Women in Livingness

…what does it mean? What is livingness? And what is its relevance to our daily life and all women? And what about the men?  

I had an example recently.  

At a Universal Medicine event I had purchased a CD, Illumine by Carola Woods. I had heard the music live, loved it and felt that it might come in handy in a car I use at times which still has a CD drive.  

I played it one day for a couple of people I had picked up to take to an appointment. I could feel how unsettled they were, nervous most likely, uncertain of what awaited them. I put the music on ever so gently. In the back mirror I observed how it affected them; facial features smoothed out, they relaxed, their body posture changed. 

I dropped them off at the meeting point and later picked them up for the return trip. Same music, same effect – stillness, harmony, mutuality, awe even. 

When I returned the car and wanted to get the CD out, it wouldn’t budge, no matter what I tried. The indicator said something about a system error and try as I might, the CD did not emerge. 

And now to Women in Livingness – of which Carola Woods is a great example in this instance. I took the CD cover to one of the maintenance crew and asked whether he might be able to get it out. I put an address sticker on the CD cover so he wouldn’t forget; this burly, ever-helpful chunk of joviality, helpfulness, goodheartedness and plain old-fashioned service, looked at the cover and the photo of Carola and did what I can only describe as a double take. All he could get out was, “Who’s she?” And in all honesty, it didn’t sound as though he was impressed by what he saw. 

But I had noticed the shift in his body, what I have described as a double take. Why? 

You see, this is quite a photo. A bit like the Mona Lisa, only very different. Different woman, different times, different clothes, different perspective. Up close, very close and personal. Right in your face. 

Neither the Mona Lisa nor Carola ask anything of the viewer and especially not of men. They are just there and being them and when I say ‘just’ there, it is an understatement, but language is limited in this instance.

Image Credit: Iris Pohl; CD Design: Kelly Designs

The Mona Lisa and Carola Woods are there, present, on their own terms, by their own will; they are their own woman as a woman. They are not there to be attractive, appeal, please, cast an image, entice a dream, feed an aspiration. They are who they are as a woman in her livingness, they are both ‘Women in Livingness’. 

What a shock for this man and what freedom, what a space to be in. No imposition, no expectations, no vying for compliments or attention, no demand of any kind. 

Women in Livingness, no matter their sexual orientation, love men deeply but don’t need anything from men, don’t need them to confirm that women have a right to live and be themselves.  Women in Livingness lead the way, they claim their power and show us what being a woman is truly about.  

And men respond to that, even if it is a shock at first. Actually, men love it as it leaves them free to be themselves without the perennial yoke of expectations and demands from women 

By Gabriele Conrad, Goonellabah, NSW, Australia

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52 thoughts on “Women in Livingness

  1. This is GOLD Gabriele, for it re-configures relationships completely and allows them to be free of so many of the conventional demands, expectations and impositions that leave no space for true love:
    “Women in Livingness, no matter their sexual orientation, love men deeply but don’t need anything from men, don’t need them to confirm that women have a right to live and be themselves. Women in Livingness lead the way, they claim their power and show us what being a woman is truly about.
    And men respond to that, even if it is a shock at first. Actually, men love it as it leaves them free to be themselves without the perennial yoke of expectations and demands from women.”

  2. There is certainly something so beautiful and magical with what is on offer from art work such as the Mona Lisa, or Carola and her CD…. no impositions, no manipulations, no demands… only inpspiration to live and let live.

  3. Gabriele, I love the simplicity of what you present in this article – left to be, men and women can be allowed to be free to be themselves and live in a way that is truly natural.

  4. Love the stillness that emanates from a woman who is deeply connected to herself. She brings a very needed reflection for all to see.

  5. What Carola Woods and the Mona Lisa have in common, is that they are allowing their inner light to be seen. When I am looking at the picture of the Mona Lisa, and I have many, I am feeling the depth of who she is, much like when I am listening to Carola’s singing, the sound resonates within my whole body in a non imposing way and takes me back to something very grand and ancient.

  6. A true woman, a ‘woman in livingness’ for me, is a woman who walks her truth, is connected to her power and doesn’t impose on another, therefore leaving all around her to just be themselves. Both Carola and the Mona Lisa carry an air of grace and stillness which is ancient and timeless, and whether we are consciously aware of it or not, these are qualities that we can all connect to if we get the outer impositions out of the way.

