Pssst! In most all deep-feeling, sensitive women, the root cause of burnout, anxiety, self-sabotage, overthinking, overdoing, and feeling like there’s just something “wrong” with you is Feminine Shame.
The truth is, we weren’t taught or shown how to care for ourselves, know ourselves, or live nourishing lives that honor our needs as sensitive deep feeling women. So many of us are feeling insecure, edgy, desperate, lost, overwhelmed, and just burnt out. We feel shame and resistance towards ourselves and are frustrated by the things we do, yet we don’t know how else to be…
- We lack a solid foundation, a system, for ourselves to create sustainable, peace, health, and joy.
- We don’t know how to set boundaries
- We don’t know our values
- We don’t trust our bodies
- We suppress our emotions or get totally swept up in them
- We believe the whims and stories of our minds, rather than use them as the tools they’re intended to be
- We override our energetic capacities and limits
- We don’t know how to be with the subtle aspects of ourselves (which are CRUCIAL since they create our gross experience of life)
- We don’t know how to Mother ourselves and live in a culture that really bypasses, belittles, and lacks that Mothering energy as we live with a gaping Mother Wound
- And above all, we are completely disconnected from Nature
What is Feminine Shame?
Shame is a painful emotion. Shame is tricky, insidious, and mysterious, yet it’s at the root of most human suffering and dis-ease. It’s responsible for the “there’s something wrong with me story” and is responsible for creating the things we dislike in our lives, our bodies, our relationships, and our health.
Shame is caused by resisting some part of ourselves and in that resistance, we live in a state of inner conflict and turmoil and are constantly ashamed of the part of ourselves we’ve been programmed to believe is unworthy or invalid.
Feminine Shame is when we perceive our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and joy to be in jeopardy, and then we internalize that to be because of us and who we are naturally in our core.
Feminine Shame comes from resisting the parts of ourselves that are in flux. Feminine Shame exists because of shame we carry around aspects of ourselves that are transient and cyclical – like our physical bodies and emotions), because of aspects of ourselves that are natural and perhaps different from society’s widely accepted definitions of “normal.”
Feminine Shame is an intense and deeply held resistance, aversion, resentment, and fear towards anything that is soft, transient, cyclical, fluid, passive, nurturing, intuitive, an/or emotional in nature. It is a shame towards that which is natural in a world attempting to get us on board with what’s “normal.
Since so much of our world in its natural state is meant to encompass these qualities (our physical bodies, the cycles of the Earth, the stages of life, growth, and aging, and more), it’s an unfortunate truth that we’ll all experience this Feminine Shame at some point our lives to varying degrees. Always striving to fit into a rigid, external measure of “normal,” willing ourselves to continue the quest when what would truly bring us back to wholeness is embracing our natural state and our Spirally essence. These beliefs are so deeply ingrained and passed down the lineage creating ancestral shame and trauma.
Living in Feminine Shame is a constant fight against that which is natural. There’s a disconnection from our InnerSpark as we continually seek cues and validation externally. This wreaks havoc on us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and contributes to dis-ease on a massive scale.
Feminine Shame is at the heart of many deep-feeling, sensitive women’s physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual challenges – especially burnout.
For more on Feminine Shame, including a guided journey, check out this class on Feminine Shame!
Looking Deeper: Spiral & Triangle Principles
Let’s start by defining some concepts. Spiral and Triangle are terms I created to help us go beyond the use of “feminine” and “masculine.” Because those terms are widely used and tend to mean subtly different things to different people, I wanted to create concepts that still captured what I believe “feminine” and “masculine” are trying to capture at their core, without the loaded connotations that “feminine” and “masculine” bring into a conversation.
The Spiral Principle, just to help us understand, could be thought of as the “feminine” and The Triangle Principle could be thought of as the “masculine.” The Spiral Principle is all that is transient, shifting, passive, and cyclical, like the moon. The Triangle Principle is all that is fixed, structured, active, and linear, like the sun.
They are polarities, they are the opposite ends of the spectrum of creation, and everything else in between. They contain the necessary substrate for creation. Everything is in a fluid dance along this spectrum: action and rest; lunar and solar; sleep and awake; quiet and sound.
