Choose Radiance

By | May 6, 2016

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Back in the middle of summer, as women’s bodies and the feminine spirit were under attack from the old patriarchy (the outdated “old boys’ club”) and directly from Donald J. Trump (its leering poster boy), Regena Thomashauer, author and founder of the School of Womanly Arts in New York City, wrote: “Violence flourishes unchecked when the feminine withdraws. This world needs the feminine now, more than ever.” Asking women to “start by being less violent towards ourselves–in our thoughts and behaviors” by reclaiming the “values of the feminine”: values like how we intuitively use our creativity, or recognize the “interconnectedness of everything and everyone”; how we express the depth and breadth of our feelings, or embrace the spiritual quality of receiving and surrender.

“How can we actually bring forward our feminine gifts and inhabit a side of ourselves that has been oh-so-long abandoned?” the author questioned. “How do we reclaim that which is truly ours?” Regena encourages us to choose radiance.

“As a woman, each of us has the power to turn on. We can decide to shine our inner light in any direction we choose. If someone is unwittingly or wittingly rude to me, I can choose radiance, or I can choose retaliation,” Regena added. She tells a story about an encounter with an old friend who had abruptly disappeared from her life. Feeling clumsy at first, she wanted to “leave my softness and go to anger,” blaming him for her hurt. “But I gently held on to my light. Light is fragile. Anger is more familiar. Yet it felt good to be so vulnerable.” Regena acknowledges the “gift of the feminine,” choosing radiance over retaliation, for the now renewed closeness with her friend.

Then, in late September, in the most amazing bit of synergetic brilliance, Regena Thomashauer released her new revelatory and revolutionary book, Pussy: A Reclamation. Just in time to counter the attack! Not only a response to the mean-spirited political and social culture of “trumpery,” but also to centuries of patriarchal brutality, her book is a courageous call for women to love and reclaim their beautiful bodies and, in so doing, reclaim their divine feminine birthright.

The late Princess Diana was a woman who left her mark on the world by reclaiming the “values of the feminine”–and captured us with her radiance. So perhaps not surprising in our cosmic swirl of connected energy, there is a link between Princess Diana and Donald Trump. After her separation and subsequent divorce from Prince Charles, Diana was not only courted by various business tycoon types, but she also sought advice from some of them about the next phase of her life. During the last years before her death, the princess visited the United States for special events and met Trump at one point. During this politically-charged year of 2016, those “long-swirling rumors over the exact nature of Donald Trump’s relationship with Princess Diana” resurfaced, as Tom Sykes wrote for The Daily Beast. “It emerged that Trump claimed on a radio broadcast with Howard Stern [in 1997] days after [Diana’s] death that he could have had sex with her.” In fact, the two crude-talking men, both known for disrespecting women, agreed that Trump “‘could’ve nailed her.'”

In Trump’s over-blown, small-minded, thin-skinned ego, he thought he was “playing nice” after Diana’s divorce by sending her letters and “massive bouquets of flowers,” yet the princess has been quoted as saying the New York businessman gave her “the creeps.” Sykes reported that “British TV presenter Selina Scott, a friend of Diana’s, claimed that ‘as the roses and orchids piled up at [Diana’s] apartment, she became increasingly concerned about what she should do. It had begun to feel as if Trump was stalking her.'”

Princess Diana recognized Donald J. Trump for what he is. However, nearly 20 years later, if electronic voting can be trusted, almost half of the Americans who voted in the 2016 presidential election chose the self-professed sexual predator as president! Someone once said that the opposite of love is not hate, it’s fear. Trump lost the popular vote in the presidential election (i.e., the “love vote”) since nearly three million more people voted for Hillary Clinton. But in a backlash to the more egalitarian and compassionate advances happening in the culture (expressions of “feminine values”) he apparently won the “fear vote.”

In the aftermath of this punched-in-the-gut election, I wanted to go to my small self; or as Regena Thomashauer described, “leave my softness and go to anger.” It was hard to find the unconditional love of my big Self: my light, my light-heartedness, my ability to see the big picture of what happened. I knew there was a spiritual direction in this dark earthly occurrence, it just took me a while to come around to it. So with support of the writings of wise visionaries around the world encouraging old souls to take action, I created a blog called “What To Tell Our Daughters”–which becomes a heartening index of spirit-inspired voices reminding us that love, indeed, trumps hate!

I don’t know what it will take in such wide-reaching murkiness for each of us to keep our hearts open, not act out of fear nor lash out in anger; to reclaim the benevolent “values of the feminine”–to find our radiance. But whatever it takes, whatever smallness we have to let go of, it’s essential to light the way for our daughters and granddaughters, ensuring a chance for them to shine their own unique and powerful magnificence.

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