I am currently reading ‘Women’s Rites of Passage’ by Abigail Brenner. As I prepare for my upcoming Zen Bride workshop, I want to consider these transitions from the women’s perspective. What’s a Rite of Passage, you may ask? They are ceremonies that mark important periods of change in a person’s life. They include birth, puberty, marriage, childbearing, and death to name a few. According to dictionary.com, “Rites of passage usually involve ritual activities and teachings designed to strip individuals of their original roles and prepare them for new roles.” Strip their roles??!! Hold on a minute.
In my Zen Bride workshop, we talk about the idea of Rites of Passage. While marriage is one of the major rites, I want to make sure the women have not only acknowledged, but celebrated the changes that have occurred up until this point. Our lives are certainly more complex then they were when ethnographer, Arnold van Gennep first wrote about rites of passage in 1909. My brides tend to be strong independent women. They are largely financially stable and have vibrant careers. While they love their partners and welcome companionship, they don’t need them to be successful. In fact both partners, males and females, are generally happy with who they are and struggle with the idea of letting anything go as they take on a new role.
So where you do you stand? When do you feel you made the transition into adulthood? What makes you feel like a man? Or feel like a woman? Did you celebrate that in some way?
For those of you that are married, do you feel you gave up or lost anything as you became a husband or a wife? What have you gained? Are you happy with how you celebrated the transition? Is there anything you wish you did differently?
I look forward to seeing your thoughts, comments and questions below.