Sister Zeph ~ The Lioness Rises with Love

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The Lioness Rises With Love
This interview is part of the Wild Hope for a New Humanity Series with Clare Dubios with Sister Zeph. It is a part of our Journey to a Billion Trees Campaign.

To hear this conversation please visit: www.billiontrees.me/wild-hope

Sister Zeph, we are speechless in the face of your courage. When a woman rises whilst her whole culture around her is trying to suppress her and hold her back, she is performing a very rare kind of alchemy in this world. To bring your voice to our global sisterhood feels like an extraordinary privilege. We called this interview 'The Lioness Rises with Love' because Sister Zeph reminds us me of a lioness taking care of her cubs with a fierce love; her students and all women.


sister zeph1-e1432151014474Clare: Welcome, welcome everyone and wow this is a really, really special meeting that we are having today. When we came up with the title 'Wild Hope for a New Humanity' I think we were longing for transmissions that could go deep inside of people and help us really feel that something else is possible. And when I first watched Sister Zeph, this was actually at the 'Emerging Women' conference, I wept through her entire presentation and I really deeply understood that when a woman rises whilst her whole culture is trying to chain her and suppress her and hold her back, she in herself is performing a very rare kind of alchemy in this world, she is transforming levels of cultural repression in her own physiology and psyche on behalf of every other woman in this world. And so to bring her voice to all of us feels like an extraordinary privilege.

I just want to say a little bit about Sister Zeph before I introduce her. She says this, "Here in my part of the world women are tortured mentally and physically. Child-marriage and honor killings continue to thrive and must end. I know there is only one solution to all our problems and that is education and awareness. I want every girl to be educated, empowered and protected. And for this I will keep working throughout my life."

She is linked to... or she is likened to a Malala with a laptop. She is an award-winning crusader for girls' education and digital skills in rural Punjab, Pakistan. Where, at the age of 13, she began going door to door to recruit students for her free, open air school in her region where 52% of women were illiterate.

She braves death threats and her school called "Zephaniah Free Education", provides education to hundreds of girls annually teaching formal education, English, computer skills, business education, sewing and actually much more including, martial arts I believe.

Sister Zeph, welcome, I am so privileged to have you here with us today.

Sister Zeph: Thank you very much sister Clare for giving me such an important and such a prestigious opportunity to have my say and to talk to all this peaceful audience, thank you very much. I am feeling very honored to be here.

Clare: Well, as I said, I feel it is our privilege really. And it is hard to know where to start, but I feel as if for us Western women I mean there will be women calling in from all over the world, but none of us, unless we live in Pakistan, understand your culture or what you are up against. So, I think probably, if you could just start by sharing how it is for women in Pakistan, what it is that you have to face on a day to day basis.

Sister Zeph: For women it's, like many developing countries, it's a very difficult thing to be a woman in Pakistan. In our culture women are considered to be as the property of men. So they have no choice in their life. When a girl takes a (unknown word) in a family, her parents, her mother and her grandmother and her aunts start teaching her how to be a good wife and how to be a good mother. So a girl from the very beginning of her age and from her childhood, she starts thinking that there will be a man who will come and I will marry her and this kind of things.

And the life is very difficult, especially where I live. It's like I am a woman and I am a girl, I cannot love with my choice, I cannot speak with my choice, I cannot have my say, I cannot suggest anything, I cannot choose my life partner, I cannot choose to go to school. If the men of my family allow me to go to the school, I can and it's their choice and they are the ones to stop me.

So, women are absolutely like things, like objects in my society. They are not treated as living human beings, but I want to get them equal rights. I want them to be treated as human beings like men, because men and women are equal. So, we are not being treated equal like men, we are not their property, we are equal human beings, we are companions.

So this is how our life is, being women in Pakistan.

Clare: Sister Zeph, has it always been that way in Pakistan? Was there ever a time that you know of when women have been treated in a different way?

