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Becoming Your Own Authority - Shannon McLaughlin

Hey Party People,

I have such a SPECIAL gift for you this week. The post below was not written by me but by another beautiful, connected, and pure soul. Her name is Shannon and I asked if she would be willing to write this week's post. She was able to beautifully articulate some of the feelings I was feeling about returning to "normal", but unable to put into words, as we navigate closer and closer to "Freedom Day," as our premier calls it (aka July 1st, when all provincial health restrictions will be lifted) it's important to reflect on what that really means.

Do we really want to go back to the lives we once lived? Shannon's words below express how important it is to listen and stay connected to ourselves and to become our own authority.


My friends on social media know that for the past several weeks I’ve been somewhat loudly processing my feelings about the rush to return to the way things were before our lives were radically transformed by a global pandemic. While I’m looking forward to reconnecting with the people I love, I’m reluctant to jump back into the daily grind of a society with values so different from mine. Over the past year, I’ve been contemplating the powerful influence of our collective social conditioning, and how we internalize disempowering messages from the status quo. As we go back to “normal”, it has never been more important to challenge these messages and reclaim our personal authority.

We come into this life as individual souls with unique gifts and purpose. This gets lost under the pressure of culture, media, and social expectation. For practical reasons, the values peddled by society have rewarded conformity. Following the French & American Revolutions, the collective priority has been to build new leadership models, establishing democratic institutions to govern the collective. Ancient bonds of kinship were replaced (often forcibly) with compulsory allegiance to the nation-state. Loyalty and conformity were rewarded, as this ensured the survival of the state. With trust placed in the state, people then concentrated on supporting the community which upheld the new social contract.

But when community meets capitalism, we are left with an economic system that serves very few at the expense of the many. The majority of individuals become disempowered to make their own choices, starved of intimacy and connection in systems that prioritize and protect Maleness and Whiteness. We