Welcome! So happy to have you here today! Before we kick off, let me just introduce myself one more time. I’m Oana, founder of thefeminine.com, an online platform dedicated to empowering women to trust their voices, follow their hearts and fully embrace their womanhood.
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Today, we start exploring the building blocks of womanhood by taking a full journey into our senses. And you might ask yourself, why senses? Well, it comes down to your very own senses to make you feel alive! And feeling alive is what gives you the most as a woman.
Let me ask you something: Have you ever wondered why memories often come back in our minds when associated with a smell or a taste? Or why batting a dog’s velvety fur makes you surrender and calm down? Or why going to a concert is always such a heartfelt experience? Because they’re all experiences that ignite and awaken our senses. We are, in fact, sensorial creatures and this awakening of our senses give us the capacity to feel alive. Why? Because taste, smell, sight, sound, and touch are able to awaken us and connect us on a deeper level with everything that’s happening inside of us or in relation to the outside world.
The problem is that our habits alter our capacity to feel. We’re always running. We’re always rushing into things, being bombed by all the information and energies that are coming from the outside. And we get disconnected from our senses and from our capacity to feel alive. We have no time. We’re always tired or on the move. We rush even when we eat, and when we have our morning shower, which should be our time to relax. We think of all the things we have to do. It seems like there’s no time for a real break. There’s no time for stepping out of the daily hustle and just connecting with ourselves.
And it affects us in many ways. It affects us in our incapacity to feel relaxed. It affects us sometimes in our incapacity to feel intimate with our beloved and to just enjoy the pure moment of intimacy we have.
So, what are the consequences of this disconnection?
How does this growing insensitivity affect our bodies?
And why is this relevant to our femininity?
And we’re going to discuss all these topics today in a one-on-one conversation with my dear friend and colleague, Ioana.
Ioana is my partner at The Feminine. Her academic background is in Political Science and has a long-standing experience in Journalism. You can see her entries on the Half Post Blog. She is here on your behalf, as your voice, challenging me to tap into the most relevant hot topics about our senses and our connection with our femininity, through our senses.
Hi Ioana! Welcome!
Hi! I am so thrilled to be challenging you! You mentioned something earlier about memories, so I’m going to start by remembering one of the first things you told me when we started working together.
Do you remember?
No, not really.
You said: “come out of your own mind and listen to your body!”
It took me, I confess, almost an entire year to get the meaning of those words and I’m sure many of those listening now might encounter the same difficulty. So I really think this is good momentum.
What does it mean to come out of your mind and get more into your body?
Well, in our Western culture, we’re educated to be the mind all the time and we have zero value for the body or for our connection with the body. And I’m not only talking about fitness or dancing or, you know, ways in which you let your body lose or you take care of it. I’m actually talking on a deeper level than that. It comes down to understanding that we, as women, are more in tune with our senses and with our feelings than with our minds. And when we want to take our femininity to the next level, it’s very important for us to feel our body and to feel what our senses are trying to tell us, because senses are like channels of receptivity that tap into the information that’s happening inside and outside our body and give us more information.
So taste, smell, and sound… are ways to communicate. And for women, that’s relevant and important because we are more sensorial, more intuitive, and more instinctive creatures than men are. They usually try to connect with their inside and their outside through the mind. And that’s why this is relevant for women because we’re living in a culture and in a society that has more of the masculine values upfront and not so much of the feminine values. And when, as women, we are trained to think with our minds, it seems to us so unnatural. So tapping into the body can be as simple as taking a deep breath, relaxing, slowing the mind down, and trying to direct your attention to the body and ask it what it feels in this life situation or in this particular moment.
So you’re saying that if we just take a five-minute break every day and breathe or just pay attention to the surrounding world, we are going to come back to our bodies in a more fluid way.
What do we practically get from that?
Yes, my five-minute routine!
Right. I keep saying to all these women, well, you do have time to meditate. It can take five minutes and it can look in very different ways. And I can call that a meditation.
Well, first of all, fluidity. You actually answered it in the question, which is very unnatural for us, because if we’re always in the mind rushing, moving, fast forwarding, trying to tap into everything and control everything, like what the mind tells us, trying to be on top of things, remember everything, managing everything, then we are in a very stressed based experience and we’re not flowing with things that are coming from the outside or from the inside. And that doesn’t open us to deeper, more quality-oriented experiences of living the moment, of living life, in general.
So, connecting with our body, and connecting with our senses gives us more information, actually. It also connects us with our feelings, what we feel while we are doing everything that we told ourselves, in the mind, we have to do. And when we bring the senses that live in our body, the emotions, and the thoughts, then we are acting fully empowered. And that gives us access to a much deeper manifestation!
It gives us access to feeling connected and whole as human beings while we do what we have to do and it enhances our performance, in general. And for women, that’s just like feeling alive, sensual, and organic, while we live our lives.
A woman has like seven heads and fifteen hands, she just swaps into all those different roles during the day! She’s a mother, she’s a lover, she’s a boss, she’s a daughter, she’s a friend, she’s a social activist. And she just taps into one of the roles one by one, in one single hour. That’s just how powerful women are and it’s a lot!
If we’re in the mind, it kind of hinders our capacity to be so fluid, because the mind is always controllative, it always wants to be on top of things and you can’t be on top of things and fluid, at the same time. It just doesn’t go that way. So if you just surrender, if you just love, if you let your body talk to you and allow your intuition or your instinct guide the way sometimes, then you are tapping into all those roles at the same time, being much more able to perform and not feel tired at the end of the hour or the day.
You have just said that women experience a roller coaster of feelings going on in their heads and in their bodies. How does actually connecting better with our senses help us translate what we feel?
