Remembering You are Queen: The Emerging Leadership of Women’s Power and Compassion

In the Orient, ancient wisdom holds women as “The Adi Shakti”, Sanskrit meaning “the power which creates all”. Given how woman both contain and are the vehicle for all life human, this understanding of women’s powerful depth and dimension is indeed wisdom, even if wisdom not honored. At one time in human history, women’s powerful service as “the grace of god” was revered, and in our time, honoring women has disintegrated into the denigration of women as well as the destruction of the (feminine) Earth.  Now, as the Age of Separation ends and the Age of Illumination begins,  women’s partnership of divinity and destiny is being called forth for leadership, through empowered compassion, in tending the wounds of not only themselves as women, but their relationships with,  and men as well.

 A women carries within herself a lineage of pain and anger from centuries of her ancestor’s powers being feared by men, fueling not only the destruction of women, but men’s relationships with women and the Earth as well. The challenge for contemporary women is to heal the historical patterns of pain and anger they carry within as women, and to transform “power over” into “compassion with”.  What will make this possible?  When women choose again to be Queen in how they lead their life.  Claiming yourself as Queen is claiming the stage of mid-life power and service missing from the Western model of women’s role progression from child, maiden, mother (Queen) and crone.  (And for all mid-life women who have been reluctant to embrace crone as their next stage, high-five your inner knowing!).

 So how does a woman claim herself  (as Queen)?  Simple….she remembers she is Adi Shakti……the power that creates all.  A woman honors her unique wisdom, strengths, and leadership as fundamental to the happiness and health of not only her life, but all she serves as well.  She remembers tending to her heart and soul is not simply an entry on her to-do lists,  nor does she hand the sacred right of claiming “what is true” over to authority outside herself.  A Queen honors her body as the multi-sensory temple is it for receiving guidance and support from the sacred realms. A Queen remembers she is never alone, for within her is the presence of her heart and soul as well as all in the unseen realms that care and tend to her. And a Queen knows a community of women is critical for her well-being as well as for her role as the guardian for all life.

 Being born a woman is a destiny of leadership through inspiration, healing, and embodied compassion for meeting the challenges and changes of our world. Throughout the ages, the strength of a nation was known by how women were honored and the presence of women’s wisdom in guiding the nation.  The age we are entering is calling upon women’s leadership, powers, and compassion for guiding our world through challenges our minds alone cannot meet.  It is a time calling upon our deepest wisdom and power, heart and soul, with women’s mastery of mystery, leading our way.

“Women’s Evolving Relationship With Men”

Articles such as “The End of Men” and “Are Fathers Necessary” while provocative, trivialize and distort the seismic evolutionary changes between women and men. Yes, the relationships between women and men are being buffeted by strong evolutionary winds, whether the relationship is of love, work, or family. And while the facts of expanding choices, opportunities, and social mores may be held as cause, the truth is evolution is transforming power through the relationships of women and men.

The evolving power of relationship requires women embrace a form of power distinct from the current power paradigm, not simple assume it’s helm. The evolution of power requires the courage of women to take up their healing, to wield their power as women, and to commit as women to honoring all as sacred. Women’s compassion and love, our gift of vision, and our sacred inspiration and wisdom are critical for leading not only our life, but our world.

On my computer is a note where I have written the reminder “understand all through compassion or to mis-undertand these times”. Compassion is choosing to respond with the heart and soul of ourselves to another….essential when our initial impulse is to react at another. And while my emotions may dance me around and my mind may lead to me judgment, committing to compassion reminds me we are soul companions in the journey of life. And, choosing compassion requires the courage of our heart and soul.

So what does compassion have to do with the changes in women’s relationships with men? The relationships of women and men are changing from power of men over women to women’s independence expanding her choices in life. These evolutionary changes challenge not only the relationships of women and men, they also challenge women in how and what our newly empowered self serves. With power, will women dismiss men as we were once dismissed and denigrated or will we choose to heal and transform power? Without compassion as a guiding value, the distortions created from power without consideration for all of life will simply repeat itself.

So how do you begin to become aware of your power as woman in your relationships with men?

* Become aware of where you either diminish or elevate yourself in your relationships with men. Is your inner talk about men, yourself, and other women pivotal in your life inspiring?

