Because I’m so very glad you’re here, I’d like to begin by telling you a story.

Once upon a time, a young slave escaped from her master by fleeing into the forest.  She had been wandering, hungry and thirsty, for weeks when she happened upon an injured lioness laying and moaning beneath a tree. The slave dared not approach such a powerful-flesh-eating hunter, but when the lioness took notice of her without making a move to strike, the slave came a little closer. She was surprised when the lioness held out a paw, torn and bleeding from a thorn that had lodged there. Slowly, using skills she had learned from her ancestors, the slave pulled the thorn from the lioness’s paw and bound it with soothing mud and leaves. The lioness was soon able to rise and limp about.  She licked the hand of the slave, and then led her to the safety of a cave. The lioness brought water and food to the slave, and eventually the two became fast friends. Together, they journeyed far and dedicated themselves to serving others in distress. You could say that they even lived happily ever after.

I share this story with you because not so long ago, I was that lioness with a thorn in my paw. It was a thorn of shame, insecurity, and fear–the result of an episode of sexual abuse I experienced as a child over thirty years ago.

I grew up in a time when such things were not discussed, and so it took many years for me to confront my past.  For decades, I carried that thorn  as I sought quick fixes. I went on anti-depressants without therapy. I changed jobs. I had my teeth straightened. I changed jobs again. I entered therapy thinking I only needed one or two sessions. You see, my past had strengthened my independent mindset that I could handle this alone. If I could just find the right job, pill, therapist, I could make myself better.

It turns out, I was wrong, but I was also right.

I was wrong because a quick fix was not going to lead to wholeness from the fracturing shame that accompanies sexual abuse.

Yet, I was also right because I did have everything within me I needed to heal. I just didn’t realize the strength was already there, waiting to be activated by the right kind of support.

Part of me had escaped from a cruel master-the silence of my sexual abuse.  I was talking about it to people who mattered to me.  Still, something held me back. Like the slave girl, did I want to get close to that thorn that might consume me? And like the lioness, did I dare let anyone get close enough to see me?  What would people think of me if they knew how messed up I was?

Then, one day, I went to my first yoga class. And then I went to another, and I kept writing about my thoughts and emotions in my journal. While the yoga taught me how to reconnect with my body, the writing allowed me to explore on the page who I was becoming.  Yoga befriended journaling, and journaling befriended yoga, and the two became Wonder Mentors, teaching me how to surrender my old ways of thinking, my old ways of needing to be in control and flying solo.  Until one day, I had what I’d call a Moment of Wonder—I realized for the first time in my life that I was going to be OK. I didn’t know what the future would bring, but I was certain that now I could be present to it in a way I had never been previously.

I found my spirituality deepening as I began to accept and love myself for who I was in my body, mind and spirit, which gave me courage to embark on new ventures and discoveries I never would have imagined thirty years ago.  I now call this way of being Wonder-Hearted living.

You’re here because you, too, are ready for a Wonder-Hearted way of living.

You’re here because you’ve already done a lot of personal work with your own history of sexual abuse.  Though your thorn of shame still stings, you’re ready to deal with it.

You’re here because you yearn for a world free of sexual abuse, yet you find yourself silently watching it happen.

You’re here because you’re ready to put your years of strength and wisdom to use even if you’re not quite sure how.

You’re here because the time is now for you to find your voice, inspire others, and make a difference.

And Women of Wonder is here to help you:

  • Examine what remains of that thorny shame
  • Strengthen your self-confidence, courage, and voice as a woman with a history of sexual abuse.
  • Discover your own wonder-hearted path to make a difference in a world that needs you.

Why Women of Wonder?  Because every time a woman steps out of the identity of abuse and into making her dreams a reality, she brings the light and energy of peace into a world that benefits all.

It’s OK to feel a bit anxious, a bit fearful and uncertain about embarking on this journey. I know I was, and I know I still need the practices of journaling, yoga, and spirituality because maintaining wholeness from the shame of sexual abuse is an ongoing process.

Are you ready to write, breathe, and heal so you can make a difference?

I hope so!

I invite you to join me and other Women of Wonder as together we remove thorns, escape from silently standing by, and discover the many Wonder-Hearted ways we make the world a better place through our peace and presence.

Join the WoW circle. Get Weekly Wonder delivered to your inbox.