This month, as we approach Samhain, the Celtic New Year, we reflect on the September initiation that has brought so many more courageous women into our community.
Samhain is about new beginnings; and, it is also about growth. Not the vibrant, surging forth of spring, but the deep, fermenting, brewing of growth that happens as we step bravely into the dark, and do the work we need to do in order to take the next step.
Many women stepped up beyond their comfort zone in September; not only the new initiates, but also those who were called to staff. In honour of all those women, and indeed of all women who lead from the feminine, we invited Madeline Lustigman, Elgiva Tiptaft, and Jane Carvell to share with us their experiences of stepping up this September.
Madeline Lustigman – staff coordinator
My intention at WIP this year was to be more lucid, present, light, and playful, and to turn my back on those ‘you’re not good enough’ voices. To fully enjoy this precious time in sacred space. I became less scared of hierarchy and more conscious of the phenomenal work. I went with the flow, ready to say YES! I said YES to picking ALisa up from the airport, (that’s a big piece – trusting me to hand deliver the founder to Unstone!) and what a complete joy & education it was. I was brave enough to ask to be an apprentice fire keeper at the lodge, and when Marianne said YES I was astounded. How gracefully and gently I was guided by Christina and Adi as they taught me with deep humility, trusting me, and allowing me to participate fully. I could not have been more grateful. The bit I was least looking forward to was the breakfast hunt; and, being held beautifully by Eleanor as she beat the drum, raised the energy, and welcomed 40 tired predators around the fire, I started roaring and leaping and inviting the hungry predators to hunt down their breakfast! I loved it all. The more I co-create the more I feel this is our work, this is my work, this is important work.
Elgiva Tiptaft – lodge coordinator
In July I was honoured to receive an invitation from Karen Ferberman to step in to the lodge crew in September. Weeks later the lodge coordinator needed to step down and asked if I would take over. Having coordinated in May, my initial response was a mix of delight and despair! Despair because it meant greater time commitment. And I decided to accept the challenge.
Stepping up brought me closer to other WiP women. I found time where I thought there was none. Accepting the coordinator role forced me to ask for help, which is not something I find easy, and I happily found that help and support is there. As an independent parent I’ve done a lot alone, and stepping up to WiP has begun to fulfil my dream of being a team member. I feel like I am growing more into myself, filling out the saggy skin of my psyche.
I have been surprised by so much appreciative feedback, and I feel my confidence growing. I feel seen and I’m standing taller, reaching myself into being the person that others are seeing.
Jane Carvell – carpet facilitator
This year I completed my certification in Shadow Work, and joined the facilitation team. It was a big stretch to experience WiP from this place. Whilst I had staffed twice before, and had witnessed the facilitation team in action, I had little concept of what they were holding.
What was really beautiful for me was the trust and belief that I felt from women who had been involved in this work for a long time, who not only valued my contribution, but generously allowed me to take on specific roles to support the container.
From the minute I stepped into this community I have been said ‘YES’ to. ‘YES’ to my gifts; ‘YES’ to my fears; ‘YES’ to stretching into unknown places, and ‘YES’ to the parts of myself that I didn’t know would be welcome. From putting the recycling out to holding space for initiates and co-creators to be heard, in all these roles and more I feel valued.
I want to lean in and support the experience of every woman that joins this community, to stand for ‘healthy leadership’, and to know that what WIP offers is real: All of me is welcome.
Bless you women! May we all find the courage to step up and lead, and know we have the loving support of our tribe at our back.
The Sacred Shifting Tide