What exactly is ‘Feminine Nature Based Leadership’? Part Three.
Ok, we're dropping straight in off the edge of Part Two back into the investigation of our definition (or at least my own ruminations) on what Feminine Nature actually is. Surely Feminine Nature must also describe the nature of Nature, because to me they are also essentially indivisible.
Look to the wild ocean, to changeable weather, the river in full flood and the sudden tornado and you'll see multiple faces of the feminine or of woman in the full spectrum and vast depth of our emotionality. Look to soft soothing rain, fertile grasslands, incubating pupa's, the fierce lioness, mamma bear, wolf or any wild and proud Mother in nature, and you will see faces of woman as creatress, in the nurturing protective love, capacity for self sacrifice, surrender and wild fury.
The Feminine will do what She has to do to create and protect life and all actions that are in integrity with life. Anything out of alignment with that can precipitate wild rage or cataclysmic response (as we're seeing with climate change) as She does whatever she can to wake things up to help bring things back into balance.
Women have been so tamed and conditioned we've been taught to bury the wild instinctive sides of our nature that knows the exact response to anything out of alignment with Life. We can fear the depth of rage that is ready to rip through us, the inner hurricane that would dismantle a relationship, the tornado that would rip us away from a role or job that is crushing our brilliance or the gentle inner rain or flash floods of grief that break open our hearts to remind us what our deeper longings actually are and how they are waiting to guide us.
We can miss the stunning beauty of our own nature entirely and live lives of conditioned appropriateness that leave us numb, sick, depressed, brittle, reactive, competitive, resentful or just plain empty and dissatisfied. We were born to flourish in vibrancy, not make do with half lives just because we've been taught that a certain way of being and doing is acceptable, safe and comfortable to others.
Then let's look at the more subtle receptivity of the Feminine. Yes intuition and instinct are the realm of the Feminine within both men and women, but women are literally wired to sense and feel way beyond the visible and measurable into the subtle; to feel for what is needed to protect, to sense danger, sickness, anything that threatens the balance and health of the whole.
Women have been more classically associated with night (mysterious, unknowable, latent, frightening) and men with the day (tangible, deliverable, measurable, safe) which symbolizes women-kinds ease with the mysterious, intuitive and emergent; the seed below ground, the babe in the womb, the quality of process needed to bring any system back into health, the deep healing 'knowing' that saw women as the primary healers of the western world before the witch burnings did their worst.
Then amplify that instinctual receptive knowing with our cyclical nature that literally ties us into the cosmic tides of the moon through our hormones and bleeding, and we become the seasons incarnate. Every month, all four seasons of the solar year move through our bodies as we prepare to ovulate (spring) ovulate (summer) drop into premenstrual (autumn) and then bleed (winter) bringing us different qualities of consciousness, relating, creativity and even sexuality at each phase which makes us naturally effective in different ways at different times - if we know how to follow our cycles.
Feminine nature literally IS indivisible from nature. As women, understanding our bodies and cycles ties us into seasonal awareness and the actual wisdom and logic of nature's resting and fallow phases that are required for strong pollination or breeding or for healthy fruiting, hunting and gathering.
The classic western masculine linear logic has taught us that progress is to suck every last bit of life out of everything as fast as we can and find ways of forcing it (think soil and nitrates, think cows and hormones, fossil fuels etc) regardless of the phases needed to replenish and restore. Over 90% of our fisheries are either gone or suffering because we don't know how to let life replenish itself, and the same can be said for our bodies as disease and cancer rates in women skyrocket as we ever more successfully override the flows of our own bodies to compete with men on their own terms.
There was a reason why Moon Lodges existed as the source of guidance for tribes within earth based cultures for so long. There was a reason why the Goddess was worshipped for millennia before the patriarchal experiment threw Her off Her throne. The Goddess, the sacred Feminine literally IS life, and Woman, as the womb carriers of this and every other species hold that sacred key to divine creation within our bodies and that is a power of extraordinary potency.
So that dips into Feminine Nature. What then is Nature Based Leadership? Again, we will all have our own responses and mine is just mine. That said, to me it describes ways of being and doing that reflect the systems found in nature, that look to nature for guidance and that inherently seeks to protect nature. It is a form of leadership that exists in humility, community, inclusivity and openness, not dominance and separation.
Why then make it Feminine? Because in this instance TreeSisters exists to call forth the uniquely Feminine capacities of women that arise through direct connection with nature. This is an invitation to bring us back into right relationship with our intrinsic femininity as a gateway to capacities that naturally open into expanded, instinctual relationship with the greater world around us so that a completely different quality of leadership can arise that is innately connected and conscious of all, not just Self.
So what exactly is Feminine Nature Based Leadership? Well, the last three blogs put a great deal of flesh on these bones, but I'm not done yet - there will be a Part Four to this exploration. I'm curious though, as this whole discourse flows on and on, what that phrase now means to you?
By Clare Dubois
Art by Tamara Phillips
Clare is an Earth loving social entrepreneur and inspirational speaker who worked internationally for 18 years facilitating groups, coaching business leaders and creating behaviour change processes within the personal growth sector. Clare is leading the TreeSisters campaign; focusing on network development and the empowerment of women. She has been developing the ethos and principles, the team and organisational culture, the campaign strategy, the framework of the Maps and behaviour change materials. She is committed to the creation of an evolving system that learns as it goes and continually models itself upon the flows and forms of living systems.