Spreading Fire: A Paradigm Shift
I published You Are a Heroine in 2018. It seems so very long ago – almost five years. Pre-pandemic! Here’s from the last chapter –
Reading it now seems like a bit of foreshadowing for my journey to understand the Sacred Feminine:
“No matter where your Journey is leading you, I believe that our individual Journeys all somehow contribute to the larger whole…aiding all women. I know that the story of my grandmother’s jump from the train has inspired and motivated me since she first told it to me. But I’m also thinking of our deeper connection as women. Perhaps the more we honor our intuition, the more we believe in it and trust, value and respond to it – developing our inner guidance system as a result – the more we’re all lifted up together, our power exponentially increased.”
My grandmother lived in a little village in Hungary and her call was a big one – to leave! Her story is the preface to my book. She was leaving everything she knew to go to America and she got on the wrong train! When she realized her mistake, even though the train had started to move, she threw her suitcase out first, then she jumped. She was twenty-one, couldn’t speak English, and was bravely crossing the threshold into the unknown.
More from my book:
“This will lead us to trust more in the genius of our feminine nature so we can discover and heal, in our own unique way, our psychological wounds and ultimately the cultural and ecological wounds of the planet. After all, as our ancient ancestors and indigenous peoples believed (and still believe), we women are the planet—we are Mother Earth. If we aren’t fed and nourished, everything suffers. The way we treat ourselves and each other is reflected in our care of the planet.”
Wow – I can’t believe I wrote that as I know so much more than I did back then – but there was some prescience there. Some collective understanding that I was giving voice to.
More from the book:
“So then, let’s consider all of us women as a whole... where are we on the Heroine’s Journey?
Are we in the Belly of the Whale?
Are we floundering in the abyss, about to face our collective Dragon?
I see us on a new Threshold. We’ve probably been hanging out there for a while. I don’t think we’ve been refusing the Call. I think we’ve been figuring out the Call—what we’re collectively hearing—and we’re weighing how to respond.
What’s been our Ordinary Life? For thousands of years now, we’ve been the aid and support of our male partners. Many of us truly want to be that support, but we also feel the Call to become more. We’ve been hearing this Call for a while. The Threshold Guardians have been very active, telling us to stand back! Many of us feel threatened as we step out of our comfort zones. The warnings come from all sides, including within. Women, you can’t have it all. You thought you could, but you can’t. These voices have left us with questions. What is our role? Do we lean in or do we step back?
I think we’re on the Threshold of creating a new paradigm, a new myth, for women. We aren’t solely the tenders of the hearth that we used to be. We aren’t only the female replacement for the male in the boardroom. We’re both of these and more.
So, what does our new myth look like?”
Then I wrote:
“The truth is, I don’t know.
We have to develop it together. We have to know our stories and share them with each other. What I do believe is that we will arrive at our new feminine myth in our own unique way, rather than the conventional, more masculine “figuring it out” method. It will come to us through those same inner currents that generate music, poetry, art, and literature. It will enter our psyches at a deeper, more subterranean level. Like the wisdom and guidance that comes into our awareness from an unsuspected source, it will be there when we start listening.
Maybe the answers we seek will move in like a freight train. Or perhaps they will tiptoe into our consciousness. The answers might crash down on us as we try to wrestle with our problems, or maybe they’ll softly settle in our psyches as we listen to a story.”
Five years later…
This is it – it comes from telling each other our stories – and listening. Yes. I think the answers we need to help our ailing world will come– from a different place than the figuring it out place – maybe call that our left-brained approach.
I am more and more of this mind – that is – using less mind – or less left brain.
Here’s how author, and psychologist, Dr. Sharon Blackie writes about it in her book If Women Rose Rooted:
“The Journey of the Heroine we’ve been following in this book is a journey back to the ground of our own belonging in the world, a retrieval of our life-giving feminine wisdom and the regrowth of the roots that nourish it. Our own roots, reach down into the soil, push down into the cracks in the rocks, and drink from the groundwater that flows down the mountains. This is not a journey that takes place in our heads. It is a journey which takes us out of our heads and weaves us back into the shimmering web of life – life, with all its beauty and its chaos, its caresses and its stings, its dangers, and its blessings.”
“It takes us out of our heads,” she writes and I completely agree!
Now, I admit - it’s hard to get out of your head…
My online course has several exercises to help us with that…I call it circumventing your brain – and when you do, it’s amazing what comes up – answers to problems, poetry, creativity…
This is why I write Morning Pages (created by Julia Cameron) every morning, first thing. They help me to get out of my head, out of my own way. (New to Morning Pages? Roshi Zalani explains their great benefit here in her blog.)
Einstein said, “We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
“Figuring it out” thinking isn’t the answer…
Letting the answers rise up, from within. Trusting your own inner intelligence. Homing in on what brings you JOY instead of following what the outer world tells you is your path.
You’ll find your way, after countless missteps and wrong turns (hey, that’s the Heroine’s Journey!) Your inner wisdom will develop. You’ll come to trust it more. Then you’ll share what you’ve learned on your journey, and your story, and we will benefit as a whole. We need what’s inside of you – your own unique “medicine” – what my teacher, Gail Larsen calls “your Original Medicine.” Your story is your channel for putting it out into the world.
Here’s what you can do to start bringing your wisdom, your own brand of inner fire, forward:
Find another Heroine, a woman who knows what sets her on fire – what calls to her - her version of “Susan’s – being with horses” story (from my March 14th blog post) and ask her to tell you her story. Then you tell her your story.
A Paradigm Shift
Here’s what author, Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D., has to say about the importance of sharing our stories in her memoir, Crossing to Avalon: A Woman’s Midlife Quest for the Sacred Feminine. She writes :
“If the Goddess is to return to the world as the Grail that will heal the patriarchy, if the Goddess is to come into human consciousness as an awareness of the sacred feminine in her myriad expressions if the Goddess is to emerge in time, she will do so because women and men tell what they know. The Goddess comes to us in very private and experiential ways. To bring about a paradigm shift in the culture that will change assumptions and attitudes, a critical number of us have to tell the stories of our personal revelations and transformations.”
Let your stories come out into the world. They will weave into each other and I believe – well, I’m coming to understand, that this is the Sacred Feminine re-emerging into our world. And it will be transformative – a paradigm shift.
And the world will be better for it.