Personal Empowerment in Service to the Whole
We seek to plant seeds of more integrated lives, embodiment, acceptance, expression of whole human self, and hearth tending. Also seeds of authentic leadership, empowered activism, and passion-centered curiosity-driven engagement within personal life choices and community organizing.
As we explore personal empowerment in service to the whole, we use different practices and tools to connect, care for and empower each other. We step into authentic leadership and get clear on what we value and believe in to bring about change and impact. We discover how best we can tend to the heart of the Earth and ourselves through being in unconditional service to the whole with our own unique skills, perspective and passions that we offer.
“Being fully present to fear, to gratitude, to all that is — this is the practice of mutual belonging. As living members of the living body of Earth, we are grounded in that kind of belonging. Even when faced with cataclysmic changes, nothing can ever separate us from Earth. We are already home.”
– Joanna Macy
There are many examples of passion-centered and empowered women in leadership to serve the greater whole in many different areas of life.
Joanna Macy is Mother of The Work that Reconnects and Deep Ecology along with John Seed. Her work is aimed at helping transform despair and apathy into constructive, collaborative action.
She brings a new perspective on seeing the world as our larger living body. She introduces practices that move through four stages beginning with gratitude, moving to honoring our pain for the world, then seeing with fresh eyes and finally, going forth. These stages reflect the natural sequence common to psychological growth and spiritual transformation.
“When we dare to face the cruel social and ecological realities we have been accustomed to, courage is born and powers within us are liberated to reimagine and even, perhaps one day, rebuild a world.”
– Joanna Macy
Starhawk is also an author, activist, permaculture designer and teacher and a prominent voice in modern earth-based spirituality and ecofeminism. She has written 13 books, including The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess, and ecotopian novels including The Fifth Sacred Thing.
She encourages the connection to the Goddess through embracing the sacredness and connectivity of all of life. She encourages us to take magical and spiritual practices outdoors and to stay inward while engaging your senses with observing the natural world. And to bring your magical awareness into everyday acts to take responsibility for our impact on the planet. She teaches to create a regenerative lifestyle – from transforming waste into food, and getting your hands in the dirt.
“The Goddess does not rule the world; She is the world. Manifest in each of us, She can be known internally by every individual, in all her magnificent diversity.”
Finally, Brene Brown is a researcher and storyteller that studies courage, vulnerability, shame and empathy and is a leader in empowering others to show up as their authentic selves. Her newest book, Atlas to the Heart, explores what it means to find our way back to ourselves and each other and is a culmination of her 20 years of research.
Her perspective on storytelling means honoring the sacred nature of the story. We are entrusted as the listener with something valuable that she feels needs to be treated with respect and care. She feels we can be good stewards of stories we hear by being curious, affirming and believing people when they tell us what their experience was like.
“You either walk inside your story and own it, or you stand outside your story and hustle for your worthiness.” – Brene Brown
There are a variety of connection practices that bring us into deeper contact with ourselves and others. Some inter-relational practices including Authentic Relating and Restorative circles can hold us accountable with our own patterning and how that shows up in our relationships.
When we are held in compassionate and loving spaces, we can show up authentically and reflect on how other people are impacting us in our interactions with them. When we feel safe to open up our hearts and share in an uninhibited and authentic way, we can develop intimacy and healing on deeper levels within ourselves.
Some personal practices that can connect us deeper to ourselves include sit-spots, meditation, yoga, dance and journaling. A sit-spot can simply be your favorite place in nature that you visit on a daily or regular basis to cultivate awareness and receptivity as you expand your senses and study patterns of local plants, birds, trees, animals etc. This can be as short as a 5-10 min practice a day to widen your focus and attention to your environment and how you are interacting with the creatures around you. As you develop a relationship with the natural world, you strengthen your own relationship with yourself.
Yoga and meditation provide purifying practices that increase our body awareness and breath. We can connect deeper to our essence as spirit, and cultivate more space between thoughts and in our days for our sense of purpose and understanding of our own patterning can come to the surface. Through these practices, we can experience new found levels of joy, expansion, freedom and connection to a greater sense of Oneness.
Another way to connect to the body is through dance. Contact dance improv and ecstatic dance, including grief dance practices, can be a way to move through and express your joy, pain, connection with someone you love, or take time to be with the pain or joy coursing through your veins. These types of dances are open ended and have little structure to allow you to play and explore all that arises for you in the present moment.
Finally, journaling can be a way of getting clear on the ideas that your soul wants to bring to fruition. It can be a way to crystallize your visions, your emotions, and your thoughts so that you can move forward with more clarity and direction. It can be a creative outlet for you to express yourself through song lyrics, poems, or storyline that wants to come through.
Your journal can be used for a variety of different purposes. You could create a gratitude journal to cultivate more awareness of all the blessings in your life on a daily basis. Dream journaling can also be a great way to tap into your subconscious mind and look for themes that your soul is working through in a given period of time if you are gifted with remembering your dreams.
When we can show up for ourselves, we fill up our cups with rest, receptivity, empathy, joy, love, respect and compassion, so that we can allow that abundance overflow into our interactions with others and Mother Earth.