Sunday, 3 January 2016

A New North Star

Sometimes I feel like I don't quite belong in this world and it perplexes me, I'm here but not here and that is very curious. What's wrong with me? I ask in the dead of the night, why can't I be happy like other people? The truth is that I'm not alone, nor am I that strange in this regard, there are quite a few people who don't feel like they fit in the world as it is now, and this is a feeling of change that is building across the world. In the words of Claire Zammit, 'In many ways we need to create structures for ourselves to be able to be ourselves. The structures don't yet exist in the world for us to give our gifts, to make a living in ways that are true to the new values that we are waking up.'

I was talking to a colleague the other day about our spiritual paths, technically they are very similar but I noticed that the language he used was very alienating to me, I felt cut off, left out of the equation. As someone who is trying to understand what I need from my path at the moment I need to explore this feeling. I often feel like I don't belong, that I am on the edge, missing out on the joke somehow. Maybe this experience holds some insight.

Structure. Control. Angular. Hard. Purpose driven. Contained. Perfection. Linear. Focused. These are all words of masculine power, I find they bring up sharp edges and discomfort in me. This is the paradigm of power in our time, someone else provides structure and definition, gives my life order - I start work when classes start and end when they end, there is a regimen. In some ways this structure is important - without structure there are no boundaries, where I end and you begin, where work ends and play begins. It makes me feel safe and protected, something I don't feel much of in this life. But it also constrains me, I am unable to listen - to myself, to nature, to joy. There is no room to play in these structures, no room for frivolity until all the proper work is done.

Emotional. Related. Flow. Surrender. Soft. Nurturing. Love driven. Chaotic. Wild. These are all feminine qualities, the places that speak to me more, the places I belong. I feel less like someone is constraining me and more like I have agency, here I rely on my intuition, on what my body tells me. I have a strong urge to relate to others, to care about them, I feel at home here, in a way that I don't within the more masculine view of power. Indeed, as Zammit points out, if you look up power in the dictionary, it is defined as to do, to act, to accomplish, force, command, control. She says, 'there is not really a word in the English lexicon that would begin to evoke what a feminine version of power might look like. The closest word I found is 'magic' which means to harness the forces of energy'.

Thinking about this has been very important for me, to validate the way I live my life. Many things have happened the last few years and I am low on reserves, being ill taught me that I must live in accordance with my intuition and my body but this is a lonely path in this part of the world and this validation from others serves as a lifeline: I'm not alone! And I'm not even that strange. I'm just oriented in a different power system, I just find value in other things. I believe that the current way of running things, that definition of power has been very important - it kept us all safe, it gave us clear goals. But I also believe that there are other things that are important now, the world is complex and nuanced and needs to be treated as such. Another form of power needs to enter the equation too, a new north star for us to orient ourselves by. What will I be doing in all this? I will try and live a magical life, a powerful life as I have been, to show other people that there is another way of being for all of us who don't fit into the world as it is now. Carving out that space is the beginning of building the structures for us to safely be ourselves. By really being ourselves, we change the world.

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