Many awakening women are experiencing an inner summons to align our outer lives with our highest and best selves- our souls. This inner earthquake is causing many of us to ask some big questions: Who am I? How can I thrive in all areas of my life? How can I be in a relationship with others and not feel like I’m losing myself or living based on their values and needs? What is the meaning and purpose of my life?
As women, we have this deep desire to let our lights shine brightly. There are many women, however, who feel like their lights are a little dim and as one woman said, more like “snuffed out.”
It’s important to stress that this feeling like we’re not fully thriving or like something seems to be missing is happening to (for) women who have so much to feel grateful for. And because we’re so grateful and know how fortunate we are, we feel guilty for feeling like there has to be something more.
What is all of this about?
This inner urge to become more is being triggered by an intelligent life force that is calling us to awaken to our deeper truths and our essential selves. Our essential self or higher self really means our soul. I call it “essential” because if we are to thrive in all aspects of our lives—our health, relationships, and contributions we need to be guided by our souls.
What does it mean to awaken and return to your essential self?
It means to wake up. To “wake up” means to begin to see things in our lives more clearly.
Awakening means that we are beginning to see the ways in which our conditioning has impacted and shaped us, often keeping us disconnected from our essential self or our soul.
A popular post going around Facebook written by Emily McDowell described it like this:
Finding “yourself” is not really how it works. You aren’t a ten-dollar bill in last winter’s coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people’s opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you drew as a kid that became your beliefs about who you are. “Finding yourself” is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you.
As we begin to awaken we slowly develop the ability and skill to tell the difference between how our soul consciousness is manifesting through us and how our small self or ego is showing up.
Why are more and more women waking up now? Three main reasons come to mind:
- Those of us, especially in the Western world have the majority of our basic needs met. Although many people have concerns about money and security, for the most part, we have what we “need.” This is triggering a seeking for a deeper purpose and meaning in our life. Our souls are urging us to express ourselves more fully and to do this we need to wake up and begin to see through the eyes of our soul and not our conditioning.
- Women collectively have experienced a great deal of pain and suffering. Just as suffering is often a trigger for awakening and transformation in an individual’s life, it is also triggering this shift in women collectively.
- The universe is always organizing around coming back into balance. The awakening of women is about returning that balance that is so needed in this world. The need for wholeness where all human beings embrace and cultivate both their masculine and feminine qualities.
The challenge for many of us in connecting with our soul consciousness is that we live in a culture and society that values and understands the needs of the ego or our small self, much more than the needs of our souls. Many of us, although we at some level feel we have a soul, have difficulty connecting with that part of ourselves.
Parker J. Palmer an author, educator, and activist who founded the Center for Courage & Renewal shares a powerful metaphor for the soul in the following YouTube video:
Is there a metaphor that would describe how you relate to your soul? If so, what is it? For me personally, it is Mount Kilimanjaro. I completed that climb close to seven years ago at a time in my life that I was standing literally on top of the world and yet felt deeply disconnected from my soul. It’s known as “the shy mountain” because the top of Mount Kilimanjaro is often hidden in the clouds and therefore you rarely see it. When it does make an appearance, it is magnificent. This is the same with our souls. They are often hidden and when they make their presence known, we have a glimpse into what it feels like to feel whole and deeply alive.
Our greatest challenge is to create more opportunities for our shy souls to make appearances in our lives. It’s also important to ask ourselves: How can I be present with others in a way that creates a safe place for them to share their soul with me?
When we’re in relationships where we feel it’s safe to share our souls with others and they with us, we all flourish.
The most powerful way to create the space for others to reveal their soul to us is to be mindful of our tendency to want to fix, heal, advise, teach, and give advice to others. Of course, we respond that way to others because we want to help. All of these responses, however, will keep the other’s soul hidden and not feeling safe to come out.
When we let go of our natural tendency to want to fix others, we are becoming more present and accepting. Believe me, I know how challenging this can be, as this continues to be one of the areas I need to grow.
In terms of creating space for our own souls to make their appearance, we can begin by learning how to quiet our minds. There is no way our souls will appear in the midst of a busy and distracted life.
In those quiet moments of your day, ask yourself: What nourishes my soul? What needs to be expressed through me? What do I need to release to create space for what wants to emerge? What would happen if I shifted my perspective from the realization that I have a soul to the realization that my soul has me?