The word succulent always makes me think of a perfectly ripe peach—the kind you can bite into and feel the juice dribble down your chin. Maybe that’s appropriate for a writer who has lived her whole life in the Peach State, even though South Carolina grows a lot more of them than we do here in Georgia.
Despite my roots, I’ll admit that I tend to recoil at the Georgia Peach stereotype—tan, blonde, cut-off jeans, cowboy boots, deep southern drawl, and even deeper cleavage. There’s nothing wrong with that image per se, but it’s one extremely narrow view of Southern women. We don’t all fit into that mold, I assure you, no matter how many country songs say otherwise.
Maybe I could identify as a Peach if it meant something more…perhaps a woman who is vibrantly alive and sensual, radiating her Divine Feminine essence, living her truth, sharing her gifts with the world, and making an impact. That’s what I think of as true succulence, and it’s the only peachiness I’ll claim as my own.
Many moons ago, a friend gave me a copy of Succulent Wild Woman by Sark, and that blessed little book cracked open a new door. I had just emerged from a long-term relationship, and I felt the exact opposite of succulent…more like the vast, parched terrain of the Mojave. My friend was a writer as well, and she knew I needed something to pull me out of my pity party if I was ever going to create again. Somewhere between the pages of Sark’s rainbow-hued illustrations and her gentle encouragement, I found the me that had gotten very lost in the we. I also learned that fruit isn’t the only thing on earth that can be described as juicy.
Being a succulent woman (full of juice and rich in desirable qualities) requires some fortitude, though. Saida Désilets describes the challenge perfectly in her book, Emergence of the Sensual Woman:
The world we currently live in greets the feminine essence with bitterness, hostility and violence. It is scary to be juicy. To become our sensual selves and embrace our fullness as women, we must realize that who we are will create reverberations in this dry world. How can we not? When rains fall on a barren dessert, the excitement of freshness and new life stirs the dust from the ground and creates a commotion. (5)
People will react in different ways to succulence, and not all of them will be friendly and supportive. Just remember that whatever they are projecting is a reflection of their internal state, and it has nothing to do with you personally.
Reactions from women may include:
- You’re one of my tribe. Welcome to the fold!
- I want to be just like you, so I’m going to imitate everything from your hairdo to your pedicure.
- I perceive you as a threat, so I’m going to slander you with gossip and attempt to break your indomitable spirit.
- I like you, but I’m insanely jealous; therefore, I’ll be your frenemy.
Reactions from men may include:
- You are a queen and shall be treated as such.
- I’m really attracted to you, but you threaten my fragile ego.
- I don’t know how to handle your energy, so I’ll try to suppress and control you.
- Let’s get drunk and screw. Now, preferably.
It might seem like there aren’t many perks to being succulent, since the negative reactions appear to outweigh the positive. One really, really big perk is that the positive reactions are genuine because you’re being authentic. You’re not hiding or people-pleasing or trying to wear shoes that don’t fit. Other succulent women won’t be threatened by you—they’ll understand you in a way that is completely validating and uplifting. They’ll become your soul sisters. Men who love succulent women aren’t easily threatened, either. They are the warrior kings of this world, and they know exactly how to handle all of your wild, queenly juiciness. In fact, they won’t even notice you unless you’re rocking your badass succulent self in the first place.
So, how do you go from dried prune to juicy plum? I think every woman’s journey on that road is unique, but I know it begins with a choice. You can decide to be succulent. You can make that affirmation every single day until something shifts, and your life becomes a reflection of who you really are on the inside. Age means nothing, as I’ve met crones who are incredibly juicy and young women who are utterly desiccated. We are exactly what we choose to be in each moment of our lives, so let’s make them count. Be succulent. Be juicy. Be alive. The world is waiting.
Désilets, Saida. Emergence of the Sensual Woman: Awakening Our Erotic Innocence. Kihei, HI: Jade Goddess Publishing, 2006. Print.
Resources for Living a Succulent Life:
© 2015 Jennifer R. Miller