Up Close and Personal with Hillary

Up Close and Personal with Hillary

Hillary Rodham Clinton

So much has been said about Hillary, so as a feminist who has worked for the past fifty years with and for women’s empowerment and healing, I will tell of my close up and personal experiences with Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The first time I met her in person was in Washington DC at a Church Women United event. I was serving as staff for the National Episcopal Church, Director of Women in Mission and Ministry.  The audience was women of faith representing the many denominations who worked together through Church Women United and the National Council of Churches on behalf of women and girls.  Hillary talked to us about being a woman of faith, raised in the Methodist Church and her mother’s wisdom to listen to what God was calling her to be and do and then just do it.  She radiated enthusiasm and sincerity for her life in politics as First Lady.  She thanked us for coming to Washington and asked us to continue our work in advocating and serving women for the betterment of their families, communities and our nation.

Several of us who had key positions in our denominations attended a small governmental meeting in DC with staff from the Interagency Council on Women set up to provide systemic change. I am not good at dates so not sure if this was in preparation of the UN Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995 or after.  Staff for the Interagency Council and for the US Delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women were very supportive of our roles and asked us to make our voices heard by telling them what we wanted.  This was very different than how we were treated at the UN Third World Conference in Nairobi, Kenya in 1985.  We were ignored and shut out of acting as consultants to the US Delegation even though we had UN NGO Consultative Status.

The second time to be close up to Hillary was in 1995, in Huairou, outside of Beijing where the UN Fourth World NGO Forum was held. The space given to us by the Chinese Government was a secondary school, too small to accommodate the fifty thousand women attending.   The auditorium where Hillary spoke could only hold some of us on a first come basis, arriving early, waiting in the rain and singing songs.  When Hillary ended her speech by saying the Beijing Noon Day Prayer I was stunned.  The Prayer was written by me, Sr. Helena Marie of the Episcopal Church, Eileen King of World Day of Prayer and Florence Kelley of  Baha International.  Church Women United translated it into the UN official languages and made it into a postcard that became an official UN document accepted by the Chinese Government. I was not able to thank her or shake her hand but it was enough to have her with us in Huairou where she inspired us to greatness and to keep on keeping on. All fifty thousand women attending heard her say, women’s rights are human rights, that she first said to UN and Government Delegates in Beijing and then to us.  For the thousands who could not get into the auditorium hearing her speech outside in the rain over a loud speaker was incredibly thrilling.  All fifty thousand of us will never forget and will continue to work on having another UN Women’s Forum. She asked us to take the UN 12 Issues of the Platform for Action document and make it come alive for grassroots women everywhere.  Sr. Helena Marie, Lucy Germany, Nancy Grandfield and I took this seriously and wrote a book called WomenPrints: A detailed Plan of Action for the New Millennium, that gave the history of the world conferences and used stories from around the world to bring alive the 12 Issues.

Because of my position in the Episcopal Church, I served on the National Committee of Pay Equity and was invited to the White House by President Bill Clinton for Pay Equity Day. The invitation goes to a small group of dedicated people making the White House event close up and personal.   When Bill spoke out for pay equity and thanked us for our efforts, Hillary glowed with love and admiration.  She and Bill when standing side-by-side radiated love for one another and mutual respect, something that can’t be contrived.

The next year, the year of the Lewinsky affair, we again were invited to the White House to celebrate Pay Equity Day. Hillary’s light from within was not visible.  She was there in person but not the Hillary we have known.  You could see the terrible strain and disappointment in her eyes and body language.  It was sad to see.

The next time was in a New York crowd, the name of the event I can’t remember. What I do remember is that she was running for the New York US Senate.  Her enthusiasm and amazing intellect about New York political needs and her professionalism on how she responded to questions related to her qualifications were outstanding.  The light from within her was radiating out to each of us as she shook our hands and thanked us for coming.

As First Lady, US Senator and Secretary of State, Hillary has always put women first and has proven over and over to me that the global women’s dream for a feminist serving as president of the United States is truly possible. Imagine what we will accomplish.  Imagine how the progress to improve the status of women worldwide will accelerate.  Imagine having a 5th United Nations NGO Forum on Women building on all that we have accomplished, understanding all the barriers and working grassroots up and top down.  Imagine the potential to reach through Internet, radio and women’s circles millions and possibly billions of women, girls, youth and men and to connect them to a 5th UN World Conference on Women. www.5wcw.org

Now that she is our candidate for President we can dream big, and like Hillary, do the work to make it happen.

