Sitting at my desk, my 'Bliss Beauty' playlist knocking out anthems of spirit and soul, candles lit, stillness of the dark moon surrounds me and it's New Year's Eve 2013. Called into making a choice between the external (going out) and the internal (being with myself in quiet reflection and solitude), I paused, though not for too long, knowing that for once I would honour my own needs and take this intent into 2014. To break free of the 'shoulds' 'would' and 'coulds' and instead to stride into the will, want to, and fully desire to, is a liberating thing. I have only just realised how much of my life is running from an old outworn pattern of fear; not the kind of rabbit-in-the-headlights fear, more a kind of fear of upsetting the apple cart by making choices that please me instead of pleasing others first. Kindness is important, regard for the feelings of others is important, but what use are we to the world when we constantly refuse to acknowledge our own needs first.
Following a wonderful beginning in being asked to speak at a local festival on the subject "My Body, My Choice: Sex Work As A Feminist Statement" (my title) I stepped somewhat nervously into the spotlight of public speaking. What I discovered here is that if we speak from a place of integrity, authenticity and a passion for what we're talking about, well it's ok really, this public speaking thing, for who can tell us we're 'wrong' when it's just a point of view? I think that talk gave me the courage to move forward into an even greater dream and so, when in the start of the year, I came across a conference to be hosted in Las Vegas on sexual health and politics, I knew I wanted to get there. Co-ordinated by the Desiree Alliance, an organisation working hard to ensure that the rights, voices and real experiences of sex workers are fully represented in U.S social and political reform agendas, the conference served as a platform for pushing these issues into the mainstream.
Seeing the conference I knew I wanted to be there, but not just as a delegate this time, as a speaker. I put together a proposal to hold a session on a project I was seeding, the 'Sex Workers Speakeasy'. The idea came to me largely because after 30 years of activism, I was tired of sex workers voices rarely being given a platform to speak their/our truths. Working backwards, I first put in the proposal and then tried to figure out how to get there. This saw the birth of my Indiegogo fundraising campaign where I raised around £1,100 to get me to Vegas; a pretty good job my proposal was accepted then, but you could say that when you know where you need to go, the rest just flows!
July 2013 saw me in Las Vegas in the 110 degree heat, in a hotel surrounded by hundreds of fabulously inspiring activists and sex workers from all over the world. A dream realised. That and the Grand Canyon by helicopter. Memorable moments of my year.
And then came August and the dawning of the Medicine Path and my explorations with the grandmother teacher Ayahuasca. Words can never do this justice, all that this blessed teacher has brought to my life and my personal journey. I've tried to write about it, but I find that the words are a betrayal of the depth of it. All I know is that it has changed me. Deeply. And continues to do so.
Layers upon layers upon layers are revealed. Old patterns hold a tight grip but with willingness and deep desire to transform those self limiting beliefs, a commitment to growth and a vibrational change that makes my choices clearer and clearer with every day that passes, change does come. The emergence of a butterfly from the womb of the chrysalis. And we all know that growth can be painful before it is liberating; the metaphor of the butterfly actually here a perfect one. So how can it be that we are still driven by fear, fear of upsetting all that we know, of making 'wrong' choices, of losing everything that we think we need in order to live our lives? A fear that can grip us so tight that for many, no changes ever come, for some it is more comfortable to stay where we are and simply accept the inevitability of some large dollops of misery on the way.
My healing practice comes into growth this coming year, I feel it in my bones. This passing year has seen me stepping into holding my own space there on a couple of occasions, moving from the place of eternal student into that of sharing my own wisdom and learning. Offering drum journeys and workshops for women, I discovered an ease and comfort in doing so that again surprised me. From this movement into trusting my own abilities, I now seek to collaborate more in this coming year. I'd like to invite the Universe (Yoniverse!) to bring me into more partnership with other healers to co-create amazing opportunities for growth, transformation and expansion. My medicine path expands and somehow merges with my passion for juicing, good health and tantra. I know not where these paths and changes will lead me, nor where the path will end (does it ever?) but I know one thing, my pledge to myself this year is to honour myself with clarity and bravery, with deep self love before giving over my personal desires to the needs and desires of others. And stillness beckons. She calls to me like a Siren singing her sweet song with ever increasing volume. My life has been busy these last twenty years - I've lived in another country, been married and separated, set up four businesses and birthed three children and now it's time for more reflection, more roots, more clarity and definitely more grace and stillness, for in the presence of stillness only then can a whisper can be heard, and only in the whisper may the truthful essence of the soul emerge.
And so, with the absolute majesty and magic that is the birth of the butterfly from the form of the caterpillar, I invite transformation of my new dreams and visions. Those of womanhood with roots. Those of community with communion. Those of deep contentment with life. And so rather than seeing the opening quote in the way of 'thoughts create reality' as per The Secret, more it's that I recognise that the way I view the world is how the world will be. Not that I necessarily conjure up whatever I desire in an instant, rather that I am conscious of what I create by virtue of what I believe and how I choose to view the world and it's possibilities.
And I will sit tonight, and contemplate my 2014, a year of love and learning, of honouring the Journey of The Soul, my soul, in coming into her remembrance. Of the timeless essence of why I am, and why we are here. Not to just fill my boots with possessions or dispossession, but to bring forth my own legacy, for my children, for my children's children and for LOVE.
Thank you 2013, you have been a real teacher. Welcome 2014 - I salute you!
Blue Goddess painting by Rita Hraiz Sacred Art.
This blog post is dedicated to Lauren Breckon: "An end is never an end but only a chance for new beginnings, and all things must die before they can be re-born". With love and gratitude for every lesson.