Having my daughter was one of the most difficult experiences of my life. My water broke somewhere before midnight, two days before her birth. As my husband and mom ran around the house like frantic maniacs, I cooly timed my contractions and made sure our items were checked off the list. Within an hour my contractions had sped up and we headed into see the midwife who informed me that I was 1/2 cm dilated. It was going to be a minute. 24 hours of a posterior labor later and it was time to push… for 3 hours. But it was sometime around hour 20 that we had discussed moving me to a hospital. In that moment, of no real sleep, a bit of a morphine hangover, moving from the tub to the shower and back again maybe 20 times, to walking outside, laying on the bed, moaning in my husband’s lap, watching the look of defeat on my mom’s and hub’s face, I had a deep feeling that if I was moved to the hospital I would literally die. So I sat reverse on a toilet and had a moment with God(dess). My prayer was very simple: I have gotten myself into a situation that I have NO IDEA how to get myself out of. And even though it took another seven-ish hours of the most grueling pain of my entire life, I birthed one of the most powerful creatures I have ever met in my life.
My birth team could hold my hands or hold my legs, but it was only me and my little creation that could go through that birthing process.
I look at much of emotions this way.
For most of my life, I have spent a lot of energy stuffing my emotions. I got pretty good at it too. I mean we all have, right?! We just have to stay busy enough. Distract ourselves enough that we never have to sit with ourselves. And if we never have to sit with ourselves, we don’t have to come head to head with the emotions that are icky and painful and grueling. The ones that take us to our capacity. The really painful (good) ones that want to help our souls birth some powerful creations.
If we look at the divine feminine, we find answers. The divine feminine is emotional. It”s creative. It ebbs and flows and has an intuitive process. It’s wild and untamed. And it’s tragically inconvenient for a patriarchal society. So it must be numbed, eased, dulled.
Our mental health system as well as our modern day maternity system are built from the patriarchy. There have been plenty of arguments out there already on the maternity system within hospitals and the history and validation of midwifery so I won’t elaborate much other than to say when we argue, as women, about which system is better, we further feed the patriarchy. It is in this very system that started the divide between us as sisters when our midwives of the mid-century were burned at the stake so that medicine could be led my men and a formal education system.
Now let’s talk about mental health for a minute. Let’s talk about why depression, anxiety, suicide, chemical dependance, loneliness, and self-mutilation are at an all time high and nobody has a fucking clue about what to do about it, other than minimize or cheerlead.
I want to be very clear on something in this illustration: I had my babies like I have my meltdowns: unmedicated. I feel it all. This says nothing about me (and therefore you) other than, I don’t have a full-range scope in my human experience of the other side of either one and I don’t believe that either are bad or wrong when used the right way. I do believe that we live in a world where they are misappropriately used. I do believe that there are some times and with some souls that you can gain greater clarity without the distraction of so much pain. The key here is using your intuition to determine the right usage for you. I react awfully to substances, so it’s best if I steer clear. That’s not the same for everyone and I support your intuitive guidance on that.
First and foremost, we are all living with a lifetime (and lifetimes) of trauma that needs to be healed. Trauma is far more than the gruesome life events we hear of. Trauma is quite simply any life experience that was not emotionally validated. So if you grew up in a family where emotions were brushed under the rug, well you have layers of traumatic experiences from childhood. But we all do. So don’t worry. Every single one of us is walking around with boatloads of trauma. So this whole act of trying to show up like we don’t is just asinine. Can you imagine the relief you would feel if you didn’t have to fake it anymore?? But let me go ahead and note here: that does not mean we all walk around like hot messes. No, no. We are resilient. And we are brilliant! We are both! We are both tragic and beautiful all the time. Filled with glory and wonder… and trauma. So you don’t have to pretend anymore that you are all former without the latter.
