Coming to live the truth of who you are is not about becoming more of something, nor is it about fixing anything. Coming to live the truth of who you are is about stripping away the untruths that you came to believe about yourself.
I’m creating a complimentary guide for women and in doing so I decided to reach out and ask friends, colleagues, and readers to share their answers to this question:
What were you told/taught about what it is/means to be a woman
that you’ve since discovered is not true…and why?
I want to know, because I am clear that even though somewhere we KNOW these things we were told are not true, in our everyday world we are faced with the constant messaging that they are…and so as one friend wrote:
“Thank you Julie for the thought provoking question – my comment here would be – most everything that was shared here resonates with me – these things are not true – the confusing part is – we – or society lives or pretends for the most part they are true and hence we get confronted with them on a daily basis – we suck it up and quietly endure – or NOT!!!! : )”
There’s been such a great response, and women have replied that they are really appreciating reading the responses, that I thought I would ask you, my loyal readers, the same question. You never know when something you share will spark an important insight for other women!
There are a couple of options for sharing your responses:
I’ve included the original questions and comments from both my Facebook page and my personal page here. You can respond directly in the threads if you’d like, and you can read the responses.
You can also reply here in the comments, sharing the untruths you’ve come to see.
And if you’d like your comment to remain private, you can send me an email at juliedaley (@) gmail (.) com or send me a private message on my Facebook page.
Please feel free to share the question with other women you know who have something important to add to the conversation.
I’ll be collating the responses into a downloadable complimentary PDF.
This one caused my heart to break open, because it is one that took me a long time to heal in my body:
[that women are] “NOT made in the image of the divine.”
As if this could ever have been thought, and taught, to be so!
I do know that it is helpful for all of us to become aware of this strong messaging we are bombarded with not only when we are young, but also on a daily basis.
While we may not resonate with all of the responses, reading them can help us have more compassion for ourselves, for other women, and for all people as we come to realize that both women and men (and of course young boys and girls) are being conditioned to believe so many untruths that keep us from living the truth that already resides in our own souls.
Thank you for sharing whatever you can! By naming what is untrue, we come that much closer to knowing and living the truth of our beings as women in this world. What we bring to the world, just as we are, is deeply needed in these times.
On my unexpected walk yesterday morning (car battery died and I walked home from the mechanic), I was suddenly moved by an insight. Unexpected circumstances can do that…bring insights. These times can be our most creative moments, because we’re taken out of our normal routine, which can wake us up to the newness we are always really living in.
The insight? That it’s not so much what we speak as women, but that we speak…that we liberate the female soul’s song.
The feminine was silenced. Our mothers were silenced, as were their mothers, and their mothers, and so on. And, we are continually encouraged to (many times through shame, shunning, threat, and humiliation) stay silent.
I know I silence myself. I learned to do this at a very young age. I watched what was going on, listened to what was expected of me, and learned to manipulate my behavior accordingly. I know others who did the opposite – pushed back with every fiber against being silenced. Pushing back, though, is still a kind of silencing, because being completely free means you simply speak what is true and many times when we push back, we are more caught up in the conflict than being free to simply express what is within. Not always, but many times.
Unlearning silencing isn’t such an easy task.Patterns of silencing are insidious. The patterns are within our psyches. They are in the culture. Everyday on the internet, you can read something powerful posted by a woman who is speaking her mind. And, you don’t have to look far to see the comments that immediately surface attempting to silence her through intimidation and threats of violence and harm.
I believed that silence would keep me safe. When I learned to do it, it did. But silence keeps none of us safe, and in these times we are living, silence keeps us from creating something new in our world that is life-affirming and fueled by the deepest love that is life expressing itself anew in each moment.
This insight was really beautiful…and simple.
I can see that it really doesn’t matter the form we say things in, but that what we say must be true in our hearts, to our souls.
We don’t have to come up with something amazingly wise and transformational. What I see is that the very act of speaking will heal. Speaking the truth in our everyday lives will heal. It opens the channel, and when the channel is open creativity begins to pour forth…a creativity that is rooted in the sacred creativity that women embody. It is this sacred creativity within our beings that is birthing the new consciousness. Speaking opens the channel. It reconnects our awareness with what is true deep within. Speaking can be a metaphor here, yet I also can see that vocalizing, the act of making sound through the body is incredibly powerful.
Speaking begins to end the silencing that has happened to the feminine, and to women. The act of speaking opens channels in the body and soul.
