Tag Archives: everyday life

Mom-Centric Micro-Economy

by Tracee Sioux

Woe is me! What’s a mother to do in this world? With all of the economic disparity and the craptastic economy and the completely un-mom-friendly corporate culture that keeps us from our littles? Whether single or married, mothers are discriminated against and can’t seem to manage a work-life balance and score equality. This could destroy the family as we know it.

Meh. I call this the Mythology of Working Motherhood and frankly, I find it to be a complete load of crap.

With Anna Koclanes, a future momprenuer preparing to use her MBA to create a business that allows for fluidity between her home and business.

With Anna Koclanes, a future momprenuer preparing to use her MBA to create a business that allows for fluidity between her home and business.

Corporate America can be a less-than-desirable way for women to work and mother and many companies are inflexible and dole out benefits about as freely as the pre-saved Scrooge. But, a moms gotta do what a moms gotta do, right?

Wrong. Here’s what I’m seeing. I’m seeing a Mom-Centric Micro-Economy emerge across America and beyond. It’s run by mother entrepreneurs who got tired of begging corporations to institute better policies. So. They Quit. They abandoned their careers in the traditional workplace. What was acceptable as single women—long hours, evenings and weekends, only average pay and benefits—quickly became completely unacceptable when Mama hormones kicked in.

These are smart women. Brilliant and creative women. They didn’t want to zone out in front of Barnie forever. They want brain candy, they want to express themselves. They want to use the freaking masters degree their still paying for in their monthly student loan payment. And they want to be there after school to take their kid to swim practice.

Rejecting the Either/Or choice that the media-ized Mommy Wars present as inevitable, these women have begun to do something revolutionary. They are inventing a new way of working that is fluid within their family lives. They launch companies using their gifts and talents. They schedule their business activities around their family activities.

It was slow-going at first. A struggle to figure it out. Most difficult when the littles are still at home pulling at your yoga pants, demanding attention. Still, they push on. Sending the invoices, scheduling the appointments, shipping the products. Business grows. They hire other mothers, other momprenuers, who work at home, brilliantly keeping their overhead low while stimulating the momconomy.

This is the path to economic power for mothers. It’s a compelling business model, which rewards mothers economically, while allowing them to Mom it Up! Controlled by neither corporate America or the government, the only limits on the business potential lie within the Mom herself. With potential unlimited, the Momprenuer is gaining clout, prestige and influence. Soon her demands will drive the rest of the country as more and more mothers realize that to control one’s own destiny truly is liberation that leads to economic stability. Young women, already, are watching the generation before them and preparing to follow suit—gaining experience and planning ahead for their own business ownership before the babies come along.

Power Up Momprenuers! This is how we save the world!

_____________________________

Reproduced with permission from http://thegirlrevolution.com

Tracee Sioux is a Law of Attraction Coach at Authentic Power Living, helping entrepreneurs manifest magic and attract miracles so they can Live on Purpose. Sign up for her newsletter at www.authenticpowerliving.com to receive a free ebook, 5 Steps to Creating a Dream Board that Really Works, contact her at traceesioux@gmail.com.

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Filed under Momprenuers, mother, motherhood, tracee sioux, women's businesses

How Women hold Space for one another : Acknowledgment as an act of the Sacred

by Hollie B.

lunation.com.au

I give thanks to my dear Sister who agreed to my sharing of this story. I have chosen not to use her name. Because that’s not what’s important in this Story. So for now, she is called ‘this Woman’.

This is a Story about why I believe all Women benefit from sharing Story in a Red Tent. I don’t so much believe that every Woman needs to speak to share their Story in the Red Tent. But each Woman may find healing through Being present with shared Stories.

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I know this Woman who is employed in a place where She sees the absolute worst in human behaviour. Anything awful You can imagine, this Woman has probably seen it, heard of it, or been exposed to a story of it in some way. I’m not exaggerating, and I’m not trying to bring You into a yuk Space, I just want to paint a very clear picture of how different this Woman’s everyday life is compared to many of us.

She has an awesome partner. In this case, her partner is a man, but it is not his gender that is important. What I take from this story is that her husband is there for her in the sense that anything awful that she needs to download from work, she can share with him and she knows he can take it. He works there too.

Home life is good for this Woman. Her children have grown and they are doing their own thing. She celebrates their maturity, knowing that their Journey is their own. Anything that causes stress from work, gets talked about before coming home, and left on the road. In other words, she doesn’t bring it home with her. She has a relationship with her husband, that although has had pain and grief in the past, is healed and in an Awesome Space now. She’s done Circles for healing her menarche and healing her mother-issues and letting go of the past and… In other words, right now, even though there are things that bother her in her worklife, and she knows there will still be Life Work to do, yet she feels fairly sorted.

