This is a long one, but necessary, and in three parts… Before, Right Before, and After…
I have this circling event I am supposed to attend today and I should be focusing on doing edits. I have a looming deadline, and yet I want to spill out instead of wrangle in.
I am spending time with the importance of articulating voice. Being a part of Effy Wild’s 30-day Blog Along challenge for April has opened the door to an answered prayer. I have been seeking new ways to be witnessed and to witness others. In their creative expression. In their grappling with what is. In their waxing poetic, whether that be through visual art, written expressions, or musical compositions.
I am in awe of the power of witnessing. To be held, as is, in wildish rawness without being altered or moved to change or conform to make someone else more comfortable.
I am taken aback by the power of showing up to meet yourself in the depths of another. What opportunities arise in that vulnerability. What sadness and loss can result from turning away from those rare openings between heart, mind, and spirit.
It’s one thing to show up in conversation and be offered solicited words of wisdom without warning. To be interrupted in mid-flow. To be greeted by a conflict of differences versus just offering a safe container for an unfolding between two kindred spirits.
So, I signed up for this online event that encourages witnessing and showing up authentically.
I’m nervous about this decision because my story connected to vulnerability has been one of fear. Of avoidance. Of turning away.
To be held by others in my true self… I sit with how this shows up. It feels like butterflies and I can’t tell if that’s anxiety or excitement. If it were fear taking the wheel, my hands would be shaking. I would have said a SACRED NO to this opportunity. Butterflies are fluttering gently, which reminds me that this is excitement. This is opportunity. This is a place of me recognizing I have grown outside of an old story.
I am delighted and look forward to showing up to hold and be held.
This first time I experienced witnessing self and others was in Effy’s Moonshine program last year. It was a space and opportunity for me to practice rewriting the script that I had running amok that stated women were competitive. Catty. Discriminatory when it came to identifying strengths within each other.
I had, up to that point, experienced a repetitive tearing down, and I needed with everything in me to believe that it was possible to have a connection to the Divine Feminine through the means of fleshy human contact that could be healing. Transformative. Feminine.
This was all online, of course, so there were still protective barriers of screen separation intact. It made it more comfortable. More anonymous.
Now, showing up in person- skin on, no filters, the clothing of my accumulated understandings of my identity stripped bare- now that’s a whole other thing. There’s still this part of me that wants to claim to be feral- claws out. Still wants me to act in old ways of push and pull and push again. And for what? Just to say that I can? Just to have this internal victory over things that I see as a means of trying to hold or control me? Contain me? To exclaim in defiance- “You will never understand me! I am everchanging. Evergreen. Cells divide in me at a rapid rate so good luck and pinning me down to what you think I am.”
And that’s all my wild child learning how to grow into human skin. My wild child learning to put weapons down. My wild child learning to tame the things that scare her into running. My wild child learning how to befriend the world and put down the need to be incessantly self-reliant.
Reaching out to be vulnerable and seen was probably what I was born to do and be, naturally, and life circumstances handed me some things that taught me doing that wasn’t and isn’t safe. It won’t get my needs met, so don’t bother. I can do it by myself because I have to.
I have to.
I have to. Because no one else will.
Reaching out, now, is doing things a different way, even when it feels difficult and impossible and I’m choking on so many unsaid things I don’t even know what to actually present an answer when prompted “what can I do to help?”
The best answer is –“Just show up, as I am choosing to do today, to feed another set of Maslow’s needs. Offer me a genuine sense of belonging. A kindred connection. See me, even when I don’t want to be seen. Hear me when I claim you aren’t listening. Allow me- as is.”
Those are all valid needs as well, even though we attach the label of ego to it in some circles. I’ve heard that a joy shared is a joy multiplied and a sorrow shared is a sorrow divided, and also that it takes a village… well, all of that is true for me and this wild child within me definitely needs a village to help raise her to be who she is meant to be, and I am striking out into the world to be, seek, and become all of the parts of that village. Or at least embrace the journey of finding her one.
