Sisters, Let Us Drop Our Swords.
Sister, drop the sword.
Release your grip from the sword’s hilt. Unburden yourself of its weight. Breathe into your palms. Leave the sword behind. You won’t need it in these woods.
Walk. Walk into the woods.
They are waiting for you in the woods.
We are waiting for us in the woods.
Loosen the armor binding your breath. Walk with the trees. Let the boughs snag plates of armor. Leave them dangling in trees as ornaments chiming in the breeze, calling sisters who are still finding their way. Winds whisper promises of the women who inhabit the heart of the woods.
Shards of remaining armor fall to the rocks. Artist Mother Earth will re-purpose pieces into magical sculptures. In time, weather-worn artifacts will hint at a time long gone, when women were at war with women.
Brush your skin with bark. Touch your body to the tree bodies standing vigil over your journey home. Weave sacred serpentine spirals, shedding the thick skin you’re told you need in this world.
Feeling awakens aliveness. New, glistening skin breathes Life. Reclaim your birthright — bask in sensations of your beautiful animal body, encoded to seek pleasure. Claim it. Shed wounded words uttered from a volcano of fear that warned you to hide under dull, deadened scales.
Leave the words behind in the skin you’ve outgrown.
Feel your way free of the cloak of fear that muffles your everything. In the circle deep in the woods, where we dance wild, the cloak will only get in your way.
Let your hips sway. Let go of what you’ve heard others say. Sacred hips wish to cradle you, enlivening your every move. Inhabit your Lioness body, built to move and sway, dance and play.
Seek sunlight. Invite dancing light through your skin. Sunrays melt casing around hearts, built over years to buffer fears. Release tears. Ironclad casings aren’t needed in this circle.
Do you hear the birds? Lift downcast eyes. Sense your heart rise gazing into the skies. Spread your wings. Open your heart-space to hopefulness.
Lift up your voice. Soar your song with birdsongs. Let the whipping winds coax your Rebelle yell.
Beyond the birds, you’ll hear them. Softly at first, you’ll hear women in the distance awaiting you deep in the woods.
They want to welcome you home.
They see you stepping more fully into yourself. They’re celebrating your rising. That’s what women of the woods do.
They’ve been singing with and for us all along… long before we knew how to listen.
Fearing these women may not exist, we created our own noise to avoid hearing the silence. We didn’t dare listen for their song. The sadness of seeking and not finding would have been too much.
But, they saw you. They’ve been singing in harmony with you before you felt vibrations of soft, hushed hums rise up in your throat. They know you’ve been silent or singing softly to yourself so as to not to incite the barbs.
Your sisters know your song.
Your song is their song is our song.
The women in the woods have walked past the fears that your successes are their losses. They laugh lovingly at such silly stories of smallness. In their strong bones, they sense strength rise in us all when we lift one another.
These women are the ones who have cheered you on through all time.
Let’s not fault ourselves for not hearing them. We were busy buffering ourselves from voices that clashed with ours. We were shielding ourselves from sisters who forgot — perhaps fought — the sisterhood. Sisters with swords drawn sent us scurrying for shields.
At times, we wielded swords ourselves. That was the world we lived in. That was the world we can leave behind.
The women in the woods have encountered the women wearing city skirts woven of barbed wires. Those meetings hurt their sensitive souls, as they do yours. The wise women know that the souls hiding behind barbed wire are hurting. Many wise ones once wore those skirts themselves.
Skirt wires snarled and gnarled by mistrust and fear are tied by sashes of envy. Barbs of sharp, old, untrue notions of scarcity, comparison and competition secure skirts that bind.
Wires turn back on themselves, swallowing knots of entangled fears of: not being enough… not being accepted… being judged… mistreated… disliked… hated… betrayed… hurt.
Lies that we cannot trust our sisters encircle our throats as necklaces crafted of sharp-tongued words. The very sisters we mistrust could be our Tribe if only we shed the skin, the skirts, the necklaces, the lies.
Those of us wearing barbed wire don’t yet know of the circles in the woods where women dance together in celebration of their wild sisters and selves… or we know but don’t yet trust… or we are so bound by pain of the poisoned barbs that we don’t yet hear Beauty calling us into the woods.
Sister, walk away.
Walk away from the barbed-wire women, to lead the way for them too. In time, perhaps they will follow, untangling themselves from the barbed wire choking their vitality. Perhaps they will free themselves and run into the woods in whisper-soft clouds of a slip. Perhaps.
But now? Now is your time.
Your sisters in the woods know you. They sense the rush of Joy you feel when you celebrate a sister standing and shining in her fine-feathered fullness and glowing glory. They know that when you feel and trust the truth of their hearts, you will dance in celebration of the sisterhood.
They want your voice to sing their celebrations. They want to sing in celebration of you. Their hearts are begging to rise. Our hearts are begging to rise. Together.
Take your place in sacred circle. The sisters seeking you have saved your place.
There are stories that only you can tell. And when you do, your sisters will nod knowingly, recalling their first few tentative words bearing their souls and sharing their secrets.
Each sister discovers that the secrets shared are just that — shared. The patterns we weave differ in details. Following the threads, we find that we have all been weaving from the same yarn this whole time.
Rest into knowing that your trepidation is understood. They, too, once were hesitant, hyper-vigilant at times. They’ve felt the city chill of cold shoulders harboring closed hearts. They’ve heard the talk that tears down instead of encouraging or empowering.
Seeking solace, many of these women once went out into the wild for years as lone wolves. The loneliness, at first, was less of a burden to bear than the barbs.
Before their bare feet relaxed into trust that Mama Earth held them, they didn’t know how to relax into trusting themselves. Or their sisters.
Once the soul of Mama Earth held the soles of their feet in her ever-present support, they grounded into their bodies. Only then could they begin to feel beyond the fear and relax bellies and hearts.
The knowing in their bellies awakened these wolf-women to the wisdom of the pack. Their hearts spoke Truth…
We need one another. This need runs deep through the ancient marrow of our bones. Belonging is woven through our DNA. We belong with and to one another. We want to move with the wisdom of our Supreme Sister — Mother Nature — guiding our every move. We need our sisters’ strength.
Our sisters need ours.
Your sisters will help you soothe the edges. You will feel their breathing deepen when yours squeezes shallow. They are inviting you back into your breath, back into your power.
Sister, follow the fireflies. These flying faeries of the women of the woods delight in the dance of twinkling magic. They’re leading you home. They prepared you for this journey when you were a little girl by dancing you into the edges of the woods.
They taught you the magic of the woods’ hide-and-go-seek flight into light.
Howl into the woods.
Your sisters are here.
They are waiting for you.
We are waiting for us.
We can do this.
We are the circle. We are the pack. We are the dance.
Sister, drop the sword. Please, let us drop the swords.
Tracy Stamper is a dancer at heart, in mind, of body, and with words. She is blessed and blissed to call dancing her profession, thanks to the transformational conscious movement form of Nia. She teaches Nia classes and offers Nia White Belt Trainings for fellow dancers at heart, in mind, and of body. Tracy lives in St. Louis in a home on a little hill, with a whimsical wind sculpture out front, and two crazy rescue beagle boy dogs and the two human loves of her life inside. Her current favorite colors are purple, orange and glitter. She likes her chocolate dark, her little bubble of a world Personalitics-free, her inspiration flowing, and her car dances to be uninhibited. You can connect with her on her website, Nia website, and Facebook.