A new voice has been added to that of women who have chosen to come out of the closet on the journey of their own evolution.
Lisa Weiss has a voice that will vibrate to the core! Her willingness to trust the power of ‘just’ being herself… herSelf… results in a vibration that invites an awakening in those who read her words. Nothing contrived or conspired, ‘just’ Lisa at her most present.
You’ll find Lisa on the Blogroll to your right. Be sure to set up an RSS feed so you don’t miss a day!
My day started with a CBC interview with Judy Collins, listening to her speak to her voice ‘then’ (before vocal coach) and ‘now’ (after 32 years of vocal coach). For whatever reason, that conversation lingered. Not because I’m a huge fan, or not because I’m particularly interested in the performing arts, etc…. but because, it did.
Time passes and, coffee in hand, I move to read the latest blog entry in the Women Gathering Google Group and there, I find Naomi’s latest posting – titled Alive! – and in that nanosecond, I knew the link between the two events.
There was a time in the late 70′s when I began to realize that my voice could no longer sing the songs of the day. It’s not that I did not have a good voice or a strong voice, it’s that the songs that I sang on the outside were in no way connected to the truth of who I was on the inside.
Try as I might, I began to realize that if I did not soon find a way to allow my voice to sing the song of an inner truth, I would lose my will and ability to sing anything, ever.
And so, not only did I find new songs, I found a new way to sing! I discovered a much richer, much stronger voice; one that had a vibration that was an authentic expression of the ‘me’ that I knew mySelf to be. I created new songs which were sometimes welcomed by and sometimes repelled others. Over time, I discovered that what mattered most was my freedom to sing – and the rest would fall away.
When I read Naomi’s posting, I heard a voice. I felt the vibration of Naomi’s voice as in resonance with my own and in that second, I realized what my life is now about.
For a long time, I sang alone. Now, I am finding and surrounding myself with the women who are seeking to find their own voice and sing their hearts out! I am in search of those for whom the joy of authentic voice is greater than any other; those for whom the desire to vibrate from the soul is greater than any perceived hardship that may get in the way of discovering it. I no longer want to sing alone.
Naomi’s voice… Amy’s voice… Sheila’s voice… Lisa’s voice… Susan’s voice… Lucy’s voice… Carole’s voice… and there are many, many more. Voices growing in numbers and in strength; voices creating songs and singing for the joy of it! So many more voices to be found, coming together in harmony and discord, coalescing to build a vibration that cannot and will not be silenced.
Songs of the soul of the Self. Voices in authentic expression, from whispers to roars, each one true to the soul that it sings. From one voice to the next, another voice is awakened and invited and engaged. From one voice to the next, voices vibrate at so many different levels, in so many different ways. The paradox is that in the many, we find the one that is ourSelf.
The Women Gathering Google Group has launched and postings have begun. I wonder where we’ll be at this time in 2009?
We (women) seem to have ‘layers’ of revelation, moving in increments toward our own freedom to ‘be’. We begin by not even allowing ourselves to think the unthinkable! Then, over time, the thought persists and begins to seep into our conscious awareness, forming words inside our heads that speak to us in the privacy of our own minds.
If we feel safe enough, we seek out that one person we believe we can reveal our inner truth to and have it be held ‘in confidence’. As we gain perspective (and usually, seek someone else’s advice), we find the courage to reveal to one or two or three more others, gaining strength in our own thinking and slowly moving toward taking meaningful action in some way.
Unless, of course, the people we seek out all share the same model of the world (which is quite likely). In those moments, we are discouraged from pursuing what is different and encouraged to ‘try’ to manage with what we have. The outcome of this conversation is not always so enthralling.
Over almost 20 years of working with women (and 18 of those also working with men), I’ve noticed that our stories are the same, with changes in the details. They are about unexpressed anger, fears and frustrations, often tied to living lives we feel obligated or committed to, possibly even greatly invested in, and yet not enlivened or gratified by. We are enraged to stay and terrified to go.
We hide the full measure of who we are. We ‘do’ and ‘be’ what we feel is required and hold back our essential nature for fear that it will not be welcomed. Our deceptions are far more often information withheld or omitted than blatant untruths. Our greatest deceptions are of ourselves, not allowing ourselves to own what we already know.
Each of us, in turn, thinks it’s only us. We’re the only one who thinks this way/feels this way/has these desires or intentions or needs… and yet, when we come together, we discover it’s the same issue for so many, just different words to describe it.
In these last 18 years in conversations with individuals and groups, I’ve noticed that there is great power in the group.. in the pack… that makes it possible for acceleration to occur. Rather than sit and muse and ponder by myself in the closet; or with others in my same small world, being willing to engage with others allows me to hear for myself that I am not alone. Not only that, it makes it possible for me to piggy-back on the insights and discoveries of another, avoiding the passage of time and investment of effort that it might have required for me to get there by myself.
In these collectives, we become willing to come out of the closet and just be ourselves! In doing so, we discover that there are far more women who are like me than NOT like me; and far more women who are seeking to grow and expand and engage than there are women who seek earnestly to stay tied to their history.
The Women Gathering Google Group is an invitation to come out of the closet; to be ourselves in the presence of others and discover that we’re still lovable, we’re still ok and the sky has not fallen in. Breathing into and inhaling the evolution of others as it unfolds makes it possible for us to exhale and life differently… now! This living, organic collective Journal is an invitation to choose to be transparent – to ourselves and to others – and to discover the power of simply being authentic. We don’t need to give advice to anyone, we just need to be true to ourselves and that speaks volumes to the world.
It will be what it will be. It is an invitation to explore and discover and, most importantly, ENGAGE! We have become so passive… such voyeurs in our notions of living. It is one thing to talk about discovery; it is quite another to experience discovery. Without the body engaging, experience is impossible. What’s left is knowledge and the opinions/direction of others. I don’t know about you but I’ll take my chances and live my life by my own choices.
See you there!
You’re invited to be part of a growing collective of women who have the desire to live more powerful, more expansive and more meaningful lives.
Some of these women are awake and are committed to staying awake. There is no better way to do that than to live large, be bold and engage!
Some of these women are seeking to awaken… to their own potential and to what it is to carve out their own lives. For far too long, women’s lives have been shaped by the roles they occupy and the masters they serve.
Just launched today, the new Women Gathering Google Group will be a companion to this blog! You can browse the postings or choose to become a member and post your own thoughts. When moved by what you read, you can show up and be present by including your own thoughts as a comment; or by creating a new post that will allow you to engage and expand on what you’ve discovered about yourself, from reading the posting.
The new Women Gathering Google Group is intended to create a space large enough to allow all of us to be present, be engaged and become the ‘more’ that we know we already are. Think of it less as a blog or group, and think of it more as a living, online collective journal… a place where you share your thoughts about yourself and your life, to be witnessed by others; knowing that you’re not alone on this journey of personal evolution.
You’ll also find women who are seeking evolution for its own sake and not just to plug a hole in the dyke. When we come to a place where we seek personal evolution for the sheer joy of it, acceleration occurs. In that, we come to meet the essence of being that we are, much faster!
Visit the new Women Gathering Google Group and check out the two Pages (Welcome and reference to this blog); and check out the first posting. Share the info with the women in your life and discover how much more compelling and provocative the conversations become! Women are up to the much bigger, much more potent exchanges that profoundly change our lives – and we don’t have to do it alone.
I’ll continue posting to this blog, as will other WEL-Systems® women who are engaging with women through this context. My time will be split between this blog and the WG Google Group, trusting that one will both feed and feed off the other.
I know there are great things to come! I trust our paths will cross as we move forward.
I never have a clue what’s going to happen in these WOI (Women of Intensity) gatherings and I am always amazed at the power with which they move. Yesterday’s gathering was no exception.
We came together on a Sunday morning, choosing to commit three hours of our lives to ourselves, knowing its impact on each other. Hugs exchanged, coffee poured and seats selected, we settled in to what we all knew held the potential to transform lives.
No monies exchanged, each of us there fully responsible for ourselves; knowing and trusting ourselves and each other, whether or not we had ever met before; and allowing all of who we are to fill the room and our conversations with ourselves and each other.
Women from all expressions of life : from 27 to 62; women with and without children and grandchildren; women with their own businesses, women in jobs and with careers, women unemployed; women riding high on their recent creations and other women, struggling to move through their lives – equally of their own creation!. And there we sat, willing and able to be present to whatever moved in ourselves and each other.
The doors blew wide open when one woman chose to share with us her recent journey of discovery. In a hushed and riveted room, she read the words that had taken her a full day to write; the words that came from the depths and the heights of discovering and revealing that she is bankrupt – at all levels of life. The vibration of her voice echoed through the tissue of every body in the room, each wondering: where am I bankrupt in my life? What am I choosing not to see, recognizing that if I saw, I would no longer be blind to all that is connected to it?
Another woman speaking with passion and purpose to her recent discovery that she can give herself permission to be bold and live large! For the first time in her life, she is unwilling to settle… for anything! If her life is not hers to live, as she chooses, then what life does she have? Her strength, her courage and her determination became a force that seeped through our own lives… leaving each of us wondering: where am I not giving myself permission to be all that I want to be? Where am I choosing to stay small so that others will not be disturbed by my presence?
Another – a young woman of 28 – spoke of her ability to fully own just how good her life is! Over time and many experiences, she has learned to be herself… even when it requires that she return and re-open a closed conversation so that it reflects the full measure of who she is. Her life is filled with people she loves and who love her; her work is gratifying and an invitation for her to grow and discover more about herself; and she is happy to be her. Her ability to live in the ‘now’ and see all that she has manifested for herself left each of us wondering: Am I able to see how good my life is? Do I allow myself to delight in and celebrate the magic that I create all around me?
Another spoke to the distinction that she now makes in her life: when she’s done, she’s done! (We had a good laugh at how, in truth, she was WELdone! ) How different an experience that is from talking about ending things, hoping things will end, trying to end things or wishing that someone else would end things! Being ‘done’ is such a powerful place to stand! Her sense of total and complete closure has given her the freedom to move on and create a life that allows her, now, to notice other things. Things like: “I can have it all!” In the vibration of her words, each of us wondered: Where am I done and yet, keep pretending that I’m not? What would my life be like if I were, indeed, simply done… and moved on? When I’m done and pretending not to be so, the energy loss is huge and often debilitating. Do my physical challenges reflect that I’m done and I’ve not yet noticed?
Yet another spoke to her recent awareness that as magnificent as her life already is, she is aware that there is so much more that she longs for. She knows her life lies in working with youth – as she has done for 30 years – and yet, it calls to her to engage on a much larger scale. Her compassion and depth of caring was palpable as she spoke to her desire for young women to know and express their own potential. In her words, each of us wondered: Where in my life am I staying in the shadows, unwilling to move into the bright light of being noticed? How am I holding back, in fear that I will be judged or ridiculed or rejected? What would my life be if I were to choose to honor the majesty of who I AM rather than allow the fear from who I have been, to consume my potential?
And there is more… much more! One after the other, for three hours, we spoke to our own internal truths, knowing that in owning those truths, we become more. We are all also mindful that each of us is an expression of some aspect of the consciousness of every other. In that, there is great freedom to be, to hear, to choose and to engage.
In three hours, lives have changed. The ripple effect of our own evolution – individually and as a collective – will never really be known to any of us. The joy is found in the journey in the moment.
Transformation does not have to be hard or take a long time! It can be a journey well travelled with others. It can be an experience filled with laughter and tears. And it can be waiting in the simplest of moments, in the quiet conversations sourced by women gathering in small groups, talking… It is what we talk about and who we are being when we’re doing it, that makes the difference.
