The Power and Reverence of Holding Space for Women


Filling Your Cup Mama’s Night In at Wide Sky Days

Remember the Wide Sky Days conference I mentioned last week? One thing I didn’t elaborate on was that the conference – although deeply needed for personal reasons wasn’t even on our radar to attend until Flo, the event organizer, invited me to hold a circle, a Mama’s Night In.

We actually connected back in January over the phone to talk about what she really wanted to offer the mama’s at the conference. By the end of the 45 minutes conversation we had shared laughs and goosebumps and excitement over what was developing.

I’ve come to find over the past year how much these circles mean to me.

Online circles like the forum and the circles we hold over the phone within the Organic Tribe, and – more and more – these in-person, intimate circles between women.

Mama's Empower Hour with @unschoolbus42 and @ecowomb !!
A women’s empowerment circle last month in NH

I can feel my heart leading me towards more of these, and growing them into something more.

This one in particular was really wonderful.

The topic was Filling Your Cup: As mamas we are working hard to fill the cups of our children. What stops us, or enables us, in filling our own cups?

I’m always a little nervous going in. I talk about deep things, things that don’t resonate with everyone, or that take people by surprise at times. And although I want to meet the needs of everyone, I know that’s impossible. So my thoughts were on the needs of this group, and my desire to authentically speak my Truth while meeting the needs I am called to meet.

It’s so much easier here in this little online space. Those of you wonderful sistahs who read and email and connect on Facebook are here because we already “know” each other, in a sense. We have the common hunger for depth and connection – to ourselves and other women.

But an hour before my circle at Wide Sky I really had the opportunity to DIG IN to the thoughts and emotions that were coming up, my desire to connect, my fear of looking like a wackadoodle. Cuz you know, when we stick our heads outside our bubbles, we do realize just how crazy things like mindfulness and empathy are in this world.

But I realized two things as I was Digging Deep:

  1. I’m not out of my bubble in this group of incredible families. It is safe to love and approve of myself.
  2. I’m not out of my bubble so long as I’m leaning into authenticity and speaking from the heart. Again, it’s safe to love and approve of myself.

There’s such a sense of danger or fear (often in the form of self-doubt or nerves or “not good enough-ness”) when we put ourselves “out there”, when we open our hearts and our voices.

It’s vulnerability, in a world that tries to tell us we’re not safe.

We fear the judgment or backlash or rejection that feels like isolation to us.

But we are safe. Even in the most dangerous of situations, we are ultimately going to be okay. (I was texting with a sistah this morning whose body was reflecting a challenge she was facing and I sent her several reminders to work with, one being “Only good comes from each experience.” Such a powerful experience to work with that one!)

This circle at Wide Sky was more than okay. More than good.

There were hearts poured out, and tears to match, and things to stretch us – myself included. I learned where I hold back my Trust and where I can lean deeper into it. I learned to take a deep breath and fall into that undercurrent again, the sense of ease, the words that want to come forward (even when the voice in the back of my head tells me to shut up), and the fact that it is always perfect, always exactly what it needs to be (even when it can’t meet everyone’s needs), and how I can still build upon it to make it more wonderful.

I had more women than I could count coming up to me after, long hugs and deeply felt thank you’s, gratitude given and received between us. Even Tiffani’s blog post about the circle moved me beyond words – something I’ve been rendered a lot lately by so many of you.

Since then I’ve had emails from women in the circle and other women as well, sending me love and appreciation for something I did or said that touched them at just the right time, in just the right way. Emails from women emboldened to leave a painful relationship, from women who have learned to love themselves, from women who spoke the truth or finally felt at peace with just knowing it for themselves.

And all of this makes my heart swell.

I love what I get to do. But sending love notes or blog posts out to people I don’t always hear back from means often not seeing the ripples of what I do. Even working with groups in the Tribe or e-course isn’t the same as hearing it personally, holding a women’s hand as she tells you her story, shedding tears together or rubbing the goosebumps on each other’s arms.

I feel overwhelmed by love and Life and the work I get to do, the ripples I get to send, and the ripples I get to receive.

I feel at peace and reverence.

My deepest needs for connection and magic and meaning and laughter and Trust are being met when I get to see – really see – the work I – we – get to do…as women, and with women.

This is what I’m made for. And it stretches me in the very best of ways. And it’s what I get to do every day. How can it get any better?

(Even as I ask that I can hear the answer I started hearing almost two years ago…yes, Life. I hear you. Facilitating retreats are in my future. And I’m almost ready.)

