Shakti in the World
Recently, I came across a powerful speech by Madonna, a speech that echoed in my thoughts for days and reminded me of something I've held dear to my heart since I was a child — how we treat women, and how we view femininity.
Although we've come a long way, I find that our societies still mistreat women in so many ways — ways that we're accustomed to, blind to. Around the world, in almost every society including our own, we still give more freedoms and privileges to men than we do to women; we treat femininity as weaker than and inferior to masculinity. But in some ancient cultures, we are taught how nothing could be further from the truth... In Qigong for instance, it is said, "If the trees are masculine, then the grass is feminine... And when a great storm comes, the trees fall and the grass bends." In Tantra, Shakti is the mother goddess. She is the source of all, she is energy, power and creativity. She is both creator and destroyer. She is the world.
I was raised by a single mother, one of my greatest teachers. Above all, she taught me about kindness, compassion and respect, but also about how the world views and treats women... As we approach St. Valentine's Day next month, my mother and I had a talk about the sexes... This is what she shared...
"Women and men should be treated as equals since we are equal, but not the same since we are different. What a woman needs is not the same as what a man needs. And, every woman's needs is unique to that woman just as every man's needs is unique to that man. We can generalize and say that women need this, and men need that. But the secret is to listen for the unique needs of each specific person, regardless of the person's gender... And when it comes to making love, there too listen to the unique needs, tastes and desires of your lover. Making love is an art of communication. Sometimes one person leads, sometimes the other leads, and then sometimes you experience yourselves as one."