Sisters Shoulder to Shoulder
It seems fitting that each year as Spring approaches, we celebrate International Women’s Day. Spring…the season of renewal when the earth warms and we are surprised by the hidden seeds that we forgot were buried, even as they struggled to break the surface. Spring…when Mother Earth adorns herself with luscious pastels and brilliantly-colored flowers.
The Australian poet, Pam Brown, asked “When sisters stand shoulder to shoulder, who stands a chance against us?” The image of women standing shoulder to shoulder across the world is a powerful one. This need not be a stance of power, anger or defensiveness, but rather of sisterhood, helpfulness and equality. When one stands shoulder to shoulder with the next, you can feel the energy of your neighbor. Your arms and legs touch so that your stride is in tune with each other. And if any mishap occurs, you are there at the ready to help. Or to hold hands. Sisters shoulder to shoulder.
The Fuji Declaration and the Soul of WoMen challenges each of us to ignite the Divine Spark within and to activate our Divine Feminine for a more balanced world. How can we meet that challenge and celebrate the importance of women?
First, we can value the wholeness of women. We can let the women in our lives know that they are enough. Whether it is our mother, sister, daughter, friend or coworker, let her know that you value her as her, and not the extension of the men in her life. Respect her choices about who she is, who she loves, how she worships, where she lives, and whether she chooses a career outside of the home or not.
Second, we can value women equally with men in all realms. We can speak up on behalf of women who are regarded as less than equal. And we can be an example of courage when confronting unequal treatment – Sit in the front row. Stand up for your rights. Ask for the raise. Speak power to truth. Refuse to take “No” as a final answer. Seek a solution.
And finally, we can honor the Divine Feminine within all of us and cherish the innate qualities of femininity as strengths rather than weaknesses. Our gifts of divinity are the inclination to welcome strangers, include the less fortunate, listen to the opposition, understand the message, affirm with kindness, support the needy, respect diversity, be slow to judge, be generous with compassion and to develop intuition as a natural sense.
Let us not relegate the celebration of women to a single day of the year. Rather, let us cherish womanhood for what it adds to the world, while at the same time working within our spheres for equality and parity for all people. Sisters shoulder to shoulder.