Last Thursday at my women's circle, I began our circle chat with a centering exercise, a visualisation of the Shekinah or feminine spirit, enfolding us in her maternal wings. Then I read from a book I am loving these days, I Am A Woman Finding Her Own Voice, by Janet Quinn. (see her website at http://www.haelanworks.com).
With her inspiration, I am learning to live from the inside out. With the fall season, I am once again turning inwards to discover what best to do with my time, how best to serve, which project to focus on. There are highs and lows, days I feel inspired to write, days I throw in the dish towel, days I get busy cleaning house and baking muffins instead of paying attention to my own voice.
Something I read today in her book really rang true, because something woke me in the middle of the night to tell me the same thing: my own deep womansoul is crying out for a life of my own.
"Slowly, I stopped worrying and I began to look at my life. I listened for the faint sound of my own true voice, buried far below all of my identities and roles and accompplishments, below my shoulds and my have-tos, my fears and y hopes. I sat. I watched the sunrise and learned to identify birds. I waited. I watched the grass go from summer green to fall brown. I wrote in my journal every day, and every day I listened for her, for my authentic self.
"Finally, slowly, I began to hear the voice of my deep womansoul crying out for a life of my own, pleading for a chance to discover my own unique song; to dance to my own choreography; to define my own purpose, direction, and vision, separate from what the world expected of me; separste from trying to be good and stay out of trouble. I heard her saying, You are enough; just you, just who you are; you are good enough. You can stop proving it now. It's safe to come out; trust me, I will lead you. Trust this process. Trust that you are not alone."
It is that process of trusting the inner voice, the silent nudgings, the serendipity of chance readings and encounters, above all facing the fear of not being 'good' if I follow my own path. I am in process. I am not finished yet. But I can still travel with my good companion, my feelings, my body wisdom, and breathe into my body. Stay with the feelings, let them come up and show themselves, speak their truth to me. Because I want to write from a true place, teach from a true place, and my feeling is that it begins with self-acceptance.
This morning it began with a mini-retreat, some yoga, some cradling of the creaky hips on the floor, some stretches and music and candle-light, some reading of Mary Oliver's poetry - you do not have to be good, she says, you just have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.
How I love to hear this line, which allows me to be good and love myself at the same time.
this yearning is for being at home with myself
this restless seeking of 'what to do' is really just resistance to being home with myself
I am at home with myself today,
and it feels good
ps planning a retreat for women called Poetry for your woman's soul, in November