27 Jun Retreating With The School Of Shamanic Womancraft
One full lunar cycle ago I spent an entire week soaking up the incredible magic of my teacher Jane Hardwicke Collings and the transcendent energy of a group of the most incredible women. I am only just returning back to this earthly plane after reintegrating back home, facilitating a blessing and then surrendering to one of the most intense bleeds I have had in a long time (there was a lot that needed to release). I took myself away for a working weekend and feel finally ready to begin emerging back into the world. I was cracked wide open and I allowed myself to feel things I have been hiding away for fear of not receiving the witness I crave.
I embody the art of holding space on a daily basis. It is something I have been innately gifted with being able to do and people have always come to me, trusting that I will be able to offer them exactly what they need. But with this gift comes a responsibility, a responsibility that I keep my own self guarded and closed so to not inhibit someone else’s process or release.
I have known for a while that I had some big stuff that needed to be witnessed but I have not been able to fully surrender to anyone. My ability to feel safe and release what is inside is quite a massive task for me and takes a lot from someone else to offer that safe space.
I knew that Jane and the group would have the tools to unlock what I was carrying, and I wasn’t sure if I could actually survive it. I wasn’t sure that I would be able to come back to normal life after being cracked open. Back to carer and mother and businesswoman wearing all the hats. But here I am. I am missing the daily fires, the morning talking circles, the laughter and the oxytocin rush but I am back in the world with all of this new found strength and belief in what I am here to do in this world.
Being surrounded by women of vastly differing ages, wisdom and experience brought so much medicine as they told their stories and shared their magic. I have never felt like a young person, being born on the waning moon, ive always been a Maga at heart and I know that without fail, it is the Maga women that I gravitate toward to feel completely safe and witnessed. I’m not quite sure where that comes from but I just find it so difficult to unlock the doors to my heart wounds to many others. Maidens and mothers teach me so much about life and my work. They constantly inspire me but it is the Magas who I bow down to and who don’t have to say anything, just a hug and I’m a ball of emotion that had been waiting for that moment to flow out.
What I realised more than ever is that we need to be around other women of all ages! Our automatic response to want to tend and befriend is so strong because that is what helps lower the constant cortisol levels coursing through our body in this manic society. But tend and befriend doesnt mean go and only hang out with other women of your own age! We are missing out on so much vital wisdom being passed down and being shared with different viewpoints from women of different ages, stages and experiences.
I miss the village I never even had…
but I hope that one day it will become easier for us to connect and reclaim the passing down and transferring of wisdom between all generations. We need it today more than ever.
Before I attended the SSW retreat I was feeling massively on the brink of complete hopelessness about the state of our birth culture and the darkness of the sisterhood wound that has enveloped my hometown. The sisterhood wound runs deep and there are many who are hurting; hurting so bad that I don’t even know how it will ever heal. This work can feel exhausting, never ending and at times, hopeless.
While on retreat I was held and refilled but I was also starkly reminded of something very important that hit me like a lightning bolt; “Hope is a doing word” Jane said very convincingly (a quote she heard from Florence Welch at a recent show).
Hope is a doing word!
This most recent lunar cycle has been a massive release for me, from being cracked open at the retreat, to a moment on the new moon when the darkness holding this town could finally be released for healing to begin. I have cried more in this lunar cycle than I think I ever have. Tears of gratitude for being held, of release, of deep sadness for our state of affairs, for those whose lives have changed forever, for midwifery and birthwork, for my own life that was negatively impacted, for all of the ‘witches’ who have been persecuted and those sisters who have persecuted one of their own because of deep internalised misogyny. Mostly just for the sadness of our entire wounded sisterhood and how that ripples out into every facet of our lives and continues to fester.
But I have cried and also remembered that my hope continues to be firmly anchored into the work that I offer into the world with a new found strength of being part of healing this sister wound that has clouded us for too long. I stand in hope by offering solace to those who want to heal as well.
I am releasing the dark wounds to let love in and embodying hope in my actions and work to be a bridge and help begin this task that cannot be done alone.
What are you currently doing or being that is an embodiment of hope? Are you with me?
The work that I am doing to foster the hope and change that I wish to see in this world is currently in the form of supporting birthworkers to thrive in life and business. For too long, birthworkers have been doing this sacred work at a sacrifice to themselves and the turn over has been staggering due to sustainability and burn out. Many Doulas in particular come out of their training all starry eyed and bushy tailed about the incredible honour it is to hold space for women and birthing people as they move through the birth portal. But the majority have not been prepared for how to navigate this broken system, how to protect themselves or how to sustainably succeed in building and thriving in business!
As such I have created a number of offerings to reduce the rate of doulas leaving this work- because we need you! And to help them build solid foundations in their life and business to reduce their risk of experiencing isolation, lack of confidence, business blocks, uncertainty and overwhelm about how to best show up and share their gifts.
Thrive For Doulas is a 12-week mentorship and mastermind for Doulas in their first 12 months of business. It is especially tailored to help the transition between training to business, to cement solid building blocks for a thriving, profitable and enjoyable life and doula business