Sister Zeph: No. It's the same thing. Now, because of education, because there are some lucky women who have access to education and collegiate opportunities, now we can expect a change. But in the past, it has never been like this. And I think the reason is that because in the past of Asia so many nations have been coming here and they have been attacking them. So maybe it has become a psyche of men to treat woman like this, because they think that women are weaker than them, so they try to impose their ideas and their thinkings on them and make themselves like they are stronger it they treat woman like this. This is my personal point of view, this is what I feel. I mean sometimes they beat them or they insult them or they do everything they can do to make them feel like they are second... they are not equal to them, this is how they treat them.

When I look in my surroundings I feel like it gives them some mental satisfaction or some internal satisfaction, like a feeling that they are strong, they are not weak.

Clare: Yeah, it is... I mean when I look at the subjugation of women and the extent in which it happens around the world, to me there is no need to subjugate something that is weaker than you. Like, it makes no sense to me. It only makes sense to try and subjugate something or dominate something that is strong or stronger than you. And so, I deeply question really where's the root? I don't understand it. I can't bear it. I find it impossible to even think about. Which is why it is so extraordinary to talk about you because that level of repression horrifies me to my absolute core and yet I... you know, and I want to climb inside of the masculine mind over there to understand how they perceive women, because it seems to be a sign of profound insecurity that anyone would need to subjugate another person or a sex to the extent that if a woman tries to make a choice for herself that her family members can kill them and this is something that I know actually happens to Pakistani girls all over the world even outside of Pakistan. The honor killings are actually considered...well are they, are they legal in Pakistan? Or are do they just... is it just something that goes under the radar like...can you tell us a little bit about the reality of honor killings?

Sister Zeph: Honor killings is a part of our culture, but after 2016 it is not a part of our law, it's against law. But because it has very deep roots in our culture, so if you go to the police or if you try to resist it, in such cases they will not support you. Because even the mindset of police and law implementation agencies, they think that this a part of culture and girls don't have a right to choose their own life.

For example, my students, one of my students was killed in June 2016 and another was killed in January 2017 by their own brothers just because they were... this soul that they were talking to a girl on their way when they were coming to school and for this reason they killed them. So this is a part of our culture and we have to change it and I totally agree with you. This seems like this is a thing which the men feel that maybe they are insecure, because since centuries they have been telling woman they are weaker, they are weaker, they need men if they want to go outside and a very strange thing in our country is that 50% population of men is using all their time to protect women from other men.

So basically what we have to change, we have to change men, we don't have to put the women behind the walls, we don't have to hide them if men learn to respect women.

So men are... every man is trying to protect their women from other men and they are not understanding this thing that who's fault is this, basically these are men. And they will kill...there was a friend of mine a few years back, her brother cut her into three pieces because she wanted to...

Clare: What?!

Sister Zeph: Yeah, he cut her sister in three pieces. She was my friend and it happened about ten years before. And he did it because he wanted to give a message to the girls of his coming generation, "If you will ever try to like a man or if you will decide to do a love marriage the same will happen to you. So you cannot do it."

Clare: It is so beyond my comprehension, it is so... I can't... you know, I think about what it was like growing up as a middle class white girl in my country and I think about the conditioning that we have about what it means to be a woman and it's wrong, it's not true, it's not what a woman actually is, but it's nothing in comparison to what you are going through. And you know we are still part of a culture that tells us that you're supposed to have a husband and you're supposed to behave a certain way, but we have free choice and this is one of the things that I just want everybody to understand is that we have free choice, we have free choice that the women of Pakistan could not even imagine to have...

Sister Zeph: ...yes...

