Following a date with my faithful and constant companion, otherwise known as a camera. Visiting what started its life many years ago as a weekend retreat I am able to share with you this image.
I was drawn to take a photograph of the American Slave Statue because for a brief moment it prompted a memory of the restrictions forced on me by society as a young girl.
“Girls are seen and not heard” and “girls should only speak when spoken to” are recorded and replayed over and over loudly, ringing in my ears like church bells with full force to make sure I’m listening and giving these statements my full attention.
Each word doing a great job of making sure I conform and remain obedient to the expectations of what it means to be
a good daughter,
a good employee,
a good wife,
a good mother etc – Quiet, invisible, non-confronting and voiceless.
The ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ showed up unannounced with way too much to say for herself and demanding to do what the hell she likes, whenever she likes.
Crazy creative things like doodling, painting, personal development workshops, day dreaming, meeting old and new friends for lunch, nurturing plants, long woodland walks, reading for hours on end and writing crap about crap and thoroughly enjoying it all.
Yes, I know, how dare she!
freedom is a positive symptom of the change
and one I value highly.
The hand chains also reminded me of my own mental chains that kept me from living a life without fear or imposed limits.
Every negative thought an untruth and yet for the first 50 years of my life I believed these lies wholeheartedly and as if my life depended upon it.
Suddenly, out of nowhere and without warning, my worldview changed.
The landscape of my life became a foreign land, my ‘norms’ both imposed and imagined started to make me feel pinned down.
Breathless and gasping.
That’s when I decided to stop fighting to hang on to what has now passed (my old life…the younger me) and embrace the new road ahead.
To step into the power of what some enlightened women call the Crone (the Crone is a symbol of wisdom; a wise and confident spirit).
Hello and welcome to the older, wiser and freer me.
Reflecting upon this image now, makes me feel small minded and selfish because the American Slave was lawfully denied, restricted and abused in the most inhumane way.
I imagine her most dominant thoughts were about freedom and her every day experience lived in REAL stomach churning fear.
My first experience of oppression now feels inconsequential and petty.
And sharing my original thoughts, exteremly inadequate in comparison to the narrative of the American Slave.
But getting back to the point of this post (my heart heavy with sadness from the realisation that women around the world are still being treated very badly and going through unimaginable suffering).
It’s so important to liberate ourselves from all those things that hold us back and shake off the fake shackles for good as well as welcome the changes ahead with open arms.
all women who no longer want to be chained up or held down by the expectations and standards of others. In the next stage of our life, lets sing and dance all the way to the end in true [insert your name] style.
Demonstrating that its okay to be a ‘Crazy Cat Lady’ and rock out your own ‘Style’ in any way you choose.
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I would love to hear about your experiences, please get in touch if you want to share!