More and more as I journey into these sacred spaces, with women choosing to share their most vulnerable thoughts and stories with me, I witness how we are all shamed into our silence.
Photography by Lilly Wilson @lillywilsonphotography
We have felt sad, betrayed, abandoned, forgotten, overlooked, under appreciated, fearful, angry, hurt, worried, unsure, afraid - and we were told these feelings were not valid. We were told we do not have permission to feel. We were asked to be quiet, banished out of sight, sent away, made to feel like the problem, made to feel like the problem was to feel. And we learnt to self-soothe, but not always in forms that practiced loving self-care, more often in ways that self-sabotaged, punished, and shamed ourselves further.
We reclaimed our power by being the one to shut down our truth. We mimicked the words and actions of those we loved, and we turned them against ourselves. The shame that hurt us, became the emotion we familiarised with the most. It became where we felt the most safe. In situations where we are asked to bravely speak our truth, we step into the toxic shame narrative that became our shield, because we KNOW how to navigate this place. We know how to self-soothe this pain. Hitting this button and inwardly feeling all the things we were told not to express, has somehow become our normal.
But how does reading that make you feel?
I know how many of you will relate to it, and it hurts my heart.
It hurts my heart because I know how painful existing from this place is. I don’t want this to be how you fill your life, I want so much more for you, just as I wanted so much more for myself and I clawed my way out of that vicious cycle for good.
It’s often hard for us to turn the love we share for others onto ourselves, and I appreciate that might be a difficult step right now, so let’s start with a reflection exercise:
How does it feel knowing that the majority of women suffer from this shame?
How does it feel knowing the women in your life that you care for the most have battled with these demons?
How does it feel knowing that your daughters, future daughters, or children that you will love and care for, are to grow up in a society where shame and fear are considered normal. A world where we don’t question why, we simple do. We follow on. We copy the inherited trauma of our ancestors, and their ancestors before them?
What if you can be that advocate of change?
What if you could lead the way?
What if YOU could become the conduit of love that shifts your experience in an entirely new direction, one of love, compassion and acceptance, and make that an active choice for all the other women who come into contact with you for the rest of your life?
This is what self-care means to me, this is the journey of the divine feminine. The work is not light and fluffy, it’s dark and chaotic as you learn to dance barefoot with your shadow, as you learn to comfort and nurture your inner child, as you come back in contact with your true body as a vessel of love and emotion, of feelings that need acknowledgement and the freedom to be expressed fully. You will reclaim your wild woman, your passionate, sensual self. You will learn how to stand in your power and honour your truth. You will say no to all that does not serve you and yes to all that needs to be received. This work is death and rebirth. It requires conscious commitment, trust, surrender and intention. This work chooses you, it comes to you when you are ready to hear your own voice. It comes loudly. You will know. Everything that has happened so far in your life has been initiating you to get to this point. When you are ready to step into your true self, the call will be so obvious to you, you won’t get past it. You will pick up. And you will land in the space you need to breathe again. Take up that space.
We carry a collective grief that we were sad as children but we ‘had no right to be’.
Comparison is the thief of joy in more ways than seeing who has the best body on instagram (these narratives NUMB us from the conversations that we should be having!). It happens on a much more dangerous level, that we all consider to be normal. Put simply, you feel sad about something, but don’t believe you have the right to be sad because other people have/had it worse. This is not healthy, it is invalidating your feelings.
A better way of acknowledging them would first be to welcome them in;
What are you feeling?
Can you describe details such as who/what has made you feel this way?
Listen to what comes up without judgement, write it down and see what else spirals, what else is attached emotionally that you wouldn’t have initially thought about. Send love and compassion to yourself.
Where are you hurting?
What support/nourishment/nurturing do you need?
Can you give yourself some of these things?
Now that you’ve allowed the emotion to be fully seen and heard, how do you feel?
Have you recognised any patterns here?
Note them down - these are called triggers, past emotions that show up regularly when you are hurt or ‘triggered’ by a situation. When we ignore triggers, we ignore emotions that are reactive aka you’re being too sensitive, too emotional, over reacting. Actually, you are being triggered. A part of you that reacts to a certain situation or feeling, is being activated, causing you to respond to the past trauma as well as the current experience. This is where being told to be quiet in the past has created long-lasting damage, we find it impossible to communicate why we are so upset/angry/frustrated because the root cause is much deeper than the matter at hand. It is why relationships with partners, parents, siblings, close friends, can be particularly volatile, because these buttons get pushed and we have learnt that expressing these sensitive emotions is not safe. We go into reactive mode, defence mechanisms, our self-sabotage flares up. And THAT feeling of destruction is soothing, because thats what we have normalised for ourselves. That is how we learnt to cope, and if we don’t start to understand why we behave like this, we will continue to not only react like this, but we will attract the same situations again and again because we understand them and enjoy the familiarity. We will actively seek out these destructive behaviours because we are fine tuned to express ourselves this way.
But you get to change this. When you can admit that something is not working for you, you give yourself the power to change it. You can start to address these narratives and lovingly guide yourself to behave in a different way.
This is where understanding your limiting beliefs comes in. A limiting belief is a story or narrative that you have inherited as truth, that keeps you vibrating at a low frequency. Limiting beliefs stem from fear and shame, creating a scarcity mindset that defends you to keep you safe. Reclaiming your power, is understanding which limiting beliefs get in your way and hold you back, and changing the narrative to one that serves you.
This is called an affirmation. An affirming belief that anything is possible for you. These stories come from love, divine power and create an abundant mindset. We go through life constantly unravelling our thoughts, and the stories our minds tell us. Learning how to tune into your heart-space, into your womb and yoni for intuitive guidance, allows you to step into higher vibrations that not only align you with making better choices for you, you begin to attract a different set of circumstances. A life that truly serves you.
This is manifestation. It’s learning to activate your highest potential, through loving heartfelt intention, trust and surrender. When you start your journey of manifesting it will be about removing the blocks caused by limiting beliefs that STOP you from believing in the infinite possibilities available to you. And the work will start with shifting your mindset from lack and scarcity, to pure abundance and joy. Once you can truly feel into your heart-space, you can activate the dream state of what you truly wish to manifest. Only then will you notice these things enter your life. Only then can you start practicing opening your heart to lovingly receive them.
So many of us cannot manifest because we do not believe we are worthy. But you are.
We have been conditioned for hundreds of thousands of years not to trust in the power of our own intuition, not to celebrate our own innate joy. We have been taught we must work hard and be the best to succeed. We have been taught to disconnect from our sacred bodies and wisdom. We have been told to seek validation outside of ourselves. All of that can change. It starts with self-acceptance, and the decision to take full responsibility for your actions, behaviours, choices, and to become the author of your story.
“If you want to change your experience, you need to experience change.”
Planting the seeds of intention is the first step for today. This is not a race, this is not a challenge that you complete in a number of days, this is the choice to realign your way of being, to accepting divine guidance, and fully trusting and surrendering to the process. This is the work of multiple lifetimes. It is a spiral of ups and downs, highs and lows, ebbs and flows. This is living in the path of the Divine Feminine. And so it is.
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