I recently did a core values exercise. Clarity can be found through writing things down. If I'm listening to my gut feelings around the Divine Feminine it is a deep knowing that yup, this is it. This is what I need to be talking about, and amplifying others who are already talking about this. The Divine Feminine will be/already is an important part of this project because this is not only about self-discovery around my individual values-–my identity based on true core values I hold–but because it gets at a methodology of practice that is just how I believe we need to do things across the board. How can I increasingly model this in the world through my choices and behavior? How does it work, look, feel, taste, touch, sound like in the world?
Trying to write from a place that already lives on the third horizon, that doesn't reify our current system, is very difficult. It was a challenge to our class, Writing for Social Change, that our professor left us with. We see a lot today about calling out/cancel culture. In its most constructive form this culture is drawing boundaries, and imposing consequences reclaiming some autonomy in the process. It just as often stifles conversation and perspective exploring. We do need help still effectively communicating systemic oppression. As we form this company we found ourselves looking at a graphic of a Venn diagram of societies layers of oppression that left us with that cold-gut knowing of truth. What does the future look like, if we take the opposite of oppression and flip every part of the diagram while looking through a liberation lens? We get the Divine Feminine. We started making our own Venn diagram. It looks good. It feels exciting, and right and all things true. It feels more like sparks flying in your gut.
Our dreams and goals are ambitious. That's just who we are. But this ethos of methodology invites us to relax the hustle and grind that usually comes with ambition. Ambition doesn't mean we need everything we want yesterday. The process is the product. We're excited to engage, to start asking our questions and getting some answers (what's a fire, and why does it-–what's the word? Burn?) To make art that meets people where they are on their journeys. Yes we've been thinking in depth about a lot of this stuff for years, and we know that's not a universal m.o.. Part of our challenge will be to invite the folks who don't think about systems to come to our table to join the conversation, to feel that their contributions are valuable no matter what. This is part of our ambition. We are in a state of constant experimentation. Hypothesize and test. The part of me that could have been a scientist is cheering like a soccer-mom right now.
Because the Divine Feminine accepts where you are, and allows you to work and change and progress at the pace that's right for you. Y'all know you can't hear something sometimes till you're good and ready to hear it. We're not here to preach or evangelize. We don't have all the answers. We're explorers. We invite those with curious minds and open hearts to come along for a portion of the ride. Whatever feels right and comfortable for them. We invite a pace that doesn't bring burnout as a side effect; that allows for rest. Because your whole self requires attention. We expect to see that when folks feel truly cared for, and allowed to care for themselves, that we will see more of their whole-hearted selves show up more often. We expect that our work will happen in flow when we allow it to happen in flow, and that collaborators need grace and time to be in flow with us. We expect that setting boundaries and communicating our needs clearly will enable others to respect our process, and will show us those who truly want to work with us when the time is right. We expect to hardly ever know what any "final" product will actually look, sound, touch, taste, smell or feel like. Which we find exciting.
The world is full of control-freaks. Speaking as someone who believed she could control things in life, I can now say confidently: I cannot, nor do I want to. A friend recently relayed a description of suffering she'd come across as 'the absence of acceptance of what is.' I have lived experience from a place of stress and anxiety about things 'working out,' and I don't want to live that way anymore. I don't want to work that way anymore. I have to constantly remind myself of this. My mental pattern is to get on my hamster wheel and start spinning that thing. But I make that choice to get on in the first place. I can also choose to get off. What's the difference going to be? That I still don't know what the outcome of a project is going to be? I don't know while I'm on the hamster wheel either. That I work less? Maybe. Will the quality of the work I actually do go up? I expect so. It's another hypothesis. Will I need less time checking out of my brain and out of reality? I expect so. Another hypothesis.
It's in the unknowing that playtime really begins. This is where the switch starts to flip from anxious, 'what's going to happen if working hard doesn't feel like I'm used to it feeling though!?!?' to 'oh, this could be fun?' And, 'let's see what happens,' is more an objective evaluation of results in order to gather more information for the next go around, a surrender to the fact that all things are possible in every moment of creation, and so much is out of our control. The Divine Feminine invites surrender to this unknowing. It invites playfully joining in to the chaos of contribution to creation of this idea we have we call 'reality.' We have many serious problems to solve as a society. We have made many choices based on stories about hierarchies. The Divine Feminine invites different stories based not so much on better and best, worst and worse, but on what and who, how, and love that, tell me more, let me refill your cup.