In LaborPosted: 15 Nov, 2013
When I had the pleasure of leading a day of timebanking training as part of Transition Media’s (PA) TimeBanking in Transition training, Spring 2012, I was honored to attend the 2nd day of that training, led by Charles Eisenstein (Ascent of Humanity, Sacred Economics, The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible). At Charles’ training I paired up for an exercise with a lovely woman, Lucille, whom I’d met during my session the previous day.
Lucille’s about somewhere in her seventies I’d guess, and is a brilliant woman, writer, thinker, and early fan of Charles’ work (my impression was that they were old family friends). Right away Lucille and I started talking about women’s current role in society, and the need for a women-and-our-allies-led peaceful evolution (or non-violent revolution if you want to use an older harsher term for it). Lucille mentioned the feminine yang and the masculine yin, concepts which I hadn’t really heard or discussed explicitly before. She was talking about our tendency to break everything apart in polarities, and how we overlook and then quash the feminine yang and masculine yin. She likened the qualities of each to their biological counterparts – in men, the testicles are the yin element, patient, nurturing, tender, generative. In women, the yang is represented by the exerting womb in labor. Here‘s an illuminating essay on the topic by Charles Eisenstein .
I’ve been thinking about the feminine yang a lot, and that we’re in labor with the new (more beautiful!) world (our hearts know is possible!).
At Giftival in Turkey, Genevieve Vaughan mentioned that gift economy is lived by everyone through the mothering they receive, and she uses the word ‘mothering’ even when attributing the activity to men, as a special and unique aspect of unconditional love and caretaking. I realized this morning that the mothering aspect of all of us is the exerting womb at this moment, and will be our capacity to get this baby ready and push it out. And of course we have to make sure it’s born into a loving community committed to taking care of it and raising it up right!
It feels like no accident that it’s labor we’re in, and that reclaiming and redefining labor (work-style labor) as a generative, creative act of love will be what brings forth our beautiful new world. And I guess it’s also no accident that making that happen can feel long, difficult and painful at times! :)