Femme Spirit Blog​

Femininity: My Personal Evolution

October 28, 2020

My idea of femininity, and my relation to it, has changed and evolved over time.

As a little girl I was drawn to what is traditionally considered “feminine”. I loved to play dress up, play with dolls, practice my makeup, and I enjoyed a dash of glitter and glam.

As an adult I see that I was socialized that way, as girls are, but it also never felt too against the grain for me. I was lucky to fit the mold.

As I grew into a teenager my idea of femininity began to be a little more troublesome. I began to feel as though there was some ultimate standard that I wasn’t able to meet. I saw that women had to be attractive and desirable and there seemed to be certain measurements by which you had to achieve that - being skinny but curvy, flirty, fashionable, and pretty-faced. (And honestly the pressure to be these things has never really lifted.)

But it was also around that time that I discovered my attraction to women, and oh how I liked the tomboys! The first girl I had a crush on often wore ties to school and I’d watch her running laps on the football field. I was fascinated and enchanted by girls who deviated from the norm of femininity, even while I myself felt pretty comfortable there.

In college I came out as bisexual and I began a serious inquiry into concepts of femininity, masculinity, gender roles, sexuality and sexism through my Women’s Studies courses. It was liberating and also painful to see how the constructed ideas of gender are imposed on us from a young age, putting limitations on both women and men, and especially on anyone who doesn’t fit that binary of identity or expression. I left college feeling righteously resentful about sexism, homophobia, and racism…

My most recent exploration of femininity came through my healing and awakening journey. I’ve revisited ideas of femininity and masculinity in terms of energy and spirituality. I’ve learned that while gender roles are socially constructed, the energetic essence of femininity and masculinity are very real, and they reach far beyond sex or gender. We live in a realm of polarity in which there is always an interplay between the complementary energies of feminine and masculine. These essences exist in all living things, and we see the expression of them in nature and in society in both beautiful and ugly ways.

There is much healing to be done between these energies, both internally and externally. There are light and shadow aspects to both masculinity and femininity. Our task is to heal the pain, the resentment, and the socially constructed limitations and oppression we’ve imposed through the masculine and feminine templates.

As we heal and awaken, we are reaching for divine understanding and expression - the Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine, where there is mutuality, respect and wholeness. As we ascend to a higher level of consciousness, we eventually transcend the need for polarity and duality as our teacher.

It has been healing for me to lean into the essence of what I refer to as the Divine Feminine. This is what allows me to understand femininity as expansion, as unconditional love, and as deep nurturance and support. It is not just some external mold I have to fit into. My new idea of femininity is one of full embodiment. As a feminine being I can be innocent, sexy, and wise all in one, all without fear of shame or persecution.

For me, femininity is an enduring internal strength, unmatched by anything else. It is a divine aspect of me.

What does it mean for you? How have you related to it as a concept? As an energy? As a part of you?

If you’d like to explore how leaning into the Divine Feminine can bring self-empowerment and spiritual alignment to your life, book a free Femme-Powerment session with me at this link! 

by Cheyenne Beardsley, creator of Femme Spirit Coaching

Learning to Follow My Inner Compass

October 16, 2020

A few years ago my life trajectory was headed in a very different direction. I was working in the New Mexico film industry, which has become a growing enterprise over the past several years - think Breaking Bad! 

I got a job in the accounting department on a new film. Accounting work meant I was in the studio offices and not on set where the action is. Now to be perfectly clear, accounting was never something I had a single ounce of interest in. In fact my math skills are pretty poor, however I met someone who “got me in” when I was in need of a job, so I took the opportunity. 

My first show was exciting and fun. I was introduced to an entire new world that I knew next to nothing about. I learned how to clerk for accounts payable and payroll, while learning and witnessing how films are made. I realized just how many different kinds of workers the film industry employs and how hard they all work for the duration of a production. I also got to experience the perks of film, including meeting famous actors, receiving gifts (one of the producers gave everyone on the crew Apple TVs), lots of free food and Starbucks, fancy dinners out, and of course, the wrap party!

