Q’s POWER is in HER PRESENCE, is in HER BODY…IS HER VIBE
“I would rather be a woman in her power than a powerful woman.”
Why? Because a “woman in her power” is so much more healthy and happy, sensual and creative. She is a woman who has the courage to listen to her heart over her ego and in so doing follows the journey of her destiny. A woman in her power is beautiful and becomes a guiding light to all.
In today’s male-dominated world, women have worked hard to become powerful…and yet in so doing we may have lost some of our true power.
Women need men to survive. We need them for their physical strength, for their logic and ability to analyze and build systems, to provide and protect. Men need women…for our physical softness, for our inclusive and compassionate nature that encourages family and community, to nurture and heal. And of course we procreate together. Yet this is about the only time in our society when we create together equally…and that may even be debatable. Because men have dominant control over business, politics, religions, education and the arts they basically control the value of women to society. This means ‘he’ then has power over our moral and social values–over our livelihood, our careers, and our family life, even over our religious faith. “He” has power over our sense of self-worth. In essence, men have significant control over whether or not women have a chance to achieve our full potential in the world…and thus we are perpetually worrying about whether we will survive, worried about if we will feel fulfilled…because if we don’t please ‘him’ we are in trouble and may not get the opportunities we seek. And if we do please ‘him’ we are also in trouble…because we give up our personal power, give up our soul, to another human being. Hmm…quite the conundrum.
Yet, are we as powerless and victimized as this sounds??? Did we not have a part to play in the outcomes we are now facing? And if we own that, can we not do something to help change this in the future? And don’t we need to change this because how things are right now in the world are miserable?
At the young age of 9 when I was told I couldn’t be an altar girl that just did not feel ok. I was being judged as “not good enough” to hold the body and blood of Christ and to serve God because I was female. I decided then that I was going to do something to change my second-class citizenship and was determined not to be held back in life. I thought the answer was to prove to men I was as good, even better, and thus just as valuable, as they were–specifically through higher education and professional achievement, i.e. gaining wealth, title, and power. And then of course they would accept me and let me in and treat me fairly, treat me like they treat each other. Right? Not quite. It is frustrating to see 30 years after graduating college that even with the number of women in the workforce having grown to about half we are holding only 16% of the executive positions; and women are still not permitted to be priests. We haven’t really broken through the glass ceiling–making 30% less. And women are not regarded as having any real spiritual authority. Put another way, the influence women and men have over society is certainly not on equal footing. And feeling rather disrespected by our patriarchal world, it is hard for women to maintain a strong self-esteem. As a result, we have become somewhat confused about our personal and professional goals…confused about who we are supposed to be–and confused about how to behave.
I have worked hard to be “successful” and to compete with men in my industry and have been proud of it. And yet, though I gained much in actualizing my professional potential through this competitive perspective, I also realized that I compromised myself somewhat–I suppressed my genuine femininity in order to do it. I tried so hard to be like a man I didn’t really allow myself to be fully a woman. Or better said I became a “powerful woman” yet not a “woman in her power”…and thus I was not happy.
PRESS IN, LEAN IN–INTO THE WORLD
Though hard not to want wealth and fame, I pressed in and pursued a corporate career not so much because I believed in these patriarchal values but because I wanted to break into the inner circle of this masculine secret society. My mission was to convert it—to change men. Hmm…sounds a lot like the intention of every other war. As I gained power and reached executive levels and yet still found myself treated with disrespect, just tolerated and given a seat at the table but expected to have minimal impact, I realized my plan wasn’t working. I was not going to be able to convince these men that they should change…what man would ever change because a woman says so. And my second aha was that I didn’t want to strive anymore for half this “man-power.” It was self-centered, isolationist, segregating, dominating, judgmental, destructive, and focused only on amassing wealth…and attending very little to the health of the soul. I am not trying to make men wrong or “the problem” but there is a problem. And so I can be part of the solution, I take full responsibility for participating in creating it. So after 30 years of trying to make a difference, I have to face the truth that not much has changed and have decided to take a step back and re-evaluate–what is my real intention and how am I behaving to manifest it?