Danger lies in only recognizing the binaries and failing to see a whole way of existing in the middle that is dynamic. There is also danger in trying to label everything as either/or, and when we begin to paint one way as better or worse than another.
Beginning to view these energies within and around ourselves helps us to see how disconnected we are, how much resistance there is towards the Spiral Principle, and supports us in recreating wholeness once more, which means we can break up with burnout and all the behaviors that inevitably bring us there – overthinking, overdoing, people-pleasing, and more.
The Programs That Keep Us In Shame
We’ve been taught to celebrate structure, outward expression, productivity, and action; to view it as safe, while anything that is transient, passive, and changeable is deemed unsafe and something of which to be wary.
The root cause of Feminine/Spiral Shame is in the programs that have taught us to shun our naturalness and to view it as wrong, bad, sinful. Women may feel the brunt of it because of the very cyclical nature of their bodies, however, no one is exempt.
The learned disconnection from that which is natural leads us to be in a perpetual state of “not enough.” We feel wrong, bad, unworthy, fundamentally flawed just for existing. We’ve lost our taproot and have learned that it’s best to sever and ignore the innate naturalness of our being (that is, the innate Spirally essence), lest we be shunned, shamed, scrutinized, judged, or worse.
What we’ve learned and emulated across many generations, largely due to Puritanical programming, isn’t “natural,” although we’ve come to certainly view it as “normal.” Although it seems as though the last several thousand years have brought about attempts to dismantle the Spiral, to shame us out of any connection to our natural essence, and to create the illusion of separation, it didn’t work. It couldn’t actually work because it’s as vital a part of our existence as breathing, which is also a cyclical, spirally aspect of ourselves. 😉
Feminine, or Spiral, traits typically involve emoting, expressing, nurturing, connecting, befriending, mothering, gentleness, sensitivity, creating, empathy, intuition, acceptance, and more. Again, ANYONE may have these traits. We’re not talking gender or physical anatomy here. One’s gender may make them more prone to these traits, however, it’s not entirely connected.
Aside from behavioral traits that may fit into these categories, things that are spirally are the body itself and the Earth.
Somewhere along the way of our evolution, things like cooperation and sensitivity were shamed out of us… and we, too, shamed it out of each other in the name of conquering, strength, force, structure. Additionally, we’ve brought gender into these traits, which are really just energetic expressions of the Spiral Principle. For example, the widely held belief that “Men aren’t supposed to be nurturing/gentle/motherly/sensitive/etc.”
Frequently Asked Questions About Feminine Shame
What is Feminine Shame?
What is Feminine Shame:
Shame is an often misunderstood state that we do our best to avoid – and about which we rarely speak! However, it is a natural, necessary response that arises when we perceive our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy to be in jeopardy. It motivates us to make change so that we may repair our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy.
Feminine Shame, a phenomenon and concept created by InnerSpark, is when we perceive ourselves, in our innate, natural state, to be the barrier towards our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy simply because of our existence and presence. It is an intense and deeply held resistance, aversion, resentment, and fear towards anything that is soft, transient, cyclical, fluid, passive, nurturing, intuitive, an/or emotional in nature.
It is a shame towards that which is natural in a world attempting to get us on board with what’s “normal.”
This learned disconnection leads us into a perpetual state of “not enough.” We feel wrong, bad, unworthy, fundamentally flawed just for existing. As a species, we’ve lost our taproot and have learned that it’s better to ignore the innate naturalness of our being, unless we wish to open ourselves to scrutiny, judgement, and more shame. What we’ve learned and emulated across many generations now, largely due to Puritanical programming, isn’t “natural,” although we’ve come to certainly view it as “normal.”
Living with Feminine Shame is a constant fight between natural and normal and an internalization that there’s something wrong with us. We are disconnected from our InnerSpark and continually seek cues and validation externally. This compartmentalized way of life makes everything harder and wreaks havoc on us physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually and contributes to dis-ease on a massive scale.
Why Does Feminine Shame Exist?
