Something is afoot.
Perhaps it’s the snowballing amount of global insanity.
A collective spiritual awakening.
One’s database reaching a certain size.
Something in the stars.
I don’t know what it is- but right now it feels to me that as leaders (business, spiritual, political, social) we are being asked to show our true colours.
I’ve been feeling this since the Charlottesville rally, and Trump’s lack of decisive condemnation of the events.
It feels to me that as leaders, however small or large the communities who follow us, the time for temperate responses is past. The time for proselytizing our own agenda without reference to what’s happening in the world is over.
For me I am feeling the question deeply and profoundly – “Who are you then Jo? And what do you stand for?”
As an Australian woman who identifies strongly as a Mum, a sister, a business women – it feels so bizarre to feel called to share my humble opinions about global affairs.
I feel uneducated.
I feel not good enough.
I feel highly unqualified.
But I feel also that as a woman who has the occasional attention of tens of thousands of people (through our email and social communities) I feel that anything less than stating my feelings and thoughts right now is to be hiding ostrich-like with head in the sand. It is a gross mis-use of the platform I have worked so hard to build.
Not that I thought I was building this platform for this reason. But I am feeling now that any of us with a platform have an obligation to make a stand about things.
And to make that stand known.
If you haven’t yet, I highly recommend watching Brene Brown’s incredible Facebook video on Charlottesville here.
After watching this, and reading this incredible call to arms from a very articulate spiritual coach, Layla Saad, I felt I could no longer just let my thoughts and feelings about the state of the world be the topic of after dinner conversations with my husband.
You see- what has stopped me in the past is: I’m not a news watcher.
Indeed it depresses me so much that for years I have deliberately avoided it.
But I’m feeling now, this needs to change. Because no longer does it feel like media-fed doom and gloom. There feels like a very dangerous societal shift is happening.
Yet, I am not a journalist.
I am hideously uneducated as to who said what, when and why.
And I am terrified that I’ll write something, say something, hell- think something… that is “wrong”. Because I’m not aware of all the subtle moving pieces.
I’m married to a vehement news consumer. Greg knows about everything. Thinks about it all. Forms theories and opinions. But he does it quietly, on his own, and occasionally shares with me.
For me-my attention is first to my faith, my family, my business, keeping myself sorted enough to keep all these wheels turning, and then the intricacies of world affairs.
But perhaps that is what is shifting. My faith is calling me to speak out.
And I am afraid.
Afraid I will be caught out on the facts.
Afraid I will not be agreed with.
Afraid I’m not intelligent enough, informed enough, feminist enough, too white, too heterosexual, too Australian, too spiritual, too a million other things that have been stopping me even writing this post.
It boils down to in the end I’m afraid my high need for approval will hold me back.
But having watched Brene Brown’s perspective over the weekend it causes me to realize that my privilege cannot stop me from speaking out.
You see- at the centre of my work is a heartfelt desire for a global paradigm shift.
I’m not egotistical enough to think it will happen because of my efforts, but I hope to make a space inside of my business communities including One of Many, Empress and those who follow me here where a great many of us can find the tools and support they need to further this mission.
So I will continue to have the controversial and tough conversations because I believe deeply that the empowerment of every disenfranchised person is key to shifting the societal paradigms that cause events like Charlottesville to even have room to breathe.
I believe that at the centre of this is the empowerment of women.
God – I hate even the phrase- it sounds so overused and hyped.
But if we women get powerful, we step into leadership in our families, our communities, our nations. And when we bring with us our compassion, our love and our tolerance, I am convinced we can and will lead the change.
So that’s what I am committing to doing.
From now on I will voice my opinions widely.
Not because I expect you to care, and not because I’m the most educated or best commentator.
But for whatever reason some of you are interested in what I say. And I might trigger one or two to go do some more reading, and form your own opinions. And to take your own actions. And that will be worth it.
I am not the fount of all knowledge. The ins and outs, the truths, the political intricacies, the what happened when- I’ll leave that to the journalists.
But I am a woman, a wife, a mother, and I care and feel when things are not right.
So I’m speaking up.
This is not right.
And I will continue to speak up.
And I know I won’t do it perfectly. I’ll fuck it up often in fact.
But I am willing to put my head above the parapet. I’m willing to say what needs saying and to be a stand. And I need help in that. I’ll get it wrong. But it doesn’t mean I’m not committed to keeping on having the conversations we need to have.
Lastly thank you to you all.
To the women in this community who teach me every day.
To the women of color who in the past have marched up to me and said “Jo- I’m on your crew because girlfriend you need some diversity in here if this is going to succeed.”
To the non-heterosexual women who have challenged me to keep developing content that’s relevant for all sexual persuasions.
To the older women who bring us the wisdom of post-menopause.
To the teenagers who call for relevance.
For all the women who ask for inclusion- no matter age, ethnicity, religion, sexual persuasion, whether our bodies and brains work or otherwise…. thank you for being up for making a change.
Thank you for seeing that at the core we are a community committed to that change.
And we are still learning and failing.
But we are so committed to the global impact we see is needed that we will never cease learning and failing and eventually I hope we will succeed.