When all else fails…..
When all else fails…..
Hello Again. I have been meaning to write about my North Carolina Governor’s Conference for Women experience for a while now. But I was hindered by not being really clear on how to talk about the event in a way that would have you get even a taste of how great the event was for me. I realized that a big part of the reason why is because of the feeling I experienced there and felt for days afterward—and feel even now when I think about the experience—is hard to capture in words.
Part of the feeling was a result of the wonderfully diverse voices that were represented in the conference—for example, I was on a panel with a well-known actress and a brilliant Native American lawyer. And as a result of the diversity of voices, there was also a diversity of women attending the conference as well.
And part of it was the amazing feeling of being in a room with approximately 1,5000 women—all celebrating each other and celebrating the role of women in the world. More than once, I was moved to tears when sitting in the main room with all those women. It really didn’t even matter was being said—just the energy moved me to tears. As I sit here at a sidewalk café writing this, tears are flowing again feeling it all over again.
Because of being raised with a preacher for a father, I have spent most of my life undoing the damage I experienced by that patriarchal tradition being forced on me growing up. I think I have spent most of my life longing to be around empowering examples of women—the kind who represented to me who I longed to be. Instead, I mostly got a lot of examples of what and who I did not want to be.
My first memories of meeting women who represented to me a window of inspiring possibility for me was when Bonnie Raitt and Joan Baez visited me in Luna. There were two incredibly beautiful, talented, and powerful women who had blazed their own trail and done it their way. After coming down from Luna, I have been very blessed to meet even more incredibly amazing women, including Alice Walker, Terry Tempest Williams, and a long, long list of lesser-known, yet equally amazing and fabulous women. I take each moment (even if it is only the briefest of exchanges) with these women in deeply and store it like a treasure in my heart.
And to be in a room with 1,500 women celebrating their womanhood, celebrating their power, celebrating their growing edges, celebrating one another—the energy was electric.
There were also elder women elected into the North Carolina’s Women Hall of Fame. Their stories, their work, their humor, their grit touched me to my core. I was and still am so present to the power of the legacy of their lives. Again, I am moved to tears.
Many know I am moved easily to tears. But what is it about this event that touched me so deeply then and still does? I feel it has something to do with the fact that being amidst that energy spoke to a very deep longing in my soul. Although I personally knew no one there, I had a feeling of home.
I long for a world where every girl and woman is celebrated, respected, honored, and supported for being exactly who she is and who she isn’t. I long for a world where gatherings like this happen all over the globe, teaching, sharing, and supporting one another in being the best selves we can possibly be. I long for a world where no girl ever grows up feeling “less than” like I did because for some reason God can only be a man and it his son who saved us and it was an uppity woman who tempted the man into sin and thus the downfall of all humanity. I long for a world where girls who speak their mind (even if not always done with grace) are not beaten and have their mouths soaked in soap because they dare to have an opinion and speak it—even when it goes against the accepted cultural norms. I long for a world where all men and all women are treated equally. Where no woman is ever stoned or has acid thrown on her or is married or sold as a sex slave to an older man while still a child. I long for a world where all men see and revere women as manifestations of the Divine Feminine Goddess and see that as equally vital and important as the Divine Masculine God. I long for a world where girls of any age can sit in trees if they want to, but they don’t have to just in order to protect them, because in healing and restoring the balance between the masculine and the feminine, we also will have healed and restored our relationship with the Earth.
I know and understand that that won’t be achieved in my lifetime, if ever. But my heart has longed for this as long as I can remember. It feels to me like I was born with this longing. My life has become about being in service to those whose voices (not just human) I feel are being ignored, shut down, violated, and destroyed. It is out of the deep grief of my past that I have found something worth being here for—to be in service—to give voice to my longing, and to hopefully give voice to others who share that same deep longing, that maybe, just maybe, one day—all life, in all of its forms will be revered, respected, and protected.
I feel it is this that briefly and inadequately speaks to why I was so moved by the North Carolina’s Women Conference.
May all women everywhere know deep in their hearts and souls how amazing, wonderful, and absolutely Divine they are and begin to act like it. And may all men everywhere know this is as well. For in honoring the Divine Feminine, the Divine Masculine of their own beings are automatically uplifted as well.
Here is to the Divine Feminine in us all.