About six months ago I had the wonderful opportunity to attend a “womb” workshop in Hawaii with my wife Joyce. It was advertised as a workshop for healing, empowerment, and co-creation. Joyce and I have been married for thirty years. We saw this as an opportunity to heal some old wounds, celebrate our thirty years together, and take our relationship to a new level.
So there I was in Hawaii – one of two men in a four day workshop with ten women, all there to heal and activate our wombs. One session was particularly memorable for me. We were sitting in a circle sharing thoughts about a meditation that we had just completed. It was a particularly deep meditation, that triggered a release in one of the women during the meditation and several of the women during our subsequent discussion. It was truly magical to watch as the women came to each others aid, working together to heal and nurture their sisters in need.
As everything unfolded, I noticed that I wasn’t part of the drama, however I was very much part of the group. So I couldn’t help but ask myself what my purpose was for being there, and what my role was in relation to the other members of the group. Well, this was a great example of having to “be careful of what you ask for”, because what I received (with my energy channels wide open) was a powerful down load that I’m still trying to fully understand today. There was no doubt that I was there to hold the space for my sisters as they helped each other, but on another level, I believe I was there to protect the space; to watch the perimeter, and in a way, ensure the safety of those around me.
I believe that what I received that day was some insight into one of the fundamentals of the relationship between men and women. Not the terrible relationship that we have created over the last few thousand years in our patriarchal world, but rather the fundamental relationship of men and women that is consistent with the natural order of things. A relationship that needs to be revived, rekindled, nurtured, supported, embraced, and celebrated!
I like to believe that there is a higher power at work, and that this is a part of her Divine plan. Please stop for a moment and think……...with all of the different ways that nature could have created us, she created us in this place and time as male and female human beings; male and female - with many differences (viva la difference!); male and female - that need to join together to create (or rather co-create), in order to perpetuate our species.
And, of all the ways that the creator could have chosen for us to procreate, she chose the union of two people, and created a place inside the woman for this to happen called the womb. This is the place where new cells that are growing together differentiate, and at one specific point, decide to start beating in unison to support their own independent life. Wow! How powerful and wonderful is that? That every woman holds within her a warm, dark, safe, sacred space where life can begin; the place where new souls enter the world.
And what is my purpose; what is my role in that as a man? Well, I know that it’s much more than simply donating the seed. From my interaction with that group in Hawaii, I believe that one of my roles as a man is to honor that space, to nurture it, to protect it, and to teach our young men to do the same.
Over the last six months as this realization has unfolded for me, I’ve tried to incorporate this thinking into my daily life. That is, to treat every woman that I meet as though she is sacred, to honor her space, and on some level protect that space without infringing on it or claiming it. It’s been very different for me. Sure my relationship with Joyce is better, but so is my relationship with the check out girls at Food Lion, the young woman at the dry cleaners, the three women at Subway, the dozen women that I work with, my daughter-in-law who is expecting in August, the woman who cut me off at the gas pump yesterday, and so on. I truly honor and respect all of them (every day of the month), and through that, I know that they in turn have a greater respect for me.
So how do I do that? On a daily and practical basis, what have I changed? Well, my first reaction was to take out my old suit of armor, my shield and my broad sword, slay dragons, and rescue all of the current day damsels that are in distress. How disempowering would that have been? Probably not the right approach. Besides, the armor is old and heavy, and I haven’t seen a dragon in a while. Anyway, this is about honoring and protecting space (not slaying dragons), and oh by the way, there is a big difference between protecting space and providing space. I don’t provide the space in any way – the creator has done that for all of us. I am merely aware of the space, honor it, and I know that because of my masculinity, I want to protect it. Here again, protect it with honor and respect – and not claim it.
Here’s what I practice. As I approach or a woman approaches, I pull my energies back – maybe about 50%, giving her space, which is contrary perhaps to what you might think. Most women will expand into that empty space. (Hang in there with me here). It’s a space where I just was, so I know it’s safe. As she expands into it, I believe she feels the safety. Then within that safe space, we engage each other. I always try to use her name. Everything else then follows pretty easily, and when we part, I thank her outwardly or inwardly (depending on whether we have actually spoken, or just interacted).
Interestingly enough, I’ve also found that I can do the same with the men in my life. Each day I try to treat the men that I meet as a member of a brotherhood who respect and protect each other, as we honor and protect the space for the women in our lives. My energy here is different. As I approach or he approaches, I pull my energies back about 25%, saying (in my mind) “I’m really glad to see you again”, there by setting up a safe space that has a sense of familiarity and respect. With this space in place, I’ve found there is no need for either of us to produce large amounts of testosterone, and the interactions with my brothers are much less confrontational and much more productive. This is particularly true with the daily productions meetings that I have in the plant that I manage, and in my daily travels through the plant. Again, I always try to end every interaction with a “thank you”, (either inwardly or outwardly). As a side note, I consciously handle my energies differently between men and women, because of my own paradigms. I’m working on that.
So all this being said, what is the message that I want to leave you with: when I choose to use these simple practices as a basis for my interactions with others, I create a new and very interesting dynamic (actually, it’s a very old dynamic). I help co-create and perpetuate a world where a brotherhood of men exists, who honor and respect each other, who work together to support and protect the women in our lives, who in turn respect and honor the men in their lives, as they in turn love and nurture all of us.
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Written by Bill Stech