The Next Step

In the early morning hours,
before the sun rises and my people wake,
I like to sit quietly in front of my altar and connect.

Connect to the well of wisdom that resides deep inside me,
to a source as an ancient as time,
to the universal web that leaves no loose ends and
constantly expands

and expands

and expands.

In this seat of silent contemplation,
I understand that I am not alone
that what I say and do matters
that I have what I need to take the next step.

It is this certainty – this knowing
that steadies my resolve when I am shaken and reminds me
to trust in what I cannot see but know is there.

~ Kim Bushore-Maki

Low self-worth is the direct outcome of the degradation of the feminine.

I just guided a retreat for 9 amazing women. We spent 3 days in the woods, enjoying each other’s company, eating delicious food, and connecting with the feminine. It was a magical time where both laughter and tears flowed in and among us.

During this weekend each woman was asked to connect to her Wild Woman: the ancient energy of the Creatrix – the Life-Death-Life bringer, the source of our wisdom.

The Wild Woman is our feminine soul who gives us energy to protect what is ours and to give what is needed.

Each one of us has a Wild Woman. What differs, I have found, is how well acquainted we are with our Wild Woman and how willing we are to connect with her.

In a world where the masculine is honored and venerated to the point where the feminine is devalued, acknowledging and nurturing our feminine soul may feel like a foreign concept if not a dangerous one.

The possibility of people not liking, or even worse, not respecting the choice to live a more fully connected life to the feminine is real.

We see this disrespect in the way that women are treated in the work place, in politics, in court rooms and at home. The disproportionate amount of women who are harassed, who experience sexual violence, who live in poverty and who provide the majority of child care and housework proves the point. Our culture continues to endorse very specific roles for women and men: to the detriment of both.

If you doubt what I am saying, then listen closely to how we speak of women running for political office, women competing in athletics, or women working outside the home. Notice how often a woman’s appearance is mentioned versus her ability. Pay attention to the words we use to describe a woman we do not like as well as the words we use for a woman whom we admire. What virtues do women get the most compliments for? Conversely listen to how we praise and shame men. Our culture likes to show respect to men by emphasizing their masculine traits, e.g., “That took real balls!” and to shame men by saying they are like women, e.g., “Don’t be a pussy.”

The glorification of the masculine to the point of devaluing the feminine impacts everyone and everything. This imbalance shows in the way we treat each other, the Earth, animals and most importantly ourselves. Even those of us who are aware of this imbalance are still weeding out old messages that say, “Masculine is good. Feminine is bad.”

Which is why I am so compelled to provide safe spaces for folks to heal and to connect with the feminine.

Out of the nine women who went on retreat with me, each one – each one, said they questioned their worth at one point in time.

While this confession deeply saddens me, it does not surprise. For I too have doubted my value and questioned whether I deserved something good. Low self-worth is the direct outcome of the degradation of the feminine. When a culture does not value both the masculine and the feminine, girls are taught they are not as worthy as boys and boys are taught to devalue the feminine and both suffer as a result.

To hold space this past weekend for women was an honor and a privilege. To witness women connect with a deeper knowing and to each other was beautiful. Now each woman knows she has sisters, who not only support her work of healing the feminine, but are doing the work along side her. That, my friends, is powerful and comforting.

No one is doing this work alone. No one.

You, too, are part of the sisterhood. Maybe we haven’t met yet, but your sisters can feel you. We know what you long for because we long for it too. Your sisters hold space for your healing and for your joy. We want you – all of you. We are waiting for you with arms open wide and a big smile on our face.

I invite you to reach out and share your story. Let us know about your connection to the Wild Woman. How does the Creatrix dance in your life? Your sisters are listening…

With arms open wide and a big smile,
Kim Bushore-Maki

 

Tune in and set “figuring things out” aside. (Hint: It’s hard!)

I like to figure things out. I like making a plan and getting something done. Figuring things out feels good – makes me feel productive – and has the additional bonus of being able to check something off the list.

