As a teen, my journal was my “safe space”. It allowed me the ability to work through my feelings and thoughts at a pace I struggled to otherwise do verbally. It was also the only way I could express those thoughts or feelings without being dismissed or rejected. I had developed a belief that my voice and feelings were invalid because a handful of times I expressed myself and was told it was irrelevant, unimportant and held no consequence to the situation.
Sharing these feelings in written form, even though it was just with myself, is undoubtedly why I developed the ability to write effectively. I learned how to put my feelings onto paper in an effort to remove them from my mind, or at the very least, to understand them better.
However, fifteen years ago I stopped writing when someone of authority told me to. Not because my writing was “bad”, but because I had been writing in a journal, using it for the purpose it was intended, and someone violated my personal space and read it. I was instructed to “Stop writing things down where people could read it“.
I allowed this to contribute to the limiting belief that my feelings, my voice, my right to self expression was less important than everyone else’s comfort, expectations and requirement of me. I have have allowed this false narrative to follow me well into my thirties.
A few years ago, I began to journal again after the death of someone I loved. I felt I had no one to really talk to about my feelings and desperately needed that safe space for those feelings to land.
And it was divine.
In the fall of 2018, I finally decided that I was going to write a book. A book that has been on my heart for a long time, but one I kept close to my chest out of fear of rejection, continuing to allow those belief systems to control me and my passions.
I shared with my best friend that I was going to write it, even if no one would ever read it. The story and words just needed to come out of me and onto the paper where they belonged.
As it always does when you align with your purpose, the Universe provided an opportunity to do just that. Not even a week after I announced openly what my intention was, I was signed with a publishing house to contribute to an Anthology project with 18 other women. I was going to share a part of my story, in a book, and be published.
The words poured out in such abundance that I had more than double the required amount for my chapter and did so in just over a week. The first deadline of 1000 words, less than half the chapter size, was still months away! It was in that moment that I realized I had been missing out on something truly beautiful for a very long time.
In my excitement, I jumped at the opportunity to participate in two more projects, eager to share with the world and collaborate with a community of women. I began to believe I found my place in the world.
One of three projects I collaborated on was published this year and even reached best seller status online. But something felt “off” and I couldn’t put my finger on it. I didn’t feel the excitement and pride I should have felt with such an accomplishment.
Shortly thereafter, one of the other projects I was beginning to fall apart. The energy surrounding it wasn’t right, and when it was no longer going to be what I signed up for, I opted to leave it. I didn’t want to be in another project I wasn’t feeling connected to.
I put my focus back on the remaining collaboration, pouring more love and intention into it to ensure it radiated with the right energy. The energy that story deserved. I edited it and cleaned it up, ensure it was exactly to the right word count. All my requirements met, I eagerly awaited the final edits to be done for the official submission for production. A few weeks passed with no updates.
And then I received notice that all of my existing agreements were being terminated.
I was no longer going to be included in the project that originally set me on this journey. The project that opened my eyes and my heart to the power of collaboration among women. The project that reminded me of my love of writing and the importance of sharing our stories.
I was devastated.
While I had been waiting for the editing of this chapter, I had begun to develop projects of my own and had sought out other means of creating them so more women could be included and collaborate. I had started to share the idea online in hopes of attracting potential authors. In doing so, I was accused of breaching my contracts and being in direct competition with the publisher.
A single woman, with the desire to write and collaborate, in direct competition with a publishing house – the idea was absurd to me.
After the initial shock wore off, I paused a moment and asked myself, “Why is it so absurd for you to create books and publish stories with other women on your own?”. When I realized it wasn’t, the next questions was, “Why do we have to be in competition with one another, rather than just follow our passions and do our own thing?”. That was, after all, what I was trying to do in the first place. I just wanted to keep writing and collaborating!
It was like being in high school all over again. I no longer fit in, was being excluded and shut out. I almost gave up my plan to create these new projects entirely, retreating back into the mindset that I wasn’t enough.
Believing company held some sort of authority over me, just like fifteen years ago, when they told me to stop, I was going to listen.
Until I remembered all the women who are going through, or have gone through the same experience and needed a reminder that their voice matters. That their dreams and passions are valid and hold meaning. That collaboration over competition IS the key to societal change, particularly concerning women’s rights.
How can we get the world to collaborate and stand up with us, if we can’t stand up and collaborate together?
And so, The Goddess Guild was born.
The not-so-secret- society of divine change, with a foundation built on collaboration over competition among women to facilitate change.
In this space, women will be able to come together to create, collaborate and lead by example, regardless of what they are doing in their own businesses. Regardless of being authors and writers in other projects. Regardless if they are coaches in the same or similar fields as other coaches in this space.
In order for anything to change, for women around the world to heal, we have got to start working together and stop this power struggle among ourselves.
This is the message I hope will come through with the Soul Sister Series project that launched this month.
Had I not had the women in my life that I do now, I may have folded under the pressure and stress this experience has put on me. I may have allowed it to drown me.
But, like true community does, these women gave me support. They showed me love and compassion. They helped me find my courage and strength to persevere. They pushed me in the right direction when I started to stray, and held up me when I started to falter under the weight of it all. They lead by example and coached me through the fears I was feeling. They reminded me that I am enough when I began to doubt.
This is my community. The community I was looking for. This is what sisterhood is. The very definition of it.
And I want to help other women find this community too.
The strength among women when we come together is powerful.
When we stop fighting each other and start working together, the frequency which we operate at is potent.
The amount of change we can create, the amount of healing we can do – is limitless.
So, the promise I am making to myself, the promise I am making to all the women looking for their tribe, is that I will no longer filter myself so other people are more comfortable. I will no longer allow someone else to dictate what I can and can not do for my life. I will lead by example and be my own advocate. And I will not stop showing up.
I deserve the life I am creating. I deserve to see my dreams become reality.
And so do you.
Together, we can make it happen.