After I wrote this piece and sat with it a while, I realized just how many tenants there are to setting boundaries…what it all means … all the ways in which we are slithery with ourselves so that we do not “rock the boat” of the normal (within us). There’s so much I will be exploring on this topic, because it is absolutely critical to our evolution as individuals within the species.
In the Sexual, Sensual and Spiritual Beings audio files, Louise LeBrun and the women who participated in the experience lay out the continuum within which women experience life. Maiden, Goddess and Crone are not points along a continuum that is linear with a start and stop trajectory, but instead they are all interconnected forces on a looped continuum, simultaneously.
Yes, it’s true that we generally first experience what it’s like to be a maiden: innocent, playful, discovering our own sensuality.
Soon thereafter, we grow into the Goddess phase in which our creation, birth and connecting with others becomes imperative. Our procreative energy, sexuality, becomes a powerful leading force in our lives because we are internally driven to create.
Then, enter the era of the Crone where interconnectivity, letting go with conviction, and the richness of spirituality become pivotal in our existence.
While the three are often talked about as separate in our culture, in fact, they are interconnected. At any point, there are elements of each other inside all of us, despite which one might be more dominant at that time. So I can be in my maiden phase in life while being deeply aware of my interconnectivity to the totality of life. I could be in the goddess phase and be creating with playful intentionality. I could be in my Crone phase and let go of creations that no longer serve my Innocence (as a Force). To discover more about how this conversation is critical to your life, I encourage you to purchase and listen to the audio files and connect with me about what comes up for you as you listen.
The Sexual, Sensual and Spiritual beings audio files set up the framework within which our conversations in the yearlong experience “Embracing the Crone that I AM: The art of giving zero fucks” will unfold.
No matter what phase in life you identify with being in, consider, if you would, what your life would be like if all three of these (interconnected) energies were in flow inside of you. What would your life look like with more of you present? More of you embodied? More of you, authentic?
What would life look like if you set boundaries, with conviction, and let go of outcome?
Embracing the Crone that I AM:
I realize that most of us spend a lifetime disconnected and discontent. I also realize, we don’t have to live like that!
That fire that we work so hard to shut down and minimize, always comes out in ways we haven’t imagined. Women have learned well how to spew their fire instead of own it. We have become master manipulators within ourselves. We lie to ourselves to protect the illusion. Think for a moment, the last time you were overworked, overtired and overextended and the next request came in. Your whole body said NO more! but out your mouth comes “sure, no problem”. What happened next? I’m willing to bet you burned yourself out. You needed rest. You needed a massage, or a vacation, or lots and lots of wine. That is one way to deal with feeling overwhelmed, with taking on too much, with giving too much.
You see, as women we are socialized from a very young age (from the womb, really), to be in a state of overwhelm over giving. We play “nice”. That is our expectation, as the caretakers of the relationships. So we get sick, and we don’t know why. We don’t feel like we belong in our skin, so we try to crawl out of it. We freeze ourselves into compliance when our whole body is screaming: stop it!
The truth is, if you don’t set limits, your body will set them for you.
Setting boundaries is a Crone response.
Boundaries are absolutely necessary if we are to stay connected to our essence. Pretending and being pleasant ensures you stay disconnected. What’s the intelligence of that? What does that ensure you don’t focus on? Who does that ensure you don’t become? …how much do you grasp to hang on to the life you have, as opposed to leaning in and creating the life you’re meant to live? The life you’re meant to create? YOU are The One that must show up in your life.
Women feel immense internal pressures to give more than they’ve got … their cups are dust dry, but they keep trying to give … because we don’t know what else to do. Because we are afraid of our own fire. Because we are terrified of what embracing that fire might mean. So, we allow the pressure to build up to the point where saying ‘yes’ to what we want to say ‘no’ to becomes easier than having to keep tolerating the persistent internal pressure to “measure up” to another’s perceived expectations.
The number of times I’ve reluctantly allowed men to penetrate me just because they wouldn’t hear the no. People won’t hear a soft no … they won’t hear a wavering no … they won’t hear a wussy no. They cannot. Because they want to get their way. They want what they want. And they know, if they push, you’ll cave.
If it doesn’t serve us, then why do we do it?
When we’ve been told our whole lives that we will be safe if we take care of others, unquestionably … then it makes sense that we internalize that message and act upon it. In fact, we come to believe ourselves useful only when we give…when we make others’ lives better. Even when the other holds us in contempt, is resentful, or simply feels entitled to what we have to give.
How many of us keep giving because we believe that setting boundaries will leave us an outsider? It will render us unsafe?
The thing is, when we give and people take, over and over, at some point, we become resentful of our own selves. We believe others have mean intentions when engaging with us (they want to control us, judge us, manipulate us). We make ourselves sick to our stomach from perceived powerlessness. We feel hard-done by, because others are taking and not noticing: I’ve had enough. But we don’t say it. Out our mouth comes “no, problem. I’ll take that on, too”.
When what comes out of our mouth doesn’t match what we really feel, it leaves us feeling powerless and disrespected. Well, no kidding …because by not speaking our truth what we’ve done is betray our Self, our body, our truth, our showing up authentically. This is called self-betrayal. When the truth of what you feel inside does not match the words that come out of your mouth, you are betraying yourself. Women have gotten really good at this. We keep putting ourselves in the backburner. We keep pretending we’re capable and we’re fine. We just want to keep the peace! We keep shunning our own fire and intensity. We keep betraying our own body and our own truth … for what?
