I remember sitting alongside my newborn baby boy in that little hospital room, hours after his birth, overflowing with this serene sense of awe and joy—and a newfound pair of eyes. See, not many really talk about this, but being so close to birth (and death, I can imagine), one really witnesses SOUL so much more clearly. There’s a heart-knowing of what is, more than a mental construct or analysis of what is.
And let me tell you, WOMEN?! WOW!! What women are still brings me to tears today. I can still remember how I felt and what I saw that day: the gentle, quiet power and fierce strength of women, who, no matter what oppression, what challenges she faced, nurtured her young, opened her heart, her body, her mind to “the other.” I felt so inspired. In awe. And, it also marked the beginning of a new relationship with myself.
“Transformation of the Heart”
by Jana Parkes
It’s been 3 years and 10 months since that day in the hospital room after birthing. But, I still see this AMAZINGNESS of gentle and fierce woman that brings forth life and light into this world…and I want to protect her, care for her, love her, in spite of my conditioning.
And, along with this vision, I see the many, many obstacles man has set up that are not in her favor, that constrict, rather than support her.
And I LOVE women. I am committed to supporting them. I don’t know where exactly it comes from. I am not exactly a believer in past life stuff. However, I do see and believe in synchronicity and alignment. I somehow worked with women, in circles and otherwise, for years: first it was the women’s circles in Mexico with a famous healer, then being initiated in sweatlodges, cosmic ceremonies, and the Mayan calendars, all having to do with the Goddess, women’s wisdom, and the rise of women, then graduate studies in Women’s Spirituality at New College of California in San Francisco with feminist greats like Vicki Noble, Judy Grahn, Luisah Teish, and more. Finally, there was Shakti Rising. And, lastly but not least, my master’s thesis in “Women Healing through Expressive Arts: Redirecting the Feminine Qualities of Caring & Nurturing Toward Self.”
Women, especially mothers, in this world, need more support. It was something I resisted as a woman who had been raised that she “could be anything” (including “like a man”). I was very independent and strong, but not in a feminine way. I wanted to show the world that I could do things well, i.e. like a man, i.e. all by myself. When I was about to give birth as a single mother, my midwives warned me: “Please, plan to have a meal train, someone to be with you after the birth and help you.” I seriously thought I could all by myself. In some ways I understood my caesarean after a planned home birth (and many hours of labor at home, both in and out of water) as a blessing because those lovely nurses sure took care of me in the hospital afterwards, when I had “no one.” I finally understood, in the flesh, what it is like to feel and be so whole, yet that we are interdependent for a reason. I understood that mothers should not go it alone. It’s not that they “can’t”. It’s just that they should not. Being a mother is the closest thing to being God. One creates, one loves, one nurtures unconditionally, feeds from one’s own body. And we humans are limited beings, who get tired, hungry, sleepy, not to mention cranky. Have you ever tried working, I don’t know, say 4 shifts in a row? Well, try facing endless shifts on your own and see how you feel after a while without relief. It is not a matter of choice. I did do a lot of it alone. But a mother must not. And I understood that if mothers “shouldn’t” go it alone, really, should any of us? All of it came from my experience, trying, learning, growing, humbling.
I took it upon as my implicit purpose in the world to support other women. Really, truly—it felt like my sole (and soul) purpose in the world. Like, the only natural thing to do after everything I had experienced. To give back. That someone might glean something from everything I had experienced.
The story truly doesn’t end there… However, I am going to share it with you next time. So, that you can pull up your tea and we can have a conversation. I want to savor the storytelling. Won’t you join me?
I would love to hear your story. If you haven’t signed up for a Discovery Session with me, please do so at: www.tanyatime.setmore.com. I would love nothing more than to hear some of your stories and to reflect some of your own wisdom back to you.