Tag Archives: advice

How Women hold Space for one another : Acknowledgment as an act of the Sacred

by Hollie B.

lunation.com.au

I give thanks to my dear Sister who agreed to my sharing of this story. I have chosen not to use her name. Because that’s not what’s important in this Story. So for now, she is called ‘this Woman’.

This is a Story about why I believe all Women benefit from sharing Story in a Red Tent. I don’t so much believe that every Woman needs to speak to share their Story in the Red Tent. But each Woman may find healing through Being present with shared Stories.

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I know this Woman who is employed in a place where She sees the absolute worst in human behaviour. Anything awful You can imagine, this Woman has probably seen it, heard of it, or been exposed to a story of it in some way. I’m not exaggerating, and I’m not trying to bring You into a yuk Space, I just want to paint a very clear picture of how different this Woman’s everyday life is compared to many of us.

She has an awesome partner. In this case, her partner is a man, but it is not his gender that is important. What I take from this story is that her husband is there for her in the sense that anything awful that she needs to download from work, she can share with him and she knows he can take it. He works there too.

Home life is good for this Woman. Her children have grown and they are doing their own thing. She celebrates their maturity, knowing that their Journey is their own. Anything that causes stress from work, gets talked about before coming home, and left on the road. In other words, she doesn’t bring it home with her. She has a relationship with her husband, that although has had pain and grief in the past, is healed and in an Awesome Space now. She’s done Circles for healing her menarche and healing her mother-issues and letting go of the past and… In other words, right now, even though there are things that bother her in her worklife, and she knows there will still be Life Work to do, yet she feels fairly sorted.

Is that to suggest that this Woman doesn’t need an Experience such as a Red Tent? Like, she’s fairly sorted so she doesn’t need to sit around with other Women to talk about ‘issues’. She’s got her husband afterall. If he’s so Awesome, why would she need to go along to a Red Tent? She’s already got understanding and a soundboard for whenever she does have an issue. She feels supported at home…

Well, recent experiences have taught me that actually yes, she does still need the Red Tent Experience. This is not something I’ve come to on my own by the way. This isn’t something I’m coming at from my place of advice and an ‘I know what You need attitude’. Actually, it comes straight from this Woman’s mouth.

But the reason might not be what you’re thinking.

This Woman, wants to Be witness to other Women’s stories. She understands that everyone needs a place to share – to vent – to speak – to let go – and everyone needs to feel heard in that.

This Woman does not believe that She has ‘no issues’. But she does feel that the ‘everyday’ things she is haunted with are not for the ears of anyone outside of her industry. It’s not about being selfish. It’s not about coming and hearing everyone else’s ‘stuff’ and not adding anything to the energy. Actually, it’s about finding the Right place (for her) to share her stories, and entering the Sacred Space so that it is held Sacred. For this Woman, she feels depth in being the Witness. She isn’t there to give advice, or story-compete (Oh Yes I’ve seen lots of that), nor is she in the Red Tent to suppress some sort of need to feel special by being different.

Put simply, this Woman finds depth in the Work of witnessing other Women’s stories. In the act of acknowledgement – as witness to other Women and where they are in the moment – she becomes a Sacred Keeper of Tradition and Compassion. When she has something to say, she does. But for the most part, She helps hold the Space. She sits listening, without judgement – accepting of the Story as it is. She nurtures Women who do need to share. And She is content to Be.

Recently a number of events played out in front of me that really anchored this understanding for me. I saw many aspects of this Story. I heard the words ‘I’m fine’ while watching the body language that said ‘don’t fucken push me cos I will break – and I don’t want to break right now!’ I felt the acceptance of this Space while watching other Women go on the finger pointing mission of trying to ‘help’ and offer advice. I saw the break down of safe and Sacred energy with that pushing. I felt the pain of this Woman in not feeling accepted for where she needed to Be with other Women. I felt the distrust from Women who held expectations about sharing. The next day I felt Truth and Realness pour from the heart of this Woman as we shared together how that happened and where she would have liked it to Be. And it was in that conversation that I got clear around one very important aspect of the Red Tent.

I understood already that Women need to speak. I understood already that for a long time Women have not been heard. I have also noticed often that there are times when Women just talk for the sake of it. I have noticed that even when You suggest as a facilitator that everyone can keep their opinions and advice to themselves, and just let a Woman Be in her Space, they just can’t help themselves giving advice and opinions and cutting People off. I have noticed that some Women have a need to agree and say ‘You’ll be right’ and ‘You’re strong’ and ‘You can do it’ in response to another Woman’s Story. And I’ve noticed that this is not only un-helpful, it’s fucking disrespectful.

Red Tent

My Red Tent and Women’s Spaces aren’t for feel good pep-talks. I facilitate Spaces for Women to Be. And to feel supported in that Being. In these Spaces it doesn’t matter who we are at home. What we do at work. What we have to do tomorrow. We just get to Be exactly as we are – in whatever Space – in that moment – without apologies. And we get to do it in a supported Space.

And what I became clear around, thanks to this Woman, is that I really want for the Red Tent Experiences that I facilitate for Women to feel the Power of sharing Stories, simply through Being Witness.

And then that got me thinking (it’s fairly on-the-go in my mind – when thinking is on, it’s really on until clarity is found). Although the Red Tent Experience happens in its own way, and Women share whatever they need in relation to that day, that moment; there’s still some things that some of us need to heal – and we don’t necessarily have a safe Space to do this in. Some of those ‘issues’ are older than ‘this moment and this day’, and we’re not necessarily sure how to bring them up. A ‘general’ Red Tent for sharing, although beauty-full and healing, may not always get to the deepest seat of what we need to heal.

It’s a bit daunting to bring up our miscarriages and our terminations and our divorce and how to raise our sons and daughters and our mental illness and our mother issues and our body image perceptions and… in a space full of Women who we have never met, or whom we only see every now and then. It’s particularly daunting to suddenly bring out the deep Stories of grief and loss that have been pushed down for a long time, or never given a Space. For example, it’s not easy to start talking about the abortion You never dealt with emotionally ten years ago, when the Woman next to You is talking about how she loves being a parent.

I always find it so deeply moving to hear stories from Women about things I’ve never experienced. Whether the Story is about joy or loss, it is the difference that I find mySelf inspired by. I feel honoured when a Woman shares something new to me. That is the journey of the Witness. It is quite beauty-full.

The essence of the Red Tent is the commonality of Being Woman. Always in the Story, even when we have not had the same experiences, it is the sharing that moves us. In one Woman’s Story of pain or hope or joy or loss, we find something of ourSelf. And we grow. That is True healing. That is how we fill our cup. Whether You are the Story-teller or the Witness. There is something for every Woman in the Red Tent.

And so, this leads us to the renewed, improved and fully awesome Red Tent Experience of 2013. We are diving deep. We are creating Space for Stories with intention. We are allowing room for Women to share and to respond authentically. We are opening a doorway for Women to Witness and find Truth around the Way we speak and respond. And we are Working with the Red Tent, to simply Be.

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Filed under coming of age, friendship, growing up, Guest Blogger, healing, Hollie B., how to create a Red Tent, red tent, sacred space, women's stories

Miscarriage: The third time around. Such pain…

by Ellen DuBois on 09/04/11

Debbie says:

I went to the ER for bleeding on Thursday evening (8/1/11) only to be told I was miscarrying and there was nothing that could be done. They didn’t break it to me gently or build-up to telling me. They just blurted out I was miscarrying. I was so devastated that all I could do was cry and weep gut-wrenchingly. I went home and miscarried the next morning in my shower. I was devastated at what I saw and devastated that it is my THIRD miscarriage. I feel so torn apart and my emotions feel so erratic. I feel like I will never be able to carry a healthy pregnancy and I often wonder if my age is to blame. I am 39 and want a child so badly. I feel like my world is ending and I will never be able to recover. My husband doesn’t want to even think about trying anymore for kids and I am unsure of anything right now. This adds even more stress and devastation. I wish I could just run away from all this and it would not follow. How do I recover emotionally and mentally? I know the physical will heal eventually. I can’t stop crying and I can’t sleep. Everytime I step into the shower to bath, I relive/envision the miscarriage. Please help me, how do I bear this burden alone? No one around me understands and seems to think I should be getting over this quickly. How could they ever understand unless they have experienced what I have experienced or gone through what I have gone through?? Please help….please.

Dear Debbie,

I am so sorry for your losses all three of them. The pain you must be feeling is probably consuming to the point where you don’t know which way is up anymore. I’ve been there and I wish you didn’t have to walk this path.There’s so much going on right now. You’re grieving the loss of your babies and are afraid of never becoming a mother. It’s scary and sad, and when you don’t have anyone to talk to, it can feel extremely isolating.I wish there were some ‘magic’ words I could say to make things easier. Sadly, there are not. What I can offer you is my heart, my ear, my understanding and say to you I understand how much you loved all three of your babies and how each loss hurt very deeply. You need some healing time, and I know you’re aware you’ll heal physically. It’s the emotional part you’re having trouble with and I can understand why. You’re grieving another loss. It’s terrible and although it hurts, grief is something you go through before you begin to heal emotionally. It doesn’t mean you’ll forget your babies. It means you must grieve all three of your losses.As for you and your husband, I don’t know where to go with this. I feel he doesn’t want to see you hurt anymore, but comes off as just ‘not wanting to try’ again. Maybe he is trying to protect you from pain. But, I’m not therapist and think that if the time is right and he is with you on this, it may be a good idea to talk it out with a counselor to find out where you’re both at. Are you on the same page? While I’m not equipped to answer that question, a counselor would be. Just wanted to toss that idea your way for when/if the time is right.You lost your precious baby in the shower. I would have difficulty not remembering, too. If I were you, I’d be filled with the pain of losing my baby, of my miscarriage, every time I stepped in the shower.  I don’t know what your beliefs are, but I would ask the angels to help me and for the white light of the spirit to protect me every time I got in the shower. I’d ask to be helped, for the feeling of safety and for strength. If this feels right to you, or some variation of it, I gently suggest you give it a try. God and the angels have not let me down, but we all believe in different things and I’m just letting you know what I do when I am very frightened or struggling with something. Your miscarriage was VERY traumatic. If talking to  a counselor isn’t ‘right’ for you and your husband, it may be right for YOU. Please give it some thought. There will come a time when you’ll know whether it’s the road you should travel or not.

One thing I’ve found helps those who have lost their child to miscarriage is some form of closure. It could be planting a tree, (you could plant one for all three of your babies), or writing a letter to them, setting three balloons into the air in their memory. It may be much too soon for this, but I know after years with no closure, I finally felt some when I released a balloon into the air for my son and read him a letter. Time will gently tell you if and when it’s right for you. Just follow your heart.

Right now, I feel the most important thing is you and your healing. Also, taking things one moment at a time. What your living has many layers: Your grief, possibly facing not having a child (by birth), and healing on all levels from the three losses you’ve endured. That’s a full plate, Debbie. All you can do is your best.

One day, one moment at a time. I am here to listen, to offer what I can. It may not seem like much, but know you are heard, your loss is validated and you are cared for more than you know.

I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Please feel free to write any time.

Love and Light to you,
Ellen

For more information visit: http://www.miscarriagehelp.com/

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Filed under "things we don't talk about", letter, miscarriage, mother, parenting

Alignment and Attunement for the Crafty Creatrix

By Maati

Everything is energy. All things are made up of cycles. I believe that because of the pure “awesomeness” of women we tend to get caught up and sometimes trapped by our powers and our abilities. As I scan the red tent looking at the many radiant sisters that are around me, I begin to reflect on the idea of balance. We all are quietly brilliant: We are mothers, dynamic speakers, talented artists and writers, loving and devoted wives…the list truly goes on and on.

I’m sure we have all experienced the cycle of getting totally inspired to do a particular thing: Going full out with the planning and creative preparation and before we know it our energy flops, we get distracted, leave things undone and then beat ourselves up or make excuses for not completing the project. Sometimes we are simply operating from a masculine energy that maybe contradicts the true purpose of our desire or goal. The bottom line is the more we align and attune with the energy around and within us, the greater our potential for success and inner peace.

For example, let’s say you sculpt beautiful clay vessels and you find you need to get some extra income.  You listen to all of your friends who encourage you to go into business. All of the many ways you should or could market your wares, the infinite number of festivals, boutiques and other venues that would totally be interested in your art. It’s a wonderful plan, but this is clearly a plan of external action, which needs a consistent steady fire. Although many women absolutely love this part of manifestation, it is likely to be short lived if creative balance is not put into place. If we aren’t paying attention we can easily go full throttle only to hit a decline. Our momentum dwindles and then we look at ourselves and notice that not only do we not have time to do what we love, we are not even inspired or excited about our craft!

The key is to find and create a healthy balance between fire and water, masculine and feminine.  Just because you have an amazing talent, doesn’t mean that talent should be your source of income. Our inner creative magic can sometimes be tainted by our fiery drive for success and recognition. Ladies, simply put, if things are not flowing, get back to the source. Start within before you proceed. Feminine energy is receptive and starting at this point helps to keep you grounded and open to higher guidance. Once you are rooted you then pull on the fire to move your vision forward. Fully opening to your divine energy gives you access to universal energies and the knowledge of when and how to use them.

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Filed under career, red tent, transition, Uncategorized