Let’s talk about behavior and politics and our new world order.
Not only am I struggling to find my place in the latter, but I find myself judging people’s apathy or – and this is key – their perceived apathy. I don’t know how you CAN’T be angry right now. I don’t know how you are posting little ha-has about your book or your business or sharing memes with clever quotes while the world as we know it is burning to the ground.
Maybe I envy you? Maybe when the Great Creator made me and lined up my cells just so, it was intended to form a resister who doesn’t know how to keep quiet and get in lock step. Perhaps I feel in a different way than others?
I know there are many people in our country who want to get involved in the public conversation, but can’t because of employment constraints. They could lose their job if they get political or even jeopardize their client base. Of course I get that, but I for one can’t live it.
If someone reads what I’ve written about what Donald Trump is doing and decides I’m not the life coach for them, I think we’re both better off. If a person wants to hire me to write a profile, but they see my world view as getting in the way of what they want to portray, they’re making the right decision for both of us. I haven’t a shred of doubt I’m on the right side of history. We’re way beyond differences of opinion here.
However, I know there is more for me to do in the world. I can sense it from my core to the very surface of my skin. As a keen observer and creative, I am doing what I tell my clients to do – practice patience. Let things show themselves. Invite interesting people and events in and let them infuse you and maybe even make you sparkle.
Enter the wonderful event I attended last night – “Carry the Spirit of Seneca Falls, Gender Parity in 2018 and Beyond” – at artist Linda Stein’s studio in New York City’s TriBeCa. I was greeted by the art, steely and strong, reeking of gender messages. Female forms in armor and sculpture. Wonder Woman, over and over again.
Not even five minutes into my arrival, with lots of people mingling and chatting, a woman makes a beeline for me. She introduces herself as the artist, which instantly puts a smile on my face.
“Let’s get you into some armor,” she says. “Have you tried it on yet?”
I’m sheepish, but completely down for this at the same time. Armor? Will I feel hidden? Walled off?
As it turns out, no. I feel powerful. Instantly ready for anything. An amazingly transformative moment. Two young women strap me in and ask if I’d like a bow and arrow or boxing gloves. Without hesitation, I say, “Gloves!” and soon they’re fitting me in those. I’m supposed to look fierce, but I can’t help smiling. The photographer does his thing. It all sets a provocative tone for the evening.
When Gloria Feldt, co-founder and president of Take the Lead, and others talk during the program, I am primed for their message. The organization’s mission is to “prepare, develop, inspire and propel women to take their fair and equal share of leadership positions across all sectors by 2025.” Feldt, whose extensive background advocating for women includes 10 years as president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, hits on a topic that resonates fully with me – our time of chaos.
She talks about what can come about because of chaos and I begin to feel my own motivation building. Not just around what’s happening in the world but regarding my own inner chaos. The world and I are going to make our way out of it. We are.
Another speaker talks about how we can use “our mouth or our money.” Right now there’s no question where I fall – my mouth and by extension my pen, keyboard, social media posts. My voice is unconstrained, the armor amplifying it rather than squelching it.
All this art and activism and leadership talk makes me come away feeling empowered and even more motivated to find my own way to pour my passion for my country into a productive, loud place.
On my way out I buy a booklet called “Body-Swapping Armor” by Linda Stein. On the cover is Heroic Compassion 665, the piece I had worn a few hours earlier; it is part of Stein’s Knights collection. I devour the booklet’s contents on my train ride home.
“The Knights stage an experience of the tight connection between mind and body: wearing one, the viewer may find herself suffused with a new consciousness that originates in the new body she has taken on,” it says.
Yes. I can attest it is so.