It is as simple as breathing in and breathing out.
After Decloaking with Louise on her last pass in July I wasn’t ready to come home. I wanted to stay surrounded by the people who had opened up to their world as I had mine.
During the 5 days last week in Engaging and Awakening Others there has been a shift in my world that words cannot even begin to describe.
At the beginning of the week I felt as though the steady footing I had aquired from living the same routine day after day became unstable. I realised that what I was now walking on was new terrain. Even though the terrain was unfamiliar I knew it was the path I wanted to go on and the one I had finally chosen for mySelf and nobody chose it for me.
I also awakened to the truth of my own experience rather then the story of my life. Allowing my body to process this information has left me feeling empty of the past, full of the moment and hopeful for my future.
My breath continues to be comforting as my unstable footing becomes a little more sure. Breath by breath, moment by moment, my life is unfolding and presenting Me to me. It has truly been a transformational week and it leaves me inspired that other people can have there life back in such a short amount of time. But the one thing I know for sure by bearing witness to last week is that it truly is a choice we have to make and no one can make it for us.
I now realise the jet fuel Louise is referring to took us on the ride of our lives. I stand in a much different place then I did a week ago, looking at my life from a much different lens. I arrived at work this morning unwilling to engage in meaningless conversation. Unwilling to engage in the dance of the intellect as I so often have done in the past to please others. I felt naked but looked at it more as an invitation for others to Decloak.
I am also beginning to realise I know very little about people except the things that no longer hold meaning to me. Instead of closing friendships I feel drawn to ask those in my life if they are willing to talk about creating a more meaningful life.
This time I was excited to come home… excited to Engage!
Tomorrow, 16 women will gather, talking…. about their lives, their choices and their willingness and ability to engage and live large! In this moment, it feels like the night before Christmas… like the night before some great gift is about to be experienced, in some way. I know that these women coming together tomorrow is going to change my life.
They are coming from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and surrounding areas. They have been planning this for weeks – and every single one of them is awake, present and both willing and able to engage. I know that when we leave, the pulse that will have gone out into the world will have already changed our world in some way. That is the force of who and what we are.
Women are essential to a world transformed. Women awake are the fuel for this transformation – and nothing less will do.
These women are awake and not just ready to engage, but already engaging! These women of intensity have already begun to call to themselves other women of intensity (few are the places where intensity in women is welcomed, let alone encouraged!); women who can no longer tolerate the pressure of puny lives, knowing that they are designed for so much more. In this sense, ‘puny’ is not a reference to job levels, bank accounts or accumulation of ‘stuff’. It is a reference to having spent lives being less… expressing less… and allowing less of the truth of who we are to be visible to others. Lives lived in the closet. Hugely powerful, creative, innovative women believing themselves to be ‘saddled’ with a life of commitment and responsibility that prevents them from being themselves. These 16 women know better.
We can love, be lovable and be bold! We can be mothers and mates, colleagues and friends, and stand for our own interests and desires. We can be kind, considerate, patient and generous, and still draw the line in the sand and enforce it! We not only can… we ARE the intensity that it takes to live that way.
Imagine: 16 women engaging with each other in open, clear, honest and direct communication… about themselves. Not their opinions or stories about anyone else; not their external references to their lives or anyone else’s lives but a willingness and ability to be internally referenced, to own that no matter how it is, they created it; and in that lies the power to create something else.
I know that tomorrow will be filled with huge amounts of laughter! I also know that it will bring goosebumps, as I listen to the vibration of women of power. Their power does not lie in anything external to them. Their power lies in the depth of their connection to themselves and their willingness and ability to allow it carve out their lives.
Just one more sleep…. :)
There are times when my life leaves me breathless. This is one of those times.
Since July and my last Decloaking experience, my life has been shot out of a cannon! I think of those street racers who use nitrous oxide (or something like that!) for a burst of power that has them bridge the great divide between being just fueled and being jet propelled! Since July, I am jet propelled!