Is that to suggest that this Woman doesn’t need an Experience such as a Red Tent? Like, she’s fairly sorted so she doesn’t need to sit around with other Women to talk about ‘issues’. She’s got her husband afterall. If he’s so Awesome, why would she need to go along to a Red Tent? She’s already got understanding and a soundboard for whenever she does have an issue. She feels supported at home…

Well, recent experiences have taught me that actually yes, she does still need the Red Tent Experience. This is not something I’ve come to on my own by the way. This isn’t something I’m coming at from my place of advice and an ‘I know what You need attitude’. Actually, it comes straight from this Woman’s mouth.

But the reason might not be what you’re thinking.

This Woman, wants to Be witness to other Women’s stories. She understands that everyone needs a place to share – to vent – to speak – to let go – and everyone needs to feel heard in that.

This Woman does not believe that She has ‘no issues’. But she does feel that the ‘everyday’ things she is haunted with are not for the ears of anyone outside of her industry. It’s not about being selfish. It’s not about coming and hearing everyone else’s ‘stuff’ and not adding anything to the energy. Actually, it’s about finding the Right place (for her) to share her stories, and entering the Sacred Space so that it is held Sacred. For this Woman, she feels depth in being the Witness. She isn’t there to give advice, or story-compete (Oh Yes I’ve seen lots of that), nor is she in the Red Tent to suppress some sort of need to feel special by being different.

Put simply, this Woman finds depth in the Work of witnessing other Women’s stories. In the act of acknowledgement – as witness to other Women and where they are in the moment – she becomes a Sacred Keeper of Tradition and Compassion. When she has something to say, she does. But for the most part, She helps hold the Space. She sits listening, without judgement – accepting of the Story as it is. She nurtures Women who do need to share. And She is content to Be.

Recently a number of events played out in front of me that really anchored this understanding for me. I saw many aspects of this Story. I heard the words ‘I’m fine’ while watching the body language that said ‘don’t fucken push me cos I will break – and I don’t want to break right now!’ I felt the acceptance of this Space while watching other Women go on the finger pointing mission of trying to ‘help’ and offer advice. I saw the break down of safe and Sacred energy with that pushing. I felt the pain of this Woman in not feeling accepted for where she needed to Be with other Women. I felt the distrust from Women who held expectations about sharing. The next day I felt Truth and Realness pour from the heart of this Woman as we shared together how that happened and where she would have liked it to Be. And it was in that conversation that I got clear around one very important aspect of the Red Tent.

I understood already that Women need to speak. I understood already that for a long time Women have not been heard. I have also noticed often that there are times when Women just talk for the sake of it. I have noticed that even when You suggest as a facilitator that everyone can keep their opinions and advice to themselves, and just let a Woman Be in her Space, they just can’t help themselves giving advice and opinions and cutting People off. I have noticed that some Women have a need to agree and say ‘You’ll be right’ and ‘You’re strong’ and ‘You can do it’ in response to another Woman’s Story. And I’ve noticed that this is not only un-helpful, it’s fucking disrespectful.

Red Tent

My Red Tent and Women’s Spaces aren’t for feel good pep-talks. I facilitate Spaces for Women to Be. And to feel supported in that Being. In these Spaces it doesn’t matter who we are at home. What we do at work. What we have to do tomorrow. We just get to Be exactly as we are – in whatever Space – in that moment – without apologies. And we get to do it in a supported Space.

And what I became clear around, thanks to this Woman, is that I really want for the Red Tent Experiences that I facilitate for Women to feel the Power of sharing Stories, simply through Being Witness.

And then that got me thinking (it’s fairly on-the-go in my mind – when thinking is on, it’s really on until clarity is found). Although the Red Tent Experience happens in its own way, and Women share whatever they need in relation to that day, that moment; there’s still some things that some of us need to heal – and we don’t necessarily have a safe Space to do this in. Some of those ‘issues’ are older than ‘this moment and this day’, and we’re not necessarily sure how to bring them up. A ‘general’ Red Tent for sharing, although beauty-full and healing, may not always get to the deepest seat of what we need to heal.