Hearing one’s own voice saying words that have been swallowed too many times to count reawakens a knowing of self that is necessary for healing.
Speaking truth in everyday life is an extremely powerful act…powerful and healing.
In working with women, and in my own experience, I’ve come to see that we can get caught up in the belief that we have to come up with wise words, and even more have to put them into some ‘form’ like a blog, or a book, or a speaking engagement, or you name it. But the insight showed that it is much more simple than what we think.
Imagine millions of women around the world, women who have the freedom to do so, speaking the truth to ourselves, to our families, our lovers, our co-workers, our bosses. Speaking for ourselves and on behalf of those who can’t, who aren’t free to do so.
Hearing our own voice with our own ears. It’s a reclamation of the power that lies within to give voice to the soul.
I don’t know the esoteric details of what happens when a woman speaks truth aloud, but I can see something shifts. When a woman listens to what is happening and feels for resonance and responds with truth, responds in a way that honors life, not only within herself but within all of life, silence is broken, healing happens, and something new is born.
We can support and encourage each other to do this.
What if each of us actively reached out to three other women we know and asked them to speak aloud the words that have been swallowed back down over and over and over?
What if we reached out and invited them to tell us their truth?
What if we saw this opportunity to hear, really hear, another woman’s truth as a sacred act and we listened accordingly?
Will you do this?
Will you offer this gift of inviting out woman’s song?
A good place to begin is with yourself, to hear your own words with your own ears, and to feel them rise up out of your body into the light of day. Really listen for the words to be spoken. Listen then speak. Keep speaking because sometimes those words take a while to reach. Feel the words rise and move and flow as they are offered up.
This IS a sacred act.
John O’Donohue wrote, “All holiness is about learning to hear the voice of your own soul.
Doing so calls back a power that was buried when we went silent.
These words have been rumbling around in my headspace for a few days now. I’ve been putting words and words and more words onto the page since the Newtown tragedy. Nothing I wrote felt like it would contribute to what was already being said. Until now. Until these two words… for what?
For what is all of this work with women?
For what are we finding our power?
For what are we wanting equality?
Maybe, just maybe, it’s all for…the children.
Yes, for the children. For ALL the world’s children.
For us, women and men, to heal whatever it is between us for the sake of the children.
I know this. I know this. And, my mind searches for answers to how to do this, for answers on why Friday’s tragedy happened. There are tons of people looking for answers, and many more readily providing them.
What my heart keeps going back to is this damn system, the system we live under. The patriarchy is rotten at its core. This rotten system conditions us all, women and men, to believe things about ourselves, our gender, and the masculine and feminine, that are rotten at their core. The system denies real beauty. It denies the love that is in our hearts. A system that puts us into a hierarchy, that parcels out value and privilege, that teaches us to fear and distrust each other does all of this in order to keep the system going, to keep the system alive. And it does this through each of us. We do it. We uphold the system.
This systemic upheaval, violence, and pain feeds the broken relationship between the genders, between men and women, between the masculine and feminine, within us and outside of us. And, it is destroying lives.
We, both women and men, must turn, together, side by side, to look at the system itself, to see it for what it is. We, both men and women, must have the courage to do this.
Men are not patriarchy. Patriarchy is a system that says men have the power. And, we all uphold by playing into the system to get our needs met, when we believe we are owed something, when we believe that it is only hard work that has gotten us what we have, when we believe we are better than others, when we believe we must fear and hate others, and when we are too afraid to turn to look at what we are all capable of doing even though it is right in front of our eyes.
So, I say this to myself:
I must realize that my privilege is not real.
I do not deserve anything simply because of who I am.
I am not entitled to anything simply because of my gender, or the color of my skin, or my sexual preference, or my religious beliefs.
And, when I question the system it does not mean I am blaming the ‘other’ for the ills of the world.
I ask myself:
Can I be adult enough to see that it is in the children’s best interest (and in all of our best interest) to be in conversation with you, to find some way out of this system, to heal this fear and distrust between us all?
I hope you will ask yourself, too.
A new time begins tomorrow, a time described here by Evo Morales, President of Bolivia to the UN General Assembly, 67th Session, 2012:
“…according to the Mayan Calendar the 21st of December marks the end of the time and the beginning of no-time. It is the end of the Macha & the beginning of the Pacha. It is the end of selfishness & the beginning of brotherhood. It is the end of individualism & the beginning of collectivism… the 21st of December this year. The scientists know very well that this marks the end of an anthropocentric life and the beginning of a biocentric life. It is the end of hatred & the beginning of love. The end of lies & the beginning of truth. It is the end of sadness & the beginning of joy. It is the end of division & the beginning of unity.”
