On the one hand, we are at our prime. We have maturity, experience; we know what we are about, and we’re pretty clear that things can’t continue the way they’ve been going.
In so many of our societies, there is a focus on being forever young, successful, and achievement oriented. We are supposed to be able to make it on our own, and to look like we are in control. We are told we should be "more", leaving us frustrated, despairing or resigned that we're not measuring up. Or we try to do it all and feel like Superwoman is killing us. We want to bring out that amazing potential within us, but we can feel stuck or plateaued.
We say we need direction and leadership, but how do we follow our own hearts? Brilliant women can feel sidelined or invisible. When a woman is no longer considered to be an object of desire, once our kids have left home, then we question our value. Or suddenly we enter the sandwich generation, trying to juggle caring for our children and at the same time for rapidly ageing parents. We find ourselves bypassed for receiving positions of power or see that the cost is too high. Our elders have been made into elderlies.
In this time of upheaval, with all the challenges of diversity and difference -- where people are having a hard time negotiating real and perceived boundaries --
So many of us are saying:
"I know I am called to be working at a new level. It's time for me to step up and be seen."
"I feel called to do something in the world."
"I want to talk about the things that really matter!"
"I'm longing to find the support of others and I don’t know how."
"Where are the others who can come into the larger conversations I really want to be having right now?"
"Who will meet me as I am and see me for who I can be in my power and brilliance?"
FEMININE ELDERSHIP RISING is an opportunity for women concerned about these things -- especially women over 50 -- to find their international tribe. It's a place to dig into some of the most important topics in our lives. Like fear and anger. Like grief, wounding and loss. Like love and purpose. Like eldership, stewardship and activism.
It’s time to grow new roots together, to find the sweet water and share it. It's time to become a feminine ecology of mother trees sharing information, strength, wisdom and power. It’s time to consider the soil you stand in and what you need to help you reach your potential.
We welcome all women who resonate with this calling.
When we become like a strong and beautiful grove of trees, mutually nourishing and supportive, we gift new life to each other and the planet. And she's calling to us now.
We've been listening deeply to our hearts and spirits and we've felt disturbed. It is a disturbance that calls for action. We see a world out of balance where old systems are shaking. We've noticed some people trying to get back to "business as usual" and others taking voice and moving into the streets.
All the time we've been asking ourselves about the role of the feminine and the journey to eldership. Isn't it time for the feminine to rise again in each of us? What would that look like? And what does it mean to take up feminine eldership? We decided to find out.
Our journey will follow the ancient and mythic path of Innana, the Sumerian goddess, as she descends to the Underworld to visit her sister. At each stage of the journey she is confronted with her own assumptions about power, privilege and rank, finally confronting the depths of her own shadow. She arises again strong, integrated and ready to take charge of her world with a new depth of power.
This is similar to the movement proposed by Theory U. As we move down the U we face and then let go of assumptions. At the bottom of the U we surrender to the not knowing and open to the voice of the future. Moving up the right side of the U we create prototypes and test them, moving into the next layer of creation and integration.
To do that, we need to uncover our own root systems and see what is there. Where are the old stories, shadows, wounds and traumas that stop us from being a powerful voice for life in this world? And once we work with what is hidden -- sometimes just below the surface -- how do we step in to the next chapter with strength and power?
Following that voice takes strength and commitment. It also takes courage, because often this voice speaks an inconvenient truth. We need to let go of things that might be precious. We need to say no to things that might feel important. We need to embrace things we might be afraid of. The voice calls for change.
Making the journey of a lifetime is so much easier in community. What we learn from living systems theory and quantum theory is that it takes a field to host a field. That means when we work together to witness, challenge and support each other, each of us has more strength, more clarity and more resources.
Feminine Eldership Rising begins on April 20, 2020.
We will have two calls each month on Zoom. In our first call, we will delve deeply into the topic of the month. You will receive content and work together with other women on the call. Our second call is designed to be a community campfire where we can come back and check in with each other about what we've uncovered and what's alive in us as a result.
