The most powerful obstacle in my life has long been fear/self doubt/body image issues/imposter-syndrome and that nagging little voice in the back of my head that is so utterly convinced of my not-enoughness. All of my life I wanted to do things, but only did them safely from the background. I wanted to act, but always took small roles. I wanted to dance, but stayed in the small performances. The friendships and business partnerships I chose often landed me in the role of the waning moon next to their brilliant sunlight. No matter how much I was doing in the background, it was their personality that shown. I was never the one others were drawn to; Never the one anyone remembered. Even with Red Tents, I had begun intending to be a leader. I had wanted to lend my energy to this important circle in a greater capacity. I instead allowed myself to slip into a quieter role. It was no one's fault by my own. I liked this sheltered safety. My partner now is a brilliant blazing ball of Sunlight, but she is also immensely supportive and has helped me to find my own light. I also now have a husband who believes in me without reservation, and is thrilled - not frightened by - my wild. They have made all the difference.
Yesterday I intended to further my releasing of these habits with the Solstice. I would gently open myself up to these changes by hosting a small ritual. I honestly thought it would be myself and one or two others. Okay. Small. I can do that. As unfamiliar faces begun streaming in the door I felt complete panic. I honestly considered saying "I'm sorry, I can't do this," and bailing. I didn't.
A dear friend, Emilia, just by being there and being herself, calmed me enough that I was able to muster the nerve to walk out and invite people in. I'm fairly certain my voice shook. I forgot half of what I meant to put into the meditation, and stumbled more than a few times. My lovely partner, Carolyn, saved me by keeping things going when my mind froze and went blank. But I got through. I felt ecstatic and relieved after. I was surprisingly willing to try again, and begun planning how I would do things differently, next time. This sounds like such a small task to many. It was monumental in my life. Stepping into a leadership role in a public way - leading others in something sacred - that impacted me instantly, and to my core.
Red Tent Gatherings, our incredible community, the center...it all feels SO magical. I'm working assiduously to change that inner-voice. It is slowly being replaced by one that sounds an awful lot like a pastor and starts most sentences with "girlfriend."
Wild Woman Wellness Center has blossomed into so much more than a business. it is my second home. It is my shelter. It is a place I can safely explore the versions of myself that I have always imagined, but been too afraid to give life to. It is a place where women I have never met in person bring gifts and offerings as thanks for the way it has changed their lives, even from afar. It is a place where others have experienced change and growth that I can take absolutely no credit for, but am deeply humbled to host.
If you are reading this, thank you for being a part of this community. I would love to read comments below of what you are releasing this year.