Check out this exclusive interview with six-time NY Times bestselling author, lecturer, and featured speaker of the upcoming Women’s Wellness Conference™, Marianne Williamson, and discover:
- Why fear holds us back from fullfilling our true potential and how to overcome it.
- The balance between male and female energies that women struggle to balance in today’s modern world.
- Marianne’s empowering message of hope that bears on today’s social issues and how we solve them through self-transformation.
Transcript of ” Living an Empowered Life Part 1″
David “Avocado” Wolfe (DW): Greetings everybody! This is David “Avocado” Wolfe here and we are gearing up for our 4th annual Women’s Wellness Conference™ www.womenswellnessconference.com. That’s going to be at The Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa, right next to John Wayne Airport in Southern California and literally less than an hour from LAX.
You may know her from her incredible run of six New York Times bestselling books. She is an incredible lecturer. She has been on television for years: Oprah, Larry King Live, Good Morning America, Charlie Rose. With no further adieu, I want to introduce really an incredible philanthropist, an incredible voice in our world today, Marianne Williamson.
How are you doing?
Marianne Williamson (MW): I’m fine, thank you, David. How are you?
DW: I’m actually having the best day ever today. So, it’s going good!
I wanted to ask you, we’re going to get caught up on your latest work, but I want to talk about what is going on with the internet, social media. Seemingly, it seems like we are getting more connected, but in other ways we are getting more disconnected. Right? We are way more connected with people living 5,000 miles away from us than we are with our neighbor.
I want to talk about connection a little bit and your thoughts on where we stand in the midst of all our technology.
MW: Well, you’re right. I mean, there are many ways that the internet does connect us with others and give us a greater capacity to do so. The internet is like any other material phenomenon. Its use is dictated by the purpose we ascribe to it in our own minds.
So when our intention is to connect, and our goal is deeper connection, then the internet is an extraordinary tool in doing that.
But when we do not have a conscious intent to connect or even when we have a, and some people do, a conscious intention to be destructive or to disconnect, then the internet is also a powerful tool for that.
So, it’s really not about the internet, it’s about human consciousness and how we seek to use it, either to create or destroy.
DW: Technology seems to amplify our intent.
MW: Exactly. Yeah, it’s a magnifier. That’s exactly right and that’s why it’s taking us more quickly in one direction or the other.
The human race is either rushing towards self-destruction or the human race is rushing towards enlightenment. That’s the crossroads we’re at and I think that part of the collective realization that is occurring now, and certainly that needs to occur, is that there is really no such thing as a neutral thought. You can’t just hang out in the universe anymore.
You know, they used to say in the 60s, “If you’re not a part of the solution, you are part of the problem”, and with the way the world is going today, any day of our lives that is not spent in a conscious and proactive effort to be in love-service, in the service of a more righteous life, a more responsible life, a more loving life, a more compassionate life, then in some way, we will be used by the forces of the status quo, and the status quo is one in which fear dominates our civilization. It dominates the consciousness of the planet and if we allow ourselves to simply go along with the prevailing thought forms and the prevailing habit patterns of the species at this time, then we, whether we want to or not, are at least inadvertently used by the forces of fear, for fear’s purposes.
DW: I remember in Return to Love, you talked about fear is really the root of all evil.
I just had a friend in town here who had come up with her family and they run a small cafe in Texas, and it’s kind of an avant garde cafe. It’s not the normal coffee house. They have a lot of different things on `the menu. She was just remarking to me how everybody in the local community there who is not familiar with what they are doing and kind of wanders in for the first time, is just in fear about everything!
They are like, “Oh no, I can’t have that. No, I can’t have that. No, no. What’s this? Oh, I don’t think I can do that.”
What is the deal with fear? It’s so rampant.
MW: Fear is to love what darkness is to light. It’s not actually a thing. It’s the absence of a thing.
So, you can’t hit the darkness with a baseball bat in order to get rid of it. You have to turn on the light, and similarly, you can’t hit fear with a baseball bat in order to get rid of it, you have to turn on the love.
So, somewhere along the line, love stopped being the bottom line. The cultivation of community stopped being the bottom line. Taking care of our family stopped being the bottom line. Putting primacy on how we relate to other human beings and show up in our communities and show up for our children stopped being the bottom line.
Now, I’m not saying we were ever perfect at this. But over the last few decades, the race to accumulate, the ways we have allowed money to become our false god, the ways in which the short term economic gain of certain segments of our society who represent, by the way, just a small section of our society segment population wise has become the bottom line by which our entire society now functions and it is at the expense of all things good, true, holy, and beautiful more oftentimes than not.
Now, starting with the industrial revolution, over one hundred years ago, back at the end of the 1800s in Britain and then in the United States, the scientific revolution started all this. Now, obviously the scientific revolution has had many good consequences that have been a blessing on many people’s lives – medical progress and so forth. There is no doubting that. But it also has taken the consciousness, particularly of the Western mind, and so externalized it.
We have become so concentrated as a human race, certainly in the West, on things outside ourselves too often at the expense of things inside ourselves. Inside is where love, tenderness, genuine relationship, authenticity, connectedness, principal, ethics, and integrity are, and I think that the good news is how many people are recognizing this.
