So. Every now and then it occurs to me that it might be helpful to outline what I mean when I post about Feministry. So here ya go!
Feministry is how I help people connect with their own, deeply personal Feminist Spirituality. Did I decide on some rainy Tuesday back in 2010 that this is what I’d be doing with my life today? Well no of course not- but I did decide that something was going to change. And I put my foot on a slightly different path…. and this is where the path has led me- and I feel gratitude for that everyday. Once I made the decision to be available to myself and the world, this pathway of possibilities opened up to me.
At the end of last month, I got a surprise invitation from my friend Gillian to go to a Poetry reading by David Whyte. The evening was really inspiring, both getting to meet other interesting folk who I hadn’t seen in AGES (Stephen James Smyth, Ruairi McKiernan and Moley P O’Suilleabhan), and hearing David’s poem Cleave which really spoke to me – it deals with birth & death, separation & union. For me, pregnant at the moment and always working somewhere between birth and death, this poem really spoke to me.
At the beginning of his talk, David commented on how some people wake up in the morning with bundles of energy, they’re just ‘on’. Gillian looked at me and said… “that’s you!”
Having reflected on this, I suppose that is me in some ways. Don’t get me wrong, I love nothing more than a day when I don’t have to leave the house, but I’m grateful for the energy I have and I believe this comes from following the path of my own truth – knowing my truth, and allowing myself to use my voice. When I got the call from Gillian to go to the poetry reading I could have made an excuse and stayed home in my pyjamas, but I went because I was drawn to the experience. On a morning not long after this I wasn’t feeling very ‘on’ at all. I had made a half-arsed attempt at parking in an awkward spot whilst making a detour to get some perfume on the way to a ceremony in Galway. Just as I was about to reverse and try for an easier space, a man walked passed me and caught my eye, understood my dilemma and motioned to keep going, that I’d make the tight space. And we ended up having a chat- me laughing that that I wasn’t having a ‘tight parking space maneuver kind of a day’, and he was really pleasant and offered to park the car for me. After a bit I realised this man was getting lots of hello’s from passers by, men greeted him warmly as they passed, and I realised he must be famous or at least very well known! And to this day I’ve no idea who he was but now I’m really intrigued…!
Anyway, off in shopping I went. I stopped for a cuppa and bumped into the lovely Oliver McCabe from Independent Irish Health Foods not once… but twice! The first time for a super-quick hug and hello, and the second time for a “hold on, we’re clearly meant to meet today!” kinda moment, and so we had a really nice chat, I also had a very enjoyable experience with the guy at the perfume counter who was lovely and gave me a pile of free samples – who doesn’t love free samples?!? What stayed with me from this particular morning was the energy around these experiences and exchanges. Ok so maybe I wasn’t feeling fully ‘on’ that morning, but when you decide to go out into the world, you might as well embrace it – have a deeper conversation with people, see who you’re engaging with, use your voice, be more vulnerable, It’s amazing what happens when you are available to the world!
The energy of the day changed from reluctant to enthusiastic once I made that choice for myself.
Just a shout out to the amazing couple Olivia & David whose wedding I performed that day in Galway, and of course to Emily their bridesmaid who declared herself as a Facebook stalker of mine! It’s lovely for me when the couples I work with know who I am through Facebook, as they already have good sense of what I’m about, so all Facebook stalking welcome! The ceremony was held at The Ardilaun Hotel in Salthill and was very special. After the vows, Olivia and David decorated a canvas with blue paint to signify David’s Bermingham roots and Maroon for Olivia’s Galway heritage- a beautiful process as they now have an artwork that represents their connection and the love from that day. (Also a massive win that we managed to avoid getting any paint on Olivia’s dress!)
Just a final thought on becoming available to the world. As with everything in life there is light and shade to this. Sometimes, when you put yourself out there, you can have great experiences and surf the positive, joyful vibes. But the flip side of that is that sometimes you can equally draw energy towards you that feels like it just wants to shut you up, or even destroy you. And this can allow fear to creep in. You can find yourself used as a focus for someones rage, misery and aggression. We need to be safe and to look after ourselves, but we also need to not let that fear get under our skin, or allow it to dictate the actions we do or don’t take. There is no greater gift than knowing our truth and how to live it– When you know what you believe in, absolutely nothing can threaten or shake you. Some of the fear that we carry in our bones is deep and ancestral, but real change happens when we are able to feel it and acknowledge it, and when we stand in our courage and don’t let that fear dictate what we can and can’t do, then we’re in touch with our own truth and our power. I’ll touch on this again in the next blog and during my 6 week Samhain programme launching at the end of the month – I hope you can join me there!