Women and Power – Wisdom Learned from Omega Institute’s Conference



Labyrinth at Omega Institute

This past weekend, I was very lucky. At this point in my life, I can see how blessed my life is. I have so much, not necessarily as material things, although I don’t lack there, but more importantly in opportunity. Over the past years since my late-husband’s death, my life has changed dramatically. His death, and some other life-changing experiences that I’ve written about before, catapulted me into a life of longing and searching for something I thought I needed, something I thought I did not have already. Sometimes, it takes searching out there to discover what you were searching for has been here all along.

This search has taken me to so many beautiful places and lands. It has allowed me to meet many wise people. I’ve been able to take in many words of wisdom, words that somewhere I already knew, but had no access to. We all have this within, yet sometimes we need guidance to find that which already resides in our own soul.

I share this sense of blessedness, because I know along with it is a responsibility to embrace what I’ve been given and offer it back to the world. Nothing is really ours. Everything is a gift, a gift to in turn be given again.

This past weekend, I once again found myself in a place where much wisdom was offered, much emotion was shared, and so much courage was modeled – Omega Institute’s Women and Power conference. Women such as Sister Joan Chittister, Sally Field, Eve Ensler, Isabelle Allende, Elizabeth Lesser, Jennifer Buffett, Majora Carter, Loung Ung, Pat Mitchell, Chung Hyun Kyung, and so many others, shared deep life experiences and the wisdom they’ve discovered from living them. There are so many things I soaked up over the weekend, so many AHAs, that it’s hard to resource it all into one post. But there are some moments that stood out for me.

Eve Ensler

Eve Ensler spoke of the multitude of atrocities perpetrated on women and children that she’s witnessed. In her words, “There is no word. I have not come close to finding the language to describe what I have seen.” 

She also spoke of the Cassandra myth, and how it is a curse that keeps women silent because we are considered lunatics when we tell the truth. {I will write more about this later}. Eve went on to mention the ways we break spells and curses:

1. We have each others’ backs. We stand with each other. We speak out immediately if we see a woman being labeled in such a way for speaking truth.

2. We create communities of love where we can tell our stories and be held, cuddled and loved. She shared The City of Joy in The Congo as an example.

Eve also mentioned that a part of the curse was this… She was waiting to be honored, loved, valued and approved of by the Patriarchy…and then she would would win…and she then wondered, win what? This was an AHA moment for her, and she realized there was no winning, but more importantly this was preventing her from living as ‘her full crazy self’.

Elizabeth Lesser

Elizabeth Lesser, author of Broken Open, spoke of the one thing she’s found from sitting with so many wise, alive people who’ve come to teach at Omega. She shared that no one person has the answer, no one can handle idolization, and it is our shared core humanness that has sets us free. She also shared how destructive it is when we “indulge in the habit of comparing”, and that, “No one is living the life you think they are.” She mentioned that Eve Ensler told her, “Everyone is just making it up, including presidents of countries. Everywhere I go, its just people making things up. You can do it, too.”

One last thing Elizabeth Lesser shared is her experience that “when you fully occupy yourself, vast reserves rush in to fill the space that was filled with self-doubt.”

Sister Joan Chittister

Perhaps the most amazing talk for me was the conversation between Pat Mitchell and Sister Joan Chittister. Sister Joan had an amazing transmission, so much that I, and the two women I was sitting between, had tears streaming down our faces through most of what she said. At one point, the woman on my left and I just turned to each other simultaneously and hugged each other. There was so much truth in Sister Joan’s words, as well as passion and fire, that my soul and heart just opened right there.

Her call to us was a call to speak up, to make others feel uncomfortable every time we speak, and to not stop speaking out. She shared with us the falsities of our current day, offering that the culture is not the place to look for truth. Her words, “Religion tells us who we are, and the media tells us who we are supposed to become.”, served to let us know to stop believing these sources of so much false cultural conditioning that does not serve women or anyone.

Insightful comment posted on the sharing board.

My takeaways?

Power, the power spoken of at Omega is the power of life, the power to serve life, the vast life force that is within each of us. Our power as women is to serve life, to serve the life that permeates all of existence, and to know that all of existence is sacred.

Our power is not like that which has been wielded over others to dominate and control. Our true power, the power that flows through us when we are embodying the feminine principle is the power to serve, and it is inclusive, holding, and connecting, and it weaves life together in a supportive bond.

Over 500 women sat in that hall over the weekend, women who are all vibrantly wanting to be part of this healing wave that women must step up to offer to the world. We, you and me, are not alone, sister. We are not alone.

What do you trust in so deeply within yourself that allows you to step out and speak out?

For me, I trust in my own creativity, my own sacredness, my own ability to be with whatever arises because I know that what I am IS the ability to respond to life with love. And, now I know I am also part of a global sisterhood that is rising. We are rising.




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