Sure, we all know women are the birthers and the nurturers, they may also represent our way out of the many crises we are currently facing in our world. Do I have to remind anyone that she has been excluded from significant societal influence since the industrial revolution? … and well beyond that.
Respect for the sacred feminine and divine mother is a huge topic which could easily get bogged down by perpetuating the battle of the sexes. On the level of personality, John Gray has made positive contributions to disarm that conflict with a recent book entitled: Why Mars and Venus Collide. Many other observers of our culture have weighed in on this topic, perhaps the best known is Riane Eisler, through her now classic “The Chalice and The Blade”. She provides an insightful analysis of the “dominator culture” vs. a “partnership culture”. Her work at the Center for Partnership Studies is on-going and well worth investigating.
Ultimately, it may come down to how we communicate – collaboratively in a circle, as women often do, or uni-directionally, as men often do. The “alpha male” speaks and the pack is commanded to listen…and follow.
The balance of masculine and feminine energy holds an important key to human survival.
I’m not alone in this opinion, not long ago at the Vancouver Peace Summit, the Dalai Lama thrilled the audience when he asserted that: “Western Women Will Save the World”.
Further, he called on all Western Women to come to the rescue of the world! Now, let’s trust that men are ready to work collaboratively and cooperatively. Can you get a better invitation than that? Is there anyone more gracious; The Dalai Lama loves to remind people that his religion is kindness? While we’re at it, the world could certainly use more kindness.
In my view, the harmonizing the world needs goes well beyond equilibrium between men and women; the internal balance of masculine and feminine energy within each of us is an essential element to these wonderfully transformational times.
As a recent headline in the Onion stated: “Can Mother Earth make it any more clear? She Wants Us to Leave”.
O.K. So here I am in Aspen at the ARE DAY conference – Day Two. To say this conference is dense, is an understatement, with more than 95 presenters it’s not easy to catch your breath, much less find the room in your brain to absorb all the phenomenal information that is being shared to save us from ourselves.
- The American Renewable Energy Day in Aspen
In the Antler Bar lobby of the Hotel Jerome, I posed a question to 3 Power Angels from Austin Texas. I asked them if they liked the title of my article; no surprise, they loved it. Of course, they said, as women, they are only part of the solution and they don’t want to carry the entire burden to clean up the mess we’re in.
Today, we were treated by a presentation from a long time Colorado friend, Heidi VanGenderen, now living in Washington D.C. She was introduced by former Governor Ritter who gave her an appropriate honoring for her work to establish renewable energy standards for the entire state of Colorado. I’m inspired to share her insights and wisdom. By no means does she want to accept the responsibility that I may be implying by the title of this article. Her current position is Director, National and Regional Outreach for the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE)
Heidi made it very clear the ideas she shared were not necessarily the opinion of her employer, always a wise disclaimer. I gained Heidi’s permission to simplify some of her points which were eloquently and skillfully presented.
She gave us a wonderful presentation that I want to share with you directly. She began by reminding all of us that the first shift we can make in our thinking is to recognize that the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Eco System (intentionally capitalized ) just as I intentionally always capitalize Earth and Nature.
Let’s set the context:
The Greek, ECOS – “ΟΙΚΟΣ” translates to HOME. ECOS serves as the root for the word economy and ecology. Through the ages we’ve turned things upside down and placed economics at the top of the pyramid; it would have been far wiser to place ecology at the top of the pyramid. After all, with no ecology, we have no economy. One day, as the Cree have suggested, when we damage our life support system beyond repair, we will realize we cannot eat money.
To repeat her assertion: “the economy is a wholly owned subsidiary of our eco system” – this is the turn around in our thinking that must occur , if we are to skillfully move beyond this perilous era in which we are all immersed.
As the New York Times OpEd page recently suggested,we are living in the Anthropocene.
Here we go, these are Heidi’s Top Ten Tips for a sustainable, healthy and prosperous future –
1) increase wonder and deepen our appreciation of Nature. Humans must renew their awareness of the gifts we’ve been given by the Earth. Frequent readers of my articles will recognize that I personally believe this is THE missing ingredient in the entire sustainability/green movement. I bow in deep gratitude to Heidi’s feminine wisdom by placing this “tip” first.
