Such a polite way to describe what are really the dark nights of the soul, those dark, difficult turning points in life. Just when you think you have it all figured out…
WHAM! Life turns you upside down and shakes you.
I know that many of you are going through your own exploding version of a life transition, right now. In fact, in reviewing all your questions for this summer series, so many of you asked about what to do during these complex times of revolutionary and evolutionary change.
Really, what to do when the proverbial s&*t hits the fan??
We don’t always realize that we actually design our s&*t-hitting experiences, do we? We feel undone and done to, and I have to say, I have felt like the biggest loser on the victim bus so many times in my life, ’til the Womanly Arts brought me to my senses.
Let me introduce our gorgeous and fabulous panelists for this week: Rebecca, Sade, and Elan. In the video below, they are generous enough to share their own experiences during life transition. Then below they answer your direct questions for applying the Womanly Arts.
Now that you know our ladies, let’s see how they have addressed some of your direct questions!
I am scared that taking the risk to do what I want won’t work out, and I will have nothing. What do I do?
If you are following your pleasure then you can’t possibly go wrong and you will never be left with nothing. Standing for yourself and your pleasure is what the Universe wants, and if you keep your eyes open and your antennas tuned in, opportunities will start popping up everywhere! The universe is way more creative than you or I and it will come up with opportunities that you never dreamed of. It may feel scary to do this, but I’ve learned over and over again that its true.
A great way to stay open to the universe is to dance. Get in motion, move your body, feel the flow. Take every opportunity to dance break in celebration of your fabulous, pleasure-filled new life that starts today!
How can I feel like a goddess even when I am grieving?
With courageous honesty and the 3 steps I outlined below, that’s how…
- Give yourself permission to fall apart with the understanding that one of the highest forms of divinity is in allowing and accepting the ruptures in our lives. In those times, you get to be your very own phoenix rising from the ashes, and really when do we ever get permission to reinvent ourselves? Ummm, can you say the ultimate makeover party?! Remember, we are Sister Goddesses goddesses, not superheroes, so our first step is to throw out the preconceived notion that Sister Goddesses have to have it all together all the time & always have it “going on.”
- Treat grief like a medical emergency and triage the situation by using AS MANY TOOLS AS POSSIBLE AS OFTEN AS POSSIBLE. If you think you are flatlining…let the Tools be your life support.
- Swamping: (From our Womanly Arts Mastery Program) Acknowledge the rupture with the most transparent grieving you have ever done. Tap into the power and strength that comes from the clarity of the breakdown (what the hell are you really crying for?) and then Swamp the shit out of it as if you were a drunk chick at your own bachelorette party…go all out (down to having another SG hold your hair while you throw up…I mean really go there)!
- Spring Clean: Don’t suffer in silence–reach out to community and spring clean on ANY & EVERYTHING that comes up for you around your grief as often as necessary…you have to get rid of the charge to really feel your goddess energy more profoundly. Last of the Tools would be to do a trinity [a brag, a gratitude and a desire] EVERY SINGLE DAY.
- Bragging: I find bragging a fun and powerful Tool when things are good in my life, but I find it to be a revolutionary one when I’m sad and feeling sorry for myself. Forcing yourself to brag about things in your life on those dark, gloomy days is like an electric bolt to your divine Goddess energy. The articulation of a gratitude and desire helps to put things in perspective and can also act as a measuring stick and a plan for your well-being and personal care…basically your light at the end of the tunnel.
- Desire List: Your desire list can help provide you with a destination through the often disorienting change.
- Third, and maybe the most important step of all, is to be gentle with yourself. Be patient, don’t compare, deny, suppress, judge or condemn the process. Celebrate the sadness and the pain. Ceremonialize it by performing one act of kindness to and for yourself each day. You need pampering now more than ever so give yourself permission to do so. Mama Gena taught me that the goddess in rupture demands that she too be treated divinely with pleasure even through the ugly cry and snotty sobs.
How can you stay confident in your decision to make a change, while undergoing the stressors of the transition?
This is where the Tools come into play BIG TIME! Spring cleaning, swamping and keeping lists of gratitudes and desires were my Tools of choice during the scariest parts of this transition. Spring cleaning and swamping helped me process the doubts and fear, gratitudes kept me in a positive, peaceful place, and desires helped me stay clear and excited about where I was headed. All of these Tools are great on their own, but they are wicked powerful when you practice them in community! Surrounding yourself with women who are totally on your side and supportive of your desires is absolutely essential. Don’t even think about doing this alone!
