By Ruby Susan Warren
Women are taking over the universities,” my brother-in-law, a retired university professor gleefully told me. “Even medical schools and dental schools!” Now that’s big news! There were very few women entering these two esteemed professions just 50 years ago when I was an undergrad. The only professions I knew about that were open to women back then were teaching, nursing and being a secretary.
There is other news of women uprising as well. The Nobel Peace Prize in 2011 was awarded to Tawakkol Karman, from Yeoman, Leymah Gbowee from Liberia and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia. Each of these women have been working tirelessly for peace in their countries.
In his speech announcing the award, the Secretary of the Nobel Committee very clearly and powerfully stated that, “until women are sitting at the peace tables, there will be no peace.” He was basically saying that the world MUST HAVE access to the wisdom women hold for there to be peace on earth! What a huge and poignant statement!
And look at Wangari Maathai, a mightily courageous woman from Kenya who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. She had no governmental position or support from any outside organizations and very little money. Yet she had wisdom, the power of her vision and her sisters to sustain her. Wangari was a woman of the soil and she remembered what her country was like before it was deforested. She remembered how rich and fertile the land once was, how easily it brought forth food to feed all the people. So she organized thousands of women in Kenya through the Green Belt Movement to plant millions of trees to heal the land and the people. She knew that the protection of natural resources is a prerequisite to a sustainable and peaceful world.
Additional evidence of the changes women are making in the world comes from other developing nations as well. In their book Half the Sky, Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas D. Kristof, Pulitzer Prize winning authors, give example after example of what is happening all over the third world when women become empowered financially through micro-loans. And what is happening is that whole countries are becoming happier, healthier and more financially stable.
How can poor women borrowing a little money have such an impact on their countries? Well, this is how! First women get a loan and start very small businesses. As they begin to prosper, these awesome women entrepreneurs, some who have never even been allowed to touch money in their countries, begin hiring their sisters and aunts and mothers and cousins and other women in their villages, so ALL may prosper.
They are spreading the wealth because most women know that they we are all connected to each other, and because women’s hearts go out to each other. Most women know that true well being is far bigger than one family rising out of poverty. In addition, third world women who are bringing cash into their families are far less vulnerable to being oppressed by their husbands and their children are healthier and live longer because these women have their own money to spend to care for them. Some developing countries are now actually PAYING FOR GIRLS TO GO TO SCHOOL because they have found that women make better workers. WOW!
Did you know that it was women who sustained the new age movement that combined with the women’s movement that cracked America wide open? And through that crack came pouring major changes in awareness through feminism, women’s psychology, women’s emmpowerment, women’s medicine, women’s spirituality, Eastern spirituality, acupuncture, yoga, tai chi, herbalism, organic food, and the millions of self-help books that opened conversations that were taboo just a few years earlier.
In essence, we sustained this joint movement. Who were the clients of these new practitioners and their new modalities? Who purchased the new products, signed-up for the classes, went to the workshops, bought the books? Who provided the income for the new and different practitioners, be they women or men, to continue their important work. We did! What I see in all of this is that we are in the midst of another wave of women uprising. What I see is that the spirit of women is unstoppable.
Even though we rarely made the history books, we have changed the world throughout human history and we are continuing to do so, whether we are in positions of power, or we are simply powerful. I celebrate the grace, creativity, resilience and power of women. I celebrate the heart and soul wisdom that we women hold in our centers. I celebrate our spunk, our audacity to keep going under the most difficult conditions imaginable. I celebrate our ability to create change for the good of all. I celebrate our enormous capacity for healing and expressing joy. And I celebrate all the women in Asheville who have allowed me to serve them over the past twenty years.
Women here at home and around the world have inspired me to offer my heart and wisdom to our community as a Psychotherapist and Expressive Art Therapist. As an herbalist and a gardener and lover of wild nature. As a permaculturalist, a singer and a leader of the Dances of Universal Peace. As a lover of all things of spirit. As a facilitator of processes of self-discovery, and deep ecology. As a healer and massage therapist. As a journaler, writer and poet. As a ceremonialist. As one who is passionate about learning all I can about healing and women.
So, on this wave of women uprising I am personally moving out onto my growning edge and taking what feels like a daring step to heed a vision that has been incubating within me. For a few years now, I have heard a wise inner voice saying, ”Gather the women. It is time to gather the women.” My vision heeds this call. It both challenges me and scares me. Most of all it is compelling, like a good vision should be. It is more comprehensive than any I have had before. It synthesizes all that I have learned over my lifetime and all that I hold dear.
So here it is. It is A VILLAGE!
I am creating a sacred, earth-based, mentored, nonresidential, healing Village for women. This Village has sufficient wisdom built into it to offer the depth and breadth of healing, creativity, joy, celebration, earth connection, community, support and mentoring needed for each woman involved to actually accomplish her inner journey to wholeness with joy. We CAN live our most genuine, wise, powerful and authentic selves, out loud, shamelessly!
As we awaken together, we will naturally feel a desire to use our energies to help others. Who knows, we might become the women sitting at the peace tables, or teach children how to grow gardens, or mentor young women to become successsful entrepreneurs. It is certain that we will become women changemakers in whatever way is right for us. All of our gifts are needed to bring the world back to sacredness and balance.
The Village is beginning with an INAUGURAL CELEBRATION on Friday September 13th at 7:30.
It will be a time of merrymaking, ceremony, banner making and brainstorming about what women are seeking. It will also be the first monthly Synchronici~Tea evening. A time to gather and try some home brewed herbal teas, create sacred space, share our gifts and enjoy our own company.
At the end of September I will offer two, eight week, Mentored Sacred Healing Circles: Knowing Ourselves, Accepting Ourselves, Believing in Ourselves: The Foundation for Living Genuine, Wholehearted, Empowered Lives. Within the safekeeping of a sacred mentored supportive circle of women we will learn the skills of inner knowing and inner healing. We will engage in processes of self-discovery. We will journal and sing and and create. We will connect with earth and sky and each other, and feel and and laugh and move and pray together. We will come to love ourselves and each other. Please contact me for other upcoming events.
Individual Sessions are always available. And last but not least, I invite any women interested in co-creating this collective vision or participating in any of the circles listed above, to connect with me at: email@example.com to schedule a time to talk. “Together we hold our centers like we hold each other. Together we hold the planet and rock this world back into balance, humbly, sacredly.”
Ruby Susan Warren, MA Counseling Psychology and Expressive Art Therapy, herbalist, permaculture teacher, massage therapist, etc.has been supporting women throughout her lifetime in many wise and creative ways. She is now reviving the ancient Art of Mentoring, and is offering a wide variety of Mentored Sacred Healing Circles for Women as well as Individual Mentoring Sessions. You can schedule a time to speak with her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.