A few days ago I was kept awake off and on all night after reading the memoir – Unbowed – of Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and mother creator of The Green Belt Movement in Kenya, Africa. Every time I awoke her persistence, commitment and passion for what she stood for was infiltrating into my being.
About six years ago now I missed seeing Wangari at a Global Healing Conference in Bali, Indonesia. I remember clearly that I had been so excited that she was going to be with us as well as Desmond Tutu, Lynn Twist and other Nobel laureates. Unfortunately, at the last minute she could not travel to Bali. I felt a great loss.
I knew that she had passed on in 2011 but did not know why, so the day after this wakefulness happened I found out the cause of her death and the date. She died on 9/25/2011 – the same day/evening that she visited me so intensely!!
She has re-entered my life through a global organization called TreeSisters – birthed into this world by Clare Dakin. Clare follows in Wangari’s footsteps as she passionately upholds the importance of reforesting our planet – and by women!! Part of membership in being a part of this planet Earth is to take a stand as Wangari, Clare, Lynn Twist (Pachamama Alliance), Jane Goodall , Barbara Marx Hubbard and so many other women are doing now as we experience environmental, social justice, economic and deep spiritual crises.
These imbalances have been co-created by splitting off from our true nature – the Earth. We have forgotten our roles as stewards of the Earth and have become dis-eased in the process. The rampant incidence of depression, anxiety, panic and other disease processes mirrors the very split from that which has given us life. Natures cycles are women’s cycles!
We all know the assumptions that have been held in regards to women for so many centuries and now seems the time to upset the apple cart in regards to these very assumptions. The one that has hurt us the most – and one which we have bought into – is “As a woman I am powerless”. There were good reasons to think so down through the ages, but not now, not ever again.
Why do I say that? Because not only are women waking up and coming out in our full embodied expressions, but we are standing with each other to facilitate the changes that so many of us are committed to on behalf of the well being of all life here. We don’t have to step forward without fear, we simply need to be persistent and form alliances with others that are willing to bring their expression to the creative solutions and innovations.
As Wangari says in Unbowed: “What people see as fearlessness is really persistence. Because I am focused on the solution, I don’t see danger. Because I don’t see danger, I don’t allow the mind to imagine what might happen to me, which is my definition of fear. If you don’t foresee the danger and see only the solution, then you can defy anyone and appear strong and fearless.”
I love this quote as in her life she faced injury, life threats, imprisonment, gender discrimination, and great opposition from the political powers that were present as she was growing The Green Belt Movement. Today this very movement has been responsible for 51 million trees being planted in Kenya and thousands of women finding their own power and purpose in life thus affecting the quality of life in her country.
She says about those that have walked by her side: “Throughout my life, I have never stopped to strategize about my next steps. I often just keep walking along, through whichever door opens. I have been on a journey and this journey has never stopped. When the journey is acknowledged and sustained by those I work with, they are a source of inspiration, energy, and encouragement. They are the reasons I kept walking, and will keep walking, as long as my knees hold out.”
Now take some time to think about women that inspire you, whether they are present day or from the past. I have chosen those that are working on behalf of our environment and sustainable living and thriving, however yours may be from any walk of life or focus. What qualities did/do they possess? They may have been or are called “heretics” and if they are, take a very careful look at who is naming them. Assumptions are dangerous and at the core are what got us to the place we are today tipping over into imbalances that will and are seriously affecting us all.
I say to each of you – take a stand! At our core we all have the “stuff” that is needed to “take a stand” even if that is simply being absolutely true to our own unique expression and unfailingly trusting it. We are all healers and creators. Let us trust our soul, honor our spirit, open our heart, transform our mind and heal our bodies. ( Heart of the Healer by Don Oscar Miro-Quesada, Peruvian curandero).
Come into ritual space with each other and co-create Earth centered living from the heart ignited by soul and spirit….We can have a gentle birth to the next stage of evolution by accepting, trusting, and stepping into the innate power that we have been given by simply being born a woman. You are both the midwives and the ones that are giving birth!!
The story of the hummingbird by Wangari Maathai:
Taking Root trailer – The story of Wangari Maathai and The Green Belt Movement
…AND ONE MORE TASTY GIFT! GET UP AND DANCE!! DON’T FORGET THE PASSION!!
**NOTE: If you live in Austin, Texas or near by please join us for a showing of the film Taking Root on 10/27/13 co-sponsored by the local Sierra Club, global TreeSisters, and me – Natural Passages Consulting. A representative from Pachamama Alliance will also be with us!! Go to htt://www.GayeAbbott.com and click on the EVENTS tab.
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