I’m on a power trip. Not a Wolf of Wall Street spree, more of a Caving Adventure. And not the most fun trip I’ve ever taken either. I’ve hated caves ever since I watched Tom Sawyer and Becky get lost in the cave and terrorized. My own real life experience in the caves of South Dakota did nothing to change my mind, though I wasn’t lost – or terrorized except in my head.
It started a few weeks ago, when I got this guidance/intuition to gather songs about our warrior energy. Warrior Energy, warrior songs, kept showing up in my life, so I gathered them, and launched our new Harmony Center with an evening of songs and reflections about our Warrior Energy.
But that was apparently just the beginning.
Separately or so it seemed (ha!), I was working on financial issues, and going deeper than I ever have in my life on this topic. I began to look at chronic financial struggling as an addiction issue, the illusion of lack. In the last week, I added Tapping (EFT) to the mix of what I am doing – and undoing.
Sure enough, emotions and deep issues began arising. Suddenly I saw that my financial worries are not really about money… no? Seems it’s more about Power. Power. Empowerment.
Our Rev. Erin McCabe told a story Sunday about fleas in flea circuses… yep, she does that sort of thing! That the fleas are trained by putting a large glass jar over the fleas and as they jump high, high, high, they can only jump as high as the glass jar allows. So, they learn – train themselves – to only jump that high and no higher. And, you guessed it, when the jar is removed, they continue to jump Only That High.
As a girl child of the 50’s and 60’s, I was trained in the “fix yourself up pretty, Daddy’s coming home” mode. (I had a book. I can still see the matching blue sundresses for Mama and Little Girl to put on before Daddy gets home.) I was taught by my parents and my culture not to be Too Tall (I began to slouch at 13 when I grew taller than the boys my age), Too Smart, Too Strong (don’t ever beat a man at a game or you won’t be liked), and it goes without saying…. Too Successful, Too Passionate, or Too Rich.
I was smart and I learned these lessons well. Then Women’s Lib and the feminist movement came along and I was wise enough to recognize the rightness of the issues they raised. However, I was still immersed in a male-dominated community and culture, and then I began to raise 3 children, which I was passionate about doing well. Not a popular way to spend my time in feminist circles.
I ended up completely confused.
The girls my daughter’s age and younger probably don’t think this affected them. But I can tell you, any unhealed areas in our mothers’ lives, our fathers’ lives, get transmitted insidiously to the next generation to be dealt with, maybe in a fresh new way, but still needing to be faced.
Fast forward to now – after years of creative entrepreneurship, mixed with more conventional jobs like teaching, I’m now wanting – deeply, passionately wanting – to do work that I love AND earn good money. And I need to do this.
But there are fears. There are tears. There’s confusion, frustration. I don’t know what to do, I don’t know how to make it work. I want to do work that is meaningful, creative, and that I get paid for.
Never have I succeeded at that combination before. There’s a voice inside me telling me it’s impossible. “There’s nothing you can do that will work… it won’t happen.”
Barbara Stanny writes about “The Collective Brainwash.” “Women don’t understand power and it’s obvious why. Money, like sex, is a powerful force. The only way to control access to such powerful forces is with equally powerful taboos. The world’s gone to great lengths to keep us in the dark.”
She continues: “Still today there are no positive words for a powerful woman (think: b#$%h or b&#$-breaker).” (From Secrets of Six Figure Women by Barbara Stanny)
It’s in our collective unconscious, the marrow of our bones… to be a powerful woman is to risk being burned at the stake, or drawn and quartered.
This is the stuff of the caving I’ve been doing. Not very fun.
Several years ago I watched the Disney movie, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In the movie, the Minister of Justice sings a song about sinning and the fires of hell, blaming his lust on the gypsy girl Esmeralda, determined to destroy her to protect himself from his own desire.
I watched that scene mesmerized. I have lived that. I have been Esmeralda, and been despised, hunted, condemned by men for who I was, who I had the power to be.
It’s still in my bones, in the memories of my cells.
It’s hard to claim your power when your body remembers what happens when you do.
Taking a breath… I’m not in that situation anymore. I am not threatened, the people around me, the men around me would celebrate my power, my success, my prosperity. Taking another breath…..
So why don’t I just make up my mind and claim my power? Here and now? Think positive? You Go Girl!!
I guess there’s a little of the flea in me. Don’t want to hit my whole body against that glass ceiling again, so I’ll be sure to jump a little lower. I know how to do that. I’ve been trained.
It’s much harder to trust that the glass ceiling is gone. That it’s safe to be powerful. It’s safe to be passionate. It’s safe to be successful, even wealthy. No matter what I learned as a child, as a teenager, a young wife, an adult… it is now safe to be fully as powerful as I can be.
I also have to deal with my own inner demons: if I were rich and powerful, would I still be kind? Would I become greedy? Would I exploit others? Would I become a workaholic? All the judgments I ever had arise to meet me, like ghosts in the cave.
But I’m putting on my spelunking gear. I’m taking my own Light with me, and I have proper tools. I have companions, who may not be any more experienced than I, but they are brave and willing and they also have tools.
There’s treasure in this cave. And I’m not coming out until I find it. It belongs to me, it was mine since the beginning of time. I’m supposed to go in there.
I know it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey that matters. But when I’m on a power trip, when I’m going caving… that destination – the reclaiming of my own natural power – it does matter.
Bon Voyage to me.