Spirited Women’s Network
Many of you know that I work part time in the disability sector, what you may not know about me is that for the past 8 years or so I have been experiencing what I call ‘my turns'(You will see the connection in a minute). I have had all sorts of test for this EEG, cat scans, MRI, been prodded, poked and finally pronounced that they are silent migraines. Which means, in terms of my body, that I don’t get the head aches but I certainly get the symptoms. When I have a full blown ‘turn’ I cannot move my body or speak. Which ever position I lay down in, is what I stay in for as long as it takes for the switch to flick and I am back in the land of the moving. I can hear and understand everything, I simply cannot get my body to co-operate. This can last anywhere between 20 mins and 3 hours. What I always think about when I feel trapped in my body, when I can’t wipe a tear or snot away, or remove the blankets because I am too warm, or shift positions because my hand is starting to hurt; are the beautiful children I see at school who are like this 24/7. Those cerebral palsy kids that are reliant on us for everything. What those turns have done is made me vastly more aware of noticing the little things with these students.
I can remember at teachers college doing an assignment where I had to spend an entire outing blind folded – from getting dressed to eating, to going to the toilet. I tell you it was scary and enlightening. For example, when someone told me we were coming to some stairs I immediately asked are they going up or down and how many? I would never have thought that before. The old adage of don’t judge anyone until you have walked in their shoes is certainly one that we can take to heart. However I would like to add to that…
If you can imagine that we are all standing on the outer rim of a stationary wheel with a light in the middle on the hub, then from a northerly position we would be adamant that the light is south from us. And if we were standing on the rim in the south position then we would be adamant that the light is north. However if we then turned the wheel we would begin to see not only the light but each other from completely different perspectives, many different perspectives. And when we returned to our position in the north or south, we would then know that we were neither right or wrong, just different and that in reality we all stand in the light.
It is the same for when we look at people with a disability or from a different culture, race, religion, sex, age, social circle. If we could turn the wheel and then back, how much more compassion, empathy, understanding and tolerance would we have. We don’t have to stay in that position if it doesn’t feel right but we can certainly create space for allowing and accepting.
Next time you are having difficulty with someone, or are just bewildered by another’s behaviour or thoughts, turn the wheel and back again and see if it gives you fresh insight and a wider ‘comfort circle’ to dwell in.
When my daughter was about thirteen she had a very close nit group of friends. They kept this perpetual diary that they took turns writing in and decorating for a week. As you can imagine at that age it was a fabulous support and recording of teen age discovery, worries, dreams. It sustained them for about two years. Just as it was about to wind up I decided to to write something to share with them. I found that piece of writing again recently and it got me wondering what other people would have written to either their own daughters or to their younger self. What advice would you give to a younger woman? Here is what I said…..
To All of My Beautiful Daughter
This gift of wisdom I give to you. If you were to take these words to heart and live by them, your life will know joy, purpose and integrity.
“You create your life, all of it. The good, the great, the bad, the ugly. Sometimes we don’t understand at the time why we have created something, especially when it hurts. Sometimes it is because we have created unconsciously and sometimes Divine wisdom steps in and creates what we need, not necessarily what we want. But know that you are powerful enough to create exactly what you think about.
You do this by the choices you make. You make the choices you do depending on how you feel about yourself and how you see yourself relating to the world. How you treat yourself is how other people and the world will treat you.
So above all else know with every fiber of your being that you are special, unique and of the Goddess essence. Act like a goddess, express like a goddess, expect like a goddess. Everything that comes from you is sacred. Whether it is your time, your energy, your sexuality, your love, your feelings – only give it where it is deserved and to those who will honour and treat it as the gift it is.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you, either by words or actions that you are anything less. Remind each other everyday of your beauty, both in and out. And if you see a friend forgetting what she is worth, gently remind her.
You all have a wonderful bond, a sensational energy as a group. Keep it strong and centred. No boy, or situation should come in between. Take care of yourselves and each other.
As a mother, as a daughter, but mostly as a women, I give you my love and blessings.”
I wasn’t given words like this when I was that age. A lot of shoulds and should nots. A lot of subtle but powerful messages of disempowerment. If this was your experience too, then maybe you could write a letter to your younger self or go into meditation and talk with her.
Do you ever get those really random urges. (No not those kind of urges). You know the ones where you are standing in a queue somewhere and you get that sneaky voice in your head that says ‘Go on pinch the cute bum in front of you’. Those thoughts that are unbidden and usually inappropriate. I often wonder where they come from. Is it my inner child? My saucy secret self? My rebel? My naughty Nat. Some aspect of me that hides away until I am unguarded and then pops our some like demented jack in a box to scare the daylights out of me and if I was to follow through with the suggestion, the rest of the population too. Go on, you know you have had them too. Those thoughts or feelings that if you actually enacted them you might get locked up in jail or in the loony bin. Well because I can’t or won’t actually act them out this is about as close as I am going to get to the thrill of seeing them fulfilled. So here are my top 10 random urges that if I had the guts or lack of inhibition I would do…..
