I am sometimes asked how a person can create a consent-based space, within an environment/culture where the dominant culture isn’t consent-based. This is a really good question, seeing as our society is still waking up to the idea and isn’t consent-based by design (yet), so anyone that wants a consent-based life needs to think about this for ourselves in one way or another.
It is totally possible to carve a consent-based space within a dominant culture that isn’t consent-based. Yesterday I had a wonderful experience of that in practice. My daughter had a music lesson – her first one with a music teacher who is a friend that we know well, who’s children attend the Cabin and who did the consent-based education course with me earlier this year. He’s awesome.
Anyway, after the 30 minute lesson, when we were chatting on the way home in the car, she shared that at the start of the class the teacher had said to her: “I don’t know if I told you this already or not, but my class is a consent-based space. If you don’t want to do something please do tell me, and if you want to leave to see your mum or something you can do that anytime.”
Fucking genius. So simple. Takes two seconds at the start of the class, and sets the whole tone of the culture of the space as consensual. It’s like consent-based culture creation magic. In two sentances.
We all have some space that belongs to us. The most immediate is our own body, heart and mind. That is the first place where we can choose to create a consent-based culture. How we move with ourselves, in the world around us and in relation to others creates a micro-culture. We can actively create consent-based culture and dynamic just by our way of being in relationship to oursleves and in our every day life.
The next space is any space that we have authority/decision making power in. In the example above, the teacher has a music room/class, but this could be our bedroom, our home, a part of a workplace, anywhere that we have authority/responsibility/are a practioner or holding space of some kind. It could be the space of a Zoom call we are hosting.
This space is a place within which we have the opportunity and power to intentionally establish consent-based culture. That can then be experienced by ourselves in our own practice there, and by anyone else that enters and spends time there. Do you doubt that this is powerful and transformative? How else do we change the world consensually (we need to utilise the change we want to see as the method for making the change itself) if it isn’t through manifesting this culture in the spaces and places in which we have personal and creative agency, autonomy and authority? If we do our bit in our places to make it happen, that’s real change right now. Don’t wait for someone else to get it started – you’ve already got a space to play with.