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Embodied Rituals for Skin + Soul

Filtering by Tag: heroine's journey

The Call of the Wild Soul

Katie Gordon

Our inner Wild is the place in us that's untouched by trauma. 
photo courtesy of  Rebelle Society

photo courtesy of Rebelle Society

Over the last few weeks I've been busily soul-storming, writing, and creating the container for Embodied Creative Self Expression: The Heroine's Journey with my wild mystic partner in crime Lindsey O'Neill. And the deeper we get into the whole process, the more I'm waking up to the fact that so many of us experience the call to soul, the call to descend and embark upon the Heroine's Journey, but don't realize that we're being called. We think we're experiencing depression, intense emotional or energetic upheaval, random accidents, traumatic events, but we don't see that it's actually a wake up call from our soul to pay attention and direct our awareness to something vital to the alchemical transformation of our Selves. So let's explore that initial call, that imperative from within, that ignites and inspires us to seek deeper connection and meaning in our human experience.

The Heroine's Journey is a deep dive exploration and transmutation of the unconscious and the forces at work within that affect the without. It's a process that some of us may embark upon multiple times in a single lifetime because we seek to wander through our inner landscapes and uncover the mysteries that are held  within our bodysoul. And each time we think we unlock something about those mysteries, we realize there are ever-deepening layers to explore.

And why do we embark upon this journey? Because we're called by a voice that we, perhaps, just barely recognize as our own. It comes from that part of ourselves that is ancient, timeless. The one that's already begun this work, walked some of these paths, and now calls on you to continue. 

The call to initiation can come in infinite ways. Depression, addiction, a sense that there HAS to be more, an accident or illness, a deep knowing that the answers you seek from life won't come from your current situation and experience. The call might come from a recurring theme in your dreams.

It rises up from deep within your bones, your blood, the midline of your subtle body to wake you up to the fact that while this may feel really scary to you, your ego, your personality, your Soul knows it's time and that you're ready. And then the Underworld opens up to you, and you leave the home you've so carefully crafted throughout your life thus far. And it feels like an unraveling, like a very particular kind of death. You know just by heeding the call, you're certain to encounter shadows, deep wounds, and then, the treasure buried deep within.

Do we have a choice in heeding this call? If so, why say yes? This is a journey of reclamation. This is the way we witness, honor, and integrate all of those contradictory aspects of ourselves that seem like they can't exist side by side, and yet they do! The underworld journey is the way we allow, surrender to, and create a container for all of those pieces of ourselves that seem incongruent but actually guide us right into our very core. 

To say yes also means embracing the masculine and feminine within each of us and understanding that it is this sacred marriage that leads to our wholeness.

And of course, we have allies along our journey. Animal totems, spirit guides, archetypal patterns, teachers who have gone before, sacred space to reconnect and come home to ourselves, creative processes, embodiment practices, forest to remind us of our place in the grander scheme of things, ocean to remind us of the water we come from. 

Why do we sometimes say no? Why do we ignore the treasure we instinctively know is buried within us? Because if we dig it up and acknowledge its existence, we'd have to make different choices. Our lives would change drastically. We'd have to be more discerning and create new boundaries. Relationships would quickly unravel. Our former identity would cease to exist. And that's really fucking scary! And we'd also come face to face with our Self. That part of us that is infinite and whole and deeply connected with all that is life.

Are you ready to heed the call? To reclaim your Soul's voice and reconnect with your sacred self-expression? Join us as we embark on the Heroine's Journey toward Embodied Creative Self Expression for 9 weeks beginning on February 23!

And now for some serious truth-telling

Katie Gordon

A lot of people ask how I began my recovery from my eating disorder(s).  What was it that finally broke through the walls I had built up.  What was the thing that finally helped me to WANT to feed myself.  How did I recover?  People want to hear that it was one particular moment, that the light bulb went off, that I finally realized there was more to life than weight and food, blah blah blah... Here's the truth, and it may surprise some, anger a few, and make total sense to others.

I didn't.  There was no light bulb.  There wasn't a decisive moment when I had had enough.  There were many of those moments, and they would last anywhere from a few days to a couple years.  And then there would be a trigger, an event, a stressful couple months, a major (or minor) shift, and I would be sent spiraling back.  Only each time was a little worse because everyone expected me to be "better", "recovered", "over it".   The shame and guilt over my behaviors, the fact that I was slowly ripping my body apart, was worse than I could bear, and so to alleviate that pain, I'd sink deeper.

story we will never tell

I did a pretty okay job of covering up this intense shame and self-loathing by soaking up all the knowledge I could about health, yoga, meditation, spirituality in general, healing work, bodywork, emotional holding, Ayurveda, herbalism from multiple traditions, Chinese Medicine, how to heal trauma, nutritional theory, shamanism, tarot, anything I could get my hands on.  I learned how to eat really healthy.  I'm now one of the most educated 27 year olds I know, and all that is simply a compensation, a distraction from dealing with the fact that I still had no idea how to nourish my Self.  I couldn't bear the thought of sitting with myself long enough to hear the answers that my soul had for me.

And then for the greatest cover-up of them all, I decided to coach OTHER women with eating disorders, because if I couldn't fix myself, maybe I could fix them and then my own struggle would be justified.  And that's when it all started to crack and crumble.  My soul was speaking to me through the eating disorder, telling me it was time for transformation, for letting go.  My body was beginning to feel the (quite frankly) terrifying effects of years of starving and purging.  Before I could do anything I needed to heal my body and my heart.  To give myself the space, let myself be seen in the most vulnerable way.  Everything about it felt raw, exposed, torn open.  It was time to learn the lesson of asking for what I want and need.

And I did.  And my community has risen up more than I could have ever imagined to offer support, space, guidance, words, and witness.  And no judgment whatsoever.


So here I am now, bearing all my scars, all my shame, my pain, anger, grief, everything I'd been working SO hard to conceal for fear of your judgment.  Now that I have nothing left to hide, I can begin the real work to connect with a deep love for myself not because of my imperfections and battles, but because I Am.  Because all of us have the right to love and be loved simply by being born into this world.  We don't need to earn love.  We ARE love.  And so begins the heroine's journey...

heroine's journey