Posted by: ginalazenby | December 12, 2012

Reporting from Sydney: women value connection & sharing our journeys

SDIM1169

Oh what a wonderful day we had in Sydney on Friday December 7th with our women’s  gathering.  The event was held in the Meditation Space on Crown Street and the beautiful surroundings and calm atmosphere really helped everyone feel relaxed. As everyone enjoyed the  delicious lunch buffet, a real feeling of anticipation was created among the 45 women congregating.

SDIM1151Conny Dietzschold and I opened the session with a few minutes of nourishing silence and a meditation accompanied by the playing of the crystal bowl that has travelled round the world with me … I bought it in Mt Shasta, California, took it back to London then brought it with me to Australia via California. That bowl has got nearly as many air miles as me! It was a perfect opening for our session as it is a known as the Mother Bowl with its infusion of platinum, the conduit for bringing in the energy of the Divine Feminine. Starting with silence is a good reminder of how nourishing it can be to take even a few precious minutes of quiet….. how easy it is to give ourselves this gift of replenishment.

The day had three parts: 1) we had an information segment with Conny and I giving presentations; 2) a dialogue with our guest speaker; 3) the women divided into discussion circles then reported back the sharings with a little time for group comments. We squeaked in to a closure at 2.30pm … it would have been so easy to have over-run by a good couple of hours! We finished with a group photo and a few women stayed on for relaxed networking and connection helping to clear up while several women had to dash off to various end-of week activities.  The atmosphere was quite magical. What is it about a group of women getting together for conscious and meaningful conversation that produces such good feelings … and a huge surge of that nourishing hormone oxytocin? (Watch video)

Highlights
“it was nice to be around women who all seem to be on the same page …. and willing to talk about their experiences”.

“women can sometimes be very judgemental but these women came with an open heart and real honesty”

“I was both humbled and inspired …. by the authenticity and honest conversations”

The Circles sharing was popular
SDIM1117Whilst many women will have found the information we gave useful (no matter how much you know about a subject you can always glean a new piece or hear something known presented in a different context) I think the greatest inspiration came from the sharings in the circles. We had framed the whole session as a sacred space where we could all be free to share honestly and safely and that is exactly what everyone did. It was this willingness to speak from the heart that touched all the women.

Circle Sharing …….

  • The question put to the circle groups was: Is there anywhere in your life that you are holding back: self, work, relationships ?  Are there qualities that you are not expressing? If so what are these?  WHO could you be, WHAT could you do if you felt free enough to express these and be your whole authentic self?
  • Many women spoke of being in transition, with different levels of comfort attached to that place. We are looking for the next steps and feel they will appear. For some there is frustration in not being able to decide or know what to commit to. Generally we are seeing that we can do so much more … we are coming in to OUR time.
  • Several roles are being juggled and again that can be a stress when we feel guilty in putting them down to pick up another …. consultant and artist … oh and grandmother too. There is a need for us to appreciate ourselves as multi-faceted and not to see this as a conflict. We are indeed many, many roles and it is time to embrace them all in a holistic way.
  • We feel it is so important to search for others of like-mind to support us in our growth and journeying. We crave connection and communication: it’s a real need. Hearing others share their stories puts our own life experiences into perspective. We feel a need to be witnessed, and that can become a positive validation for what we are going through in our process of change.
  • SDIM1109Those who feel they have done much journeying and arrived in a settled and powerful place of peace now feel an urge to turn round and help others get to the same place in the journey where we live in our authentic self. We cannot not share what we have learned.
  • We can see that some of us have been holding back in speaking our truth. And even if we are not yet at that place where we can speak out about what is important to us, we know we have to.
  • We are good at listening especially when the other is sharing from the heart. It helps us all move in to our heart space.
  • Let’s not forget the men: they need our help and we need their support too. In fact, in as much as we know many women in corporate life operate predominantly from their masculine energy, there are also many men emerging who are accessing their feminine side and that is going to be useful to us. We all need to learn how to balance our two energy modalities. The future is about both of us accessing our divine feminine and masculine energies within each of us.

Information sessions ………..

Dadi Janki, a spiritual giant
SDIM1044Conny spoke about how she and I had been inspired by Dadi Janki, not just to create this event and share her wisdom, but by listening to her teaching and letting the way she lives her daily life impact and guide our own lives. Conny has been a Meditation Teacher with the Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University for the last 35 years and so has known Dadi for a long time. Dadi is 96 and the CEO of a global organisation with almost 10,000 centres in 130 countries. I have known Dadi for a decade and have adopted her as my spiritual grandmother. My friendship with her is one of the things I most treasure in my life. Her wisdom has been a foundation for my evolution into the soul-powered leader that I am now.

