The Luminous Woman™ Weekend

There are times in every woman’s life when the light and the sparkle go out of life.  We may be overwhelmed and exhausted by the many demands on our lives and we can’t find time to rejuvenate ourselves.  Soul weary we trudge on, day after day, feeling dull, stagnant, irritable and empty.  Sometimes a life that made sense in years past just doesn’t seem to work anymore but we don’t know what to do instead.  We may be paralyzed by fear as we encounter developmental thresholds that require us to relinquish old ways of seeing and being and to embrace a larger understanding of life, love and our destiny.  We may make regular u-turns away from these thresholds of growth, knowing on some level the cost of denying ourselves, despising ourselves each time for our lack of courage and conviction.

Many of us suffer with the sense that our gifts of heart and soul are unrecognized or unappreciated.  We experience anger and resentment and chastise ourselves for feeling that way.  Sometimes we are overcome by a wave of panic that we have given up too much in order to be safe and loved.  When we suffer the loss of a significant relationship we feel utterly unmoored, unable to find our bearings.  We are bewildered when the fairy tale promise doesn’t play out.  Sometimes we are filled with rage over having been used, betrayed or discarded by those we loved and trusted, those we gave to so selflessly.   We envy those who appear to be living the happily ever after life.  We wonder where we missed it or went  wrong.

As women in this culture, we have been taught from the time we were very young to base our happiness, security and value on the positive feedback of our families and those we love and depend on.  We live at the mercy feedback from the outside, instantly feeling the loss of affinity and support when we head off in directions that are not pleasing or acceptable.  Often, without even realizing it, we “self-correct”, reigning ourselves in.  If we don’t adapt ourselves, we risk being rejected or shamed by those we love and depend on.

Putting our own needs and wants before the needs and wants of others, instantly raises the specter of an inner critic who points at us darkly and convicts us of being “selfish”.  Our Inner Patriarch informs us that the archetype of the “good woman” includes descriptors such as pleasing, accommodating, compliant, sweet, engaging, kind, caring, giving, lovely, attractive but sexually restrained in public, sexually receptive but not demanding in private to a singular and “proper” partner.   In a world not far removed from Victorian values, single women are suspect, as are career women, outspoken women, sexual women and widows.

Where is the soulprint in all of this?  Where is the calling to live into our divine potential?  Do we have any idea what our deep desires and gifts are?  If we are dependant on others, where do we find the courage to live into them?  What do we do when we are faced with the forced choice of living into our soulprint or continuing to please and staying on the “good side” of those we love and depend on?  We often do not realize the extent to which we deny, even amputate vital parts of ourselves in order to attain the reassuring approval of important others.  How do we know and develop ourselves in a culture that devalues the deep feminine and dictates the proper ways of living into our feminine identity?

How do we begin to navigate the fearful silent loneliness of those barren places when we must let go of old ways of being, but we can’t explain where we are going or how we are going to get there.  How do we explain ourselves when we are following our inner leading and we don’t make sense to ourselves or others?  How do we hang onto our core when the forces of family and culture press back to get us to return and conform to our previous way of being?  How do we soothe the terror of being abandoned and alone when we need to follow a call that is not conventional or pleasing?   Who are we and what is our real value as we age?  Has being a good wife, good mother, good employee, and good woman really paid off?  Who are we beyond the roles we have filled in life?   Are there ways of being we have not explored yet embodied that might rejuvenate us and give us a new sense of life?

We all know women who become increasingly fearful, angry, resentful, territorial, competitive, judgmental and mean as they age.  Women who base their value on the approval of others or on the cultures love of the desire awakening maiden are all doomed to become dark queens, with anxiety as a constant companion.   In contrast, we know women who carry the luminous glow of the wise woman.  These women seem to drink from the waters of an eternal spring, calm at the core, living with courage and grace through every passage of life.

Having a woman’s bodies teaches us about cycles of change and the experience of surrendering to process.  Very few of our mothers gave us an appreciation for our miraculous, wonderful bodies or instruction for living in an embodied way.  The cultural definitions of beauty and masculine values set us at odds with our bodies.  We need to learn to love and honor the sacred vessel of our bodies in whatever size and shape they may come.  We need to learn to tune in to what brings us pleasure through all of six senses, sight, sound, taste, smell, and touch and soul.  We need to attune ourselves to what it means to experience sensual pleasures apart from cultural and masculine definitions…in the deep feminine realm, the place where we emanate and glow.

Today women are becoming cartographers of their inner journey.  We want to live a life of illumination, fulfillment and joy. There are a cluster of “super models”, elder guardians, who are making maps for other women and providing guidance at important thresholds.  At every developmental gate we will encounter a dragon and voices from behind us will urge us to turn back before it is too late. Like explorers when the world was considered flat, we become terrified that if we sail out to the edge of our known horizon, we will fall off the ends of the earth.  There is a movement afoot today to transmit this awareness to our daughters, grand daughters and younger sisters.

Those who travel the seas of their inner experience use intuition and the light of their nighttime stars (also known as dreams) to guide their journey.   Deep stillness and the archetypal realm are places where the luminous woman finds her guidance and the springs that will rejuvenate her through every season of life.  She also seeks the company of other women on the journey who are willing to share the wisdom gleaned from experience, women who are strong and generous.  There is no scarce resource in this realm. Luminous women glow with the deep gladness of a life fully lived.   When we bring our individual inner flames together, we can illuminate and transform the world.

The Luminous Woman™ Weekend

The Luminous Woman Weekend is a time where women can map their own experience and cross a new threshold of our growth.  During this time of deep listening and sharing we will hear each others stories and witness each others valiant struggles, deep longings, and unique beauty.  We will engage in the very feminine act of hearing each other into being.  When we give language to our experience, we empower ourselves in loving and passionate ways.  We help ourselves and future generations.

Through music, poetry, sharing, dialogue, journaling, ceremony and movement we will explore the many archetypes of the feminine, familiar and not so familiar.  We will change our relationship to the dark places in our psyches that cause us so much fear and pain and release some energy around past experiences that have defined or constrained us.

We will talk about places where women tend to get stuck, identify how these quagmires have played out in our own lives and gather some new tools for freeing ourselves.  We will connect with the places inside where wisdom, strength, fullness, power and freedom reside and create a touchstone for returning there regularly.   We will talk about how love and relationships can be our greatest teacher.  We will talk about fear and betrayal and loss.

We will experience what it means to cross a threshold into a new state of being.  We will practice being more embodied and present to the sensual moment.  We will eat, walk, swim, rest, laugh, breathe, inhabit and move our bodies as it pleases us.  We will support each other in our commitment to “return to the sea” on a regular basis and tend our inner flame daily.

2009 Chelsea Wakefield The Luminous Woman™

chelsea@chelseawakefield.com 828-606-9469

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