Yesterday after I had penned my post, and nervously sent it off into the technological neverland we call the internet...I made a vow to stand strong, to believe in my voice, and to not worry about how my post would be received.  I promised not to stand vigilantly by the computer, waiting to see who would respond, who would be turned off, who would unsubscribe...I kept telling myself...it is what it is...and I tried to let go...just to be sure...I turned off my phone...

Fortunately for me, my husband soon arrived home from his week away hunting, and I was soon occupied with helping him unload, and being a good listener while he told his stories of tracking and traveling the mountainside.  And then, later that night, I was sufficiently distracted and tuckered out by my 90 minute Bikram Yoga class.

Upon awakening this morning the very first text message on my cell phone was from my mentor..."ok" she said..."you have taken the first step and allowed your voice to come forth once again.  Now I challenge you to do it 3 days in a row."

Crap...3 days in a row...what kind of a power kick is this lady on...3 days in a row...what am I going to write about 3 days in a row?  And again, I found myself being silenced by my fear...shit...fear is a powerful, powerful thing...yep...there it is again...fear...fear of being judged...fear of being labeled...fear of being condemned...and the worst fear of all...fear of being tuned out...however, never being one to shy away from a challenge...I decided that I of all people must practice what I preach...and I must at all costs follow this through by meeting my fears head on...come on Christi...you can do it...I believe in you...yeah...but maybe I need to come at this a different way...try something else...wait a few days and see what transpires...nope..you got this...just start...just start writing...

My intention was to begin as soon as I arrived at the store...but I got side tracked by reading all the public and private posts from all of you.  I found myself being humbled...some of your posts made me laugh...others made me cry...a few made me question my resolve...and then I read the post from my daughter...and I was moved all over again...to keep fighting...to keep using my voice...because it matters...we all matter...sometimes we just need someone to buck the trend and pave the way...sometimes we just need someone who loves us to tell us that we matter...that what you do matters...

I went out back and sat about the task of sewing on the Transformation Swap Art Quilts and pondered where to go from here...what to write...what to say...As I sat there and sewed...on those quilts depicting transformation...I kept thinking about transformation and what it means to me...what in my life is in need of transforming?  What do I need to change?  to make different?  And the same answer kept coming up over and over again...I need to overcome my fears...I need to transform my doubts into do's...I need to start listening more carefully to the voice in my heart...and stop silencing it...I need to embrace my authentic self and share this journey with others...so that they too might find the courage to silence their doubts and allow their authentic gifts to come forth.

And so here I sit...day #2...tackling the challenge set before me... hoping that those of you who are reading these posts will know that you are not alone...we all have doubts...and we all struggle with fears...the real trick is taking that first step...pushing the fears aside...and allowing our authentic selves to come forth.  

I don't know why, but we women can be our own worst enemies. It's not enough that we berate and talk ourselves out of expressing our authentic and fabulous selves...but we knock other women for being different, for being fabulous, for taking risks...if we see a woman staunchly defending her position in the professional world, we call her bitchy...if we hear a woman speak to a spirituality that is different from our own, we call her a heretic or label her as woo-wooy, while spiraling our fingers next to our ears...if we have a woman list all of her accomplishments, we top her list  with a list of our own, never pausing to acknowledge or congratulate her...if we see a woman crying in the corner of the room, we call her weak and moody ...I don't understand this...why are we constantly turning away, against, and from each other???

The truth is...we need each other...we need each other desperately... and the world needs us! It is time for us to stop denying what it means to be intrinsically female, and to start embracing our "being-ness" on all levels.  That means we MUST be our own best advocates and support systems.  We need to applaud when another finds the courage to speak from her place of truth...we need to celebrate and applaud when one expresses her fabulous-ness in any every form it manifests..we need to listen when one speaks of her personal troubles...we need to reach out a hand and pull up those that have fallen...we need to give each other a safe place to fall...and in truth...we need to start being more mindful...and we definitely need to extend more love out into the world...especially in a way that gathers us in our own loving embrace!

And so, I am vowing to serve as a role model for my daughter, who is not quite 25...and all of you... by continuing to use my voice in a way that tells of my journey, and my struggles on a path towards wholeness, healing, and authenticity...so that maybe you too...will embrace the courage to use your voices...and your gifts...in a manner that will empower you and the other women in your stead.

Let's start today by releasing the hold our fears have on us, loving ourselves, and accepting our own quirky way of being in this world...and then...when we find ourselves so full of this self love...we can't help but allow it to flow out to the rest of humankind...

Are you with me?

Christi

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:) Love you!

- Cassie Sue

Christi

You have always been enlightening, entertaining, and encouraging with your writing.  I miss your epistles.    Don't stop now.

Jo Cade

Naples, FL

Yes! I can honestly say that I am a better version of ME because you are in my life!

BRAVO! Christi,  I love it when you tell it like it is.  Yes, I am with you.  It is so easy to get sidetracked & distracted & lose sight of just how wonderful we are!  We do need to remind ourselves & each other of this.   When I'm not especially supportive of other women is usually when I'm not feeling good about myself, I'm not believing in me & speaking my truth.  And like you, Christi, it's all fear based.  One would think that now that we are grown women & away from all that teenage stuff we would out grow those tendencies to put others down, just because we're not feeling good about ourselves; that by now, our life experiences would have taught us just how amazing we are as women.  Unfortunately, there is not a lot of support out there in the world for that.  So thank you again for letting your voice fly!!  You are the best.  mary michelle

You nailed it Christi.  Fear  has been the ugly monster I've been battling with this past year.  Just when I think I am beginning to conquer it, fear raises its ugly head yet again.  And with fear comes the shame that something is wrong with me or I would be able to toss fear aside.  Sometimes I wonder if I will ever be as fearless as I was in my twenties and thirties.  Listening to you, reading your messages, and hearing other women with similar challenges truly helps.  Women supporting women really can make a difference.  Admitting and facing our weaknesses with other caring women can give us the courage to take the next step and to begin each day anew.  My hope is that the blessings I receive from you, I can in return pass on to you and other women. You are awesome!

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