A blur of life – Decloaking; Alaska Cruise; creating the 20-cd set from Decloaking; Entrepreneurial Women; Day of Discovery, Engaging and Awakening Others… each of these inviting conversations far beyond any boundaries previously established. Each conversation ending by overlapping with what would (normally) be the next conversation at a higher order of thinking. But they’re not staying neatly packaged and are seeping through, one to the next.
I am very mindful of the metaphor that this is becoming in my life. No boundaries. Or the boundaries that appear are, in truth, artificial.
No required sequential, linear process. It is taking less and less for us to move more and more.
And it is all about women. Women gathering in small groups, talking…. but not about the frequently repetitive, often mind-numbing drivel that far too many of us have committed our lives to; but conversations that, like nitrous oxide, shoot us out of one reality and into another. As simple as that.
I declared some time ago that I was looking for those 10 women who would live large and live fully, standing unapologetically in the truth of the immensity of who they are. Not 10 women to be like me or do what I do; but 10 women unwilling to NOT be them… unwilling to NOT be fully present, fully awake and fully engaged in living their lives meaningfully – no matter what it takes.
They are slowly appearing. Women who are discovering the power of their own, simple truth. Women who are willing to be seen and heard for the truth of who they are. Women who are unashamed of non-compliance; unapologetic for being ‘out of alignment’ with expectations from family, employer, colleagues and friends; women who are choosing to trust the truth of their own experience rather than defer to the truth of another.
In these moments we discover that the truth…. OUR truth… shall indeed, set us free.
Free of our history. We are not the sum total of our experience, to date. We are much more!
Free of our habits. Our habits are designed to be in service to our intentions, not have us be in service to the habits that run our lives.
Free of our fear. Our fear of discovering that we are more than we have imagined carries with it the response-ability to redefine and redesign our lives.
No one can live our lives for us, although to be sure great efforts have been made for this to be so. Following mindlessly some doctrine of another era will doubtless leave us wondering why we bother getting out of bed in the morning!
Today, I had the great gift of being invited into the quiet thoughts of a smart, curious, courageous and powerful young woman who is just now discovering more of who and what she is. In her words, she wrote of marveling at the weather and noticing that on the holodeck of her experience, she is creating it all. Can that be? Are we truly that potent in the living of our own lives? Does what goes on outside of me mirror what is moving inside of me? In that realization comes the insight that we are the force that shapes it all – whether we like it or not; and we are the only force that can change the truth of our experience – whether we like it or not.
As a philosophy, that can make for an interesting conversation. As an experience of our ‘reality’, that can be both exhilarating and terrifying! How can I come to own the tumor in my belly and know that I have created, that, too? How can we step into those conversations and not be silenced by the uproar of ‘blaming the victim’? In order to ‘blame the victim’, we have to have a world view that says we are that victim. That is not my world.
And so it continues. Two weeks in Ottawa and then back to Oceanstone for the annual Whispers from Within Women’s Writing Retreat; and one more (my last) Day of Discovery in Halifax. And then, quietly closing loops that have long been present, in preparation of opening new ones that will guide me home.
I am drawing to me amazing women. Women of great force; women of strength of body, mind and spirit; women whose depth of love and caring is tempered with the Fire of their own passion to LIVE FULLY and LIVE LARGE! What greater gift can we be to another than to be the living expression of claiming ourSelves and the invitation to them to do so the same. Imagine! A world designed in abundance and endless potential. Does it get any better than that?
I am glad to be back. I have often thought of how so many women gather in small groups, talking… and have long known we have so much more to explore than what our lives have been. Rather than choosing to stand together in our misery – each seeking comfort in the assurance that they are not alone in that misery – we can choose to stand together in our curiosity and courage, unwilling to be less than who we know we are. Although we are the only ones who can carve out the path of our existence, we do not have to walk it alone.
There is more….