“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
I don’t doubt it. But. I do often question my part in it. I know what one of the things I am here to share is the encouragement for women speaking up with their gifts, teachings, art and providing education.
Some days, like today, it feels too big. But some days, like today, I get to introduce the voices of over 30 women I have walked in circle with for the past 6 months in sharing the Compass Rose with you. We are celebrating Women’s History Month with our stories through the end of the month!
Things are changing in our world so quickly. The good, the bad, the ugly and the WTF is going on is really up for people who are paying attention. I keep feeling like, if we are already boiled in the big soup pot – we must need to learn how to work hot… What does that look like?
As an artist and poet, first, my activism and how I show up comes from that framework, because that is my identity and my joy. My joy keeps me strong. Yet when I do take on something more politically charged, I do get instant pushback online. I don’t mind the pushback on one hand, because I honor many voices – but getting into a comment-match on Facebook isn’t where I want to be either.
I was just speaking with my friend and Co-Leader in education for many years, Amy Ahlers who had a daughter. Her daughter, who has painted with me over the years, is taking part of the Teacher Student Walk out happening right now for 17 minutes in a stand against gun violence and for gun reform. If you are online, likely you have heard about it.
Amy shared this today with her online community : “Last night my 10 year old daughter was in hysterics. Tears flowed down her sweet baby face cheeks as she told me about the National School Walkout she was determined to participate in today as a stand for gun reform and how scared she is of getting shot. (I have no words.)
I held space, hugged her and told her how brave she is. It went on for a good 30 minutes before she could finally breathe and tune into her Inner Wisdom and ask her if she was safe to go.”
Since Amy and I work together with women entrepreneurs, for close to a year, we have been meeting every week to talk about our stand for supporting the women we have been serving in our program, Radiance. Today we talked about her daughter, the recent shootings in Yountville, the letters I have gotten about veterans, racism and change and our tears.
When we talk each week, we start with world news mostly – since we both give a shi*t and can’t help but start with the truth of our sweet world. And we talk about how to guide the women we work with to speak their truths, lift up their voices and not let their ‘business platform’ or public or followers, stop them from speaking. But. This isn’t so easy. Compass Rose was a huge step for many of our colleagues. Not because their topics are super charged, but because we are often so afraid to be seen.
Women are often very afraid to move out from behind the veil and become visible. Afraid of ridicule, attack, condemnation and cellular collective memory of burning. We have plenty of stories about what happens when women speak up. And especially if they are making a point that impacts the collective dominant paradigm.
But how can we not speak of 14K empty shoes outside the US Capitol, to represent every child killed with a gun since the Sandy Hook Massacre? How can we not talk about all of this – and what is the WAY to talk about it? New channels and dialogues forming are part of the hope for the future.
We have to get stronger, speaking out and speaking in front of others and risking even attack on our words. And yes, stronger with learning technology so we are free to share. I often feel scared to say what I am feeling – people just want me to be the creative one who sparks others, but behind all of that is my desire to end violence. Period. End Violence and do what I can to alleviate suffering. All of my art and work has been devoted to empowering women to speak. Speaking takes practice, and you have to be prepared, and ready – when someone shuts you down, to not let it take you down. Again, practice, and support. It has never been easy for us to speak, is it easier now – in some ways yes, and in others, no. But speak we must.
Before someone becomes really verbal about their views – they do need to study, do need to know what is happening in the world regarding their topic. But this also keeps us quiet because we are afraid of not having all the pieces. So I often say as a preface- ‘as far as I know’, or ‘from what I have seen’, instead of an absolute, or I ask to be educated more from those who know more. This is a strategy of protection yes, but also consciousness and awareness that I don’t have all the info and let’s talk about it together and educate each other. But there is also pushback about – why should we who know have to educate you who don’t. But please, do. Please educate us. And please choose to be an educator. And when possible, in kindness, and truth, otherwise many of us will be quiet and disappear, the energy exchange just doesn’t feel worth it, especially online when we miss the tones of voice, and the eyes and the real human contact. And I get it that people are tired too of nice-nice. There is a middle ground, and that is where I try to walk. Strong, steady, curious and willing to learn more at all times.
In my work there is a strong thread of inviting women to speak and to do it in video – so their image and face and presence comes through. This is SO HARD for many of us. So today I get to share 34 women who said yes to making a video of their stories, teachings, practices and give it to my community as a gift in the Compass Rose Summit. Many of these women have never done a video like this – so it took a lot of courage. We aren’t all polished and coiffed and perfect. We are trying hard to show up and be free at the same time, and be ourselves and speak our truth – and hope that it reaches someone who needs it.
This work that these women have bravely stepped into…is a first step in sharing their message in a more powerful way – and Amy and I agreed to mail to our entire mailing list to get as much exposure as we can for them. Women from different countries, cultures, lifestyles, nationalities – but with a common red thread of connection, and a desire to serve with her gifts. When we reviewed all the teachings of the women, many were focused in an invitation to a new direction, framework, or idea. Hence: Compass Rose.
This isn’t like any other summit you have heard or seen. We are women, who in our day to day lives are Doctors, Healers, Therapists, Artists, Lawyers, Writers, Teachers, Philosophers, Visionaries and activists who have spent the past 6 months journeying together in our Radiance Circle. We have supported one another on the path, and our give back is to turn that love, support and insight into an offering for you, our community. Most summits have people that aren’t in the same circle, who haven’t travelled together. We hope this unique edge creates a powerful container of education and celebration as we share our community with you in this form.
My video is literally a process about the voice itself, and how to hear it and use it – so by signing up you get a free painting class from me – register here.
Many of us find ourselves feeling lost, not sure which way to turn, wondering where the path beneath our feet has gone or if it ever existed at all.
We may be missing orientation – where we ARE in our lives and within ourselves and how to HEAR and FEEL the navigation within us. We don’t know that we reside within our own compass…
Introducing, The Compass Rose Summit!
Experience the shift you have been calling into your life. The teachings from these women guides around the world will bring you intuitive, practical and wild insight on everything from sex, wealth and health. To intuition, consciousness and alchemy. To justice, self care and overcoming perfectionism.
At the heart of the Compass Rose Summit are women’s stories of change. The changes we have made that brought us to where we are and an invitation to consider a new direction for YOUR life at this time.
This isn’t just about listening. In the Compass Rose Summit you are invited to EXPERIENCE change, catalytic shift – DURING these video offerings from each woman.
Join us right here. No cost. Our treat!
I am celebraing women’s voices, right here in Women’s History Month!
blessings right where you are,
Shiloh Sophia and Amy Ahlers
Bella Ahlers and her sign. We hear you.
May Love Be At The Center of All Choices