Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving

What a profound opportunity -- to set aside a day to reflect on all the grace and beauty in our lives, to feel our gratitude for the love and abundance of our lives, to laugh and celebrate with family and friends, to express our thanks to our Divine Source for the multitude of gifts we receive each moment.

I can't help but smile at the spiraling and evolving dimensions of this day.

Long ago, harvest festivals brought ancient peoples together to honor the Earth for her sustenance and bounty. Life in these gatherer-hunter cultures could be harsh and the only way to survive was to live interdependently with the Earth, respecting the seasons and living in rhythm with larger natural patterns. Mutuality, interdependence and balance were core values during this phase of the human journey; men and women worked together to survive as human families and humans worked together with the powerful forces of nature. Divine Source was understood to embody both male and female energies. The Earth, with its capacity to generate life, was honored and respected as the Great Mother.

And then there was a shift, an early tipping point. An agrarian culture was born and it became important to own land so that crops could be planted. Sons were essential to bring physical strength to the tasks of farming. Ownership of land introduced the possibility to store surplus harvest, to accumulate wealth -- and ironically also amplified fears of scarcity. One could never have enough - land, surplus, wealth, sons, power. Power together became power over ... and women became another form of property to be controlled. A man who was busy acquiring property and power needed a God who reflected and reinforced these values and systematically all traces of the feminine were erased from Divine Source. God was Father and Son, Lord Almighty. Religion became entangled with politics as men sought more power and more land .... and the Earth was valued only as a resource to be exploited. Thanksgiving celebrations were institutionalized within the patriarchal church and its politics, often celebrated on the same days as ancient 'pagan' holidays.

And so it has been for many generations.

I pause on this Thanksgiving Day to reflect on how the planet is shifting again --remembering balance, returning the feminine to the equation and valuing our battered Earth. I am delighted to be traveling in the company of some wonderful women who make my heart sing and my family who are the threads that make up that heart. I am excited and grateful to be on this planet for the shift back to a God who transcends gender and embodies wholeness.

Friday, November 14, 2008

An Opportunity for Authentic Conversation

I was welcomed last night into an rich conversation on The Light Show, a blog radio show which is hosted by Jeanie DeRousseau, Teresa Ruelas and Bonnie Kelley on Tuesday and Thursday each week. They invited me to come and share some of my experiences from the midst of the recent Constellations of Hope gathering.

You can hear that interview at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/The-Light-Show. The show is called Across Boundaries and was recorded November 13.

Our conversation danced across some vast fields of energy and potential: women rediscovering their natural spiritual authority, creating and holding spiritual intention, working with the tension at the edge of the new, how is women's leadership woven together with their ever expanding spiritual heartbeat.

I was blessed by the opportunity.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I was there! Constellations of Hope

Some day I will tell my grandchildren:


I was there!

I was at the first Constellations of Hope gathering, when remarkable women representing more than 40 women's organizations came together for an intense conversation in search of unity. They came bringing all the diverse colors of humanity - red, yellow, black and white. They spoke from their hearts about their yearnings and passions. They came face to face with their own assumptions about one another, about feminine leadership and about collaboration. They stepped into the fire with honest dialogue at the same time that they held the rim of our circle, committed to respecting and honoring all voices equally. They gathered around a self-organizing altar which held symbols of their hopes and inspirations and which quietly generated the heartbeat for their gathering.

It will take time for me to integrate all my learnings and to process all my feelings. For now, it is enough to know that something big happened this weekend that has already begun to ripple out across the universe. And I was there.