Letting Our Light Shine

Letting Our Light Shine

Earlier today, I was listening to Amy Ray as she was interviewed by Maggie Rose on her Salute the Song Bird podcast. Amy is known for her activism in environmental and social justice causes but perhaps more known as a singer/songwriter with her own band…oh, yes…and she’s one of the Indigo Girls. Aside from all of that, she said something in the interview that really caused me to pause and reflect.

Amy said she was exploring her own internalized misogyny. It was like a bell went off in my mind as I pondered the idea that women internalize this pervasive, ingrained, and institutionalized prejudice against themselves. Hatred, dislike, mistrust manifested in various forms of abuse, social shunning, ostracism. Oh…that?!!!

As I explored this in my own life, I realized that I’ve always had that negative seed within. It’s what culture taught us. What religion taught us…at least the religion I was exposed to as a child and teen. What schools taught all girls on the tennis team or any girls’ sports team where we’d lose our transportation to a match or game if the football coaches decided they needed the transport we were going to use. That really happened. A lot. Maybe it’s changed now…for the sake of our daughters and granddaughters, I certainly hope so. 

How have I distrusted myself and my strength? How have I viewed myself physically, emotionally? How deep is this darkness planted within me?

In a very sad coincidence, Sinead O’Connor passed yesterday. Her life was far more than a songwriter and powerful vocalist. She stood up against child sexual abuse by the Catholic Church and was labeled…well, what any powerful woman that stands against such an institution is labeled as…historically and even today. I watched an interview done in the 1990s from her SNL appearance where she tore up a photograph of the pope on live TV to protest the cover-up of the child sexual abuse by clergy. She said nobody was paying attention and that the Catholic church in Ireland purchased insurance to protect them from lawsuits 10 years before it became known worldwide of the rape, abuse and horrors children faced from those who were supposedly trustworthy. She refused to be quiet. She claimed her voice for children. She became a warrior…and still is labeled as a troubled soul as people remember her. We should all be so troubled. 

So, this idea that women who stand up and speak out are somehow crazy or to be feared…why, yes! Fear us, because we are weary of misogyny, that we have learned so expertly to turn against ourselves. Until we recognize our own self-hatred, distrust of our personal power and brilliance, and deal with this warped view of what it means to be a woman, we’ll continue to perpetuate those ideas in our lives and in the energy we put out into the world. It’s not something to judge ourselves over, as we are literally unwinding ourselves from the trauma and teachings that keep us small and kept our female ancestors from standing in their brilliant power. But it is something to work on healing by daring to speak our truth and digging deep to learn how light yearns to break free and shine through our beautiful hearts.

One of the reasons I wanted to provide opportunities for women to learn to fly fish is a direct answer to the misogyny which many of us carry within ourselves. We’ve been taught that there’s something inherently flawed within us…after all, it’s our fault that humans were cast forth from paradise….how can we ever get over that one? And that’s just one example, although huge, of how we are taught to judge ourselves so harshly and distrust ourselves. I wanted to provide women a safe place to learn and explore their strengths, fears, and dreams. That’s why I created Wading Women.

As I was walking along the creek today, I had a strong intention arise—I am going to be my shiny self, no matter what. I refuse to shield my light from anyone. And, I want to help other women grow into their own brilliance. For those drawn to wade and cast a line in these Smoky Mountain streams, let’s go play! Let’s be strong together! Let’s heal together!


Join Simone on a holistic fly fishing excursion in the Smoky Mountains It’s about empowerment, fly fishing and nature. Its based on a balance of physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of the experience and is founded in awareness of the environment and interconnectedness of all life. Visit the Wading Women page to learn more.

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