The Distortions within Polarity and How to stay true to YOU ft Caitlin Rose
Polarity has been a hot topic of conversation within the self development world, the spiritual space, and even within coaching spaces. While the labeling coming from this can be helpful, today we’re talking about the distortions of polarity.
Today’s guest is Caitlin Rose, a creatrix, photographer, facilitator, and an intuitive. After spending 10 plus years immersed in the world of creative arts, branding, and marketing, and three plus years in neo-tantra and embodiment spaces, she now works 1:1 with female-bodied humans to support them to connect deeper to their bodies, creativity, sensuality, and to their own unique essence through their chosen craft of photography, design, coaching and workshops.
Cilia: It sounds like creativity is such a big medicine for you and a big medicine that you share with your clients.
Caitlin: It definitely is, yeah.
Cilia: Nice, thank you for being here.
Caitlin: Thank you for having me
Cilia: One of the kind of main things I want to touch on today is the paradoxes and distortions within polarity and what’s taught within realms of Tantra, Neo Tantra, as far as the two poles of “this is what’s masculine” and “this is what’s feminine”.
When we connected on our connection call, you shared with me that you came out and you learned about Neo Tantra and that confused you and then you went back into the closet. So I would love to hear again about that journey and anything that you want to share for people that are listening.
Caitlin: Yeah, totally. I’ve been on quite a journey with my sexuality for the last few years. I came out as a lesbian when I was 14 and was out for like over 10 years. I had multiple long term relationships, was like super confident in that.
Obviously, there’s like quite a lot of… Things that come along with that, especially with coming out that young. I wasn’t accepted very well by my family, super religious, all of that jazz. However, I was super solid in it, but I was getting super sick of the drama that was going on with the women I was dating, and obviously now I understand that I’m just creating most of that.
But I made a conscious decision, I was like, right, I’m done, I’m just gonna go and be with men for a bit. And this was before I even knew what tantra was. Before I even knew what spirituality was, to be honest. It was about eight years ago.
I moved to England, I let go of this whole lesbian identity and I was just dating men. I never had a boyfriend though. I’m obviously gay, but I never had that real emotional intimacy with men. It was just fun and playful and light, which was perfect.
Liberation lies beyond Labels
I moved back to Australia in 2019 and I discovered Neo Tantra and spirituality. Kind of everything that year, to be honest, and that pushed me where I am now with VITA. Gradually over the last three years, I got really deep into the polarity teachings of Tantra and Neo Tantra.
I took on this belief that I had to be this surrendered, soft, feminine woman in order to attract this embodied masculine man. I pretty much like I needed to do that in order to be happy and fulfilled.
Obviously the inner union starts first, which I’ve kind of discovered through VITA more, but I’ve also discovered, that’s actually not my truth and I’m actually gay 😂
Cilia: I love it
Caitlin: Yeah, it’s taken quite a bit to unravel all of that and I feel like I still am. What kind of triggered that is I moved back to my home city and about the end of last year and I started to feel like I wanted to be with women again. I hadn’t really had that for the last few years, and it just started to trickle back in.
Then I did a house sit in Melbourne on the same street as where I lived before I went to England.So it was, like, full circle. On that street, I was literally living my lesbian life [before]. So all these memories came back, and I started to reconnect with all of the lesbian friends that I had back then.
I had all this grief that I had to process [then] around, fuck, I’ve actually…pushed the truth of who I am or an aspect of who I am so far down over the last few years that I like I feel… I feel so sad about that.
I had to process quite a lot around that and I’m still unraveling how all of that looks to me. Through VITA, I love that Layla’s very gender neutral in how she speaks about things and I think that as a society, we have labeled what things are as far as feminine and masculine.
Which can be obviously necessary in some ways as far as “men” and “women” but I don’t think as far as emotions being feminine and presence being masculine, I feel like there’s a lot of distortion within that. In letting go of that within myself, I’ve just allowed myself to just be who I fucking am, without needing to be this surrendered woman. Whatever that means.
Cilia: Yeah, yeah. No, I love that you bring that up, because for me I’ve been on this journey of… in the last three years of answering the question of what does divine feminine mean? Which pulled me towards people teaching about polarity and it’s true that a lot of people that teach “this is masculine” and “this is feminine”. That shows the distortions in polarity because really everything is both.
