The New Year is a great time for turning a new leaf, starting afresh and for most it‘s symbolic of our renewed rigour to be the best that we can be. But ‘best that we can be’ at what?
Most of us have had a lifetime’s worth of imposed expectations that we have come to perceive as our own. Of course, we can aspire to be fit and healthy, but if we aim to lose weight is that in the name of health or the fashion industry? When we strive to do better at work is that in the name of higher earnings/thus spending/thus consumerism or is it the name of a deep career satisfaction? Are our aspirations coming from our hearts or from the necessity driven by the system?
There are many ways to interpret what a better year might mean to us as individuals, but what happens when we ponder it from a wider angle? Although we may manage a personal overhaul and become the best we can possibly be, there is still the rest of the world to consider. What science told us was only a part of a bigger story; when it comes to ‘survival of the fittest’, even the fittest can’t survive alone. We are all connected and though culture dictates otherwise, there is no such thing as being a winner or a super achiever. To stand above the rest might seem attractive, but when others are not able to partake in or they suffer from your privilege then it is simply not sustainable.
Even if we’ve written the book to be published/ got a slot on prime TV/ been promoted/ been proposed to/ had a baby/ dumped the loser (the dodgy partner that is, not the baby!)/ bought a house/learnt to tango, paraglide and speak Spanish or whatever your goals are, our own personal achievements become meaningless in the face of what humanity is facing; which is existential threat!
And that is a problem of magnitude. Have you read about the IPCC report? It’s a real downer; in brief they say we have around 10 years to make drastic change for any possibility of keeping the global warming to around 2% which will anyway wreak untold havoc upon our planet. (If you don’t know the implications of that you might want to Google it) On Black Friday a new report was released in the US that verifies the severity of our predicament. As I type summits are awash with rhetoric and sea levels persistently rise.
So, you see the challenge of losing weight and getting a promotion is beginning to sound like a picnic by comparison to orchestrating drastic global transformation…….. And it is at this point that attentions wander, indeed, how can we focus on issues on this scale?
Feel free to go put the kettle on but keep reading because here is where it gets interesting.
Your personal transformation, with a bit of tweaking maybe, contributes to the wave of gigantic proportions that may just assuage the inferno of bad stuff coming our way. Said more simply: The road to global change starts with you!
Let me explain. You know you get the feeling deep down, that you are somehow meant for something better than this? Well you are right; this has been your gut speaking to you, but we ignored our guts and listened to the experts.
The experts have been everyone from our parents, to our teachers, scientists, economists and politicians; see where I am going with this? Yep, it’s a mighty tragedy, but the fact is the ‘experts’ … weren’t. And, what is more, there is no such thing as an ‘expert’ in the face of the unprecedented situations and unchartered territory that lie ahead of us. I’m not blaming anyone (this time); most strive for what they thought to be the betterment of humankind (or their pockets), but now we see it for what it is. So, it’s time to sit back for a while and reconsider where the power lies, where the wisdom can be found and who or what indeed we should be listening to.
And this is where women come in. Our innate power has been repressed and denied, in fact defiled since the beginning of time. I like to talk to woman about this because we understand instinctively, even those of us who have lived a relatively privileged life have felt the mechanism of both unconscious and systematic repression upon us and though many are unaware of this burden, when we talk about it, recognition and understanding bubble up swiftly. For men it is harder, they are often mistakenly put in the position of the oppressor, they are considered the backbone of the patriarchal system and they are therefore at fault, however the average male is as oppressed by the system as we. Their transition is harder, and it is (among many others) our job to facilitate our mutual awakening so that we can work together.
There are no simple answers as to what our resolutions should be. If you lose that weight will you feel happier, will that special guy ask you on a date? If you get your promotion and can afford the new car will it take you on the adventure you have been dreaming of? Will any of the things you plan turn out the way you hope and how often have the things you were so upset about at the time turned out to be surprisingly fortuitous? Well I’m not saying that the 6th mass extinction is a secret providence waiting to reveal itself, but what I am saying is that within this and all that life has given us are hidden potential and power and the first place to search for them is within ourselves.
As women we can take immediate steps to activate the latent powers we have, in the name of ourselves, each other and the planet. We can tap into the greater wisdom inherent in us by attending Women’s Circle Gatherings* or by learning about and introducing the Art of Hosting and the Way of Council. These methods are valid for all kinds of ‘meeting’, whether it be your discussions at home, business, education or political. By creating opportunities to unearth each other’s potential and by facilitating deeper connection we stand the chance to discover what may be the best route ahead. Conventional training in 'leadership, success and achievement’ is no longer valid. We need to allow the better part of ourselves to emerge and to flourish for which we must raise our level of consciousness and connectivity.
Before I sat down to write this, I took a walk in the rain (upon the insistence of Mia who is 5) We put on suitable clothing and took our umbrellas which nearly turned inside out in the wind. We splashed in every single puddle along the way. We stopped to notice stuff, we saw rubbish that people have dumped and felt the cars speed past on what is supposed to be a slow road, but we also spent some time admiring the various types of moss upon the northern side of a gracious ash tree. Mia can tell which side faces North, but knows not the days of the week yet, but they are just human-made constructs, unlike space in nature and the cardinal directions which are elementary Truths.
Today so far, I listened to a 5 year old, a tree, the rain and the wind, I heard my stomach ask for sustenance and my neck ask for a stretch. I listened to my child and my body and satisfied their needs, but for the ash tree I was less useful in the short term. My resolution for this year is to connect with and serve the trees, meaning nature, meaning the biosphere, meaning us… and to find ways to connect the dots. I hope you will join me.
The 6th of January 2019 is a New Moon and there are many over the centuries who have found that this is the perfect and most auspicious time for new beginnings and positive change. So take an hour this coming Sunday to write a list of things you'd like to see manifest in your life.
You can share your implemented methods for joining the dots and manifesting change on the Multitude of Ones Community Facebook Group.
If you are in Istanbul and interested in participating in a collaborative learning experience that will develop some of the ideas here and more, please contact me.
Best wishes for the New Year.
May this be the beginning of The Great Transition.
*Join us on 'Circle of Friendship' Facebook Group for our Istanbul Women’s Circle Gatherings