I’m not afraid to say I’m a powerful woman. I live a life that’s devoted to pleasure and each day I love to connect with my purpose.
That’s not to say I don’t have days when I feel empty, vulnerable, fragile. I do, and you know what? I have learnt to lean in to those days, to accept and really be with those tender places in me that aren’t ready to meet the world. I’m a woman, I’m cyclical in nature, I flow like a river and I know that to be powerful in a feminine sense is to build on that basis. It’s no good hurling myself into the world on the days when my monthly period starts, for example. Instead I work that seam of softness, curling into myself with self-care practices, bringing pleasure to my body and my spirit in the many ways I know to do.
I know to do this because I’ve been initiated by chronic illness.
16 years ago, I spent many of my days bedridden in the midst of 5 years of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ME, I was unable to work, to care for my loved ones, to even walk round the block. I was a young woman with everything to look forward to when chronic illness pulled out the proverbial rug from under my feet.
Years later I am still activated by a deep sense of purpose and empowerment that came from that five years of illness and the necessity to work on healing myself on many levels.
It was a passage to the heart of my own power, a journey into a life dedicated to truth, to love, to growth and to wisdom. A life where I am passionate about the rising of the feminine, of women stepping into their full power and aliveness to serve the world in their work, in their families and in their communities from a place of self-love, self-care and pleasure.
For me, a part of that journey was to meet the storehouse of ancient rage that I held in check. I needed to learn how to allow that rage expression in safe ways. It wasn’t always my own stuff I was dealing with – I was feeling a collective rage at the pain visited on all of us by our patriarchal culture. And the rage was of different hues – from blood-red blind fury, to softer shades where I felt I could direct and channel that energy for transformation and change. As I worked with the sacred energy of anger, I found both power and purpose. And I came home to my body, to my physical presence here in this world, at this time.
I came home bearing gifts of power.
Power is a word with many layers. It’s not as if we ‘empower ourselves’ and walk into a new day, never to look back. The journey into feminine power is cyclical, relational. We discover how to ride its waves without tearing down bridges that connect ourselves to our loved ones. We learn to become comfortable with our own authenticity and we learn to express that truth to others, in relationship. When we are initiated by challenge such as chronic illness, we learn humility. And we make of our lives a service to the world that, at the same time, brings us the elation of living our own life of purpose.
The world needs to experience this feminine power now, urgently. Each and every one of us is needed, in our own way. What does the life of a powerful woman look like to you? How would you talk, walk, wake up, dress, eat differently if you felt fully in the flow of your own power? What might your work look like? It may be simple, or it may be grand, it may seem small to you but what matters is that it feels authentic, truly ‘you’.
This is the gateway to a life rich with purpose, and days that fill you with the pleasure of being really in the world, with all of who you are.
Here are three ways to step into your authentic power…
It helps not to measure ourselves against others – that’s the first rule of empowerment! Acceptance of who we are, right now, and working with that, rather than dressing up and masking up to present a face we think the world wants to see. In our circles we use tools such as Emotional Freedom Technique to acknowledge negative feelings about ourselves and transform them, gently and safely.
How might you express your powerful self? Does she dance? Sing? Draw? Cook? Give rousing speeches? Who listens, who is around her to witness, receive, cheer her on. Track your powerful self through journaling – when, in your days, do you feel most powerful, most expansive?
Power sits in our hips, in our breasts, in our bellies, our legs. We root ourselves in earth and stretch to the sky, bringing all of ourselves along. Where do you lock yourself out of your body? Where doesn’t the breath quite reach? Areas of tension are places where your full power is held back. Befriend and get to know those tender places, acknowledge and honour them with breathwork and bodywork.