Last month, I participated in a women’s circle, or rather a goddess gathering. I was tired and feeling so low on energy I wasn’t sure I could share any more of my self with others or be in the same room with other people. But it was an event I really wanted to attend and I knew that sometimes when I resist, it’s when I need to be in that space more than anything.
As I entered, there were women of all walks of life-- all ages, all ethnicities, all stages of life, all in their own unique style of fashion, all spectrums of sexual orientation and sexuality. I was embraced with hugs from women I knew and those that I had just met. The evening went on with a ritual to invite the four aspects of goddesses that we all have within us, but one or more at times can be out of balance. We were called to invoke the goddess we felt was out of balance for ourselves and to make an intention.
I chose the Queen-- representing the Queen’s ability to heal her self and the world. The Queen also stands tall in her choices with confidence and assertiveness, knowing she has all the answers she needs and is powerful beyond measure. I chose the Queen because I had been filled with doubt, I had feared my own power, I had begun to question if I was really this woman who had the capacity I thought I had to own my life, to share it with others and to live it through as I saw it.
As we each invoked the goddess within us and shared our intention, I was filled with a sense of peace and confirmation. I was exactly where I needed to be and there was no doubt about who I was and the company I carried. I looked around the room and each woman filled me up with strength as I heard each one share intimate details of their invocation, their pain, their healing, their strength, their power. I left feeling more powerful and more energized than I walked in. And the next day I experienced this sense of a hangover-- feeling the after-effects of the powerful evening we created as goddesses.
In the days that followed, I encountered a strange series of experiences, specifically in one day. I had a tense encounter with a very good friend that left me feeling distraught and uncertain about our friendship. Later that evening I was out listening to live jazz with another friend and went to pay for my beverage. I had a roll of quarters on me and that was all the cash I had. I didn’t want to take more money out, so I said to bartender, “all I have is this, can I pay you with this?”. He looked at me and laughed and said “we don’t take change.” I said, “I don’t understand how you are cash only but you don’t take change.” He continued, “well, we don’t have a way to process change.” I looked back at him perplexed on this idea of "processing change", unsure of what he was trying to say. The conversation got weirder and weirder as I tried to understand this logic and for not taking my money, albeit in quarters (okay, try to suspend judgment and see the big picture here. Yes, I was trying to pay in quarters, but that wasn’t the real issue). He finally said, “I don’t know why you’re getting all upset.” I just stared at him, in shock, trying to figure out how my questions made him sense that I was upset and really all I wanted to do was figure out his logic for this policy of not taking change. I finally said, “I’m not upset, I’m not sure why you think I’m upset just because I’m asking questions and trying to understand. Please hold my drink while I go across the street and trade my quarters for dollar bills so that I can pay for my drink.”
I shook my head and smiled thinking, “here we go again”. My thoughts turned to all the experiences as a woman encountering men who are threatened by a fierce woman who asks questions. I walked into the store across the street and the cashier kindly exchanged my roll of quarters for a ten-dollar bill, without a question, without counting each quarter, without hesitation. In my head I was relieved that the fight was over. He then asked me about my tattoo, so I told him what it meant—May all beings be happy and free from suffering (written in Sanskrit).
“Have you ever visited India?”
“No, not yet.”
He laughed and shook his head.
“Why are you laughing?”
“I think it’s ridiculous that you’ve never been to India, yet you have an Indian tattoo.”
I rolled up my mental sleeves and pulled up my intellectual fists.
“Well, I don’t think it’s ridiculous. It’s just like having the peace sign or peace in another language on someone’s body. I shouldn’t have to travel to a place to believe in the philosophy that was born there.”
He became distracted from another shopper as I explained and he looked the other way, began talking with the other shopper and said, “Yea, yea yea.” Waving his hand as if shooing me away.
I walked out and simply laughed and shook my head at the brief encounter. Two very bizarre episodes back-to-back challenging me as a woman and challenging my perspective. I returned to the bar and smiled while handing over my ten-dollar bill to the bartender as he apologized. “It’s quite alright, here’s your ten-dollar bill. Thanks for my drink.”, I responded.
I sat down with my friend and explained the bizarre series of events and as we were both in awe of how people were challenging me, we soaked in the blissful sounds of jazz. Later that night, I encountered another set of challenging circumstances and it required me to firmly state back what my intention was and my respect for the other person. That night I couldn’t sleep as the entire day sank in with all of the forceful situations I experienced and had to face head on. The next day I was feeling an emotional hangover, one where I felt exhausted and depleted. I reflected on why I was feeling this way and what had occurred for me over the course of a few days. I then realized what I invoked for myself on that Friday evening, the Queen. I realized that all of these encounters were inviting me to truly step into my Queendom, to stand tall on my crown, to own my strength and power and not allow anyone to interrupt it, deny it, or brush it off.
This had me drifting into others areas of my life. And as I reflected, I realized that I am coming into a new realm of my greatness, of my queendom. Marianne Williamson says, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.” I have hesitated to step into my lightness, for all the many times that it has been squashed by the outside world and other people. For all the times that I squashed my dreams and desires, without really listening to what those dreams and desires were and are for me.