A Woman You Must Know
Breaking down perceptions of worth and wounding.
~There are a handful of spaces left in this circle. Microdosing plants, prayers, breath, womb healing, reclaim embodied intuition. A Sacred Immersion for Women…
There is a woman I would love for you to meet. I met her four years ago, yes yes I have a lot of four years ago stories because of how this particular place in Mexico has changed my life. She was giving massage at a hostel called Architecto where she was living in a swing bed, following that wild call this land is known for, to move from Tepoztlan to Mazunte. She is a tall beautiful Mexican woman by birth, Austrian and German by blood, in her 60s and has lived in Mexico her entire life raising a son, loving, losing, learning and sharing her profound gifts with her community. You would not ever guess her nationality, she looks like the land. She is of the Earth and yet fully shaped by Mexico, meaning generous, joyous, gorgeous, finding place amongst the projected Western race for more, weathered in the right ways, humble and full of fire, so she has come to Mazunte, like all of us, for the water.
The minute I met her, with her red soyate wrapped around her waist, as all traditional healers in America Latina, I felt a tinge of nostalgia in my blood. She placed her hands on me and I cried. You know the hands of a healer, of a woman who has felt the edges of life and knows how to shape them by her compassion and commitment to soften anything that comes within her reach. I returned the next week for another massage, and then another, and we became friends.
It was the next winter of 2020 that I thought for sure I would return to Mazunte but something told me to stay in the cold, grey rain prison of the PNW, that’s how it feels to my body anyhow. And I love that land for its own deep mystery. The guidance that made me stay through the winter of 2020 took me into a wild and extraordinary story of synchronicity- for another time. I was torn at forgoing my dream of living in Mexico when a voice reminded me that timing is everything and that the dream is the dream and it is just gestating and that I could nurture the seed by setting my intentions for the following winter. I remembered Lorraine and I called her. I told her I needed to find a place for the following fall for 6 months.
She had just moved from her hostel swing to a house with an apartment below, right by the most sacred spot in all of Oaxaca’s coast. Yep. It is where I am writing this from.
I arrived two years ago in a state of deep need. Lorraine has witnessed layers unravel from me for two years. She has helped me, lifted me and has mirrored to me a great resilience and commitment to life. A mirror I needed from another woman, further on her path, deeply sewn into her path and thriving and more alive at 63 than almost any one of 23.
Every morning, I mean every single morning, she rises with the sun, goes to the water for her swim, then back for her smoothie, then yoga- all by 9am. She preps for her day of clients, of which there are plenty as what she offers is such deep tending- Massage and about a thousand accompanying modalities, sound breath healing and ice baths because they have kept her strong. She got her picture taken with Wim Hoff when he was down here. She stands with such conviction in what she shares because it is what she feeds on and knows its wisdom. To hear her with clients as she shares her reflections, helps them with where to go, how to do this and that and always lend an ear to hear their hearts even when it extends way beyond their time with her, is to be in the presence of her love for life and her gratitude for what she has been chosen to share with others.
She sings with a women’s group, dances with another. (She is singing above me right now in fact). She is practicing the didgeridoo, so it sounds like she is farting on my head as she lives above me, and I don’t care because she is practicing the didgeridoo at 63 and it melts my heart. She shows up for the community and every single woman I know here who has been graced by her friendship, has been changed by it and we talk about it- Lorraine, you know that right? You are a vibrant shining glue for our hearts, we love you.
As I fought illness, wrestled with my demons and unfolded lies from within old pockets fastened by fear, she stood by me reflected her faith in me to remember what I am, and that I can totally heal. And I have, well not totally because life is an onion, but the deepest things I have touched. She put her hands on me this year and was astonished at the difference in every part of me. She more than anyone in my life has witnessed the most profound transformation I have ever undergone.
To live so close to a woman is a bond unlike any other. The bond between women holding and supporting one another is the original medicine. It’s an unspoken oath between us that comes alive when we live together upon Earth, healing and sharing our gifts that are fully supported because it helps all of life thrive. I love this woman so deeply it hurts, the good hurt, the grief and love sandwiched in my heart hurt. I am so grateful for this woman, forever she is with me.
I want you to know her because you would not otherwise. She is not poppin out, she is weaving deep roots with her community into the Earth below her feet. Like millions of women you will never meet, defying what success looks like, what abundance looks like, what nourished and thriving look like. Rooted sustainability, doing what it takes to keep those roots sewn into beauty because of how society is designed to uproot and disorganize our lives, especially women, for control. When we are not rooted to the real, our tendrils can get easily pulled into the unsubstantial, the fallow.
We could say this is the epitome of a thriving woman whose story you would never know. And it is…
But let’s take a little journey.
What does a thriving woman look like and why wasn’t it me when I chose to come here, crawl here for my healing? Was I not on the exact path I was supposed to be on as I chose my healing in the face of so much contradiction and conditioning- is that not thriving? Am I not thriving in every moment simply by showing up to be on this human path?
What about the women like my mother, who are so sick, living alone, fighting for their lives but still driving their disabled neighbor to the store and throwing little bags of natural gummy candy to the kids below her deck playing on the swings? Why is she not seen as a woman on her path- thriving?