  7. Just reading you last comment – it leaves men to be without the demands on woman – we as woman often complain about men, yet we as woman have placed so many pressure, pictures and demands on them. It is so freeing for a man to be allowed to be himself. With no need or pictures from family, partners, the world of how he should be. It offers men the space to breath and be themselves. A very beautiful and much needed gift to offer this world.

  8. There is no denying the effect that the Mona Lisa still has over those that stand in front of her, as it cannot be denied when one hears the same essence in Carola’s words or or sees it in her photo. Both woman being the very epitome of a woman living all that a woman is. A living way that is there in every woman, waiting, forever ready to be released whenever the woman decides to release it.

  9. It’s very refreshing to read how a reflection of a women who is connected to her essence can have such a profound effect on people. Especially, in this day and age where we as mothers often smother our children and place expectations on our sons to fulfil our wants and needs. Rarely growing up do men meet women who do not impose and leave them to just be themselves.

  10. Living in a world where it is currently predominately about image especially in the music industry it is really refreshing when it is the complete opposite and instead about quality with no imposition or wanting from another.

  11. I’m experiencing that the more I embrace myself as a woman without wanting to do anything with it, the more respect I receive from those around me. It may sound simple and it is, but I’ve not always experienced the same and the results were very different. When I behaved to please, to engage, to find a result from the other, I was not being respectful with them nor even with me, as I tried to manipulate the natural flow to my own benefit. It’s when I’m letting go any investment, that I can truly and freely be who I am, not imposing any ideal on anyone and allowing others to also be themselves as they are. Respect attracts respect.

  12. “Women in Livingness, no matter their sexual orientation, love men deeply but don’t need anything from men, don’t need them to confirm that women have a right to live and be themselves” I love this. When women are in their true power, authority and delicateness they have no need of anything from anyone and can just be themselves.

  13. “I put the music on ever so gently. In the back mirror I observed how it affected them; facial features smoothed out, they relaxed, their body posture changed.” I too have observed how true music affects people differently. My grandchildren love it, especially Chris James children’s CD and others find it disturbs them too much and pass it off as ‘not my kind of music.’!

  14. I am really looking forward to the time when we enjoy each other for who we are, honouring the qualities that are unique to being a man and honouring the qualities that are unique to being a woman.

    1. Matilda, I love that phrase ‘enjoy each other for who we are’, enjoying each other for who we are is not currently something that most of us do much of. I would actually argue that we don’t enjoy each other much for many reasons at all . We’ve all got so much going on in our heads about each other that our relationships are often fraught with tension and complication, which makes it impossible to enjoy the simplicity of each other.

  15. Awesome article with a huge message. We go through life without realising or taking responsibility for the fact that we impose on men all of our ideals and beliefs, is it any wonder they don’t know how to respond.

  16. We are so used to hooks, hurts and emotions being our currency that when we encounter Love it can be an uncomfortable shock. But no matter our reaction it pays beyond words to invest in the realm of our hearts. Great sharing Gabriele.

  17. Simple, succinct and very inspiring. The bit at the end about men being left to simply be themselves when women are in their livingness is very profound. We get off each others’ cases, with expectations, judgement etc, and honour and enjoy the unique qualities we all bring… this is the beginning of living harmoniously.

  18. Thank you for this great reminder of real women, in our current times we are often lost in the illusion of what beautiful really is.

    Yet Carola’s beauty and the Mona Lisa’s beauty reminds us true beauty is the depth, the grace and divinity that is within all women equally so.

  19. ‘Women in Livingness, no matter their sexual orientation, love men deeply but don’t need anything from men, don’t need them to confirm that women have a right to live and be themselves.’ How many women can honestly say that they live in this way, but how powerful when we encounter a woman who does just that?

  20. This is so true – I recently had an experience where a man’s sensitivity and tenderness could be observed in action towards me and i had not observed this man allowing this with other women in the workplace. By choosing to be in the livingness in my fullness brought a reflection that freed up another to be in theirs also. Beautiful and so simple.

