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“When are you two going to start trying {wink}?”

“Do you want children?”

“You would make such a great mother, are you actively trying yet?”

And a million other versions of this question are what I have endured on a regular basis over the past five years. 

My answer is always the same- 

No. 

When I am met with blank stares or the masked judgement across the table, I then add a conciliatory- “But we’re open to it if that’s what happens by grace” 

Then I always have to take a moment to catch my breath, calm the anxiety, and try to steer the conversation in another direction- and fast. 

Not because I’ve struggled with infertility. 

Not because I’ve ever been pregnant that ended in loss or some other tragic result. 

Not because- well any number of things that might justify why a woman would not want to discuss the topic.

Over the years, I’ve come to realize that my answer of a clear choice of No is not the socially acceptable answer, and at times even this fierce warrior woman does not want to go to battle.

Because it’s the one battle, the one conversation, that I feel like I can never win. Those who agree with me or have made similar choices for their own life never ask. But those who don’t get it, always do.

I can’t even count how many times I’ve had to endure the requisite responses of:

But you would make an Amazing mother! or

Oh I didn’t want children either and then everything changed once he/she came along! or

Wait until you turn 37, your tune will definitely change once that biological clock starts ticking! or

{my favorite/ not so favorite} You are so smart and beautiful, you would be robbing the world if you didn’t have children!

And so I smile and nod, and feel the pain in my metaphorical Achilles Heel- the tender spot of my deepest longing of being fully SEEN. Where I question if what someone else sees is what I can’t see myself, or if the person in front of me can’t see me at all. 

When this conversation strikes that tenderest of tender places, I spiral in the longing of wanting to belong that is at the heart of my Achilles Heel, and the smallest of seeds of doubt creep in.  

For a long time, I consistently told myself that someday, I would sit down and get to the heart of what is- truly- True for me on this question of motherhood. 

The problem with putting things off for someday, is that eventually, someday becomes TODAY and you need to turn and not only face, but walk right into, the center of the battle field hidden deep in your own heart.

So as it’s written in tales, this winter someday became today- and thrust me into what I now refer to as my Worthiness Revolution.

It began innocently enough, once upon a time:

Our wedding day. Family and friends gathered from around the country to celebrate our union. 

There was love in spades and vulnerability was running high as we crossed the threshold into a new stage of life- it truly felt like the best day of my life. But in the midst of the celebration, there was a witchy ritual done in our name after I explicitly said No to it (more on this violation another day), followed by a lie told by one guest in particular to my husband about my 'secret' desire to have a family- which cast a shimmer of a doubt that maybe- just maybe- our solid plan of no children was not so solid after all. 

At first the Revolution was a tiny flame- anger at the lie & boundary violation required some major clearing & boundary work to move on. I knew my Truth, and I was standing clear in it. 

Or so I thought. 

Until I began to receive daily messages from my intuition that I needed to sell my sporty truck and get a larger one. I had no idea why, but I’ve learned to trust the messages when they come- even if they make absolutely zero sense. 

The tiny flame then became a wild fire at a car dealership- of all places- after a test drive of a huge, used Land Rover- a ‘mom car’ if you will. In the office of a young slick salesman, my husband’s face became red, he ushered me out the door to the closest bar, and proceeded to tell me over a beer that I had to go deep in my heart and TRULY decide once and for all what I wanted.

The comments at the wedding had sparked a flame of initiation in him as well, and seeing me behind the wheel of a car I could possibly drive a family in led him to come undone.

So for a few months, I put on the hat of ‘MOM’ to embody what it would be like to step into the role as close as I could, without actually going there. 

A few weeks later I traded in my sporty Wrangler and bought a big SUV with DVD players in the back seat and enough room for well- a small army. 

I told friends we were trying to conceive- though in truth every time I ovulated I came up with every excuse in the book not to actually try.

I spent more time with the kids at my riding school and asked friends with little ones if I could hang out to see how it felt- but I was always relieved when it was time to come back to my quiet home.

When I started to take prenatal vitamins my body rebelled. Nightmares and nausea. Even my hormones came along for the ride- experiencing wild mood swings, gaining 15 pounds, breaking out like a teenage girl again.

I began envisioning what I would do with my business if I got pregnant, what relationship I would want with my work once a child arrived, how I could work the finances. 

When I make a commitment to explore something, I go all in- mind, soul and body. And this was no exception. 

But then, I began to have a glass or three of wine every night because- well- I just couldn’t handle all of the emotions that were throwing themselves at my feet everyday as I tried to embody what felt like an alien concept to me.

In the midst of this exploration, a new president was sworn in and questions over health care became a big concern- notably the possibility of losing maternity coverage under the new administration within the year. 

Which added fuel to the fire of- if you are going to do it, do it NOW. 

And so, it was a long winter of processing every emotion under the sun that came with all of the options:

Being a No.

Being a Yes.

Being a No and knowing it’s a possibility I still might get pregnant.