 

 

Posted in 5WCW Circles, Circles & Connections, Feminist Women of Faith | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mother Earth’s Round Calendar

Mother Earth's Round Calendar  2017
Mother Earth’s Round Calendar 2017
Every Month is a theme with messages from Mother Earth, Mom, to help people of all ages to live in harmony with nature, ourselves and one another. 
Healthy People make for a Healthy Planet
This unique one-of-a-kind round calendar has the moon phases that connects us to Grandmother Moon’s wisdom that has been used for thousands of years for birth control, fishing, gardening and  teaches how to be in tune, body/mind/spirit,  with Earth and the Universe.   
We humans have lost our way and the Round Calendar with whimsical art, information, nature-connect exercises, poems, prayers and songs make up a meaningful guide for individuals, families, communities and organizations to live in harmony with all creation. 
Cheshire Cat says it is time to listen to Mom!
Posted in Divine Feminine, Eco-Spirituality, Health, Heart & Soul, Mother Heart, New Earth, New Story | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Prayer for Everyday for All Creation

Gaia

 

Let us see one another through eyes enlightened by understanding and compassion.

Release us from judgment so we can receive the stories of our sisters and brothers with respect and attention.

Open our hearts to the cries of a suffering world and the healing melodies of peace and justice for all creation.

Empower us to be instruments of justice and equality everywhere.

 

German Translation  

Lasst uns einander mit Augensehen, die durch Verstaendnis und Mitgefuehl erleuchtet sind.

Erloese uns von Beurteilungen, damit wir die Geschichten unserer Schwestern und Bruedern mit Respekt und Aufmerksamkeit begegnen.

Öeffnet unsere Herzen fuer die Klagen einer leidenden Welt wie auch fuer die heilenden Melodien von Frieden und Gerechtigkeit fuer die ganze Schoepfung.

Gibt uns die Faehigkeit,  ein Werkzeug fuer Gerechtigkeit und Gleichberechtigung auf der ganzen Welt zu sein.

Chinese Translation

所有受造物作的每日禱告  讓我們通過互相間的瞭解和關愛而得蒙啟迪。  從論斷中釋放我們,使我們可以用尊重和關注的心來接納弟兄姊妹的故事。  打開我們的心扉,使我們可以感受到遭難世界的呼聲以及從平安和公義妙韻對受造物所帶來的醫治。  授權我們使我們到處能夠成為正義和平等的工具。

Arabic Translation

فلينظر كل منا إلى الآخر بعيون يضيئها التفهم والتراحم ..

ولنتخلص من الحكم على الآخرين حتي يمكن أن نستقبل ما يقصه علينا  إخواننا وأخواتنا بكل الاحترام والتقدير والانتباه ..

ندعو أن تسمع آذاننا صرخات المعاناة في العالم، وأن تسمع كذلك أنغام السلام والعدل لكل المخلوقات ..

ندعو أن نكون أدوات لنشر العدل والمساواة في كل مكان.

Swahili Translation

Tuwezeshe kuonana kwa macho yaliyojawa nuru ya ufahamu, na ukarimu.

Tufanye huru kutokana na nia ya Kushutumu wenzetu, tuweze kuwaskiza kwa heshima na makini.

Zifanye wazi nyoyo zetu, tufahamu fika vilio vya mateso duniani, tujue nyimbo za uponyaji, amani na haki kwa viumbe vyote. Tuwezeshe tuwe ala za haki na usawa duniani

Bulgarian Translation

Нека видим един друг с очи озарени от разбиране и съчувствие.

Освободи ни от преценка за да чуем разказите на нашите сестри и братя с уважение и внимание.

Отвори сърцата ни за виковете на страдащия свят и целебните мелодии за мир и справедливост за всичко сътворено.

Дай ни сила да бъдем инструменти на справедливост и равенство навред.

Spanish Translation

Permítenos vernos unos a los otros a través de ojos iluminados por el entendimiento y la compasión.

Libéranos de cualquier juicio en contra de otros para poder recibir las historias de nuestros hermanos y hermanas con respeto y atención.

Abre nuestros corazones a los lamentos del mundo que sufre y a las melodías sanadoras de paz y justicia para toda la creación.

Empodéranos para ser instrumentos de justicia e igualdad en todo lugar.

 

 

danceworldlge

Posted in Circles & Connections | Leave a comment

 

 

GaiaPrayer for International Women’s Day

Monica Willard, UN representative for United Religions Initiative, BLOG:

I know that many URI Cooperation Circles do events throughout the year to promote women and girls. Thank you for all you are doing!

