Grab Your Cape: The World Is About To Be Saved By Women Empowered And Connected, Part 3

Ann Hoffman-Ruffner
Posted August 13, 2014 from United States

“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change." (Brene Brown) That said, I confess my recently discovered limiting belief, “I will have failed God if I don't articulate this vision adequately”. You can substitute any of the following that you prefer: Allah, The Divine, The Source, Creator, The Universe, or "FP” - Field of potentiality as Pam Grout refers to it, etc. Wikipedia indicates that there are over 101 names for the phenomenon that I’m trying to explain. How’s that for letting my freak flag fly!

This limiting, and rather unsettling belief is not because I’m highly religious; I am not religious at all. I do consider myself spiritual in my own unique way. Rather I feel the need to be totally transparent, authentic and open here. Over a year ago, an idea - no, actually a series of ideas - popped into my head. My thoughts, my dreams grew so large that this past April, I resigned my job of 29 years to commit my time to figuring out how take these ideas and bring this WIG (Wildly Improbable Goal) to fruition.

The vision I’ve been working on is how to synergize the women’s empowerment movements currently taking place around the globe. I’m referring to phenomenal organizations such as Vital Voices, Women for Women International, World Pulse, Lean In, and Global Fund for Women and Emerging Women Live just to name a few. These are groups doing awe-inspiring work but-and it’s a huge but- given that there are over 3.5 billion women and girls in the world, most of these organizations individually reach less than 0.00013% of all women in the world.

The Dalai Lama said “The world will be saved by the Western Woman” at the Vancouver Peace Summit in 2009. I personally don’t believe that it will be just the Western Woman. I do believe it will be women. The feminine nurturing instinct makes us, as a whole, more compassionate. According to the Dalai Lama, “If wars are a fact of life, then it would be better if women were in charge since they are more likely to empathize with those who suffer during conflicts.” I concur, for women would focus on resolving conflicts by understanding and addressing the issues that lie beneath them…the underlying political, economic, or ecological factors that cause the hostilities in the first place.

There are many worthy organizations, agencies and even social networks, such as the Worldwide Women's Support Circle, started by women who want to be involved and make a difference. And they ARE making a difference. And we have used our Partnership for Mental Health, Inc. Facebook page to expand the reach of such groups and organizations. Rather imagine the impact of connecting the databases of women’s organizations worldwide. Women could better share resources and leverage power. By combining digital technology with strategic planning of women’s organizations, we can achieve goals faster and have a broader impact.

Women want to be involved. They want to do more for problems than give money or “Like” Cause pages. They want to make changes and improve themselves, their families, their communities, their countries and the world. We need a tool that offers that online connection AND offline hands-on opportunity… locally to worldwide. Women are busy. Most, amidst working a job, studying, raising a family, don’t have time to spend hours perusing the internet to review all the women’s organizations out there and choose which one(s) to support or engage in. Not all women feel savvy about their use of the internet and thus may limit the scope of their involvement. Not all women have access. Or it’s not safe where they live to use to computers and technology.

The reason I am writing these articles is because I have a vision for a digital tool and on-the-ground initiative that would pull together women around the world and grow into a major world- and game-changing initiative.

Depending on how one looks at it, it could be unfortunate that I did not file my women’s business, Wayfinding Women, LLC until June of this year. While the ideas came last year, 2013 was spent with my parents as they transitioned from this world to the next and I wouldn’t change that time I shared with them for anything (another reason I believe women make better leaders overall…we understand true priorities of life and being). When attempting to complete the contest application, this means that I don’t yet have a website, blog or an annual budget. I am very close to having the logo so a Facebook page is in the very near future! But since we’re talking about Divine Intervention or maybe just coincidences, I find it amazing that I learned about this contest from an email that popped into my iCloud one week ago today. The prize money and the opportunity to travel to NYC to message my ideas and vision to individuals and organizations already doing this type of work, provides the solution that answers my queries from the past year regarding how I get this idea OUT there.

For the purposes of this campaign and contest, I do have a track record of these things with The Partnership for Mental Health. Check out our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/ThePartnershipforMentalHealth. Or our website at http://partnershipformentalhealth.org (But please forgive the lack of updating. All of our committees with PMH are run by volunteers who already have more than full time jobs in their respective agencies and we have a Media Committee of ONE phenomenal but very busy woman!).

As I said, I can’t know for sure where this vision for the future of women on the web came from…although after putting it all out there just now, I’m really hoping that there is such a thing as The Universe or the Collective Unconscious (for my Jungian friends) driving this. What I do know for sure is that: A) I have an idea for connecting the women of this world in a more complete, expansive way…both online and on the ground, B) I have an innate ability and track record around connecting individuals to improve systems and impact the world AND the many intelligent and engaged women with whom I’ve shared this idea think it is really good, and C) I hope someone wants to hear it.

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Comments 5

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Lea
Aug 18, 2014
Aug 18, 2014

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Ann. It's very courageous of you to have decided to shift your focus on women's rights and on seeking ways of creating a digital tool to help women feel empowered. I agree with you that many women want to be involved in bringing forth change in their communities. Unfortunately, as you quite rightly said, they do not always have the time or the resources to spend looking online for organizations that promote women's rights. There is indeed a plethora of resources online that can help women, but can they be made more accessible? I really hope that your plans come to fruition and that you get the support that you need to make them happen.

Mary S
Aug 23, 2014
Aug 23, 2014

Hi Ann

It can so often be a challenge to find the organisation/information you are looking for online or in your own community, so if you are able to find ways to make that easier, it will help a lot of people. Good luck with your project!

Mary

Tamarack Verrall
Sep 20, 2014
Sep 20, 2014

Dear Ann,

Your commitment to using your energy to help create this shift shines through, here. It is wonderful to read of your current transformation and commitment to do even more to congeal this amazing coming together that is happening. I feel too that something very, very strong is beginning to form with a solidity we have not had before, now that we are meeting and discussing as women, globally. As Ann has said, if you can find ways to strengthen the messages by strengthening the links, it will help us all.

Glad to be joining hands and minds with you,

Tamarack

JOY Eze
Sep 25, 2014
Sep 25, 2014

Your initiative is powerful , well loaded and very educative.And I want to hear more!

Yvette Warren
Jan 21, 2015
Jan 21, 2015

Dear Ann, I was drawn to your journal entries by your headline, "Grab your cape..." I have, several times, begun to write the story of my journey as "Super Woman" losing my cape.

As I made my journey into divorced motherhood, entrepreneurship, and business management, I was isolated. I am so intrigued with following your journey of interconnection, made possible by the internet. My daughter recently said that many of my issues in life were because I didn't have the internet.

It is very unfortunate that so much mental illness, like mine, is a direct result of isolation as others refuse to acknowledge and address the issue that are harming all our earth. I am being treated for PTSD because of the continued abuse I incur for being the "town crier." Women have been the "canaries in the coal mines" for too long and have been punished, along with our children, for too long. To protect my children from those who come after me, I have hidden for too long. My children and grandchildren are grown, and don't share my name. I am now free to be "woman...hear me roar."

World Pulse has brought me the world. Here is my journal post about what WP gives me: https://worldpulse.com/node/95250. I am happy to have you as a WP sister.

Yvette