A Call to Love

“You will not harm the children.” A voice has been calling out from deep within my being. It’s fierce. It’s bold. It’s a rallying cry. It tears my heart open and asks me to stand in my feminine warrior. “Lead an army,” it has said.

I’ve wondered about the how. How do I do this? How do I speak out? How do I do my part? At times I’ve been confused, confounded by seeing others act on their own inner commands to stand up and speak their truth. I’ve wondered, is being out loud the only way? I’ve always been drawn to work more quietly. Was I following my own truth? Or was I choosing this from discomfort to do otherwise?

I see the children of today rising up in their fight against school violence, for their right to be unharmed in the very place that should be their safe harbor. I see their bright, beautiful, strong faces saying, “No more!” The call to protect the children looks different than what I imagined. The children of today don’t need saving the way I thought they would. They are empowering themselves and heeding their own internal call to step forward.

What I see is how each of us must take part, if we are to do so, in our own way. These eloquent children have been touched personally, deeply, and intimately by the tragedies at their schools. They are speaking from their experiences, from their hearts. It is the only way for it to authentically come forward. If it is brought out through trying to make a point or expression of an opinion or ranting about what is wrong in the world, it becomes distorted. It doesn’t ring true, but does of anger, blame and the pointing of fingers from opposite corners of an unsafe space.

These children are examples to us all because their hearts are open. They are raw and real and coming from their personal life experiences, rather than from opinions or perspectives they’ve adopted over decades of gradually formed rigidity and subtle embitterment.

I have not shared their experiences personally. When I was in school, it would never have occurred to me to feel the slightest bit vulnerable for my physical safety. I did not share their experiences. I am moved by them though, and enlivened by them, and I allow them to set the fire within me ablaze again.

I realize that I take action in my own way and I always have. I go deep into the silence of my being and work from within. I call forth the raging fire to burn through illusion and hate and resistance, anything that doesn’t feel like love. I obliterate it within myself and allow it to extend beyond me, holding space for it to alchemize the planet. I love the children and the planet fiercely. I quietly pick up the sword, often without words, and vow to do whatever it takes. I wake up in the night many nights and work for hours to burn away anything I find within me that is not for the sake of love itself.

This is how my warrior speaks her voice. This is my way. I don’t know anyone else who does it quite like I do. If I tried to do it as someone else does, it would ring false. I would feel like a fraud to myself and everyone. My fire would be lost, and the world would miss out on the good it can do. I have ceased questioning my way. I understand that it is enough, and I trust and embrace it. I honor the young people and adults who speak their messages out loud with fierce, raw, open hearts. I honor anyone who hears a call toward love, whose commanding inner voice urges them to take part, who comes forward in their own way too.

Do you hear an inner call? Do you know what your way is? Do you trust that it is enough?

Inclusion & Empowerment

I am all for feminine empowerment and women strong, so much so that I resonate with being a feminine warrior to the point of putting it on my business card as a job title. I feel it intensely right now, the powerful feminine, in the immense web of women holding hands under the surface in the unseen, stretched across the globe, together rising to meet what needs to be met for the sake of our children, ourselves and the planet.

I feel intensely too the pain of separation and exclusion. I feel it in national pride and patriotism, in places where it’s meant to bring feelings of inclusion and love. To me it feels like exclusion and separateness, and brings me to a deep sadness. The world’s people are good. We miss that when we close in too tightly in protection of “our own”. Let’s travel the world and feel the hearts of her people, and we will want to wrap our arms around them too.

I feel the separateness in the feminine movement. Even though we say, yes, also the feminine in men, who we exclude are the good men. There are good men. Great men. All around us. We get down on the patriarchy, I do too, and in the midst of our righteous fervor, we leave out the really good men. Some of them are standing right beside us. I know one is right beside me, every day.

They may not know how to say it right for our feminine need for words or how to express themselves in ways that we can translate, and that, precisely, is their beautiful, sometimes quiet support and strength. We can see it in them if we know how to look. It is in their consistency, in their continually showing up.