March 8 is International Women’s Day. You may be interested in watching the program described below that will show the observance at the United Nations. Know that you will be represented at this event by URI representatives.

Watch it live or at another time here. If you watch it later, you will find it under “Meetings and Events” and then go to March 8.

May URI members be linked in thought, prayers and actions to promote the dignity of women and girls on March 8.  I will be using The Prayer for Everyday for Creation on International Women’s Day as I think of the wonderful women in the URI network and all the men who support our efforts.  I invite all to join me!

This is a prayer was written by Ann Landaas Smith and was first used in Beijing at the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women.  Ann invites everyone to use and share this prayer.

Prayer for Everyday for All Creation

Let us see one another through eyes enlightened by understanding and compassion.

Release us from judgment so we can receive the stories of our sisters and brothers with respect and attention.

Open our hearts to the cries of a suffering world and the healing melodies of peace and justice for all creation.

Empower us to be instruments of justice and equality everywhere.

Written by Ann Landaas Smith

For the 1995 United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing

 

Posted in 5WCW Circles, Circle Organization, Circles & Connections, Divine Feminine, Eco-Spirituality, Heart & Soul, Leadership, New Earth, New Story, Women's News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UNCSW Events

Imagine biz card-face (3)

 

United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

Join us in New York, call a Circle, connect through Prayer

 

 

CSW, WEEK 1

Monday, March 14, 8:30 am, CCUN Bldg, 2nd floor
What will it take to END human trafficking? The role media plays and a rarely heard voice from the trafficker’s perspective
Sponsored by Pathways to Peace, The Fyera Foundation, Operation Big Sister, Stigamot, Amma’s Embracing the World, The Nest Foundation

Monday, March 14, 7-9 pm, Ritz Plaza, 235 W. 48th St, Apt 44C. Check in at reception.
Life in Pakistan for women and girls. Alice Garrick offers their stories and crafts. Sponsored by Women’s Development and Service Society, Church of Pakistan

Tuesday, March 15, 5:00 pm, CCUN Bldg, lower level
Silent meditation for world peace with justice
Sponsored by Women Rising Working Group of International Public Policy Institute, UN Chaplain’s Office

Wednesday, March 16, 4:30 pm, Salvation Army Auditorium, 221 E. 52nd St
Sustainable Development: The Power Tool for Women and Girls
Sponsored by Anglican Women’s Empowerment and Women’s Perspective

CSW, WEEK 2

Tuesday, March 22, 2:30 pm, CCUN Bldg, Boss Room
Dynamics of Human Trafficking: Catastrophe, Migration, Demand, and Restoration
Sponsored by the International Public Policy Institute, UNANIMA International, LifeWay Network, Sisters of Charity Federation

Thursday, March 24, 2:30 pm, Salvation Army Downstairs, 221 E. 52nd St
Imagine a world that celebrates the feminine
Sponsored by Gather the Women, Millionth Circle, Circle Connections, Canadian Voice for Peace, Women of Spirit and Faith, International Public Policy Institute

Posted in 5WCW Circles, Circle Organization, Circles & Connections, Eco-Spirituality, United Nations, Women's News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IMAGINE

Imagine biz card-face (3)

IMAGINE

IMAGINE A WORLD WHERE THE FEMINE IS CELEBRATED

Join us for Imagine, Thursday, Mar. 24 at 2.30 at the Salvation Army, NYC, 221 E. 52nd St. between 2nd and 3rd Ave. 

Imagine a World that celebrates the Feminine will be a creative, fun and meaningful  workshop where participates experience extraordinary color and deep conversation and connection. 

Discussion will be in a circle where we explore the probing questions in a variety of co-creative formats about how the world would look if the Feminine were celebrated. 

This UN Commission on the Status of Women event is open to the public and free.  Please join us and tell others. 

www.celebratingthefeminine.com

Posted in Circle Organization, Circles & Connections, Divine Feminine, New Earth, New Story, Women's News | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

UN CSW 2016

2011CSW-1IMG_0180Banner-UN-Women's-Circle-Campaign (2)

We are changing social and religious norms so that women are treated as equals and protected from violence.

UN CSW 2016  March 14-25

Women’s Empowerment is key for economic and environmental Sustainability.

