This weekend I had the honor of hosting a flock of singer-songwriters in my home for a humble beginnings of a biannual womyn's music festival. It felt like all the power of a women's circle, amplified. Literally.
We began the event with a discussion of our creative lives, the pros and cons, the struggle and the reward. As I sat and listened, realizations sort of seaped into the sponge of my consciousness. I realized I'm not alone in the creative struggle. That it's a beautiful and worthwhile struggle. That having a muse, a cross to bear such as this, is also a gift that not everyone has.
More importantly, my sense of competitiveness and judgment and catty-ness, which seems like some kind of twisted instinct, melted away into sheer appreciation for these glowing, luminous, very human women sharing their songs and their hidden minds with us in intimate, quiet coziness of a full living room.
As a highly sensitive woman in the music industry, I feel my spirit calling in a new way of creating and sharing and making a living that cares for self, community, and planet. This evening of music, food, and art was the perfect first step into manifesting this vision.
It's just a simple part of feminine psychology and biology that we are stronger together. As I witnessed each woman sing her songs, I realized we all had distinct genres and niches we were filling. The hierarchy of who was best that I had in my mind was leveled by an awe for the distinctive beauty we each had to offer.
This realization can be taken from the stage and applied to any field of achievement. When we work together and make space for each other, we become a cohesive quilt of many different patterns, that can comfort and warm the whole world.
The end of the night was an especially victorious moment, when one of the performers took a great risk and sang a song a capella. She was used to performing with a big digital sound or with other musicians, but in our presence, she felt strong enough to sing with her bare voice ringing out through the silence.
By the end of the song, our crew of fine singers were humming backing chords. It was a spontaneous, improvised moment that we'll treasure.
What a beautiful metaphor of the courage we can access through witnessing each other supportively. I've heard it often how women's biggest stumbling block in the professional realm is their fear to take risk. I see this as an obvious outcome of being the weaker sex in the often vicious and tenuous lifestyle our ancestors surely endured.
Yet I believe we witnessed our antidote at the end of the night. The cure for the resistant anxiety many of us feel, is realizing we're stronger together. If you're struggling to make strides forward in your life as a woman, perhaps all you're missing is this HUGE key-- female community.
Just a theory, my sweets! Give it a whirl and let me know how it goes?
I've been recently reading The Feminist Utopia Project. It's amazing what a little intellectual stimulation can do for one's world view!
I'm reading the chapters like doses of cultural vitamins, educating myself to bolster my emotional immune system in our current political climate...
Nothing like a sexist tyrant to inspire the next wave of feminism! :)
We intentionally made the Ladyfolk Fest to not restricted biological women. Because femininity comes in different shapes and sizes!
I'm learning this first-hand, as I'm currently in love with someone who doesn't fit into the gender binary. While identifying as a girly woman certainly works for me, I see how the patriarchal system hurts him daily. It's like there's a roadblock between who he is and who he feels he's allowed to be every day.
Feminism means getting outside of your experience and empathizing with others less fortunate, and fighting for their rights. Because when we protect each other, we ensure protection for ourselves and our loved ones and the next generation...
Another thought to note, is that in my world of gigging and music touring, I've found many creative folks who live as question marks to this societal norm of boy versus girl. Maybe it's because creativity and self-expression forces us to get in touch with our ambiguous, multi-faceted nature.
I'm so happy to present my sister's very own first novel, now available for pre-order on Amazon. It's a young adult historical fiction about two actual female pirates that sailed the ocean between England and North Carolina. This book presents a new narrative of gender and equality on the open sea... So proud of my big sis!