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#198 - The Truth of the Embodied Feminine in Motherhood with Jenna Ward
Episode 19815th June 2022 • Happy Mama Movement with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz • Amy Taylor-Kabbaz
00:00:00 00:34:41

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Every single time I have these conversations, I learn more and go deeper and my conversation with Jenna Ward did not disappoint. Jenna is a feminine embodiment for women and coaches who value sensitivity and sensation, and this exchange is practical and profoundly inspiration. Listen as we discuss:

  • Catching up with ourselves, our emotional energy and all of the data and unexpressed life force that can become frozen.
  • Happy Instagram snaps and the obsession we can fall into for the bright, shiny, peak beautiful experiences – understanding that there is beauty of all shades in all seasons.
  • How we try to put an ocean in a bucket and the representation of how we try to compress our emotions and were we can find safety instead.
  • Learning about failing better at life and being okay with failing harder, better, and losing all the fluff.

This conversation absolutely lit me up and I hope it does exactly the same for you. It constantly surprises me how much more there is for us to understand around this. To find out more about Jenna I encourage you to visit her website https://jennaward.co/.

If you would like a deeper understanding of matresence and how we support women differently, Mama Rising facilitator training opens just once a year. For early offers and to join the 5 days to a motherhood revolution event before August, please jump the link below to join the wait list. https://mamarising.net/mama-rising-waitlist/

Transcripts

[:

[00:00:38] Welcome back Mamas. Quite often on this podcast, we talk about the masculine and the feminine embodying our emotions and feelings, how to reconnect to our body, how to move our emotions. So many of these divine insights and practices to really help us understand who we are, why we feel the way we do and what to do about it.

[:

[00:01:39] Jenna is a feminine embodiment coach and founder of the feminine embodiment coaching certification. In the conversation you're about to hear we explore again, what it means to be embodied in our feminine. What it means to move from our head and overthinking things too deep into our body to receive, to be alive.

[:

[00:02:33] I loved it. I loved this conversation. It was so practical and yet deeply inspirational. I hope you feel the same enjoy.

[:

[00:02:46] It's a real joy. Thank you for having me.

[:

[00:03:11] So I am a feminine embodiment coach and I use many different types of devotional, feminine embodiment practices in my own life. They are so essential to me. They keep me sane and centred and connected to my sensuality and my creativity as a woman. And I also train coaches and teach coaches in our feminine embodiment coaching certification.

[:

[00:04:08] It's such a beautiful concept to explore with you because I often feel that, one of two things can happen when we become a mother. One is we begin to become very aware of our feminine body, our feminine ways, especially if you have lived very much in a masculine way of living, as so many of us have in a world that is governed by, you know, corporate success and financial success and productivity.

[:

[00:05:07] I think both of those, whether it's one or the other is leading us to the same place, don't you think? Which is leading us to a place of exploring who am I now? And this feminine awareness, this feminine embodiment practices, devotions, as you call them, is the way to those answers. Would you agree?

[:

[00:05:28] And in my experience, when I birthed my child, there was a huge sense of a collapse of who I was and my identity as I entered that really intense phase after having and birthing her. And without a doubt, there were, as we described those feminine qualities of like hormonally, neurobiologically, but also spiritually those qualities of having to surrender to the moment and the ebb and flow of intense emotions and energies and love.

[:

[00:06:25] And I feel for many mothers, almost like a dark night of, of losing our contact with our personal desires, because they've been superseded, as is perhaps rightfully so biologically, with purely desires for the wellbeing of whether its our newborn. And my daughter is three now and I even still see, and I'm sure for many years we will see that there is a hierarchy of desires, her desires, my desires, and where do I fit into the matrix of it.

[:

[00:07:17] That's it, that's a very definition of matresence and how we describe it. It is the destruction of the identity you had so that you can birth the new. But in the middle of those two extremes is this space where we explore, we try and understand what's happened. Who am I becoming? Who do I want to be?

[:

[00:08:01] A few things come to mind in terms of that process of rediscovery, which I think that we go through in our entire maturation. Not so much in getting older, but in maturing as beings. I think my constantly can be in cycles of that, who am I? I was laughing as you asked the question, because I remember as my, my daughter, might've been about three or four months old and I began to feel the awakening of my desires. And the only thing I wanted was a pedicure. That's the only thing I could name that I wanted. So I went down to where I have my pedicures done and they were closed. And I just remember standing on the side of the street, just erupting into tears, because it was the only one thing that I could tell you that I wanted.