It’s a bit daunting to bring up our miscarriages and our terminations and our divorce and how to raise our sons and daughters and our mental illness and our mother issues and our body image perceptions and… in a space full of Women who we have never met, or whom we only see every now and then. It’s particularly daunting to suddenly bring out the deep Stories of grief and loss that have been pushed down for a long time, or never given a Space. For example, it’s not easy to start talking about the abortion You never dealt with emotionally ten years ago, when the Woman next to You is talking about how she loves being a parent.

I always find it so deeply moving to hear stories from Women about things I’ve never experienced. Whether the Story is about joy or loss, it is the difference that I find mySelf inspired by. I feel honoured when a Woman shares something new to me. That is the journey of the Witness. It is quite beauty-full.

The essence of the Red Tent is the commonality of Being Woman. Always in the Story, even when we have not had the same experiences, it is the sharing that moves us. In one Woman’s Story of pain or hope or joy or loss, we find something of ourSelf. And we grow. That is True healing. That is how we fill our cup. Whether You are the Story-teller or the Witness. There is something for every Woman in the Red Tent.

And so, this leads us to the renewed, improved and fully awesome Red Tent Experience of 2013. We are diving deep. We are creating Space for Stories with intention. We are allowing room for Women to share and to respond authentically. We are opening a doorway for Women to Witness and find Truth around the Way we speak and respond. And we are Working with the Red Tent, to simply Be.

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Filed under "things we don't talk about", friendship, growing up, healing, Hollie B., international, memory, mother, place, red tent, red tent experience, ritual, sacred space, space, story

From Gender Resister to Red Tent Sister

By Christina Mellen

I came to the Red Tent through a circuitous route. If anyone could have told me twenty years ago in my college days that I would passionately participate in a group that celebrates the womb, that perilous territory hotly contested by both religion and politics, well, I would never have believed them.  I was too busy spiking my hair and enrolling in Women’s Studies classes, absorbing the falsely empowering doctrine that gender is simply a construct of society that we as a rational society would, in some unrealized future, evolve beyond.
Fast forward twenty years, and I am engaged in a conversation with a female friend a few years younger, but with the same preconceived notion. When I invited her to visit the Red Tent that had just begun meeting in her community, she responded “I don’t participate in gender-based groups.” She then shared a story about teaching children to knit in her art class. She said she won’t offer the class until just as many boys sign up as girls, and surprisingly the boys seem just as interested. She says she doesn’t see gender, and I feel torn.

The part of me still stubbornly clinging to the ideals of feminism-though I’m often told they are as outdated as my k.d. lang-styled bolo tie- wants to agree with her. However, soon after college, many of my feminist friends went on to get married and have children, heeding the calling of that anatomy that our philosophical musings about the nature of woman left out in the cold. I did not feel a great emotional or psychological need to procreate so I got along fine disowning this part of my embodied self, thanks to the modern miracle of the birth control pill.

Since then I have been married and divorced. I have explored women’s spirituality groups led by wise women in herb shops who seemed full of New Age joy but soon proved to be post-menopausal man-bashers. I found my own “Ya Ya sisterhood” of women writers and poets who worshiped the Goddess on seasonal holidays.  I’ve hollered, hooted and cried communally at “The Vagina Monologues.” But it wasn’t until a fellow Goddess worshiper at my Unitarian church begged me for several consecutive months to come to Red Tent that I started having something to look forward to once a month instead something to cyclically gripe about. Over the last two years of sharing space and stories, solace and soup, in community with women in various stages in their fertility cycle, my own silenced womb has begun to speak in its own voice and I have begun to listen.

At forty-one I am finally contemplating the place that nurturing has in my life now and may have in the future. An early identifier with the option not to have children, I am in a place of openness, honesty and consideration about this life choice. When I read the novel by Anita Diamante that holds the same title as this growing national movement, I was drawn to the womens’ sisterhood and strength and the way they maintained their sacred secret world, honoring the Goddess under the noses of the patriarchy. I longed for that closeness, that solidarity. I loved the sensuality of birth- among these experienced women, I imagined I would be less fearfully fear facing my own travail.

The reality of this growing force of mutual empowerment–connecting through our common experience and witnessing each other’s differences without judgment–surpassed the serene escape of fiction. At the Red Tent each month, we share and create our own story. We check our titles and egos, fears and fierceness, at the door, and enter into vulnerability and introspection together. Among the crimson tapestries and candlelight so lovingly and artfully arranged by familiar hands in acts of service and joy, we can finally lay down our arms, breathing a little more deeply. In that vulva cathedral, the weight and expectations of the world are far away.