These are men who believe in their women, in all women, in our strength and our power. Men who love our fierceness and our softness. Men who believe in equality, who care for us and for the planet. Men who want the world’s children to grow up safe and loved and given a chance to create anything they wish, just as we have been given. Yes, we can talk about oppression and being held back, but that’s a state of mind, and we have greater opportunity now than any other women ever have throughout history.

Our ability to create anything right now is infinitely cosmic and powerful. When it comes down to it, nobody can really prevent us from doing what we want to do, with our bodies, in the workplace, in our lives. That prevention comes from our own diminished belief in ourselves, in our own state of mind, and our own limited sense of our worth in the world.

Let’s shift our perspective away from oppression into empowerment by letting go of our attachment to the focus on having our rights withheld from us. Instead, let’s focus on how we can positively evolve ourselves and our planet. Rather than focus on what needs to change, which evokes more of itself or more that needs to be changed, let’s stoke the flame of the goodness that is. Let’s focus on “with” rather than “against” and on inspiring all of our truest hearts everywhere. Let’s include our good men in this and recognize them for their consistently showing up and for their sometimes silent support of their strong, empowered women.

Women and Friendship

“Choose a woman who chooses you” were words spoken by David Deida in reference to intimate partnership. I’m finding them really helpful in the context of female friendship.

One of the reasons I’ve noticed that friendships between women can go awry is not at all in a lack of love or caring, but in a difference of visions for the relationship. Just like in intimate partnership, when one person “wants more” than the other, expectations can unconsciously be created. Maybe we should treat friendship a tiny bit more like partnership where we discuss each woman’s vision early on for how she’d like to see the relationship develop. This could clear up a whole mess of misunderstanding about where friendships “are going”.

Lifestyle and family obligations play a huge role, as does the number of deep friendships someone already has in close proximity. For example, if a woman has many close friends nearby and a busy family life with lots of demands on her time, she may not have the desire or space to form another deep bond. In contrast, someone who recently moved to an area who has a lot of flexibility in her schedule, and doesn’t know many women locally yet, may be very interested in a new, substantial connection. In recent years, I have tended to fall into this second description.

It’s not about the amount of time spent together, really, it’s about what each woman is looking for and the capacity she has to create it. Does she want friendship the same way you do, and what does that look like? Maybe some additional defining of specifics could be helpful. Not to make friendship too clinical, but just a little maybe. It could be beneficial in saving from a lot of misconception and hurt later.

It’s all assumption and expectation leading to disappointment which would be great to avoid but, let’s face it, can happen. It’s hard to see coming, at least it has been for me. I’ve sometimes found myself wishing for a deeper connection than a woman friend is interested in or can offer. I have been disappointed at times realizing that I’ve done it to myself because I formed unconscious expectations. I may have assumed that we had similar visions for friendship and capacities for it, but given our respective lifestyles, wishes and demands placed on our attention, the differences were too great.

It doesn’t happen with all friendships, I’ve noticed, but in the ones where the connection creates a longing for more in at least one of the women. That’s when it may be good to be more conscious, more aware, even cautious, and take steps early on to reveal potential misunderstandings. Our clear consciousness of our own intentions in friendship can be a great gift to other women too in preventing confusion.

So I come back to those words, choose a woman who chooses you. It’s a matching up of sorts. There’s no right or wrong way in friendship, just similarity, difference and degrees of these. My feeling is that, like intimate partnership, friendship works best when women choose each other with a similar wish for depth and connection, a similar capacity to offer themselves and, ideally, when each friend chooses a woman who chooses her.

Ideal Family Ratio

I’ve decided that the ideal family ratio is 3 to 1, three adults and one child.

Last week we had friends from Australia stay with us, a wonderful couple, Ryan and Rachel, and their 10 ½ month old daughter, Clara. Amazing people. Total cutie baby. Really fun. Ryan could only stay the weekend, and Rachel and Clara for the rest of the week. What I noticed is not based at all on traditional gender roles because any one of us could have done most of the tasks, but this is how it naturally flowed between Andrew, Rachel, Clara and me…

Andrew worked. He brought in the majority of the income to support us, took us out for coffees and dinners and kept us content. I supplemented the income, drove us to places to keep us entertained during the days, cooked most of the meals and did the picking up and laundry. Rachel took care of Clara, meeting her every need and being an all-around superstar mom. Clara was Clara, adorable, sweet creature who kept our hearts open, feeling the purity of love in the house that only a baby can bring.

