that while she is bleeding she is dirty, she is unwanted, she is annoying. I’d have disdain for my blood too if I believed that.
What if while we were bleeding we were treated with reverence? What if while we were bleeding we treated ourselves with reverence? What if we were not only allowed to occupy the power which comes with the arrival of our blood every few weeks but also sought out for it?
Think of how it would change your month. Think of how it would free you. Imagine our daughters growing up free from the awkwardness and loathing that surrounds the monthly powerful self-cleansing and regenerating of our bodies. Imagine being seen as a goddess, even while still a young girl, not because you are being oversexualized, rather because you are revered for the mere fact that you are a woman and you possess the ability to bleed, to cleanse, to regenerate, and to bring forth new life. Period.
How would this change your view of yourself? How would this change the value you attach to your body and the way it looks? How would this change the way you feel every few weeks as your body sheds what didn’t yield life in the past cycle and prepares the way once again to create new life?