Join us on FB Page  UN Women’s Circles

 

 

Have you noticed that at least some global events have been shifting toward greater cooperation and awareness (Parliament of the World’s Religions, United Nations Conference on Climate in Paris COP21 and the first-ever high-level panel on Women’s Economic Development)? http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/stories/2016/1/wee-high-level-panel-launch

We are consciously seeking to promote this possibility at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in March 2016, using to the fullest this growing field of changing global intentions.

Soon we will have a calendar of events for you to attend and promote to others.

We are a collective of women’s NGOs who are working together to bring Circle consciousness as a means for women’s empowerment and a safe place to be fully ourselves.

Please join us on FaceBook Page UN Women’s Circles.     Namaste!!!  Ann

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Circle Organization, Circles & Connections, Divine Feminine, Leadership, New Story, Women's News | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Feminine Power Rising

 

GTW-Poster-300x200

 

“The entire human community and cosmic universe have a claim on the merit of our daily actions.”      Joan Chittister

This was the quote I pulled from Sandy Wilbur’s basket to meditate on while walking the labyrinth. Gather The Women Global Matrix held their Annual Gathering on the beautiful natural land of Day Spring Conference Center in Florida. A circle of planners from GTW of Southwest Florida hosted and facilitated the circle of sacred circles.  54 women from many countries and throughout the United States attended along with one young mom and baby from Liverpool, England, Deborah Zaher and Theo.

This quote would be daunting if we didn’t have a circle of support. Gather The Women is made up of thousands of women from many places in the world who are meeting in a sacred circle, a circle of loving support. It is in circle where we are healed and empowered to be the change we want to see happen in the world. It is in women’s sacred circles that the Divine Feminine lives within us all and Feminine Leadership is empowered. It is in Circle where individual and collective healing happens and new insights and daily actions that have a positive influence and impact on the entire human community and cosmic universe are birthed.

Tu Bears from the Choctaw Nation opened our Circle every morning with a Sacred Pipe Ceremony and lessons.  She said men’s leadership is from the head and women’s leadership from the heart.  Our world has been out of balance with male leadership and the time has come for feminine leadership to bring balance.  This is a prophecy from many Indigenous tribes. The severe crises of the world needs love for Mother Earth, for ourselves and for one another.  This is what will bring healing and justice for all creation.  It is love that we brought and it permeated our actions throughout the Annual Gathering and now beyond.   We took the Circle Principle of consensus to a deeper level by including all beings.  We held many healing sessions and ceremonies, meditations and Open Space offerings.  We danced, sang, played, dreamed and helped one another.  Every chair had a leader and we all learned and shared through deep listening and reverence for all creation.

Janet Weisberg brought us Nature Connect experiences that helped us to live into our theme of Awaken to Nature Within and in Everything, Everywhere.  We wore costumes of non-human beings and held a Council of Beings that was profound and fun.  We had a Fire Circle Ceremony to let go of the old and to bring dreams for a new world of peace and justice for all creation.  This was held by three young women; Brittany Crayden, Elena Roubicek and CiCi Santiago.   Young women will help lead the way to being the change we want to see happen in the world.   Suzan Nolan, GTW Convener, held a circle conversation about spiritual activism that is motivated by love and deep reverence for all.

Katharina Sebert and Patricia Queritet from Europe brought circle dances and a womb healing ceremony that was held on the shore of the Gulf, drawing into their midst an  otter, dolphins and a manatee.   Everyone fully participated throughout the time together and added to the Divine Feminine synergy of the whole surpassing our previous understandings and expectations.  Everyone loved and was loved.

I am only covering a small part of what took place over the time together that began Thursday evening and ended Nov. 1st, All Saints Days on Sunday.  Saints, mystics, prophets, teachers, learners, healers, artists, singers, dancers, spiritual activists all came together in our diversity as One.  It is through our daily actions individually and collectively that we will heal and restore the entire human community and cosmic universe.   Namaste!!!  Ann

 

 

Posted in Circle Organization, Circles & Connections, Divine Feminine, Eco-Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Spirit of Parliament Lives On

Ten thousand people from 73 countries and every religion gathered in Salt Lake City, Utah, last week and the reverberations are being felt by hundreds of thousands. Will the heart of humanity be open to meet the challenges of our world?  This questions was answered by a loud Yes and a commitment to come together in our diversity to work on behalf of Mother Earth , stopping all forms of violence and seek justice for all creation. This hope and promise has created a huge wave of energy for positive change, starting within ourselves and touching everyone within our reach.