Why Does Feminine Shame Exist:
The root cause of feminine shame is in the programs that have taught us to shun our naturalness and to view it as wrong, bad, sinful. Since so much of our world in its natural state is meant to encompass these qualities (our physical bodies, the cycles of the Earth, the stages of life, growth, and aging, and more), it’s an unfortunate truth that we’ll all experience this feminine shame at some point our lives to varying degrees.
Always striving to fit into a rigid, external measure of “normal,” willing ourselves to continue the quest when what would truly bring us back to wholeness is embracing our natural state and our Spirally essence.
Who Does Feminine Shame Impact?
Who Does Feminine Shame Impact:
Feminine Shame impacts everyone – regardless of gender or physical anatomy. It’s an abstract, permeating concept that mostly refers to shame towards that which is natural and has virtually nothing to do with gender or anatomy.
It is when we believe our very natural existence and presence, especially those aspects that are fluid and natural, are the source of our sense of safety, belonging, contentment, and/or joy being in jeopardy.
While womxn do tend to experience it more directly, as a species, we’ve undoubtedly come to a place where the essence of “feminine,” or the Spiral Principle is not held with high regard. We are all impacted, as is our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health and the health of our planet.
How Do We Heal Feminine Shame?
How Do We Heal Feminine Shame:
We heal Feminine Shame intentionally, compassionately, gently, and lovingly. We do so by embracing what’s natural and letting go of what’s been deemed “normal.”
In The InnerSpark Method, a system for supporting deep-feeling, sensitive women in breaking the cycles of burnout, people-pleasing, anxiety, and constantly trying to “fix” themselves, we heal Feminine Shame through five phase approach: befriending the body, managing our energy system (with resources like InnerSpark’s Energy Management Tools) and connecting with our emotions, mastering our mind, and aligning with Nature’s wisdom and rhythms.
We do so by reconnecting with ourselves, our InnerSpark, to see the parts of ourselves riddled with shame. We do so in community where we allow ourselves to be seen and witness each other. We come back to a state of reverent balance and holistic living and thriving.
Feminine Shame In the Body
The body is the ultimate representation of the Spiral – constantly changing! We resist aging, we resist our bodies changing. As women, we’re shamed for having periods. We are ashamed of bodily functions and go to great lengths to hide the fact that we may produce odors, excrete waste, and make sounds we cannot control – like apologizing for stomach growls.
We’re programmed to mistrust and dislike that which is in flux… as women, our very nature is in flux, so even without the added external shame, we’re carrying these subconscious beliefs about ourselves. Our cyclical nature, our propensity to feel deeply, makes us “weaker” and less preferred – even by ourselves.
We don’t feel safe or held because it’s shameful to ask for what we need, lest we be labeled weak and be committing the social faux pas and stereotype of being a woman… Read more about how shame manifests in the body here.
How Can We Begin to Unravel Feminine Shame?
It’s time to reconnect with and trust our bodies, learn from our emotions without ignoring or being swept up in them, respect, and work with our energy, collaborate with our mind, and align with Nature’s rhythms and wisdom.
It’s time to stop trying to “fix” and “heal” what is just our innate, true Nature, and instead, it’s time to create an environment conducive to letting that true Nature THRIVE and BLOSSOM! This is the main intention of The InnerSpark Method: to facilitate the creation of a solid, holistic life foundation from within for deep-feeling, sensitive women. Drawing on a variety of modalities and tools, participants come to understand themselves like never before, identify and confront areas of Feminine Shame in their own lives, and come to work with the four main pillars that must be addressed when healing Feminine Shame: body, emotions and energy, mind, and Nature.
Additional things to begin to become aware of as you unravel Feminine Shame:
Stop Participating in Feminine Shame – Don’t succumb to stereotypes and begin to catch yourself using them and rewire that habit. Embrace your naturalness, your Spiral, and hold space for others to do the same without holding them to the standard of what’s “normal.”
Stop Shaming Anyone For Their Spirally Aspects – Regardless of gender, sexual orientation, etc.; the Spiral Principle exists in all of us. Stop shaming people for dancing along the spectrum of their being! Emotional expression and fluidity is healthy and necessary. Bodily functions are healthy and necessary. Don’t shame a man for doing Spiral things. Don’t shame a woman for bleeding or call her hormonal, hysterical, or blame things on PMS.