* Become aware of your beliefs about women and men in relationship. Are these truths you want to continue fueling with your life or hand-me-downs in need of updating or discarding?

* Become aware of where you expect men to either rescue you or place them in the driver’s seat for your happiness. Are you willing to empower your own happiness, mproving the happiness with the men in your life?

* Become aware of where self-care is calling; self-care is essential for not only our body but our heart and soul as well. Where we lack self-care is often where we demand another cares, demands not constructive to happy and healthy relationships.

The invitation inherent in any crisis or challenge is the opportunity to improve what is. The invitation in the crisis in the relationships of women with men, of the masculine with the feminine, is to improve what is. A Cherokee wisdom says it well: “A woman, I go into the darkness to heal my wounding and as woman, I emerge from the darkness only then able to heal man”. As women, as the grace of god, healing our past is our sacred call to transform our future, serve our sacred destiny as women. My prayer is as women, we truly embrace healing into our power as women, for the benefit of all living.

What’s love got to do with it? Choosing love in the good, bad, and OMG! of our relationships.

Women have long been considered responsible for relationships and while this can feel a bit like responsibility assigned without consent at times, even science is validating women’s innate biology for skills and prowess in relationship. (Check out this article!)  Soooo, if we are the masters of relationship, then it would follow we are all experiencing only happiness in our relationships…not!

Biology alone does not determine how we experience life.  Our beliefs, choices, and our interpretations factor into how we respond to life and people. Believing people are either good when they behave as we want or wrong when they do not, is choosing control as our premium value at the cost of our relationships.

Measuring life-and people-with the yardstick of control leaves little room for the treasures offered by the unexpected in life. Being human is a sacred process,  passion, and purpose, not a product, perfection, nor power over others. “Either-or” thinking may keep our limbic brain happy about not being eaten, but it will not honor our power to choose compassion, to heal history, and to learn more about ourselves and “the other”.

 So the next time you find yourself reacting to the unexpected in someone, consider:

  •  Taking a few deep breaths in and out before saying or doing anything. Deep breathing brings us into our more neutral core and gives time for the less reactive parts of our brain to come on-line in our processing of what is up.
  • Remembering we always have a choice to immediately react or to pause and then respond when people do the unexpected or undesired. Choosing to respond is taking responsibility for our emotions and fears as we are being triggered by another.
  • Being inquisitive about what is being triggered within brings gifts in ways unexpected. While we may believe we know what we need in life, life’s gift of messing with our knowns, shows us the love and beauty the unknown in conflict offers us.
  • Self-love is the foundation of love we offer others and a lack of self-love shows up in judging, blaming, and shaming others. Taking time and care to love our imperfect selves is crucial to being able to love others when imperfect.

Contemporary relationship invites us into a deeper and richer experience of relationship than simply meeting needs and control. Contemporary relationship chooses healing our family and history, tending to our emotional wounds, and happiness over being right.  Tending our heart and honoring the heart of others is the foundation of contemporary relationship…a choice for peace, joy, and happiness for ourselves and our world.




The Power of Contemporary Women….Are You Exercising Yours?

Women have been given valuable social approval and currency for using their power to care for others first and tending to themselves second. This dynamic is partly innate and partly through generations of learning how being “nice” and “good” was preferred by others.  Changes initiated by increased access to birth control and financial created more choices and opportunities for contemporary women….and often our deepest integrity as women was absent in our choices and changes.

One of the challenging truths my clients-men and women-hear me offer is how avoiding exercising our power often derives from a case of the “pleaser first, me seconds”.  And while we may truly believe a lack of conflict equals safety for ourself or a relationship, avoiding conflict is avoiding exercising power.  Not knowing how to exercise our power constructively we often choose instead to suppress expressing ourselves with integrity.  And we all know how well THAT works as a strategy! Conflict is natural, necessary, and an invitation for our power (expression of ourselves) for informing, illuminating, and uplifting ourselves and the other.

So how do you know if you are challenged with exercising your power?

