It's time to redefine the word Goddess.
Now I know - this could be controversial...but hear me out.
Whenever we send out packages we address them to "Goddess so and so"..mainly because we're honoring the idea that all women want to feel like a Goddess and we want to be a part of calling that out for them and helping them to recognize and embrace the Goddess in themselves.
But growing up, as I did, as most of you did, in a society that celebrates sameness, that holds expectations of what is "right," "normal," and even "good," truly finding your unique, divine self (your Goddess) can feel like a trek up Mt Everest.
I have experienced such deep shame - for choices I've made, for choices I haven't made, for inevitabilities that I haven't faced, for holding on too long and for letting go when I was supposed to hold on to forever.
Even within my spiritual community there feels like a "way" that I can never measure up to. This "perfect" idea of the "Goddess" feels like a cruel joke. (And just as an aside have you ever Googled the word Goddess and looked at the images? Since when are all Goddesses buxom Barbie doll warrior princesses?)
"Shame, for women, is this web of unobtainable, conflicting, competing expectations about who we’re supposed to be. And it’s a straight-jacket." - Brene Brown
And yet - in the darkness of my shame, in the confines of my straight-jacket, I was profoundly touched by a few simple, causal words said by a friend (a friend whose world had been touched by downs syndrome, childhood leukemia, lost dreams and careers)
"Oh, well," she said, "our life didn't turn out the way we thought it would either."
Standing in her messy kitchen surrounded by grocery bags and dirty clothes that had spilled out from the laundry room, she smiled and kind of laughed after she said it. It was so beautiful and plain and simple, as if it was silly to think a life would turn out otherwise.
It filled me with absolute relief and caused me to reexamine what I thought about almost everything.
As I drove away from her house I thought...now that is a Goddess. Her profound simplicity, her vulnerability, her humor, her light...it was pure, inspired Goddess.
So I took off my straight-jacket and sat down and redefined the word Goddess and I'm honored to share it with you in the hopes that you will recognize yourself in it's meaning and proclaim your Goddess birthright...
Goddess - She tries, she fails. She is vulnerable. She doesn't have to be happy or "on" all the time, even for her children. She tries, She fails. She shows up for family and friends. She is compassionate and empathetic. She cares for herself and her body - and she eats ice cream or nachos every once in a while. She is aware of herself and how she is in the world. She is introspective. She makes amends when she hurts people. She takes responsibility for her actions. She asks for forgiveness and is easy to forgive. She is honest and nonjudgemental (as much as she can be). She laughs at her short comings and doesn't take herself too seriously. She tries, she succeeds. She is wildly imperfect, and that's OK with her. She is generous with what she has to give. She is loving and kind. She doesn't beat herself up for not being what she thought she was going to be. She tries, she fails. She does not compare herself or her accomplishments to others. She releases what doesn't serve her. She grows and learns how to be better and she is better. She is strong and smart and has courage but some days just getting out of bed is all she can do and that's OK with her. She stands up for what she knows is right for herself and others. She tries, she fails. She leaves the words perfection and shame out of her vernacular and life all together. She is realistic and optimistic. She loves and is loved. She tells you it's OK to be right where you are right now. She is OK to be right where she is right now too...
I'm sure in the days and weeks and years to come - I will add more to my definition. For now I will bask in the glory that is the Goddess. I will invite you to bask as well; to celebrate and embrace every moment of your messy, divine, Goddess life.