THE CO-CREATIVE EXPERIENCE
The real magic in co-creating Women's Day events is the getting to know one
another. It was so wonderful to have an environment to co-create, to take
a vision for something I saw to be possible and watch it come alive, to watch
each one of the individuals bring forth what they had to contribute. When
one of the groups at our first Women's Day event, "We Are the Weavers", a
group called "Sounds, Stones and Spirals", heard about what we were doing, they
saw it for themselves to participate. They had been collaborating together
for over a year, just being in a very intimate space, going deep and finding
out how to really be together and be spontaneous in the moment, exploring what
it is as women to intimately connect. Because they felt this impulse to
be included in the event, they invited me to come and see their work.
And I realized that I was privileged to be there in that moment, that transition
moment of bringing it forth into the world. It was so precious, and
I saw that same preciousness brought out over and over and over again as different
people took a step up.
What I felt was that this co-creative process that we all were choosing into,
enhanced each one of us individually, and that there is an emerging quality,
an exponential value - that in the safe space to be ourselves, to give our gifts,
it is such a wonderful opportunity to rise to the occasion. And that
was true in every single moment for the people who really committed themselves,
who really stayed with it, who went through whatever stuff came up, who bounced
up against the patriarchy in various different ways that were so subtly lodged
in the society. We did something - we brought a moment forth, we brought
a moment forth at a time that's really calling for that, it's calling us to
balance, it's calling us to wholeness, to holiness. And we were able to
birth something that touched many people's lives and continues to unfold and
unfold to this day.
Sometimes it's not the easiest to be first or early, but the beauty of that
is you have these seven seconds in advance, of saying, "Wow, this is great stuff,
come along, come along."
BEING TRUE TO OUR VISION
One of the things people have talked about quite a bit in regard to these events
is the experience and the stretching to live in Faith. Certainly that's
been part of my own personal experience - to be living in faith, to trust
this impulse that I had to bring Women's Day more into public consciousness,
to bring Women's Day out into the world that I knew could
bring value in people's lives, that I wish had been there throughout my life,
when one is true to ones vision and goes for it, magical
things happen - people just show up. I think it is because we have a shared
vision, that truly we all have the same vision - we have a vision that this
world can be Heaven on Earth.
THERES PLENTY FOR EVERYONE WHEN WE GIVE OUR GIFTS FREELY
Unfortunately the media has popularized the limitations and the containments
- the places where we have cut ourselves off - and seems to think that's where
the juice is. But I know absolutely from my experience that the juice
is in the life force of giving ones gifts, of being real with one another, of
joining, of trusting, of having faith. We were really tested in our faith
- any one of us who had experience in a particular area, if we had some beliefs
that had gotten sculpted in a negative way during our past experiences, those
came up. "Can we get people to joyfully, peacefully, contribute and do
so on an all volunteer basis?"
I remember there was a multi-media company that had said they were going to
be involved. And I understood from them that they were going to just give
freely all the technology. And I thought how wonderful - they get it,
they get what we're trying to do together - that this was an exercise in how
it can be. But it turned out that while it was the first fellow's understanding,
it was not the next one's who came along, whose mindset combined with one of
the women's who had fixed beliefs based on her past experience as a production
co-ordinator, and the next thing we knew what had been freely given transmuted
into "a good deal" for a certain amount of money.
The thing that was interesting is the fellow said to me, "You thought we were
going to give this to you for free - that's not realistic, that's not rational."
And I responded, "Right, it's not." The feminine isn't so delineated, it
isn't so structured, it isn't that way. It's inclusive, it's allowing,
it's having faith.
I truly believe what we did in creating this event, every moment leading up
to it, every moment of our lives that will go out into the world, is we demonstrated
that if everyone gives their gifts - it can be easy. And we all will
have plenty for ourselves and everybody else.
GETTING BEYOND OUR IDEA OF BUSY
One of the amazing things for me was hearing from so many people about how
"busy" they were. And I think that is a mindset that we really need to
pay attention to and watch our tendency to just unload to the next person about
our long list of "busy." I think we'd be much less busy if we alleviated
ourselves from downloading how busy we are. So much of it is in our mind.
In the feeling sense, you just step in and you do what's there to be done.
BEING ARTISTS OF LIFE
We create in a context of being Artists of Life, of understanding that essentially
we are creative by nature and that every moment we have an opportunity to bring
consciousness in. And my understanding of art and the true essence of
art is that an artist is someone who understands what is right in the moment
- they understand to show up in that moment, they understand to reach out, they
understand to include, to voice when they have something of value to share.
And I saw this over and over again in the community of people who participated.
THIS TIME AND THE NEW WOMAN
Many people think that the 60's was this crescendo moment in time and that
we lost something along the way after that. But I feel that we planted
seeds that have grown and grown and grown, and that the consciousness of the
people - like every single person who contributed to our Women's Day events,
was coming from a place of knowing and life experience that had grown them to
this time. And the generations of women that grew up in the 60's, 70's,
80's, who matured in the consciousness movement, now are at a place of really
bringing their wisdom forth. And one of the change points in society is
women stepping into their true power and joining the larger family of the Earth
I feel that relationality is really a gift of women - whether in the way we
were born to be or in some combination of how we have been socialized.
It's our gift and so, in that, our responsibility.
HAVING WOMEN'S DAY SERVE US TODAY
I grew up being in circles of women and being around women very naturally.
My mother was in service organizations, bridge club, and those kind of things.
And I guess it was second nature for me. And so a number of years ago
I started a women's group, A Circle of Women, and really grew myself in that
experience and got to know how valuable and important it is for there to be
a place for women to be with women as well as for men to be with men.
And out of that I started to really find my life's work and to bring forward
The Art of Living and the Coalition
Then in the late-90's I found out about Women's Day and was amazed that this
day had existed all along, because Mother's Day obviously was there, growing
up, and I thought that was great - for my mother. But there wasn't an
actual day that recognized and affirmed for me what it was to be a woman, to
be moving towards womanhood.
When I discovered there was a day that existed, that had been around since
1911, I was amazed. And I actually felt a sense of loss. I felt
it would have so infused my life and been so valuable to have this reminder
to affirm and affirm throughout the years.
And so I felt that it was an important thing to bring this day more into the
public consciousness. The gatherings that I had gone to for Women's Day
in the past were ones that I felt were almost patriarchal in nature - they had
"important women" in front of the room and everyone else passively sitting in
the audience. And when socializing took place, most of those important
women had gone home, they'd come and given their talk and they'd gone.
I'd had a lot of experience in Native American practices and being in circles
and knowing about inclusivity, and I felt that I wanted to do something that
really exemplified what I feel it is to be a woman today. So, I had this
vision to do that and I didn't know if people would really respond to it or
not. And then I put it out to people and they did, and the magic started
from there. And now I feel that we have an important part to play to grow
this in the years to come, to touch even more lives and to have more people
create their own gatherings and celebrations of the feminine and of women and
of all life.
And so I encourage everyone, women, men and children, wherever you are, to
celebrate Women's Day in your own way on March 8th and all throughout the year.
And if you're in and around the Los Angeles area when Women's Day comes around,
feel free to join us.