August 6, 2020

What does it mean to be seen?

by Janet Tingwald in Ask Janet, Feminine Energy

Thank you so very much for the questions you sent in. I love being given the chance to answer and support you.  Here’s a recent question.

What exactly does it mean to be seen?  In your last meeting this was the topic of discussion. Can you elaborate, or give examples of what that is or looks like, or feels like, as a woman, who is seen.  I have not had role models in my life to know.  Thanks for clarifying. 

Thank you sooo much for asking for clarity on this topic. It came from my Facebook live two weeks ago on this subject.  You can watch it here: 

A natural part of the feminine is to be understood and seen for who she is without needing to do anything. A woman in her feminine wants/desires healthy, loving attention and often.  

This is not a desire that comes from weakness, or a need to ‘get attention’ but a desire to grow. Healthy attention is like water and food; if we don’t get it we don’t grow, and when we stop growing, we die a bit inside. It’s that important. You can tell a woman who is seen by the people in her life by her vibrancy, her health, her skin, and her smile. She is energetically and emotionally well-fed and it shows. And when we don’t get healthy attention, that shows also.

Many of us have shut down this desire because of the negative or uncomfortable attention we may have received. We don’t feel safe, or we’ve gotten negative messages that you’re ‘too much,’ and it’s not right… it’s not politically correct to want to be seen.  

In a more tangible sense, being seen means showing up, not just physically, but energetically. It looks like setting boundaries and asking for what you want from life and those around you. It’s feeling pleasure in your life and your body and not apologizing for it if it makes others uncomfortable. 

In my work, it looks like me telling you more about me, not being afraid of whether you’ll like me or not if I tell you hard truths. In my relationship, it took a long time for me to be able to really own my ‘sexy’ that came from a place of pleasing me, not just him. And, with other women, it was learning not to fear being ‘too much’ so I’d be accepted.

So here’s something that may be hard to hear, but it’s what I see as one of the biggest problems in dating and relationships today. (Please always remember there is no judgment here as I have done almost all of the things I talk about wrong. I’ve been you.)  

Okay, here goes…we have a tendency to want to blame men for what they “do to us.” Every time I read or hear this it breaks my heart, because what I now know is: YOU HAVE THE POWER. You’ve had it all along. But because of biology and instincts that tell you to be nice so you’re accepted, and whatever baggage life and society has piled on you, we don’t speak up, we don’t show up. I get it, it’s not easy. For some of us it’s harder than for others. I’m one of those. (Let’s talk about anxious attachment, ugh!!!  More on that later.) But I’ve learned to do it differently by being committed to choosing what’s right for me. It’s a daily practice.  

Ladies, it’s about turning our light on and living in more pleasure as a woman. (Which is NOT about a certain way you need to look or act. It’s individually, uniquely your pleasure.) 

Here’s a couple of things I’d ask you to think about.

  1. How do you feel about being ‘seen’? Are you so into giving or guarded that you can’t receive a man’s attention?  Does it make you feel uncomfortable?

  2. Where do you shrink or hide? Whether it’s at work or in dating and relationships, where do you hold back because it feels too vulnerable or someone shamed you? (I shut down how I liked to dance because my ex thought it was too sexy. I like to move my hips.)

  3. What happens to your body when you are doing something that brings you pleasure? Can you really be with it?


I encourage you to sit with these questions and be really honest with yourself.  Are you willing to:

  • dress for yourself?
  • say no to something you don’t want?
  • say yes to something that you do want?
  • say what you think and mean?
  • express your thoughts and ideas?

Every shift in growth for us starts with an awareness of what we don’t like in our life. Where are you holding back when it comes to being seen?


Send me your questions (any questions!) to and I will answer them here twice a month. And not to worry, I won’t use your name and will keep it anonymous.