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Our culture is in the midst of a profound rite of passage. We are being invited by the forces of evolution themselves to grow the consciousness and leadership capacities that will allow us to tackle the challenges that we created using our current consciousness. And I believe that women have a very key role to play in these transformative times. We are literally giving birth to the next level of our wholeness as a species.

I had the opportunity recently to sit down with licensed therapist and empowerment coach, Tamara Powell, on her Sacred Psychology podcast to discuss this new phase of consciousness and the Feminine and Masculine shadows that are holding women’s true wisdom, love and power hostage.

In the podcast, Tamara reads this quote from the book I co-authored:

We had both grown up as ‘father’s daughters’ in the ‘60s and ‘70s, eschewing the domestic lives and roles to which our mothers had been unwillingly constrained, and admiring the achievement and power our fathers experienced. Yet we weren’t satisfied copying our fathers either. The central inquiry that remained constant for each of us, while the other things changed, was this: How can I be all of myself? How do I resolve a deep inner tension between two different parts of myself—one that is more Masculine, able to achieve, focus, create order, control, and powerfully bring things into form in the world, and the other part that is more Feminine—receiving, wild-spirited, intuitive, embodied, creative, loves the mystery, and speaks the language of the heart? And how can I be of most service to the world without losing myself?

— The Way of the Mysterial Woman

The central inquiry above, that led me into my own research, was shared by many other women. It speaks to coming to the limits of an outdated way of being that is simply not a match for the complexity of these times. We need to upgrade not just what we know, but how we know what we know. The perspective from which we conceive reality. Our way of being. And from that way of being allow new ways of doing to arise.

It will require a dedicated process to move through this upgrading of our ‘inner operating systems’. We can think of it as the iceberg theory of consciousness – two-thirds of who we are is actually under the surface of awareness – in the unconscious. Yet, like with an iceberg, it’s what’s under the water that actually determines the direction and speed the iceberg moves.

It is not sufficient to simply stick some words of affirmation on the mirror and hope for the best. We will need to dive under the surface of the water and work with the unconcious shadows that are holding us back. After 12 years of research we discovered 5 limiting beliefs that were deeply encoded down in the depths of women around the world. They are the epigenetic inheritance after 5,000 years in a hypermasculine paradigm of reality. It is our time now to transform these old codes into the liberating beliefs that can profoundly up-level how we live, love and lead.  

In the podcast we discuss the 5 archetypes of the Mysterial Sequence, and the limiting and liberating beliefs associated with each:

  • The Mother (Static Yin energy) – “I am not enough” becomes “I am enough just as I am”
  • The Hero (Dynamic Yang energy) – “I have to do to be of value” becomes “I am empowered to do what is mine to do”
  • The Father (Static Yang energy) – “I do not belong” becomes “I am at home in myself and naturally belong”
  • The Maiden (Dynamic Yin energy) – “I am not free to express myself fully” becomes “I am free to express my true nature”
  • The Crone (synthesis) – “I don’t have enough knowledge, connections, or influence” becomes “I am an evolving source of wisdom, love and power”

For more on these archetypes and what it means to be a woman on the edge of evolution, listen to my interview with Tamara:

This video offers 3 rituals that can change your life – quite literally. How we enter our day has everything to do with how we experience it and what we manifest. Yet far too often we don’t take the time for tuning the instrument of our being so that it is able to play the song of our hearts. Instead we roll out of bed, turn on our phones and tune into a world of information and demand all before we have any connection to ourselves. But these 3 core rituals will shift us into more present and embodied beings…

Why does it matter, how we start our days?
We are at a pivotal time in culture where our leadership capacities are simply not a match for the complexity of these times. We need to turn on the developmental tap again, and replace the inner operating system, so we can really show up in powerful, wise and loving ways that may not have ever been seen before, but are actually emerging through the pressure of the times.

