I got my first piece of hate mail this week. It was directed at my Warrior School webpage. The individual reprimanded me for posting “sexually inappropriate” photos of myself and teaching women advocates to get attention in this way. They said that women who seek attention by being sexually inappropriate are a “disgrace.” I’m not sure if it was a man or a woman that wrote this message to me- it was signed by two different fake names. Honestly I don’t think it really matters. My instinct tells me it might as well have been signed “Love, The Patriarchy.”
This message seemed to come out of nowhere and land in my lap just a few days after we celebrated the graduation of my first ever Warrior School class and these 14 amazing, open-hearted, wise, embodied and unleashed women leaders. Embodied Warriors. As I write that, I feel a pang of sadness and grief in my heart. Grief for the cultural system we have had in place that shames women for being fully expressed, in touch with their sensuality, and larger than life. Because I truly believe a woman that is fully balanced—in her heart, mind, body and spirit—is unstoppable in this world.
But how do the rest of us respond when we witness a woman fully expressed, grounded in her authentic empowerment, filled with self-love that spills over onto everyone she interacts with, and in touch with her sensuality? What do we think in our heads or whisper to our friends or yell at her in the schoolyard or maybe even write in a hateful internet comment when we witness such expression of goddess-like power?
Glennon Doyle refers to a fully-expressed woman owning her power in her book Untamed as like a cheetah. “She’s a g*d-damned cheetah,” she says. She also speaks to the phenomenon that has been baked into us by the patriarchy (with another entire layer baked in by white supremacy), where even other women want to hate on her and knock her down when they see her. It’s threatening and it comes from a misbelief of scarcity—that women have to compete with each other for a man (in the patriarchal sense), for stability, for safety, for happiness. A misbelief that women are powerless and therefore have to use their sexuality to manipulate in order to get their needs met.
I have been on a journey of owning my own power for 40 years now, with the ups and downs of self-hatred, insecurities, and a strong desire to HIDE. Being truly seen has felt not only vulnerable but dangerous to me in the past. Really over the last three years or so, I finally have allowed myself to take up more space, to be truly seen, to allow myself to be “too much.” To let go of the misbeliefs I had held that a good woman is quiet, subservient, and small (in all the ways).
Last summer for my 40th birthday, I gifted myself a photo shoot with the amazing Meghan Branlund of Rise Photo Co. She provides women with a sacred experience of coaching and photography, to help them navigate transition in their life and celebrate their authentic beauty. I got to pick a theme for my shoot and it was “Playful Warrior”: think Authentic Empowerment, Courage, and Humor wrapped into one. I knew as I was about to launch Warrior School that I had to walk my talk. I needed to finally love my body, not after I lose the extra 15 pounds, but as she is right now, curves and all.
I got to pick out sensual clothing that I would pose in- stilettos and lace and hats and jewelry. We had so much fun. We laughed our asses off as random people would walk by on the dusty, Southern California trail that we were shooting on- me standing in my underwear like, “Hey how’s it going?”
We then ended the shoot at a beautiful, shaded, creek surrounded by trees and greenery and for the first time in my life I was nude in a public place, allowing myself to be photographed. I feel vulnerable even typing this, but equally aware of how important it is to share. I felt safe, joyful, and giddy.
When I looked at the camera, I felt my Inner Warrior coming through, not to be messed with. She is beautiful, sexy, loving, playful, and fiercely protective of those she loves. She has a sacred and important purpose in this lifetime and she shoves her stake into the ground, anchoring that purpose.
I chose to share some of the photos from that shoot on my Warrior School page and marketing because to me they represent how far I’ve come in my own journey of self-empowerment and what I long for all humans.
So here I am today, sharing my first direct feedback from the Patriarchy. Who do I think I am, sharing empowered photos of myself on my own website meant to inspire other women to own their power? Who am I to teach women to honor and fully express their sensuality, their receptivity, the wisdom in their beautiful bodies and most importantly their boundaries? I am Tina Meyers, the Warrior Woman here to call forth aliveness in humanity. That is my mission and I will not waiver.
I am sending love and healing light to all of those parts in myself and all of you that have been conditioned to hate on a woman that is fully expressed, and more importantly, to all the self-judgments that have come up when we allow ourselves to be fully expressed. My longing for all of us is that we give ourselves permission to embrace the full spectrum of our Divine Feminine and Masculine, our empowerment, and our gorgeous expression. May we all be fully seen for the authentic, sensual, divine beings that we are.
