Stress is – when the body does not believe the mind
The equivalent to a woman criticising or nagging a man, is a man ignoring or going silent on the woman. In both cases the other will distance themselves. A man being criticised will distance himself. She is voicing her needs but his interpretation is: ‘She doesn’t like me the way I am’, ‘I can not make her happy’, ‘she does not want me’. His physiological stress level goes up. In the long run this is extremely unhealthy for the man.
A woman meeting silence from her man will distance herself. He is out hunting, at work, he is entirely focused on slaying the dragon. There is no room for distractions. Her interpretation though of his sudden silence is: ‘He doesn’t care about me’. ‘I am not safe’. She feels left alone, ignored and rejected.
When a woman goes silent, it is an alarm signal. Things are not okay. When the man suddenly goes silent on her she feels things are not okay. Her physiological stress level goes up and gives of signs of alarm, no matter how hard her rational mind is trying to calm things down and no matter how aware she is of him just being out hunting. This can be annoyingly stressful for her. The physiology is stronger than the rational mind. The body does not believe the mind. In the long run this is extremely unhealthy for the woman
There is the off and on clear and rational voice in her head, based on a few years of data saying ‘everything is okay’. This voice is up against the incessant rumbling of voices based on thousands of years of data in her cells, sending out alerts.
The woman’s mind is racing. She thinks about everything she might have done or said to cause the silence. What caused the silence? What should she have done differently? How should she best deal with this situation? She might choose drama, based on her instincts. She might try to be understanding, based on the rational mind, thereby suppressing her instinctual feelings. She might harm herself as punishment for ‘not being good enough’, or to raise the alarm for attention. She becomes paralysed with the physiology and the mind not being aligned.
Eventually she distances herself. The stress level is just too high for her to deal with.
Sending Rose Petals
She does not need 12 roses, she does not need long and deep conversations. She just needs one rose petal: a smile, a hug, a note saying ‘I love you’ or ‘all is well’. This will free her to go about her own life. It will avoid her being paralysed. It will also free the man for his hunt, knowing he will be welcomed warmly on his return.
A lack of a rose petal a day has been a deathly turning point in many marriages. The stress builds up over time. At first the man might still connect with his woman regularly when out of the home. As time goes by he does not do this any more. Still the man comes home after being out hunting and expects everything to be just the way he knows it. He is excited about his achievements. He expects appreciation and respect for his hunt. He is looking for well-deserved warmth and comfort after an arduous expedition.
The woman, through his silence while hunting, has been feeling rejected, ‘he does not care’. She is not open to him anymore. She moves out of the bedroom. She clams up. He in return feels rejected as a man. Her pain is great. She feels that he comes and goes in and out of her life just as he pleases. She feels like an object to be used as the whim takes him. She does not understand. He does not understand. Even when they do understand the other, the physiology is stronger than the rational mind. The stress levels are up.
Cultivating the Pearl
Asking a man to be more like a woman or a woman to imitate being a man is not the answer. It is through the opposites that we create completeness. It is healthy for the man to go hunting, just as it is healthy for the woman to go berry picking – spending time in her social network with friends and family. It creates the polarities so needed in relationships. It is part of our basic make-up.
How then can we create and communicate love and safety on the physiological level? How do we cultivate the pearl and not the clam?
Women: some alleviation can be found through:
- our most primal sense, the sense of smell. Smelling an unwashed T-shirt of his can trick our reptilian brain into believing he is still here. The incessant mumbling voice stops and the brain finds relief. This is of course not feasible to do throughout the day.
- bringing your consciousness to the back of your heart and keeping it there at all times until the hunt is over. This is a formidable task.
- educating your partner on what you need. Let him know how much it means to you and what it will do for you to receive those rose petals. Do not ignore your needs and pretend everything is okay. It’s not.
Men: For the sake of a warm welcome when you arrive back you may experiment with:
- announcing your hunt clearly, pick up your bow and arrow, saddle your horse and kiss her good-bye, make it an event, let her know that you are out slaying the dragon and any slip in your concentration during the hunt might be fatal. Make her be on your side. Make her support your venture.
- saying when you expect to be back
- shortly before arriving back send smoke signals, an SMS, a phone call. Don’t just drop in out of the blue with expectations. Open her up again, gently and slowly.
And unless you are lost on the other side of the moon or in a coma, send a rose petal a day. This will lift her spirit, help her support you, and free her to go about her own life. And when you come home you will find a pearl, not a clam.
When we rise above our instincts we become spiritual beings. There are many spiritual exercises that help us experience higher energetic states. In fire walking we raise our level above our instinct. ‘Fire is hot and will burn’ is ingrained in us based on thousands of years of data. On vision quests we raise our energy to a level where we do not need or even crave food or drink for several days.
In a relationship man and woman need to raise their energy level together above their instincts. When there is a great discrepancy between the spiritual energetic state of man and woman, then the relationship is unhealthy to the extent that physical diseases can form. The energies need to be of similar strength and a relationship needs balance in all its facets for it to blossom.
While out hunting, cultivating his pearl is the spiritual practice for the man. His instincts will want him to focus on the hunt. As he raises his energy level to become bigger than himself, he is able to stay connected to the woman while hunting and will be rewarded by the pearl.
While alone, cultivating expanded consciousness is the spiritual practice for the woman. Her instincts will want her to distance herself. As she raises her energy to an expanded consciousness, she rises above the personal situation. Her heart will not feel wounded and paralysed anymore. Her solar plexus will feel strong, and she will be free to walk her spiritual path – tall and powerful.
The ultimate communion in this spiritual experience comes when man and woman both raise their energy above the instinctual programming and meet beyond this reality. Here the roses blossom, their nectar tastes sweet and the rivers of love flow freely.
photos: Oona Fergusson, Jana Raspotnig, Stephanie Forster