 

12 Reasons Every Woman Needs a Tribe

I get asked all the time how it is we created such an unconventional life, and how it is we overcome the odds to make it happen.

And my answer is always the same:

I made the choice to make two things a priority first: space and time in my life to DIG IN and grow as a person, and tribes of support to encourage me, unstick me when I got stuck, love me when I couldn’t love myself, remind me of the important things when I forgot, inspire the snot out of me with the possibilities they were creating in their life, and call me on my shit (even when I didn’t really want them to).

12 Reasons Every Woman Needs a Tribe via www.theorganicsister.com
Tiffani Bearup and Me

I spent most of my life feeling fiercely independent and for much of the time lacking the depth of friendships I needed.

There were best friends I’ve had, and times when my sister and I were incredibly close. But even in those times I kept myself believing I had to be independent, “strong”and rock-steady – for myself and for them.

Then in an afternoon my life change.

Through a series of events I saw that I wasn’t allowing myself to receive, that I was making myself an island, causing myself more stress and loneliness than I realized and was burning myself out trying to be everything for everyone without giving anyone the joy of being something real for me.

And just like that my heart broke open and I began a journey of interdependence. And through it I have learned (and am learning) the importance of a tribe in a woman’s life, the importance of receiving support, and just how wonderful life is when we do.

It doesn’t matter that we travel full-time. I’ve still learned how to create a circle of women (and men) around me so that we can each individually, and together collectively, truly thrive.

Through this experience I’ve learned some reasons why women need powerful, purposeful and mindful tribes. Here’s what I’ve come to understand:

12 Reasons We Women Need Our Tribes

 

  1. We are inherently tribal. – We once lived in cultures where the women raised babies together, did laundry together, cooked together, and helped each other laugh through the ups and downs of life. We have evolved to be inter-dependent. It’s only in the last few decades that we’ve held up that Fierce Independence as the epitome of a strong woman. Well, if alone against the world is what makes you a great women, count me out. I’d rather feel great, than only look it.
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  3. Your partner can’t be everything. – I used to lean on Justin for everything. It was a real bitch when we had a fight and he was the only person I had to talk to about it. For awhile there I even thought it wasn’t okay to talk to other women about our challenges. And in a way I still find that true; I don’t want a tribe that will help me complain about him. I want a tribe that will help me examine my triggers and overcome any barrier that keeps us from loving one another better. I also came to find that it was simply unfair to him to place every stress on his shoulders. He’s one man, who wants very hard to fix as much as he can to see me smile, and without more support in my life my husband was becoming heavy with the burden of being the only person I would turn to help me meet my deeper needs for connection, growth, fun, or help. That’s not healthy; that’s co-dependent.
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  5. Your kids need a break from you. – Oh man, am I serious about this one. Especially because my son is an only child. Without my tribe of conscious mamas, from both local parenting groups with like-minded philosophies on life and parenting, to online tribes, to coaches who have helped me through rough spots, I’m pretty sure my son and I owe our relationship to the support I found in others. Without it I was constantly examining and analyzing every action my son took, worrying that I was doing something wrong (or he was), or just not giving him the space to just breathe, explore independently, or make his own choices without my fear trying to micro-manage, nag, control or stress him out. Having other mamas helped me to put things in perspective, lighten up and be a better mom more capable of responding to his needs with compassion and support.
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  7. You are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. – You want to radically change your life? Surround yourself with examples that it’s possible. You want to live a deeper, more meaningful existence? Engage in deeper, more meaningful conversations with the people talking about deeper, more meaningful things. Don’t let the limitations of what those around you can do become your reality. Seek out possibilities, surround yourself with inspiration, and what seems impossible will soon become the only thing you know.
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  9. Girls just wanna have fun. – Life gives us plenty of opportunity for stress, heartache, overwhelm or depression. It’s our job to counter those things with laughter, fun, and connection. Have you ever had a terrible day and called a girlfriend and you both ended up laughing at the utter ridiculousness of it all? Suddenly what you thought was going to do you in is not so bad when our tribe helps us to play and lighten up. And fun is a damn important thing in life. We have enough seriousness. We need more laughter and play.
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  11. You need people who won’t let you off the hook. – I didn’t use to see this was true about myself. I’ve always thought I was pretty self-motivated. Until my tribe called me on my bullshit and helped me to see how I was giving up, playing small or rationalizing away my dreams. Because I allowed others to know what my real desires were – what my heart ached for – they were there to call attention to the ways I was neglecting them. It was not a pretty mirror they held up but it was a much needed view that helped me to confront my real barriers and catapult right past them.
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  13. You need a safe place to land. – The world can be harsh. Have one terrible day and you could end up on YouTube being bashed by millions of people. Make a mistake and you probably have learned to do the bashing yourself. But the right tribe of women will open up a safe and sacred space for you to bring your cracked and weeping heart. They will wrap you in compassion and stillness and allow you to breathe and vent and process without judgment. They give you the nurturing and the encouragement to heal and grow and move forward again. I can’t tell you how powerful it is to know that a circle of women, some whom you haven’t even met, are waiting with open arms, whether you’re having a horrible day or your life has just been shattered.
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  15. You can’t see your own blind spots. – I’ve already mentioned a few times how the tribes of women in my life will call my on my shit. And sometimes it really pisses me off. But without their intuitive ability to hold up that mirror to what I can’t see I would still be spinning my wheels in frustration over the patterns I couldn’t change. With the multiple perspectives and the collective wisdom a tribe of soulful, conscious women can be a catalyst for the most powerful personal growth.
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  17. You’re can’t jump over buildings in a single bound. – Or any of the other impossible things we try to do on our own. You’re not Superwoman. You’re not a one woman roadshow. Stop trying to be perfect and infallible and so great that you never need anything. You! Need! Support!: practical, emotional, spiritual support. Whether you’ve just had a baby, or you are struggling with food, or you’re trying to manage a household, love a family, and run a business, for the love of all that is good in the world, ask for support. Trade support. Pay for support. You’re worth the investment.
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  19. You’re going to drive yourself batshit crazy unless you do something for you once in awhile. – Nuff’ Said.
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  21. You can’t give what you don’t allow yourself to receive. – This was my Aha moment when it came to receiving support. I can NOT give it if I don’t first have it. And it’s no one else’s job to know when I need it, or how I’d like to receive it. It’s my job to seek out the things that will meet my needs in such a way that I feel so filled up with love, energy, connection, passion, and everything else I might need that I am overflowing that back out to my family, my clients and the whole world.
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  23. You deserve to receive a lot. – Women tend to have this idea that it’s great for other women to receive, “but oh no, not me.” “I couldn’t possibly take that from you.” “I can’t justify that for myself.” “I’d be selfish.” No. You won’t be selfish. You’re selfish when you continue to try to meet your needs in ways that aren’t effective. It wastes your time, energy, money, and capabilities. And you’re never helping others. But investing well in your own health, well-being, personal growth, mental clarity, stability and ability to do more in the world is anything but selfish. It’s imperative.

