Archive for the ‘women’ Category

Extraordinary women

Friday, August 5th, 2011

women_peace kleurrijk

The late British economist Robert Theobald once asked me, “of all the people you have interviewed over the years, who left the deepest impression?”

His question was not easy to answer. Memorable conversations, I find, often have less to do with the person you’re speaking with and more to do with the insights they lead you to. Nevertheless I came up with a half-dozen names.

To my surprise, all of them were women.

“Why do you think they were all women?” he asked.

I ventured something about how women seem more grounded in their own experience and their own inner authority.

That was true for him as well, he said.

Read more here.

More on women

Sunday, February 20th, 2011

Don’t know if you know the site- and magazine – WorldPulse? The tagline says: Global Issues through the Eyes of Women.
It has great stories, all written by women form the land where they live.
One of the featured stories now is: A New Era Begins at UN Women.
It starts with this quote:
“When women around the world put their hearts and minds to a common good, we are unstoppable.” Ritu Sharma

Once sidelined, women are now gaining momentum within the UN system. UN Women opened its doors in January—and with it the doors to women’s leadership at the global level.

Led by Michelle Bachelet, Chile’s dynamic ex-president, UN Women has a smart, well-respected leader, a more powerful position within the UN hierarchy, and a new hybrid structure that unites the talents of four UN women’s agencies into one. It’s no wonder feminists are cheering.

I’m really curious what will unfold from here…

Women on fire

Tuesday, February 15th, 2011

Another manifestation of the feminine voice…

Millions of women around the world are generating inspired, exceptional, warm-hearted, generous and brilliant initiatives. Imagine the power, the consequence, if they were all joined up.

Women on Fire encourages women to live the power of gentleness, to bring tenderness to all walks of life, personal and professional, but most especially to themselves. It aims to promote and develop confidence in female intelligence, instinct and leadership. It offers a way of connecting up female wisdom worldwide. Its general purpose therefore is to power women as decision makers.

Women as decision makers constitute our one underused resource in addressing all the crises of our time: ecological, economic, social and spiritual. We want to encourage women to develop self-confidence without feeling challenged by patriarchal certainties. We want to offer instinctual wisdom as a partner to reason, wise women to accompany wise men.

Visit for more info.

Women in public leaderschip

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

I’m a fan of Jack Ricchiuto (regular leaders have noticed this lately!), and I am reading his small blog posts with anticipation and gratittude, because many times he gives voice to something that was bubbling in me already. Here one of these little gems, with the title Women in public leadership:

“In a community gathering recently focused on authentic community engagement, almost every regional government leader participating was a woman leader. The absent men were obviously hunting and gathering godknowswhat.

It invites all sorts of allusions to the inclusive nature of feminine energy. And it is a call for more leaders to the practice of fusion, not a continued specialization, of gender energy. If it takes more wise women in civic leadership to bring this about, let the revolution begin. But, the simple replacement of men with women will not be enough to bring this fusion of energies. It will take gender-collaborative, rather than gender-competitive, dialogue around the synergies of power and inclusion.

Communities will become whole when power and inclusion becomes whole.”

(To readers who want more of the Women Moving the Edge story… it is coming; next week for sure!)

Sourcing and the illusion of safety

Friday, May 15th, 2009

This is the last bit of my harvest of Women Moving the Edge 6!
We didn’t talk much about sourcing this time, but it was happening a lot. One of the participants named I as: What comes up when I sit in my void (and I am not going to read books or scholars)? What comes up when we go there, with the collective?


Over time of these six Women Moving the Edge gatherings we see that we hold both large concepts as well as how to make things happen. They are a modern translation of the Red Tent, gatherings of women, coming together in a sacred and safe container, each bringing their own gift, and then – consistently – taking it into the world.

To sit in the void together, that’s what we name collective Sourcing. And it is a practice for a community to evolve itself.

Already during the gathering had come up the wisdom that somewhere, deep in history, the feminine had agreed ‘to stay inside’ and let the masculine do the job ‘out there’. Now the gathering was over, everything packed again and we were back in Judy’s house with our little hosting team of three.

If we were to come out more into the world I needed to know what this old deal had been about. What did the feminine get in return for ‘staying inside’? Soon enough we understood we got safety in return. And now we are caught up in this big illusion of safety provided by money, by organizations, by the system! As if we still have to deal with wild animals and have to fight over food to survive. This doesn’t mean that I forget that there are a lot of people in the world with hardly or no food, but we don’t live anymore in the Stone Age and the food problem could be easily solved like … has shown.

