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10 January 2018

2018: TIME'S UP

An extremely brief overview of the past year: Did you know the most looked up word during 2017 was feminism? 

I find this fascinating and welcome and truly inspiring.

Perhaps younger people are becoming aware of or being introduced to the meaning of feminism all over again while seeking to redefine the concept as it spirals through the collective mind all over again. Sensing the urgency and necessity of such a powerful initiative, 2018 began with the advent of the Time's Up movement, introduced so eloquently and powerfully by Oprah Winfrey at the 2018 Golden Globes; we are now entering a new wave of feminism and humanism.

Thinking back to how 2017 began, with the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as United States President and a very powerful and visible women's march, I get the feeling this process unfolding is like a wave that began as a ripple in the ocean, now a tsunami of hope inundating the shore and overwhelming seemingly solid objects in its wake.

As Trump delivered his inaugural address, millions and millions of women in the USA and elsewhere took to the streets, quite literally to fight back and to reassert their power against the tide of indifference or even outright hostility allowed to fester in the current political climate. They spoke peacefully, loudly and clearly.

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Later in 2017 #MeToo, as conceived of by Tarana Burke, went viral as women and men across all cultural, political and economic lines began speaking about their own experiences with violence and harassment. Ms. Burke, a New Yorker, was even chosen as the celebrity icon in Times Square to ring in the the new year as the ball dropped on 2017.

What we are witnessing in the United States now is unprecedented.

So many powerful and previously well-respected men outed and ousted from their positions due to stories and allegations of their acts of harassment and violence against women again and again. From film producers to journalists to senators to actors to sports executives, and on and on.  We hear their names echo throughout the media with announcements of jobs terminated and large salaries eliminated. To me this phenomenon is a millennial thing.

In our justice system crimes against women, including rape, are woefully under-reported and more shockingly seldom prosecuted. These inherent systemic biases are all too well known, but a new kind of organic justice has emerged. If you injure someone in this terrible way, you may no longer be able to make a living. I've learned this theme from millennials I teach. They've taught me something. They say they will not support economically anyone who has created this level of pain and suffering, no matter how good they are at their jobs or what they produce. This is something new. The notion that such individuals even if they are not ever prosecuted for their crimes deserve this street justice, this economic retribution, again, in essence, they're not going to be allowed to make a living because people will not buy what they're selling--an old-school economic boycott on steroids--what I would call millennial justice.

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This new wave of feminism is truly grass roots even though fueled by technologies that didn't exist in previous times. But grass roots is always good. Solutions that rise from the bottom up, from the common places to touch all levels of society hold the most endurance and staying power. THIS feminism is nothing new; rather, it marks a return to the wellspring of all human spirituality.

This new spirit reminds me of filmmaker Maggie Hadleigh-West who made an important documentary film called War Zone (1998) back in the 90s; her film speaks directly and powerfully to the reality of street harassment that women endure every day. I urge you to revisit her work. The spirit and premise being an openness and willingness to initiate a conscious confrontation if you will.  The work is unique and powerful and as timely as ever.

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Feminism is like the ancient olive tree pictured below, surviving and enduring all cycles of natural and human change, one that endures and continues to bring forth fruit essential to all life.

So we revisit what we in the modern times simply call feminism, but the term requires a deeper definition and understanding.

In ancient times, until only recently, really, say the last few thousand years, feminism has always been the way human beings related to each other and to their understanding of the cosmos; this ancient tree has roots that go deep, to the very beginning of time, back to the void and simultaneously the source of all creation.

Do you know only in modern times have humans considered "god" or the creator to be male? For thousands and thousands of years, the creative energies were always thought to be feminine. Matriarchy and goddess-centered societies are not the stuff of fantasies, but rather the reality for the majority of human history--these experiences trace back to our deepest levels of understanding and interpreting our reality on earth.

Like a spiral returning into itself and becoming new again in subtle yet definite ways, we reinterpret and create new ways of deepening our relationship with these archetypes and energies--the same that have always kept us alive and allow all good and holy things to flourish.

This is an amazing time to be alive. There's so much potential and opportunity for growth and healing; to redress the injustices against woman and the earth has never been more important and to heal without the presence of the Divine Feminine energy is impossible. All possibilities trace back to that ancient tree.


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