by Sarah Strickland

As a first-time delegate to the CSW annual meetings, I can only describe my experience as “jumping into the deep-end of the pool.” I was blessed to be asked to be a delegate for the Women’s Intercultural Network by Jean Shinoda Bolen and Marilyn Fowler and I thank divine guidance for my leap of faith to say “yes!” My trade is strategic planning and co-creating “road-maps” that help people in organizations “see” where they want to go. I often find myself in a “midwife” role by helping bring an emerging idea or strategy into being. Recently, I have found myself drawing what I am seeing, hearing and understanding to be present about conversations I am in. The images flow through me and simply show up. It is my way of synthesizing and connecting many different elements into a picture-story. I was asked to share this with others. Please feel free to use it however you wish.

This picture emerged in the chapel at the Church building after I attended two days of meetings. It seems to be my version of how I would describe what is necessary to move forward based on the wisdom, knowledge and experience of all the people who have been working far longer than me on achieving gender equality and the Millennium Development Goals. It is an expression of the elements, organizations and energies necessary to break through the constrictions always present from large enterprises like the international financial institutions, the United Nations, nations and local communities. The “source” to create and sustain the momentum to do this comes from the NGO’s and an important collection of principles and energies, like Political Will, Faith, Success Indicators and Infrastructure, that individuals, governments and institutions are creating to push through the barriers to progress. As these energies are created and gain momentum, they “push through” the old institutional barriers that foster poverty, violence and inequality which in-turn begin to erode and wash away.

As I was drawing this picture an interesting graphic change showed up that speaks metaphorically to me about how the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine are joining together to move us forward. The 2015 “gateway” that appears in the drawing is the threshold to the world we are all working to create. Originally this was the point of an arrow – a very masculine symbol! By adding four lines the arrow was transformed into a sacred symbol for the Feminine. It is quite clear to me that the MDG’s are an expression of the Divine Feminine fiercely showing up in our world to compel and oblige us to change. It is also clear to me that the momentum of the NGO’s is another expression of Her longing for this world. What this picture-story suggests to me is that the Divine Masculine cannot create change without moving through and becoming transformed by the Divine Feminine. And it is only through the Divine Feminine “receiving” the Divine Masculine in full partnership that transformation will occur. Peace and blessings to all in your courageous work.

Sarah Strickland
March 1, 2008