Clare: ...and that anybody... to try and put myself into the mindset that is so desperate to control women that they will murder their own sisters and murder their own daughters rather than allow a woman to have choice. That culture for a woman to dare to rise, this is why I called your talk the lioness, as she rises it is like... for you to be standing for what you believe inside of this culture shows a level of courage, self-awareness, I don't actually have the words for it because I don't have to face what you are facing, the worst I have to face is a bit of external criticism and my own fears, which are nothing. You are having to face genuine death threats, I mean... why... why is a girl not allowed to talk to another girl on the way to school? What is the threat of that, that she needs to be killed by her family?

Sister Zeph: She was talking to another man, a man...

Clare: ...oh, a man...

Sister Zeph: ...not to a girl, yeah. She was not talking to a girl. So talking to a man is considered the biggest sin in my country. So that is why... if... you are thirty years old or you are twenty years old and you have to go out for anything very very important to buy medicine or something, if there is a boy who is five years old or six years old with you, if a boy is with you, it's alright. You are secure, you will consider to be secure. But if you are going alone outside that means not good. That means such girls or women don't have a good directive because they are going outside alone, and nobody knows what they are doing.

matt-artz-354170Clare: Wow. Well, you know, in a way there is another way of looking at it that women have colossal power in Pakistan. I know it seems a really strange thing to say, but these men are frightened of you. I mean, they are frightened of you. It's... what I can't imagine is what it will take to shift masculine consciousness, like we'll talk in a minute about how you are educating the girls and how your starting to bring them into a different awareness of themselves, but what on earth do we do, what can be done when a patriarchal culture is so distorted to help the men see what they're doing or have a shift of consciousness, I mean, do you have any idea where one starts?

Sister Zeph: If I understood your question right you are saying that to bring a change from where do we have to start? This is what you are saying, right?

Clare: With the men. Like, how do you help the men grow away from this way of being?

Sister Zeph: Yeah, again, we have something we always say we live at this question that women in Pakistan are created to get married and to produce children. And I think this is the thing which we can use in a positive way to make a change in just one generation in Pakistan, because every girl has to be a mother, every girl has to be a wife in Pakistan, this is final thing. And if it has to be done why don't we educate and why don't we give awareness to the girls who are going to be wives and who are going to be mothers so that they can transform that knowledge, that awareness to their sons and to their husbands who are going to live with them 24/7. Show... and also we can teach them how they can plant the seed of respecting woman in the society, because when it comes to the religion, religion says respect woman, respect your mother, respect your daughter, respect your sister, respect your wife, then it is... we have to take out all the good things from our culture from other things and we have to tell woman that how they have to raise their men, because when raise...boys raise sons, because when a girl becomes a mother she also believes, because this is what she has been told since her childhood that men are the masters of the house. So this is what she teaches to her son.

And if we give them education and if we give them awareness, they will give a positive education to their sons. And I think this is the best way to make a change in Pakistan, because here girls mean mothers of future.

So we have to invest in the girls, so that when they become mothers they can make a change. A positive change. Where there will be equality and respect for all women.

Clare: As you were talking I just keep seeing this like dark sky, like a stormy dark sky and then this rainbow and this rainbow of color and light that you are amidst this just chaos. I deeply respect to what you are saying, and I understand what you are saying and I'd love to hear about how you are doing that, like how are you helping girls, because it is such a profound change of mindset, of self-awareness, from how they have been taught by their mothers to see the men as superior and self as kind of servants in a way.

How do you help educate girls to start believing in themselves and their personal value, so that they could dare to live a different way? How do you do that?

Sister Zeph: I give them that atmosphere which makes them thinkers not followers. So my students become thinkers and then they become thinkers that start asking questions. When a girl comes to me I give this target to every student of mine. I tell them to ask questions. To ask questions, why red is red, why blue is blue, why sky is sky and why water is water. So I plant the seed in their heart and in their mind that we have to question everything which either it is right or it is wrong. If it is right it is our right to know about it. If it is wrong it is our duty to make it correct, but every change starts from asking a question.

