Reading headlines makes me feel things.
Genocide is happening in our lifetime. Parents are watching their children die of starvation. Sexual predators win political office. Elephants are being hunted to extinction for ivory. Boys are being shot dead because of their color. Girls are being abducted and trafficked.
I don’t have to tell you how bad it is. I don’t have to tell you this is just the start.
I know ours is the same broken heart.
And it’s overwhelming.
The temptation to shut down is strong.
It’s a way of coping. You aren’t uncaring to do it.
But I don’t want you to shut down.
I don’t want you to turn off.
The world needs your spark of life, your unique connection to aliveness.
The antidote to overwhelm isn’t turning off, but turning on. Awakening.
Changing turbulent times, we have, yes.
And if you are reading this, right now, I know something about you.
You are a woman who is in process.
In the process of awakening.
Awakening to life, awakening to herself, awakening to what makes her uncomfortable, awakening to what she wants for herself and others, awakening to her most deeply held longings.
I know you feel it.
The call to awaken more and more to who we are in the world, and figure out how to become even more deeply and powerfully who we are while taking the world around us higher.
Which is a lot of pressure.
Because awakening – born of the old english word, awæcnan which means “to spring into being, arise, originate” – is a conscious, deliberate action. Not an unconscious response.
What will you spring into being?
You can transform overwhelm to awakening.
If we are to arise from our hand-wringing and hopelessness – and that’s the plan – none of us can make this transition with our thoughts alone. It has to be done with our connection not only to our body, but to the body of mother earth, herself. We have to remember that we have access to something bigger than ourselves. We are bigger than ourselves.
When I feel myself in danger of turning off and shutting down, here is how I turn on:
1. I give thanks. Thanks for my rage, thanks for my intensely powerful feelings, thanks for the connection to myself, thanks for the anger and the grief of every woman who has the courage to come forth, now, in this world. I feel my feelings – all of them, and I go to the place where we are all connected, and I feel grateful for that interconnection.
2. I dance, I move. I place my rage and sorrow into the heart of our sacred earth, and dance. I dance with the great mother, and lean into her. And just like the New York City autumn leaves that have fallen to the ground, ready to slowly be transformed here where I live, I place myself and my dancing body into the natural cycle of mother earth’s power to take in all that needs to be deconstructed, composted, remade into the clean renewable fuel of transformation. Her energy and ability connects me to mine.
3. I create an offering of beauty. This might be my dance. It might be the simple lighting of a candle at my altar. It might be an action I choose to take on behalf of another, in the world. It might be the way I choose to dress, in celebration of my feminine. The way I choose to presence love, with my actions. The way I choose to be awake.
Refusing to turn off, and intentionally turning on, doesn’t end racism or sexism or war, but it returns me to myself so I am more whole to face those things. It returns me to my humanity and my divinity, and from that connected place, I can respond wisely and lovingly. The world needs more of us doing more of that, more often. The world needs you showing us all how.
Choosing not to turn off, not to turn away, not to shut down takes so much courage and it’s more easily done with the support of other women. The Womanly Arts Experience is the best way I know to practice, in the presence of sisterhood, live, in-person, and in community.
We are all, together, so much greater than what is happening on this planet, right now. And now is the time to tap in and turn on to that greater awareness and greater connection with ourselves, each other, and this planet. Please come and practice with me in a circle of women, thousands strong. You are invited. You are needed. If you feel called, it is my gift to you. (You may reserve your spot here for as long as seats are still available.)
How you are awakening? In what ways has your awareness changed? How are you responding to the call? How do you turn on, when it seems so much easier to turn off?
With love and thanks,
Regena Thomashauer, aka “Mama Gena”
The School of Womanly Arts
Regena is a feminist icon, a teacher, a speaker, a mother, a best-selling author, and creatrix and CEO of The School of Womanly Arts.