Second, the great American tragedy is that we are living out of alignment with our souls’ purpose. Keeping up with the Jones’, chronic consumerism, a culture of hustle, incessant hate and intolerance… all of this stems from patriarchy. I know I have mentioned patriarchy a number of times already so let me be super clear: patriarchy is not equivalent to men/masculine/male. It’s not tied to a religion or race either. However, it has stemmed from the toxic control of a predominantly White, Male, Christian philosophy that values greed. It’s a culture, not a person. White, male, Christians are not the enemy. A culture of exclusion is. I could (and maybe should) write an entire book about this, but I will allow you to dive deeper into your whole self to identify how this system is creating lack inside of you and therefore a discontinuity in your emotional well-being.
And third, and probably the most important for the sake of this article is that we, as a society, have no space to hold emotional fluidity. What do I mean by fluidity: the highs and lows of emotions. We fear the low. We push them away. We view them as weak. We may say, “I get it. Been there, I’m here for you,” but I live in the South and this very much has a “bless your heart” undertone to it. We value the high - the happy, the positive. So if someone is sad or mad or even lower than that - depressed - we don’t know what to do with them. We give suggestions for things people can do, we encourage them to change their mindset. We say, “Hey, please don’t end your life. Just call me.” Yeah. No. Most people would rather end their life than deal with the agony of picking up the phone and continuing to feel less than, broken, and ashamed. I know we do this because we don’t know what else to do and we really do care.
The answers once again lie in the feminine because in the feminine we have the capacity to hold the unknown, the wild, and the untamed. In the feminine we know that she holds everything within her to work through the agony and birth her creations. We just hold the space, hold her hands, hold her legs. We let her and her creation find their way. We know that the painful isn’t shameful. We know that it’s merely a shadow seeking the light. We know that in every moment every individual is both brilliant and a hot mess in her own capacity. We know that’s normal and human and beautiful.
I recently started writing more and more about my emotional range. I had been reluctant for years. Not because I was ashamed but because I dreaded people’s reactions. I dreaded how uncomfortable I know that it made people. I dreaded the comments and messages asking if I was alright. I dreaded the I’m here for you’s.
I valued the simple emoji hearts, I know you have the capacity to work through this and birth your creations but I stand with you as your sister. I hold your hand. I hold space for your light. I see your shadow and I’m not scared of it. I know you are strong and brilliant and worthy even in your shadow. I valued the messages that said, damn I’m in it too or the comment that says, I feel this deeply and together we could just hold space for the suck of it all.
As I have grown more connected with my shadow, I have been able to do an immense amount of healing and growing. Through the allowance of my deepest, darkest shadows, sometimes my creations or manifestations are professionals. I have worked with additional healers and teachers. Sometimes we need someone to shine a light on the blind spot. Other times it just feels damn good to not walk it alone. The coolest part about this is that the healers and teachers I have worked with have sometimes been my friends or just women that I feel more kinship too. There’s no hierarchy. No lack. Just literally, a light holder, or as we refer to them, lightworker.
If you’re like me and you have spent most of your life teaching yourself how to contain your emotions or busy yourself to ignore your emotions and yet this is all speaking to you, I encourage you to just start to sit with your emotions. Meditate. Ask for the guidance. Ask what they are here to teach you. Sit in the hot, sludgy discomfort of it all. Allow the pain to birth your next creation. Your next evolution of yourself.
