I’ve been thinking…(uh oh)….
There is an underlying pattern of misogyny in the genre of personal development. It isn’t intentional, mind you. I’m beginning to theorize it as a result of conditioning. Although ‘touchy feely’, ’emotions’ and ‘naval contemplation’ has been ‘seen’ as a woman’s field just google ‘personal development speakers’, or ‘motivational speakers’, or ‘personal transformational speakers’ images and you’ll find the majority are males.
And these males? They collaborate with males. They might have women on their teams behind the scenes but they partner up with males or they cite other male professionals as resources.
But here is where it really hit my heart… as I observe polls asking for recommendations for self-help gurus, the majority of answers, EVEN FROM WOMEN, are men. This is where the real misogyny is taking place.
Confidence and the presentation of it, is at the heart of this. What do I mean?
Men take up more space and aren’t ashamed of it.
As I watch some of my favorite online male counterparts I am in awe at how some manage to be charmingly cocky (I do not tend to favor cocky otherwise) to kindly confident. They make no apologies. They don’t seem to cater to anyone and they are bold. BOLD. Not as in daring so much as they speak like they know their shit is TRUE. They take up space without asking permission.
As I watch some of the familiar online female counterparts I see some trying to wear men’s pants figuratively and it feels out of place. It comes off cocky and not authentic. It seems like one trying to play like a man as a woman. Rather than just play like a woman.
I am not anti-male, in any shape or form. And I’m not whining about being a woman….I wouldn’t have it any other way. I see the value in balance, but right now there isn’t any balance. Its odd for me to google recognized professional speakers to find male dominance, but see a preponderance of females in the not-so-recognized online world.
I understand nature, so I don’t see this as something ‘contrived’ by humans. Look at almost any species and you’ll find the male dressed in the brightest, boldest colors, loudest call, most aggressive and most recognized. It’s in their nature. The bolder look imprints upon us, so when we think of a peacock it is the male peacock that immediately comes to mind. Same thing for a lion, a cardinal or a deer. Males natural tendency to be more aggressive makes them more notable and memorable.
So, I’m not blaming the men at all.
I just want to bring awareness that just because a female is not all bold and aggressive does not mean she is not as capable of serving, especially in the personal development arena. We have ‘softer’ ways, like the gentler hues of the female peacock vs the bold colors of her male counterpart.
I want to remind my female counterparts that you don’t need to ‘sell out’ to find success. Don’t try on the bold male colors that aren’t your palette. Titles like ‘badass’, ‘gangster’ and ‘warrior’ feel disingenuous to me. It seems like a false sort of confidence.
Does that make sense? Does anyone else feel the energy incongruence thing happening here?
Confident women, ARE. When I think of confident women in the personal development field I think of Iyanla VanZant, SARK, Brene` Brown, Marianne Williamson, Maya Angelou…just off the top of my head.
I cannot, by any means state that any woman who uses these terms in disingenuous, I’m saying to me it feels like we women have been sold a load of men’s suits and have been trying to tailor them to suit us, rather than just wearing what suits us authentically.
If you are an authentically bold woman with a more masculine energy, GO FOR IT!! But if you are not, please don’t try to emulate a male’s approach to what you are doing. And please don’t think I’m suggesting you just substitute ‘badass’ with ‘goddess’ either. It’s perfectly ok to just BE, without a popular label.
I just want to remind everyone of the abundance of capable, effective and inspiring female personal developers out there and suggest you recommend them to your friends as readily as you do our male counterparts.
Our society is masculine heavy. We NEED a balance of yin and yang to reach our full potential. We NEED the bold brash yang energy of the male workshops that get you all pumped up and ready to break free of the astral gravity holding your ass in the chair in front of the TV. But we also all NEED the gentle beauty of yin energy in the female workshops to get you to really connect with your life force energy.
*Full disclosure, I confess, this post was written mainly for myself, as a reminder to not see my male counterparts as more successful because they are louder and brighter and seem to have more engagement and to quit trying to tailor suits for my womanly shape.
