Shedding our Skin – Returning,Reclaiming,Redefining – Ryan Couples Therapy Tacoma, WA

Shedding our Skin: Returning, Reclaiming, Redefining

Shedding our skin is the journey of returning, reclaiming and redefining our true nature and our Sacred Sexuality.  It is a powerful act of both letting go and reclaiming; letting go of the lies that have imprisoned us and reclaiming our truest, most divine selves.

I want to share with you a most potent dream I had that affirmed for me the necessity of embarking on this journey to shed our skin.

The Dream

It was during the time of the dark moon, black skies with grey, enormous, and fast-moving clouds were above me.

I was in the woods, with old trees and stone surrounding me, an abandoned cabin in the distance. There was a chill in the air. My skin was muddied, my hair tangled, my body aching and sore, my heart weary and my spirit lost.

I felt alone… until I looked up and I saw a woman coming out of the cabin. As she approached me I could see that she was cloaked in black and stooped with old age. Her walking stick, the only thing that kept her standing, for she no longer had the strength to stand on her own.

As she got closer, I saw her vacant eyes, and I knew then that her spirit was sick and her heart broken.

With a trembling voice she said:

“The voices in power are shouting at you, calling you. Can you not hear them? They are telling you that your time has passed, your breasts are diseased, your body no longer attractive. You are invisible, insignificant, inadequate.

All your loves have disappeared in search of another, in search of someone more supple, younger, thinner, more beautiful.

You no longer have worth… You don’t know yourself and never have.

Come with me and join the rest of us who are withered, ignored, and silenced. The ones who are considered ugly, lack-luster, repulsive, faded. The invisible ones. Your place is with those of us who have been shunned. There is no awakening; if you think there is, it is a lie.”

As she spoke, the loneliness and sense of abandonment settled into my bones so deeply that I cracked open. And in this opening I saw my own emptiness.

Next, the grief rolled through me like a tsunami; wave after wave, drowning me, destroying me. No power, no control, only despair and darkness.

And when I looked up and gazed into the face of the woman cloaked in black, I saw my own face.

Once again, I was alone, feeling a deep sense of not knowing myself, of disconnection, of disempowerment. The wind blew through the old trees, the skies darkened even more. The last thing I remember is that my skin sloughed off.

Awakening To Our Truth

I woke from the dream, shaken, anxious, fearful.

I got up from my bed, walked to my window, looked out at the night, and yes, indeed the moon was dark.

I felt alone, scared, and mistrustful of myself, my life, my truth.

As the day unfolded and the fogginess of the dream-state cleared, I gradually began to feel something entirely different than the fear, despair, and mistrust. It was a sense of peace and gratitude.

For even though the dream packed a punch, as I looked at it more closely, it was actually a powerful affirmation of the work I have been cultivating, nurturing, and planning in this last year.

That moment at the end of the dream when I shed my skin, was the moment of truth. It was a simple, yet potent moment of returning, reclaiming, redefining. It was a moment when I shed the lies that have kept me imprisoned and have kept me from myself.

This moment in my dream also told me that it is time to help other women shed their skin. Women who need to know that we have been told lies about our worth, our value. Women who want to reclaim the truth and cultivate their deepest knowing of themselves as vibrant, sexual and beautiful beings.

The Lies

Now is the time for us to learn how to shed our skin so that we can fully embody our sexual and erotic selves and discover our truest voice, our most radiant beauty, and our most divine feminine spirits. Now is the time to establish new beliefs about our worth, our power, our magic. Now is the time to reclaim our Sacred Sexuality.

The message in the dream was not new for me. I have struggled so much throughout my life to find my voice, my feminine spirit and power, and my own beauty; to discover my sexual self and to learn how to awaken to my erotic energy.

I have been haunted by the old, withered and vacant woman in my dreams, many times. The one who has long ago, lost her soul because she accepted the lies of the patriarchy.

For a long time, I believed that I only received love because I obeyed the rules of those who defined beauty. I carefully measured my body. Keeping it just the right size to assure that I would be loved, be wanted, be valued. I silenced my true nature as I took on the skin made of the lies.

During times in my life, when my body did not cooperate with the inhumane, perfectionistic dictates of the patriarchy, I was destructive and abusive toward myself. Shaming myself, starving myself, hating myself.

Throughout most of my life, I have allowed the patriarchal lies about beauty to determine my own value. I have allowed those lies to diminish my feminine essence, my erotic truth, and sexuality.

After years and years of struggle, after multiple life experiences brought me to my knees in shame and self-hatred of my body, I say “NO MORE”.

