Mimind: I always liked the American practice, giving so interesting and inspiring names to children, not always after tradition or fashion, as we do in Europe. ’Hunter’ – your name reminds me Artemis (Diana) the godess of hunting, and protector of pregnant women. You and your name –how do you match?
Hunter: That’s an interesting question. In truth, Hunter is not my given name, but my middle name, which I decided take as my primary name, at mid-life. I felt I had outgrown the name and the legacy of my given first name, Wendy, the heroine of Peter Pan. You may remember Wendy was a little girl who went to Never Never Land to be a mother to the lost boys. I was getting divorced, and I didn’t want to mother any more lost boys! So I decided that my middle name, Hunter, a family name on my mother’s side, would be a good choice: it was strong, unusual, and mysterious. And it was part of my feminine family heritage.
I hesitated because Artemis the Huntress is the Virgin Goddess of Greek mythology. But then I learned that originally the word „virgin” meant simply an unmarried woman, or a woman who belongs to herself. I like that. I do belong to myself, first and foremost.
M: I realized after meeting you, how beautiful woman you are. Is it unusual or is it common if we women appreciate each other’s virtues? I remember, it was so strange to me, when my friend whom I took with me to stay in my great grandmother’s house (we were 15 years old girls then) told to my 70 years old grannie, that her thin, white, long hair is so beautiful. I thougt it was disrespect, and when I saw that granny wasn’t angry at all, I felt a little jelaous too. Do we need this appreciation from an other woman? And how do you feel: we are sincere or not?
H: Thank you, Gabi. That is a topic that is dear to my heart. I feel it is a gift for women to admire and celebrate one another’s beauty and power! We are all a part of the Divine Feminine. Each of us represents one facet, like the many facets of a diamond, each of us one face, or we might say, one flavor of the Feminine. I believe women can encourage one another to develop and express this unique facet or flavor, as a gift of beauty to the world. The world needs more beauty. We don’t need to compete or cut each other down. Each of us is special in her own way—like many flowers in a garden. We need other women to water and fertilize our beauty, so that we can fully bloom.
I held a women’s luncheon last year, where I asked each woman to bring a flower that she thought signified her particular „brand” or flavor of the Feminine. We took all our flowers and made them into one beautiful bouquet in the center of our table. That is how women can be together.
M: How long have you been living in Hungary, and what are you doing here?
H: I’ve been living in Hungary for a little more than two years. I came in the Spring of 2010, to get a fresh perspective and to do some writing, and discovered, for the second time, that I have a European soul. So I decided to stay. It was a rash move. I went back to the States, sold most of my possessions, and shipped the others to Budapest. A lot of people thought I was crazy. I had no job here, no boyfriend, and no plan. But my heart was more content here, and my soul was fed by the deep cultural roots that I found. In the end, I decided to choose the happiness and well-being of my soul over so-called practical decisions. I have never regretted it. If you’re interested, here is a commentary I wrote about my decision last fall. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/w-hunter-roberts/taking-life-risks_b_1078164.html
As to what I am doing, well, I am an ordained minister, in a small Protestant denomination, called Swedenborgian. I’ve been developing a ministry without walls to minister to people’s spritual needs, outside the church, in whatever ways I can: spiritual counseling and coaching, performing weddings, writing, teaching, leading classes and workshops, holding dinners and salons—in other words, creating as much community, beauty, and opportunities for regeneration of the soul and of society, as I know how. I am committed to saving people’s souls—but not in the way people usually mean that. It is not that I want people to fear hell after death; it is that I see many people in hell—actually choosing hell– right now: miserable, angry, greedy, fearful, and shut-down, selling their precious souls, a piece at a time, for things that do not bring happiness. Heaven is a state of mind; it exists in the heart, and we can have it by choosing love and truth in every moment instead of fear and greed. So you could say I am trying to bring people to Heaven.
M: You’re in touch with a great many people, and have a lot of experiences.What do you think: our differences or our similarities are more important?
