I am really proud of myself. Just writing those words comes with a sense of guilt; some sort of taboo hovers over the simple act of acknowledging myself. I know, right? It is totally messed up.
Seriously, when was the last time you acknowledged
yourself for something you did or accomplished
that makes you proud?
Yesterday, I graduated from The Mastery Program of Womanly Arts in New York. I am proud because I chose to pursue this education out of curiosity, out of a secret self-interest. It did not make fiscal sense. It was not conveniently timed. I had a variety pack of excuses to dissuade me from following my inner desires. That mom-maid- business-owner-cook-protector-nurturer-bill-paying -citizen inside my head whispered, "Save your money, stay home.”
You all know the self-talk that takes place: “You need to take care of the family, you have business to handle, you have responsibilities...” It is the advice of some unknown mother bear, beast that innately speaks to us women.
And no matter how condemning she can be, I believe this voice; I have been trained to believe it. It reminds me that I am supposed to be content with my reality. “You have a good life. Why do you want to travel across country? You want to do more, have more? You greedy bitch.”
Despite those self-defeating comments, I finally managed to justify my adventure. It would be a tool to help my clients and others; it would benefit my ability to serve. With this in mind, I allowed myself permission to partake in self-improvement. It required traveling alone, adjusting agendas, making my family feel frustrated, and sometimes, painfully unpacking my shit only to repack it again.
The whole course was terrifying, scary, and absolutely new for me. But I worked my ass off, a naked one at that. Sitting in the classroom vulnerable and afraid, I wanted to run and hide in the bathroom during various challenging parts of the seminars. Yet I survived, and all without coping supplements. For this, I am proud.
I should’ve hung a sign on my door at home, “Diner Closed: Greedy Bitch Gone for Self-Improvement.” My mom duties took a nose dive while I studied. When others were sleeping, I awkwardly attempted my training. I said “NO” to more invitations than I can recall. I wept and laughed daily. All the while the voice in my head said, “This is ridiculous. You don’t get it.” I practiced and proceeded anyway. For this, I am proud.
Among 350 other epically brave women, who were once strangers and are now my Sisters, I became unhidden. I don't have to come to the table with anything less than every truth of who I am. I said yes to my curiosity, my desires, my health, my dreams, and my sadness. I said yes to the beautiful greedy, rule breaking, bitch with an incredible appetite. I said yes to the sensual side of my personality, my wrinkles, my wide-belly, and my deep-thinking, multi-faceted mind. I graduated knowing that when a woman invests in herself the whole world gets blessed. For this, I am proud.
We don't have to work like militaristic dogs on a mission to access love, relationships, health, beauty, and money. Our deepest desires want to be birthed, and be cared for like precious babies. Our true power is within the very bodies that we have been taught to loathe, a woman’s body is a sacred altar and our sexuality is connected to every aspect of our lives.Women can receive more, be more, and do more because our capacity is endless. Our individual pasts and personal pain is part of our stories, and it is in this shared truth that Sisters can be like medicine to each other. Every single one of us is spiritual, brilliant, beautifully broken, and perfect.
I am proud to say this is the study of womanly arts.
Peace, love, and Room Service.