Rise, Sister, Rise: "My Becoming is a Collective Effort"

Recently, a client & kindred spirit shared her journey with me and, in doing so,  reminded me that we never journey alone. In her note, she spoke of feeling drawn by the pull of many passions, and not knowing where to land first: how do we begin to heal ourselves and the world when so much is in need of healing? How do we know where to begin? 

And she spoke honestly about the arduous journey forward: how do we rise from our pasts and launch into our purposes, all the while finding personal and financial stability? 
But my favorite part of her letter was when she spoke of rising out of a collective consciousness: “I realized my becoming is a collective effort; it’s not just self-reflection that has helped me to realize my passions and desires, but the stories of other people that I’ve met along my journey, people like you."
And, I think, that's where we begin. We rise together, through and from each other, lifting each other up as we try to rise ourselves. It is messy and uncertain—and splendid. Here is my response to her, sent with love. I share this not because I have the answer, but because it is the conversing, the communing, that leads us there.
M.,

I must begin with a thank you. Thank you, first, for hearing me—for listening so deeply that you felt called to respond. That is a blessing and a gift to me, one I was longing for. Thank you, also, for sharing yourself with me, letting me see you as you are. You are bold in your authenticity, and also gentle, introspective, kind. 

I think one of the things I’ve been most longing for is the passion that comes from uniting with people on a deep, soul level. Connecting, communing, conversing. I want my soul, my spirit, my words to intertwine with someone else’s, many someone else’s. And, in doing so, I want us each to feel heard, seen, loved, accepted and, as you wrote, never alone. I think it begins with conversations like this, notes passed back and forth without expectation, but only love and sisterhood and seeking

I guess what I want to know is how do we co-create this together, this rising into passion, this call to live our purpose and leave not a physical footprint on the earth, but a lasting impact in its and our fellow beings’ hearts and souls? And, instead of seeing our multitude of passions as drawing us in too many directions, I want to see us as dynamic, as women who weave the threads together, or unite, as if by magic, the disparate parts to illuminate—everything, I guess. Yes, everything. 

Some of my favorite reminders of what to do in the face of a world that, too often, seems disconnected from the truth of our oneness come from women just like you, some whom I’ve met only through email. My friend Mikayla texted me shortly after the election: “I had some clarity this morning, as I often do on rainy days. I wanted to just remind you that although our world is in chaos and such divisions, I value you and our friendship. The next few years will be difficult, but without each other to consistently support one another - it will be much more difficult.” Amen.

And then there’s Melissa, one of the women I’ve only met through energy, who wrote to me, struggling to grasp the chain forward, to find the path to a better coexistence with all beings: “Individually, I can’t change the outcome of an election,” she realized. “But I can help people help each other. And, eventually, that will change the world.”

Like you, my becoming is a collective effort; it is the stories of all who have come before me and some who have arrived after. It is Alice Walker and Maya Angelou and the wise women who have risen centuries before me but whose presence is known, somehow. It is my grandmother, in spirit now, and my mother, and everyone I’ve ever made an oil for, and the men who have held me—and the ones who have not. It is my teachers, my spirit helpers, and the ones who post a few words on Instagram at just the right time for me to see them clearly—the messengers. It is you, of course, too. 

What I hear when I read your words, and when I read the energy between your words, is your strength. My gosh, how bright you burn—full of light and compassion and your own unique blend of brilliance and purpose. Already, you have transcended so much, you have lifted your entire family up with you, generations of ancestors rise as you rise. Your blossoming rebalances a past that wasn’t so balanced, it leaves peace where the energy was once unresolved. What I wish for your younger self is role models who told you your worth and taught you how to live it. You’ve had a harder path to pave, but now you get to be that role model you longed for. So nourish yourself, fill yourself, take care of you. Because you are leading the way now. 

Thank you for the blessings of your friendship and your note. You’ve touched me more than you know. Please continue to email me whenever you feel called. I am always here to listen, commune, and share. 

With lots of love and gratitude,

Ashley

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