Last week I guided over a hundred women in exploring our power and strength, connecting to our bodies, excavating our stories and digging into who we truly are. It was an intense week and fast paced and rich with ways to dive into our depths. And even with this being true, I have been left feeling like we barely skimmed the surface of this work, that we barely dipped our toes is. That there is so much richness in this work of power and strength for us all to uncover, to become curious about.
During our week we touched on the stories of our mothers. We spent one day of thinking about and connecting to what our mothers brought to us. That day is still lingering within me, simmering. This digging into their stories reminds me again how the more we each know of our own history the more we can make sense of our Self. We can’t ignore the past. The women and men who came before us made us, both metaphorically and literally. Pretending that what they lived has no impact on us only puts up another block for us to overcome to get to our own core and true, whole Self.
Sometimes though we don’t have a way to learn the stories; the people who held them had died or we aren’t in contact or they simply don’t want to share them. And it feels like then the stories are lost, and a part of our Self is lost with them. How can we know the experience of our great-great-great-great-grandmother? How can we know how her children felt? How she felt about motherhood? What her internal struggles were with loving and being loved?
We can begin with our own stories. The ones that live in our heads, real and imagined. We can begin with our own struggles and how motherhood affects us or our relationship with our own mother. We can begin with how we embrace or avoid loving and being loved.
Because all those stories that we have, they didn’t start with us. Our struggles with living and loving and being didn’t begin with our birth. They all began a long time ago, with women we never met and yet are as much a part of us as we are part of our children. We are made of their DNA and with that comes the stories and struggles and sadness and joy of their lived experiences.
So we begin understanding our ancestral stories by beginning to understand our own. By acknowledging the stories we hold. By exploring all those shoulds and have-tos and fears. By examining our daily struggles and getting curious about them. By knowing that we are not the first or the last in our line to experience life as we do, our trials and strife are our threads to our past, to understanding, to embracing our own embodied knowing.
We may never know the specific literal details of the lives of the women who came before us. And we can imagine their internal experiences, the stories that swirled within them, by understanding our own internal stories.
How will you connect with your stories? With the gifts and non-gifts the women before you handed down? Are you ready to dig into who you are, what you are made of, literally and figuratively? Are you ready to grow your mermaid tail and dive to your own depths?
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