And when we emerge each month self-renewed, our cups filled, we find we have more to give back to our jobs, family and loved ones. We find we are changing the world by finally asking the questions that academic and political feminism shied away from—defining ourselves as women not by our past or by the roles we refuse, but by who we are now and who we are becoming—a more compassionate and empowered society than our embattled grandmothers could ever have imagined.

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Miscarriage: The third time around. Such pain…

by Ellen DuBois on 09/04/11

Debbie says:

I went to the ER for bleeding on Thursday evening (8/1/11) only to be told I was miscarrying and there was nothing that could be done. They didn’t break it to me gently or build-up to telling me. They just blurted out I was miscarrying. I was so devastated that all I could do was cry and weep gut-wrenchingly. I went home and miscarried the next morning in my shower. I was devastated at what I saw and devastated that it is my THIRD miscarriage. I feel so torn apart and my emotions feel so erratic. I feel like I will never be able to carry a healthy pregnancy and I often wonder if my age is to blame. I am 39 and want a child so badly. I feel like my world is ending and I will never be able to recover. My husband doesn’t want to even think about trying anymore for kids and I am unsure of anything right now. This adds even more stress and devastation. I wish I could just run away from all this and it would not follow. How do I recover emotionally and mentally? I know the physical will heal eventually. I can’t stop crying and I can’t sleep. Everytime I step into the shower to bath, I relive/envision the miscarriage. Please help me, how do I bear this burden alone? No one around me understands and seems to think I should be getting over this quickly. How could they ever understand unless they have experienced what I have experienced or gone through what I have gone through?? Please help….please.

Dear Debbie,

I am so sorry for your losses all three of them. The pain you must be feeling is probably consuming to the point where you don’t know which way is up anymore. I’ve been there and I wish you didn’t have to walk this path.There’s so much going on right now. You’re grieving the loss of your babies and are afraid of never becoming a mother. It’s scary and sad, and when you don’t have anyone to talk to, it can feel extremely isolating.I wish there were some ‘magic’ words I could say to make things easier. Sadly, there are not. What I can offer you is my heart, my ear, my understanding and say to you I understand how much you loved all three of your babies and how each loss hurt very deeply. You need some healing time, and I know you’re aware you’ll heal physically. It’s the emotional part you’re having trouble with and I can understand why. You’re grieving another loss. It’s terrible and although it hurts, grief is something you go through before you begin to heal emotionally. It doesn’t mean you’ll forget your babies. It means you must grieve all three of your losses.As for you and your husband, I don’t know where to go with this. I feel he doesn’t want to see you hurt anymore, but comes off as just ‘not wanting to try’ again. Maybe he is trying to protect you from pain. But, I’m not therapist and think that if the time is right and he is with you on this, it may be a good idea to talk it out with a counselor to find out where you’re both at. Are you on the same page? While I’m not equipped to answer that question, a counselor would be. Just wanted to toss that idea your way for when/if the time is right.You lost your precious baby in the shower. I would have difficulty not remembering, too. If I were you, I’d be filled with the pain of losing my baby, of my miscarriage, every time I stepped in the shower.  I don’t know what your beliefs are, but I would ask the angels to help me and for the white light of the spirit to protect me every time I got in the shower. I’d ask to be helped, for the feeling of safety and for strength. If this feels right to you, or some variation of it, I gently suggest you give it a try. God and the angels have not let me down, but we all believe in different things and I’m just letting you know what I do when I am very frightened or struggling with something. Your miscarriage was VERY traumatic. If talking to  a counselor isn’t ‘right’ for you and your husband, it may be right for YOU. Please give it some thought. There will come a time when you’ll know whether it’s the road you should travel or not.

One thing I’ve found helps those who have lost their child to miscarriage is some form of closure. It could be planting a tree, (you could plant one for all three of your babies), or writing a letter to them, setting three balloons into the air in their memory. It may be much too soon for this, but I know after years with no closure, I finally felt some when I released a balloon into the air for my son and read him a letter. Time will gently tell you if and when it’s right for you. Just follow your heart.

Right now, I feel the most important thing is you and your healing. Also, taking things one moment at a time. What your living has many layers: Your grief, possibly facing not having a child (by birth), and healing on all levels from the three losses you’ve endured. That’s a full plate, Debbie. All you can do is your best.

One day, one moment at a time. I am here to listen, to offer what I can. It may not seem like much, but know you are heard, your loss is validated and you are cared for more than you know.

I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Please feel free to write any time.

Love and Light to you,
Ellen

For more information visit: http://www.miscarriagehelp.com/

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A Snap, then a Cackle and a Pop!

