Melonie Syrett – Engagement Lead
What do Red Tents mean to you?
To me, a Red Tent means a space where women can go and just ‘be’. A place where there is no fear of having to ‘fit in’ or be a certain way, instead it is a place where you can take off all of your hats and masks and drop in, raw, vulnerable and you. When I went to my first Red Tent it was petrifying – sitting with women who freely spoke about what was really going on for them. I came away from that space feeling like pieces of me were being put back together. I left with the fire in my belly to ensure that I could keep going to such a radically healing place. A place where my words were heard and I did not need to filter them. It was the ultimate in ‘community’ for me at a time when I had no such thing. I felt at home.
2. What do you do in the Red Tent Directory?
I serve as the Engagement Lead – the central hub for Red Tent social media. I share content based on our work and the power of the Red Tent and support those in our online communities. As the online voice of the Red Tent Directory I plan and create content– including sharing Red Tent listings, quotes from members of the Red Tent Community, and share more about key messages in the Red Tent Directory book such as: collective care, community leadership, liberatory space and resolving conflict. I have just stepped into this role and look forwards to supporting Red Tents and those interested in them through social media.
3. How do Red Tents inform your wider work and life?
Wow – I think all of the work I do now has been based around my experiences and feelings of being in a Red Tent. Being truly heard, witnessed and accepted in all I am, has been liberatory. I look back 10 years ago and see someone so disconnected from her body, feelings, words and just feel so more myself now that I have Red Tents in my life. I am on a constant journey of feeling into what I truly think or truly feel and being able to speak that truth to others in all areas of my life, rather than pushing myself back and saying ‘you’re too much’. In my work I aim to bring that space to others. I gather women in spaces where the aim is to feel safe, safe enough to ‘go there’, ‘to say that’, to peel away that layer and reveal yourself even more and to connect, to connect to the self and others in a meaningful and healthy way.
4. If you had to describe yourself as a plant, mineral or animal what would it be and why?
I would describe myself as moss. I am soft and bouncy and I love being outside in the forest surrounded by trees. The green colour of moss reflects the kindness and empathy in my heart and the huge amount of love I have to give. I feel like walking with me might be like having moss underfoot – supportive, springy and joyful. Truly a delight for the senses!