by Beth Wilson, CPS Partnership Community
While working for the U.S. Congress, and later, for Silicon Valley start-ups, I came to realize how different my thinking was from the norm. While others recognized the value of my contributions and rewarded me generously, rarely could they articulate the “unique” approach I took as a leader, bridge-builder, innovator and problem-solver. Thankfully, after reading The Chalice and the Blade, what I did know was that the values with which I approached my work, my parenting, and my life were rooted in what Riane Eisler called, “partnership.” Due to my extensive participation in diverse global and indigenous cultures, I knew, for myself, that Riane’s research was not a bygone feminist fantasy. On the contrary, it was a living, breathing paradigm available to all who were interested in gender equality, respectful relationships with our children and Mother Earth as well as life-affirming institutions for governance.
As a life-long advocate for women’s empowerment, I came to see that far too often liberation was dovetailing with the values of domination. My recent book, The Recovering Feminist: Empowering All People to Create a Whole World has taken on the feminist dogma that echoes the one up battle cry inherent in a system of domination while introducing both men and women to the power of the partnership model. Out of my book—and my experience—I developed workshops for Embodied Empowerment and Transformational Leadership in order to reframe the issues of our day by opening others’ eyes to the insidious influence of the domination system—and showing that there is a way out. In addition, I provide language for incorporating life-affirming models on a day-to-day basis, making the values of partnership readily accessible and applicable to those dedicated to positive change.
I’m pleased to say that articulating the differences in the two systems while offering tools for embracing the necessary competencies to live, communicate, and apprehend the world differently, has been well received. Stanford University, Harvard Divinity School, Santa Clara University along with U.S. and Canadian executive women’s organizations, have invited me to share knowledge and offer my workshops, thus giving me the opportunity to teach meaningful concepts for global transformation. I, too, have benefitted from the wisdom of esteemed scholars such as Diane L. Moore’s teachings on religious literacy; the Jesuit underpinnings of Santa Clara University’s mission, including The Frugal Lab’s innovative solutions for world problems; and the indigenous women of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia joining forces with business leaders to bring caring values into entrepreneurial ventures.
In my experience, I have discovered that many women—and men—are searching for a better way to do business, do government, and to do life. They are eager to translate the values of partnership into their own thinking so they can be in greater alignment with others and the natural world. Riane’s work provides a solid foundation to understand what, intuitively, many know is not working and a way forward that offers the opportunity for relationship with all of life.
Beth Wilson is a Partnership practitioner, life coach and international best-selling author. Her newest book is The Recovering Feminist. recoveringfeministbook.com