[:

[00:09:14] So not saying no to any desire when it arises. So if it's the small pedicure. Or just having 10 minutes longer for my cup of tea in the morning, or resting with a book in this part of the day. If there's a small window of some desire or some, and I feel like desire is like, it's the spark of activity that feels like it's just really going to nourish you and make life more ravishing.

[:

[00:10:58] And often the third piece is that I, uh, I've had a varying relationship with this, but I have at the moment a morning practice. So I wake up about 45 minutes before the kid and my partner and I have 45 minutes of devotion, to just what's happening inside me. How am I feeling what's going on? Just catching up with myself because all of us are living at such a fast pace.

[:

[00:11:52] It's catching up to me. That's a form of, it's almost like emotional maintenance that just helps me stay buoyant in my body. And I secretly just love that alone time. So those, are the three things that I'm consistently/inconsistently practicing.

[:

[00:12:41] Other words that I often hear from Mamas is this real sense of my emotions cannot be explored out of me, they have to be kept within me. This is exactly what feminine embodiment is all about. Isn't it? Is allowing it to come up and out so that it can be tended to.

[:

[00:13:27] We're tending to many other dynamics and beings beyond us that we're often carrying the emotional load of. So for me, I know there's times where I feel frustrated and angry and hostile and resentful, and like at the end of my tether, and it's really easy and necessary often in the moment for somebody else's wellbeing, often my child's wellbeing, to be prioritised in that moment. But if I don't then take the time to catch up with myself, all of that emotional energy, all of that data, all of that unexpressed life force can become frozen, it can become bound up. And this is when, and I've experienced this in my life and I never want to experience it again.

[:

[00:14:40] And if I want to feel there's ends of the spectrum, that real aliveness and beauty of life, which also sometimes can feel vulnerable and tender and painful. If I want to have those types of experiences, I can't have a whole heap of my life force, just frozen up and untended to. I have to be creating some space for myself for that energy to be able to flow, to be felt, which requires us to be vulnerable. And to kind of get back into circulation so that I can then use that for, the next tantrum or the next creative project that I want to work on or the next intimacy or adventure with my partner. And I feel like as mothers, we often have so many balls in the air that many of us are just running on adrenaline. And I would much prefer to run on a fuller sense of my life force, which to me feels almost like every action can be devotional.

[:

[00:15:52] Can I ask you something there though? Do we really want life to ravish us 24/7? Maybe it's just an exhausted mom comment here after 14 years of parenthood, but I think, uh, it is that dance, isn't it? To be ravished and then to rest, to be turned on and creative and desired and desirable, and then totally surrendered soft and just in the moment. It's this divine dance that, like you, I am trying to work on every single day and I sometimes struggle as I'm sure all the women that you work with. I sometimes struggle with the, with the belief, maybe the expectation that it should feel turned on, amazing desirable, this big, beautiful, feminine, awakened life all the time.

[:

[00:17:00] Um, what you speak about is a beautiful feminine principle, which is this principle of cycles, continuously changing. So as I look outside my window here, right now, I'm in Australia, we're in a wet season, it's going to become dry again, and it might even become full of drought. And similarly, we have these cycles within us.

[:

[00:18:27] You could substitute it with flow. You could substitute it with sweet embrace. Of what is present to be, to be contemplated and felt in that moment. And it will be different in every season. And I think there's an opportunity and a challenge for those of us who don't always live in high summer, literally, or metaphorically, or in our inner world, to rediscover and recelebrate and reembody the beauty of the full spectrum of the seasons, because we are full spectrum humans. We have the same inner seasons as mother earth does. I've just recently come out of living in the Netherlands in Holland, where it was a physical winter and I was in an inner winter. And there was, me that was a really beautiful new experience where it was an opportunity to consider,

[:

[00:19:45] That was a very interesting few months long exploration.

[:

[00:20:01] And it's a very difficult question to ask because oftentimes we might ponder it, and there may be a blank, a not answer, a not knowing how I might enter this season or this desire or this intention more fully. Because for many of us, this devotional skill of being, which is so opposite to our productivity skill of doing is a muscle within our being, which is atrophied.

[:

[00:20:53] But all of that is such valuable research. This way into a deeper inhabiting of the feminine, this deeper inhabiting of how could that have its way with me more. Just like when we're trying to project manage a project and it's a bit of trial and error as we develop those skills, it's the same.

[:

[00:21:17] myself included are under skilled in that aspect and in those muscles. So I think a lot of trial and error and curiosity is.

