By Kay Walburger
Gather the Women
“Urgent Message from Mother: Gather the Women, Save the World.”
- Jean Shinoda Bolen
“Gather the Women . . . is a call to women of the World!” Indeed women from all four corners of the world are answering ‘the call’ in numbers too big to ignore! An astonishing number of women are logging onto www.gatherthewomen.org
Gather the Women’s Southern California Regional Congress which convened in November 2005, in Carlsbad, California, was my personal lifetime dream come true! It was an exquisite experience of women like myself answering our ‘heart’s call’ to come together and joyfully explore our infinite possibilities of being the midwives of our planet Earth by bringing it back into harmony and balance with all life. The glimpse into our ‘Future’ was awesome and very doable!
Simultaneously, in Washington, D.C; Naples, Florida; Little Rock, Arkansas; Big Bear, California; and Juneau, Alaska, Regional Congresses were being held. This unique program was designed to help women take their next step with clarity, confidence and support. Using the concept of a spiral they began to wind inward, touch center, then revolve back out into the world.
Core questions, brief keynotes and lots of circle time gave each participant
food for thought and resources for action. It honored each woman no matter where
she was on her journey and listened to her story and ideas in a playful and
celebratory mood that kept the day-long event lighthearted, meaningful, and
The Conception and Birth of “Gather the Women”
Carol Hansen Grey served as Executive Director of Women of Vision and Action from 2000-2004 and played a crucial role in the “birthing” of Gather the Women. This is her story of that process.
“The Gather the Women idea began to emerge in my consciousness in November 2001 (after 911) when I received a series of phone calls from WOVA members who felt drawn to share their visions. I knew I was supposed to pay attention. The words each of them used were: “It’s time to gather the women . . . it’s time for women’s wisdom to come forth.
“It was these calls that prompted me to register the domain name “gatherthewomen”, feeling that this action would help to ground the energy of these women’s visions.
“The Gather the Women idea came alive again in March 2002 when I started receiving phone calls from women who were not WOVA members wanting to share their visions to gather the women. I told them I had registered the domain name and asked if they might be interested in serving on a steering committee to explore what we could do with this vision. They all enthusiastically agreed.
“About this same time I had the opportunity to read a book entitled “Birth of the Chaordic Age” by Dee Hock, founder of Visa International, which served as the inspiration for how we could actually gather hundreds of thousands of women throughout the world. Each gathering would be self organizing and WOVA would provide the Gather the Women website as a hub for connection.
“Thousands of women gathered throughout the world with the intention of grounding the feminine energy to bring the planet into balance, harmony and peace. The website continues to expand and serve as a hub where participants can take part in GTW Discussion, Action and Inspiration forums and connect with one another through our online directory.
The committee completed its work and the list of participants was closed March 31, 2003 after exchanging 23,354 e-mails. Here is the closing message I sent to them on March 31.
“Dearest Circle Members: The process we embarked upon together took on all the
elements of a typical pregnancy — exuberance at the beginning (the freshness of
knowing we had entered a process of creating something new), planning for the
birth, discomfort of being “stretched”, pain of labor, and finally the glorious
moment of birth!”
Goals and Objectives
Gather the Women is changing the world — one woman at a time. We are creating a rich exchange of cultural values that will help women from all walks of life learn important leadership skills that can be transferred to their own communities. Together, we women are contributing to a new collective wisdom and are lending our strength so others may benefit. From this emerging movement, women worldwide are learning to change communities that reflect a balanced, harmonious, and peaceful world.
Education: To create a support structure through which women of the world can educate one another about where they have been, where they are right now, and where they are going.
Listening: To create a structure through which women of the world can listen to
one another, having both the experience of being heard and the opportunity to
Gathering: To create a structure through which individual women of the world can gather annually on The United Nations International Women’s Day in a context that is shared, that promotes feminine leadership development, and supports ongoing local action that can facilitate change.
Collaboration: To facilitate collaboration and networking between the many networks and organizations that already exist which support women’s development.
Support and Resources: To create a structure of support and resources that can empower women to step into leadership roles and undertake action.
Taking Action: To create structure that will encourage women to take actions to
improve the quality of human life on a local, regional, national and
Open Letter to the Women of My World
From Kathlyn Schaaf of Gather the Women
“To the women of my world, I want to say you are incredible. You are compassionate, intuitive, wise, creative, hardworking and strong. Now more than ever, the world needs these gifts from you. Now more than ever, you need to rely upon those qualities to guide you each day in every interaction. Now more than ever, you need to believe in your own power.
“Do not be frozen in the face of these challenging times. Now more than ever, you need to tap into the energy of hope. You need to use that energy to fuel your action. You need to ground yourself in the deepest faith that we are together in our love for this Earth and her family.
“You need to follow your own passion more boldly than ever before. Whatever that
passion might be. Today! Now! We are the ones we have been waiting for!”
We need some help with our intention for Six Congresses of Gather the Women on Six Continents in 2006! If you choose to assist us . . . please come to: www.gatherthewomen.org
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