Five years ago, I attended this phenomenal online Red Tent summit hosted by DeAnna Lam. It helped fuel my desire and gave me the courage to facilitate my own Red Tents. I am honored to be one of the speakers this year! Please join us. Sign up HERE.
I celebrated my 30th anniversary this year with my store! Here are some reflections on the journey and our year.
A common response from a customer hearing we’re celebrating our 30th anniversary at The Fossil Cartel: “30 years?! What were you, 12 when you started?” Of course it makes me feel good that at 58, I don’t look quite as old as the fossils in my store...yet. :-) When I first started at 28, people would incredulously ask, “You’re the OWNER?!” I suppose 28 is a little on the young side for being a business owner, but I always wondered if it also had to do with the fact that I was a woman. Fast forward 30 years, if my husband happens to be in the store helping me out, people -- especially men -- often approach him assuming he’s the owner, even though I am standing right there. It doesn’t really bother my ego, but it does show me that misogyny is still a thing, and that’s a problem. I see it as a symptom of the greater malady of dishonoring the feminine principle, from raping women to violating Mother Earth, causing her to become uninhabitable.
In order to reverse course, bring balance and heal this world, women need to take responsibility and take action. The powers that be in our patriarchal society will not do it for us. One of the best ways to empower women and amplify the feminine is to bring women together for that purpose. Besides running The Fossil Cartel, for the past 5 years I’ve been gathering women by hosting Red Tent women’s circles and other events through my Moondays project.
Another way we can honor the divine feminine is to appreciate all of her beauty and mystery. I have always appreciated crystals and fossils as some of the most amazing treasures, gifts from the Great Mother. I hope others honor them the same way. I still delight in seeing faces light up in the store as people marvel about what they are seeing, holding and hearing about. Being able to actually see, touch and hear about something you’re considering purchasing has got to be better in so many ways than shopping online. Plus you’re supporting a local small business!
It’s been a really great 30th anniversary year for us. With all of our celebrations, contests, special promotions, having Nicolas Cage shop in the store, and being on TV, we’ve had a lot of fun and got to connect more with all of you. I am so grateful to all our customers for appreciating the mineral and fossil kingdom as much as we do. Thank you for continuing to keep us in business all these years! May we all tread softly and treat Mother Earth kindly, so she may continue to provide a wondrous, bountiful, beautiful home for us all.
Here are the links for the two segments we were in, on the show More Good Day Oregon:
If we want to dismantle the patriarchy, we have to attack it from all angles. I started a list of the various things we can do towards that end a couple of blog posts back. Since Election Day is right around the corner, it’s time to focus on the importance of voting. Many women fought for the right for us to vote over 100 years ago. Let’s not let all their hard work be for naught. Let’s not disappoint them and our fellow sisters.
Sometime after 1896, suffragette Alice Stone Blackwell wrote this list of 16 reasons women should be given the right to vote. Among the many excellent reasons: “Because the moral, educational, and humane legislation desired by women would be got more easily if women had votes…. Because laws unjust to women would be amended more quickly.... Because it would increase the moral and law-abiding vote very much, while increasing the vicious and criminal vote very little.” We HAVE THE RIGHT TO VOTE NOW! Let’s use it!!!!
I’ll admit I’m guilty of not voting much when I was younger. I never got into politics and didn’t have the energy to try and figure out who or what to vote for when it came down to it. The older I got -- and special thanks to the awful administration in power now -- the more I saw the importance of it. Now there are multiple sources to help us with voting, in case your excuse to not vote is that it could be very confusing. Take any local publication that you read and align with. Most of them will publish their opinions on who and what to vote for. From their explanations, you can do a little more research and make your own decisions. Research is so easy now with the internet! Just please make sure your information is coming from a trusted source.
In an editorial piece written for the Hearst newspapers in 1917, the writer was spot on when he said the following:
“When women shall vote, the political influence of the good men in the community will be greatly increased. There is no doubt whatever that women, in their voting, will be influenced by the men whom they know. But there is also no doubt that they will be influenced by the GOOD men whom they know. Men can deceive each other much more easily than they can deceive women -- the latter being providentially provided with the X-ray of intuitional perception.”
And then there’s the issue of there not being enough women in politics. If we want to see more women representing us, we have to vote them in.
Please let our excellent judgment and influence not go to waste! Please help upend the patriarchy and VOTE!
A few weeks ago, I wrote about ways we can dismantle the patriarchy. One of my main points was, be or become economically independent (being interdependent is fine, too -- just don’t put all your eggs in someone else’s basket).
This was always such a basic one for me. I’ve heard countless stories of women who depended on their husband’s income and then upon divorce, believed their only option for survival was finding another husband. Even though this situation is more rare these days, I still hear women say every once in a while, “I wish I could find a rich husband.” Even if they are half serious or only joking, it is disconcerting they’d even have that thought in their consciousness. It means they feel like they don’t have the ability to create the kind of life they desire on their own and the only power they have is the aptitude of attracting men. That’s the old paradigm.
It might be fun for a while to have a free ride, but there’s nothing that equals the feeling of accomplishment by generating your own income and being able to take care of yourself financially. That feeling of accomplishment translates into confidence. This combination of capability and confidence gives us power! These are the kind of things we need to upend the patriarchy. Plus there’s really no such thing as a “free ride.” We wind up paying for it in other ways.
I was in a tight spot myself when I was in my 20s. I was living hand-to-mouth, on the road in a small RV with my then boyfriend. We often didn’t know where our next meal was going to come from. After four years, I was ready to go my separate way, but didn’t have any money put aside for renting a place. I had no idea what I was going to do and felt very trapped. Luckily, I happened upon the book Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain. I practiced a couple of the visualizations from the book twice a day for a month to manifest the two things that would help me become independent: a house to buy for myself and a bead store to own. Long story short, I wound up manifesting those two things which eventually brought me financial independence.
