3 Apr
2010

Correction: I Know The Truth

Hello dear friends. In listening to more of the David Whyte talk on my ipod, I learned that the poem below, “I Know The Truth” was actually penned by Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva (1892 – 1941). The commentary on feminine psyche, however, was all David.

31 Mar
2010

I Know The Truth

From David Whyte:

You’ll often hear the masculine psyche say I know the truth
but 8 out of 10 times it can just mean that the fellow is stuck.
The man has felt this all his life and refused to change his mind

There is something about the way that the feminine psyche involves itself in the
world in an incredibly vulnerable way
and so for that psyche to actually come the the frontier where she can say in
absolute and complete and utter confidence ,

I know the truth!

then you sit up and listen.

I KNOW the truth.

Forget all other truths

No need for anyone on this earth to struggle.

Look it is evening
Look it is nearly night
What will you say
What will you say
Poets, lovers, generals, the wind is level now
the air is wet with dew
the storm of stars in the sky will turn to quiet and soon
all of us , all of us will sleep beneath the earth
we, we who never let each other sleep above it

31 Mar
2010

Call to Action from Three Dot Dash

Since my March 23 post on “Three Dot Dash” I have been connected to Nancy Hunt of the We Are Family Foundation. They have just concluded another Three Dot Dash Peace Summit and so I was honored to catch Nancy on the phone last night. I want to use today’s post to help Nancy with a very important CALL TO ACTION. Please read her email she sent to her girlfriends on Monday.

***************************************

Subject: Nancy here…Girl Power Needed Now!

Hello to all my girlfriends!

We just finished a very successful Three Dot Dash 2010 Just Peace Summit with 26 Global Teen Leaders from 14 countries and 4 continents.  They are each extraordinary people changing the world every day with their work. (threedotdash.org)

One of our GTLs, Mitchel, a young 18 year old girl from Nigeria is in need of our help.  She is fighting the tradition of girl/man arranged marriages in her community – and has been successful in changing the fate of many 12 year old girls. See her bio from our website below:

Mitchel, 18, Nigeria

Project:

AGENDA (African Girl-Child Education Nurturing and Developing Action)

When Mitchel was born she was automatically betrothed to a complete stranger.  “Unfortunately, that’s how it is in my community.”  Tradition states that a man from the community claims his future bride by giving the baby’s family her bride price, leaving and returning twelve years later to take his wife home.  As a result, many young girls die during childbirth due to their bodies being physically unready for such a taxing ordeal.  The pre-teens who are lucky enough to survive the birthing process usually develop a condition known as VVF, or vesicovaginal fistula, a malady that allows the continuous involuntary discharge of urine into the vaginal vault.  As her 12th birthday approached Mitchel became more and more determined to make sure that what happened to all of the girls she knew, including her cousins, did not happen to her.  Enter “AGENDA” (African Girl-Child Education Nurturing and Developing Action), a project which she created to assist herself and the countless others in her position.  By organizing road walks, rallies, seminars and community outreach programs, Mitchelle and her peers attempt to empower young girls and help them find their voices in society.  Since its inception two years ago, AGENDA has spread into 11 communities in two Nigerian states and influenced close to 23,000 girls.  Moreover, because of Mitchelle’s tireless advocacy the local government honored her petition and has put a stay on these types of arranged marriages pending a bill that will be voted upon.  “I believe a big change can occur in the world when girls are empowered.  A girl can just become the next Obama.  She may save the world in one area or another.  When girls are empowered, the world will be more peaceful.” 
Mitchel is now 18 and going to University in Nigeria – she is determined to become a diplomat for her country.  Her father has been layed off and is no longer in a position to fund her tuition of $3,000.  

In the name of “girl power” I would like to help her with her education – but do it with the help of my girlfriends. So, I am looking for 30 of us to donate $100 toward her tuition.  If you are interested in helping – please email me and I’ll give you the details.

Thanks so much for listening –  I am hopeful that we can help this extraordinary girl with the power of girls on the other side of the planet.  Please pass this along to your girlfriends too!

Nancy

•••–
Nancy Hunt
President
We Are Family Foundation
wearefamilyfoundation.org  | threedotdash.org

t 212.397.4333 | f 212.397.4338 
twitter me: @nancyhunt | WAFF: @wearefamilyfdtn


*****************

I have included Nancy’s email information nd phone because she asked that I connect ANYONE with her directly to make a gift via the We Are Family Foundation. According to Nancy, as of last night she had raised $1700. I am sure the other $1300 will come quickly. If you feel compelled to act, please contact Nancy at nancy@wearefamilyfoundation.org.

Link to Mitchelle’s Bio page: http://threedotdash.org/legacy/gtl2010_mitchelle.aspx

Link to CNN International interview: http://bit.ly/9woTMO

I look forward to sharing more stories of powerful young women from Nancy.

