The World Will Be Saved By the Western Woman

Eckhart Tolle and His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Eckhart Tolle and His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Last spring, I learned that during the 2009 Vancouver Peace Summit, His Holiness the Dalai Lama stated that “The world will be saved by the western woman.”  I  passed this information along during my next Luminous Woman Weekend and the women there were as moved by this proclamation as I was.

It was as if the Dalai Lama had blessed and affirmed the heart- driven, collective approach of women as the pivotal element of what will pull us back from the brink of disaster.  It made me want to step up and give more of myself.  It has had the same effect on a lot of other women.  We are bringing our light to the world and mobilizing to heal it.  We want to see the end of poverty, hunger, war, oppression, sexual exploitation, chaos and despair.  I am a part of this collective wave and I am proud and inspired to be a “western woman”.
Recently, I have noticed that people are talking with growing hopelessness about the world’s problems.  If you watch the nightly news, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and depressed.  It is easy to feel small and to begin to think that one little life can’t impact problems so vast and complex.   So we go numb and do nothing.

Jungian analyst Ann Ulanov calls this “The Devil’s Trick”.  She is referring to that dark, undermining voice in our heads that tell us that what we can do is too small in the face of something so big.  We feel defeated and ask “why bother?”   The proverbial “devil” smiles when we do nothing.   If you look over the course of history, notice that is has been the collective actions of many people, each doing their bit that has turned the tide for good or evil.

While “western women” have not resolved all the problems of inequity, we are significantly better off than the women we see on the nightly news living in war torn, famine ridden and politically/religiously oppressive countries.  Western women have significantly more resource, voice and power.  Out of that advantage, we can help women and children who have nothing.    We can give time or money to lift women and children out of poverty, oppression and servitude by supporting education, micro-industry, health care, food, clean water, safe shelter, etc.


While I see a lot of pain and hopelessness in the eyes of struggling women around the world, I also see determination, and resiliency.  With the smallest bit of help, these women work hard and they build.  Women re-invest their growing resource back into the community and life improves for everyone.  It is the collective effect of small bits of help that is so powerful.  But often we don’t do anything because we consider our gift too small, too embarrassingly insignificant.

Could you give just 1% of your income to help women in need?  Many of us give a lot more than that, but I know money is tight right now.  Could you give just your pocket change?  Could you go without a Starbucks coffee once month and give the money to a woman in a developing country who could build an entire business with it?!  Could you consider giving an hour or two of your skills or services to some cause that inspires you?  Consider the effect, if we all did this?

Each of us can do something about a problem that captures our heart.  We can do something globally and we can do something locally.  A $20 check counts.  A donation to the local food bank counts.  It is easy to overlook the help we can give right under our noses.  Look for small ways you can be helpful throughout your day.  Acts of kindness definitely count.  Smiling at a checkout clerk counts.

When a friend shows me how to do something on my computer that seems like a miracle to me, I want to kiss the ground she walks on.  She shrugs and says, “it was nothing!”  Giving from your strength often feels that way, but it is not “nothing”.  That’s the place to begin- giving from our strengths.  It’s a different approach than the old “sacrificial” model, where it didn’t count unless it hurts.

We are each cogs in the wheel of change, strands in a rope of hope, drops in a river that will carve its way through stone.  It’s the strength of the feminine way.  Let’s turn the tide of growing hopelessness.  Small efforts add up.  Talk to your friends about doing the same.  It is the collective effect.  Be a strand in the rope of hope and beat the “devil’s trick”.

To learn more about Chelsea Wakefield and her Luminous Woman programs go to

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