…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, good–heartedness 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.
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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