I have lived a long rich life of privilege. I am a mother, grandmother, partner, friend, colleague, teacher, designer, coach, consultant, scholar, executive, facilitator, artist, writer, environmentalist, integralist, world traveller… I am grateful every day for my many blessings. If you’re interested in more specifics, [you can find a resume here]-LINK NEEDED.
My mother was an artist. She painted and taught women how to paint most of her adulthood. Although I didn’t credit her at the time, she left me a legacy of artistic ways of knowing that has served me all my life. I have painted on and off for many years, although without her depth of training and talent. I have included here some of my art, stepping to the edge of my comfort to integrate this Discarded Other, the creative feminine side of me, into my journeys.
My purpose now in encouraging the journey to wholeness is based on both my own Dark Night experience of an imbalance of the masculine over the feminine, and my observation of a similar Dark Night imbalance in the world. Both of these perspectives are described in my book, Dark Night: Reclaiming the Discarded Other on the Journey to Wholeness.
I have often said that I have never accomplished anything important on my own. I have been very fortunate to have a group of family, friends and colleagues who have supported and inspired me every step of the way.
My family has consistently championed my endeavours, even though it has taken me away from them. I have had mentors who have trusted me and given me room to grow and shine. I have had business partners and teaching partners who have generously filled in the gaps in my competence and encouraged me to unearth my potential. And I have had circles of friends who have shown up, time and again, to take part in my many experiments and adventures. Although they are too numerous to name, they are all vivid in my heart and my gratitude is immeasurable.
About All of Us
It is my belief that by accomplishing the harrowing Dark Night passage as individuals, we gain the capacity to contribute our leadership to the collective global issues that confront us from a more holistic maturity, seeing through the apparent paradoxes.
We must prepare to take on these socio-political tasks with the necessary care and concern that only a deep self-awareness and wisdom can bring to the Dark Night the world is now facing. It is not that each of us has to contribute at a large scale, but we must be able to see into the broad issues with the empathy of our own seasoned experience and the intimacy of our own balanced psyches. Then we can begin where we are, bringing our singular perspectives to the world in whatever ways are available to us. We can become the leaders the world needs us to be.
Of course, the ultimate purpose is to arrive at a place where these polarities are no longer relevant. When we are successful in navigating our individual and collective Dark Nights, the two poles will dynamically interact. We will be a vibrant harmony of opposites in every dimension, a wave and particle complementarity in a constant energetic flux and flow, the polarities integrated in a relational dance. For the moment, though, the distinctions are important because they signal the imbalance, and therefore where leadership is required to develop ourselves, our communities and our world as a whole, without separation.
How does the Dark Night of the world impact you? How might you provide leadership for the sake of the whole?