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Posts tagged ‘A Woman’s True Voice’

Embrace Your Inner Girl

Always do the thing you fear the most.
Courage is an acquired taste
like caviar.

~Erica Jong

A week ago now I started questioning what it is that I am doing in my life….in the world.  This inquiry came about as I watched a snippet from a film on the Pink Saris in India and what they are doing to stand up for young girls and women in their country, villages, and homes.

I remember feeling bereft as I watched a very young beautiful girl being questioned by one of the Pink Sari women as to why she was so sad.  Her answer was – “I just want to die”.  Her wish to die was precipitated by being wedded at a very young age to an older man who was filmed asking “why does she keep running away?”.  The Pink Sari woman’s answer was “you keep raping her”.

So many women and girls are faced with atrocities every day all over the world.  They are not valued for the amazing beings that they are.  Deeper than that is the paradigm that has brought about this inequity, violence, and disregard for the wisdom, vulnerability, compassion, empathy, intuition, balance, emotion, and relational abilities of what Eve Ensler calls the “girl cell” in all of us -women and men.

A year ago now I sponsored a woman in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and was able by my small donation each month to put this woman through a year long program to empower her within herself, to give her skills to be financially independent, and to have a support system around her to help her continue on amidst a country that has been in violent war for 12 years.

Now I want to do more.

What can each of us as women/men and girls/boys do to shift this old patriarchal system that has caused our very Earth to be in severe jeopardy?  A system that male and female cannot thrive within.

I invite each of you to view the entire video below, a TED talk by Eve Ensler in 2009 given while she was in India.

I invite each of you to find a passionate way in your own life to shift the “training” that has caused us to lose ourselves.  As Eve said, “Being a girl is so powerful that we have had to train everyone not to be a girl.”

Eve Ensler – Embrace Your Inner Girl

“In this passionate talk, Eve Ensler declares that there is a girl cell in us all — a cell that we have all been taught to suppress. She tells heartfelt stories of girls around the world who have overcome shocking adversity and violence to reveal the astonishing strength of being a girl.




The “Crazy” Ones

Martha Graham

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.”Steve Jobs

On the verge of becoming one of the “crazy ones” is a very ripe place to be.  “Crazy” is being defined here as one who steps way out of any self or culturally imposed boxes and makes the decision to take action on behalf of the heart informed inner voice.  That voice of courage, passion and strength that has never know conformity.

Amelia Earhart

What makes us decide that we can no longer hide out in complacency or fear of being all that we are?  Confidence and determination are certainly a part of it.  Yet I believe that it is deeper than that.  There is a place inside of each of us that has known since the day we were born the purpose we came here to serve.

This may be a quiet purpose out of the public eye, or it could be a completely visible one where there is no hiding at all.  Whatever it is, knowing your purpose with clarity is the starting block on this journey of coming out.

As women this knowing can be delayed a bit.  Sometimes we wait in quiet expectation until

Indira Gandhi

our 50”s, 60’s or even 70’s before we take the time to listen to the heart and intuition driven inner voice that Steve Jobs speaks of above.  It is never too late to become what is your hearts desire!

Take me for example.  I turned 63 this year and I laughingly said to a friend of mine recently “I keep calling myself midlife.  Am I really deluded?  If I am at midlife now then I will be living vibrantly until age 126!!  Now that is possible I suspect, but a more likely explanation is that I find life so irresistible right now that every day is like an art piece to be explored.

Jean Houston

My friend wants to redefine midlife to include the years when we are vibrantly choosing to make a difference and passionately following that inner guidance with heart directed action.  I agree with her.  Midlife is whatever we define it no matter what age we are.

Are you playing it safe?  Or have you decided to be one of the ‘Crazy Ones”?

Those crazy ones – make a difference.  Narrated by Steve Jobs

…and then there is Alice Walker

So in the end you can’t even really regret your misfortunes,” explains the beloved author Alice Walker, “because they led you somewhere.”


