Someone demonstrated their love for me yesterday. This happens everyday in one way or another but this moment left me awe-struck. It was one of those surreal moments that your mind is having so much trouble computing you feel frozen knowing that moment will be captured in a timeless resonance forever. I've had a lot of painful moments like that but not as many beautiful ones which may be why it hit me so hard. I was at work on a slow day and went to the back for a moment and when I came up front a young woman was sitting in my chair. I had worked with her for nine months at a location 45 minutes away so I stopped in my tracks and just stared at her. I was so happy to see her sweet face I am pretty sure I said out loud, "Is it you?! Am I dreaming?" She was teasing me about getting to work but knowing how far away she lives and works from the location I now work at had my mind reeling with why she could be there. That's what trauma brain does to you, it searches desperately to look for holes in something that seems too good to be true to keep you safe. The computer part of my brain accepted that there was 'no threat here' as she stood to hug me. Did I mention she's in her early twenties and pregnant too?!
She had drove all the way to our location to bring me a present with the most heartfelt card. I cried. I'm crying now as I write it. Another girl I work with bought me a small heart music box that plays, "I Only Have Eyes For You". How romantic is that?! To be clear, everyone is straight. This is what loves looks and feels like. I've noticed that younger women are the ones who seem to be most open and honest with expressing their gratitude to me. I connect with young women quite easily. I guess this surprises me because I grew up in an environment where the girls were petty and cruel. I never had real friends as I was the sensitive, awkward outcast, different from everyone else. This didn't change when I was married. In fact, it got worse. The venom that women came up with to make my life hell was beyond my belief, especially when they knew the danger their blatant lies would put me in. I didn't realize how much this needed healing until now.
I'm nothing extraordinary. I have my stories of pain and struggle too. The only difference is I see people; I mean, really see them. I see them outside of my own stories. Sure my stories come up because I'm human and I look for reasons to relate to other people and feel accepted, but when someone is in pain or needs a listening ear I give them everything I have so they don't have to feel alone or any of the other awful things I've felt. This young woman who brought me this gift, let's just say that she was sure she wasn't going to like me from the beginning but to her credit, she let her guard down and let me in and the rest is history. The most caring and sensitive spirits are usually the ones that care the most though; that's why they feel they need walls or at the very least, very firm boundaries you need to work to navigate around in a respectful manner. You never want to manipulate boundaries, just honor them and show up as you are anyway, they will do the rest in their own due time.
I share this for two main reasons... the first is that I don't want to hear crap about Millennials and their attitude. I raised a Millennial and can tell you that any grievance you have with that generation is on the shoulders of the generation that raised them. I made mistakes too but people are people and every person and every generation has its own unique approach to how you deal with them. Don't be lazy, see them as another human being, do the work, be the example! If I can do it anyone can! The younger you can reach someone and show them what it's like to be accepted as they are as you reflect their true gifts and talents the better the world will be. It's like tending to a young garden and watching it bloom. It's awe-inspiring. Of course, this goes the same for older generations, respecting the work they did, the lessons they learned and can offer - which brings me back to all these young people showing their love in so many ways towards me. They're already learning that without any prompting from me, just watching me and getting to know me.
The second point is that my heart bursts open thinking about how this seemingly small act burst my heart wide open. In my mind for the years I've been single I have told myself over and over again the kind of love I deserve and won't settle for less in a romantic relationship. Then, through all these small acts of kindness and love from people sending me cards for the first time to the little acts from the heart from people I work with, all this shows me that I'm openly receiving the love I know I deserve already. This young woman had the courage to reflect to me what I have offered others in a way that resonated deeply with me; a way that seemed to encode in my DNA my worth, my value. I don't love for attention or to gain anything, love is its own reward and now the people demonstrating it more get to see and experience that which is the greatest gift any of us can receive. Love grows exponentially when it comes from a space of gratitude and an abundance mind-set rather than looking at where we are lacking or feeling bad about what we don't have.
Two years ago I wrote 'A Step Deeper Into Love' and ended it with this, "...love is meant to show us and others our vulnerability and how this only empowers each person that has the courage to stand in that space and to hold that space with another person. Love does not come with restrictive expectations but with respect and honor. Love affords you dignity as you offer dignity to others. Love holds people when they are in pain, it sits silently when someone invites you into their experience, it reflects everything in the self and the other person and accepts it with compassion. Love is our fortitude." The Yin/feminine energy of December is a beautiful energy to experience.
