As writer Ben Okri states,
“Beware of the stories you read or tell, subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world”.
In last night’s Yin Yoga class, I used the occasion of St. Patrick’s Day as an opportunity to celebrate the wisdom and ways of being of our ancient Irish ancestors; those whose ways of living in communion with, and with reverence for the divine in nature were so brutally, tragically, and effectively repressed by the arrival of St. Patrick, and that story we know so well of his chasing the snakes (aka the divine feminine) out of Ireland.
We are aware of the intensity this last week has presented for women, and for the feminine. I specifically refer to the feminine as well as women, because while the crisis we are navigating is indeed creating immense suffering for women, it is born out of many centuries of disdain for, and repression of the feminine in all her forms.
This has affected men, and people of all genders too, because nature is a balance of the feminine and masculine, the Yin and the Yang.
Indeed, the repression of the feminine could be considered a likely root cause of the violence inflicted on women, on the Earth, and on all creatures, who walk it.
When we repress or reject one side of the equation, we by default cause injury to the other. We allow it to develop an unhealthy dominance, in the absence of the balance provided by its opposite.
I do not for one second wish to diminish the suffering and injustices that women, specifically, are victim to.
I have lived and experienced them personally. However, there is nothing new in my story, so I choose not to share it. We know it. We are all too familiar with it.
Depending on our own personal experiences, many, if not most, women go through life with varying degrees of trauma in our systems, every single day.
The change will not come about from further posturing, disembodied debate, or on-trend analysis that fades once again when the next newsworthy item takes its place.
This is the lived experience of over 50% of the population.
Moreover, given that the feminine being repressed does a huge disservice to 100% of the population, this is so much more than a ‘women’s issue’.
It is an issue for all of us who give a damn about the future wellbeing of our planet and people of all genders.
We need to dig deeper.
What I believe we desperately now need, is a NEW and improved story. A story that actually inspires us. Less focus on what we do not want, and more focus on what we DO.
As I read a few pieces last night on how our ancestors lived, loved, and worshipped each other and the Earth, it struck me with absolute clarity, that THESE are the stories it is time for us to read and tell.
These are the stories we would benefit from embedding in the ‘waters of our consciousness’ as Ben Oakley so beautifully phrases it.
The story of St. Patrick never really landed with me as a child. It didn’t strike me as inspiring, empowering, or as a story, I could relate to.
One of the important questions to ask yourself in hearing a story is; ‘How does this story make me feel?’.
The reason I stopped attending Mass at the age of 14 was due to how the stories I heard each Sunday made me feel.
As a woman these stories made me feel small, constricted, and uncomfortable. They also made me feel angry; angry that this is what the community that supposedly cared for my growth was feeding me, and confused that nobody else seemed to notice or care about the oppressive nature of these stories.
I couldn’t explain any of these feelings intellectually as a child or teenager, nor did I have the vast amount of information at my fingertips that I have today to do so.
When led by connection to what feels good versus what feels uncomfortable I have always made good decisions, and vice versa.
I believe it is time that we as a nation began to question and interrogate the stories we continue to tell ourselves, and our children.
Does the story of St. Patrick embed the values, level of consciousness, and vision we wish for our children to embody as they create our collective future?
Is it not a little lazy and disconnected for us to still be telling this story in the context of all that’s unfolding right now in our world?
As Bryan Delaney noted this day 7 years ago at the wonderfully inspiring Trailblazery ‘We need to talk about Ireland’ event;
“The story that inhabits us has an uncanny knack of manifesting itself in the world”.
I believe we can apply this simple piece of wisdom to so many of the stories that are today manifesting in our world.
Let’s start reading, telling, and re-embedding the stories of our ancient ancestors. Let’s start with this inner work, and see what starts to manifest when we invest our mental and emotional energy in the stories we DO wish to live.
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