On Softening | Another Layer of Vulnerability

Has it really been TWO WHOLE MONTHS since my last post?? What the what am I doing people? 

I'll tell you — tons. 
Tons of stargazing, meditation, breathing into my heart space, talking to leaves and plants, honoring Mother Earth, conscious conversations about consciousness, yoga and other ways of "getting into my body", ancestry history and clearing work and just straight up REST. The first two months of thirty have been eye opening and there has been a major shift both internally and externally. I'll be organizing, editing and sharing my notes of the time and learnings , but needed to push this one out right now as it's so fresh I dare not have its essence softened (pun intended) because I've waited too long past the moment. So here it goes... 

Soft. In general. 

Hardly one of my favorite words and certainly not something that comes with ease to me from a physical state perspective, which is interesting because I consider myself to be a High Empath, super sensitive, always sympathetic and, generally, an emotional human. However, through years of conditioning, ancestral programming and cultural nuances, I've taken on quite a hard exterior. I'm always making light of things, speaking with a hint of sarcasm and cynicism (and a quite a few expletives) to help cut my words and perspective into the space of someone else's understanding and hiding or suppressing my feelings because my mind, understanding of things in general and my articulation of words have been my places / ways of hiding. Of being hard. 

And then today happened.
While I was unexpectedly sharing a (more deeply rooted than I thought) story of trauma with two friends, I felt in a split moment of the root cause being brought to my attention, a great deal of surrender. I just didn't want to hide my tears of pain and hurt and disappointment and of let down any more. I literally think I said "To be honest guys, I'm fighting back tears right now" and then just decided in that moment that I wouldn't hide. The flood gates had opened. 

I cried so softly I don't know if I was even breathing for a few minutes.  I allowed tears that were over 14 months old to finally surface and slide down my cheeks and into the crevice of my lips. My body relaxed. I began to breath again, and I looked down at my hands and the tissue paper I wasn't utilizing until I felt it was finished. All the while, my two friends watched silently and with compassion and understanding — holding space. After a while, and much more work uncovering the layers of interwoven expectations that led me down this particular situation, one of my friends so kindly said —

"You are so beautiful when you soften Ash". 

For someone, like many of us, who has been trained by life to be strong and self sufficient and able to handle most curve balls to survive, it's been rare for me to experience SOFTNESS with many. And only have I heard the words "beautiful" and "soft" in the same sentence in reference to myself. I often think mostly of men having to work through the "suck it up and deal with it" pressure from society, but hadn't really become aware of my own conditioning to "never let them see you cry". 

I don't like long blog posts, so I'll try to wrap this up in saying — vulnerability comes in so many different moments, decisions, communication styles and variations, that I'm just in awe at what deciding to embark on this journey is showing and teaching me. 

I love my softness and how she's growing / being given more space to show herself — the moments I'm able to ask for help, show my weaknesses, and be witnessed by someone. My days of believing I must be closed off, guarded or resistant to anything less then a strong, independent woman are limited and numbered. I don't know how this femininity dealio works with us "modern women", but I can say I'm finding strength in my vulnerability and softness.
And that can't be taken away by anyone. 

x Ash 

Special Thank You to my Sister-Friend and Kindred-Brother for what they helped me unlock and the space they shared with me in non-judgement and in great trust of their healing gifts.
They know who they are ;)