My role as a woman in society is to be the healer, holder of wisdom, and women with soft loving heart, all qualities of the Divine feminine. The man’s-role is to support the woman in her endeavors emotionally, spiritually, physically, and sometimes financially. The woman and man should walk side by side into the future rather than one pulling the other. Better yet, pulling each other out of the dumps through love, intimacy, and connection.We can be teammates or enemies within the ranks. Men have qualities that woman can cultivate and vice versa. Balance is key to a healthy life. I like the idea of walking into the future hand in hand, as equals, while finding enjoyment in the differences that make each of us unique as individuals.
I feel my role in society now is to be student, friend, family, teacher, lover, dog walker, helper, and to be kind always. To bring peace and love into the environment through leading by example. I am soaking up so much knowledge and wisdom from my reading and studies in India to bring back here and let that wisdom amplify outward to the yoga community and anyone else who approaches me that is interested in the yogic way of life. To be a student at St Kate’s has introduced me to many more ideas on holistic health modalities that I will continue utilizing in my yoga teaching and encounters with others in every day life. We are a community, we need each other. The yoga allows me to take down the walls that separate us. We are one, and in need of coming together to heal as a society. There are many illness and disease related to current social stigmas. We can heal if we all work towards this as a goal.
My grandparents were involved in my life when I was growing up. I noticed that my grandma and grandpa on my moms side were not equals, grandpa did things in spite of grandma, such as gambling, drinking, hoarding things and pets, traveling long distances, and eating the expensive meat products while the mom and kids got the cheap products. He also told her to be quiet, so maybe grandma is to talkative now after years of living with a man that did not want her to talk to him? He was too busy reading books and talking to people in town. My grandma Nelda, on may be lonely now for her husband past away prematurely from a life of indulgences and unhealthy habits. But wouldn’t you be lonely living with someone that didn’t care to be warm towards you all the time? If only I had the patience to sit on the phone to hear her many stories, which many are repeats. I do travel up north often to spend days with her at her house in northern MN. I do think she will come stay with us in the spring and I will sit across from her and hear her out, she is my last grandparent alive after all.
She has told me that I am annoying how much I tell her to stay present, but she keeps going back to telling stories about the past. Again, differences are that I have different life experiences and upbringing than her, but family loves unconditionally regardless of these differences, she will always be my grandma.
My grandparents on my fathers side, were much more equals, they travelled together, and did social gatherings. Grandma took care of the house and kids while grandpa was away at work, just as much as my other grandma did. Both the grandparents genuinely cared and loved for each other and stayed together since they met, their entire lives. Every relationship has their struggles, but family tends to stick together through thick and thin. Its nice when the person you are with is cognizant of human conditioning, and that both of us are working towards the same goals in life, such as being present, non reactive, non passive-aggressive, non egotistical, etc.
Both my grandparent died at home from diseases of old age and lifetime of unhealthy habits. Im glad they were at home to die. I was born at home, and I feel this is a time of transition best to be done in the comfort of your own bed.
My beliefs around that of aging and death are not the average views in modern society. I am most comfortable living a life that is natural and true to my self, my soul, or the core of my being. I see people growing older around me, and I am growing older too. I do not have attachments to this body nor this life, my soul lives on for eternity. My understanding is that since I enjoyed this life in each moment, I will be ready for death whenever it occurs.
The time will come to travel onward, when my soul leaves the body. Its important to me to spend my life enjoying this body, this breath, in the here and now, and not rushing anything. Life slows down the more you do, and the more you appreciate the simplicity in life. I do not see the importance of Botox and plastic surgery because if you do yoga, detox, and keep a healthy weight you will have a healthy glow, stay young looking, and feel liberated from social norms. Many social norms are dying hair, fake nails, tanning, etc which accelerate aging process. Strength is beauty. Courage to age is beauty. Wisdom of the aging is beauty. Natural is beautiful. I see much wisdom and beauty in the aging person who does not fight the coming of death, but embrace it by living to the fullest and with greatest ease.