I want to let you, my lovely friends, know about something that’s happening next month. I’ll be attending, and offering a session, at a beautiful retreat in Port Townsend, Washington. Led by my friend and colleague Amy Kessel, the Coming Back to Center retreat is a small group retreat for women (at the most, 12 of us) during the time of year that naturally draws us inward, even though the demands of the time can take us further and further out of ourselves.
For Amy, a retreat is:
“the palpable relief of switching to “off” for a period of time so I can access the parts of me I rarely experience while I’m “on”, and so I can fall in love with those parts once again. A retreat recharges my vitality, my creativity and my sense of wellbeing. Retreating produces a shift in mindset that spreads outward to the edges of my life, bringing me back to center, where I belong.
I answer the call when I’m hungry for soul connection. Retreating from the world enables us to tap into spirit, to truth, to our deepest source of strength and wisdom. We all – every one of us – need this connection in order to thrive.”
Just the images from the site speak to my body – I immediately feel everything just relax a bit as I imagine and feel the sense of peace, solitude, and stillness that will come during this weekend.
And, I will be leading a movement segment. While I could call it dance, it is not dance as many of us know it. Really, it’s an opportunity to let the body move and make itself known as the doorway into wholeness, wisdom, and the here and now. When you come to know the body as a vessel of knowing it can completely change your relationship with life itself.
Take a moment to listen to a short conversation that Amy and I had about the retreat. At the end, you’ll hear that she welcomes you to get in touch with her if you have any questions or thoughts about the retreat, even if you know you cannot come.
Of course, I’d love to meet any of you who feel this might be right for you. It’s going to be a beautiful, full and rich long weekend.
[audio:https://unabashedlyfemale.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/11/AmyKessel.mp3|titles=Interview with Amy Kessel]
Reverb10 Day 05
Prompt: Let Go. What (or whom) did you let go of this year? Why?
This is a rambling post, and I’m rambling, trusting that where I end up will bring us full circle…in some way.
Today I read Tia Singh’s post for reverb10, wherein she wrote these words:
…write as if I had a million in the bank, and nothing to gain from my writing.
Bammo. These words hit me hard. They zinged me, I mean ZINGED me!
I have learned to allow myself to write deeply here. I still sometimes get the occasional stomach tightening when I hit ‘Publish’, a good thing because it means I’m uncomfortable with something being seen, but for the most part, I realize I’m now a little too comfortable…most of the time.
I’ve pushed myself this year. I’ve shared things I thought I wouldn’t share. It didn’t kill me. In fact, it was freeing. Freeing to unveil myself here, to the women and men that read me on a regular basis.
I still have a ‘thing’ about writing about my personal life. About sharing my stories. I’ve told myself for a long time that others don’t want to know stories of my life, that telling things about my daily life is a little too narcissistic. And yet, I know how important it is for women to share their stories.
I’ve been swimming in the shallow end with a book I’m writing. I’ve dived in the deep end a number of times, only to climb out of the water and sit by the side of the pool, to grab air, to sun myself, to feel the comfort of the ground beneath me. The deep end seems to be where the juice of the book is. Yet, I resist. I come up for air before big chunks of work get done. The scramble and chaos of writing something about these parts of my life, these parts of me, churn me around, so I surface for long periods on end.
Like Tia’s words, Patti’s image spoke to me the moment I saw it. Recognition. Half the face light and beautiful, full of color and life, sort of like the shallow end where the light pierces more readily. The other half dark, chaotic, unknown. She’s veiled. I’m veiled.
What’s inside here? inside of me?
Veils can be beautiful. They can create an aura of mystery, of exotic sensuality. But, perhaps that’s mainly in the movies. The veils I see in the real world seem to hide women. I don’t know what it is like to have to wear a veil…a burka. I don’t know that experience.
I do know what it is to be veiled in my own way, for I fear exposure.
I fear exposure, and yet, I have a choice. No one is veiling me, except myself.
Somewhere, the dark holds promise for me. I’ve been told often enough in spiritual circles that shadow work brings light.