Or the woman in Port Townsend, where I live when not in Mexico, with the long super thick blonde braids that holds a construction sign every day. You know who I am talking about if you live there. And I know you get the same wondering- “what is her story?” Maybe it is to create intrigue in us, to knock us off or our suredness about what medicine and beauty and success in a woman look like. I have many a time wanted to sit down and hear about her life way more than many I see on the silver screen. Because that woman has lived a human life and her braids have a voice and I want to hear it.
I will tell you this, if you want to know what it really takes to get through a day when shit gets hard you may want to ask thick blonde braids holding a stop sign so you can learn slow down and pay attention. You want Lorraine. You want my mother- a woman who is living so deeply inside of the underbelly of humanity that she pretty much knows everything about life. When she is present and finds her roots, which takes about three days of unwinding when we are together as I watch her find her voice under the projections of her being a wound, a pain, a thing that cannot possibly hold wisdom because of her circumstances, her wisdom is finally found and it is profound- her medicine is ancient and way bigger than the wound- because of the wound.
Why she is in her circumstance, why the beautiful braids holds a construction sign, is between that woman and God. It is her journey and if she finds her own voice to tell about it, I bet you it would shift the course of your life and hers. But she is lost in the perceptions of a society that a wounded woman has no worth. That a wounded human must not be able to love themselves enough yada yada. Sure, there are layers to the trauma and why these women “can’t pull themselves out and into a place of self worth”, but a lot of it is our projections and ideas of what a human life is supposed to look like. And a wounded woman becomes a great scapegoat for our fears around love and medicine and the feminine wisdom that has been so subdued in all of us for thousands of years. She is a beautiful mirror for our own healing.
Of course we want women to feel like and look like Lorraine, or whatever version of thriving we feel we are striving for, but why do you think she does what she does every day? Not because she is perfect but because being human demands it in order to understand something we wouldn’t otherwise. The wound drives her towards the medicine that helps her to walk in both worlds with the wisdom of how to be human. You don’t get one without the other folks. How either side of the coin expresses itself is all based on which one you choose to pay attention to and your perceptions of the path you, we, they are all on.
What if we looked upon everyone as divine and perfect, even the man with his pants around his ankles in feces on the Manhattan subway? Yep, I have been in the rail car when it emptied from the smell and watched the disgust in everyone around me, wanting to exile him even further for disrupting their hustle that is supposed to make them happy and worthy. How do you know the homeless mother and her child aren’t Angels in disguise playing out some seriously beautiful karmic contract to wake us all up to the orphaned and homeless parts within ourselves? That they are here to help heal something for the Universal evolution of all of life?
What if the Elder has gone missing because the child no longer asks the questions about seeking the visions for life? When we approach people as though they are broken then that is what we will see, and that is what they will feel.
What if we sat and asked for the stories, without judgement or worry that we have to do anything but listen long enough for the wisdom to reveal itself? And it will as it snarls its way out of hiding and begins thawing frozen nervous systems from the vibration of a voice finally sharing its life- whatever it has looked like- as a valid and successful human life, simply by being here and still standing to tell about it.
But we turn away from their stories, because if we sat in the presence of their voice long enough it would resound the voice within us that carries the same pain, joy, longing, desires and fears and we would be faced with ourselves. Ask anyone really and truly and the thing we all fear most is the voice inside of our own heads, the one subdued in our hearts and singing somewhere in a soul we keep in a closet.
There is a conjunctive knowing in me that every soul is on their own path for a reason we can never fully grok. To understand how trauma works is to know that love is at play within every single circumstance. It is to understand that all things rise from love. So how can we be with the imminent actions we must take in the name of love while holding this quantum understanding about love? Meaning, how is it we come to someone’s aid, not to fix or heal them, because we do not have the power to heal anything or anyone but ourselves - period (read that again), but because that is what love does with graceful acceptance of the big messy pile of feelings and expressions of humanity- as perfect for a reason way beyond our limited vision. We move into action from a different position which shifts the story we have telling about healing- which has been all about fighting and fixing. A war inside will only make more war.
I know that when I see someone in deep pain in their life, that there is a deep well of medicine underneath and that they have been entrusted with revealing it from a Source of love so profound that…. Well, I want to talk with those people. The behind the scenes people, keeping it real on the streets people, touching the Earth every day with their tears and prayers no one ever sees and hears except the Angels- and they do. The Goddess gave us all a voice for a reason and it is theirs I want to hear for the medicine it keeps.
I don’t venerate Lorraine today because of her beauty, but because of how she carries the reasons she gets up and chooses beauty. She is a true healer, not because of the modalities she has learned, but by how she has embodied the wound as a part of the medicine and therefore she transmits love, wholeness, compassion.
This is a little bit of a soap box amidst my deep love and gratitude for this woman, these women and every single reflection I receive to let me know where I am still denying my own wholeness and healing, but it is where my inner inquiry led me. These conversations are necessary. Life is a hall of mirrors so we can integrate our fears, and only then will there be no more war because wholeness resolves division and that begins within. Here is the deal, distilled down, your healing is all that matters and it, in every moment of your life, is perfect and beautiful, whole and full of medicine, worth and wisdom. There is no destination- only living a human life. Be enlivened by the truth that the wound attracts the medicine and it is all in perfect order for a reason. So how do you move now? How do you see life around you today?
And Lorraine- I love you for holding this container with me and meeting every single person who crosses your path with dignity and beauty.
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