In Healthy Female Community, Even the Strongest Among us has Room to Be Vulnerable
So many powerful women teachers, leaders and facilitators I mentor speak of their great and understandable longing, for a woman’s community in which they can be held with intelligence, strength and care. This is a complex negotiation, this ‘being held’. So often, women who end up in the role of teacher, leader and facilitator within healing professions do so because they were born into family systems that were not safe, where there was a great need for guidance and maturity and a great lack of any well-enough adults to appropriately fill the role. We learn to be self-sufficient and we learn to be wise. And of course, likely, we are born with a capacity in this realm. Perhaps it’s a capacity of strength, or practicality, or intuition, or all three. But no matter what else it might be, it’s also a great capacity to sublimate our own innocence, to forgo our own childhood, to become instead what the system needs in order for it to remain (at least marginally) functional. Many of us do a phenomenal job at this adult-ness, and as a result we learn to derive our sense of value and worth from our capacity to sublimate the perfectly healthy requirements of childhood in order to continually prop up the (chronological) adults in our midst.
Eventually, if we are to find our way into true wholeness – delivering our most precious gifts to The World – the leader/teacher/elder-before-her-time within us must have her own safe place to be held, where she can shed her well-used capacity to be everything everyone else needs in the moment, to be, instead, what SHE needs for herself. Here, she is invited to own her grief and her rage and often, most poignantly, her longing, innocence and curiosity. This container must have enough integrity for her to acknowledge her own truth; that there are many parts of her, perhaps the most wise and soulful parts, that have gone unvalued and unexplored because where would she have done this exploration? With whom would she have done it?
In this safe-enough container she might begin to develop pathways of knowing herself, parts of herself that have likely felt like liabilities, the parts that ‘out’ her as a human who has needs like the rest, parts that reveal to the world that she does not, in fact, know everything. In this safe-enough container she can ask questions never dared asked and rest in another woman’s knowing and guidance in a way she has never had the opportunity to do. From this place, she crafts herself into a truly unstoppable force of Nature; one who can unfurl her exquisite superpowers with her tap-root planted in a wellspring of nourishment where her human-ness is honored and fed.
Women, our world is in crisis. As leaders and teachers in the realm of human healing we know this all too well. But like all intelligent wild systems, our world has been busy birthing the very radical wild women with the capacity to create a new world cycle. We are those women. If we are depleted, brittle, invulnerable, if we’ve become cynical and malnourished, we are of no use to the very World we call Mother, and our greatest purpose lays fallow in parched Earth.
Join us in The Verdant Collective, a container of impeccable integrity, ferocity and intelligence, where even the strongest alpha mares may curl up in the arms of elders, if even for a brief moment, before they gallop back out to hold up the sky.