My daughter and I recently watched Girl Rising, which is a movie about nine girls from nine different developing countries sharing personal stories of poverty, discrimination, and suffering while trying to find a way through education to rise above the constraints imposed by their culture and environment. Although somewhat intense, the film is really beautifully made.
These are true stories of girls picking trash in the dumps of Cambodia, being sold as slaves in Nepal, married at 11 years of age in Egypt, or living on the streets of Calcutta. Sad narratives reflecting the cultural beliefs that place women in a category of exploitable commodities.
Yet these are also stories of hope—of the hope that bringing to light their situations will increase the awareness of both women and men to restore the Divine Feminine in this world.
I am a strong believer that education and knowledge are important catalysts in the empowerment of women everywhere. I also believe that we will not know peace and abundance on Earth until women regain their inner power and the Divine Feminine is restored on the planet. This is, however, an inevitable process that has already begun.
It’s probably the reason why we find ourselves increasingly encouraged to support causes like One Billion Rising, Girl Rising, or the Central Asia Institute established by Greg Mortenson, who is the author of Three Cups of Tea and a courageous visionary bringing education to girls in remote areas of Afghanistan.
A Peaceful Warrior Rising From a Forgotten Corner of the World
In the film, Senna is a 14-year old girl living in a very isolated and bleak mining town in the Peruvian Andes called Rinconada (which means “corner” in Spanish). It is considered the highest city in the world and due to the altitude, temperatures never rise above zero. This is the type of place that reminds me what I once imagined life to be like after a nuclear holocaust: a barren land of frozen mud, ice, rock, and endless snow; huts of improvised sheets of metal; no plumbing, sanitation, or heating services; and both the ground and the water from the glacier heavily polluted with mercury from the mining operations.
In this town, men mine for gold with picks and shovels, hand drills and gold pans, and silver slithers of mercury, while women and children hammer the waste rocks in search for anything that the men may have missed. Young women often become prostitutes as well. Senna works at one of the privately owned restrooms, and her job consists in receiving payment from those who use them and making sure they’re clean.
Her father named her after the American TV show Xena, the Warrior Princess, because he saw in her the strength of a warrior. He misspelled her name, since he never learned to read and simply chose the name as it sounded in the Spanish version of the series. He had dreams of a better life for her young warrior and so he insisted that she attend school. She struggled at first, but knowing how much it meant to her father, she stuck with it even after he died (probably from breathing mercury fumes).
When Creative Expression and Its Vehicle Fall In Love
In school Senna discovered the poetry of Peruvian poet César Vallejo, and her life was forever changed. Poetry became the door to a new world, a new vision, and new hope. The transformative power of words started paving the girl’s way toward a higher reality, almost like a transcendental experience of life that allowed her to dream and imagine something better for herself.
Poetry became a spark of divine light in her life. It was all she needed to wake up and become the warrior her father had seen in her. She devoured poetry and started writing her own as well. She entered a contest and won. “Poetry is how I turn ugliness into art,” she says. You can feel the passion with which she recites poetry, and how fully present in each word she is. It is empowering. Not because she feels important, but because she feels connected to herself.
Senna’s story is very inspiring. Not only did she find a way to rise above the harsh world of what truly is a God forsaken place, but her talent and passion also allowed her to create a better reality for herself: she no longer lives in the dangerous Rinconada and she continues to write. Like a true Peaceful Warrior Princess, she found the opportunity to leave it behind, as well as the strength to demand better conditions where she goes to school now.
Finding and Embracing Your Creative Potential
We all need that divine spark to make us realize that there is much more to life than our personal drama and current reality. We need to create a new experience to help us rise above the mental loops and emotional entanglements that drain our vital and creative energy. Sometimes life incites us to find it—usually through painful experiences—but most of us often feel lost and weak and unable to move beyond our blind spots and emotional wounds. We remain in our internal forsaken rinconadas, the wounded corners of our mind.
We see ourselves as powerless spectators waiting for something or someone to come and change things. We wait for a miracle, and in the process of waiting we lose even more hope and simply continue reinforcing our wounds. Yet we fail to realize that we are the miracle; that we have the innate ability to ascend above our circumstances, to rise above a limited viewpoint and live life from a different perspective. It depends on how much we allow ourselves to believe and shift our perception, in spite of what we see around us.
As long as we are in the physical body, we are all bound to suffer. We have each experienced pain and limitations on some level, both in this and in past lifetimes, and the ego-mind likes to keep us trapped in the victim mentality. This is how it maintains control over your life (and how all types of perpetrators maintain control over their victims, too). As long as you feed that helpless self-image, you disempower and rob yourself of new and greater possibilities.
It took Senna only one poem to wake up, but once she found it, she held on tight to it as an opportunity to open her perception to a newer experience of reality. Indian saints say it takes just one mantra to get enlightened, but we have to be absolutely present in that mantra; we have to be empty of everything else; we have to become the mantra. Before then, we need to keep repeating it to create the opportunity to catch the instant of ego dissolution that will allow us to become one with the mantra, and merge with Divine Consciousness.
If you want to feel truly alive and connected, and able to move beyond the limitations and suffering of the ego-mind, then you have to find the divine spark that ignites a sense of purpose and helps you pave the way toward a stronger sense of self and a higher reality. I am here to provide the guidance and support you need, to help you believe that anything is possible. So contact me today and let’s get started!
© 2013 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.