What’s left on the cutting room floor?

Each morning, lately, I have been reading from a book with 365 reflections. Some I resonate with; others, not so much. And some surprise me. Like today’s… 

The author began by telling a story of having once interviewed the runner up of The Bachelor (the last one standing besides the one who gets the proposal). She asked how much of what we saw on the show was real, and how much just reality TV. Not surprisingly, the woman confirmed what all of us already knew (right?!?): she was not seen for who she was – not really. Every clip of her being anything other than how the producers wanted her dipicted (partying, disruptive, etc.) had been left on the cutting room floor. 

Ouch. 

We would be wise to name the “producers” in our world – those who are intentionally shaping the narrative, the story, the plot they want us to believe and buy – whether media, religion, politics, our family of origin, even those closest to us. We need to ask ourselves what’s being intentionally left on the cutting room floor so that we comply, stay in line, and don’t make waves.

We would be wise to ask ourselves how many women, how many stories, how much wisdom has not been ours throughout time. And we need to pay attention to how that has impacted us – dramatically and definitively. Because we’ve not seen those reels – the raw vs. edited footage of  Eve, Mary Magdalene, Tamar, Hagar, and so many more, it’s not surprising that we often feel isolated and alone (part of the producer’s plan, no doubt). We have not been given access to the legion of women who long to speak, have much to say, and stand alongside us even still. 

We would be wise to wonder about how we produce and edit our own stories. On the cutting room floor lie reels and reels of what we don’t want others (and sometimes, even ourselves) to see, what doesn’t “fit” with the story we’re telling, what feels better left unsaid, hidden, even thrown away. 

For every scene, every conversation, every part of us that’s been discarded – whether by choice or under duress – the woman others do see is not complete, not whole, not all of who we are. And that is both excruciating and untenable. 

We would be wise to consider:

  • what we intentionally cut out of our own story so that we better meet the “reality TV” ideal, the IG influencer ideal, our culture’s ideal, even the ideal of our boss, our peers, our significant other…
  • how feeling the pressure of other “producers” or “editors” in our life has translated into compromising the story we want to tell, the life we deserve and desire to live. 
  • how the reels and reels on the cutting room floor might, in truth, be exactly what and who deserves to be seen and heard.  
  • what we are most afraid of if fully seen, fully ourselves, unedited, unrestrained, untamed.

…what the world needs right now in order to evolve is to watch one woman at a time live her truest, most beautiful life without asking for permission or offering explanation. ~ Glennon Doyle, Untamed

That woman leaves nothing on the cutting room floor.

May it be so.

 

*****

 

Yes, Glennon Doyle’s words, but worth repeating as a clear and concise definition of sovereignty: living your “truest, most beautiful life without asking for permission or offering explanation.” This is why I have created SOVEREIGNTY: a 10-week program. It’s what I long for on your behalf – and what you deserve. We begin on March 1. Learn more.

[Photo by John Moeses Bauan on Unsplash]

The stories we tell ourselves

I’ve been thinking about the stories I tell – those of ancient, sacred women who have been absented from our known-and-relied-upon lineage.

I think about them all the time, truth-be-told, but in the past couple of weeks, while working away on Readings and being deeply “with” them, I’ve had another thought:

The degree to which we are supported by the stories of strong and amazing women who have gone before us – the shoulders upon which we stand – is directly related to the quality of the stories we tell ourselves.

Said in reverse, it sounds like this:

The stories we tell ourselves, the ones we live (too-often filled with self-contempt, shame, and silence) are directly related to the absence of stories of strong and amazing women – those in our lineage – who refused all of these realities and then some.

 

Think about it…

When the stories we learn as young girls include Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, even Eve – we incorporate beliefs about ourselves because of such. They’re subtle. Subconscious even. Until they aren’t.

It’s not surprising that we struggle with a messy soup of assumed-truths that include “someday my prince/ess will come,” “someday I will awake from this sleep only to find all my dreams fulfilled,” and “its my own fault I’m living in this East of Eden reality.” It’s not surprising at all – given what even these three stories affirm and teach!

Let’s work only with Eve here for a minute…

When you were growing up, what if you learned of her as a bold risk taker? A woman who followed her desire, no matter the cost? The first woman in this recorded text to actually speak of her beliefs, her ideas, her understanding of the divine? A woman whose courageous choice enabled the furtherance of an amazing world?

