We live in a culture that is not designed for women to succeed with ease. Yet women, when we awaken to the feminine within us, and begin to live the feminine as She moves through us, embody something vital that must be lived in the world. In order to bring forth our wisdom and nature into the world, we must support and amplify each other’s voices and hearts, because our culture isn’t yet set up to really do this. We’ve been graced with the Internet as a way to bring forth our voices into the world. And it is my joy to share women on Wise Woman Wednesdays whose wisdom and voices I wish to amplify with great love.
Today, on Wise Woman Wednesday, we’re…
Tanya is a wonderful friend and a colleague who does just that – she champions women. She is wise. She is generous.
Tanya steadfastly stands for women to step into their life’s work – whatever that work might be.
I first met Tanya in person at the World Domination Summit, the first year it was held in Portland, Oregon. Meeting Tanya in the flesh was something I’ll never forget. Her warmth and enthusiasm are contagious. And her ability to listen on so many levels is evident the moment you enter into a conversation with her. She listens with every cell of her body. That is an important skill for a coach.
We’ve come to share many experiences, one of which was speaking at the Isfeld TEDx Women event in Courtenay, British Columbia. Tanya spoke about the Imposter Complex, something she’s taken to a whole new level in how she helps women identify and move through it. I remember how we both woke up early that morning before we were to speak. We were staying in the same condo, and so we came out into the kitchen together to have coffee, and talk quietly so as not to awaken others sleeping. We ended up sitting on the kitchen floor laughing like crazy about something.
Tanya, and our rolling-on-the-floor laughter, were the medicine I needed to calm my pre-speech nerves.
A few days ago, I surprised Tanya by telling her I was to feature her here today. We recorded this audio because it seemed like the very best way to share and amplify Tanya’s voice in the world.
If you are looking for a coach to work with, I have personally experienced Tanya’s coaching. She is a superb coach. She coaches many coaches.
And, Tanya’s program Step Into Your Starring Role is currently open for registration. I am not an affiliate. I don’t receive any monies for sharing her work. I receive the joy of knowing you now know of Tanya. We offer similar programs for women. We both want women’s voices to be heard in the world. And I know that Tanya might be just the right woman for you to work with. When you choose a coach, or a coaching program, the most important thing is finding resonance with your coach.
Make Wednesday a Wise Woman day, and amplify a woman, or many women, you know. Let’s support each other and amplify women’s voices into this world, a world thirsty for women’s deep wisdom.
Maia: My secret for long life is simplicity, work and enjoyment.
I love this video.
It’s breathtakingly beautiful. She is beautiful. Graceful. Embodied.
This speaks to me on so many levels, in so many ways. At the core, it is the simplicity of life, the green of the trees, the breeze and sunshine, cooking good food, wise women, friendship…the clear beauty of the human soul.
“Shot in Fire Island, New York, this film (4min. 23 sec) captures the secrets of eternal youth as Maia Helles, a Russian ballet dancer turns 95 but still remains resolutely independent, healthy and as fit as a forty year old. Made by Julia Warr, artist and film maker met Maia on a plane 4 years ago and became utterly convinced by the benefits of her daily exercise routine, which Maia perfected, together with her Mother, over 60 years ago, long before exercise classes were ever invented.” (2011)
Looking for a deep, rich, evocative experience? Explore the Sacred Feminine within you by way of this digital journey. It will stir up your senses, invite you deep into your body, and celebrate the gift that is you as a woman.
But the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing. ~Kate Chopin
The other day, surfing across the web in no particularly linear or rational way (I guess that’s what surfing is), I came across this quote from Rush Limbaugh:
“Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?”
It was 2008. A long time ago. He was referring to Hillary Clinton. With a masterful stroke of the mouth, he attempted to dis-empower this woman by using one of the patriarchy’s greatest weapons, the deeply held belief that age makes women ugly, worthless and powerless.
I remember hearing it then and it made my blood boil. Yesterday, when I saw it again, I wondered about it. About Rush. About men. About women. About being a woman and growing old. About why watching a woman grow old scares the hell out of people. His statement is still a powerful window into how women who are growing older are perceived in our culture.
I am reminded of my mother as she grew fail towards her death. She showed such dignity. Even when she could hardly stand up, she wanted her hair combed, her lipstick on. She didn’t want anyone, including her children, to see her use the commode. She walked towards her death with grace.
I thought of Robbie Kaye and the amazing work she is doing with women and aging at Beauty of Wisdom. Robbie takes photographs of women getting their hair done; beautiful, proud women.
Photo by Robbie Kaye, all rights reserved
I wonder about how Rush felt watching his mother grow old, how he feels watching the women in his life that he loves growing older. How do we feel when we fear the crone out there, and in here, while we are in relationship with our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, great-aunts, and wise old women friends? While we are in relationship with ourselves and our own aging bodies?
