“I have lived on the lip
of insanity, wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door. It opens.
I’ve been knocking from the inside.”
~ Jalaluddin Rumi
My dear sisters,
I’ve been writing this email for days and (surprise, surprise), never finding the time or the space to do so…
This may not be my most inspired moment, but decided that I didn’t want to wait for longer and risk forgetting it altogether, like so many buried dreams, kisses not given, hands not hold, important words not said…
I have been and still am many different things: instructor, coach, counsellor, activist, facilitator, gardener, advocate, warrior, mother, wife, woman, child of Gaia…but it came to me that I haven’t been myself through all those roles, that I’ve always been holding myself back, keeping my shadows appropriately hidden and buried so I could be accepted, liked, loved. And all that for nothing, because I have rarely been fully accepted, liked or loved the same way I had accepted, liked and loved others, or the way my heart painfully desired so.
I came to the retreat with a mix of feelings from excitement to skepticism and even resistance: all my shadows screaming not to be exposed, or I may be risking to discover that I have not yet fully lived.
But then, the body never lies…it is the tool and mechanism through which the shadows show themselves: these shadows that I’ve been carefully building through ages, shadows to hide my pain, anger, loneliness and the eternal longing to belong, to be part of the whole, to live a simple life with muddy boots and colourful comfy clothes, where we can just play guitar along with friends around the fire after a hard work day.
And I felt sick, and I bled all my blood away, and I behave in mean ways, hiding scared and holding, holding…but you, my sisters, you didn’t mind! You approached, you touched with open hands and friendly smiles, you reminded me of the old moon-rooted sisterhood and the work we do together.
I left early, answering the call of “duty” and earthy responsibilities, the same “call” that have hold us back for so long, numbing our senses and hiding away our precious gifts. And came home to do laundry and clean and cook and be un-listened to and ignored. Came back to the Story of Separation that tells us what to do and not do, what and how we are and are not allowed to be…to the day-to-day struggle of demonstrating we are worth beyond titles and prices, the oppressive world where behaving like a seven year old at fifty is forbidden and punished.
It may take more than one retreat for me to find my strength. Meanwhile, I continue playing the “strong woman” role and carrying everyone else’s baggage, including the mistakes, omissions, neglect or plain oppression of those who continue holding the status quo, the “business as usual” that’s killing us all. But the door has been now opened…from the inside, thanks to you all.
“To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.” Nelson Mandela
Dedicated to all out there who have made to believe yours is the only freedom, peace, etc. that matters (i.e. “no my circus, no my monkeys” and “get away from toxic people”)…and to all the sisters and brothers who hold the space and return and reach out and accept beyond the surface, behind the shadows.
Because we will never be completely free until we have embraced, understood and made all things possible to liberate others as well as ourselves.
May Gaia and all the ancestors bless you all!