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The Weird and Wonderful Workings of the Feminine Mind (Your Subconscious Mind as Divine Mother)

I've been connecting ever more deeply with feminine energy lately, both personally and in sessions with clients. Although I'm still a long way from embodying the deeply surrendered and trusting state I'm glimpsing, the experience has already deeply changed the way I'm thinking about everything. It's been an unnerving process, that's also somehow strangely reassuring. Like a drop of water falling over the waterfall, I'm being invited to simply watch with complete trust as my life is changed in radical ways. The less I resist, the easier it seems to flow.

One of the things I've recognized is a connection between feminine energy and the subconscious mind. The subconscious is a space within each of us that holds everything our conscious minds can't process. It holds the experiences we can't make sense of because they're too traumatic, as well as the experiences that we barely notice because they seem irrelevant. Your subconscious "remembers" all the details your conscious brain can't hold onto, like the fact that the man sitting next to you on the subway was wearing a red hat, or that the sky was grey the day you wrecked your car. You can think of your subconscious as both a keeper-of-secrets, and an efficient filing clerk. It doesn't judge how relevant or irrelevant any experience is. It takes whatever is given, and it shuffles it away to a back room, so you don't have to consciously process it. This frees your conscious mind up for dealing with the more relevant matters at hand, like how to get to work on time.

In this way, you can think of your mind as having two polarities - a masculine, conscious mind, and a feminine, subconscious mind. The masculine conscious mind - the rational part of the brain that helps us study, understand, categorize, analyze, etc. - is the part of your brain that performs most daily functioning tasks. Your conscious brain recognizes the red traffic light, understands that's it's a signal to apply the brake, and directs your foot to do so. It's the part of the brain most of us associate with. It can think logically, remember, and act accordingly.

The subconscious, on the other hand, is the part of the brain that's hidden. It's the part that effects your behavior, without your awareness. It provides the motive for the things you do that don't make logical sense in the moment. If you find yourself stepping on the brake more forcefully than necessary at that red light, for example, it might be that you're holding an unacknowledged fear of being out of control within your subconscious. Your conscious brain knows the amount of force that's needed to stop the car, but your subconscious is holding a fear you're not aware of, and that fear is affecting what you do. Maybe things at home or work are changing too quickly for you to consciously integrate. Or maybe the emotional remnants of that car accident you had years ago got stuffed into your subconscious, because you had no way to consciously face the terror of death the experience evoked.

Mothers have a great sense for what their kids can handle, and I like to think of the subconscious as the Divine Mother within each of us. Mothers know that a 2-year old is not mature enough to safely use a steak knife at the table. If the child discovers a knife, a good mother will take the knife from the child and not allow her to use it until the child has matured enough to do so safely. The subconscious functions in the same way. It recognizes when an experience is simply too overwhelming for you to safely integrate into your consciousness. Instead of allowing you to hurt yourself, it takes whatever piece of the experience you can't hold, and it simply removes it from your awareness. It carries it into the subconscious, where you'll lose almost all awareness of it. It splits the experience into parts, some of which you have access to and some of which you don't.

An example of this split can be seen in someone talking easily, sometimes even with laughter, about truly traumatizing events from their childhood. They can easily recall the events (i.e., when Dad saw what I did to the tractor, he beat me to an inch of my life!) without going into the disorganizing thoughts and emotions that were likely experienced at the time. Rage and terror are difficult emotions to integrate, as is the realization that the man in charge of your care may physically assault you if you make a mistake. These thoughts and feelings are too disorganizing for a young brain to integrate. So the experience gets split into a conscious part and a subconscious part. The memory remains in the conscious mind, but the disorganizing feelings and thoughts that accompanied the experience go into hiding within the subconscious. Like a good mother, your subconscious gathers up the pieces your conscious mind is not strong enough to hold yet. If experiences are traumatic enough, even the memory of the event might disappear in its entirety into the subconscious. The quiet, knowing mother part of you knows what it holds, so your conscious mind doesn't have to. In this way, your conscious mind can go about the business of getting to work on time and functioning in your daily life, without the burden of too much unprocessed feeling, knowledge or experience tripping you up.

Healing is always a process of restoring wholeness. Healing splits like these involve gathering the dissociated pieces, processing the experience, and integrating the learning into your understanding of life. If you think of your subconscious as the Divine Mother aspect within you, there's real reason to trust both the method and timing of this very natural, healing process. Although there's oftentimes difficult emotion and traumatic experience hiding in those mysterious depths, there's also deep wisdom and an understanding of how all things fit together. Your subconscious holds the understanding of deep connection. It understands when you're ready to integrate some new piece, and like a good mother, is willing to gently guide you in the process. In many ways, the subconscious is like a womb space, where things are held and tended to until they're ready to be birthed.

