I needed something powerful.
I was my biggest skeptic and so I needed something that I couldn't outsmart, overthink,
argue with or disregard.
I needed something UNDENIABLE.
I got tired of not knowing how to stop feeling so different. Or less than.
I got so fed up with feeling like I was flawed.
I have a history of some hard things. Some were really really hard, and others felt more like the "usual" kind of hard that other people could relate to; the kind that helped me feel like I wasn't alone. Like, being married. Or having kids. Or managing career stuff. Or moving... right? Like, the regular kind of hard that we can all more or less relate to and even bond over.
But there have been other things in my life that have isolated me more than I know how to put words to. I have felt so, incredibly "othered" and therefore wasn't ever really able to know who I was outside of what made me feel labeled or different. It was such a painful way to live, you know? I had built up defenses and walls to protect myself from these feelings, that I backed myself into a corner; alone, unseen, and deeply hurting.
I had no idea what to do with:
Growing up with a scar on my shin that kids would point to and laugh at, nevermind the car accident that caused it.
Having my older brother killed when I was 10.
Having been in an abusive marriage that nobody knew about.
Trying to blend a family that didn't actually feel like the Brady Bunch.
Getting sick and losing my hair in my 30's, and dealing with all of the reactions and stares (my own included).
Having family members with significant and frightening traumas, and then being the one fighting for their lives.
And so on...
Can you relate in any way?
Do you also have stories and experiences that don't feel like "everyday stuff?"
Have they ever made you feel alone or as though no one else could possibly understand?
These never felt like things I could openly share with others because who could understand my experience or relate to what I was going through?
For too long, I was trying to piecemeal my life together using the advice of my training, my therapist, this book, that prayer, or their podcast just to stay afloat. But it always made things feel disconnected and unstable. It was like I wasn't able to get it right - I got exhausted trying to focus on one area of my life at the cost of another, always feeling off-kilter or as though there was always a part of me limping along.
I was so busy surviving, that to relate to any other human felt impossible. It reinforced my shadow story that I was marked and doomed to a life of just being different and not understood. For too many of those years, I had no clue who I actually was because my conditioning and my traumatic stress had distorted my sense of self.
And I felt terrible about it.
Which is weird; I'm a professional certified life coach and licensed psychotherapist. I have always known about, understood and believed in our internal resources as humans; we are beautifully complex and equipped. I have coached and counseled women for years in how to tap into themselves and use their means to help cultivate inner stability, resilience and confidence. Except, I had yet to come across one modality that wove them all together in a way that made sense to and worked for me. I longed to conceptualize how these resources can beautifully work together to form a solid foundation from which to stand on.
Why, though, had I not come across something like this? Of the thousands of hours I've spent in school, trainings, certifications and continuing ed courses, not to mention thousands more working with clients, one would assume I had it figured out. But of the models and theories out there, too many were based in patriarchal foundations, privilege, religion, capitalism... some of the very things that keep me feeling boxed in.
And then I realized something:
I can create the roadmap
I so desperately needed in my life!
God blessed me with a Divine Download that inspired this framework. It literally hit me one day, and I worked and wrote and worked and wrote for days and weeks on end. And the more it came together, the clearer it became that this work was first MINE to do, test, live, breathe, challenge and practice before I would ever offer it out into the world.
So, here we are. The Rooted Woman Collective was birthed on the heels of some really, really hard, dark, and uncertain years. Decades, actually. The debilitating and overwhelming effects that trauma has had on my body, my mind, my heart and my spirit have come at a cost, yet has also turned into my medicine for the world. I now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt WHO I am, what I stand for, what my purpose is, why I do what I do, and how all my "differences" make me more me.
And that is a beautiful thing.