My body has been (is) an incredible vessel. It has carried me, and birthed children and been the conduit for all the wisdom I choose to accept. It has been strong and tall and held together. And most of the time I have not honoured it and have, to be honest, taken it for granted. When I am in the thick of it (surviving, mothering, rushing, working) most of the time I even forget I have one. I’ve been known to turn up somewhere (usually my favourite café) and then look down and notice what I’m wearing (mostly ugg boots and active wear). I always had those dreams where I was at school or somewhere with lots of people and my bottom half was naked. Truly. This has never happened in real life, but it could have given my lack of presence with my physical being.
My capacity to do things (all the things) is huge. For most of my life people have said to me “I don’t know how you do it all”, and I wondered what they meant because I just could do it all. I could do it all and ignore the exhaustion or the simmering anger or the deep longing for a life that felt different. I could get support in place to take some of the ‘pressure off’ and then find a way to do more with that time. Not less. My importance and success was driven by all the things I was capable of, and the compliment of people noticing. And most of time I have not honoured it and have, to be honest, taken it for granted.
To be a woman of huge (magnificent, endless) capacity has been a blessing and curse for in that I forget how to be part of a team, how to need people and how to lean on the ones who could hold me. I have always been the holder and the doer and, more often than not, the enabler. I have wanted nothing more than a man who would fight for me, and yet made it OK that they did not. And in fact, sometimes tripped them up in the trying. A capable woman, smart and strong and self-reliant who needed nothing except someone who can handle her, look her in the eye and ‘that’s enough now, I’ve got this’ (SPOILER ALERT: it all works out).
The hardest thing ever for me to say was ‘I can’t cope’ or ‘I’m at capacity’ or “I’ve hit my limit’. In the background the sisterhood (the women, my mother, my sisters, my friends) would see and gather me up and love me, take children from me, insist I sleep, make me food, drop in and make me stop. In the foreground I was (am) superwoman. And by that limit my capacity to do the things that my soul craves. Like writing it out. Mostly just that. It stops me from writing.
For the past 3 weeks I’ve been battling a UTI. Goddamn it I don’t really want to discuss my bladder with the world, but if I do not then I am lying. At first it was an irritation and when it got bad enough, I went for a medical solution (take a pill and make it go away). It wasn’t the right type of anti-biotic so then I travelled to the other side of the world and couldn’t find any way of getting the right type. And so I hurt, and managed pain and kept going until it got bad enough for me to acknowledge that my body had a message for me. And it was a real deep heart-felt, give you goose-bumps and tears message. And not the message I knew would be received well (at first) by those who it affected most. And so I communicated the message – tapped into to my feminine wisdom and my truth and spoke. And even though everything lined up with that and the pain eased, something was still not right with my body. When I got home, I got the right pill. And still I hurt. And finally, I find out I have hurt myself by overstretching the capacity of my bladder. And all of time I have not honoured it and have, to be honest, taken it for granted. That my body is doing all the work while I do all the things, and it’s been an inconvenience to have to stop and let it do its thing. And I wonder how much we ignore what is right in front of us?
I have said before that I believe anxiety is your calling, calling. That deep in the guts of it is a message about something that is too important. That all the things you are doing and not the right things and your system knows this. Your system is communicating this and all we try to do is make the anxiety go away. Instead of honouring the inherent wisdom of the system.
I went to the US for 1-week last week, had 24 hours off and then did a 3-day event which is the BIG work. I have learnt to do the BIG work and I can hold anything in that space, and then put it down. This is a gift. And I do not honour it. After that event I always have the next day ‘off’ from client work. 24 hours. And I think I’m epic for committing to this. But when my coach asked me how much rest I need after the BIG work my body says a week. So I can keep putting down and gathering what I need for the next bit. BIG work = BIG rest. And life and kids don’t stop after that, but all the support I get when I am away reduces once I am home. Because I have the capacity for that.
There is an untapped resource in the feminine that is brave enough to be vulnerable and strong enough to lean. That together, with my husband, we have a huge capacity for greatness – the balance of him and I – and for me to find that I had to be ready. Sure enough I could manage without him, and open enough to what we could create together. I have had to learn to lean in and take nothing for granted. And sometimes I have to learn it again and again and again.
I am a woman of huge capacity. And today I need to rest.
PS Is it ironic that my husband’s name is Grant?