Holay, Woman! It is time to rise up!
I've had this feeling for years. And the more I observe what is happening with my family and friends, my community, my city, country, and the world, the more I know this to be true.
And with the rhythms of Mother Nature, the pull of the Moon Cycles, and the unveiling of Spring, I feel it even more.
As women, womxn, femmes, insert whatever words feels good to you here, we are needed. We are part of the balance. Part of the healing. Part of the Love that we are all searching for.
Here are three ways to begin. To rise up and share who you are with the world.
1. Express you.
Close your eyes. Imagine expressing yourself freely, authentically, without concern for what other people think. What are you doing? Are you moving or still? Are you putting energy out or receiving? Are you creating or taking in creation? Where are you? Are you talking, singing, humming, or silent? Are you alone or with someone? What feels good? What do you feel in your body? What feels like you?
2. Connect to Mama Nature.
She is you. You are her. That connection is there all the time. If you don't feel it right now, what would help you feel it? Where would you go to feel it? What surrounds you when you feel connected to nature? How do you feel when you have that connection? How do you feel when you breathe in her air? Drink her water? Feel the warmth of the sun on your skin? Walk on her earth? How does she want to connect with you?
3. Step into who you are.
Get your journal out or invite a friend over for tea and chat this one over.
What does being a woman, femme, womxn, mean to you?
It's open. There are no rules.
Soft or strong.
Vulnerable or defensive.
Big or small.
Wise or not.
Busy or not.
Loving or not.
Maybe all of these.
Without the pressure of what you been taught, what the media presents, and what your peers say, who are you?
Maybe even without the label of woman/femme/womxn, who are you?
I can't wait to meet you.
Listen to you.
Share with you.
Hold space for you to be who you are.
Hold space for your authentic expansion.
This past weekend I watched Brene Brown's Call to Courage on Netflix. It was excellent of course! I recommend watching it. There is so much great material in it. There's one piece that's been sticking with me that isn't even the main point of the show. Near the end she mentions that women most often feel shame around their body image and men most often feel shame around their role as providers. I have since been reflecting on this.
As women I know we are so much more than our appearance. SO much more. And I know there is some good emotional material of my own to dig into here. For now though I'll say that it angers and frustrates me to think that we still live in a culture where a women's appearance is so heavily emphasized and that it is something we still experience so much shame around.
A friend of mine said "if only eyes could see souls". I agree.
As if it isn't enough to feel pressure to look a certain way and be a certain size, how about the thousands of us who just purely don't feel safe in our bodies? Energetically many of us are not grounded in our physical bodies. Our energy is in our heads most of the time, or even beyond our heads and outside our bodies completely. Whether that's for the simple fact that you're a woman and that might not feel safe to you; or because you don't fit the particular mold set out in magazines, television, runways, social media, or even family and friends. Or perhaps you have experienced physical or emotional trauma that's left part of you believing that it's not safe to be in this body. Energetically, even the experience of an emotion that we don't want to feel can leave our energy sort of hovering above us - "Nope, don't want to go in there, don't want to feel that." Not to mention the pace of life that surrounds us, the disconnection from nature, and the constant bombardment of wifi, cell phone signals, environmental pollutants, a culture that emphasizes knowledge over embodiment, etc etc.
Let's switch this up to something a little more positive. I invite you to close your eyes and take the time to ask yourself the following questions. What would it feel like to live in a world where people feel safe in their bodies? How do those people interact with you? How do they interact with themselves? How do they move? What do they look like? How do they speak to themselves? How do they speak to you? How are they in their relationships? How are they at work? How are they in their general lives? How do they treat their bodies? How do you feel when you feel safe in your body? And how do you treat your body when you feel safe in it? Does the way you feel in your body relate to the way you feel in the world?
The above paragraph is available in audio below so that you can really feel into this and notice what comes up.
For now, put your hands on your belly, take 3 deep breaths, and say to yourself "It is safe to be in this body. It is safe to be in this body. It is safe to be in this body".
How do you feel now? How do you feel in your body? How do you feel about your body's appearance?
You are beautiful. I mean it.
Oh my, I have developed quite the relationship with fear.
It's been running the show for a while.
And I let it.
But that's okay. Its all part of my journey. And it's brought me to this point, writing this email to you.
For a while now I've been guided to do something that I have not been doing. To bring together what I've learned from over 10 years of training and personal journeying, reflection, and growth. To offer my services to the people I know have been waiting to work with me. To put this all together under the title of Coaching.
But fear showed up and got really loud. She showed up in the form of procrastination, wanting to stay small and unseen, thinking I needed to do more training and personal work before I'd be ready, delaying, hesitating, the inner critic, scarcity thinking, and more. She's really good at doing her job - keeping me in the small comfortable box I've placed around myself. And I thank her for that.
And now that we are friends, I can say "Fear, thank you for doing your job so well. But unless there is a saber-tooth tiger in front of us, it's okay for you to rest. It's okay for you to trust in something a little bigger than you. It's okay for you to trust Soul."
And so now I am strengthening my relationship with Soul and letting her voice be louder. Allowing her to shine. Allowing her to do what she is here to do. Listening and tuning in. Following her guidance. Allowing my connection to her to be of benefit to others.
Want to join me on this soul-full journey?