There’s nothing in that telling that would ever lead you to self-contempt or shame; certainly not silence. Instead, you would have learned to honor and trust risk-taking, your own desires, your own beliefs, and your own choices.

Here’s the good news, as I see it:

If the way one woman’s story has been told (whether Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Eve, or countless others) has had the power to shape everything, then the way that same story is reimagined, redeemed, and retold has the power to do the same.

And that is good news!

The same is true for your story: those tales you’ve been telling yourself, believing about yourself, holding on to like they’re sacred writ? They can be reimagined, redeemed, and retold, as well.

 

And even more good news?

When we retell, the old stories – like Eve’s and so many more – we realize that we’re not alone…that we never have been…that we stand on the shoulders of a long and illustrious lineage of strong and amazing women who offer us all the advocacy, wisdom, and grace we desire and deserve.   

 

No surprise that this is what I do.

I believe-believe-believe in the power of these women’s ancient, sacred stories: not because of how they’ve been told in the past (interpreted through and lost in the lenses of doctrine, dogma, and of course, patriarchy), but because of how they can be told anew. Because of all they have to say, long to say, need to say! Because they have the power to change everything!

These stories – when they are known, heard, and honored – are directly related to your capacity to be known, heard, and honored. I’m certain of this. 100%.

 

*****

 

I’d love to provide you a 2021 Reading: one of these ancient, sacred stories – reimagined, redeemed, and retold – so that your story can be, as well. The 50% off discount ends at midnight – Monday – 12/14/20. CLICK HERE.

(They’re also available as gifts…)

[Photo by Jan Mellström on Unsplash]

My grown-up Christmas list:

One of my favorite Christmas carols by Amy Grant, offers these lyrics:

“No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start,

And time would heal all hearts.
And every one would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end
This is my grown-up Christmas list.”


Who doesn’t wish for these things – every day of the year – and especially after this year: the pandemic, the election, racism, and so much more?

If I could, I’d wrap up each of the above and have them delivered right to your doorstep.

In lieu of such, I offer you Readingsa way in which I can, at least in part, heal your heart, offer you a friend/advocate/muse, remind you of what is “right” and amazing about you, and give you love, love, and more love.

Yes, I’m horribly biased. But isn’t that how a person should be when they’re giving a gift?

 

You can hardly wait until the other person opens it because you KNOW they will love it, because you KNOW what you’re offering them is perfect for them, because you KNOW that what’s inside is but a tiny reflection of just how much you would give them if you could.

 

I KNOW Readings all this and then some. Thankfully, I’m not the only one. Here’s what a few others have said about their Reading (gift to me, to be sure):

  • You know when you scratch an itch that you didn’t know was even there? That was my Reading, the soothing of a deep soul itch. I expect nothing but impeccability when it comes to Ronna’s work. It left me teary-eyed and truly breathless. Truth’s like that. (Tanya Geisler)
  • From the first page to the last, my Reading spoke to an area of my life where I had substantial questions and doubts. Somehow, the whole Reading addressed them all. I’m a VERY private person, so there is no way Ronna could have known what to mention or how to address it. Spirit is alive and well in her Readings. (Lena West)
  • I bought a Reading when I was at a huge turning point and had no idea what a transformational year lay ahead of me. My Reading was exactly what I needed to hear to help me finally publish my book, and believe in how important my own journey is. (Meghan Genge)

You can read even more lovely words, here.

So yes, a Reading is on my grown-up Christmas list for you. (And perhaps on yours for someone else; you can definitely gift them!) To make things even sweeter and more festive, they’re 50% off…but just until midnight, Monday, December 14.  

I hope you’ll accept the gift that’s yours – the advocacy, wisdom, and grace you deserve for the year ahead; my heart on your behalf.

 

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash

If we could have coffee together…

If you and I were sitting across from each other, sipping coffee, it would be inevitable that eventually I would tell you stories.

Stories of ancient, sacred women who have miraculously stepped into my life, who have spoken into it, who have gifted me with the honor of speaking on their behalf.

I would tell you the story of Hagar, the Woman at the Well, and the nothing-short-of-glorious Woman of Revelation 12. I would tell you of Eve – of course! And Mary Magdalene and Hagar and the Persistent Widow and Jairus’ Daughter and Lot’s Wife and Noah’s Wife and Job’s Wife. (Yes, I wish they had names, too.)

