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The Goddess in Prison

Today’s guest post is from Truth Be Told facilitator, Peggy Lamb.

Bobby McFerrin is singing his beautiful 23rd Psalm in the feminine, “She leadeth me through calm waters…” and I gaze at the ten dancing women inmates in my class. I mostly see puzzlement and confusion, but on some, a dawning awareness. When the song fades there is silence and stillness in Classroom Four in Lockhart prison. One, a moon-faced cherub of a woman who is doing time for prostituting herself and her teenaged daughter, looks at me and says with both wonder and curiosity in her voice:

“I never heard anybody refer to God as a woman.”

I smile at her and simply reply, “something to think about, right?” and leave it at that.

I am not there as a theologian, proselytizer or missionary for the Goddess. I am there to guide these profoundly wounded women through a journey into the center of the Earth – their bodies.

I taught the Talk to Me Movement class at Lockhart prison for five years and am now working with a different inmate population – female sex offenders at the Hilltop Unit in Gatesville. I often think about what draws me to this work; the two hour drive to and from Gatesville, twisting my schedule this way and that so I could continue teaching these beloved women in Lockhart until the demands of my professional schedule forced me to resign. I feel a muscle pull deep in my core to open a channel of wordless expression for these women – the body of the Divine Feminine.

Feelings, traumatic events, images, joys and sorrows are danced. The bandages get ripped off, blood flows, and channels are opened in all of us as we witness a woman uttering the unspeakable with her dance; her body expressing what she has no words for.

In a sense I am a missionary for the Goddess. Without saying her name I invite these women to meet the Goddess in their belly.

Peggy Lamb is a dancer, writer, massage therapist and teacher. She taught the Talk to Me Movement class at Lockhart Prison for five years and currently facilitates Exploring Creativity classes at the Hilltop Unit, in Gatesville, as well as at the Lockhart Unit. She travels all over the country teaching continuing education classes for massage therapists and wishes she had more time for teaching in the prison. Her websites are:

About Shelley Seale

I'm Shelley, a journeyer and learner of the world, freelance journalist and author, yoga chick and dog lover. I pound the keyboard from home barefoot every day, and while my boss is demanding she also occasionally lets me have the early afternoon cocktail. I think not going into an office or collecting corporate paychecks are very good ideas, though not always profitable. I have written for National Geographic, USA Today, The Guardian, Texas Monthly and CNN, among others. Neither the New York Times nor Johnny Depp have answered my letters yet. I love yoga, indie movies, wine, and books, though not necessarily in that order. I believe in karma. Mean people suck. If I could have any dream job I would like to be a superhero. I have performed a catch on the flying trapeze, boarded down a live volcano and was once robbed by a monkey in Nepal. But, I don't know how to whistle. My mantra is "travel with a purpose."

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