I want you to have the experience of feeling deeply held through this. I want you to really know the depth of a mother’s love for YOU, for that little girl in you who aches to be held and touched and sung to and rocked and soothed and adored. I want you to cultivate a way of being so that you never have to feel alone. Ever! So that if a feeling of aloneness arises you know what to do to find that connection deep within you or with others or somewhere else.
Its been two weeks since I went through the shock surgery of the removal of my kidney from a cancer tumor. Yesterday I deeply grieved for the first time. Like really grieved. sobbing on the floor as guttural waves of shock and grief surged through my body in an uncontrollable release.
This time I was not alone. I was being held. deeply soulfully held by a group of women whom I dance Nia with regularly. It was my first time back on the dance floor after my health challenge.
Just like motherhood can be, I was raw and vulnerable with my heart wide open. And, after feeling like my body was not my own, just like it can feel in motherhood, I began to reclaim it.
The deliciousness of the sensations of pleasure moved through my body as I gently danced in celebration of being able to do just that…. dance. I could sense my cells ignite with life force energy. My body sighed with relief as it shed the layers of tension and stress from aching muscles. Ahhhhh, that feels better, my body said. That feels soooo much better.
And then something amazing life-altering happened.
I began to feel my raw emotions. The deep core feelings began to bubble up to the surface. In my professional life, I’d done enough psychotherapy training to know that our bodies never lie. They know how we REALLY feel. The truth is I was feeling mixed emotions. exhilaration and excitement of being able to dance again. AND loss and grief, shock and fear with what had happened to me recently.
I consciously chose to ‘feel to heal’. and as I allowed this release on the floor at the end of the class I had an experience that will be with me forever.
I was met with the tender loving caress of a very close friend. She stroked my back and allowed me to sob on her lap. I knew from her touch that she deeply understood. And I surrendered and trusted and allowed. It seemed that time slowed down as I drank in the liquid love pouring from her fingertips. It took me even deeper. more emotions. more waves of sobbing. release. release. release.
As the other women noticed they began to gather and place their hands on my body humming and singing to the music guided by our heartist Nia teacher trainer. It felt ancient. it felt tribal. it felt like we were in sacred women’s circle. I got to show up in my vulnerability and truth. and what came back was the stuff my dreams are made of….. the deepest intimacy of sistahood and sacred sista love. It seemed that tenderness was seeping up from the earth and compassion was pouring from the heavens ….. expressing itself through the lifeform of others.
It was a moment in time that brought all of us closer. we experienced intimacy. whether giving or receiving it didn’t matter. this aliveness, this stirring felt like home.
We, women, need this stuff. We need to feel connected to each other. To find a person, group or groups that feels like home. It doesn’t have to be a full-on experience that I just had. It can be a connection over a cuppa or a playgroup in the park. Or an online community or a professional body-worker or therapist. Maybe it’s a yoga group or a neighbour. The important thing is we need to foster ways to not feel alone.
It’s taken me time to find my people and to build relationships. I’ve stayed with some and left others.
Recognise that some groups just won’t be the right fit for you. don’t take it personally. keep searching, keep looking. don’t give up. I believe there are like-minded individuals and groups for everyone. You just need to find it. Be brave.
This is important stuff. Don’t sacrifice your own social needs for the children. Even if you take them with you PLEASE give yourself the support and friendship and fun that you need. We are social beings. Even if we’re introverts we still need others.
Why am I telling you this? Because I want you to know that YOU too can feel held, really held. And when you let yourself feel, it’s your pathway to heal.
Share how you feel with others. Create real authentic truth-telling relationships. This is where the magic happens. This way you get to feel really held when things get tough. It’s one of the 4 main tools I used to manage my recent cancer experience.
Once you have your sense of community the next step is to find ways to feel connected even when you are alone. I’ll share with you how I’ve cultivated this in a future blog.
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Keep reaching out beautiful. Your tribe is out there. You don’t have to feel alone.