Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dissident Daughter - my own personal awakening

Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes

I have been staring at this phrase spelled out on a bumper sticker Erad pointed out to me and subsequently I bought for months now. It rests on the underside of my sun visor in my car, patiently waiting for me to put it on the bumper... but I can't seem to bring myself to do it. Perhaps, for the moment it is suppose to be exactly where it is, a constant reminder at least twice a day, to let the voice of my soul speak out.

Dance of the Dissident Daughter - Sue Monk Kidd

Which brings me to the book I am now reading. This lovely book is about one woman's struggle to speak her mind and let her voice out. It is about her journey from the Christian tradition to the Sacred Feminine (as the cover says). It is about the the sleep of women, thier awakening, thier initiation and eventual realization of the Divine Feminine as a real and vital part of thier lives.

"I was listening to National Public Radio the other day when someone asked the question: 'Once you wake up, can you wake up any more?'. Yes, I thought. In a way my whole life as been about waking up adn then waking up some more. This book is about waking up some more." - from the indroduction of her book.

I think I am waking up. I am well into the book now and I feel a strong connection to the journey Kidd is writing about. For many years now my voice has been small. It has been a whisper. It has been a mumble as if I was sleeping. Things bother me or rubbed me the wrong way - and I have quietly either taken it, let it slide or mumbled my discontent. But let me say this again. I think I am waking up.

Sleep from my eyes

Between the bumper sticker and this book, I am becoming aware of just how very wounded the feminine side of my world has become. Part of it has been wounded because of the society we live in, part of it because I was unable to and for much of my life been afraid to question the status quo. I was raised Christian. I have lived much of my life in the Christian tradition. And for many years now I have struggled with its dogma.

I have always believed God could not just be male. I have always believed there had to be something in the spiritual world for me... a girl. A girl, who for all the things I am good at and can offer the world, have been considered the bringer of sin... the weaker sex.... and importantly - not a boy. But my voice is getting louder and my soul is realizing there is joy in being exactly what I was born. A woman. A mother to my creations and a daughter to the divine.

You don't need the shoe Cinderella

There is one particular story in the book that has touched me deeply. Please forgive me but I am going to retype it here in order to better share with you why it touches me. The story she retells is of a film called Shirley Valentine.

"The recurring question in the film is: What happened to Shirley Valentine? Shirley Valentine was her maiden name, the name she had when she lived from her own center, when she was daring and stuffed full of passion for life. Her quest is to recover her essential self, her Shirley Valentine self. With her children grown and her marriage settled into deep, deadening ruts, her existance is like modeling clay, stretching and molding itself to her husband's life...Shirley gets a chance to go to Greece with a friend, she seizes the trip as part of her quest, though her husband forbids her to leave. One night sitteing beside the Greek shore, Shirley thinks to herself, 'I've allowed myself to lead this little life when inside me there is so much more... That's where Shirley Valentine disappeared to. She got lost in all this unused life.' ... When the vacation is over, Shirley stays...She blossoms, ignoring all her husband's angry orders to come home...[Kidd's] favorite scene is when her husband arrives in Greece in order to try to reconcile their lives. She waits for him at a table by the sea, watching him trudge up the hill. He passes her, then turns back. 'I didn't recognize you,' he said. 'I know,' she tells him. 'I use to be the mother. I use to be the wife. But now I'm Shirley Valentine" (Kidd pg 53).

Great Day for Up

So this is kind of where I am at I think. I have been many things. But finally I am looking in the mirror and seeing me. I am in the midst of what Kidd calls an awakening. It has been going on for some time now, but I have not had a name for it. Envisioning myself dancing amongst a circle of trees, or around a fire blazing, lifting my hands up towards Heaven, I am beginning to become aware of the Divine Feminine. And importantly it is not about defining myself by the will of others, but by the will of myself. By the strength of my voice.

Still shaky

Though it is still a small voice. Though it shakes when I speaks and the sentences don't always come out just right.

I am waking up and I am speaking my mind.

I am a woman. I am Divine. I am a interconnected with the world and others. I am woman. I am Divine.

I am Seren Blueskye... and I like her.