You Can’t Fail At An Experiment

The title of this post is something that Claire Dakin said in her talk at the Women On Fire Conference this year introducing Three Sisters – Women Seeding Change.  This concept – “you can’t fail at an experiment” is a way to look at each twist and turn of your life as an opportunity to take action, and to let go of the fear of failure.

I used to ask myself the question, if we as women took the time to step up on behalf of the planet and stopped competing with each other I wonder what would happen?  What I see occurring all over the globe right now is just that – women stepping up on behalf of the planet, our communities and families, and on behalf of each other .

As a committed global group we hold great power to create the change that we desire.

What the video below will give you are two things.  First is an opportunity to join other women towards quickening a successful outcome towards major global reforestation.

Secondly, is to inspire you to experience first hand what it feels like to open completely to the feminine inside of you, and to celebrate yourself in union with women and girls all over the world.

An experiment can never fail – for it is an experiment.  I wonder what great experiments you can create and take action on from the deepest part of your heart?  Be like Claire Dakin and invest in the courage to find out!

Women supporting women – and all of us supporting the Earth.



Breathe Soul Into Your Life

“The breath is a love song from your Soul to you”.  Jennifer Grace King

…and I would add, the breath is a vehicle for celebrating your life!  When is it that we feel most alive?  Most probably when we are embodied in an activity where every single fiber of our being is present and accounted for.  From this state of aliveness it is clear that we are here to play, create, connect and  love in all of its myriad forms.

It is times such as this that we let go of inhibitions and enter the realm of the art of being….being present to the moment in which we are in. Just preceding this moment there may have been fear, anxiety, sadness, expectation,  or any other of the array of human emotions and physical sensations that we feel.

The breath carries you out
of the games and drama of your mind and brings you deep
down into stillness. “                                      From:  Breathe Soul Into Your Life

Most probably it was not your mind that took you into this moment.  It was a leap of trust and a deep letting go that paved the way for an extraordinary-ordinary moment to be felt fully and embraced.  And, before that moment you most probably took a very deep breath….

RESOURCES:  There are two resources that come with this post.  One is a link to the new book Breathe Soul Into Your Life by Jennifer Grace King who lives in Australia.   Jennifer and I resonate deeply on our feelings about the importance of the breath and connected via one of my other blogs – BreathingSpaces.  This little book is just out and would be a great gift for the holidays (oh yes, they are sneaking up on us!)


The other resource is a video done by Sonia Choquette which I wanted to share with you.  I have unofficially titled this video Breathe Into Your Voice – Be Alive!  There is a great segment of a woman putting her heart and soul into Mary Sings A Little Lamb after the song is completed.   This happens to have been filmed in  Sidney, Australia.   Celebrating our connection with the “down under” folks today!  Enjoy!


www.BreathingSpaces.net      Recent post:  Breathing Compassion In The Pitch Dark
www.NaturalWealthJournal.com   Recent post:  Handing Over to the Divine Design

REMINDER!  Today is the last day to register for Bring 3 Friends and Attend for FREE! for the Women’s Empowerment Workshop  September 15-18 in Vail Colorado.  This is a nature adventure retreat that empowers women to nourish mind, body and spirit by connecting to the natural world in a profoundly enriching, compelling, and transformational way.   Go to:  http://www.womensempowerment.us/

Looking Past Limits

I turn 63 years old in just a matter of a couple of weeks.  Two days before this day of my birth celebration I am taking flight by heading off down the road to visit family, friends, and new places all on the way to my new home in Austin, Texas.

Unhooking from a “conventional job” with all the trimmings, leaving my little cottage in the Oregon countryside, saying farewell to friends, and generally being aware of letting go of perceived limitations there is an excitement that is building inside.

There is no “job” to greet me on the other side, home to put my belongings in,  man to greet me with open arms, family to be closer to, or known territory to feel “safe” in….yet there is possibility, mystery, and new territory to open to and explore.  Is this what looking past limits is made of?

