The first time I ever made a vision board it worked like a crystal ball. I diligently pasted images of what I wanted onto a piece of cardboard and they transformed into my life. Was it just the power of well-manifested intention? Or, was it more the power of ideas whose time had come? Like most vision boards, mine was a combination of images and words. Pictures included typical tropical landscapes, yoga poses, and healthy foods. As cliché as all of this sounds, almost every desire I “put out there,” became reality. From combining my passion for teaching English with yoga, to nailing full natarajasana, or dancer pose, to getting engaged to my now husband. Fast-forward to a year after this epic vision board session: our nation chooses a misogamist over a woman as president and I am living majorly unaffected by it al on Caribbean Coast of Costa Rica.  As the year comes to an end, I am more tuned into what is happening with women globally and I am getting ready to make a new vision board. I find myself quietly engaging in battle, no longer satisfied to be still and silent, desiring change for more than just myself.

What had emerged from my entire destiny manifest was wanting more. This desire for more is a thread of connection I see on the faces of many women I meet. I had worked hard to get what I projected-I wanted love so I became it. I wanted my job and service work to merge and so they did. I found myself existing quietly, dropping into the rhythms of rural living and dropping out of awareness of most current events. Out of the stillness of the jungle, naturally, questions began to arise. Was my work as a teacher really important? Was the lack of earnings at my non-profit job a reflection of my intelligence? Was it wrong to want more than the good life I had created?

 It seems I was not the only one asking questions. In a year when the global patriarchal pots reached a boiling point, so many women decided that their identity was worth the risk of the pot tipping over. Sisters in arms stood up against sexual harassment and cried, “Me too,” and “No more!” We as women were left with questions such as: What does it mean to resist a system of sexism? Can our anger be harnessed into the fire of transformation? Can we value ourselves beyond sex and age? Can we hold the risk of self-love in a way that creates a sense of greater possibility? What does matriarchy now actually look like?

       For me, the year of stillness and reflection created a desire for something greater in my life: sustainability and connection to global female resistance.  I had never been able to accomplish financial sustainability as a public school teacher, program facilitator, or volunteer coordinator. Part of my new vision now included being valued for my work financially, which for me and for so many others a true revolution

         This revolution of self-value beyond external motivation began to lead me down the road inward. It was here I had work to do. In a world where we are all searching for love and longing to be seen, the secret just might be to tune in and slow down.

When we slow down, we can clearly see that for so long our self-worth and identity has been tied up with our sex and how others see it. As a woman, having caretaker jobs and not getting paid much just seemed acceptable, the norm. Why should I (we) expect any more than what I was given? Didn’t I realize there is no real value in these “public service” positions? I had come to see my own work marginally unimportant or common place. When I began to value myself more fully and embodied my roles as teacher and facilitator with abundance, I began to become frustrated with my situation. I also found myself shocked and angry about what was happening to women on a global level. My own president being one of the worst offenders, publically treating women like animals or objects. The man left a legacy of “Grabbing pussy,” before he ever set foot in the oval office. My own frustration and disgust coupled with that of women worldwide only created further questions. Can we really confront sexist comments and wage inequality and not just bitch about it? Can we break cycles and assumptions about the value in caretaking and nurturing on a societal level? Can power and strength also be associated with grace and nurturing- without appearing as weakness?

 

These questions and more pause on the tip of my tongue without tangible answers. One positive result that seems to have risen from the ashes of our bruised pride is our resistance. What has surfaced out of shame is our willingness to mobilize, to get angry, to light a fire under our collective consciousness strong enough to manifest real change.  Are we motivated enough as a whole to change ourselves first at the individual level? Can we as women take a deeper glance at how we identify with self-worth and confidence in our own lives first, before expecting to see a change on a global level? Can we move beyond buzzwords and mobilize from within?

  Following a year of so many questions can we make 2018 the year that answers?[1]

[1] Obvious re-working of the famous quote from the timeless Zora Neale Hurston

This article was originally published in Elephant Journal January 4th, 2018

Connect with Us

Thank you for connecting with us.  We will be in touch shortly.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form