“The world will be saved by the western woman” – Dalai Lama
International Women’s Day (IWD) for me is a day of reflection and recognition of the women before me. As I celebrate my Grandmother’s life she sadly died in her late 70′s but she was a quiet and strong willed lady from who I learned alot. In fact a little powerhouse inside her tiny frame and 4ft 10″. The first celebration of IWD was in 1911 and my Grandmother was just 10 years old. As a strong and independent woman she knew her own mind and was able to communicate in such a way her voice was heard, which was something of an achievement within that era.
Today there are so many inspiring women in the media, our families and in our everyday lives. As women we don’t have to conquer the world we do however owe it to ourselves to honour our true values and live authentically and wholeheartedly.
So how can we draw out our inner resources and journey to self-empowerment?
By having an openness and willingness to life and our experiences without judgement or attachment as this creates much of our suffering – apparently a staggering 90%. In removing judgement and attachment allows us to experience ‘what is’ and this one of the fundamental principles of mindfulness. When we are able to recognise our emotions that may appear and acknowledging them instead of our well-rehearsed avoidance strategies; either pushing them away; or turning to one of our addictions: like food, drink, exercise or any other.
What is yours?
We then can focus on our shame, we all have it and it is not just us saying it. It is well documented and researched that it is a fundamental human emotion. Shame takes its power from being unspeakable, if we cultivate enough awareness about shame to name it and understand it and speak about it, it starts to lose its power. However when we hold onto our shame we start believing there is something wrong with us, that we aren’t good enough which progresses to us acting on those beliefs. Once we start becoming resilient to our shame then we can allow in our vulnerability.
Acknowledging our vulnerability with gentleness and kindness allows us to create the life we wish to live. It encourages creativity, joy, a sense of belonging, love an inner strength and so much more. It gives us the courage to engage in a relationship that may or may not work or to try something new without any guarantees. It allows us to practice gratitude especially in moments of fear or difficulty. Being vulnerable isn’t a weakness it is an abundance of courage and inner strength.
Venturing into self-love and healing it is helpful to notice your self-talk, are you being harsh or kind with your words? Keep a mental note of how you speak to yourself. By incorporating self-compassion and an overall sense of being kind and gentle with ourselves promotes self-love and healing. If we are able to offer kindness to our friends and family it has been scientifically proven this increases happiness for both the person giving and the person receiving. By adding in a hug it can instantly boost oxytocin levels (which is a natural buffer for stress hormones), which can help heal feelings of loneliness, isolation, and anger.
Having awareness encourages personal freedom. Freud tells us to blame our parents for all the shortcomings of our life, Marx tells us to blame the upper class of our society. For me it isn’t about blame it is about taking responsibility for our path our journey. We have choices in life, how wonderful is that. To have desire means we have to face fear as they go hand in hand as polar opposites. In finding courage and daring to face our fears we can move towards our hearts desires. We can choose to give ourselves permission to allow ourselves to live the life we desire.
As a coach a key part of my work with clients includes personal empowerment and to live life authentically and wholeheartedly.