Self-awareness is our first step in fighting our oppressive patriarchal culture. As we become aware of our Self, connect to our body, understand our triggers, allow ourselves to feel our emotions, and experience the ways our culture has wounded us, we are also able to begin to see how we had not only bought into the stories our culture feeds us, but also see the ways we propagated those stories and caused pain and harm to others. As we become aware of how we have caused harm, we then open the doors to both making amends and finding new ways of being and doing in the world.
Self-awareness is a never ending process. As we become more and more aware we unearth deeper and deeper layers of our unconscious. We connect with our Shadow and learn how to dance with her. We allow fear to be present, but don’t let it be in control. We excavate deeper levels of who we are compared with who and what we have been told we are or can be.
As we become more and more self-aware, we also become more and more intentional and conscious. Mindless habits either become intentional rituals or they fall away all together. We also become more aware of our boundaries and our personal limits, and we learn to honor both.
In my own journey to deeper levels of self-awareness I stumbled a lot along my way. I was so eager to dig deep, to know myself, that I signed up for course after course and program after program without considering if I had the time, energy or even finances to give to the work. What this ended up looking like is emails not being opened with the intention of “catching up” later; not creating the connections within the online groups I had hoped for because I wasn’t spending time each week checking in and participating; and basically spending money we really didn’t have to spend on something that I wasn’t using or utilizing.
Eventually I figured it out and I learned to have some very serious talks with myself before I signed up for anything, even free classes. I would ask myself some basic questions like what was drawing me to a particular class, could I realistically make the time commitment for both my own individual work and to connect with and participate in the group, and could our family truly afford the financial commitment. This allowed me to be fully conscious and intentional in my choices to sign up for a class or not. It allowed me to be mindful and respectful of my limited resources of time, energy and money. It gave me breathing room because I wasn’t signing up for every single thing out there.
It also gave me the space to figure out exactly why I wanted to participate in a class and to examine if it was because I was being triggered by marketing or if it was something I was truly interested in.
This journey of mine is what has lead me to having an application process for my longer circles, particularly the ones that run for a full year, like Wild Woman Within. The intention is to give women who are interested in the circle the time and space to consciously and mindfully decide if the circle is for them. The work we do is deep and requires a commitment of not only finances, but also of time, energy, and a willing and open heart for transformation. I do not want anyone to join the circle because they feel triggered, I want it to be a conscious and intentional decision and for you to make a mindful commitment to your Self and to the other women in the circle.
This is not to say that life doesn’t happen and that sometimes we need to step away from our commitments because of unforeseen circumstances. I am not asking anyone to foretell the future. When events occur that pull our attention away from the work we make space for this, because even these breaks or “set backs” are part of our work together: it is in the accepting of the ebb and flow of life, our energies, and our attentions and having deep compassion for our Self and others when Life happens. And life will happen.
This is also not to say that we won’t meet with our own internal resistance to this work. This too is part of the work. The unraveling and understanding of where our fears live, the stories of how we must be silent and avoid particular parts of our story and our Self. It is intricate work, this unraveling of the tightly woven web of stories our culture, our families and even we our selves, have told us. There will be ebb and flow. Ahas will happen at times quickly and loudly and at other times slowly and subtly.
This work of connecting to our whole Self, of becoming deeply self-aware, or unraveling all we have be taught by our patriarchal culture, is intense. It is messy. It is not glamorous. And I want those who join my circles to be aware and to make the conscious decision to join, because it is the right thing for you at this moment in time, because this is the next step in your journey – and not because it seems like a fun or “cool” thing to do or you feel pressured to do it.
This application process is the very first “homework” for our time together. It is the beginning of our journey. It is the next step on your path to you.
I talk more about the application process and go over some of the questions on the application this video below. It’s about twenty-five minutes long, so go ahead and get yourself a cup of tea or a glass of wine and settle in.
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This blog post and video are part of a series to introduce my 12-month circle Wild Woman Within :: (Re)Connecting to our forgotten knowing. You can learn more about the circle and request an application right here.
Want to see the other posts in this series? Here’s a list: