International Women's DayInternational Women’s Day invites reflection and celebration about who and where we are today, at home and around the world, on the status of women, gender issues, respect, equality… Here are a few musings that come to mind for me.  Enjoy, share, add your own.

Here’s a Canadian perspective: Each year, March 8 is an opportunity to celebrate the contributions of women and renew our efforts in achieving gender equality… at home and around the world.  Let’s do it!  Each in our own way, joining together, rejoice and dig in!

And here’s an international perspective, courtesy of my favorite good news source, Future Crunch.  The lead article in the current issue is called “F is for Feminism”, and has a whopping list of positive developments in women’s issues, in the last year alone, all around the world.  I was startled and encouraged, and expect you will be too.

As women, our bodies are a major focus, of joy, alarm, shame, pleasure.  Try this, to honor and attend to this sacred vessel:  do, feel, drop into a self-body scan.  We can detect subtle changes if we do our own energy and body scan with some regularity (Madison Taylor, The Daily Om).

#PressforProgress is an International Women’s Day action campaign keeping International Women's DayWomens’ issues front and center.  Check it out!  And there is of course also #MeToo!  Both so powerful and encouraging!

“Action is the antidote to despair.”  Joan Baez.  On International Women’s Day, and beyond, let us be inspired by Joan, consummate female activist, model for many.

More about despair and action: “If we find ourselves in challenging situations, ones that push us beyond our comfort zones; ones that stimulates frustration, disillusionment and even despair . . .Take action.  Do what we can do.  Make the best effort we can make.  And remember, don’t be attached to the outcome!”   ToDo Institute

Another antidote to despair from Wendell Berry.  Savour his poem, The Peace of WIld Things:  

When despair for the world grows in me
 and I wake in the night at the least sound
 in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
 I go and lie down where the wood drake
 rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
 I come into the peace of wild things
 who do not tax their lives with forethought
 of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
 And I feel above me the day-blind stars
 waiting with their light. For a time
 I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.


A dear friend of mine offers another poem, inspired by Berry’s classic piece on peace:

When the joy in the heart grows and grows
and I cannot sleep in the stillness of the night
for the fullness of my heart
and the desire to share this light
to let it flow into the world
to bring some happiness to our troubled times
I walk down to the beach where land water air meet
and let the soft end of the waves burry my feet in the sand.
This is how earth mother receives from her living creatures
and I can feel my burden lighten as it flows 
into her crystalline core along the lay lines
and at the same time my light brightens
as I receive her gift coming back up my feet.
The water too plays with this light of joy
the waves give off a shimmer as if winking gratitude to me
and the air caresses my arms as they dance in the wind.
For a moment
I rest
and my life is unbound.

Thanks, Margit Ostermann.  So beautiful, and perfect for International Women’s Day.

International Women's DayIn closure, what about feeling the support that we do have, that is here with us, under us, for us, right now.  Rick Hanson offers this suggestion in his note Just One Thing.

It feels like beautiful balance to remember on this day, and every day:  Feel the Support.

Jill Schroder is the author of BECOMING: Journeying Toward Authenticity.  BECOMING is an invitation for self-reflection, and to mine our memorable moments for insights, meaning, and growth.  Check the website for a sample chapter, or see the reviews to get a flavor for the volume.  Follow me on Twitter, let’s be friends on Facebook :-) 
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