Warning: Overwhelm

In this episode of Shades of Intimacy, Jennie is joined by her friend Melanie Lake to discuss the effects of being overwhelmed. With so much going on for Jennie over the past month, she was breaking down trying to get everything ready for her upcoming workshop. Knowing when to step back and let your friend, partner or child work through their feelings, and holding space for them to do so takes practice. In a “Let me fix that for you” society, we need to keep our hands to ourselves and be supportive without shutting them down. Sometimes a girl needs a foot rub and someone to do her laundry with.


Topic #1

Break Downs and Foot Rubs

  • Jennie is joined again by her friend and colleague Melanie Lake. With a lot going on in Jennie’s life right now she has been hit a wall of overwhelm. Trying to recalibrate and resituate herself as she prepares for her upcoming workshop The Elemental Feminine. Melanie stepped in and told Jennie to concentrate on getting her materials ready for the workshop and Melanie, and Jason gave Jennie a foot massage.
  • For Melanie, it was tough to watch her friend be so overwhelmed and hurting; she needed to surround her with feminine energy. Jennie knows how critical it is to have a group of women who have her back especially in the moments when she wants to hide, and everything is too ugly; cultivating a tribe a woman that can witness you in your mess and still love you.
  • There is so much going on in our lives what we need is just to be seen. Nothing that we are doing is something another woman hasn’t seen or experienced; those moments you feel alone are just bullshit. It’s not your job to carry another women’s burden, but holding space for her so she can do what she needs to get done. It is not our job, but it is our predisposition to want to take something off of another woman’s plate.

“It is so critical to have a group of women who have your back, especially in the moments when you want to hide and everything is too ugly.”- Jennie

Topic #2   

Here, Hold My Space

  • Carrying something for someone takes a lot of effort and energy, but holding that space is just a conscious choice, and it gives back so much. After a moment with someone who is in a heightened emotional state, do you feel depleted or nourished? It’s important to pay attention to those exchanges and notice if you are leaving them more guarded or the same.
  • Going through a workshop with Suzanne Wagner, the women were instructed to witness a woman going through pain and anguish and not to touch her or soothe her but to be there and hold space so she could go through it. It is in our nature to comfort, in a way to get them to stop feeling what they are feeling because that is how we are taught by our parents to settle down, stop crying, you’re fine.
  • There is a real confusion around not knowing how to help someone; trying to do tasks for her, taking things off of her, and you’re exhausted, and she feels defeated because she couldn’t handle her load. The witness can become very uncomfortable with the emotions of the other person, and we immediately want to kick in to fix it mode, make it go away, shut it up mode.
  • The practice of witnessing will not only help you in relationships with other women but with your children as well; realizing you don’t have to fix all of their problems and not taking it personally and help them move through it. Taking it to the next level with your spouse and being able to sit there and manage to be in an open heart place and love them as they are having an intense experience and not trying to fix it for them. It makes you accountable to each other in a whole different way; you are not playing small anymore.

“Carrying something for someone else takes a lot of effort and energy. Holding that space is a conscious choice and you get back so much more from it. ” – Melanie

Closing Thoughts

  • It is amazing to watch what creates our dynamics and watch what creates depletion; interacting with anyone you are intimate with or that is part of your tribe. It is hard to watch them struggle, and you do want to get in there with your hands and tinker and fix it.
  • This is a great place to practice learning how to deepen your relationships with other women. A tribe of women is very important because you cultivate a place of continuing to level up, love each other and hold each other accountable. It becomes richer the more you are committed to each other in that way.
  • In Guatemala the women gather in the village center to do their laundry together; they aren’t isolating as our society does. We have entirely lost that here because we all stay in our homes and isolate behind our walls, and there is an incredible sense of loneliness in that.
  • The Elemental Feminine workshop is coming up, and you can find out about that and the other seminars The Shades of Intimacy offers as well as accessing the complete library of podcasts by going to www.shadesofintimacy.com.



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