04/09/2013 05:31 pm ET | Updated Jun 09, 2013

The General Congress of Women: Let's Rock the World

Many of us, men and women, are aware that our system isn't working. The resignation to the idea of there being "two sides" permanently gridlocked has become the current persona of our system rather than "one nation under God."

The time is here for women to join with men in claiming our voices. The foundation has been laid to join and lead together. This opportunity was crafted by those who came before us; generations of men and women who have lived their lives so we can live ours.

I was born into, raised up in and vicariously became involved in the Equal Rights Movement as the child of a mother that lead the way for equality -- equality for all. I watched her rock herself back and forth between two worlds. As a teenager, I struggled with what that meant. Now as a woman living in the midst of change, I've been called to action by the experiences that shaped me because it knew I would have something to add.

Forty-five years ago my mother rocked our world when she went back to school. She taught us that even with eight children, she could receive her masters and doctorate degrees while always being there for each of us. She taught me how to remain connected to the nurturing essence of motherhood while reaching for what would define me in life. She participated in family, home, business and community while keeping the art of balance at the forefront of all relationships. She taught me a deep sense of serving. She taught me the difference of serving in the home from a place of leadership, rather than serving in the home as a servant. As Associate Dean of Students, she rocked her personal secretaries and associate's worlds by urging them and making certain they earned their degrees while they worked for her at the university. She not only paved the way for me but for generations of men, women and children when she helped build one of the first Women's Resource Centers in the nation. All who came close to its wide reach of love and support grew stronger and clearer in their songs of expression. She gave Rosa Parks a Phi Beta Kappa key, was instrumental in arranging for Gloria Steinem to experience the LDS Temple, brought new meaning to the word crones with the creation of the Crone's Counsel, achieved success in business when the world was a man's oyster and the women in it worked hard to keep the pearls scrubbed and polished without compensation. My mother and mentor, was an entrepreneur starting organizations that went on to give birth to judges, educators at all levels of education, corporate heads and mentors who stood tall in the mirror each day reflecting the acceptance and appreciation for their multifacetedness in life.

As a young teenager I wanted to rock the world. I dreamed about being President of the United States. Even then I wondered if my life would hold up under the scrutiny of the public eye. Sitting on my shoulder throughout junior high, high school and college was the voice of my personal PR campaign adviser for my race to the White House. Constantly it was asking me the question, "Would this hold up under the media's scrutiny as they dig back through your life?" It sounds crazy but it's true. I have to admit it kept me out of trouble a few times!

Now, by choice, I join the call for equality -- equality for all. As the founder of The Arts Organization, I accept this call and interlock arms with all those from past and present generations, genders and nationalities. I bring to this movement, a blueprint for education in the 21st century with the pinnacle of that education being the recognition of the humanitarian within each of us. Even if it isn't the presidential race I'm joining, this is as worthy and as important a race as any I can join, participate and collaborate with at this time.

With a Billion Women Rising in dance and song, with women beginning to connect and communicate in boardrooms and living rooms, men and women are co-creating the rocking, the rhythm of Love as they Lean In and Lean Back. Their participation is gently rocking the world's axis while holding themselves and humanity as the most precious gift. This gentle rocking acknowledges that the time of the feminine isn't either to glorify nor discount the differences between men and women but to challenge and resolve the adverse consequences of whatever differences there may be.

So let us build a bridge starting with a general commerce of women. Let it rise as naturally as the breath we take. To participate in building this bridge, you must bring your whole self and all the love that runs through you in all your relationships in all directions of your life. Stand before a mirror and recognize the beauty and potential there in front of you. Join with the call written over 143 years ago by a fellow member, mother and mentor who penned the words for this bridge, this General Congress of Women, and who we now join 143 years later:

Arise, then, women of this day! Arise, all women who have hearts, whether your baptism be that of water or tears!

Say firmly: "We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons {and daughters} shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have taught them of charity, mercy and patience. We women of one {world} will be too tender of those of another to allow our sons {and daughters} to be trained to injure theirs."

From the bosom of the devastated earth, a voice goes up with our own. It says, "Disarm, Disarm!"

The sword of murder is not the balance of justice. Blood not wipe out dishonor, nor violence indicates possession. As men have often forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail & commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after his {and her} own time the sacred impress, not of Caesars but of God.

In the name of womanhood and of humanity, {we} earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace.

by Julia Ward Howe, 1870

A Call to Build

Join The General Congress of Women. Rise up, lean in, lean back and move forward leading with nurturing and organic ways of teaching families, communities and countries how beauty flows through unity and Oneness.

Join in collaboration and partnership:

· Add yourself to The General Congress of Women page. Pass it forward to your friends, families and communities.

· Submit ideas for The General Congress of Women's first gathering with the intent being, "to take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, ... to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace." Suggest speakers, leaders and topics for this first gathering.

· Share your organization, organizations you know about, your talents and abilities. Help to create a network, a global community across the world to communicate organically, clearly, quickly and efficiently to mobilize us through the entanglement of challenges, utilizing Love and the freedom we hold.

· Study the educational framework that is waiting to be built. As a teacher, author, artist, mentor, etc., bring your curriculum ideas and content for classes. Many classes are listed and are waiting for the teacher to arrive, to become a member of a global faculty sharing a world curriculum. Participate by joining with other teachers of wisdom. Integrate all areas of learning and unlearning to open up our recognition and support for the shift happening. Through education we can answer the needs many of us recognize but feel helpless to solve by ourselves.

· Build the infrastructure of our natural resources; the energy of human creativity and imagination. Help fund innovative, creative and sustainable people and their ideas that arise as we step up, lean in and move forward to build bridges globally for connection, conversation and community.

The rocking together is the movement. It reawakens a humane world where no one need go hungry; be it for food, love, acknowledgement, education or the opportunity to share what we are intrinsically. Let us interlock arms strengthening the love and wisdom we hold. Let us move together, forward.

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