who is this She that's coming again?
let me explain.
these last few winter months, i've been reviewing my year of exuberant HIGHS and dark LOWS.
HIGH: my son took his first wobbly baby steps and his first toddling run on the beach. every morning he wakes up singing "twinkle, twinkle, little star" but uses "mama" for every word. one of his first complete sentences was, "no owie. happy me, mama." his baby-laughs heal all that ails me.
LOW: i swam in near despair for nearly 4 months as my post-weaning disregulated hormones hijacked my sanity. i got acne (i'm 41 for goodness sake!), insomnia, anhedonia (the inability to feel emotional and physical pleasure), and 10 extra pounds. i doubted daily that i would ever feel like myself again.
HIGH: i offered my mentorship program for the first time, a wild, wondrous success. women thanked me, saying, "thank you for bringing me back to life," "now i know what it is to be a woman," and "nothing is, or ever was, wrong with me. i was just too busy to listen to my body." if i died today, i would be happy.
LOW: i took the advice of my mind over my body, even know i know better. i wasted nearly a month working on a project i knew in my heart and body wasn't right. self-prescription: burn big time in the fire of my own medicine. ouch.
HIGH: i have on spiritual speed-dial seven muse/friend/entrepreneur/mentor/biz-whiz/edge-cutter sisters. i do a daily dance of booty-shaking gratitude that i called in and sustained this off-the-charts circle of sisterhood.
LOW: i've raised my fist to the sky and wailed, "i just can't do it all: be a great mama. friend. lover. wife. house-mate. businesswoman. learner. earner. compassionate communicator. i can't do it."
i forgot that everything takes four times as long and is four times as complex to pull off than in my pre-baby life and i assigned blame to my personal shortcomings. i forgot that my minor superpower is bringing pleasure to most unpleasant things. i forgot to step back, to rest and to ask for help.
HIGH: i feel beautiful, smart and capable in my husband's gaze. every year, for ten years, we're careful to have a honeymoon-like adventure and every year i want to marry him all over again. in fact, i'm at this very moment writing to you from mexico, 85 degrees, bikini on, this year's adventure ON.
HIGH. LOW. HIGH. LOW. this too shall pass.
exuberance. despair. exuberance. despair. this too shall pass.
during the short, dark, dank, depressing days of Winter, i always doubt if Spring will come again.
and She always does.
Spring comes again. light, strength, change … they always come again.
in my mentorship program, Woman: The Embodiment Experience i teach women how this Winter-Spring-Summer-Fall cycle maps onto our monthly feminine cycle. the exuberant HIGHS and dark LOWS we go through, they are not a mistake or faulty wiring, as most of us think and are lead to believe. it is these cycles – and knowing exactly where we are in 'em – that is actually the key to our true feminine power.
so "Summer" becomes code for the week (more or less) of any given month when you'd be ovulating: you feel like a million bucks, you glow like a second sun, you are feisty, inspired and unstoppable. HIGHS are what summer is all about.
"Winter" becomes code for the week (more or less) of any given month when you'd be bleeding: you feel ugly and stuck. you know you can't do it. you doubt and despair. you wonder why anyone wants to be around you. LOWS are what winter is all about, and winter always seems to last longer than any human can bear.
so how do we spend as little time stuck in Fall and Winter and as much time sunning ourselves in Spring and Summer?
here's my best playbook for we women:
1. embrace the paradox.
being a woman, having ups and downs built in to your delicate wiring, knowing this too shall pass while knowing you can change anything, can be crazy-making unless you throw up your hands, laugh and shake hands with the cosmic riddle that is The Feminine.
2. listen to your inner-guidance, soul-truth.
at the end of the day, only you know. who else would know, but you?
say, "thanks anyway, cosmo. sayonara, well-meaning advice. get thee gone, latest fad. hush, must-read blog. silence, gossip rag."
keep the council of your own heart and bones. they are wise beyond measure.
3. sisterhood, sisterhood, sisterhood.
get as many women as you can fit in your life, who share your values, coax out your best and around whom you feel whole and beautiful.
listen to them.
i know i just said only listen to yourself and only you know. there's that paradox thing again, what can i say?
a True Sister will remind you you're not at the end of your rope, it's just Winter time. she will see blindspots you never can and will help you avert disaster. she'll be so gorgeous, accomplished and wise that sometimes you'll feel small and lame next to her – and she'll snap you out of it in a hot minute, a shiny mirror to your always-was-there brilliance.
4. welcome the Winters.
invite them in to sit and have tea instead of making them wrong.
open your arms to your hot-mess-ness instead of playing the fool's game of perfectionism.
or else you'll feel wrong, crazy and broken … like clockwork … at least every 28 days or so.
because when you welcome Winter, you gain the perspective that your LOW is part of your process. i t's meant to be there, it's your teacher, it's an asset not a liability. Winter not where your story ends, it's where it begins.
if you try to rip yourself out of Winter times too quickly, you'll fumble your lesson and you'll miss that red-hot kernel of your strength and power that you only get by keeping afloat way, way after the point you were sure you would drown.
5. do your deep, internal work.
sometimes you just duck for cover and wait for the storm of Winter to pass. sometimes time takes care of it for you. (hallelujah!)
and some miseries can be shifted. forever. thorns transformed into pearls. never to return. (hallelujah!)
6. when you get the full-body YES-nudge, say YES.
this is your soul calling to you from the other side. go. jump off and fly toward it.
even though your feathers might get singed, this YESing of your desire will always exhilarate you and reveal another sliver of your Truth.
(and conversely, when you get the full-body, scalp-tingly NO, stop in your tracks. back off.)
heeding your YES and your NO is never something you'll regret.
so, to my original question: who is this She that's coming again?
Spring, sweet merciful Spring is just around the corner.
my mentorship program, The Embodiment Experience, my sweet, powerful, life's-work, magnificent, magnum-opus program, is just around the corner.
your next HIGH, sweet, affirming HIGH is just around the corner. (and yes, so is your next wild and wise LOW…)
so keep an eye out.
i've much to share with you in the coming weeks about seasons, cycles, mentorship, jealousy, the science of why pleasure is a non-negotiable for women, your sexy wild woman's wisdom, and the bass-ackward, often awkward, always awe-inspiring way we women can claim it ALL for our very own.