Between these calls you will receive additional support materials, exercise prompts and bonus material. We have gathered a circle of Torchbearers to accompany us on this journey. Each of them is an elder in some aspect of this work. We will be inviting them to join us on our Campfire Calls. You will be able to listen to interviews with them, read their materials and discover new depths on each of our topics.
Don't worry if you are not available on the date of any call -- all the call recordings will be available to you in your own library. You will be able to listen to them or review at any time that suits you best.
What we can clearly see from nature is that ecologies which are diverse and mutually supportive are stronger and healthier. So we are inviting a truly international cohort of women. Women from every part of this earth who also feel called to connect around their power and purpose.
Do you know of another woman you'd like to support who might not have the resources to take part? Become part of our "Each ONE, reach ONE" project to sponsor another woman. Do you feel called to this circle but worried about how you can take part? Keep reading below to learn how you can apply to our "Each One, Reach One" project and join us.
Come into the circle, sit at the fire and meet your fellow travellers. In this opening session we open the map and share what our journey together will look like. We frame our work together using the ancient feminine myths combined with Theory U -- a modern take on this timeless journey into the unknown. We share and sharpen our personal intentions so we gain the most out of our collective voyage of discovery.
April 20: Welcoming circle
Each of us has been travelling a road that has brought us to this very moment. Sometimes we are confident and in charge and sometimes we realize we've been in the fog. That usually means our subconscious story has been leading, We wake up by the side of the road and wonder how we got there! It's time to take back the power of our individual and collective stories. We do this by using storytelling, deep listening and harvesting -- helping each other to make new sense and meaning that will form a foundation for our deeper work. You may never see yourself in the same light again.
May 4: Session 2 / May 18: Check in Circle
Each of us is a unique mix of the bright, shining gifts we bring and the challenges we hide in the shadows. Often we don't want others to see what we're hiding in the shadows, but important parts of us end up hiding there too. And if we never go into the dark, we miss the deep intuition that is a feminine superpower. Through heartfelt witnessing of each other, we practice telling the truth of what's really going on so that we can step into the balance of light and dark and reclaim our power.
June 1: Session 3 / June 15: Check in Circle
Over the centuries the feminine has been repressed, controlled and subdued again and again. Each of us holds this grief and wounding in our psyches and, for many of us, in our personal experience. We take a closer look at why we feel compelled to say "I'm fine" and keep carrying on, and what happens when we claim our woundings and work with our grief.
July 6: Session 4 / July 20: Check in Circle
Fear and anger are the hot potato topics of today. So much of what is going on is promoting fear because that makes us more controllable. At the same time, so many of us has been told to "tone it down", to not show our anger or rage. Or we "bypass" these strong emotions and try to appear strong and capable or always happy. What is certain, is that if we don't deal with the fear and anger we only hurt ourselves. Once you can learn to trust your emotions you can also trust your intuition.
August 3: Session 5 / August 17: Check in Circle
Nature shows us that death is part of life and yet many societies try hard to avoid death, fleeing instead into a focus on youth and beauty. Even our global economic system reflects this with its emphasis on unending growth. If we take back loss, dying and death as a necessary part of life, and even as a feminine capacity, we assist ourselves and other to flow gracefully with all life has to offer. We ask ourselves the most important questions: What needs to be released now? Who am I if I give up my old identity?
September 6: Session 6 / September 21: Check in Circle
What is love, truly? Our world has a strong focus on romantic love, but what qualities could we embody that could help us gain a fresh perspective on what love is? We look at how love be a force for connection, healing and change and how can we love ourselves enough to find true freedom.
October 5: Session 7 / October 19: Check in Circle
Sophia is the ancient name for the feminine energy of the divine and the name for wisdom. The Greek word philosophia, for example, means "the love of wisdom". We go looking for the feminine principle in the ancient sacred traditions and consider what it would mean to be her embodiment in the day-to-day world.