30 Mar
2010

Love & Justice

This amazing video was shared with me tonight by Wendy Patterson in Atlanta. This stirring Women’s anthem was performed by 400 Women of Victoria, Australia to mark the centenary of Suffrage – finally getting the Vote in Australia after 19 attempts in Parliament. Sung at the BMW edge in Melbourne, composed by Kavisha Mazzella (www.kavisha.com) and commissioned by the Victorian Women’s Trust. Let’s see if we can have some fun with social media and get some of the women who performed here to find us and join the Facebook page “WOMEN ARE SAVING THE WORLD NOW.”

29 Mar
2010

A Day of Gratitude

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who reached out to me today to speak about your experiences and how this site speaks to you. I am honored and humbled by the activity of the day. Thank you to CNN Heroes Marie Da Silva and Carolyn LeCroy. And to Lori Bregman, Nancy Chuda, Barbara Pyle, for reaching out to me. This is a list of phenomenal women and I want to interview each of you for this site. And thank you to the many men and women who spoke to me on Facebook today about how Ricki and Abby’s work has affected you. Thank you Ricki for Tweeting and Facebooking about the site to over 21,000 followers.

Please join the Facebook group “Women Are Saving The World Now” and I encourage you to post your heroes, ideas, photos and videos. Let’s make this group work for us all. With love and light, Lewis

28 Mar
2010

The Birth of A Nation

Sometimes, there is SO much to say about a person and the work they are doing to change and transform lives that you really don’t know where to begin. And that is exactly my experience of my time with Ricki Lake this weekend. I, like many of you, knew about Ricki from her work in film and television. Of course, she is the original Tracy Turnblad of John Waters’ Hairspray. I knew she hosted a talk show for many years, and I had seen her in several other films. My experience of Ricki was that she had a infectious energy and positive outlook in all she did. That was BEFORE I met her in person. Thanks to my friend photographer Mark Leibowitz, I had the benefit of spending much of this weekend in her company. And I was moved beyond my expectations.

Mark had told Ricki about the Women Saving The World Now website and my desire to open a dialogue between men and women. Ricki, immediately reached out and share with me the work of two courageous and inspiring women – Ina May Gaskin (a leader amongst midwives) and her own nanny, CNN Hero Marie Da Silva. I look forward to featuring the amazing work of both of these women in an upcoming website post – but I want to take this time to shine another light on the courage of Ricki and her co-creator and director, Abby Epstein, in putting action to voice in the documentary film The Business of Being Born. Many of you will know Abby from her work as director of Until The Violence Stops, the 2004 documentary film on the work of Eve Ensler, creator of V-Day and the Vagina Monologues.

I did my research before our meeting and learned about Ricki’s mission to make and produce this film, after having two wonderful birth experiences – one in the hospital and one at home. She knew the joy involved in having the option of a natural birth and wanted to help educated other women about their choices. So she team up with director Abby Epstein and produced the film and created a complimentary book and social network, My Best Birth – a brilliant site which features interviews and discussion from women about their birthing experiences. And the great thing about Ricki is that she is not forcing her views on anyone else. She simply wants to educate and help women make their best informed decision.

When my own brother John (who became a first time father a year and a half ago) told me how he views Ricki as a hero for co-creating this film and using her voice and celebrity to advance the very important discussion of birthing in this country, I knew her impact moved beyond just women. So tonight, I watched the film myself. I am neither a parent nor an expecting parent, so I viewed this film with a fresh set of eyes and relatively detached from the subject. I was blown away. This is another example of how we are controlling lives in this country in a completely unnecessary way. From Michael Pollan and Robyn O’Brien, I learned that the FDA can’t be trusted and from Ricki Lake I now see that the AMA can’t either. We lose more Mother’s in this country in childbirth than in Japan and most European Nations where midwives are used in over 80% of births. In the US, it’s less that 8%. The US also has the second highest newborn death rate amongst developed Nations. Not to mention that Cesarean birth has risen by 46% in the US since 1996 (in 2005 it was one out of every 3 births). Birthing has been standardized and systemized and it is nearly impossible to deliver in a hospital in a manner other that the one track provided which includes heavy sedation and a plethora of drugs. A cascade of interventions can actually create stress in the baby and lead to a required c-section. What is a natural process is now chemically controlled. And what Ricki shared with me is that the natural process produces a high that lasts for days. She said for her there is nothing like it.