So without really thinking about whether this was something I wanted to do with my life, I got swept up in it and I continued to get jobs on new productions. But as time went by, the work culture, the stress, and the lack of passion and purpose I felt, began to take a toll on me. This was occurring in conjunction with my struggle with digestive problems, anxiety and depression (see the previous blog post).

I was working on a pretty extensive production in Santa Fe, when I began to become overwhelmed. I was pushing paper for 10-12 hour days and then commuting between Albuquerque and Santa Fe several times a week. The accounting team I was working with was wonderful, but personally I was depressed and unfulfilled. I began to break down. Everything in my life felt out of alignment. I knew something about the way I was living wasn’t right for me. I had to call in and take some “mental health days” because I couldn’t stop crying. The stress, anxiety, and increasing digestive problems were making me non-functional. I was really hesitant to ask for the time I needed because taking time off is not really a thing in film – you are expected to work nonstop and overtime for the duration of the show. They even bring lunch to your desk so that you work through your lunch hour. The film industry IS the epitome of grind culture.

Simultaneously my supervisors were encouraging me to get into the film union so that I could move up to an assistant accountant position and make more money and receive benefits. I was flattered that they saw a future in it for me so I proceeded with the process, but my heart was not in it. I was completely ignoring my inner compass – the whispers that told me this wasn’t my future or my purpose.

I worked on one more show, during which my anxiety, depression and digestive problems skyrocketed. And on top of it, this show had a very negative, over-demanding, hierarchical work atmosphere. I had to start admitting to myself that I could not continue with this life – that I was beginning to hate every day I was there more and more. And it was right as I was making this decision that I got into the film union! By all reasonable appearances, leaving film at this point was nonsensical and reckless. But I didn’t care. I saw the light at the end of the tunnel and I decided listen to my gut and end my film career.

When I finally did I was able to take big breath and sigh of relief. The weight of feeling like I was going against my inner compass was lifted, but now I was left to pick up the pieces and move in a new direction.

And I won’t say it was all easy from there. I knew I wanted to work in the wellness industry so I began my health coaching certificate, but I struggled to find a job in this chosen area.

At the time, another film friend and I were both out of work, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask the Goddess/Universe and our guides for help and direction. I suggested doing an abundance ritual together. So I sat down, connected to spirit, and created the ritual for us. It was fun and powerful do the ritual with my friend!

I’m happy to report that a week later I received a job offer to be an accountability coach at a local personal training gym. And it all happened in a very serendipitous way!

I recently shared this very ritual with a former coaching client and she received a job offer about a week later as well!

So I’ve decided to share it with you too! Click here to get access to the Abundance Activation Ritual! 

I am so happy that finally followed my inner compass. I now pursue what really lights me up, but I also know that my experience working in film was all part of a bigger plan. Because of film, I had to learn how to prioritize my self-care. I had to learn to focus on stress-reduction and I had to re-evaluate what I wanted out of life. It was a big blessing and I'm forever grateful. 

Remember that you are worthy of pursuing a career/calling that feels fulfilling to you - whatever that may be. And it is never too late! The first step is to begin listening to your inner voice! 

by Cheyenne Beardsley, creator of Femme Spirit Coaching

My Struggle with Digestive Problems, Anxiety and Grief

October 6, 2020

About six years ago I felt completely desperate. In some moments, on some days, my anxiety was so high that I thought I might be dying or going crazy...

I had begun to develop food intolerances and digestive problems. Many times after I ate I would experience symptoms like brain fog, headaches, heartburn, burping, indigestion, and worst of all, acute episodes of anxiety and disassociation.

I lived like this for a few years and it eventually necessitated a journey of physical, emotional and spiritual healing.

But being in the midst of it with no clear answers as to what was wrong made me feel powerless and lonely. I moved through each day in a high state of stress and worry, feeling betrayed by my body and mind.

Perhaps worst of all, I kept the depth of my suffering mostly to myself and I downplayed the toll it was taking on me, and the level of fear it was causing me. I isolated myself. 

