YOUR VOTE MATTERS!
This #GivingTuesday, please consider joining me in supporting Empowerment 4 Girls with a donation. Together we make a difference in the lives of girls, giving them the tools, skills and confidence they need to grow into empowered women. Your contribution, large or small, to core support funding will help to ensuring our ability to provide our life-changing programs to more girls in our Olympia community, and beyond. Together we are raising strong girls and building a stronger community.
JENNIFER JOHNSON, SECRETARY
EMPOWERMENT 4 GIRLS
I have wanted to write about #METOO, this seismic force of nature since the very first hashtags were rolling in and the silence cracked, women's’ whispers raised to a shout, deafening and destroying the protection of ego and fragility. I have wanted to write about it in many places and in so many ways—not to add anything new. I mean we all know this story inside and out and although I have said it out loud again and again to friends, sisters, husbands (mine and yours) acquaintances, and in an awkward moment of solidarity, a lady at the bank… I haven’t written it down yet, because, ugh, #METOO, am I right?!
Let it topple. We are here to rebuild.
"Breathe," I tell myself, triggered again and again. "Stay right here in your body and just breathe." Inhabiting my own empowerment through breath, voice, and being is not something that I take for granted. #METOO and #TIMESUP are powerful forces of nature, exposing the seething molten anger hiding underneath layers of barely stable mountain tops. "Let it topple," I say, "We are here to rebuild."
So many reasons…
As secretary for Empowerment 4 Girls (E4G), one of Olympia's newest nonprofits, I am keenly aware and involved with a group of some of the most dynamic women of our community. We are each a part of E4G for so many reasons:
- Some of us are seeking to empower our own children, our own lost selves. After all, we were girls once desiring and deserving empowerment.
- Some of us are learning what it means to step fully into the power of divine feminine flow and put our skills to magical use creating curricula and laughter.
- Some of us struggle with the hegemony in our current educational system and we see E4G as an opportunity to create a welcoming space for all female-identifying beings.
- Some of us are inspired by the possibility of teaching younger generations to create a new world built on awareness, love, and compassion.
Hope, Love, Faith, and Trust
We all have so many reasons to channel our hope, love, faith, and trust through this organization. #METOO is one of a zillion of my reasons; my focus on the future while we sort out the past so that we can empower the present with our voices, choices, surroundings. Bravely saying, "Me too, and I believe you, and I know it hurts," to the lineage of women who have lived without these hashtags for too long. Creating empowerment for girls is to honor and release the #METOOs, and create a future that will never accept it as the status quo.
Entering its sixth year, #GivingTuesday is a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.
Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.
Created by the team at the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact at the 92nd Street Y—a cultural center in New York City that, since 1874, has been bringing people together around the values of service and giving back—#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. A team of influencers and founding partners joined forces, collaborating across sectors, offering expertise and working tirelessly, to launch #GivingTuesday and have continued to shape, grow and strengthen the movement.
An Anthem for the World
Some years ago my friend Sharon Mehdi sent me the words to this song. She asked if I would write the music as an Anthem to give away free to the world. With the help of Jacquelene Ambrose, Mitzi Dasheya Cowell, Catherine Zavala, Karen Falkenstrom and Heather Hardy all playing from the love in their hearts it is now up on Bandcamp for a free download.
— Cantrell Maryott
I first crossed paths with Cantrell 18+ years ago, when I was moving out of Alaska, and she was arriving—that small space in time of 'before' and 'after'. We noticed each other and have remained 'friends of heart,' although never living in the same location.
I've been witness to her intrinsic artistic vision, through her one-of-a-kind reliquaries, song and musical creations, and her latest offering, Chanteling. Mostly, I've noticed how she listens to her heart and follows her intuitions. She lives true to her core with a deep integrity, to be admired.
Where Joy Lives
Seeking joy is a lifetime journey. As with all things, we need simply remember again and again, that it's present and always a choice. It gets trickier in the dark times when it's hard to remember or find motivation for anything.
A sound, simple piece of advice once came to me from two 8 year-old boys interacting. One said to the other, "I don't know how to be happy," and the other responded, "You just think of something you want to do. You do it, and then you're happy."
You think of something you want to do. You do it, and then you're happy.
Picking raspberries was the magic solution. Although raining, I tromped down the block to a raspberry patch, sat under the bush and picked berries. I tagged that moment as 'joy' in my memory—"This is what joy feels like." I've assigned joy to raspberries forever more and bake raspberry pies to celebrate joy in my life.
It feels simple, but I think choosing joy can really be just that simple.
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