When I was growing up, there was only one female spiritual role model, and she was a virgin. That was unquestioned, at the time--it was all I knew in my fairly insular world. But in retrospect Mary’s virginity kept my mother, for instance, from being a goddess—an empowered spiritual role model. It also kept me from thinking I could grow into someone whose spirit was embodied. I learned to look outside myself for spirit. My image of spirit, of God, was a grandfatherly man. There was no spiritual role model for a cool contemporary woman who was married, had kids, enjoyed sex and felt sexy, had a fulfilling career or a passion, and expressed herself creatively. There was no role model for someone who followed the Voice of her Heart. There was a lot of reaction at that time in history to the change of social visibility for women: when I was growing up, most people still thought a woman’s place was in the home. I knew that adage very well. My daughter has never heard of that adage. Those homes no doubt sheltered many women and many girls whose dreams were limited due to the lack of role models of happy, satisfied, productive, juicy women. We are blessed to be living in more evolved times, though it’s certainly not utopia—yet.
When more women started working at jobs outside the home—this shifted during my teens--it doubled the amount of “stuff” a family could afford…consequently families needed two cars, and they needed to pay for childcare so both parents could work. Some women balanced work, parenting, and play in a fulfilling way; some women burned out. They were transformational times, women were pioneers, yet the world was still locked into some old paradigms. There is more and more support today, like day care and longer maternity leave, but the underlying assumption is still there: that we work so we can afford to buy good stuff, pay for a good education, so that our kids can work so they can afford to buy good stuff and a good education for their kids. What about people who want more? I want more. My daughter wants more. We both want a rich life—but a life rich with deep interaction, deep satisfaction, deep connection. I seek that out with and for her. Is there a role model for that yet? This “more” cannot be bought. It is an experience of Spirit—limitless happiness, not dependent on externals. Not dependent on external success. Not dependent on external “stuff.”
Today there are a range of goddesses that girls can choose from, whether they search ‘goddess’ or discover in their community the range of real women who have rocked their own worlds, who have found happy balance and creative expression. Look around. Simply looking at creative women as “spiritual role models” can change a girl’s life. Instead of “What do I need to wear or own to be cool?” an aware daughter will be asking: “What do I need to be or do to make my spirit soar?” She will know that opening up to her own inherent creativity is a sure path to an articulate inner voice and deep fulfillment. And she will help her mother understand that too.
Look within. See the Divinity we all embody. Make the shift to an internal creator and an internal authority, and watch your daughter do the same.
The Divine Feminine
When you hear the word ‘Goddess’ what comes up for you? Does it remind you of granola? The new age? The antichrist? A fairy godmother? No image at all? –if not, no wonder the daughters of the world have searched for their spirit externally through clothing and makeup and video games. You know how to reach all the important players in your life. What about the Divine Feminine? How do you reach Her? Did you know that she speaks through and to your heart? Do you know how much her presence can enrich your life?
The Goddess is requesting our presence right now in order to strengthen the feminine energy in the places where it leaks. It is weak wherever women are in competition (including mothers and daughters!), rather than in support of, each other (around guys, around looking good physically, around appearing successful and happy and young). Let’s not pass this leaking legacy on to our daughters. Let’s teach them that supporting each other strengthens all of us!
What is missing from girls’ lives, what is making them grow up to be mean to each other in middle school and feel threatened by each other as though girl-bullying is a “rite” of passage—as opposed to honoring their connection to their inner voice, the voice of their heart. They have not been taught to honor each other simply for who they are—differences are not tolerated, and often ridiculed. These girls are just speaking for a culture in which “mainstream” is honored and eccentricity is not. Being mean or being a victim of mean girls is not a rite of passage, it is a symptom of not having taught our daughters to honor themselves and each other (and, hey, us, while we’re at it. So let’s get AT it!).
The Inner Voice—not to be ignored
Teaching your daughter how to hear and honor her inner voice—the voice of the Goddess--is priceless, because it is going to be her barometer for the rest of her life, as the rules and traditions of society modify and alter. That is what she needs to be able to hear, above the din of media and friends and music and movies and tv shows and ads and YouTube. Her inner voice needs to be cultivated; it is her barometer, her compass, and her direct link to the Divine Feminine.
Teaching girls to be internally empowered now will help them as teens, so they don’t spew out external power and a desire to control everyone around them...including their mothers!