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This is a street art mural from my home town Bogota, saying "Resistance for life"

Hello Everyone.

I haven't had a chance to interact with anyone from the community so far but I wanted to contribute with a post that I think will set the tone of my contribution to VOF this year. Last March I had the pleasure and joy to meet a person that has changed my life and as all of you has dedicated her life to the well being of women all over the world. Ouyporn Khuankaew was a key note for the AWP conference in Salt Lake City and also gave a precon workshop that I attended with several others. It was a mind opening experience and I want to share some of her wisdom and what I believe is the essence of VOF and what we should have present as Mentors and Correspondents, taken from the Sanitsuda Ekachai article "A fighting chance":

"Without power within, we cannot cope with all the external pressures and negative emotions. We can develop that inner strength through mindfulness and compassion meditation. It starts with loving kindness for ourselves.
By doing so, our happiness and sense of security is no longer dependent on others, as most women are taught to believe.
Security is under our nose, with the feeling of each breath, being fully present with each moment. It has power not only to heal ourselves, it also help us empower and heal others. This is real empowerment"

Ouyporn runs the International Women's Partnership for Peace and Justice retreat center in Thailand that offers services for women like us that give our lives to help others. In this retreat she refers to the the activists:

"Sometimes, women who come to the retreats are so overwhelmed by the trauma they have witnessed that listening to each other is very difficult. I tell them that listening is a form of meditation. Mediation does not only involve watching and letting go of your own mind—getting lost in a space separate from other people. Mediation can also include being a witness, seeing each other as survivors, as activists, as mothers and visionaries. Deep listening is a skill we practice together"

I believe in all of these premises and skills and how they apply to VOF 2013, how we can all be compassionate to each other and listen and gain strength just from being there, just from being a witness of all the amazing accomplishments each of you has had.

I hope any of these makes any sense :) Thank you so much to the organizers from WorldPulse, the Correspondents and the Mentors that have taken the time to be present here and now.

Katherine Okerlund.



Sarah Whitten-Grigsby's picture

So True! Thank you...

Dear Katherine,

What you've said and also quoted is so true and so beautifully put. Thank you. Ellen Winguard has recently said that VOF is our healing, too, that of Vision Mentors. Deep, active listening, being present for someone else, is a form of healing surrender, I believe, and is a two-way street indeed.

Best to you,


I echo your comment, and it is refreshing to hear someone else speak to what I also believe into be true... Being present, the act of surrender, healing. To be in that place with another is a bit of heaven. Thank you!

-Michelle aka Cali gal

Let us Hope together-
aka: Cali gal


jap21's picture

Hi Katherine

I am writing from Bolivia, to tell you that I love this entry. It is sooo calling me to act now! Maybe what I wondered, maybe what I needed, has always been here in my nose too. : )

True love is not to be thanked. It is to be embraced. I am embracing you right now. You lighted up my day.



Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

Muchas gracias! esto es lo unico que busco de esta comunidad. Palabras y pensamientos como los tuyos. Muchas gracias :)

jap21's picture


Eso vas a encontrar mucho acá querida Katherine. No sabes lo grande que es el Alma Femenina que aquí redescubrimos cada día. Ojalá que pudieramos tener un World Pulse en español, para todo el mundo hispano. Sería maravilloso no? Es un viejo sueño que tengo, pero todavía no sé cómo hacerlo realidad. Ya iremos añadiendo ladrillos a esta casita, jiji.

Con mucho cariño,


Jacqueline Patiño FundActiva
Tarija - Bolivia
South America

Iryna's picture


After reading your post, Katherine, again I've understood I have so many things to learn about this world! And I also want to join you and say thank you to the World Pulse team for opening, sharing and, of course, healing!

A hug,

A hug back, thank you so much for stopping by and reading

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