Do you feel it? It’s happening... Women are rising to transform themselves and lift up those around them, refusing to remain victims and instead becoming survivors and changemakers in the world. Today we filmed at the @thegatesfoundation Discovery Center "Women Hold Up Half the Sky” exhibition, a place that shares the stories of women from around the world who are empowering themselves and others through microloans, education, healthcare for women and children, financial security and independence, stopping the cycles of abuse, and ending human trafficking.
● ● ●
If you don’t believe change is possible, take a look. These segments we are filming for the Women’s Empowerment Initiative are SO.POWERFUL. I can’t wait to share them with you. They are already transforming the lives of all of us involved... and we can’t wait to see what happens when we share them with you! ❤🙏💜
● ● ●
This past 2 days on Whidby Island has been unbelievably powerful filming Women's Empowerment Initiative segments on "How to Create Meaningful Change" with two truly Courageous Women, Silvia Vasquez-Lavado and Jane Charles. Silvia flew here despite having brain surgery tomorrow to share her powerful story of surviving childhood sexual assault and then going on to summit Mt. Everest and 6 of the 7 Summits of the world. She also founded the organization Courageous Girls that supports survivors of the child sex trade and sexual assault. Jane, the Producer of SOLD and co-founder of Stolen Youth, also left us energized and inspired to tackle the biggest challenges facing the world today. Jane is both a practical and spiritual visionary who lifts up everyone around her. Please join us in sending infinite love and light to Silvia as she courageously undergoes brain surgery in the morning! After she heals, she is headed to Denali to finish the 7 Summits! #yogainternational#courageousgirls#stolenyouth#mollybirkholm
This morning when I was flying to Seattle, a young Muslim girl who didn't speak a word of English was seated next to me on the plane. We smiled and I tried to talk to her, but she didn't understand anything I was saying. As soon as we took off, she snuggled up on my arm and fell asleep for the entire flight. Coincidentally, I was reading the incredible book "Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide." I found myself praying that wherever she was headed that she would have a good life with opportunity and freedom. It was such a beautiful experience of silent connection. May light and love protect you always, sweet one.
See these beautiful, inspired, peaceful faces? Your donations helped make this happen. These are a few of the more than 60 survivors Samantha Kinkaid trained in India and Nepal to be iRest Yoga Nidra teachers this summer as a part of our Courageous Girls program. Today is the UN International Day of the Girl... let's make it count. YOU can continue to make a difference by supporting Courageous Girls. MILLIONS more survivors of sex trafficking need our help. Let's believe in them. Let's give them a chance to begin again. This is the modern abolitionist movement and it begins with each of us. Please donate generously here and spread the good word. Click here:
This poem feels like medicine.
A Brief For The Defense
Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come. ~Jack Gilbert
There are moments of life when you realize change is indeed possible. 10 years ago, we had to call our first classes at the Miami Dept. of Veterans Affairs 'Relaxation' and eventually 'iRest' classes because they initially didn't want us to use the term 'yoga' or 'yoga nidra.' This past week, the VA funded 10 of our participants to attend the iRest Yoga Nidra teacher training. We were joined by an incredible and diverse group of people from as far away as Hong Kong! We missed our 4 participants who couldn't come from Florida due to the hurricane. Thank you all for everything you so selflessly shared. Can't wait to see how you bring the practice of iRest to life in the world. 💛🙏🏻💛 #irestyoganidra#mollybirkholm#feelthat#veteransrestorationproject
We just finished yet another mind-blowing day of filming the Women's Empowerment Initiative. Stacey Antine is changing the world through both Health Barn USA, which teaches kids about growing, eating, and cooking natural foods, and Healing Meals, which provides meals for families of hospitalized kids and low income senior citizens. Today we filmed the 'Nourishing Yourself and Your Community' segments, which share the whole spectrum of what true nourishment means. Stacey, you are an angel. Thank you for sharing your community and life's work with us.