Tag Archives: Hollie B.

Talking about the things we don’t talk about

By Hollie B.

Republished with permission from Lunation

You may know dear heart, that I hold Sacred Space with my SisStar Rachel each month for the Canberra Red Tent Experience. What You may not know is that for the past few months I’ve been in a ‘rough patch’ in terms of how I feel about continuing this Red Tent Space.

And in keeping with the theme of Things We Don’t Talk About, I’m gonna share some things with You here. I will say though, that these are my thoughts, and don’t reflect Rachel at all. This is all about me!

When Rachel and I decided to come together to present Canberra Red Tent Experience this year we wanted to honour the terrific film by Isadora Leidenfrost – Red Tent Movie : Things We Don’t Talk About because this groundbreaking media has the potential to heal communities throughout the world. I’ve been following the making of the film and helping support it with financial donations over the past few years and I was so freaking ecstatic when it finally came out.

What strikes me most about this film, even after seeing it four times now, is the Power in hearing women speak their truth. The Red Tent provides a Space, not simply for Women to connect and talk – but IN MY INDIGO OPINION really GOOD Red Tent Experience also provides a Space where Women can be utterly authentic in their feeling – something that we all know is extremely lacking in our society.

(as a side note, yes I do feel that there is such a things as really crap Circle experience too but I’ll save that for another day. Needless to say, I’m incredibly passionate about providing GOOD Circle Experience and always have been)

So our Vision for the Red Tent Experience in Canberra was to create a Space of deep healing where Women could come to speak not only from an authentic place but also to specifically have a chance to reflect upon stories in their life that are usually not talked about. You know, the stuff that’s not polite dinner conversation : like the grief of losing a child, like how it feels to go through life after having been raped, like what being a mother really means to You as an individual, like how You felt when You chose to have an abortion – and how You feel now, like what makes You feel honoured… The deep stuff the stuff that is in our very essence that we’ve never been able to share.

Red Tent Circle with Hollie B. and Rachel Vines - Canberra | Women's Circles

Now this kind of sharing is apparently not for everyone. At least, some people think its not for them. Sharing yourself so fully is frightening. But I know without a doubt that it is the most empowering experience of all. To be utterly raw with yourself in a Space where you are not judged and ARE accepted for being You – is something that creates such healing and freedom.

I write this post as a Space to express that same essence for mySelf. You get my Truth here. I’m a Sagittarian Rooster Indigo Witch (not that I really think labels are necessary ha!) I’ve always spoken about the things others won’t – even as a little kid. I’ve been called tactless, raw, passionate and volatile. It all means the same thing to me – I’ve got the courage to say what I feel. If only more people did!

And that was the reason for this year’s Red Tent Experience. I wanted to provide a rad Space where Women could say what they feel. I’ve been bungin on about going deep with the feeling for long enough now, I suppose in a way this year’s Red Tent series was my final call to arms for Women – to see if they really can make good with their Truth. To see whether all this work I’ve been doing over the years is worth it – to find out whether all the readers and commenters and People who pertain to be Real – are really willing to Be Real.

In our Red Tent Experience there’s no tricks. There’s no special ceremony or clearings or anything fancy that needs to happen. We don’t have a formula for our Circle casting or a specially designed workbook to get through your issues. It’s just a safe Space created by caring People with a strong commitment to the Infinite, unbound Self. Rachel and I have a combined total of over 30 years experience in holding Women’s Space and we take the responsibility of providing the Red Tent extremely seriously – and personally. It can be heart breaking when only 2 people are booked into the Circle, but it is always a lesson in trusting the process. This year I’ve had to get even more clear than ever before about why I’m holding the Red Tent. I’ve had to ask the dreaded question “What’s in this for me?”

I say dreaded question because it is apparently not very appropriate to think about selfish pursuits when you are providing ‘spiritual service’. Like apparently it’s an ‘ego’ thing to think that you should either make money or gain personal healing through a service that is provided to the community. Well I’m here to tell a you darling heart that THAT is a complete load of crap. Because if you’re not getting something from it too, then you’re wasting your time. Life is about YOU. Not about them. We’re here to do our work, and if what you’re doing isn’t giving You what You need, find something that does. P.S. Money is something we all need.

So that’s kind of been my thinking over the past few months. Why am I traveling an hour each way, driving home in the middle of the night on country roads, coming to a Circle for 2 or 3 attendees? What’s in this for me? I’m not making any money. I’m tired and wiped out the next day from the late drive. And I’m connecting with awesome Women who I can see any time because they’re also my friends. You see dear reader, I was all in the head about this. I was trying to make up rational sense of the experience of freeing the Self. Bah!

Do You know what else? That whole 2 or 3 attendee thing only happened once! Often we would only have a couple of people booked in at the start of the week, but by the time the Thursday rolls around, there’s always a pile more bookings. It’s frustrating for organising, but it is the nature of our Canberra culture undoubtedly. Everyone has a busy story.

Red Tent Circle with Hollie B. and Rachel Vines - Canberra | Women's Circles

And then it happened. I gave it over. I let go of the experience and decided to let it be what it will be. I came to the Circle as an equal participant without thinking like a facilitator. I didn’t prepare anything. I didn’t put ‘any effort’ in and just brought myself. And there were way more than 3 attendees! And the words and the tears spilled out and the Women heard me and responded with their own deep Selves and my heart opened and I BECAME the Circle. And I realised that that’s what I’m getting from it.

This experience of the Red Tent is more than what words and rationale can make of it. It is a deep healing experience. It is a growth of empathy and compassion that I wasn’t even aware was missing – and each month it grows more. Being in the Red Tent allows me to question my concerns and puts things into perspective. Even when the theme doesn’t seem that it is related to what’s going on in my own life, I find the commonality that links me with other Women and it opens the gateway to the Space I need healing most in this moment. The Power of this is beyond Power. It is a fierce Primal energy that is Women coming together in their absolute Truth. And I need this like I need air and water and sun. I need to hear the stories of other Women. And I need to share mine.

My experience tells me that when individual Women experience this kind of healing, brought on by no one else’s doing but our own opening of Self, we have a greater Power in our own lives. The healed individual takes their healing out to the world, and is an active part of healing entire communities, simply for having been authentic with her feelings.

For some women it is terrifying. Some of these stories have been laying under the surface, softly – and sometimes not so softly – brewing and bubbling under the covers. The woman may feel like she never had had a safe space to tell her story. Sometimes she hasn’t wanted to talk about her feelings for fear of upsetting people she cares about. She’s never been able to express her feelings for the threat of being told to toughen up, or ‘its about time you moved on’ or whatever other well meaning advice others will give. You see, in a Red Tent Experience, we don’t give advice. We listen. We open. We cry with each other and our reality shifts. We learn things about the world we could never imagine.

Compassion and empathy grow.

Through hearing the stories of other women we heal. I have been witness to some absolutely tragic and horrific stories. I have sat with women as they shed the years of holding onto the fine details of stories too painful for anyone else to hear. I’ve felt the pain of a woman’s heart as I rub her back and her tears spill on the floor. Women who come to be witness in the Circle inevitably find a similarity in a story to something that might otherwise seem unrelated. But it is enough to trigger in her the release of her own pain. And the floodgates open. And healing occurs.

And do You know? We don’t always cry. Sometimes we laugh. I’ve laughed with women at the sheer absurdity and joy of life. I’ve heard filthy jokes in Circle. Women fart too! We heal with our laughter as much as our tears.

I am so eternally grateful for the Red Tent Experience and the Women who attend month after month, as well as the Women who float in and out, as well as the Women who still haven’t quite mustered up the courage to come along yet! I see now that the things that have always been a part of me continue to be a strong aspect of my contribution. I contribute with service to All Living Things by doing that which fills me, fuels me and reminds me why I’m alive. As one of the Women said to me after last month’s Circle, YOU HAVE TO MAKE IT WORK FOR YOU. And she was right. The only thing I didn’t see until that moment is that it always has been working for me, perfectly.

Maia Nie Heya.

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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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Space to Heal : a view of the ‘Angry Women Energies’

by Hollie B.

