My 10-year old daughter Sophia had a very special experience this summer of traveling with my in-laws to Cape Cod to visit family and experience the extraordinary beauty of that area. A few days into her trip I called to say hi and my mother-in-law (whom I love dearly) said, “Oh, Sophia is such a good girl Rochelle!” My initial internal response was, “Oh, no! What have I done to make her feel like she needs to be ‘a good girl’?” In the current state of our world, when the last thing we actually need are “good girls”. We need girls to grow up to embody the power of mother earth in her steadfast receptivity and wise stillness. We need our girls to grow up not just “out-of-the-box”, but we need girls to erase the box altogether because the current “box” we have co-created collectively in this patrifocal societal structure is literally destroying the planet.
Dr. Kelly Brogan in her blog post called The New Feminism shared the symbology of the Adi Shakti. A mesmerizing interlocking karmic circle, a double-edged weapon and two encompassing swords, as it is a representation of primal feminine power from a tradition that champions matrifocal social structures that are more aligned with balance. In this depiction, every female (and male) is charged with balancing the woman and the mother:
“As a mother you are supposed to sacrifice, tolerate, be very patient, be very thoughtful of others, and understand all the pros and cons of any situation. As a woman you must give nothing; you have to protect yourself first; and you need not tolerate any nonsense. Woman must be able to ascertain which is the correct relationship—woman or mother,” sword or shield. (© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan, circa 1977)
Of course, we want our girls to be patient and be able to embrace whatever life offers her, be balanced and kind and at the same time for them to learn that we will need to be fierce advocates for ourselves and the planet as we steer this ship collectively toward a matrifocal society. One that lives in harmony with that which is life-affirming and be fierce about letting go of all structures (individually and collectively) that are tyrannical, destructive, coercive, disconnected, and shattered.
Our girls must be raised as deep listeners on all levels. Listeners of the needs of their own bodies as extensions of planet earth and listeners of the needs of the world around us – the earth itself and to be moved by what they learn, to be touched by the suffering of the world. Our girls must be raised to act boldly with the power of Love in action, a kind of sacred activism.
Learn to listen to your own body, the treasure, the mystery of life itself exists there. When you do this you will model this powerful practice for your children. We are all born fully embodied. We only need to provide a space for our girls to stay in there, stay grounded, rooted, and propelled by the sensory experience of their bodies as they grow. Joseph Campbell describes this as the rapture that is associated with being alive, this is what “it’s” all about. Architect Christopher Alexander writes about the significance of “allowing the forces we experience to run freely in us…” so that we may birth bold loving action into the world.
Are there any other “boxes” that we need to begin to erase or wear away at?