CLEANSING PHASE: THE STORY OF "DON'T TELL ME TO SMILE"
We never know why a woman might be into the message of "Don't Tell Me To Smile"
It could be in solidarity to all women, she could be tired of the onslaught of unwanted attention. She may also be grieving, or maybe she's just having a bad day and she's trying to work through it. There is one thing that we do have certainty about and that is: She is unapologetic in her NO...
Very often in my own world I get into a lot of trouble for being so "happy." Yet, what I do know is that when I am not smiling, it's because I am not happy. There were plenty of times in the last few years during a period of significant losses where smiling required a lot of self care, alone time, and so much more.
In other circles beyond social-media or cultural demands... where the laws of nature are honored, people are offered signs they can wear. Signs that say something as simple as "In Silence." It's wonderful to have that level of intimacy in being a part of a group, not being alone and being free to be in silence. Free to just be, reflect and not have to give it all away or turn it all the way on all the time. There is value in that.
The story... I am about to share is a story of something that floated in during my last cleansing phase...
Many moons ago.... I was engaging on-line in social media when a male person who is also an author wrote a post that captured my interest. Much of the time, authors capture my interest simply because they are authors.
He's one of those facebook friends who isn't a friend...it's that thing we all have. He's in the circle of your other thirty friends. The person whom you have never met.
Sometimes, I friend people by accident thinking I am accepting their request.
Facebook will often highlight friend requests and at other times they highlight people you might know.
I don't actually friend anyone.
I accept or decline requests only. I think it would be in bad taste for me to reach out to friend someone I don't have time to pay attention to. That's just me.
This fella was one of my "accidental" people. He did not send me a request. Facebook just highlighted him as someone I may know. I make this mistake every few months and typically I make this mistake in my own "Intentional Self Care Phase" Same thing happened a long time ago when I was trying to learn dating apps, swiping left instead of right type thing.
This is the level of self-awareness I have and I desire to have in terms of seeing myself clearly. What I do, when I do it, what my own patterns are. This way, I always have access to where I am accountable, where I am responsible and I can always go back to that.
Through the social media engagement-I wasn't disagreeing as much as I was offering an additional point of view. I was looking for a conversation that may add value "over all," with another author. Authors are great in this way because when authors are willing to engage with one another, new concepts and ideas can develop. It can become a win-win for further writings. This man did not like or want my offering. He made his personal boundary very clear. I called him "Sweetheart" My intent vs what felt good to him-this word landed on him in a very negative way. This is when he made it crystal clear to me that he was a no. He didn't stop there though. He added his own "teaching" too based on his own world view. He went on to tell me never to call anyone sweetheart. How it is dismissing and a bunch of other things. What I got was, while that isn't at all true in my world, it is true in his world.
What I heard was the voice of a feminist. I am a no to your unwanted attention. This is my boundary and I expect it to be respected and not stopping at that point. Feminist often forget to stop at their own boundary and they often go into teaching mode from a collective cultural perspective.
I am personally most happy to honor another person's no. That is all I need to know to recognize, this communication isn't working for the other person. All good.
A few months later as I'm scrolling through my page, I notice this person sharing a story about noticing a woman who was wearing the "Don't tell me to smile" mantra. This captured my attention. He went on to say he was dying to tell her to smile. There was some anti-feminist chosen words with an onslaught of comments from his followers all chiming in and making fun of all the women who are feminists. There was a lot of "Locker Room" humor going down. I didn't engage because he's already made it clear to me I am not welcome to do anything other than agree with him and I'm totally cool with that.
I noticed though.... The woman he was speaking about on social media, she didn't engage with him. She was just sitting some place wearing her message, not doing anything to him. Unlike the moment with me where I was trying to engage.
I noticed this and I had that thought...the thought of how interesting it all is that his feminism is okay, whereas a woman sitting- not wanting unwanted attention somehow, her no isn't okay and how all the people who agree with him that her message isn't "natural" and it doesn't align with what it means to be "Feminine" were most happy to make fun of this woman and all women who speak up.
There is something about a woman speaking up that is deemed "unnatural"
She's not allowed to wear that sign "In Silence" She's not allowed to be upfront in her personal boundaries because if she dares to do that... it causes a reaction. "I was dying to tell her to smile"
Here is the important part: This returning to me in my cleansing phase has absolutely nothing to do with this man. While I'm certain his life has great significance, he has no significance in my world. He isn't a part of my every day reality, he isn't in my circle of most cherished people. He's just a man I accidentally friended and we know thirty of the same people.
The purpose of this returning to me in my own cleansing phase is ME. Where I am in my own development as a woman right now, my work with women, my five years of non stop research and what is coming up for me within my own hopes, goals and dreams. There is an Aloha Immersion Retreat where I will be the lead facilitator. We will be using the guides with the desire for all of the women to be deeply nourished. We will be offering every woman the "IN SILENCE" sign so she may honor her in that way. Our collective desire will be to make sure we set up a safe container so that no matter what is true for any woman, no matter what phase she is in when she shows up to be with us, we allow her to process her own thoughts and feelings and allow her room and space to shine her own light on herself.
When and if she smiles...her smile belongs to her. When something belongs to a woman, she is happy to give it to others...
This is the power of women not making themselves wrong for whatever comes up for review in their cleansing phases....
We get...it isn't about him or them or that. It is so important women do not make themselves wrong for anything that comes up for review and they allow themselves their birth right to process these things to completion.
“What does this wildish intuition do for women? Like the wolf, intuition has claws that pry things open and pin things down, it has eyes that can through the shields of persona, it has ears that hear beyond the range of mundane human hearing. With these formidable psychic tools a woman takes on a shrewd and even precognitive animal consciousness, one that deepens her femininity and sharpens her ability to move confidently in the outer world.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
"A woman is her own best medicine when she remains deeply and intimately connected to her own natural rhythms. A room full of women who are deeply and intimately connected to their own natural rhythms is the most powerful masterminding group on the planet."
LOVE AFFAIR WITH THY SELF: THE MOVEMENT
HOME: IN MY OWN SKIN
BODY: I LOVE THEE
SPIRIT: MOVING THROUGH ME