Focus. We leave tomorrow morning for Portland, OR where we will spend the next 10 weeks. In between packing, passports, and double checking the most important accordion folder we’ll ever know, I’m also last minute planning our side trip through Banff and Jasper. It’s only two days out of the way to see one of the world’s best kept secrets, so we’re doing it. It doesn’t have to be a stressful experience I repeat to myself over and over creating a thin but steady buffer between two possible outlooks. As we open ourselves up to the world, we open ourselves up to all things. The stresses are just a part of getting to the root, and for us right now, that happens to be an incredible life experience through the Rockies. Stay in the moments not the minutes. Focus.
I am deep into reading, annotating and studying The Great Work of Your Life because it’s just that good. It makes me realize why I was drawn to Hip Sobriety in the first place. She had a powerful mission and spark that ignited a spark in me to be better and go farther. Stephen Cope’s book pushes you with same ignition: out into the realm of greatness instead of falling for “good enough” by showing you how others have done it. He says that we unfold this through taking lots of little steps towards a solid purpose or direction. These actions of greatness begin to reflect greatness on the whole. Right now, I am most inspired by Stephen Cope’s portrayal of Susan B. Anthony. Really, why doesn’t everyone know this version of her story? How is it that everyone only hears this typical, boring biography of her? I mean, that’s what we all remember, right? Why did we take this incredibly powerful woman who single handedly kicked the Women’s Rights’ Movement into motion and portray her like some stern, unlikeable, possibly evil mother goose character? Even if that’s not what the bios in the textbooks say word for word, that’s pretty much how the kids reading it are understanding it. Why? Because that’s how the newspapers described her in the 1800’s, and this is still very much a man’s world : that’s why. She famously says,” I was not made for a man, I was made for God. And I was made for myself”. Reading about Susan in the way that Stephen Cope describes her is enchanting. You’ll fall in love with her too. I promise.
My biggest question right now echoes that of many heroes out there, but seriously: How, as women of the 21st century, are we not light years beyond where she set us up to be? I mean, she set us up for major success all the way back in the 1800’s: a time where women were viewed as legal property of their husbands. LEGAL PROPERTY! It’s over one hundred years later and our mindsets have only slightly shifted. If that, like kind of shifted for some of us.
“When I am crowned with all the rights, privileges, and immunities of a citizen, I may give some consideration to this social institution [marriage]; but until then I must concentrate all of my energies on the enfranchisement of my own sex.”
-Susan B. Anthony ❤
The main thing Cope translates through our Susan visionary is a method for pursuing her dharma. He says that she unified her life to completely reflect her dharma, and she learned to toughen up, big time. She devoted her life to the cause during some pretty terrible times for women while being ripped apart by onlookers, but “as part of her Dharma training, she understood that they were not about her in any personal sense, but about social and economic issues far larger than herself”. This lights me up. I get it. I don’t feel confused about my anger, or dramatic exiting really anymore. There are no mixed feelings about what the words “angry” or “feminist” might insinuate anymore. I don’t care what those words might represent if they represent what is honest and true to my belief system. If Susan could go out there and make it happen in the hell that seemed to be the 1800’s, I think I can afford to activate my voice a little more, and stand up for women in 2017. I think we could all roar a little louder. I guess it was after reading all of this and getting into “routine wife beatings” that lead to the Temperance Movement that really got to me. Reading those two things back to back and looking at our world now is sickening. LEGAL PROPERTY and ROUTINE WIFE BEATINGS. It makes my skin boil. If feminism is something you’ve only peered into before but never really felt a part of, do some reading. This is about equality. This is a humanity issue! Not to mention that she had historical bad asses Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Anna B. Shaw by her side. The dream team. Women supporting women!
If anyone reading this happened to read my last post about dramatic exits, I have more information for you here: Susan B. Anthony’s first public super storm is said to have sparked and liberated the steps she would later take to revolutionize the world for womenkind. Superstorms happen people! These fires could help ignite something really great if we direct them towards our dharma.
Hip Sobriety is one of the strongest voices for speaking up and out for women in recovery right now, and she suggests reading “Radical King” about MLK because as she says, “fire is power when used in certain ways”. This is helpful, and even if you don’t see how it has anything to do with sobriety just think about suppression in general. In the right environment with the proper care, we CAN transform fear, trauma, anger, and PASSION from misguided fire into something really meaningful and life changing. A force to be reckoned with indeed. Susan B. Anthony needs an updated bio for the world to see starting with schools everywhere. Let’s ditch whatever ridiculous textbook version they read to kids now, and up the ante.
To know that the spark, or super storm within me actually has grounds for liberating and changing the course of history, well, I certainly think that’s worth sharing. Channelling the fire into something great instead of looking at it all happen on some distant page apart from your world. It takes the greatness that Stephen Cope and Hip Sobriety describe to achieve greatness. It’s WHY she chose to speak, how she spoke, and the fact that most viewed her speaking as a violation of her natural right is simply remarkable. I am so inspired and wanted to share with everyone, to inspire. That’s enough for now. Lots of traveling ahead. ❤