So breaking the deal is giving up this safety and the illusions and coming back on Earth, instead of living in ‘the world’ full of concepts and ideas that so many times don’t have any link anymore with Life itself. We need to do this to get our human essence back…

A Crack in the Rock

Monday, May 4th, 2009

One purpose, or maybe better to say, one expectation of Women Moving the Edge is that all participants express themselves in their own way. So today we had different kind of offerings, like poetry read to us and life background music at some moments. Here is a poem written by one of the partipants 5 years ago, but so perfect for our time together.

A crack in the rock
By Cari Caldwell

A crack in the rock
Scarce fertility for the seedling
To sprout

Vague concepts won’t grow a redwood
Won’t support the heavy bow of responsibility
Won’t uplift the root inspiration

Sweat waters the unnourished ground.
Hands dig the hole.
Arms carry shovels
Heads down and focused…
For the sake of what?

The wind blows forward sand
Smoothing surfaces unrecognizable
Fools arrive with their shovels
attempting to crack the same rock.


Wise women observe the wind;
They watch its shadow.
They sit.
Hold then loosen, knowing, knowing
Knowing when the heavens will open
Knowing when to go home

How do
they know?

How do they know?

They invited wind over for tea.
They washed her hair.

In relation with relation
Wisdom bestowed
Shoots to redwoods.

The Glory of the Feminine

Sunday, May 3rd, 2009

Another of these amazing days with amazing women in an amazing program! The point of Women Moving the Edge is that we don’t have a design for the process. What we do have is a long process of preparation of holding the space for the potential to manifest and an intense co-sensing of what would be the right guiding question. These two, the holding space and the guiding question form the container in which the gathering can unfold. This question is in nice colors on the wall and besides the practice of the circle nothing is set beforehand.

For me it feels very natural to trust that something really meaningful will come out of this – even that we will move the edge of where we were before -; but I realized that it is not for many people. This trust makes that there is no pressure whatsoever of getting somewhere and it welcomes every contribution in the circle. So besides the conversations we had a song, a walk to the beach, belly dancing; we had tears and lots of laughter, and a hot tub to end the day.

It is impossible to remember or describe all the conversations… maybe I can put it together in The Glory of the Feminine.


What if following our bliss, our passion, our joy, our pleasure would be the way to go, and creating the new world would be a byproduct of that?!?

Coming from the idea that the masculine and the feminine needs to melt before new birth can occur, we had different lines of conversation on this dance between the genders, between these two energies. Who has to move first? Or do we all dance to the cosmic music and there is no one moving first but only listening to the resonance?
Is there value in seducing? Isn’t seducing the very act of being the pleasure and embodying the future?

The first part of our question is: “If we collectively hold space for the Future that is being birthed, …” That might be a very big idea, but it is important to see lots of our work – paid or not – in that light. We can’t move faster than how it goes, and it is important that projects and ideas can unfold in resonance with the pace of the Earth. But very important in this process is that we need each other to support one another in this holding space. It is a conscious act, although not very visible, but so needed!

Being pregnant… together…

A shift is happening

Saturday, May 2nd, 2009

I want to blog about the start of our gathering Women Moving the Edge today; although I am not sure what is the red thread… here just some notes…

In the tradition of the previous gatherings we started with some music and the invitatin to all to use the time and the music in a way that served them best to arrive in the space and in the group. Some were dancing, others sitting in silence, some writing…


The welcome, sharing, check-in circle immediately had great depth with stories coming from the heart and the deep soul. In the conversation that followed and over dinner what fascinated me were two stories of ‘letting the old die’. One of a non-profit organization – build up in two years time – to then understand that this kind of organization was not going to give the results in community building that they wanted to. So they gave it up and dismantled it. The other one a for profit organization where the one who started it realized he was not the best person to lead it and stepping back. Giving free space to re-organise in a real new, innovative way.

I heard in every story bits and pieces of a shift that is happening. But also the many questions that it raises. Do we have the capacity to let the shift spread? How do we balance the old and the new? How to let the old die in a respectful way?

Another thread in the conversation was on the typical emotional patterns of women; the power of playing the victim, the arrogance of feeling better… Can we come to a real and deep love for the men and the masculine? We will need to, if we want to find a re-balance, a re-patterning in our selves and for the world.

How big can the power be?
As big as the love can be!

Lifting the Veil

Friday, May 1st, 2009

Yesterday we started preparing for our next Women Moving the Edge gathering, which will start this afternoon in the beautiful Essex Retreat Center.
As we are used to in our conference calls we started with a silence. Nobody decides how long this silence will be, but it lasts until someone picks up a talking piece and starts the sharing circle. It was a long silence and it centered our selves and brought us in this still place of non-judgment and connectedness.

Lisa, having been a participant in these gatherings for many times is now an apprentice in our hosting team and her questions gave us an opportunity to be more explicit about how we work and what is the purpose of different ways of our way of working.