- Do a handstand or cartwheel in the middle of the road, the Plaza, a boring meeting or restaurant.
- Pinch the bum of the cute guy in front of me.
- Dance in a fountain in my bikinis in the middle of City Square.
- Sing at the top of my lungs in the supermarket to the song over the loud speaker.
- Run around and pull up all the shorts to a decent level.
- Hug strangers who look sad.
- Sky dive naked.
- Have a picnic on the median strip.
- Wear pajamas and take pillows and blankets to the movies.
- Set up a double bed, complete with mozzie net etc on the beach to watch the sun set and the moon rise.
I tell you my head is full of them. So if you see me standing somewhere with this mischievous smile on my face and a far away look, don’t disturb, I am quietly letting the scenarios unfold in mind.
Recently I had a birthday gathering and before all the festivities commenced I wanted to create an atmosphere and space of safety, support and intimacy. I did this by having all the women sit in circle, participating in a couple of activities that assisted everyone to melt away the barriers between strangers and to join as sisters. For some this was the first time they had been involved in something like this and for others it had been a very long time between. The magic that was generated and created by this simple exercise was palatable and really set the energy for the whole day. Needless to say it was a fabulously fun, open, bonding celebration.
What is it about ‘circle’ that can craft such powerful connections and why do we respond in the way we do? I believe it is because when we sit in circle, on many levels, we are ‘remembering’. To begin with it is symbolic of the cyclic nature of our existence – Wheel of life, the day and night, seasons, menstruation cycles, growth, the moon and sun. It is that inter-connectedness and inter -dependence; we are all one. Nothing exists without the other.The circle is sacred geometry found within and throughout our very existence so without our even having to be aware the essence of circle influences us.
Secondly it represents ‘space’ and boundaries. By stepping into and out of circle we are entering and exiting sacred space. It provides a container for spiritual practice to unfold. When embraced in the circle there is a sense of belonging, security, potential. This is unity, protection, wholeness.
Thirdly as women we also respond to circle from ancestral knowing. In circle is how we cooked, attended children, crafted, mended, worshiped, discussed, danced and surrendered. We ‘know’ this energy. We know the power of facing/mirroring the others in front, beside and around us. So when we are invited to do so now, in this modern world, there is a part of us that says ‘I am home’.
And as modern women we need more opportunity to be in circle whether they are magic circles for sacred practice or fairy rings for fun and frivolity. Perhaps in our time poor culture it is a combination of both, a complimentary joining that takes two circles and forms the infinity sign. For are we not infinite beings?
Creating circle for family, friends and colleagues takes very little effort and the effects can be transformational. Once a month circle for what ever reason you choose could bring enchanting and divine experience into your life. Go on be a circle sister.
I met my first husband when I was twenty one. At the time I remember ringing my mum and saying that I would marry this man. How I knew that after only one meeting I am not sure but something within me just knew. I wish I could say that it was a happy, healthy and long lasting relationship, but I can’t. I ‘loved’ him deeply to my own detriment. We lasted 15years before we ended it for the second and final time. Do I believe he was my soul mate? Yes I do. I learnt so much about myself in that relationship. I feel to the absolute low of lows but in clawing my way to the light again, I strengthened, grew, blossomed and formed.
When we think or hear of soul mates it is often in that ‘romantic novel’ sense of living happy ever after! But what if there are soul mates for different purposes? I had to love my first husband enough to stick around and fight for what we had. I had to believe in us enough to want to grow and evolve. I am certainly happy not to be there now but would I be who I am if I didn’t go through this experience with him. Would I have the relationship I have now without learning those lessons?
See what I have now is the ‘happy-ever-after’ kind of love. Oh my god it could not be so different. Like with my first husband, I knew without a doubt that this man was for me. It was a long, difficult and confronting journey for us to be together but it was worth it. This feels like my reward, my treasure and pleasure for doing the hard yards. If you ask me if he is my soul mate I would say joyously ‘yes’.
So does this mean we can have more than one? Do soul mates actually exist or is it our heart calling for the experience of relationship with specific people? Instead of soul mates is it soul family that we remember and resonate with? I am fascinated by what draws people together above others who have equally attractive qualities. This past weekend I attended a wedding where the bride and groom were both in their mid forties, they had never married or had children. They waited a long time to find each other. Soul mates, divine time or just poor dating skills?
We have relationships through out our lives but we all know the ones that had a deep connection or impact on us. Is it just about the learnings or is it something much more ‘ordained’? Is it both? Are they intrinsic lessons that need to be learned with a specific person or a relationship in general? Oh the mind and heart boggles!
Soul mate –
- A soulmate or soul mate is a person with whom one has a feeling of deep and natural affinity, love, intimacy, sexuality, spirituality, and/or compatibility. …