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Sister Giant: Being Seen and Heard in the Age of Facebook

By on November 1, 2012

I met Marianne Williamson a few weeks ago.  I doubt that anyone in our community needs further introduction, but just in case: Marianne is a much loved spiritual teacher and author of many books. Return to Love is one of her best known works.

Marianne and Buddhist scholar Robett Thurman were teaching a workshop a stone throw away from my house. I had family commitments for much of the weekend so  I asked and was given permission to register for the Sunday morning session only.  At the end of the session I walked up to Marianne to thank her for the engaging presentation.  She looked at me and said,

“You don’t look familiar, I don’t think I saw you here earlier, have I ?”

“No,” I replied. “I couldn’t be here for the whole workshop but am so glad to have made it this morning.”

Hmm, I thought, she actually took notice of the fact that I was a new face in the group. And it was not a small gathering.

We spoke for a while about my work, the reproductive healthcare industry, the biological clock and how it can be used as a fear inducing marketing tool.  Marianne listened attentively, then enthusiastically acknowledged the importance of what I was doing.

It was a brief exchange between two people who saw and heard one another.

It’s what all of us humans want perhaps more than anything else in the world.  For someone to take a moment, however brief, and say, How wonderful that you’re here, I value who you are and what you do.  That’s all.  It’s as energizing to me as a couple of gallons of Red Bull I see the teenagers in our town get high on.

At the end of the Sunday workshop, Marianne asked for our support with an important project called Sister Giant.

I am supporting Marianne’s Sister Giant project because I believe in what it stands for.  To me it’s about making sure the fertile female, the dreamer, the lover, the game-changer in us claims her power.  It’s about remaining fertile and fruitful; about birthing creations that add to the Power of Good.  These are ideas we’ve been championing in the Fertile Heart community since its inception. I’d love you to take a look at the brief video I recorded in support of the event.  And for more information on Sister Giant go to www.SisterGiant.com.

I have an important previous teaching commitment that Saturday here in our community in Woodstock. Otherwise, I’d be there.

I must also  confess that what moves me toward support is that brief exchange we had a few weeks ago.Being truly heard and seen in real time, even for a moment is a rare gift in this era of 50, 000 Facebook  friends and 10,000 LinkedIn connections.  Yes, I get the value of social media as an agent of change. I’m even beginning to have some fun using it myself.  I also want to make sure that here in Fertile Heart land we keep alive the value of hearing and seeing one another.  Voice to voice, face to face, one human to one human at a time.

When is the last time you felt fully seen and heard?  Is there someone in your life who isn’t seeing and hearing you?  What would it take to shift that relationship?

12 Responses to “Sister Giant: Being Seen and Heard in the Age of Facebook”

  1. Chiam says:

    Dear Julia,

    Thank you for reminding us how important it is to engage with what is going on around us. Caring and serving are those feminine qualities which I believe are present in every human being. We, on this journey of trying to conceive hope that it will be our baby who will bring to the fore those qualities in us. But in fact life presents a lot of situations where we get a chance to exercise those caring and serving qualities like this Sister Giant project. Maybe life presents these opportunities to prepare us for taking care later for our own children.

  2. Faithmomma127 says:

    Dear Julia, thank you for your blog and video, for informing us about Sister Giant. I love the questions that you pose to us at the end. Thought provoking for me. I need to ponder more on this but right now I would say I feel truly heard by my husband and the Fertile Heart community and one or two friends sometimes. You were right that my email to you was quite “timely” :)
    See you at our call circle next week.
    Love,
    T

    • Dear T. I’m glad you feel heard in our community of fertile hearts and hope I and all of us can keep cheering you on as you keep walking toward your baby. It certainly sound to me as if you’re getting stronger and discovering new insights about your diagnosis as well as the parts of you that are calling to be heard and healed by this ” beautiful” challenge.
      Much love to you,
      Julia

  3. sunnymoon says:

    Hi Julia,
    thanks for letting us know about this important project.
    I’m always so impressed with people, women in particular, like you, or like the SisterGiant activists who are so brave to follow their inner wisdom, act on it and share it with the world, to try and make it a better place where to live.
    As human beings we all experience fear: the fear of not being heard, the fear of not being able to express ourselves the way we would like to, the fear of not being worth it, the fear of “what happens if I …” or “what happens if I don’t…” and many others. But those who speak up, coming from a place of self-awareness and true love for themselves and others, are able to overcome their fears and go for it. That is what courage is about, I think; to feel the fear and do it anyway.

