In my extensive study of masculinity and femininity to get ready for this weekend's IGNITE Retreat, I have uncovered many things.
One of those things is that in order for women to feel safe and secure, we need to feel connected, above all else. Our connections are what would have kept us alive in cavewoman times. Our community is who would warn us about the upcoming tiger, or the poisonous plant or whatever else might have threatened our safety.
As a result, our behavior to seek connection is driven by this primal impulse of securing safety.
To this day, woman have biological responses of higher stress in our bodies when we feel disconnected, or lack meaningful connections, even though we're no longer running from tigers.
In many ways this is a beautiful thing. It keeps us seeking important relationships, and valuing our current connections.
But because of our need for connection, our sense of personal identity can be weak. We will often choose pleasing others over what is best for ourselves. And when we don't, we further disconnect ourselves from others.
What a terribly challenging predicament for women and girls...
How many times have you done something for the sake of another person knowing full well that it would make your life harder? How many times have you said "yes" to a party, an obligation, a favor, a project, when "no" is what you meant to say.
So often as women, we build our identity around who we are for others. Again, in moderation, this is a beautiful thing.
But it's why finding solitude and space for yourself is so damn important. How can you hear your own voice when you are constantly spending time around others? Over-scheduling ourselves stems from a primal fear that we are not worthy or safe without our connections.
How connected do you really feel to the people you've spoken to at a party? How fulfilled are you really after spending the night in a bar?
We must prioritize being alone with ourselves amidst the constant barrage of connections if we ever hope to have something pure to offer this world, and those very connections that mean so much to us.
Here are 3 ways to find your own voice again amidst the chaos:
1. When you feel FOMO -- Remind yourself that you are safe. Think of at least one person in the world who loves and cares about you. Remember this person and cultivate that relationship. All you need is one. Whoring yourself out socially, or at work will only drain you in the end.
2. Make Space for Quiet -- You don't have to hike with your friends, a group or with your partner. The trails welcome you alone, too. Yoga doesn't have to be something done only at a studio, but can be done in your bedroom. Jogging need not be a team sport.
There are times in your life when you can be alone. But you have to choose them, as opposed to booking them up with people and distractions based on fear.
3. Plan a Retreat -- It can be organized or simply alone. It doesn't have to be some fancy place, and you don't need to have a reason to do it.
Just plan one for yourself. The decision alone will give you great spaciousness to know that on your calendar, you have saved a time for just yourself.
Bring a journal, walking shoes and a good book. That's all you really need.
Here's to YOUR voice,
Want to go on retreat but not quite sure how to go about it? Would you like a little more guidance?
HONOR - November 9, 2019 - Boulder, CO
AWAKEN - February 15-22, 2020 - Nosara, Costa Rica