All of this is why I travel with a tribe, why I belong to an online tribe and why I facilitate tribes like the Organic Tribe.

It’s also why I’m offering the Organic Tribe, to include so much more for so much less…

The Organic Sister

:: 24/7 support from the Sisterhood forums
:: Monthly coaching circles to keep you moving
:: The Digging Deep toolbox to overcome barriers
:: The Organic Parenting e-course to help you be the vibrant mama you are
:: Every other digital product I have or create
:: Other bonuses: audios, freebie sessions, and discounts on consultations

…So that you can surround yourself with like-minded women who will support you, the coaching and tools to finally make the changes you want and a price that makes it possible.

The Tribe equals over $1,700…but for over 90% off

 
Membership is only $130 a year.

The best I could offer – everything I have – in the best sisterhood to offer it in.

Click here for all the details.

From Loneliness to Love-Fest: My Story of Finding Friendship in an Unexpected Way

Hot tea, cool mornings and bliss

Did you know, up until not long ago, I used to sulk in my hubby’s shoulders and ache?

I ached for a connection I never had, but had seen glimpses of.

I ached for that deep and unmistakeable connection you feel with another woman, a girlfriend, a best friend.

I haven’t had a friend like that since I was 18 or so.

I had my sister and we were thisclose, and it was strong. But as I shifted and changed, so did our relationship for many years.

And I ached.

I mean ached…literal heart-aching for a woman I could call and cry with and laugh with and grow with.

My mama had that.

Her bosom buddy, Melodie, was also like our godmother. She was confident and hilarious and warm and authentic.

And I watched them, my mom and Mel, as they sewed together and laughed together and raised children together and held each other as they cried together.

And I watched my mom’s heart break and her world dull as her female soul mate slowly slipped away to cancer 12 years ago.

And I wanted that.

I wanted that friendship that lit up my whole being, a friendship with a kind of woman who could call me on my shit, then cry with me at the thought of losing each other.

The kind of friendship that hasn’t been replicated in 12 years.

Those deep relationships cannot be duplicated.

They may even only come once in our lifetime, if we’re lucky to find them at all.

And I knew this.

