One Billion Rising is over. And, it has just begun.
I first joined One Billion Rising about a year ago. The day, Feb 14, 2013, seemed so far off. Yet, the vision pulled me in. One Billion women rising. I wondered how that would shift things. I wondered how that would change the feeling on the planet, in our cities, in our hearts.
Last night, I co-led a beautiful event with Stacey Butcher, a teacher of 5Rhythms. Stacey created a gorgeous dance wave and she led us through it with love and grace. Kim Rosen, a well known spoken-word artist, and a personal friend of Eve Ensler’s, shared two spoken-word treasures that lit a fire in us before we moved into the dance. And, for the last song of the wave,Â Christine Hodil sang a beautiful song that we all joined in on at the end. Our hearts were opened, moved, fired-up, and lullabied. We were the one billion, and we danced for the one billion. And, there were so many men present, who danced alongside of us, who danced for the women they love, and for the women they don’t even know who continue to face abuse, violence, and harassment.
It is jarring to be in a beautiful event such as this, to open our hearts, to invite in the possibility for a world that is different, and then to step back into what seems to be the same old world.
What I do know, now, after witnessing so many women and men across the planet rising and dancing by way of live-streaming and the internet, is that this is no longer the same old world. While on the outside it may look that way, on the inside we are changed. We’ve cracked open the cage. We know something different now. We’ve experienced the fire and joy and creativity that comes when we dance, and come together, and rise.
One Billion Rising IS a new way of life. It’s a new way of being. It’s living unabashedly the fullness of our womanhood.
In practical terms? Itâ€™s about allowing out all the parts of ourselves we keep hidden for fear of being abused and harassed.
Our patriarchal conditioning keeps an essential aspect of us locked up in an internal prisonâ€¦the aspect that is the most powerful and enlivening for our souls. This aspect is nourishing and healing. It is our instinctual, sexual self, that when expressed brings forth playfulness, joy, passion, creativity, and a good dose of fire. It is not easily controllable, meaning our own internal conditioning has to work really hard to control it. It gets exhausting.
You know what Iâ€™m talking about, donâ€™t you!?
Weâ€™ve internalized the oppressor, so we continue the oppression against ourselves, along with the fear of oppression from outside. Eve Ensler so wisely saw that we have to break the chains ourselves, we have to break out of the cage we keep ourselves in, and dancing is a beautiful way to free this instinctive erotic nature that is both organic to our souls and a sacred aspect of life.
Before I go any further, I want to reiterate, that the erotic as it is understood in the current paradigm, is simply a small thin slice of what it truly is. When I shared my thoughts with one man I know and used the word erotic, his response? â€œThatâ€™s porn.â€ This is what weâ€™ve been conditioned to think eros and the erotic are.
Yet, what the erotic is is a beautiful aspect of life, this aspect that is at the heart of our creative, sensual, sexual, joyful, and loving natures. And because it is at the heart of creativity and embodied love, it is also the channel that will bring about lasting change, and deep nourishment to a world that has been out of balance for far too long.
And, it is exactly what our world hungers for just as it is what we hunger for. How could it be otherwise?
Life is wholeness. When we pretend we aren’t whole, we aren’t really fully living.Â
To dance is to unleash joy.
To dance is to step back into the flow, to move that which has been stuck.Â
To dance is also to reawaken our natural relationship to the body, to music, to rhythm, and to the beat of the drum, the beat of our blood pressure, the beat of our hearts.
One Billion Rising is “unleashing a feminist tsunami, an energetic rearrangement of our universal chemistry. the biggest volunteer action maybe ever of women across the planet, a seismic collective remembering of who we are, a calling back of our authenticity, a world dance shaking up our original energy and wisdom.” ~ Eve Ensler
So what do I now know that I didn’t know before yesterday, V-Day 2013?
I know that we can come together as women to reawaken our wisdom and nature.
I know that we are hungering to rekindle the fire of our erotic nature.
I know that many men all around us want us to do this. They know they cannot. And they know that it is in all of our best interests to do so.
I know that many women fear this aspect, along with many men. And, I know we have the courage to dance through this fear for the sake of life itself.
I know that dance is sacred, that our bodies are sacred, and that it is up to us to embody this truth.
I know that women have something important to do in this new era that men cannot do and it is time we do it.
I know we’ve stepped through a threshold and we cannot turn back.
I know that women across this planet can come together to rise in service to each other, and to all of life.
I know this. We’ve witnessed it. I felt it last night. I feel it today. I feel it right now.
Margaret Mead wrote, â€œNever doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.â€
If a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world, just imagine what a feminist tsunami of a billion women and men dancing can do. Imagine it. Feel it in your bones. Pray it. Dance it. Paint it. Sing it.
A tsunami doesn’t just stop when the clock strikes midnight!
Take your sisters and brothers by hand and step across the threshold into this new land. And, keep dancing. We must be committed to dancing.Â We are in this together. Isn’t that a wonderful thing to know!Â
I’m putting together the pieces I read last night, along with a little something else, into a complimentary ebook for my newsletter subscribers. If you’d like to receive it, be sure to sign up for my newsletter in the top right corner of the page. When it is ready, I’ll send it your way.
Here’s the One Billion Rising video from San Francisco. It’s hard to see me, but I’m there. I love seeing myself dancing. I’m so serious here, so passionate. It’s a lovely thing when you FINALLY accept your intensity is a beautiful thing.