Once upon a time a woman has a desire—
To rise up in her career.
To make something of her own.
To allow herself pleasure.
To love her body.
(Because it is her birthright.
Because she was born to want big.
Because desire is biological and the engine of evolution)
She might say she wants it to a few people, or a lot of people, or maybe nobody.
Maybe she makes a vision board or a list of what she can do to get there. She excitedly buys a motivational book or two, and creates some accountability for herself.
She carries on, but doesn’t feel like she is moving fast enough. Because she has been taught by the Patriarchy that she is never enough no matter what, and that the gap between where she is and where she wants to be is a sign of weakness and inadequacy—instead of an opportunity to enjoy the pleasure of being inside of a desire—she turns to the only toolbox she has been given; the master’s toolbox is not fun but it is familiar...
She tells herself she never deserved what she wanted in the first place, criticizes herself as selfish for wanting anything at all, shames, judges, and feels a debilitating guilt for wanting what she wants and especially that she is too much.
Her desire still burns, and the bigger the burn, the bigger the feelings that arise. Anger and grief erupt like a volcano, but because she has been taught that the parts of herself feeling these emotions are not acceptable, she siphons them off into quiet chambers of her heart, where they decay into resentment, blame, jealousy, crippling overwhelm, depression, and isolation.
She might continue to look at her vision board, or write about her desire in her journal, or put it on her goal list every January 1st, but battling the shame, judgement, resentment, and guilt is a full time job, and she becomes depleted and ready to throw in the towel.
The patriarchy inside of her head wins the Olympic Gold for being the biggest energy suck around. She definitely needs a nap. Or 100 naps. Instead, she assumes she must not be pushing herself hard enough so tries more, does more, and buys more programs to tell her what to do.
Using the master’s tools, she cannot hear the whispers of her intuition. The master’s toolbox did not include instructions for trusting herself and her voice.
She doesn’t know what to do with her desire that won’t go away and the contradictory and relentless oppression that she feels for having it in the first place, so she overeats, she under-eats, she drinks, she packs her schedule, she people pleases, she spends money she doesn’t have, she disassociates, she over-apologizes, she expertly expounds on the particulars of her imposter syndrome and perfectionism to anyone who will listen, she spends hours on the internet doing things she can’t remember, she scrolls through Instagram and feels jealous and then feels bad about feeling jealous, and she puts all of her energy into supporting others and helping them manifest their dreams.
And though she categorizes it as such—not one shred of this behavior is her fault—she is simply walking the path she has been shown since she was a little girl.
One day she wakes up and realizes that the path she has been walking was not made with her expansion in mind.
Someone had forgotten to give her the memo that this path was designed to keep her small.
She senses an ancient knowing that there is something else.
She pauses. She takes a breath. This is scary, she thinks.
She asks for assistance from all of the unseen forces of support to show her the way and to hold her in the process.
Determined to find her path, she ventures out to where can be as big as she was born to be.
(Somewhere, on the other side of the world, a sister woman releases a howl of delight)
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