The other day I was doing a meditation and it was called “Gratitude Meditation for Your Village of Women”.
This meditation gets you to visualize standing at the top of the Grand Canyon, your feet rooted deeply in the earth, holding hands with all of the women you are grateful for and who have impacted you in different ways. And as this hand-holding chain grows longer and longer, you acknowledge and thank each of these women. At the end, you're left with an impenetrable chain of women on either side of you that you know would never let you fall (or at least would be there to pick you up and dust you off when you do). Red Rover's got nothing on this human shield!
I will never have the words to communicate how much my village of women of means to me. But imma try anyways...
Do you ever ask yourself who you are? Or is that only me? I find I spend a lot of time asking myself who I actually am, underneath all the armour and the image I want to project to the world. When I’m having a moment like that, the best place to look for answers is in the version of myself reflected back to me by my village of women. When we laugh, cry, dream, analyze, pick each other up and share our experiences, I inevitably walk away with a sense of feeling complete and that’s my truest self. That’s where my authentic voice can be heard the loudest.
The truth is, I don’t know where I would be right now without my village of women, cheering me along. Their encouragement and support through my breakup, hospital visit and now recovery (from both those things – and more) are the reasons I am able to write these posts as candidly as I do. They are the reason I haven’t jumped back in to another shitty relationship. They are the reason I’ve stuck with making positive changes in my life and started to value myself as a human-being. I am genuinely in awe of how amazing my village of women is and how much I've drawn from our interactions.
Here are some of those people to whom I am grateful:
my friends (from school, from childhood, from places I've lived, from work, new & old)
my family (blood-related and non)
my energy healer
the voices in the anti-diet and HAES worlds
the Instagrammers who share so openly their own journeys and messages of hope
the authors who touch my soul with their words
my yoga instructor
my fellow volunteers
my internal medicine doctor
I'm also grateful to the women I interact with in passing, whether it's a smile at the pool or a phone call to schedule an appointment. And there are so, so many more. Even just the act of thinking about all the women who have contributed (in both big and small ways) to this journey makes me smile.
I've had several occasions this past year to reflect on the lives and journeys of some other incredible women in my life. I would like to dedicate this post to Judy and to Mae, who both passed away in 2019. These two women had truly magical souls that radiated love and compassion and part of my own journey has been striving to be more like them. If I had the chance, I would thank both of them for being authentically themselves and for letting me see and experience just how beautiful that is.
To my village of women: THANK YOU. You are amazing. I love you.
When the time comes for you to lean on me, trust that I will be there holding your hand and encouraging you in your own journey, whatever that might look like.