Right now my whole being hurts. It feels so tender to be human. I know not everyone feels things on this level, but for those that do, it hurts. I feel like the tears can leak out of my eyes, my ears are burning, and the heaviness in my shoulders just feels too much. This is why I drink. This is why I scroll. Because this just feels too much to bear. There must be a reason that one person should have to hold this amount of weight and pressure. There is a meaning, a message, a growth point, right? Help me feel it. Help me hear it. Help me know it. It’s like a migraine and I just need some relief from it. An Advil. Just something to give some relief because it all just feels too tender. Too tender to show up and function. I can’t fully access the rest of me. I don’t want to walk in nature. I don’t want to mother. I can’t even find the thoughts and words for my book. Is this depression? Empath life? The moon? Grief? Chuck was laid off today. It feels like a blank slate but also too much unknown. Too much of life already feels sensitive to the touch, raw. I set our family chalkboard calendar for April and just wrote CANCELED over the top. And why can’t we express the depth of these emotions without a label? Why must we isolate ourselves. Why must this create loneliness and lack? Why do we have to put this away and tell ourselves that these feelings make us feel unsteady? Quite the contrary. I am very steady in this space. Do I like it? No. But I am steady. I am made to carry the heaviness. I think we all are. And yet I still fear putting this out into the world. Will I be judged? Is this all too much? Are you ok? Is She Ok? Yes, indeed. Emotions are always too much. Let’s just go back to being positive. Easy.
Isn’t it interesting? This world we have constructed for ourselves. All of the systems and services that we have in place to help us live out these constructed lives. And yet now in this time and space all we have is the basics. And the internet. Can you only imagine if the internet went out. Try it. It’s lovely. You get moments like these when you feel something so big and so deep and when you cut out your vices - food, booze, scrolling, shopping - all you are left is to feel it. To move the energy in a creative way. Dance. Writing. Art. Food. Ingenuity.
And 30 minutes later it all hurts a little less. The tears dry up. My ears are normal temperature. My breath returns to normal. Another woman has healed herself, just like she always could.
I’ve wanted to be a mom my whole life. There isn’t a moment that I can recall that I ever doubted this. I wanted to fall in love, get married, and have babies and I felt this calling deeper than I had ever felt anything in my soul. I loved babies growing up and would marvel at pregnant bellies in my 20’s. There was nothing inside of me that whispered an incongruence that I was not meant for motherhood.
The moment I got pregnant is when things showed up differently than I imagine. I thought that I would be one of the glowing mommies, but I felt like an alien in my own body and it was and continues to be one of the most challenging times in my life.
Then when my daughter was born, nothing was as it should seem. It was all so much harder. I can rattle off the list of challenges with sleep and being a new mom and how impossible she was to put down, but the truth is so much of the story isn’t the truth. I guess the details are true but it isn’t truth. It isn’t the reason motherhood was hard for me.
Motherhood was hard because at that stage in my life I was attempting to create a persona of myself. I was showing up in such a way for something that wasn’t real in my heart. I was giving it my all and I was doing it alongside being a new mom. By not being myself in one space, I was unable to be myself anywhere.
Five years had passed by the time I realized this. I always feel the need to defend myself as a mom. I’m a good mom. I love my kids. And my kids are really great humans. But that’s five years of habits built in an unknown environment. It’s like which was causing the hard? I didn’t really know.
Now here we are. Present day. 6 1/2 years later. Living in a time of a global pandemic unlike anyone has ever lived through. A quote that has always stuck with me is “Life is happening for you, not to you.” Nothing felt more true. I knew that in this cataclysmic time there is a lesson available to all of us if we were willing to hear it. To sit and wait for it. I am always a hungry student, sitting in the front row with my hand up. Me, me. Pick Me!
Through these passed two years of deep work and healing on myself I have finally learned not just what my intuitive voice is but to trust it fully. Over and over again my kiddos were bubbling to the surface. I had romanticized homeschooling last year and decided against it. I even recently told a friend how glad I was that I decided against homeschooling. Yet, even before the pandemic hit, I could feel that there was something still not in perfect alignment with my kids education. Over and over again, that was my message. Align my family. SO I turned down the volume of the outer world so I could turn up the volume on my inner sphere. I got offline so I could get inline with my people. Like many of you, that has meant more time outside, more time cuddled up, more books, more conversations, more patience. We spent an entire day letting them just be outside and popped a tent in our living room for a campout. The times that stick out so profoundly in my life as a kid are the times when I had too much sun, wind, and water. When I would clean off the day after hard play. The way I felt connected to my family and just fully alive. I went to bed each night physically exhausted from it all but more energized in my soul than I have felt in a long time.
