Life is magical! Travelling again, to one of my favourite places, the beautiful Tuscany, Italy, where I am for a glorious Conscious Feminine Retreat. Vineyard, beautiful country landscapes, delicious Italian bread, Chianti wine and cheese! And today my reflection is about “elegance”. The Latin root of the word, eligere, to reap, to choose, evolved to elegans: to choose very well. To choose something with criteria, presence, taste, became “elegant”. Are your choices elegant? Do you choose what is good, best for you? What you love and resonates with your truth? This is also elegance.
Elegance, the art of choosing well, not only integrates an aesthetic - set of values and preferential attributes - but also an ethic: principles of goodness, of equity.
What is elegant (a good choice) depends on the ethics and aesthetic of the time/space we live in. The hetairas, medieval courtesans, were extremely elegant women, because they were masters of their arts.
Charm/ to enchant. Being enchanting became something frightening, strange or even repulsive to a lot of women… became synonym of superficiality, flirty and seductive in a bad way. Tended to attract envy, jealousy of other women. Natalia Correia, a brilliant woman and Portuguese writer, poet, politician, said that: “Women were meant to dazzle, to amaze, to astonish"… The patriarchy and the mothers-daughter's wounding, were gradually cornering the feminine charm, victim of a love-hate relationship both from women and men. It started being tolerated only in the passion stage of relationship, or in artists or…the others, the extra marital stuff. Conscious Femininity integrates the charm of “loving to be a woman”, of inhabiting a female body that is loved, of dismantling the defenses against “what is feminine” - not only from gender, both also from women. Healing our feminine wound enables us to rediscover the essence of women real charm. Charm also integrates “cheek”, some impertinence, the capacity to question, tease, dare.
The art of the Right Timing. A most important talent cultivated by the courtesans. In a civilization so speeded up, so accelerated, we have lost the precious notion of the right moment to do, say, act, to silence, wait, or activate something. He or she arrives home and immediately asks: “Have you been shopping? ... What about dinner? ... Did the kids do the homework? Taken bath? Can you imagine what happened today at work…?” We don't pause, don't breathe, don't let the other breath; we don't feel, we don't receive, we lost the fundamental importance of the knowing of the right timing: for the silence, for love, for the words. It's urgent to rescue this feminine art, for the sake of our happiness.
The Sexual Arts. The courtesans, as Aphrodite`s priestesses perfected the art of love marking, which involved in many cases, the practice of pompoir (in French) a Tamil originated word referring a feminine sexual practice which produced expanded sexual pleasure. They also took good care of their bodies, nurtured the feminine mystery and self eroticism. They knew that the woman is the prize and the man is the one who applies for the treasure. Nowadays women also practice pompoir to help in the labour and to prevent certain post menopause conditions, but it must also be practiced for the sake of plane and sheer pleasure! Today we have a panoply of information, practices and knowledges to learn from and evolve in the art of Sacred Sexuality.
Beauty and Art of Well Dressing. The courtesans knew how to suit their dressing to the occasion. Clothing was an extension of their personality, their brand, their identity. With the XX century utilitarianism, the clothes for both gender, the unisex culture, the anti-natural fast pace of our lives, the non stop tasks that require comfortable, boring, uniformized clothing, the art of well dressing was destined only to royalty, the stars, influencers. Dressing ourselves to feel joyful, inspired, happy, beautiful, almost disappeared. We dress what is most at hand, washed and (eventually) ironed! The polarity between women and men, in this sense, became blurred, the desire between them decreased, the confusion, frustration increased. The time has come for us to reclaim and express the art of “well dressing”, dress accordingly to our soul values, colors and emotions. Without fear of others rejection or criticism - the worst critic is always inside our heads!
The Joie de vivre, The Joy of Living. The courtesans cultivated this cheerfulness, this spirit, the sense of humour and the pleasure. Today, there's a pandemic of protesters, detractors, blamers, that live complaining and vampirizing other's energy! It's not surprising that their partners leave them as soon as they can! Being elegant is also being happy, and many times, we must exercise being happy for no reason, has the essence of real happiness remains inside in our open hearts.
Talent. The courtesans cultivated various talents like several arts, music, dance, languages. They were seldom very bright and versatile. Today, we don't care, we don't want to pay the price to evolve. Learn a new language? an instrument? Chanting? Painting? Whatever is, people tend to be too lazy to invest in themselves. Success needs much work…
Nowadays women speak, walk, dress, shout, curse like men (not that they can't do it, but they think that is synonym of freedom, and that is cool). I believe we must move forward and create our own feminine standpoint, the truthful feminine basis for a model in which the woman is whole, complete, conscious and joyful container of her predominant feminine energy in a patriarchal society in deep and fast transition.
I have an executive client that is afraid to “dress in a feminine way" in her corporate world, still so dominated by men. I told her that she actually wasn't afraid of men… she was…. “a man inside"! Meaning, too yang, too masculine. The more she would heal her feminine soul, the more she would love herself coming back home to her feminine body, the happier and professionally successful she would be! I told her about the elegance - that art of the courtesans - key for her to allow herself to become and express her feminine essence in life, in the corporate world, in her intimate relationships and above all, in the reconnection with her feminine soul.
There are many sexy women – like Kim Kardashian- but few elegant women, like Monica Bellucci or Audrey Hepburn. Elegance is choosing well! Is living a soul inspired lifestyle, from the inside out, with substance, presence, radiating. Is elegance in ways of extinction?
There was a radical, dysfunctional, very wounded feminism that, not only castrated men but also women, that preached the equivocal notion that sexual freedom was happiness (no real happiness is circumscribed to the genitals). That affirmed that taking good care of oneself, do makeup, use perfume and high heels was being a patriarchal doll. It is true that some women are. But we must use intelligence, discrimination, good sense, to identify and distinguish, on one side, prejudices rooted in wounding and rebellion, from wisdom.
Being queen of our lives is being elegant: is choosing the best for ourselves. Being elegant is being authentical, love yourself and like people, be solidary.
Being elegant is having a Soul and let her be seen, in her vulnerability, boldness, wonderment. Being elegant is becoming Conscious Feminine!