In my experience, something arises from the subconscious only when some capacity to deal with it has been achieved. These communications are oftentimes subtle. Perhaps, something in a dream catches your attention. You see or feel something that sticks with you when you wake, and your conscious brain is gently invited to explore what your subconscious has revealed. A little further into the healing process, you have an experience that runs contrary to what you consciously want, but that's a reflection of something you hold in your subconscious, and you're invited to look at it more closely. Life is a mirror, and the womb space of the subconscious is fertile and creative. Because the experience seems to be coming from outside you, you're conscious mind is given a chance to explore it with the safety of perceived distance. Maybe you realize that you've always had a vague discomfort around this type of thing, or maybe you recognize that you've had this experience before and wonder why. Gently, you're invited to feel a little deeper into the discomfort. Or maybe you have an emotional reaction to something that seems out of proportion to the current event, but that feels familiar, and you're given an opportunity to reprocess those deeper feelings through what's happening right now. These are all gentle invitations from the subconscious to incorporate some of her wisdom into your daily, conscious life. Your Divine Mother is always speaking to you - in dreams, visions, intuitions, and emotions. The more willing you are to explore what she offers, the more she can reveal to you.

When I feel into my own divine, feminine energy, I get the paradoxical sense of a full emptiness. Like a womb, a void, or even a black hole, it's dark and full in its emptiness. Everything exists only in potential. It feels like an unlimited creative resource, flowing and chaotic, but with an undeniable impulse towards growth, oftentimes through destruction. If I allow myself to be carried on that current, things weirdly work out. I'm moved towards my own growth in ways I couldn't have foreseen. Feminine energy is remarkably creative, with a holographical perspective that allows for everything to be accounted for and nothing left behind. Honestly, it's a little unnerving. And yet, at the same time, weirdly reassuring. The thought that I might not need to have it all figured out, but that I could trust in a powerful force for my good that will almost magically take me where I need to be feels like a profound relief. My masculine, conscious brain has been working overtime for so long. It feels remarkably restful to surrender in trust to such a benevolent, powerful force.

Much personal growth has come about for me recently through the weirdly chaotic, and yet somehow perfect, workings of divine feminine energy within my own life. For months I've been dreaming about how wonderful it would be to see clients in a space connected to my home. Having sound sessions in my gazebo this summer was deeply restorative for me personally. It was a joy to share my peaceful part of the world with others. With the change in weather, all my sound bowls returned to my office, and I missed having the ability to play with them in the evenings. I'd started fantasizing about constructing a building on my property with a large healing room where I could combine both my hands-on energetic work and my sound healing. I'd even gone so far as to draw up some rudimentary plans. Other, seemingly unrelated issues, were also concerning me. I wanted to play my cello more but was having trouble finding a place and time in my house to do so. I longed to be able to meditate and practice yoga before bed, but my bedroom was the only place I could do it, and my husband's sleep schedule made it feel rushed rather than relaxing. I was dreading winter at my office, where icicles and slippery walkways presented a constant problem. I both wanted to expand my practice and see more clients, and somehow be home more. So Divine Mother stepped in and rearranged my life for me...over a single weekend!

If you haven't already heard, at the beginning of the month, I was forced to leave my office space. An ongoing maintenance problem took a sharp turn for the worse and became a full-blown, biological hazard. I was forced to vacate and find a new location, with little more than a weekend to work out the details. With no other option, I moved all my belongings to my home. That weekend, I cleaned out a guest bedroom/playroom/office space, and ended up with a new healing space that checked every one of the boxes I'd had in my mind and then some! Not only do I now have access to all my healing bowls, both in session and personally, but I also have a beautiful space for yoga, playing my cello, meditation, etc. Weirdly, it even worked out better for my family, in ways none of us could've anticipated or planned.

It was a huge change, and one that I was not consciously desirous of. But even as it was happening - as I was having discussions with my landlord, and moving damaged items from my office in grief and confusion - I knew that if I could just "be like water," I could flow through this change and it would all be OK. Maybe even better in the end. So I let myself fall as completely as I could (not perfectly, mind you) into the arms of the great Divine Mother, trusting that her capacity to hold everything gives her a more complex understanding of things than my small conscious brain could ever comprehend. She can feel all the connections between everything, and that makes it possible for her to rearrange all the pieces in ways that seem chaotic but actually invite a higher order. In the end, even my landlord was happy for the change, realizing he wanted to simplify his own life by selling off some of his rental property. He returned the rent, paid for the damage to my personal belongings, and even helped me move my things out.

I wish I could say I was completely Zen throughout this process. I wasn't. It was difficult to leave a place I loved and had worked so hard to build. In many ways, I'm still grieving, and still struggling with the disorienting sense of having a foot on either side of a divide. My life will be different going forward. There's no going back. Though I'm choosing to trust, I still don't like change.

The experience has made it a little easier for me to look at the chaos in the world right now with a kinder, more trusting lens. We're also in that weird, disorienting place of change, stepping awkwardly forward into the unknown future. Things seem dark and chaotic, even destructive, like feminine energy. I feel hope knowing that feminine energy is on the rise within us all, and that this impulse towards growth holds everyone and everything equally, drawing connections between all the disparate parts, and helping us all reach some higher order.

For more information on feminine energy, see my blog post The "Death Current" and Pure Feminine Energy.


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