Women, we don't have to sacrifice our femininity to be Warriors. Every human on earth has masculine and feminine energy. We have witnessed what happens to society, to homes and to people when one aspect is ignored, denied and stuffed down. We see unhealthy patriarchy and abuse of power when the feminine is trampled on with the intent to control.
There's no need to fear the feminine as that is what nurtures us but it's still feared and has been perceived as a 'weakness' by fragile male egos. True masculinity embraces the masculine knowing its own power and choosing to use it for a greater good. Just as the sun can appreciate witnessing its glow in the face of the moon, true masculinity honors the feminine when it embraces beingness in balance with doing, when it enters consciousness in balance with manifestation, movement and stillness. It knows a mountain isn't as beautiful without the valleys and a house is complimented with a garden. Nature demonstrates the value of these Yin and Yang energies working together every day, month and year. There are incredible examples of men that have stepped into true masculinity by embracing all that they are including the divine feminine, allowing it to flow for deeper and more meaningful life experiences. Terry Crews and Russell Brand are two of my favorite current examples.
As women we can be tempted to lash out, become vengeful and show men what it's like to experience the imbalanced masculine with our rage and anger. Our anger is justified but becoming them isn't the answer. Demonstrating what kind of world we want to see is. Anger is a powerful tool when harnessed appropriately. Embrace your femininity and fight, fight for your life, your daughter's lives, for all women by holding accountable yourself and anyone else that is not coming from a healthy space in how they interact with you or others. Resist adding to the noise of hate and come from a space of love. You can be angry and love at the same time. You can be angry and be compassionate. You can dirty your body as you fight to rise but don't let any experience dirty your heart or spirit. Don't let them change you - BE the change, because that's what divine femininity is. When you do this, you will learn what it means to feel safe within your self, you will know who you are better than ever and you will learn depths of love you never imagined and you won't be fooled ever again.
Women, we need to be our own advocates, praising and raising one another up. There's no time or room to follow the example of toxic masculinity by competing with one another. We have been told we have to compete but deep down we all know the truth. Let's show the world what happens when women unite out of love for ourselves, each other, humankind and our planet. Let's not spend another minute wasting our anger, our capacity for love.
For more information on these energies and discover how they work in our lives click either image below.
"I want you" - "I need you" - "I choose you"
There was a time when I longed to be wanted; I craved the words, "I need you". Then I realized that 'want' comes from a space of emptiness and 'need' was coming from my own perception of lack. I wanted nothing more than to be enough for someone. How absurd when my cries were from a space of emptiness and lack proving I wasn't enough?!
I began to do the work, primarily focused on awareness; noticing when my patterns could potentially emerge, pausing, and making a different choice than one I would have made in the past. My entire world and worldview shifted as well as how I interacted with others. The thing about being self-aware is you begin to become more self-fulfilled, more self-nurturing and learn the healthy balance of self-love thereby giving you the opportunity to truly show up and love others in the healthiest ways for everyone. Every interaction with other human beings becomes more fulfilling, even if it is simply because it offers a new awareness or opportunity for growth.
This is about the time the opportunity to know a certain kind of love knocked on my door. This time I was ready to face any fears head on as they would come up and begin to mindfully explore this new road with absolutely no attachment to an idea, a fantasy or a desired outcome.
Here's the thing about dating when you have worked on all of your own 'stuff', you can be completely open to standing in witness of how things unfold. For the first time I wasn't the girl jumping to the end of the book to see how it ends before reading the entire thing, I am the woman who picks up the book excited to see where this journey takes me, perfectly willing to accept a surprise ending or explore an infinite amounts of chapters.
Here I am discovering what it's like to choose someone every single day. I would read the quotes about love being a choice and love being a verb but never appreciated it in the real sense, the a posteriori sense. But now, now I see that the choice alone is a verb. Our overall wellness is a choice as well as a union of the mind, body and spirit; this goes for our relationships as well. Each morning and throughout the day my mind may choose him, other times my heart and often my body wants a say as well. When I'm with him they all choose him at once and it's like music; different types of music, sometimes the playlist changes or it's on shuffle but for each day and each experience we share, even in quiet stillness, there is always music.
