I gave a public presentation a couple of days ago on Understanding the Importance of Rites of Passage for Teen Girls in Contemporary Culture. It was designed to be informative as well as promotional for the upcoming Pathways Into Womanhood, a 5-day Residential Rites of Passage camp for girls 13-15 and their mothers or mentors. (I am a co-founder of the program)
I am very comfortable facilitating groups, but usually in a circle format, and usually all female, of all ages. But this was to be to a mixed gender audience, in an audience sit-in-a-chair format, me at the front, keynote presentation. For some reason I became more and more nervous as the day approached and had to do some real inner questioning to understand what the anxiety was about. But in the meantime I decided to use the tried and tested fear buster- knowledge. The old adage: knowledge allays fear.
So I chose to stare at the screen, at the pages of books, read old notes and find the latest statistics. Information, that will prove my worth, that will be impressive. Finally, the day before the presentation, grace and humour arrived to offer me an aha! moment. I realised that I had nothing new to say; that the basic truths are ancient and simple, so simple as to be easily overlooked in our quest for more is better and more complex is more intelligent. I was buying into our information-oriented, left brain dominated, head-wins-over-heart culture. The very same culture that has stepped on and over Indigenous people forever, in the name of Progress.
I relaxed. I came back to what I have learned from study of all ancient earths peoples, and from my own experiences in life and nature:
Life is Sacred. We are all connected in this vast web together. We do nothing here without assistance from the Invisible.
We would be arrogant to think otherwise. And from there it was simple to give a presentation about girls’ need for community, belonging, and spirituality in a fragmented world. Long before neuroscience and quantum physics Indigenous people knew …..
To find out more about Pathways Into Womanhood click here.