Different Drum: How Circle is the Solution to Patriarchal Hypocrisy

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Ever since I was a “woke” teenager, I envisioned, prayed, dreamed, and worked for a peaceful and just world where there is economic equity, kindness to all beings, and care for our planet where I longed to feel I belonged. This deep desire came from my soul and from seeing the opposite in environments within and beyond my family of origin. It pained me to witness the pervasive stark disconnects between humans and nature, between the teachings of Christ and Catholicism, and the mean behaviors of bullying girls (and my own bullying) that caused core wounding and the pain of social isolation, insecurity, and internalized oppression and judgment.

I grew up fast on Army bases. Living amid the military opened my eyes (at the tender age of 13) to the nature of war and the hypocrisy of Christianity. How could it be that the church preached about love and peace, but only to select groups, and taught the Commandments but selectively ignored, “THOU SHALT NOT KILL”? How could the Army work for peace through fighting and war? Why was it that, instead of accepting and expressing feelings, it was socially acceptable and encouraged to stuff and keep them down, brush them under the rug, and cover them up in a myriad of harmful ways?

Once I became aware of patriarchal reality and oppression, I not only questioned the church, but tuned it out as I turned myself onto rock and roll, drugs of the 1970s, sexual liberation, vegetarianism, and health food. Once I was on my own at 18, I was thrilled to discover the cooperative movement, holistic healing and spirituality, and eventually, intentional community. I marched to the beat of my own different drum. In fact, I attended alternative schools. My High School graduation was from a “free school” called Different Drum, Inc.

Without a sense of community as a teenager and emerging young woman, my desire to be a part of a group of friends was strong, yet I felt I didn’t really belong anywhere. Where were my people? Why didn’t I have any friends? Why am I so different? So sensitive? I was lonesome and sad and, in fact, suicidal. If I’d had a circle of sisters to hold me and remind me of my worth, I would not have tried to take my life three times as a teenager.

Adding to the pain of social isolation, I was deeply affected by the rampant greed and wanton and unconscious carelessness that causes too many human beings to rape the earth, harm her people, make species disappear completely, and threaten the very existence of indigenous people and precious creatures. The fact that giraffes are now an endangered species and the polar ice caps are melting dramatically are two tragic examples of the human impact of our encroachment upon fragile ecosystems that now hang in the balance. I believe that this destruction is a result of patriarchy out of control and that it’s high time we heal the wounded masculine as well as the wounded feminine. We heal our wounds in Circle. When we’re in Circle, we step into our power as women. Then, if we feel called, we go forth into the world empowered to contribute to the preservation of the Divine Mother.

We are in the midsts of a great shift happening on our perilous and precious planet. Scientific speculations abound with ever frightening evidence of a world out of balance, a world that cannot sustain itself at the rate we’re presently going, the world under the rule of patriarchy. I choose to believe that we can restore a healthy balance both within ourselves and in societies at large by shifting to the healing powers of the Divine Feminine that is more present and evident to us now than ever before in our lifetimes. Together we weave this high level of consciousness and depth of great heart into leadership around the globe–through Sistership Circle.

Still, existential questions related to the very survival of the human race remain: Which way will humanity tip the scales? Is it too late to save us from ourselves? Is it time to finish up here by doing the best and most we can to leave behind our own legacy, one that reveals that we gave a damn and did something about the state of the world, that we made a difference here? This is part of the deepest prayers in my heart–that each of us can do whatever it takes to expand our capacity to love (and all that goes along with love). Sitting in Circle is a safe and sacred space that women co-create for magic to happen–the magic of opening the heart. And when the heart opens, miracles happen. Together we can change the world because, through Circle, we are changing ourselves to be who we truly are—beautiful, powerful women leaders attuned to the essence, energy, and power of The Divine Feminine.

What then, will help guide and hold us as we co-create the world that so many of us came here to learn and grow in? Circle is one powerful way. We need each other. And we need Circle to bring us together to do this essential work on ourselves.

It’s clear that this collective dream world cannot manifest in our waking life under the oppressive cloaks of patriarchy–nor matriarchy. We see-saw from retreating from the madness “out there” when it disturbs our peace within to trying to save the world from itself, often struggling to restore sustainable sanity in our lives. While we can’t save the whole world individually, we can change ourselves so we can expand our capacity to love, connect, heal, grow, and give. And this is where Circle comes in for that expansion to happen.

While I’m not about to present any ONE thing to be the end-all solution to the problems of the world or within, I AM here to share something that I’ve known all my adult life but never fully incorporated. That something is the power of Circle and the magic that happens when people gather together to honor and celebrate themselves, each other, and life itself.

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