We cultivate our history with each passing second, minute, hour and day. We’re the authors and creators of the tomes that future generations will read and hopefully learn from. Last night, on June 7th, 2016, a truly historic pinnacle was reached as Hillary Clinton became the very first female to secure the presidential nomination (Democratic) of a major political party in our country. At 68, she broke through the proverbial glass ceiling that women have dealt with since they began pursuing lives outside of their homes.
The title of this post came from an exercise I took part in at a Writing and The Body Workshop I attended in Portland, Oregon in March. It was hosted by two phenomenal women, authors Lidia Yuknavitch and Jennifer Pastiloff, and combined the practice of Yoga with writing. For myself and the 40 other women who participated, it was a life enriching experience we won’t ever forget. For this particular exercise, we daughters of Eve were asked to write one sentence to the women coming after us, to tell them what they need to know to survive. One of the attendees, (I can’t remember who) shared hers and said , “There isn’t even a ceiling.” It struck me then and I immediately wrote it down. Today, I was drawn to reread it and reflected on how serendipitous it was given that Hillary Clinton had just busted through a ceiling thought to have existed for so long.
As I write, I know there are a multitude of my sisters who could read this and disagree, maybe even comment angrily that there is most certainly a ceiling, one they’ve personally struggled against in the workplace, a seemingly unbreakable glass ceiling, above which no women have ever risen. The key word is “ever”. Until now. Had Hillary thought there was a ceiling she was determined to break or had she denied the existence of one? Has it been there all along or did a certain faction of our population just want us to think it was there, as in perception is reality? If we believe it, we take part in creating it. My belief is that Hillary recognized the fact that some wanted that proverbial glass ceiling to be real, but she simply refused to let it deter her personal fight.
If we look at an obstacle and acknowledge its power to block us, we have lost the fight before the referee has blown the starting whistle. If we proceed on our path with intention towards whatever goal we’ve set for ourselves, if we acknowledge the obstacle but problem solve and deny it any power, we empower ourselves. When we fight hard for what we want, believing in our personal strength, we are creating a new order, a new normal, a new “herstory”where there is no ceiling. We are simultaneously giving birth to a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Hillary saw her prophecy fulfilled last night. Little girls around the world also saw and heard it. And even if they have been raised in families that have promoted 110% gender equality from day 1 of their lives, until last night they’d never seen it played out at such a level. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan of Hillary and are voting for her, this is a monumental achievement for all girls and women. I’ve always told the girls in my family and in my classes that with hard work they could do whatever they dreamt of doing. Over the past 30-40 years we’ve witnessed large numbers of women break down proverbial barriers and enter professions formerly considered by our mainstream American society and culture as befitting only males, but there is still much work to do in terms of workplace and gender equality.
Of course it’s not over till it’s over, but as of last night little girls now have real proof that it’s truly possible for a female to rise to the highest office in the government of the largest democracy in the world. Hopefully on the second Wednesday in November of this year, those little girls will wake up to find that this new possibility has become a new reality.
Peace and Love
PS- If you attended the workshop with me and are the author of “There isn’t even a ceiling, “please contact me so I can give you credit!