Their sisters, our senses, tap into our feelings and yes, we do experience a carousel of emotions as women, but most of us are not aware of this carousel. We are afraid of tapping into our senses. We are afraid of tapping into our emotions. When we were teenagers, we were told that was irrational, hormonal, and that doesn’t really look good: “It will make you weak!”, “Stop doing that!”. Or, on the contrary, we’ve learned the shadowed part of it, which is being very rational and hormonal and playing that game – that tantrum game of emotions – with your lover, so he can feel guilty and come back home earlier.
And neither of those things really empowers our womanhood. It is about feeling. And senses connect us with that. Taste, sound, touch, hearing, and seeing, all give us the experience of feeling alive. When we tap into that experience of feeling alive, we start feeling, we start becoming aware of how we feel and that is giving us direct access to our emotions.
And if we go beyond 15-year-olds, which is, I don’t want to have my heart broken, and I don’t want to feel the pain of feeling, and we tap into the understanding that feeling actually requires going through all emotions, from the negative to the positive, then we understand. We get a more mature perspective on our feelings and we get to use them in order to live a very in-depth quality experience in our life.
Are there any, let’s say, common blockages that women encounter when they have to get back to their senses?
Yes. The disconnection, the disconnection of feeling! They don’t feel. That’s like the first blockage, the first phase. Tapping into your senses puts you in the unfeeling mode because you’ve been suppressing those senses with entertainment, drugs, caffeine, not sleeping, not taking care of yourself, not feeling relaxed enough, not being fluid enough. So at first, you probably start feeling tensed, stressed. You would feel pain in your body, or you would just feel blocked. And it feels like “I don’t want to do that!”.
Right! But breathing with that, allowing that in just gives you, it doesn’t give you, it helps you at the beginning to go in a more in-depth level of perception within your body, and that taps into your feminine energy, and then things start to flow and they become fluid, and then you’ll start experiencing that behind the tension, behind the stress, there’s a lot of things going on inside yourself.
Is there any practical thing we can bring into our routine, so that we can start sensing more and having more fun, playing with our senses?
You started this talk by asking me about the five-minute break, and yeah, the five-minute break could be a five-minute in-breath, out-breath, focused attention on your breath, which can turn into a meditation, actually. So you just take five minutes out of your day and you quiet your mind. You find a quiet place and you breathe and just focus on the breath. No matter how many thoughts swirl into your head, you just focus on the in-breath and out-breath. And very soon, the breath will take over because it is a very powerful guide, and it will calm down the mind and connect you with your body. And then you can ask your body, well, how do I actually feel and allow that feeling or that sensation or that thought to arise from within my body. It might be you’re tired, or you’re sad, or you’re angry, or you’re happy, or you’re ecstatic. Whatever it is, just continue breathing with it. That just allows for an inner flow to occur and it will bring balance to your experience, balance to the present moment and get you more into the present moment, out of the practice.
And in time, it just allows you to flow. It allows you to feel organic and instinctual and not be afraid of this fluid experience of living life. That’s one thing.
Another thing is whenever it rains, take off your clothes or grab a man and start dancing in the rain, because dancing allows the body to be loose and it always brings you back to your body. It awakens your senses, it brings your femininity, and it magnetizes your inner processes as a woman. So dance while you are cooking or while you are cleaning the house with the music that you like, not feeling stressed about how your body looks or how the move should be, just allowing that looseness to show up! It is also a very good feminine practice.
For men and women alike, as a means to tap into your senses and see how much information you get out of it is to take a 15 minutes walk – a very powerful practice that I like to do and I always teach people in the beginning. You can walk for 15 minutes in a park or down the street and take your senses one by one and tap into them.
So you first spend two to three minutes seeing everything and understanding and becoming aware of everything that you see. And then you move your attention on hearing and you hear all the sounds and then you move your attention on the smell and you start perceiving all the smells. And then you move through all the senses. You start touching things or you start eating something and you allow the sensation of that experience of eating to really penetrate your perception and your senses.
This will surely break down the stress, the tension, and the experience of not feeling.
I feel there’s a lot of skepticism out there. Women questioning whether 15 minutes of dancing, meditating or just strolling can change their life and take them back to their feminine essence. What would you say? Just a short sentence. What would you say to be the one who challenges skepticism?
Well, I can’t challenge skepticism. The skepticism just has to try. I wouldn’t say 15 minutes is enough. I would say 15 minutes over a period of time, I would say 21 days would really bring a whole new experience. But I just want to challenge you by giving you a question:
Would you like to live your life in the mind, not feeling so much alive and just being stressed all the time and thinking that’s it? Or would you rather want to experience something? It might work. It might not work. You’ll see and do the practice and start engaging with not only your mind but also with your senses and your feelings. And maybe out of that period of time, you’ll start feeling alive 80% of the time.
What I can say is that it might not be all ecstatic. Sometimes it might hurt, but that’s part of the game. And would you like 80% of your life to feel alive, even if it hurts?
Now, I will do the 15 minutes dance. I will definitely do the dance!
Good for you! And I challenge all of our listeners to do the same. You can invent your own practice. I just gave you some ideas. You bring your curiosity and you bring your creativity to the floor and just allow your senses to tell you more about your environment. It’s amazing how many things we do just because we’re always in the mind. Routine keeps you there. It makes us tired and it gives us this experience of being bored like we know everything, all the time.
The truth is life changes every 7 seconds. So just show up! It’s good enough!
Okay. So, I think we are done for the day. I think we’re done!
I’ll go dancing now.
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Thank you for this podcast and I hope it serves you well!