I give them knowledge, I teach them all the topics which I can teach them. I introduce them to the women of Europe, and America and Asia and all the continents to become friends with them. They learn how women are getting success, they learn what is the equality, they learn what is freedom, what does it means to be a free person.

And I teach them all these things. I give them formal education, I teach them martial arts and circumstance techniques so that they can protect themselves from street harassment and from domestic violence.

And I teach them about our law which tells us about the human rights and about the rights of woman, which teach us about family laws in Pakistan.

So my students they give presentations, they talk to different people and they have many many topics every day to discuss about. They have discussions among each other, we have here group discussions and I give them many targets every day to achieve so that they can learn and they can feel their own potential, because they are always being told that because you are a girl your duty is to cook food, your duty is to wash clothes, your duty is to feed the children, no it's not the only duty of a woman. We are equal human beings.

I tell them that every girl you can be a scientist, you can be a doctor, you can be a politician. And you can do anything whatever you want to do, because we are complete human beings.

And I tell them... I not only speak all these things, but I do it myself and then they see that yes a woman can do it, if Sister Zeph can do it they can do it also.

So this is how I am making a change.

Clare: And... I mean it's stunning. It is incredible what you are doing, it's so moving hearing that, but what is sitting in my mind is what do the men think about this? You know, how do their brothers and fathers feel about their girls, their daughters, their sisters having this kind of education?

Sister Zeph: It was very very difficult for me and it is difficult for me. As I told in the Emerging Conference during my speech, I told that I was attacked by gunman in 2006 and then in 2013, but these were attacks to kill me. I have to face many challenges every day, every day, and I go to them and I learned one thing in my life, many years before, I learned that all these obstacles are there for me because I am doing something different. If I will fight against the dark, what dark will do dark...dark will not accept me. So what I have to do to end that darkness I have to put more and more light and what is light? That is knowledge.

One thing. And second thing how I convince men, I never teach my girls to go against our culture, I tell them to stay, live in our culture and while living in culture try to change it. Every day whatever they learn they go to their homes and they have to tell it. For example, people were against me just a few months back, I was teaching the girls about climate change and I gave this duty to all the girls to tell ten people about climate change and how we can control it and people said she is making them westernized and she is bringing them away from the god because this earth is made by the god. God is protecting this earth, we don't have to do anything.

So, what I did...

Clare: ...wow...

I tell them that every girl you can be a scientist you can be a doctor you can be a politician. And you can do anything whatever you want to do because we are complete human beings.And I tell them I not only spSister Zeph: ...so what I did, I again taught them in a different way and I again gave them this duty to tell to the ten people and again people were against us, but I said we have to speak. Even I told them, "If you go to the ocean and you will see that there are drops, there are millions of trillions of drops which makes the oceans and which makes the rivers. We have to bring the change by drop by drop and drop". We cannot make the change immediately, but we have to keep going until we have the last beat of our heart. We cannot stop.

So, because I never stop it doesn't matter how much against they are against my work or against me, it doesn't matter. Because I know ultimately what else they can do they can kill me. And it is not a big deal, I can die even by talking to you then when should I die like a coward? I should do something for which I have been sent on this earth. I was sent on this earth to make this darkness, to conquer this darkness, to transform this darkness into the knowledge and into the light and I will do it until the end of my life.

I am not afraid of anything. Nobody can stop me.

Clare: I hear it and it moves me to tears Sister Zeph because I have that same fire in my heart, you know, I have that same fire around women rising and the environment, but I do not stand in a culture that wants to kill me because I trying to empower women. And your courage just... it's a true alchemy, I mean you are living in this so it is normal for you and I want you to understand how... how... do you understand the word alchemy. Do you know what that means?

Sister Zeph: ...maybe, but maybe you want to explain it to me.