The Work of Shedding Our Skin

I learned (and I am continuing to learn), how to shed my skin and return to my sacred sexuality; how to step into my fullest, divine feminine spirit who experiences and cultivates pleasure, who creates enriching and loving sexual experiences, and who feels the joy that comes with knowing my erotic self.

I am learning how to truly true embody my most authentic feminine spirit.

It is not easy. Or quick. Or a linear path. It is intense work, of the blood-sweat-and-tears kind.

It is soul-wrenching and soul-searching. It is three steps forward and one step back. It is confidence and doubt; encouragement and discouragement; hope and despair; joy and sadness all happening simultaneously.

My commitment to myself now is to live each day honoring my deepest self, loving myself unconditionally, and tending to my inner fire.

I do this for myself as well as for my partner, my daughter, my sons, and my community. I do this so that in my own way, I rebuke the abusive messages that strive to keep women small, voiceless, vacant, powerless, dead to themselves.

Finding our Divine Feminine Power and Spirit

Women find their true power and their true selves when they shed the skin that others have put upon them and when they return to, reclaim, and redefine their unique and powerful feminine essence.

Not when we weigh a certain number, or are a certain age, or have the “right” color of skin, or of the “right” ethnicity, or have the “right” body type.

Radiance, sexuality, eroticism is deeper than the external body and more complex than what the simplistic, abusive and inaccurate messages from the patriarchy would have us believe. Shedding our skin allows us to let go of these lies and to determine for ourselves who we are. It requires us to look deeper, to go inward, to find our soul.

Shedding our skin leads us to our most authentic and embodied selves; to the heart of who we are which is powerful, magical, loving, sacred, sensual, sexual, erotic and FREE.

I’m Holding Sacred Circles (in 2020)

If you want to learn how to shed your skin, to return to, reclaim, and redefine your true self, your sacred sexuality, your divine feminine power and spirit, I hope that you will join me as I hold space for women just like you, just like me, who are not willing to waste one more minute of their life, feeling that the only option is to wear a skin of lies.

In 2020, I will be holding Sacred Circles; spaces for women to gather and to learn a new way to love (themselves and others), to be sexual, to own and connect with their erotic energy and to embrace their fullest desires and pleasures.

A community for women to shed their skin and to be witnessed, encouraged, and supported in the returning, reclaiming and redefining of sacred sexuality.

What Will We Learn?

Some of what we will learn in these sacred circles…

What does shedding our skin require of us?

How does shedding our skin lead us to our sacred sexual selves?

What does sexuality mean for the woman who lives from her divine feminine, her most wild, untamed self and her most free heart?

What does this woman’s sexuality look like? How does it behave? To what does it respond?

How does awakened sexuality get fed by the cultivation of pleasure and through the nurturing of sensuality?

How does a woman in her full divine feminine, her most wild, untamed self and her most free heart, Love?

How does she give to others while also caring for herself?

What does it mean to no longer abandon ourselves for the sake of others?

How does it look when we unconditionally love and cherish ourselves as only the most loving mother would?

How is it possible to experience one’s own beauty and grace and erotic energy without conforming to the patriarchal, limiting, and abusive mindsets that dominate?

If you were born into and raised in a patriarchal culture (and most of us have been), then you have been told the lies. The lies that beauty, our value, our identity, and our sexual and erotic self are dependent on the most fleeting, shallow, and untethered aspects of a woman’s life; her external physical appearance, her weight, her race, her abilities, her age… etc.

Shedding our skin frees us from these lies.

IT’S TIME. Time to create a new culture. Time to create a new way of connecting to our sexual selves.

Time to embark on a new journey of awakening to your most cherished, beautiful, radiant and uniquely amazing divine feminine spirit.

Time to return, reclaim and redefine.

Time to shed our skin.

“love, be patient with me
as I shed this skin
as I lie old patterns at these feet
as I burn and sweat
as I’m fed by this stream
I can be fierce while this vulnerable
I can seem far away
as these wounds I lick
as I writher, moan, cry and hiss,
and awaken within this
river carrying me home
as I take in this last breath
generous was this passing death
praise be the person I was
as I gasp life into
the warrior
I am now.” Tanya Markul

I hope you will join me… Stay tuned.

Peace in the Journey,

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Jane Ryan

Jane Ryan, M.A., LMFT, is a Licensed Couples and Family Therapist with twenty years of clinical experience. She specializes in intimate relationships, sexual challenges, sacred sexuality, and helping clients embrace their true erotic nature. She supports women in discovering their most radiant, vibrant and powerful feminine essence.