With Mother’s Day less than a week away, it feels appropriate to name and honor our larger, longer mother-line: the women and lineage from which we descend. To do so, the words of a woman who does this better than most – Clarissa Pinkola Estes:

It is not intuition which is broken, but rather the matrilineal blessing on intuition, the handing down of intuitive reliance between a woman and all females of her lines who have gone before her – it is that long river of women that has been dammed. ~ Women Who Run With the Wolves

For me, the river’s very source and starting point, is Eve. To be sure, there are historical narratives of women that predate hers and it must be acknowledged as “the beginning” in the Western world (whether we want such, or not). And given how much time I’ve spent over the years working with her story in particular, Estes’ words take me right back to her yet again. The ways in which her story has been told throughout time has, sadly, caused us to lose the blessing that is ours, to break the beautiful and bountiful line of woman to woman, and to cause distrust in our own birthright and brilliance.

Rather than name, yet again, how this has happened, let’s talk about how to change it; how to bind up your (personal and historical) wounds; how to step forward in the power and strength that is already yours. Here’s the 3-step plan:
 

1) Heal the line to heal yourself.
2) Find the women – past and present – who long to bless you.
3) Undamn the river and let your too-often-damned intuition flow.

1) Heal the line to heal yourself:
One of the most powerful ways forward is to go back, to do the work of unearthing tales told (or not) in harmful, silencing, shaming ways and invite them into the light; to track down our lineage, to know and love the stories (and the women) who have shaped us, to find a sense of “home” and solidarity in all those who have gone before. When we can heal their past, we are the ones who are healed; we are the ones transformed.

2) Find the women – past and present – who long to bless you.
When we re-imagine, re-tell, and redeem these women’s stories, we are able to be blessed by them. Eve, yes, and so many more. Sojourner Truth. Emily Dickinson. Virginia Wolff. George O’Keefe. Frida Kahlo. Audre Lorde. All these and then some who long to share their wisdom, their perspective, their voice, their comfort, their companionship. And what of your great-great-great grandmothers and the rich female line that runs right through you? Can you imagine their words on your behalf? Will you? Even in places of deep, unwarranted pain (sometimes at these very women’s hands), will you imagine the words they would have spoken if they could; if they had been blessed? And who are the women in your everyday world who would readily and willingly offer you the same if only you would ask? If only you would tell them that you need them. If only you would trust that they are trustworthy and at your beck-and-call for support, kindness, encouragement, and yes, the blessing you most deeply long to have.

3) Undamn the river and let your too-often-damned intuition flow.
When you stand in the river of all the women who have gone before you, in the ever-tugging current of those who swirl around you even now; when you let the rapids carry you; when you float in a place of buoyancy and ease – supported by the stories that make up your legacy and the faces that smile on you every day – it is far more likely that you will trust that you already know what to do, what to say, how you feel, what you want.
 

Really, who are you not to trust your intuition, your story, your very self when standing in such an illustrious and stunning stream of women; when soaked to the skin with the stories of women – past and present – who just wait to be seen, known, heard, and honored and who long to honor you.

It is my hope and prayer that as Mother’s Day approaches you will feel and believe in the matrilineal blessing that IS yours…and that is yours to give to others.

May it be so.


 
One of the ways in which these women and their stories continue to speak is through SacredReadings – my imagining of their voice on your behalf. There is a woman – part of your matrilineal line – who longs to bless you even now. A perfect Mother’s Day gift for yourself…and other women you love.