Thursday, November 4, 2010

Invitation to Prayer

You are invited to offer your prayers and intentions for our upcoming Retreat.

Women, Spirituality and Leadership:
A Collaborative Exploration

November 14-17, 2010
~~
Thirty women spiritual leaders from the United States and Canada
representing many spiritual traditions will gather at the Mary and Joseph Retreat Center
in Rancho Palos Verdes, California in retreat and deep dialogue.

We will explore together how women of spirit and faith
are being called to contribute at this important moment in time.
What is it that wants to be birthed now?
What are the possibilities that can flow from our shared wisdom?
~~
You are invited to hold us in prayer as we come together.

We welcome your individual prayers
and we also invite circles of women to connect in collective prayer.

We will open our retreat
at 5 p.m. Pacific Time on Sunday, November 14
and close at 11 a.m. Wednesday, November 17.
We will pause in a moment of silence to connect with all of you
who are supporting our work in this important way.

We are grateful for your prayers and intentions.
With love,
Reverend Cheen
Kathleen Hurty
Kay Lindahl
Kathe Schaaf





Sunday, August 8, 2010

Announcing a Special Gathering

Calling all women of spirit and faith!
~ Save the date ~
The Alchemy of Our Spiritual Leadership:
Women Redefining Power

April 28 – May 1, 2011
Hotel Sofitel San Francisco Bay

Opening Keynote Speaker: Sister Joan Chittister
Voted “the most inspirational woman alive” in a recent survey!

This is NOT your typical women’s conference!
Imagine the energy of more than 300 women ready for inspiration, deep wisdom and potent co-creation.

Registration opens September 1, 2010

Convened by Women of Spirit and Faith
~~~~
Please share this with your networks too!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Prayer

A friend has just sent me this version of the Lord's Prayer translated directly from the original Aramaic into English. I can feel the balanced masculine and feminine energies of the prayer and can’t help wonder how different the world would be today if this integrated and whole experience of God has been allowed to shine throughout history.


"O cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration.
Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space
within us where your Presence can abide.

Fill us with your creativity so that we may be
empowered to bear the fruit of your mission.

Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire.

Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what
each being needs to grow and flourish.

Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we
release others from the entanglement of past mistakes.

Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us
from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities
of the present moment.

For you are the ground and the fruitful vision, the birth,
power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made
whole once again."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Letter to Wall Street Journal

Sharon Hadary
Wall Street Journal
RE: What’s Holding Back Women Entrepreneurs?
May, 17, 2010

Dear Sharon,

I was fascinated by your report on the complex dynamics affecting the revenue and growth of women owned-businesses. As I have worked globally with women for the past nine years, I have seen the powerful limiting impact of cultural expectations, existing bureaucratic structures and self-image upon woman entrepreneurs. A woman’s experience can be remarkably similar in Kenya and Kansas, adjusting for scale. Thank you for articulating some of those challenges.

The most powerful paragraph in your article for me is the one describing gender differences in reasons for starting a business: while men want to be the ‘boss’ and to be ‘big’, women are more likely to seek personal challenge and make it a priority to integrate their careers with their family relationships. This research excites and encourages me because it validates the powerful potential of the woman business owner to redefine what leadership means in the corporate sector and to create some healthy change in this economic paradigm.

The events unfolding before our eyes on Wall Street and in the oil-soaked Gulf at this very moment have exposed the danger of defining success only in terms of financial gain at any cost . Your report would indicate that women could lead the way in modeling a more balanced bottom line, one which integrates personal well-being, family commitments, community connections and environmental sensitivity. This is the real potential of feminine leadership – creating a new sustainable paradigm rather than learning to thrive within the old boy’s club.

Indeed it is vital for women to access capital, markets, training and existing networks. Even more importantly, women need to see – and read - that their more balanced and integrated choices are not a sign of failure but define a new kind of success which may actually allow the whole planet to thrive. I look forward to the day when women entrepreneurs see that validation reflected back at them from the pages of the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Validation

I walked to my mailbox a few days ago and found a delightful surprise waiting for me: the most recent issue of Newsweek featuring the question "WHAT WOULD MARY DO?" on the cover. The subtitle "How women can save the Catholic church from its sins" was equally validating and stimulating.

Just days before the magazine arrived, I was having a conversation with my husband and teenage son about the latest scandals rocking the Catholic church. My husband, who was raised in the Catholic church and educated in their schools, expressed concern that the church may not be able to recover from this growing tide of trouble. My response was not a surprise to my family members: I believe it will be the women of the Catholic church who will help this institution remember its authentic purpose and be restored to grace.

When my husband saw the Newsweek cover, he declared that I was a prophet.. and suggested maybe I could finally find a way to generate some income with my passionate belief in the healing potential of the feminine.

It is an amazing experience to be validated by both Newsweek and my husband in the same day.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Women of Faith and Spirit ~ An Exploratory Conversation about Women, Faith and Leadership

As a woman of faith and spirit, you know something important about this moment in human history. You know it from your rich experiences in the world and you know it from a place of deep wisdom within. Your unique pattern of knowing is part of a larger pattern of feminine wisdom which may have the potential to powerfully animate the spiritual leadership of North American women in service of humanity.

We are excited about the possibilities that lie before us as women and deeply curious to learn more about the current pattern of women’s spiritual leadership in North America at this moment in time. As we attended the Parliament of the World’s Religions in December 2009 and in our explorations to date:

• We observed that while there are currently many initiatives focusing on women’s leadership, most do not put an emphasis on the spiritual needs and issues that are unique to women and that may indeed represent some of the most significant barriers to activating their authentic leadership.

• We observed that while there are currently many diverse initiatives and networks for spiritual women, there exists in this moment a powerful opportunity to build a larger field of collaboration, passion and action by building bridges of understanding to connect these diverse networks in a web of spiritual presence.
You are invited to join us for a series of four ‘Exploratory Conversations’ hosted as conference calls from April through July 2010. Focusing on a series of questions, this inquiry will allow us to explore together the pattern of women’s spiritual leadership in North America.

April 15 ~ Thursday 5 - 6 p.m. Pacific/ 8 - 9 p.m. Eastern
What does it mean to be a woman of faith and spirit?

May 20 ~ Thursday 5 - 6 p.m. Pacific/ 8 -9 p.m. Eastern
What is the special contribution of women to spiritual leadership?

June 17 ~ Thursday 5 - 6 p.m. Pacific/ 8 – 9 p.m. Eastern
How might we animate women to claim their voices/roles as spiritual leaders?

July 15 ~ Thursday 5 - 6 p.m. Pacific/ 8 – 9 p.m. Eastern
What is waiting to be birthed in the community of women and spirit?

Simply RSVP to any one of us by email and indicate your interest in any or all upcoming conversations. We will send you the conference call information once we hear from you.

For more information, see
http://womenoffaithandspirit.blogspot.com/
http://www.peacenext.org/group/womensnetworknorthamerica

We would be happy to answer any questions you might have and look forward to an exciting year of listening to the wisdom of the women of faith and spirit.

In gratitude,

Kathe Schaaf - Women’s Spirit Council - mailto:katheschaaf@cox.net
Kay Lindahl - The Listening Center - mailto:thelisteningcenter@yahoo.com
Guo Cheen -Compassionate Action Network - thecompassionnetwork@gmail.com

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Singing a Seed Song

I have been so engaged with life that I haven't had much time to write about it!

In the past month, I have:
~ made two trips to New York
~ visited the Egyptian exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum
~ attended some of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women, the UN-NGO Beijing +15Forum and some of the parallel events
~ had dental surgery to extract a tooth and recovered from an infection
~ attended the launch of the North American Women of Faith Network and the Women of Faith Leadership Summit
~ worked in my garden, kissed my dogs and taken long walks
~ given the keynote address at the Southern California Gather the Women event to celebrate International Women's Day
~ scheduled trips to visit colleges with my son in April and join my sisters for our annual Sister Retreat in June
~ read some brilliant poetry, worked on a painting and listened in on some incredible wisdom
~ revised a couple websites, launched a blog and answered hundreds of e-mails
~ soaked up the rich collective energy of the Kalliopeia Foundation's 'Emergence' event.

At the sunrise fire ceremony at the Kalliopeia gathering, Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray from New Mexico sang a Seed Song. She explained how in her indigenous tradition, women would sing to the seeds to help them awaken and remember.

I am singing to my seeds.

Friday, March 12, 2010

A Wealth of Feminine Wisdom

I am delighted to announce
a remarkable new archive of feminine wisdom
is now available online.
Visit Jamie Walters' SophiaLogues
In this series of emerging audio dialogues, Jamie continues her exploration of the Wisdom of the Feminine with a special focus on the re-emerging Divine Feminine. Her conversations with men and women from various paths and traditions takes us deeply into some important questions for these times: What is the Feminine? What are the gifts of the Feminine? How does reclaiming and embodying the Feminine help to foster conscious living, working and leadership?
Each dialogue is a treasure.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Women are Converging in New York

Tomorrow I will be joining the streams of women converging on New York for the events and gatherings clustered around the annual session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Thousands of women will be coming from all over the world to listen and learn, to exchange information and ideas, to plan collaborative action, to develop new relationships and celebrate with old friends.

My own calendar is ripe with everything from small circle gatherings to large UN events. I will be connecting with Millionth Circle, Ways Women Lead, the Global NGO Forum: Beijing +15, the Women of Faith Leadership Summit and attending the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women as a delegate of Pathways to Peace.

A friend asked me this morning: What is your intention? It's a good question ... and my answer is that my intention is to listen and learn more about the larger pattern of women's leadership in these challenging times.

And to enjoy lots of laughter and hugs.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Feast of Brigid

My good friend Clare Peterson sent me this little note about the Celtic celebration of Imbolc or Candlemas - the Feast of Brigid:

Had to smile at this.. when reading up on Brigid who's feast day is tomorrow.. Imbolc~Candlemas.

"Brigid had an extensive female priesthood at Kildare, Ireland and an ever-burning sacred fire in her shrine. There were 19 priestess representing the 19-year cycle of the Celtic "Great Year." Each priestess tended the sacred fire in turn, through a 20-day rotation. On 20th day of each cycle the sacred fire was said to be tended by Brigid herself. Her shrine was likened to that of Vesta tended by the vestal virgins in Rome. Its sacred flame was kept burning.

The Irish claimed that she brought "whistling" to the world, which she invented one night when she wanted to call her friends."

It seems I can remember in my bones a time when I took my turn with my sisters to tend the sacred fire, an ancient time when it was safe to serve the Mother. May we sweep the remanants of winter from our homes and from our hearts as we prepare for the quickening bursts of spring.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Our Time Has Come

I wrote this for the January issue of the Gather the Women Newsletter:

I have come home from the Parliament of the World’s Religions filled with awe for the brilliance of Mother’s plan and with a new understanding of my own role within that intricate pattern. The Sacred Feminine rose up in Melbourne and I think She is inviting all of us to join Her.

My memories are a mosaic of profound moments and distinct voices ~

~ His Holiness Ravi Shankar at the Opening Plenary reminded me that “Faith gives us the responsibility to make this a happy society.”

~ On a panel discussing Breaking Through Patriarchy, Sister Joan Chittister dreams about a time when “all things that women want will happen and all things that women fear will end.”

~ I am transported by the clarity of Cath Connelly’s harp as she played her original composition ‘Veriditas’ at our Creative Exploration of the Sacred Feminine. Veriditas is a word invented by Hildegard of Bingen which means ‘the greening energy of the creation of the world.’

~ Thanking Phyllis Currot for holding the space for Divine Feminine at the Parliament for more than 16 years.

~The Open Space session with Sister Joan that grew to be an event within the event because the attendees were so hungry for her powerful message about women, leadership, divinity and the church.

~ From Jake Swamp, a former Chief of the Mohawk people: “I don’t think the Peacemaker made a mistake when he put the women in charge of who should be a leader.”

~ Glenys Livingstone’s powerful altar created as a ‘template of wholeness’ in the workshop on “The New Archaic: Neuroscience, Spiritual Practice and Healing”.

~ On the last day, I am riveted by a narrative describing how the Parliament plenary sessions were created “not through a process of consensus by rather of convergence.” I have been meditating on that distinction ever since.

This Parliament was buzzing with feminine energy. Everywhere I went people were talking about Earth-based spirituality, the Sacred Feminine, feminine principles, women’s leadership and women’s issues. Our little pink buttons with the question ‘What happens when women lead?’ showed up sprinkled liberally among the 3,000 attendees and there was a full page of workshops listed under the Program Cluster ‘Women in Leadership’. The Sacred Feminine showed up at this Parliament as a brilliant kaleidoscope made up of the bright lights of the many women (and men) who showed up to embody Her.

I came away with a powerful sense that our time as women has come …. here and now …and I was awakened to the need for another personal shift to be ready for this moment. I realized I had grown too accustomed to the realities of arriving early for the revolution: committed to peace in a world that is still busy making war; working for social justice in a world still putting profit before humanity; passionate about the value of the feminine in a patriarchal culture. Being early meant I had good reason to become an expert at waiting and had developed a vast capacity for patience.

But that was yesterday.

Today’s opportunity calls for a new set of behaviors and skills. We each carry a unique piece of the new paradigm and every piece is important. Since Melbourne, I am aware of a deeper sense of responsibility to bring my piece with more clarity and power. Now I am excited to fit my piece into this magnificent puzzle next to yours.