A few weeks ago, an incredibly brave woman stood up at my intro class and broke open the room with her vulnerability.
She stood there, voice trembling into the microphone. “When I went to the gynecologist, she said my vagina had atrophied. What?!”
Bam. Ouch. WTF.
We all took a collective deep breath.
What a piercing metaphor, don’t you think? Whether or not a doctor tells us, we’ve all felt what she felt.
We all have experienced a part of ourselves – physical, emotional, or even spiritual – that we can just feel is asking for our attention. Dying on the vine.
So slowly and insidiously that it’s easy to ignore, but somewhere we deeply know we are not expressing our full potential. That there’s more for us to feel, to be, to love, to give, to receive.
The word atrophy originates from the late 16th century, from the Greek, ‘lack of food,’ from a– ‘without’ + trophē ‘food.’
Every woman has a different part of herself that she has either allowed to atrophy or not realized has atrophied.
Perhaps it’s a part of her authentic nature that has never been allowed to bloom.
Or an aspect of her true capacity that she isn’t even sure exists.
- Sometimes when we get really good at our career, we can let our sex life or relationship life atrophy
- Sometimes when we pour ourselves into the endless demands of parenting, we can let our ambitions atrophy
- Or when you are dealing with the complexity of raising a family, the intimacy and connection in relationship with your husband/partner can atrophy
- Or when you’re in a dead marriage, your own aliveness and radiance atrophies
- Often, when you’re at a dead end job, your most deeply held dreams can atrophy
And when you let a vital part of the feminine deteriorate, it feels like it slowly poisons all the other good parts.
When you know you’re not living, really living the life you were destined for – it keeps a lid on your happiness.
It’s important to clarify here—I’m not saying we all need to be everything to everyone. There’s enough pressure out there in the world to be super-woman.
I’m talking about the inside game.
I’m talking about the part of you that knows you’re sitting on untapped potential.
A part of you that knows “I’m living small.”
You’re afraid it’s permanent. Of course you are.
You’re afraid that if you did pay attention to it, things would break down, or you wouldn’t be able to function in all the ways you do.
So we stay put. In a dead marriage, or a dead job, or dead city, or a dead habit—so that we can function. Sometimes we do this for decades.
Now, here’s the good news:
Those atrophied parts can come back to life, when planted and nourished in the right conditions. Not only that, new life is sprouted—aspects of yourself you never even dreamed or imagined or knew were possible will begin to flourish.
You have no idea how limitless you are.
You have no idea how much those untended gardens of yours want to spring to life.
They are your magnificent interior landscapes and they want their day in the sun.
So, what are the growing conditions of the feminine?
They are simple, but not easy.
Women need each other. Truly. We need sisterhood like we need oxygen. Which is the opposite of what we were taught—that women are competition. When actually, women can source and sustain each other’s dreams and desires.
We need to turn on. The juice that fires up all of our engines is pleasure.
We need the permission and the invitation to Feel. It. All. Shutting down and numbing out is for sissies.
We need reclamation. And we deserve it now.
I have made it my life’s mission to create a place, a space, a container where these conditions are non-negotiable. Where women can come and plant themselves in the fertile soil designed to show them how to thrive.
In 18 days, the School of Womanly Arts class of 2016 will gather for the very first time. The Mastery Program is nearly 90% full.
I’ve been thinking about each and every woman who has decided to make it happen, sometimes against ridiculous odds—because she wants something. Because, while she may think she’s nuts for saying yes to this adventure—some part of her knows that she’s about to claim a piece of her birthright, one that has not been getting the attention it deserves and the tools it requires.
Mastery is for women who know they have untapped potential.
For women who do not want to leave this earth having an unlived life inside of them.
For women who want to learn and experience their wingspan, their velocity, their capacity to love and be loved.
Whether or not I see you in Mastery this year, know this:
It is not too late.
You are not too much.
Rapture is not for “those women”—it’s for YOU.
Every part of you is worthy-exquisite-delicious and deserves to flourish.
I’d love to hear from you in the comments —
What part of your life have you not yet unfurled?
What dreams are you holding at bay? And for what reasons?
What’s one step you can take to give those parts of yourself more nourishment today?
So much love,