I’m thinking of my daughter. She recently met a new friend who she talks to online through Zoom and Skype. They show up, as is, sing songs to each other- laugh- read books. He does cartwheels and she pretends to play in an imaginary boat and it’s all on screen. No filters and all laughter. I have no doubt of the amount of fun they would have in person- their wild, free spirits would surely find some open space to explore together. I know she would offer him hugs, because that’s how she is. I think he would push her to try things like climb hills and ride bikes and challenge her sense of safety. I see that in him because I’ve known this young man since he was an infant and his spirit is expansive, and it would take her with him.
I think of how my daughter shows up like that, on playground after playground, testing the boundaries of being seen and heard and reaching out to hold hands with strangers because that’s how her heart is. That’s how it is, and in watching her, I know that’s how mine was too.
Growing up and bumping into wounded people (to put it lightly), I unlearned this openness. I got scared and scarred into a prison of recoil. I found necessary ways to navigate out of self-preservation.
But, oh how I want to take someone’s hand like that now. Run free in a field of flowers and let the day take us under its wing. Oh, how I want to untrain myself in the recoil- unlearn how I became a strange, wounded form of human in the first place so that I can become Spirit once more.
I’m sitting with and processing the online witnessing circle that I abandoned myself to this afternoon and I’m watching a movie with Paul Rudd in it because… Paul Rudd. Things have come up for me from Effy’s last blog on her Rider around asking for what you want and desiring things. Not just desiring things, but articulating them with desire.
The things that invoked the deepest healing today were around how connection, validating our humanness with each other, is crucial and vital to our existence. We help each other make sense, hand in hand. We uphold the mess, the beauty, and honor it as sacred, not something to hide away or be ashamed of. This is the marrow of what I’ve been craving for so long.
Moving into the cycle of the New Moon, I know this is a time for intention setting. That has been the way I have been spending time each month over the last several years -I art, theme, invoke, release, repeat.
After being held virtually by complete strangers for three hours, I sit with what I want- what I desire in my next heartfelt connection as I consider what my next steps are in life.
In this movie, which is a corny rom com, the main character’s nickname is one that I’ve had for over twenty years, one that I’ve associated to two email accounts in fact, so I take this as a sign. It’s a story about finding love when life falls apart. A story about toughing things out when you should be open and raw. About pushing through because you just have to sometimes.
I’ve been doing that whole one-foot-in-front-of-the-other thing, out of necessity for work, for family, for other people’s pressing expectations to hold everything together when all things fall apart.
The MC’s life gets drastically shifted when she gets fired- her career sends her on the “Unknown” trajectory I have known oh too well. She goes and sees a counselor and asks for general advice for her circumstances and the advice given is this- “Figure out what you want and learn how to ask for it.”
Hello circle synchronicity once again.
I keep asking for the right messages, the right people, the right answers to all of the questions, asked and unasked at this pivot point, and the Universe is serving up one thread after another. Pretty swiftly, I might add, so that means several things- manifesting things is happening rapidly, and prayers are being heard.
I get quiet with this and think about what I am sending out. Is it what I truly want? Have I identified my desires and stated them in thought, in speech so that these things can come into form? Have I identified any and all resistance around receiving, and what I am willing to do to dissolve my barriers in order to allow the flow to reach me?
I write down the desire for my heart connection- “Must be hilariously charming like Paul Rudd…” because that’s what lights him up for me.
I mean, those *green eyes and smile*. Come on.
But truly- he shows up unafraid to be ridiculous. And I know without a doubt that my *magic* matches the vibration of playful. Of ridiculous wonder. And I need that, not just desire it.
I tap the pen lightly on my chin and then add… “Must light up when they see me….”
And so it is…
To be held and witnessed in Moonshine- go HERE
To be held and witnessed by the Circling Institute- go HERE
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