[:

[00:21:50] Uh, again, keeping them inside. And yet there are many circumstances as a mother where we do need to regulate ourselves in that moment. You know, we're in the middle of the supermarket. I don't even need to paint the scenario. Every single mother listening knows exactly the scenario we're talking about.

[:

[00:22:27] Yeah.

[:

[00:22:53] If I wait 15 days, it's more challenging for me to come back into contact with that, which wanted to move from my inner world, through my body, into the outer world, as a way for it to shift from an internal sense to a flowing sense. Something that is free to be with my body. So this requires this recency of time.

[:

[00:23:53] Often we can feel like our responses are disproportionate or unreasonable. We might be gaslit by people around us telling us like calm down. Don't be such a crazy woman. It's not that much of a big deal.

[:

[00:24:13] That's the body's way of bringing to the surface that which needs to be resolved. So your body's not going to bring up more than you can handle, which is a great thing for us to remember when we're feeling something intense, our bodies on our side.

[:

[00:25:00] So, if that means going to your car where you can close your four doors, that means going to your bedroom. If that means standing in the shower, which is the only place that you get to be alone, if that whatever makes you feel safest, those external resources of safety, that's something that will support your nervous system to know.

[:

[00:25:39] I don't have the time for this. I can't let my child see me upset. And I don't know if any of those factors or other associated ones are an absolute truth. I'm okay to be the Mum that needs to like sit down on the ground in the supermarket and just say to my little one, can you just come give me a hug? You've just stood on my toe and bruised it for the 50th time.

[:

[00:26:36] Our, our, inner knowing our heart's desire. It can move and it can erupt and it can shift. But if we're like a rigid statue on the outside it can be a little bit harder to come into contact with that, which is moving and dynamic. It's almost like you're taking the ocean that wants to ebb and flow, and then you put it in a bucket and it's like, well, there's not so much ebb and flow when you've put this rigid body around it, this rigid structure. So sometimes it can be useful just to move your body a little bit. If you're feeling a tendonous in your heart, put your hands there, move your chest space. Not in some pose of like, oh, I need to open my heart, but just in terms of how would my heart want me to move?

[:

[00:27:45] Like, what is wrong about allowing other people to see that we are alive inside and not just some robot. But everyone's at a different point with that, I'm an embodiment professional. So I may be a bit more loosey goosey than the rest. Maybe your car feel safer for you. So go hang out there and do it.

[:

[00:28:34] But it was never actually working. And it was only when I started moving my body and these practices that it really landed and massive shifts began in my life. I've understood that again, intellectually for a long time, but until you described an ocean in a bucket that has just made more sense to me than it has ever made before.

[:

[00:29:11] You're sorry. Welcome. I've never used that analogy before it just came in this moment. So it

[:

[00:29:18] Just for you.

[:

[00:29:20] But it also makes sense because when we see so many types of calming stress relieving, meditation, spiritual practices, a lot of the time, the first image that comes to mind is someone seated, still, not moving their body.

[:

[00:29:57] Like when do you see mother nature? Not in some state of change, she is always changing. And so when we think of feminised versions of calming or meditation or spiritual practice, of course they would involve an organic free flowing form of movement because that's what mother nature shows us. That's the embodiment that we can really use that as a, as a reminder, and as a cue.

[:

[00:31:15] Ah, well, I think you've probably got hundreds and maybe thousands of women who are now wanting to find out what do you do and how they can do it with you, which I'll pop into the show notes. But in summary, as both an embodied feminine practitioner and a Mama of three years. What do you think motherhood is, is showing you and teaching you about yourself?

[:

[00:32:36] And it's also been showing me how I can partner with people to bring what they enjoy and what I enjoy so that I don't have to sacrifice, but that I can still create intimacy. Can still be together in the spontaneity and play in a way that doesn't have to dishonor me. Like I'm allowed to be honored in the equation too.

[:

[00:33:13] Thank you to everyone. Who's joined us. And thanks for having me, Amy.

[:

[00:33:20] I don't know about you, but I could sit in circle with women like Jenna Ward for days and days. These conversations light me up, they turn me on, they awaken something in me. And every single time I have these conversations, I learn more and it goes deeper. I hope you feel the same. Please check out Jenna's work and the school of embodied arts that she is the founder of and all of her details are in the show notes. As always share this podcast far and wide. And please leave a review on your podcast player because that's how more Mamas find us, hear about this and also change how they feel about themselves during motherhood and matresence. As always, thanks for being here with me. Until next week, satnam.

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