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Start Where You're At
Editor’s Note: This is a continuation of our core conversation, “Extraordinary Women Change the World.” In our last post, Liz Dennery Sanders shared her story of shining light on others to help empower herself. Today, Maira Holzman shares the beauty of starting where you are at.
When Angela first asked me to be a part of this amazing Women’s Empowerment Guest Post Series, “yes” came typing out of my fingers before I’d even read through the entire email. After all, I have a website and a life’s work dedicated to empowerment and thought to myself, “Easy day. No problem. I could write a post on empowerment in my sleep.”
Ha! That was nearly three weeks ago. Truth be told, I’ve been agonizing over what to write, how to write it, what angle to take, and on and freaking on! Actually, I’ve sat staring at my computer for the last two hours writing sentence and title, one after the other, waiting for something to “stick” or to inspire or to take on a life of it’s own and I was met with a vast, yawning SILENCE!
And then I looked up and saw this:
It’s the corkboard posted in my office, just to the right of my computer screen. I look at that corkboard every day and was thunderstruck when I finally got it; when it was finally revealed to me the post needing to be written. These five postcards have been staring at me, gently calling to me all this time and it’s only just now that I got it. I mean I really got it.
What I got was the beauty and simplicity of simply starting right where you’re at.
How often have you wanted to be some place other than where you were, feel something else besides what you were feeling, be more spiritual, less judgmental, more productive, have more money…?
I mean the list is endless, right? (I hope someone out there is nodding yes.)
Yet, the truth is that you simply cannot start where you are not. It just doesn’t work and it makes no sense. How can you move forward if the step you want to take begins from a place that doesn’t exist yet?
You can’t sneak onto the course of a marathon at mile 10, cross the finish line and then expect to get an accurate race time. You can’t be more patient with another if you are impatient with yourself. And I couldn’t start writing this post from an embodied experience of empowerment if I continued to deny my fears of being judged, failing miserably, and looking like a phony.
I have clients say things like, “I shoulda known better,” “Why didn’t I pay attention to those red flags?” or, “I should have been stronger.” But the truth is that you didn’t know better, you missed the red flags, and you felt vulnerable. Can you just let that be ok without adding the self judgment?
It is all going to be ok.
To start where you’re at means:
Acknowledging your current moment reality and meeting that reality with curiosity and compassion
Admitting your truths no matter how uncomfortable or inconvenient
Releasing your “shoulds”
Giving yourself over to whatever experience is most alive for you and accepting it
A friend recently reminded me that the Divine speaks in paradox. To start where you’re NOT abandons the generative, loving and eternal you to the caprices of ego and illusion. Starting where you’re not disconnects you from the Divine and allows the ego to take charge where it has no place.
And for me, “empowerment” necessarily involves the willingness to trust in and be lead by the Divine.
Every card you see in the above photo points me back to my faith in the unseen, in the powers that be, in Spirit. In the topmost card, a painting by Suzy Schultz, I see a woman ready and asking to receive Divine Inspiration: content, open, and trusting.
The card below is one of my absolute favorite pieces done by the inimitable Georgia O’Keefe and reminds me of my husband and being in love in a tender, powdery blue kind of way.
Each question you see on the blue notecards invites conversation with the Divine and our higher selves. I use them on a daily basis to help me get back to center, back to the sacred connection that informs all that I do. They also help me start right where I’m at:
Stoked to be in this conversation with you about Women’s Empowerment.
So, what's meaningful for you right now? What wants to happen next? And how can you make yourself a more effective channel for Spirit?
All the answers are right there for you, every day, all the time. Your empowerment begins right where you’re at.
About Maira: Maira is an EmpowerMentor, shadow shaker, light worker, present moment priestess, heart connector and playful warrior. She has dedicated her life to helping others connect to their personal power through deep nature practices, the expressive arts, mindfulness training and the embodied arts. She loves dancing, tele-mark skiing and learning Filipino Martial Arts. Follow her on Twitter @empowermentexp.