These days, I am ever-mindful of the power of women to redefine culture. Like I believe that Androgynous Baby™ and Nested Living Systems™ are the forces that shape culture, I also believe that women have the capacity to redefine what goes into these powerful processes that become the intergenerational frameworks for what it is to be human.
That notion of ‘redefining’ is ever-present in my awareness. Redefining leadership. Redefining love. Redefining parenting. These are but three of what I hold to be a long list of nominalizations desperately in need of redefining – and doing so from a very different paradigm.
For as far back as I can mindfully consider, my life and that of my mother, grandmother and great-grandmother have been shaped by so-called ‘cultural’ expectations of what I/they could or could not do/be. I remember stories told of my paternal grandmother that spoke to her unwillingness to ‘be’ the limited expression that her world demanded of her. For that, she paid a price – and she kept her soul. It would seem that I am of her lineage for a reason.
These days, I find myself seeking to create the opportunity to draw women together to redefine intimacy – on our own terms. Our way of connecting to others – lovers, mates, partners, friends… regardless of preferences… – has for far too long been shaped from the outside when we are screaming to define our world from the inside.
I have lost count of the powerful, compelling, funny, loving, compassionate, smart, courageous, provocative, strong women who have allowed themselves to be lost to themselves in the name of ‘love’ or ‘connection’ or ‘relationship’. As they have focused their attention on ‘making the relationship work’, they have become ghost-like figures and pale versions of their own potential. Is that love? Is that what love demands? For far too many women, being loved has demanded that they surrender who they are.
That is not my life. I do not speak that as an ‘expert’ on anything other than being mySelf. I may not know how you should/could be AND I am the one who knows best how I could/should be! For that, I am without apology or compromise; and without the need of your support or approval. I trust that you will stand for your Self as you see fit.
What is the price that we have learned to pay – willingly and without hesitation! – to be loved, wanted, valued or connected? What have we learned far too well to surrender without hesitation or struggle, that we may be prized by another? How well have we learned to look away from our own dreams, desires and imaginings that we may be glanced up by another as ‘desirable’ or ‘attractive’ in body, behaviour or creations?
When I was 9… or 19… or 29, I was different. Now, at 59, I continue to be different – and greatly welcoming of it being so. I spend my life working with women who are seeking to BE different… to be other than who or what they have been taught to believe they MUST be… are without choice about… and yet, have been unwilling to surrender their potential to maintain their lives. In varying degrees, the choice is made one day to the next, from one breath to the next: must I love myself less to be loved by you?
In October, I will be calling to myself a gathering of those women who are open, clear, honest and direct about themselves and their lives; who are willing and able to engage the larger expressions of their inner truth; and who dare to redefine intimacy – with Self and other – on their own terms. In the search to have and be it all; in the desire to recognize through 7 Logical Levels of Thinking that we are all Sexual, Sensual and Spiritual Beings, it may well be time for women to redefine their expression and the outcome of intimacy in ways that not only sustain and support but source and feed the hungry soul that screams out to be allowed to be!
In my life, I have been married and divorced more than once; and I have lived in long-term, committed ‘relationships’ more than once. There have been times when my Mother (bless her heart!) has wondered what was wrong with me, struggling with her fear that I have been unable to ‘keep a man’. In our shared experience, her rules and mine were worlds apart. Over the years, I have engaged with her in the same way, sharing with her what I hold as the greatest moment that I carry from them all: without exception, each has told me that they were a better man for having shared their life with me. In that, I experience neither loss nor failure. I see only life expanding and becoming more!
I spend my life working/playing with women. It is what I have chosen that has great value in my life and in what I hold to be the future of our world. As Kofi Annan has said, “The future of the world is in the hands of women.” I share that view and know that unless we (women) are awake, aware and fully alive – as our unique and powerful Self – we will make no difference in that world. And for me, that is not an option.