Women on the Rise

Maree Lipschitz

Yes there’s certainly been a change in 2013 – I can feel the energy is different ever since the 22nd December summer solstice. Women are rising everywhere to take their place, to show their face, to give their love and gifts and leadership to the world.

But there’s a resistance as well to this swelling of female energy. And it’s showing in our girls. Yes they are more empowered, more enlightened, more capable of achieving goals that would have been unthinkable in days gone past. So how are they in trouble?

I went to hear Steve Biddulph speak last week. Steve, an acclaimed Australian family therapist, has written a new book called ‘Raising Girls’ and he quoted some really sad statistics:

  • More than 13% of women have eating disorders.
  • 63% of girls are cutting themselves.
  • Anxiety in teenage girls has doubled over the past 5 years.
  • Girls are now more likely to binge-drink than boys.
  • 15% of girls in high schools have multiple sexual partners (3 or more) – up from 3% in the 60’s.

My own 17 year old daughter was in tears this week because three of her best friends have depression or deep anxiety problems and she feels powerless to help them as everyone is so busy and no one has time to listen. So what’s happening?

I think we’ve lost one of our greatest gifts – our ability to ‘be’ as women. Not to ‘do’ all the time. We’ve been trained really well to ‘do’ – to think, to achieve, to set goals, to get out there into the world – and we’ve proved we can do it just as well as men.  But at what price?

Because achieving alone doesn’t fill most women the way it does for men.  Sure it feels great to be financially independent, to get that promotion, to bag that client, attain that next goal. But often there’s an emptiness after all that. We are so busy going here or taking someone there or attending something that many of us are addicted to the adrenaline rush of being ‘busy’. People ask me these days ‘ So are you busy?’ and I’m now quite proud to say ‘No – I’m taking things slower these days’ (being in menopause certainly has its lessons – and its benefits!)

Many of us have forgotten that female energy is the receiving energy – the ‘being’ energy, the stillness, the quiet breath of the earth. Deep female energy is relaxed, open, nurturing – not frenetic and strident. Female energy is the energy of the grandmothers that know that all things pass and everything dies and is reborn.

Women would benefit from remembering that all things are in cycle. We are not on an ever-increasing production line! For us to feel better, we need to recuperate and re-energise by being still and silent sometimes – and being with each other. With other women I mean.

In ancient times, women would spend up to 80% of their time all together – gathering food, cooking meals, tending children and the sick, creating useful objects together such as mats, containers, clothes etc. I’ve learnt that women heal each other when we listen to and help each other – when we are in close proximity to a woman who we feel safe with.

So how can we recover that healing touch, that care and attention from other women? How can we give ourselves the time to stop and reflect as well as listen to other women?  We often expect it to come from our men – but they don’t know how to do it.  It’s not their job. It’s our job – women’s gift to each other and our families.

So that’s why I do the work I do with women – Sanctuary Circle days with all ages of women, weekends with mothers and daughters, rites of passage programs for teenage girls and their Mums, midlife programs for women approaching menopause.

So that we can re-member the great gift of being just with ourselves – the women – in community. The love, laughs, relief and relaxation that come from that – being in soft belly space with each other. I hope that you too will find a gentle sanctuary space for you and your daughters and your mothers. It’s vital for us women to thrive. Blessings to you.

Deep peace of the quiet earth to you
Deep peace of the running water to you
Deep peace of the gentle air to you
Deep peace of the flickering flames to you
Deep peace, deep peace to you.