I’m still not sure what the outcome from all of this will be. I don’t think any of us do. We still have weeks of lessons to pour in. But what I have discovered and articulated in this space of stillness is that motherhood has been hard for one reason: Because I had a vision in my heart of what I thought motherhood would be like for me and when it didn’t exactly work out that way, I truly felt like my soul, my intuition had led me astray. It may have take 6 years, but in this time of stillness, I learned that my vision that danced in my heart all of my life is still very alive inside of me. I just had to break some old habits and break up with the story that I have been telling myself since.
This is just one more piece of me that has realigned so fully. And for that, the words of gratitude aren’t vast enough.
Leadership was never really a principle that interested me. In fact, I remember a time when I was a therapist and really leading my practice with mindfulness philosophies (side bar: my first Twitter handle was MindfulBrook… I haven’t been on Twitter in probably 5 years but apparently I connected it to my Facebook and still tweet away! I should fix that except I have no idea what any of my login info is.) Anywho. A friend of mine, Brian approached me with a collab idea: creating a leadership program around the principles of health, wellness, and mindfulness. I really wasn’t that interested because leadership then just felt very old white man. Stuffy. I wasn’t able to articulate it at the time but this is patriarchy. The feeling that there is a club and I didn’t get the invite so I’m going to play a different game over here.
It wasn’t until I stepped into the entrepreneurial space that I really started studying leadership. Personal development is a no-brainer for any entrepreneur and my learner self loves this stuff. But time and time again, I would read books written by old white men and feel that this didn’t really apply to me. I specifically remember How to Win Friends and Influence People and the pronouns were all he. John Maxwell over and over just felt like he was talking to someone else. But really it was when I read 10x Rule by Grant Cardone that I felt my first real push back. He was sharing his belief on full life success and his priority to also be a good father. He was telling how he gets up with his daughter first thing so that his wife could have some time to herself and they would often go grocery shopping. It was maybe like two hours that he spent with her. And while that is all well and good, I kept thinking about his wife. Because when he turned his kiddo back over to momma, he was free. Free to go build his business both with his time but also with his mind. I, on the other hand, suffered bad with mom guilt. From taking on all the things. I felt like a failure in every area. It is necessary to say here, that I have no problems with Dale Carnegie or John Maxwell or Grant Cardone. They have valuable content. The problem is that their content is from their singular lens, yet taught that it’s a blanket method for all. When information is expelled in that way we run the risk of people feeling like there is something wrong with them. You absolutely can be successful and sell and have influence without taking the stance that you cover all demographics. This is privilege. Do you see that? People vibe with different people. For me, I would read Brene Brown and just feel at home.
The struggle for me, at the time, was business was suffering and so was I. I lost my center of gravity and therefore was easily swayed. We call this your root chakra. It’s that energy field that keeps you planted and grounded, allows you to feel safe and protected, and keeps you firmly rooted in who you are. I often share with my clients my personal vision of what the healing journey looks like and for me, it’s an oak tree. Being so solid and strong and rooted in who you are, that even when the winds pick up and your leaves get rustled, your center, your core, your trunk barely moves. But I was still this little wispy thing getting thrown around. So if someone told me 10x, I would 10x until I burnt out. If someone sold me hustle and grind as being cool, I would hustle and grind with the best of them. If someone said, No excuses, I would make sure I could out excuse anyone. All the while, feeling this tug in my gut that was telling me, this isn’t how it’s supposed to be. I was acting as a soldier when I’m supposed to be the medic.
Finally I stopped. And then I crumbled. That’s how this works, you know. You will get the whispers first and if you don’t follow those, you will get bigger signs, and if you still don’t pay attention, you will get really big bricks dumped on you until you are forced to pay attention. I follow the little niggles now.
But after I crumbled and picked up the pieces, I proceeded with caution. The only thing I knew to be true is that my intuition was now leading the way. It didn’t matter how twisty the journey, I was following it. And as I did, I realized that the way I felt called to do things was not wrong or bad. Not at all. It was just different. It was feminine and it was EQUALLY as valuable in any space.
