Warrior Woman

I always knew I was, a warrior woman. I approached life with a determination, a drive that I’ve seen only in women like me. I did not play a victim to my story. I didn’t point fingers at why I was like I was. I didn’t sit at home, justified in my jadedness.

While I was a victim. And while I did play a victim and hold onto those inner stories, I was still driven to find the answers – I ALWAYS knew there was a solution, I just hadn’t found it yet.

My drive, my go getter attitude, my determination were the things that saved my life so many times. I could feel the darkness and the abyss that would have been so easy to slip into it. And there were many dark nights and dark seasons.

My ability to reach inside of myself, to motivation myself, to ask myself if this was what I wanted, to push myself for more, to find a way, comes from a belief that I have to do everything alone, that if it’s to be it’s up to me, that I cannot rely on another to get me to where I want to be.

A trauma response yes. But also a personality trait. While I can now rely on community, friends, family to help me in ways I couldn’t before. The truth is, to get where I am going, only I can take myself there. There are places that no one can take us, there are places that only we can show up for ourselves, that only we can decide if we want to put in the work to create the life we really want.

Whether it’s weight loss, new career, or creating an extraordinary life only you can decide and only you can walk the path. No one else can fuel your dream for you. No one else can create what you want for you. And it’s not their responsability.

We live in a world where we have been taught to rally the troops, so if your partner doesn’t want to eat better, you don’t and blame them, if your best friend won’t join the gym with you, then you have no one to go with.

A long time ago I knew that if I wanted something I couldn’t wait around for anyone else to do it with me. It started as the gym, when I knew I had to do it alone, for me. Then it was nutrition when I had to take on my own food health without caring what others ate. And then it became business, where I had to walk those paths to navigate the complexities.

Then it became my own spiritual journey.

And I learned even more deeply through that journey that when we don’t follow ourselves, for ourselves, we get lost. Every time in my life I got lost, I found myself on someone else’s path, following someone else’s path, having been lured by the promises of it being easier, or caught up in the excitement and forgetting my own path.

My mother raised me with her voice in my ear, travel, see the world, do what you want, don’t tie yourself down too young, get an education, get a good job. My father is a warrior. My drive comes from him. And I never had a problem standing in my own power, of being the warriorese, of embracing the biggness and the too muchness of me. I had no problem chasing things, driving myself to get what I wanted.

Until spirituality entered my life.

And I began to hear the “feminine”, “rest”, “don’t push” “flow” “let it come to you”, “you do too much”, and particularly around “masculine” energy. I became more passive. I pushed myself less. I expected more. I lowered my standards for myself. I became passive in becoming more “feminine”.

Now don’t get me, I needed to learn to rest, I needed to learn alignment and flow, I needed to slow down, and learn to play and take breaks. But in the slowing down, I slowed down so much I lost the most important parts of me, because in this world, it was more about being and less about action.

But there is a difference in aligned action, there is a difference in pushing for the wrong thins and aligning and flowing with the right things, there is a difference in being and allowing, not all feminine energy is passive. The more of a backseat I took in my own energy the more I lost what I had just found – the deepest parts of myself.

I made bad decisions in this place.

I lost faith in myself in this place.

I had more fear and doubt than I’d ever experienced in this place.

I was panic stricken in this place.

I was an enabler in this place.

I wasn’t me, not the me that I knew, not the me that had the hunger and the passion and the drive to be the greatest version of myself.

I wasn’t a warrior woman anymore. When we define femininity and what it means to be a woman as one thing and one way we reduce the divinity within us. We reduce ourselves to far less than we are and can be. We do to women what men and the patriarchy have done to us for centuries. We reinforce the patriarchy. This isn’t about “hardcore feminism” – this is about taking anyone, any gender, non binary, and reducing it to one thing.

When we do that, we pigeon hole people into being something to fit a version, a belief, and we take away their truest and deepest power – and that is that we are everything. The magnitude of the feminine cannot be suppressed. And attempting to do so won’t make us more women, it will make us more shells of human beings.

I was becoming a cookie cutter version of spiritual communities version of a woman and that is just more conditioning. It’s just more “be this instead of that”. It’s another way of creating stepford wives, samesies. But one thing about a wild woman, a warrior woman, is that she won’t stay there, she will see it, even if it takes her some time.

After the pandemic hit and I was clearing my house, I found my old Tough Mudder book. All the photo’s from the training days, the stuff we did and how alive it made me feel. As I flipped the pages I remembered that I loved chasing things, I loved creating BIG goals and expanding myself to reach them, I love pushing myself to achieve and accomplish things.

I signed up for races and events. I challenged myself. I showed up bigger for myself than I had in years. And I loved it. I came to life with it. My drive. My determination. That’s where my power lives. In those places of expanding into the greatness that I know I’m capable of, not shrinking to fit into someone else’s version of what a spiritual woman, coach, leader should be.

I want to be surrounded by women who are hungry for more, who want more than the cookie cutter, who have a heart calling them into their power, their greatness. That will never be found in playing small. It will never be found in settling, becoming something you are not.

My greatest lesson in life is being myself, my own version of me, living into my own wildness, no matter what the outside world is telling me, when I try something on, or I stand in a new place, and it requires me to be anything other than I am, to ride on.

If a community requires you to change yourself in ways that you lose yourself, it’s not the right community. If you cannot be yourself, if you have to dull yourself, become passive in who you are, if you are afraid to show up and shine because you’ll be labelled as something… then it’s proof to keep moving.

Like the ugly duckling, we’ll all find our way home if we keep going when we don’t belong. When we change who we are to belong we lose the greatest part of ourselves – ourselves.

The more I expanded myself this year, the more I reclaimed myself. And the more I did that I realized that while I was growing through the darkness and the trauma that I finally unpacked, and finding parts of me that I had forgotten existed, I also was losing parts of me that helped me survive all of that – the things that made me a warrior and not a victim.

With each step forward I became more of what I loved about myself and less of what others have wanted me to be.

I reclaimed the warrior within. And I am unapologetic in that – finally.

Stay Wild,

Tonya

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