Over the course of my life, I’ve accumulated a long list of things I like and don’t like, eat and don’t eat, wear and don’t wear, do and don’t do. A self-created box of The Way I Am, kept neat and tidy, stored safely in the corner and wrapped tight with a pretty pink bow.
In times of stress, women don’t move to run or fight ~ they reach out to protect and connect. Oxytocin is a woman’s natural de-stress mechanism.
The new world grows out of this fertile brew made of our outgrown clothes, our errors and awakenings, our dreams and prayers, and the luminous horizon we sense there—in the pause between the breath, in the gap between thoughts, in the softening of the heart. You are a holy compost pile at the very edge of evolution.
What a ride it is, this life lived in a woman’s body. The moment we think we have found a shelf to rest on, a sort of “aha, so this is how it works”, we are again thrown into new territory.
Prayer doesn’t have to happen on our knees with our hands folded. Simply being present with this moment is prayer. Prayer can be dancing, it can be singing, it can be opening your arms wide on a hilltop screaming at the top of your lungs. It can be closing your eyes, floating in the ocean, listening to the pulse of life.
For four years I had the honor to meet with a very special circle of girls. They were fourteen young women and we started to meet when they were in sixth grade. The story that follows is about a practice we did together the first time we got together.