Hello Radiant Woman, it’s so beautiful to be back in this space after having taken quite the hiatus. As you may well know, I have been on my own Heroine’s journey over the past almost 3 decades and I have been a guide for women who are ready for deep transformation and empowerment. In order to be able to guide women through the deep processes that it takes to transform, it requires that I do the same deep work on myself. And often, that means getting really quiet and going inward
So I just returned from a 10-day dieta, a deep study with plant medicines, where I spent many hours each day communing with nature and listening to that deep, still voice within.
So leading up to this intensive retreat I was dealing with a substantial lower back injury. It was a good couple of months of working with chiropractors, physical therapists, and healers trying to get some mobility back. Nothing seemed to really help. In fact, I kept reinjuring it. It was so bad, I thought I might have to miss this beautiful dieta experience because it was all outdoors, Camping, isolated in nature with very little food and liquids. It was meant to be uncomfortable for the sake of growth. But I went anyway, and I’m so glad I did, because as it turned out it was this deep dive experience that revealed to me what my back had been trying to communicate.
Now one of the principles I live by in my life, and something I am consistently reminding the women I work to consider, is that life is always unfolding for your highest good. It’s all here for you, even when it’s painful. I even go so far as to believe when life gets really painful, there are usually some beautiful teachings trying to get your attention.
Well, my back was definitely trying to get my attention. But I can be really thick headed when it comes to some things. In hindsight the messages are so clear. Like one of the times I re-injured my back, I was supporting a woman at a retreat and I was sitting in a position that was really uncomfortable for my back. But because I didn’t want to interrupt her process by shifting my position, I stayed.... and as a result I sacrificed my back. And as I was leaving that same retreat, one of the team members asked me “where am I not being supported in my life?” It was a Fair enough question, except that I had arranged my life in a way that I felt so supported in all areas of my life. So I just let those word pass me right on by. Doesn’t apply to me. Right? I literally support women to ask for what they need and to receive it. SO clearly, he didn’t know. But come to find out, I was the one who didn’t know. Because the deep teaching I received during my dieta, was that, I wasn’t supporting myself. My lower back was showing me that I wasn’t supporting me. Even though I had set my life up to receive support from others, like my beautiful, loving husband who would do anything for me that I asked and all the people I pay to help me, and yet..l.... on the deepest level I was still self-sacrificing. That thing women do when we put other people’s needs above our own.. I was still doing it at the most basic level. My big aha was that my natural response in any situation is to basically abandon my own needs in order to be of service.
Down to the smallest acts of service, like making dinner, for instance. The simple act of reaching for a pan and losing track of my center in the process, off-balance, leaving myself vulnerable for injury. The beauty of what I learned, is that self-sacrificing for the sake of service isn’t being of service to the whole. Because I am an important part of the whole, being the one who is providing the service in the first place. Which goes back to the whole reason the flight attendant has to remind us on the airplane that you need to secure your own oxygen mask first before trying to help others.
This is how it works so that everyone wins. It’s not sustainable to abandon your own needs for the sake of others. And women are more likely to sacrifice our own needs, because we have inherited a storyline that our needs matter. Which is so far from the truth it’s insanity to believe otherwise. Of course our needs matter. In fact, we are each the center of our own universe so in truth, our needs matter the most.
But clearly I still needed to get this message in an embodied way, which is why my back had to get involved.
And once I integrated this message, my back miraculously improved. My body was just trying to communicate what I had thought I already understood, and it wasn’t going to let up until I really got it.
Coming back from my dieta, I am finding myself moving slower more conscious of my movements. Mindful not to abandon myself as I tend to my clients and my family. I’m listening to my body in a way I never have. I’m hearing the deep wisdom that is guiding my every step, inviting me back home inside myself.
It’s time to re-write the 4-thousand year old story that has been ruling how we as women live in the world. It’s time to make the choice for ourselves that our own needs are the most important. If we aren’t honoring our own needs, no one else will either.
Yes, be in service to the world, but be in service to yourself first.
I love you.