  1. You tell yourself it’s not a big deal when a friend or family member puts you down in front of others-again!-and you don’t speak up (for yourself) for that would not be nice. Instead, you spend the rest of the day silently seething and fantasizing about moving to where nobody in your family will ever find you!
  2. You long for more intimacy with your lover than watching TV together every night and tell yourself to be satisfied and not “rock the boat” as you pour yourself yet another glass (how many is that tonight?) of wine.
  3. You find yourself drawn to tending those at the end of their life, but finding a training program for hospice care that doesn’t interfere with the soccer carpool has been impossible.I mean, how can you ask others to put themselves out with helping you? What calls to you (heart and soul) will just have to wait until the kids are grown up and people don’t need you (never!).
  4. You grew up learning how important making others happy was for making those around you happy in life, so pleasing others is easy. But as you sit in a yet another meeting at a job you truly dislike, you wonder is this really as good as your life gets?.

There is not a woman alive who does not experience insecurity at times with exercising her power…..when to speak up, where to show up, when to stand up.  What creates security and certainly in our expressions of power is new (really old) learning, practice, and the courage to honor power inside as well as outside. Exercising power as contemporary women requires our time and care for listening, trusting, and taking action from wisdom of the silence within ourselves. This is not the power we learned of control over others ….this is the power of the clarity of our wisdom, the courage we commit to living our convictions, and the compassion we offer ourselves and WITH the others in our life.

We live in a time of rapid evolution, our gift of a lifetime for our souls to evolve the sacred marriage of life as human. Whether we live in fear or live in faith and trust depends on our choices of beliefs, skills, and integrity we engage as we navigate our days…..days calling for living our grace in ways practical and for honoring the grit of life as sacred.

Choosing Drama Less and Choosing Your Power More

“Where is confusion about yourself as “a woman first” holding you back from exercising your power, purpose, and passion in your relationships, roles, and relishing of your life?”  I love working with women who decide to pick up their courage, exercise their clarity, and commit to action for creating more happiness, satisfaction, and impact in their life.  The “ah-ha” moment when a client real.izes how truly powerful she is can be a humbling (not humiliating) moment of reclaiming herself, her happiness, and her satisfaction in her relationships, roles, and relishing her life.

Woman are the sacred portal for human life and serve as teachers, healers, and leaders with life. Where woman are confused about their depth and dimension as women is where we confuse our history for our truth, our roles for our identity, and believe our grace as women is negotiable.  It is also where how we create problems, extend the lifetime of our challenges, and create drama vs engaging our power. A woman may begin working with me for easing a troubled relationship,  guidance for respect in her roles, or to feel happy again in her life…..and,  she soon realizes her problem/s as symptoms of forgetting to choose her power as “a woman first”. 

Contemporary woman remember, reclaim, and renew themselves more through honoring themselves as “a woman first” and the “to-do’s” of rules, roles, and relationships less.  Being “a woman first” is taking action on inner wisdom, embodying compassion in relationships, and living with clarity, courage, and certainty our dreams.   Being “a woman first” is knowing confusion is our invitation for inner clarity, self-criticism as our opportunity for compassion for ourselves, and conflict with others offers itself as a container for creative and deeper connection with the other. And contemporary times call for us to show up, stand up, and speak up….as women first.  We live in times scary and sacred, times calling for living times calling for living more of our power, purpose, and passion as a woman.

The “Contemporary” Leadership of Women

 Much has been written, talked about, and even merchandised about the new power and contemporary leadership of women.  As a woman, I initially received this buzz about contemporary women’s place with a “hallelujah”, and now sigh, concluding how like the truism of memos serving the illusion of action, talking often serves the illusion of change.

One of the challenge I offer to those I work with is “how are you taking action on your new awareness/desire/choice/commitment in your daily life?  While words are powerful, using words only for talk diminishes the power and clarity the authentic (root) meaning the word offers us for committing to action.

The root (Latin) meaning of the word “contemporary” is “together with” and I smiled to have found a word so accurate in describing the history of women’s leadership. While the word “contemporary” may currently mean “new/current/fashionable”, women’s leadership throughout history has been “together with” .  

Women for ages have been “together with” the birthing and nurturing of new life, “together with” healing, tending and caring for members of their community, “together with” those in old age and in death.  The leadership of women is not new, ever unfashionable, nor simply the leadership of men with a skirt and lipstick on it. 