I’ve been in the dark enough times to know it can be a fruitful trip. But then there I go again, expecting a gain. Can I dive into the deep end without expectation of gain? Can I unveil myself, not only to me, but to you, without expectation of gain…or expectation that you’ll like what you see…that I’ll like what I see?
This book that’s been lurching around inside me now for far too long feels very deep and raw. Now I know that’s a good thing. And, it scares the crap out of me.
But it has to come out. Tia’s words, especially ‘nothing to gain’, spell freedom to write. When I read her words, I realized I’ve been holding on to the idea that there will be something to gain if I get it right. Not just personally, but also collectively. I’ve put a shitload of pressure on myself to ‘get it right’. And in the pressure to get it right, nothing comes out, nothing gets written.
If I am true to the writing, if I write what wants to be written, then I must give up my expectations of gain for me, of being understood, of being liked. What wants to be written isn’t about me. It’s the me that holds back, not what wants to be born.
I’ve had a vision for some time now. I see something that feels hard to explain to people. I see a land where women come out of the dark, out of the shadow of men, out into the light so they can see themselves as they are, as beautiful sacred beings. We are different than men. We have been told we are less than, second-class. Women all over the world are being treated in ways unimaginable, right now.
Women, whom these atrocities are being acted upon, are sacred beings. We bring life into life. We are sacred beings because the soul of a newborn life enters the world within a woman’s body. I’ve experienced this. I’ve given birth. I’ve witnessed my daughters both give birth. I’ve watched death come and take those I love. I’ve experienced the love that is present at both moments of birth and moments of death.
“The light of the soul of the world needs the participation of all who are open to this work. But part of our redemption of the feminine is to acknowledge that certain work can only be done by women. The interconnections of life belong to the wisdom of the feminine and a woman’s body holds the knowledge of how the worlds interrelate. Masculine consciousness imaged a transcendent divinity—the feminine knows how the divine is present in every cell of creation. Women know this not as abstract knowledge, but part of their instinctual nature—in the womb the light of a soul can come into physical form. Life is standing at the edge of an abyss of forgetfulness waiting for the light of the world to be born. This birth needs the wisdom of the feminine, and women must take their place in this time of great potential.”
Life is standing at the edge of an abyss of forgetfulness waiting for the light of the world to be born. This birth needs the wisdom of the feminine, and women must take their place in this time of great potential.
An abyss of forgetfulness.
Am I willing to remember? Am I willing to take my place? I KNOW, from my own experiences, that the divine is present in every cell of creation. I KNOW this. I FEEL this. I’ve seen many deaths and births, and know how the worlds relate.
I know these things of which Llewellyn speaks, because I’ve lived them. We women all know these things. They are in the stories of our lives.
We’re waiting for the light of the world to be born. We are in darkness already. There is destruction, war, greed, torture, passivity, unwillingness to feel. And it’s all right here in my unwillingness to stay in the deep end, until something new emerges.
I can’t know what will emerge from my own dive. It is mine to take. Exposure. Chaos. Nothing to be gained. Everything to be gained.
How can I know what I am capable of unless I let go and see?
How can I know what women can offer, if I’m not willing to see what I have to offer?
I’d be foolish to believe I have let go of this. It’s a process of letting go. And letting go. And letting go.
Marianne Williamson says we no longer have time to preach or sing to anyone but the choir. I know you beautiful women and men know all of this. What I know I now am asking for is a community of women and men to walk with, side by side, as we do whatever is being asked of us by that which wants to move through us, by that which wants our freedom, by that which is dying to be born.
Will you join me? Can I join you?
Veiled is by Patti Agapi. You can see more of Patti’s work on Flickr. Thank you, Patti, for permission to share your work here.
All the fear has left me now
I’m not frightened anymore
It’s my heart that pounds beneath my flesh
It’s my mouth that pushes out this breath
And if I shed a tear I won’t cage it
I won’t fear love
And if I feel a rage I won’t deny it
I won’t fear love.
Okay. I admit it. Here. To you. Now.
I… am in love with… God.
I know, I know. The ‘G’ word scares people.
I could say Spirit, the Sacred, the Divine, the Universe, Nature. I have and I do and I will.
But, something in me melts when I acknowledge I am in love with God. This isn’t the love I always thought love was; it’s the deep humility and awe I feel each time I experience the love and grace available to me when I’m stumbling out of my own distractedness, and ‘fumbling towards ecstasy‘.
