Reclaiming the power of partnership

We have, most of us, lost what it means to be in partnership.  

Our families lie at the root of this loss, because no family exists outside the rule of Patriarchy.

Starting with the stereotypical family with a father and mother:  Men are told they are ‘King’ of their house, but for thousands of years, they have subjugated their Queens and Co-rulers and, in doing so, given up their own sovereign power.  

We were meant to rule together.  

However, this isn’t even remotely gender specific.  Families take all sorts of forms and partnership is first experienced in the realm of the family – people need a opposite, a foil, a mirror, a buddy to have true personal power, especially when taking action or when learning. 

It can be a partner, a spouse, a friend, a colleague or a family member – the possibilities are pretty much limitless.

It can even be an animal companion, or a tree, a mountain, why not? 

Another being, standing on equal footing to you, to remind you that you are not an individual in any meaningful sense of the word. 

To hold up to you this truth:  that you have influence over the collective every time you lift your hand to do something, or raise your voice to speak. 

That your actions will always, always impact others, outside yourself.

Every grown up human must accept this responsibility to our whole community. 

Only small children are supposed to act just for themselves – to be kept in that state into adulthood is against a basic law of human nature.

We act within the context of a collective.  

We exist within a whole – we are undivided from it, even though we feel alone, we are not alone.

A partner facilitates this reminder.   

We make one another taller.

They make you bigger than yourself.  Even if the partner is not present when you act.

That’s why we humans pair up so much.  We like to pair up with besties, lovers, business partners…. we are most of us obsessed with twins!  

Twins are the ultimate symbol of the power of duality.

We have two of a lot of things in our own bodies – a reminder.  Even our bodies are a community. 

Our bodies find all sorts of ways to connect in a pair with another – hand holding, spooning, hugging, kissing, dancing, sex. 

We can’t see behind us.  Somebody has to have our back.  

We can’t scratch our own backs.

My main partner in crime, Bik.

We evolved to exist together in love. 

We evolved to exist together in love. 

We evolved to exist together in love.

This isn’t about getting approval from another, or about co-dependency, not at all.  This isn’t about tolerating abuse, this isn’t about sacrificing self in favour of partnership, it isn’t about this odd notion of romantic love we are fed by media – this isn’t about any of that.

This is not about saying ‘you are incomplete without a partner’ – nah mate. 

These ideas are damaged notions of partnership, designed to divide us. 

The interaction I speak of here is far, far, FAR deeper than that.  

True partnership is messy, it’s full of weird little twist and turns, it develops it’s own language and, like any organism, it evolves – and eventually dies.

We have been lied to by our individuality-obsessed culture.  

This is the truth of it: 

You have been told you are just you. 

You have been lied to. 

We have been deliberately, consciously divided to cut us off from our greatest power. 

The biggest weapon of this division is, of course, sexism, even dividing us in our own homes, from the ones in our own beds and houses.  There are many other divisions – so many divisions, but this one is where it starts.

Even in the privacy of our own homes, we put up masks instead of boundaries and these masks cut us off from each other. 

Cut off from the collective, you exist away from a force that is both ‘ours’ and ‘yours’ – and it is mighty! 

We learn to connect with this force in pairs. 

Mother/child, sibling/sibling, friend/friend, Father/child, Teacher/pupil, Lover/Beloved. 

Cut off from the collective, especially when you act in the collective, you do terrible harm to the world and to yourself.

Cut off from the collective, you have nowhere to turn to for support. 

Look at most of our leaders now.

Who do they serve?

Who do they listen to? 

Who do they share their secrets with? 

Who do they love? 

Who has their back?

They are weak and harmful because they think they are alone. 

They are weak and harmful because they do not act from love.

The collective is love made manifest. 

Love is our power. 

Let’s find it, together. 

Ps:  I’ll talk about hermits and aloneness another day – that archetype has power, too!  

Ps:  I’ll talk about trios, larger circles of people and non-duality another day, too.  I haven’t forgotten these.

We have lots of sources of power 🙂 

Let’s go and find them.  Together. 

Self Care – before you take a bubble bath

There’s lots of stuff out there about self care and self love, a lot of it involves grooming (which is fine if that’s your thing) but ignores the very basic stuff.

For me, the things I tell myself to do BEFORE I shell out for a mani-pedi to make myself feel better, are:

Go to bed when you are tired.
Eat when you are hungry.
Fasten your seatbelt!!
Do basic cancer and other wellness checks on your body.
Do not work when you are sick.
Wear sunscreen or a hat in the sun.
Wear sensible shoes that don’t slip and slide or squash your feet.
Walk barefoot as much as you can.
Ditto comfy clothes and a well-fitting bra (or no bra, even nicer!).
Brush yer teeth.
Eat your veggies and drink water.
Move your body every day.
Keep a journal and/or talk about stuff with people you trust.
Take breaks and play.

Bubble baths and massages are well and good, but too many of us neglect the basic ways we need to keep our bodies and minds healthy.

Ps This is not a permission slip to beat yourself up, by the way: we all mess up on self care, it’s not a sign we are an unworthy person! Just do your best and give yourself some love.

Full disclosure:  I have never actually paid for a mani-pedi.

You protested! What now?

Protest is good, I’ve always done it, but don’t head home from a protest thinking you have done the work. It’s just the start! The real work is way less fun (but you can do most of it inside in short bursts – and you don’t have to do all of these!):

– Write to, phone, Tweet and meet with your MP and local Council representatives.
– Join a political party and be an active member.
– Join a Union.
– Join local campaign groups for issues you believe in.
– Get in some mailing lists to be alerted of campaigns and petitions: I recommend Avaaz
– Identify something you are good at and enjoy doing, and a cause you can do it for: bake for meetings, fundraise using your skills, create art about resistance, offer massages to activists and organisers, hold women’s circles, drum circles, talking circles, make good tea for people as they work, lend your admin skills.
– Speak to your friends and family about the issues, even when it’s hard to do. You don’t have to be aggressive, in fact to start with I’d recommend more listening than talking.
– Ditto work colleagues. Don’t be silent!
– Study: read about effective communication, read books by people of colour, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people ….. learn what the world looks like from different perspectives.
– Follow folks who speak out on social media, learn from them, support and encourage them.
– Post on social media yourself. It doesn’t have to be constant: set a level you are comfortable with and decide your boundaries about dealing with comments.

You don’t have to do all of the above, pick a few. However I do recommend these two for everyone who can:

– Register to vote!
– Vote! Or spoil your ballot if you don’t like any of the candidates (spoilt ballots send a clearer message than no-shows).

And I recommend this one for everyone:

– Self care, self care, self care. Burnt out wrecks are less effective campaigners. You don’t have to be suffering and exhausted to make a difference!

Happy activism dearies! Love and solidarity!

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5 days into Tr*mpland

He’s silenced the Environmental Protection Agency. Their social media has been inactive since Thursday. Let that sink in for a moment.

The Environmental. Protection. Agency.

That struggle against greed and corporate interests destroying our viable biosphere for most life on earth?

You know, the one only us ‘mad hippies’ went on about and everyone else thought would never come to pass?

We’re here. It’s happening. It’s upon us. We are in the front row.

You can’t just leave this one to a few tree huggers to solve – time to step up now.

This tree hugger, for one, would dearly appreciate the backup at this point, it’s been a long lonely haul and we’re losing. We’re losing.

PS: You will need to do more than recycle.