Competition, Collaboration and Success

competitionToday my daughter has been reviewing her progress in her chosen course. She is working mainly with men in her studies as the subject she loves is often seen as a male preference. She has noticed that there can be a lot of competition between them. But she doesn’t approach her work that way.

This morning we had a discussion about women being able to vote. It has been one hundred years since women over thirty in the UK gained the right to vote in elections. Quite a landmark. So I couldn’t help but notice the synchronicity of this review date. Nor that we have entered another phase of Divine Feminine energy asking us to view our relationships as collaborations. Rather than make it all about competition. So as I was once again chatting with her this evening about her career choices we both listened hard to a news item on Channel 4 about feminism. I introduced my daughter to the books and work of Laura Bates, the Body Image Movement and feminist writing. And I hope it will help her balance the competitiveness of her chosen field with the collaboration necessary to help everyone succeed.

I believe that we all have a streak of competition within us. I find it’s a really useful emotion to boost me past giving up. When I’m doing something I like to compete with myself to see if I can do better than I did before. Because sometimes I tell myself I can’t do something well. Yet if I tried enough and stuck at it I would improve. In fact I have proved that with my mediumship. However, I have also needed to collaborate with others, especially my Guides, to find new or different ways to develop my skills. Competing with myself, collaborating with others and sticking at it has helped me to succeed. I feel that the Suffragettes knew far better than me how to do that. After all they got women the vote. And pushed on further to gain ground in improving women’s lives.

I’m glad my daughter understands the power of competing with herself. It’s also a blessing that she prefers to collaborate with others. In the end she will be successful in anything she does. I also feel that success will be shared with all of the people she works with. Because she understands the value of doing things together. And is prepared to put aside the corrosive aspects of competition in order to push forward with change.

Day 803 of my blogging challenge

Feminism: Or The Rise Of Divine Feminine Energy?

Feminism It’s been an interesting day. Especially with all of the Divine Feminine energy flowing around at the moment. #Me Too. Time’s Up Now. Women’s Marches. Are we witnessing a turn around in the fortunes of feminism? Or is the underlying energy rebalancing finally visible?

When I talk to women of different generations there is a muddled picture of what feminism represents. Perhaps the last big sweep of Divine Feminine energy struggled to be articulated by women who were still realising that they could break free of the domestic sphere and move out into the world without fear. Certainly, as with every breakthrough movement, there were extremist views. And not enough momentum behind the debate to keep the spark of collaborative equality alive. After all the world had too much inequality to address all at once.

So for some women the idea of power because they were feminine creators of future generations never really took root. Not surprising really. As there were so many other issues about the life of women to change. As the wave faded during the eighties and nineties it was easy to sink back into the old habits of years gone by. The changes demanded by feminism, the acknowledgement that every single person was of equal value, got tied up in arguments and resistance. Interestingly, for me, during the rise of Spiritualism in the mid 1800’s,, these same debates were raging as women became mediums and stepped out of their traditional domestic sphere too.

Do feminism and mediumship go hand in hand then? That’s an interesting argument.

Of course I might be comparing apples with pears. However, I love that my Guide Team bring these thoughts to me for consideration. Especially as they have always asked me to think about things from an energy perspective. And that throws a different light on the rise of feminism. In fact it puts it fully in alignment with the rise of Divine Feminine energy. After all, in energy terms, we all have feminine and masculine energy. It is how I balance both those energies that is important. I have to recognise that my inner world is a mix of creativity and ‘make it so’ moments. So it’s not surprising that my outward world will be so too.

If I learn to flow naturally from one energy to the other and back again I have the best of both worlds. And so does the world outside of me. Because I can access and use all of my abilities to their best effect. In the same way that anyone else can too. We will be equal in giving of our best. That way the whole community will benefit from these combines collaborative efforts. Feminism is necessary because as communities we have stopped letting everyone give of their best. We devalue the work that is most important to our survival – that of producing and caring for the future generations. In the end this makes us emotionally and spiritually poorer.

I think we have a lot to do. It is important to recognise that equality is part of our spiritual journey. Therefore we have to be ready to embrace the feminine within us. And ensure that women’s concerns are heard and acted upon. Feminism is not the new excuse for men to say ‘poor me’. It is the opportunity for all men to embrace their own Divine Feminine energy too.

Day 795 of my blogging challenge

Oppression, Suppression, Opinion

There are times when oppression and suppression blur into one another. Especially when more than one opinion is involved. This was one of my thinking points from running my workshop today.

Not because there was any oppression or suppression going on in the group. But because we all needed to be able to share our opinions. There has to be a right to disagree. To hold a different position. And to be free from pressure to change that position. That’s why I love the way my Guides work with me. They allow for the free flow of feelings and thoughts by bringing forward the activities that will get all of us tuned in. It’s a very intuitive way of working. Not exactly structured. Or planned even. But plenty of room to meander off topic. To ask questions and to discover through experience. For me it’s a perfect freedom to offer information in ways that fits the people I am with.

There have been many times in my life when that freedom has been constrained. I grew up in the first blush of feminism. I was part of the novel idea that women were people who mattered too. When I joined the workforce there were constraints on me that have, thankfully, mostly disappeared. That doesn’t mean that the move towards an equal society is over. Far from it. There are still attitudes so deeply entrenched that it will take several more generations for women and men to find a balance within themselves and without. I know that we are only dimly coming to understand the reality of energy. In each of us there is a feminine and a masculine force.

So it still concerns me when oppression is turned into suppression. Especially when it is coming from those who could know better. If they thought about it for a moment.

There is someone locally who makes a protest several days of the week. A very public protest. The issue that is being protested about doesn’t really matter. Except to say that I have no choice about walking past the signs and placards. The protest is to highlight oppression in another country. Something I support because if we stay silent we are effectively condoning the actions taking place. If the images on the placards are not of my choice I suppose I can look away. However, if I engage in any kind of debate about the balance of the other side’s view I am shouted at. And a group will join to shout at me. Because this protester isn’t necessarily on their own.

Trying to discuss oppression in an even handed way ends up in my voice, my view, being suppressed. It’s as if I can’t have the right to hold an opposite view. The suppression has ended up with me being oppressed too. How strange is that? It’s ok for one view to be offered but not another. I can only have a voice if it’s to agree. How do I handle this as a woman? How do I ensure that my view is regarded as a valid statement of what I feel or think? Do I bring along my friends to try a shouting loudest competition? Because in a way this little local issue is a mirror of the much wider equality debate.

It’s time to acknowledge that some of the people creating the oppression are other women. Women who are keen to suppress the views of women who disagree with them.

I know that I’m regularly being told that I need to educate myself about ‘women’s issues’. Not sure how my experiences in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s don’t count as education. Or that I have accepted my social conditioning and need to throw off the shackles. By people who have shackled themselves in other ways. I find it curious that they don’t recognise their own masculine energy coming into play. Or that they are doing exactly what they are accusing the other side of doing to them. Because that’s the danger. We walk a tightrope every time we believe our opinion is the only one that matters, is right or must prevail.

And it’s so easy to fall off. Did I mention that the person doing the protesting is a woman? And that in refusing me a right to an opinion she is being as oppressive as the people she says have behaved outrageously to others? Whether she knows it or not she has placed herself in the camp of her ‘enemies’ and draws them much sympathy instead of disgust. That’s the real issue. When I look at where I end up with it all I’m glad to say I can still recognise that there is more than one side to every story. That each opinion, whether I agree with it or not, has validity. And I respect the right of the person who holds that opposite view to keep on holding it for ever. And I can hold my opinion forever too if I so wish.

Freedom is a precious gift but only if we grant the same freedom to others as we claim for ourselves. That is when we will really know we are all equal.

Day 481 of my blogging challenge.