Blood, Wine, Tears and Soul Sisters

Blood. It runs deep with our sisters. Last weekend I sipped and spilled, blood red wine in front of the fire with my true blood sister while my other wise women friends gathered in circle. It’s that time of the month where we join to celebrate the new moon by planting seeds of intention, by letting go of what is not serving us and by calling in new and nourishing qualities for our personal growth and evolution.

This particular women’s circle was birthed by my beautiful friend and colleague, International Yoga and Tantra teacher Nianna Bray. She is deeply passionate about empowering us women to awaken to our highest truth and go deeper into our innate wisdom.  As she says

We are the keepers of the sacred flame, we are here to wake the sleeping tiger and ignite our wild fire.

Usually I would be there at our women’s gathering too but my children’s father was away for the long weekend and I had committed myself to delighting in quality uninterrupted time with my two beautiful children.

Despite this treasure weekend I had chosen I did feel a little restless. A lot had been churning in my relationship and work leading up to the weekend and and I did not feel the lightness and pleasure I was yearning for.  I recognised that being on my moon cycle with the dark of the new moon was causing me to feel a deeper spiralling sensitivity.  I was definitely a little woozy from the waves of the week and needed to just chill out and ‘be’. I wanted to be in the company of my family and I also wanted to be with in the company of my wise women friends on this special night. It might not seem like a big deal but in that moment I felt conflicted and it bought up something in me that wanted to be seen.

What was coming up for me when I looked inside was a familiar feeling that surfaces from time to time. That I was somehow missing out. Missing out on what? Sometimes my life’s platter of responsibility gets so full its hard to know whether its best to keep juggling the balls or just let them fall lest my back breaks. I am definitely a ‘yes’ person by nature but I am getting better at saying no. There has to be another more feminine and self supportive way. We women can do and be a lot but we can not do and be it all!   I am practising softening into the art of being more discerning about what choices best honour me.

So, back to the fire.  As I cosied up with my glass of red at my sisters home I looked into the transformational flicker of the fire’s flames and pondered on what I was missing out on? Dancing, candlelight, sweet vulnerability, joy, laughter, tears, story…

Then my mind took a whirling dervish…  was I feeling guilty that I had let others down by not being there?  Would they even miss me?  Was I feeling jealous that I was missing out on the opportunity to be supported and to support?  Would they think I dipped out because I was afraid to be vulnerable? Was I afraid to be vulnerable? Was I a coward? Was I brave?  I’d been braving it all week so it felt like perhaps the balance right now for me was to allow myself the sanctuary of hiding in my sister’s cave with my cubs.

Then I felt momentarily guilty for that thought of not wanting to be vulnerable like I was letting the team down … then I recognised I was over thinking it …and then…. The opposite  thought. Oh It’s so healing to be seen, to not slink into the shadows,  to not be alone with it, to have a safe space to express and be nurtured …

It is the power of connection…that’s what I was afraid of losing. That is what I feared I might be missing! All of this was swirling around like the wine in my glass. I sipped on that.

I took a vital breath. When the sediment of these initial mutterings settled to ash, when the wine mingled with my blood a little more, when I finally relaxed and accepted what was… I remembered and again saw clearly that beneath the unrest there is a steady, sacred flame of aliveness at the heart of me which is NOT separate from others. A home of wild, bright light where there is just so much potent richness and overflowing abundance.

I was afraid of missing out on participating in the tears and joy so present with authentic connection..  I wondered whether my fear ungaurded may attract the experience of NOT having connection to these qualities. So what to do? At that moment I offered my doubts and fearful rumblings to the fire. As they sparked and spat to their demise in my mind, I immersed in the steady, sacred flame of my heart. A feeling of peace and acceptance emerged.

We all deserve to feel joy, love, abundance and peace and more than this we are these qualities. Fear and self doubt are not who we are but can be such great teachers if we listen to their lessons. Without them we would not know love and light. Afterall stars shine out of the night sky and so too we shine out of our shadow.

What feels real is that it’s so nurturing to be heard, to be loved and accepted, to feel supported, to be truly understood by women and then to be able to offer these gifts of nurturance, love acceptance, support and understanding to other women. This is what I have experienced in our circle gatherings and this is what I did not want to miss out on that night.

In truth I was not missing out on anything. I was in sisterhood whichever way I went. It was all there together in one. My children whom I devoured with love and whom would later “safe me” in bed like a rare treasure, one on either side (sneaking in during the night) and my little sister here beside me in our small circle together with the fire.

We had such a laugh. First I knocked over my wine, then she knocked over hers and there we were…on our hands and knees pouring salt into marvellous patterns like a mandala all over the carpet. ‘This is the way to mop it up’, so the old wives tell.

Women’s wisdom pouring through the ages as we poured the salt and watched the red of the wine being soaked up like blood to a white cloth. In that timeless moment of our efforts to save the carpet I could see in the salt the images and hear the dissonant echoes of a long line of wonderful, strong and beautiful women all behind us, holding hands……

All the blood spilled….thousands of years of persecution….Heretics, burning witches, the pouring of salt on the wounds….the blood red wine spilled, the salt from our tears, mopping up the past, red raw knees from labouring, on all fours, moaning, groaning,  pushing, birthing, milking, begging for mercy, screaming, laughing, crying, sobbing, soaking up the pain, soaking up the stains, sleepless nights, enduring love, menstruation, isolation, penetration, imitation. Unsafe. Safe again, sleeping, dreaming, unsafe, suffering, suffragettes, deep purpose, renewed spirit, devoted to fighting through, breaking through and voting too. Trusting in the flow, trusting intuition, compassion, protection, connection, doubting ourselves, going down, dark nights, picking ourselves up again, looking at the stars, finding inspiration, deep inner reflection, reaching out, being vulnerable, empowering,  realising strength, strength in our vulnerability….opening our inner eye….waking up

I opened my eyes and made a cup of tea for us both.  Enough wine drunk, enough tears laughed, enough blood spilled. I pictured myself  with my women friends gathering and I knew there would be  alchemy there. I knew there was gold here. I realised it was all perfect. I was exactly where I was meant to be. I was not missing anything. It was all here. Everything I needed. I was safe and warm.

Something powerful and enlightening happens when women gather in circle (small or large) and allow themselves and each other to get raw and real. We all carry with compassion the scars of our sisters past and we relish in the joy and pain of the present moment.

What is essential to our growth is to allow ourselves to become intimate with the constant arising of birth, death and rebirth in ourselves.

How do we as women of substance move forward? What do we be?, how do we become? who are we really? Will we let our masks melt away? Will we feel the fear and do it anyway?, will we recognise the pressure to be perfect and let this peel away?… and what will we find underneath this? Will we see and be the real expression and essence of who we really are? I feel with every cell in my being that we women do deserve to receive this gift of inner knowing and inner connection. It is enough to be perfectly imperfect and feel safe in this. It is okay to feel it all and be loved.

Reach out your hand.

Feel the embrace and nurturance of your sisters and stay connected.

With Love, gratitude and Blessings to all my sisters

Sandi x