But I began to seek answers - I had to. I consulted with some doctors but I didn’t receive a clear diagnosis. It was hard for me to communicate to them how I was feeling with accuracy because the symptoms were far from just physical, and partially because I felt that it stemmed from some kind of personal defect – that maybe I truly was just crazy. That maybe I somehow deserved this. 

My ego would attack me with questions like; who suffers so acutely after simply eating food? Isn’t that the most basic of our daily needs? Why couldn’t I even eat like a normal person? What was wrong with me??

But let me back up to share some context and explain one of my deep fears to you…

I lost both of my parents by the time I was twelve years old. My father died suddenly of a pulmonary anabolism when I was eight and my mom suffered with breast cancer and lost her life to it when I was twelve.

I will share more about the devastation, displacement, and grief this caused me a little later… for now I want to explain that when I was in my early twenties I read an article or heard somewhere about how people who lose their parents at a young age tend to suffer from schizophrenia at a higher rate and also tend to develop it in their twenties. Once I learned that, it always stuck with me a little thorn of fear poking me in the side.

Experiencing loss at a young age had already shattered my previous sense of reality, so what’s to say that my sense of reality wouldn’t continue to fragment until I no longer recognized the world or my place in it?

To me it felt possible that I could lose myself in some paranoid alternate reality, and absolutely nothing felt scarier.

So when I began experiencing high levels of anxiety (panic attacks) and a strong sense of disassociation coupled with my digestive problems, I thought maybe the time had come – that I was losing it. But I was too afraid and ashamed to share this fear with anyone so I let the fear alienate me further.

I continued to move through my days while trying to ignore and suppress the severity of my internal struggle. But my body was pushing me toward finding answers. Eventually I visited a doctor who thought she knew what it might be – a bacterial infection called Hylibactor Pylori. And she was right!(H. Pylori is a bacteria that many people have in their stomachs, but it only seems to manifest as problematic symptoms for some people.)

It felt incredible to have answer at last. She prescribed me a mixture of 3 antibiotics and said it should be gone after that. Of course I dutifully took the antibiotic regimen but to my dismay nothing changed for me, in fact my heartburn and other symptoms were getting worse.

So I felt totally desperate, but this experience pushed me into taking matters into my own hands. I began doing near-constant research on holistic options and remedies. I had already made modifications to my diet, but now I committed with much more resolve to cutting sugar, alcohol, gluten, dairy and anything that would cause too much acidity in my body. I learned about the importance of gut health and what to eat to nurture it.

I began seeing an acupuncturist who explained about the energy meridians in our bodies. She used her needles and a mixture of Chinese herbs to treat me. I began to feel a significant difference. I also visited the Ayurvedic Institute (Ayurdveda is a branch of ancient yogic science) where they determined that I had an imbalance in my mind-body type and they prescribed a diet of cooked veggies (never raw), porridge, and pranayama breathing methods to help me balance myself.

I also began to address my mental health issues with more determination. I visited a few therapists until I found one I clicked with. I began seeing her weekly and we started working through my grief over losing my parents. I began to realize that my grief for them had never been processed – that it had never been “digested” (light bulb turns on).

As a child I was thrust into survival mode after losing my parents and I couldn’t handle the pain so I suppressed it, but now as an adult I was being pressed to process it. The container that my therapist held for me each week to explore and feel my feelings is more important than I can ever explain…

All of this took place over the course of a year or two, with many ups and downs in my condition, but an overall steady improvement.

Somewhere toward the beginning of this journey, when I was still suffering a lot, I broke down one night in desperation. I began praying to whatever was out there for help and guidance. I decided to set up a few candles on top of my wooden chest to pray to and I just sat there and cried and cried and prayed and prayed.

Soon after that I began to receive the guidance I asked for… I was easily led to the people, modalities, and information that truly helped me. I knew for the first time with certainty that my prayers were being heard and answered and knowing this profoundly changed my life. It prompted, what I hope to humbly refer to as, a spiritual awakening.

