Giving Birth to My Full Potential
About five months ago, I began having a tremendous amount of pain in my hips and lower back. At the time I was running my own video production company, working non-stop, constantly doing. While I was so grateful that my company was doing well, I felt extremely out of balance and found it difficult to take time for myself without feeling guilty. My hips hurt more and more, until I ended up hobbling around with my camera, pretending as hard as I could to clients that nothing was wrong for fear of looking weak.
I knew my body was trying to tell me something and that I needed to listen. I knew that I was pushing myself too hard, but there was something more. I felt like I was neglecting a part of myself I couldn’t quite yet understand. Something was calling to me, and I knew I had to answer.
Read our blog “Learning to Trust my Intuition”
Soon after the pain began, I met Lois Shannon and she told me about her vision for The Woman’s Network. She asked me, “What does it mean to be a woman?” This question turned my life upside down. I immediately knew that this was the piece of myself I had been neglecting, not only recently but throughout my life. I realized how heavily I was on my masculine: trying to prove myself, feeling ashamed of my vulnerability, unable to draw clear boundaries for myself, not allowing myself to simply be. I felt a magnetic pull to find my way home to the feminine, and to help other women do the same. A few months later I left my company in the hands of my beautiful soul sister and business partner, and started working with Lois on The Women’s Network. My journey into the feminine began.
Read our blog “Meeting the Feminine”
In just a short amount of time, I connected with a number of amazing women who offered me beautiful reflections of my feminine self. I connected with a Reiki healer named Kari (www.kriyalini.com) to help me with my hips, which were still experiencing a lot of pain. As I lay on her table she laid her hands on me and I felt a burning anger light inside of me. Anger has never been an emotion I’ve allowed myself to experience or express, and this was the first time I gave myself the space to experience it without judgment. I began to punch the table and yell, “Why have I been working so hard to prove myself? Why is it twice as hard for people to take me seriously as a woman? Why do I have to pretend to be something I’m not? Why does the world make me feel so ashamed for being myself?” I was suddenly overwhelmed with this feeling that my very womanhood was in pain, but that the pain did not belong to me alone. I felt like I was carrying the collective pain of the feminine: the pain of every woman who feels ashamed and unworthy for simply being herself.
Wow. Is this what defines us as women? I thought. Surely there must be more.
Watch our video “What Does it Mean to be a Woman in the 21st Century?”
Through my experiences at The Woman’s Network and Reiki sessions with Kari, I traveled deeper and deeper into my feminine self. I discovered that underneath the pain, shame, and blame, my feminine body was brimming with creative potential, endless love, and total acceptance. I’ve noticed myself coming and going from these two states in my daily life. This continues to provide me with beautiful opportunities to see where I give myself away, when I feel the need to defend myself, and how I project my shame onto others.
Recently I had an incredible experience that changed me on a very fundamental level. I attended a woman’s circle where a member of the group led an exercise she had from her spiritual teacher while in Peru. When she performed the exercise, she held her heart and her womb while saying, “The womb is not a place to store shame and fear; it is the where we create and give life.” When it was my turn, I had to hold myself and repeat her words:
“The womb is not a place to store shame and fear; it is the where we create and give life.”
I cried, as many of the other in the woman had cried, and felt the power of this blessing enter my body. I felt all the old stories fall away, supported by the love of everyone who has ever loved me. I felt as though I was giving birth to my higher feminine self: a woman without shame, without unworthiness, no longer needing to blame, protect or project. In my mind, I heard myself say, “I’ve been waiting for you for so long.”
Read more articles by Kenya Brading
This incredible, ongoing journey to find the feminine would not be possible without the support of other women through authentic connection. As women, we have the power to offer each other incredible gifts when we come together and share our wisdom. When we nurture each other in this way, we create a safe place for us to give birth to ourselves. Our connection truly does have the power to set us free.
We often abandon ourselves as women by trying to be ‘super woman’: getting it all done without breaking a sweat.
When we take time for ourselves, listen to our bodies, and practice mindfulness, we give ourselves the blessing of discovering our fullest potential. A ‘womb’ is created when we come together authentically as women, giving us a safe place to give birth to our potential and express ourselves fully.
How might your life we different if you gave birth to your full potential?