    I don’t think I have that courage, not yet at least, and I’m still not in a place of enough strength and self-awareness, but since I joined your community a few months ago I’ve started to slowly come out of hiding and, more important, through the OVUM practice, to become more aware of myself, of my limits and of my strengths.
    I too now, like Tracy, “try to put forth effort in all my interactions so that others feel heard and seen” and so that I’m heard and seen too. And I’m gaining a lot from this new type of approach. I feel empowered by it.
    I still have a long way to go but I’m really grateful to you for having shaken the dormant activist in me. This note comes from that part of me!

    So thanks yet another time for doing what you do and to Marianne Williamson for putting love first place in her political activism. How wonderful!
    I hope the world one day will be as one. Imagine…

  4. tracy says:

    Before finding the Fertile Heart work, I was afraid to be seen and heard. I remember listening very nervously, on my phone circle hoping that I wouldn’t be “called on”. I wasn’t quite ready to be “exposed” in a group of strangers. Everyone was sharing and exchanging so much, I wasn’t ready to reveal that in that first phone circle, it was clear to me that my primary orphan did not like herself. She did not want to be “outed” and did not want to participate. She did not see how sharingand exposing deep fears and hurts could lead to a baby. Eventualy, I coaxed her out of hiding and nurtured her so that she could express herself in other ways. Now I love to be seen and heard and try to put forth effort in all my interactions so that others feel heard and seen too. The activist in me is slowly growing, also, as I believe women are true agents of change. As we birth changes in ourselves, we birth changes to the communities that we live in. Thank you, Julia for your work has truly changed me.

  5. neets77 says:

    I agree how important it is to be seen and heard, we all want the security of validation. I was speaking to a friend last night who has a daughter and she was talking about what the world would be like in 50years. It really made me think that rather than putting all my energy and focus into only (hopefully) conceiving a child, I should also focus at least as much onto creating and contributing to a world that I would want a child to be in. I believe in the power of women to really change society. See this website for really inspirational work, training grandmothers to really impact their communities. http://www.barefootcollege.org/

  6. Robin says:

    Sister Giant sounds wonderful and inspiring – a way to see what is really needed in the world. I am unable to join politically oriented groups for religious reasons but my understanding is our Faith teaches equality (not sameness) of men and women and that when women achieve that equality and refuse to give their sons (and daughters) in war we will see peace.

  7. Thank you for these thoughtful comments, it’s nice for me to feel heard by each of you. The Sister Giant project really inspired me to give more thought to what Fertile Heart and the Ovum work is all about from the feminist perspective. The industry is certainly exploiting our fears of childlessness and feeding into self-doubt, self-hate, encouraging us to measure our self-worth in proportion to how well we “stimulate,” how many embryos we transfer, how low our FSH and how high our AMH. It’s good to remind ourselves and each other about a different reality.
    sending love to each of you,
    Julia

  8. mariamom says:

    One thing I always felt during our phone circles was that I was heard and even seen. Even when I didn’t get to speak myself, the exchange was always meaningful to me. I think that’s because the Ovum practice is about intimacy with ourselves and intimacy in our relationships. During Sandy, I got to appreciate even more the value of community and the value of the support I received from you, Julia, and from this community when I most needed it. The Sister Project sounds exciting. I love your video. I’ts honest, articulate, brave of you to talk about, as you say, the infertility industrial complex in connection with that project. I’m here if you need me, please call on me and let me know if there is anything specific I can do to help at anytime. Lots of love from our family of four!

  9. P. says:

    Hi Julia,

    I am starting to realize the importance of commitment and political engagement in our society, the importance of fighting for the moral values we deem crucial for a peaceful community, for democracy in every aspects of our living – even in our ‘reproductive rights’ (not sure I like this word, because to me it is clear it is a privilege to be used with care and maturity). I feel heard in our fertile heart community, I feel heard when I am with my husband and a very few friends. The circle is getting smaller and smaller and am getting too used to feel ‘different’, that I cannot expect society to be the way I’d like it to be… Perhaps this is the sign that I need to commit to bring some change, to enlarge my motherhood project. I would no longer be happy to be a mother without considering all the things I have become along the way.

    Thank you for keeping broadening the scope of your fertile project.

    P.

  10. Chiam says:

    I read your Sister Giant blog and had watched your video when I received your email a few days ago. I so passionately believe that human one to one connection is vital in creating and maintaining relationships. Thank you for bringing this important information to our attention.

    Love and light, Esther x



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