I don't believe that women need more people telling us what to do, think, say, or feel.
(Thank you to the advertising Industry, well-intentioned mansplainers everywhere, and the voice of the patriarchy inside and outside of our heads for giving us more than we could ever need!)
I do think women need more people seeing us - wholly, fully, and without assumption or agenda.
As with much of what I have been exploring recently, I started to question my own alignment with what I say I believe. Even though I regularly talk about the importance of doing so, I wondered whether I was seeing women wholly, fully, and without assumption or agenda.
I am excellent at seeing my women clients, members of The Collective, close female friends and colleagues, and all women theoretically wholly, fully, and without assumption or agenda.
I am profoundly less excellent at doing it in the moment with certain female relatives and colleagues, women I see in a yoga glass, women I meet at a party or event, women who work in customer service, women on the subway, or women I "see" online or in the media.
I've been noticing how, within a matter of seconds, I jump to low-vibration evaluations of both another woman and myself that leave me feeling empty and dampened.
Weird forms of evaluation that sometimes feel subconscious like:
Anais Nin echoes inside of my head:
We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are
And I am aware of a deep desire to see myself and other women with clear eyes, an open presence, and a tender heart.
Sharing the elevator with a woman in my apartment building several days ago, I started going down the highly toxic comparison/disconnection rabbit hole until I was blessed with the refreshing thought: See the Creative Goddess Warrior Queen in her.
All of a sudden, in the middle of my day, in the middle of an elevator, I experienced a surge of wonder and reverence for a woman I don't even know.
A loving riff on the practice of the Sanskrit word and practice of Namaste: (the Diving spark in me honors the Divine spark in you) I've been trying to remember to see the Creator Goddess Warrior Queens in other women when I encounter them this week.
From a neurological standpoint, it focuses my brain on a point of radiance instead of a point of judgment, interrupting ineffective patterning and liberating energy for more valuable uses.
From a collective standpoint, it strengthens the impenetrable chain of sisterhood Nellie L. McClung prophesized over a hundred years ago.
From a reclaiming our magnificence as an act of resistance standpoint, training ourselves to see the CGWQ's in others gives us a better chance at being able to see them in our own selves.
Which brings us to the advanced version of this practice:
The Creator Goddess Warrior Queen in me bows to the Creator Goddess Warrior Queen in you.
How dare you?
The Tiny Terrorist/Voice of the Patriarchy protests.
How dare you NOT?
Rertorts the Creator Goddess Warrior Queen.
I wonder (with more hope than I know what to do with):
What would happen if we let ourselves see each other this way?
I checked my email a few minutes ago. Even though I have a rule about not checking email while I write letters to you having nonlinear ducks means sometimes I break my own rules.
In my inbox, I received a newsletter from a woman I follow, sharing about how she had written an article for an amazing publication that I adore. Instead of celebrating her success (most mature response) or letting my jealousy guide me to deeper understanding of my own desire (also a very mature response) I protected myself by heaving a great wave of judgment toward her for doing nothing other than sharing something wonderful that happened in her life (waaayyyyy less awesome way of responding).
My judginess made me feel like I needed a shower so I instead tried out theseeing her as a CGWQ practice.
It took work and felt foreign and semi-uncomfortable, but taking a moment to let myself be in sisterhood with the woman from the internet felt surprisingly more nourishing than cancerous judgment.
This could be the way it goes from now on, I thought.
This is how we can take care of each other after #metoo.
I am going to experiment with this practice as I continue to find ways to align my external activism with what's going on inside of my head and heart. If you decide to as well, I'd love to know what you discover.
(Another moral of this story is that not checking email while writing is a GOOD RULE)
I know I've said it but I will keep saying it until it feels like the new normal for ALL people:
Every woman together is a more effective and fun organizing principle than every man by himself.
Stay close, wondrous ones.
I believe in us.
With big love and solidarity,
A little book of inspiration, frameworks, and guidance for your next creative project.