My Word of the Year for 2020 was SOVEREIGN. I know we’re in a whole new year (my Word for 2021 is MAGICK!), but I’ve still been experimenting with the concept and practice of sovereignty.
To me, being sovereign is about being centered in your own experience, and leading from a place of grace and equanimity. I know that historical sovereigns, both kings and queens, have done awful things to their “subjects.” That’s not what I’m going for with my exploration.
A true queen is a servant of her people. As I step into bigger leadership, particularly as the head of a collective, I want to keep the positive aspects of sovereignty at the forefront.
I’ve found a lot of synchronicity and magick surrounding my exploration and practice of sovereignty. An example: after reading Autobiography of a Yogi, I was telling Quester one day, as we walked in the woods behind our home, that I wanted to learn Sanskrit. Part of the reason I cited was that I want to study the philosophies of yoga via the Hindu sacred texts directly, without the layers of sexism and patriarchal language that make it less palatable.
Quester remarked that I probably didn’t have to learn Sanskrit to do that. “Surely there’s a feminist scholar who’s already written what you’re seeking?”
One of my clients, who has also become a friend, knows that I’ve been working with the concept of sovereignty – though we hadn’t talked about my interest in Hindu texts. The very next day after Quester said this on our walk, she posted a book that she thought I might be interested in: Sovereign Self by Acharya Shunya, a female teacher in a long lineage of gurus! Thanks, Universe…
The biggest lesson I’ve learned so far from practicing personal sovereignty has to do with boundaries. As I wrote to a friend recently, referring to some angst on the part of mutual community members:
“An earlier version of me would have been running around trying to fix everyone and everything. I don’t do that anymore unless asked for specific help. It’s not my Work unless I’m told by the Goddess that it is. I do send prayers and good vibes and tend assiduously to my own energy field. I know that I’m joyful now because I do that inner work on the regular.”
I’ve heard that whole “put on your own oxygen mask first” metaphor many times, and I understand that it’s the only way you’re able to truly help anyone else. But now I’m also learning that even when you have plenty of oxygen and someone else is choking from the lack of it, you can only help them if they want you to. You can’t live someone’s life for them, nor should you.
That’s a metaphor – I understand there are times when we help those in physical danger even if they’re unable to consent to it (yet). In terms of less obvious crises, though, the only thing we can do is offer. Sometimes it’s better to wait and be asked for help.
I feel like being a role model for managing my own energy and emotions is often the best way to be useful.
Sure, there’s a bit of guilt involved sometimes, especially when I’m feeling joyful while others suffer. But how would my suffering help them?
I’m still in the process of working with the energies of sovereignty. I’m sure there will be further lessons to share!