Yet again, another small group of women gathered, talking… about themselves and their lives. Ten women on a Saturday morning, coming together for almost four hours when each could so easily have been doing many other things.
In what seems like only moments, each looks around the room and sees herself reflected in the eyes of every other, with each of the others an expression of some aspect of her own consciousness. The messages… the invitations… all there and waiting. The trick is: are we both willing and able to hear? Will the discomfort of revelation keep us trapped in our unwillingness to decloak and be seen? Or this time, will the urgency to live fully be enough to stop us from slipping away, hiding once again under the cloak we have designed of compliance with and adherence to an other-defined reality? As we begin, it’s too soon to tell….
Within the first 10 minutes, the gates blow open wide and the expression/experience of ‘intensity’ surges through the energetic field of this small, awake and enlivened collective. Not one is left untouched, each noticing what is most relevant for her.
Some discover their new and heightened capacity to be present to intensity without experiencing fear or the need to stop anything… or shut it down. Another discovers that the vibration of intensity activates that same note in her as she allows herself to claim that intensity, even though it might wear a different cloak. This time, not one of anger/frustration/rage but one of sadness/fear/anxiety. No matter what word we put to it; no matter what shape it takes, it is less about what we call it and much more about the depth to which we experience it in our own body. The body is always the instrument that calibrates for experience. The intellect can observe and tell the story… but the body ‘knows’ in the moment in ways that far surpass the story that will follow.
It’s not always fun. Uncertainty. The realization that no one else is going to fix it. The requirement to take hold of the direction of our lives with both hands and choose how to live our unfolding lives. Without exception, no matter what direction we choose, there will be consequences. The question becomes: which direction will take us to where we want to go? Which consequences will allow us to unfold into the truth of who we already know ourselves to be? And which will keep us hostage to the illusion we already know we’re living?
The pressure to keep to the culturally-refined and life-long bargain of a fixed ‘reality’ is great. A voice inside each says, “Don’t go too far! Don’t press THAT edge! Keep doing this and there will be no going back!” We pause… we take a breath… and we grudgingly acknowledge that who we have been will not take us to who we want to become. We also recognize our own resentment… our own frustration and rage and grief… that it is so. It is far more appealing to continue to invest our effort and energy… to invest ourselves… in holding on to what we were taught to believe would be ‘the truth that will set us free’. We know how to do that. And yet it’s too late. We already know that it’s not so.
What’s left? Well, we can start looking outside ourselves – again! – for a new guru; a new leader/master/authority figure/fixer/savour… or we can face the truth of our own experience. In that moment, there is a sickening and sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach… a signal… that life as we know it is about to change. Warning bells go off in our heads and we know: one more step, and there is no turning back! To avoid that one more time means holding on to a lie that although familiar and one that we know how to manage, is still a lie.
No one knows better the truth of who we are – and can become – than we do. No one can offer us the formula, hand us the solution or guide us to the doorway and onto the path of our own unique expression of Self. As annoying as that can be; as terrifying and agitating and irritating; it is indeed, the truth that will set us free.
How do we live that? How do we get up in the morning without an external framework to mold ourselves to? Without a collective to identify with? Without someone else’s roadmap to show us how to become? How do we face each breath as whole in itself, carrying on its wave of life the information that will allow us to become… and welcome the next… and the next… and the one after that? How do we let go of what has been so densely and intensely packed into our ages-old conditioning that has defined and shaped who and WHAT we believe ourselves to be; and all the limitations that go with it?
This is not about changing how we do something inside the neatly defined box of ‘reality’. This is about redefining ‘reality’ and manifesting an expression of it that we might carve out an authentic and meaningful path of our own.
For this small group of courageous and adventurous women, looking to the past to design their future is no longer working. For them, it’s not enough to move incrementally toward their own ‘becoming’. They’re ready for leaps! A ‘leap’ takes more energy… is more intense… covers more ground, faster!… and demands an expression of power and thrust that far too many women have come to fear in themselves. It also demands unwavering trust… and faith… in ourselves and in our ability to engage effectively. When it comes to leaping, half-measures don’t cut it. Today, this small living collective took the risks and awakened to something different.
We are growing tired of the sound of our own voices repeating what we know does not work! We are losing interest in the telling… and telling again!… of our stories, long ago embellished that we might not bore ourselves to death. Our interest in and desire to invest ourselves in what was is rapidly waning and we are desperate in our search for what else… for how else to live. And perhaps more than anything else, our willingness and ability to trust what moves inside us is beginning to outpace our need to be approved of and applauded by others.
In these small groups of women gathering, talking… we are finding ourselves and coming face-to-face with what we have long suspected and often desperately denied to ourselves: my life is up to me. Without exception and without apology.
In that realization, I wonder what world we will create?