This Is Your Time
This is your time.
Your time to say what you have kept silent.
Your time to ask your big questions, without apology.
Your time to shine like a blazing comet, whether they like it or not.
Your time to believe what your heart tells you:
that this world could be very different.
Your time to live by your rhythms,
and teach them to the world.
Your time nurture your village back to health.
Your time to show the world what it has been missing.
Your time to show the world the other side of itself.
I believe this is truly your time. The world needs your voice, your gifts, your light.
Most of my work involves helping women in the privileged parts of the world. But I believe all of us working to empower women in the developed world can't stop there, because so many women around the world are suffering, and because the change we need is a global one: a balance of power between men and women, across the planet.
What's happening with girls around the world?
The reality today is:
A quarter of girls in the developing world are not in school.
Many are forced into marriage as children or young teens, bearing children before they are ready. In fact, complications from childbirth are the #1 cause of death for girls age 15-19 globally, because so many girls have babies before their bodies - let alone their minds and hearts - are ready.
In addition, physical abuse and sexual abuse is a fact of life for most women in many parts of the developing world. Sexual trafficking and child trafficking is rampant.
There is a lot to be upset about.
But ultimately, this is a moment for hope and action. There is so much good news: just a few additional years of school makes a transformational difference in a girl's life. She is likely to marry later. She is less likely be abused. She earns higher wages, allowing her to better support herself and her family.
And here's the amazing part: when a woman in the developing world has an education and can earn a living, the research shows that she moves her entire family -- and often her entire village - out of poverty. This ripple effect is "the girl effect."
Girls turn out to be the greatest source of power and transformation for a community trying to move out of poverty.
I want all of us to open our hearts and minds to what is happening to women in the developing world, and I want more of us to become partners in supporting the revolution of "the girl effect."
That's why I'm organizing bloggers to all join together and write about The Girl Effect on their blogs this week, October 4-11th, 2011.
If you are a blogger, visit here and add in your own post.
If you aren't a blogger, but would like to read some Girl Effect posts, visit here and read the posts.We really can make a difference by spreading awareness about the Girl Effect.
October 21-23 California Retreat: Your Other Names
So, you probably didn't know you have "other names."
Here's what I mean by that. You walk around as "Susan" or "Kate" or "Julie" or "(insert your name here)" most of the time.
But, that's just one layer of who you are. You have other names.
Here's one of your other names: "strong cauldron for the feast of light."
Yup, that's you. You are Jane, or Kelly, or Jen. But at another level, you are a strong cauldron for the feast of light.
If, today, you were to move through your life thinking of yourself as a container for a feast of light, what would be different? How do your complaints about your body change? How do your frustrations with your kids change? How does your messy house look different? What shifts if you know you are a "strong cauldron for the feast of light?"
This is what we'll be doing at the retreat -
exploring: what are those other deeper, free and freeing parts of ourselves? How do we connect with them? We'll do that amidst ocean, gardens, great food, great company, great music and more. This is a small group experience: 20 women.
More info and sign up here
Plus, some *great* news: one of our retreat attendees had to cancel last minute, and she'd like her tuition to be used for a scholarship spot for a woman who wants to attend but can't afford the cost. So, there will be one "gift" retreat spot for $100.
If you would like to attend the retreat, can't afford the regular tuition but can pay $100, plus can cover your own travel to and from Green Gulch Farm north of San Francisoc, you can apply for that spot! To apply, please send me a note at email@example.com with 1 paragraph covering: why you'd like to attend the retreat, and something you'll do to "pass on" a gift to someone else in the world - paying it forward!
More info about the retreat is here