Being a Yes and knowing it’s a possibility I still might not get pregnant.

I tried each one on for size. And kept arriving at the same conclusion:

That my answer is a clear No.

So nothing had changed. Yet everything changed because in that claiming of my No, I came face-to-face with emotions I truthfully had never experienced before: guilt, shame, and the most surprising one of all- a lack of worthiness.

Guilt over having the privilege to choose in the first place.

Shame for wanting what is not the socially acceptable path.

Guilt at being fertile and not bringing forth life.

Shame for not wanting what so many women I know- family, friends & peers- are desperately craving for themselves but can't for a variety of reasons.

And then the mama of them all arose- a force I did not feel prepared to face. A force that felt far from logical and instead was utterly primal. The question of:

Am I still worthy as a woman if I do not have children? 

Especially if it is my choice to not have them?

I’m not ashamed to say that as an alpha Leo woman, questions around my worthiness have not really been a ‘thing’ for me.

If anything, I’ve been accused in the past of believing in my worth a little too much

So when this question arose in the midst of a massive storm this winter- as the roads were flooding and trees blowing down all around our home- I felt like I was drowning.

I wish I could say it lasted only that night as the storm raged, but instead it lasted close to 6 months. Every time I came up for air and felt like I got a handle on the situation, I would be yanked back down into the heat of the flames and the strength of the tide to face yet another level of questioning my worthiness.

It felt like I was living the myth of Persephone being taken to the underworld by Hades over and over again, with a healthy dose of the Caledonian Boar of Artemis legend sprinkled in to throw my inner world into turmoil.

And it's a strange thing- to be living out some of the darker myths of the fierce feminine and still be trying to show up in the real world as a bright and radiant being. Most days I could pull it off, but the night time was where I faced most of these shadows.

For a little while I shared the process I was in with friends and loved ones. But often I was met again with everyone’s opinions on what they could ‘see’ for me, but I often felt like I was being inundated with projections instead of truly being seen.

Or I tried to speak with women who have made the same choice and found most of them simply didn't wish to discuss it- mostly because they had experienced similar battles on this topic like I had and learned to shut these conversations down fast.

One 70 year-old woman who chose not to have children {and who lives an extraordinary & active life} gave me the advise to shut up- that only I could answer the question deep in my own heart.

So I stopped.

And I crawled into my cave- which felt more like a womb- and faced every shadow and core wound that catapulted me straight into my mother wound. The wound that has quietly been running the show all along without me being aware of it. 

The wound that told me I wasn’t worthy.

The wound that told me I wasn’t wanted.

The wound that told me that I would never belong no matter how hard I tried.

Which if you know about the mother wound and how she works, were all complete and utter lies.

But that’s the funny thing that happens when we finally get to the core of our mother wound- we see the Truth for what it is and realize just how much we’ve been letting the wound run the show.

And that Truth?

That Truth was a blazing hot beating heart that showed me that not only am I loved, but I am worthy.

Period. Full Stop. 

Worthy.

Which seems so simple, but in the midst of what felt like chaos, was absolutely the most revolutionary thing I had ever felt. 

I felt high on life. I felt like ME again. 

And I felt like I could finally stand tall in the answer that had been there all along- that while I am a NO to physically being a mother, that does not mean that I am not a mother in other ways.

I am a mother to my clients and the community I foster in my business.

I am a mother to a spiritual warrior of a horse, a huge cuddly lab and a cat that truly is the queen.

I am a mother to countless creative projects, programs, books, podcasts, writings and so much more.

And I am a mother to my own internal world, seeing myself fully. Taking care of that Achilles Heel of a mother wound that has desperately been seeking to be SEEN.

This last one was the motherhood that was thrown into question in the midst of this reckoning, but was infinitely strengthened by this process.

It's a strange thing to put this out in the world and still know that God may have other plans, that a child may still come that I can not yet see, that my choice might change tomorrow or my biological clock may kick in a few years from now.

But as I searched the internet for others who have made the same choice, it became clear to me that choosing to be a No to having a child in many ways has nothing to do with actual motherhood.

And that there is a huge community of women who don't discuss this for all of the reasons I just wrote above, who need to know that:

Yes- you are absolutely worthy as a woman if you do not have children- whether it is a choice or not.

That motherhood takes many forms.

And some of us have another path here that is no less worthy and is just as powerful.

I say this is Part 1 because I know this conversation does not end with these words, and there are deeper aspects to explore as I continue on this journey. Mythological patterns, archetypal bloodlines, warrior woman & priestess roles to be expressed.

So more is coming, when the time is right. 

But in the meantime I want to hear from you- have you ever faced a similar question? Have you made a similar choice? Or chosen differently, but still question your worthiness as a woman?

My intention with publishing this piece is to open the conversation and have a safe space for women to discuss their own reckoning with motherhood, so I have turned the comments on below. 

Thank you for seeing me <3

In Liberation + Celebration,

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