H: I think it is the combination of the two that makes us who we are and that makes the world an interesting place. The problem is that we tend to think differences mean that one person has to be right, and the other, wrong. That’s not true; often, they are just differences, and they make us unique in our gifts and our challenges. We are each born with unique gifts, which we spend our lifetimes developing, to give to ourselves, God, and the world.
But underneath those differences, in some ways, to quote the great psychiatrist, Harry Stack Sullivan, “All of us are much more human than otherwise.” In other words, we all have human needs, habits, and foibles. We need food, shelter, love, and meaning. We have to learn compassion for one another’s humanity, and for our own.
M:Are there typical problems, you work on with your clients (patients)? Are there some which characteristic of women, and others of men?
H:I don’t have patients; I have clients. Patients are sick. Clients are people who want help to grow and transfom themselves and their lives. Perhaps they have hit some sort of a wall in life. Or they are in some sort of transition, deliberate or not. Or they would like to be in some sort of transition, but they don’t know how. Often they feel out of control of their lives, even though their lives have been created by their own choices.
At first they think there is a problem, because some aspect of themselves, which they deem inconvenient or dangerous, is threatening to unbalance their precarious balance. But really they are just growing and changing, and that seemingly dangerous part is a latent or suppressed potential, bringing new value to them. That latent or suppressed part of themselves needs to be integrated into their personality. In the end, they feel more whole and fulfilled.
I think men and women have the same basic human problems and needs. After survivial, we want good relationships with the people in our lives, and meaningful activities that make some sort of a difference, no? We want to be healthy and fit. We want to feel empowered to reach our goals. We want power over our own lives. I help women and men of all kinds take back their lives and their personal power.
But men and women often have different issues, beliefs, and patterns which get in the way of having what they want. For example, many women think they have to put everyone else first, and to accommodate everyone else’s needs, before taking care of themselves. This is backwards. If you take good care of yourself, or as they say in airplane safety instructions, „put on your own oxygen mask first,” you are better able to give to the people around you, with an open heart, instead of with resentment and exhaustion. Resentment and exhaustion poison the relationships we think we are serving. So I teach my women clients to change the very behavior that they think is necessary for relationships, in order to improve their relationships. It’s ironic, isn’t it?!
Men don’t tend to do that. Men often want a quick fix, a formula, that will put those troublesome feeling and aspects of themselves back in the box.. Men also tend to be more impatient, and want to solve the eternal problems without addressing the internal states and attitudes that may be causing the external problems. So I have to help my men clients to own their own internal states, instead of externalizing them and blaming others for them.
M: The ’mimind’ is not a typical problem-solving site. We are writing and talking about arts, spiritual sciences, cultural experiences, society, fashion creation, gastronomy, family life etc. And once a month we’ll meet you here and read your post…about what? Can it be useful and interesting if we don’t talk about our everyday questions personally with a coach (you), but open our ears and hear what she (you) is going to say?
H: I certainly hope so! All the things you mentioned are things that elevate our quality of life, things that make life beautiful and interesting, rather than merely expedient. Take food, for example. More and more people don’t want to take time to cook and sit down for a meal anymore. They regard food as mere fuel, necessary for surivital and nothing more. Of course, it is that, but it is so much more! Fast food not only destroys our bodies; it is slowly starving our souls. A beautiful meal eaten in good company, accompanied by thoughtful and convivial conversation, feeds the soul as well as the body. Moreover, studies show that we digest our food better and assimilate the nutrients better, if we eat it slowly in good company. Our children get better grades in school if the family eats dinner together, Imagine that!
So I will be here every month to speak about the values of the Feminine Spirit, and what matters in everyday life, the things which are often neglected in the rush. I hope to help readers to find depth, beauty, and meaning in their lives. I want them to feel joy and pride in their femininity. I want them to know that there is power in the Feminine, and they have choices. Femininity is not passive; it is a deep, deep power, which we had almost forgotten, but which now, in our time, is returning to the world, through us.
It will be a pleasure! Thank you for inviting me to join you.