By: Cornelia Powell – Confluence Daily is your daily news source for women in the know.
In the middle of the scorching summer of 2016, as women’s bodies and the feminine spirit were under attack from the collapsing patriarchy (the outdated “old boys’ club” and directly from Donald J. Trump, its leering poster boy), wise-woman Regena Thomashauer, author and founder of the School of Womanly Arts in New York City, wrote: “Violence flourishes unchecked when the feminine withdraws. This world needs the feminine now, more than ever.” Asking women to “start by being less violent towards ourselves—in our thoughts and behaviors” by reclaiming the “values of the feminine”: Values like how we intuitively use our creativity, or recognize the “interconnectedness of everything and everyone”; how we express the depth and breadth of our feelings, or embrace the spiritual quality of receiving and surrender.
Women have for too long attempted to “out man” men in their warrior games—“hide our feelings” and “win at all costs”—and look where such inauthenticity has gotten us. “How can we actually bring forward our feminine gifts and inhabit a side of ourselves that has been oh-so-long abandoned?” the author questioned. “How do we reclaim that which is truly ours?”
Regena Thomashauer encourages us to choose “radiance.”
“As a woman, each of us has the power to turn on. We can decide to shine our inner light in any direction we choose. If someone is unwittingly or wittingly rude to me, I can choose radiance, or I can choose retaliation,” Thomashauer added. She tells a story about an awkward encounter with an old friend who had recently disappeared from her life. Feeling clumsy at first, she wanted to “leave my softness and go to anger,” blaming him for her hurt. “But I gently held on to my light. Light is fragile. Anger is more familiar. Yet it felt good to be so vulnerable.” She acknowledges the “gift of the feminine”—choosing radiance over retaliation—for the renewed closeness with her friend.
In late September of that same pivotal year, in the most amazing bit of synergetic brilliance, Regena Thomashauer released her new revelatory and revolutionary book, “Pussy: A Reclamation.” Just in time to counter the attack! A response to centuries of patriarchal brutality including the mean-spirited political and social culture of “Trumpery,” her book is an appeal for women to love and reclaim their beautiful bodies and, in so doing, reclaim their divine feminine birthright. She declares that “if each and every woman were to embody a small drop of her feminine, each day, we could all ‘Be the change,’ as Ghandi said. Whether it be radiance, intuition, emotional range, surrender, or sisterhood—one drop, each day—we could accelerate the reclamation of these values, not only for ourselves, but for everyone on this tiny, beautiful vulnerable planet that we share.” So, what are we waiting for?
I’ve been working on a book, off and on for some time, intertwining what I considered Princess Diana’s spiritual mission with the essence of this “feminine reclamation”—this divine reckoning of “values of the feminine” brewing in the world. In as many ways that Diana embodied the beauty and vitality of femininity to the public during her lifetime, she would often “leave her softness and go to anger” in encounters with friends and family, disrupting harmony and setting up a stressful environment for all. Yet Diana’s “gift of the feminine” was on high alert on other occasions: when she hugged a stranger who was hurting or in peril; made heartfelt eye contact with hundreds of people at hundreds of gatherings; created intimacy in a moment with merely a touch or look; and when she embraced her own children with exuberate compassion. Diana could “turn on her inner light” in an instant, shining her laser-watt “radiance” which seemed to recharge her own emotional and spiritual batteries as well as light up the lives of others. (Perhaps if she had lived longer, she would have been able to bring her “gift of the feminine” into more harmonious balance for her own sense of well-being and happiness—which makes her life and early death a wake-up call for each of us!)
Maybe not surprising in our cosmic spiral of connected energy, there is a link between Princess Diana and Donald Trump. After her separation and subsequent divorce from Prince Charles, Diana was not only “courted” by various business tycoon types, but she also sought advice from some of them about the next phase of her life. During these last few years before her death, the princess visited the United States for special events and met Trump at one point. During that politically-charged year of 2016, those “long-swirling rumors over the exact nature of Donald Trump’s relationship with Princess Diana” resurfaced, as Tom Sykes reported for The Daily Beast. “It emerged that Trump claimed on a radio broadcast with Howard Stern [in 1997] days after [Diana’s] death that he could have had sex with her.” In fact, the two crude-talking men, both known for disrespecting women, agreed that Trump “‘could’ve nailed her.’”
In Trump’s over-blown, small-minded, thin-skinned ego, he thought he was “playing nice” after Diana’s divorce by sending her letters and “massive bouquets of flowers,” yet the princess has been quoted as saying the New York businessman gave her “the creeps.” Sykes wrote that “British TV presenter Selina Scott, a friend of Diana’s, claimed that ‘as the roses and orchids piled up at [Diana’s] apartment, she became increasingly concerned about what she should do. It had begun to feel as if Trump was stalking her.’”
Princess Diana, with her keen insight into the heart of another, recognized Donald J. Trump for what he is. However, nearly 20 years later, if electronic voting can be trusted (and I believe it can’t), almost half of the Americans who voted in the 2016 presidential election chose the self-professed sexual predator as president. Someone once said that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear. Trump lost the popular vote in the presidential election (i.e., the “love vote”) since nearly three million more people voted for Hillary Clinton. But in a harsh backlash to the more equalitarian and compassionate advances in the culture—expressions of “feminine values”—he apparently won the “fear vote.”
In the aftermath of this punched-in-the-gut election, I wanted to go to my “small self”—or as Regena Thomashauer expressed: “leave my softness and go to anger.” It was hard to find the unconditional love of my “big Self”—my light, my light-heartedness, my ability to see the big picture of what happened. I knew there was a spiritual direction in this dark earthly happening, it just took me a while to come around to it. So with the support of the writings of perceptive visionaries around the world encouraging old souls to take action—from Ainslie MacLeod, Charles Eisenstein, Elizabeth Locey, Steffan Vanel, Gary Zukav, Norma Gentile, Elizabeth Williams, and others, including a “Saturday Night Live” skit—I created a blog called “What To Tell Our Daughters” which became a heartening index of spirit-inspired voices reminding us that love, indeed, trumps hate! (Which energized me, with fresh focus, to get back to work on that book about the newly emerging feminine spirit.)
I don’t know what it will take in such wide-reaching murkiness for each of us to keep our hearts open, not act out of fear nor lash out in anger; to reclaim the benevolent “values of the feminine”—to find our “radiance.” But whatever it takes, whatever smallness we have to let go of, whatever feelings of anger or self-doubt we need to transmute into positive energy, it’s essential so that we light the way for our daughters and granddaughters, our nieces and great-nieces, ensuring a chance for them to shine their own unique and powerful magnificence.
It’s time to declare, the wise-woman vote is in: “choosing radiance over retaliation” is the best revenge! ~
[Excerpts from Cornelia’s book-in-progress, “A Memory of Beauty: The Spiritual Mission of a Princess.” And with deep gratitude to and praise for Regena Thomashauer and her book, “Pussy: A Reclamation,” available on Amazon. www.CorneliaPowell.com]
Wedding Folklorist, Fashion Historian, Author & Guest Speaker
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