Clare: Well alchemy is ultimately the art of turning lead into gold. It's like transforming this sort the base metals into something pure and precious. So I use it for transforming like the darkest of the dark into the light and we can look at that as mindset, behavior, consciousness. But the reality is the conditioning that we experience it's in our bodies, it's in our nervous systems and so when you are sitting in a culture that has impressed into your, like crushed into your nervous systems not just the belief that women are less and are the property of men and can be killed just for talking to another man, but the actual reality that you are then killed, like... you do get killed and you get killed by those that should love and protect you the most and should want to uphold you the most. The reality that you are standing inside of that darkness, you're standing inside that degree of ignorance and distortion and lie, just a fundamental lie about what the feminine is, what women are, and you are blazing this light, like you are blazing this refusal to tolerate it, you are holding your truth in your stand for your students, it's pure alchemy, because you are being a transmitter like a radiant transmitter in the hardest of places and that is a transmission that goes out into the collective consciousness of womankind.

And that is why I want to bring your voice, because it is so powerful, it is so profound, it is so rare, and I want women to be able to feel who you are inside themselves. Because I believe that we are all each other and that courage that you have exists in all of us and that if you can shine that light into another woman resonate that courage so that it starts to ring like a tuning fork in another woman then we can find more of our voices and our strength to stand up, to do the things that we are here to do, because you are fighting for the right to stand and we can stand and we are still afraid. But you are fighting for the right to stand.

Sister Zeph: Thank you very much for such beautiful words. I want to say only one thing. When you were speaking I was thinking of although of course I am against war, but this time I am thinking about all those soldiers who fight on the borders and they are always ready to die for their people, they are ready to die because they know that there are millions of people behind them who belong to the nation and it is their job to save them.

And I think if by putting myself in such a danger of being killed for fighting against this darkness I can raise the voice of millions of women who are waiting to be heard, whose stories are dying inside the walls and nobody knows what happens to them towards their lives. I think if I will have many lives I am happy like to divorce my life for them, because I think the voice which God has given me or the courage, it is not mine it is my calling. I will stand in this world to make this change.

And I am not afraid of anything, actually I feel so much satisfaction. See, when a girl is becoming... having a small business in her house or she has become a tailor-ess or she is working among men in an office and she an HR manager, it gives me more courage to do more, to do more, to do more and I feel so happy. And I don't care for all those threats or attacks, they cannot harm me until my... somebody else takes place of mine when they will be another Sister Zeph then I will be go, I go from this world.

And I am making so many Sister Zephs, because I am planting the seed of my torch in hundreds of hearts and those are my students.

Clare: I hear you and I just have this longing, in fact I may just do it in this moment, invite everybody that is listening to you all over the world to imagine the forest floor of mutual support that is the treesisters' network to circle around you in this moment and to create a circle of protection, of light, of love, of sistering around you that I want you to know will stay with you as we hold you in our awareness and as we find ways to support you and to connect with you. I know that World Pulse is one of the great avenues that people can find you and TreeSisters is going to explore how to step into much deeper partnership with World Pulse, which I am thrilled about.

I told Jenzina about you being with us and she was completely thrilled and I have a question for you, Sister Zeph, you started a school aged 13, which means that as a child you knew this was wrong. As a child you were questioning. Can you tell us how that was for you? Can you tell us about your... like, what was the circumstance of your childhood that you were able to recognize and then start this. I mean, you presumably must have had much more open minded parents, but that is an assumption of mine. Could you tell us how it was for you?

Sister Zeph: When I was just a little girl, three years old, I saw my mother was beaten by my uncle for giving birth to a fourth daughter. And then I felt discrimination, because I did not have a brother. I was discriminated by my aunt, uncle and my aunties and my cousins and that was a very very painful time. I was crying. And then... another incidence which is everything that was when my teacher beat me when I was in seven standard and that was... that just broke my heart and I thought it's enough, I cannot bear this much pain and this much hatred now. Because I would feel like there was always hate everywhere among my relatives, among my cousins, in the school, everywhere. Everywhere where they would say that if I would go outside people... I was a little girl, but still I had to have a brother to go outside, to go to school, to go anywhere, to go to my street, but I didn't have a brother. What could I do?