Mary Oliver said it in her poem, A Summer Day, with the line – “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”  I love this line!  Do you know?  Well, it is never too late to breathe wildness into that precious life and find out!  We may not know how, but believing in the innate gifts we hold inside is essential.

Whether a woman knows it or not, she is a vessel of great magnitude born capable of reshaping humanities destiny if she only knew the true depths of her innate gifts. Be prepared now to see the fierce face of the feminine rock as her inner geographies of volcanic strength erupt from a love she has held in her belly for life all of her days. This is not a gasp of her last breath. It is her birthing cry into her wise leadership on our planet.” ~ Alisa Starkweather

Each of us as women need to hear of others that are doing this same thing as we leap off into the passionate expression of our deepest longings.  Below is a very powerful TED video with Caroline Casey which is well worth the time spent to listen to it in its entirety.

How will you spend the next days/months/years of this one wild and precious life?



ROAR!!! Shaking The Trees

Some of you might recognize this Tarot card which was given to me as a symbol for this last year of my life.  Everyone will see something different within the image and the symbols.  In fact, everyone will see and feel exactly what they need to at this juncture of their life within the depths of the images.

This card has been on my altar as a guiding light for finding trusting, and surrendering to my  authentic “voice” – amongst the many competing ones all around –  in an emboldened, passionate, sensual and expansive way.

In that vein, I would like to share with you a piece called ROAR!!! by Cinda Stevens Lonsway.  As I read this story energy raced through my body.  It was exactly the words that I needed to read right in this moment to inspire me to courageously continue bringing my voice and connecting with the likes of YOU – the Wildly Free Woman!

To read the story please go to:


You can find Cinda on Facebook at : ROAR!-Empowering Women to Give Voice to Their Truth     https://www.facebook.com/roarwithcinda

….and now for the Shaking The Trees part!  Eight years ago now there was a song that was created by Peter Gabriel called “Shaking The Trees”.  I had forgotten about it until today when I came across it once again on a Facebook post.

I gift you this video to go along with ROARING for I do believe that the two combined will have you not only up and dancing, but making sounds that only you can make.  Don’t be shy now!!




There was a circle of women sitting together having come to join each other in sharing what it was to walk a sacred, creatively authentic path as a woman in this world.  The small island on which this retreat was located held us within the energy of her natural beauty.  There was a leader of this group who stood before us in her power and with her unique voice.  She vibrated with confidence and a wisdom that was palatable to everyone in the room.

The present assignment was simple, or so it seemed.  Each woman was asked to share what brought her, and whether she had any expectations of the week that we would share together.  I immediately felt the fear of being transparent within this circle of women.  It was a full body charge running from the top of my head all the way to my toes….and it wasn’t particularly comfortable.   I felt like a deer in the headlights as my turn quickly approached.

As each woman shared eloquently (or so I judged) her journey to get here, and what she hoped to uncover for herself, I felt like I was the lone ranger with all of this fear of not being able to speak within the circle.  As long as I was the facilitator or leader of a group I seemed to be quite fine thank you very much, but when put in the position of being a participant where I felt not in control of what would come out of my mouth – well it was pure terror!

Most of my life had been spent in a man’s world, literally!  Motherless since 14 with 4 brothers, a father to take care of me, 2 husbands and another long term partner, 3 sons and many years in the conventional medical world, I wasn’t really certain of how to be in the company of women let alone bring my authentic powerful voice to the forefront.  I had been too busy anticipating the needs of men and everyone else around me to trust what my own voice had to say.

Well here was my chance, in this circle of women bound together out of a desire to mine the depths of our individual and collective hearts, souls, and minds – and dance together with our bodies in uninhibited movement.

It was then my turn in the circle to share, and do you know what I did?  I passed!  Oh, yes a lesson learned a 1,000 times over that when you pass on bringing your voice, no matter what the circumstances, you not only miss out on finding out more about yourself,  but you also hold back your unique thoughts, feelings, and ideas that could empower or break open the woman sitting next to you, the woman across the circle from you, or the woman on the other side of the world!

Yes, I finally did dismantle the fear that was keeping me silent, and shared a couple of days later in my own timing. That seemed to part of my lesson as well these many years ago now.  Honoring when I was ready to bring my voice by loving myself in the moment of absolute terror, and then committing within myself to bring my voice before the week was out.  It was what happened between the terror and the bringing that was truly the heart of the healing for me.  I let go of being perfect and committed to bring the whole of me – no matter what.

The “no matter what” was important for me in this safe circle of women, for so like many women we seem to hold a deep cellular memory of having been somehow “punished” for bringing our voice, our talents, and our opinions to the table of the world at large.  I say, let’s create another cellular memory for the girls that follow behind us and for the women of today and yesterday.

What does happen between finding our voice and bringing it out into the world in all of our relationships and endeavors??

There is a video below that is powerfully short and to the point.  Chills swept my body as I realized that although I have brought my voice out into the community, in relationship, and out into the world I have reached a point in age when there is not as much time to bring that unique voice of mine as there was when I was 20, 30, 40 or even 50.

What is it that will encourage, support, and sometimes give us a little lovin push or shove, as the case may be, to find and bring our voice?  I say – each other!

We need all of us to break any silence we have kept for reasons only we know deep in our hearts…tell your story and impact the world, reclaim your voice when you have lost it, be fearless, listen to your inner voice and act accordingly, let go of being perfect, talk about what is important to you with other women and ask for help when needed, live your life in integrity and on your own terms, let go of trying to be everything to everybody….Be completely, transparently, and powerfully YOU!





P.S.  Couldn’t help but include this little video as a post script.  Just watched it and still have a smile on my face.  Talk about finding your voice.  It comes in many ways of expression!!  Enjoy!





Falling In Love With The Journey – Being Utterly Alive!

True Identity of a Carousel - Photo by Dewitt Jones

Falling in love with the journey is what makes life juicy!  Otherwise, we put off living, as if there is something better around the bend, tomorrow, next week, next year, or in the next moment.  Before we know it – our lives this time around are finished.

Time seems to be flying by these days.  It is not just me that is aware of it.  There are many of us that are feeling our way into a new reality.  Perhaps a different location to live,  the gathering of a tribe (community) to play and create with that aligns with our inner desires, dreams and values;  coming into the expressions that we have kept in that silent place inside of ourselves because of fear or self doubt; or as Lone Morch states below in a quote from The Feminine Fad: about power, truth & the new feminine, perhaps finally seeing ourselves as sacred, co-creators of the world.

On the societal, cultural level, maybe that means we move from seeing ourselves as mere consumers, sex objects and advertising targets to seeing ourselves as sacred, co-creators of the world, because, in our hearts, we know that for every action (thought, feeling…) there is a reaction. We don’t live in a vacuum, everything affects the collective, and each person’s choices matter. My sense is that when we can tell ourselves the truth of who we are, we can also love ourselves, When we love ourselves, we begin to trust ourselves, and naturally a lot of hole-filling choices, masks and needs might just fall away. We might see more clearly. We might feel closer to our self-authority. We might actually begin to feel utterly alive and begin to breathe with Mother Earth. A sweet thought to behold.” www.divinelyfurious.com

We all know that the journey can hold deep holes we at times fall into, mountain tops where we can see clearly, and the everyday one foot in front of the other where you never know what is going to show up next.   The potential for being utterly alive is constantly present in all of these places.

Will we take a breath and step into the aliveness on the unknown path,  or will be choose the “safe” and deeply rutted route?  There is a vivid dream that I had several years ago now that pointed me in the right direction and that I draw upon even now when I forget – which is often.