Stop Celebrating Triangular Way Over Spiral Ones – We have both Spiral and Triangular principles and we dance along that spectrum. We must stop celebrating the Triangle and positioning it has better than the Spiral.
- This looks like maniacal doing and hyperactivity at the expense of your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health. This looks like no rest, no restoration, and lots of outward expression.
- This looks like hierarchies and power-over paradigms.
- This looks like not addressing your internal systems of oppression and the shadows you carry about the feminine/spiral.
- This looks like not honoring and managing your own natural energy flow.
- This looks like living in accordance with seasonal flow as a roadmap towards embracing that which is cyclical about ourselves (hint: everything about you is impermanent and cyclical).
On an individual level, we can endeavor to reclaim our own Spiral Principle from within.
In The InnerSpark Method there are many practices and tools shared. Here are a few that I offer my clients to heal Feminine Shame:
Seasonal Living – If Nature is allowed to have periods of rest and rejuvenation, expansion and growth, and everything in between, you are, too. Aligning with nature and seasonal and cosmic flow restores our health and vitality on all levels. It gives a sense of validation and permission to our experiences and to our own internal seasons. Getting to know The Wheel of Frequencies: The Eight Cosmic Archetypes helps us get in touch with and work with these energies more intimately.
Healing The Mother Wound within ourselves sends waves of feminine shame healing into the collective! Much of this feminine shame is accumulated through our maternal lineages and passed onto us – both on a cellular level and on a tangible, behavioral one, too. The Mother Wound and the deep pain associated with the forceful removal of The Goddess and the subsequent demonizing of anything spirally is at the core of much of the feminine shame experienced today.
Shadow Work is my favorite way of coming into meaningful relationship with all parts of myself. Through Shadow Work, I’m able to integrate pain and shame and leverage the inherent gifts beneath the surface. Working with the shadow aspects of feminine shame helps to lead to empowerment, liberation, and deeper nourishment.
Knowing Your Values: Understanding and knowing ourselves builds confidence, self-trust, and self-reliance. We know who we are, what we stand for, what’s important to us, and how we most wish to use our precious time and energy! Here’s a free training with material straight from The InnerSpark Method to support you in identifying your top values.
Honoring Your Boundaries: Many burnt out, deep-feeling women struggle with setting boundaries, yet it’s probably the most important part of healing and preventing episodes of burnout! Setting boundaries doesn’t have to be scary, and in fact, can actually be fun and a great way to deepen connections with yourself and others. Here’s a simple 3-step process for setting boundaries.
Embodiment Practices: When we’re overthinking, experiencing shame, and trying to analyze and protect ourselves, we’re not in our bodies. Our bodies are a major source of untapped wisdom and guidance! Burnout out deep-feelers and overthinkers can really benefit from reconnecting to their bodies. Here’s a free training and some practices to cultivate more shameless body love!
I’m curious how Feminine Shame shows up in your life and body, so please comment below! If you’re ready to get to the roots of your burnout, anxiety, people-pleasing, self-sabotage, and overthinking, then let’s talk about whether The InnerSpark Method is the next best step for you! Click Here to schedule a call with me.
The InnerSpark Method
Being ''sensitive'' isn't what makes life hard...
...and you're not doomed to a life of burnout, anxiety, overthinking, and poor health.
The true ROOT of challenges for sensitive, deep-feelers is twofold: unacknowledged shame and a weak, inconsistent foundation of resilience-building self-care.
Live from your InnerSpark to confidently, joyfully, and shamelessly thrive in body, mind, & spirit for life!
Ready to rebuild your resilience and shamelessly, confidently, and joyfully thrive in body, mind, and spirit for life?
Come discover a whole-person, trauma-informed system inspired by Nature’s rhythms and guided by tools from various Integrative Health modalities, such as Ayurveda, energy healing, holistic nutrition, life coaching, Integrative Somatic Trauma Therapy and nervous system care, breathwork, meditation, and yoga.
It’s a living, breathing framework and map back home to yourself.
It’s time to live from your InnerSpark.
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