It flowed. Rachel and I were overjoyed and surprised by the little things. I came home from working twice and found she’d made soup. Wonderful yummy homemade soup. She was surprised when she noticed the cup of green tea I had placed in front of her when her attention had been on Clara. She said I was like a little elf when she found the piles of onesies I’d washed and folded. Our relaxed foursome allowed me to find an astounding amount of joy in folding onesies, which I’m sure could have felt like an insane drudgery if I was folding onesies all day, every day by myself without the relief of our three-person adult team.

The connection was fantastic. Rachel, Clara and I sat over coffee, tea and breakfast every morning and talked for hours. We connected and shared so much that we kept our men from being overwhelmed by our feminine need to do so. It took the burden off the guys and kept us “fed” in a way neither Rachel nor I are on a daily basis. This is, incidentally, why I loved living with women, built-in friendship and connection. I realize that I need so much more of this than our typical family arrangement provides.

This gets me to our culture’s typical arrangement where every little family unit is an island unto itself. It puts way too much pressure on the parents. Crazy amounts of pressure to be everything and do everything. The village raising the child really made sense. So did living in the community of the tribe.

Again, I don’t say this with traditional gender roles in mind, but I am going to generalize women and men here for the sake of ease and based on last week with who’s who in our scenario... Our current arrangement of the typical family leaves women starving for the company of other women and their men overburdened by the need to be the feminine support system when their woman wants to share her daily experiences and emotional meanderings. We need that, and they need to come home at the end of the day for a little quiet. It sounds awful and blunt but, in a lot of cases, just is. Certainly, this is one of the things that Rachel and I shared extensively during our morning musings.

Three adults and one child worked. It’s an oversimplification, of course, because all the partnership parts of it were left out that would complicate everything because who’s with whom and all that. For the sake of my noticing though and having a really amazing experience with these fabulous people and being so fed and cared for by our arrangement, it gave a flow of ease and love, and it just worked.

It also awakened puppy fever in me again which Andrew and I are walking through now, and seems to be an amusing side effect of having a baby in the house for week.

Guilt & Obligation

I'm noticing that guilt and obligation seem to be common themes right now, for me and other women. We still have huge access to move stuff, by the way, so now's a really good time to look at this.

If we're motivated by guilt and obligation, we may not even see them. They are sneaky devils that hide under the surface. If they are there, what we're NOT in touch with is how we might already be getting what we want. They can obscure our sight so entirely that we can't see what we have already.

We also can be blocking pleasure with them, and enjoyment of what is and what could be. The guilt and obligation are just vibrations of feelings, but they can ruin the rest of it. Even just noticing that we feel them can help shift them out of the way.

So, if you feel drawn to, go on your own little feelings treasure hunt to see if you find guilt and obligation demons. Love them. Ditch them. Thrive. That's how it feels for me right now, anyway. Happy hunting!


Accessing Epiphanies

I've been noticing that, during these intense times, we have even more access to powerful epiphanies about our lives and paths and greater access to ourselves. Here are three ways that have popped up for me that you can use too, kind of like treasure hunting:

1) Look to your cyclical learning. These are the lessons that keep showing up in life in new ways, that are repeating now. These are guideposts that show you what you need to see. They reveal what is in the way within ourselves. Uncover as much as you can about your patterns to allow them to shift out of the way.

2) Seek out the company of gentle and patient friends. Together we can actually help each other alchemize the ego parts of us that keep the insights and our true selves hidden. Do this with loving care by opening your hearts and holding space for each other as you share your truths. It may look at times like emotional drama. It's a portal, though, an opening for a false part of us to be shed. If your friend can't stay with you in it, it's ok. As long as you keep your own heart open, the stripping away and learning can come.

3) If you enjoy oracle decks, pendulums or another mode of receiving guidance, take yourself out for a coffee and browse your local shop for a new favorite. Trust your intuition and plan to stay as long as you need to until you know which one is really connecting with you. Don't underestimate the power of choosing the right one.