Yesterday I had the privilege of attending a Women's Conference called Mind/Body/Spirit - The theme was "Awaken Your Mind, Nurture your body and release your spirit." I don't get to attend too many of these conferences - one is because they charge an arm and a fortune for them, and two because of proximity and location. But this one came to me as a gift and i mean that literally. Plus I attended it with someone whom I admire and very close to - so it was truly a treasure.
As women - regardless of where you come from culturally, there is a certain upbringing that you inculcate in the back of your head - others first - u last - I find that we are always giving - as mothers, as wives, as sisters - always giving of ourselves and you find that in the mythologies, you find that in stories, even in history. As women, we often shy away from our voices to be heard - How many of us growing up heard the phrase - "don't say that...it's not proper" or don't speak up....it's not right. By having our voices silenced, we forget to listen to our inner wisdom. As women, we are automatically entrusted with the responsiblity of multi-tasking - and all to often we will take it on from a sub-conscious level to prove something to ourselves -that we can handle everything -
or the reverse - because we don't have a choice in the matter. So many of us have to multi-task because we don't have a choice - we could be a single mom, we could be a daugther-in-law and have the whole entire family live with us - and are entreated with the responsibility of taking care of everyone - or we could be just the favorite daugther that everyone knows can handle it and we get all the responsiblity.
Times have changed and we have come a long way - education is a priority for most women, women now hold positions in reputable companies and governmental positions, women's voices are being heard - but where are we emotionally - where are we spiritually- and where are we in the matters of taking care of ourselves - Have we become so hard that we often forget the feminine side of us? Our feminine side is not a bad thing if we learn to use it in the right way. Think about images/words that come to your mind when you hear the word feminine side - are they positive? Are they negative? If so - how come- what/who did you see growing up that either made you enhance it or run away from it?
How many women do you know who will do everything but tend to themselves last - almost to the point that "oh it's not that important." How difficult is it for us to really take a stand and make a commitment to doing something for ourself knowing that it may have several consequences. It doesn't come easy - and it often takes certain lessons for us in life to finally say - enough is enough - it now about "me." The conference to me was about that. Regardless of what you say - you may hold the most important position in a company - but if you are a mother, if you are a wife, if you are a caretaker to your elderly parents, or if you come from a culture where u still need to fulfill your obligations as a woman - it is very difficult to find time for yourself. I'm a firm believer of self-care - I truly believe that you cannot care for others if you don't honor yourself first. I also think that if we are born a woman, it is a gift and we need to learn to utilize that gift wisely.
There was a phrase - that I absolutely loved - it said "Recognize the divinity within you." We all have that divine spark in us. And when that divine spark gets lost, we become rusty, we forget to shine and we become angry, resentful, anxious and restless. Being a woman is about reclaiming that divine spark in us and honoring that because we have so much to give and get. One of my favorite aunts always used to tell me -
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
It is one of my favorite quotes and it reminds us of who we essentially are. I really believe that if we are open to new things, they come our way, but we need to be aware of them otherwise it will slip by us and keep us in the dark. Yesterday going to the conference yet again was another gift for me to remind me of my existence - of my purpose and my plan in life. Sometimes things come our way to remind us of that. We need to be open to what is out there, we need to keep our ears and eyes open so that we can accept the gifts that are part of us.
I did a journaling exercise yesterday which I would like to share with you. I had four sentences where I allowed myself to write freely for five minutes. If five minutes is too long for you, do it in one word or you can write for 3 minutes. I would encourage you to read it out loud to yourself after you are done. If you have someone close that you would like to partner with, I would set aside 5 minutes and write together. And then take turns reading it out loud. The sentences were as followed:
My purpose in this life is .....
If I look inside the gifts I find are....
I can use these gifts to...
What is holding me back is.....