Last year, I participated in a Heal My Voice collaborative book project and became one of the contributing authors of Inspired Voices: True Stories by Visionary Women. Now, I have been working on a story for an upcoming Heal My Voice book project called Harmonic Voices: True Stories by Women on the Path to Peace. Without needing to ponder for long what category of Peace I would be writing about, or what Peace means to me, my intuition centered me on “Inner Peace.”
Story Three. During the summer of 2012 I entered a writing boot camp. For 10 consecutive days I wrote 1000 words and forwarded them by midnight to the boot camp leader, Max Regan. Following those provocative days, I looked back through the 10,000 words and found something thrilling! Eye-opening memoir was pouring through the ink onto the papers.
On first glance, it felt a bit hazardous as I was discovering how my own life had been influenced and affected by the lives of my female ancestors. I identified how I was linked with those who came before me and those who have come since. And I acknowledged how many “knots” had formed within me and among all of us—mentally, emotionally, spiritually, physically, and in our relationships—because of those continuing linkages.
To my surprise, I felt uplifted while facing the truth of their “not so nice” qualities and characteristics, which were left lingering in the stories of their lives. In hindsight, I understood that for many moons my soul had been craving the untying of those knots, craving peace—Craving Inner Peace!
Unbeknownst to me, while my discovery was happening, pearls of wisdom were saturating me. I felt compelled to make some changes in how I was relating to others, and myself.
The driving question I asked myself repeatedly central to inspiring the sacredness of the obstacles I met when taking action to make those changes was, “What would happen if I decided to tell the mi-nute truth about my life?”
Phil Cousineau, in The Art of Pilgrimage, said, “What is sacred is what is worthy of our reverence, what evokes awe and wonder in the human heart, and what when contemplated transforms us utterly.”
Over this last year I’ve further investigated the lives of our Matriarchs and my female lineage—gathering, reading, writing and telling stories about them. My daughter and I even traveled to South Florida to gather stories from our 99-year-old Uncle. And I’ve been telling the truth about things that happened in my life.
I followed the sometimes rocky and sometimes blissful path. I arrived at Inner Peace.
To take the first step on the Path to Inner Peace, you may want to try this right now? Visualize your female lineage standing behind you. (If you don’t think you visualize, you can know they are there or hear them or smell them or feel them.) Behind you are your mother and your father’s mother. Then standing behind each of them is your mother’s mother and your father’s mother. Then standing behind them is your mother’s mother’s mother and your father’s mother’s mother. And so on.
Notice what you notice. Notice how you feel.
Feel free to share what you discover. Let us hear your Voice!
**Heal My Voice is a nonprofit organization with the mission to empower women and girls to heal grief, loss, and trauma, and reclaim their inner authority so they can discover and use their leadership skills in their homes, communities, and the world. Heal My Voice develops projects that encourage leadership, community building, and the reclaiming of each woman’s voice. Book Circles are at the heart of what Heal My Voice does.