• Suzanne Matthiessen

Advancing Women's Power, Leadership and Influence in Honorable and Ethical Ways

In the mid-80s I attended a lecture in Tempe, AZ given by a charismatic, funny, smart, self-proclaimed "enlightened master" titled "Why Don't More Women Attain Enlightenment?" (I've since learned that I really don't know what "enlightened" means, but I'm pretty sure if one is enlightened he/she wouldn't boast about it on their "spiritual resume" – but I digress). The brilliance of his message prompted me to apply to become his student and move to Los Angeles to study with him. I was immediately brought into his close circle of students, and became one of the many women he convinced to have a sexual relationship with him. Besides what I came to see was an abuse of his power, many of these fellow female students were engaging in behaviors that this teacher taught would impede women's enlightenment in general: jealousy, competitiveness, cattiness, backstabbing, sexual manipulation to advance their personal and professional fortunes, and other shadow behaviors that DO hold a woman back from becoming the most evolved person she can be.

I left what I began to see was a cult a couple years later, but not before he said to me that one day I'd be a teacher of what he called "spiritual etiquette" – a code of honorable, ethical behavior that sadly he couldn't live up to himself. Even though it didn't end well, he also taught a lot of great truths, and this experience was pricelessly valuable to me in that I learned the lessons of how NOT to behave and how NOT to lead others that none of the courses in my Organizational Leadership BA degree have taught me. I self-published a workbook/journal in 2005 titled "Affirmative Actions: Eyes Open Meditations for Women" that addressed many of the shadow behaviors I've observed over the past 30+ years for *any* woman who wants to break free from the harmful actions that cause division and mistrust between women. (The image below is the original cover). Unfortunately I didn't have the ability to market it and the book has sat dormant since then.

In the past couple years the "Me Too" movement has empowered women to stand up against power abuse and sexual harassment from men, yet what many don't want to admit is that many women still *intentionally* choose to engage in behaviors to undermine other women – the same old jealousy, competitiveness, cattiness, backstabbing and sexual manipulation to advance their personal and professional fortunes and get what they want from men in power. Women will NEVER become the "best version of themself" or attain supportive sisterhood across the board as long as some in our gender choose to harm other women they perceive as an obstacle or threat in some capacity. Therefore, I am in the process of revising my book to hopefully reach more women and begin the vital conversations and inner work that can help advance women's power and influence in honorable and ethical ways.

If you want to stay informed about when this book will be available in Kindle format on Amazon (and possibly a print edition as well), kindly contact me and provide your email address and I'll add you to my e-list that will be starting up again in May 2020. Thanks!

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