What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open. ~Muriel Rukeyser
1. Truth: I am stuck in some longstanding, deep, powerful habitual patterns and ways of being that no longer serve me, (if they ever did). For example, I use food to comfort and distract myself, to numb my feelings, which as Brene’ Brown so wisely pointed out doesn’t work because “you can’t selectively numb.” You numb the bad feelings and you lose your sense of the good as well. Sure, there’s no longer fear or anger, but joy and love are gone as well.
I don’t always believe in my own value or worth, my basic goodness and right to love and acceptance. I don’t always trust in my own knowing and ability, I don’t sustain faith in the power of being who I truly am. I play it small, I hide, I concede my power, I wait for permission or an invitation, I conform and comply.
2. Truth: I am too hard on myself, too mean, too harsh, too pushy, too impatient, too much. I spend a lot of time “smashing myself to bits.” Eric came back yesterday from running with the dogs at Lory State Park, and I was commenting on how in shape he is right now. I said “maybe that means in another year or two, I will be as well.” It’s a running joke between us that my life, pretty consistently, happens about a year or two after his. Whatever he accomplishes, whatever big realization or major life achievement, he seems to get there before me.
His response was “Give yourself a break. You’ve been busy with other things.” He said it with such complete kindness and love and pride, that I absolutely believed him. Wham-o. Holy wow. Lightbulb. The truth: forgive yourself, accept what is as it is, it’s all okay, and everything happens in its own way and time. That short phrase, said with such faith and compassion, “you’ve been busy with other things,” gave me permission to stop beating myself up. It’s okay that my middle is growing, getting wider and softer. It’s okay that I get more easily winded, tire faster, can’t run or workout as hard as I used to. I have been busy with other things, important things.
That lasted for about five minutes before I started at it again, but for that moment, I felt at ease. Reading in my old journals how my current struggle with food and health has been going on for years, I see in those pages desperation and despair. I see how I beat up and hate myself, and it makes me sad. Sad because it is so clear that all the meanness has done nothing to change the situation. Clearly my method doesn’t work.
3. Truth: Any woman who is stuck in any way, who is trapped in her own habitual patterns and unhealthy habits, can understand this flavor of suffering, and has the potential to be helped, if only she would ask for it, seek it out. I wholeheartedly believe that any of us can wake up, stop digging the hole we find ourselves in, come alive again. This truth is why I want, need this upcoming retreatshop with Rachel–she can shift and unblock the stuck, move it, break it up, unlock it, cause a crack wide enough to let some light in.
One wish: That those of us hungry for change, looking for help, might find ourselves at a Well-Fed Woman’s Mini Retreatshop or with Rachel, someone wise, helpful, and kind who can guide us towards claiming the life and the love we are hungry for. I wish this wish for those women that Rachel describes when she answers the question “Who are the retreatshops for?”
Women who want to say yes to themselves instead of no.
Women who sense that they have more greatness to birth.
Women who desire to know and trust their own hungers.
Women who want to trust their desires.
Women who crave the courage to step more deeply into their lives.
Women who want to explore their relationship to themselves.
Women who know the power of women sitting with other women.