Centring is such a large part of my personal practice – I cannot properly perform any sort of magic, be it writing or painting or cooking, without first finding a moment to centre myself. If I do not, my work is haphazard and half-hearted, and no one fully enjoys it.
I find centring easiest in the open air, preferably surrounded by trees and birds and wildlife. I do not often get to centre myself in my ideal setting, so I am learning how to find that same balance where I am at any given moment.
Centring is a concept that I learned at a very young age – my mother was unsure of including me in her practices because of her beliefs, so she began to slowly introduce me to the basic concepts of energy, manipulation of that energy, and balancing the mind and body and spirit. In her eyes, once I had learned to ground and centre properly and quickly, I was ready to move forward. The practice has not been easy and I still struggle with it – do I not struggle with most aspects of my personal practice? – but with each day it does get better.
Surrendering is a different concept for me, primarily because it brings up notions of giving up, submitting, and defeat… I desire strength and control in my life, I am uncomfortable with the idea of handing things over to someone else to take care of, regardless of the stress those things may cause me. But, it isn’t about handing something over, but about releasing those things that do not serve you. Prejudice? Release it. Anger? Release it. Guilt? Release it.
“Unclench your life”, as Molly Remer writes in one of her courses. Soften yourself and let it go. This wording resonates with my spirit much better than the common verbiage that goes with the concept of “surrendering”.
For so long, nearly my whole life, I have had to put this strong mask on, because if I was soft I was seen as weak. I was a target throughout my childhood because I was not well-versed in wearing this mask – but as I grew older, I learned how to roar with my kitten voice and appear larger than I really was, despite the tears in my eyes and my shaking hands. I hid my anxiety, my fear, my sadness – I learned to hide my tears and my pain.
I still hold onto that mask, some days, and my voice raises and my words grow harsh, and I heart those around me because I feel vulnerable and targeted. It is unfair to everyone, including myself, to continue with this mask on my face and spirit. I am trying to allow the softness within me to come through, I am working on letting go of the pain and anger, and fear, that has gripped me for so many years. There are few places I feel comfortable enough to put the mask down, completely, and be the person I am within – this blog is one of those few places, while my books are another.
I am not a woman who runs with wolves, though part of me has longed for that to be true. I am a woman who drifts with deer, as Sarah Elwell writes about here. I am “a deer woman who has learned, the hard way, how to run with the wolves” (Terri Wilding, on the same post linked above). To be fair to the timid deer, they can be protective and fierce of their young (like the Mule and Whitetail deer), and my children bring out the fierceness in me.
This is what I am working on, this surrendering to the softness within me, to the quiet and to the timid that has been asking to be let out for so many years. Timidity is not a weakness, it takes courage to be vulnerable and open. Deer Women, Rabbit Women, and all other quiet Women are not weak, we are strong in our ways, and we should be celebrated just as much as Wolf Women and Bear Women.
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