Today, I was asked by a friend how I saw Ricki and Abby’s work fitting into Women Saving The World Now. To me this is quite clear. The act of giving birth is one of the most sacred moments in the life of a women and certainly of the baby. If we are controlling her right to have her child in any manner which best serves her, then we are continuing to suppress her rights to her body and to be the most fully present creator of life. I believe we have only just begun to understand the science behind HOW we enter this world. The film even speaks to the mother’s intuitive knowledge of what is happening to the baby when it is being born. And the ability to enter with passion, love and grace, instead of being chemically numbed out or over-scheduled, as my brother said, “like air traffic control.” For thousands of years, we came into this world naturally, and if a woman choses to do so now with the aid of a midwife and doula, then she should be fully supported by her medical team – whomever that is. And the other very important point the film makes is that in nature, mothers who are not allowed the natural hormonal connection (or “the cocktail of love hormones”) with their babies during birth do not take care of their babies in the same way after the birth. So the question is posed – on what level have we been compromising the human race for the last 100 years? Or at least the humans in this country?

After this weekend, I now know Ricki Lake as an author, documentary filmmaker and champion of women. I look forward to following the future career of Ricki as she brings more of her heart and life experiences to the world. Thank you dear woman for your offering to us all. I have asked Ricki to contribute to the site in the future and I look forward to watching that materialize. Thank you Ricki.

27 Mar
2010

Half The Sky

Last night I had the benefit of spending time with Josh Stamberg, talented actor and man with great heart (he happens to living in town filming season 2 of Drop Dead Diva). It is amazing when and where the conversation around women saving the world will show up – and it did for Josh and myself almost as soon as we sat down. I hope to interview Josh about his views on this topic as he seems to have a clear view.

Josh turned me on to Half The Sky – a book by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn. The premise of the book is the safety and a study of women around the world and an inspiring vision of the way to bring about change is to educate girls and bring women into the world economy. WOW! I have just ordered my copy and look forward to sharing more on this book. I have a feeling that this is JUST the beginning of my discussion around this work and perhaps it will lead to meeting the authors. I encourage you to visit the website. I love the stories section which outlines testimonials from some very strong women making change in their global communities.

25 Mar
2010

Two Sides of One Coin

My dear friend Christina Stevens wrote the most wonderful thing to me yesterday as we were discussing His Holiness The Dalai Lama and his recent quote on women.

She said, “The ‘feminine’ principal with its ability to shine light upon the present shift from polarity to unity consciousness will save the world. There is much work to be accomplished. In l993 when I filmed His Holiness, the Dalai Lama, I had just come from filming Mother Teresa and I found them so alike ~ like two sides of the one coin. I was creating the ‘first global environmental messages’ and they both knew exactly how to respond. Mother Teresa challenged us to begin ‘a revolution of love’ while His Holiness suggested we find our ’stillness within.’ They each called for us to individually influence the planet from our heart.”

Christina Steven is the founder of Blue Sky Productions. We became friend through the Captain Planet Foundation, where she serves on the Board of Directors. One of her current projects takes her to Bhutan. I have the feeling we will get to feature more of Christina and her work on this site. She is a wise woman and a great inspiration for this project. Thank you Christina.

23 Mar
2010

Lisa Dee, Vista Caballo, Speaks on Women and Leadership

I have unique benefit of knowing this woman who has had a significant impact on my life and has directed my journey toward creating this WSWNow Project – without even knowing it. Lisa established Vista Caballo as “a learning center for the leaders who want to access their next level of vitality and creation and the expansion of their capacity for life.” Yes, that is a direct quote. The work she does goes beyond words – but it is transformative. In my mind, Lisa is preparing and training our future leaders of conscious capitalism and social restoration. I have personally been to the ranch and worked with Lisa. I will be back in June with a group. I have also sent many of the dearest men and women in my life to her. It is the women who are going without reservation because I believe they truly understand the nature of intuition. This work will undoubtedly change and save the world. Oh yeah… and she is joined in this video by our new friends Luke and Luna.

23 Mar
2010

Three Dot Dash = Peace

Peggy Who Am I?

Don’t you love this video? My new friend Kyle Tibbs Jones (another amazing woman in Atlanta) told me about the work of Three Dot Dash today. This organization, headed up by former Chic band member Nile Rodgers and Nancy Hunt (The We Are Family Foundation) and inspired by Mattie Stepanek (the late poet and peacemaker who was one of Oprah’s favorites) works to connect teens globally around the mission of peace. From their website:

The We Are Family Foundation (WAFF), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization, was formed in 2002 with the mission to celebrate the vision of a global family by creating and supporting programs that inspire and educate the next generation about respect, understanding and cultural diversity – while striving to solve some of our biggest global problems at the same time.

I had previously heard of The We Are Family Foundation from Brenda Isaac, founder of the One Love Learning Foundation. [Brenda is in Africa now setting up the next school for OLLF, but you will be hearing more about her soon as I am interviewing her for WSWNow upon her return.

I also hope to meet Nile and Nancy to talk to them about the work of their Foundation and the Three Dot Dash Just Peace Summit. According to Kyle, it is taking place right now.

I look forward to interviewing all of these folks for WSWNow.com very soon.

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