I think we are all socially obligated to be kind, but how about be kind to ourselves as well? By allowing ourselves to age gracefully. To love others who are aging, and to let people go when their time comes, rather than hold on to them like they weren’t ever going to die. Death should be a part of every day life. Its part of each yoga class, we end class laying on our backs, as a way to practice death each day, so when the real time comes we are more prepared.
The stages of life I notice are the first 28 years is for gathering knowledge, the second 28 years are for utilizing that knowledge and experience for the greater good of all, and the last 28 years of the life to renounce the life you once had to be closer to God in preparation for return to the spirit realm.
When it comes to family making, healthy roles for men and woman are straightforward. I believe a child needs mom and dad, the dad to support the mom for the first three years of the child’s life. To support the child throughout the child’s life by loving the mom and fulfilling his fatherly duties. My role has been very independent of a man, but no matter how independent a person, we are human being in pursuit of love, happiness, and connectivity. I feel that a relationship between man and woman most healthy when each person is happy and in love with themselves first and foremost. Having God in the relationship as a guiding force for strength and cohesiveness in the relationship. Always, embracing change together, change is the only constant in life and supporting each other mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually throughout the time together.
When I am an elder, I will pass on the knowledge and wisdom from a lifelong commitment to yoga practice and selfless service in the name of God. There is much to learn from the elders, who have a lifetime of gathering information, only to be shared with those who take the time to hear what the elders have to say. Grandma Nelda has an impeccable memory of her younger years. I feel like there is an opening in the memory when you reach a certain age, so you can share those things with the grandchildren. Our ancestors were old at one time and we all pass away, only to be remembered by the energy we left behind. I want to be remembered by my sharing light, love, and gratitude to all. I hope to have a place of value within a family or community, to be respected as I respected my elders.
In family, we all have a place, a belonging, and a purpose. My purpose for now is in the yoga community as yoga teacher. Yoga can be my family for as long as I live. I will be happy with this regardless of whether I have a biological family of my own or not. Life is to be enjoyed no matter what the circumstances through self love and kindness. I do live at home now with my mother, her boyfriend Chris, his mom Ruth, and many animals. We are from completely different cohorts and have different interests, hobbies, and habits. Regardless of the differences Im fortunate and grateful for family, to live in Minnesota with family, and to have great pets! It’s an active household, with a balance of quiet, which I need most of.
The roles of men and woman in this society are forever changing. So, my beliefs are to seek balance in all things. I love that a man and woman balance yin and yang together. To maintain feminine and masculine qualities in each one of us. As far as male partners go, I look for a man that has an open heart. He surprises me by opening doors and taking me in his car for outings and pays for my meal! It shows great character when a man will be confident, generous, and loving and help a woman do things because he wants to. A man is sexy who is secure in his role as a man. I appreciate men who don’t need to kill animals, or need weapons to be cool. A man who does not need to drink alcohol for pleasure. Someone who is willing to take the time to help you do your home-work, or be able to study around. A man who can change his own oil and work things out with his car, someone who does not have a throw away attitude in life, that things are worth keeping around, even if they are holed socks. A man who is open to trying new things but does not preoccupy his time nor peace of mind around needing stuff. A man who is knowledgeable yet understanding of our own differences, someone who can agree to disagree without that affecting our love for each other, a man who can be protective of his family.
I truly appreciate having a man be truly present with me in this moment, especially a man who does yoga. It saves me a lot of trouble, and drama. These are not expectations of my own, but why settle for less the your equal? My mom once told me, “ A man needs to feel respected, a woman needs to feel loved, than it will work out.” So to respect the man and he will love her in return is a beautiful thing. Respect the man by giving him your undivided love and attention, not allowing televisions, cellphones, and radios to interfere with the intimacy and connection between the two. Its all about priorities, if your priorities are in the wrong territory, a relationship will not be strong.