And, (this is a ‘big’ and) somewhere a part of me is fully capable of saying something just as hurtful. If I push that away in him, I push it away in myself. I’ve grown up ingesting this patriarchal pabulum every day of my life. I’ve adopted the fears and beliefs and admonitions of a culture steeped in ageism, sexism, racism, and any other ism that has been the foundation of this patriarchal thought structure. It takes a deepening awareness and an opening consciousness to begin to see what I project onto others, how I push others away, how I say stupid things because of my own conditioning.
The structure of patriarchy is insidious. It causes men to oppress all women, because it is ‘linked to a cultural devaluing of femaleness itself.” (Allan G. Johnson, Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy) It causes men to oppress even the women in their own lives that they dearly love, for you can’t uphold a structure of beliefs, and act within that structure everyday, and somehow not inflict that pain on some women and not others.
“One of the deepest reasons for denying the reality of women’s oppression is that we don’t want to admit that a real basis for conflict exists between men and women. We don’t want to admit it because, unlike other groups involved in social oppression, such as white and blacks, female and males really need each other, if only as parents and children.” (emphasis mine)
Think about it: men and women are inextricably linked. We can’t not engage with each other. If we no longer engaged, life wouldn’t continue. That’s what makes it so hard to look at patriarchy and the oppression of the feminine. And yet, we need the reemergence of the feminine to heal ourselves and to heal the earth. We need the nurturing, nourishing, wise and instinctual, wildly creative, and fiercely unconditionally loving feminine to heal ourselves from our ways of destruction and domination. We need this reemergence in women and we need it in men. We need to find balance within ourselves, the balance between the masculine and feminine.
The old woman was once revered, when people revered the Great Mother, when they saw the beauty of birth, death and rebirth, the power of transformation. Now, we sit around and pretend we don’t get old and we don’t die. We feel the shift happening and we dig our heels in and pretend we can’t be touched.
As I’ve aged, I’ve felt invisibility creep in. The older I get the more invisible I become, in a culture where youth and external beauty reign. All the while, I’ve become more beautiful to myself, because I am embracing and honoring the wisdom that my life experiences have brought, and the kindness, compassion and tenderness that grief and loss have engendered. It takes a certain amount of awareness and effort to keep coming back to what is real, what is true. It isn’t easy at all. Yet, there comes a time when no other way is palatable. I can feel the energy of the crone. I feel her power. I feel her fierce love.
It’s not that I don’t have moments of grief and sadness around aging. Some of those moments come when I get caught up in the never-ending bombardment of the advertising blitz. I notice my body growing a little stiffer, I am aware of the years passing, and I know death is always a breath away. But, so is life. Life is always a breath away.
Women’s power in the patriarchy is youth, physical beauty, a sexy toned body, the ability to become more like a man than a woman, so how we act and what we do will move us up the ladder of what this culture deems is successful.
But in an entirely different way, we women are powerful beings, especially as we age. Not powerful in the patriarchal paradigm, but powerful in the sense that we are more authentic, more real, more truthful and more beautiful. And, powerful as the crone. The wise woman, the woman that embodies crone energy. The crone is the woman who no longer sees herself only in relation to others, but as a woman unto herself, a woman who stands alone in the center of her own beingness, in the center of her own truth, and from this center relates to the people in her life from what is real for her.
The patriarchy fears the crone. She is truthful, she is powerfully creative, she is intuitive and instinctual, and she loves fiercely. The patriarchy does everything it can to deny this, even to denigrate this and the women who embody it, because old women are wise women are powerful women. They have gifts to share, gifts that this world desperately needs.
What if we could be with ourselves in such a way that we no longer projected our deepest fears onto an entire portion of the earth’s population, a group of people that has gifts to share with the world right now, gifts of wisdom, grace and beauty?
What if we could be with ourselves in such a way that we no longer projected our deepest fears onto each other, woman to man, man to woman?
Being with ourselves is the first step.
Being with the misogynistic and misandrist thoughts that ramble around our own minds and consciousness, and questioning if they are true, do we know them to be 100% fact.
Being with our hardened hearts, with the walls we’ve built around them that allow us to engage in such a way where we are just as complicit in this fear and rejection of the wise old woman, and wondering if our hearts really feel this way.
Being with ourselves, with the feelings we don’t want to feel, the feelings we numb ourselves to, day in and day out.
Being with the beginning of something, a beginning of a world where we honor and respect each other as men and women.
As Kate Chopin reminds us, the beginning of things, of a world especially, is necessarily vague, tangled, chaotic, and exceedingly disturbing.
A world where patriarchy is a distant memory begins with the chaotic, the vague, with the tangled mess of people willing to engage differently, even when we don’t yet know how to do it or what it might look like.
It may feel exceedingly disturbing, but then don’t the happenings in our world right now disturb you greatly?