I came across this poem via an Embodiment Mentor of mine. At first I thought she was writing about herself – but I could see so much of myself in her words. Then as I read on, I realised it was a poem about so many of us, not just accepting but CELEBRATING us in all our “too much”-ness. So I consider it the perfect prose to share on International Womens Day 2019. Here it is, and beneath that, my personal musings on it.
Enjoy, Tui xx
“There she is. . . the “too much” woman.
The one who loves too hard, feels too deeply, asks too often, desires too much.
There she is taking up too much space, with her laughter, her curves, her honesty, her sexuality. Her presence is as tall as a tree, as wide as a mountain. Her energy occupies every crevice of the room. Too much space she takes. There she is causing a ruckus with her persistent wanting, too much wanting. She desires a lot, wants everything—too much happiness, too much alone time, too much pleasure. She’ll go through brimstone, murky river, and hellfire to get it. She’ll risk all to quell the longings of her heart and body. This makes her dangerous.
She is dangerous.
And there she goes, that “too much” woman, making people think too much, feel too much, swoon too much. She with her authentic prose and a self-assuredness in the way she carries herself. She with her belly laughs and her insatiable appetite and her proneness to fiery passion. All eyes on her, thinking she’s hot shit.
Oh, that “too much” woman. . . too loud, too vibrant, too honest, too emotional, too smart, too intense, too pretty, too difficult, too sensitive, too wild, too intimidating, too successful, too fat, too strong, too political, too joyous, too needy—too much. She should simmer down a bit, be taken down a couple notches.
Someone should put her back in a more respectable place. Someone should tell her.
Here I am. . . the Too Much Woman, with my too-tender heart and my too-much emotions.
A hedonist, feminist, pleasure seeker, empath. I want a lot—justice, sincerity, spaciousness, ease, intimacy, actualization, respect, to be seen, to be understood, your undivided attention, and all of your promises to be kept.
I’ve been called high maintenance because I want what I want, and intimidating because of the space I occupy. I’ve been called selfish because I am self-loving. I’ve been called a witch because—
I know how to heal myself.
And still. . . I rise. Still, I want and feel and ask and risk and take up space.
Us Too Much Women have been facing extermination for centuries—we are so afraid of her, terrified of her big presence, of the way she commands respect and wields the truth of her feelings. We’ve been trying to stifle the Too Much Woman for eons
—in our sisters, in our wives, in our daughters. And even now, even today, we shame the Too Much Woman for her bigness, for her wanting, for her passionate nature.
And still. . . she thrives.
In my own world and before my very eyes, I am witnessing the reclamation and rising up of the Too Much Woman. That Too Much Woman is also known to some as Wild Woman or the Divine Feminine. In any case, she is me, she is you, and she is loving that she’s finally, finally getting some airtime.
If you’ve ever been called “too much,” or “overly emotional,” or “bitchy,” or “stuck up,” you are likely a Too Much Woman.
And if you are. . . I implore you to embrace all that you are—all of your depth, all of your vastness; to not hold yourself in, and to never abandon yourself, your bigness, your radiance.
Forget everything you’ve heard—your too muchness is a gift; oh yes, one that can heal, incite, liberate, and cut straight to the heart of things.
Do not be afraid of this gift, and let no one shy you away from it. Your too muchness is magic, is medicine. It can change the world.
So please, Too Much Woman: Ask. Seek. Desire. Expand. Move. Feel. Be.
Make your waves, fan your flames, give your chills.”
~~~ Ev’yan Whitney
I am an International “Too Much” Woman
The photo is what I consider to be me, blossoming into a “Too Much” woman.
Motherhood expanded me. Motherhood showed me what it is to feel; to feel big feelings –
to love big,
to hurt big,
to be hugely vulnerable,
to be deeply curious,
to be over-and-over-and-over again forgiving,
to jump big chasms of gaps in my knowledge,
to ride the exponential curve of learning to be a parent – and learning to be me,
to be expansively, wildly, open to possibility,
to have big dreams.
I wrote the book, I became the yoga teacher, I became the coach, I grew my business on the side and I got told:
“You’re doing too much”
“You’re being too much”
“You can’t do it all”
Oh yes I can. Granted, not all at once. And I had to be mindful of my wellbeing – to not burn out. And yes, I almost did.
But this Too Much Woman is alive, vibrant, inspired, and living her dream. This Too Much Woman is an International Woman with a message and a mission that is for all people, everywhere: Show Up, Stand Tall, Be Seen.
Today is International Womens Day. But I think every day is our day to celebrate ourselves and to shine.
I honour you today, for all your “too muchness”. Your “too muchness” is your power, your potential. Be big, be bold, be brave, be you. The world needs all of us, women and men. Today is International Womens Day but we do not stand alone in our power and potential – so often there is a strong and supportive man who backs us. So today I honour the men too, who are bold and brave enough to give us women space, to encourage us to shine our light.
In reverence and with love,
PS. My email database received this first, on International Womens Day. For inspiration to lead your best life, authentically, courageously, join my tribe at the bottom of this post.