The Empress is in the House.
Though you wouldn't know it by looking at her!
There she is straining, sweating with her pregnant belly, contractions coming like tsunamis.
That last one was clearly a bad one. From the stunned look on her face, it must have ripped through her pelvis with a mighty force. Nonetheless, in the wake of it, she composes herself a bit, looks around the room, and begins taking account. You can almost see the questions forming on her lips:
Is everyone ELSE alright?
Does the midwife have enough tea?
How about the Doula?
Is her partner doing okay?
As a birth doula, I have seen this same moment play out over and over and over again:
Women in the heat of labor
STILL TAKING CARE
of everyone around them.
So, I started calling my birthing mothers "Empress." I started consciously reminding them of their needs, over and over again, returning their focus to their experience and to the task at hand. I called them into their royalty, their sovereignty, their significance in the cycle of life.
It made all the difference!
Yet when it came to my own life, I somehow failed to apply the lessons I learned in the birthing world to my everyday experience.
The Empress was certainly in my house (just as she was there, in each woman's face, in the moments when those mothers-to-be became mothers-in-fact). But you definitely wouldn't have known it by looking at the bedraggled, befuddled, fragmented, overworked woman I had become.
In short, I had misplaced myself.
In the heat of motherhood, overcome by the stress of caring for everyone else, day in and day out, I simply lost myself somewhere between my son's last soccer game and everyone's needs for a supportive ear, a cheerleader, an ever available source of support...
I had my hands in so many pies and my heart in so many places, that I could not have told you who I was and what I wanted for my own life. Consequently, life felt like nothing more than a list of tasks I could never complete.
Not so much.
Truthfully, I was living three miles wide and one inch deep. There was no depth to anything. Nothing in my life had the kind of roots that can pull up nourishment and life giving water from deep down in the soil. Never mind the kind of deep-earth anchor that can withstand a storm!
Likewise, no matter how many women I helped to give birth like royalty, the throne of my own life wasn't the kind of bejeweled seat of sovereignty befitting every Empress as she labors, tends life, brings forth love, plenty, and actual humans.
Not even close!
My throne, the foundation of my life, was more like an abandoned ruin covered over with dirt and leaves, lost and forgotten in my own backyard. As a result, every part of my life was floundering.
And. I. Didn't. Even. Know. It.
Oh sure, I knew my nerves were shot. I was vaguely aware that I could no longer distinguish the current pile of dishes from the one before and the one about to come through. I certainly viewed the washing machine with the kind of hatred usually reserved for unfaithful partners.
But I had no idea why I was overrun with migraines or how come I so desperately needed an excuse to escape into the quiet, darkness of my bedroom, ALONE.
Looking back, those migraines became like a clap of thunder and a flash of lightening in the distance:
proof a storm was brewing
and the promise of a life sustaining rain.
With each crashing boom came a burst of insight, a surge of awareness, an often uncomfortable, disquieting shift in my relationships, at least temporarily. At first, I couldn't hold onto the clarity for long. I couldn't let go of other people's needs for very long either. I still didn't have a deep connection to the earth beneath my own feet. I certainly wasn't on my throne.
But I had my hands in the dirt! I spent more and more time in my garden, more and more time with the remedies of our ultimate Empress, Mother Earth. I began to formalize my lifelong study of plant medicines. As my knowledge of and relationship with the plants deepened, the harvest of my own inner riches began to come through.
Little by little the equation of my life shifted. With each boundary I set, each moment I carved out for myself, each second in the garden, each inner jewel I manifested in the world...I changed. I put down roots, deeper and deeper roots. Over time, an inch became a foot that became a mile sinking deep into the heart of earth.
Before I knew it, I wanted things. I had dreams worthy of my time and my investments. There were things in my life that mattered more than pleasing everyone around me. I no longer needed other people's approval or to meet other people's needs in order to feel valid as a woman.
Bit by bit, I restored my throne, the seat of power and plenty in my life. I swept off the leaves (other people's agendas). I washed off the dust and dirt of what I was supposed to do. I sanded away the scars of betrayal and polished the rough edges of disappointment when so many of the people I had been cheerleading and taking care of declined to show up in the heart of my dreams. I tacked on the gemstones of my desire and I covered the seat with the soft, velvety, plush fabric of my devotion. I carved Dandelions, the first proof of spring and blossoming life, into the wooden back of my regal chair.
As I finally dared to take my seat, I looked out over my life and realized that an Empress on her throne has a radically different perspective and a radically different experience to go with it.
From this vantage point, I relish the time I have to think, the time I insist on. I delight in my own feminine energy. I relax knowing that all my needs are met, and that I will always be here for myself no matter what comes.
I feel secure in the structural supports that allow me to carry out my ideas and projects. I enjoy the focus that naturally comes from being in one place with a clear sense of purpose.
Seated on my throne, I feel open to share with those around me freely, from fullness and desire. And to share nothing at all if that is what feels right! Likewise, I am open to receive with grace.
As the Empress, seated on my throne I have an ancient and ancestral power that brings about internal centering. And from this center flows the clarity of my life fully lived in the heart of purpose. Here I sip from the fountain of wisdom. I create my life from what I know deep down in my bones, and from the richness that I harvest from the fertile soil of my own life.
It's this purposeful kind of clarity I most want to share with you, woman to woman, Empress to Empress, one nourishing cup of earthy soul medicine and deep understanding at a time!
During this session, we will:
- Enjoy some calming Oat Straw Tea together;
- Discover the Mother Earth medicine that will bring your wisdom through;
- Uncover the truth about where you want to be;
- Revisit the pain of where you are; and
- Create a plan of action for rediscovering yourself, putting down roots, and taking a seat on the throne of your life.