Adaku, a Lightworker I follow on Instagram, recently posted an image that embodies the spirit of what my work endeavors to help women achieve. The photo itself is a soul-stirring image of all the women in the healing village she founded.
As I looked at it, staring at their faces, feeling all the feelings, and noticing how I felt a sense of connection to that image, to those women, to the work of helping understand how to heal themselves. Because that is what radical self-expression work is meant to do—to guide women in particular, through the spaces and sources that mute their voices, that feed their fears, that leave them feeling a deep sense of loss and disconnect from their right to explore and express all the aspects of themselves.
As part of the photo’s caption, Adaku wrote the names of the parts of the world that each of the women called home. It said…
“…from the lands of Nigeria, Haiti, Gullah, Trinidad, Jamaica, Portugal, Ethiopia, Ghana, Egypt, China, Panama, South Carolina, Louisiana and Brooklyn.”
As I read that part of her caption out loud, saying and hearing the names of those varied places come together through these healers, my belly flip-flopped with a familiar feeling—it was clarity. And this wasn’t about geography either. It wasn’t that the women had found each other, and started a healing village that serves the world with its work.
What it was that moved me, was that those women, though each separate people, were also a representation of the collection of possibilities that live inside each of us, individually, as women.
In Adaku’s world, Ghana, and Panama, and Jamaica, and Brooklyn, and China, and Portugal, and Nigeria, and Haiti, and Egypt, and Gullah, and South Carolina, and Louisiana can be represented within one organization, called Harriet’s Apothecary, with a shared goal, and tangible positive results, and real impact on real people.
And so too can pain, and purpose, and wisdom, and childhood experiences, and hard-learned life lessons, and clarity from great books, and meaningful conversations, and immersive studying, and incessant questioning, and knowledge of self, be represented within each of us, individually, with a shared goal, and tangible positive results,and real impact on real people. All those separate bits comprise our Whole Woman selves.
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