Even as I write the word God here, and share it with you, I can feel old thoughts and feelings of fear creep across my mind. Old feelings brought about by a system that turned God into something I felt I had to fear, because if I didn’t, I would find myself in some bad kinda way.
Last night, Jeff and I went to Inspiration point in Tilden Park, here in the Berkeley hills. We went to mark the Solstice, the longest day of the year, by sitting in nature. You know, the nature that is hills, trees, birds, sun, wind, moon. It’s easy to say, “I’m going to go spend time in nature”, as if somewhere I’ve forgotten I am nature, you’re nature, we’re all nature.
We found a bench where the view didn’t quite catch the sun setting, but we could see its orange glow spreading out across Mt. Tam and the Golden Gate.
From our spot, I breathed in the scent of the wild.
Two red-tail hawks, life mates, followed each other from tree top to tree top. Each time they sang out their tell-tale ‘Screeeee’, and each mate responded to the other, something in me also responded, as if I were also being called by this wild, untamable force that moves both the red-tail and me.
A gopher, close by to my right foot, chewed vigorously on the long grass, causing it (the grass) to disappear down into the earth. She was chewing with such intensity, such wild ferocity.
As the sun set, the slighty-over-a-half moon glowed intensely against the deep blue almost-night sky.
Something stirred deep within me. It always does when I open to the wild forces, the wilderness that we really live in…and that lives us. I am wild and feral, even though so much of my personality was created to keep this bit of reality away from my conscious awareness. After all, if I remember how wild I really am, what will I do? What kind of trouble will I create? What kind of joy might I know? What kind of emptiness and ecstasy might I fumble into? What kind of rage might I feel and express?
This wilderness is God. I know my old fears of a mean, sitting in a throne man, are the lies I was told. This wilderness out there, and in here, are God. This wild and woolly force, which is completely unknowable and yet totally available, is God. This life force pulsing through my veins is God. It is powerful. It is fierce. It is loving.
I can’t say I don’t fear it or that I’m not frightened of it anymore. In fact, the opposite is true. The wilderness scares the bejeebers out of me. But this fear is not the fear I was taught about God. This fear is not about my sinfulness, my automatic ticket to hell simply because I am human…and female to boot.
This fear is that heart-thumping, breath-catching feeling when you know you’re being called to step into the wilderness within, that fullest place of empty that awaits.
This fear comes from my remembrance of wild, of passion, of unleashing. This wild has nothing to do with pretending to be an over-sexed psuedo-goddess that lives to please others. This wild will never be tamed. It can’t be tamed. This wild knows tears and rage. It doesn’t deny them.
This wild is calling me to know the tears and rage that remain buried deep in this body. It is calling me to know the shame and humiliation. It is calling me to know the love and the power that waits, just under the darkest of dark emotions.
All of this, all of everything, all of nothing is God. And even then, I don’t have a clue as to what God is. I just know the love.
There is much rage hidden in women’s bodies.
Do you feel rage? Do you deny tears? Do you fear this wildness? Do you fear love?
And, if you are a man?
What can you share about rage? About the wilderness? About your own fear of tears?
He was smart, educated, friendly. He was young. He asked what I do for a living, as we were in a somewhat business setting.
I told him I am working to empower women, that I coach and teach courses about creativity, and that I’m writing a book about women, creativity, sensuality, pleasure and power.
He smiled back and seemed interested. He then asked why the book wasn’t for men, too. He said, “You’re losing half your audience if you leave men out.” or something to that effect. I smiled and thought about that for a moment. Yes, that would be half the population. It could be half my audience if the book spoke to both genders.
I asked him to elaborate. I asked him to share what he meant.
He then told me that when he first heard me speak about what I am doing, his first thought was that this was about Feminism and he felt himself recoil, feeling that he didn’t want to hear it. But, he stayed with me.
At first, I was so surprised that he felt this. I told him so. I felt into what I had said, looking for where I might have interjected any sort of rejection. I couldn’t find anything, but then so much can be unconscious.
I then spoke to him about how I see things. That feminism isn’t about rejection. It is about honoring.
Feminism is about women being recognized, witnessed, honored, respected, and treated as full human beings by all. It does not reject, it honors.
He then said something to the effect of, “You know, I ‘d love to talk to you more about this. I have a group of friends, men, that would love to talk about this.”
We continued to talk about women and men, and about how things can be generational – how women and men from different generations see this all differently. Makes total sense. And then our conversation ended.