In my paradigm of the world where everything is metaphor and information, there is always intelligence to be found in what is presenting. If betraying ourselves feels safer than speaking the truth in the moment (because we don’t want to lose our jobs / partners / kids / reputation or we just can’t handle another argument), then we will do it… because we don’t feel safe to be other than the socialized version of ourselves that we believe we have always been. We believe the stories we have been told, and we do the same habituated thing we’ve always done. Only now, the pressure in the body is increasing….
Truth is, it’s fucking painful to pretend all the time and never be adored for who and what we are. We would rather create ourselves pain and pretend with another for fear of being excluded, thrown out, or shunned. Shaming is a powerful control tool. Equally as powerful is the resistance to shaming, the pretending that we don’t care, when we do. So I encourage you to pay attention when you say you don’t care, but you do … what does that feel like, inside of you? Can you give yourself permission to invite a mindful breath in and engage with yourself, differently?
There isn’t EVER, in my reality, a time when we betray ourselves, our truth, and it works out “for the best”. That literally never happens …because the vibration of inauthenticity, of self-betrayal, of playing pretend always follow us … until we decide NO MORE. With conviction. With power behind it. That is the spear response, in full ownership of her power. Showing up in her full authenticity, reclaimed …expressing. Not to offend, not to hurt, not to distract … but to show up as herSelf ….as the truth of her experience, owned.
I have no conception of personal power being “wrong”, and I know all the ways in which it has played out in my life that I diminish my magic in order to try and fit in. IT HAS NEVER WORKED OUT FOR ME. It keeps creating bigger and bigger problems, until I notice. Why did I have to let things go on for so long rather than pay attention? I don’t know … but I did, and now I choose to pay attention, I choose to trust the process of the quantum-biological being that I AM.
We aren’t four anymore. To play nice back then would have meant safety, food, protection … so we’re not thrown out of the clan. And in rebellion to that, because we know how fucking hurtful it is to play nice when we are seething on the inside at the injustice, is to tell ourselves the story of “I don’t care what people think!” and then act accordingly in public. Rebel! And, the truth of it is, some people urk us…they are in our lives to remind us of all the times we’ve self-betrayed and got nothing but more betrayal in return. Diminishing our fire burns us.
Women have come to be terrified of their internal fire. We have come to believe it to be dangerous, bad, unsafe. So we want to shun it. We want to control it. We want to shut it down. We want it to not be there … when it is. Nothing good will come from fearing your fire; only more self-betrayal. After all, the Crone is BIRTHED in fire! She is the definition of fire, reclaimed … owned … And, as a consequence of owning it all, she becomes the unfuckwithable Force that society is terrified of. But first, she’s unapologetic. I see what I see, and I know what I know, and I will NOT betray myself by pretending it isn’t so… not for your temporary comfort, not for anything. Because the truth matters.
No more playing nice inside ourselves! No more lying to ourselves! No more sugarcoating! No more manipulating ourselves! No more pretending! No more making excuses! No more justifying tolerating the intolerable!
This is what I mean about mindfully owning your fire, in flow … this is what I mean about picking up the spear when it’s needed …because without the hard line in the sand (the boundary), you’re doomed to soften things up and thus end up betraying your own damn self! This is very much a goddess response … dependent on what people will think. The Crone owns the giant FUCK YOU inside herself; she does not care to blame or make excuses for herself, because she also owns her part in creating it … and she lets go…of opinions, of outcome, of beliefs, of strategies, of all of it. Most of all, perhaps, she lets go of her desire to make a palpable story out of it. Because she owns the truth of her experience, inside herself, she knows her own internal boundaries … how she expressed outwardly becomes simply a matter of a congruent choice.
Let’s talk about boundaries, baby!
Ultimately, this is a conversation about intimacy with ourSelves.
It is a conversation about how to become so fine tuned to our own internal cues that nothing else matters.
It is a conversation about paying attention to the cues as they move, value and judgement free.
It is a conversation about letting go of the stories, socializations and strategies that keep us confined to a boxed-in version of who a “good woman” should be.
It is a conversation about noticing and claiming the penetration of patriarchal mindsets in every nook and cranny of our existence. It is about beginning to wake up, and pay attention, differently.
The truth is, nothing is ever about the thing that’s presenting. It is always about raising our thinking UP. What are we not noticing such that we allow it to run the show of our lives, out of our awareness? What are the deeper layered conversations that we avoid so that we don’t have to face them and actually act on our own behalf? It isn’t easy to own the truth of our experience. It is fucking hard work! Everything around us is built to tell us …no, don’t you dare go there! Don’t you dare speak! Don’t you dare say no! Don’t you dare question! Don’t you dare ask for what you want? Don’t you dare take a pause … a breath …
But the Crone defies all that, and she perpetually dares. Because she knows what’s at stake if she does not. Passing the buck to the next generation is simply not an option. Going on about as if things are normal is simply not an option. Protecting predators is no longer an option. She cares for life, and she will do what it takes to protect it.
Join me and a group of up to 8 women in conversation around the role of boundaries in our lives, because without setting them inside ourselves, we are doomed to keep repeating more of what we’ve got. One of my favourite Louise LeBrun questions is: Not good/ bad/ right /wrong, simply a matter of how’s that working for ya? If it isn’t, join us. What have you got to lose? $25. Three hours (5:ooPM to 8:00PM). On Wednesday, September 28th. Over zoom.