November 2: Session 8 / November 16: Check in Circle
It's time to have a conversation about feminine eldership and take a deeper look at the roles we want to play in our world. Aging is a time to learn to balance the natural inward turning of our energies with the call for wisdom, leadership and guidance in a world swimming in complexity and fragmentation. Who is the powerful woman elder and what if she is us?
December 7: Session 9 / December 21: Check in Circle
We come back to the fire together and take time to redefine and reclaim the concept of "activist" by taking a look at Feminine Activism and Story Activism. What actions will we commitment to taking to change our lives, work and world for the better? What stories do we need to stop or start telling? Where can we help to put the focus for a more generative future for everyone?
January 11: Session 10 / January 25: Check in Circle
The foundation for peace begins within. This inner work requires acceptance, forgiveness, renewal and the building of new practices for meeting and being in the world. Our closest relationships sometimes give us the strongest provocation for honing our skills for fierce love, strong earthing and peaceful presence. What does it take to reconcile across our perceived barriers and boundaries? We look at enhancing our practice of feminine power.
February 8: Session 11 / February 22: Check in Circle
Stewarding is a deep call for taking care of something that matters to you. It matters not how big or small it is, rather how conscious and thoughtful you can be in both saying "yes", but also in saying "no". So what is your call to stewardship? What are the projects, places and people who pull at your heart and call you into action? We roll up our sleeves and take a deeper look at eldership in practice and ask "What is mine to do?".
March 8: Session 12 / March 22: Check In Circle
We use this final circle to listen deeply to where our journey together has lead us and share our clarity about the action we want to take -- individually and collectively -- in changing the world.
April 5: Check out Circle
Choose Tree Spirit, Each ONE, Reach ONE or Grandmother Grove. Valid for single payment option only. Contact us for details.
We are inviting participating women to reach out to another woman to enable her to take part in FEMININE ELDERSHIP RISING. By choosing to be part of the "Each ONE, Reach ONE" Tribe you will help make it possible for another wonderful woman to take part in our journey together. We will connect you with a woman in another part of the world and you can step into this adventure together!
Our overall goal is to be a cohort of women circling the planet. If you're interested in being part of the programme as a sponsor, please choose the "Each ONE, Reach ONE" Tribe above.
If you feel called to join us but are constrained by finances, start a conversation with us by clicking the button below.
Mary Alice is a Story Activist, creating spaces where people can find the stories that take them to their most flourishing future. She supports people to grow the capacity to deeply listen, find they stories they want to live in (and live into!) and learn work with each other to bring them to life. Her art is in provoking us all to take back the power of our stories so we can make conscious choices.
She builds capacity in participatory practice all over the world as an international steward of the Art of Hosting. Through Story the Future, she is spreading the meme of Story Activism, supporting people to develop their skills and practice and engaging in leading edge conversations about the power and potential of story in and for our world.
She is the author of the upcoming book "365 Alive: Your Wake-up Call for Story & Life".
Chalotte is a mother of three, a grandmother and a widow. She is Danish and lives in a small village by the sea in Northern Sealand. She started out as a curious child wanting to be happy and through life she learned it all starts with the self. Her great life transitions have carved lines for the awakening the soul and have sharpened her focus on love and light as a driving force.
She has become a spiritual activist for the awakening of humanity into the era of peace and co-creation and that is reflected in her work as a teacher and founder of the Sophia Instituttet, where she delivers programs of transformation from Ego to Essence.
She is the author of ”Det handler om Kærlighed”, ("It’s About Love"), Magnolia Press 2009. As a yoga teacher and mindfulness instructor she integrates a holistic approach to life and leadership.
Amy is an online host who is passionate about the natural world and using the language of art to communicate our essential connectedness with all life. The goal of her work is to create “hospitable space” online – environments that “call to the mystery” and connect us to our bodies and spirits, as well as to the task at hand.
Amy’s passion for this work comes from a deep appreciation of the natural world and its power to provide the ground for transformation. She brings 40+ years of spiritual practice to her hosting presence, which is dedicated to bringing the transformative power of beauty and our relationship with nature into the online experience.