This experience taught me a great deal; about the power of holistic medicine, the importance of my mental and emotional health, the deep connection between physical and mental ailments, and about the spiritual guidance that truly exists on the other side.

But perhaps most importantly, it taught me the importance of caring for and healing myself. It taught me that I have the power to transform myself and my own experience of life. It showed me that healing is a choice and that my body has important messages and lessons for me. It showed me that I could overcome deep-seated fear by trusting myself. It taught me how to trust my own intuition about how to heal, even when others pressured me to stick to conventional medicine. It taught me that our power center is in our belly (solar plexus) and that everything that occurred during this time happened for a reason – to remind me of my power. 

by Cheyenne Beardsley, creator of Femme Spirit Coaching

Breaking Down What It Means to "Release What No Longer Serves You". 

April 9, 2020

I’ve heard this phrase used A LOT in the online spiritual community, including by me. So I thought it would be useful to start breaking down some of these spiritual idioms into clear explanations and concrete steps to overcome any vagueness or dilution of their meaning, which would be a shame. So here it is:

First of all how do we know what no longer serves us?

Well this can be any thought, belief, pattern, habit, behavior, action or coping mechanism that does not align with our authenticity or does not “act in service” of our goals and highest potential.

Even though these things no longer contribute to our growth or happiness, at one time they did serve us as coping/ survival strategies to give us a sense of safety and protection or to allow us to have our needs met. Understanding this helps bring compassion to ourselves and the process of release.

For example if you were neglected by your caretakers as a child, you might have developed a habit of being very brash or argumentative. You may have discovered that using something small to start a fight enabled you to receive the attention you needed. However, this coping mechanism most likely would not be serving you in your current relationships.

Usually these thoughts, beliefs, patterns, etc. that no longer serve us (aka “blocks”) are rooted in our subconscious mind, which means we may not have full awareness of what they are yet. Doing inner work to build deeper self- awareness of ourselves and the personal traumas that impact our beliefs and behaviors can aid us in the process of release.

If you need help identifying what needs to be released you can start by setting the intention with the Universe. Ask to become aware of your blocks and how to release them. Then follow up wth aligned actions like attending counseling, working with a coach, or doing self-study and self-development work to gain insight.

So, when you’re ready to release what no longer serves you, how do you do it?

1. Prioritize self-care.

Remember that you used these coping mechanisms or subconsciously held on to these beliefs for a reason- they served your sense of safety and survival, so you want to make sure that when you release them you have something in place to help you feel safe, nourished and cared for. Start meeting your own needs through making self- care practices a sacred part of your daily life.

2. Set the intention.

You can do this by simply speaking what you intend to release to your Higher Power. Or you can get more creative and use a ritual, like writing down what you wish to release and then burning the paper as a symbolic act. You can also consider using moon magic to help you. The full moon is a good time to set intentions of release, because as the moon wanes from its fullness it can energetically help you release blocks and clear space in your life.

3. Surrender to the process.

This part is simple and yet it can feel difficult. As humans we seek a sense of certainty through control. However release requires surrender, so make sure that you feel connected and supported by spirit through prayer, meditation or whatever practices allow you to surrender and trust that the Universe always has your back!

4. Allow for grief.

Even when we are more than ready to let something go, it can still feel like a loss. The thoughts, beliefs, habits or mechanisms you adopted to cope most likely became a part of your identity at a conscious or subconscious level. Know that releasing attachments may cause sadness to come up. It is absolutely ok for you to grieve for what you are letting go of. Be gentle with yourself and allow for rest and recuperation.

5. Call in the new!

Now that you’ve released what hasn’t been serving you, you have room to call in anything new that you want to manifest. You can also simply embrace and celebrate being more in alignment with your authentic self. Practice living from that space of authenticity and witness the positive shifts in your life and relationships.

6. Give gratitude for the process of healing and Universal support! 

by Cheyenne Beardsley, creator of Femme Spirit Coaching