Cilia: -and none of it at the same time. It all just is.
You mentioned VITA a few times and I just want to share for the people here, VITA is the name of a coaching certification program that we’re both in, and that’s where we met.
Something that’s illustrated very well in the program, I think it was in our first trimester when we were working on the self development work still… There was a lecture where she talked about how within society, we have all these labels and definitions of “what a woman is” and that all of that means nothing because we all… I was going to say the word should, but I try not to use that word, but I think it makes sense.
We all should have the sovereignty and the freedom to decide what that means for us specifically. Does that make sense?
Cilia: And even if you’re not, even if you’re gender fluid, you have the power within yourself to decide what that is for you. It doesn’t have to fit into the boxes that other people who came before you are like, this is what gender fluid is. This is what being a man is. This is what being a woman is.
Caitlin: Yeah. Totally. Yeah. It is like another form of like boxing you in, right? And… I fully am behind identities, I feel like we do need identities in society to label things or understand things. But also if you can move beyond that, that’s where the liberation is.
I’ve been really exploring lately, what… I identify as queer now, but I’m kind of like, well, what is queer? Queer to me is I’m fluid in my sexual expression. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m always with women. Queer to me feels like an openness to everybody in the LGBTQ plus community and exploring like what that looks like.
And I’ve just recently met a trans woman so I’m really understanding their journey through all of that. I’m just being really curious around, you know, I’ve definitely seen a few people in the Tantra world online say things that, you know, “trans women aren’t women”, and I’m just like, I don’t agree with that, but I’m kind of wanting to go more into that to see, like, to understand their journey, right?
Like, I’m not in that, so I can’t possibly know what they’re going through, but I really want to understand it and form my own opinion around all of that.
Cilia: Yeah, I’m right there with you. It’s so funny the timing of this, cause I had a conversation with someone yesterday for a membership that I was thinking of joining and they have this vetting process where they sit down and talk with you and share their community values.
And the very first thing they shared was “this is a space for biological women and when we say women, we know what that means.” And the person basically said that they don’t see trans women as women. And I was just like, Whoa.
When they asked me how that landed, I was like, it doesn’t land good for me! My heart is beating fast.
It’s such a different view and with your piece about wanting to understand it, I do think that it is important to have spaces, like, “this is a space only for biological men”, or “this is a space only for trans men”, or “this is a space only for trans women”, “this is a space only for biological women”, I think that that is important. And I think we have to be very careful with how we, I guess demonize people. That stance [of trans women aren’t women] doesn’t seem very kind to me.
Caitlin: Yeah, I totally agree with that. I think that there is quite a strong, both sides, for lack of a better term polarity within these communities with their beliefs around all of this. I’ve unfollowed a lot of people that I would have really resonated with over the last few years within this space because they’ve put posts up saying, “trans women aren’t women”, and I’m like, well, I don’t actually agree with that anymore.
So I went through and culled a whole bunch of people, because I was like, actually, that doesn’t feel loving or inclusive to me. Especially when, you know, the essence of Neo Tantra is to love all parts of self, right? And, coming from this unconditional love in a way. So it’s like, well, that just seems like a complete cop out to me.
Obviously they’re entitled to their opinion and that’s their journey. Everyone’s on their own path with all this stuff, but it’s not something that I resonate with anymore.
Breaking away from the distortions in polarity
Cilia: Yeah. I love what you just mentioned about within Neo Tantra that it’s all about loving all the parts of the self. And I kind of want to go back to your story a little bit because you mentioned that you came out when you were 14. Then you were at this point where you were tired of the drama that you didn’t know you were creating. So when you moved, you were dating men and it was very light and fun, but that happened before finding Neotantra, right?
Cilia: I would love to know what was it being in this space that was so against your truth and identity that pulled you towards Tantra?
Caitlin: I think that I discovered Tantra at a time when I was really open to discovering what else is out there, because I’d only kind of had my spiritual awakening about six months before that. I was very in that, like, wow, I’ve discovered this whole other world that I didn’t know was out there.
One of my best friends was studying at the time in the tantra space and I was so scared of sexual energy at that point. I was just like, nah, I’m not here for that. I remember her saying to me, “it’s just creative energy”, she was so chill about it.
