Thursday, October 06, 2011

How Might Your Life Have Been Different, If…?

For the woman you are and the women you love...

How might your life have been different if there had been a place for you? A place for you to go…a place of women, to help you learn the ways of women…a place where you felt nurtured, a place where you felt loved, as if an ancient flow was sustaining you and steadying you as you sought to become yourself. —Judith Duerk, A Circle of Stones

I remember reading these words by Judith Duerk many years ago, and crying. I remember longing to know my true self. I wanted to know what it would be like to be fully seen, heard and recognized. I wondered if there was a place within me that could redeem myself from the burden I had carried for so many years.

I was exhausted. I had been achieving myself to death, until my body finally said stop. My emotions were raw and I was just managing to get by from day to day, as I slowly unpeeled the layers to discover who I really was.

Then I met Judith and sat in women's circle with her. In her loving presence and with a circle of open-hearted women, I truly discovered the Sacred Feminine for the first time. And I fell in love with how I felt when I let my over-exercised masculine need for achievement take a rest and created space to be still, to listen, to recognize the depths of me.

I was amazed by how much pain I realized I had been carrying. I was even more amazed at how much beauty was underneath the pain longing to express itself.

It was several years before I had my profound experience in Egypt, where I remembered in every cell of my body, the slow, compassionate, holding essence of the Sacred Feminine.

It was several more years before I received the Native ceremonial bowl and ancient ceremonies and meditations of the Path of the Sacred Feminine that I am privileged to share today.

What I now understand is that, as a woman, I needed and craved, to discover myself as a woman, in a woman’s way. I simply wasn’t able to discover my true nature immersed in masculine practices.

In a world where the masculine energies of action, expression and achievement are highly valued, we as women can find ourselves overwhelmed and exhausted, as we attempt to demonstrate our own value in the world. We work, clean our homes and yards, buy groceries, take care of our families and rarely, it seems, find enough time to be still enough to experience the great gifts that live within our own Sacred Feminine nature.

How can our intuition possibly be heard, when we are so busy? How can we set down the burdens of regret, shame, pain, numbness, confusion, anger and sorrow, if there isn’t time to be compassionately present to ourselves? How can we be reborn in the wonder of our desires, if we do not from time to time, enter into the sacred womb from which we came?

It is difficult isn’t it? It can feel as though we are constantly living within the constraints of our perceived limits, rather than in the full delight of who we truly are.

The Grandmothers of this ancient practice remind us, we experience our freedom as women when we shed our limited bodies to become our limitless selves. “So,” some of us wondered, “how do you shed the limits?”

Our question was answered. We were taught how ancient women held space for each other so that the limits they felt actually dissolved and they emerged in the beauty of their unique expressions as women. They showed us how each woman learned to make a meaningful difference in the world through her relationships with other women in her circle.

Many of us did not grow up with women that knew how to hold us and love us into the emergence of our own womanhood. We struggled, as did our mothers and grandmothers. The old feminine ways of holding a woman into her womanhood had been forgotten.

But they are being remembered. The ancient practices are here for us to learn now. And you can discover the woman within you that longs to be born anew. How would your life be different if there was a place for you to discover yourself in the ways of women?

Discover how New Dream Foundation’s Women’s Retreat is a space for you to discover yourself at: http://www.newdreamfoundation.com/womens-retreat.htm