Now desire is born from the space of my own fulfillment and the recognition of the fulfillment he has within him. Desire comes from all the little things that make this person who they are, the shadow and the light, creating this beautiful package. Desire comes from the appreciation of being accepted as we are with no projections from our past. Desire comes from the relief of getting to know someone who doesn't truly need anything from us but chooses to sometimes be the one to graciously give and sometimes graciously receive. Desire will be easy because even the scariest moments will somehow make you feel even safer and you will feel a sense of ease as you get through them together. Desire will be the celebration of sharing an exciting experience with someone new, ready for wherever the road may lead you because no matter what, you will always have these moments that you are sharing together.
It's International Woman's Day and, like most days that are celebrated, I am filled with mixed feelings about it all. I just can't help but see first the things that make us most alike and can connect us; then I see the differences. Maybe it's the naive child that lives on in me. But to appease the woman I have become and the trials I have gone through, largely because of my gender, I thought it would be a sort of purification ritual as well as a celebration of my womanhood as I feel myself transition into the archetypal crone.
For me being a woman started out as a dream of being a wife that would stay home all day and cook and maintain the household of my husband. Life decided I needed to start working at a young age and I fell in love more with working than I ever imagined I could a man. My dreams grew bigger, my heart exploded every day as I fell in love with my work, learning how to be better everyday and becoming hopelessly devoted to caring for patients. The fun I had was confusing to some, even me but I was in love. My career was my first love when I got married and my womanhood was challenged as I let my younger self down as a wife and mother.
Being a woman began to mean that I could have it all but only at the fears, insecurities and disappointment of those I loved the most and eventually me as well. Being a woman meant being incredibly creative with learning how to navigate my sanity in the vast sea of disappointment. As my heart grew more and more broken being a woman began to mean that I had to learn how to put myself back together again and love with all of the broken pieces of my heart at the same time.
For years, being a woman meant being punished for being sure of who I was and wanting nothing but to love people and how confusing that was to others. Being a woman, I later realized, meant that when you step in to your true power it can make the insecure forcefully pleasant or violent and the self-assured simply proud for you. Being a woman who wants secular success as well as success in love is selfish. Being a woman means you will be challenged to compromise your integrity, values, morals and even health almost daily for the sake of the male ego.
Then one day, being a woman meant having a choice. Being a woman meant having a choice in how much I allowed pain and suffering into my life. Being a woman meant I was sensual and in love with every savory aspect of living and I could be a sexual being without needing to have sex. Being a woman meant that I didn't need to experience the act of sex to feel empowered, valued and loved. Being a woman means that you can easily confuse a man with this ability and how they respond to their confusion tells you everything you need to know about them.
Being a woman has given me the opportunity to explore my creativity from writing to photography and countless things in between as I learn to appreciate the wisdom my choices (and lack thereof) had brought me. Being a woman means that I may have to work harder to prove myself and to be taken seriously but once I do it gives me a greater sense of pride than any appreciation, commendation or opportunity that is casually handed to me would.
Being a woman has taught me that with age you can grow in deeper love or deeper bitterness and that we can choose love. Being a woman means I have a greater responsibility to use my feminine energy to nurture and compassionately care for those who are in pain because it's part of who I am.
Being a woman showed me the honor and privilege of falling in love with a little human before anyone else could. Being a woman means I knew motherhood and a bond that lasts forever. Being a woman has filled me with pride whenever I feel my nurturing side co-existing with my creative and productive side.
On the topic of letting go a male friend once told me that he believes women have to experience this lesson more often and on a deeper level than men ever could. What an insightful and beautiful truth! Something about the way he expressed it made me feel connected in a deeper and more meaningful way to all the other women that have ever existed. Being a woman teaches us the literal and figurative way to cut cords and the pain we go through each time.
The biggest lesson I have learned as a woman is that if it wasn't such a profound and insurmountable gift then womanhood wouldn't even be a topic of conversation. It would just 'be'. We would embrace womanhood in all it's differences from manhood. Being a woman means we get to define beauty from the inside out... in all its forms.
