Thursday, March 13, 2008

Women's Circles and Awakening to Your life's purpose

Today, I woke up wanting to stay in bed. It's not that there's 6 feet of snow outside my front door, nor that winter is dragging. I just got back from a week in the sun and sand on Grand Cayman Islands, and my skin drank alot of sunshine there, more than my dermatologist would have liked.

No, it's the old hamster in the wheel of thought, circling my brain with the same old query: what do you want to do with your life? And when are you going to start?

As I told my women's circle today, I have already re-invented myself at least twice. The last time was going back to school after getting married, in my early 30's, to study something impractical, just for me: creative writing. It lead to a Master's Degree and a book of poems being published, plus something to keep me busy at night while the babies were sleeping in between feedings. Think of all those 4 a.m. poems that would never have seen the light of day!

Now that I am a mother, and a post-menopausal one at that, I am feeling this huge itch to reinvent myself again. It's been like this for over five years now - the seeking, reading, researching, going to workshops. At first I assumed it was a new mentor, another poetry workshop, a new technique for writing poetry. Then I kept hearing, maybe you should write non-fiction or a novel. Don't have the stamina for a novel. But I enjoy teaching workshops and working with women, so I started teaching the odd workshop here and there at a women's centre, or with a yoga teacher. Still, I kept on reading and researching menopausal information, female centered religions, sexuality, menstrual cycles and so that all came into the courses I was teaching.

But lately, the bug has bitten again. What is my real life purpose? what is the one thing I could do that would help the world, help me feel fulfilled (besides mothering two teens who don't seem to need much help anymore except where to find the peanut butter).

In spite of my lethargy, this morning I picked up Eckhart Tolle's book A New Earth, yes, the one Oprah is pushing as book of the year, and opened it to one of the last chapters. Here is what I read about inner purpose and outer purpose:

"Without living in alignment with your primary purpose, [conscious awareness] WHATEVER PURPOSE YOU COME UP WITH, EVEN IF IT IS TO CREATE HEAVEN ON EARTH, will be of the ego or become destroyed by time. Sooner or later, it will lead to suffering. ...In other words, not your aims or your actions are primary, but the state of consciousness out of which they come. Fulfilling your primary purpose is laying the foundation for a new reality, a new earth. Once that foundation is there, your external purpose becomes charged with spiritual power because your aims and intentions will be one with the evolutionary impulse of the universe."

Maybe taken out of context this doesn't mean as much to you as it did to me, but it hit me over the head, that my happiness and fulfillment can never be somewhere off in the future. My goals have to be much closer to the now, to the present moment, to live with attention to this life energy inside me, to be so close to that, that I am not distracted by my thinking, or by my fantasies of being a Workshop Leader who changes the world.

How is this related to women's friendships? Today was our circle chat, and eight of us showed up at one member's house. A few of us were resistant to coming today, knowing we might have to open up and talk about ourselves, feeling a bit fragile. But after the third person had spoken, the fourth woman said, "Thank you for being so open and sharing yourselves this way. It's so inspiring. It means you trust us." And it reminded me again of how precious it is to have this sense of community or friendship amongst women who are looking for meaning.

We started this circle to invite speakers on alternative health topics, on everything from shamanism, emotional healing, PMS, menopause, the environment, to building schools for girls in Africa, on any topic that opens our minds and our hearts to learn more, grow more, heal more. But now, we have found our most precious resource is our own stories, our own learnings in our lives, the lessons learned, the questions, the doubts, the yearnings, the hopes, the tears and frustrations. We are sharing our journey.

We are holding hands in a circle, so we feel less alone.

And that, is one of my 'outer purposes', to help empower myself, and empower other women.



bella said...

I will always be grateful that your purpose has led you to where you are now, allowing me to connect with you.
I am currently in process of creating my own women's circle.
We need such times.
love to you.

Lianne said...

I think that women getting together and talking about women things, whether it is in a sacred context of a circle, or laughing over drinks is a very healthy and important way to heal the world.

Thank you for stopping by my blog... I've linked you in and will visit frequently.

You are a lightworker. Thank you for your work on this planet.

musemother said...

Thank you Bella and Lianne,
the power of women coming together is an ancient rite in itself.
let's recognize our strengths, and celebrate 'hen parties',


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