You know, that’s why I feel, David, there is hope. You don’t have to have a majority to change a civilization. You know, the majority didn’t wake up one day and say, “Let’s free the slaves.” The majority didn’t wake up one day and say, “Let’s give women the right to vote.” The issue is the tipping point. The issue is enough, you know, whatever that 100th monkey is.
Now, most social sciences today speak in terms of something like…the thought is something along the line of 11%, that when 11% of a population within any system makes a fundamental shift in moral view, then the entire system shifts.
That’s why conferences like what you’re putting on are important. That’s why all these conferences, all these processes, all these books being written, all these…these…the way consciousness is going mainstream. This is very, very good because what it’s doing is contributing to this resonant field by which enough of us are saying; first of all, that what it is is intolerable and is unsustainable; and number two, in whatever ways that people are doing, genuinely embracing a different kind of life, coming to the point of realizing there might be another way.
Once you open your mind to the idea that there might be another way, then the ways start to present themselves: conferences to go to, books to read, spiritual practices and so forth.
So, I think hope is a moral imperative. I think everything we need to have happen is actually happening, it’s just not happening fast enough.
Most of us, certainly the kind of people who are listening to your work, and participating with you, are already at a point of some realization of all of this or they wouldn’t be, and now I think what we all need to be really saying to one another is, “You’re probably doing the right thing. Step it up!” I think that’s really the message for our generation at this point.
DW: Right, just pour it on!
You probably, you might have a couple years on me. I grew up in the 70s and just the roles of men and women were totally different back then than they are today. Let’s get into that a little bit.
Like, for example, the women I know in my life, work harder than the women I knew back when I was a kid. It just feels that way. They work harder, they do more, they are actually more capable in a lot of different ways because they have more skills. That’s just what I’ve seen in my life.
How is the change in women’s roles in the world, and men’s too, where are we headed with that? Especially its impact on intimate relationships between men and women?
MW: Well, first of all, when you talk about the world, I think we need to realize we’re talking about the Western world because you can’t even compare the role of women in a modern democratic society with the role of women, for instance, in places under Sharia law or something like that, where women are not even allowed out of the house without a male relative or whatever.
Athena is the Greek goddess of achievement. She is about achievement. She’s about getting things done. Many wonderful things that woman certainly embrace in a modern society that so many glass ceilings have been broken through, so many barriers have come down, obviously we still have some work to do but you can’t even compare what used to be possible. All that is great. However, I think women are also coming to realize Athena is a virgin goddess.
So, there is another goddess named Aphrodite and Aphrodite is the goddess of love and pleasure and romance.
Now, the thing with goddesses and gods, is that they are psychic vortexes. You can hold as many within yourself as you wish and we are willing to have in life whatever we are willing to be.
The problem is that we have allowed Athena in too many cases to take over our lives and women hunger for Aphrodite but too many women feel now that we are achieving or having success at work or trying to have success at work in too many cases at the expense of Aphrodite.
Now there are external reasons for this – social, economic, political, absolutely. For instance, how many hours you have to work today in too many situations to be a success or to be considered a success. We look at people who work, you know, 80 hours per week and we call them, in too many cases, “success oriented,” when we should recognize collectively that this is sick. You know, you can’t foster a healthy family relationship and intimacy and so forth when all your life is spent working.
So some of the things economically: some people would say they have to work that much, so that has to do with so much of the income-equality issues, social policies, economic polices etc.
For the majority of us however, it is not external forms of obstruction, it is internal forms of obstruction that are keeping Aphrodite at bay. Our own thought forms. That’s why I’m doing this Aphrodite work.
I’m doing something called The Aphrodite Training because there are lifestyle decisions that have to be made that have to do with even the fact that when a woman is at work, our consciousness is, for the most part, in a masculine-oriented way, and that’s because when you’re at work you’re in the sort of masculine self. But many of the psychological and emotional orientation that makes a woman successful at work, then would actually make her unsuccessful in a romantic relationship.
So, there is a lot for us to discuss there, a lot for us to analyze there, including the fact that it actually takes the brain 30 minutes to transition at the end of the day from a more masculine to a more feminine orientation.
So that’s where we are. Women realizing that too much of what we are doing in the world comes at the expense of the woman in us which wants to be loved. Yes, we want to achieve, but we also want to be loved. So, the integration of those desires and those aspects of self, to me, that is the buzz of the moment and certainly the work I am focused on doing with The Aphrodite Training.
DW: What I wanted to ask you, you brought up something about economics and I was just shocked and, you probably know numbers, that women still do not make as much as men doing the same work.
MW: It is extraordinary.
DW: I just can’t believe that!
MW: Yes, it’s extraordinary and every effort that has been made to counter that including the passage of the Equal Right Amendment years ago, which was defeated, which would have addressed that. There were so many legislative proposals that seeked to address this and what does it mean in real practical terms? What it means is that a woman in order to make the same money as a man needs to work more hours, which means there is less time for romance, for intimacy, for marriage, for children, for parenting, for mothering, and so these economic issues are not separate from what happens day after day in our families in our culture, so thank you for bringing that up and that’s exactly what I mean.
These economic issues are extremely important. They are not separate from the spiritual issues. We can talk about being loving and being feminine all we want to, but if a woman is so exhausted by the time she gets home from work that she is physically incapable, then it becomes just a very high class and high income conversation and there is nothing beautiful about that if everybody else is left out except those who can afford to be involved.