What does it look like to share resources with those that have not had equal access to them when everyone at the table is facing cut backs? How do we move past the fear scarcity complexs push our minds towards and look to one another to create abundance with what we have? When will there be another opportunity to give back if we do not create one now?
I learned a new phrase today “opportunity hoarding” I think it is an important one. It creates a vivid image certainly. And it relates to something I have been thinking more about in relation to what is leadership?
I don’t think that leadership is synonymous with power, and in fact I think many of our most influential leaders have been born out of disenfranchisement with people in positions of power. It would be great if those who held offices that determined national laws & global relationships were gifted leaders as well, but more often than not they are just specially trained workers fulfilling the duties of office as listed in any other job description.
None of that is revolutionary information.
I’ve known since a young age that I have the gift of leadership. I have a vision of where I want to get to & make decisive actions to manifest it. When I am of pure intention people naturally want to listen to what I have to say. There is a comfort in having a direction for the herd to look towards while we co-create this future, and I don’t mind being that focus point as called upon.
However, I am also conscious that some of the reasons I may be called upon are not of my own making. I’m a able bodied thin traditionally pretty cis-gender white girl that was afforded many educational advantages in ways many of my peers have not. There are certain things that grants me access to, and certain things that denies me, but it’s part of my reality all the same.
I have been awarded nearly every grant I have ever applied for because I am well spoken & have high artistic integrity, but also because I had access to education & mentors that told me what grants were available, how to position myself, and encouraged me to apply.
I was able to land a secure full time job with benefits with no university degree because I am highly intelligent & hard working, but also because my mom went to college with a woman who had connections to my boss that recommended me.
I have written, created, and independently produced 12 pieces from poetry books to theatre to dance. Which undoubtedly took a lot of work, personal resources, and perserverance on my part, but was also made easier because of real tangible opportunities that were presented to me because of my position in life.
I don’t know who I beat out for those grants. I don’t know why there were not more women of colour programmed at the festival that selected my work. I don’t know why I have had the good fortune of meeting so many wonderful mentors when some peers work in relative isolation.
And it’s a problem that I don’t know why. It’s my problem. That I can fix.
I can’t wait for society to level the playing fields. I need to be working consciously to reach out now to make sure those opportunities are getting around. It isn’t about hand holding or lowering my creative integrity, but about looking around to see who else is struggling to get work seen. I can ask myself what tools & resources I have to help them achieve their goals, not my goals, and spread the opportunities so that more amazing artists have a chance to make their come up.
This is what I view as my work as a leader. This is what I view as my work as an artist. This is what I view as my work as a person.
My challenge to myself this year is to be more conscious of where my creative resources are going to ensure that opportunities are not being hoarded beneath me, and that the energy I am investing is helping facilitate the flow of more resources to many rather than a few. Particularly to my women & femme creators & all the other intersections there within. This year has powerful feminine energy. It’s time we collectively make a come up.