A few years ago my good friend Christiana Rose alerted me to an energy that she felt I needed to be aware of.  She had met with it in her own healing, and felt compelled to let me know, since I work so often with Women in Deep Space.

I have since got to Know these energies. In fact, I knew them long before, but I had never defined it in such a clear way. Now I call them the’Angry Women Energies’, and I will try to explain it to You.

Women's Circle : Space to Heal : Lunation

If You are familiar with Collective Consciousness, this will be an easy concept to grasp. Basically, (in really simple version) when enough People hold the Space of the same sort of thinking, Change or manifestation can occur. The collective thought is an energy. Energy magnetises – collects – together the same energies and creates itself stronger and stronger.

The ‘Angry Women Energies’ is a collective consciousness (Yes I said ‘is’) of Pain and Grief and Fear and Anger that has been created and strengthened over the many years of Women’s suffering. We can align it with patriarchal rule, sexual abuse, inequality – whichever. All of these things, when Women carrying these energies leave the Earth Walk and their energy shifts from the physical body, their anger finds the collective energy and adds to it. So You can imagine, with all of the injustice for generations and generations, that the collective ‘Angry Women Energies’ are quite strong.

But the energies themselves, floating around in Cosmic Space are not a problem – until they find something to attach to. You See, there are all types of energies out there. This is why it’s so important to hold the Space for thoughts of Peace and Love and Trust everyday. Because when we think happy thoughts, we attract happy energy yeah?

But when we think angry, victim, destructive thoughts, that energy will come to us. And for Women in pain from the suffering life has gifted them, the Angry Women Energies are standing, waiting in the wings, to connect, straight away. And so the energies use angry, grieving, Women with a victim-consciousness to attach to – the Women become Agents for that energy. And that way, the energies are able to live on through this generation.

Okay, so that’s a simplified, slightly all over the place version of how I understand the Angry Women Energies. I meet them often in my Work. I’m sure You will have had the experience of meeting a Woman who carries this energy. (They also prowl around the ethers, looking for groups of Women who carry the energy to attach to because as a group they are even stronger) She will be snide, manipulative and deceptive. She will use her stories of Women’s victimisation and struggles to prove her point, that men cannot be trusted and Women must rally together. She could be old or young, she appears in every Race and economic status. She uses masks and costumes to hide the pain and broken pieces of Self behind the barriers. She believes People See her as strong and unbeatable – but we all See her vulnerability and insecurity. She is racked with Fear.

And once the ‘Angry Women Energies’ attach themselves to her, She will not know how to break free. It becomes the only way she knows. It is normal for her. She will carry this energy, building it, magnetising other Agents of the Energies to her. And together they thrive.

Space to Heal : Women's Space : Lunation

Unless…

Unless, we make the choice to disallow their Anger. Unless we make the choice to feel it, acknowledge it, forgive it, and let it go. In this there must be a choice to think happy thoughts again. To think healing, loving thoughts. To find ways to express our Love. And to find ways to experience Love.

To forgive means to for- give : to give something over to the Great Mystery. To trust the Great Mystery to take the Pain and suffering and trust the Great Mystery to create something new and healed and Peace-full from it. The Great Mystery has that Power. It is all things. Call it Goddess, God, Universal Truth. It is Ultimate Power. It is Real.

Healing and Forgiving can be done. We must first See the Truth of our situation. And then we make the choice. Once You break free from the Angry Women Energies, they don’t get to return. We burst the bubble. We send the energy on its Way, declaring that they are not Welcome here anymore. They are no more in our Space. And we may use our Space to Heal.

About the Author:

Hollie B. is a Witch, Indigo Mama and Awesome Wife. She is a facilitator of Women’s Space with a focus on Being, rather than Doing. Her Work is Being the True Self, in order to Create the Sacred everyday, in simple Ways, in every area of Life.

At Lunation, Hollie offers the Clan Mother Journey Experience, an e’course for connecting to your own Truth, as a Cosmic Woman. She also facilitates Red Tent Experience in Canberra, Australia, and offers a variety of other courses and products. Find out more about Hollie B. and her Work at lunation.com.au.

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