Conny’s life of service encompasses the Conny Dietzschold Gallery where she showcases major and emerging talent on three continents and also the Meditation Space, a peaceful sanctuary in a busy city serving Eats Sydney. She attracts world class teachers to share their knowledge about living a spiritually empowered life in order to create more through doing less. It’s all about being…. who are we being in any moment and are we making the connection with the divine source that can guide us all the time?  That is what Dadi is a living breathing example of.

We shared a clip from a movie about Dadi with a Dutch business man saying she is a “Spiritual giant and a full expression of what a human can be”.  The movie then shares Dadi saying “I’m not doing anything. It’s the hopes of the supreme working through me ….. I use my heart, my mind and my eyes. I use the power of peace in everything I do.”

Where are the women?

  • When I arrived in Sydney in November (from London via California), I read a great deal of coverage in the newspapers about the latest data published by the Equal Opportunities for Women in Work agency. From that I wrote a blog post asking where are the women. I covered some of this at the event.
  • Women are missing from not only Boards and executive positions but also from management too … the feed-in area for those Board positions. 12.6% of board members in the USA are women, 9.2% in Australia, and almost double at 17.4% in South Africa. It is a big conversation globally. Quotas have brought levels to 44% in Norway in the last 8 years.
  • Why are we not there? childcare is a major problem; pressure to juggle all our work and family roles; the need to go part-time and then have that participation viewed as being less ‘committed’ than full-time … we are starting our own enterprises at a higher rate then men and escaping the corporate culture where our values are not aligned.
  • Dr Riane Eisler (author of Caring Economics) says we have to start valuing caring, care-giving and all those other supportive, nurturing roles, activities and professions that enable the world to function.
  • When we are in leadership positions, and there in significant numbers, we add to the fiscal integrity of a business; improve organisational and fiscal performance; provide better ROI to shareholders; create more profit and more sustainability … and generally create better, happier places to work 🙂 Women have a positive effect.
  • SDIM1075There was a time that we women did once lead … in pre-history. Dr Eisler talks about new archaeological data inspiring revised interpretations of history as a result of discovering a culture on Crete that was highly advanced and peace-keeping. There was evidence of the nation’s riches providing widespread benefit and not just for a narrow group. The royal tomb turned out to be that of a queen and not a king as previously assumed. Queens and Priestesses have led advanced societies before and existed well without war-making.
  • Today we are beginning to recognise that we need to change the business culture to allow women to thrive so we can make a significant contribution to the solution process that will deal with the world’s challenges
  • The current world of work was originally designed by men for men and is an extremely masculine culture  prizing competitiveness which is now extremely unbalanced serving neither women nor men.
  • The more brain research is done and published the more we are beginning to find out just how different men and women really are. The equality conversation got tangled up in us being the same … but we have to discover, utilise, celebrate, honour and really leverage our differences.
  • Brain research on females has actually largely been done to date on castrated male mammals so a true picture of exactly how different a female brain is, and how women are, is only just emerging.
  • Our different brain structure and wiring pre-disposes us to traits of nurturing; better verbal agility; ability to form bonds of friendship and community; an enhanced capacity to read nuance, moods and emotions in others, and an urge to defuse conflict and create harmony
  • In addition to brain wiring we have different hormones driving our natural urges in different ways at different times of our lives and in cycles. All this needs wider understanding and leveraging to bring our difference to all situations where we have had to conform and have felt pressured to behave inauthentically as a man would.
  • We will grow as women and become powerful in our feminine energy when we put more effort into self awareness and self care. We have to find our power within changing our focus from purely validating ourselves externally.
  • It is important that we support each other. Coming together in conversation and wisdom circles like today helps build our confidence. Connecting in conscious conversations will really help the rise of feminine energy and power across the globe.
  • Truly when we connect with our inner strength and voice and embrace skills like meditation, we become more powerful co-creators with divine forces/God enabling us to do more but with less effort by ourselves.

SDIM1148Whitney Fitzsimmons from ABC TV’s Business Today was our guest speaker and she was very generous in her sharing about any challenges she might have faced in her career as a journalist and an on-screen presenter, and in the broadcast industry. Having created a sacred space into which we all spoke honestly it was inspiring to hear Whitney share about her work. Most recently she has added meditation to her practice of exercise and self care to keep herself in balance under pressure.

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