Recently, I wrapped up facilitating a 5 day digital womxns retreat where we held the collective intention of stepping into the “new paradigm”. A paradigm born of this collective order to stop what we are doing and go inward. The great universal quarantine. The great universal pause button. We were suddenly being instructed to do the exact opposite of all the subconscious cultural messaging we are normally inundated by. The messaging we have been absorbing since we were born: DO more, look like this, HAVE these items, go go go, and then maybe, if you have time, you can consider BE-ing. A paradigm where our worth is measured by our productivity and palatability. As femmes, the question has been: how easy are you to swallow? How good are you at disowning your divine femme except when we want to consume your body? How good are you at ignoring the signals and messages of your body so that you can produce like a good man? Suddenly, we are being forced to slow down and reckon with who we ARE without the bolstering of the systems in which we glean our worth. In other words: who ARE you if you're not your job, your friends, your income, your productivity? And of course people are struggling with these questions. We are collectively being thrust into a paradigm of be-ing that is completely foreign to us and our learned instincts. It is the opposite of the messaging of the patriarchy. Within this struggle lies a potent opportunity for growth and real change. A new paradigm of re-feminizing our personal power.
One of the biggest themes I noticed emerging from the digital retreat was the idea of stepping into personal power. Our worthiness, our agency, our presence in our bodies and in the world. However, each time a femme discussed her power, she named it in the context of things external to her. Her power was somewhere “out there” and could only be accessed if she could DO the things she deemed as powerful. The general consensus seemed to be that power looked a certain way and was something to be gained and earned, not something inherently inside of ourselves. The womxn were feeling disconnected from their power because they believed that it was something they had to attain by being some other version of themselves that was quite ridgid.
One night, after having noticed this trend, I shared with the womxn in the retreat: “ I am seeing a pattern within our group, and it is quite problematic”. I shared with the group that we were all striving for something that we recognized as outside of ourselves. That we were collectively holding the belief that we could only be in our power if we fit a very strict set of criteria that aligned with the rugged individualism and perfectionism of our society. The messaging that “you are only worthy and good enough if you are perfect”. With this realization, the medicine hit. Just like we are being asked to reconsider who we are individually and collectively without many of the hallmarks of our societal structure, we are also being asked to reconsider our beliefs about personal power and what being in it looks like. No longer should we tell ourselves and each other that power is external to us. In this new paradigm, power is something we already are, something we already have. Instead of reaching externally for our personal power, the work is to RE-DISCOVER and RE-FEMINIZE it. Stepping into this power is no longer something to strive and suffer towards. In this new paradigm, it is a moment-by-moment decision to choose ourselves. To rest into our being and trusting that our essence is enough. This choice we have is one that is an affront to our patriarchal, capitalist structures. We are refusing the image we have been sold and we are claiming our own sovereignty. We are revolutionizing our pursuit of power. We are already enough. We have always been enough.
What if being in your pleasure meant being in your power? Think of all the things we do in the name of “claiming our power” that don't actually FEEL good. Suddenly, all of those pursuits are the things that take us OUT of our power. Instead of defining being in our power as DOING things that don't feel intuitive, BEING in our power means coming back to our pleasure and prioritizing things that make us feel good RIGHT NOW.
WHAT DOES BEING IN YOUR PLEASURE MEAN TO YOU?
IF BEING IN YOUR PLEASURE MEANT BEING IN YOUR POWER, HOW WOULD THAT SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE?
What if being in your worthiness meant being in your power? Suddenly, the beliefs that we are only worthy if we are productive would be the very thing taking us OUT of our power.
WHAT DOES IT FEEL LIKE TO BE IN YOUR WORTHINESS?
IF BEING IN YOUR WORTHINESS MEANT BEING IN YOUR POWER, HOW WOULD THAT SHIFT YOUR PERSPECTIVE?
What if being in your body meant being in your power? Suddenly, we would be able to recognize that behaviors and beliefs that take us out of our bodies or make our bodies the enemy are detrimental to our power. Shrinking our bodies and taking up as little space as possible would be directly counterintuitive to accessing our power.
WHAT DOES YOUR BODY FEEL LIKE RIGHT NOW?
WHAT BEHAVIORS, BELIEFS AND PATTERNS TAKE YOU OUT OF YOUR BODY?
OLD PARADIGM: My power lies outside of me and I must struggle and push in order to claim it. My power is defined by my external progress and the things I attain. I know I am in my power based on how much I have and how much external praise I receive. My power is something I need to work for and I am not there yet.
NEW PARADIGM: My power lies inside of me and all I must do to access it is simply BE. My power is defined by my internal progress and how connected to myself I am. I know I am in my power based on how embodied I am and how dropped in I feel with myself. My power is something that is inherently inside of me and I can tap into it at any time. I access my power now.
I want you to begin catching yourself when you feel yourself giving away your power. When you begin future-tripping in a way that says “I will be worthy WHEN I…”, “I will be powerful if I…”. Use that as a signal that you need to tap into the power you hold right in this very moment. Feel your body, your fierceness, take up space in your sensuality, use your voice, affirm yourself, write yourself love letters, share your gifts. Being in our power starting RIGHT NOW is a radical act. It disempowers capitalist structures that thrive on our insecurity. It re-centers our own authority and sovereignty. It sets us free. Now go forward and claim your power.