When Truth Explodes to the Surface

When Truth Explodes to the Surface

Have you had those moments when a truth full of raw emotion comes flooding to the surface?

Though they can still catch me off guard when they happen, it’s when I allow myself to sit with the vast and raw mix of feelings, which can sometimes feel like an out of body experience, I can see it as part of an important process of the evolution of moving more deeply into the heart of who I am.

This summer, while it has felt intense at times, riding waves of certainty and then not, has me recognizing, and embracing, a new expansion of personal growth.

While I try not to fall into having regrets, I have moments of reflection that can sometimes take my breath away.

One such unexpected flash occurred this week – a truth that had been slowly eating away at me below the surface…and finally exploded into reality—a truth that was hard to look at, but would ultimately serve as another level of healing.

It had been buried so deep, afraid to be voiced out loud, because it still carried so much shame and one in which I thought I had worked through.

Connecting with some amazing women from around the globe this summer in a 22-week online program I’ve been taking part in, I’ve had the honor of getting to know a dear woman, native to India, but now lives in Texas, and is a mid-wife, Jumana.

Her calling to women as stated on her website: “Wise women your body holds the wisdom and the innate knowing to birth your child. Discover the raw untapped power held in your womb, and let the magic unfold.”

Jumana’s gift of bringing babies into this world in such a gentle, sacred, and natural way, opened a place within me that I came to realize still needed healing.

While I wrote in my first memoir, Through Frankie’s Eyes, that my husband, John and I made the choice to not have children, it’s in this stage of our lives – now in our mid and late 50s, we have moments of reflection of what might have been. Though not in regret, but rather in a healing way of how this is part of the journey we have walked together, yet alone.

For me, what exploded to the surface was my admitting that a part of me carried a deep seated fear of carrying a baby in my body.

But more so, how that baby at the end of nine months would have to birth its way out into the world through me. For all these years the fear so real, that it became part of one of the many reasons why I would choose not to have children.

While initially it was very hard for me to look at and accept, simmering in this truth, now out from within that dark trapped place of shame, I welcome it. I feel lighter and freer. I see it for the gift it gave me.

I understand it as a part of my path. For had I had children, I wouldn’t be who I am today in many ways – I couldn’t have been there for others like I’ve been able to – I likely couldn’t have given all of myself to what is my mission to fulfill.

And I have come to understand that as a woman, there is more than one way in which we give birth, and we do it often, in so many different ways throughout our lives.

And my belief…that the reason we are here on this earth at this particular time, is to set ourselves free from those raw truths that we can carry like chains which can hold us back from being fully who we are.

We each have a divine and beautiful purpose to being on this planet right now.

And I belief we are being called to see that truth within…and allow it to bubble to the surface without harsh judgement. 

But to just be with it, see it for the gift it is, and embrace it and let it integrate fully into who we are, while gently letting the rest fall away that no longer serves us.

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Do Curly Girls Have More Fun? Embracing Mine.

Do Curly Girls Have More Fun? Embracing Mine.

Hair. Oh, how at times I’ve been upset with myself that I’ve spent so much time fussing and worrying about mine (and the money I’ve spent!). But I’m happy to report that I’ve gotten better over the years — and even more so most recently as I’ve taken a big leap in accepting what I have.

It all began a few months ago when I found a hairstyle I wanted to try. It was a kind of kinky/curly style and I thought I’d have to get a perm. But the gal, Missy, who styles my hair talked me out of it saying a perm wouldn’t be good for my type of hair. While I really wanted a perm and was disappointed, I did appreciate her honesty and looking out for me.

The next time I went in for a cut, Missy showed me how to work with my hair…and wa la, I have curls. And I’m having so much fun with it!!– especially running into family and friends since I’ve welcomed my curls. Everyone thinks I’ve gotten a perm. When I say, “turns out I have curls” they are in disbelief. “You mean you’ve had curly hair all along and you straightened it?” is the response I’ve been getting often.

I’ve always known I’ve had a bit of a wave to my hair, and while I never had it professionally straightened, I would blow dry it out every other day with a brush and then curl it with a big curling iron. So in all honesty, I never knew my hair could curl like it does. I was too busy fighting to make my hair what I wanted it to be, instead of working with what I already had.

A few weeks ago when I had my hair cut again and Missy brought out my curls again, a gal came into the salon I’d worked with years ago at Kohl’s. She commented on how cute my hair looked and said, “I didn’t realize you had curly hair.” 

“Well, I have a wave in my hair.”

Missy said, “Barb… you have curly hair.”

“I do? Really?” I said, still not really believing it.

And that’s when she told me over 65% of women have curly hair according to a book by Lorraine Massey called Curly Girl: the handbook. 

The thing is, I’d always wanted long, blonde, straight hair. I bought into the belief that this is what is “sexy” and what every man likes. So all this time I struggled with trying to have something I’d never have.

But no more… because quite honestly, I’m having so much fun as a curly girl! And I have to say I agree with my best friend, who says my curls really fit my bubbly personality.

And it truly is more than about my hair as I go below the surface. It’s about accepting another part of myself, about letting go of a belief I bought into, of worrying about “fitting in,” and that I wouldn’t be a “pretty” as defined often by society…. but most of all, it was about my own insecurity.

While my curly hair does not take much effort on my part…and I’m loving it and having so much fun… it’s been the letting go of, and accepting what is, where the true freedom is.

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This Thanksgiving – I am Grateful for Hope and More Sparks of Light.

artwork by Shannon Brack Winter

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these – to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do. – Clarissa Pinkola Estes

I share this section above from an article I read this morning by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, who is also author of Women Who Run with Wolves. I found myself getting choked up reading it because it solidifies once again my own commitment to not giving up on hope and moving forward in continuing to let my light shine out into this world.

I know so many (including myself at times) can feel overwhelmed when situations around us feel so big and out of control like many things have of late— and we can be left to feel helpless and not sure what we can each do. But I’m reminded once again, which has lit a fire within me, that there is hope. You are hope. I am hope. And we can each make a difference by being that hope so that it spreads to another who needs hope.

It just so happened that after reading this piece from Estes today, I had plans to be with a dear, young soul, named Rachel. I’ve known her for a few years, but have had the pleasure of getting to know her better lately. We have come together and will be teaching a workshop that we both happened to discover we were both interested in offering. So we decided to combine our energy and efforts to do so.

We will be teaching a workshop on the meaning of a Native American tradition called Talking Sticks, to be held in December on the night of the solstice. Today we met so we could experience for ourselves the magic and power in creating our own Talking Stick —an experience so rich and beautiful that I am still soaking in all that it brought to my soul in such a positive and uplifting way.

We are both passionate about encouraging others to open to their intuition so that others can experience the many gifts this has to offer and enrich ones life.

After being with Rachel who is twenty years younger than me, having read Estes article of hope, and thinking about Thanksgiving tomorrow, I’m feeling full up with gratitude and a huge helping of hope for the future not only for myself, but for others too who commit to finding a way to be who they are meant to be…and to not lose hope.

While I know it may likely be a rocky road for many, I also know that in order to achieve that light within oneself, the journey calls for looking within, really listening, and honoring those whispers that want to come forth. It’s my hope that my blog, future workshops I offer, and just by being who I authentically am, will be part of that hopeful, positive light that shines out as a beacon of promise, and by default will give permission to others to let the light of their true self shine, too. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Talking Sticks workshop, please visit my workshop page here.

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