I don’t think at that point I was as far into the whole “I have to be with a man to feel whole.” I was just open to where my sexuality was leading me at that point. I was like, “I’ve had some cool times with men over the last couple of years. Nothing serious, but I’m not against being with women” at that point.
I was with a woman around that time as well, but I think when I got into the tantric space over the three years, I got deeper and deeper into that “I need to be with a man to feel whole” kind of mindset. It was like a gradual thing for me taking on that belief.
Cilia: I can see how even if you weren’t dating men it probably could have been, I need to date a woman who presents masculine, whatever that means. And I would love to know when did you figure out that that was just somebody else’s truth that you no longer aligned with? What was that point? Take us through that journey.
Caitlin: Yeah, I think that was also gradual. Last year I started to feel a part of me that was not in resonance to a lot of the people or the teachings that I had been so deep in over the past couple of years. It wasn’t just one day that was it. There was a misalignment kind of happening internally.
So I started pulling away from a lot of that and not going to as many events. There was also part of me that was like “I have been actively dating men for the last couple of years on the apps and I’m not getting anywhere. What is wrong with me?”
That’s kind of where I was at, I actually thought there was something wrong with me. I was watching all my friends around me get with men and end up in these serious relationships and I was like, I’ve never had a boyfriend, what is going on?
All of this was kind of starting to bubble up in my head. And then when I was driving back from Queensland to Victoria, I was noticing this desire for women coming back in. I think it was a culmination of “Oh, that might actually be… I might actually be gay. That might be what is ‘wrong’ with me and why I haven’t had a boyfriend over the years.”
It wasn’t one pivotal thing, but then what happened is I completely polarized when I got back to Victoria and was just like, I’m not doing anything in any of this realm anymore because I need to find what is my truth within this. VITA is the only thing that I have done this year and I’ve started going to more queer spaces.
I’m still, I guess, figuring out where I feel like I belong in this and how we can bring all of the worlds together and make them more inclusive and open.
As an example, I’m running an event in Queensland and in two months and normally, when I’ve ran sacred sexuality temples, I’ve had the partnered exercises be man or woman, right? And now I’m like, no, open gender, everyone’s playing with everybody. If you have a problem with that, don’t come. That’s where my faith comes from.
Who’s to say what is “feminine” versus “masculine”??
Cilia: I love that because that’s how it should be because one of the defining things for me, at least that I’ve gotten from Tantra is that we’re not defined by these labels. We’re not defined where.. we are not our body. We’re something beyond. If we’re all one, then the separation of this gender and that gender and this identity and that identity is actually all an illusion. So I love that you’re creating the space to play with that.
And I think you bring up a very great point when you illustrated that as you were in these spaces you started to feel this internal misalignment. I wanted to mirror that back because I think when we feel that internal message of this isn’t right and this isn’t actually my truth when we are in spaces that are spiritual or for self development… Sometimes it can be very easy to gaslight those feelings. And to rationalize it as Oh, I didn’t meditate enough, I didn’t do X, Y, and Z things that my teacher or spiritual guide or guru or whoever told me to do.
And within Tantra and any self development space, I feel like it’s never the essential teaching that- or maybe it is, I don’t know– Sometimes it’s not the essential teaching that pulls us away from truth, it’s how whoever is presenting it to us.
Whether it’s a book, or a course, the leader of a temple however they are.. They’re reading these teachings or receiving these teachings through their own filter and then they’re sharing it after it’s gone through their filter. They’re sharing it in a certain way that they perceive it to be true.
I think it’s very important to leave space for things like that to allow everyone to digest it and interpret it in their own way.
Caitlin: Totally. Yeah. Yeah. And that’s why I love how Layla speaks about it. You can bring the gender neutral into it and you can perceive it how you like. That might not be simple to some people, but this simple idea of God and Goddess, to me, that’s binary. Gender binary, basically. So I’ve been through VITA connecting with Godex and exploring what it means to me.
Which to me is gender neutral and feels like there’s God, Goddess, and Godex. I’ve been connecting with God and Goddess over the past couple of years and so now I’m like, well, what does it mean to connect with a God that is like, above all of that?