I came out of the silence with just one expression: Lifting the Veil. At first I didn’t realize what it was about, but tying it back to the morning conversation I had with Judy I finished it to a sentence: Lifting the Veil from Night Consciousness.

I learned about the difference between Daytime Consciousness and Night Consciousness from my systemic constellation trainer Johannes Schmidt. He once showed me the difference. He stood up showing Daytime Consciousness by looking ahead, focusing a target and walk in that direction. Showing the Night Consciousness he turned himself, put a hand before his eyes and walked backwards – step by step – constantly sensing what would be his direction and not seeing where he was heading! It struck me!!! This felt indeed as I have been living my life since many years!

Using the synchronicity of the moment I read a piece from the latest issue of the Kosmos magazine that was in Judy’s house. We had been talking in previous conference calls about ‘re-patterning the energy in the chaos’. Here was an article by Aster Mira Patel – unknown to me – titled: As Our World Re-Shapes Itself. The author has lived since early childhood at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in India. This is the last bit of her article:
“… even as the ‘new’ grows in strength and visibility, the old persists as the interface… with much violence and a great difficulty of transition. A kind of ‘relatability’ between the two, a certain smoothness of transition, is not there.

We remember a few words of the Mother which are deeply significant: “Sri Aurobindo used to say: it is women that can build a bridge between the old world and the supramental world.”


The new world carries the signs of the growing presence of the ‘supramental’… in its movement towards a fuller manifestation. And women carry the great responsibility of becoming conscious of this transition, of this passage into the ‘new’ that is taking place… to be conscious of what is taking place and to seek to be part of this process.

Women have the power of ‘transmission’, which is a quality of the energy-field that is theirs. The power to retain and to hold that of the Purusha Consciousness. But the power to ‘transmit’ and to ‘transmute’ belongs to the consciousness of Shakti.

From the human to the divine – these are the steps of our journey. The women, as the human being, is to transcend the external personality and become the receptacle of the force of the Divine. The Force that, by its action, can bridge the gulf between the old and the new world… and can manifest the ‘new’ in the face of the resistances offered by the ‘old’.


As our world re-shapes itself, women have to be consciously part of this re-shaping. Their conscious energy caries the power of Love that alone can transmute and re-create. A many-sided effort, a suppleness of moment and action are the other attributes of great significance.

Such is the need of the hour and this is the action called for.”

I know that the ‘supramental’ is exactly this intuitive capacity, this Night Consciousness. Wondering what will be revealed in our days to come…

What is the feminine?

Monday, February 9th, 2009

Different than what I planned, but one week after we finished the fifth iteration of Women Moving the Edge I still find value in writing down the words that struck me, the new wise insights I got in the process.
The following words – pieces of sentences – should be read like a poem, with attention for the deeper meaning they carry. These are the words I noted down on Saturday morning (Jan 31), our first session after the welcome and check-in of the night before.


our emptiness
our silence
is not ‘absence of’
it is huge
it has meaning
it touches me
My whole solar plexus is expanding.
There is incredible strength
it can move mountains
it comes from within.

We make something to hold something else.

When I sense into the center, it feels as if we are pregnant.
What are the conditions that enable a fruitful pregnancy?
Being pregnant is about being. You can’t rush it.
Lying in bed was ‘doing something’.

Do I make sense when I am ‘useless’?
It is OK when it is related to others.

Being pregnant, my body knew exactly what to do! It taught me! It was making some magic. How subtle it is to let your body teach you!

We can be pregnant of so many things!

It was the process of what was to come.
The body knows.
Now – Here – This.

The emptiness has meaning.
The house and the walls are there to share with each other.

I am curious…
The way of our body…
My body wants to be touched.

The nothing is full of something.
I love to be in the silence with you.
I love when we slow down.
A golden silence.

When we slow down, we go down. And what becomes possible is joy!
“And she gave him her joy at what he had created.”

The feminine has been on a long journey. What is the feminine?

When Shekinah comes back the 23rd letter will appear.
The holding has value.
I named it and claimed it.
Shekinah is back.


The feminine is bonding together… weaving under and over… to create a beautiful piece.
Perchta, the Goddess of Weaving and Knitting…

If we can’t name it, how can they know? I can’t be pregnant without his seed.
“… she lived with him and gave Form to his creative Word”
We can’t blame them for not seeing it.
Men are happy to take care of women being pregnant.
Holding space for our own femininity.

You are pregnant or not; you can’t be a little bit pregnant! We can’t be a little bit feminine.

So positive.
So much potential.

Either you give us the stage, or we take it! Dancing, singing, joy, little stories, jokes…
We are in separate cars on the same road.
Nobody is to blame, not myself, not the men, nobody. Honoring instead of blaming.


Our attempts for innovation are welcome!