By Sharon Nesbit-Davis

I celebrated my fifth decade by performing a one-woman show entitled “Mime in Mental Pause.” I wasn’t there yet. But I was ready. Unrelenting pain, blood clots, and ruined panties were not fun, no matter how I adjusted my attitude. Sometimes the universe hears and is kind. Soon after my 50th birthday my periods diminished with barely a moan. I think it was the soy.

I do not regret being past child bearing age. I’m content to view it from afar…or close up when my daughter pops the babies out. I thought it would bother me to see her in pain, but it doesn’t. I might be slightly sadistic. Or just gloriously happy to have grandchildren. But not once did I wish to trade places.

With the perspective of a few years free of “Auntie Flow” there is something I miss. I miss the power of “PMS” (Pre Menstrual Sinfulness) I did not need to announce I had it. My husband was on the watch for it. There were times I cried easy and long and hard. When asked what was wrong my tongue jumped out and slapped him upside the head. Never mind what happened when he didn’t ask.

After I said we would all be dead in three days because I detected a shift in the earth’s orbit, so we didn’t need to renew the life insurance policy, my husband asked if my period was coming. I chastised his sexist remark and he apologized. Two days later I hid the tampon dispensers at the bottom of the trash. He caught me with a heating pad under the blanket. He’s a good man and never said “I told you so”, but he isn’t perfect. He smiled too much.

A couple years ago my daughter-in-law invited me to a women’s gathering. I was the only post menopausal woman there. The topic was our periods. We shared how we learned about it, our first one and embarrassing moments. The stories were funny and sad and what I expected until a young woman said she loved her periods. Really. Just loved them. She felt a oneness with all women. She meditated on this life giving essence and was thankful for her role. She felt creative and spirit filled during this time. She did not mask the pain. She welcomed it. Other women nodded. I laughed. A lot. Then told my stories of fainting and trips to emergency rooms and my gratitude to be done with them. They politely listened and exchanged glances I recognized from my youth, when I respected elders but knew they didn’t understand. And never would.

They were wrong. I do understand. What this woman expressed is the way it once was. Thinking about it almost made me want a “do over”, but only if I could have my own moon lodge.

In Native American tradition there was a special lodge for women when it was their moon time. Other women cared for their children and cooked for their husbands. They brought her favorite food, then circled the lodge and prayed for her. She was free from work, could rest, talk with the spirits and create. She returned with new songs and geometric designs and renewed energy. Western observers surmise the women were involuntarily isolated and considered unclean. It was never that. When asked the medicine men explain women have a “built in” purification process. Men put themselves through sacred ceremonies to attain what women have naturally. Women in their moon cycles do not participate in sacred ceremonies. Their power is too strong. It’s been known to send spirits running and crashing into things.

Without periods my life is balanced and calm. Maybe a little too calm. I miss not knowing what thoughts may scream their way past polite filters. Sometimes the power of that made me feel beautiful. I knew I wasn’t. I had mirrors. When pimples erupt on a middle aged face you don’t claim outer beauty. But there were moments I felt like a warrior woman. And she was magnificent. I wish I had honored her more, instead of reaching for the Pamprin®.

Of course there is still time. My warrior woman didn’t die with PMS. She morphed into Big Fat Mama: Post Menopausal Juicy Crone. No one knows what that means, but with a perfectly executed head snap, and a cackle then a pop from any number of bodily regions, it’s scary enough to have some fun.

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Filed under Menopause, menstruation, PMS, Post Menopausal, Sharon Nesbit-Davis, story

Teacher-Mom

by Prof. Janet C. Mendoza Stickmon,

On paper and voicemails, I identify as a professor.  Professional interactions–a professor.  In the classroom–a professor.  I’ve found that identifying as such is so important for us as people of color who have students who have never had a professor of color…it becomes important to recognize our title while at the same time not turning it into such a big deal that the title alienates me from my students.  This is tricky. In everyday speech, I speak of myself simply as a teacher.  Teaching is one of the most selfless, prophetic professions one could ever undertake. I put it up there with the nurse, the doctor, the therapist, the minister, the curandera, the babaylan, the griot, and other healers…like crossing guards, ice cream truck drivers, and tow truck drivers. Any qualities I claim to embody as a professor is because of the people that I have emulated.  Teachers, priests, nuns, indigenous healers, counselors, homeless men and women, the anonymous fellow passenger sitting next to me on a plane, friends, family, and other loved ones have all had a hand in my development as a human being and consequently as  a teacher.  If I am ever complimented on my teaching, I have no choice but to remember that I am a direct reflection of the loving people I have come in contact with throughout my life.  When my mentors have come out to support me, I learned surprisingly that my success was their triumph. My beauty was their splendor.  My happiness, their rapture.

