The first time we danced it was in 2013.
My friend Mimi Steele told me about One Billion Rising: the movement to stop violence and exploitation of women around the world. One in three women will be beaten or raped in their life – that’s one billion people. The idea was to get one billion people dancing on the planet on February 14.
I was down with it then and I am even more now.
Our current version of OBR* is a mighty playlist full of poetry and power. We hope you can join us in person*, but if you can’t, we’ll post it so you can dance it wherever you are.
Today on the blog, I revisit my original posts from 2013. They are even more relevant now.
From One Billion Rising ~ The Cause, February 10, 2013:
Sometimes, I have moments when I realize how extraordinarily lucky – and, at times, naive – I really am. I had one of those moments this week: two friends and I were in my kitchen. I was telling them about the One Billion Rising campaign to raise awareness and inspire action to end violence against women around the world. I told them the chilling statistic: one out of three women in their lifetime will be beaten or raped. “It’s appalling,” I said, “and in our community of wealth, education, and privilege that statistic must be much lower so it must mean that it is higher in other communities!” They both looked at me steadily. Unbeknownst to me, both of them had been victims of domestic violence. Right there at my kitchen table the statistic wasn’t 1 in 3, it was 2 in 3.
Make no mistake. Violence against women happens everywhere, not just in 3rd world countries and impoverished neighborhoods. Make no assumption. Laws don’t always protect: marital rape is legal in dozens of countries and condoned in far more. Make it perfectly clear. Rape and domestic violence happens in every socio-economic stratum, every race, every culture.
From One Billion Rising ~ The Practice, February 11, 2013:
“Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.” ~ Anais Nin
The root of the word “courage” is “coeur” — French for heart. The heart of strength is courage and the center of courage is heart. Dictionary.com’s definition notwithstanding, I believe that courage does not mean fearlessness. Courage is the willingness to persevere despite threat, danger or fear. And that willingness takes heart.
For me, my practice is a reminder that my life, however blessed, is not isolated from those who are suffering. Interconnection is The Body’s Way and it is dharma: the way things are. The One Billion Rising routine is an invitation to sense the interconnections in our bodies, to feel the strengthening of our hearts and to engage our courage to face what is wrong.
This year, more than ever: One Billion Rising.
Note: If you need help and you live in Charlottesville, please contact SARA or The Shelter for Help in Emergency. If you don’t live in Charlottesville, please call The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233. If you want to help, please volunteer and/or donate to your local agency.
* One Billion Rising events in Charlottesville
Mary Linn and I will teach on
Sat, Feb 11 at 1230pm at acac Albemarle Square
Tue, Feb 14 at 840am at acac Downtown
Tue, Feb 14 at 6pm at the IX Art Park
and Black Belt Nia Teacher, Susan Tate will teach on
Tue, Feb 14 at 6pm at The Polarity Barn