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Archive for March, 2008

I have gone through many transitional processes in my life. None of them easy and none of them painless. My children have all at some stage or another complained of ‘growing pains’ – physical pains associated with growth spurts at different stages of development – growing spiritually also involves pain, not always specified.

We hear so much about “letting go”, I’m not disputing that this is good advise, merely that the process of letting go ought to involve understanding the lessons learned.

On the topic of letting go… it is an important lesson to learn, and not always an easy one.
For me, a part of reconnecting to who I am involves letting go of the things and the people that do not celebrate (or at the very least accept) the person I am. – Then, of course, there are those who pull me backwards or hold me in place so that I am unable to move forward… and those who are no longer with me through no choice of my own.

Life is a series of things to let go of – our friends and loved ones, our children as they grow, our youth, our perceptions of ourselves and of others.

In the last few years, I have been faced with letting go many things. I find myself now at a threshold of sorts. I’m not entirely sure what it is, but I sense change and I hope that I will be able to let go of the things that I need to, be they attitudes, habits, possessions or people.
The adults we become were written into the fabric of our childhood experiences. The messages we receive in childhood shape us. Those women I have met who have managed to find delight, satisfaction and contentment in their adult lives despite the most horrific of experiences have somehow managed to rewrite their histories, not by changing their past, but by changing their focus.

We can all do this. It is not dependent on a dysfunctional childhood or a bad experience. We all have everyday experiences within the context of our lives that serve to develop our attitudes.
The most successful people are those who learn from their experiences – and let go of those things that pull them back, not allowing them to evolve and grow into the women they were meant to become. I challenge you to become more aware of your attitudes and emotions, let go of what inhibits you, so that you can change the focus of your thoughts and become who you are.

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Unity through fear

I am constantly amazed by the women that I meet, from all walks of life. I am touched by their beauty and encouraged by their strength.

We are united, as South African women, by a common fear (besides the fears we have for our children). Sexual violence.

This is most certainly true of women elsewhere in the world, but in most places it would be a peripheral, intangible fear, something brought to the fore with the reading of an article or a story on the news. South African women are haunted by violence daily. It is force fed to us from the minute we awake in the morning to the moment we close our eyes at night.

The vast majority of women that I meet have experienced some form of violation, yet still they continue to nurture and enrich the lives of those around them.

It is not only fear that unites us, but the strength to move forward and to build on our experiences, our refusal to be labelled victims, our ability to reach out to one another and take the painful steps forward, one at a time, to try to change a nation.

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Everyone’s life holds a unique blend of experiences, aspirations, passions, and perspectives. This is especially true for South African women.

I’ve had so many requests over the last few months to re-publish the WorldofWomen web site. Unfortunately, it’s not possible right now, so I decided to create this blog instead. (Bare with me, I’m a blog virgin!)

Churches expect us to be moral.
Schools expect us to be disciplined.
Friends expect us to be loyal.
Parents expect us to be obedient.
Husbands expect us to be faithful.
Children expect us to be constant.

There are no quick step solutions on how to be smarter, happier, or more attractive. Such messages ultimately fail because they ignore the most important thing a woman really wants – permission to be what she was created to be – permission to live from the heart and not from a list of “shoulds” and “oughts” that has left so many of us tired and bored.

Women need something else – a deeper understanding and connection to the things that stir our hearts, things that make us come alive – things like passion, adventure, fierceness and freedom.

We need to reconnect, to find the woman who knows

when to be silent and when to speak out
when to hang on and when to let go
when to give and when to preserve time for herself
when to surrender and when to take full command

Before we can fully connect with our deepest feminine soul we need to speak our own truth, from the depth of our own feelings.

We need to celebrate the true mystery and magnificence of Woman – not the woman of pop culture or contemporary society, but the woman defined and illuminated by the wisdom that already resides deep within our bones.

We need to remember, rediscover, and reclaim the woman we have forgotten to be.

We need to become the keeper of our own creative fires

We need to reconnect with ourselves and acknowledge our own infinite capacity to be both compassionate and powerful.

There is no challenge greater than remembering
the woman you have forgotten to be.

Fear is an impediment to progress, and a life lived fearfully is rarely the best one possible.

Climb a mountain. Crack the glass ceiling. Raise a child. Each is it’s own courageous act. Yet there is no greater act of courage than to give yourself permission to find an inner strength for yourself that can never again be silenced or denied.

Celebrate the magic, mystery, and magnificence that is
Woman.

She is there … inside you … the woman who knows how to be wild, free, intuitive, powerful, and compassionate. She’s living somewhere beneath the chaos in your life and the dust on your heart.

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