The need for women at this time
Many of us are struggling right now; with our bills, our work, our families, putting food on the table and keeping ourselves warm as winter calls ever closer. Women are holding so many threads in this struggle, and the absence of community and all the support it offers becomes more visible in its need. I believe that what we are seeing is the result of the last 200 years, and the capital growth model falling apart. It could never work because for growth to happen we have to buy and sell nature – the design was flawed from the start. You cannot have infinite growth on a finite planet where resources cannot replenish themselves at the rate of use we have, no matter how clever we get with technology.
And now we are in the slow and painful process of having to wake up out of this impossible dream we were fed: about how being independent and capable was to be aspired to, about how women didn’t need any help and can do it all, about how having personal financial wealth was the best kind of wealth. Worst of all, we were fed a dream that things like creativity, song, art, dance, sacred ceremony, sexuality, emotions, intuition and the body were all unimportant unless they had a practical monetary value or were needed at a functional level.
We were told as women that being feminine was weak.
Whether we agree with the current system or want a different one, the reality is the current system we are operating within IS falling apart all by itself whether we like it or not. The alive question of our time is how do we respond ?
We can either clamour to try to keep it running: attempting to mend the broken pieces by robbing Peter to pay Paul (and it’s endless) or we accept that the machine is fundamentally broken beyond repair. We need to ground zero and vision again how humanity can go forward in such a way that we stop putting ourselves at the top of the chain and seeing the natural world as a servant to our evolution. This for me seems to be the fundamental issue at the heart of it. I love the principle of the children’s fire which is an indigenous law originated by North America’s native people and it says simply this: No law, action or decision shall be made unless it works for the children of the 7th generation from now. Wow, can we even begin to imagine what kind of choices we would be making ?!
The Old Model
For our deeptime ancestors, living in interdependence and community was the way and this was in harmony with the natural world. In fact, it was the foundation of their communities and culture. There was much less of a sense of individual well-being, and a wider, more community-focused approach to care and resources. They lived in small villages, where everyone knew one another, where they were embedded into the local ecosystem and lived according to the wheel of the year. Nature itself was their religion, their teacher, their guide. They belonged to the land, the land did not belong to them.
Our ancestors knew that balance was the key to life. As such, women and men were equally valued for their contributions to society. We have evidence, too, that gender nonconfirming individuals were welcomed and celebrated for their unique medicine. All genders held positions of authority, and all perspectives were welcomed and invited in when it came to decision-making. Our ancestors knew that in order for life to flourish, it had to be encouraged in all of its diversity. God was a wild web of earth-based cosmic beauty, life-death-rebirth, and creativity in all its forms.
In recent history, science, data, and logic have become the most important metrics to measure the success of our societies. The voice of the feminine and the expression of women has been lost, devalued. Humans began to regard the wild expanses of life’s mystery as something to be explained and rationalised away, as opposed to an opportunity to open themselves to the truth of their own souls. Our ancestors knew that vulnerability is a gateway to our truth, but with the growing imbalance of masculine-over-feminine, vulnerability and weakness needed to be stamped out in favour of strength, anger, hardness.
I believe that one of the key reasons change is not happening is because it feels beyond bearable to feel how we do actually feel, which is most likely a combination of terror, anger, despair and grief. For me the madness in our world is that we are NOT on our knees daily feeling the grief and despair of our broken world. That we carry on with business as usual, kidding ourselves that somehow it will be ok and if not, then let’s just stay in denial as long as possible and deal with it when we can no longer turn away – most likely when it arrives on our own doorstep. Thing is, it’s already been on the doorstep of developing countries for a long time and mostly to countries we in the west have exploited. It is though, now, landing at our door and we respond with some kind of righteous outrage. This baffles me, what part of this did we not expect?!
It’s no longer enough to firefight the crisis and find the next handout for those who are on the breadline and dying – deeper, much much deeper change is needed. This change begins with a personal and collective shift in our consciousness: in how we think, it what we value, and in our reverence for nature and in living lightly on the Earth. I don’t believe we are powerless to do this, we can make this inner shift together, but as long as we continue to believe the in current system that says ‘every man for himself as there isn’t enough’ we will stay powerless, fighting each other.
We can turn towards each other and feel the grief of our broken hearts, for what we have lost already and what we are continuing to lose. This grief leads us to our hearts as we only grieve for what we love. Once we connect to our hearts and to love, we see life differently. The power of Love and collaboration can become our compass of integrity.
The new path of women
It is time to resurrect the feminine. It’s time for women to step up and make their voices known. To take leadership. And leadership comes in many shapes and forms. How we parent, how we lead by example, how we challenge the systems we live within, how we create ways of living that challenge convention as well as how we support other women to step into their power more and bring their gifts.
That’s why I created Initiation – my 13-moons leadership track for women to step into leadership. It’s designed as a communal journey, a strong circle in which to hold and be held as you journey into occupying your place of authority and power-with.
Together, we can make the changes we so long for.
It’s easy for beauty, wonder and magic to fall off the radar at times like these, but now is when they’re most needed. These more feminine principles are food for our souls; they are part of what makes us human, they keep us soft and open to be touched by life. The simple act of smelling a flower, pausing to touch soft fabric, gazing into the eyes of someone we love – opens us to the wild mystery of our own existence. It opens us to possibility, to connection, to life. Not to add to your ever-increasing to-do list, but it’s my opinion that these moments of allowing ourselves to be cracked open by life are every bit as vital as putting food on the table, and keeping our houses warm. This is the place we need to occupy if we are to enact real change, and this is why I believe that women need to step forward and occupy roles of leadership.
Now is the time.