During this training I have had a lot of stressful moments battling with my shadows and personal baggage. An experience that I had around the Solstice was perhaps the hardest I’ve had to undergo so far.
It was so special that I wasn't sure if I'd post about it, and even now I will limit what I share.
I was with a women's group who were bathing naked together. I desperately wanted to but could not summon the courage. I told myself I would do it if certain other people did, but when they did, I still couldn't do it. I could not shake off my fear of being so vulnerable. I wasn’t ashamed of my body; it was that I was terrified of being exposed. My sexuality is my power, because I am reclaiming what was repressed and disempowered for so long. So to expose it to so many made me feel completely vulnerable.
I sat by a Goddess altar in the space and cried in shame that I could not muster the courage. I was also embarrassed that, as someone who celebrates women, sexuality and all things Rhiannon, I couldn’t do this myself… It would only be my fault if I missed out on the opportunity to do it. I tried to make myself ask for help but couldn’t commit and I started to see others get dressed. Once the the others were clothed I had missed my chance to go in nonchalantly. I thought that going in straight away and feigning confidence would make me less foolish than if I meekly stepped in late; either way, I didn't do it.
I felt awful.
The lead woman called out that we could have 30 more minutes if we wanted. I seized my chance and timidly asked if one woman could stay alone with me so I could go in. I started to cry in front of her. She held me and insisted that we would all stay together and they'd support me. And so they did, helping me to be comfortable as I prepared to go in. Everyone else was discrete, singing around the water, whilst four sisters came in with me, and one held my clothes.
Once I was standing naked it was so normal, like getting out of bed in the morning. I was stressed, uncomfortable and exhilarated and barely felt the cold. It was so beautiful having those Goddess Women in the water with me. One woman held my hand and I tried to focus on Her than everyone else all around me. I noticed that I kept covering my breasts, finding it hard to shake the idea that they were the rudest part of me (I feel this is part of my previous relationship wounding).
Afterwards I was shaking with relief. If I hadn’t done it I’d have regretted it terribly. Everyone was so beautiful. Every single body was incredible. I still feel so emotional about it all.
I have come home and the memory fills me with love, happiness, pride and inspiration. It may still be frightening to do again, but I need to make sure I do!