Engaging the Feminine in Collective Transformation

Giving too much power to a structure?

Structures – institutional, cultural, organizational, political, financial, relational, philosophical – are mutable. Unless it’s a physical structure we’re considering (and even they are not forever-permanent, even the strongest physical structures change over time, consider plate-tectonics), a structure is simply a collective agreement – subject to change when the agreements change. But the deeper the structure, the more subtle & hard it is to discern the agreement aspect of it.

At the level of thought-structures we’ve inherited (‘tradition’ ‘how it’s always been done’), and dominant cultural value systems, we often tend to buy into them as representations of reality. We believe that’s how it’s always been done because that’s just how the world works. (or the market, or human nature, or ‘those people’). When structures strike us as inevitable, we don’t even think of trying to change them. 

It’s only when we remember that structures are simply collective agreements, which we collectively choose to conform to, that we can fully apprehend the truth that we can make new agreements. And without the full, conscious recognition that we are all free, at every moment, to revise our agreements, we cannot produce lasting change. We will be trapped by tradition, the status quo, or dysfunctional-but-mass-held beliefs.

This is one of the main reasons that most change efforts eventually revert to the status quo. There are others (conflicts of interest, clinging to power, etc.) but this is the one we have perpetual, personal influence over – what we agree to. This is where we transform our own lives & where we begin to transform the world around us.

But, like I said, deep structures are hard to see. Harder still to see when we’re trapped inside of them.

So – here’s an important question we can ask ourselves – Can I tell when I’m giving too much to a structure? Too much power, credence, permanence, inevitability, validity.

Can you tell when that is happening in your own mind? If so, how can you tell? How do you know you’re doing that? And if you can’t tell, how might you begin to notice that?

For me, I suspect I’m giving too much credence to a structure when I’m deeply bored (which almost never happens, so that’s a big sign), when when I feel hopeless, and when fear becomes harder to manage than normal.

I don’t often feel real despair. But when I do, that usually means I’m buying into a structure that is not liberating and it’s time to identify what I’m giving too much credence to.

Despair (for me) means it’s time to identify and to change my agreements. I may not be able to shift collective agreements yet, but I can revise my own, which undermines that sense of ‘inevitable, emperical truth’ for anyone watching. 

What about you? Do you know when you’re buying into a structure’s immutability? 


The Whore in the Background

Maybe your secret is the similar to mine. Maybe you were there once too, in that mysterious underworld where innermost flesh is transacted and men’s secret desires create the market — where women parade naked and men abandon pretense, that paradoxical realm of the secretly un-hidden. Maybe you have since erased all evidence linking you back there… Continue Reading

Needs To Be A Conversation

First – Ira Glass [for all you ‘This American Life’ fans] on the theme of today’s post:   Of course I get what he’s saying, completely. It’s an important reminder. And I want to be fighting through that gap between exectations and ability. I do. But, as you can see by this blog, I am not –… Continue Reading

Pedophilia? I think not!

My son – in his early 30’s – is one of my main conduits to contemporary pop culture, at least the pop culture I’d find relevant.  Today he posted the following four links on his FaceBook page & tagged me.  1) 2) 3) http://www.alternet.org/media/sia-video-featuring-talented-young-dancer-inspirational-not-pedophilia-one-parents-view 4) Even before I got to them, the links had inspired a conversation… Continue Reading

Groups Could Use These 3 New Roles

Groups Could Use These 3 New Roles

Leadership gurus recognize that groups function best when there is an appropriate diversity & ratio of functional ‘types’. For instance, my thesis advisor, Jacqueline Byrd, an innovation expert, says high performing groups need the following: innovators, challengers, practicalizers, improvers, synthesizers, planners, sustainers, & dreamers. The ideal ratio depends on the group’s purpose.    Learn more & discover which… Continue Reading

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The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra

This story is fascinating, alarming when you consider the implications, and horrifyingly consistant with my own experience in the financial industry. (listening to it was almost like reliving a trauma. It upset my stomach) ‘Culture is insideous, it’s tough to change’. The Secret Recordings of Carmen Segarra – This American Life A perfect example of what we… Continue Reading

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Getting from Here to There

Getting from Here to There

My friend Ila stopped by this afternoon to drop off some new honey. She came to the back door, I invited her in. ‘What are you doing?’ she asked? ‘Look!’ I said – gesturing to my livingroom, which had most of the furniture shoved off to one end, to make space for an amatuer video-studio… Continue Reading

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On Feminine Judgment

On Feminine Judgment

The other day a man friend and I were talking about a woman friend we have in common and he expressed some anxiety about her. I asked ‘what scares you?’, and the main thing was her tendency to be judgmental. First – he wasn’t disparaging her, it was simply that he’s observed that quality in… Continue Reading

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What 5 Things We Can Learn from Amanda Fucking Palmer?

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text] [ted id=1682] [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text] Amanda ‘Fucking’ Palmer is a musician, singer, songwriter, author, TED speaker, and industry disruptor.  The genius in her work and being resonates deeply with the Active Feminine, and can teach us a lot about the deeper intentionality behind the gestures, and what is possible when we consciously nurture our ActivFem… Continue Reading

2 Responses to What 5 Things We Can Learn from Amanda Fucking Palmer?

  1. One way is to change the paradigm. If we move from a paradigm of not enough, which most of us have grown up in, to one of I am enough, and then to I have enough, and finally to we are enough, and we have enough, we have completely turned the current way of thinking most loudly expressed by Trump as he bellows about “let’s make American great again,” on its head. People rip things off because at a very basic level, they feel like they don’t have enough and below that that they are not enough. So….. here’s something we can do. Bring love to each situation, based first on love for ourself and a belief that I am enough, and then extend it to others, with the belief that they are enough and that we all have enough.

  2. So, I just watched this again & was struck at the end by her saying the question is not ‘how do we MAKE people pay for music – but how do we LET people pay for music.’ And I thought – can we adapt that to ‘the question is not how do we MAKE people accept & make room for our scary difference?, but how do we LET people accept and make room for our scary difference?’
    Which is just a micro-version of the question not ‘how do we MAKE social change happen, but how do we LET social change happen?

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