With love and open-hearted naughtiness,
p.s. of course I find myself writing this on the Full Moon in Leo—a moon that is calling us to fully celebrate ourselves and how far we’ve come. Not from a place of ego seeking to fill voids with the attention of others but from a place of grounded self-love and honoring our journeys. Thank you mama moon for moving us like the tides. xoxoxo
Waking up on this Monday, January 18, 2021, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day—the first one since the Pandemic started, since George Floyd was murdered; the one smack in the middle of the month when the Capital was ransacked and racism was on display loudly and proudly; the one literally two days before the inauguration of our first female and African American/ South Asian American Vice President—I felt called to write.
Usually on MLK day, I love sharing a meme on social media with one of his powerful and wise quotes, which to me have always felt spiritual, have always confirmed the work I have done expanding into love and forgiveness into my life. “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only Light can do that.” To me, this has always meant working towards love and forgiveness in my relationships, and still does in many ways.
Little did I know that I had enormous blinders on for the first 39 years of my life, not even seeing the true plight within which MLK was advocating for love. The extremity of the darkness that white supremacy as a structure and white people collectively and individually have placed on BIPOC. How revolutionary it was for a man to tout love and forgiveness within the extreme hate BIPOC have faced and continue to face.
Like so many of my white, spiritual, coach friends, it has taken me until George Floyd was murdered to truly start to wake the f*** up to my enormous blinders. The ones that ignored the white supremacy and racism cooking deep within my cells. The ones that got real fragile anytime anyone brought up the word racism in my presence and caused defensiveness, sobbing, and the fire of a toddler’s temper tantrum to rise up within me. These blinders were my ego, protecting this gaping hole of darkness lurking within me, that all the love and light and forgiveness in the world were not being allowed to touch.
I am so sorry to my beautiful BIPOC friends for all that you’ve gone through and continue to go through, still showing up each day with a smile on your face, still loving me and allowing me to love you when you knew damn well, way before I did, that my blinders were on. Honestly it humbles me to tears to think of the strength of heart necessary to still find love in the midst of so much darkness—even darkness from those that are supposed to be your friends.
What MLK was saying is so brilliant and profound to my white, slightly awoken ears, yet I can’t even fathom to understand the depth of profundity in the midst of what he and all BIPOC humans have had to experience. The societal hate, violence, belittling, collective messaging of “less than,” judgments based on nothing but your skin color, and what might be worst of all the collective white messaging that racism doesn’t exist anymore and you should just suck it up and be fine now. Holy shit. I experienced gaslighting regularly in a past toxic relationship I was in and it almost drove me to madness. I can’t even imagine having an entire race looking at you like it’s all in your head, when the truth is, it’s all in our damn cells and we don’t want to look at it. Yet in my lifetime, in my privileged white bubble, I have definitely held that belief: “why can’t we all just get along and move past this??”
So on this MLK day, I am going to do my best to be Honest. In the midst of so much uncertainty in the world, in our fate, in our politics, in our health. At a time when I don’t know what to believe and who to trust, there is one thing I know for sure: it is time for us white people to finally put a flash light on those icky parts inside of us. To face that even if you're a kind person and don’t intend to be racist, if you grew up in Western society and you are white, you are probably a racist. It has been baked into our cells. Looking at those dark corners of our cells is terrifying and icky and shameful and horrifying. Yet what’s more horrifying is ignoring it and pretending it’s not there, letting it operate and harm others unconsciously and yet still wanting us to all get along.
So even if this crazy world ends tomorrow, I know deep in my soul that looking at and taking responsibility for the white supremacy and patriarchy that has been baked inside of me, will be time well spent. It has to be. It has to be so that I can better understand. It has to be so I can be Authentic when I tout that “Empathy is my Superpower.” On this MLK Day I am going to work to expand my range from “white empathy” to full-range empathy as my damn superpower.
Sending all of you love, encouragement, patience and grace, wherever you currently are on this journey, whether you’re healing and taking responsibility for your own white supremacy or witnessing others in your life finally start to go there.
In Truth and Love,
*Note: For those of you that are white and reading this and don’t know where to start, I HIGHLY recommend a book by Layla Saad called Me and White Supremacy. It takes you through chapter by chapter on topics such as White Fragility, Colorblindness, Tone Policing, White Feminism (damn that one slapped me in the face in the best way!) and so many more. And if you listen on audio book, you get the gift of her soothing British accent (which I now realize after the Tone Policing chapter is probably strategic that so my fragile white ears can actually stay and listen!! ;)).
Next up on the list is the book Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. I have a lot of resistance to opening this book and this tells me how important is it going to be. There’s an entire part of history that I haven’t had to look at in my privileged white bubble. It’s time for me to look. It’s time for me to better understand.
Tina Meyers is a Co-Active Coach, a Certified Career Intuitive Coach, an attorney by training, and a seeker of creativity, courage, bliss, and transformation in her own life and the lives of others.
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