You will benefit from my Coaching if you identify with any of the following:
- You have been playing it small. You are ready to expand but don't know how to break out. Even the term "break out" freaks you out but yet you feel the pull and the nudges in your heart.
- You are sensitive, emotional, and intuitive, even if you don't give yourself credit for that last one. You want to know how to navigate your world with these beautiful qualities of yours and feel empowered, centered, and thriving instead of stressed, burnt-out, and half-alive.
- You know there is something sacred and powerful about being a woman and want to embrace your femininity and sensuality in a way that feels safe and empowering for you.
- You have unique gifts you want to share with the world but you feel so much standing in your way that you don't know how to begin. So you just don't bother trying or you start and reach a roadblock and then give up.
- More than anything you want the freedom to be completely and honestly yourself. Authenticity is your game and you're working on it but could use a little help. AND deep down you know that your Soul can't wait for you to shine! And that your Soul circle/community/friends are just waiting for you to show up.
Since the weekend before last my intention has been: Listen.
Art I created with this intention in mind
Beyond feeling and knowing how important listening is, I've been dealing with some ear issues. When I was a kid I had really bad earaches and as an adult, mild tinnitus, and lately some eczema and blockages. My go to with something physical like this is Louise Hay's Heal Your Life. It was one of the first books that set me on this spiritual path. She sees the ear as a representation of our capacity to hear of course but also "not wanting to hear".
For a while I have been craving a silent retreat and with so much gratitude, the Universe brought me one. I spent this past weekend at La Solitude, a silent retreat center, with Jacynte Leger and Terri Hall for a Kundalini Yoga Retreat. I have friends who have gone to La Solitude and I've been wanting to go myself. I know Jacynte through a few different circles, and met Terri in Souris, PEI where she teaches and where I have been going every summer since I was a child. Not only all of this wonderfulness, but the retreat was called Discover Your Inner Wisdom. Inner Wisdom, connecting to it myself, and helping others connect to it is a passion of mine. It was an amazing weekend!
Photos of La Solitude by Jacynte Leger
In between the morning and afternoon session on Saturday I was cozy in my little cabin with the woodstove going. I began to focus my awareness on my ear and asked "what is it that you don't want to hear?" I suppose it helped that I was in this very quiet place physically and energetically, that I was surrounded by nature, and that I had practiced Kundalini Yoga the night before and that morning because I received answers. The first answer I heard was "I'm fat" and I realized that my spirit didn't want to hear the things I had been saying to myself. The second answer I heard was "I'm ugly". I know! Why would I say these things to myself? I guess I didn't realize that looking in the mirror and thinking these things could have such an impact. And I don't think I've been doing it all the time but it seems that thinking it even once in a while can affect us. I would never say those things to someone else so why would I say them to myself?
Other things my spirit didn't want to hear:
I'm not good enough
I'm too sensitive, emotional, etc, etc, etc
There's not enough to go around
I have been on a long journey of lowering the volume of my inner critic's voice and changing it's words. I guess I didn't realize how loud it had gotten again and how the negativity of what it's been saying has affected me. I had also forgotten the importance of the words we put after "I am...". Wayne Dyer talked about that. I love this meditation of his. Might be time to start practicing it again. :) I know so well the importance of honouring what we're feeling instead of stuffing it down and the suggestion was to say "I'm feeling..." instead of I am.
The Kundalini session that afternoon was all about connecting with your soul and listening. Near the end of the session Terri said something along the lines of be careful what you put after "I am" because it will come for you. And then she recited some of the things we often say to ourselves and no joke, the first two things she said was "I am fat" and "I am ugly", the very first two things my spirit let me know it does not want to hear me say to myself anymore! I nodded internally. Message received and confirmed, Universe. Thank you.
Ode to the Ear
PS. The awesome Practitioners at Forever Healthy are helping me with my ear and I am so grateful. <3
Hope you've enjoyed this wintery Spring week. <3
Somewhere along the way I got really used to doing everything on my own. And lately, as Spring invites me to unfold, I'm opening up to changing that.
Many of you probably know that I spent 3 months at a Retreat Centre in Hawaii. Every Sunday morning we gathered for Ecstatic Dance. What an experience! I had never before been witness to or experienced such freedom of expression, love, prayer, community, and moving meditation. It was always full of sweat, release, many different types of humans supporting one another in dance, amazing music, and the wild ocean nearby.
Our Fredericton version of Ecstatic Dance will include all of the goodness above, minus the ocean. :) Funny though, our beautiful ocean mother did show up on our poster. That's a completely unintentional "coincidence" that I'm just noticing now. <3
It's been an amazing experience for me opening up to collaborating with other dancers and friends on this intention. I am learning so much about what dance means to other people, and when to step forward as a leader, as well as when to step back and allow others to lead. Going forward with this as a team is opening up so much more than it has when I've attempted to do it on my own. I'm receiving support, offering support to others, recognizing other people's strengths and mine, as well as offering each other the opportunity to let those strengths shine.
Maybe this is a theme for this Spring? Opening up to others as a way to open up more to ourselves.
I am finding so much love and learning in this experience. I hope you are too.
Natalie loves life, people, animals, plants, and trees. She believes in the flow of life and approaches each day with gratitude.