When I was a child, I was wild. Not wild in the sense of being out of control. I was “generally” a good girl. I followed “most “ of the rules. I didn’t get into trouble (at school). I was polite and kind.I was wild in the sense that I knew what I wanted. I was alive and IN my body. I was in touch with nature and my intuition. I was a sensory creature. I was the girl walking along the sidewalk with her hands out, touching everything; the grass, the flowers, the fence, the trees, the hood of a car, the rocks. I LOVED to touch things, explore things. I also loved to FEEL. I felt things to deeply and expressed them when I felt them. Until I decided that wasn't allowed anymore. That expressing my feelings caused problems and created feelings of shame and doubt.As a child I had a ton of energy! I asked a LOT of questions and observed the people around me. I had very strong ideas about things and sometimes, I got into trouble for those ideas. Adults often told me that I appeared older than I was. At the same time, I often struggled with my peers and preferred the company of adults. Kids were cruel and I didn't understand why.Throughout childhood I had some traumatic experiences that began to shape my world and my way of relating to it. I had two opposing forces within me; my intense, passionate and inquisitive nature and my desire to just hide, be like everybody else and pretend that everything was ok. The trauma informed my beliefs about myself and those beliefs influenced the stories I began to tell about myself. I stopped playing. I became self-conscious of my body and how it moved. I stopped dancing (I was the girl front and center having the best time until I realized it was safer to hide in the back.) I stopped showing pleasure because I got teased for my excitement. I hid my body because I got teased for that too. It brought unwanted attention, and hands and comments.I remember my 8th grade graduation. I was so excited because I had worked my ass off to get each and every award that they were going to announce; the citizenship award, the attendance award, the sports award etc. As the assembly began I was squirming in my seat, wringing my hands and waiting impatiently for all of the boring procedures to get over with. They began to announce the first award, and my name wasn't called. I was super confused. There must be a mistake! They moved on to the next award and the same thing happened.I was totally crushed!I decided right there and then that I was not good enough. It was like an avalanche of all of my “too muchness” (too sensitive, too emotional, too intense, too smart, too worried about the world, too loud, too inquisitive, too opinionated. too selfish, too embodied) came crashing down onto me and got twisted into “not enoughness”. I was too much of that and not enough of this. I believed that something was desperately wrong with me. That I didn't belong and I just kind of floated away.At one point someone poked my shoulder because my name had been called. I blinked and looked up and saw one of the teachers gesturing to me. I got up and dutifully walked onto the stage, pasted a smile on my face and got my picture taken. I didn't even know what award I had gotten, and I didn't really care at that point. I heard cheering, but it only partly registered.After the ceremony my Mother came to me. Being the intuitive soul that she is, she asked what was wrong and I began to cry. She stopped me and put her hands on my shoulders and said "Michelle, do you not understand what just happened? Do you know what that award is in your hand?" I looked up with tears in my eyes and said "No.". She dragged me to my teacher and had my teacher explain. I had received the Principal's Award, which is all of the other awards rolled into one, including the distinction of Valedictorian. The really sad part is...that it still didn't quite sink in. I had determined something about myself that day, and for some reason this new information was unable to integrate into my story. It was too late….(or so I thought).This became a theme in my life and throughout school. People were always telling me I was smart. My papers were used as examples in class. Peers approached me for help, but I could never really just OWN it. It was like I was living as an imposter - they MUST be talking about someone else.
Theatre became my refuge. It was the one place where I could express any emotion I wanted. I could play any part of myself fully. I could be a seductress, a crazy woman, a silly girl, a clown, a tiger...anything I wanted. I could be fully alive, fully in my body, fully in my emotions . I could unleash my wild self and people would clap and cheer and thank me. And in my "real life"...I was still playing the part of the good girl. Still placating. Still pretending.I met and married a man who initially seemed to fall in love with my hidden wild. It was like he could see it when no one else could. He brought her out sometimes and I liked that. A lot! Then...it seemed that he began to resent those very qualities. I have to acknowledge that I played a part in creating that resentment. I didn't know myself. I didn't know what I needed.. I didn't know how to ask for what I wanted. I let others determine my worth. I was not connected to the feminine and my ideas about the feminine had been warped by my life experiences and the messages that I was receiving from the collective. My unresolved trauma experiences created reactivity and I began to trigger all of his trauma, and his fears and his insecurities. I reacted from trauma rather than choice and I was depressed, overweight, unfulfilled and angry. I had lost myself, and I decided it was time to reclaim ME.This process was long, sometimes scary, but also so incredibly liberating. During my marriage I had decided to go back to school to become a therapist. The realizations that I made during this time helped me see the level of dysfunction that we were both bringing to the relationship. My partner was on his own journey and it became clearer and clearer that our marriage was creating more harm than healing. Even with that knowledge, I was frozen. I did not fully realize it was an option to leave. I had made a vow. I was a good girl. I didn’t leave until it got to the point where I no longer felt safe. I had denied my desires for so long, it took a shock to my entire system to realize that I needed to leave and reevaluate my life.A line had been drawn and it was time to cross it. Time to stop fucking around and begin to live my truth. Time to step into my power and leave behind the “victim” I had allowed myself to become. Time to stop bullshitting myself and everyone else that I had things together. That I knew what I was doing. That I was in my power. I had to get real, drop my masks and do the deep work that was required to remember who I was! I had to start walking my talk to be an authentic leader.As I started to reclaim these lost aspects of myself I began to feel less anxiety, more freedom and increased energy. People began to comment about my confidence and my power.Reclaiming my power came in spurts. Some days I really felt it and some days the old stories crept back in and I experienced paralyzing self doubt. I am still working on this!I have surrounded myself with people who are not scared of my light; who honor it, hold me accountable and are not afraid to show me their brilliance as well.I have reclaimed sisterhood, and worked through the wounds that kept me separated from my sisters. I have formed deep and profound friendships; friendships I never could have imagined having as a child.I reclaimed the feminine. Through work with some powerful women, I learned the difference between masculine power and feminine power. I learned to soften when I needed to and to roar with fierceness when the situation called for it. I learned to drop from my head into my heart and re-engage my head when I needed to just "get shit done". I learned that it is kinder to speak my truth than to "play games". I learned that filling my cup was a selfless, rather than a selfish act, because acting from a place of depletion serves no one and I deserve it! I reclaimed my body and began to dance, played Roller Derby for a bit and continued to heal the trauma that lived underneath my skin. I learned that my body had all of the wisdom that I needed. I just had to stop and listen to her. I learned that my connection to the divine meant that I was always protected, always loved, always in touch with the greater wisdom of the universe - and all I had to do was ask!I met and married a man who really saw ME. Who had the deepest level of respect for me, my experiences and how I show up in the world. Through our relationship I have learned to reclaim my feminine gifts, speak my truth, and live my brilliance. I have experienced the ecstasy of having a partner that truly sees me for who I am, is excited to witness my journey, supports me in EVERY way, and is proud to be my partner. I had always wanted to be an entrepreneur but never felt I had the resources, support or confidence to make it happen. His support provided the wind necessary for me to remember my dream and create a thriving practice.NOW I am ready to engage on a new journey of helping other badass, brilliant women who may have experienced some bumps in the road to truly own their unique genius, break through limiting beliefs, reclaim their passions and gifts and embody the message that they want to shout out to the world!I cannot describe the incredible gratitude that I have for the journey that I have been on. For the lessons that I have learned. The people that I have met. The clients I have served and for my incredibly supportive family! I am here to pass on the learning that I have gathered from years as a therapist, from decades of personal growth and as a woman in a culture that often suppresses, denies or attacks the power of the feminine.I am ready to help create a revolution of women who are reclaiming their feminine power: not with the intention of harming the masculine, on the contrary, as a way of supporting and creating balance WITH the masculine! We ALL deserve to shine!!!Women of Impact and InfluenceSanta Rosa, CA, 95404,United States(707) firstname.lastname@example.org