In her new book Dear Joan Chittister: Conversations with Women in the Church, the wise Sister Joan tells about sitting in a gathering of people sharing their serious concerns about the challenges facing our country and our world. The general consensus was that things are bad and getting worse. She goes on to relate how one of the young men declared with hope: “You’re all forgetting something. The women are coming. Just look at the numbers of women being elected to positions everywhere and women are not going to allow this mess to go on.”
We have heard this kind of message from other young men recently. They tell us that it is the women who give them hope; it is the women who will not allow our Earth to be ravaged; it is the women who will not allow our culture to decline into hostile islands of divisiveness and anger.
The women are coming. It is our turn to lead — and the Divine Feminine is the wind beneath our wings. She will not allow us to fail.
We have entered a new cycle where we are being asked to bring our embodied wisdom into the world. It is not enough to be enlightened and to sit in quiet spiritual reflection. We are being called to take action and to embody a new model of leadership in everything we do.
What does this kind of embodied feminine leadership look like?
Claim your own spiritual authority. Too often the feminine has been submissive and subversive. We have learned through many generations of patriarchy to artfully camouflage our wisdom and power. It is time to come out from underground to proclaim our spiritual authority and embody our role as healers in these broken times.
Be fierce! Don’t stop when you encounter an obstacle. Go over, under, around or through —just keep going.
Keep your heart open. At the same time we mourn what is happening to our planet, many of us have been experiencing intense challenges in our personal lives: illness, death, tragic losses. We know from experience that such life events can jump start our spiritual hearts and offer the opportunity for rapid transformation – if we have the courage to stay open to our own pain and love. We are being tempered and strengthened by our own profound grief. This is the collective dark night of the soul many spiritual teachers speak about, the deep call to descend before we can ascend.
We need eyes to see and ears to hear. We must be alert – watching and listening for messages, signals and clues coming our way. She is whispering to you about your next steps. And we must also open our eyes to the truth of our own patterns of artful resistance. We have become masters at disguising and denying our own brilliance, a habit developed through an ancestral lineage of fear of being seen and heard. This is not a big surprise when you consider the traumatic memories of the Burning Times that are encoded in the DNA of any woman of European ancestry and the long history of mysogyny that patriarchy and colonization inflicted upon so many cultures around the globe..
Now we are entering a new era. The acute urgency of our times is going to pull us through the eye the needle, just like the gigantic black hole called the Great Attractor pulls whole galaxies (including our own) through the Universe. The urgency is going to pull us through into new experiences that will feel uncomfortable and scary. Congratulations! Uncomfortable is exactly where we all need to be right now.
Things are changing so fast these days that the future often looks blurry and out of focus. Don’t worry if you feel confused about what your assignment is. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t know what to be when you grow up. Don’t waste energy on regret about anything.
Just sit up and listen. Listen to your own inner voice as it whispers to you. Listen to your dreams. Listen for the new phrase you keep hearing, the book that falls into your lap, the friend who calls out of the blue, the sentence caught on the wind that makes your hair stand on end. And then just start putting one foot in front of the other and walk in that direction. Step out of your comfort zone and try something new.
And the best news of all: you are not alone. We women are rising together, learning together, laughing and crying together. Gathering with your sisters can help nurture your courage and support your inspired action. And you can lean into the wisdom and strength of the Divine Feminine. She will not let us fail!