A FEW THINGS THAT CHANGEDIt’s funny as I look at my life now and my life two years ago, I am the exact same person and I am COMPLETELY different in the same breath. Some of my actions weren’t wrong, but they were about 2 degrees off. I don’t sail, but I know enough that if you chart your course and are two degrees off in your journey, you will end up some place very different. That’s life too. We set goals because we are really chasing an emotion. And we believe that the achievement of the goal will help us feel that emotion. You may achieve your goal but miss your internal mark. And that’s why you can lose the weight, or get the promotion, or land your perfect partner and still feel like a ball of anxious nerves.
Through this process I have identified specific traits that are divinely feminine. There are of course, divine masculine traits! But in today’s society there is also a heightened level of toxic masculine in the business and work force (and plenty of toxic feminine but not as dominant in the work force). Every man and woman has some degree of masculine and feminine. Think of them as being on a continuum like Meyer’s Briggs. You aren’t just one or the other but a certain percentage. The goal with healing yourself and creating unity with your spirit is to find your unique combination.
Let’s take a look:
The Divine Feminine is taking ancient feminine wisdom and remembering our intuitive feminine spirit in today’s modern world. Now if we take you back. Way, way back. Once upon a time women were revered as the goddesses we are. I mean we can make humans. This is just ridiculously obvious to me. But, someone didn’t like that. Actually lots of someones across various cultures and countries. Our power threatened the masculinity and thus, eons of patriarchy has been the norm. This did not come without a fight, like the Salem Witch Trials, brutality of our bodies, alienation of our sisterhood, and a stripping of our intuitive wisdom until we just forgot.
And while some may contest that sure we can work in jobs or stay home with babies and have these rights, the truth is our sisterhood in today’s world is suffering deeply. We are more prone to experience anxiety and depression, at the height of our loneliness, detached from our intuition thus creating extreme levels of fear and doubt, and at war with our own bodies. We are chasing things that don’t matter in careers that don’t bring us joy. We are riddled in mom guilt. And sure, while we may have a few seats at some of the tables, usually it was earned by playing the game of patriarchy instead of as our divine selves.
THIS SHIFT IN CONSCIOUSNESS, IN A NEW WAY OF BEING, LEADING, AND LOVING IN THE WORLD IS HAPPENING.
But first we need to heal. We heal from this lifetime and past. We crumble and we shed these layers. I honestly love this part. Then we learn. Or re-learn. We remember. Because this ancient wisdom lives inside of you.
Do you even understand what this can do for you?
First, it leaves you so unbelievably solid in who you are. Can you even imagine what it would feel like not having to doubt, question, or feel afraid? To not feel inadequate when you enter a room. To not take on the emotions of others. Rock solid confidence.
It takes you from a place of self-loathing to self-knowing and eventually self-love. Do you know why so many people “can’t meditate”? It’s because they can’t stand being with themselves. Imagine you becoming your favorite person. Honoring yourself enough to nourish yourself, allowing yourself to land at your own size and age and feeling beautiful and sexy and alive in your skin.
It allows you to be seen. Like really seen. Held and loved. It allows you to be equally a hot mess and also a QUEEN, because guess what. We ALL ARE equally. And when you collaborate with other people who have also gone through this process, it allows for the ultimate in trust and connection.
It gifts you with purpose. Showing up each day with clarity on why you are here. Manifesting abundance and creating an impact. I KNOW THIS SOUNDS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. LIKE HEAVEN ON EARTH. BUT THIS IS WHO WE ARE IN OUR CORE AT OUR DEEPEST LEVEL. THIS IS OUR SOUL’S DESIRE. You don’t have to take my word for it. Try it yourself. Listen to my podcasts, watch my videos, read my posts, and feel into this. I have every confidence that you can heal and guide yourself into your own knowing.