Tabby Biddle, M.S. Ed., one of the first OEP alums from the L.A. seminars, is a women’s leadership expert, writer and writing coach who helps women discover their voice and develop their leadership platform. She is the author of The Goddess Diaries blog and is regular contributor to The Huffington Post and MariaShriver.com on the human rights and empowerment of women and girls. She recently wrote a piece on finding your political voice.
Women on a path of personal growth may not be that interested in getting themselves out in front as political leaders. I count myself among them. While we may be activists for one cause or another, we still hide out on the sidelines when it comes to politics. If you watched the presidential debates this year, you might agree with me that we no longer can afford to sit on the sidelines. It’s time to find our political voice.
On this note, this past weekend in Los Angeles I attended Sister Giant: Women, Non-Violence and the Birthing of a New American Politics. This event, founded by the beloved spiritual teacher Marianne Williamson, was created to awaken and empower American women, on a personal growth path to have a voice in politics, ultimately changing the course of the U.S. political system.
“I think that people on a spiritual path — personal growth, recovery, whatever — are the last people who should be sitting out the great social and political contests of our day. Why? Because they’re adept at change; they know that the mechanics of the heart and mind are the drivers of true transformation,” says Marianne.
But the reality is that many of us who have been on a personal growth path have had an aversion to politics. We see the political world as divisive, manipulative and downright toxic. For many, hearing the word “politics” makes us want to run in the other direction. Sound familiar to you?
While I have been on a personal growth path for more than 15 years, I happen to have started my career in politics. As a college student, I interned in the political division of CNN in Washington, D.C. Then, during my senior year, I became the president of our Democrat Club — bringing influential politicians to our college campus (all the way in Maine), like Hillary Clinton and ’92 presidential hopeful Jerry Brown — to inspire the students to get involved with politics.
On the campaign trail, I worked to get Maine Democrat Tom Andrews elected into Congress.
Post-college, I moved to D.C. and worked for the Women’s Campaign Fund, where I learned what it takes to run a national campaign. Then, once Bill Clinton was elected to his first term in office as President, I worked on his inaugural committee.
When it was time for me to make a choice about my next step in my career path, I looked at the people ahead of me in politics and thought to myself: Do I want to be like them? The answer came swiftly: NO.