So the next time you hear talk about the new and contemporary leadership of women, smile at knowing just how contemporary women’s leadership is and commit yourself more to taking action “together with” your deepest values and what is sacred in the life you lead as a woman.


The Contemporary Spirituality of Women

 I am blessed by my work of guidance and support with women transforming challenges to their happiness through the strength and skills of their spirit….or as I say, “taking the grit life delivers to us as our divine instructions for engaging our grace!”.  I remind women how spirituality is not following rules and obeying authority outside herself; it is actively living her deepest values and visions and making her choices with integrity. I remind her how spirituality is not something separate from her daily life; her spirituality is lived in showing up, speaking up, and standing up right where she has been planted.

Contemporary spirituality is conscious partnering with our spirit and soul for practical guidance and support in our daily life. Contemporary spirituality is living grace that is practical and honoring the grit of life as sacred.  Contemporary spirituality honors the teachers that are animal, plant, and “the other” and contemporary spirituality honors our body as not simply a vehicle, rather as a teacher and healer divine.

Contemporary spirituality demands we update our beliefs, definitions, and concepts for daily living of our active, embodied, and emboldened spirituality as women.  Ask yourself these questions-your answers create your choices for living your life: 

  • If you knew you were always being divinely guided and supported, how would you live differently your life?
  • If you were to embrace “where you were planted”-to the beauty, to the challenges, to the gratitude-what would be different? 
  • If you took 100% responsibility for your life vs deferring your power to “karma” or “God’s will” or “I have no power to make things different” where would you take up your voice, your power, your outrage? 
  • If you truly honored your spirit and soul as your most intimate partner in life, how would the priorities for your time change? Would time for meditation, prayer, and self-care become less luxuries and more essentials in your daily life?

Contemporary spirituality is not about furthering our means of control; it is daily living our power, our purpose, and our presence as guardians for all life.  Contemporary spirituality honors relationship, integrity, and creativity and where these are lacking, the responsibility for bringing them forth. Contemporary spirituality is living there is truly no separation between what is spiritual and what is not spiritual….and that our humanity is simply divinity in a body.


The Power of Commitment

Commitment is a word that has gotten a bad rap in the last generation and is a word in bad need of a reality check. The definition of commitment is ”dedication, allegiance, loyalty, faithfulness, fidelity” ….what’s to knock about any of that?  Me thinks it is not what commitment is as much as the mis-use of the word commitment to mean handing ourselves over to others…..clearly not what the true definition of commitment is!

When working with a client, one of our core exercises is up-dating concepts and words from having meaning and power outside of ourselves to claiming their meaning and power within ourselves. Commitment is no different; it is a word and a power first applied to oneself.  What do I commit my precious life and energy to?  What commitment do I make regarding my thoughts?  Will I commit to my deepest values or simply go along with whatever?

Commitment is needed to create, to grow, to achieve in life.  When an acorn commits to growing, it commits to pushing up against the darkness and weight of the soil for reaching the sunlight it needs to grow into an oak tree.  As human beings, we live our days by committing to some level of faith and trust of the unknown; if not, we would never get out of bed!

Women seed, nurture,  and contain the creative forces and this grace we flow through us as women relies on our commitment to do so. When we do not commit to being a woman first and make the mistake of committing instead to the duties of roles and expectations of others, we feel the unhappiness and dissatisfaction of committing so. Where we commit as women lies the caliber of our lives as well as those we lead through our vision and wisdom as women.

Once we embrace the power of commitment as women,  we offer ourselves the opportunity to surrender to divine grace,  a topic I take up in my next blog “Surrendering to the Goddess”….stay tuned!

Our Sensory Invitation

If you are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, fearful, or insecure these days, you are in very good company!  Most of the people I know-both clients and peers-are experiencing sensations that reflect a measure of the turmoil of transition that is going on outside of themselves.  And while we know that inside and outside are simply reflections of each other, in times of transition, the level of turmoil that comes with any transition-let alone one of the magnitude we are all in-can be a challenge to navigate while living everyday life.

Overwhelm, anxiety, insecurity, fear are simply mental states that invite us into remembering we have more than our minds with which to navigate and negotiate what life brings our way. We are [Read more…]