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Whole Person ~ Whole Planet Blog

with Victoria (Vikki) Hanchin

The Transformative Power of Returning to “Conversations that Matter”

Did you know that a group that listens deeply to one another uncovers their “collective wisdom”? How would the world be different if we had more of THAT going on in our communities?

 WellI am excited to share with you that this amazing phenomenon is occurring here in Pittsburgh, PA, starting with the women. Over 70 Pittsburgh women, racially diverse, from their teens to their seventies, have been experiencing the transformative power of “conversations that matter” at the first two Awakening Women Cafés, launched this winter and spring.

 These conversation-based Cafés are named to reflect their topic, “What Happens When Women Wake Up?” (by the book of that title by Patricia Fero). The process of facilitated conversations, which are structured according to the “World Café” guidelines (from the book of that name), serve to reveal and gather a group’s “collective wisdom” on the chosen theme.

 I am here to tell you, the wisdom that emerged from the Pittsburgh women participating in these two Awakening Women Cafés was extraordinary. Here are some of the highlights:

 Awakening Women Café: Gathering Women’s Collective Wisdom

 To awaken women’s authentic power, have stillness and deep inner listening—often.

  • Find out what really matters to you and align your life to that.
  • Heart-based authentic conversations create new possibilities.
  • Have compassion, learn from your mistakes.
  • Teach children to love themselves. To teach this, love yourself first.
  • Taking time for “me” is not selfish; it means that “I matter.” From this grounding we help others know they are important too. 
  • Show up fully present and connected to your moment by moment experience—with honesty.
  • Powerfully live female values (compassion, relatedness, intuition, receptivity, cooperation, nurturing) and advocate for them. Feminine qualities have the power to heal.
  • Align with purpose that is heart and soul based. To make a difference, begin where you are—your own family, work, community.
  • Remember and be nourished by the ancient ways of women and the Indigenous cultures.
  • Get strength and support from other women who are open, growing, risking, and real.
  • We are all leaders because we all carry our own truth and wisdom. Lead by sharing: “Each one touch one.”

 ….I invite you to sit a moment now, with these deep words of wisdom gathered from the women of Pittsburgh. Allow a moment to see which of them resonate with you. Then take another moment to see what wisdom you find within, that you might share if you came to one of our Cafés, or in your own authentic, heart-based “conversation that matters.”

The Café participants reveled in the fact that “women are relational beings.” We witnessed first-hand that there is power in gathering and sharing in authentic ways, about creating a better world from the inside out. And that we simply start right where we are.

One of the participants summed up her experience this way: “Hearing of another woman’s awakening helped me know that this is also possible for me, and for learning my purpose on the planet.”

 And THAT’S What Happens When Women Wake Up!

 Women want to use their own transformation to contribute to a world that works for all…and when women all over the world become involved in this process, it accelerates planetary transformation.

 The inspiration for me to offer these Cafés with my Pittsburgh collaborators, Sheila Collins and LaVerne Baker Hotep, was to find a way to create local awareness of the world-wide phenomenon of women transforming the world through their awakened connection to Feminine power. We hoped to link local women’s voices to global women’s voices and stories, in order to accelerate this global movement of awakening women. (see my complete booklet, “Awakened Women Igniting Global Transformation”  that documents this phenomenon, under <articles> at www.WholePersonWholePlanet.com . This booklet is currently being circulated around the country, hand-to-heart. A magnificent additional resource I am involved with is www.WomenWakingtheWorld.com , where we plan to train women to create these Awakening Women Cafés in their communities across the country. )

 A Global Movement of Awakening Women

 What happened here in Pittsburgh is a mirror of what is happening globally with women. Women are waking up to their power to transform our world, through a deep connection to their feminine essence and values. Women are realizing that this imbalanced world needs what women have: relatedness, receptivity, compassion, intuition, collaboration, inclusion, nurturing, and commitment to serve life. Women are gaining support and inspiration from their connections with each other, to contribute their voices, visions and gifts.

 Now, What About the Men?

Men have much to gain by integrating the right-brain qualities traditionally associated with the feminine, and connecting their hearts with their heads. Matthew Fox, author and theologian lectures widely about the need to reclaim a healthy masculinity. This would mean allowing men to have a full range of emotional expression that doesn’t suppress vulnerability or feelings of grief and joy. It means men cultivating deep listening, receptivity and nurturing. Integrating these qualities enhances self-expression, relationships, intimacy and fathering.

Fox goes on to describe such integration as the basis for a fully enlivened sacred partnership that can then arise between the genders, of the sacred masculine and the sacred feminine. Now THAT’s a worthy topic for future exploration! Other male authors note that it is an important new role for men to support women who are doing the work of repairing the world.

In a culture where ”most of our conversation is a mutual conspiracy to keep us on the surface” (to quote David Rome, originator of the “Deep Listening” practice), and where we suffer from “Attention Deficit Disorder” in our daily interactions with one another, these Cafés may be just the revolutionary approach we need to return to What Matters.

For future Awakening Women Cafés, and related events, please check atwww.WholePersonWholePlanet.com . You may respond to this newsletter atvikki@wholepersonwholeplanet.com .

Written by
Victoria (Vikki) Hanchin, LCSW
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