About 12 years ago, when I was working as a Personal Trainer, I found employment in an all female gym. All female trainers, instructors and members, the manager was also female. I was excited for this opportunity but it was short lived.
I learned in that environment that I could not trust other women, especially in the workplace. It was a competitive environment, more so than working at a regular gym and you couldn’t say anything without the manager knowing about it the next day.
I had been in various all-women environments since then and very quickly
learned to stay quiet and observe so I don’t ruffle any feathers or draw attention to myself.
Fast forward to She is Called.
Carla Ewert opened the session inviting women to introduce themselves and share what emotion or feeling was in alive in us in that moment. Aside from the head fog and queasiness of being up since 4am that morning, I was scared and excited. Excited to be amongst so many strong female voices whom I had admired over the past couple of years and scared to be in the same room as them because I felt so small and insignificant.
Throughout the day, as women shared their own vulnerability, I began to see that I was not alone. Everyone at one point had wondered if they should be there, if they were qualified to be in that room.
What followed was a cultivation of a safe space by Carla and the other organizers. I saw a space that welcomed vulnerability. A space where you had to leave competition at the door and invited you into healing and restoration.
I felt just that when Lanecia Rouse led an Art Workshop inspired by the Japanese art of Kintsugi, a practice of repairing broken pieces of ceramic. This was the first time in so long that I had done an art reflection and Kidstuf kids get to do it all the time, so I was excited.
The entire process was incredibly therapeutic. It was an opportunity to come face to face with my own pain and brokenness. And then speak about it for the first time in so long.
As each woman shared, I quickly learned that
all these women, varying biologically, in age, in orientation, in life and academic experience, in race and in upbringing, we all hurt the same.
We united in sharing how we experience pain and our desire for healing.
Pain was our equalizer.
I want to bring Lanecia here to Forefront Church to run this workshop with our congregation because I believe that we can benefit from seeing one another as equals. Not just talking about it. But truly experiencing it.
Lanecia has generously offered to give me the supply list to be able to run this workshop on my own, but I believe in
uplifting faith leaders in our community, particularly women of color
and supporting the work that they do that is so valuable.
Will you consider giving to our Imagine Campaign so that we can bring leaders like her to share in their gifting and experience growth and healing from it? You can set up a recurring gift or a single gift here.