How are you doing in this arena? Do you need help?
Here is some suggested reading:
Women still get raped, still experience domestic abuse, still don’t get equal pay, still take on the brunt of housework. I could go on….
We often feel helpless when faced with the injustices of the world. Seldom do we feel like we have the power to do anything that will make a difference. Maybe we don’t have the capacity to twitch our noses like Samantha in “Bewitched” and make things right, but we do all have it in us to do little things that can add up to make a significant impact.
The main systems on the planet (social, economic, political, religious, etc.) are flawed. All of these constructs are offspring of our main patriarchal system that has been in place for millenia -- a system that has valued the masculine over the feminine, so much so it has become toxic.
Merriam-Webster defines patriarchy as: “control by men of a disproportionately large share of power.” The planet is still controlled by men with a disproportionately large share of power. We have come a long way in dismantling the patriarchy, but there’s more work to do. When women claim more power, they can help even out the scale and cleanse the earth of this toxicity.
Power is sourced in money, knowledge, voting, emotional maturity, the words we use, and unity. Here are a few things we can do to claim more power, some small, some bigger -- that can really add up and help shift the sick paradigm to a more healthy one:
Please let me know what other ideas you have of things we can do, whether it’s another category or ideas within each category. I will be expounding on more specifics in the months to come!
Yours in elevating the divine feminine,
Women’s Equality Day celebrates the anniversary of the day women -- white women, that is -- got the right to vote. We’ll be celebrating everyone's right to vote at our Goddess Swim this year.
Given the power we achieved getting the right to vote, I’m surprised more women don’t use it. After all, this is one of the ways we can dismantle the patriarchy? How can we inspire more women to vote?
When I was growing up, they never taught politics in school, yet it is so important to be involved and make our voices heard. Learning about government should be mandatory in all high schools (like it is in Portland Public Schools), including how to be civically engaged. How can we make this happen?
Let’s inspire each other to use our power, to exercise our voting rights, inspire others to vote, become more civically engaged or maintain our engagement. It’s not easy when we’re up against such a strong headwind with the current federal administration. Sometimes we have to disengage to keep our sanity. That’s why it behooves us to come together. We need to bolster each other and reignite the fires in our bellies to help make some positive, desperately needed change.
Details on our Goddess Swim.
We’re off to a good start! My heart is full from all the wonderful support that’s come flooding in from all of you!
Every day things come up to remind me why this project is so important. Last night I went to a women’s business networking event. I spoke with a lawyer who, besides having a regular practice, also has a start-up that services attorneys online. She told me about a recent experience with a potential investor. After they talked for a while, he said to her flat out that he wasn’t going to invest in her company because he figured she was just going to become a mother and devote all of her time to being a mom. My blood boils when I hear stories like that! How dare he?! He would never say that to a man!
We need a place to come together to shore each other up and strategize how to deal with the day-to-day and the big picture. Moondays will be the perfect gathering place for sisterhood, women’s empowerment and self-care.
I just sent out the emails asking people if they would commit to backing the project. It's so hard for me to ask for things. I remember one time when I was a kid and I was with my dad in a store. There was something I wanted very badly, but I couldn't bring myself to ask for it so I stood there and cried because it was so painful. I think many women have been in the same boat. Men have the feeling of entitlement in our culture and we just don't because of the way the patriarchy is structured. I've been getting a lot of yeses, so that's a relief! :-)
I finally got to see the video and it's great! I'm very excited about it. It's interesting how the filmmaker had to edit together bits and pieces of the footage to tell the story.
We're creating a bunch of Facebook ads, so you'll be seeing us a lot if you're on that platform.
I'm so excited and nervous because we go live in just 4 days!!!!!
We did it! We filmed the video last Sunday. It was really fun to build-out a mock up of a Moondays. Michael, the filmmaker, was very professional and I'm excited to see the finished product. It was a blast working with a bunch of sisters who were totally jazzed about it, too. And I am so grateful for their help!
My critical perfectionist eye kept going to all of the not-so-perfect details, or second guessing things like my outfit, the way my interview went, etc. I was so grateful for Morghannah and Morgan agreeing to be the two other interviewees. They are such eloquent, articulate speakers and passionate about the project. I was also overjoyed with how our volunteer models help set up some of the shots, for instance in the "cafe." They did such a magnificent job making the food and place settings look beautiful, way better than I could have done. It was a lot of work to set up and take down in 5 hours and get in all the different scenes we wanted to capture. Then Michael and I went downtown to shoot some scenes at my store, The Fossil Cartel. All of that time and work and the finished product will only be 2 minutes long! It will be interesting to see which cuts make it in the video and how Michael puts it all together.
I've sent the preview link out to those who agreed to help review it. I am amazed at how many thorough responses I'm getting! People have been so kind spending time to really look it over, take it in and make suggestions. I've already changed the page a great deal due to the feedback. The power of having a couple of hundred eyes looking at it is phenomenal. People think of all sorts of improvements I would not have thought of. Plus I've received a lot of encouragement through positive responses and messages from others who believe in my vision. It helps to know I'm on the right track! It makes all of this hard work so worth it.
I hired someone to do a rendering of what Moondays could look like. I only had one revision after the initial submission. There's so much I'd like to change, but it would get too costly to keep going. Hopefully it will help people picture it, along with the video that's coming and how I describe it in the body of the Kickstarter page.
I have a burning desire to empower women. I hope that my mission resonates with you and you join me on this journey.