I hadn’t felt a lack of confidence. I hadn’t felt a lack of power or strength. I exercise, workout, do yoga. I know I am strong.
Spending a week at ESD Global Camp taught me, among many lessons, that I didn’t need to lack these to become more filled with them. I didn’t gain muscle mass in just one week.
These feelings of being stronger in my body didn’t come from bigger muscles.
And yet, after one week, my body is stronger, my voice is louder. The strength was always there. The power comes from within.
The techniques are helpful. We practice them over and over, infusing them into the cells of our muscles. Our muscles will remember. We can strike like this. We can kick this hard.
The shouting is helpful. It shows us the tone, depth, and resonance of our voices. Along with building confidence for the future, we shout away the past. We shout away the pain and rage and shame, and all the things we should never have to feel. We shout it out, pulling these sounds from deep within and releasing them into the world, sound waves emanating out, pulsing into a new future, the future we are designing, the future that looks the way we decide.
We break boards. We hold strike pads for each other. We stick fight with foam noodles. We move and play. We laugh. We cry. We talk and process and share. These are the women who are changing the world. And these women--they play, hug, snap selfies, tell jokes, write, sing, and dance. They fight like hell. They are warriors. We are warriors.
The power that each of us holds is incredible—the strength we access from our individual bodies, the capacity of each of our voices. This power comes from within. We leave camp, changed, each of us, and head back into our individual lives. I feel full in the heart, powerful in the body, and strong and loud in the voice, unafraid to express. I am grateful for this heightened confidence that didn’t arise out of lack, but from untapped potential. I am grateful for my individual feelings of strength and power. But the real power comes in our connection. We showed up, dove in, and connected to this group, formed a power circle, and now we take that collective strength back to our worlds, share it and spread it, co-creating an ever-widening power circle. A ripple effect.
Our power comes from our connection--this group of warrior women, women with the courage to be as vulnerable as they are fierce, women who know to ask for support even as they offer it, even as they build up those around them, women who love as hard as they fight.
With our voices, we create a new reality. With our bodies, we claim new spaces.
In these spaces, in this reality, boards snap like twigs, fear melts away, and we walk and speak confidently, powerfully.
We are connected.
We are in this together.
And we ARE changing the world.
Amy is originally from North Carolina, where she spent a childhood outdoors in the mountains, attended school and university, and worked for several years for a nonprofit medical organization serving immigrants. She currently resides in Costa Rica. She is a yoga teacher, a writer, a reader, a feminist, a traveler, a seeker of beauty, and a lover of nature.