living

She’s Been Everybody Else’s Girl

From the shadow, she crawls.
And in the shadow, she finds her way…
She’s been everybody else’s girl.
Maybe one day, she’ll be her own.”

– Tori Amos, “Girl”

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Deborah Chapman Touch Drawing Soul Cards

I’ve been noticing a trend that’s common with many of the women that are attracted to the work I do.

At some point in many of our lives, we begin to wake up to the question ”What do I want?”

Perhaps we hadn’t been asking it because we were too busy taking care of others.  Surviving. Working. Nurturing the kids, taking care of a husband, managing a household, serving on the P.T.A… all very noble and important duties, indeed. But if the connection with our Inner Selves is lost along the way, which very often, it is, eventually those noble and important duties start to feel heavy, or less fulfilling, or empty. Or even like dying a slow death.

And then, from under the shadow of divine discontent, we crawl. We start reaching. Searching. To access the passion, the FIRE within us that we have lost contact with. We know it’s in there. We’re searching, all right, but sometimes we don’t know it’s our selves that we are searching for.

Sometimes, sadly, we even act out in dangerous and destructive ways, just to feel alive. Some find religion. Some file for divorce. Some have affairs. Some drink to numb. Some watch too much reality T.V. or eat to numb the disconnect.

And some — the lucky ones– reconnect with themselves. And when that happens, ohhh yes… the world cracks open. The ground begins to shake. The old paradigms don’t work anymore. Systems begin to crumble. The ‘way it’s always been’ suddenly is outdated.

When a woman reconnects with her deepest truest self, the world may turn upside down on its axis.

If you are waking up… if you are reconnecting to that which you had lost, within yourself… open up and allow.

The timing is perfect. Nothing is wasted. You are right on time.

But be warned, dear sister. When you begin to take a stand for YOU in whatever ways that might be, the people in your life may not like it. They may resist. When a husband sees his wife growing wings, he fears she will fly away. So he may resist, so things can stay the same… ’safe and sound.’

And maybe she will fly away and maybe she won’t. But there’s nothing safe about never changing.

And when the shifts start happening, we can’t go back to sleep.

Things can’t stay the same.

Our souls won’t allow it.

But trust this: everything will be alright.

A self-connected, actualized woman, being her truest self, reigning supreme over the kingdom of her life is a gift. To her partner, her kids, her employees, her family. To the world.

If you are not madly, wildly in love with your life, only you can fix it. As daunting as that may seem, it happens choice by choice. It can start with what you eat for breakfast. Or what you do with that one free hour in your schedule today. It can start with an honest conversation. Or a renewed commitment to finding more pleasure in your life.

You were meant to reign sovereign in the Kingdom of YOU. Who’s on the throne?

What pleases you?

What do you want?

 

 

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Excerpted from my book, Truth or Dare Living: Wild Adventures for Your Sacred, Sexy Soul. Now through the holidays, I’ll be sharing some of my favorite chapters from the book, available on Amazon.com, while I revive and reignite my creative fire with some rest. Enjoy!

 

 

Giver, I dare you to recieve.

giving-and-receivingI’m getting better with this, but it still happens now and then, that cringing, awkward feeling when I’m supposed to receive… a gift, a compliment, support, praise.

Instead of basking on the loving receiving end of the give and receive cycle, I feel uncomfortable.

Eager to diffuse attention.

Worried what “others” might think.

Diligent to pay it back, or pay it forward, as soon as possible, lest things be “uneven.”

Just experienced this today, in fact.

And this is extremely common among women.

I posed the question on Facebook this afternoon… “Why is it hard for us (especially women) to receive?”

Got a few dozen awesome responses. Here are a few of them…

  • Worthiness!
  • I’ve been taught that I’m not a man and so I don’t deserve it. Not in so many words of course, but in the way I was raised to cover, hide, be quiet,…
  • We are typically taught to be givers not receivers
  • I was taught that if you don’t work hard for it, you don’t deserve it. I also think that women are taught to be self-sacrificing and giving.
  • Trained from a young age that my life was only for service
  • As women/mothers we nurture and care for so, I guess it just seems so foreign to have it done in return…

I’m noticing a theme here. Taught… trained… learned…

This difficulty receiving is ingrained in us, threads woven into our fabric. It’s time to pull those threads. It’s time to unlearn. Life is relying on us to learn how to receive just as well as we give.  Giving and receiving is a cycle, a beautiful dance, a balance.

When we resist receiving, we actually damage the cycle. We disturb the dance. We destroy the balance.

“It’s better to give than to receive.” We are taught. But giving needs receiving, to be complete. So isn’t it just as important?

When we resist receiving, we deny the giver the gift of giving.

We rob them of the warm and loving feeling that giving creates.

We are ripping people off by not receiving! Think about it!

For the last four years, I have been extending financial gifts and scholarships to dozens of clients and students of the Burlesque Experience. I derive great pleasure in doing so.

Recently, a number of graduates of the course have been expressing to me their desire to also give toward such gifts and scholarships.

I’ll admit, my initial reaction was discomfort. It’s so much easier to give than to receive.

But after some thought and prayer, I realized that not  just receiving, but graciously receiving the generosity of others, I am still giving! (Woo-hoo!)

I am giving the giver the pleasure and profoundly fulfilling experience of giving, to a gracious recipient of their generosity!

Experiencing generosity from the giving or receiving end cultivates more blessings for everyone.

Not only that, but in this particular case, it will help me continue the tradition of giving to other, toward their tuition, that might not otherwise be able to experience the Experience! We can give more! What a beautiful win-win.

It’s a prevalent problem. Our discomfort with receiving.

We sure love to give, we give give give, it feels so good, so natural.

I’m not suggesting we stop giving. It’s awesome and cultivates abundance.

But what if it also felt natural to receive?

Exercise your receiving muscle.

Share stories of receiving.

Let others close to you know that you are experimenting with becoming a better receiver.

And then…

Open your heart, open your arms… open up and receive.