And after that incident when my teacher beat me in seven standard, I decided that I wasn't going back to any school where there is no respect, where there is discrimination and where there is violence, physical violence. That was very torturing.

And then I came to my house and for a few days I was just silent and my parents, yes they are best parents in the world, and I said I want to open a school in the courtyard of my house and they allowed me, they thought I am a child and...

Clare: ...wow...

Sister Zeph: ...she is a child and she will be alright. But then I started with only one girl, she was my younger sister, she was ten at that time. So, and then, my friends started coming to my school and I started teaching myself. I never went to any school. I completed all of my education as a private student, I taught myself, I got two master degrees. And when I was in ninth standard as a private student I started doing a job to support my school, because my father was injured in an accident and we were going through so much financial problems.

And I did a job for eighteen years, I left my job in May 2017 and throughout these eighteen years I was supporting my school only myself. There was no support. But then many joined, World Pulse and social media then support started coming and I won the Lynn Syms' global prize and then a documentary by Channel News Asia Singapore was made on my life. Then things started changing through Internet.

But until 2014 there was no support at all and I was teaching these girls, I was buying stationery I was doing everything. I would do a job eight hours a day, six day a week, I would teach girls for five to six hours in the evening and I would teach myself in the night. And there was no time to sleep and no rest, but still I was doing it. I made believe it because I believe it, I was born for this call, that is why I never felt that I should leave it or I should give up. I never felt it.

DEbra Bernier SisterZeph sqClare: I am so in awe of you Sister Zeph, I am so in awe of you. I don't know, I don't know how much you were able to watch any of the other presentations from the Emerging Women Conference from Pakistan.

But there was a moment when Lynne Twist got on stage and she was talking about a magazine that had asked her, a magazine called 'Balance', that had asked her to do a piece for them and she refused because she said that her life was the most unbalanced of any life and she said, 'Why would I want to lead a balanced life, why would I want that? I have a committed life. I have a purpose and I will... if I have to fly all night I will fly all night. But I will not be a victim in that circumstance, I will be in integrity with my mission and vision.'

And I felt so relieved when she said that, because I work harder than just about anyone I know and I am perpetually worrying about the fact that there is no balance in my life and then I hear you work a full time job, work a second full time job in the evenings that is on behalf of everybody and then teach people at night and not sleep but not care, because you are living your purpose. You are living your purpose and it's such a powerful transmission, I call this walking permission, being permission for others through example. Just living the life that makes more feel possible for others and what is also stunning about your story, not just that you... inside a culture where something was normal you never found it normal, you never found it acceptable, because the love in your heart is so strong, it couldn't handle the lack of love, the abuse of love.

But you started to teach without even having... you know... you were not prepared, like... you... in our lives we so often say, 'well I can't do that because I don't know how to do it.' You know, I started TreeSisters without knowing how to do it and I keep telling people, you don't have to know. It's not about knowing, it's not about being prepared, it's about following that call in your soul and understanding that if you are open to life and you have a longing in your heart, that life will help, it'll provide the circumstances within which that dream that you hold can come to be, but it's not about being fully prepared, it's not about having gone to school to understand how to manifest that dream, it's about being willing to be the vessel, the transmitter of that purpose, and you are such a profound example of that. It kind of takes my breath away...

Sister Zeph: ...thank you very much...

Clare: ...and just thank God you had the family that you have, thank God you had the family that you have...

Sister Zeph: ...(laughs) yes...

Clare: ...well, your parents anyway.

Sister Zeph: Yes. I have the best father in the world.

Clare: Which is similar to Malala, you know...

Sister Zeph: ...yes...

Clare: ...I watch Malala's father and I just think, you know, thank God. Thank God, you know, and in a way your father and Malala's father are being a transmitter of a different quality of masculine, you know...

