On Friday night I had the opportunity to see Marianne Williams speak live in Kansas City.
To be fair, I have never read her books. Not one. Not ever. Nor am I big on A Course in Miracles, which she studies, and teaches, and lives by.
But yet, she’s a “big name” and I figured she must be for a reason, so I took the opportunity to go spend an evening and get educated in a different forum than a yoga studio. And somehow, I convinced my husband to come along with me. (I have also convinced him to come to Deepak Chopra with me next week… apparently all of these “spiritual celebrities” are making their rounds through KC, and it’s making quite a dent in my pocketbook.)
Quite frankly, when it began, I was not impressed. The introduction alone was enough to send me running, but I stayed put. There’s something about a spiritual teacher being praised with many accolades that just rubs me the wrong way, but I knew this was my conditioning and I was determined to stick it out.
And I am so so so glad I did.
She’s a powerful speaker, although what she had to say was very dense. She’s also a fast talker, and I often felt like I wished she would have paused more, or slowed down, to give me a little time to digest what she was saying. Yet I was just along for the ride, so I just watched and tried to focus as much as possible.
She talked a lot about… A lot. But the thing that stuck with me the most was her brief but powerful mention of the star of David, the two triangles pointing up and down. She described it as the intersection between the horizontal and the vertical – and all I could think was, “Shiva and Shakti!”
The two triangles, in yoga philosophy, represent the divine masculine and the divine feminine. The upward facing triangle is the divine masculine – and the tendency to conceptualize, to transcend, and to connect to the divine. The downward facing triangle is the divine feminine – the ability to manifest the energy and creativity of the divine into one single concrete form, like a human or a painting. Shiva is the god of destruction, destroying the illusions to get to the true nature of reality, while Shakti is the goddess of creation,connecting to this beautiful home on earth.
Both are divine, both are necessary, both are intimately connected to make the world turn.
I found so many parallels between what Marianne discussed, between my yoga studies, and the book I’m currently reading, Spiritual Bypassing. Marianne’s thesis of her speech was: don’t ignore your pain. Go further into it. When you know your own pain, you can effectively witness the pain of others and thus help them, like Jesus said.
The thesis of Spiritual Bypassing is: don’t ignore your pain. Go further into it. When you know your own pain, you can effectively witness the pain of others and thus be of service, as was the intention of every spiritual community, everywhere.
Marianne said that the trendy spiritual word used to be “awakening,” and this is a profoundly masculine trait. Ascension, transformation, to be above and to witness the earth as below, is a decisively destructive and detached state. But, Marianne says the new word is “authenticity,” and that we are moving towards a place where people understand that ascension is not all there is. It’s not just connecting to the divine and rising up for your own personal good, it’s about the collective rising up. It’s about elevating yourself and bringing others with you. It’s about a global coming together, to witness each other’s pain, to hold each other dear, and to not ascend until everyone by God is on the same fucking page.
This is that critical piece we’ve been missing for so long. And as I get further into my studies, further into my explorations, I’m finding this same message, over and over and over again – it’s not about me, it’s not about you, it’s about us and what we can co-create.
Divine feminine is my battle cry.
(P.S. For those of you KC dwellers, I’m leading a Divine Feminine workshop on the goddess Durga – the goddess of strength, courage, and authentic expression in March. Check out my workshops and retreat page for details, and come get yourself some divine feminine. The world needs it!)