A Letter to My Sisters & Our Allies
“The world will be saved by the Western Woman” – Dalai Lama XIV
Our world is in turmoil. The voice of the Divine Feminine is being squelched out of fear and malice. Our rights, choices and wombs are in jeopardy. I have heard some sisters say that it is no longer safe to be a woman in this world. The heightened emotions that people are feeling run the gamut from deep depression to red hot anger. All valid, all understandable. In response to what is happening in our nation, some are marching, protesting or fighting. Some are yelling and screaming at the top of their lungs. While still others are shaking their fists and blasting their anger out to the world via social media. If this is what you feel is needed right now, I urge you to go out and do what you feel called to do. But first, I ask you to read this.
As a healer and teacher, I have found that the bulk of my clients and students are *womxn. As I delved deeper and deeper into my studies these past several years, a path unfolded before me, one focused on learning how to help womxn empower and heal themselves. I am passionate when it comes to my sisters’ health (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual).
*Why do we use the spelling "womxn"?
Womxn [pronounced woom-uhn or wim-in] - used as an alternative spelling to avoid the suggestion of sexism perceived in the spelling of 'woman or women', which some feel place them as secondary counterparts to men. It is also meant to be inclusive of trans and non-binary women.
There is no doubt that this fire within comes from the generations before. My great-great-grandmother Guadalupe was a curandera, a healer and midwife for her small town in Texas. A true spitfire, she was 90 lbs, smoked unfiltered cigarettes and could give you a tarot reading with a plain old deck of cards. My great-grandmother and my grandmother worked the cotton fields in that same small Texas town. My paternal ancestors have been traced back to the Visigoths and the Celts. My grandmother had intuitive abilities and could speak to those who had already passed from this world. My lineage is strong, my ancestors were healers and warriors. These are the womxn who drive me forward when I look at what seems like the insurmountable task of peacefully dismantling and rebuilding the inner and outer world we have come to know.
I felt their strength carry me and run through me as I sat in contemplation about where we are at and what we can do at this time of uncertainty. And, they proposed a new kind of call to action – a radical action. Something to empower us and help us move forward. My dear sisters, it is our time. It is our time to practice Radical Self-Love.
“Really, that’s all? That’s your response to what is happening out there right now?”. Why yes, yes, it is.
I invite you to take a moment, pause from reading my letter. Go to a mirror or the camera on your phone. If you are at home or in a safe place, I invite you to go one step further and walk to a full-length mirror, perhaps just standing in your bra and underwear. Look at yourself, truly look.
Study every line, wrinkle, freckle. Your eyes, nose, teeth. Your arms and legs, belly and chest – study each and every inch of yourself. Look deeply.
After doing this, look at yourself, deep in the eyes and say, “I Love You”.
Can you look at the womxn in the mirror and say “I Love You” – unconditionally, unequivocally, compassionately? No? It’s hard for me too. Most of us go straight to the negative. “I’m too this or not enough that”. Dear Sister, what you are is beautiful and perfect, just as you are in this moment. What I am proposing is that you be brave enough to give yourself this gift of unconditional love every day, the same love we so freely give away to anyone but ourselves. Yes, I know – what a radical thought.
It is my humble opinion, that one of the only ways we will be able to move forward and create a new and better world, is to start by healing ourselves. To start healing our wombs (yes a powerful word I know, but You Are Powerful – and we carry a lot of energetic gunk there that blocks our Power). To start creating healthy boundaries. To start gathering in and creating community. To start raising our fellow womxn up instead of tearing them down. To start listening to our heart song, our innate knowing. It starts with us. When we begin to heal and love ourselves we start to cause ripples – past, present and future. When we start carving time out and making our health and wellbeing a top priority in a compassionate way, people will start to notice this change, this shift. I have seen it many times, I have experienced it many times. I invite you to share your stories, your heartaches, your fears, your desires – open your heart to your vulnerability, it’s part of what makes You uniquely You. Here at The Heart Revival, You are supported. You have a voice. Your health and wellbeing are important.
It is time to get back in touch with ourselves, our divinity and the sacred power within. Start asking yourself what needs to be healed in your life. Our June theme at The Heart Revival is all about Peace. What can you do to start cultivating peace with Self? What can we do to birth a new world, a better world for our grandmothers, mothers, sisters, daughters and granddaughters? The answer, as always, is within.
(For radical healing and transformation, Keia recommends you practice the mirror exercise once a month. If you’d like to join the dialogue, contact Keia: firstname.lastname@example.org or join her at The Heart Revival’s Womxn Meditation Circles, the 4th Sunday of every month, 3pm – 4pm)
Still I Rise
BY MAYA ANGELOU
You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I'll rise.
Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I've got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.
Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I'll rise.
Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?
Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don't you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I've got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I've got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?
Out of the huts of history’s shame
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I'm a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.
Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
How Men Can Be Allies
Here at The Heart Revival Center we want our male community members to be included in the dialogue, for the only way we can create real and lasting change is if we communicate openly, honestly and without fear. If you are wondering how you can best support and collaborate with womxn, here are some ideas!
Just Listen 😊
Listening helps create trust and respect. Listening with focus, sincerity, empathy and without interruption places value not only on her experience, but her willingness to open up and share with you what she has been through
Find comfort in the uncomfortable
Learning about what womxn go through socially and professionally may create feelings of shame, guilt and blame that in turn surface as anxiety. Please know we appreciate your support and willingness to show up as an ally, more dialogue and shared space, not less, can help you understand these feelings on a deeper level and how we can move past them as a community
It’s not always about action
Yes, we all have differences, and there are gender differences. Research has shown that womxn express helpful behaviors through community and relationship building, whereas men can get more focused on action-oriented behaviors. When in doubt, go back to number 1
Cultivate supportive partnerships
Ask how you can support their efforts – creating relationships that are reciprocal and mutually growth-enhancing are beneficial to everyone