That to me feels like the evolution of where things are going. And I view trans and non binary people as like more evolved in consciousness because it’s like they’ve moved beyond what it means to be a man or a woman and they’re finding their own like space in that. It’s quite a journey, Tantra, into the world in a way that feels like my truth and keeping it open for people to find theirs within that.
Cilia: Are there any particular pieces within Tantra that really do resonate with you.
Caitlin: I mean, bringing everything back to the body and your own body and everything happening internally is everything. It’s the foundation for me with all of this work.
I still believe that we have an inner masculine and feminine, I wanted to say this before. I’ve been like, I’m just gonna journey with myself and see: what’s my truth here?
And so with VITA, I’ll explain it for the people that don’t know on the podcast, we have a couple of modules that were healing the family dynamic, which is our inner feminine masculine as well as our parents.So within that module I definitely connected with my inner mother and my inner father. So I still feel like we have these energies within side, inside of us. I do feel like they sit for me on like the “right” sides but that was me having my own experience of that. That wasn’t me being like, this has to be here.
I actually do feel like my inner mother on my left side, which is “supposed to” be the feminine side. So, I’ve let my body and my experience shape how I feel about all of that. I think coming back to the body is pivotal in everything.
Cilia: Yeah, I love that! Everything that you just shared sparked some inspiration for me to play with–and I hope that other people who do identify as either man or woman will try this on with me– to connect with a non binary sense of source or Godex or maybe a parental figure rather than it being necessarily a mother or father. I feel like that’d be so interesting.
That’s not something I ever thought to connect with and I’m very curious what would come up if I did that?
Cilia: Thank you for sharing that.
Caitlin: You’re welcome. Yeah, just letting go of what I would call the societal conditioning around gendered, higher power, whatever you want to call it, North Star, and just allowing that to be, to present its wisdom to you.
The vision that I get when I—and I haven’t told anybody this before—the vision that I get when I connect to Godex is literally a man dressed in drag. Because that to me is like the ultimate non binary and I’m obsessed with drag queens. They’re everything. They’re all in one.
Cilia: Yeah. That’s so fun. I’m really loving this conversation because learning about what Divine Feminine is really helped me at some point and through being in VITA, I have learned how these labels can be very limiting and non inclusive.
Because the way it was presented to me and the way I’ve even presented it in my own content and with my own like clients and even on this podcast is that we live in a world that’s “masculine” dominated. I’m doing air quotes for those of you listening to the audio. It’s “masculine” dominated.
And what I mean when I say that is there’s this emphasis on work and producing and exploiting resources from earth. Doing and doing and living in our heads rather than dropping into the body. And when I discovered what is quote “divine feminine”, the way it was presented to me was that divine feminine work is all about dropping into the body.
So when I discovered that it was helpful for me at the time, because that was what I needed. But where I stand now is… who’s to say that dropping into your body is feminine or masculine?
Caitlin: Yeah. I so agree with that.
Cilia: And that’s the funny thing about being human and having a prefrontal cortex is we want to label everything.
Your own inner Truth is what matters.
Cilia: And, like you said earlier, sometimes labels are helpful. I think we just have to kind of be careful of how much importance we put on external truths over our internal truths.
Caitlin: Definitely. Yeah. And for me, I had a similar journey with that. I discovered that I was obviously working too hard and not being enough, which I agree with. Still, I feel like there’s balance.
I’m also a Libra, so I always come back to balance. Like, you know, what’s out of balance? Am I like doing too much? Am I not resting enough? But again, it doesn’t need to be “I’m way too much in my masculine.”
It’s like, well, actually, I’m just like pushing myself a little bit. I’m not listening to my body enough. And that doesn’t mean that I’m not “in my feminine” enough. Like I’m “not surrendered enough”.
Like you said, we aren’t necessarily designed to be like doing as much as like society has created. I don’t agree with the 9-5 hustle grind and all of that but that doesn’t need to be [labeled as] masculine or feminine within all of that…
I can’t remember what your question was now. I just went on a tangent.
Cilia: I think we’ve both kind of been going on tangents. I don’t think I asked you a question I just mentioned about not putting external truths on the pedestal above your internal truths.
