05 Apr The Dark Doorway to Freedom
Last Saturday we launched the first ever One Woman Effect. For months I had visions of what it would be like. I could see lit up faces thrown back in laughter, sexy Zumba moves in the sunshine, and the feeling of freedom spreading throughout the crowd. I knew in my heart everyone would get what they needed most. But I also know there’s a fine line between expectation and manifestation. I wanted to show up wide open to whatever we would all create together.
It has taken me a week to write about it because it was so breathtaking.
First, a little context. The purpose of One Woman Effect is:
To inspire, awaken and support women so we can own, and thoroughly enjoy, the collective ripple of good we cause in the world.
The OWE community will keep the sparks of light flying in each of us, so we can uplift everyone who comes into our presence.
Through our very being, we will change the world – and we will have a damn good time doing it.
There are a number of ways you can interpret this and imagine what might come of a bunch of women gathering together to “empower” each other. I’ve had a lot of people ask about it, and I love that it will always hold a mysterious quality – because as we gather with different women in different cities, anything can happen. I have a feeling though what happened on Saturday will be the magic that I will come to count on. We started the day opening ourselves up with some booty-shaking Zumba in the sunshine. We laughed our asses off and felt our fears and boundaries start dropping to the ground. Sometimes being in a group of women you don’t know can be intimidating or cause you to start comparing yourself and feeling lack.
But here’s what I know: girls who get sweaty together stay together.
As we proceeded to indulge in cool guided meditations, delicious food and conversation I could feel the group coming together – really enjoying each other. Then this is what I loved: they started swearing, giggling, crying, sharing stories from the depths of their soul, then throwing around words like “badass”, “take that” and spontaneously dancing. All signs of “empowerment”, right? Stuff that can sometimes scare people and maybe make them wonder if this is going to be good for marriages, partnerships, or for men.
Here’s what I have to say about that. There are many different flavors of power. And maybe some flavors have given the others a bad name. Maybe. The flavor that I’m a big fan of is called Freedom. While everyone ultimately has their own path to get there, I watched each one of us walk right through its door last Saturday. We didn’t get there by a whole bunch of rah – rah, you’re-so-awesome.
We got there by:
- Making each other feel infinitely safe
- Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable and real
- Letting ourselves be fully seen and heard
The result? Intoxicating. There is NOTHING like being in the presence of a fully self-expressed woman. NOTHING. And what I confirmed on Saturday night, is the doorway to that freedom is dark. Before you can go through it, you have to see all the parts of you that you think are bad or wrong, and fall madly in love with them. The so-called “bad girl” parts are the ones that make us so damn irresistible. They are the parts that make us real and relatable. They make us so beautifully human. They are the parts that often get suppressed and held back. And let me tell you, they will only get louder and more upset if you try that.
That’s why I’m thinking empowerment has gotten a bad rap. Empowerment without full – and I mean whole, integrated – self-expression is built on anger; anger that comes from holding back parts of ourselves. If you get all hopped up on power and try to fight for something you believe in without bringing your soft, intuitive, magical feminine, you will work way too hard and won’t be very good at influencing. Just like if you try to lead from all your goodness and kindness and you bring none of your fire, you’re not going to get very far.
On Saturday night, I watched these women show up with all their kind and “good” parts – the ones we’re all so good at sharing. Then as they felt safe, they brought out their “bad girl” side, their darker desires, secrets and thinking. It was so breathtaking, so intoxicating to swim in, that it confirmed everything I had been hoping for: I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that these women will cause a massive ripple effect in the world. They already have.
One of their husbands wrote me the next morning thanking me for what I had “done” to his wife. He said what I do is “fantastic” and that he’s recommending me to everyone. Another woman went home feeling like everything she was hoping to create with her husband was “now in reach”. “I don’t have to push him anymore.” Another participant went home that night and called someone who she had long been angry with and thanked him. Another one said she felt like she showed up 3/4 of a woman and went home to her man and her family a “whole woman”.
This is my kind of empowerment.
Free, fully self-expressed women:
- go home to love and appreciate their partners like never before
- don’t hold back who they truly are and encourage others to be big
- love other women and celebrate their differences and similarities
- see the good in themselves and in others
- aren’t afraid of the dark
- feel good in their skin and uplift everyone who comes into their presence because of it
Makes me super glad I chose black for the One Woman t-shirt.
No more being afraid of the dark, ‘k?