Will I Get Burned Like My Grandmothers Did?Jan 18, 2022
I did my best to stay in the lane. I took classes, learned theories, applied behavioral science, watched the best of the best, and emulated what I saw.
I taught what I knew and got well deserved pats on the back, that would temporarily make me feel like what I was doing was making a difference. The high was short lived.
I needed to stay in the game. Learn more, deliver more, teach more, post more. Bombarded with the messages from left and right how I need to hustle, never give up on my dreams, and choose between sleep and success, I was in a constant state of "not enoughness" and playing catch-up.
Watching powerful, hard driven leaders, I bought into the tale that to succeed, I would have to be like them. To improve, overcome, get 1% better every day. Chisel this statue of perfection called "my potential" out of the body that was increasingly dragging and putting up a fight.
I took pride in getting things done, checking them off the list in everlasting pursuit of...not exactly sure what.
I pushed myself to exercise daily whether I wanted it or not, rode 100 miles on a bike in a day (really), automated my healthy eating with precision of an electronic microscope, and scheduled Netflix binges, when I thought I was going to loose my mind.
At the same time my marriage fell apart, my son was struggling, and the only affection I was experiencing was from my cat.
On the day I asked for divorce, I was leaving for a training in mindfulness for medical students at a retreat in Baltimore. Surrounded by professionals from other medical centers, at our first meet, greet and introduce yourself session, I completely fell apart.
My mind broke. Like a dam that suddenly exploded, I gave in to the total devastation and failure of my mentally constructed life. The river of tears and snot washed away the mud over my eyes, and I saw clearly that I didn't know what the f-k I was doing.
But as luck (or my Guardian Somethings) would have it, I was at a mindfulness and meditation retreat with nothing but time, nature and introspection to occupy me.
A meandering walk amongst trees, not yet awakened to the spring, slowed me. I felt my breath, my feet, my body as if I were meeting a stranger.
Mind you, I meditated for "20 minutes per day every day for the past 20+ years". Ha! The mind can really mess with you.
That day, amongst the trees, reminded me of the feeling I had, when on my 40th birthday I took a pole dancing class, and burst into tears mid stretch, exclaiming " OMG, it's still there!" I was referring to the spark of aliveness, the sensuality, the sexy, wild woman underneath the layers of societal conditioning and daily grind.
My Woman awakened. My dazed and confused mind was too tired to try to make sense of it all, so I surrendered to my body.
Starting with total acceptance of the mess I was in, I began to create safety in my nervous system to feel. I danced my grief, I screamed my rage, I shook my fear and rocked my loneliness. I dropped deep into the wisdom of a woman, who knows how to care for her new born baby without having to read a book.
I began to honor my impulses, giving my body what it was asking for, even when it wasn't convenient, and slowly my nervous system started to unravel. The trauma, the conditioning, the maladaptive coping strategies that were pushing me towards destruction in exchange for a crumb of significance, or belonging.
Then playfulness returned, then pleasure, then sensuality, and I quickly learned that the more pleasure I allowed, the more profound and quicker the healing became.
The more I tapped into sexual energy, the more creativity, playfulness, love, and power I experienced. All of the sudden I felt no more need to march to the well established tune, and began dancing to my own.
But here is the catch. The key to the healing lies in the area most fraught with controversy, taboos, hatred, and oppression. Our own sexuality.
One aspect of ourselves that is not ALLOWED in civilized society holds key to liberation of a powerful feminine. Do I understand now why women were burnt at the stake for self expression and body worship? I do.
The question is, are we going to allow the world, with its narrow thinking, to strip us of our power, ridicule us, and burn us at the stake of public opinion? Or, will we stand up for ourselves and one another in celebration of the deep, sensual, wise, and mystical power that is held in our sex, and allow it to heal our burnout, and bring us back home?
I invite you to join me in the sisterhood that celebrates women as we are. Sexy, wild, intuitive, and wise creatures with unique skills and perspectives. The world needs who we are and what we know.