Sunday night, I flew home from Cleveland where I led morning movement classes and co-presented at Energy Fest. It was an incredible experience, partly because the keynote presentations were mind-blowing and transformative, but also because it was so fun to be in community with others. Especially others who are a little… shall we say willing to be different from what standard American culture expects of us?
Or, put more bluntly, Energy Medicine people are wonderfully weird, like me!
I love my place on the fringes of society. When I am in groups of women who choose not to eat animals or animal products, we’re “not normal.” When I’m in groups of women who don’t drink alcohol, we’re “not fun.”
When I’m in a group of people who don’t eat animals, don’t drink alcohol and love energy medicine… well, that’s a very small group. And it’s my happiest place!
In one of the breakout sessions last Saturday, I participated in a breathwork practice. I was tired from several days of 4:00am wake ups in a row so I easily dropped into a state on the edge of sleep.
In that place, Maslow’s hierarchy of needs floated into my mind. If you remember that pyramid, there are 5 layers. The low layers represent basic human needs and the more complex needs are located at the top of the pyramid.
The very tippy, pointy part of the pyramid is “self actualization.” Maslow wrote a long, defined description of what the attributes of self actualized people are and one of them eased into my awareness during that breathing session.
Self-actualized people tend to be very independent and don’t conform to society’s ideas of happiness or contentment.
That morning, one of the speakers told us not to hide the parts of us that don’t fit into a box. The patriarchy wants us in a box. We start to rise when we bring ourselves forward wholly, especially maintaining the parts of us that aren’t popular.
At that moment, I heard a voice tell me don’t let yourself be silenced.
I’m carrying that forward with me now that I’m out of Cleveland and back in my own environment.
Don’t let yourself be silenced.
If we can all do that, we’ll each be on our own journey to reach our full potential. We’ll know there’s nothing we can’t do because we embrace our ability to accept ourselves and others as they are without inhibition and free of guilt or shame.