I have a story to tell you.
Today I danced for freedom. I danced for the rights of women and children to live a life free of abuse. I danced, though the campaign that inspired me—along with millions of others in two hundred countries—was promoted as a protest against violence. The campaign is called OneBillionRising.org. And while I am proud to lend my voice and, in this case, my tapping feet and swaying hips to the rising of unity that occurred today, I must tell you that, initially, I was not going to get involved in this movement. I was inspired to do so only because my humanitarian work and my transformational work have always been focused on women and children, and this campaign was an obvious fit. But I wasn’t inspired about the idea of dancing as a way to make a difference, and I was not inspired to dance against an injustice.
Honestly, dancing seemed trivial compared to the real issues and the real women and children who are suffering. My mind judged the campaign as a fluffy attempt at gaining publicity and getting peoples’ fire roaring for something that wouldn’t create lasting change. But, despite my misgivings, I went to the event.
So now I feel inspired to share my story with you because of a woman I met at One Billion Rising. Her name is Monica. She was the organizer of the Dallas-area event that I attended. At the end of the deal, Monica shared with the group that she had felt uninspired to participate until just two weeks before the event. Her spiritual teacher had kept gently nudging her to probe deeper into what she was feeling about not participating. As she explored her feelings, she discovered a wellspring of grief, personal and collective, that was attached to her judgment. When emotional healing occurred, her resistance, her no, became a yes. She knew she needed to let go of how the message was showing up and instead join in with the collective healing. She and a core team then scrambled to put together the local event in just two weeks.
I was so surprised to listen to her share her story and grateful to know I was not alone in how I had felt. It saddened me, at first, as I thought about how many more people may have gotten involved had the event been promoted in the energy of the New Day, how many chose not to go deeper into looking at their resistance to being part of this collective action for sisterhood that occurred today.
I believe that a new day and a new way are now here. And I do stand for us co-creating campaigns and movements that speak to this shift. Our voices will ring more powerfully in calling for what we want, what we are for, what we declare, what we envision and co-create, rather than what we are against. I hope that I remember this lesson as I bring my gifts of inspiration to the world, just as Eve Ensler did when she was inspired to see one billion women rising, striking, or dancing. Eve wrote The Vagina Monologues and founded One Billion Rising. I admire her so much. I have been a fan of the VMs since 1997, and I used them in my women’s sacred sexuality workshops back in the day. I’m grateful that this movement will shine a new light on the VMs and will hopefully help engage women and men in their wisdom more than ever.
I had a shift in my perspective, as Monica did. If I had chosen to remain stuck in a belief, I would have missed out on an opportunity for a deepening. And that is what occurred today—an awakening and a deepening.
It was glorious fun!!! I was in tears when we all pointed to the sky at song’s end, feeling the collective tears, fears, laughter, joy, and love of one billion souls. I don’t know how many people actually gathered today, but I am grateful for it, and hopeful that today’s action, in love, will continue.
Today I danced for freedom. What are you for?
Thanks for listening.
Love and joy, Sprtye