Some People Ask Why I offer events for Women Only…
As a recovering angry young feminist (see earlier post on this matter) this wasn’t an easy decision for me.
Yoga and Buddhist Dharma practice were part of my re-emerging into the wholeness of the world. From these practices, not only did I see that my feminist anger at the patriarchy wasn’t helping to make the world more fair, just or peaceful, I also saw that keeping myself separate from men was allowing my dualistic mind to dig deeper trenches into self and other.
The paradox became apparent. I was keeping myself out of belonging through separation thinking
I was keeping myself out of belonging to the world by using separatist, patriarchal thinking; seeing myself as separate and distinct from the dominant patriarchal paradigm.
In 2002, although scary, it was a relief to soften to men again; allow them back into my life and heart (though there were a few favourites like my dad who had never been cast out). I was careful to include men in my endeavours in Yoga and the Buddhist Dharma and re-emerging as a Psychologist; both as teachers and students / clients. Having extended experiences of the interconnectedness of all things, I believed my heart was now, at times at least, vast enough to hold the suffering of the whole of humanity.
Men are as hurt by the patriarchy as women
Men are as pained as women by the separation, dominance and isolation imposed by patriarchy. In the place of my feminist anger, compassion arose; just the same towards men as towards women. I could learn from men because I could see their good intent. I could also work with men who had been abusers with as much compassion as with women who had been abused. (Of course men are not always the abuser, women not always the abused, just often.) The pain of shame looks different on each side of the abuse equation, but both require compassionate seeing to work towards liberation. Life is cyclical on many dimensions.
Coming Full Circle
Over the last few years I have been learning women’s business again. I sit in a number of women’s circles, learning that the art of feminine leadership is not really different to supporting. The Divine Feminine; perhaps the 4th wave of feminism has emerged; not as an opposing force to men, but a celebration and uplift of women and the feminine principle, alive in all of us. To take our place in a balanced world that honours the feminine and the masculine, we women need to rediscover and redefine our role as creators, nurturers and healers. We women have not had the same journey as men in the separation, isolation and desecration of the feminine. So we need a separate place to find our inner strength and connectivity, so that our creativity, ability to nurture, and embodied hearts can contribute feminine love to rebalance our world.
In the world of mental health practitioners, there are more women than men doing work on the ground, at the coal face with the suffering of humanity, but still, disproportionately more men than women in opinion leadership and management of what and how the mental health field looks and operates.
Calling on Men
I’m calling on men to act as protectors and guardians of the space that can allow women to find strength and resilience so we can bring our best selves to our work as mental health practitioners. Support me in offering Embodied Mind Professional Development to women practitioners in mental health and related fields.
Calling Women – Together we Rise!
Women, if you feel called to participate in a circle of sisterhood of mental health practitioners gaining resilience and leadership through Embodying what we know with our Minds and Evolving our Hearts towards Love
find out more here