When I experience an abrupt loss, liking getting fired or breaking up, how can I find my way through the shock to know what is true in my gut?
The answer is you won’t know at first…you can’t. Everything is so jumbled at first and your mind body spirit connection is in survival mode. But with time, patience and the ability to listen without defense, you will begin to notice a voice/feeling that will rise from the chaos and debris. That is your gut. However, the recognition of your gut can be the hardest part. All too often we are more comfortable ignoring this voice and lamenting over “knowing better” than being brave enough to stand for ourselves and walk the walk of our gut, which often requires earth-shaking radical change.
Do you have advice for the newly single woman in her 40’s? Or for the divorcee after 18 years? Or for the lady growing older and wanting to feel young again?
First of all, I want you to know that I have never felt better about myself in my life, because of the Womanly Arts. And if I can do it, you can do it! What’s my secret? I can’t say it enough times: pleasure & community, pleasure & community, pleasure & community…like a never-ending pattern that wraps around me.
- Pleasure: I do as many things as I can that bring me out of my head and into pleasure. I take dance classes. I got a trainer. I ride my bike. I got a rebounder and rebound. I deluge my life with fun things that bring me back to my joyspot. I will do whatever it takes to get me in a good place. I will stop at nothing. And I accept the fact that for me it takes many streams of input and activities to get me out of a rocky spot. Don’t just stop at one watering hole. Visit many! View your new freedom as this delicious opportunity for reinvention and variety.
- Community: Although I have always been a social person blessed with a lot of friends, I needed a new group of friends, and I found that through the Mama Gena community. I needed women that would support me where I was at and were fun and available to do fun things on weekends. Go to sistergoddess.com and see what other goddesses are doing and get your butt out there. There are endless events to do together.
How do I let my freedom to be ME infiltrate my professional life?
Don’t worry, it will happen naturally. As you make internal shifts, they will ripple out in all directions and will impact every area of your life without you even being aware of it! It may take longer to infiltrate your professional life, but it will get there!
For me, I’ve undergone a radical redefining of leadership since I started working with the Womanly Arts. I was brought up in a very male-dominated work culture that was built on hierarchies and top-down power dynamics. A good work ethic seemed to be measured by how much of your life you were willing to give up to hard work and stress. It never felt right to operate that way, but I was trained to view anything else as weak and ineffective.
It’s been an absolute revolution to my senses to shift those beliefs and to apply the practice of pleasure to every area of my life, including my work. Work can be fun?! What a concept! And what an important shift to make, considering how much of our time is spent in the workplace. I’m in a leadership role so I’m in a good position to create meaningful shifts in work practices for myself and my staff.
I have guilt about not being more present before my parents died. What do I do?
This is a common question around grief, because the fact of the matter is we ALL wish we were more present or had said that one last thing, no matter what. When time gets cut short there are always regrets. Listen, I lived with my mom and spoke to her every single day. She was my best friend and even I feel like I could have been there for her more.
- That said you need to forgive yourself. Really and truly. And how do you do that? Spring clean as much as you need to on the topic and then maybe do what I do (often–yes, even 5 years later) find a pic of your loved one, light a candle in front of it, write and then read out loud what you are forgiving yourself for, and then ask for their forgiveness.
- Next write and read aloud ALL the things you wish you had told your folks or done with them. All the secrets, all the feelings and fears; all of the regrets, misgivings and desires, and then end by saying “I release myself and all of these feelings to you, Universe. May they soar on the wings of angels delivered safe and sound to their anointed and appointed place. So be it. It is done. Thank you!”
- Desire List: Turn the desire list on yourself. Desire forgiveness. Desire to be released from the guilt of not spending enough time with your parents before they passed.
Now that everyone is all fired up, Rebecca, Sade and Elan have agreed to come online for the next few days and interact in the comments!
So be sure to share your comments below. Share your story, ask a followup question, and if you’ve got tips and stories to contribute as you read others’, please do share.
Thank you all. I love our community and am so glad to be in conversation with you.
With so much love and pleasure,