She is Rising: Global Seva Challenge India

Posted on September 4th, 2013 Posted by Suzanne Sterling

Please enjoy this powerful epic poem Suzanne Sterling wrote during her month-long visit to India with the Global Seva Challenge: India participants.

Suzanne and Seane traveled with Off the Mat leaders who had successfully raised $20,000 each to combat sex trafficking in India through the Global Seva Challenge program. Together, 200+ Seva leaders raised $1 million.

This is Suzanne’s reflection of her time in India.


I worship a Goddess who cannot be contained

no walls shall hold Her vastness

Temples erected in Her honor crumble to the ground

She is Rising


She is the earth stone that anchors all celestial beings

She is the chorus of birds at dawn

She is the curling breeze cutting through the wavering heat of midday

She is the flowing river speaking in ancient tongue

She is the inscription and the source of all spells

dropping veils to reveal Her radiance

She will not be confined


No temple can match Her splendor or honor Her power

If you try to constrain Her She will grow long sharp teeth that cut through to bone

She is fiercer than the tiger stalking with a cold and terrible precision

beautiful, deadly

She is rising


And you might feel that you have given Her everything

you have danced in the fire

I too, have heard my own bones clacking

I have seen the blue light illumine their white

I have smelled the sickly sweet scent that comes with death

I have felt my plans, ambitions and visions melt into Her heat

I have been Her bride and She has marked my forehead in a flash


Little did I know what would come of that


And now that I am older and filling the crone body year after year

I no longer wail and rail against Her

I can look upon the bones with dispassion even as I scratch and claw at the cracks in the stone

praying for the light to be revealed

and She asks, “are you ready to feel the true winds of freedom…to never be shown the way

but to take the terrible decision upon yourself in the most fallow moments?

Can you live with the isolation?”


Yes, I say, yes take me to the place where all that I have been given can be used in your service

See through my eyes and sing through my voice

Let us sit in deep and intimate conversation

but please, I ask you, I pray to you

O Great One

whose women and girls are standing up and finding their own teeth and their own claws

and their own wild words

Show me your face


Let me be your emissary of untamable song and ineffable wisdom

you know me mother

you know all that I have offered up to you

sometimes unwillingly

sometimes with a great fight or a deep misunderstanding

but I have never strayed and I have never wavered

and I did not play by any rules other than my own which are, after all, only yours

I ask for my gifts to be strengthened and refined

for my innate wisdom to be enervated

my body to shine with vibrant health

my words to speak truth and beauty

my songs to ring out in open doorways and unlock the secrets

of each listeners heart cave


I have been your faithful servant your good daughter

I have made mistakes, thrown my wealth away to those who could not see it

I have misunderstood the meaning of love

and I forgive myself

for I know I have always been held in your gentle guidance and strict burning hands

obliterating ego laughing at my arrogance

as you offer up redemption over and again


now I ask for a glimpse of your glory

I have seen it in the moon flowing light over rivers and pools

I have felt it in my own song

the voice that lifts inside me as you and I become one song rising

I am no longer afraid of this power

the way it frightens others

I have died and I have been alone

I have been told that I am too much

but I am nothing compared to you O mother

and I am your priestess and I am asking you to rise in me!


I will meet you

I will use my tools to handle the rejection, manipulation,

competitive machinations, out right evil demons of fear, guilt and shame

I will express my anger and speak truth to power and protect my art

like a fierce mother


I will ignore the ones who falsely claim you

I will stand in my own wild light only

I will sing your songs of freedom

I will sing your songs forever

I will challenge the ones who would contain any of us

I will call your strength and power untamed and free into my body and into my voice

every single day

so that I remember this sublime moment


in your world without churches

where I am utterly utterly free


I release the fears of my ancestors

who burned in the flames of ignorance

who were the sacrifice

I will honor their memory even as I release their terror

so embedded in my own


wonder of wonders that I call this forth from your roofless temple

singing to the sky

from the tops of Mt. Kailash to the depths of the Garb Griya

wonder of wonders that I have no choice here but to follow your river

the flowing sari over the landscape of your earthly body

wonder of wonders comes the twilight

stillness as the world settles into your dark embrace

the indigo of your wings brushing velvet skin

cool night breeze on the hills above the village

bright horizons of saffron and marigold

mysterious and invisible hands


I know this

I know this

I knew this before

unlock this threshold O joyous Dark Mother



gently pry me open.

Suzanne Sterling, March 2013


Come with us on a journey tpreserve the Amazon rainforest and protect the rights of its people. Join the 2013 Global Seva Challenge : Amazon