#whyImarch

This weekend I participated in a ground swell of energy that is beginning to shift this country. I know that I risk stepping outside of the scope of the work of Sacred Rhythms here, but in truth my work in birth has been as political as it is personal all along.

The reasons for taking part in last weekend's march on Washington are as varied and valid as each one of us. My reason may seem trivial to you, but when each of us does our part, we can attend to every detail of our piece and make the whole shift that much better.

I march to protect birth--the sacred gift and privilege of bringing life into this world. I march so that women may have choice in birth. I march so that women can reclaim the process of labor and birth as their own domain - a personal journey inward that can expose dark and wounded places, or bright and joyful places, and everything in between. (My rally sign said "mom power.")

There was a powerful moment on Saturday, as we marched and chanted. It began with the call "my body, my choice!" and was followed with the men responding "her body, her choice!" Back and forth. Let me tell you, that was a breaking down and breaking open moment. Even as I share the story, I feel waves of joy, power, respect and support. This is the divine masculine and feminine energies in balance. To shout at the top of my lungs that I am in control of my body and my destiny, and that the men too are shouting powerfully and clearly that they will protect those body and those destinies. Not in a chivalrous, fatherly protection but with a voice that says, I know what she is capable of and I won't let you interfere with her using her power. Many men have a lot of work to do to truly understand that balance, but in that moment we got a taste of how powerful that can feel for all of us; the power of balance.

"My body my choice" means so much more than the choice to have a child or not. There was plenty of time and energy devoted to that concern. It also means the choice of how we birth our babies. That choice begins with education: knowing the process of birth internally, physically and medically. When we understand birth we are much less fearful of birth, and when we understand birth we can make choices that are best for our bodies and our lives.

"My body, my choice" means choosing the care providers that support us fully, in that balanced divine masculine and feminine way.

"My body, my choice" means choosing where and how to birth.

"My body, my choice" means choosing how we raise our children: in a nuclear family or a commune, breastfeeding or bottle feeding, co-sleeping or not, working or staying at home, and everything in between.

I think that the reason the rallies all over the world where so huuuge was not because we are afraid of the sitting government (which is a problem), but as a way of coming out of the woodwork, coming out of the closet and proclaiming that we are here to do our work. #whyImarch is a proclamation of our dharma.

I want to be clear that I can see the imperfections in an event that is supposed to represent "all women." I use quotation marks because one of those imperfections is in who we consider to be women and that, even though the speakers at this rally were diverse, the crowd was not nearly as diverse and the noun women generally appeared to mean white women. Not all pussies are pink. And not all women have pussies. And on the other hand, there are many women who are uncomfortable with the word pussy. The fact that there was virtually no police presence and zero arrests in Washington, DC,  says that white women present no threat. While some may take that as an insult of weakness, I see it as a mark of our choice to rise up without violence.

What I do know is that this movement, this evolution and this time of ascension is just getting started. These are the labor pains of a new way of being and of a new world order. We have much sorting to do. Much purifying. There will be waves of pain and a lot of movement though this discomfort. We have a lot of wounds to heal, a lot of listening to do and a lot of internal work to understand how we can come together as women to be rock solid in our power through diversity and inclusion. As a collective we are in labor. As individuals we are the midwives!

I think there could be no better analogy for the creation of something greater, by way of feminine power rising, than the analogy of birth.

Dawn Leonard

Dawn Leonard Design, Greensboro, NC, USA