In doing the research for our book The Way of the Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How you Live, Love and Lead, we found five studies that agreed on the key leadership capacities needed for today’s complex world, and they aligned with our own discoveries:

  • adaptability
  • creativity
  • ease with ambiguity and uncertainty (mystery)
  • network thinking
  • building strategic alliances
  • ability to hold paradox
  • sensing what is critical and unspoken (intuitive knowing)

To meet and overcome the challenges on the planet today, we will need these complex adaptive capacities. We will need mental, emotional, somatic and spiritual intelligences. And we will need all of our Feminine and Masculine capacities woven together to create a whole new inner operating system that can express these new capacities.

“We can’t solve the problems of today with the same kind of thinking we used to create them yesterday.” – Einstein

How is this going to happen? If we’re in the habit of rolling out of bed to check our phones, social profiles, the news… we’re already reactive and often triggered as we head into our days. We’re often taking care of others, feeling rushed, irritated and anxious, bouncing from one thing to the next and not surprisingly we never really find the ‘sweet spot’ of our day. We assume it was ‘just a bad day’ and look forward to getting it over with. Then we repeat the same thing the next day and are surprised that it is just more of the same.

Our morning rituals create a reliable reality for better or for worse. You likely know the saying ‘what fires together wires together’. Quite simply our past becomes our future. If we think the same thoughts and have the same feelings, then we create the same reality. Energy follows intention… so if we are mindful about how we enter our days we can potentially set the template for things to unfold very differently.

The Metaphor of a Seed

Inspired by biomimicry, let’s look at the spring season, when a seed is sprouting. Within the seed is the potentiality for the flower. To begin with the seed is safe, secure and hidden, tucked in the earth. The seed can survive for millennia like this, but once it sprouts it becomes more fragile. If the conditions are right, the seed drops its secure, tough outer shell and yields to the potentiality within. In the fragile moment it begins to move, the fight start. There is the strong life force within that wants to express itself in a flower and there are all the other conditions in the environment that will resist that happening.

Like the flower within the seed, a new ‘species’ of woman is in potentiality, seeking to come forward and it’s a fragile moment. We have stayed in seed form for millennia, but something is happening now that wants this seed to sprout and to grow. A kind of daring, audacity and the right enabling conditions are needed if our innate Mysterial Potential is going to make it out into expression.

These 3 morning rituals help to create the environment that can encourage and support your own innate potential to grow.

They make it possible for you to bring more of yourself into your day and shape it in a way that is more satisfying, sustainable and fulfilling.

1. Morning Pages – Journal Practice

Women tend to censor themselves. We need access to what we really sense in our bodies, feel in our emotions and think in our minds. We need to know the current reality. Often we do not want to know what we know, because we feel we would have to change things. It is vital to begin with what is so, and to become fierce with reality. This is the place from which change is possible. I explain more about this practice in the video above and in our book.

2. Meditation

Practicing mindfulness involves calming and quieting the mind. There are ancient Buddhist texts that say this practice will significantly change perception of self, others and the world, and to shift our ability to be more present in the midst of difficulty… and now our scientific studies are confirming it! We learn in mindfulness practice both how to quiet the busy chatter of the mind, and also that we are not that thought stream that we are observing. The more we can rest in the place of our essence, the more likely that becomes the place from which we create our day, interact with our children, partners, colleagues and more. We become a resonant, radiant presence that inspires others. Simple mindful meditation can also help us recognize the subtle limiting beliefs that are directing our behavior. The helpful app Insight Timer may be supportive of your practice.

3. Visualizing Your Conscious Intention

After your time in meditation you then take a few minutes to energize an image of yourself expressing your full authentic essence. This sets you up to create a day more aligned with your future self. In this practice you create a positive intention and activate your future self by engaging all of your senses as you work with the intention. Clarify your desire and then allow yourself to see it, feel it, taste it, touch it. Your statement needs to be relatively short and easy to remember, ideally using an “I am…” format. There are examples in our book. Many sports teams are utilizing this tool to envision the achievement of desired results. A team of Harvard Researchers studied two groups of volunteers who had never played the piano. One half practiced a simple 5-finger exercise for 2 hours each day over 5 days. The remaining half did the same but only in their imagination – not on an actual piano. Before and after brain scans showed that both groups created a dramatic number of new neural circuits in the region of the brain that controls finger movements.

