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An Ocean in the Body:  A Blog  by Stefana Serafina

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The Heroine's Journey: You Were Made For This

I know you'll agree with me, this is a trying time for our world. Our planet is hurting in so many ways, and with the more recent tragedy of the White House being taken by a man who is the embodiment of the patriarchal stronghold, it is time for us women everywhere to dig in and find our deepest resources for standing in or power and defending our values– the values that so many women before us fought and even died for!

That, of course, is what women have been doing for thousands of years: Tending the Earth, reminding a world-gone-crazy about its feminine heart, putting their lives on the line so that our future can be woven with justice, love, and, well... magic.

It was our grandmothers. Today it is us. Tomorrow our daughters. We were made to carry the torch and the feminine legacy on!

And especially when the going gets rough.

This isn’t a time to shrink back, sister. It is a time to inhabit our bodies, our hips and our curves, our vivaciousness, our deep bellies and our deep hearts– and rise as big as they tell us we cannot!

It is also a time to remember that each one of us is on a heroine’s journey, as epic and mythical as that of any goddess, yet from where we stand, it is a day-to-day circle of falling and breaking and getting up and asking the heart: now what?

What seem to be the unimportant acts of our daily living, our small struggles and victories, are in deed the often remarkable passages of our personal myth– our personal legend, in which we are called to not only fall and rise and overcome and strive toward the longings of the heart, but to refine and elevate the human experience at large, to return with a hard-won gift for humanity.

And even when despair cuts so deep that it seems like it will breaks us for good, we have to remember: We were made for this. We were made to break and find our strength in the breaking. We were made to live in the crack between heartbreak and loving this world madly.

It is in that crack, in fact, that we have fought every fight as women and humans– it is where we have won every battle for our freedom and values. Every victory was first a wound, a despair. Whether personal or cultural, our devastations are the catalyst for our highest human leaps.

It is those wounds that cut the deepest into the skin of our soul that begin the greatest chapters in a heroine’s journey.

When I was 16, an ordinary winter afternoon became that kind of a turning point on my journey.

My mother and I had crossed the country to come to this doctor’s office to hear the verdict. For a few years, they had been trying to figure out why and how my womb was malfunctioning. What had gotten in the way of my body’s design to cycle and behave as other young women’s bodies? Why was I different for no apparent reason? The very fabric that made me a woman was at stake. My femininity was put to the question.

The doctor, a young yet already prominent expert, dressed in the white robe of authority, looked at my tests for a long moment, raised his eyebrows, and exhaled heavily. “That’s it,” he said, “Nothing can be done.” And a silence came to the room, so deep that I could hear my heart beating– faster, out of rhythm. The strange and mysterious anomaly that played in my body and that medicine didn’t have a name for, was now a final ruling.

See, this story isn’t about overcoming the challenge, nor about killing the dragon and finding the panacea for a debilitating condition. It isn’t about finding healing and succeeding at the end. It isn’t about the shame, isolation and feeling of inadequacy that became my longtime companion either. It is instead a tale about the gradual, resilient, day-to-day descent into the darkness of my womb– sensing and feeling inside her, befriending her, learning to write with her voice, becoming infused with her irrational power, and falling in love with my destiny.

It is about traveling deep down and in-between the worlds to surface back with a knowing of my own body and of women’s bodies that no textbook or spiritual theory could have taught me. In the darkness of my estranged womb, I found buried a feminine legacy that I needed to carry forward, and, emerging as a womb priestess of sorts, I went on to create the vision of my life: awakening women’s bodies, activating the visceral, timeless intelligence kept in their feminine parts, calling them back to their bodies and back to their power.

Mine has been a story of rediscovering my body and rewriting the myth of my womanhood, my way. And in more than one ways, it has been a story of retrieving my power and taking back what is mine so I could return with a gift for the world.

I know this is true for you, too, friend. In your personal myth, you have also been scarred by the wounds from which you are meant to rise.

What I’ve seen time and again in working with women around the world, is that in the deepest wounds that women carry, in those very shapes and crevices in our bodies that have been shamed and clenched back and talked down and rejected, those places from which we’ve withheld our own breath and denied them our own loving– in those precise places our true power is looming, a giant force waiting to be touched and breathed into and resurrected!

Your father left when you needed him most? Your child broke your heart? Your own government stood against your rights? The world’s atrocities devastate you? Yes, deep cuts that may never heal. But they will, as a matter of course, make you humble and tender-hearted and strong-willed and fierce enough, for to keep living with them you will have to set on a journey of rising times bigger and greater than that which bedevils you.

So today, because the world needs you to take your journey your way, and make your marvelous contribution, I ask you to breath slow, deep breaths all the way into your womb, get real quiet, and ask:

What parts and shapes have I held tight and closed in my body for too long? What pain and what sorrow I have buried deep in my womb that are ready to erupt with volcanic proportion? And from the heart of my wound, what in me is ready to stand, take space and shape, and become a giant to not be ignored?

Because, it is you, the heroine of your personal mythical journey that life wants you to take with an unwavering heart. It is you who is called to find a way to rise from that which hurts and renders you helpless. To be sure, you will be blessed with more wounds and bedevilments down the path, so you can rise again and make stronger and tenderer than before.

But this now is a time for your voice, for your wisdom, your song and your dance. It’s a time to rise and make new dignity for the earth, to rewrite the myth, to carry the torch forward.

You and I, we were made for this.

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