A Voice of Initiation, Reconciliation, & Gender Intelligence

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International Day To End Violence Against Women

Read a Friend’s Heart
End Violence Against Women
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November 24th, 2014

who violence against women

Dear Fellow Workers in the Vineyard,

Tomorrow, November 25th, marks the 18th anniversary of International Day To End Violence Against Women.

To commemorate this day, wear orange and check out the United Nations project to support country-level programs to end violence against women and girls.

To learn about the impressive results of past grantees, see the UN Trust Fund’s recently published report, UN Trust Fund To End Violence Against Women—Mapping of the Grantees’ Outcomes (2006 to mid-2011).

The anniversary marks the assassination in 1960 of three Mirabai sisters who were political activists in the Dominican Republic and launches 16 Days of Action against Gender Violence (ending on December 10th, Human Rights Day—and the birthday of Emily Dickinson). According to the United Nations, this year’s theme is Orange the World in 16 Days.

You’re encouraged to participate by submitting a photo with a message: “I wear orange because…” For further information, visit http://www.unwomen.org/en/news/in-focus/end-violence-against-women#sthash.crS5yGKH.dpuf

In your home, in your relationships, at work, with your pocketbooks, in your community, in your meditation and writing, actively do what you can to contribute to ending violence against women and girls, and to help men and boys break the chains of an exhausted patriarchal system that impedes evolution to a new paradigm co-creation of gender-enlightened harmony and productivity.

Here is a poem:

The Promise of Hunter’s Moon

At some point we’re all coming back as birds.
We’ll begin in the muck, unrecognizable, stinking,
Until creatures with hands or tools for hands
Scoop us up and start squeezing and pulling.
Suddenly there we are, unmistakably beaked,
Straining against thin leather thongs that someone
Had the good sense to tie around rocks and our twiggy legs.
It’s a good thing, this confinement, because free
We’d rip and tear apart anything we could reach.
The things with hands, or tools like hands, feed us
A mixture of water and the blood of the beheaded,
And with this inside of us we develop fast,
Looking more like giant birds you’d recognize
By the minute. Our feathers grow black and glossy,
And the thicker they become the meaner we feel.
When they just can’t grow anymore they fall out.
Our featherless bodies are disgusting to touch,
Hideous to behold. Where once we were murderous,
We grow timid under the mirror-hot sun. Then
More feathers appear, small, white feathers,
Beautiful, snowy plumes that dazzle in moonlight.
When we’re ready she comes. Out of the sea and sky,
Out of the barren ground she comes. Astonishing
Is her loveliness, perfected is her power.
She rises and walks among us as we bow,
Obedient, peaceful, and so in love.


Consider these books for your library, reading pleasure and gifts. Share them with friends, colleagues and loved ones!

Poetry as Spiritual Practice: Reading, Writing, and Using Poetry in Your Daily Rituals, Aspirations, and Intentions and The More We Get Together: The Sexual and Spiritual Language of Love and other collections are available at my website www.robertmcdowell.net, and at www.IndieBound.org, www.amazon.com, and www.b&n.com or by request at your local bookstore.

Newsletter #143: Core Stories Program

Core Stories Program
November 2014

(Photo credit Lysa McDowell)

(Photo credit Lysa McDowell

New Moon Greetings and Blessings,

If you want to do more, if you want more, you must begin at your core.

Your core stories, like mine, like everyone else’s, are the key building blocks of your life. Your unique journey develops and takes place as you navigate from core story to core story, gradually integrating their wisdom and lessons in a work of art you may accurately call Your Life.

The Core Stories Program guides you through your ten essential core stories. You’ll unlock them, unblock them, engage them and learn to work with them in your daily life.

Join me! Tap into your core stories. Celebrate and explore what makes you unique. Come with me on a journey of narrative healing through meditation, journaling, poetry and lively one-on-one conversations.

This journey heals old wounds, clear obstacles that hold you back and usher you into your creative, unique power.

For ten consecutive weeks, I’ll work with you to open up the core stories of your life. Each segment will heal, empower and enrich you in your spiritual quest, your job performance and your relationships.

Would you like to come along on this journey? Then email me at rmcdowell@mind.net, or poetrymentor@mac.com to sign up. The one-time cost for this Core Stories Program is $249.00.

As a bonus, I’ll send each participant, each co-creator, a PDF of five Poetry Talks, personal essays on the wisdom of poems through the ages.

Here is a sample of our first core story, The Core Story of Inception.

The Core Story of Inception

Getting Started: Simple Pleasures

Inception is the first core story for all of us. Inception means an act or process of beginning.

Calm your mind and feel as if you could commune with trees. See how it feels to be the tree you once were before waking in this fascinating, mobile meat craft that is your body, your glorious star vessel, your earthly home. Were you an oak tree? A willow? A redwood, or some other tree?

With your tree consciousness wide-awake, consider how being alive is to be aware. Listening and attentive, delight in this moment and this moment’s simple pleasures. Breathing deeply, relishing the peace and relaxation that envelopes you, listen to this poem about learning to treasure simple pleasures:

Four Hundred Apples
The peeler slices through human skin
As easily as fruit skin.
A west-facing kitchen
In late afternoon sweats you,
And no matter what system you divine
The apples spin out of their jackets
In their own good time. But you
Would like to find more in the labor
Than the eventual sweetness of pies—
How, for example, to quiet compulsion,
Your need to be burning, even in water.
Mind the peeler, then the knife in your hand.
There are the apples, stripped and diced
In a syrup of brown sugar and Mexican vanilla.
The first part of the lesson is easy,
But part two always gives you trouble—
Eating the pies, and
While doing that, enjoying them.

Most of us love pies. If some do not relish making them, most all of us love eating them. Four Hundred Apples may help you to focus on a simple pleasure you often overlook, and in doing so it may remind you of all of the simple pleasures you take for granted. For instance, the way sunlight creates a prism in the garden spider’s web, the smell of laundry fresh from the line, the thoughtful look on a beloved’s face as she reflects on a passage she just read.

Please join me for this new program of enrichment and discovery. As we co-create the new paradigm, we heal the ills of our world.

If you know someone who is hurting, who might benefit from this program, consider giving it as a gift.

With blessings always,

Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/McDowellRobert