I saw the magic that was created between these two women. I felt it every time we had pizza and movie nights and they would be off talking together. They had something powerful in their lives – each other and this thing that got created between them.

I knew what was possible.

And the bar was set high in seeing their friendship.

And so I ached.

Truth from Rumi

If I’ve learned one powerful thing about myself, it’s this:

Anytime I find myself longing for something, wanting to create change or experience something new, I never get to start with things outside myself.

I get to go within.

And so I sat with the ache.

I breathed into it and asked for guidance through it.

And I heard this…

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it. – Rumi

Those were the words that went ringing through my heart.

Seek and find within myself my own barriers.

So I said okay…and I began to slowly dig deeper and deeper into those places.

And I found them.

They were places built on fear, on hurt, on mistrust.

They were barriers of value and authenticity and self-worth.

And they were holding me back.

And that’s when everything changed…

Looking back I can’t even pinpoint where I began to heal those fears and beliefs.

But I do know that I began to open myself to the possibilities.

Oh, those sweet and beautiful possibilities.

It’s always been my experience that when you open yourself to them, they open themselves to you…they come rushing in to envelope you.

And at the same time it feels subtle as it happens.

So subtle that it wasn’t until just now that I took a step back and realized just how full my life is with that feminine connection I so longed for.

My life, my cup, is bursting with amazing women that I get to call my girlfriends.

Women who rock my world with their authenticity and strength.

Women who amaze me with the transformation they are taking on in their life.

Women who blow my mind with clarity and intuition and compassion.

Women who will hold space for me as I scream or cry or vent or profess my weaknesses or threaten to give up.

Women who allow me to hold space for them as they do they same.

Women who light up their world and share in the wonder as I light up mine.

♥ My sister and I, having been close and distant and back again, are so completely moving back again, but with a new ability to light each other up, to stay authentic and true and independent in our own light and the shared light we have the ability to create together. We can see each other more deeply now than ever before and it’s breathtaking from here.

♥ Last weekend we crossed paths with a beautiful family on the road and later after they moved on, this beautiful mama bear and I stayed up late one night on the phone, talking for almost three hours, then both went to bed and continued the conversation in our sleep – two states away by then but so completely attuned to one another that I still feel her heart.

♥ The very next day I finally reconnected on the phone with one of my closest girlfriends from Vegas as we talked love and business and life together as if we were sitting across from each other at her kitchen table again as our boys played upstairs – but this time across the country and walking our respective neighborhoods as we chatted into our headsets as if it hadn’t been (or maybe just felt like) months since we had coordinating time to connect.

♥ Yesterday afternoon I connected with my Soul Sisters, a small group of women I’m honored to be a part of, as we talked about our passions and our purpose and that magnetic draw toward something So Big in our lives, and then talked each other through our obstacles and fears until we were all tingly with excitement and energy and love for one another and for our next steps.

♥ Then to get on the Tribe call last night and speak about Who We Are, to share openly with one another, and feel that safe space surrounding us, knowing that we are creating a one-of-a-kind experience that can so totally rock our worlds.

♥ And then to connect on Facebook with a powerful mama who is rocking something powerful in her life, her business, her heart and the hearts of others and hear her thank me for our connecting several weeks ago, for a conversation in which we opened our hearts to one another and supported each other, that so inspired her to do some big and incredible things in her world.

♥ Receiving another email from a dear sweet friend who could lean into me as I sent her the love and peace she was needing.

And the culmination just hit me.

Here I was aching for this idea of what it would take to fill my cup…a beautiful idea, but of what my mom had.

And I wasn’t even aware of the possibilities.

An idea of what *I* could have, if I just reached within and then reached out.

The ability to connect so deeply, so completely to women across the country, or even across the ocean.

To feel as though we are sitting side by side and wrapping our arms around each other.

The ability to receive such love and support and friendship from so many women, from so many walks of life, with so many unique voices and perspectives, all of whom affect me spiritually and emotionally and intellectually in the most profound ways.

There I was, thinking it had to look a certain way, that I couldn’t possibly find that closeness while we were traveling, always on the move, feeling as though maybe I just wasn’t one of those lucky enough to have it in my life at all. And sitting in the pain such beliefs triggered.

There I was aching in loneliness without that friendship I so longed for…

Instead of seeking and healing the barriers within myself that kept me from experiencing the outpouring of it everywhere.

All around me.

All the time.

I am so deeply in gratitude for all the beautiful woman in my life…the incredible ones I coach with, the beautiful ones who inspire me on Facebook, and the special ones who hold my hair back while I emotionally vomit, then take their turn. 🙂

My cup, my heart is so full, it’s overflowing.