Sister Zeph: ...yes, I know...

Clare: ...which... so, so it is happening, it is out there.

Sister Zeph: Yes, that is why we have to teach to all the girls so that they can teach their sons and they can become fathers like my father and like the father of Malala Yousafzai.

Clare: Yeah, absolutely. So, I've heard, when you said that you were talking about climate change and the people basically said God is protecting the earth so we don't have to do anything, I've heard that also from people in Africa who have taken all the forest down and the water has dried up and they are living in famine, but asked if they will replant the trees basically say no that is God's job, as if we have no responsibility to our environment.

So it is amazing to hear what consciousness like the quality of consciousness around the world, the different belief systems, the different religious indoctrinations and how they seem to perpetuate radical irresponsibility inside of beliefs that mean that we can take what we want but we don't need to give anything back.

How are you educating your girls to respond in the face of climate change?

Sister Zeph: When they came back to me and they gave me this answer that people are thinking like this, I asked them one question and I asked them to ask this question to those people that if this is God's responsibility to take care of everything then why gave God you the brains?

So, this is the question they are asking and this is how I am educating them, because I am a Christian and Bible says that God gave authority to Abraham on everything. So when He gave authority even to common human being, He gave authority to somebody. The authority doesn't mean them to destroy it, authority means take care of this thing and we are not taking care of this world which God has given us.

So it is our responsibility to take care of His gift which He has given us so that when we go to Him He will appreciate us, that yes you have taken very good care to the earth which I gave you. And this is how I am teaching my girls, this is our responsibility to take care of this world.

And to teach them about... even yesterday I was talking to some girls and I giving them some awareness on climate change and they were saying this: if it was possible for the human beings to protect our world, why people are not doing this? Why they are trying to go find ways to live on red planet? And I was telling them that Pakistan is our country, so we have to protect it. And they are helping us and they are protecting their country and whatever they can, we are together in this world, we have divided our earth into the different nations or into the different countries, but we are one. And if we want to protect our one earth we have to think as one and we have to work together.

Clare: ...mmm...

Sister Zeph: I am trying to make my... I am trying to make my students to think as international citizens, the citizens of this earth, not the citizens of only one country.

Clare: Yes. I again... yeah, I am so moved by what you are saying. You have such extraordinary wisdom, Sister Zeph. Extraordinary wisdom. And it is interesting where my mind is going, because I think about men and I think about the masculine and how I hold the masculine and because TreeSisters is built on a framework of change that has the masculine and the feminine in right relationship and when it starts to move, when that relationship starts to harmonize, the masculine is a profound protector. And there is a natural orientation within the masculine to protect, to deeply protect, it feels like it is very distorted in Pakistan. It is like the masculine is protecting its own ego rather than protecting the value of woman, but that urge to protect is still there and... so when I am talking about shifting from a consumer species to a restorer species I am exactly the same as you looking at the privilege of our authority as humans is to actually take care of our world, to ensure that our world can thrive. It is not to trash it, it is not to destroy it.

And so it feels like there is a way to actually communicate about taking care as protection as something beautiful, as an act of love, as a way of protecting future generations.

The masculine psyche in Pakistan actually might be able to receive if offered in a way that puts him into a role that he can see himself in as a protector. As a protector of life. With the brain as you say, with a brain that can... I mean, how is climate change showing up in Pakistan? What is happening over there?

Sister Zeph: Climate change is... I think Pakistan, there should be an emergency declared in Pakistan when it comes to climate change, because people have no awareness about what they are doing. Here this is the noise pollution so much. They are using many types of medicine and many types of things to grow food, even they are making milk themselves with detergent powder and you believe it or not but it is true. And all these things. And they are cutting trees so much, because our population is going so fast and we need more houses, we are making colonies and we are cutting trees... oh my God... we are cutting trees every day, which is of course destroying our climate.

