http://youtu.be/g89NxTTycxc Let’s Go Fly A Kite From Mary Poppins
I remember when I was in college reading the words “Women hold up half the sky.” What that meant to this budding feminist who marched for the ERA (which got defeated in part, because of a silly notion that it would mean shared public restrooms), was that we as a gender were as vital as men when it came to our value and roles in society. What it really was about was equal pay for equal work at a time when the going rate was 59 cents for every dollar a man made. According to an article in TimeU.S, called Why Do Women Still Earn Less Than Men? (April 20, 2010) ” U.S. women still earned only 77 cents on the male dollar in 2008, according to the latest census statistics. (That number drops to 68% for African-American women and 58% for Latinas.)”
It isn’t about male bashing, it is about standing side by side with men. It is about safety for women, who need not worry about walking alone. It is about freedom in our own bodies, saying yes or no to touch, whether by a partner or stranger. It is about teaching girls that they matter and need not fit a stereotype for appearance. It is about say no to abuse of any kind. It is about choice of who to love; knowing that it is about the person and not the plumbing. It is about education for all. It is about economic and decision making power.
March 8th is International Women’s Day, celebrated around the planet. The theme is Connecting Girls: Inspiring Futures
World wide initiatives include:
– Global, United Nations: Women and men united to end violence against women and girls
– Canada, Status of Women (Federal Gov): Strong Leadership. Strong Women. Strong World: Equality
– Australia, UNIFEM: Unite to End Violence Against Women
– Australia, Queensland Government Office for Women: Our Women, Our State
– Australia, WA Department for Communities: Sharing the Caring for the Future
– UK, Doncaster Council: Women’s Voices and Influence
– UK, Welsh Assembly Government: Bridging the Generational Gap
– UK, Accenture: Stretch Yourself: Achieving 50:50 in the boardroom by 2020
– USA, IBM: Women@IBM: Success in the Globally Integrated Enterprise
A few years ago, I wrote what I call my Wo-manifesto; a statement of who I am as a work in progress and what I stand for.
I live full out, regardless of what anyone thinks.
I refuse to dim my light for anyone in order for them to feel comfortable.
I accept all the abundance that the Universe off ers.
I forgive myself and others for perceived slights.
I live with compassion both inwardly and outwardly.
I see my own beauty, without the ‘yes, but’s’, and ‘ if only’s’, simply . . . as is.
I move with grace, dancing to whatever music I hear.
I sing out with enthusiasm.
I speak my truth.
I welcome Love in all forms.
I refuse to second-guess myself.
I tell the people in my life what they mean to me.
I keep my heart open.
I imagine beyond limitations.
I mirror back the beauty in others I encounter.
I walk barefoot literally and figuratively.
I refrain from ‘guilty pleasures’ and instead simply call them pleasures.
I ask for what I want, knowing that I may not receive exactly as I have asked.
I accept what is for the Highest Good.
I embellish my body with colors, fabrics, and designs that make me feel good.
I move on when a situation warrants it.
I sit with my own feelings, not pushing them away out of fear.
I surrender to ‘what is’.
I trust in Divine timing.
I unburden myself of excess baggage.
I live in integrity.
I am genuine and transparent; what you see is what you get.
I am learning to be subtle.
I say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ with equal ease.
I ask for what my work is worth without
stuttering, and I expect to receive it.
I emotional bungee-jump, enjoying the ride in free-fall.
I stand in my own Truth.
So, what is your wo(man)-ifesto?
I saw this quote this morning and knew it beckoned to be shared.
“When the grass looks greener on the other side of the fence, it may be that they take better care of it there.” – Cecil Selig
How often do you longingly gaze at someone else’s life circumstances and wonder “Why them and not me? How come they have the relationship, home, job, friends, success of MY dreams?” and then lean on the fence between your metaphorical yard and yours, admiring the green sprouts? What if, instead of pondering with a blend of resentment and resignation that it will never happen for you, you consider what it might have taken for that person to be having their experience and for you to be having yours? I ask myself a similar question often: “What would someone have to think or believe to be having the experience that I am having?” I pose that query in both celebration that things feel grand and in working on solutions for circumstances that in that moment, don’t feel so hot. Without fail, it comes down to attitude.
In those times when I recognize the boundless blessings that surround me, I see them everywhere. And in the moments, when I am feeling disgruntled, it is generally because I am seeing the world through smudgy glasses. I admit that there are some situations over which I have no control. People have expectations for who I ‘should be’ or what I ‘should’ be doing. Rules, regulations and the illusion of time dictate that I have a structure to follow, that rebel as I might, are the agreements I make in order to live as an independent, self supporting, responsible adult. I can fight them, metaphorically kicking and screaming and still they are there.
In tending to my own lush lawn that is my life, I take responsibility for its upkeep, weeding out discontent, fertilizing it (sometimes life circumstances supply the manure:), keeping it from drying out, by watering it with love and self-compassion and then enjoying the waving blades of grass tickling my tootsies. Sometimes with childlike abandon, I roll around in it, laughing with delight.
How are you tending your grass?