Half the Sky

Have you read Half the Sky?  Though the stories contained in the book will cause a whole lot of crying, they will hopefully induce a fierce reaction to react.  To give you an idea of what the book is about, it’s subtitle is: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.

This book has changed the direction of my current writing project (keeping me so busy as of late that I’ve neglected my blog) and has stirred the activist in me, which was previously untouched.  But now there is a rousing within, which I believe is happening to many a woman.  We are ushering in a new consciousness, one in which the feminine faculties are honored.  After reading this book, you might wonder what the heck I’m talking about.  Because you will read stories and statistics that will illustrate how women are clearly disregarded, enslaved and violated.  For instance, the book states: “more girls have been killed in the last fifty years, precisely because they were girls, than men were killed in all the battles of the twentieth century.  More girls are killed in this routine “gendercide” in any one decade than people were slaughtered in all the genocides of the twentieth century.”

Despite the horrors that are happening to women and girls, or perhaps because of these tragedies, we are given the opportunity to transcend.

In the U.S., we have overcome many of the outward barriers to inequality.  But that’s not the end of story.  We have our feminine gifts to offer.  Gifts that have been misrepresented as weaknesses, such as our intuition, our notions of Being and relatedness.  By re-claiming and cultivating our innate wisdoms, we can truly “be the change we want to see in the world.”

The authors of Half the Sky will give you some steps to take.  Through their list of websites, I found worldpulse.com.  I’m feeling a little more connected to women worldwide there.  Check it out.

The candle is burning.  The cream and sugar with a touch of coffee is warm.  The iphone plays relaxing music.  The books, journals and pens are all at arms reach.  Serenity’s Citrus Kiss aromatherapy fills the air.  This is my space.  Oh yeah, and I sit in a $5 yard-sale-purchased comfy and shabby-chic cute chair!  (I love getting a good deal…not only because I didn’t have to spend a lot of money, but also for the story of it, and the lovely little flea-market style.  And BTW, if you think that’s a good deal, I’ve accomplished even better, like the time I purchased two pieces of art, signed by the artist, for ONE DOLLAR each.)

Ok, but I’m getting off topic…don’t get me started on yard sales, apparently.  My point is that this is my new “corner of my own,” my very first quiet place designed by me, for me.  And I can’t tell you how much I needed it and how much I’m now loving it.  In a 1200 square foot, shoebox of a house, I carved this tiny space.  Forever I knew I needed a personal piece of the house, but I couldn’t figure out how.  It was just too tight.  We were already busting at the seams.  I finally decided to move some dressers around, and though it’s not perfect- I don’t really like the complete wall-to-wall furniture in the guest room- I can deal.  When I found my $5 chair, I just knew it was meant to be!!  And so now my space consists of a small bookshelf and a chair.  Sounds so simple, and yet this little sanctuary nurtures me daily in a way I had not known.

All of us, I now realize more fully, need this nourishment- a way to relax and refresh in our hurried days.  Creating, literally, a teeny tiny corner in my room, makes that statement real for me.  Yeah, yeah, I could agree with that before my space was built, but now I have a physical manifestation.  A tangible place to go, and for everyone to see and to respect my need for daily moments of solitude. I feel like I’m honoring myself.  I’m listening to the heart (who told me “stillness speaks” if you remember from previous blogs) and being rewarded.

So even if you’re as tight on money as you are on space, take it from me, you can create something out of nothing.  I seriously didn’t think I had the room.  But somehow, it’s here.  When you find a quiet place for yourself, sustaining your inner life, you return to the outer life refreshed and everything, people, places are renewed.

“The world will be saved by the western woman.”  Let me repeat it: “The world will be saved by the western woman.”  Now take a moment to actually let that seep in.

These are the words of the Dalai Lama.  These are the words of the Dalai Lama that are sending seismic vibrations throughout the western world and these are the words that are shifting the ground underneath my feet.  To the point that soon I’ll need wings to fly to new ground.

I’ve been feeling the shift.  A shift in my own way of life that has coincided with what is happening outside.  Outside the closed doors of my inner, private life- a revolution in consciousness.  Well let’s open the doors and have the conversation, because together, we can change the world.

Healing of the world begins with a re-emergence of the feminine.  And that’s what we are bringing back into balance.  We are feeling more connected to one another, we are caring more for our dear Mother Earth.  We are beginning to nurture not just our biological children, but the world’s children.  And, just as important, we are nurturing our own Selves.  This is where the change starts.

Because across the world, women and young girls are struggling in cultures that enslave them.  We westerners are not bound in such a way by our outside world.  What binds us?  Our inner world.  And so as we begin that decent to the bedrock of truth, right in our own bedrooms, we begin changing things thousands of miles away.

Slowly, we are recovering from our own oppressive history.  We are seeing how what’s happened to us in the past (the killing, literally and figuratively, of the feminine way), has separated us, alienated us, from our own deep knowings.  And we are returning!

Are you feeling it?

The conversations are happening all around you.  The Sophia Institute in Charleston, SC is bringing this wisdom into the world.  They are instruments in the symphony that is transforming the world—right there in Charleston!  I’ll be returning in October for their conference (Women of Wisdom, Transforming Ourselves, Transforming Our World).  Also, Marianne Williamson is hosting Sister Giant: Rousing the Sleeping Giant of American Womanhood, in L.A.  at the end of February.  The women gathering for this event plan on doing nothing short of the Dalai Lama’s prediction.

Today, for the first time ever, I sat with a group of women.  Actually just sat.

Silently.  For 30 minutes.

And while my mind was certainly not void of thought, there were moments that were perfectly clear.  No worries about rejection letters, no planning out the day, no thoughts of other people’s needs.  (Of course these thoughts like to creep in, but they don’t have to linger)

A group of women just sitting in a circle.  All eyes closed.  Holding the silence.  What could happen in that nothing-ness?  Life.  Holding me still, yet pushing me ahead, all at once.

Sitting and moving together.

Stillness Speaks

I woke up from a dream the other night (or perhaps I was still dreaming) and I heard these words: “Stillness Speaks.”

Knowing the importance of inner space, I try to create moments during the day where I simply sit still.  But as any busy mom knows- or any person at all really- sometimes this feels impossible or a waste of time even (shouldn’t I be doing something?  Something productive?)   My to-do list has seemed overwhelming as of late; and it is hard to find the time to re-connect, to re-charge.

But I got my reminder the other night.  I know for sure that if I ignore what the world is trying to tell me, it will come to play out somehow in my life.  It’s best if I listen; this I’ve learned.  So even when the to-do list calls, and even during this most busiest time of year, I will create spaces daily to listen to the stillness.

Today, the stillness spoke: “Come back often.”

A poem

Mother and baby, attached at the root.

Look how tall you will grow baby!

See me?  See what you can be?

I see you.

And I can be more like you too.

You, yellow.  Me, orange.

You bring yellow to me and I offer to you, orange.

Do you feel the pull, the energy urging you forward?

Though you are smaller than I, I still feel the need to grow.

You will never stop growing as long as you never stop feeling.  Feeling life.  Feeling your potentiality.