How do you celebrate International Women’s Day? If someone would have asked me that question a few years ago, they would’ve heard crickets. What is International Women’s Day?
Growing up in the US, I’d never heard of this day, which happens on March 8th each year, and is intended to celebrate women’s achievements. Honestly, I was disconnected to what previous generations of women had done for me. My schooling focused on regurgitating facts- for example, I may have learned the date women in my country won the right to vote, but I don’t recall conversation around the women who fought for this right- their courage, their hardship, their determination in sticking to what they believed despite the consequences.
There is a lot I didn’t know. I wasn’t aware of the plight of the global woman, nor how our past affects us now. I wasn’t conscious of how the mass executions of women in the 16th and 17th centuries across Europe and America related to me, a young girl growing up in the land of the free in the 1980’s and 90’s. It wasn’t until I was a birthing mother in 2007 tapping into my creative power that I realized it was more than midwives that were burned; it was also the genius of all women. When we are told we cannot trust our bodies or our hearts, we get burned. And daily it continues each time our true voice gets silenced, or written off as lofty girl stuff. But every time we can follow our intuitive, receptive, connected, wise ways of knowing, we bring balance back into the world.
And as we know, the world needs us. The world needs us– girls and women offering their authentic gifts and voices. To change the world to the one in which we envision, we do what we’ve always known how to do- we perceive with our hearts and we trust life. We have been told our whole lives that it is our heads which hold all the power, yet if we get in our heads, we think- the world is a mess, how can I change anything, what can little ole Carrie Lee from Neptune Beach do? In other words, we want to figure it out, and we can’t! But when we awaken our hearts, we see the transcendent opportunity. In my heart, I trust that the crises we face are the opportunities to reclaim our genius, and that is exactly why we are here, facing what we face. Our genius is that we know how to give birth- not only to babies, but to ideas, projects, movements, revolutions! We know how to bring something new into the world. We aren’t here to fix the existing reality, we are here to birth a new one!
In that spirit, I will celebrate International Women’s Day 2012 by joining Women for Women International’s global phenomenon, Join me on the Bridge, that was birthed by the women in Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda. In the middle of a violent war, these women gathered on a bridge that connects their countries to call for peace. In two countries where millions of deaths and mass rape span more than a decade, these women envision a radically different world, and dare me to imagine it with them. Women across the globe will gather on bridges, symbolizing that we can build bridges of peace and hope for the future. We are the engineers and architects of new kinds of bridges- the invisible ones that connect us all. We are the creators of new possibilities. We are opening our hearts and birthing the world we have always sensed was there.
Now I ask you: How will you celebrate International Women’s Day?
It is my deep desire that everyone reading this will awaken to something new.