In their book, “Your Story is Your Power,” authors Elle Luna and Susie Herrick recommend people discover more about themselves and the best role they can play in whichever battle they choose, before taking on an issue with no direction.
Every day it’s something. A tweet or a threat, a school shooting on the other side of the country, or a trio of women standing onstage at the Oscars, emboldened, still pissed, eyes aimed at the culture that ignited the #TimesUp movement.
You watch all this, a constant, slow burn in your gut, and want to do something with your anger and anxiety other than scrolling through, sharing stories and shaking your head.
But before you get out there with great intent and no direction, authors Elle Luna and Susie Herrick recommend you discover a little more about what you can bring to the conversation, the movement — to change.
In their new book, “Your Story is Your Power” — released today in honor of International Women’s Day later this week — Luna and Herrick seek to help women figure out where they come from, the experiences that motivate them to take action and the role they might play in whatever battle they choose: A Reformer? A Challenger? An Investigator?
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“For anyone who is interested in understanding how they activate more of their feminine power,” Luna said the other day, “this is for them.”
Luna and Herrick are hosting two Seattle Q&As and signings during which they hope to help women become more informed and effective activists in the “global rising of Feminine Power.”
The first will be at 6 p.m. March 9 at Thinkspace on Westlake Avenue. (Cost is $20 and includes the book.)
The second will be at 2 p.m. March 10 at The Riveter on 12th Avenue in Capitol Hill. (Cost is $15 and does not include the book.)
The book — illustrated with Luna’s watercolors — seeks to help people “look at the story we tell ourselves,” Luna said. “Who we are and where we come from and how we can move forward. The collective change is the result of a lot of individual change, and our hope is to catalyze a lot more individual change.”
With its soft focus and motivational quotes from the likes of Nelson Mandela and the Dalai Lama, the book felt a little mystical to me, like if a doula wrote a book on automotive repair.
But the book packs a surprising punch. Through a series of prompts (“Name eight to 10 beliefs and traits that you inherited from your family”) and some psychological explainers, you start to understand your place in this feminine revolution.
It’s like marching orders tucked into a greeting card.
Herrick, a psychotherapist, and Luna, an artist, are holding events all over the country this month — San Francisco, South by Southwest — to help people “come together and tap into their feminine intelligence.”
They start by dismissing the cultural stories we have been told — Cinderella, Snow White: “Like any good science fiction story,” they write, “roughly half the human race is being manipulated.”
From there, they help people explore their family story and give them “a launchpad” to explore their personal story.
“Our goal is to inspire people at a time when there’s a lot of questions and a lot of fear.”
They hope to build on the power and strength of the #MeToo movement, Luna said: “We’re hoping to add our voices to the story of brave women’s voices coming forward fully.”
Writes Herrick: “The ultimate task is to find love for yourself so you can release your fears of the patriarchy. With this love, you recognize that you are the woman that you long to be. And when you reach your heart, you bring all of us with you.”
The authors conduct exercises that allow women to ask effective questions about their own journeys. How did their parents treat each other? What was each parent’s role? What roles do they play in their own families?
“There no right way to do it,” Luna said. “What we hope to do is give people the space and time to be with two people who have thought about this a great deal.”
This is the second book Herrick and Luna have worked on together. Last year, Herrick wrote a memoir called “Aphrodite Emerges,” about how she changed her strained relationships with the men in her life, starting with her father. Luna did the illustrations.
Not long after, Luna got a call from an editor at Workman Publishing in New York, asking them to write something that would build on the current women’s movement and hopefully impact the upcoming midterm elections.
“It’s beyond words,” Luna said of the actions women are taking to right institutional, cultural, sexual and gender-related wrongs.
“It is so long overdue,” she continued. “I’m 36 and it’s time. No matter how old you are, no matter if you’re a man or a woman, your race or what God you worship, it’s time for this shift to continue to ripple out.
“We want to be part of the choir of voices that says, ‘Enough. This has got to stop. And here’s what you can do.’ ”