Safety to Express Our True Selves
Being soulful women on unique journeys, we each have our own gifts, challenges and worldviews. The voice of women has been suppressed for generations, so having a safe space to share openly without fear or judgement, is integral for us to learn, grow, and rise into our potential together.
As a facilitator of transformational events, courses and Women's Mysteries Retreats, creating a safe space is imperative to me. I thought you might like to see my group guidelines below, not only for the women journeying with me, but to see if you want to weave any of these principles into your family or communities, to create more safety and freedom for each person to share and grow together.
When we are connected with our feelings, and our body wisdom, we can navigate through life in a more conscious and aware way. When we allow ourselves to feel more deeply, we become attuned to what is out of alignment with our heart, and therefore make the changes to live with more integrity.
Safety is a container for growth and transformation. With true intimacy (into-me-see) and connection, we can be authentic and, in the words of my teacher Jane Hardwicke Collings, be heard, held and healed.
We are all students and we are all teachers. If we take a deep breath, get grounded and centre within, we can listen with the ears of the heart to the voice of another speaking. We are all interconnected, and we each give voice to the different aspects of humanity.
If you notice a reaction or emotion arising within you in response to what someone says, be aware of what's happening inside you. Sitting with that and being present to how you feel without blaming another, is a way to take radical self-responsibility for your own experience. No one else is responsible for your emotions and reactions. There are many different ways people can respond to the same situation. If someone has said something that you find upsetting or have strong feelings and values about, you might like to name that and express yourself. Share how you feel and what's happening for you, if you feel safe to. Have the courage to be real, be seen, and ask for what you need.
If you notice someone is feeling upset, reactive or emotional, it is not helpful to jump in and rescue them or try to distract them from their feelings. Simply being present as a loving witness to someone, while seeing them and accepting their process (emotions, feelings, expression) with compassion, is healing in itself.
We live in a culture where strong expression of emotions is not accepted or dealt with well. People are generally uncomfortable with emotions and there's a tendency to want to distract or placate the person from their process. Rushing in and saying "It'll be okay," or, "Look on the bright side," or patting someone on the shoulder saying, "Don't be sad/upset/angry," does not honour and validate the person's experience.
When we see another person expressing strong feelings or emotions, this can activate our own emotions, either through empathy or unresolved feelings inside us, and this can be uncomfortable and unsettling. Acknowledge what is arising within you, and give yourself permission to feel and express what's true for you, without making it about the other person. This is healing in itself. The other person is simply a messenger. One of the most supportive things we can do is simply be present to what is arising without needing to fix or change it. The energy flows and changes by itself.
That's the beautiful thing about emotions. Humans are wired for healing and balance. By allowing these emotions to flow through us and expressing whatever arises, the emotions flow and dissipate so we can return to our natural state of loving presence.
Accepting another's process without trying to change it, while acknowledging and expressing what's true for us, breaks the cycle of suppression and avoidance we have been conditioned with for generations.
It is safe for us to feel again.
It is safe for us to have a voice.
We co-create a safe place of loving acceptance for all that arises when each person takes responsibility for their own thoughts and feelings, and each person is free to express themselves authentically, and be heard respectfully. This provides a rich container for growth, change and evolution. When are are safe and accepted, our defences come down and we become more open to learn and grow. We become free to be more of our true self. On the other hand, if we are met with judgment and disapproval, this leads to defensiveness and disconnection, and shuts down the potential for higher growth and learning.
There are many different ways to see things, just as there are many different belief systems, philosophies and world views. Even if you've soul searched and researched to the point of absolute certainty that something is 'the truth' for you, this does not mean it is the absolute truth, nor does everyone else need to agree. If you feel strongly about something and want to express yourself, you are free to do that. Other's don't need to agree. We can respectfully agree-to-disagree too. Share with others your values, your process of discovery, what you've learned. Freedom of self expression is paramount to growth and evolution.
So is listening.
This is the beauty of diversity, in this earth university. Humans are meaning-making machines. When we get fixed on there being one 'right' way, this limits our ability to be present and compassionate to others with different worldviews and experiences.
If you have information to share that can be helpful to assist another person's understanding about something, be mindful of your intention for sharing it. Is it coming from a spirit of openness and connection to bring more awareness to a situation, or is it to prove someone wrong, or put someone down? If someone is not open to hearing what you'd like to share and you try and push it anyway, it can cause more separation, isolation and disconnection which is the opposite effect to bringing more consciousness to a situation.
I invite you to hold an attitude of openness and curiosity, to stay attuned to higher wisdom and creativity. This is fertile ground for growth, change and evolution. Ask yourself: What is the message here? What can I learn? What's most alive for me right now? What is my next step?
We are all in this Earth realm together. Yes even Mr Trump and the lizard brigade... spinning through space and time.
The sooner people acknowledge and accept this, the easier it will be to rise up, speak up, and come up with co-creative solutions to the dilemmas we are facing at a global level.
The personal is political.
It's okay to take a stand for something. It's okay to have strong views and opinions. It's okay to express yourself passionately, authentically and powerfully.
And it's okay for others to be where they are too. They cannot be anywhere else than where they are. With this acceptance of present time reality, we can truly connect and invite others to rise into new ways of being. By acknowledging another's journey and point of view, even if you don't agree, is a huge leap forward in a planet where judgement, dogma and domination are rife.
This is our mission.
We are stepping into new ways of being. We are rising into more alignment and integrity within ourselves. We are reclaiming the love, wisdom and power that has been inside us all along.
We are becoming living examples of a new way to be.
Sovereign beings, guided by love and truth.
This is not about being 'perfect' or all 'light love and rainbows' either.
This is about feeling what's real, expressing yourself, and sometimes losing yourself in the messy flavours of human emotions. It's about being humble in this great mystery. It's seeing the perfection in the imperfection.
It's about having the courage to rise up, speak your truth, and let your unique light shine anyway.
Together we rise.