Jade Willow Song is an Intuitive Qi Therapist who works with individuals seeking healing, clarity and guidance on their life path by facilitating transformational experiences.
Jade serves others with her experience and education in metaphysics, crystal healing, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, QiGong, guided visualization and meditation. In addition, Jade is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.
Jade holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work as well as certifications in Reiki and Therapeutic Touch.
The news of the mass shooting in Las Vegas at the Country Fest struck me deep in my empathic center this morning. It has brought to mind a lot of thoughts and I need to get them out.
As I was growing up I often heard, “you’re too sensitive” and “you’re too emotional”. They meant it like there was something wrong with me, and I should change to be more like them. I had feelings and I talked about those feelings. It was no wonder that my dream then was to become a therapist. I wanted to help others talk about their feelings in a safe environment.
While I stopped talking about my feelings to those people, I did not stop expressing my feelings. I expressed them in poems, in short stories and to others who would listen. But along the way, I can’t tell you how many people I came across who said, ”I don’t believe in that touchy-feely shit.” Or claim “I’m not one for touchy-feely stuff.” Or just plain “I’m not a touchy-feely kind of person.” Or “Should we all just hold hands and sing kumbaya?!”
People think touchy-feely-kumbaya people are weak. But they aren’t the ones who break, are they?
Mass shooters, serial killers and mass murderers aren’t the touchy-feely ones. You never hear of a ‘flower child’ suddenly snapping and using a gun against another. Those who commit violent crimes, especially of mass proportions, are the ones who have gone out of their way to avoid touchy-feely. They are the ones who stopped when someone said they were too sensitive or emotional. They were the ones who had no outlet for the organic touchy-feely parts of us.
And you wonder why they pop?
This is a pressure cooker situation we’ve created, of course there will be mounting explosions…
…unless people start getting touchy-feely.
Lately I had been feeling as if the ‘Life Coach’ genre was becoming a bit over saturated and I pondered whether it is just another fad (yes, in part). I will be the first to tell you that half the life coaches I run across, have no business being “Life Coaches”. I use the umbrella term “Life Coaches”, but it includes many other titles, including Spiritual Advisors. Many of these people are carefully camouflaging themselves with touchy-feely leaves whilst not actually dealing with their own stuff in a healthy manner.
There is another breed out there though. Those people who truly are looking to facilitate transformation for others but doing their own touchy-feely stuff as well. People like Kyle Cease who gets on stage and says “hey can you help me process this?” And goes on to stand naked on the square as he works through an issue with an audience member. Him facing his own shit, was the ONLY way that guy from the audience was able to hear the message that was meant for him. Kyle didn’t PRETEND to work through his shit, he authentically did it.
This new breed does deep down dirty touchy-feely work. Its not life coaching and its not therapy. Mystic Midwifery is what I call it, because it is the birth of your authentic self. The one that got put back into the box little by little with phrases like “you can’t do that, you’ll never succeed” or “you need security” or “you’re not good enough” etc…ad nauseam.
There is a plethora of transformational facilitators who are truly motivated and authentic in their practices to assist others in their journey though the rough parts. They do this by demonstrating on a daily basis how they apply certain practices and philosophies in their own life. They don’t take a template and place it over your life, but instead assist you in making your own template. Its about giving you the tools once to use over and over again. Their goal is not about growing a ‘list.’ It’s about being authentic and real, then spreading that.
The numbers of these “Authenticity Coaches” is growing. I don’t think this is a fad, I think it is needed. I think the world is ready for a change and here are the change-makers! Here are the people ready to hold space for others to relieve the pressure in that pressure cooker. Here are the people ready to say “you are sensitive, here’s how we manage that”, “here are the tools to express your emotions”, people ready to throw touchy-feely life preservers.
We don’t need gun control, we need emotion control. We need cohesion. We need community. We NEED transformation.
As I sat at a bonfire this weekend, it occurred to me that sitting around a campfire was a part of everyday life for our ancestors. It was around the fire that feelings were shared, stories of experiences were shared and bonds were built. It was built in touchy-feely time. Silence was not uncomfortable as everyone gazed into the hypnotic flames of the fire. This was meditation for our many of our Western ancestors.
