I'm starting to get nervous. I go on stage in four days (YoniVerse Monologues) to tell a story that has held me captive for almost 30 years.
In the years that I unquestioningly believed that story, I also ran from it and all of the emotions that went with it... primarily grief, shame (is that an emotion?), and fear.
These emotions have come up to be healed in the four months that I've been crafting this story... I've done lots of crying and speaking truth in this last four months.
I've had a chance to be honest about who I believed myself to be then... and who I believe myself to be now.
I've been given the gift of having to condense such a long story into seven short minutes... because it made me get out of the details to find the theme.
I realized that what I'd always longed for had been there all along... I just hadn't been able to see it because it didn't look like I expected or wanted.
I have been able to look back and see the strength, imperfection, fortitude, and triumphs that I have never seen before. I have felt compassion for my younger self.
I have been transformed by the deep listening of my sister storytellers... and by the development of their stories.
I am not who I was before I wrote this story. I will never be the same again.
I believe that women telling their own stories takes steps toward liberating women everywhere.
I've been hearing the term Body Wisdom around more and more. It's a compelling term because it implies both what we do know and what we don't know. It suggests that we are more powerful than we believe, and yet we need to go to previously unexplored places to find it.
Body Wisdom indicates something innate... that we have something simply by virtue of the fact that we have a body. It also points to the chasm between how we're taught to use our bodies, and the potential the body has to guide us through our lives. The "wisdom" is stated outright... but how many of us think that we are wise? My experience is... very few. But the concept of Body Wisdom holds the promise of a knowing that is important, yet largely untapped.
What do we get when we do put in the effort, the attention, the time to get to know this Body Wisdom? We gain a mentor... a guide through the world in touch with our own sensations of it. It is possible to allow ourselves to tap into our deepest resources... to know what we need... to begin to live our true glorious lives.
Sound dreamy? Yeah... but it's also real. Which means that some things are wildly unpleasant. Some feelings are inconvenient at best. It can still be hard to bring back to this moment the mind that is worried about the future. Some moments are so full it's almost hard to describe. But, I'll tell you... dreamy + real = present.
Like any relationship mine with my Body Wisdom has required time and space... to develop trust and lines of communication. It also requires compassion, care, and devotion. It really isn't so different from any relationship. I'd say the first step was trust... I had to believe that I could relate to myself differently than I ever had before... and I had to trust that I could handle what came forward.
Again, like any relationship, there were times I had to slow down, communicate with meticulous care. There were times I got frustrated and called the whole thing off. There were times I fell so deeply in love that I was never able to stop reaching out.
My relationship with my Body Wisdom is not without hard times. It probably never will be. It's like other relationships. It can be easy to take for granted and always requires a recommitment in those moments.
Do you know your Whole Body Wisdom? How do you interact with it or know it?
For me... my Body Wisdom is where I can say things that are true to me... I can give myself acknowledgements for a job well done... I can say that I love who I am... I can be honest with myself about what was uncomfortable. It's also the place where I'm able to name my most true feelings without judgment... without hearing another voice say "but you shouldn't/don't have any right/can't...".
It took a long time... and a lot of doubt assessments... a lot of dedication...to come to this place. But it was worth it. Because it feels now like I am my own ally, not my own worst enemy. I have more energy because I'm not wasting it on cutting myself down. I'm still a bit afraid of putting myself out there in the world... but I'm certain I can hold my own... knowing what I want... and asking for what I need.
This month's Body Wisdom Healing Circle is Meeting The Mentor. It's the 4th call in the Hero(ine)'s Journey series. Unsurprisingly our "mentor" is the Body Wisdom. So... if you're curious about how to connect with yours... to initiate or develop that relationship... I'd love to see you on the call. If you're already on my email list you'll receive the invitation. If you want on the list you can go here to sign in for the call number.
Since October I've been working on a personal and deeply vulnerable story about my life. I've been held in this process by a group of nine other women... all doing similar work. We're writing our stories of being women... of our own little slice of what it means to be born female. It's called the YoniVerse Monologue project.
My story is finally written and I'm beginning to memorize it. And then... when I thought I'd done the hard work... and that I was at the easy part... the resistance set in. I felt like I didn't like the story anymore. It had been through so many iterations... and I was feeling sad to edit certain parts out in the interested of condensing a story that took 27 years to unfold, down into 7 minutes of dialogue.
And there... wriggling at the end of the rope that resistance handed me... I realized that I had an opportunity. I am at a choice point. I get to recommit or give up. And hell no I'm not giving up! So... the resistance became my invitation to find within me what I REALLY want... to find my direction... to rely on my own wisdom...
Where to look for the wisdom? My body. Resistance is too much holding... too much tension... not enough flow. So I looked to my body to show me where things were tight, sore, slow. And I began to move them, to pay attention to these places, asking them what information they had for me.
And my heel, where I tore ligaments recently... told me about foundations... and being true to myself as I edited my story. It spoke of feeling solid and grounded in my story. And my lower back reminded me to get support, to not do it alone... as that had been one of my deepest wounds in this story... trying to do this alone when I had no idea what to do. They reminded me to address these things every day.
My Body Wisdom is my mentor. It is the structure, the framework, by which I understand meaning in my life.
If you'd like to feel more connected to your Body Wisdom, this is a perfect time to join us in the Body Wisdom Healing Circle. It's a monthly (totally free) call-in gathering for turning toward ourselves to find the answers that we seek. In fact, we've modeled this year of calls on the Hero(ine)'s Journey. March's call will be all about locating our Body Wisdom, what it means to cultivate that relationship, and to begin to reorient our physiological pathways toward connection and sensation of our selves as we prepare to Meet Your Mentor!
I've had the great fortune lately, of getting a chance to look at my internal dialogue in a new way. I found that the story I told myself, that I always assumed to be true, was actually false. It may have applied at the time it was created... or maybe it was only created to justify something I felt I needed to do.
When the story got wrapped in shame and betrayal and isolation... it solidified itself... like some kind of rock. And then it was impenetrable. It just wasn't possible to notice it as a story anymore. It was too overwhelming to address all of the emotions at once. So it sat, emanating its lies... inflicting more damage... as I pretended it didn't exist.
But, these things have a way of continuing to insinuate themselves into our lives... they refuse to sit quietly in the corner... despite all hope that they will. We always cross our fingers and hope we can leave it behind us... don't we? I did.
And as I've been gloriously held in the unwrapping of this story... and the dismantling of the rock that seemed to hold it all as one story... I have found so many personal truths. And one of the truths... is that this story, at it's core, is false.
It means there's room inside of me to write a new story.
In holding myself to unearthing this rock... and in the being held as I saw and felt the things that went into its creation... I've been able to find within me a Fierce Mother. She is the one who cuts to the chase, speaks the truth, and she's always fought for the light... even when the light was the tiniest glimmer. She never gives up. She knows that life is complex and messy and that she can find love in it somewhere. And she is relentless in her pursuit.
She has the trust, the certainty, the clarity, that I felt I lacked. And I'm so grateful that somewhere inside of me the thing I needed but was sure I did not have was actually there.
So the new story begins... what do I want it to be? I know I want it to be more fun... I want it to contain connection and love and laughter and truth. I want it to contain healing tears and words. I want it to be about standing for humanity and desire and meeting needs.
I'm ready... to recommit to the Hero(ine)'s Journey! It's time!
I'm an explorer of inner realms, a pattern observer, and an invitation maker. I believe that healing the world starts within.
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