When I was about 5 a friend and I decided it was terribly unfair that we could not pee standing up like boys!
I suppose this was not surprising given that our mothers were famously known for having burned their bras in a passionate but misguided gesture of feminine equality. I say misguided because while trying to throw off the yoke of inequality they believed being equal to men meant being the Same As Men.
Freedom and equality are not the same thing. I believe that what they were actually, and unknowingly, looking for was permission to embrace their true feminine nature and essence without it being belittled.
And who can blame them when the true gifts of being feminine (and the power of the feminine), like intuition, body connection, compassion, and sensuality have typically been invalidated or tarnished by the patriarchal ideas of sexuality, weakness and hysteria.
I realized with shock at some point in my healing journey how I’d been brought up to view softness with scorn and was praised for being the fastest, fittest, brightest, to be able to drink as much as the guys and to handle pain without crying.
I was the only girl in my class to reach the top of Table Mountain on a school trip and I got there faster than some of the boys. I was so proud of that victory and the boys treated me like one of them with back slaps and praise.
This way of being wasn’t overtly taught by my parents but I modelled my mother and took guidance from the responses and behaviours of my parents, school teachers, extended family and society at large. In an effort to fit in, be acknowledged and enough I was a first-class chameleon who’d forgotten what my natural colour was.
My masculine ways were so ingrained in my identity and sense of self, and the scorn I felt towards being “soft” was the armouring that hid my deep vulnerability about not being enough if I just showed up as the sensitive, loving, deeply connected, empathic being I was as a young child and am at my core.
It took burning out from the sheer effort of maintaining my armouring for me to start to re-claim that truth.
It’s been a slow and, at times, very lonely journey as I have often felt like a pioneer on the stumbling path to upholding the true feminine in a society that doesn’t always support this. But with the unfolding journey all I needed came to me – mentors, teachers and beautiful friends on this same path, along with poems, podcasts, books and words of wisdom that aligned deeply with the longing in my soul and slotted perfectly in place like that last puzzle piece.
It then became clear that my truth and my life’s work involves supporting other women in this journey and that my whole life has been preparing me for just that.
My call has continuously been to hold other women in love as they navigate this unfamiliar terrain so that they don’t have to do it alone and so that I can guide them to reclaim themselves and not a version that I or society expects from them.
If this speaks to you and you feel called to explore a more whole-hearted, healthy, balanced, deeply connected, awakened life I’m in the process of creating the Rooted Membership group (which is open to you whether you’ve experienced burnout or not and simply want to explore how to embrace the fullest version of you that calls from your soul).
You can learn more here and sign up to receive more information when it opens for enrollment.