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.
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!
OTHER BLOGS BY GAYE ABBOTT: