Behind the Lyrics of Warwoman:
In one of the most difficult years of my life, I decided to dig deep and really get to know myself again because I was so tired of dying inside. (Click link to read The Iron Mouse). So I made the decision to truly live, diving head first into other realms, into sacred shamanic medicine, and deeper into my own psyche than I’ve ever traveled. It was a determined and strategically designed endeavor to strip myself of layers upon layers of old patterns, self sabotage, bitterness, resentment, societal constructs, expectations, addictions, and dogmas- Painfully peeling off those layers of myself like an onion. And with each layer of that onion came many, many, tears…. and so much healing…. funny how that’s usually the case.
I’d spent years dreaming and training to open a holistic business of my own, and getting certifications or degrees throughout the years. –Mainly because they’d look so friggen’ impressive on my walls. Which they totally did. Really… People loved my credentials and I fed on that so much. “When I have a doctorate, they’ll really respect me”… “An extra Nutrition course will look faaabulous over my yoga credentials, or in between my counseling degree and Vedic Thai cert“… “Throw some Biology of Sound up there as well!….”Oh Yeah, and anything that ends with the word ‘Specialist,’ because people Love that word these days!” I concluded, rightfully so. Have you ever driven yourself mad by your goals and aspirations? –It’s kind of my thing. I have heaps of certifications and degrees that I can hardly bear to look at these days because of the reasoning and self pressure behind them. I’m just your average workaholic who knows how to cover insecurities, pain, lack of self worth, embarrassment, guilt, and even despair with hard work, dedication. and random education. –Just another addiction, put it on my tab with the rest of em’ won’tcha.
And then one day, with the help of my former partner, I finally turned it into a reality and opened a wellness center in a ritzy mountain town where I partially grew up. We brought in every dollar we had, every hope and dream, but also every fear, insecurity, and an uncanny amount of stress, leading to many fights, and many tears. It didn’t help that the local yogi’s greeted us with legal Cease and Desists for nonsense, (small town competition) and slandered us beyond belief. The stress and depression was like a thick cloud of putrid smoke, lingering after an atomic bomb… leaving everything dead or dying within the remains of the blast with no way out. I cried every day and escaped into my personal abyss. Then he left me. And I officially died inside for the thousandth time in my life. “He was my last hope,” I had thought. “Everyone always leaves as soon as times get tough,” “and even the yogi’s are bullshit hypocrites now”…. “I have no one… fuck that- I Need No One.” So i hid in the darkness for months in secret agony. I worked myself to the bone during the day teaching more classes than you can fathom. Yoga, pilates, kettlebell, mixed martial arts, meditation, cooking, arts and crafts, the list goes on. I was beyond determined to keep the wellness center open and not let another man (or person) destroy me. Nights were spent mainly watching documentaries and drinking Sake to numb the pain- all the while, screaming at the world in my head. More people used me for my status and wellness center as their platform than you can imagine. I was just a way for people to sell their products or make money off of at the end. I watched it all unfold before me, along with my two best friends helping me run the center, just how many people will use you in life -especially within the healing community. I cringed at the thought of wellness, or healers, or commitment, or Men….. It just felt like Total Bullshit…. All. Of. It.
A decade prior to that I had worked for a pretty famous megachurch in Australia, and it was truly an honor for that period in my life. I needed it. I finished their leadership college, was becoming a pastor and working with youth, counseling, and social justice. I also did everything I could to be a perfect and sinless creature (you know, to meet the perfect missionary husband to go save the world with him -Obvi!). I even semi-stalked a world renown scholar and theologian until he finally let me learn under him on my desperate attempt to become a scholar. (God, that’s such a good story for another time, seriously.) But needless to say, I still never felt enough. As a teen I had partied my ass off so I needed some serious redemption in my latter years, yet never quite met the Christian bar- but I sure tried my best! Sheesh. Ever tried being puritanically perfect out of fear and desperation? It will fucking kill you. It killed me. Again, and again, and again. Until one day, I was asked to resign from my position. Thank God, -heh! I’ll totally admit why too. After almost 5 years of celibacy, (Meaning: No hanky- panky for 5 years… I was quite proud of that actually -Thank you very much.) I broke my vow and then confessed it to an elder, leading to my forced resignation. I understood. But I also felt like a total idiot and like Lilith, casted out from the Garden of Eden for non compliance. Or like Anne Hutchinson, the Puritan spiritual adviser whom John Winthrop banished for confessing her dissimilar belief, and then sent out to die in the cold… Sinners Beware.
In moving back to America, everything made me feel like an outsider….I wasn’t perfect enough to be a part of a church anymore (hold your judgements- I tried many more churches throughout the years, but most halls wreaked of hypocrisy to me by that point). And don’t even get me started on how people saw me once I became a yogi. Haaa! Not only was I going to Hell, but now I was leading people there in a Hindu Handbasket and singing them to their doom in Sanskrit. Talk about growing even more bitter! Another personal death… “They all eventually abandon you or kill you inside…especially the ones with faith,” my judgments cried out. “There’s nowhere left to go.” And that was partly true.
I had only one place left to go. Within. And it was fucking awful. It still is sometimes. Not all the times, but now and then, my Skeleton Woman will pop up. (Another fantastic cultural story I’ll elaborate on in an upcoming blog- to sum it up, our deepest fears and insecurities will shine through when we need them to be healed, allowing ourselves and the ones we love to see through our ugliest moments exposed and wretched bones into our real beauty underneath- it’s a great Inuit tale!) Try digging into your own bones & psyche sometime. – I literally dare you. You will find your best friend and your worst nightmare alllllll wrapped up there into one. Now really dig… thaaaat’s it…. a little deeper… until you see it all. Dig until you want to scream, and cry, and break shit, and burn everything, and blame everyone around you, including your god -I mean, whoever the hell that is now that you’ve seen so much into other worlds…. -Which is also a really great story and an upcoming blog called “Dancing with Jerri,” about how I broke down my dogma with a shamanic medicine guided Vision Quest. Ohhh, there are so many stories I could share….
Warwoman stemmed from all of this. From every heart break, to every shitty decision I’ve ever made. I wrote it for myself so I would stop dying inside. –I still do sometimes, but in a transformational way….and then I write about my experiences. I wrote it in spite of every man who ever built my dreams and broke my heart. And for all the times I picked myself up, dusted myself off, and kept going. Lyrics poured out with thoughts of my teachers -Mainly the ones in my head.
And most of all, I wrote this in honor of my devoted partner, (both in life and business) William, and his 3 amazing children that we have the honor of co-raising in the Dome Home. The man who is so precious to my heart and has been the most beautiful healer, lover, friend, protector, and trusted confidant that I could ever ask for. The one who taught me how to depend on myself, in the most strong, beautiful, and healthy way. A way that always reminds me to find my worth in my own god, my purpose, my way, and my self. So thanks to you, my wonderful magic man of the woods and WAR- man, (those really are his initials. Pretty suiting, hey?!) I love you to the moon, Shug. We still go through our own shit but I wouldn’t trade you for the world.
So I commission you ladies… Go stare at yourself in the mirror and see everything that you love and hate about yourself. Let go of all of the pointless or hurtful shit that you keep from your past. Release the old. Make way for the new. Fuck bitterness, it rots your bones. Pick yourself up, in whatever way that you need, and KEEP GOING….. I never got my doctorate and probably never will. Haven’t even finished my Masters yet. Oh well. I couldn’t care less. But today I can proudly say that I Am Worthy. I Am Loved. I Am Created For Something Big. I Am the Church Who Believes in Everyone. I Am WARWOMAN. And so are You. May you never forget that. And if you do… may you go out into the woods and sing your heart out with these words until She shows you.
Woman of the Woods
Warwoman, who is she?
She’s the one roaming naked through the forest.
So wild, & free.
Warwoman, how does she see?
With her eyes closed, only
I was walking through the woods one morning, & who should I meet?
That woman, hair down, eyes ablaze. And no shoes on her feet.
So I asked her, Warwoman, won’t you tell me, just how should I be free?
And with a laugh, she said, My Daughter, you already know… So, whatcha want with me?
And then with a smile, she said, Oh, My Child… Why don’t you listen to your dreams?
Cos’ don’tcha know, this whole world opens & unfolds, in the depths of our sleep.
Then I asked her, Warwoman, would you tell me, just Who should I be? She circled her finger, pointed at me, and said, My Darling- I am You and you are Me.
Beginning to dance, & sweeping her hands, she said, If you’re open…. The Plants will tell you everything.
And then you will know, because you’ve been shown, all of the worlds, and their different thrones… There is more than the eyes can see…
But if you dive deep, take heed now. You might see things you don’t want to see. Just let your guide, expand your mind. With the bark of the Acacia tree.
Be sure to listen, and sift through the wisdom. And My Darling then you shall be free.
So I cried out, WARWOMAN! –Please spare me your mysteries! And then with a laugh, and a clap of the hands she said My Daughter, you already know. So…What The Hell You Want With Me?!
Then came the fire, behind my eyes, and when they opened, Warwoman was gone. (She left as quickly as she came.)
Looking around, my hair was let down, Glance at my feet, no shoes to be found. -I knew, that everything had changed.
Now when they ask me, how does that Warwoman see? I close my eyes & go inside, ever deeper, knowing why.
And when they ask me, about Warwoman, & who is she? I open my eyes, & show them the fire, then they know, that Warwoman is me.