A meditation gone awry…or not (yet another reminder of why I do what I do).

Creative Commons via stock.xchng I listened to a meditation a few days back called, “Inner Goddess.” What enticed me to such? First, it was free. But second, really, how could I resist that title? Not seconds in, I heard these words:

“To experience a sense of transformation is to call upon all the other women who have lived throughout time; that have embodied certain qualities that we want to strengthen within ourselves.”

Though the calm voice intended for my breath to slow; mine caught in my throat. I gasped. My pulse quickened. And my mind leaped far beyond her words into concepts, ideas, and entire worlds of my own. Somewhere in the distant recesses of my mind I heard her mention Isis, Medusa, Aphrodite, and others. I listened, distractedly, to the affirmations she called forth; specific messages each of these goddesses wanted me to hear, incorporate, and believe. But more, I recognized my heartbeat – a deep, steady “yes” that longs for, trusts in, and knows this connection to other women who have lived throughout time; for me, the women of Scripture.

Maybe this is uniquely my bias, but it seems we are far quicker to assimilate the relevance, messages, and presence of goddesses like Isis, Medusa, and Aphrodite than we are those of Eve, Hagar, and Mary (just to name a few). We have the conceptual bandwidth to understand and allow for the influence of mythic archetypes, but find ourselves quickly tripped and bound by the biblical text (and accompanying doctrine, religion, dogma, conservativism, et. al.) within which so many incredible and inspirational women’s stories dwell. This is not only problematic, it is nearly unacceptable.

Today, were a woman’s identity known only as “the wife of…” she would rail, scream, and fight. And yet, we are content to let Eve and her lineage’s identity remain only as “those stories in the Bible.” As long as we do, we are disconnected from our own lineage and our own legacy.

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This breaks my heart.
This propels me forward.
This transforms my life.

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That is not to say that I don’t understand others’ perspectives and experiences. It can feel messy and tricky and even seemingly dangerous to wander into Scripture; so prone are we to distrust what’s housed within or the agenda of the one who is interpreting it. Still, the beauty and wisdom inherent in these ancient sacred narratives is powerful and cannot be denied. Like the Greek and Roman goddesses, these women too, are available (and waiting) to be called upon, invited, and heard.

This is what I attempt to do: resurrect, re-imagine, re-tell their stories so that they are redeemed; but more, so that we might be strengthened by their companioning presence, their hard-won wisdom, their connection to our truest self. I’ve done it over and over with Evethe gorgeous women even giants couldn’t resist; Noah’s wifeSaraithe Extravagant woman; and so many more to come. And Callahan, artist-extraordinaire, has painted them for and with me, along with my words: sacred icons that draw us ever-closer to these women’s power, beauty, and accessible, intimate, transformative truth.

I’m just getting started.

It’s possible, of course, that I’m preaching to the choir; that I’m writing this post for the sole purpose of convincing myself of what I most need to hear. If so, I’m fine with that. But if, somehow and miraculously, my words are what you need to hear as well, then you can be certain that I am smiling…and…feeling my breath catch in my throat while my heart beats, “yes.” Trust me, Eve and so many others are experiencing the same resonant response – each of them inviting you to call upon them, beckoning you to know them, encouraging you to walk with them; but more, to experience the sense of transformation we so passionately long for and which can so readily be found in those who have gone before us – who remain with us, even now.

“To experience a sense of transformation is to call upon all the other women who have lived throughout time; that have embodied certain qualities that we want to strengthen within ourselves.”

May it be so.

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I would be remiss to not connect this writing with the work I am most about: Spiritual Direction. The privilege of hearing your story and weaving it to those of the women in Scripture is gift beyond compare – for me, to be sure; but I believe, for you, as well. Introductory sessions of Write Yourself Wholea written experience of conversation together – is only $50; Sacred Conversation – via phone – is only $75.

And, because I can hardly contain myself, a teaser for what’s just days away: the latest addition to Sacred Art  – the collaborative project between me and Callahan McDonough. Stay tuned for a story and gorgeous print (which you can buy!) that speaks to the power of women’s friendship, support, and blessing.

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    { 2 comments… read them below or add one }

    Callahan McDonough March 1, 2013 at

    Oh I so love this post+u. What a blessing to have this friendship with you, the gift of co-creativity, synergy, contributing. And yes, there is more………..

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    Ronna Detrick March 2, 2013 at

    I couldn’t agree more, Callahan, to everything you’ve said…and then some. xoxo

    Reply

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