Womanhood is a delicate gift but society has a way of telling us that manhood and all of its ways are all that can be heard, respected and appreciated so women try to learn the language of men. Women become louder, more creative, more clever, more successful only so that we can feel more comfortable being ourselves. Being a woman means making a conscious choice to be uncomfortable almost every single day in order to hopefully feel comfortable in our workplace, home, on the street, or anywhere in public. Being a woman means being as uncomfortable as possible for our daughters, our nieces, and all the little girls that don't quite know the battle they were born into. Being a woman means that we are meant to bring the world together, not tear it further apart.
When women step into their true feminine power they become a powerful and compassionate force that will help us learn to work together, cooperatively.
What does being a woman mean to the other women reading? Message me or comment!
Nothing like a professional photoshoot to help you embrace who you are and who you are becoming in all of our sensual elegance. Visit my friend Kim's site if you're in the Phoenix area! Good Vibes Photography
This is for the wounded lovers, the women who have known pain and violence in sex or their relationships. This is for anyone who has felt shame or guilt for finding a healing salvation in a well-intended, intimate connection with another human.
This is also for the men that know how to care and nurture these women knowing that sometimes this means they are inadvertently daunted with the eximious task of righting another man’s wrongs - in her mind and heart anyway.
I debated dividing this into more than one part but doing so would feel like sliding a knife through a healing process and I just couldn't do it. Ride the wave, it'll be worth it.
I want to begin by saying that the most important thing to remember throughout this archetypal narrative is to trust your instincts. The best men (and women) would only respect you and love you more for it. Reading further will be, in a way, an act of surrender...
Your heart and body have been bruised and battered. You have known glimpses of love, just enough to fill your heart up so that when the love ends, or becomes something you no longer recognize you are acutely aware of the agony of crushing emptiness. You are a survivor and choose to no longer be a victim but instead a warrior on your own path of self-forgiveness, self-acceptance, self-healing, self-discovery, self-expression and most of all, self-love.
There will come a time when a man on a similar journey will be on a path that will intersect with yours. This could happen more than once in a variety of different ways but you will know when it happens. This man will unnerve you because he will look at you differently than other men have. You will have an instant choice to make and if you trust your instincts it will be the right one. The men that are meant to be part of your journey will look at you no differently at perceived rejection; in fact they may even respect you more but not always say so out of respect for your boundaries. You are learning how to use the word ‘no’ as a tool for vetting who will respect your space and boundaries and for those who won’t.
If you are using the word ‘no’ in order to avoid something, however, somehow the universe knows this and it will try again. The people who are meant to help you to the next level, (whatever that means for you at any particular time or place in your journey) will reappear and it will seem much more than happenstance for both of you. Years may go by, but whatever this particular person has to offer you, God, the Universe, fate or whatever forces that are at work greater than we will cause your paths to intersect again and it will continue until you have the courage to face the lesson this person will have to offer you.
Here’s what I can assure you, when the timing is perfect and you have faith in yourself you will be challenged by someone else. For this writing I will speak from my own experience with no intention of limiting what your experience can and will be…
Standing before you will be a man seemingly bathed in light, so much so it will be unsettling. Make no mistake, his darkness will be evident, he doesn’t hide it, he doesn’t hide his light either. He greets you with tempered enthusiasm. He does not fear what you may see as his eyes meet yours with genuine intrigue; the smile he offers you expresses his willingness to be open and vulnerable with you, even if for only a moment.
You have seen desire many times before. In fact you have trouble recalling a time when men didn’t gaze upon you with lust for what they wanted to take from you or, at the very least, you were educated by well-intended adults on what to watch out for. Some men hid it better than others, sometimes under the guise of “helping” you but inevitably you were left feeling stripped raw and thrown away when they were done with you or when you didn’t live up to the expectations they forced onto you. You have had so much experience with these kinds of men your body can sense them before you lay your eyes on them. This man though, he will be different. He doesn’t look at you from a space of empty longing, what he stands to gain, what he intends to take; he looks at you from a space of wholeness. He will recognize your light, your darkness and accept it for what it is.
