Dear Imaginative Woman,
I went to the woods last week. It was luscious and beautiful. I filled my creative well. All was good.
The week before going to the woods, however, was a particularly rough one. I found myself feeling tired, like deep in my bones tired.
I didn’t have the energy or the motivation to do the things I normally do. I tried hard to get myself to accomplish stuff, but it didn't work.
I had no idea what was wrong.
I thought my auto-immune system issues were acting up again, which they were, but there was something deeper happening as well.
Along with the fatigue and lack of motivation, I had an ache in my heart.
It was a soul ache, the feeling that something is missing from your life but you don't know what. You know only that life hurts like hell, even if everything looks right on the outside.
I hate this feeling. It's confusing, frustrating, and very uncomfortable.
I spent YEARS in this kind of existential pain, and I don’t ever want to re-live that.
Whenever this type of feeling comes up nowadays I become a determined sleuth, refusing to give up until there’s a resolution.
I did all my practices.
I wrote in my journal. I meditated. I talked to friends. I had hunch after hunch about what was going on, but none of them were quite right.
Finally, after a few days, I did my favorite spiritual practice. I pulled a couple oracle cards to see what they had to say.
I love oracle cards. If you’ve followed me for a while, you probably already know that.
I love them because they speak in imagery and metaphor, and that helps me connect to my inner knowing.
I asked a question: “What is this ache in my heart?”
I pulled two cards.
One was from Kim Krans' "Wild Uknown Animal Spirit" deck. I got the Shark card (pictured above), which represented a truth I couldn't see but that was eating me alive.
The second card (also pictured above) was from Bev Barnes’ "Souls Calling Card Deck". This was a question to ask my soul -> “What are the conversations about that you ache to join in on when you overhear them? The people having these conversations could be part of your tribe.”
Ok. So there was a truth I needed to see, and it was probably related to the answer to this question.
I breathed deeply. I found a sense of peace inside myself, and I turned inwards.
The only conversations I truly ache to join in on, like it’s actually painful to not take part in them, is when someone talks about wanting to write but not being able to.
I’ve had a few experiences where I’ve been in a group program or listened to a podcast and the teacher or host coached someone through this exact problem.
It was so hard to listen to these conversations and not be able to jump in and help.
I started a blog 3 years ago, and it was terrifying.
However, the process of growing my courage to hit publish on my own words healed many of my old emotional wounds and freed my voice.
Now, whenever I hear a woman talk about not being able to write, I want to help her so she can experience healing and freedom too.
That's one reason I longed to join in on these conversations, but I could tell there was something even deeper.
I breathed slowly and allowed myself to see what I really needed to see.
The patriarchy has been smashing women’s voices for centuries.
It was only recently that women have started getting published by traditional publishing houses, and so many people at the margins are still blocked by the gatekeepers.
Marian Evans is STILL being published under her male pen name, George Eliot. People often still think George Eliot was a man. She was one of the most profound woman writers of her time.
And women writers nowadays get death threats regularly for rebelling against the status quo.
And why are our voices suppressed? Because a freed voice can change the world.
Our voices are the linch pin in the fight to smash the patriarchy and to create a world of partnership rather than hierarchy.
So whenever I hear a woman who is terrified to put words to the page, my passion wells up, and I ache to help her free her voice, so she can experience her own healing and the world can receive the gift of her genius.
But here’s the interesting thing, I had this ache in my heart because I wasn’t talking about that!! Oh, the irony.
My own voice about women's voices needed to be set free!! That's what all that pain was about.
I wasn't having the conversations I ached to join in on! OMG!!!
Dear imaginative woman, right after I realized this, the ache in my heart went away. It disappeared and hasn't returned. For. Real.
Soooo...what I know for sure is it's time for me to not just join in on these conversations but to start the conversations for myself.
And because I'm in love with Facebook Groups, I started one for just this purpose:
Hearth & Pen: a community for writerly women is for women who have something to say but are terrified to put words to the page. They want to start writing, to find their authentic voice, and to make their creative ideas happen.
Is that you? If it is, I would love for you to join the group, where we’ll be having conversations about writing that will help you free your voice and your pen.
Here we go!!
P.S. Want the short version? Join my new Facebook Group Hearth & Pen: A Community For Writerly Women.
P.P.S. Don’t forget to check out The School of Wild Authenticity’s signature online course, Find Your True Self Again – for imaginative women whose career’s are killing their souls and blocking their creative flow.