Then came the radio which provided a more entertaining form of gathering. People gathered around the radio listening to the news and shows, but then talked about it. It wasn’t a diversionary tactic, it was a tool. It was used purposely and then put away.
With the inventions of whole house furnaces, making fireplaces a luxury and TV providing distraction (and becoming addictive), the organic ways our families and communities bonded, decompressed and meditated disappeared. As a result our society is disintegrating. Literally dis-integrating. Even weekend bonfire are an excuse to party, not to be bond and connect. With of course the exception of certain religious sects where it fire has retained it’s sacred purpose. And again, it is not those people who end up in the headlines as murderers.
Its time to get back to touchy-feely.
Its time to embrace the transformation movement, because if EVER we needed a transformation it is NOW. I don’t want to see how far things can get. I don’t want to the worst humans can do to one another. I’ve seen enough.
I’ll close with this, only because I didn’t know where else to put it. I’ve heard so many people make statements around how they were raised ‘tough’ or how they avoid expressing emotion and then they end that statement with “…and I turned out just fine.”
It never ever fails. My only thought in response to that is, “did ya, though?”
I love you.
If you are looking for a L(i)fe Force Energy Healing Session please email me at email@example.com. I work with all budgets so please do not let temporary financial resource blockages stop you from taking this step.
The energy of the recent white supremacy rally in North Carolina has not eluded me. I have had no words to share…up until now.
I read something today that felt like spiritual bullying or spiritual shaming and I intended to respond to it point by point. The article, was directed specifically at ‘white spiritual women’ regarding white supremacy. I had quotes and responses amounting to ‘please don’t bully me into a certain type of behavior because you think my way of taking a stand isn’t good enough.’ I don’t appreciate anyone trying to bully me into a particular form of action by shaming my philosophy. However, about mid-way through I decided to change direction a little bit.
I believe wholly that ‘what you resist, persists’. I’ve seen it time and time again in my experience. I have seen more progress standing UP for something than for standing AGAINST something. And how I stand UP is my business, not to be judged insufficient by anyone else. I think response is more important and potent than resistance. How we as human beings respond to injustices is more powerful than staging a protest.
My entire life I have experienced discrimination because of the way I look, life events I had no control over, my gender, my weight, my age, my choice in partners, my employment and my socio-economic status and even my skin color just to name a few. “White privilege” isn’t an automatic free pass. White privilege is stacked odds, but not just against people of color, though that is what some would have you believe.
White privilege is really RWASPM (rich white Anglo Saxon Protestant male) privilege.
Believe me just being white does not open doors magically as people of color have been led to believe it does. While it may appear that the door is closed to you because you are of color, it is really closed to you because you are not a rich white Anglo Saxon Protestant male and there are more of us that don’t fit into that club, than do.
But that isn’t really what I decided to talk about either.
Many POC have discounted my experience of discrimination because they imagine that I cannot fathom what it is like to be discriminated against as they have been. I have already revealed to you the many ways I have experienced discrimination. This article that I mentioned above, however, asks the reader to imagine what it is like for people of color, specifically people of the color black. I don’t have to imagine it, my daughter is a person of color and I had many personal experiences related to that on top of what I’ve already shared with you, so I know.
But people of color have told me that my experience is not the same because it was not MY skin color that initiated the discrimination.
Do you see the contradiction? On one hand we are being asked to imagine ourselves in their place in order to empathize and on the other hand our empathy and personal experience is discounted. Even that assumption, that it wasn’t my skin color that initiated the discrimination, is inaccurate. I have always embraced people of other cultures and ethnicities, especially for my daughter’s benefit so I have often ventured places to be the only white person in the room, so to speak. I know what it is like to be rejected, hissed at, talked about, shunned and laughed at because ‘who did I think I was encroaching?’ I have received so much anger and hostility from black women in particular.