Patient isn’t a word to use for this man because he waits for no one. He is whole and continues his own work as he walks his own path and he remains open to those that will flow in and out of his life, accepting the divine wisdom in nature and universal synchronicity. He embodies the Yin of sensuality and Yang of sexuality almost perfectly and you can feel it before you even touch. Maybe because you have grown stagnant on your path, maybe you’re curious, or maybe it will be sheer will that offers you the courage to face him. When you do turn towards him you know there will be no turning back. He will meet your gaze as an equal. He will not try to bewitch or enchant you with his words. He has no interest in manipulating your heart. He will make you no promises. This is a man that has no need to prove himself, he would never attempt to force a bud to open. This man appreciates the divinity in watching a flower bloom and the moment he touches you, you will understand why. His primary interest is to just be with you as you desire.
You have invited him to temporarily join you on your path and he has accepted. He proceeds with caution, reading you almost as if he already knows you better than you know yourself. Even if you begin to behave in ways that had been expected of you in the past, he will pause you. He will ground you. He will not let you get away from yourself. His eyes, filled with life, acceptance, and compassion hold yours until you realize that he is there to be your mirror. His role is to reflect to you how far you have come on your journey. He shows you how tired you have become and he recognizes it. He shows you that you too are looking at him from your own wholeness. You realize you aren’t in want, you aren’t surrendering because of an empty need but because someone is offering you their wholeness. This is the beginning of the gift he is offering you, the gift you will share.
He will likely have you take the lead and soon begin to follow. You squeeze your eyes closed trusting this process, trusting that this experience will continue to be different than anything before while simultaneously hearing your body tremble in fear that it will turn out the same. He will say nothing to quiet your fears. He can see all the empty words still etched and seared into your flesh. No, he won’t add to those words, instead he will gently brush them with his lips and his fingertips. He will gently kiss away the invisible grip that remains around your throat from the violence of past lovers hands and their stifling words. He won’t force your eyes open. You find yourself continually realizing that he doesn’t need anything from you and at any moment you could stop him and he wouldn’t look at you or treat you any differently. He finds no shame in a woman standing up for her honor and her dignity. In fact, he would applaud it, one warrior to another. This awareness however only draws you deeper in and the trembling now is no longer fear but surrender.
You have the courage now to open your eyes, even if only for brief moments and he is completely enveloped in pleasing you and watching you. His reverence for you is profound but somehow you know that you must join him in recognizing yourself for it to continue… and that’s when you feel his hands glide along your arching back and he thrusts you deeper into yourself, heat from your combined energy coiling around your spine like a serpent as you throw your head back. He has brought you to a precipice surrounded by the dense fog of a lingering past and you must continue to trust if you want to feel the euphoria of falling through and past it. You let go and he falls with you, assuring you with his body that you will both land on your feet as his grip intensifies. He guides you into the deepest realms of who you are. The fall is your ascension and he remains your mirror. Time is lost as you explore each wave together, reflecting all that has made you whole, all that has brought your paths together. There you remain, in the stillness between time, intertwined in the richness of each other and what you continue to share, releasing whatever has been holding you back and embracing the flood of expansive light.
To say that this is a form of healing may have some merit but it is more of a transmutation of things past. The past may still remain with you but your experience together begins to show you the power of transmuting the remaining scars into something more powerful than the pain, something that you can take into the world with you when this moment has passed and offer to those who are tired of trying to heal or being told how to heal and wondering why so much still lingers. The deep knowing that you are not alone. The further release of shame and guilt that you may have forgotten you still had. Roadblocks from the past fall away as your clarity deepens and your purpose becomes visceral.
The beginning of this intersection promised nothing more than the present moment so as you part ways there is a foreign but liberating sense of freedom in not knowing if your paths will ever be meant to intersect again. For the first time you are feeling completely fulfilled regardless of what will come next. You won’t be able to help ruminating over the profound gratitude you have for this person and the experience you had shared. You will have an even deeper understanding of the sacredness of sex and of detachment to outcome. You will also have a deeper understanding of the intimacy of our interconnectedness as humans along with the value and spiritual power in being able to let go. And once you have known this, I can assure you that you will be far less likely to ever settle or compromise yourself - not ever again. You have seen yourself and you have seen what kind of men do exist and you will continue on your journey feeling a bit lighter with a deeper faith in yourself and others.
Micah's confessions and lessons that have helped with self-forgiveness, healing and acceptance.