When I took this photograph I was walking with a few women that had come together almost twenty years before to celebrate my 40th birthday. After several years of solitary inner work I desired a community of like-minded/like-hearted women centered on introspective sharing. They were the gift I gave myself in the form of a sacred, introspective sisterhood.
We would continue to gather one weekend a month for the next four years. Following that, in the face of death, divorce, marriage, motherhood and widowhood we have continued to gather. In spirit if not in person, most of us are never far from one another. The losses have been difficult but the impact on the lives of those of us left to gather have been profoundly blessed. Lessons that can only be learned through losing those you love are often the biggest gifts anyone can receive. This is true for those that pass away as well as those who embrace a path focused elsewhere. This sisterhood and the individuals who formed it has been the greatest gift in my life.
We called ourselves Journey Women because we knew it was the journey, not the destination that mattered. Together we traversed the inner landscapes to unimaginable depths and heights. Introspection and shadow work was our process. Holding up mirrors for one another without judgement was our commitment. In taking up the inner journey we each found our personal 'road less traveled' and helped one another put one metaphorical foot in front of the next.
The Third Eye Operations blog is about navigating an inner journey. It's my way of giving back and paying forward the incredible gifts I found by simply looking inward and embracing all that I found there. Having a small circle of introspective, nonjudgmental sister-women willing to drop all masks, explore deeply buried wounds and share failures as victories is no small thing. I know that we live in a world where that kind of safety simply isn't possible...'out there'. But it is completely possible within ones own heart and mind.
As an extremely introverted, introspective, intuitive woman, intrigued by the meaning of life, I simply began on my own. For several years I read and explored and questioned the meaning of life...in general and my life in specific. As science, philosophy and religion failed to adequately answer the questions I carried, I simply began to ask existence itself.... Who are we, where do we come from and what are we doing here? I also held a mantra of sorts within me, "Lead me into all truth." The old saying, "Be careful what you ask for." has proven a great warning. Thinking I was simply on a esoteric quest, I was not prepared for the truths about this world which have been revealed as well.
I have taken the time to write several of my life experiences in both story form and poetry. I share them because they provide the best glimpse I can offer into a life built around introspective curiosity and questioning. My goal in publishing these along with occasional posts is two-fold. First, to lay as breadcrumbs for anyone wondering what an introspective journey might look like. Secondly, and probably more important, as a shout-out to introverts everywhere to take up the life they came to express. As introverted individuals we are capable of deep thoughts and long periods of inner searching that others simply aren't built for. Our extroverted, socially obsessed, consumer driven world desperately needs the balancing we fail to bring when we introverts measure ourselves against the masses. The resulting social anxiety and feelings of inadequacy fall away as we journey inward, embrace the truths we find there, and then share them with those who ask.... having simply noticed that we walk to the beat of a different drummer, along a road less traveled. "...and that has made all the difference." as Robert Frost expressed in his poem The Road Less Taken.