by Lucy Dahill
The Esoteric Women’s Group (EWG) presentations have introduced a greater focus of self-care to my life. Over the years, this simple approach has meant I have been presented with some beautiful opportunities to change some of my old patterns which had left me exhausted and resentful, more often than not.
What has been shared in those groups were things I had started to connect to myself, but hadn’t realised their importance. Things like being tender with myself, noticing the roles I take on automatically, my monthly cycle and giving myself permission to pay close attention to all of it – even what my bra feels like to wear and how I set up my cupboards and drawers. None of the presentations were instructional; Natalie Benhayon simply shared how she lived. It was an opportunity to question the ‘norm’. I found the presentations brought a practical focus to what it is to be a woman. It sounds silly, doesn’t it?, that we need to be reminded of what it is to be a woman: but for those of us who have perfected the art of doing and being as un-female as possible because it might be perceived as weak, the undoing has to be a focus – a remembering of our natural way!
After each talk I would play with what had been presented until the next group – I wanted to see it for myself, to see how it could be for me, in my life. Since then I have re-ordered my drawers, my clothes, my bathroom, my bedroom and so much more… not because ‘Natalie said’, but because I love how it looks and feels.
I have been paying attention to these things for many years now and I didn’t appreciate what I had learnt and how much things have changed until old patterns started re-emerging and I was called back loudly by my own footprint of love! Before you say ‘what on earth does that mean?’ – let me give you an example…
I live in a house of 5 and have come to realise that we all have a different version of what tidy or clean looks like. In a shared house it seems to be based on what we are used to in our own spaces, primarily our bedrooms. I can tell how I am going by how ordered my space is, and when any of our bedrooms become messy I can see that lack of attention to detail or clearing away of our own things in other areas of the house. Sometimes I will just clear it away myself; other times I will get the person who made the mess to come back and clear it up themselves. I had been quite busy and had found I needed to be really efficient to keep on top of things so had returned to my pattern of “it will be quicker if I do it myself”. Thankfully that came back to bite me on the bum…
One day I went to my drawer to choose a t-shirt, and saw it in a mess. I remembered that I had said my daughter could borrow one of my t-shirts to wear to work one morning, and as I looked in my drawer I could see the ones she had tried on and rejected… they were just thrown back in, all crumpled and inside out. I felt so cross that somewhere I had come to feel a solid consistency of order was replaced by her disrespect for my space. I could have raged at her and blamed her, but as I stood there upset I realised that I might have some responsibility in this.
This had been a bit of a pattern. She had her bedroom all tidy but she would leave her stuff everywhere else. I had thought it would be the other way around and had previously decided I didn’t want to rock the boat so had let it slide, simply tidying up after her. Yet I realised she now didn’t see anything wrong with leaving my drawer open and the shirts all messed up because she was in a hurry. This wasn’t her disrespecting me on purpose – this was her putting the importance of her day ahead of respecting my space – I had allowed it before so why would I respond any differently now?
My not wanting to run the risk of ‘an issue’ had meant this pattern was now in my space – in my face! I had to do something about it now – it had crossed the line! Yet I realised that by my not having that simple conversation when these things happen, it often leads to Mount Vesuvius wanting to erupt when I do finally decide to speak up.
Now that I take more time to look after me, I notice when I have chosen to ignore these little things to keep the peace. I used to live in overwhelm all the time so needed to ‘pick my conversations’, but I was not overwhelmed anymore and it was time to have this conversation. Rather than erupt, I simply went downstairs and shared how yuck it was to open my drawer and see the consequence of her being late for work and that, should she want to borrow from me again, then she had to respect my space and leave it as she found it. There was a moment where she just looked at me, then she said “yeh, sure, sorry about that”. There was no drama, no need on my part for her to get it, no need on her part to defend. It was just saying something in the moment and moving on: it leaves me wondering if this is also part of self-care, and one to practice.
What this situation offered me was a moment to appreciate that what I had chosen to live for the past few years, was the foundation of love I had set for myself. Now there was more to see, there was a part of my relationships that was not equal to this love, and I had an opportunity now to see that and do something about it for us both.
I have a deep appreciation for Natalie Benhayon’s Esoteric Women’s Presentations and the many women who have shared their experiences over the years. It feels like we are supporting each other to build foundations so that in moments like these we can feel our own love feeding us back.