I’m working with my dharma coach and we’re going back to basics: core values. Indeed it’s an ideal time to turn our attention here, at the beginning of 2022, in the new lunar year of the tiger, on the other side of a new moon in Aquarius–it’s a time ripe for expansion.
Which is what I tell myself when I get this assignment from my coach because I already know my values. I use them like a mantra, a prayer, to ground me when my internal judge threatens to uproot me. Which is often.
I also value being a good student so I dust off my beginner’s mind and attempt to look at the long list of value words with a fresh perspective. I circle several that feel right but when I get to the end, I feel uneasy. Then I realize why.
Shakti is missing.
On this 3-page document that includes hundreds of words synthesized from countless other master lists, some of the values I hold most dear are not there. Sensuality, pleasure, abundance, ecstasy, embodiment, softness, and wildness simply didn’t make the list.
I text my coach to share this revelation. I can feel her smiling, nodding in her wise woman way as she replies, “You see what’s happening here, don’t you?”
Yes, I do.
I’m reminded of something a sage astrologer once told me about being a dragon on the Chinese zodiac. He said, “You are a mythical creature and the only one so it’s difficult for you to find yourself in this world, to recognize who you are. The other signs can see themselves by observing a dog, rabbit or rooster etc. But one can’t just go to a zoo, or take a walk in nature, and find a dragon.”
Being a Shakti Woman, one awakening the power of the sacred feminine in yourself and in the world, can feel like being a mythical creature. When you can’t find a reflection of yourself in the overculture, when you don’t see the values you cherish being honored, it can feel like you don’t exist or don’t matter.
We live in a world that holds yang qualities (ambition, accomplishment, strength, winning, endurance, just to pull a few off the list) as superior. Can you feel the kind of fist-pumping-Tony-Robbins-stand-up-and-cheer kind of energy when you read those values? I do.
But imagine raising your hand and being brave enough to declare your top values as pleasure, vulnerability, and softness. You’d likely encounter awkward silence and downward gazes or derision.
Because in this patriarchal, dominator paradigm that we live in, the feminine is so often devalued and disappeared. And that lives inside of us too.
Which is why it’s so important to hang out with other dragons, other women, feminine-identifying and goddess-loving folks, who are unhooking from an overculture hell-bent on eroding our worth, diminishing our power, making us invisible.
I’m talking about those who see you Oh So Sexy at Sixty and honor your stretch-marked belly as a beautiful badge of courage. Who celebrate you voicing your badass healthy boundaries and think your exquisite self care is a total fucking inspiration.
Values aren’t right or wrong, good or bad. Only you get to choose yours, based on what is intrinsically valuable and desirable to you. They also don’t live inside an artificial masculine/feminine binary (despite me being on a rant that may suggest otherwise).
Values are also nuanced. “Confidence” for example might be expressed by someone living simply with few possessions and trusting in nature’s bounty, or by another who lives in a luxury mansion and drives a shiny red sports car.
Furthermore, there’s not an all-inclusive, perfect list of values. Rather it’s an invitation to keep reaching for the words that carry the ultimate resonance for you.
In case you’re curious, mine are Love, Sensuality, Connection, Contribution and a new addition, Freedom. These are the values that guide my life and business. They’ve always been there although in challenging times, it was more about their lack or shadow. I’ve designed my life and work around them. They give back to me every day.
Sharing this piece of writing with you is a good example. It’s a way for me to connect with you my mission about love of self and Shakti, in a way that I hope contributes something meaningful to your life. The photo is intended to convey pleasure and sensuality.
Since I’m my own boss and she gave me no deadline on this piece, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed having freedom this week to craft these words until they felt ripe and ready to send to you.
Thank you for the part you play in allowing me to bring my values to life.
Living your values means living a life you absolutely love.
How about you, Beloved?
How is this invitation landing for you? When did you last reflect on your values? Do you know your top 3-5? In what ways are you living them right now? In what ways are you not? What may be missing or trying to get your attention? What feels inspiring or creative to you around expressing your values?
I hope you’ll take this inquiry to your coach, into your meditation, journalling time or on a walk. I encourage you to hit reply and write back. I read every word you share with me and will respond if I’m able. Did I mention that I value connection?
I am full of gratefulness to be mentoring a limited number of women ready for the intimacy and expansion of working 1:1 with me as their Shakti coach. I want to let you know that I have just two open spaces left in my practice right now and will be raising my rates starting in March. If you have been thinking about working with me, this would be an opportune moment to claim one of those spots and lock in my existing rate for our first six months together.
Shall we begin by exploring your values? It’s a great place to start.
With fire breathing dragon love,