We’re half way through August, half way through the craziest year 2020. It feels like humanity’s dark night of the soul, and a long one at that.
Like a volcano erupted, or a pimple that popped.
Everything is coming up, rising to the surface. Exploding.
Have you felt challenged to be in your feminine leadership?
How uncomfortable have you been this year?
And what’s been your reaction to your discomfort?
I find that whenever I’m in the eye of the storm, the perfect books arrive to guide and support me.
This summer, two fell into my hands that have rocked my world:
Insights to Intimacy by Christian Pankhurst
My Grandmother’s Hands by Resmaa Menakem
A theme that emerged from these books has been SAFETY, and this feels really relevant.
When we feel threatened or triggered, what we are looking for is to feel safe.
As Resmaa said in his book:
“The body is where we live. It’s where we fear, hope, and react. It’s where we constrict and relax. And what the body most cares about are safety and survival. When something happens to the body that is too much, too fast, or too soon, it overwhelms the body and can create trauma.”
Yep, this could be seen as a traumatic year. EVERYONE has been impacted.
People getting sick.
People losing jobs.
People falling out in their relationships.
No matter what happens externally to our bodies and our circumstances, the important question is:
Will you respond or react?
When you have a trauma reaction, it manifests as fight, flee or freeze, Resmaa says. This looks like “constriction, pain, fear, dread, anxiety, unpleasant (and/or sometimes pleasant) thoughts, reactive behaviors, or other sensations and experiences.”
This perpetuates the pain and passes it onto the people around you and to future generations.
So what do you do to stop the pain and suffering?
You don’t ignore it. You don’t pretend it isn’t there.
Covid and all its impact is REAL.
But you always have a choice:
To step into your feminine leadership and respond instead of react.
Whenever I am feeling triggered, I remember the story of Viktor Frankl in A Man’s Search for Meaning, where he survived the Nazi concentration camp because he saw “prison” as a construct of his mind and freed himself from it. Instead of getting sucked into thoughts of dying, he focused on living and made it out alive.
To respond is to create that SAFETY for yourself.
It is nobody else’s job to make you feel safe. That’s up to YOU.
Let that sink in. This is your emPOWERment.
This is what we learn and practice in circle. We show up BRAVE (bold, responsible, authentic, vulnerable and empathetic) and from that place, create our own safety.
Here’s what Christian Pankhurst writes:
“There’s an important distinction to be made so that you don’t confuse safety with being comfortable. They are not the same thing. People who don’t feel safe tend to cling to comfort, even when it dulls and numbs their experience of life.
“Imagine walking a tightrope. You’re about to step from the edge of the platform onto the rope when you notice there’s no safety net. If you fall, you’ll die. Do you walk the rope? Probably not. But if you imagine looking down and seeing a safety net, are you more likely to take that step? Of course you are. A safety net actually gives you permission to explore your fear of heights. It’s the same with the rest of life.
“It’s only when you feel safe that you can finally open up to exploring your insecurities and venturing into the unknown territory of risk, adventure, and uninhibited self-expression.
“Why is safety so important? It’s because when you don’t feel safe, you guard your heart, and love can’t come in or out. Feeling safe gives your heart permission to open and allows you to feel your depth and truth.”
We can choose to stay in our comfort zone, where we cling onto our insecurities, or we can choose to move into our growth zone, where opportunities and a fulfilling life awaits us.
In our comfort zone, we are typically immobilized by FEAR.
In our growth zone, we move into FREEDOM and JOY. Fully self-expressed, playing our full range, feeling alive.
This is the power of circle.
CIRCLE = growth zone.
As a circle facilitator, you create a SAFE and SACRED space for others in your circle. And while there are things you need to DO that we teach in the How to Lead Circle Program, it comes down to BEING the space of safety within yourself.
When you feel safe, you create an energetic field for others to also feel safe in your presence. That’s not always comfortable. This is the heart of the work we teach here at Sistership Circle.
Today, I’d like to share a tip from Resmaa to start creating that safety within yourself.
It’s related to the Vagus Nerve, which is directly connected to the part of our brain (the Amygdala aka “The lizard brain”) that doesn’t use reason, but instead reacts in fight, flee or freeze.
When we can soothe the Vagus Nerve, we create safety and can respond better instead of going into a trauma reaction.
Resmaa offers these practices in his book to come into your body, calm down and create safe space for yourself:
✨ Belly breathing
✨ Slow Rocking
✨ Rubbing your belly
✨ Rotating your joints
From that place, you can then choose to take courageous actions as a feminine leader.
This is what the world needs right now, women like you and me to create that safety for ourselves and each other to be BRAVE.
Would love to hear from you:
Have you felt challenged to be in your feminine leadership? How uncomfortable have you been this year? And what’s been your reaction to your discomfort? Do you have a strategy to create safety within yourself that you can share with our community?