I have just returned from a very beautiful send off for my dear Aunt Ruth and an extremely nostalgic trip back to the home town of Westerham, where I was born and grew up as a child. So I am in that strange, rather heart-full and wordless place where it’s almost impossible to distinguish between loss and love.
I was honoured to be at my Aunt’s side when she took her final breath and I learned so much more about the deeper layers of what it means to ‘hold space’ for someone’s transition. I experienced a depth of tenderness and Grace unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before.
As I was being taken down this unexpected back road, I was also paying attention, as ever, to my own transitional process.
I could hear a cachophony of inner voices that said I should be doing more, moving faster and making a bigger impact. I could feel the pressure of the commitments I had made and yet, I had to postpone them. At one level, I had little choice. I wanted and needed to prioritise my family. But there was also another more subtle choice that became apparent to me.
I had the choice to either get over identified with these voices, or hold a space for them ~ two very different ways of engaging with the same thing.
These voices of ‘pushing’ I have come to call my ‘Inner Patriarchy’. Not because there is anything inherently wrong with ‘doing’, or ‘speed’ or ‘expansion’, but because of the dominance they can have over the subtler messages that need space to be heard.
I noticed that if get entangled in these dominating voices, I miss the voice that lives in the whitespace behind them. This other voice belongs to ‘The Unspoken Feminine’. She’s the seed of Sacred Feminine that is gestating in me. She’s the wisdom that holds a very tender space for the uncomfortable deconstruction of old outmoded ways of being and the subtle inner transmutation that is occurring, albeit often unnamable.
The more still and present I am to this gentle, yet potent awakening, the more able I am to be present to and trust the creative movement that wants to express through me. In the stillness I can feel more, I can receive the subtle messages of guidance that the field of life around me brings. I can allow the flow of my emotions without constriction. I’m soft and present enough to listen and attune more deeply to what is needed.
This brings me right back to the ‘art’ of tenderness.
We need tenderness to hold and then drop beneath the ‘Inner Patriarchy’ that will, if we allow it, keep us numbed or distracted and stop us from hearing and trusting The Unspoken Feminine.
At the Church service for my Aunt’s burial, I was most deeply moved by my brave father, who at the age of 85, gave such an honouring tribute to his sister, breathing through his overwhelming sadness, pausing and staying with us in his depth of emotion. I was so proud of him, for his courage to be seen and for the love he showed so authentically.
As I was watching him, I realised that this is another example of what I mean by Trusting The Unspoken Feminine.
This tender place in us, where there are such deeply felt and sometimes unfathomable emotions, is a place that we can easily override in an attempt to keep ourselves ‘together’.
We may either wear a mask of ‘I’m sorted’ so that we can stay apparently available (but not necessarily connected) to others or we may withdraw ourselves from connection, feeling shame at the idea of being seen in our vulnerability.
But what about the middle ground? What I’m passionate about advocating, strengthening and modelling is an authentic centre, where we can be present to and honour our vulnerability and be resourced enough to be in relationship with others at the same time
This centering capacity begins with honouring whatever arises and holding a tender, loving ‘container’ for ourselves, no matter what we are experiencing.
From there we are more able to touch and open to the love and wisdom that wants to be expressed through us and that may be hidden beneath feelings of fear, shame, anger or unacknowledged grief.
The Unspoken Feminine is the love and wisdom that is deeply rooted in our bodies and in our ancestral lines… and that has, in a sense, been buried with the emotional energy of fear, shame, rage and grief that we have been judging as wrong and dumbing for generations. As I said in my TEDx Talk, this dumbing of emotion is where our inner patriarchy plays out.
The healthy gestation and blossoming of feminine wisdom what wants to be expressed through us needs, like any seed, a safe place to be felt, expressed, heard and honoured with great love, respect and tenderness.
That’s why I’m so passionate about creating those healing spaces in Circle, where we can discover and give space to the feelings, needs and wisdom that have not been fully felt, spoken or honoured and for women to experience the expression of this wisdom as their birthright.
Experience the Power of Circle with me in person…
If you’d like to experience this kind of deeply held Circle space in person, please do join me, together with a beautiful intimate Circle of women in Scotland for our Summer Solstice retreat from 21st-24th June.
Find our more here: Rising Connected ~ Belonging and Blossoming in Sisterhood
Do feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or if you’d like to reserve a place. (currently only 6 left).
I hope you’ll join me in June for this powerful honouring of our feminine voices, and wisdom in Circle.
With much love and courage,