This book club has been a long time coming both for me and the Love Hive community. We've spoken about it in class for years, how a book in common would unify the conversation and continue to expand our vision for a community rooted in study, as well as broaden our collective knowledge base and persepctive. And--bonus!!--I pretty much feel like I'm living a childhood dream right now. Being able to offer our community both a unifying resource and a jumping off point for conversation, while continuing to place books in the center of my life and work feels extremely fulfilling.
As a child, books were an escape route, an entrance to another world, another place, another person, and another time. I would read a book a day. I was disciplined and weird about it. It wasn't always healthy because I used reading as an acceptable way to completely and utterly avoid and check out. Reading was a way to connect with facets of myself that as an extremely shy child, I was not able to do in relationship with others and I'm grateful for the shelter it provided me and now, I'm also grateful for the opportunity to really shift that relationship. This project feels like the opposite of escapism, using books to create and increase connection, commuity and check in, rather than out. It's so, so exciting.
Hey Love Hive, how are we going to choose your book club books? Well, that's easy. Love Hive, from the very beginning, has been built upon the foundation of six central pillars: love, service, community, study, devotion and connection (If this is news to you, check out our about page here and read up on what these foundational practices mean to us.) and we will use these six concepts and practices to choose our book for the month.
So, for our first book, I am honored to introduce WOLFPACK: How to Come Together, Unleash Our Power, and Change the Game by soccer champion Abby Wambach.
Wolfpack (that's you!!), this book is a short and powerful burst of energy reminiscent of a sharp, precise, skillfull kick into the goal. Abby uses stories from her life--a favorite tactic of many Love Hive teachers--as a scaffolding upon which to hang new ways of thinking about being a woman, a feminist and a leader no matter your work or position in the world. The lessons are universal, and deceptively obvious. Abby invites us to create new rules for leadership and to abandon the old rules that have only served to uphold the power of the patriarchy and keep those in power--mostly men, mostly white--in power, while dividing and separating women. The token seat at the table isn't good enough anymore. We need to write our own way forward and build a system ourselves. This is radical feminism. Out with the old and in with the new.
Here's Abby's Wolfpack rules:
1. Create your own path
2.Be grateful for what you have AND demand what you deserve.
3. Lead now–from wherever you are.
4. Failure means you’re finally IN the game.
5. Be FOR each other.
6. Believe in yourself. Demand the ball.
7.Lead with humanity. Cultivate Leaders.
8. You’re not alone. You’ve got your Pack.
Jessica and I bought this book the moment it became available because as entrepeneurs who happen to be women, we face pretty unbelieveable hurdles most days we continue to take our seat as boss babes, community leaders, business professionals and teachers. Seriously, we have some stories that would curl your toes, and that you probably would not believe even occur in the year 2019. And, most times we come to take a seat at the table, we get questioned about whether or not we deserve to be there. This includes discrimination, storytelling, lie making, bullying and micro bullying by institutions and people like our bank, our building contractors, practitioners, and even other yoga studio owners and teachers. The patriarchy is alive and kicking, even here in Portland, Oregon.
When we were set to open Woodstock, our second location, we were asked over and over again--don't you guys have enough? It felt bad to be asked this, like I was doing something wrong, and I began to wonder, what does enough mean? What are they talking about? I am certainly not rich from yoga studio ownership, I literally do this work because it is my souls calling to serve in this way, and there are many times a year I even have a hard time making ends meet, so it can't be money. Is it too many studios? Too many students? Is our community getting too big? Is it too much responsibility? Enough implies that there is an end, a finality to this experiment of the Love Hive, that at sometime or another "it," whatever the "it" is, will run out. This is scarcity mindset to the max, and we women, we are fed it from the day we are born by this system of power, which causes us to grasp and compete and truly believe that if another woman gets "it," because there is only so much to go around, than I won't get "it," because we have been starved of opportunity, silenced, and offered only a token seat at the table that men have built. There is a wound of serparation and not-belonging in us that needs to be healed and I believe that the balm is connection and radical leadership. I believe the work Love Hive doe as an organization and through the grace of our teachers, is helping to heal this wound of separation and the fear of not-belonging in many ways and in many different kinds of people, not just women. In the end, what it came down to for me, this question of enough, is that many people were uncomfortable with my ambition, my willingness to step into a leadership role and create more, to get bigger and brighter, to become more visible, less silent. But I have always, ALWAYS, been a hustler. So honestly, it wasn't the first time and it certainly won't be the last time I meet resistance on the path, but as Abby says, forget the path, create your own path. The old path wasn't made for me, so I've forged new ways forward for a while now. And yet, my new work, the most profound teaching I received personally from the book, is to be grateful AND demand what I deserve. Say think you AND ask for what i need. Don't get caught up in gratitude and forget the revolution because you are loving your work right now. The patriarchy isn't going to deconstruct itself, Audra. DO BOTH. Gratitude AND good boundaries. Gratitude AND demading more. Two truths. All at once.
And each time we make the new path and stand in our power, and remind ourselves and each other that there is enough, we are laying the foundation for some young spirit-being behind us, who dreams of working for herself, supporting others, leading a community and taking the seat of the teacher. This is the best most revolutionary work I have ever done in my life, so to share it and grow it and make it bigger and brighter and scream it from the roof tops
only makes sense.
Thanks, Abby Wambach. Thank you, Wolfpack. See you soon.
I love you.
How The Love Hive Book Club Works:
1. Read or listen to the book.
2. If you bought the book maybe share it with someone in class who wants to participate.
3. Talk about it with eachother. Share ideas, thoughts, agree, disagree. Be respectful and move from a place of curiousity. Ask questions! Remember a community doesn't always mean we agree. It means we make space for all sorts of ideas and ways of thnking.
4. If you want to continue the conversation online, post your responses underneath the book club blog for the month in the comments sention.