The Masculine & Feminine Principles in Action

The Masculine & Feminine Principles in Action

The masculine and feminine principles underpin our reality. How do we use the concepts of these principles as a framework to understand our politics, our relationships, and our worldview?

What’s in this podcast?

  • The attributes of the feminine/masculine energies
  • Example of imbalances in our poltical landscape
  • How the understanding of these energies helps us to transcend our current divisiveness
  • Why chaos is necessary to transform rather than reform our systems

Want to learn more about the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine Energies? Read Seeing Beyond The Lens of Patriarchy



Keeping Our Humanity in Tragedy

Keeping Our Humanity in Tragedy

For me, forgiveness and compassion are always linked: how do we hold people accountable for wrongdoing and yet at the same time remain in touch with their humanity enough to believe in their capacity to be transformed?

~ bell hooks

It’s been a couple of days since the two mass shootings that occurred within hours of each other in the United States. I, like most, grieved for the lives lost and their families, but I also grieved for the shooters, their families, and the conditions that led them so far away from their humanity. We can talk about gun control, the role of the NRA, and boosting support for mental health. All of which are essential conversations to have. But there are deeper levels at play, and that is how we continue to play the politics of divisiveness. And deeper still, how this leads to the loss of human connection – connection to ourselves, and to each other. When will we understand that this divisiveness continues to feed a harmful narrative that has far-reaching effects?

Whenever these tragedies occur, some want to understand the motivation for the attack so it can be politicized rather than to take any real steps toward addressing the cause. I have been watching most of the democratic nominees blame Trump for the rise in white nationalism. There is truth in these accusations, but it is only addressing one of the symptoms and not the root. The narrative perpetuated on both sides is one of ‘us vs. them’. When we witness this mean spirited divisiveness at the highest levels of our democracy it breeds at best, nihilism and at worst, extremism.

Deeyah Khan has a great series of documentaries that look at the root causes of extremist behaviors, whether it is white supremacy or Islamic extremism. In her research, she sees commonalities regardless of their particular ideology. It begins with disenfranchised people who don’t feel heard, who lack meaning and feel insignificant. Then someone comes along and preys on these vulnerabilities and provides the strength, meaning, and brotherhood that they didn’t receive in their broader communities. It is easy to see the role the president has played in this regard. But, that doesn’t mean that his dissenters have not also played a role.

The narrative of the ‘other’ starts when we pigeonhole people into boxes. We then draw clear distinctions and this often requires that we see people as one dimensional. Letting one issue or position define a person. So instead of listening and receiving ideas from people who hold different views from our own, we judge, call them names and blame them. This happens on both sides of the political spectrum. Just because a person’s motivation for killing someone is in alignment with your opposed political leaning does not mean you win the righteousness debate. It means we all lose. If we don’t get that and continue to politicize the atrocities, we will continue to feed the story that breeds these events and ideological uprisings. 

Some feel the need to continually expose the president for who he is, because if we don’t hi-light his moral/ethical, and political deficits than he is somehow getting away with things. I feel we shouldn’t waste all of our energy trying to point out everything he does that is offensive. The president came into office with his faults on full display, instead, we should keep moving forward and focus on the vision of the world we want to live in. Yes, Trump creates a combative climate, but every time we blame him, his rhetoric, or his followers we continue to match his combativeness. When our only focus is on exposing the ‘other’, we are kept in the muck with those we oppose.

I often think about our end game in this battle of left and right. Do we really want everyone to join our team, to see the world precisely as we see it? Would we be more abundant or better off if there were no differing opinions or worldviews? Even that choice is a fallacy because most of us are a multitude of dualities. We are a rich tapestry of experience, ideals, and seeming contradictions. For example, I am pro-choice up to about 18 weeks, then I’m pretty adamantly pro-life. And even in that, there would be room for exceptions. So what box do I fit in, which label should I assume? Does that label make you more comfortable or justified?

Marianne Williamson was right when she said we need to use love to counteract our current climate. Acting with love, compassion, and focusing on creating the world we want to see and the policies that will get us there, is a better path. It’s definitely a healthier one. I’ve thought about what that would mean – to lead with love. For me, it would mean looking for the humanity in everyone, finding our common threads and respecting and honoring our differences. It would mean working on my judgment and resisting the temptation to put someone in a box and allow for contradictions or mistakes. It would be mean putting my energy into creating the world I want rather than spending too much time on tearing something down. And, it would mean holding myself accountable for when I fail to live up to my vision for the world.

One of my favorite meditations is an ancient Hawaiian reconciliatory practice called Ho’oponopono. In this meditative prayer, I repeat the words, “I’m sorry, please forgive me, thank-you, I love you.” This teaching assumes there is an underlying spiritual truth that we are all connected. So nothing exists apart from anything else. Even though I’m currently in Japan, I said this prayer after the latest shootings because I believe that while I was not directly involved, I am part of the whole. This belief prompts me to accept accountability for any time I may have promoted violence, judged or treated someone as less than myself. I know this may be a stretch for many of you reading this, and that is fine. In fact, it is perfect. It provides an opportunity to do what was mentioned above and to listen and receive ideas that are different from yours. Can you find a common thread between you and me? Maybe it is merely the desire to create a better world.

Most challenges humanity faces are complex, and there are solutions on many levels. The violence we see can be partly addressed through common sense gun control and offering better mental health support. And we also need to look at things with a broader lens too. It’s not an either/or approach, there are both/and solutions. I like Marianne’s view of politics and society because she’s asking us to look at our dark underbelly with honesty and an understanding we have all played a role in where we are. I believe this level of responsibility and accountability is how we elevate the conversation around the violence in the country and how we begin to heal our nation.


To read more on this topic, read The Story of Them

The Story of Them

The Story of Them

“We are all here to contribute our gifts toward something greater than ourselves, and will never be content unless we are.”

― Charles Eisenstein

Last week I visited Hiroshima. It happened to be the same day that Trump stated he wanted to leave a decades-old arms treaty with Russia. Saying something to the effect that we need to build up our arsenal so there comes a time when we don ’t need them. As I stood at the place where the first atomic bomb dropped all I could feel was hurting in my heart. From where I stood, it seemed inconceivable even to entertain the thought of using a weapon like this again. With all that we know about each other and the world, could it really be possible? Would humanity let it happen?

There is a part of me that wishes we could skip to the good parts. To the place where I hope we are evolving toward. A place where we get along, where we can feed our people and where we see the earth as a living system and not as a resource to be exploited. The thing that seems crazy to me is that most people I know feel the same way. If we were to get out of our heads and into our hearts, most people ache for a better world not just for them, but for everyone. So why are we here? Why are we contemplating another arms race?

The story of ‘Them’ is deeply rooted in our culture. We see it played out in our media, our movies, and our politics. This story requires a hero, an enemy, and a victim. There is a battle to be fought, and there are always winners, losers, losses, and costs. If we really do want to get to the good parts, then we desperately need to write a new story. One with less collateral damage.

Many things have changed since World War II. Our world is increasingly interdependent; international business, tourism and living abroad are commonplace. We indeed are a global village. I can talk to my family while they are camping in Oregon as I sit at my table in Japan. We now face existential threats that can’t be solved by the actions of a single nation or a few banding together. It will take a worldwide effort. We are tied together in ways that aren’t easily untethered. This is also a time of increasing transparency. We are no longer able just to see glimpses of the planet from our little corner of the world that networks and/or governments allow us to see. We can see the whole world and talk to people on the other side of it in real time. This makes it increasingly difficult for those in power to manipulate or maintain a particular message. And with all of this, we are chipping away at the idea of ‘Them’ and looking toward the story of ‘Us’.

The ‘Them’ story is the ultimate game of distraction. It makes for exciting and dramatic television, but it also provides a justification for being perpetually angry, fearful, offended or indifferent. There is also an underlying message of futility that we are doomed to repeat this story over and over. After all, it is human nature, right? So, our only action is to hold tightly to our tribe and rally around the enemy. But I believe that if we took a minute to challenge this story, we’d see that we aren’t that different. That person sitting next to you isn’t the enemy, but rather just another human trying to do the best they can with what they know. I know this because every time there is a natural disaster or wide-scale human suffering – people show up. They show up regardless of their political affiliation or their membership to their tribe. They show up because in their hearts they feel moved to help. Somewhere they understand our connectedness.

The story of ‘Them’ is just a mutually agreed upon construct that we can pull the plug on any time we want. We can choose to stay focused on the enemy, and their contribution to the ills of society or we can choose to interrupt the regularly scheduled programming of fear and divisiveness and witness each other with compassion and humility. And while it seems like we are moving further away from each other, I think it is just the last throes of a dying paradigm. Right now more people are paying attention, people’s eyes are opening, and the reaction is to lash out at what they don’t want to see. The next step is to create what we do want to see. And that requires that we pull the plug on this narrative.

We may not have the same values or skin color or the same reasons for what gets us up in the morning. But we share something much more profound than any of those things. I know that you suffer and hurt sometimes. I know that you care about the world you live in, and you want things to have meaning. I know that you are a person that loves and wants to be loved. So, I choose to extend something more than judgment, fear or distrust. What if the best ‘weapon’ I have against our misunderstandings is not to condemn you but to sit with the notion, that maybe I just don’t understand yet. And until I do, I will just be with our differences and seek out our similarities. 

Our culture’s battle mentality likes to fight wars, drugs, poverty, and illness. People are hailed as survivors and heroes and talked about as allies, enemies, and victims. What if stories of man vs. man and man vs. nature have been done to death (literally)? Maybe the only interesting story left to tell isn’t one of conflict but one of peace and collaboration. The question shouldn’t be who is right and who is wrong, but what is it I don’t understand and where do we align? That is the core of the story of ‘Us’. It seeks the true causes of our behavior and circumstances and allows space for change and growth. We will never bomb our way to a better world or spread democracy through invasion. We could easily fund this new story too if we didn’t need to fund the perpetual battle against ‘Them’. And let’s be real, in the face of existential threats, the story of ‘Them’ has a really shitty ending.