Living in a white-man’s world, we tend to define “success and happiness” as fame and fortune through power over others and domination of the earth. Since we are playing in this system, women are focused on this as well. Yet the vibe of the Divine Feminine is intimacy, love, compassion–the well-being of others and the health of the planet. As a society, we have become imbalanced and overly masculine, women and men alike. We have betrayed the feminine energy of life. Feeling oppressed and wanting to manifest greater parity of power, women have changed who we are and have become like men, and aggressive at that (strident women)…suppressing our sacred feminine qualities. It made sense because we wanted to “be in the game.” Yet it ended up encouraging us to be competitive rather than collaborative with men and with each other. Ironically trying to transmute the power of the patriarchal paradigm by bringing in more of the feminine, we in fact are actually feeding it. There is tremendous tension and we are all unhappy, and very frustrated, as a result. So I have had to reflect–are these goals I have pursued so intensely my entire life really what I want? Are they meant to fulfill me–this power and wealth as defined by men…or is there something else? Do I really want half this kind of “man-power?” In becoming a “player” in this system, did I lose sight of my heart’s, of my soul’s intention?
Now women did what we needed to because it got us in the door and a seat at the table and thus helped us understand more about what we are up against. It successfully got us all, men and women, to realize that there is a problem…that the feminine vibe needs to be more engaged for a healthier world. So no regrets. Yet now though, given that the movement forward in creating a more equal partnership between men and woman has only progressed so far it is time to look at why. Looking at this objectively, it looks like a combination of two particular things: the way women have been “pressing in, leaning in” may have run its course; and two, the truth is that even in this day and age, men still don’t really want to share their power with women (white CEOs at least–who are 95% of Fortune 500). So we have to ask ourselves what do we do with that? And if our intention is to be part of making a positive change in the world, then how exactly do we women want to go forward…given “pressing in and leaning in” has not gotten us to where we really need to be in business and world affairs?
STEP 1: WOMEN NEED TO STOP TRYING TO CHANGE MEN
Now despite what we may have thought, women can’t change men…and in fact we have to let go of the expectation that they must change. That is rather arrogant. And we have to stop blaming them. They feel this pressure and resist. They are not all wrong or bad…what has happened is not all wrong or bad. That is our judgment yet that is not the truth. Much good has come out of patriarchy…and it is time we acknowledge that and build from there. We must move forward and stop getting stuck in the debate of who is better, man or woman. The fact is that the dynamic of patriarchal dominance has been a course of human history with many of its ups and downs; and now it has “run its course.” Therefore, we need to take what we have learned from our experience and move forward all the wiser. And perhaps the greatest realization is the undeniable truth that men and women need to come together. And if men and women are to come together in a generative way we need to stop attacking/defending ourselves from each other…we need to stop wanting the other to change. Rather we need to come from a higher more sophisticated understanding of gender differences and find appreciation and respect for the other. Then we need to practice mature, conscious ways of relating and communicating–openly, honestly and without bias…expressing our truth no matter what we are afraid the other will think. Then we need to listen to the other without bias and criticism. We need to stop being suspicious of the other and become authentically respectful—we need to be open to learning from each other and collaborating.
In essence, men and women need to stop being so self-focused and instead focus on others, on the world. We need to stop vying for greater “power” and instead realize it is not the “right” power any longer—this old patriarchal power will not make the world a better place. We need a new goal. We need a new conversation. We need to use our personal power in a different way to create a new world.
This requires that we evolve ourselves and accept that no one can change another person…we have no right to even try. And no one should try to change themselves to make another person happy or to think well of us. We are not meant to look over there and expect others to make us feel better. Nor are we to expect ourselves to make others feel better. We are meant to look only within and make ourselves happy, make ourselves content and feel empowered in life. We are responsible for our own destiny and our obligation is to make it as positive a vibration as we can so we contribute to world peace and planetary health. The “aha” for women is that our goal should no longer be to try to prove our selves to men, to seek their validation so that we feel valuable, worthy, important…even sexy. Our goal is no longer to try to change men. But instead, our goal, our life=purpose, should be to learn how to re-build our self-esteem by connecting more intimately with our own inner guidance, with our own inner goodness and intelligence, with our own inner sensuality and holy vibe. Tapping into this sacredness of who we are helps us stop seeing ourselves through the eyes of men…and believing we should have the same goals as men…and that we need to please them to survive. Connecting to our sacred self gives us clarity about the true value of life and society and about how best we can contribute. We become clearer about our soul mission. And this stronger sense of self and commitment to our true values helps us see men and be more tolerant. We become willing to understand their values more clearly. This stronger sense of self helps us see patriarchy more objectively and thus what is good and what is not so good about it. We become more intelligent, rational and strategic about how to move forward and change things–about what to keep and what to discard from our past as we create a new paradigm for the future. The most stunning realization is that women begin to realize we have no need to change men…we need to change ourselves.
STEP 2: WE NEED TO CHANGE WORLD CULTURE—EQUAL POWER?
As a society, we keep functioning according to the old patriarchal goals and paradigms that clearly do not make any of us happy or serve us well–the current world situation is evidence. Men are not the best of themselves and neither are women. And the conversation continues to be a contest of wills–we are focused on ourselves rather than on the bigger picture–global peace and planetary health.
This imbalance between men and women has created a “man-power” that values money over mankind, possession over relationship, goal over journey, mind over heart—power over person. This has resulted in social unrest and in decisions that have had significant negative impacts on the planet. As women become more conscious, we realize we don’t want half of this “masculine-power.” Rather, conscious women are realizing that our continued focus on competing for half the “man-power in the world” is becoming obsolete. And thus we realize that we need to change the focus, and thus we need to change the meaning of “power” and the understanding of “equality”. Evolved women are realizing we need to change the conversation if we are going to change the culture of the world.
If we are going to change the world culture, the masculine and feminine vibrations must stop being in competition and instead come into balance. Men and women must find a way to step back and reflect on the paradigms we have created and the results they have generated. In the realization that the current structures do not work in creating a balanced society and a healthy planet, we need to come to an agreement to create something completely new–for example a paradigm of social and organizational order that is no longer “heir-archal” but rather “spiral-archal”—not a paradigm that generates power and wealth for the few at the top but rather helps foster a more reasonable distribution of society’s benefits. We need to create a paradigm that shifts our understanding of “equality” from meaning women becoming like men and thus earning half the “man-power–title, money, and influence” within a masculine hierarchal paradigm to one that equally values the importance of the uniqueness of men and of women influencing a more egalitarian paradigm. This in essence means that there is a greater consciousness about how important both masculine and feminine traits and qualities are to the success in business…and in the society. This leads us to realize that True “power” is not “power over” yet “power with.” Collaborating to support a balanced flow between, and ultimate merging of, the unique powers of the masculine and of the feminine would create a powerful wholeness (like yin and yang.). And it needs to be said this goes beyond gender and into the qualities of the masculine and feminine that every human possesses–regardless of expressed by man or woman, the unique qualities of the feminine and of the masculine need to be valued equally–dissolving bias and segregation and promoting acceptance/appreciation and collaboration of all individuals. Only in this way do we reach the greatest outcome.
The opportunity now is for one of us to see the confusion and take the lead. Speaking as a woman, I believe only women can because we can see the importance for the rise of the Divine Feminine…we certainly have cause to be a bit more motivated. And though we have been trying to do something about this for some time, the key now is to take a dramatically different approach. Instead of trying to “press-in, lean in” and change men and push them out of the way, we need to transform ourselves and reclaim our sovereignty…
…for once a woman is in her true sacred power men will find their true selves.
A new vision for society with new goals and new paradigms needs to be developed. It is not that what men have been doing is wrong or that men don’t care about the world, but rather men have been left unchallenged in their perspectives for so long that their values became distorted and their behavior profane as a result. It has to be admitted that as a result of the lack of respect for the feminine perspective, which would have brought temperance, there have been atrocities that would never have been perpetrated if women were in sole leadership (see the book Women After All—Konner). Yet women in sole leadership quite clearly would not have led to the remarkable advancements in society that we have gained under men. So it seems we have gotten ourselves in a tug o war–women trying to blame and change men and men resisting because they have been unwilling to open and see the true value of the divine feminine. We are both steeped in our ego-selves and until we stop and instead of trying to compete and change each other, we accept and appreciate each other fully, the world will continue to suffer.
So now what? Well, the answer seems clear–we need to come into balance with each other so both perspectives are considered equally in our decisions as we create our future, as we create our new world. Yet how to get there is going to be a real challenge–it requires the toughest work of all: to be willing to let go of who we think we are and open to becoming a new human being. Our ego is going to kick and scream. Yet if we are willing, we need to begin by getting personal, by talking about feelings and emotions…for emotion drives all behavior and thus the outcomes of our lives. It seems we are both feeling pretty hurt and betrayed, disrespected and abandoned by the other. And we could continue to debate who is more hurt and who is more at fault forever and thus stay in this torturous whirlwind of resentment…yet this only keeps us trapped. And more importantly, this only distracts us from the most important issues facing humanity that are calling to us now for reform. It does not matter how the war between the sexes got started but rather what we are going to do about it NOW…for the future of the world is at stake. Who will lay down their arms first?
STEP 3: WOMEN NEED TO CHANGE–we need to learn to like men more, learn to understand and appreciate them more…and behave better toward them.