Aching again, this time with the love and connection with which it’s been stuffed to the brim.

Real Women and the Lies We Live (Video)

I almost didn’t share this video.

I had made it quickly because it started pouring out of me and my audio and video wouldn’t sync.

But that’s not why I almost didn’t share it.

I almost didn’t share it because my entire life I’ve been shamed for my body type, taught to feel less than other women or self-conscious or care too deeply about what others thought of my body.

Taught to be wary of going to the bathroom too soon after I ate because someone would derisively accuse me of being bulemic.

Taught to wear nothing above the knees out of fear that someone would comment on my thin legs.

So after this video came pouring out of me, I began to waver.

“Maybe I shouldn’t.”

“Maybe I’ll offend someone.”

“Who am I to talk about body image?”

It took a sweet woman speaking up a couple days ago on this very issue that reminded me that I’m accepting that Body Shame we’ve all been taught.

And you know what I say to shame?

Fuck that.

So here it is: My Truth on “real women” and the lives we are taught to believe and that we continue to live out, even when we think we’re not.

Or view it on YouTube.

Here’s to real women everywhere:

The ones who love with all their heart…

And look shame and fear in the face and give it the finger.

Who look in the mirror and stand in awe of the beauty that shines within them…

And takes that light into the world and lights up the darkness.

The women who sees beauty in all women, even the ones who are lost or in pain or are blind to beauty themselves.

The women hold hands not grudges.

Who can lift up another without feeling put down.

Who share Wisdom and Truth, instead of rumors and lies.

The women who can be vulnerable and strong at the same time.

And who fiercely protect that vulnerable strength in others.

We are all real women.

Regardless of size or shape or color or background or beliefs…

Regardless of whether we’re in touch with our own inner Self or not.

Regardless of whether we’re in our own power or in our own pain.

We’re all real women making our way through the same messy world, doing the best we can with the tools we have, learning and growing.

And when we see that, when we step into our own strength, and we empower others to step into theirs…

That’s when the world will change.

The Organic Sisterhood is HERE!

I am so beyond words to tell you how [excited? joyful? fulfilled? at peace? happy? purposeful? overwhelmed with emotion?] I feel that The Organic Sisterhood is HERE!

What is The Organic Sisterhood?

It’s a community, a counsel, a circle, a Sisterhood.

The Organic Sisterhood is a place for support and encouragement as you move toward your authentic, organic life. A place to ask questions, to find new ideas, to make create big shifts in our life. It’s a place to share your triumphs, your secrets, your dreams, your own Organic Wisdom and your gifts within a safe and sacred space.

There is a creative and healing power in the feminine connection.

There is strength and wisdom found within ourselves and each other. And it’s time we begin to use that power, that strength and wisdom, to create something amazing in our lives.

This is a movement. A movement to come back to the knowledge of Who We Are…as women, as mothers, as partners, as people.

A movement to create a home in which our children never lose that knowledge.

A movement to live a life that rumbles with joy and radiates light and changes the lives around us.

sisterhood

The Organic Sisterhood is our online gathering place.

It’s that safe and sacred place we all search for, a place where we can be seen deeply and heard fully and loved unconditionally while being encouraged and ignited to reach for more and never accept less.

It’s for every like-minded sister who is tired of the conventional bullshit, who is ready to heal the pain and let go the lies she’s been believing, who is ready to step into her own self and to something that lights her up from the inside out and who is ready to experience the magic that Life provides when we say yes to its offer for something deeper.

Already this community is growing and connecting. It’s diverse and warm and magically for me to see so many different women from so many different walks of life going together under the same principles of Being Organic, in their lives, their families, their passions, themselves.

Everyone is somewhere different in their life. And each one has something beautiful to offer the organic whole.

I can’t help but read and sit in awe of what I’m seeing just barely beginning to unfold. I can see the glimpses of the Bigger Picture and the magic sparking from the pages and my heart is overflowing with the vision that I see.

How do I gain access?

Right now the Sisterhood is only open for women who have taken their own step toward Being Organic, either through coaching with me this year, joining the Tribe coaching program or by purchasing Digging Deep.

(You’ll also be able to join through any of the upcoming products and programs I have coming your way.)

If you feel that pull in your bones, or the Voice whispering to you that this is the space for you too, and you are ready to join this Sisterhood of women, you’re first step is to make a commitment to your own growth and healing through one of those offers above.

And if you have taken part of any of those programs and didn’t receive your Sisterhood invitation please send me an email: be@theorganicsister.com