I recently completed a dissertation on women and destiny that opened my eyes to the relationship between emotions and calling.

Before conducting my research, I assumed that fear was the main obstacle for most women when it came to expressing themselves in the world.

I thought courage was the answer.

I learned that calling is much more complex than I had realized, and that grief plays a central role.

I found that unexpressed grief can lead to isolation and stagnation of one’s gifts and that when you open to grief tears can carry you closer to the source of your gifts.

From an indigenous perspective, tears come from the realm of the water spirits. The element of water is understood to be purifying. It is a solvent of blockages.

Women in the study described feeling blocked by family patterns that left deep inroads of fear, shame,  guilt, and grief.

They were also named being inhibited by internalized cultural messages about what it means to be a woman.

When their calling required greater ownership of their wisdom, authority, and value or the prioritizing of their own needs and desires, some felt paralyzed.

  The expression of grief helped free life force, clear away confusion and doubt, and fortify their resolve to live in accoradance with their deepest longings.

Do you feel blocked in relationship to your calling?


Sometimes a personal ritual can help access both grief as well as clarity of purpose.

Ritual for Change:

1. Carve out a private time when you will not be disturbed.

2. Mark your entry into ritual space.

For example, call in the directions. light a candle, or make a circle or line that you cross over to enter.

3. Greet the Spirit of Water, whether you are holding a bowl of tap water, or sitting by a creek. Introduce yourself, and share your intention for the ritual.

4. Tell the Spirit of Water what is in your heart. Let yourself feel.

5. Give yourself time to just be with what surfaces without demand or expectation.

5. Complete with an expression of gratitude.

6. Notice over the next few days what feels different. Take note of subtle intuitive messages you might normally ignore.

7. Take an action, no matter how small on one of your subtle messages.

Blessings, Aninha

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