Today I’m writing in about something far more serious than my usual musings on self-actualization and freedom. Or am I? I’m part of a campaign of bloggers writing today about The Girl Effect, defined on the organizations site as
Stop reading. Go get a box of tissues. Watch this video.
So here we are in the developed world. I headed out on The Freedom Tour in February to teach and inspire women to create financial freedom so they can truly be present to their purpose on the planet. I have this luxury, this choice and this opportunity because when I was an adolescent girl my aunt and uncle invested in me. They mentored me in a business that eventually allowed me to create financial freedom for myself in my mid twenties and now I’m passing that on.
When I first found out about The Girl Effect through my friend Lora Sasiela over at FinanciallySmitten.com, I immediately felt ill informed about the issues and felt a familiar sheepishness for not keeping up with the news. I admit it: I don’t watch the news, I don’t read the newspaper and I don’t check news websites.
But this morning I started diving into some of the videos on The Girl Effect and I was reminded that what we consume as current events and the state of our world on a daily basis are partisan, skewed, negative, sensationalist snippets that leave us feeling hopeless, helpless, scared, and depressed. Though The Girl Effect informs us that there are 50 million twelve-year-old girls around the world living in poverty who have no choices in their lives, it also reminds us that there’s a solution. And it reminds us that its not so complicated for us to be part of that solution.
I write and teach about the profound power that financial freedom can have on a woman’s life. We as women in the developed world have the luxury to think, muse, and strategize about creating financial freedom for ourselves. This is because for about the last 80 years our society has allowed us to be valued for more than our bodies. Suddenly (and I do choose that word consciously because women only got the right to vote in this country in 1929) we have value beyond making babies and sexual pleasure. The fact that The Girl Effect can even exist today, that girls can even be seen as a solution, is such a big deal. Money is all about value. We buy stuff because we value it. We ask for more because we value ourselves.
She’s one of the women on whose shoulders I stand as I traipse around the country because I’m free to do that. She’s been a pioneer in the field of women’s health, inspiring women around the world remember that our wisdom lies in our physical bodies and that true health and well-being comes from listening to the whispers of our female form. She’s set millions of women free from the tyranny of fear of their bodies. I come from a woman who gets it that women are the solution. (Her name’s Dr. Christiane Northrup and you can learn about her here.)
Even though I don’t keep up with the news and katenorthrup.com is certainly not the number one internet destination for political activism and pressing world issues, seeping myself in The Girl Effect campaign this morning has reminded me that what I’m up to over here on The Freedom Tour is actually serious. You may feel like I do when I hear about poverty, HIV, human trafficking, sex slavery, and other atrocities happening right now on this very same planet: overwhelmed and hopeless. Being a part of The Girl Effect Blogger Campaign has not only reminded me that I’m already part of the solution (and most likely you are too), its also lit a fire under my ass to be a bigger part of the solution.
This is about valuing women and girls. You can become a bigger part of the solution by learning more about The Girl Effect and getting involved in one or more of the ways I’ve outlined below. You can also do it by healing your relationship with your mother and believing in your daughters. You can do it by supporting your sister. You can do it by investing in an adolescent girl in your community and teaching her the value of cheering other girls on instead of tearing them down. You can do it by vowing to create financial freedom for yourself so you can free yourself up to teach and inspire others to do the same. Every word of belief and encouragement to a girl is part of the solution. Every story of success and hope is part of the solution.