2018: the year of change in the battle of Pussy vs. the Patriarchy.

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The first time I ever made a vision board it worked like a crystal ball.

I diligently pasted images of what I wanted onto a piece of cardboard and those images became my life. Was it just the power of intention? Or was it more the power of ideas whose time had come?

Like most vision boards, mine was a combination of images and words. Pictures included typical tropical landscapes, yoga poses, and healthy foods. As cliché as all of this sounds, almost every desire I “put out there,” became reality. I combined my passions for yoga and teaching English, nailed full Natarajasana, or dancer pose, and got engaged to my now husband.

Fast-forward a year and our nation chooses a mysogynist for president, over a woman, and I am living majorly unaffected by it all in Costa Rica. As a new year begins, I am more in tune with what’s happening globally to women and I’m making a new vision board.

Inwardly, I find myself quietly engaging in battle, no longer satisfied to be still and silent—desiring change for more than just myself.

What had emerged from my “destiny manifest” experience was a desire for more, a thread of connection I see on the faces of many women I meet. I had worked hard to achieve my projections. I wanted love, so I became it. I wanted my job and service work to merge, so they did. I found myself existing quietly, dropping into the rhythms of rural living and dropping out of awareness of most current events.

But out of the stillness of the jungle, naturally, questions began to arise. Was my work as a teacher really important? Was the lack of earnings at my non-profit job a reflection of my intelligence? Was it wrong to want more than the good life I had created?

It seems I was not the only one asking questions. In a year when the global patriarchal pots reached a boiling point, so many women decided that their identity was worth the risk of the pot tipping over. Sisters in arms stood up against sexual harassment and cried, “Me too,” and “No more!”

We as women were left with questions:

What does it mean to resist a system of sexism?
Can our anger be harnessed into the fire of transformation?
Can we value ourselves beyond sex and age?
Can we hold the risk of self-love in a way that creates a sense of greater possibility?
What does matriarchy look like now?

For me, the year of stillness and reflection created a desire for something greater in my life: sustainability and connection to global female resistance. I had never been able to accomplish financial sustainability as a public school teacher, program facilitator, or volunteer coordinator. My new vision now included being valued financially for my work, which for myself and so many others is a true revolution.

This revolution of self-worth and value beyond external motivation began to lead me down a more internal road.

In a world where we are all searching for love and longing to be seen, the secret just might be to tune in and slow down. When we slow down, we can clearly see that for so long our self-worth and identity have been tied up with our sex and how others see us.

As women, being caretakers, both personally and professionally, and not getting paid much seem acceptable because this is the norm. Why should we expect any more than what we are given? I had come to see my own work as marginally unimportant or common place. Didn’t I realize there is no real value in these “public service” positions? When I began to value myself more fully and embody my roles as teacher and facilitator, I became frustrated with my situation.

I also found myself shocked and angry about what was happening to women on a global level. My own president being one of the worst offenders—bringing a legacy of “grabbing pussy” with him before he even set foot in the Oval Office.

My own disgust, coupled with that of women worldwide, only created more questions:

Can we really confront sexist comments and wage inequality and not just bitch about it?
Can we, on a societal level, break the cycle surrounding the value in care taking?
Can power and strength also be associated with grace and nurturing—without being seen as a weakness?

These questions, and more, sit on the tip of my tongue without tangible answers. One positive result that seems to have risen from the ashes of our bruised pride is our resistance. What has surfaced out of shame is our willingness to mobilize, to get angry, to light a fire under our collective consciousness strong enough to manifest real change.

Are we motivated enough as a whole to change ourselves first, at the individual level?
Can we, as women, take a deeper glance at how we identify with self-worth and confidence in our own lives before expecting to see a change on a global level?
Can we move beyond buzzwords and mobilize from within?

Following a year of so many questions, can we make 2018 the year that answers?

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Author: Meghan Tolhurst
Image: Author’s own
Editor: Nicole Cameron
Copy Editor: Catherine Monkman
Social Editor: Emily Bartran

 

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Meghan Tolhurst

Meghan Tolhurst  is an educator and explorer. She is currently the program facilitator for Girls for Success, an ESL and girls empowerment program in the rural jungle area of Limón, Costa Rica. Her passions include holistic-wellness, salty salvation, and deep-dark chocolate. Connect with her on Instagram, her yoga website, or the official website for her work with Niñas para el Exíto.

 

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