I would recite an infinite list, filled with the ways in which each of them have been a transformational part of my story; about all that happened when I allowed myself to imagine their voices, their experiences, and their wisdom. 

I would tell you about how all of these stories and so many more, have been buried under centuries of patriarchy and religion’s doctrine and dogma (in which I don’t conspire).

I would tell you about how all of this has silenced their voices, often shamed them, left them misunderstood and frequently maligned, and worst of all, forgotten. And this is hardly unique to them – but the VERY thing that has happened to us. It’s a direct correlation: our stories, our voices have been buried, silenced, and filled with shame. We’ve been misunderstood and often maligned. 

Stories have to be told or they die, and when they die, we can’t remember who we are or why we are here. ~ Sue Monk Kidd

I’d tell you what they’d tell you: “Your story is NOT to be mine! No more silence, shame, or misunderstanding. Live the story that we long for on your behalf – one filled with voice, courage, beauty, brilliance, and grace!”

And I’d tell you how I’ve been about this work for nearly 20 years now – curating these women’s stories, remembering them, reimagining and redeeming them, letting them speak. First, for them. It’s what they deserve. Second, for me – for my own story and my insatiable hunger for women’s wisdom – spoken on my behalf. And third, for you – because your story, your reality, your life deserves to be companioned, accompanied, supported, and strengthened by these stories; by women who know exactly what you feel, who know exactly who you have the capacity to be, when you remember, reimagine, and redeem your story.  

I write because there are stories that people have forgotten to tell, because I am a woman trying to stand up in my life. ~ Natalie Goldberg

This would be the stuff of more than just one cup of coffee, to be sure…

So, I do all of this through Readings: one woman’s story that will come alongside you in the New Year and offer you all of what you deserve to hear and know – the story you deserve to live!

The process of storytelling is itself a healing process, partly because you have someone there who is taking the time to tell you a story that has great meaning to them. They’re taking the time to do this because your life could use some help, but they don’t want to come over and just give advice. They want to give it to you in a form that becomes inseparable from your whole self. That’s what stories do. Stories differ from advice in that, once you get them, they become a fabric of your whole soul. That is why they heal you. ~ Alice Walker

These stories, the women within them, and every bit of their wisdom – honored in 2021 Readings are 50% off for a limited time – because I want you to have the healing they’ve given me.

*****

[In lieu of the gift of time and generous conversation over coffee, please reach out to me with any questions that come up for you about Readings – for yourself or as gift for someone else. I so want you to know why, with everything that’s in me, I believe in their power. ronna@ronnadetrick.com]

Photo by Brigitte Tohm on Unsplash

Today is my birthday!

I am 60 years old today. How is that even possible?

The days leading up to this one have been filled with reflection, to be sure. I suppose that is always the case, but this year – given that 2020 has been, well, 2020 and that I left my corporate position and that both of my daughters have moved far away from the city we’ve called home for 25+ years now and that I’m turning 60 (!!) – it feels like a lot.

Still, there is a lot to be grateful for: health, family, friends, airplanes (made far more accessible, hopefully, in the months to come). And this year, in even more significant ways than ever before, I am grateful for the ancient stories of women that have endlessly companioned me along the way.

I drew a card for myself this morning. Though I’ve done this literally thousands of times – for others and myself – I never cease to be amazed by who appears and what She has to say. As I shuffled the deck, I asked “What is uniquely mine to know on this, my 60th birthday?”

Ready for this?

Mary Magdalene:

  • Honor and distinction are yours.
  • You belong in the inner circle.
  • Oh, the wisdom you have to impart.

I could tell you of her story – how it’s been told, how it’s been misunderstood, how she’s been silenced and shamed, and still, how she rises up anyway, always, and speaks. I could tell you of the many ways in which her story mirrors my own. And I could certainly tell you much of how powerfully these three themes speak to my heart. Maybe I will do all of this and then some in a later post…

But right now?

Oh, how this touches me. (Had I done this on video, you would have seen my tears.) Oh, how I needed these words – her words. And oh, how relevant and timely and compelling and challenging and honoring! Especially since this is exactly why I’m writing this post in the first place today…

Honestly. I started this post because it is my birthday. Because on my birthday I offer New Year Readings to you at a wildly discounted rate. Because I haven’t done this the past 2 years. Because 2020 has been, well, 2020. Because am offering them again this year (at a wildly discounted rate).

