"In terms of the Heroine's Journey, a woman who has over identified with the masculine culture has sacrificed something of great value to herself-her feeling and creative functions- which she must then journey inward to reclaim." Maureen Murdock, The Heroine’s Journey
We grow up with tales of the HERO's journey - men who brave uncertainty and face the possibility of death, against all odds, to conquer their demons and triumph. Even Joseph Campbell, American mythologist who I admire greatly, described the spiritual and psychological journey within as the HERO's journey.
So where do we women create our own version, a completely different journey focusing on our own beautiful inherent gifts? Where are the role models and what ARE these divinely feminine gifts?
In my teens and twenties, I read books on goddess culture and feminism, to help me find my power... but I internalized this female power as a sort of Wonder Woman, don't mess with me or I'll kick your ass, kind of power. And for many years, it worked... it kept me safe, it allowed me to follow my own path (to a point), it kept me from falling prey to men's definitions of what it means to be a woman.
But now, as I enter a new phase of life nearing 50, a phase where I am no longer seen as that "young attractive woman", which in a way has been freeing for me not to feel under the magnifying glass of mens' attentions (may sound good in theory, but trust me, at times it truly sucked), I find myself asking this very important question: How do I own my feminine/goddess power in a softer, quieter, more-connected and spiritual way? How can I live my life guided more by feminine principles of connection to others, to earth, to creativity, to spirituality, and now have to play by the "masculine" rules of power, force, intellect, linearity, self-interest.
How do I live in this new place when I still live in an inherently masculine world? Bills to be paid, schedules to be kept, etc... all necessary but feeling "out of synch" with this desire to dive in deep to a different ocean - one that allows being present without worrying about the long laundry list of To Do items... one that allows feelings to be expressed other than anger, where tears and love are encouraged... one that allows