Hello! I’m Rachel and I’m new here. I’d like to introduce myself by sharing some of who I am with you. So, if you’ll indulge me by coming on a meandering journey with me…
When Gillian asked me to join Unlearning SuperMom (with the world’s most kind, sincere message - she just blows me away), my answer was an emphatic “YES!” My heart expanded in my chest and soared to every tip of my body. I had a deep knowing that being a part of this community was right. That same day I drew the “Synchronicity” card from my deck. Here, Synchronicity represents the spiritual, self-awareness, higher guidance, and intuition. It speaks to moving through the world with ease. I thought to myself, “Ah, of course I would draw this!” My path has been leading me to this project. To help you understand why, we need to rewind a bit.
At the beginning of Women Who Run With the Wolves (I seriously cannot believe this incredible book was written by a human being), Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D. writes,
“The modern woman is a blur of activity. She is pressured to be all things to all people. The old knowing is long overdue.”
This old knowing - intuition, instinct, clarity to act with power and love - returns to me through my personal work, my soul work. But I lost my knowing for a while, caught in the story of the modern woman, of SuperMom. I was only ready for that message from Gillian because of lessons over the past year and a half - some deeply painful - about following (and ignoring, as it were) my own knowing.
In October 2015 I “went to sleep”. Or, maybe I had been sleeping for a while. I returned to work when my youngest son was 4 months old; like many moms, I was not ready. My heart was breaking every day. Mornings were a total shitshow between getting everyone ready for the day and tearful goodbyes/tantrums with my 3-year-old. I distinctly remember one morning saying out loud to myself “This is not fucking working,” while bursting into tears after discovering my pumped breast milk from the previous day in my bag, unrefrigerated, with no backup in the freezer for my baby. Meanwhile, my company was undergoing major changes. I felt ineffective at my work and struggled to take action on the things I knew were needed. I wasn’t able to shut off my racing mind at the end of the workday, which impacted my family. I knew that working in this environment, rushing around, being away from my kids this much was against my instincts, my nature, my heart. I was so depleted. Mercifully, a question that triggered the hell out of me but had become common at our workplace woke me up:
“Are you ‘All In’?”
Uhhh... Whatever the fuck “all in” means. The question brought up a spirit of defiance and indignation in me. And yet...there I was, driving myself crazy to be “all in” at work, and for what purpose? It got me thinking, “What am I all in on?” I made this exact list on the bus ride home (in no particular order):
I’m all in on my life... My boys, my marriage, my health and well-being, my community, my joy, my peace, sharing my gifts, my family, my friends, my authentic presence, my spiritual practice.
But, my actions didn’t align with these statements.
Realizing this, I reconnected to my own old knowing. I started to wake up. Within the next couple of months I turned down a big time promotion, found new partners who I feel aligned and connected to, left my job, and re-envisioned a workweek that works for me and my family. I definitely didn’t know exactly what it was going to look like, but I promised myself I would follow what I have energy for. I knew that at least some of my work would involve women. It hasn't been easy (it’s been pretty painful), but I've learned a lot. I'm starting to feel like “me” again.
To bring it back around to Synchronicity, fast forward almost a year, and I had the single best day I’d had as an entrepreneur. I felt relaxed, confident, happy; I cooked a delicious dinner for my family while working from home and tapping into my creative energy for the first time in a long time. Things felt like they were falling into place and I was back in my groove. The next day, I opened my computer to find that delightful message from Gillian.
Ah, yes, thank you Universe.
So, that’s part of who I am and the journey I’ve been on recently. I want to close with some wisdom from Clarissa Pinkola Estes that I think speaks to the evolving nature of Who I Am and the reason this work is so important to me.
“If along the way, as you are developing this deep, soul, instinctual self someone asks you: Who are you? I mean who are you really? I'll tell you what I tell people. I tell them, ‘Well, that's still aborning. All I know is I'm really friendly, but not quite tame. So may it be for you….’”
So may it be for all of us.
It’s so nice to meet you. I’m thrilled to be here, to contribute to all that Unlearning SuperMom stands for, and to work (play!) with the brilliant visionary behind the project, Gillian Rowinski.