A long break between altered cards, but now two that feel deeply important to me and are connected to one another.
Know in your Gut
I was pleased to come across this little picture in an art magazine as it so perfectly captures the idea of knowing something in your gut. I have always been a person with strong feelings, reactions and intuitions about what I am going to do in a situation, but am also a very heady, over-analytical person. Although I can sometimes think about a situation for months and still dilly-dally and dither around without making a decision, when it comes to important choices I usually know straight off what I need to do. At times I would really struggle to explain in logical terms why I’ve reached a particular decision – basically there isn’t a logical reason – I just know that that is what I need to do.
At the moment I feel the need to get even more deeply in tune with this part of myself and learn to trust it more wholeheartedly. I want to get better at trusting the little ‘gut nudges’ which suggest a different possibility – to go with my gut rather than the rut I am used to ploughing. I want to trust the gut nudge to speak or not speak, to rage, to pause, to journey or look in a way that is new to me.
I am currently very aware of the ruts I am in as a woman, the way I have accepted and tolerated and condoned an undervaluing of the feminine. I increasingly sense in my gut how this happens all around me – and within me – every day, and I want to learn to value and respond to this knowing: not just to be vaguely aware of it, but to trust it, act upon it and nurture it. And this all leads on to what feels like the most important card I have made this Lent:
The picture of the two girls on this card came from a girls’ annual from 1966, the year I was born. It struck me how the girls’ finger and pen to the lips suggest a sort of paralysis, an inability to find and speak their truth – or at least the need to look like they don’t know what their truth is. It feels reminiscent to me of the many selfies young girls and women take on their phones these days, where the pouting lips look like they’re choosing not to speak because that is somehow seen as more appealing in a woman.
If there is one thing I most want to develop at the moment, it is my ability to not only know in my gut what my truth is, but to voice it, declare it, speak it out, shout it or rage it if necessary. I want to explore more deeply why I often silence myself, protect others from the truth of what I have to say, choose the discomfort of not speaking over the discomfort of choosing to speak. I want to be able to both choose to allow my own voice and also to encourage others to speak.