I returned home last Tuesday from the Parliament of the World’s Religions that was inspirational, creative, informative, loving and sacred event with ten thousand people of all faiths and ages coming together under one roof.   Awakening the heart of our humanity was the theme and every religion throughout the world was represented and committed to work together in bringing justice and peace for all creation.  We learned by listening and held heartfelt conversations respecting and honoring differences.

The world in severe crises makes it imperative for us as the people of God to no longer be separated from one another by religion but to come together in our diversity and to work together as faith leaders.  We are asked to not rank our diversity as one better than another including our humanity as better than the rest of nature.  The message to unify efforts was voiced by everyone and because of the severe crises of the world the board of directors of the Parliament said they would hold another world conference in two years.  This is unprecedented.

We had a pre-women’s conference called On Feminine Ground of 100 women organized by Kathe Schaaf in a planning circle where we shared the vision, values and leadership.  Phyllis Curott spent a year making sure we had a Women’s Assembly that is a first in the history of the Parliament.  3000 women attended and were inspired and empowered to be a mighty force for change.  We held the Reclaiming the Divine Feminine event at the Episcopal Church Center and in the Red Tent in the Convention Center.  Jann Aldredge-Clanton, author of the Book She Lives, Sophia Wisdom Works in the World, had all of us who have chapters in her book and present at the Parliament be presenters of a lively interactive presentation.

In a Circle conversation on women’s religious education I told stories from  grassroots women’s experiential leadership programs that heal and empower women as change agents.  We had many circles throughout and passed out three thousand Millionth Circle bookmarks at the Assembly that had our intention and Circle Principles. Jean Shinoda Bolen with the Millionth Circle Conveners gave presentations and held circle conversations.

The Divine Feminine was visible and audible throughout the Parliament.  There was a great hall with banners depicting the many expressions of Her.  There were many workshops and panels that included all voices from our diversity.  Women’s leadership was fully present as a mighty force for bringing in the new way of being the people of faith especially in Circle. Inclusive language in prayers and songs were used.

Native American, First Nation and other Indigenous people from Scandinavia, Europe, Africa, Asia and Latin America also had a strong presence throughout.  Their deep spirituality of living in harmony with nature, caring for Mother Earth as the source of all of our being, is powerful in transforming our separation from one another and nature.  It reconnects us as humans to the rest of creation as living members of a living eco-system, integral as part of nature but not over nature.  We were reminded that Mother Earth is our source of all that is needed to live, and by living in harmony there will be enough for all.

The gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender were warmly received, had a voice and were enfolded into the loving arms of our collective humanity.  No one was left out.  All were loved and welcomed.  Pope Francis was well represented by high officials from the Vatican as well as women and youth.   The Roman Catholic Church once separated in the interfaith movement is helping to lead the way in working together to stop war and violence against women, to eliminate poverty and to care for Mother Earth.  Leaders of the Muslim faith as well as Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu and others are committed to bringing a lasting peace.  There was a peace silent walk lead by Muslim and Jewish women from Israel and Palestine.  There were many workshops and panels that informed and inspired us to become interfaith leaders. Sikhs shared their langar tradition by giving free lunch to all for five days.  

The convention center was filled with art, music, singing, dance and joy-filled sacred encounters.  Mother Earth’s Round Calendar flyers were passed out adding to the wealth of resources that teach us to care for ourselves, one another and our planet.

The closing Plenary song, Earth is Calling, brought a flow of tears from deep within my soul, tears of hope and joy that ten thousand religious leaders are dedicated to work together for justice and peace for all creation and will go home reaching millions.

We are the wind

We are the sea

We are the rivers

We are the trees

We are the mountains

We are the bees

Hold the earth as our beloved  reclaim humanity   

Suzan Nolan and I bring this sweet, sweet spirit and feminine power to Gather The Women Global Matrix Annual Gathering this coming weekend in Florida.

Namaste!!!   Ann

Posted in Circle Organization, Circles & Connections, Divine Feminine, Eco-Spirituality, Health, Leadership, New Earth, Parliament of the Worlds Religions, Women's News | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mother Earth’s Round Calendar

Mother Earth’s Round Calendar Coming Soon 

March 2016 — March 2017 

This one-of-a kind whimsical and meaningful sun and moon calendar is for people of all ages.  It has messages from Mother Earth that help us to be healthy people for a healthy planet.  It will have a free study guide to use before March 2016 and for each month that has a nature-centered theme. 

For those interested in being a sponsor or a partner please contact Ann Landaas Smith at annlandaassmith@outlook.com   Retail price is $20.

 

Posted in Circles & Connections, Eco-Spirituality, Health | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment