The faces of Woman’s Month (from the ones that represent frivolous fun and freebies to the others that show us success against the odds or suffering beyond imagination) are a reminder that being a woman is complex.
There is more to being a woman than bubble baths and spa days – although these things are welcome and lightness is necessary – but being a woman is sometimes a deep web of contradictions, a journey we spend our lives figuring out.
Radiating from our own internal stories and upbringing, we are sub-consciously wired to interact with the world in a certain way. Add to this our reactions to the stereotypes that surround us and the crazy expectations that we take on (and try to deliver on) and we are often sent off into our daily lives like spinning tops.
We are fine-tuned to play multiple roles and as the daughters of the first free (and sometimes feminist) women, we are trying hard to take on this freedom and become all things to everyone.
In my work I see women in crisis. Women who have found that all that they thought they were and could be, is not within reach. That they have no control and that the life they had mapped out is not the one they find themselves in. Infertility is like a concrete wedge being dropped into the middle our path, it has to be confronted, it will mean a re-navigation. I see these women try to pick up this concrete block, push it aside, or climb over it. But I have learnt in my practice that it has to be worked through – with a fine chisel.
This Women’s Day, I would like to honour all of my patients, and all of the women out there who are doing the work. Tapping away with their hammers and chisels, finding a way to transform big blocks of concreate into beautiful doors, intricate sculptures and triumphant reminders to leave on their paths so that other women may admire them and see that with determination, we can get through.
This is an extract from one of my favourite poems, The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer:
“I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and your toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.”
Be with joy.
Lizanne van Waart