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An Ocean in the Body:  A Blog  by Stefana Serafina

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The Sleeping Lady Awakes: Waking the Giant of the Feminine

In the space between ancient, Goddess-filled Malta and excitingly urban Berlin, between spending immersive weekends with the women in these two places, I ponder the unexpected and unusual circumstance that now has me attuned to women around the world in ways never experienced before. Deep breath.

A blog post I wrote a couple of weeks ago went viral. Thousands of women from each corner of the earth have been reading, sharing, and spreading the piece called The Aging Woman Syndrome each day, and are joining our list and community– a space for embodied, empowered womanhood. 12 000 have read the piece only yesterday. Women's emails keep pouring in. To feel the value of embodying the new feminine on the leading edge of social change is reaching so many hearts and igniting women in countries like the South Africa, New Zealand, Jordan, India, Lebanon, Ireland, Poland, Sweden, Germany, the U.S., and many more, is of course a dream come true. I'm ecstatic! And still...

The work that we do together– waking the eternally powerful woman deep within our own bodies– can sound peculiar, hard to put a finger on, and downright vague. So I get it when in all places of the planet that I have had the fortune to connect the last few months, I have heard women say: “I didn’t know exactly what this women's embodiment stuff is all about, but I knew I had to reach out and take part in it.” The essence of what happens when we visit our deeper life and practice the language of our bodies and senses always remains elusive, unnamable. It doesn’t belong to words. Like the feminine itself, it is deeply mysterious in nature.

But last week, while visiting the prehistoric temples in ancient Malta, – the oldest standing structures on Earth! – I found myself transfixed by a small sculpture of a sleeping woman that was uncovered in one of the temples, and realized that the silent mystery held in her shape holds the the true story and the best answer I could give about what we women are up to.

The figurine of the Sleeping Lady was found in a womb-like underground temple. She is 5000 years old. For a long time her scrumptious largeness has baffled historians and anthropologists. They have called her the Fat Lady, used their fertility-cult assumptions on her, and even deemed her obese...

Me, I was enthralled.

I bought a beautiful stone copy, placed it on my nightstand, and in the the next days, dreaming next to her and waking up to contemplate her many times over, I felt into the mystery that was “bottled” inside her millennia ago.

These temple-builders who worked so diligently, so precisely, to align rock to moon, sun, and eclipse– what wisdom did they mean to encapsulate for us by crafting the Sleeping Lady that bewitched me, this sizable, luscious, curvy, large-hipped woman who had fallen asleep with a mysterious face, a prehistoric Mona Lisa whose code was waiting to be cracked?

As my eyes met the relaxed line of her waist, her voluptuous, plump hips and her ample arms, my own belly began relaxing and expanding into a deeper breath, letting go of the perpetual tight hold that I've adopted to make it it look flatter. My waist and hips began softening and finding comfort into the curves that filled up with the arrival of my 40s, and little by little, I felt myself mirroring her comfortable largeness– this bodacious lady who did not hold a damn fear about her shapes!

It began dawning on me that there is something much bigger in her than her physical bigness alone: She was the fullness, the richness, the grandness of the feminine expression that had been silenced and put to sleep for centuries. And she was to awake only when women themselves woke to their power and bigness again!

For a very long time, she was replaced by the Sleeping Beauty, a meek shadow of a woman’s true glory, the pretty skinny princess who waited for her knight to rescue her. And only then– thanks to his courage, strength and triumph, she could live happily ever after… And for a long time, we lived that story indeed. We put a corset on, held the belly flat, let our cleavage charm the prince, and...well, we slept. In many ways, although we appeared awake and we took on some great deeds, our deeper beauty and our ferocious bigness remained asleep.

The ancient temple builders knew that this was to come, the same way they knew where the rock’s crack would meet the equinox sun and how its ray of light would fall precisely in the center of a sacred room. They crafted the Sleeping Lady to leave us a reminder of women’s bigness. But more than a reminder, they left us a prophecy. A change of fairy tale. A legacy. A new dream that we get to bring to life.

The sleeping giant of Woman is waking with our realization that we have fit in a bed– and a box– too small for our greatness. The knight who built the bed for the Sleeping Beauty may have meant well, and for a while she may have loved falling asleep and been rescued. We thank him for saving her. But it is time for the true Sleeping Lady to wake and rise, to save him back– and rescue us all….

The Sleeping Lady is waking. She is the one unafraid of her curves, her age, her largeness, the deep bowl of her belly, the fierce force to make things be born and grow... She is the one whose hips are round and solid and spacious enough to hold the whole Earth. She sleeps in our womb and in the line of our waist, in the breasts that hang heavy with motherhood.

It is us, sisters, and it is now.

She wakes with your breath-to-the-womb. She wakes with the sway of your hips, with your snaking spine, with your dance, with you taking the liberty....She wakes when you’re done being the Sleeping Beauty and instead give body to the soft giant of feminine power. There is a new kind of Beauties coming to earth.

It is us! And we are awake.

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