These 3 practices and many more, are described in our book The Way of the Mysterial Woman: Upgrading How You Live, Love and Lead. With these practices as your morning ritual, you have the possiblity of creating a day  that is sourced from your deeper feminine power, and ripples out through your relationships and into the world.

Perhaps like many students over the years you are wondering… “How will I ever do these? I am already too busy!” Let me offer a student’s comment who also asked this question as a busy corporate executive with a demanding life. After having practiced these rituals now for over a year she wrote, “It is no longer ‘a must do’ to start my day with journaling and meditation. It is a desire! This is such a change… such a gift. I am deeply grateful.”

If you’re interested in the installation of such practices, and tuning your day in this way, I encourage you to welcome discomfort initially. You will have to go against the old hard wiring, the old conditioned self, in order to open to a new self and new way of being. This is where it is of great advantage to have a container of loving accountability, a community of sisters to support you through the discomfort of the early stages, into when it becomes a pleasure. Join our Facebook group of budding Mysterials to open to the possibility of an amazing container. If you sense it is your time to do the accelerated work, please explore our programs.

My work includes poetry as an evocative language of the Mysterial, which brings together the feminine and masculine so beautifully. To inspire you further, I offer a poem from Dawna Markova:

I will not die an unlived life.
I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
more accessible,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance;
to live so that which came to me as a seed
goes to the next as a blossom
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.

In celebration of our courage to live our lives fully, freely expressing our deepest innate potentiality that indeed the world is most hungry for.

In celebration of International Women’s Day I am pleased to share a video conversation inspired by Mysterial Faculty member Nota Lucas. In the video, we peer through the Mysterial lens at current events like #MeToo, women’s marches, the US Presidency and more.

This larger context of the evolutionary arc offers a shift from confusion into clarity, from apathy into action and from anger into trust.

With the Mysterial perspective, we can more clearly see what is at stake, and make meaning out of the events of the time. Indeed, the current conditions are not just about grave mistakes and destructive endings – there is great possibility for birthing new culture and paradigms.

There are many current challenges on the planet which show how painful it can be to bring a new leadership paradigm into the culture. How can we breath new life into a more open way of leading? What is the way to get a new wise, loving and powerful Feminine voice out there?

We are all in the midst of a profound rite of passage now. There is a strong collective sense of wanting to burst out of an old way of being. In the conversation, I encourage listeners to use the chaos and fire of these times to forge a new consciousness, and a new future which we cannot yet see from inside the present times.

Highlights in this conversation include:

  • History of International Women’s Day
  • 7 Waves of Consciousness and Culture – putting our present and future in context with our past
  • Feminine and masculine shadows, as well as healthy expressions (see list below)
  • #MeToo movement and the US Presidency from a Mysterial lens
  • What to remember when enraged or overwhelmed by the news
  • How to hold a positive vision of a new world, despite the current struggle and destruction
  • 3 self-care practices while we are participating in the larger birth of a new consciousness 

A section of this talk covers the Mysterial Archetypes, as a broader context for many of the current events of our time:

  • Mother Archetype shadows: Devourer and Neglector
  • Hero Archetype shadows: Dominator and Capitulator
  • Father Archetype shadows: Judge and Outsider
  • Maiden Archetype shadows: Bohemian and Puritan
  • Crone Archetype shadows: Hag and Denier

To close our conversation, I shared the inspiring poem:

It Is I Who Must Begin

by Vaclav Havel:

It is I who must begin.
Once I begin, once I try –
here and now,
right where I am,
not excusing myself
by saying things
would be easier elsewhere,
without grand speeches and
ostentatious gestures,
but all the more persistently
– to live in harmony
with the “voice of Being,” as I
understand it within myself
– as soon as I begin that,
I suddenly discover,
to my surprise, that
I am neither the only one,
nor the first,
nor the most important one
to have set out
upon that road.
Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost

I encourage you to be kind to your ‘humanness’. You are here as a wise, loving and powerful Mysterial Womanwilling to step forward in the world to make your contribution… and it is not easy. Find the resonant communities where you can take off your armor and be loved and held. Remember that you are not alone.

To participate in the Mysterial conversation and enhance your ability to be a greater catalytic agent of transformation, join our Facebook group here.