Teachers have the potential to be healers.  Not saviors. Not omnipotent leaders.  But humble healers who know that whatever liberatory catharsis is experienced by our students as a result of our teaching, that this is because we are instruments of a greater power. The gifts we share with those we care most deeply for are bestowed upon us by the Divine. This is a tremendous responsibility and one must not intellectualize it too much otherwise one might miss the beauty of it, the mystery of it and collapse from the enormity of it.  There are things that I do in the classroom that I cannot take credit for.  Like the perfect thought that comes at the perfect moment… and I am left surprised by my own words. The impact we have on others, even on the days we don’t feel good about ourselves, is fascinating to me.  Such things can only be explained by the Divine.  It is vital to call upon the universe, God, the gods, the ancestors, all to reconcile the interstices that bind our greatest expectations to our greatest disappointments; that bind our greatest lack of understanding to our greatest revelations.

When my daughter was born, this identity as teacher/professor was tested. Hyacinth was born on March 26, 2008. I was with her for 5 months before I returned to work.  And when I stepped foot into the classroom, I didn’t feel like a professor or a teacher.  I felt like I had never taught before.  I was lost in my own classroom.  I stumbled over my words.  My old lesson plans seemed outdated and I felt clumsy trying to teach from them.  I was painfully ashamed and considered ending my career as a teacher.  I couldn’t figure out what had happened to me.  I thought that it had something to do with using baby talk for five months straight.  But I felt it was much more than that.

In the past when I’ve been in these awkward, painful transitional phases, I knew this signaled a new exciting beginning. So I waited and rode the wave. Eventually, it occurred to me that I couldn’t possibly expect myself to be the same person, the same teacher, after bringing a life into the world.  I had changed permanently, and what was painful for me in that moment, I imagine runs parallel to the trauma Hyacinth felt when she was born.  Perhaps, the Goddess is in the transition phase right now, preparing to give birth to a new me.  And I need to get out of my own way to let that birth happen.

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Filed under career, daughter, growing up, mother, parenting, story, transition

Red Tent Consciousness in Everyday Life

by Jayleigh

To be in the Red Tent, even if only once, is to absorb an atmosphere of safety, daring, community, space and time to just be, and invitation to examine the truth of your life and feelings.  My own actual Red Tent experience is limited, but I have been so captivated by this atmosphere that I have nonetheless stepped wholeheartedly into the movement.

It is because of this that I have been thinking about how Red Tent consciousness may be more than just something that exists during a once a month meeting.  What gets carried forth when the women walk out into the night?  How do women who do not live close to a Red Tent and are not yet able to create one connect to this movement?

Is it possible to live Red Tent consciousness in such a way that it becomes inseparable from the activities and thoughts of every day?

I believe that symbolic action, intentional space, and sacred objects help to change and shift consciousness.  If you want to learn more about a particular quality or aspect of life, surround yourself with what evokes that quality and in so doing enter into dialogue with it.

Red Tent, Palo Alto, CA

Red Tent, Palo Alto, CA. Photographed by Lynette Penick of URMyArt photography.

For me, it was the level of authenticity in the Red Tent that most drew me in.  I feel an excitement: here is a place where I can talk about things I thought I had to live alone with.  I associate this excitement with the Red Tent as a place I can go to be immersed in this authenticity.  But I also know that I can surround myself with this quality in my daily life.

What images, objects, words, quotes, etc. genuinely hold for me the same quality of authenticity that I sense in the Red Tent?  I can collect these things in a place I visit often and that is in some way set aside from the rest of my living space.  Perhaps I will choose to carry some of these reminders with me on a regular basis.

I pay attention to what happens next, even if it’s not what I expected.  I apprentice myself to authenticity.  I honor it.  I begin to live and radiate it not as an abstract concept but as a felt reality that is in sync with the ways in which I first perceived it.

When you first heard of the Red Tent, what drew you in?  What sparked your continued engagement?  Working with these qualities, you can start to build your internal Red Tent space.  Think of it like a temple inside you that you carry with you wherever you go.

I believe our experience is strengthened when we know that not only is the Red Tent what happens when we gather, but also what happens when we each become living Red Tent Temple space.

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Filed under red tent, red tent temple, ritual