Caitlin: Definitely, yeah and it just comes back to listening to your body, right? Like I’ve been like quite fatigued the last couple of weeks. And it’s because I have been in my mind too much. I’ve had to make a lot of decisions around moving out and business and travel and all the things. So it was just a case of not being in my body enough.
I remember last year I was just like, “I’m not getting anywhere because I’m not in my feminine enough.” Like “I’m not doing enough practices“. And just shifting from “I need to do this in order to feel better” into “I’m feeling a little bit out of balance, what does my body need? Oh, I just need to go and do some breath work to like shift some of the energy in my body.” And then I can like get on with my day.
It doesn’t have to be this half a day practice every day. doing like counter practices. It can just be a simple thing to tune into whenever you are feeling a bit out of whack, you know?
Cilia: Yeah, yeah. A little message that has kept on coming up for me as of lately is simple is so potent.
Cilia: And simple, by the way, does not mean it’s easy.
Caitlin: No, no.
Cilia: Doing breath work for 10 minutes, even though it’s just 10 minutes, it can bring up a lot. It can be very hard, but that 10 minutes is worth it.
Caitlin: Totally and it allows you to come back to your body. Even in that 10 minute breath work, I’m generally processing quite a lot. And so it can still be quite a lot. Like you said, a lot of emotional energy there.
Cilia: Yeah. Yeah. Um, so I have a couple of questions that I usually ask guests at the end and I’m feeling called to bring those in and see what else that brings up within this conversation.
What does Self Love mean to you?
Cilia: The first question is- what does self love mean to you?
Caitlin: Self love is literally accepting myself in everything that I do. And it’s definitely still a work in progress for me. That’s literally the choices I make, how I feel about my body, how I’m showing up, what I’m NOT doing… and truly accepting all of that. It’s been definitely dropping in as, let’s put a little bit more of that into your life.
My boss bought me a bracelet and it’s supposed to be to help you manifest more self love. So I’m like, okay, I’m listening.
Cilia: Is it rose quartz?
Caitlin: I don’t actually know.
Cilia: It looks like it.
Caitlin: It looks a little bit more purple. I’ve got a card on it somewhere.
Cilia: Okay, that’s cute. That’s nice to give you that gift to manifest more love. The next question is, what makes you feel the most grounded?
What makes you feel Grounded?
Caitlin: Sitting on the beach with my feet in the sand, which I have not done in a while because it’s been winter in Australia. But I’m doing a house sit right near the beach so I’m going to do that this weekend, looking out to the ocean connecting to all of it.
Cilia: Yeah..I didn’t realize until maybe two years ago that in Australia the seasons are reverse to America. I learned that I think during the pandemic.
Caitlin: I love that that wasn’t even that long ago.
Cilia: Yeah, it was so recently. Which by the way, when you were sharing your story that you started discovering Neo Tantra and had your awakening in 2019 in my mind, I’m like, Oh, just in time for the lockdown where you can’t go anywhere.
Caitlin: Literally, literally. And I just created like all this stuff, like online courses. I ran workshops just before everything shut down. It was insane timing. I also got back to Australia, I think six months before everything shut down.
Cilia: The borders were closed for two years, right?
Caitlin: Yeah. It was quite a while, the state borders were also closed. I was living in the top of Australia and I couldn’t get back down to my family in Victoria.
Cilia: Oh wow.
Cilia: I have a friend who went to high school with me here and she went to Australia during the pandemic and got stuck there for two years.
Caitlin: Where was she though?
Cilia: Oh, I don’t remember. I want to say Melbourne, but I could be wrong.
Caitlin: That’s where I am now. But Melbourne was the worst. They had like full like, they couldn’t go out in certain times. It was really bad here. But I was in Queensland at the time, which was like, it’s very beachy, tropical, family lifestyle vibes up there so no one gave a sh*t
Cilia: I mean, if you’re going to be locked in a place with borders, it’s better to be next to the ocean than be in the middle of the country, right?
Caitlin: 100 percent
Favorite part about being human
Cilia: The next question is what’s your favorite part about being human?
Caitlin: Probably feeling the emotions that we get to feel, which like can be quite challenging sometimes as well. But I think just being able to experience the full spectrum of like, fucking ecstatic joy and ecstasy to grief and the depths of hell, which I’ve definitely been processing quite a lot of that lately, but just being able to play in that experience. All of that.
