Friday, March 8, 2013

It's International Women's Day and I need a favor

As some of you know, I like to hang out on G+.  It's been a fascinating experience that has brought me in touch with some amazing people.  One of these amazing people had, at one point, a gorgeous, tasteful nude portrait of herself on her profile. She doesn't always see her own beauty or strength or appeal.  None of us really do, but that's were the favor I'm asking for comes in.  I am incredibly grateful for this lovely woman who is far more beautiful, strong and inspiring than she realizes.

Today is International Women's Day.  For over a century, women around the world have celebrated, have advocated for equality, and have fought for the right to fully participate in society.  It is a fight that continues now in new and unexpected ways.  In order for this fight to be successful, we all need to do something very courageous and very revolutionary.  We have to love ourselves.

I am asking you to do two things for me today; first, I want you to pick a personality trait that you admire in yourself.  It can be your sense of humor, your brilliant mind, your tendency to love everyone.  It could be your will to survive, your healing scars of the past.  Choose your imagination or your pragmatism.  Acknowledge this part of yourself, admire it, and share this thought with at least one other person.  Share it in the comments here, tell a friend, or use social media. Say, "I love this about myself!"  This is part of you and it needs love to grow.  I admire my ability to make connections between ideas and people and events.  I admire my ability to stick to my ideals, even when it;s not convient or easy.

The second part of my request is more tangible, and for many people, it will be more frightening.  Go find a picture of yourself that you like.  You don't have to like the whole picture, and it doesn't have to represent a great moment in your life.  Find one in which your hair looks great, or your eyes are sparkling.  It can be from your past, or it can be more recent.  Study that photo and admire yourself (or go to the mirror and make friends with your reflection).  Honor your own unique beauty by saying "I am beautiful".  I chose this photo to share because it was a moment in which I was confident and powerful and mysterious.  I wish I had appreciated my own beauty more then, but I acknowledge and embrace it today. I was and am beautiful.


We cannot really fight for the rights of other women, of all women, if we can't fight for ourselves.  We can choose happiness and strength and love over fear and weakness and hatred.  It's a choice that must be constantly and consciously remade everyday.  We must acknowledge that we are worthy of love, of better treatment, and our own place in the world.  Without faith in these things, the fight for equality can be easily undermined by those who enjoy see us weak and mistreated and in fear of our beauty.

Happy International Women's Day, you beautiful goddesses!  You are absolutely worthy of happiness, of equality, and love; for you, for me, for every woman, I will keep demanding equality. I will keep fighting until the day comes when all people, not just women, are equal under the law and in access to the thing they need to live a happy, healthy life.  This goes beyond politics and national borders and cultural divides, and this dream is the core of my spiritual practice.  

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