All posts tagged Attack

Reclaiming the Divine Feminine: Feeling Safe as a Woman

RECLAIMING THE DIVINE FEMININE (Continued from The Power of the Divine Feminine in a Dark Time) I had already moved from Montreal in 1989 when the Polytechnique shootings happened. I remember thinking from my Toronto home that it could have been me that was shot and killed that day. I was like those 14 young women, ambitious engineering students who had followed their path to higher education. But unlike them, I had chosen to study at the University of Waterloo. I was in the school of Architecture, which was at that time, and may still be (I honestly don’t know), very much an old boys club. I allowed the energy of that clan to deeply affect the way I felt about myself. Fed up with being a topic of conversation for my long blonde hair and bold attitude, I found myself soon with a shaved head, flirting with the idea of same sex relationships and unconsciously desiring to be more like a man. Needless to say, I became sick every month as an unexplored rage at being was pumping through my body in the form of extremely dysfunctional menstrual cycles. I hated being a woman. For much of my life, being a woman has felt unsafe. I have been subject to two overt physical assaults, one…

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The Power of the Divine Feminine in a Dark Time

As the sun moves further away from the Earth, and the days grow even shorter, this weekend, December 6, marks a somber anniversary of the 1989 Polytechnique shootings and caps off 16 Days of Activism on Gender Violence. This blog entry and the ones subsequent will touch upon violence against women in the context of the need for greater respect for the feminine principle that exists in both men and women. Days marked for remembrance, be they for the tragedy of the Polytechnique, or days like Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day, help us take pause and remember the value of the women in our lives and give thanks. In so doing, hopefully, we become more aware of the important role women play in society through our understanding of health, nature, spirituality and culture as a whole. Each day of remembrance is like a mindfulness meditation chime that rings in the midst of our sitting practice – a sonic moment that pulls us from indifference into greater awareness. With practice, we learn to live every day with the broader awareness we may experience on these “special” days. No one is untouched by the love of a woman. All of human life emerges from her body. Whether or not our relationship with our biological mother was close…

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Finding Compassion For Those Who Hate

When you put yourself out there, share your heart and voice with the world, there will inevitably be those who love you, those who hate you and those who just don’t care. Being on the spiritual path, I find this to be an excellent teacher and a perfect ego grinder, because whatever people think of me, it does not matter. Of course, my ego says, I would love everyone to like me. But I have no control over what people think and do, or how people judge. I can only do my best, love as best I can and humbly continue to open to each moment and learn the lessons each one brings. In the end, what matters most is my relationship with the divine, which affects how I treat others and myself. What is essential, lasting and true is that I practice seeing the divine in all, even in those who may not like me. It is hard to understand the motivation of hate, but in essence, we all have the capacity for it. No one is immune to its seduction. When I am lucidly honest with myself, I can openly say that I have felt it rise in me and take me over. I have felt its burn singe my heart. I have fallen…

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Ask Parvati 37: Feeling Under Attack – Part 4: Giving Voice and Making Changes

(Continued from “Understanding and Compassion“) I woke up this morning with the words in my head: “Illness and injury are a call for needed change.”  I have been going through some big personal changes this year, and clearly this was a voice from my soul reminding me to keep on that path of transformation. We don’t need to experience painful situations in order to grow, but often, we do end up going there. When we get colds, we know we need to slow down and take better care of ourselves. The same with physical accidents. But so too with personal injury. When we face difficult people, it is important to not take another’s state of mind personally. We have no control over what others think or do, or how they behave. All we can do is let people know how we feel and ask kindly for them to stop if what they are doing is hurting us. But if healthy dialogue is not possible and changes do not happen, we may need to look at deeper changes we may need to make in our life. Perhaps, when we face challenging people and situations, we are reminded to make changes in our life. Perhaps the toxic supervisor reminds us that we really don’t like the work we…

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Ask Parvati 37: Feeling Under Attack – Part 3: Understanding and Compassion

PART 3: UNDERSTANDING AND COMPASSION (Continued from “The Big Picture: It’s Not Personal“)   Here are some powerful thoughts I ask you to consider. Find a quiet place and allow yourself to go deeper with these:   “Everyone wants to be loved.”                 Wow.   “Everyone wants to be loved. And everyone fears they will not be loved.”       Think about that.           Think about that some more. Breathe it in. Let it resonate.   “Everyone wants to be loved and everyone fears they will not be.”         Apply that thought to your boss. Think of him that way, just wanting love, fearing he will not be. Think of how you want to feel loved. Perhaps, you two are not that different.       Think of your mother that way, just wanting love, fearing she will not be. Try to feel the fear your mother has, and know you too feel the same. Perhaps, you are not so different. The love you seek is also the love she wants. The fear you have that you won’t find love, is also the very same fear she has.       Think of your friends and other family members that same…

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Ask Parvati 37: Feeling Under Attack – Part 2: The Big Picture/ It’s Not Personal

(Continued from “The Power of Patience“)   We tend to take people’s bad moods, emotional reactions, judgment, criticism and attacks personally. Of course, toxic energy directed towards us hurts. But it does not have to.There is tremendous power in not taking things personally. In doing so, we peel away the dramatic story that masks the moment to reveal deeper truths. When we let go of taking things personally, we ultimately see that everyone is wounded, everyone needs love and everyone is doing the best they can at any given moment.   Hurtful exchange and nasty comments usually happen so quick, that we hardly know what really has gone on. When we practice patience and take a bit of breathing room from a volatile situation, we can slow down the tape of our reactive mind and see the subtler pathway of our knee-jerk reactions. We can move our awareness inward and ask ourselves, “What buttons of mine did this person push? What did I feel? Why did I react like that? What about this did I find hurtful? Is there something else I could see that am not seeing?”   It is my belief that most people are just trying to get through their day with, likely, a whole lot of mental fog, swirling unhappiness and unresolved…

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Ask Parvati 37: Feeling Under Attack – Part 1: The Power of Patience

Dear Parvati, I am having difficulty managing angry feelings toward one of my supervisors. He criticized me harshly during a presentation I was giving in front of a crowd. I know that it was meant to be personal. What made me even more angry than the slag was that I couldn’t fight back or defend myself in that moment. I felt powerless, and I had to swallow the anger that came up. I have been fuming over it for days. In my less angry moments, I absolutely recognize my role in this conflict and the attachments and distorted boundaries that I helped to build, which have led to this. I also know that what feels rooted, vital and expansive is if I were able to let go of these attachments, and with that, the anger and hurt. But my ego is still fuming, and I can’t “get over it”. I also feel some anxiety about having to work with him again, which I will have to do regularly. Help! I think I need to re-build boundaries that were violated, but I feel so vulnerable right now. No doubt this kind of attack brings up feelings of being attacked by my mother when I was a child and feeling powerless and afraid. My question relates to handling these…

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