Cilia: Yeah. And that can be so liberating because we’re not normally told that it’s okay to go and explore the depths of our emotions. We’re told that certain emotions are bad, certain emotions are good. Which I think could bring, could have like big parallels with the whole conversation of like what’s masculine and feminine because it’s like, again, boxing our expression into certain places of like “positive vibes only.”
Caitlin: Oh my god, I know. And like how taxing that can be on the body too. Like you’re just pushing, it all down and then one day it will just blow up.
Cilia: Yeah, yeah. Okay, so one more question, and then I’ll ask where people can find you.
What is your favorite part about being a Woman?
Cilia: As I come to share this question, I want to share with you that this is a question that I’ve been asking for a year and a half to every one of my guests. And with the conversation that we’ve had… I’m wondering what it means for this question and if this is the last time I will ask it?
Or like how to even like.. I’ll share the question with you and maybe before you answer, you can share how that question lands in regards to our conversation.
Caitlin: Great. Sounds good.
Cilia: Okay. So the question I usually ask is what’s your favorite part about being a woman?
Caitlin: I love that. I’m still… it’s so funny. There’s like a poster behind my computer that says “woman”, like as I looked up, I was like, wow.
I think I’m still kind of like unraveling what that looks like to me. I know that there’s the biological aspects of man and woman, but I’m still not fully decided on how that feels in my system. I still obviously identify as a woman but I don’t necessarily feel like I need to, if that makes sense.
So I’m kind of neutral to that question. I feel like you could still keep asking that though. Obviously, everybody’s at different stages, and maybe that will trigger more conversations like what we’ve had in this podcast as well. It’s still quite an open thought provoking question for whoever you ask it, right?
Even if you asked a trans woman that, they’re going to have a completely unique answer.
Cilia: That’s true. Yeah. And it’s not like I’m saying like, “this is what a woman is” now what’s your favorite part about it?
Caitlin: No, exactly. It’s open to interpretation.
Cilia: Yeah, thank you for that. Because it is very important to me to be inclusive. At the same time, it’s also very important to me to be a kind of like lighthouse to… I don’t want to say the word empower because I hate that word, but to liberate and be a stand for women.
And I really look up to people like Ruth Bader Ginsburg who did so much for women in America. I don’t know if she’s known in your part of the world.
Caitlin: [shakes head no]
Cilia: She basically was able to give women more rights within Supreme Court laws by going after small cases where that made small decisions that could lead to bigger decisions. She was very smart about it. And my cat is named after her, we found my cat right after Ruth Bader Ginsburg had passed away.
So it really is important to me and for my brand to be this stand for women and at the same time hold the inclusivity and to not define what a woman is.
Caitlin: Yeah, I love that.
I believe trans women are women too
Totally. And, like, perhaps, you know, if you did have somebody on, uh, the podcast that maybe identified as, like, gender neutral or non binary, maybe frame it like you did for me at the start and just say, I just want to hear what comes up for you when I say this, and, like, or instead of using the word woman, what would you like me to use?
Like, this is how we’re going to evolve, you know, and grow, is like, by understanding Thank you. Yeah. Yeah. I think that’s also why the question I asked you before, what’s your favorite part about being human? That’s a pretty new question. You’re only like the fifth person I’ve asked because I think it’s with the work in VEDA I’ve decided like, you know, I want to know what your favorite part is about being alive in general, like not specific to being a woman.
I like, I’m curious. I want to know. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I will answer it though, like my favorite part about being a woman is like the curvaceous body that I’ve been gifted, I feel, and I don’t always love it, but I think like, as far as like the biological bodies of a man and a woman, like I think that really is like so beautiful and like different and unique compared to like a man’s body.
Where to Connect with Caitlin
Cilia: I love that answer because no one’s ever said that before.
Cilia: I love it. So for the people who have tuned in, who are curious about your, you and your work and want to connect with you, where can they find you?
Caitlin: Instagram is where I’m most active. My handle is I am Caitlin Rose: https://www.instagram.com/iamcaitlinrose_/
Hey! I'm Cilia
Self Love Mentor & Embodiment Guide
I help women ground, feel, & express freely through mindfulness, compassion, and sacred ritual so that they can feel confident, fulfilled, and HAWT!