As I sit and flip through my latest stack of chick magazines, I find myself wandering through the world of today’s woman and the concept of “divine feminine”. I wonder what that means — not only the “divine” part, but the feminine as well. I can see the divine in books and magazines, but where do I fit in? Where does the world of flowing gossamer and satin and lace meet spandex and terrycloth?
One of my favorite magazines caters to the “over 40” generation of women who want to believe they are still a viable, strong contribution to society. I can identify with that feeling. I want to believe I’ve not outlived my usefulness now that my children are out of college and beyond, that the job market is more considerate of middle-aged women — that there is more to life than a nine-to-five job and frozen pizzas for dinner. There are many women tripping over the big 4-0 mark and the even higher 5-0 mark, trying to make a difference in the world. I read about glamorous movie stars, corporate women, restaurant owners, writers, doctors, and others doing things they only once dreamed of. Antiquing through Europe, opening their own restaurant or bakery, rehabbing rundown parts of cities — all of them doing things that are somehow bigger than life. Closing the magazine, I wonder — where do I fit into all of this? Where does my revolution, my evolution, fit in?
In this age of airbrushed images and designer wardrobes, I often wonder where a Renaissance woman such as me belongs. Where are the articles that coddle mid-life, mid-waisted women? Where are the look-good, feel-good articles that cater to billing clerks or waitresses or shipping and receiving workers? Where are the dress-ups and weekend activities that address basketball and football moms and women who take kindergarteners on field trips and others who milk cows every day? Is it possible to be feminine and divine in a world without dress sizes? Is it possible to wear sweatshirts and uniforms and still sparkle in the divine feminine?
Sometimes it seems that the more liberated I feel, the more confused I become. In some ways that’s good, for it helps strengthen the connections between the synapses in my brain. Eternal confusion is eternal fodder for mental longevity. I love being female. I love the world offered to our species alone. Femininity comes from within; it is a state of being that comes from our very souls, our very thoughts. It is a pride in our sex, in our ability to feel and react in our enhanced sort of way.
But what about the next step? What is “divine feminine”? How are we supposed to find the “divine” in our green computer screens or packing boxes on an assembly line? Is it possible to be divine and feminine and not be on the pages of the latest trendy magazine? To find valued even if we are not on the board of directors of some giant corporation or running a four star restaurant?
Inspiration comes in many forms, but it begins with a wisp of an idea, a flutter of a heartbeat that beats to a slightly different rhythm. There is a seasoning that comes with the over-40 crowd, the wonderful reaping of the harvest that has been fertilized and nurtured and growing inside of us for the last 30 to 40 years. It is fueled by heartbreak and ecstasy, by hard work and curiosity. Divine is not dictated by the color of your skin or how big your paycheck is. Divine feminine is also enhanced by menopause: pre-, actual, and post-. There is something to be said about the shuffling of hormones as they start to decrease in a woman’s body. So many physical and mental changes trickle through our being, some real, some imagined, that we can’t help but redefine our feminism. We applaud the fact that we can no longer get pregnant, but mourn the fact that we can’t get pregnant. Our emotions run the gamut from high and energetic to scraping along the bottom. We have best friends, we have no friends. We love being alone, we fear being alone. Is this what the divine feminine is all about?
It is this and so much more. It is the beauty of being female, the freedom of experiencing our emotions up close and personal like no man could (sorry guys…but take it into consideration with your own divine feminine female). It’s the adventure of finding the self, the creativity that lies just below the surface, playing with the child who’s always been there. We cry, we laugh; we take estrogen if we need it and vitamins even if we don’t. We wear the jewelry our mother’s used to wear or make our own. We become mentors and advisers just because we’re here, and we walk in marathons instead of run. We realize that a job is merely a means to an end, an end that is just a beginning.
The divine feminine is who we’ve always been. She is a goddess, she is a nymph. She is a crabby middle-aged woman and a playful school girl. She loves men and is tired of men. She sparkles in gym shoes and brightly patterned shirts and well-worn flannels. It doesn’t matter what she loves, as long as she loves. As long as she feels feminine — as long as she embraces what she is.
And the “divine” part? Used as an adjective, divine means “of such surpassing excellence as to suggest divine (god/goddess/God) inspiration.” Combined with the powerful feminine (a gender that refers chiefly, but not exclusively, to females or to objects classified as female), that makes for one kickin’, sparklin’, inspirational being, doesn’t it?
If that’s what it’s all about, count me in.
©2012 Claudia Anderson