    1. Susan this is such a beautiful reminder for me this morning as I have woken up with a very familiar topic ‘stuck’ in my head. The topic is basically how I would like a family member to be doing something different to what they are. In saying ‘When something holds us rather than imposes we are free to feel the space that is offered’, you have once again (because I have realised this many times and then gone into old patterns) reminded me that space is intelligence and so if I hold the other person in space then this will actually support them to make different choices way more freely than if I try and nag them into submission!

  21. Women and men are moulded into what we are expected to be when we grow up. We are meant to fit the status quo of whatever beliefs and ideals our cultures have set as the standard. We build a house built of cards that lock us into a fragile relationship with one another that from one angle looks solid, but it is an illusion. When we find our inner child and the openness we all born with, we become comfortable in who we are and send a reflection to others that will magnetically pull or repel.

  22. I showed the photo of Carola to a male friend and asked them what they felt and was slightly taken aback when their only comment was a negative one about her features. What this really brought home to me was the fact that we are all looking at life through our own ‘goggles’, we’re walking around, all looking at the exact same things but seeing everything differently and it’s not possible to take our goggles off and put them on another, we see what we see based on our own personal experiences of life and our relationship with ourselves and that can’t be altered by another.

    1. We see what we want to see, rather than feel whats on offer. When children are taught to honour their feelings they will grow and not be deceived by their eyes – or ears. Clairsentience is the way to go.

  23. Looking at the CD cover Carola’s eyes say it all, very powerful. No wonder the guy did a double take!

  24. When we reconnect to our soul there is a Universal beauty we all share equally, when you see it in another it can stop you in your tracks because you realise you are seeing yourself.

  25. Reading this ‘They are not there to be attractive, appeal, please, cast an image, entice a dream, feed an aspiration.’ made me see just how much in the world is to attract, appeal, entice, seduce, please and feed so it is really beautifull when something or someone does the complete opposite it gives us space just to be.

    1. Yes I agree Leigh. Inspirational. And when we are with such a woman we are invited – given the opportunity – to be the same for ourselves.

    1. That’s true…very freeing to reconnect back to a place within that feels complete. It’s our right birth to embody the sacredness we already are.

    2. That’s a great point Mary – for understanding that we already are everything eliminates the trying to become anything.

  26. And Gabriele you are also a woman with the same qualities because otherwise how would you recognise so clearly the same qualities in these two women? So many people look at the Mona Lisa and simply see a not very attractive woman and that’s purely because they are relating to the Mona Lisa in the same way that they relate to themselves and others, purely aesthetically.

  27. Carola, like the Mona Lisa has a completeness to her, it’s almost like they’re ‘water tight’ but not in a defensive ‘shutting people out way’ but in a rock solid ‘this is me, this is who I am and there is no space or room for anything that is not me to enter’. It’s a self-assuredness, a ‘full up with themselvesness’ and there is not an ounce of fluff in or on either of them. Two inspirational women for sure.

      1. A women in her livingness is a living reminder to us all of a way of life that we’ve temporarily forgotten. And that way of life may not have been lived for eons but it can never ever be erased.

    1. When either a man or a woman is trying to be anything for anyone else then they are simultaneously not being anything for themselves. We can only be something for another by first being something for ourselves. It happens by default, not through intention.

  28. “…. They are who they are as a woman in her livingness, they are both ‘Women in Livingness’. ” and they are not alone altho I deeply appreciate the reflection offered by the Mona Lisa and also Carola Woods. And when that livingness is moved and expressed – wow such power and authority combined with love and tenderness.

  29. Cool post Gabriele. I love these words “men love it as it leaves them free to be themselves without the perennial yoke of expectations and demands from women. We all love to be free of others’ expectations, allowing us to be free to be ourselves. A question, how often is this applied to children I wonder?!

    1. For most of my life I have had no idea about who I truly was and so being left to be ‘free to be myself’ was, for me simply uncomfortable because I was in constant need of the input of others to know who I thought I was. Not that the idea/image of who I thought I was was true at all but the idea of who I was, was totally dependant on what I did and it’s effect on other people. I was heavily invested in the idea that I was a sexually attractive woman and relied on men showing interest in me. When a man didn’t reciprocate my overly flirtatious ways then I felt lost and unsure of who I was.

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