In this dream I am attempting to get to a destination of “higher learning” and many are on the path in front and in back of me.  I reach the cliff ledge and see in the distance the “place” where I wish to get to.  My attention is totally focused on “how to get there” thus I am assessing and watching how others before me are making it down the cliff side – including ropes, climbing gear, negotiating narrow and dangerous paths, just jumping with parachute (or without!). 

Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down.~ Ray Bradbury

As I stand there in indecision I take a breath and turn my head to the left – my feminine side – and see before me a path that gently winds its way to this place that I seek.  Ahhh – it has been here inside of me all along!

Now there is choice! An adventure down the dangerous cliff side by finding our own unique way to traverse it is possible, but not the only option.  It would be the journey from that ledge of possibility that teaches about life.  It is the falling in love with it from a place of trusting, and letting go from within that informs us.

Kerri Lake, in a recent piece entitled “Once You Are On The Freeway, You Can’t Back Up” speaks of a pivotal moment in time when mind became dictator and the voice of the universe, disguised in sheriffs garb, brought her back to her senses.  You will find it HERE Thank you to Sherryl Fraunenglass on A Woman’s True Voice, and Kerri Lake for this inspiration!

Sometimes it feels overwhelming to take life full on, yet the alternative is to live imprisoned in a game that doesn’t excite us.  Maybe, just maybe, we can fall in love with the journey no matter how dangerous or difficult it may seem, become sacred co-creators of the world,  move forward in spite of our fears and doubts, and immerse ourselves in the gravity of love.

Ashes and Snow – THE GRAVITY OF LOVE  – Enigma

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTTwww.BreathingSpaces.net

Women’s Bodies, Women’s Flourishing!

“Imagine a Woman” poem has circled the globe. It has been read by politicians in South Africa and Bermuda, genocide survivors in Rwanda, artists at their showings, graduates at their graduations, friends at cronings and birthdays, ministers at memorials and commitment ceremonies. It is tweeted, blogged, posted, and loved throughout the world! The poem is 15 years old.  Thank you to: Sherryl Frauenglass: A Woman’s True Voice

I started with this poem as it is a great entry for the focus of todays post. A couple of days ago I was at my optometrist listening to him lecture me on the fact that I was seeing, without correction, at 20/70 and that was not good enough to drive without glasses or contacts.

I sat there reflecting on the fact that over the past 10 years or so my vision has improved as I have consciously worked with lowering the correction in my contact lenses….and more importantly seeing my world, my life, and my body as an exciting creative art piece that I have been so lovingly gifted with this lifetime.

For whatever reason I held back from him the information that I used to be tested at having vision without correction at 20/350 in one eye and 20/400 in the other!  I somehow wanted to savor that without any explanations from my very competent optometrist….

Much to my delight Susan Gala’s Inspiring The Whole Radiant You posted a video by Christiane Northrup, M.D. whom I have followed for some time now.  I share this with you as a reminder of who you are….and what you can create with awareness and commitment to your individual thriving and that of the women who’s lives you touch.  Let the words of Christiane inspire you for 2011 to become “the whole radiant you” NOW as you age into beauty and flourishing!

Christiane Northrup, M.D., pioneer and visionary in the field of women’s health, brings her seventh special to PBS, WOMEN’S BODIES, WOMEN’S WISDOM. This program is based on the fourth revision of her classic text, and brings to viewers Dr. Northrup’s newest thinking about how women at all ages can transform their relationships with their bodies, inside and out.

(Oh, and by the way I was told that my contact prescription needed to be changed as I was “over corrected” and cataracts were beginning to form in my eyes too!)

Susan Gala's Inspiring the Whole Radiant YouSusan Gala’s Inspiring the Whole Radiant You

Sherryl Frauenglass: A Woman's True VoiceSherryl Frauenglass: A Woman’s True Voice

OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT:  www.BreathingSpaces.net

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