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I am free to be powerful

This is a visceral image. If you have a pumping heart, you can't help but feel something when looking at it.

This Woman of the Lion Heart came to me at a time when I was investigating a trauma that I knew was keeping me small and timid. This locked down memory was preventing me from standing amongst my people, showing up and speaking up.

I took courage. It was time to free myself from this paralysis. With the help of some brave therapy, I met the brutality of this moment and released its claim on me.

The events of this violent encounter are not important. What is significant is what it takes to live with this experience, whenever I choose to show up.

It's an ongoing journey. Every time I sit circle, every time I share, every contribution I make to the world, I can feel the sinister whisper of this memory wanting to keep me safe and small and away from the prying gaze of others. It would still have me shrinking when I most need to step up.

But, it has no charge now. When I sense its constriction, the shivers of its quaking fear- I use it as an opening into something expansive, connective and beautiful in my willingness to feel it and be vulnerable.

I have chosen leadership and that means facing the world in all my authenticity and vunerablity, the sum of all my stories. by doing so, I forge a way for others to do the same. There is nothing more courageous and powerful than this choice, made moment by moment.

To encourage me, I have a mantra, dedicated to my third chakra, my inner masculine and this protector-persecuter that would rather choke me than have me standing confident, grounded and bubbling over with pure delight:

"I am free to be powerful."

It emerged during this time of releasing my paralysing fear of being seen so that I could be free to fill my place and sit amongst my people.

"I am free to be powerful."

As a woman, beaten down by the fists of patriachy and the subsequent blows of her own vitimhood, these words are a radical testamony, not just to her survival but to her willingness and courage to rise and flourish.

"I am free to be powerful."

I chose to lead from this fearless place knowing my fearfulness because to live a life shrunken is not an option anymore.

"I am free to be powerful."

I call on its vibration, radiating right there in my solar plexus, whenever I feel myself wavering in my sense of power.

Having access to this sensation holds me clear in my faith, in my vision and my practice.

It encourages me to reach out and explore the landscapes of what it means to be fully alive, awake and open- hearted.

It gives me the holding I need to be free to be perfectly imperfect, authentically, paradoxically, unashamedly, wonderously dancing ME.

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