2)simplify and standardize – as the world fills with more and more people it is essential to simplify in virtually everything we do in business and our society. Transparent and straight forward commerce where an advanced degree isn’t necessary to decipher one’s utility bills. Twenty nine (29) states have widely variable renewable energy standards and the Federal Government continues to abdicate it’s responsibility to create a standardized energy policy. People everywhere support a transformation of our energy sources – everyone, save the oil, gas and coal industry executives and employees want to dump dirty sources in favor of clean and renewable sources.
3) revisit and rebalance the roles of government Here are some key actions the government can take – The purchasing power of the government asserts significant impact on our markets. As Heidi said, “these are our tax dollars” and citizens must voice our support to how those monies are spent. Government has true authority to get the price right… true costs of goods and services must be reflected in the price we pay for those goods and services. Part of the solution is to charge for “externatilities” if the economic and monetary system can’t reform the balance sheet practice of dismissing externalities with no costs associated with their harmful effects, then communities and governments must take action. Burning Carbon has a direct impact on the health of everyone. It took a while to admit that Cigarettes kill people, similarly, we now realize that burning carbon does the same. The “economy” and tax payers are burdened by billions of dollars spent on health care costs associated with pollution. The playing field must be level – we must establish fair exchange and completely revisit the wacky system of subsidies manipulated by lobbyists and legislators to protect industries that are not economically viable nor environmentally sound.
4) enact master limited partnerships – establish finance mechanisms that allow equal access to capital for all forms of energy production.
5) establish a federal renewable energy standard – One of Heidi’s Household Hints – “cut through the cacophony and Communicate!” Educate public opinion – Abraham Lincoln observed: “with public sentiment nothing can fail, without it, nothing can succeed.”
6) make more with Less – efficiency is a key component to the solution to our energy problems – this was Bucky Fuller’s favorite perspective regarding conservation – his phrase was “doing more with less” – In my opinion, we ought to consider “making less and living more”.
7) aim for equity – the Average CEO’s compensation since 1970 has increased by 400% while the average worker’s wage has declined by 9%. Something is wrong with this equation.
eight)* food and water for everyone before anything else. This truth is self evident. (*for some reason an 8 combined with ) creates a smiling face on wordpress – go figure?)
9) listen to one another – across the divide ( what a concept ) This relates to Heidi’s hint in point # 5. Discover new alliances – create a conservative economy based upon equity not greed – this is a shared core value that bridges the political and fiscal divide from conservatives to progressives.
10) take the longer view – allow an intelligent strategy to inform your tactics. We must envision a bold and sustainable future that can support more than cockroaches and Asian Carp. Otherwise, all other life forms will perish.
We are not fighting a battle for the planet; as we know the planet will take care of itself. We are fighting to improve the quality of life on this planet for everyone at the expense of no one.
Improve the quality of life for everyone, at the expense of no one…that is a phrase worth memorizing. This is consistent with a “do no harm” precautionary principle. If this isn’t a trans-partisan platform to stand upon and generate alignment, then we are all in more serious trouble than one could imagine.
She concluded her comments by thanking everyone for listening; but more importantly, she thanked all of us for PARTICIPATING.
As the next speaker began his comments, I pondered the final words from Heidi – “thanks for participating” – that’s what it’s going to take to change our direction. Each of us must step up and participate in nothing short of a revolution. I’m reminded of the proverb: “if we don’t change our direction, we’re likely to end up where we’re headed”.
I like to think of this process as evolving and awakening to an entirely new consciousness which leads to an entirely new way of being in the world. Honoring, embracing and surrendering to the principles of the sacred feminine provides a fundamental key to moving forward with grace and dignity. Many relate to revolutions as turning the status quo on it’s head. Others are threatened by the chaos and disruption revolutions cause, fearing the loss of all things familiar. Many feel revolutions simply replace one corrupt group of ruling elites with a carbon copy. One thing we know, change is inevitable and relentless.
As my faithful readers know, I like to end my posts with a song. Relax for the next three minutes and think about how you can become the change we want to see in the world. Enjoy listening to the passionate voice of a sensitive woman-activist-artist… and ask yourself, “how will I participate in a radical, yet peaceful turning of the wheel”?
Onward with Courage…