Did I ever tell you I have an alter-ego of sorts? I do.
You may recall me telling you that I have a practice of writing letters to my deeper wise woman self, or to life, or to love, or to ‘God’. I write to them in times when I feel lost, or need clarity, and can’t access that deeper knowing part of me.
I cannot more highly recommend this practice as a way of accessing your OWN innate wisdom and higher-self when you’re deep in the feels and can’t find your way out. And I particularly suggest you bring them to life by visualizing them all fleshed out in human form, sitting at the table with you having tea or coffee or whatever you like.
I have a different cast of characters for different needs, and these letters are my way to call up those characters wisdom. But my ‘Wise Woman’ self I call Alice.
She is old and tough, and she’s seen some shit. She’s weathered the storms of her life and ridden the wave of her own rising tide to the finish. She is Southern and slow-living, but fierce and sharp as a tac all at once. She is an amalgamation of a lot of wise women who inspire and delight me, because this helps me to hear my own wisdom in a voice that I trust (often more than my own). She’s part Maya, part Frida, part Shirley McClaine and part gentle, loving country farmhouse grandma.
When she speaks, time slows down and opens up. When she speaks, mountains move in the soul. When she speaks, everyone listens. Because she knows. And something inside you knows she knows, and shuts up.
Here is a conversation we had recently:
Me: can we talk?
Her: sure, sweetheart. What’s up?
Me: I just recommended a friend get in touch with her wise woman about an issue that I am ALSO struggling with right now and so I thought I’d take my own advice.
Her: Sounds smart.
Me: So how DO you deal with this downward spiral feeling that happens when you are really attached to an outcome and really NEED it to happen for your own well being and yet you have no control over it and it looks to be falling apart before your eyes? Or already did fall apart and now you don’t know what the fuck you’re going to do??
Her: (totally calmly) Whoa, sounds heavy.
Me: It is!!?
Her: What can you do about it?
Me: (pause, followed by deep sigh) … Nothing.
Her: What is it making you feel?
Me: powerless. doomed. rejected. sad. afraid… alone.
Her: Are you alone?
Her: Have you ever felt afraid, sad, rejected, doomed and powerless before?
Me: Ummm, yes.
Her: (looking at me up and down knowingly) You okay?
Me: yes. (another deep sigh)
Her: Every wonderful thing in your life, including all your most treasured relationships, risked feeling all these things didn’t they? In fact most were preceded by these very things weren’t they?
Her: How’d that work out for you, honey?
Me: pretty fucking great, actually.
Me: But I feel like I should be DOING something more, what should I DO, what can I DO?
Her: (puts her hands over my hands on the table and says with a calm, loving but totally sly like the devil smile…) If there ain’t nothin can be done, then your job is to do nothin’.
Me: It CANNOT be that simple. What about pushing through and making shit happen?!
Her: (sits back in her chair slowly) Well sure… how’s that goin’ honey?
Me: 😄 (laughs) Not so great at the moment.
Her: When making shit happen is your job, you’ll be doin’ it. When doing nothing is your job, you’ll be doing it. See… you’re GETTIN’ your job assignments girl, you just don’t like em.
Me: 😄😂😂 (both start laughing)
Also Me: (eyes full of tears) Thank you ❤️
Her: It ain’t nothing you didn’t already know darlin’. You just don’t trust yourself yet.
Trust, okay? Just trust. Trust you. Trust life. Trust the way.
Her: Now relax. Everything’s gonna be alright. ❤️ When the right next step is ready, you’ll know it. Ain’t nothin’ meant for you-you gonna miss.
See, I told you she knows.
So when YOU feel lost, reach for the part of YOU that knows. Write out your questions to her/him/them and wait for the answer. Listen to what your wise self knows already, it’s often sitting right there beneath the surface of our doubt, fear and panic, and it has a wealth of gold to give you if you make the space to listen.
What does your wise self know? What do they look like, or sound like? Maybe one day soon they’ll look and sound exactly like you.