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An Ocean in the Body:  A Blog  by Stefana Serafina

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The Fallen Patriarch: Bending Linear Reality in the "Field"

Some surreal and somewhat inexplicable events have been taking place in our women's community in the last weeks, leaving us baffled, enchanted, and amused by what is possible in the field we create when together.

In the current SHE MOVES, HER BODY KNOWS group, we are taking 7 weeks to move with the Masculine– the ways our conscious and unconscious relationship to the masculine principle at large is shaping our bodies, moves in our emotional spaces, and impacts our ways of being women and humans. We have been questioning what Masculine really means- can we define it, separate it from the rest, feel its true nature in ourselves, beyond the oversimplified and overly generalized assumptions about masculinity, and past the personal stories that we have accumulated.

I remember opening the circle by discussing the Masculine in the context of patriarchy, and saying that I believe we are witnessing the end of patriarchy, its gradual and certain death..."Patriarchy is imploding. It is destroying itself to the piercing gentleness of our awakening..."

And so, moving with the Masculine, we have been asking big Qs into our embodied, intuitive, emotional psyches, and allowing the answers to come through our movement and bodies. It’s been edgy, to say the least, as we have explored the Masculine beyond preconceived notions, looked at the “inner patriarch” or how we have become our own oppressors, and more.

A few weeks in, in the middle of our practice, about half an hour after we had gathered, and precisely as I was suggesting that we took a dive deep within ourselves for an encounter with the Masculine and how it wants to show up in our field, the clock in the room stopped. Oh well, it happens, right, clocks stop. It cracked us up, and we moved on.

A week later, I arrived to the space to a perfectly working clock that had measured time all day and week without delay. Some time into the class, I introduced a practice to encounter the new, unpredictable masculine and what it might have to offer us. And suddenly, I realized: The clock had stopped again, in that precise moment. Time stopped. It was as if our explorations became timeless, about ALL of time– past, present, future, and the linear progression that we inhabit as a culture dismantled. It was as if the invitation to the unstructured, uncensored masculine energies to come play in the field made linear reality pause, and the Masculine said, Thanks for asking, it’s been a while since I have been able to show up for what I truly am and could be...

This time around, it stopped us in our tracks. We all stared at the clock with a disbelief. Really?

But that wasn’t all. After all the women left, I remembered about the bust sculpture of a bearded man from the Middle Ages who was on display at the space we use. On our first meeting we had laughingly called him the Patriarch, and then I made it a point to put him behind the curtains, out of sight, before each meeting– he just wasn’t the right ambiance... He has been in that space for many years, and I have seen many teachers move him around. This time, however, the moment I lifted him gently from the floor, he literally crumbled into my hands. The flat bottom he stood on fell off with a loud sound, and the material that made him cracked instantaneously, as if there was an earthquake in my hands! Pieces of him began breaking off. He destroyed himself to my gentle touch.

I stood there, in utter astonishment. Was this really happening? Looked at the clock– still stopped. For a long moment, I stood there in-between time, in-between the worlds, breathing in a new reality of sorts, a simultaneous one that was bending linear time and blurring the lines...

And you may be right to say that from where you are, you don't see patriarchy leaving us any time soon– it has been so deeply imprinted in our psyches and ways of being. I hear you. I too have my moments of doubt and despair, or, worse yet, I have grown so comfortable acting like my own patriarch– running myself, my business, and my life according to the patriarchal order– that sometimes I don't even question patriarchy.

But one thing for sure is that this new, non-linear, creative, mind-bending, feminine language is beginning to shape our field in massive ways. It is making strides toward big and lasting change. We have been inviting, rekindling it, remembering it, and praying it back. Our minds and hearts can no longer fit into the box of patriarchy. It is too late to reverse the tide. A new time is being: She is returning. Not the She who will rule the world but She who is here to restore balance, to remind us of our own nature and the harmony between power and softness, focus and spaciousness, fact and mystery, line and circle. And as She returns, the Masculine too triumphs, for its true nature is being restored and rebalanced on Earth. And although She and He are only symbolic words here and not at all about gender, with Her return, the Masculine gets to stand in its power again. He returns to his grace and beauty, and in this balancing act between them, there comes harmony.

This harmony is a third entity in its own right, a synergy much greater than the sum of the two parts that make it; This coming together in a seamless and fluid way blurs the the lines between gender, 'other', polarity, and opposites.... The yin and the yang no longer appear to be black and white with clear boundaries between. We called this merging the "grey area" that the black and the white of the yin and the yang make when they blend without keeping the lines of separateness. This merging is an intelligence, a vastness, a coming together after ages of separation.

We are all are creating the field- all genders and creeds, and I am thankful we are in it together. We are living a time that will make history for the ages: We are walking our shared pilgrimage to the end of patriarchy.

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