My Heart Knows
As the day came to an end, I continued to consider our exchange. I became very curious about this sense of recoiling, rejecting, ‘othering’ that happens between many men and women, even women and women, when we speak of feminism.
How do we work to end the institutionalized forms of discrimination in the world that so inhumanely treat women and children when there are so many tender feelings that get triggered between us?
I’ve been working to separate out my anger at how things are from the desire of the mind to reject, to separate, to make wrong. Anger can be a fiery force that fuels change. It’s not bad. If anger is here, it must be felt so it moves through. And as it moves through, it can fuel my work to make things better. But anger projected onto others just pushes away. It rejects. I know it because I’ve done it over and over and over. It doesn’t feel good.
My heart certainly doesn’t reject. My heart knows this is about wholeness, about the basic goodness of all beings. My heart doesn’t fear. It longs to connect, to heal, to create something new where all are honored. My heart knows this fiery force of anger can be a positive force, bringing forth a creative power from within.
My mind tends to ‘other’…meaning, it sees other people as something separate. When it fears, it wants to compare pain, compare injustices, compare anything just so it feels separate and better, and therefore safe.
Finding balance within ourselves
I looked in this man’s eyes and saw such a willingness to listen, to hear, to consider, to talk. He came back into the conversation, after feeling the quick pangs of wanting to reject. What a beautiful moment that was.
I know our hearts were listening to each other. Somewhere inside we actively chose to stay in it, to listen, to hear, to witness. And in this moment, my mind softened into my heart. I could see the humanness in him and his desire to know and understand, and his desire to be heard.
Somewhere inside of me, I reject my own masculine qualities. And, I reject that I am capable of heinous acts as well. Somewhere inside, I don’t want to see. This man’s gift to me was just this…he didn’t reject me. And in this act, something inside me was healed. I can’t speak for him, but I hope he felt a similar sense of acceptance and experienced being heard, witnessed, honored and respected.
Listening into Liberation
I’m going to take him up on his offer to meet with me, to hold conversation, to listen without separating and rejecting, to hear with an open heart.
Somewhere within, I know, we women must make the move to liberation – a liberation that begins from within, disentangling ourselves from the beliefs we hold that keep us snared and entangled in the old thought structures and paradigms that required the word feminism to come into being in the first place.
The real question is, how can we move toward this liberation, reclaiming the feminine inside and the feminine out there, without rejecting the masculine out there and the masculine within?
Your joy is my joy. Your sorrow is my sorrow. Your success is my success. There is no separation. There is just One.
A Year of Great Promise, (C) Shiloh Sophia McCloud
There is a Hassidic saying which goes: “When the moon shall shine as bright as the sun, the Messiah will come.”
Woman through her struggle to understand herself and to articulate the highest values of the feminine principle, could begin to make the moon shine so that it softens the sun-brightness of our present consciousness. In accepting her depression, her suffering, her loneliness, her longing to outgrow the inarticulateness and powerlessness of her past existence, she may accomplish something truly heroic and extraordinary for life, something which humanity in centuries to come will recognise and cherish. Each woman who gives birth to herself and responds to what life is asking her to accomplish, contributes to the survival of our species and the diminishment of human suffering.
Over the past week, I have written about despair and grief, emotions that are far from the flowers and chocolates of Valentine’s Day. And, many of my friends are experiencing a depth of emotion, similar to what I have written.
Deep emotions are part of our experience as women – and, perhaps, it is becoming so every day that passes. Why so, you ask?
As Anne Baring writes on her site, at this time in history, women are birthing a new kind of consciousness. They are vessels for the shift that is occurring
Women share a different kind of love, one that isn’t always reflected out there in the culture. When you know, and feel, this love, it changes your life. May you always know this love is here, as a deep well to draw from, especially in times when you are polishing the moon within you.
So, this is a valentine to you, dear woman, dear friend.
May you know the beauty of your own soul.
May you give birth to the radiant You that has been there all along guiding you to this day.
May you trust in Her voice as she calls you to listen to your own deepest wisdom.
May you come to know that you are part of a long history of women who love life and will do anything to nourish and encourage its growth and emergence.
May you see yourself as a Mother, through and through, whether or not you have ever given birth to babies, and may you call forth this Ancient Motherhood within, to love yourself wholly and deeply, first, so you have the energy and strength to share your love with others.
May you always shower yourself with love and compassion, trusting that you are wholly, and holy, female, just as you are.