Sitting down to write this post, I took a picture I drew last year, of Maya, my backpacker, free-spirit self, and put it on the table next to me.
See, I’ve built up this inner library of the way things “should” be done on my blog.
- You must write about writing.
- You must have bullet points.
- You must have headings.
- You must write your headline first.
And on and on.
And all of that is helpful, but I’m ready to bust out of these constraints, ready to get raw and real and playful. But it’s hard sometimes to see those invisible walls, those invisible requirements, let alone surpass them.
Maya, my backpacker, free spirited self helps me do it.
Maya is one of many Soul Women that I turn to when I want support or when I want to use a part of myself that may be asleep or dormant.
There’s Maya, my backpacker self. She’s the me who traveled through Guatemala with nothing but a dirty backpack. The me who shaved her head in India. The me who takes risks and tries new things.
There’s Maayan, my creative self. She loves drawing and painting watercolors and finding the connections between things. She made music videos in high school, created a poetry portfolio in college, and made my website brand and graphics.
There’s Chava, my loving self. She’s the self that truly takes time to see and listen to other people. That feels deep empathy for others’ experiences. That is able to stop in the middle of the day to rub my husband’s back or talk to a friend in need.
I met Maya, my first Soul Woman, a year ago.
I was writing about a time I traveled to Guatemala, when I was free and happy and felt unburdened. I remembered a moment when I was on a boat, listening to “Motorcycle Drive By” by Third Eye Blind, and I felt totally and utterly alive.
After I wrote about that experience, I realized that I hadn’t felt that free and unfettered in a long time. I deeply missed that part of me, the part that was wide open and ready for new experiences. So I invited her back into my life. I drew her and named her and welcomed her to help me live more playfully.
For the first time in a long time, I found myself experimenting and trying new crazy ideas.
The invisible bars on my creative cell began to expand and disappear. Just by invoking Maya and inviting her in, I was able to reclaim that hairy-legged, carefree, happy backpacker again.
So I went searching for my other Soul Women. That’s when I met Maayan, Chava, and others, as well.
I’ve helped other women meet their Soul Women, too.
Through invoking their Soul Women, they’ve found the bravery to have conversations they were avoiding, the courage to own their expertise, and the confidence to speak publicly in front of a group.
The idea of Soul Women isn’t unique. You’ve probably heard of the concept of the alter-ego, or the act of creating a “character” to embody when you want to change your personality or achieve something in your life.
For years, Beyonce used her alter-ego, Sasha Fierce to help her perform. She told Oprah, “Usually when I hear the chords, when I put on my stilettos. Like the moment right before when you’re nervous. Then Sasha Fierce appears, and my posture and the way I speak and everything is different.”
I think of it as using your imagination to “become” a different version of yourself, if only for a short time.
I call on specific Soul Women when I need them. For example, if I am struggling with money issues, I call on my money Soul Woman and ask her what to do.
If I’m deciding what to do in my business, I hang out with my CEO Soul Woman and use her guidance to help me on my way.
Instead of approaching these difficult choices and situations from my typical way of thinking, I ask my inner guides for wisdom. It’s kind of like phoning a friend, but instead of calling a real person, you tap into the deep well of your own intuition and knowledge.Meet the wise inner council that will revolutionize your way of handling difficult situations.Click To Tweet
How to Meet/Imagine Your Own Soul Women
1. When you encounter a problem and feel stuck, stop and ask yourself the following questions:
- When is a time that I encountered something like this and proved that I could handle it? What characteristics did I have?
- Who do I know who is really good at this? What qualities do they have that I can give my Soul Woman?
- Is there a famous person or character from a book or movie that I wish I could talk to about this? Which personality traits do they have that I can give my Soul Woman?
2. Using these characteristics as a jumping off point, create your Soul Woman.
You can do this by:
- Drawing her
- Writing a story about her
- Writing back and forth to her as if you’re texting or having a conversation
- Closing your eyes and imagining what she looks and sounds like
- Giving her a name
- Choosing an article of clothing that you can wear when you want to embody her (kind of like Beyonce’s stilettos)
Let your imagination and your intuition take over. This is your Soul Woman. There’s no one right way to envision her. Trust yourself.
3. Anytime you get stuck, see if there’s a Soul Woman you’ve already imagined who can help you, or create a new one.
There’s no rule that you can only have one alter-ego or Soul Woman. I like having Soul Women for all different areas of my life. That way I can focus on the specific traits I want to embody at that moment, rather than creating a perfect super human that encompasses all of them.
If you can imagine a Soul Woman, she is a part of you, because she came from your creativity and intuition.
Creating your Soul Women is like getting back in touch with pieces of yourself that have been asleep or that you never knew existed.
The next time you get stuck on something, know that you have an inner council of Soul Women just waiting to help you out. Then use your imagination, get playful, and meet your next Soul Woman.
You’ll find that you come up with answers you never would have thought of on your own.