And I think we have to do work on both things. We have to not only teach these people to plant trees because this is their life, but we have to teach them to control the population so that we don't have to cut trees.

So the growing population is the one thing and unawareness is the second thing, because they don't understand from where they are getting oxygen.

Clare: So again, it all comes down to the education of women.

zeph pngSister Zeph: Absolutely, I believe, I was telling you some other day, that climate change, only education can protect our world, only education can make all the difference, but to make such difference we need life and we cannot imagine life without trees.

So educating the woman and bringing a change in the world is absolutely connected with planting the trees. So we have to work together.

Clare: Spoken like a true treesister.

Sister Zeph: (laughing) Yes I am, we are all. All of us who want to save our world, we are all treesisters. And all of us these woman on this earth have to be a part of TreeSisters so that we can plant trees. If we want to give a future, I am not saying good future, because if you will have future then you will think about good future.

So if we want to give life, if we want to give future to our children, for our coming generations, we have to plant trees and we have to start it today.

Clare: Which... I will just stand on your shoulders here for a second and just invite everyone as you know this Wild Hope for a New Humanity is very much part of the launch of our Billion Trees Campaign. And in it we are basically saying that it is going to take over two million of us to be planting a billion trees a year, but that is two million of us who have recognized that we cannot simply take and take and take from our Mother while she is now as destabilized as she is and we need to make it normal for everyone to be planting trees, to be giving funds for trees, to be bringing restoration into the core of their lives, so my invitation to everyone, everyone listening to this call, please become a treesister.

Please become a treesister and that means that you are giving funds every month that we can send out to the tropics and we can plant in Madagascar, in Brazil and in India and Kenya and Cameroon and Nepal and everywhere else that we will start to grow into.

And together we can know that we are giving back, we are giving back and also the invitation is to join the Inner Journey of Awakening which starts next week, and we will start with the week of Reveal and reveal is about being prepared to open to the revelation of the more that we are and Sister Zeph is a perfect example of opening to the more that she is. This wild spirit of truth, this rainbow being in the middle of this stormy place that is Pakistan.

I am so in awe of you Sister Zeph, I can't tell you. And I will just say it is billiontrees.me, www.billiontrees.me, and go to the Inner Journey of Awakening to start your journey with us next week, it is free, it is deep, it is open to everyone. There is a Facebook group that you can be in to take the journey so that as we make these changes, as we discover more about ourselves we can explore, we can support each other. It's there for the women and there is one there for the men.

Before we complete I just want to let you know about tomorrow's extraordinary transmission. Elisabet Sahtouris has had so many lifetimes in one and a large amount of what she has done is uncover and distill the evolution of Gaia, the evolution of our planet. And this is a wild story of bacteria, this is a wild story about the organisms that grew to become the root of all life on this planet, that have understood how to move from radical control of each other and domination of each other, and domination of everything into a profound collaboration.

This is an interview that you will leave feeling hopeful, inspired, kind of awe struck, this information rocks my world and I am so excited to bring it to you.

So this will be Elisabet Sahtouris with the Miraculous Evolution of Gaia. Please listen and share it with everybody that you know.

And just to complete, I want to give you the microphone one last time Sister Zeph. If you could say one thing to everybody that is listening here, if you could reach into their hearts and give them a gift from your warrior heart, some permission, some gift that is just you, what would you say to them?

Sister Zeph: Thank you very much sister Clare, I would like to say that this is our world and this is our responsibility to take care of our earth. And we have to educate each other, so that we can protect this earth and we have to plant trees, so that all of us and our coming generations can keep breathing.

Let's plant trees, let's give life to us and to our coming generations.

Thank you.

Clare: Thank you so much.


Transcript by TreeSisters Heartwood Volunteer Petra


Photo Credits:
Lioness by Matt Artz on Unsplash
Wood Sculpture by Artist Partner Debra Bernier
All other photos and logo by Zephaniah: Woman Education and Empowerment Foundation


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