The true fact is that just as I cannot understand exactly how your experience has been as a person of color and thus cannot judge it, you cannot know how my experience has been and thus cannot judge it. No one can truly know another’s journey! Each of us only have the experience of being us. One black person cannot speak for the entire experience of black people, they can only speak for their own experience.
And this gets to where I wanted to speak today.
Racism is not the problem. It is a problem but it is not the problem. Discrimination is the problem, yet by dividing us all up into nice segregated factions, the system remains forever intact. The system has us so busy dividing ourselves into special interest groups that we diminish our power by lowering our numbers. Special interest groups keep the division going and thus discrimination lives on.
Notice how there has been a civil rights movement, a woman’s rights movement, a gay rights movement, a transgender rights movement, black lives matter movement, blue lives matter movement…and how many more I am overlooking now…doesn’t that sit strange with you? It is as if the founding fathers established that rights were only for heterosexual white Anglo Saxon Protestant males and the entire rest of society has had to battle for their inherent human rights, piece by piece!! Don’t man up, HUMAN up! Realize that we are all entitled to the same treatment, rights and privileges regardless of color of skin, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, religious beliefs, disability or socio-economic status. Do the right things across the board because we are all humans.
Comparing wounds is dangerous.
Each one of us that is not a RWASPM has experienced discrimination and the subsequent wounding of it. To say that one wound (like racism) is worst than another (such as transgender discrimination) is absurd and dangerous. Can you imagine grief (another extremely painful emotional wound) being divided like this? Can you imagine someone saying to a wife that their grief/loss is not as bad as the mother who lost a child? Or how about veterans who come back from war? Do you think in the VA the vets discuss whether the loss of this arm is worse than the lost of that leg?
Discrimination is a cancer. It doesn’t really matter which type of cancer you suffer from, it wounds everyone involved and those affected by it have a better chance of surviving it by banding together and maintaining a positive outlook. We don’t compare cancers and rank them, we know all cancer is ugly and scary. We also know some paths with cancer are longer and uglier than others, we lend them the support they need and we don’t deny another’s struggle because their path was different.
Comparing wounds is dangerous. I once was in an abusive situation and could not recognize it for what it was because I kept comparing it to ‘worst’ stories. I didn’t have broken bones or a black eye, so I denied my own experience. As a result of that I didn’t get the help I needed when I needed it and I lived with those scars for most of my life.
The gay and lesbian community expanded and embraced others by transforming into the LGBT community, and then the LGBTQ community, and now the LGBTQIA community!
We need to expand further and realize we are the human community.
We have to human up. We have to start recognizing ourselves in each other. Much like soldiers on the field do not refer to each other as anything other than ‘brother’. We have to start seeing Source in each other and loving each other as we love ourselves. We do that by not giving attention and credence to that which is not harmony. We do that by being an example, thereby being a mirror for the ugliness to view upon itself and judge its own reflection.
The article I mentioned above diminished those who would say “I prefer to focus on love and light.” Well, that is the only thing that is going to change the world. Now, do I think the author has a point that some white spiritual leaders are fraudulent and talk the talk but not walk the walk? Absolutely. I’ve been addressing that in many forms for a couple of years now. The author states, “As my friend Jess Sells Wertman said, “Know the difference between a leader and a marketer. Many marketers like to style themselves as leaders, but that doesn’t mean they ARE.”
I could not agree with this statement more! But I don’t want to digress, lest this become convoluted.
“Focusing on love and light” as a true leader is different than putting your head in the sand like a good marketer.
Focusing on love and light for me means doing whatever I can to infuse my world with love and light, because I know that will spread. It means treating all my fellow human beings as human beings without prejudice. It means that I provide service to everyone regardless of any differences we might have as long as they treat me with respect. It means I wish no one ill will. It means if I can help I will. It means that I see the Source in everyone and promote others in seeing it as well.
This is how I do battle. I do not resist. I allow love to flow through me so that it finds those who have been wounded and promote healing. I hold space so that anyone who finds me, will find a safe place to fall.
I will keep my vibration as a lantern to provide light in the darkness.