Can you feel it?! Change is in the air. The inauguration Friday of the 45th President of the United States has galvanized people around the globe.
The energy of change is rising not just in the corridors of official power, or in those who have historically been politically active, but in people who have come together across the globe to stand for ways of being that are respectful of each other and our world. There are no doubt a multiplicity of ways people imagine that should look, but there’s something extraordinarily powerful when so many are moved to participate.
The Women’s March in DC – image by Mark Dixon cc by 2.0
The Sister Marches spanned all 50 U.S. states, and were held across Canada, in Mexico and at least 60 other countries over all seven continents.
Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne, Australia, in New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, and also Auckland, Christchurch and Dunedin. Tokyo, Japan. Seoul, South Korea. Bangkok, Thailand. Nairobi, Kenya. Cape Town, South Africa, and in Ghana and Malawi. Delhi, India. Beirut, Lebanon. Rome, Italy, Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich and other cities in Germany. In the UK in London, Cardiff, Liverpool, Manchester, Belfast and Edinburgh. Oslo, Norway. Reykjavik, Iceland. Helsinki, Finland. Paris, Marseille, Toulouse and Bordeaux in France. Barcelona, Spain. Brussels, Belgium, and also in Greece, Kosovo, the Czech Republic and Georgia. San Jose, Costa Rica. Buenos Aires, Argentina. Santiago, Chile, and even Paradise Bay, Antarctica.
The list goes on … over 600 Sister Marches worldwide – women, joined by those who love and support them.
Though there was much in President Trump’s inauguration speech that wasn’t resonant for me, his call to “stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions.” was. As he went on to say “It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.” It is time for us around the world to come together.
Royce Mann at Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, honouring MLK Day 2017
and encouraging us all to Rise Up
A couple weeks ago, at the celebration of MLK Day at Ebenezer Church in Atlanta, Georgia, a 15 year old Royce Mann was invited to share his inspiring poem Rise Up. He challenged us all to rise up “with those who are overlooked and undervalued by society”, and went on – painting powerful word pictures – to bring some of these stories alive.
So often, as American interfaith leader, lawyer, filmmaker, Sikh activist, and founder of The Revolutionary Love Project, Valarie Kaur points out, “We are trapped by stereotypes – Black as criminal, Latino as illegal, Muslim and Sikh as terrorist, indigenous as savage, trans as deviant, and women as property. Once a person is reduced to a stereotype, it becomes easier to rape them, imprison them, and kill them. But stories can destroy stereotypes. Our stories can set us free. … Everyone has a story. Which story have you yet to tell? Whose story have you yet to hear? Speak, even if your voice trembles.”
Marches like yesterday’s are important, but in order to create sustainable change and co-create the kind of world and relationships we want to live in, we need to continue to pay attention, and to act.
Sometimes, especially when we are buoyed up by others around us, paying attention and acting in this way can be exciting. Othertimes, particularly if we’re faced with challenges in our personal lives, life can feel uncertain and confusing. Two people in our circle of friends heard this week they were being laid off, another received a challenging diagnosis. Even new and exciting opportunites sometimes evoke the kind of clutching in our gut that can not only make our voice tremble, but interfere with our speaking and acting in the way we most want.
Our human reactions in these types of circumstances are SO understandable, and, how we hold them makes a difference! As Valarie Kaur recently asked herself and others facing dark and painful experiences
– but the darkness of the womb?”
If you recognize yourself in any of these places, and are feeling shaky, my new program Finding Your Sea Legs, might be just the thing to support you in navigating whatever you’re facing. What difference might being open to the possibility that in this challenge your greatness might be being called out, as something new was being birthed through you?
The program starts Thursday February 9 – just a couple weeks from now. If you’re curious or wondering if it’s for you, and would like to know more, click on the link above. You’ll find lots more info there.