Honestly. I hadn’t intended to draw a card today, right in the middle of this writing. I certainly couldn’t have anticipated who showed up on my behalf. And I shouldn’t be remotely surprised.

Honestly. This is always what happens!

And this is perfect, actually! You can see who has shown up for me and I can invite you to find out who longs to show up for you. Truly. There are 51 more stories I work with besides Mary Magdalene’s – each of them powerful in their own right, each of them offering exactly what you need to hear and trust in 2021. Because, let’s be honest:

You deserve a year that does not disappoint.

Your 2021 Reading and the woman within will provide you every bit of the advocacy, wisdom, and grace you desire and deserve.

How can I be so certain? Well, the list of reasons is endless. But for now, let’s go with what just happened – for me (which is exactly what will happen for you)!

Today, my birthday, right now – I am clear and certain that honor and distinction are mine because I have the privilege of doing this work in the first place, being blessed by the presence and power of these women, and offering every bit of that to you. I am standing in an “inner circle,” embraced by 52 amazing women and their stories. And I am imparting wisdom – learned over 60 years to be sure; but endlessly supported by that of the ancient, sacred women who long to support you. Perfect!

Oh, how I’d love for you to receive all of this for yourself – as gift from me; the gift of your 2021 Reading. 

And the “wildly discounted” part?

Starting today, in honor of my 60th birthday, I am offering the first 60 Readings sold at 50% off.

  *****

I still find it impossible to believe that I am 60 today. But it’s not impossible for me to believe that I get to be here, right now, writing this post on this day and miraculously, graciously, still offering my deepest heart to you: these women, their stories, their knowing – and all on your behalf.

I hope you’ll take advantage of the 50% off. More, I hope you’ll receive the 2021 Reading that is yours – already waiting for you and filled with the perfect-perfect-perfect words your heart longs to hear, your year longs to make manifest, and your deepest, truest self longs to live into. 

Learn more.

She was a voice

I ordered and read The Book of Longings last week. Written by Sue Monk Kidd, author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Dance of the Dissident Daughter (required reading for any woman who grew up in the church), it is the imagined story of Ana – wife of Jesus.

I won’t give the plot away, nor is that what this post is about; rather, the prayer Ana recites, cherishes, and lives into:

…Bless the largeness inside me, no matter how I fear it. Bless my reed pens and my inks. Bless the words I write. May they be beautiful in your sight. May they be visible to eyes not yet born. When I am dust, sing these words over my bones: she was a voice.

She was a voice.

She was a voice.

This nearly takes my breath away. 

But not before I inhale deeply – and then exhale an inexhaustible stream of words and emotions about how profoundly I long for this to be true. For me, to be sure. For my daughters. For my friends. For you. For countless women of the past who were not given voice (and about whom I write).

For too many women, yet today, who are still silenced – because of patriarchy, political realities, racism, bigotry, abusive marriages, fear, oppressive corporate structures, a predominant culture that blatantly prefers us quiet and compliant. The list goes on. 

Still, she was a voice.

More powerful than all that holds us down and back, within and without, is exactly that for which Ana prays:

sing these words over my bones: she was a voice.

A woman’s voice heralds wisdom.

A woman’s voice offers truth.

A woman’s voice brings justice.

A woman’s voice articulates desire.

A woman’s voice invites hope.

 

And without a woman’s voice? Well, that explains everything, yes? The lack of wisdom, truth, justice, desire, and hope. The list goes on.

If we want a world defined by wisdom, truth, justice, desire, and hope, then we must be a voice.

 

We are the ones who speak into being the life and reality we long for. This is the largeness within us…

No matter how we fear it.

Be the voice. The voice that you alone can express and embody. The voice that whispers and shouts within. The voice all of us long to hear – and already know dwells within you. Beautiful. Powerful. True.

She was a voice. May it be so.

My voice comes forth, at least in part, by reimagining and recreating the voices of other women – some you’ve heard of, many you have not. I do this through Readings – the personalized and powerful voice of one woman who speaks into your story in bold and winsome ways – who is already choosing you. 

I’m days away from making 2021 New Year Readings available (with an amazing discount!) All the wisdom, truth, justice, desire, and hope you desire and deserve as you (finally) put 2020 behind you and step boldly, courageously, and beautifully into all that is ahead – including your voice! SIGN UP to be the first to hear.

[Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash]