Stephanie Ward – Communications Lead (Maternity Leave)
1. What do Red Tents mean to you?
Red Tents for me are evidence of a largely unseen power in our world. For me the fact of their existence – especially seeing them mushrooming across the world – is reassurance to me that there is power, healing and a deep loving sisterhood available to so many of us. It is the antidote to the toxicity of the patriarchal system we witness so much fall out from.
2. What do you do in Red Tent Directory?
I write the monthly newsletter, which I love doing. I love the variety of voices that come to us from the Red Tent community and the massive range of activities you are all involved in. Being part of the Red Tent Directory team inspires a sense of holding in me. I feel that I am responsible for holding part of the circle within which all the tents in the directory are held. It is a loving place to be. I also somewhat haphazardly coordinate our monthly steering group calls.
3. How do Red Tents inform your wider work and life?
The deep knowing that sisters are gathering under new and full moons helps me feel safe. I had a revelation not long ago in my life that led me to understand what authenticity really means. For me, it is an integration of all my pieces into one whole self who is unafraid of naming herself and speaking with one voice. I realised that my work life and personal life were really separate and it was causing me quite a bit of stress to keep them separate. I didn’t really realise what it was that didn’t sit right about this separation, even though I had blathered on endlessly to colleagues and friends about how by integrating your personal self and professional self it would create a better world. It was when I chose to run a session (a circle!) on Red Tents and Menstruality at a work Mental Health Awareness week that I realised how deep my own divisions went inside me and how vulnerable I felt in uniting my pieces publicly. But since then, things have flowed easier and I am really grateful to the Red Tent Movement for giving me this beautiful thing to share with others and to feel safe within.
4. If you had to describe yourself as a plant, mineral or animal what would it be and why?
I think I would describe myself as a snowflake. Is that a mineral? OK, not really but hey. Why? Because I really feel different every day and my sense of self feels quite transient and light. And maybe there is something about seemingly cold and aloof but melting with a loving touch or word.