The many faces of Worship 

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The masculine and feminine have different ways of connecting with the same thing. Whether you find yourself in a female or male body at present, you are comprised of both of these living, dynamic energetic forces of creation. At different times in your life and even in different moments of each day, you may need a more masculine or feminine approach to find your center.

Social conditioning often obscures our freedom to honor these diverse impulses within ourselves. And because the way we treat ourselves becomes the blueprint for the way we treat others, we often externalize these constrictions onto our relationships – especially those of an intimate nature.

Men often have a hard time owing their desire for expressing the body-movement-emotional aspect of worship and women often have a hard time honoring their need for periods of secluded stillness and soul searching. More often than not this need to hold another in a certain framework arises from concern about what others – our close friends, children, neighbors, or society at large with think or how it will affect us. It’s very hard for the personality to step outside itself to allow another to choose what is right for them.

I grew up in a religious tradition where for the most part, we worshipped from the neck up – sitting in pews, listening to readings, silent prayer, and a few moments standing up stiffly to sing a hymn accompanied by the antiquated sound of an organ. Lord forbid anyone shake a hip or jump up with a “hallelujah!” This brand of devotion is actually quite masculine – ironic considering the religion I’m speaking of was founded by a woman – and while satisfying to the intellect and certain aspects of the heart, doesn’t leave room for the spontaneous jolt of inspiration that just has to be expressed bodily.

I used to judge pentecostal style reverence and tribal rituals as lower forms of worship. Now I celebrate these! I’ve come to discover that it can “take a village” of outlets for the human psyche to express it’s devotion, adulation, wonder, praise, and homage in feeling and acknowledging it’s connection with something greater than itself.

For me, life overall has become a devotional and opportunities to pay homage show up in the most unlikely places. Sipping my morning coffee, standing under the moonlight, dancing my soul out with a group of strangers in a Hollywood nightclub, a sincere moment of eye contact as I take the receipt from the clerk at Trader Joes, taking a deep breath instead of shouting the first four letter word that comes to mind during near misses on the LA freeways – all of these are part of Life’s Temple.

Whether you find yourself in a male or female body at present, I hope you’ll embrace all the options available to you — especially the ones that go against your conditioning and gender norms. 

And above all never let a moment of potential joy and appreciation (which is pretty much every moment) pass you by.

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68 thoughts on “The many faces of Worship 

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