It is our time and we have a lot to contribute.
Rising Women Rising World was an opportunity for me to get in touch with the deep feminine, and by that I am not referring to gender. Some of the virtues of the deep feminine are empathy, compassion, connectedness and courage. When we face our darkness and make a commitment to transforming it rather than trying to push it away, it puts us in a position to access great joy. I don’t want people to feel fearful, as fear is isolating. I want them to feel empowered for change.
If I’m going to die, I’d rather die singing.
“We have entered an Age of Disruption. Yet the possibility of profound personal, societal, and global renewal has never been more real. Now is our time.” Leading from the Emerging Future From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies, Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer.
I also had the great fortune to have a conversation with Satish Kumar, the founder of Schumacher College, about 80,000 voices.
Gina with Satish Kumar at Schumacher College
Satish asked me whether I am a performer, and I admitted that I was but that I haven’t performed for a long time. He asked me to sing a song in the morning meeting the following day. Despite my anxiety about this request, I have always known that if I am asked to do something by somebody I respect, I should rise to the challenge. I chose to sing the song that had been in my original vision of 80,000 Voices, written by Cory Josias, Veronica Turner, Malcolm Connell, Alex Golding and Howard Jones, called “For the Sake of Peace” which has become a song that the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) now regularly sing.
I told the audience “I’m going to sing this on my own, but please can you imagine 80,000 people singing with me?” The effect on those listening was profound. There were tears, joy, excitement and lots of hugs at the end. I was told that if I had sung the chorus again, they would have all joined in, as they were starting to anyway despite not knowing the words.
Here at 80,000 Voices we know that before we have our first main event in 2016, we need to have a number of smaller, prototype events to listen to people and learn from them. Satish was encouraging me to take action straight away and do my first prototype – singing with my whole heart, a song for the sake of peace.
When I began my journey towards 80,000 Voices, I had this compelling sense that I had to do something. But I had to think about what I could contribute with my skill set. As a single mother, I had learned to let go of a lot of the things that I would have liked – a perfectly clean kitchen, folded washing, impeccably dressed children. I learnt that I couldn’t do it all, but if I put out the right intentions the things I needed would come to me.
As a producer of live shows, it suddenly dawned on me that all I was doing was producing another live show and I just had to scale up. Thinking of it this way, it didn’t seem like such a scary challenge. I had experienced the life changing feeling of alchemy when people sing en masse, the joy of participating in something that transcended language, and this triggered the creative impulse and the certainty that I have to do this. The week I just spent at Schumacher College has been about reminding myself of all of this, about the spirit of renewal.
With intention has to come direction. The direction 80,00 Voices is heading in is to put on a series of large scale events which will subsequently be rolled out to other countries, using the deep feminine notion that everyone has to be cared for. We have to allow ourselves time to develop a culture for an emerging future. Within the organisation we pledge to take care of each other and to hold each other’s space. To allow the feeling of inspiration to inform our thoughts, rather than the other way round.
80,000 Voices has been conceived as an oasis that you leave feeling refreshed, renewed and ready to reach out, allowing you to unleash your creativity, imagination and capacity to inspire and be inspired.
From my Buddhist practice I have learned that there is a deep yearning in all of us to commune, open up, serve each other and transcend fear. I believe the greatest joy comes from being in touch with our humanity and being able to co-create together from the heart.