The Dalai Lama once famously said “The world will be saved by the Western Woman”.
This usually provokes one of two responses in women.
1. Holy Crap…that means me. Now I have to do something. But what? I’m not ready. I’m certainly not capable. And it’s far too difficult.
2. Does my ego look big in this world saving gig? Because if I’m going to take part I want a starring role – with credits and a trailer. I don’t want to be assigned some menial task like “being kind to my neighbour”.
Herein lies the dilemma. Traditionally, female values mean love, compassion and nurturing. The capacity to hold something until it’s ready to emerge (whether that’s a child or an idea that isn’t fully formed yet).
But in our rush to evolve, we glorified the masculine traits of competition, achievement and expansion (whether that’s of “stuff”‘or status).
This has led to some strange power plays.
The Go Getter – The “I’m more of a man than you’ll ever be” female. Margaret Thatcher was an early pioneer of this model of power. Getting into the boy’s club can be such heady wine that it messes with the inner guidance system.
The Manipulator – “If you think aggression is damaging, try passive aggression”. This is a hideous blueprint for power, but an obvious side effect of generations of female children who were forced to be “nice” when they felt anything but…
The Martyr – The last ditch attempt. “I have one thing left, the power to make you feel guilty… and it is enough!” This may be a female caricature, but let’s not forget the many generations of women who were burnt at the stake when they decided to have an opinion on the world.
The Fey/Winsome – “If I float around in this Goddess demeanor dispensing grace and aphorisms, a knight will rescue me. Oh it’s the 21st century… I mean the universe will take care of me”.
It’s time for a reality check.
All this stuff is still alive and kicking in the collective psyche. If we want female power to change the world, these early programs need some upgrades.
We are living at a really interesting time in human evolution. The world may be facing its biggest challenges to date, but we have never been better equipped for the task – if we join up and get a bit more focussed.
So what (collectively) are we currently obsessed with?
Kristin Stewart’s affair with Liberty Ross’s husband!
First there was the fairy tale… Snow White (Fey/winsome) condemned to death by stepmother Queen (Go getter) for being too beautiful and threatening her power. It happens – Margaret Thatcher didn’t let any women into her cabinet either.
Then there was the movie… Kristen Stewart/Snow White (transforms from Fey/winsome to Go getting Warrior and comes back to kill the Queen). Film makers are now trying to get with the zeitgeist – female power… yay!
Then there was the drama… Kristen Stewart (Manipulator) betrays boyfriend (Knight) and Liberty (Earth mother) by stealing her husband (King).
And present day…Kristen Stewart (Martyr) now confined to tower and about to be torched by furious Twilight angry mob).
Meanwhile the world is going to hell in a hand basket.
Women (that’s us) need to get our shit together PDQ if the Dalai Lama is going to see any meaningful change in this lifetime.
What would it take for us to disentangle ourselves from our addiction to old archetypal forces and channel this energy into something a bit more real?! If we could birth and nurture some new archetypes, we would have different stories to tell.
These aren’t the old archetypes with a “twist.”
Sorry Disney, but giving the princess superlative archery skills and a bad attitude, doesn’t raise the bar, it just creates a descent into another cliche.
Sorry Spice Girls, but inspiring pre-pubescent girls to prance and preen in a parody of sexuality didn’t promote ‘girl power’, it sanctioned pedophilia.
Facebook is awash with teenage girls in various states of undress posing like porn stars, just as town centres are inundated with girls who seem to think self empowerment means the ability to out-drink, out-swear and out-badly behave boys.
But what drives all this fascination with counterfeit power?
The need for love and approval, coupled with a lack of discipline and a fear of real power.
Girls need the parenting skills of a new archetype – the Divine Feminine.
The Divine Feminine would teach the containment of power.
This is a very different to the expression of power.
Our observation of the expression of other peoples’ power can cause us to feel jealous (if we like their expression). Or it can make us judgemental (if we don’t like it). We can become addicted to the power of others (the painful bit of being in love). And we can negotiate our own power in exchange for it (I’ll gladly give you all my power if you look after me from now on).
But the reason we sell, negotiate, give away or disown our power has nothing to do with other people or other circumstances, it’s down to our inability to CONTAIN it.
And the feminine is all about containing something until it’s ready to emerge… until it’s ready to be born.
On the outside of course it looks like nothing is going on. But on the inside, it’s all going on!
Imagine if we all had this capacity. We wouldn’t feel compelled to reach for the nearest goal in order to “look” productive – this just gives rise to a constant outpouring of mediocre stuff.
We wouldn’t feel the urge to say something, just to fill a gap in the conversation. This just promotes mindless reaction instead of meaningful response.
We wouldn’t need to show off to make our presence known. The external world would lose its lustre and the inner one – our crucible of creativity – would become more compelling.
The resulting outpouring of our fully nurtured creativity would change the world.
And the Dalai Lama could finally get some rest.