Lately, I’ve been asked to tune in and set “figuring things out” aside. Pause. Let that statement sink in. As all my Type A friends know, putting “figuring things out” to the side is akin to asking the starting quarterback to sit out a game or the head engineer to sleep through the rocket launch or the play director to go home on opening night.

It is hard. In fact, I am not sure I’ve ever done it. It feels a bit out of control, makes me feel restless and causes the occasional panic. I want to know. I want to know what I am supposed to do next.

Tuning in. What’s that? What do you mean just sit there and connect with your Source? Go on a journey? Sure, let me get a map and make a plan. No map? No plan? Simply travel through my internal landscape and see what I see. Okay… now can I make a plan?

And that, my friends, is what reintegration is like after a life-altering experience. The part of you that enjoyed, hell needed, to get away from the structure and the calendar is at war with the part of you that likes to figure things out. Our little brains want to quantify, catalog and label our experiences, and as you know, it is not possible – not for everything.

Tune in and set “figuring things out” aside. (Hint: It's hard!) Click To Tweet

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What does it mean to rise up to your own dignity?

I am struggling with words. How do I describe the transformative experience of being held by the Mother? How do I speak about embodiment?

I don’t think I can. Know that the words which you are now reading can only convey a fraction of what I feel. I will be unpacking this experience for months.

If you are wondering what I’m talking about, I accepted an invitation to spend a week with 40 women in the mountains of San Jose, CA. The invitation came from Shakti Rising, an organization – a movement really – which encourages people to connect with their true essence so each person’s unique gift shows up in the world. It is Shakti Rising’s belief (and mine too) that it is through our gifts that healthy, safe, vibrant, diverse and sustainable communities are created.

Last week in the woods was an opportunity for the Shakti Rising leadership to deepen their relationship to the Divine Feminine and to weave a vision for the future. To say the time in the woods was powerful is an understatement. I consider the invitation an honor as well as a beginning. How this journey will unfold remains to be seen but I trust our community will greatly benefit.

Out of the many experiences I had last week, I choose to share one that I hope will resonant with you and encourage you to seek your own answer to the question that was asked of us:

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Learning to be self-full by honoring the female voice.

I just learned a new word today: self-full. Self-full is when you are “true to [your] own perceptions, opinions, and needs.” In her book, A Woman’s Book of Life, Joan Borysenko asserts that when a woman is self-full, “she doesn’t have to fear being selfish.” (p.77)

Pause. Let that message sink in. Being self-full means not fearing being selfish. Can you imagine? Can you imagine how different your world, your life would be if girls were encouraged to be self-full? It boggles the mind.

If girls were nurtured to be self-full, then…

  • Your decisions would be viewed through a lens of win-win opposed to me vs. them. In other words, there is an inherent assumption in the me vs. them mentality that when you do something for yourself, you do not care about others. How often have you been told that it is “selfish” to make a decision based on your needs? The implication is twofold. The assumption is not only do you do not care about others, but your needs are less important than others. Baloney! When a women is self-full, she knows that taking care of herself is what allows her to take care of others. An empty well cannot give water.
  • You would easily relate to self and others with compassion. When you are self-full, you can acknowledge your feelings – both the pleasant and unpleasant ones – without judging them. Feelings are just that – feelings. They are not a sign of weakness or of strength, rather feelings serve as a teacher: a way to acknowledge what is happening and to help you make decisions. When you can appreciate the information feelings give, then you are able to have compassion for both yourself and others. Compassion, the ability to see another’s suffering and the desire to alleviate it, is the very definition of unselfish.
  • You would trust your intuition. Too often our culture sends girls mix messages: “Don’t talk to strangers but be nice and speak to this person whom you’ve never met,” or “Don’t let anyone touch you but go give so-and-so a hug.” These mixed messages are confusing and can make you question the veracity of your internal barometer. These messages also encourage you to shut down or ignore the little voice inside you which knows things without knowing how. When you are taught to listen and to honor that voice, you hone your intuition and learn to use it to keep you safe.
An empty well cannot give water. #selffull #femalevoice Click To Tweet

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